The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Catholic World, Vol. 01, April to September, 1865

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Title: The Catholic World, Vol. 01, April to September, 1865

Author: Various

Release date: April 4, 2012 [eBook #39367]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Don Kostuch


[Transcriber's notes]
This text is derived from

Several scanned pages are obscured by being too closely glued at the spine. I have interpolated the missing text where it seemed obvious and left "??" where it was in doubt.

A few cases of inaccurate typesetting such as misplaced words or lines have been corrected.

Although square brackets [] usually designate footnotes or transcriber's notes, they do appear in the original text.

To future editors: The poetry has been formatted using spaces and the "pre" tag. Modify these sections only with care and reference to the original text.

This text includes Volume I;
Number 1—April 1865
Number 2—May 1865
Number 3—June 1865
Number 4—July 1865
Number 5—August 1865
Number 6—September 1865
[End Transcriber's notes]

Fine Binding



A Monthly Eclectic Magazine










  Ancient Saints of God, The, 19.
  Ars, A Pilgrimage to, 24.
  Alexandria, The Christian Schools of, 33, 721.
  Animal Kingdom, Unity of Type in the, 71.
  Art, 136, 286, 420.
  Art, Christian, 246.
  Authors, Royal and Imperial, 323.
  All-Hallow Eve, or the Test of Futurity, 500, 657, 785.
  Arks, Noah's, 513.

  Babou, Monsieur, 106.
  Blind Deaf Mute, History of a, 826.

  Church in the United States, Progress of the, 1.
  Constance Sherwood, 78, 163, 349, 482, 600, 748.
  Catholicism, The Two Sides of, 96, 669, 741.
  Cardinal Wiseman in Rome, 117
  Catacombs, Recent Discoveries in the, 129.
  Chastellux, The Marquis de, 181.
  Church of England, Workings of the Holy Spirit in the, 289.
  Cochin China, French, 369.
  Consalvi's Memoirs, 377.
  Church History, A Lost Chapter Recovered, 414.
  Canova, Antonio, 598.
  Cathedral Library, The, 679.
  Catholic Philosophy in the Thirteenth Century, 685.

  De Guérin, Eugénie and Maurice, 214.
  Divina Commedia, Dante's, 268.
  Dinner by Mistake, A, 535.
  Dramatic Mysteries of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, 577.
  Dublin May Morning, A, 825.

  Extinct Species, 526.
  Experience, Wisdom by, 851.

  Falconry, Modern, 493.
  Fifth Century, Civilization in the, 775.

  Guérin, Eugénie and Maurice de, 214.
  Glacier, A Night in a, 345.
  Grand Chartreuse, A Visit to the, 830.

  Hedwige, Queen of Poland, 145.
  Heart and the Brain, 623.

  Irish Poetry, Recent, 466.

  Jem McGowan's Wish, 56.

  Legends and Fables, The Truth of, 433.
  London, Catholic Progress in, 703.
  London, 836.
  Laborers Gone to their Reward, 855.

  Mont Cenis Tunnel, The, 60.
  Mongols, Monks among the, 158.
  Mourne, The Building of, 225.
  Memoirs, Consalvi's, 377.
  Maintenon, Madame de, 799.
  Miscellany, 134, 280, 420, 567, 712, 858.

  Nick of Time, The, 124.

  Perilous Journey, A, 198.
  Poucette, 260.
  Prayer, What came of a, 697.

  Russian Religious, A, 306.

  Saints of God, The Ancient, 19.
  Science, 134, 280, 712.
  Streams, The Modern Genius of, 233.
  Stolen Sketch, The, 314.
  Swetchine, Madame, and her Salon, 456.
  Shakespeare, William, 548.
  St. Sophia, The Church and Mosque of, 641.
  Species, The Origin and Mutability of, 845.

  Three Wishes, The, 31.
  Terrene Phosphorescence, 770.

  Upfield, Many Years Ago at, 393.

  Vanishing Race, A, 708.

  Wiseman, Cardinal in Rome, 117.
  Winds, The, 207.
  Women, A City of, 514.
  Wisdom by Experience, 851.

  Young's Narcissa, 797.


  A Lie, 245.
  Avignon, The Bells of, 783.

  Domine Quo Vadis?76.
  Dream of Gerontius, The, 517, 630.
  Dorothea, Saint, 666.

  Ex Humo, 33.

  Gerontius, The Dream of, 517, 630.

  Hans Euler, 237.

  Limerick Bells, Legend of, 195.

  Mary, Queen of Scots, Hymn by, 337.
  Martin's Puzzle, 739.

  Saint Dorothea, 666.
  Speech, 829.

  Twilight in the North, 344.

  Unspiritual Civilization, 747.



  Archbishop Spalding's Pastoral, 144.
  At Anchor, 287.
  American Annual Cyclopaedia, US.
  A Man without a Country, 720.

  Banim's Boyne Water, 286.
  Beatrice, Miss Kavanagh's, 574.

  Cardinal Wiseman's Sermons, 139.
  Cummings' Spiritual Progress, 140.
  Christian Examiner, Reply to the, 144.
  Correlation and Conservation of Forces, The, 288, 425.
  Confessors of Connaught, 574.
  Curé of Ars, Life of the, 575.
  Ceremonial of the Church, 720.

  Darras' History of the Church, 141, 575, 860.

  England, Froude's History of, 715.

  Faith, the Victory, Bishop McGill's, 428.

  Grace Morton, 574.

  Heylen's Progress of the Age, etc., 142.
  Household Poems, Longfellow's, 719.

  Irvington Stories, 143.
  Irish Street Ballads, 720.

  John Mary Decalogne, Life of, 576.

  Lamotte Fouqué's Undine, etc142.
  La Mère de Dieu, 432.
  Life of Cicero, 573.

  Moral Subjects, Card. Wiseman's Sermons on287.
  Mystical Rose, The, 288.
  Mater Admirabilis.429.
  Month of Mary, 720.
  Martyr's Monument, The, 860.

  New Path, The, 288, 576.

  Our Farm of Four Acres, 143.

  Protestant Reformation, Abp. Spalding's History of the, 719.

  Real and Ideal, 427.
  Religious Perfection, Bayma's, 431.
  Russo-Greek Church, The, 576.
  Retreat, Meditations and Considerations for a, 720.

  Songs for all Seasons, Tennyson's, 719.
  Sybil, A Tragedy, 860.

  Translation of the Iliad, Lord Derby's, 570.
  Trübner's American and Oriental Literature, 576.

  William Shakespeare, 860.
  Whittier's Poems;860.

  Young Catholic's Library, 432.
  Year of Mary, 719.



VOL. I., NO. 1.—APRIL, 1865.

From Le Correspondant.



[The following article will no doubt be interesting to our readers, not only for its intrinsic merit and its store of valuable information, but also as a record of the impressions made upon an intelligent foreign Catholic, during a visit to this country. As might have been expected, the author has not escaped some errors in his historical and statistical statements—most of which we have noted in their appropriate places. It will also be observed that while exaggerating the importance of the early French settlements in the development of Catholicism in the United States, he has not given the Irish immigrants as much credit as they deserve. But despite these faults, which are such as a Frenchman might readily commit, the article will amply repay reading.—ED. CATHOLIC WORLD.]

After the Spaniards had discovered the New World, and while they were fighting against the Pagan civilization of the southern portions of the continent, the French made the first [permanent] European settlement on the shores of America. They founded Port Royal, in Acaclia, in 1604, and from that time their missionaries began to go forth among the savages of the North. It was not until 1620 that the first colony of English Puritans landed in Massachusetts, and it then seemed not improbable that Catholicism was destined to be the dominant religion of the New World; but subsequent Anglo-Saxon immigration and political vicissitudes so changed matters, that by the end of the last century one might well have believed that Protestantism was finally and completely established throughout North America. God, however, prepares his ways according to his own good pleasure; and he knows how to bring about secret and unforeseen changes, which set at naught all the calculations of man. The weakness and internal disorders of the Catholic nations, in the eighteenth century, retarded only for a moment the progress of the Catholic Church; and Providence, combining the despised efforts of those who seemed weak with the faults of those who seemed strong, confounded the superficial judgments of philosophers, and prepared the way for a speedy religious transformation of America.

This transformation is going on in our own times with a vigor which seems to increase every year. The {2} causes which have led to it were, at the outset, so trivial that no writer of the last century would have dreamed of making account of them. Yet, already at that time, Canada, where Catholicism is now more firmly established than in any other part of America, possessed that faithful and energetic population which has increased so wonderfully during the last half century; and even in the United States might have been found many an obscure, but a patient and stout-hearted little congregation—a relic of the old English Church, which after three centuries of oppression was to arise and spread itself with a new life. But no one set store by the poor French colonists; England and Protestantism, together, it was thought, would soon absorb them; and as for the Papists of the United States, the wise heads did not even suspect their existence. The writer who should have spoken of their future would only have been laughed at.

The English Catholics, like the Puritans, early learned to look toward America as a refuge from persecution, and in 1634, under the direction of Lord Baltimore, they founded the colony of Maryland. Despite persecution from Protestants whom they had freely admitted into their community, they prospered, increased, and became the germ of the Church of the United States, now so large and flourishing.

In the colonial archives of the Ministry of the Navy we have found a curious manuscript memoir upon Acadia, by Lamothe Cadillac, in which it is stated that in 1686 there were Catholic inhabitants in New York, and especially in Maryland, where they had seven or eight priests. Another paper preserved in the same archives mentions a Catholic priest residing in New York; and William Penn, who had established absolute toleration in the colony adjoining that of Maryland, speaks of an old Catholic priest who exercised the ministry in Pennsylvania.

The Catholics at this time are said to have composed a thirtieth part of the whole population of Maryland. This estimate seems to us too low. At all events, the increase of our unfortunate brethren in the faith was retarded by persecution and difficulties of all kinds which surrounded them. In the Puritan colonies of the North, they were absolutely proscribed. In the Southern colonies, of Virginia, Georgia, and Carolina, their condition was but little better; in New York they enjoyed a precarious toleration in the teeth of penal laws. In Maryland and Pennsylvania alone they were granted freedom of worship, and a legal status; though even in those colonies they were exposed to a thousand wrongs and vexations. Maryland persecuted them from time to time and banished their priests; and William Penn, in his tolerant conduct toward them, was bitterly opposed by his own people.

Nevertheless, despite difficulties and violence, the Anglo-American Catholics increased by little and little, wherever they got a foothold; the descendants of the old settlers multiplied; new ones came from England and Ireland; and a German immigration set in, especially in Pennsylvania, where several congregations of German Catholics were formed at a very early period. In the archives of this province we have found several valuable indications of the state of the Church in 1760. There were then two priests, one a Frenchman or an Englishman, named Robert Harding, the other a German of the name of Schneider. It seems probable that they were both Jesuits. [Footnote 1] In a letter to Governor Loudon, in 1757, Father Harding estimates the number of Catholics in Philadelphia and its immediate neighborhood at two thousand—English, Irish, and German; but in the absence of Father Schneider he could not be positive as to these figures. A letter from Gouverneur Morris in 1756 {3} speaks of the Catholics of Maryland and Pennsylvania as being very numerous and enjoying freedom of worship, and adds, that in Philadelphia there is a Jesuit who is a very able and talented man. The Abbé Robin, a chaplain in Rochambeau's army in 1781, informs us in his narrative that there were several Catholic churches at Fredericksburg, Va., and even a Catholic congregation at Charleston, S.C.

[Footnote 1: In De Courcy and Shea's "Catholic Church in the United States" pp. 211, 212, an account will be found of both these missionaries. The first mentioned was an Englishman. Both were— Jesuits. ED. C. W.]

The toleration accorded to the Jesuits in the United States was precarious, but it amounted in time to a pretty complete freedom; and as they were not disturbed when the order was suppressed in Europe, some of their brethren from abroad took refuge with them; so that in 1784, we find, according to Mr. C. Moreau, in his excellent work on the French emigrant priests in America, [Footnote 2] nineteen priests in Maryland, and five in Pennsylvania. To these we must add the priests of Detroit, Mich., Vincennes, Ind., and Kaskaskia and Cahokia, Ill., all four originally French-Canadian settlements which were ceded to England along with Canada, and after the American Revolution became parts of the United States. Counting, moreover, the missionaries scattered among the Indian tribes, we may safely say that the American Republic contained at the period of which we are speaking not fewer than thirty or forty ecclesiastics. The number of the faithful may be set down as 16,000 in Maryland, 7,000 or 8,000 in Pennsylvania, 3,000 at Detroit and Vincennes, and about 2,500 in southern Illinois; in all the other states together they hardly amounted to 1,500. In a total population therefore of 3,000,000 they numbered about 30,000, and of these 5,500 were of French origin. Such was the condition of the Church in the United States when it was regularly established in 1789 by the erection of an episcopal see at Baltimore, and the appointment, as bishop, of Mr. Carroll, an American priest, born of one of the oldest Catholic families of Maryland. The dispersion of the clergy of France, in 1790, soon afterward supplied America with numerous evangelical laborers, who gave a new impulse to the development which was just becoming apparent in the infant Church.

[Footnote 2: One vol. 12mo. Paris: Douniol.]

A few years before the French Revolution, Mr. Emery, superior of Saint Sulpice, guided by what we must term an extraordinary inspiration, came to the assistance of the American Church, and with the help of his brother Sulpitians and at the cost of the society, founded a theological seminary at Baltimore. His plans were already well matured when Bishop Carroll, soon after his appointment, entering heartily into the project, promised him a house and all the assistance he could give. Four Sulpitians accordingly set out from Paris in 1790, taking with them five Seminarians. They were supplied with 30,000 francs to defray the cost of their establishment, and to this modest sum the crisis which soon overtook the parent establishment allowed them to add but little; but this mite, bestowed by the Church of France in the last days of her wealth, was destined to become, like the widow's mite, the price of innumerable blessings.

Between 1791 and 1799 the storm of revolution drove twenty-three French priests to the United States. As the first apostles, when they set out from Rome, portioned out Germany and Gaul among themselves, so they divided this country, and most of them organized new communities of Christians, or by their zeal awakened communities that slept. Six of them, Flaget, Cheverus, Dubourg, Maréchal, Dubois, and David, became bishops.

The base of operations from which these peaceful but victorious invaders went forth was Baltimore, the episcopal see around which were gathered the old American clergy and the greater part of the Catholic population. It was here that the Sulpitians {4} had their seminary, and this establishment became a centre of attraction for a great many of these exiled priests who belonged to the Society of Saint Sulpice. Some (as MM. Ciquard, Matignon, and Cheverus) bent their steps from Baltimore toward the laborious missions among the intolerant and often fanatical Puritans of the North, where the Catholics—a mere handful—were found scattered far and wide; isolated in the midst of a Protestant population; deprived of priests and religious services, and in danger of totally forgetting the faith in which they had been baptized. Nothing discouraged these apostolic men. Aided by divine grace, they awakened the indifferent, converted heretics, gathered about them the few Catholics who immigrated from Europe, attracted all men by their affable and conciliating manners, their intelligence and education, and the disinterestedness of their lives. Soon on this apparently sterile soil Catholic parishes grew up and flourished in the midst of people who had never before seen a priest. Thus were founded the churches of Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut—so quickly that, in 1810 (that is to say, only eighteen years after the beginning of the missions), it was deemed advisable to erect for them another bishopric. Congregations had sprung up on every side as if by enchantment, and the venerable Abbé Cheverus was appointed their first bishop.

Others went westward. The Abbés Flaget, Badin, Barriere, Fournier, and Salmon carried the faith into Kentucky. There they found a few Catholic families who had emigrated from Maryland. With them they organized churches, which increased with prodigious rapidity, and were the origin of the present dioceses of Louisville, Covington, Nashville, and Alton.

The Abbés Richard, Levadour, Dilhiet, and several others, passed through the forest and the wilderness, and joined the old French colonies which still survived around the ruins of the French military posts in the Northwest and in the valley of the Mississippi. They found there a few missionaries, whom the Canadian Church still maintained in those distant countries; but their ranks were thin, and they were old and feeble. This precious reinforcement enabled them to give a fresh impetus to the French Catholic congregations over whom they kept watch in the forest. Detroit, Vincennes, Cahokia, Kaskaskia, and afterward St. Geneviève and St. Louis in Missouri, ceded to the United States in 1803, received the visits of these new apostles, and experienced the benefits of their intelligence and zeal. Nearly all the places where they fixed themselves have since given their names to large and flourishing bishoprics.

Several of the emigrant priests remained in Maryland and Virginia, and enabled the Sulpitians to complete the organization of their seminary, while at the same time they assisted Bishop Carroll in providing more perfectly and regularly for the wants of those central provinces which might be called the first home of American Catholicism. The number of the faithful everywhere increased remarkably. We can hardly estimate the extraordinary influence which these French missionaries exercised by their exemplary lives, their learning, their great qualities as men, and their virtues as saints; and the Anglo-Saxon inhabitants (who are thoroughly Protestant if you will, but for all that religious at bottom) were struck by their character all the more forcibly because it was so totally different from what their prejudices had led them to expect of the Catholic clergy.

There is something patriarchal and Homeric in the lives of these men, which read like the poetic legends in which nations have commemorated the history of their first establishment. We have seen the journal of one of these missionaries—the Abbé Bourg, {5} who labored further North, in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. His life was one long, perpetual Odyssey. In the spring he used to start from the Bay of Chaleur, traverse the northern coasts of New Brunswick, pass down the Bay of Fundy, make the entire circuit of the peninsula of Nova Scotia, and after a journey of five hundred leagues, performed in nine or ten months, visit the islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and so come back to his point of departure. From place to place, the news of his approach was sent forward by the settlers, so that whenever he stopped he found the faithful waiting for him, and whole families came fifteen or twenty leagues to meet him. Hardly had he arrived before he began the round of priestly labor, of confession and baptism, of burial and marriage. He was the arbiter of private quarrels, and often of public disputes. He found time withal to look after the education of the children—at least to make sure that they were well taught at home. Thus he would stay fifteen days perhaps in one place, a month in another, according to the number of the inhabitants. The first communion of the children crowned his visit. Then the man of God, with a last blessing on his weeping flock, disappeared for a whole year; and when the apparition so long desired, but so transitory, had passed, it left behind a halo of superhuman glory, which seemed to these pious people the glory rather of a prophet than of an ordinary man.

In such ways the marks of a messenger from God seemed more and more clearly and unmistakably stamped upon the Catholic missionary, and Protestants themselves began to yield to the subtle influence of so much real virtue and self-devotion. Conversions were frequent even among the descendants of the stern Puritans. Many of the most fervent Catholic families in the United States date from this period. A rich Presbyterian minister of Boston (Mr. John Thayer) was converted, and became a priest and an apostle. So God scattered the seed of grace behind the footsteps of his poor, persecuted children, who, despite their apparent misery, bore continually with them the wealth of the soul, the power of the Word, and the marvellous attraction of their sacrifices and virtues.

Providence, however, had not deployed so strong a force for no purpose beyond the capture of these converts. A very few missionaries might have sufficed for that; but it was now time to prepare the land for the great European immigration which was to cause the astonishing growth of the United States. Spreading themselves over the vast area of the Union, the emigrants found everywhere these veteran soldiers whom the French Revolution had sent forth into the New World as pioneers, tried both by the pains of persecution and the labors of apostleship. Before this great human tide the old emigrant priests were like the primitive rocks which arrest and fix geological deposits, The Catholic part of the tossing flood invariably settled around them and their disciples. All over the West the churches founded by the old French settlers increased, and new ones sprang up wherever a Catholic priest established himself. From that moment the grand progressive movement has never ceased. The blood of the martyrs of France, the spirit of her banished apostles, became fruitful of blessings, of which the American churches are daily sensible.

The first bishop in the United States had been appointed in 1789. Four years afterward another see was erected at New Orleans, La., which, ten years later, became a part of the United States; and in 1808, so rapid had been the Catholic development, that three new bishops were consecrated—one for Louisville, Ky., another for New York, and the third for Boston, Mass. Two of these sees were occupied by the French missionaries who had founded them—Bishop {6} Flaget at Louisville, and Bishop Cheverus at Boston. That of New York was entrusted to a venerable priest of English [Irish] origin—the Rev. Luke Concanen. In the whole United States there were then sixty-eight priests and about 100,000 Catholics. Lei us now glance at the rapid increase of the American Church up to our own day.


From the States of Maryland and Pennsylvania the Church was not long in spreading into Virginia, New York, Kentucky, and Ohio. The establishment of sees at Louisville and New York was followed by the erection of others at Philadelphia in 1809, and Richmond and Cincinnati in 1821. The two Carolinas, in which the Catholics had hitherto been an obscure and rigorously proscribed class, received a bishop at Charleston in 1820. New Orleans, a diocese of French creation, was divided in 1824 by the erection of the bishopric of Mobile. The old French colonies in the far West were the nucleus around which were formed other churches. The dioceses of St. Louis, Mo. (organized in 1826), Detroit, Mich. (1832), and Vincennes, Ind. (1834), all took their names from ancient French settlements, and were peopled almost exclusively by descendants of the French Canadians who were their first inhabitants.

Thus, in the course of twenty-six years, we see eight new sees erected, making the number of bishops in the United States thirteen. The number of the clergy amounted in 1830 to 232, and in 1834 probably exceeded 300. At the date of the next official returns (1840) there were 482 priests and three more bishoprics—those of Natchez, Miss., and Nashville, Tenn., both established in 1837, and that of Monterey in California, a country of Spanish settlement which had recently been annexed to the United States. [Footnote 3]

[Footnote 3: Monterey was not a part of the United States until 1848, nor a bishop's see until 1850. In place of it we should substitute Dubuque, made a see in 1837.—ED. C. W.]

But this increase was not comparable to that which followed between 1840 and 1850. In ten years the number of bishops was doubled by the erection of fifteen [seventeen] new sees. In 1840 there were sixteen; in 1850 thirty-one [thirty-three]. The growth during this period was most perceptible in the North and West. Among the new sees were Hartford, Conn., Albany and Buffalo, N. Y., Pittsburg, Penn., Cleveland, O., Chicago, Ill., Milwaukee, Wis., St. Paul, Minn., Oregon City and Nesqualy, Oregon, and Wheeling in Northern Virginia. The others were Little Rock, Ark., Savannah, Ga., Galveston, Texas, and Santa Fé, New Mexico. [Footnote 4] The clergy in 1850 numbered 1,800, having considerably more than doubled [nearly quadrupled] their number in ten years.

[Footnote 4: And San Francisco and Monterey—ED C. W.]

Thus we see that the Church was pressing hard and fast upon the old New England Puritans. They soon began to feel uneasy, and to oppose sometimes a violent resistance to her progress. In some of the States, especially Connecticut and New Hampshire, there were laws against the Catholics yet unrepealed; so that the dominant party had more ways of showing their hatred of the Church than by mere petty vexations. In Boston things went so far that a nunnery was pillaged and burned by a mob. It is from this time that we must date the origin of the Know-Nothing movement, directed ostensibly against foreigners, but undoubtedly animated in the main by hatred of Catholicism and alarm at its progress. The fretting and fuming of this political party was the last effort of Puritan antipathy. The Church prospered in spite of it; so the Puritans resigned themselves to witness her gradual aggressions with the best grace they could assume.


Ten new sees were established between 1850 and 1860, and eight of these were in the North or West—viz., Erie, Newark, Burlington, Portland, Fort Wayne, Sault St. Marie, Alton, and Brooklyn. Two were in the South—Covington and Natchitoches. There were thus in the United States, in 1860, forty-three bishoprics, with 2,235 priests. Let us now see how many Catholics were embraced in these dioceses, and what proportion they bore to the total population.

The number of the faithful it is not easy to determine accurately; for a false delicacy prevents the Americans from including the statistics of religious belief in their census-tables. Estimates are very variable. A work printed at Philadelphia in 1858 by a Protestant author sets down the number of Catholics as 3,177,140. Dr. Baird, a Protestant minister, published at Paris in 1857 an essay on religion in the United States—an essay, be it remarked, which showed the Catholics no favor—in which he estimated their number at 3,500,000. But neither of these estimates rests upon trustworthy data. They were certainly below the truth when they were made, and are therefore far from large enough now, for the yearly increase is very great.

Our own calculations are drawn partly from our personal observation, and partly from official documents published by various ecclesiastical authorities. The best criterion is undoubtedly the rate of increase of the clergy.

It must be evident that in America, more than in any other country, there is a logical relation between the number of the faithful and the number of the priests. As the clergy depend entirely upon the voluntary contributions of their people, there must be a fixed ratio between the growth of the flocks and the multiplication of pastors. If the clergy increase too fast, they endanger their means of support. Now, if priests cannot live in America without a certain number of parishioners to support them, we may take this number as a basis for calculating the minimum of the Catholic population; and we may safely say that the population will be in reality much greater than this minimum; because, as we can testify from experience, the churches never lack congregations, and in most places the number of the clergy is insufficient to supply even the most pressing religious wants of the people. One never sees a priest in the United States seeking for employment. On the contrary, the cry of spiritual destitution daily goes up from parishes and communities which have no pastors.

Calculations founded upon the statistics of "church accommodations" given in the United States census—that is, of the number of persons the churches are capable of holding—are not applicable to our case; because the Catholic churches, especially in the large cities, are thronged two or three times every Sunday by as many distinct congregations, while the Protestant churches have only one service for all. The capacity of the churches therefore gives us neither the actual number of worshippers nor the proportion between our own people and those of other denominations. We have taken, then, as the basis of our estimate, the ratio between the number of priests and the number of the faithful, correcting the result according to the circumstances of particular places. The first point is to establish this ratio, and we are led by the concurrent results of careful estimates made in some of the States, and special or general calculations which we have had opportunity of making in person, to fix it at the average of one priest for every 2,000 Catholics. But we have a very trustworthy method of verifying this estimate, and that is by comparison between the United States and the contiguous British Provinces, in which the statistics of religious belief are included in the general census. Setting aside Lower Canada, where the Catholic population is as compact as it is in France, we find that in Upper {8} Canada, a country which resembles the Western United States, the ratio in 1860 was one priest for every 1,850 Catholics, and in New Brunswick, a territory very like New England, one for every 2,400. Our average ratio of one for every 2,000 cannot, therefore, be far from the truth. We have made due account of all data by which this ratio could be either raised or lowered in particular times and places. We have ourselves made investigations in certain districts, and persons well qualified to speak on the subject have given us information about others. The result of our corrected calculation gives us 4,400,000 as the Catholic population of the United States in 1860, the date of the last general census. We shall give presently the distribution of this total among the several states; but we wish first to call attention to another fact of great importance which appears from our figures. In 1808 the Catholics were 100,000 in a total population of 6,500,000, or 1/65th of the whole; in 1830 they were 450,000 in 13,000,000, or 1/29th of the whole; in 1840, 960,000 in 17,070,000, or 1/18th; in 1850, 2,150,000 in 23,191,000, or 1/11th; and finally, in 1860 they were over 4,400,000 in 31,000,000, or 1/7th of the total population. It thus appears that for fifty years the Catholics have increased much faster than the rest of the inhabitants, and especially during the last two decades. Between 1840 and 1850 their ratio of increase was 125 per cent., while that of the whole population was only 36; and from 1850 to 1860 their ratio of increase was 109 per cent., while that of the whole people was 35.59. These figures, to be sure, are not mathematically certain, for they are deduced partly from estimates; but we are confident that, considering the imperfect materials at our disposal, we have come as near the exact truth as possible, both in the ratio of increase and in the total population. Official returns in the British Provinces confirm our calculations in a most remarkable manner; and we believe that, estimating the future growth on the most moderate scale, the Catholics will number in 1870 one-fifth of the whole population, and in 1900 not far from one-third.


Having traced the progress of the Church step by step in the United States, it will now be equally interesting and instructive to see how this progress has been made in different places. The Catholics are by no means uniformly dispersed over the country, and their increase has not been equally rapid in all the states. It will be worth our while to see in which quarters they are settled with the most compactness and in which they are widely dispersed; and thus we may predict without great risk which regions are destined to be the Catholic strongholds in the New World. We have already said that the proportion of the Catholics to the whole people in 1860 was as one to seven; but if we divide the country into two parts we shall find that in the Southern states there are only 1,200,000 Catholics in a population of 12,000,000—that is, they are 1/10th of the whole; while in the North they number 3,200,000 in 19,000,000, or more than 1/6th. Even these figures give but a very general idea of the distribution of the faithful. If we take the whole country, state by state, we shall find the proportions still more variable. In some places the Catholic element is already so strong that its ultimate preponderance can hardly be doubted, while its slow development in other quarters promises little for the future. The following tables will enable our readers to comprehend at once the distribution of the Catholics among the various states:





These tables show at a glance the disproportion between the Catholics of the North and those of the South. In only one Northern state (that of Maine) is the proportion of Catholics as small as 5.45 per cent, of the whole population; while there are no fewer than five Southern states in which it is less than three per cent. If we leave out New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Maryland, where the preponderance of the faithful is due to special causes, we find that in the other Southern states the average proportion is not above four per cent. In other words, in these regions the Church has little better than a nominal existence. This is partly because the stream of European immigration has always flowed in other directions, and partly because the negroes generally adhere to the Baptist or Methodist sects in preference to the Church.

But when we examine the tables more in detail, we see that in both sections the ratio of Catholics varies greatly in different states. It is easy to account for this difference in the South. Six states only have any considerable number of Catholic inhabitants. Louisiana and Missouri owe them to the old French colonies around which the Catholic settlers clustered. In New Mexico, more than three-fourths of the people are of Spanish-Mexican origin. Texas derives a great number of her inhabitants from Mexico, and has received a large Catholic emigration both from Europe and from the United States. Maryland, the germ of the American Church, owes her religious prosperity to the first English Catholic settlers; and the Church in Kentucky is an offshoot of that in Maryland. Such are the special causes of the great differences between the churches of the various Southern states. In the North there is less disparity. European immigration has produced a much more decided effect in this section than in the preceding. From this source come most of the faithful of New York, Oregon, California, Ohio, and New Jersey. In Ohio the Germans have done the principal part, and they have done much also in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The effect of conversions is more perceptible in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York than elsewhere. In many of the states, however, and especially in Pennsylvania, we find numerous descendants of English Catholic settlers, while the old French colonies of the West have had their influence upon the population of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois, and also of the northern part of New York, where the French Canadians are daily spreading their ramifications across the frontier. If we look now at the localities in which the proportion of Catholics is greatest, we shall notice several interesting points touching the laws which have determined the direction of the principal development of the Church, and which will probably promote it in the future. In the South there are what we may call three groups of states in which the Catholic element is notably stronger than in the others. One belongs exclusively to the Southern section, and consists of Louisiana, Texas, and New Mexico, having an aggregate Catholic population of 380,000 in 1,363,800, or 28 per cent. The other groups (Missouri, that is to say, and Maryland and Kentucky) form parts of much larger groups belonging to the Northern states. The first of these latter, and that to which Maryland and Kentucky are attached, consists of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Ohio. Its aggregate population is 11,647,477, of whom the Catholics are 2,240,000, or nineteen per cent. This group contains the ancient establishments of Maryland and Pennsylvania—good old Catholic communities, in which the zeal and piety of the faithful possess that firm and decided character which comes of long practice and time-honored traditions. It contains, too, the magnificent seminary of Baltimore, founded and still directed by the Sulpitians. This is the largest and most complete {11} establishment of the kind in the United States, and derives from its connection with the Sulpitian house in Paris special advantages for superintending the education of young ecclesiastics, and training accomplished ministers for the sanctuary. Kentucky, likewise, has some important and noteworthy institutions, such as the seminary of St. Thomas and the college of St. Mary, both of which are in high repute at the West, and the magnificent Abbey of Our Lady of La Trappe at New Haven, with sixty-four religious, eighteen of whom are choir-monks. The Kentucky Catholics deserve a few words of special mention. The descendants, for the most part, of the first settlers of Maryland, who scattered, about a century ago, in order to people new countries, they partake in an eminent degree of the peculiar characteristics which have given to Kentuckians a reputation as the flower of the American people. They are more decidedly American than the Catholics of any other district, and they are remarkable for their homogeneousness, their education, and their attachment to the faith and traditions of the Church.

The most important and numerous Catholic population is found in the state of New York, where the faithful amount to no fewer than 800,000. They have here religious establishments of every kind. This condition of things is the result, in great measure, of the well-known ability of Archbishop Hughes, whose death has left a void which the American clergy will find it hard to fill. His reputation was not confined to the Empire City. He was as well known all over the Union as at his own see, and was everywhere regarded as one of the great men of the country. Although the progress of the faith in New York has been owing in a very great degree to immigration, it is in this city and in Boston that conversions have been most numerous; and in effecting these, Archbishop Hughes had a most important share. It is not surprising, then, that his death should have caused a profound sensation in the city, and that all religious denominations should have united in testifying respect for his memory.

It is difficult to apply a statistical table to the study of the question of conversions. These are mental operations of infinite variety, both in their origin and in their ways; for the methods of Providence are as many and as diverse as the shades of human thought upon which they act. It may be remarked, however, that the different Protestant sects furnish very unequal contingents to the little army of souls daily returning to the true faith; and it is a curious fact that the two sects which furnish the most are the Episcopalians, who, in their forms and traditions, approach nearest to the Catholic Church, and the Unitarians, who go to the very opposite extreme, and appear to push their philosophical and rationalistic principles almost beyond the pale of Christianity. These two sects generally comprise the most enlightened and intellectual people of North America. On the other hand, the denominations which embrace the more ignorant portions of the population (such as the Baptists, the Wesleyan Methodists, etc., etc.) furnish, in proportion to their numbers, but few converts. The principal Catholic review in the United States (Brownson's Review, published in New York) is edited by a well-known convert, whose name it bears, and who was formerly a Unitarian minister.

Further North—in New England—there is another Catholic group, of recent origin, formed of the Puritan states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The first see here was established by Bishop Cheverus only sixty years ago. These bishoprics, however, have already acquired importance; for in the diocese of Hartford the Catholics are now sixteen per cent, of the whole population, and the rapidity of their increase and the completeness of their church organization give us ground for bright hopes of their future progress. Immigration {12} here does much to promote conversions, and it will not be extravagant to anticipate that in the course of a few years the number of the faithful will be doubled. The Pilot, the most important Catholic journal in the country, is published in Boston.

The far West, only a few years ago, was a great wilderness, with only a few French posts scattered here and there in the Indian forest, like little islands in the midst of a great ocean. Now it is divided into several states, and counts millions of inhabitants. In this rapid transformation, Catholicism has not remained behind. Many dioceses have been established, and the quickness of their growth has already placed this group in the second rank so far as regards numerical importance, while all goes to show that Catholicism is destined here to preponderate greatly over all other denominations. The states of Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota contained, in 1860, 4,575,000 souls, of whom 890,000, or 19 per cent., were Catholics. This is as large a proportion as we find in the central group. It is, moreover, rapidly rising, and only one thing is necessary to make these states before long the principal seats of Catholicism in the Union—that is, an adequate supply of priests. It is of the utmost importance that the demand for missionaries in these diocese be supplied at whatever cost.

The principal causes of this remarkable increase are, first, the crowds of immigrants attracted by the great extent of fertile land thrown open to settlers; and, secondly, the fact that the Catholic immigrants on their arrival clustered, so to speak, around the old French settlements, where the missionaries still maintained the discipline and worship of the Church. At first, therefore, it was easy to direct this great influx of people, since they naturally tended toward the pre-existing centres of faith. The consequence was that the Church lost by apostacies fewer members than one might have supposed, and fewer than were lost in other places. But now the daily augmenting crowds of immigrants are dispersing themselves through less solitary regions. They are coming under more direct and various influences; and hence the necessity for increasing the number of churches and parish priests becomes daily more and more urgent. At the same time, the means at the disposal of the bishops become daily less and less adequate for supplying this want, especially since the people of the country, new and unsettled as they are, and absorbed in material cares, furnish but few candidates for the priesthood. Here we see a glorious field for the far-reaching benevolence of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. Nowhere, we believe, will the sending forth of pious and devoted priests produce fruits comparable to those of which the past gives promise to the future in this part of the United States. We spoke just now of the old French colonies, and our readers will perhaps be surprised that we should have made so much account of those poor little villages, which numbered hardly more than from 500 to 1,500 souls each when the Yankees began to come into the country. Nevertheless, we have not exaggerated their importance. It is not only that they served as centres and rallying-points; but so rapid is the multiplication of families in America that this French population which, if brought together in one mass in 1800, would have counted at most 14,000 souls, now numbers, including both the original settlements and the swarms of emigrants who have gone from them to the West, not fewer than 80,000. Their descendants are always easily recognized. Detroit, and its neighborhood in Michigan, Vincennes (Ind.), Cahokia and Kaskaskia (Ill.), St. Louis, St. Geneviève, Carondelet, etc. (Mo.), Green Bay and Prairie du Chien (Wis.), St. Paul (Minn.)—all these old settlements have preserved the deep imprint of our race. Even in the new colonies which were afterward drawn from them, the French population have uniformly kept up the practice of their religion, {13} the use of their mother tongue, and a lively recollection of their origin. Of this fact we have obtained proof in several instances from careful personal observation. Small and poor, therefore, as these settlements were, they had a powerful moral influence upon the great immigration of the nineteenth century. The Catholic immigrants felt drawn toward them by the attraction of a community of thought and customs; and God, whose Providence rules our lives, directed the movement by his own inscrutable methods.


While the Catholic element was increasing at the rate of 80, 125, and 109 per cent, every ten years, other religious denominations showed an increase of only twenty or twenty-five per cent. Some remained stationary, and a few even lost ground. Whence comes this continued and increasing disparity in the development of different portions of the same people? The principal reason assigned for it is the immense emigration from Ireland to America. As the number of Catholics in the United States when the emigration began was very small, every swarm of fresh settlers added much more to their ratio of increase than to that of other denominations. Ten added to ten gives an increase of 100 per cent.; but the same number added to 100 gives only ten per cent. At first sight, this seems a sufficient explanation; but we shall find, when we come to examine it, that it does not really account for our increase. If the growth of the American Catholic Church were the result wholly of immigration, we should find that as the number of Catholic inhabitants increased, the apparent effect of this immigration would be diminished. In other words, the ratio of increase would gradually fall to an equality with that of other denominations. But, so far from this being the case, the difference between our ratio of increase and that of the Protestant sects is as great as ever--is even growing greater. The ratio which was ten per cent. a year between 1830 and 1840, rose to 12.50 per cent, a year between 1840 and 1850, and was 10.09 per cent, between 1850 and 1860. There are other causes, therefore, beside European emigration to which we must look for an explanation of Catholic progress in America. If we study with a little attention the extent to which immigration has influenced the development of the whole population of the country, and the exact proportion of the Catholic part of this immigration, we shall find confirmation of the conclusions to which we have been led by the simple testimony of figures. Immigration has never furnished more than six or seven per cent. of the decennial increase of the population of the United States, the growth of which has been at the rate of thirty-five per cent, during the same period. Immigration, therefore, contributed to it only one-fifth. Again, of these immigrants, including both Irish and Germans, not more than one-third have been Catholics. Moreover, we must take account of the considerable number of members that the Church has lost in the course of their dispersion all over the country.

Clearly, then, the influence of immigration is not enough to account for the rapid progress of the faith. A careful analysis of the Catholic population at different tunes, and in different places, enables us to specify two other causes.

1. The Catholics are principally distributed at the North among the free states, where the population increases much faster than it does at the South; and the Catholic families, it has been observed, multiply much faster than the others, in consequence, no doubt, of their more active and regular habits of life, sustained morality, respect for the marriage tie, and regard for domestic obligations. This difference in fecundity is quite perceptible wherever the Catholic element {14} is strong—as in Canada, and the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, etc., and, among the Southern states, in Louisiana, Maryland, and Missouri.

2. Another cause of increase is the conversion of Protestants—a cause which operates slowly, quietly, and, at first, imperceptibly, but with that constant and uniform power—reminding us of the great operations of nature—which is almost always the sign of a Providential agency. Eloquent theorists and brilliant writers on statistics, preferring salient facts and striking phenomena—what they call the great principles of science—too often overlook or despise those obscure movements which act quietly upon the human conscience. Yet how much more powerful is this mysterious action—like the continual dropping of water—than the showy effects which captivate so many thinkers, whose organs of perception seem dazzled by the glow of their imagination! Such was the nature of the invisible operation which was inaugurated by the preaching of the martyrs of the faith whom the French Revolution cast forth like seed all over the world. The rules of political economy had nothing to do with it. It acted in the secret chambers of men's hearts and the retirement of their meditative moments, and it has gone on without interruption to the present moment, increasing year by year. The Church seizes upon the convictions of grown men; reaches the young by her admirable systems of education; impresses all by her living, persuasive propagandism, made beautiful by the zeal and devotion and holiness of her missionaries. Simple and dignified, without the affectation of dignity— austere, without fanaticism—their presence alone roots up old prejudices, while their preaching and example fill the soul with new lights and with anxieties which nothing but their instructions can set at rest. Thus, wherever they go, the thoughts and comparisons which they suggest multiply conversions all around them. You have only to question a few Catholic families in the older states about their early religious history, and you will see how important an element in the prosperity of the Church is this force of attraction—so important, that the following statement may almost be taken as a general law: Wherever a Catholic priest establishes himself, though there be not a Catholic family in the place, it is almost certain that by the end of a time which varies from five to ten years, he will be surrounded by a Catholic community large enough to form a parish and support a clergyman. This rule seems to us to have no exception except in some of the southern states. We have no hesitation in stating it broadly of even those parts of New England in which the anti-Catholic feeling is now strongest.

We shall presently have occasion to show that the only thing which prevents the American Church from increasing, perhaps doubling, the rapidity of its progress, is the scarcity of ecclesiastics and missionaries, from which all the dioceses are suffering.

We have explained the important part which converts have played in this progress. The inquiry naturally arises: Whence come so many conversions? What are the causes which generally lead to them? These are delicate and difficult questions. We have no wish to speak ill of the Protestant clergy. Most of them are certainly honorable men, estimable husbands and good fathers; but we cannot help observing that they lack the sacerdotal character so conspicuous in the Catholic priest. Their ministry and their teaching cannot fully satisfy the soul; and whenever a calm and unprejudiced comparison is drawn between them and the Catholic clergy, it is strange if the former do not suffer by the contrast, and behold their flocks, little by little, passing over to the side of the Church. This comparison is one motive which often leads Protestants, not precisely into {15} the bosom of the faith, but to the study of Catholic doctrine; and this is a step by no means easy to persuade them to take; for, of every ten Protestants who honestly study the faith, seven or eight end by becoming Catholics. The Americans are a people of a strong religious bent. Nothing which concerns the great question of religion is indifferent to them. They study and reflect upon such matters much more than we skeptical and critical Frenchmen. The conversions resulting from such frequent consideration of religious matters ought, therefore, to be far more numerous in America, and even in England, than in other countries.

There are doubtless many other causes which contribute to the same result. Among them are mixed marriages, which generally turn out to the advantage of the Church, especially in the case of educated people in the upper ranks in society. Not only are the children of these marriages brought up Catholics, but almost always, as experience has shown us, the Protestant parent becomes a Catholic too.

The excellent houses of education directed by religious orders are another active cause of conversions. If elementary education is almost universal in the United States, it is nevertheless true that the higher institutions of learning are exceedingly defective. The colleges and boarding-schools founded under the direction of the Catholic clergy, though inferior to those of France in the thoroughness of the education they impart and the amount of study required of their pupils, are yet vastly superior to all other American establishments in their method, their discipline, and the attainments of their professors. The consequence is that they are resorted to by numbers of Protestant youth of both sexes. No compulsion is used to make them Catholics; no undue influence is exerted; the press, free as it is, rarely finds excuse for complaint on this score; but facts and doctrines speak for themselves. The good examples and affectionate solicitude which surround these young people, and the friendships they contract, leave a deep impression on their minds, and plant the seed of serious thought, which sooner or later bears fruit. Various circumstances may lead to the final development of this seed. Now perhaps a first great sorrow wakens it into life; now it is quickened by new ideas born of study and experience; in one case the determining influence may be a marriage; in another, intercourse with Catholic society; and not a few may be moved by the falsity of the notions of Catholicism which they find current among Protestants, and which their own experience enables them to detect. This motive operates oftener than people suppose, and generally with those who at school or college seemed most bitterly hostile to the faith. In tine, those who have been educated at Catholic institutions are less prejudiced and better prepared for the action of divine grace, which Providence may send through any one of a thousand channels.

And lastly, Catholicism acts upon the Americans through the medium of the habits and customs to which it gradually attaches them, the result of which is that in the growth of the population the Church makes a constant, an insensible, and what we might call a spontaneous increase. It is a well-known fact that the Catholic families of North America, as a general rule, are distinguished by a character of stability, good order, and moderation which is often wanting in the Yankee race. Now this turns to the advantage of the Church; for it is evident that a people which fixes itself permanently where it has once settled, which concentrates itself, so to speak, has a better chance of acquiring a predominance in the long run than one of migratory habits, always in pursuit of some better state which always eludes it. This truth is nowhere more apparent than in a county of Upper Canada where we spent nearly three years. The county of Glengarry was settled {16} in 1815 by Scotchmen, some of whom were Catholics. The colony increased partly by the natural multiplication of the settlers, partly by immigration, until about 1840, when immigration almost totally ceased, all the lands being occupied. The population was then left to grow by natural increase alone. The Protestants at that time were considerably in the majority; but by 1850 the proportions began to change, and out of 17,576 inhabitants 8,870 were Catholics. In 1860 the majority was completely reversed, and in a population of 21,187 there were 10,919 Catholics; in other words, the latter, by the regular operation of natural causes, had gained every year from one to two per cent, upon the whole. It would not be easy to give a detailed explanation of this fact; we are only conscious that some mysterious and irresistible agency is gradually augmenting the proportion of the Catholic element in American society and weakening the Protestant.

American society might be compared to a troubled expanse of water holding various substances in solution. The solid bottom upon which the waters rest is formed by the deposit of these substances, and day after day, during the moments of rest which follow every agitation of the waves, more and more of the Catholic element is precipitated which the waters bring with them at each successive influx, but fail to carry off again. It is by this human alluvium that our religion grows and extends itself; and if this growth is wonderful, it may be that the effect of the infusion of so much sound doctrine into American society will prove equally astonishing and precious.

Great stress has often been laid upon the good qualities of the American people, but comparatively few have spoken of their faults; not because they had none, but because their faults were lost sight of in the brilliancy of their material prosperity. But recent events have led to more reflection upon this point; so it will not astonish our readers if we point oat one or two, such as the decay of thoughtful, systematic, methodical intelligence among them, in comparison with Europeans; their narrowness of mind; their inaptitude for general ideas; and their sensibly diminishing delicacy of mind. These defects show an unsuspected but serious and rapid degeneracy of the Anglo-American race, and the decline has already perhaps gone further than one would readily believe. If Catholicism, which tends eminently to develop a spirit of method and order, broadness of view and delicacy of sentiment, should combat successfully these failings, it would render a signal service to the United States in return for the liberty which they have granted it.

But Catholics, we should add, are indebted to the United States for something more than simple liberty. They have there learned to appreciate their real power. They have learned by experience how little they have to fear from pure universal liberty, how much strength and influence they can acquire in such a state of society. There is this good and this evil in liberty—that it always proves to the advantage of the strong; so that when there is question of the relations between man and man, it must be a well-regulated liberty, or it will result in the oppression of the weak. But the case is different when it comes to a question of discordant doctrines: man has everything to gain by the triumph of sound, strong principles and the destruction of false and specious theories. In such a contest, let but each side appear in its true colors, and we have nothing to fear for the cause of truth. The United States will at least have had the merit of affording an opportunity for a powerful demonstration of the truth; and great as are the advantages which the Catholic Church can confer upon the country, she herself will reap still greater advantages by conferring them; for it will turn to her benefit in her action upon the world at large.

In fact, the experience of the Church {17} in America has doubtless gone for something in the familiarity which religious minds are gradually acquiring with the principles of political liberty; and thus the growth of American Catholicism is allied to the world-wide reaction which is now taking place after the religious eclipse of the last century. This transformation of the United States, in truth, is only one marked incident in the intellectual revolution which is drawing the whole world toward the Catholic Church—England as well as America, Germany as well as England, even Bulgaria in the far East. The foreign press brings us daily the signs of this progress; and nothing can be easier than to point them out in France under our own eyes. But unfortunately we have been too much in the habit, for the last century, of leading a life of continual mortification, too conscious that we were laughed at by the leaders of public opinion. We crawled along in fear and trembling, creeping close to the walls, dreading at every step to give offence, or to cause scandal, or to lose some of our brethren. Accustomed to see our ranks thinned and whole files carried off in the flower of their youth, we stood in too great fear of the deceitful power of doctrines which seemed to promise everything to man and ask nothing from him in return. And therefore many of us still find it hard to understand the new state of things in which we are making progress without external help. This progress, however, inaugurated by the energy of a few, the perseverance of all, and the overruling hand of divine Providence, is unquestionably going on, and may easily be proved. We have only to visit our churches, attend some of the special retreats for men, or look at the Easter communions, to see what long steps faith and religious practice have taken within the last forty years. The change is most perceptible among the educated classes and in the learned professions. We have heard old professors express their astonishment in comparing the schools of the present time with those of their youth. It was then almost impossible to find a young man at the École Polytechnique, at St. Cyr, or at the École Centrale, with enough faith and enough courage openly to profess his religion; now it may be said that a fifth or perhaps a fourth part of the students openly and unhesitatingly perform their Easter duty. We ourselves remember that no longer ago than 1830 it required a degree of courage of which few were found capable to manifest any religious sentiment in the public lyceums. Voltairianism—or to speak better, an intolerant fanaticism—delighted to cover these faithful few with public ridicule; while now, if we may believe the best authorized accounts, it is only a small minority who openly profess infidelity. We can affirm that in the School of Law the change is quite as great, and it has begun to operate even in that time-honored stronghold of materialism, the School of Medicine.

But what must strike us most forcibly in the examination of these questions is the fact, already pointed out by the Abbé Meignan, that the progress of religion has kept even pace with the extension of free institutions. Wherever the liberal régime has been established, the reaction in favor of religion has become stronger, no doubt because liberty places man face to face with the consequences of his own acts and the necessities of his feeble nature. Man is never so powerfully impelled to draw near to God as when he becomes conscious of his own weakness; never so deeply impressed with the emptiness of false doctrines as when he has experienced their nothingness in the practical affairs of life. The violence of external disorder soon leads him to, reflect upon the necessity of solid, methodical, moral education, such as regulates one's life, and such as the Church alone can impart. And therefore the great change of sentiment of which we have spoken is perceptible chiefly among the educated and liberal classes, while with the ignorant and {18} vulgar infidelity holds its own and is even gaining. The educated classes, more thoughtful, knowing the world and having experience of men, see further and calculate more calmly the tendency of events; with the common people reason and plain sense are often overpowered by the violence of their temperament and the impetuosity of their passions. Ignorance and inordinate desires do the rest, and they imagine that man will know how to conduct without knowing how to govern himself.

Whatever demagogues may say, history proves that the head always rules the body. The period of discouragement and apprehension is past. We shall yet, no doubt, have to go through trials, and violent crises, and perhaps cruel persecutions; but we may hope everything from the future. And why not? If we study the history of the Jewish people, we shall see how God chastises his people in order to rouse them from their moral torpor, and raise them up from apparent ruin by unforeseen means. Weakness, in his hand, at once becomes strength; he asks of us nothing but faith and courage. We have traced his Providence in the methods by which he has stimulated the growth of the American Church—methods all the more effectual because, unlike our own vain enterprises, they worked for a long time in silence and obscurity. These Western bishoprics remained almost unknown up to the day when, the light bursting forth all at once, the world beheld a Church already organized, already strong, where it had not suspected even her existence.

There is a magnificent and instructive scene in Athalie, where the veil of the temple is rent, and discloses to the eyes of the terrified queen, Joas, whom she had believed dead, standing in his glory surrounded by an army. Even so, it seems to us, was the American Church suddenly revealed in all her vigor to the astonished world, when her bishops came two years ago to take their place in the council at Rome. And the same progress is making all over the globe. Noiseless and unobtrusive, it attracts no attention from the world; it is overlooked by Utopian theorists; it goes on quietly in the domain of conscience; but the day will come when its light will break forth and astonish mankind by its brightness. Such are the ways of God!

NOTE.—The greater part of the materials for the preceding article were written or collected during the course of a journey which we made in the United States in 1860. Since then the progress of Catholicism has necessarily been somewhat checked by the events of the lamentable civil war which is desolating the country; but the check has been far less serious than might have reasonably been apprehended. Religion has been kept apart from political dissensions and public disorders; it has only had to suffer the common evils which war, mortality, and general impoverishment have inflicted upon the whole people. If all these things are to have any bad effect upon the progress of the Church, it will be in future years, not now. In fact, all the documents which we have been able to collect show that the numbers of both the faithful and the clergy, instead of falling off, have gone on increasing. In thirty-eight dioceses there are now 275 more priests than there were in 1860; from the five other sees, namely, those of New Orleans, Galveston, Mobile, Natchitoches, and Charleston, we have no returns. This increase is confined almost entirely to the regions in which the Church was already strongest; elsewhere matters have remained about stationary.

Of this number of 275 priests added to the Church in the course of three years, 251 belong to the following fourteen dioceses, namely: Baltimore, Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Brooklyn, Albany, Alton, Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, Detroit, Fort Wayne, Vincennes, and Hartford. The last-named belongs to the {19} Northeastern or New England group, all the others to the Central and Western. Thus fourteen dioceses alone show nine-tenths of the total increase, and the others divide the remaining tenth among them in very minute fractions. From some states, it is true, the returns are very meagre, and from others they are altogether wanting; but the disproportion is so strong as to leave no doubt that the future conquests of the Church in the United States will be gained, as we have already said, principally in the Middle and Western States.

E. R.

From The Month.






We often practically divide the saints into three classes. The ancient saints, those of the primitive age of Christianity, we consider as the patrons of the universal Church, watching over its well-being and progress, but, excepting Rome, having only a general connection with the interests of particular countries, still less of individuals.

The great saints of the middle age, belonging to different races and countries, have naturally become their patrons, being more especially reverenced and invoked in the places of their births, their lives, and still more their deaths; whence, St. Willibrord, St. Boniface, and St. Walburga are more honored in Germany, where they died, than in England, where they were born.

The third class includes the more modern saints, who spoke our yet living languages, printed their books, followed the same sort of life, wore the same dress as we do, lived in houses yet standing, founded institutions still flourishing, rode in carriages, and in another generation would have traveled by railway. Such are St. Charles, St. Ignatius, St. Philip, St. Teresa, St. Vincent, B. Benedict Joseph, and many others. Toward these we feel a personal devotion independent of country; nearness of time compensating for distance of place. There is indeed one class of saints who belong to every age and every country; devotion toward whom, far from diminishing, increases the further we recede from their time and even their land. For we are convinced that a Chinese convert has a more sensitive and glowing devotion toward our Blessed Lady, than a Jewish neophyte had in the first century. When I hear this growth of piety denounced or reproached by Protestants, I own I exult in it.

For the only question, and there is none in a Catholic mind, is whether such a feeling is good in itself; if so, growth in it, age by age, is an immense blessing and proof of the divine presence. It is as if one told me that there is more humility now in the Church than there was in the first century, more zeal than in the third, more faith than in the eighth, more charity than in the twelfth. And so, if there is more devotion now than there was 1,800 years ago toward the Immaculate Mother of God, toward {20} her saintly spouse, toward St. John, St. Peter, and the other Apostles, I rejoice; knowing that devotion toward our divine Lord, his infancy, his passion, his sacred heart, his adorable eucharist, has not suffered loss or diminution, but has much increased. It need not be, and it is not, as John the Baptist said, "He must increase, and I diminish." Both here increase together; the Lord, and those who best loved him.

But this is more than a subject of joy: it is one of admiration and consolation. For it is the natural course of things that sympathies and affections should grow less by time. We care and feel much less about the conquests of William I., or the prowess of the Black Prince, than we do about the victories of Nelson or Wellington; even Alfred is a mythical person, and Boadicea fabulous; and so it is with all nations. A steadily increasing affection and intensifying devotion (as in this case we call it) for those remote from us, in proportion as we recede from them, is as marvellous—nay, as miraculous—as would be the flowing of a stream from its source up a steep hill, deepening and widening as it rose. And such I consider this growth, through succeeding ages, of devout feeling toward those who were the root, and seem to become the crown, or flower, of the Church. It is as if a beam from the sun, or a ray from a lamp, grew brighter and warmer in proportion as it darted further from its source.

I cannot but see in this supernatural disposition evidence of a power ruling from a higher sphere than that of ordinary providence, the laws of which, uniform elsewhere, are modified or even reversed when the dispensations of the gospel require it; or rather, these have their own proper and ordinary providence, the laws of which are uniform within its system. And this is one illustration, that what by every ordinary and natural course should go on diminishing, goes on increasing. But I read in this fact an evidence also of the stability and perpetuity of our faith; for a line that is ever growing thinner and thinner tends, through its extenuation, to inanition and total evanescence; whereas one that widens and extends as it advances and becomes more solid, thereby gives earnest and proof of increasing duration.

When we are attacked about practices, devotions, or corollaries of faith—"developments," in other words—do we not sometimes labor needlessly to prove that we go no further than the Fathers did, and that what we do may be justified from ancient authorities? Should we not confine ourselves to showing, even with the help of antiquity, that what is attacked is good, is sound, and is holy; and then thank God that we have so much more of it than others formerly possessed? If it was right to say "Ora pro nobis" once in the day, is it not better to say it seven times a day; and if so, why not seventy times seven? The rule of forgiveness may well be the rule of seeking intercession for it. But whither am I leading you, gentle reader? I promised you a story, and I am giving you a lecture, and I fear a dry one. I must retrace my steps. I wished, therefore, merely to say that, while the saints of the Church are very naturally divided by us into three classes—holy patrons of the Church, of particular portions of it, and of its individual members—there is one raised above all others, which passes through all, composed of protectors, patrons, and nomenclators, of saints themselves. For how many Marys, how many Josephs, Peters, Johns, and Pauls, are there not in the calendar of the saints, called by those names without law of country or age!

But beyond this general recognition of the claims of our greatest saints, one cannot but sometimes feel that the classification which I have described is carried by us too far; that a certain human dross enters into the composition of our devotion; we perhaps nationalize, or even individualize, {21} the sympathies of those whose love is universal, like God's own, in which alone they love. We seem to fancy that St. Edward and St. Frideswida are still English; and some persons appear to have as strong an objection to one of their children bearing any but a Saxon saint's name as they have to Italian architecture. We may be quite sure that the power and interest in the whole Church have not been curtailed by the admission of others like themselves, first Christians on earth, then saints in heaven, into their blessed society; but that the friends of God belong to us all, and can and will help us, if we invoke them, with loving impartiality. The little history which I am going to relate serves to illustrate this view of saintly intercession; it was told me by the learned and distinguished prelate whom I shall call Monsig. B. He has, I have heard, since published the narrative; but I will give it as I heard it from his lips.



On the 30th of last month—I am writing early in August—we all commemorated the holy martyrs, Sts. Abdon and Sennen. This in itself is worthy of notice. Why should we in England, why should they in America, be singing the praises of two Persians who lived more than fifteen hundred years ago? Plainly because we are Catholics, and as such in communion with the saints of Persia and the martyrs of Decius. Yet it may be assumed that the particular devotion to these two Eastern martyrs is owing to their having suffered in Rome, and so found a place in the calendar of the catacombs, the basis of later martyrologies. Probably after having been concealed in the house of Quirinus the deacon, their bodies were buried in the cemetery or catacomb of Pontianus, outside the present Porta Portese, on the northern bank of the Tiber. In that catacomb, remarkable for containing the primitive baptistery of the Church, there yet remains a monument of these saints, marking their place of sepulture. [Footnote 5] Painted on the wall is a "floriated" and jewelled cross; not a conventional one such as mediaeval art introduced, but a plain cross, on the surface of which the painter imitated natural jewels, and from the foot of which grow flowers of natural forms and hues; on each side stands a figure in Persian dress and Phrygian cap, with the names respectively running down in letters one below the other:


The bodies are no longer there. They were no doubt removed, as most were, in the eighth century, to save them from Saracenic profanation, and translated to the basilica of St. Mark in Rome. There they repose, with many other martyrs no longer distinguishable; since the ancient usage was literally to bury the bodies of martyrs in a spacious crypt or chamber under the altar, so as to verify the apocalyptic description, "From under the altar of God all the saints cry aloud." This practice has been admirably illustrated by the prelate to whom I have referred, in a work on this very crypt, or, in ecclesiastical language, Confession of St. Mark's.

[Footnote 5: See Fabiola, pp. 362, 363.]

One 30th of July, soon after the siege of Rome in 1848, the chapter of St. Mark's were singing the office and mass of these Persian martyrs, as saints of their church. Most people on week-days content themselves with hearing early a low mass, so that the longer offices of the basilica, especially the secondary ones, are not much frequented. On this occasion, however, a young French officer was noticed by {22} the canons as assisting alone with great recollection.

At the close of the function, my informant went up to the young man, and entered into conversation with him.

"What feast are you celebrating today?" asked the officer.

"That of Sts. Abdon and Sennen," answered Monsignor B.

"Indeed! how singular!"

"Why? Have you any particular devotion to those saints?"

"Oh, yes; they are my patron saints. The cathedral of my native town is dedicated to them, and possesses their bodies."

"You must be mistaken there: their holy relics repose beneath our altar; and we have to-day kept their feast solemnly on that account."

On this explanation of the prelate the young officer seemed a little disconcerted, and remarked that at P— everybody believed that the saints' relics were in the cathedral.

The canon, as he then was, of St. Mark's, though now promoted to the "patriarchal" basilica of St. John, explained to him how this might be, inasmuch as any church possessing considerable portions of larger relics belonging to a saint was entitled to the privilege of one holding the entire body, and was familiarly spoken of as actually having it; and this no doubt was the case at P—.

"But, beside general grounds for devotion to these patrons of my native city, I have a more particular and personal one; for to their interposition I believe I owe my life."

The group of listeners who had gathered round the officer was deeply interested in this statement, and requested him to relate the incident to which he alluded. He readily complied with their request, and with the utmost simplicity made the following brief recital.



"During the late siege of Rome I happened to be placed in an advanced post, with a small body of soldiers, among the hillocks between our headquarters in the villa Pamphily-Doria and the gate of St. Pancratius. The post was one of some danger, as it was exposed to the sudden and unsparing sallies made by the revolutionary garrison on that side. The broken ground helped to conceal us from the marksmen and the artillery on the walls. However, that day proved to be one of particular danger. Without warning, a sortie was made in force, either merely in defiance or to gain possession of some advantageous post; for you know how the church and convent of St. Pancratius was assailed by the enemy, and taken and retaken by us several times in one day. The same happened to the villas near the walls. There was no time given us for speculation or reflection. We found ourselves at once in presence of a very superior force, or rather in the middle of it; for we were completely surrounded. We fought our best; but escape seemed impossible. My poor little picket was soon cut to pieces, and I found myself standing alone in the midst of our assailants, defending myself as well as I could against such fearful odds. At length I felt I was come to the last extremity, and that in a few moments I should be lying with my brave companions. Earnestly desiring to have the suffrages of my holy patrons in that my last hour, I instinctively exclaimed, 'Sts. Abdon and Sennen, pray for me!' What then happened I cannot tell. Whether a sudden panic struck my enemies, or something more important called off their attention, or what else to me inexplicable—occurred, I cannot say; all that I know is, that somehow or other I found myself alone, unwounded {23} and unhurt, with my poor fellows lying about, and no enemy near.

"Do you not think that I have a right to attribute this most wonderful and otherwise unaccountable escape to the intercession and protection of Sts. Abdon and Sennen?"

I need scarcely say that this simple narrative touched and moved deeply all its hearers. No one was disposed to dissent from the young Christian officer's conclusion.



It was natural that those good ecclesiastics who composed the chapter of St. Mark's should feel an interest in their youthful acquaintance. His having accidentally, as it seemed, but really providentially, strolled into their church at such a time, with so singular a bond of sympathy with its sacred offices that day, necessarily drew them in kindness toward him. His ingenuous piety and vivid faith gained their hearts.

In the conversation which followed, it was discovered that all his tastes and feelings led him to love and visit the religious monuments of Rome; but that he had no guide or companion to make his wanderings among them as useful and agreeable as they might be made. It was good-naturedly and kindly suggested to him to come from time to time to the church, when some one of the canons would take him with him on his ventidue ore walk after vespers, and act the cicerone to him, if they should visit some interesting religious object. This offer he readily accepted, and the intelligent youth and his reverend guides enjoyed pleasant afternoons together. At last one pleasanter than all occurred, when in company with Monsignor B.

Their ramble that evening led them out of the Porta Portuensis, among the hills of Monte Verde, between it and the gate of St. Pancratius— perhaps for the purpose of visiting that interesting basilica. Be it as it may, suddenly, while traversing a vineyard, the young man stopped.

"Here," he exclaimed, "on this very spot, I was standing when my miraculous deliverance took place."

"Are you sure?"

"Quite. If I lived a hundred years, I could never forget it. It is the very spot."

"Then stand still a moment," rejoined the prelate; "we are very near the entrance to the cemetery of Pontianus. I wish to measure the distance."

He did so by pacing it.

"Now," he said, "come down into the catacomb, and observe the direction from where you stand to the door." The key was soon procured.

They accordingly went down, proceeded as near as they could judge toward the point marked over-head, measured the distance paced above, and found themselves standing before the memorial of Sts. Abdon and Sennen.

"There," said the canon to his young friend; "you did not know that, when you were invoking your holy patrons, you were standing immediately over their tomb."

The young officer's emotion may be better conceived than described on discovering this new and unexpected coincidence in the history of his successful application to the intercession of ancient saints.



From The Lamp.


I went to Lyons for the express purpose of visiting the tomb of the Curé of Ars; for I knew the village of Ars was not very far from that city, though I had but a vague idea as to where it was situated or how it was to be reached. I trusted, however, to obtaining all needful information from the people at the hotel where I was to pass the night; and I was not mistaken in my expectations; but I must confess, to my sorrow, that I felt for a moment a very English sort of shamefacedness about making the inquiry. Put to the waiter of an English hotel, such a question would simply have produced a stare of astonishment or a smile of pity. A visit to the tomb of the Duke of Wellington at St. Paul's, or a descent into kingly vaults for the wise purpose of beholding Prince Albert's coffin, with its wreaths of flowers laid there by royal and loving hands these things he would have sympathized with and understood. But a pilgrimage to the last resting-place of a man who, even admitting he were at that moment a saint in heaven, had been but a simple parish-priest upon earth, would have been a proceeding utterly beyond his capacity to comprehend, and he would undoubtedly have pronounced it either an act of insanity or one of superstition, or something partaking of the nature of the two. I forgot, for a moment, that I was in a Catholic country, and inquired my way to Ars with an uncomfortable expectation of a sneering answer in return. Once, however, that the question was fairly put, there was nothing left for me but to be ashamed of my own misgivings.

"Madame wished to visit the tomb of the sainted Curé?—mais oui. It was the easiest thing in the world. Only an hour's railway from Lyons to Villefranche; and an omnibus at the latter station, which had been established for the express purpose of accommodating the pilgrims, who still flocked to Ars from every quarter of the Catholic world."

I listened, and my way seemed suddenly to become smooth before me. Later on in the evening, I found that the housemaid of the hotel had been there often; and two or three times at least during the lifetime of the Curé. I asked her for what purpose she had gone there; whether to be cured of bodily ailments or to consult him on spiritual matters? "For neither one nor the other," she answered, with great simplicity; "but she had had a great grief, and her mother had taken her to him to be comforted." There was something to me singularly lovely in this answer, and in the insight which it gave me into the nature of that mission, so human, and yet so divine, which the Curé had accomplished in his lifetime. God had placed him there, like another John the Baptist, to announce penance to the world. He preached to thousands—he converted thousands—he penetrated into the hidden consciences of thousands, and laid his finger, as if by intuition, upon the hidden sore that kept the soul from God. Men, great by wealth and station, came to him and laid their burden of sin and misery at his feet. Men, greater still by intellect, and prouder and more difficult of conversion (as sins of the intellect ever make men), left his presence simple, loving, and believing as little children. For these he had lightning glances and words of fire; these by turns he reprimanded, exhorted, and encouraged; but when the weak and sorrowful of God's flock came to him, he paused in his apostolic task to weep over them and console them. And so it was with {25} Jesus. The great and wealthy of the earth came to him for relief, and he never refused their prayers; but how many instances do we find in the gospel of the gift of health bestowed, unasked and unexpected, upon some poor wanderer by the wayside, or the yet greater boon of comfort given to some poor suffering heart, for no other reason that we know of than that it suffered and had need of comfort! The cripple by the pool of Bethsaida received his cure at the very moment when he was heartsick with hope deferred at finding no man to carry him down to the waters; and the widow of Nain found her son suddenly restored to life because, as the gospel expressly tells us, he was "the only son of his mother, and she was a widow."

The heart of the Curé of Ars seems to have been only less tender than that of his divine Master; and in the midst of the sublime occupation of converting souls to God, he never disdained the humble task of healing the stricken spirit, and leading it to peace and joy.

"My husband died suddenly," the young woman went on to say, in answer to my further questions; "and from affluence I found myself at once reduced to poverty. I was stunned by the blow; but my mother took me to the cure; and almost before he had said a word, I felt not only consoled, but satisfied with the lot which God had assigned me." And so indeed she must have been. When I saw her, she was still poor, and earning her bread by the worst of all servitude, the daily and nightly servitude of a crowded inn; but gentle, placid, and smiling, as became one who had seen and been comforted by a saint. She evidently felt that she had been permitted to approach very near to God in the person of God's servant, and every word she uttered was so full of love and confidence in the sainted curé that it increased (if that were possible) my desire to kneel at his tomb, since the happiness of approaching his living person had been denied me.

The next morning I set off for Villefranche. It is on the direct line to Paris, and at about an hour's railroad journey from Lyons. When I reached it, I found three omnibuses waiting at the station, and I believe they were all there for the sole purpose of conveying pilgrims to Ars. One of the conductors tried every mode of persuasion—and there are not a few in the vocabulary of a Frenchman—to inveigle me into his omnibus. "I should be at Ars in half an hour, and could return at two, three, four o'clock—in short, at any hour of the night or day that might please me best." It was with some difficulty I resisted the torrent of eloquence he poured out upon me; but, in the first place, I felt that he was promising what he himself would have called "the impossible," since a public conveyance must necessarily regulate its movements by the wishes of the majority of its passengers; and in the next, I had a very strong desire to be alone in body as well as in mind during the few hours that I was to spend at Ars.

At last I found an omnibus destined solely for visitors to Villefranche itself, and the conductor promised that he would provide me a private carriage to Ars if I would consent to drive first to his hotel. Cabaret he might have called it with perfect truth, for cabaret it was, and nothing more—a regular French specimen of the article, with a great public kitchen, where half the workmen of the town assembled for their meals, and a small cupboard sort of closet opening into it for the accommodation of more aristocratic guests. Into this, bon gré, mal gré, they wished to thrust me, but I violently repelled the threatened honor, and with some difficulty carrying my point, succeeded in being permitted to remain in the larger and cooler space of the open kitchen until my promised vehicle should appear. It came at last, a sort of half-cab, half-gig, without a hood, but with a curiously contrived harness of loose ropes, and looking altogether {26} dangerously likely to come to pieces on the road. Luckily, I am not naturally nervous in such matters, and, consoling myself with the thought that if we did get into grief the "bon curé" was bound to come to my assistance, seeing I had incurred it solely for the sake of visiting his tomb, I was soon settled as comfortably as circumstances would permit, and we set off at a brisk pace.

The country around Villefranche is truly neither pretty nor picturesque; and though we were not really an hour on the road, the drive seemed tedious. Our Jehu also, as it turned out, had never been at Ars before; so that he had not only to stop more than once to inquire the way, but actually contrived at the very last to miss it. He soon discovered the mistake, however, and retracing his steps, a very few minutes brought us to the spot where the saint had lived forty years, and where he now sleeps in death. His house stands beside the church, but a little in the rear, so it does not immediately catch the eye; and the church, where his real life was spent, is separated from the road by a small enclosure, railed off, and approached by a few steps. We looked around for some person to conduct us, but there was no one to be seen; so, after a moment's hesitation, we ascended the steps and entered the church. If you wish to know what kind of church it is, I cannot tell you. I do not know, in fact, whether it is Greek or Gothic, or of no particular architecture at all; I do not know even if it is in good taste or in bad taste. The soul was so filled with a sense of the presence of the dead saint that it left no room for the outer sense to take note of the accidents amid which he had lived. There are two or three small chapels—a Lady chapel, one dedicated to the Sacred Heart, and another to St. John the Baptist. There is also the chapel of St. Philomena, with a large lifelike image of the "bonne petite sainte" to whom he loved to attribute every miracle charity compelled him to perform; and there is the confessional, where for forty years he worked far greater wonders on the soul than any of the more obvious ones he accomplished on the body. All, or most of all, this I saw in a vague sort of way, as one who saw not; but the whole church was filled with such an aroma of holiness, there was such a sense of the actual presence of the man who had converted it into a very tabernacle in the wilderness—a true Holy of Holies, where, in the midst of infidel France, God had descended and conversed almost visibly with his people—that I had neither the will nor the power to condescend to particulars, and examine it in detail.

My one thought as I entered the church was, to go and pray upon his tomb; but in the first moment of doubt and confusion I could not remember, if indeed I had been told, the exact spot where he was buried. The chapel of St. Philomena was the first to attract my notice, and feeling that I could not be far wrong while keeping close to his dear little patroness, I knelt down there to collect my ideas.

The stillness of the church made itself felt. There were indeed many persons praying in it, but they prayed in that profound silence which spoke to the heart, and penetrated it in a way no words could have ever done.

I was thirsting, however, to approach the tomb of the saint, and at last ventured to whisper the question to a person near me. She pointed to a large black slab nearly in the centre of the church, and told me that he lay beneath it. Yes, he was there, in the very midst of his people, not far from the chapel of St. Philomena, and opposite to the altar whence he had so many thousands of times distributed the bread of life to the famishing souls who, like the multitude of old, had come into the desert, and needed to be fed ere they departed to their homes. Yes, he was there; and with a strange mingling of joy and sorrow in the thought I went and knelt down beside him.


Had I gone to Ars but a few years before, I might have found him in his living person; might have thrown myself at his feet, and poured out my whole soul before him. Now I knelt indeed beside him, but beside his body only, and the soul that would have addressed itself to mine was far away in the bosom of its God. Humanly speaking, the difference seemed against me, and yet, in a more spiritual point of view, it might perhaps be said to be in my favor.

The graces which he obtained for mortals here he obtained by more than mortal suffering and endurance—by tears, by fastings, and nightly and daily impetrations;—now, with his head resting, like another St. John, on the bosom of his divine Lord, surely he has but to wish in order to draw down whole fountains of love and tenderness on his weeping flock below. And certainly it would seem so; for however numerous the miracles accomplished in his lifetime, they have been multiplied beyond all power of calculation since his death.

Later on in the day, when the present curé showed me a room nearly half full of crutches and other mementos of cures wrought—"These are only the ones left there during his lifetime," he observed, in a tone which told at once how much more numerous were those which cure had made useless to their owners since his death.

I had not been many minutes kneeling before his tomb, when the lady who had pointed it out to me asked if I would like to see the house which he had inhabited in his lifetime. On my answering gladly in the affirmative, she made me follow her through a side-door and across a sort of court to the house inhabited by the present curé. This house had never been the abode of M. Vianney, but had been allotted to the priests who assisted him in his missions. The one which he actually inhabited is now a sort of sanctuary, where every relic and recollection of him is carefully preserved for the veneration of the faithful. We were shown into a sort of salle à manger, sufficiently poor to make us feel we were in the habitation of men brought up in the school of a saint, and almost immediately afterward the present curé entered. He had been for many years the zealous assistant of the late curé; and, in trying to give me an idea of the influx of strangers into Ars, he told me that, while M. Vianney spent habitually from fifteen to seventeen hours in the confessional, he and his brother priest were usually occupied at least twelve hours out of the twenty-four in a similar manner. Even this was probably barely sufficient for the wants of the mission, for the number of strangers who came annually to Ars during the latter years of the curé's life was reckoned at about 80,000, and few, if any, of these went away without having made a general confession, either to M. Vianney himself, or, if that were not possible, to one or other of the assisting clergy.

It was pleasant to talk with one who had been living in constant communication with a saint; and I felt as if something of the spirit of M. Vianney himself had taken possession of the good and gentle man with whom I was conversing. Among other things, he told me that the devout wish of the saint had of late years been the erection of a new church to St. Philomena; and he gave me a fac-simile of his handwriting in which he had promised to pray especially for any one aiding him in the work. The surest way, therefore, I should imagine, to interest him in our necessities—now that he is in heaven—would be to aid in the undertaking which he had in mind and heart while yet dwelling on earth. Even in his lifetime there had been a lottery got up for raising funds; and as money is still coming in from all quarters, his wish will doubtless soon be accomplished. I saw a very handsome altar which has been already presented, and which has been put aside in one of the rooms of the curé until the church, for which it is {28} intended, shall have been completed. M. le curé showed me one or two small photographs, which had been taken without his knowledge during the lifetime of the saint; and also a little carved image, which he said was a wonderful likeness, and far better than any of the portraits. Afterward he pointed out another photograph, as large as life, and suspended against the wall, which had been procured after death. It was calm and holy, as the face of a saint in death should be, and I liked it still better in its placid peace than the smile of the living photograph. Even the smile seemed to tell of tears. You know that he who smiles is still doing battle—cheerfully and successfully indeed, but still doing battle with the enemies of his soul; while the grave calmness of the dead face tells you at once that all is over—the fight is fought, the crown is won; eternity has set its seal on the good works of time, and all is safe for ever.

I could have looked at that photograph a long time, and said my prayers before it—it seemed to repose in such an atmosphere of sanctity and peace—but the hours were passing quickly, and there was still much to see and hear concerning the dead saint. I took leave, therefore, of the good priest who had been my cicerone so far, and sought the old housekeeper, who was in readiness to show me the house where M. Vianney had lived. We crossed a sort of court, which led us to a door opposite the church. When this was opened, I found myself in a sort of half-garden, half-yard, in the centre of which the old house was standing.

It is hard to put upon paper the feelings with which a spot the habitation of a saint just dead is visited. The spirit of love and charity and peace which animated the living man still seems brooding over the spot where his life was passed, and you feel intensely that the true beauty of the Lord's house was here, and that this has been the place where his glory hath delighted to dwell. The first room I entered was one in which the crutches left there by invalids had been deposited. It was a sight to see. The crutches were piled as close as they could be against the wall, and yet the room was almost half full. The persons who used those crutches must have been carried hither, lame and suffering, and helpless as young children; and they walked away strong men and cured. Truly "the lame walk and the blind see;" and the Lord hath visited his people in the person of his servant.

My next visit was made to the salle à manger, where M. Vianney had always taken the one scanty meal which was his sole support during his twenty-four hours of almost unbroken labor. It was poverty in very deed—poverty plain, unvarnished, and unadorned—such poverty as an Irish cabin might have rivalled, but could scarcely have surpassed. The walls were bare and whitewashed; the roof was merely raftered; and the floor, which had once been paved with large round stones, such as are used for the pavement of a street, was broken here and there into deep holes by the removal of the stones. During his forty years' residence at Ars, M. Vianney had probably never spent a single sou upon any article which could contribute to his own comfort or convenience; and this room bore witness to the fact. How, indeed, should he buy anything for himself, who gave even that which was given to him away, until his best friends grew well-nigh weary of bestowing presents, which they felt would pass almost at the same instant out of his own possession into the hands of any one whom he fancied to be in greater want of them than he was? I stood in that bare and desolate apartment, and felt as if earth and heaven in their widest extremes, their most startling contrasts, were there in type and reality before me. All that earth has of poor and miserable and unsightly was present to the eyes of the body; all that heaven has of bright {29} and beautiful and glorious was just as present, just as visible, to the vision of the soul. It was the very reverse of the fable of the fairy treasures, which vanish into dust when tested by reality. All that you saw was dust and ashes, but dust and ashes which, tried by the touchstone of eternity, would, you knew, prove brighter than the brightest gold, fairer than the fairest silver that earth ever yielded to set in the diadem of her kings! My reflections were cut short by the entrance of one of the priests, who invited us to come up stairs and inspect the vestments which had belonged to the late curé, and which were kept, I think, apart from those in ordinary use in the church. There was a great quantity of them, and they were all in curious contrast with everything else we had seen belonging to M. Vianney. Nothing too good for God; nothing too mean and miserable for himself—that had been the motto of his life; and the worm-eaten furniture of the dining-room, the gold and velvet of the embroidered vestments, alike bore witness to the fidelity with which he had acted on it. The vestments were more than handsome—some of them were magnificent. One set I remember in particular which was very beautiful. It had been given, with canopy for the blessed sacrament and banners for processions, by the present Marquis D'Ars, the chief of that beloved family, who, after the death of Mdlle. D'Ars, became M. Vianney's most efficient aid in all his works of charity. The priest who showed them to us, and who had also been one of the late curé's missionaries, told us that M. Vianney was absolutely enchanted with joy when the vestments arrived, and that he instantly organized an expedition to Lyons in order to express his gratitude at the altar of Notre Dame de Fourrière. The whole parish attended on this occasion. They went down the river in boats provided for the purpose, and with banners flying and music playing, marched in solemn procession through the streets of Lyons, and up the steep sides of Fourrière, until they reached the church of Notre Dame. There the whole multitude fell on their knees, and M. Vianney himself prayed, no doubt long and earnestly, before the miraculous image of Our Lady, seeking through her intercession to obtain some especial favor for the man who, out of his own abundance, had brought gifts of gold and silver to the altar of his God.

I asked the priest for some information about the granary which was said to have been miraculously filled with corn. He told me he had been at Ars at the time, and that there could be no doubt that the granary had been quite empty the night before. It was, I think, a time of scarcity, and the grain had been set aside for the use of the poor. M. Vianney went to bed miserable at the failure of his supplies; but when he visited the granary again early the next morning, he found it full. It was at the top of his own house, I believe, and was kept, of course, carefully locked. Nobody knew how it had been filled, or by whom. In fact, it seemed absolutely impossible that any one could have carted the quantity of grain needed for the purpose and carried it up stairs without being detected in the act. The priest made no comment on the matter; indeed, he seemed anything but inclined to enlarge upon it, though he made no secret of his own opinion as to the miraculous nature of the occurrence. As soon as he had answered my inquiries, he led us to the room which had been the holy curé's own personal apartment. It was, as well as I can remember, the one over the dining-room. No apostle ever lived and died in an abode more entirely destitute of all human riches. It was kept exactly in the same state in which it had been during his lifetime—a few poor-looking books still on the small book-shelf, a wooden table and a chair, and the little bed in the corner, smoothed and laid down, as if only waiting his return from the confessional for the {30} few short hours he gave to slumber—if, indeed, he did give them; for no one ever penetrated into the mystery of those hours, or knew how much of the time set apart apparently for his own repose was dedicated to God, or employed in supplicating God's mercies on his creatures.

The history of that room was the history of the saint. A book-shelf filled with works of piety and devotion; a stove, left doubtless because it had been originally built into the room, but left without use or purpose (for who ever heard of his indulging in a fire?); a table and a chair—that was all; but it was enough, and more than enough, to fill the mind with thought, and to crowd all the memories of that holy life into the few short moments that I knelt there. How often had he come back to that poor apartment, his body exhausted by fasting, and cramped by long confinement in the confessional, and his heart steeped (nay, drowned, as he himself most eloquently expressed it) in bitterness and sorrow by the long histories of sins to which he had been compelled to listen—sins committed against that God whom he loved far more tenderly than he loved himself! How often, in the silence and darkness of the night, has he poured forth his soul, now in tender commiseration over Jesus crucified by shiners, now over the sinners by whom Jesus had been crucified! How often has he (perhaps) called on God to remove him from a world where God was so offended; and yet, moved by the charity of his tender human heart, has besought, almost in the same breath, for the conversion of those sinners whose deeds he was deploring—the cure of their diseases and the removal or consolation of their sorrows! Like a mother who, finding her children at discord, now prays to one to pardon, now to another to submit and be reconciled, so was that loving, pitying heart ever as it were in contradiction with itself—weeping still with Jesus, and yet still pleading for his foes.

The mere action of such thoughts upon the human frame would make continued life a marvel; but when to this long history of mental woe we add the hardships of his material life—the fifteen or seventeen hours passed in the confessional, in heat and cold, in winter as in summer; the one scanty meal taken at mid-day; the four hours of sleep, robbed often and often of half their number for the sake of quiet prayer—when we think of these things, there is surely more of miracle in this life of forty years' duration than in the mere fact that it won miracles at last from heaven, and that God, seeing how faithfully this his servant did his will here on earth, complied in turn with his, and granted his desires.

No one, I think, can visit that spot, or hear the history of that life, as it is told by those who knew him as it were but yesterday, without an increase of love, an accession of faith, a more vivid sense of the presence of God in the midst of his creatures, and a more real comprehension of the extent and meaning of those words, "the communion of saints," which every one repeats in the creed, and yet which few take sufficiently to their heart of hearts to make it really a portion of their spiritual being—a means of working out their own salvation by constant and loving communication with those who have attained to it already. Thousands will seek the living saint for the eloquence of his words, the sublimity, of his counsels, the unction of his consolations; but, once departed out of this life, who visits him in his tomb? who turns to him for aid? who lift their eyes to heaven, to ask for his assistance thence, with the same undoubting confidence with which they would have sought it had he been still in the flesh beside them? In one sense of the word, many; and yet few indeed compared to the number of those to whom "the communion of saints" is an article of faith, or ought at least to be so, in something more than the mere service of the lip. It was amid some such {31} thoughts as these that I left the town of Ars, grieved indeed that I had not seen the holy curé in his lifetime, and yet feeling that, if I had but faith enough, I was in reality rather a gainer than a loser by his death. He who would have prayed for me on earth would now pray for me in heaven. He who would have dived into my conscience and brought its hidden sins to light, would obtain wisdom and grace for another to put his finger on the sore spot and give it healing. He who would perhaps have cured me of my bodily infirmities, could do so (if it were for the good of my soul) not less efficiently now that he was resting on the heart of his divine Lord. God had granted his prayers while he was yet upon earth—a saint indeed, and yet liable at any moment to fall into sin—would he refuse to hear him now that he had received him into his kingdom, and so rendered him for ever incapable of offending? I hoped not, I felt not; and in this certainty I went on my way rejoicing, feeling that it was well for this sinful world that it had yet one more advocate at the throne of its future Judge, and well especially for France that, in this our nineteenth century, she had given a saint to God who would have been the glory of the first. For truly the arm of the Lord is not shortened. What he has done before, he can do again; and, therefore, we need not wonder if the miracles of the Apostles are still renewed at the tomb of this simple and unlettered, priest, who taught their doctrines for forty years in the unknown and far-off village of which Providence had made him pastor.

From Once A Week.


The Eastern origin of this tale seems evident; had it been originally composed in a Northern land, it is probable that the king would have been represented as dethroned by means of bribes obtained from his own treasury. In an Eastern country the story-teller who invented such a just termination of his narrative would, most likely, have experienced the fate intended for his hero, as a warning to others how they suggested such treasonable ideas. Herr Simrock, however, says it is a German tale; but it may have had its origin in the East for all that. Nothing is more difficult, indeed, than to trace a popular tale to its source. Cinderella, for example, belongs to nearly all nations; even among the Chinese, a people so different to all European nations, there is a popular story which reads almost exactly like it. Here is the tale of the Three Wishes.

There was once a wise emperor who made a law that to every stranger who came to his court a fried fish should be served. The servants were directed to take notice if, when the stranger had eaten the fish to the bone on one side, he turned it over and began on the other side. If he did, he was to be immediately seized, and on the third day thereafter he was to be put to death. But, by a great stretch of imperial clemency, the culprit was permitted to utter one wish each day, which the emperor pledged himself to grant, provided it was not to spare his life. Many had already perished in consequence of this edict, when, one day, a count and his young son presented themselves at court. The fish was served as usual, and when the {32} count had removed all the fish from one side, he turned it over, and was about to commence on the other, when he was suddenly seized and thrown into prison, and was told of his approaching doom. Sorrow-stricken, the count's young son besought the emperor to allow him to die in the room of his father; a favor which the monarch was pleased to accord him. The count was accordingly released from prison, and his son was thrown into his cell in his stead. As soon as this had been done, the young man said to his gaolers—"You know I have the right to make three demands before I die; go and tell the emperor to send me his daughter, and a priest to marry us." This first demand was not much to the emperor's taste, nevertheless he felt bound to keep his word, and he therefore complied with the request, to which the princess had no kind of objection. This occurred in the times when kings kept their treasures in a cave, or in a tower set apart for the purpose, like the Emperor of Morocco in these days; and on the second day of his imprisonment the young man demanded the king's treasures. If his first demand was a bold one, the second was not less so; still, an emperor's word is sacred, and having made the promise, he was forced to keep it; and the treasures of gold and silver and jewels were placed at the prisoner's disposal. On getting possession of them, he distributed them profusely among the courtiers, and soon he had made a host of friends by his liberality.

The emperor began now to feel exceedingly uncomfortable. Unable to sleep, he rose early on the third morning and went, with fear in his heart, to the prison to hear what the third wish was to be.

"Now," said he to his prisoner, "tell me what your third demand is, that it may be granted at once, and you may be hung out of hand, for I am tired of your demands."

"Sire," answered his prisoner, "I have but one more favor to request of your majesty, which, when you have granted, I shall die content. It is merely that you will cause the eyes of those who saw my father turn the fish over to be put out."

"Very good," replied the emperor, "your demand is but natural, and springs from a good heart. Let the chamberlain be seized," he continued, turning to his guards.

"I, sire!" cried the chamberlain; "I did not see anything—it was the steward."

"Let the steward be seized, then," said the king.

But the steward protested with tears in his eyes that he had not witnessed anything of what had been reported, and said it was the butler. The butler declared that he had seen nothing of the matter, and that it must have been one of the valets. But they protested that they were utterly ignorant of what had been charged against the count; in short, it turned out that nobody could be found who had seen the count commit the offence, upon which the princess said:

"I appeal to you, my father, as to another Solomon. If nobody saw the offence committed, the count cannot be guilty, and my husband is innocent."

The emperor frowned, and forthwith the courtiers began to murmur; then he smiled, and immediately their visages became radiant.

"Let it be so," said his majesty; "let him live, though I have put many a man to death for a lighter offence than his. But if he is not hung, he is married. Justice has been done."


From The Month.



  Should you dream ever of the days departed—
  Of youth and morning, no more to return—
  Forget not me, so fond and passionate-hearted;
      Quiet at last, reposing
      Under the moss and fern.

  There, where the fretful lake in stormy weather
  Comes circling round the reddening churchyard pines,
  Rest, and call back the hours we lost together,
      Talking of hope, and soaring
      Beyond poor earth's confines.

  If, for those heavenly dreams too dimly sighted,
  You became false—why, 'tis a story old:
  I, overcome by pain, and unrequited,
      Faded at last, and slumber
      Under the autumn mould.

  Farewell, farewell! No longer plighted lovers,
  Doomed for a day to sigh for sweet return:
  One lives, indeed; one heart the green earth covers—
      Quiet at last, reposing
      Under the moss and fern.

From The Dublin Review.


S. Clementis Alexandrini Opera Omnia
. Lutetiae. 1629.

Geschichte der Christlicher Philosophie, von
Dr. Heinrich Ritter. Hamburg: Perthes. 1841.

If any country under the sun bears the spell of fascination in its very name, that country is Egypt. The land of the Nile and the pyramids, of the Pharaohs and the Ptolemies—the land where art and science had mysterious beginnings before the dawn of history, where powerful dynasties held sway for long generations over the fertile river-valley, and built for themselves mighty cities—Thebes, the hundred-gated, Memphis, with its palaces, Heliopolis, with its temples— and left memorials of themselves that are attracting men at this very day to Luxor and Carnak, to the avenue of sphynxes and the pyramids— Egypt, where learning

    Uttered its oracles sublime
    Before the Olympiads, in the dew
    And dusk of early time—

the land where,

  Northward from its Nubian springs,
    The Nile, for ever new and old,
  Among the living and the dead
    Its mighty, mystic stream has rolled—

Egypt seems destined to be associated with all the signal events of every age of the world. Israel's going into and going out of Egypt is one of the epic pages of Holy Scripture; Sesostris, King of Egypt, left his name written over half of Asia; Alexander, the greatest of the Greeks, laid in Egypt the foundation of a new empire; Cleopatra, the captive and the captor of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, killed herself as the old land passed away for ever from the race of Ptolemy; Clement and Origen, Porphyry and Plotinus, have left Egypt the classic land of the Church's battle against the purest form of heathen philosophy; St. Louis of France has made Egypt the scene of a glorious drama of heroism and devotion; the pyramids have lent their name to swell the list of Napoleon's triumphs; and the Nile is linked for ever with the deathless fame of Nelson.

In the last decade of the second century, about the time when the pagan virtues of Marcus Aurelius had left the Roman empire to the worse than pagan vices of his son Commodus, Egypt, to the learned and wealthy, meant Alexandria. What Tyre had been in the time of Solomon, what Sidon was in the days of which Homer wrote, that was Alexandria from the reign of Ptolemy Soter to the days of Mahomet. In external aspect it was in every way worthy to bear the name of him who drew its plans with his own hands. Its magnificent double harbor, of which the Great Port had a quay-side six miles in length, was the common rendezvous for merchant ships from every part of Syria, Greece, Italy, and Spain; and its communications with the Red Sea and the Nile brought to the warehouses that overlooked its quay the riches of Arabia and India, and the corn and flax of the country of which it was the capital. The modern traveller, who finds Alexandria a prosperous commercial town, with an appearance half European, half Turkish, learns with wonder that its 60,000 inhabitants find room on what was little more than the mole that divided the Great Port from the Eunostos. But it should be borne in mind that old Alexandria numbered 300,000 free citizens. The mosques, the warehouses, and the private dwellings of the present town are built of the fragments of the grand city of Alexander. The great conqueror designed to make Alexandria the capital of the world. He chose a situation the advantages of which a glance at the map will show; and if any other proof were needed, it may be found in the fact that, since 1801, the population of the modern town has increased at the rate of one thousand a year. He planned his city on such vast proportions as might be looked for from the conqueror of Darius. Parallel streets crossed other streets, and divided the city into square blocks. Right through its whole length, from East to West—that is, parallel with the sea-front—one magnificent street, two hundred feet wide and four miles in length, ran from the Canopic gate to the Necropolis. A similar street, shorter, but of equal breadth, crossed this at right angles, and came out upon the great quay directly opposite the mole that joined the city with the island of Pharos. This was the famous Heptastadion, or Street of the Seven Stadia, and at its South end was the Sun-gate; at its North, where it opened on the harbor, the gate of the Moon. To the right, as you passed through the Moon-gate on to the broad quay, was the exchange, where merchants from all lands met each other, in sight of the white Pharos and the crowded shipping of the Great Port. A little back from the gate, in the Heptastadion, was the Caesareum, or temple of the deified Caesars, afterward a Christian church. Near it was the Museum, the university of Alexandria. Long marble colonnades connected the {35} university with the palace and gardens of the Ptolemies. On the opposite side of the great street was the Serapeion, the magnificent temple of Serapis, with its four hundred columns, of which Pompey's Pillar is, perhaps, all that is left. And then there was the mausoleum of Alexander, there were the courts of justice, the theatres, the baths, the temples, the lines of shops and houses—all on a scale of grandeur and completeness which has never been surpassed by any city of the world. Such a city necessarily attracted men. Alexandria was fitly called the "many-peopled," whether the epithet referred to the actual number of citizens or to the varieties of tongue, complexion, and costume that thronged its streets. The Greeks, the Egyptians, and the Jews, each had their separate quarter; but there were constant streams of foreigners from the remote India, from the lands beyond the black rocks that bound the Nile-valley, and from the Ethiopic races to which St. Matthew preached, where the Red Sea becomes the Indian Ocean. At the time we speak of, these discordant elements were held in subjection by the Roman conquerors, whose legionaries trod the streets of the voluptuous city with stern and resolute step, and were not without occasion, oftentimes, for a display of all the sternness and resolution which their bearing augured.

Alexandria, however, in addition to the busy life of commerce and pleasure that went on among Greeks, Egyptians, Jews, and Africans, was the home of another kind of life, still more interesting to us. Ptolemy Soter, who carried out Alexander's plans, was a man of no common foresight and strength of character. He was not content with building a city. He performed, in addition, two exploits, either of which, from modern experience, we should be inclined to consider a title to immortality. He invented a new god, and established a university. The god was Serapis, whom he imported from Pergamus, and who soon became popular. The university was the Museum, in which lived and taught Demetrius of Phalerus, Euclid, Stilpo of Megara, Philetas of Cos, Apelles the painter, Callimachus, Theocritus, Eratosthenes, Apollonius Rhodius, and a host of others in philosophy, poetry, geometry, astronomy, and the arts. Here, under successive Ptolemies, professors lectured in splendid halls, amid honored affluence. All that we have of the Greek classics we owe to the learned men of the Museum. Poetry bloomed sweetly and luxuriantly in the gardens of the Ptolemies; though, it must be confessed, not vigorously, not as on Ionic coast-lands, nor as in the earnest life of Athenian freedom—save when some Theocritus appeared, with his broad Doric, fresh from the sheep-covered downs of Sicily. The name of Euclid suggests that geometry was cared for at the Museum; Eratosthenes, with his voluminous writings, all of which have perished, and his one or two discoveries, which will never die, may stand for the type of geography, the science for which he lived; and Hipparchus, astronomer and inventor of trigonometry, may remind us how they taught at the Museum that the earth was the centre of the universe, and yet, notwithstanding, could foretell an eclipse almost as well as the astronomer royal. In philosophy, the university of Alexandria has played a peculiar part. As long as the Ptolemies reigned in Egypt, the Museum could boast of no philosophy save commentaries on Aristotle and Plato, consisting, in great measure, of subtle obscurities to which the darkest quiddities of the deepest scholastic would appear to have been light reading. But when the Roman came in, there sprang up a school of thought that has done more than any other thing to hand down the fame of Ptolemy's university to succeeding ages. Alexandria was the birthplace of Neo-Platonism, and, whatever we may think of the philosophy itself, we must allow it has bestowed fame on its alma {36} mater. At the dawn of the Christian era, Philon the Jew was already ransacking the great library to collect matter that should enable him to prove a common origin for the books of Plato and of Moses. Two hundred years afterward—that is, just at the time of which we speak— Plotinus was listening to Ammonius Saccas in the lecture-hall of the Museum, and thinking out the system of emanations, abysms, and depths of which he is the first and most famous expounder. Porphyry, the biographer and enthusiastic follower of Plotinus, was probably never at Alexandria in person; but his voluminous writings did much to make the Neo-Platonist system known to Athens and to the cities of Italy. In his youth he had listened to the lectures of Origen, and thus was in possession of the traditions both of the Christian and the heathen philosophy of Alexandria. But his Christian studies did not prevent him from being the author of that famous book, "Against the Christians," which drew upon him the denunciations of thirty-five Christian apologists, including such champions as St. Jerome and St. Augustine. The Neo-Platonist school culminated and expired in Proclus, the young prodigy of Alexandria, the ascetic teacher of Athens, the "inspired dogmatizer," the "heir of Plato." Proclus died in 485, and his chair at Athens was filled by his foolish biographer Marinus, after which Neo-Platonism never lifted up its head.

Between the time when Philon astonished the orthodox money-getting Hebrews of the Jews' quarter by his daring adoption of Plato's Logos, and the day when poor old Proclus—his once handsome and strong frame wasted by fasting and Pythagorean austerities—died, a drivelling old man, in sight of the groves of the Academe and the tomb of Plato, not far from whom he himself was to lie, many a busy generation had trodden the halls of the Museum of Alexandria. All that time the strife of words had never ceased, in the lecture-hall, in the gardens of the departed Ptolemies, round the banquet-table where the professors were feasted at the state's expense. All that time the fame of Alexandria had gathered to her Museum the young generations that succeeded each other in the patrician homes and wealthy burghs of Syria, Greece, and Italy. They came in crowds, with their fathers' money in their purses, to be made learned by those of whose exploits report had told so much. Some came with an earnest purpose. To the young medical student, the Alexandrian school of anatomy and the Alexandrian diploma (in whatever shape it was given)—not to mention the opportunity of perusing the works of the immortal Hippocrates in forty substantial rolls of papyrus—were worth all the expense of a journey from Rome or Edessa. To the lawyer, the splendid collections of laws, from those of the Pentateuch to those of Zamolxis the Scythian, were treasures only to be found in the library where the zeal of Demetrius Phalerius and the munificence of Ptolemy Philadelphus had placed them. But the vast majority of the youth who flocked to the Museum came with no other purpose than the very general one of finishing their education and fitting themselves for the world. With these, the agreeable arts of poetry and polite literature were in far greater request than law, medicine, astronomy, or geography. If they could get a sight of the popular poet of the hour in his morning meditation under the plane-trees of the gardens, or could crush into a place in the theatre when he recited his new "Ode to the Empress's Hair;" or if they attended the lecture of the most fashionable exponent of the myths of the Iliad, and clapped him whenever he introduced an allusion to the divine Plato, it was considered a very fair morning's work, and might be fitly rewarded by a boating party to Canopus in the afternoon, or a revel far into the night in any of those thousand palaces of vice {37} with which luxurious Alexandria was so well provided. And yet there is no doubt that the young men carried away from their university a certain education and a certain refinement—an education which, though it taught them to relish the pleasures of intellect, in no wise disposed them to forego the enjoyments of sense; and a refinement which, while imparting a graceful polish to the mind, was quite compatible with the deepest moral depravity. Pagans as they were, they were the fairest portion of the whole world, for intellect, for manliness, for generosity, for wit, for beauty and strength of mind and body—natural gifts that, like the sun and the rain, are bestowed upon just and unjust. Their own intercourse with each other taught them far more than the speculations of any of the myth-hunting professors of the Museum. They crowded in to hear them, they cheered them, they would dispute and even fight for a favorite theory that no one understood, with the doubtful exception of its inventor. But it was not to be supposed that they really cared for abysms or mystical mathematics, or that they were not a great deal more zealous for suppers, and drinking bouts, and boating parties. These latter employments, indeed, may be said to have formed their real education. Greek intellect, Greek taste, wit, and beauty, in the sunniest hour of its bloom, mingled with its like in the grandest city that, perhaps, the earth has ever seen. The very harbors, and temples, and palaces were an education. The first rounding of the Pharos—when the six-mile semicircle of granite quay and marble emporia burst on the view, with the Egyptian sun flashing from white wall and blue sea, and glancing and sparkling amidst the dense picturesque multitude that roared and surged on the esplanade—disclosed a sight to make the soul grow larger. The wonderful city itself was a teaching: the assemblage of all that was best and rarest in old Egyptian art, and all that was freshest and most lovely in the art of Greece, left no corner of a street without its lesson to the eye. Indoors, there was the Museum, with its miles of corridors and galleries, filled with paintings and sculptures; outside, the Serapeion, the Caesareum, the exchange, the palace, the university itself, each a more effective instructor than a year's course in the schools. And after all this came the library, with its 700,000 volumes!

In the year of our Lord 181, ships filled the Great Port, merchants congregated in the exchange, sailors and porters thronged the quays; crowds of rich and poor, high and low, flocked through the streets; youths poured in to listen to Ammonius Saccas, and poured out again to riot and sin; philosophers talked, Jews made money, fashionable men took their pleasure, slaves toiled, citizens bought and sold and made marriages; all the forms of busy life that had their existence within the circuit of the many-peopled city were noisily working themselves out. In the same year, Pantaenus became the head of the catechetical school of the patriarchal Church of Alexandria.

It was the time when those who had lived and walked with the Apostles had passed away, and when the third generation of the Church's rulers was already growing old. St. Irenaeus was near his glorious end; St. Eleutherius, of memory dear to Britain, had just closed his pontificate by martyrdom, and St. Victor sat in his place. The echoes of the voice of Peter had hardly died out in Rome and Antioch; the traditions of Paul's bodily presence were yet living in Asia, in Greece, and the Islands; and the sweet odor of John's life still hung about the places where his sojourning had been: many a church of Greece and Egypt and of the far East had the sepulchre of its founder, an Apostle or an apostolic man, round which to pray. It was the age of the persecutions, and the age of the apologies. In every {38} city that was coming about which from the first had been inevitable. The Church was laying hold of human learning, and setting it to do her own work. In fixing upon Alexandria as the spot where, at this period, the contest between Christian science and Gentile learning, Gentile ignorance and Gentile brute force, was most interesting and most developed, we must pass by many other Churches, not in forgetfulness, though in silence. We must pass by Rome, the capital of the world, not because there were not learned men there whom Jesus Christ had raised up to battle with heathen philosophy; for it was but a few years since Justin Martyr had shed his blood for the faith, and Apollonius from his place in the senate had spoken his "apology" for his fellow Christians. But the enemies which the Gospel had to meet at Rome were not so much the learning and science of the heathen as his evil passions and vicious life; and the sword of persecution, at Rome hardly ever sheathed, kept down all attempts at regularity or organization in public teaching. We must pass by Athens, still the intellectual capital of the world, not because there were not at Athens also worthy doctors of the wisdom of the cross—witness, to the contrary, Athenagoras, the Christian philosopher, who presented his apology to Marcus Aurelius. But Athens, though at the end of the second century and long afterward she was the mother of orators, poets, and philosophers, seems to have been too thoroughly steeped in the sensuous idolatry of Greece to have harbored a school of Christianity by the side of the Porch and the Lyceum. If the same was true of Athens then as a century afterward, her smooth-tongued, "babbling" sophists, and her pagan charms, must have had to answer for the soul of many a poor Christian youth that went to seek learning and found perdition. We pass by Carthage, in spite of Tertullian's great name; Antioch, notwithstanding Theophilus, whose labors against the heathen still bore fruit; Sardis, in spite of Melito, then just dead, but living still in men's mouths by the fame of his learning, eloquence, and miracles; and Hierapolis, in spite of Apollinaris, who, like so many others, approached the emperor himself with an apology. All over the Church there were men raised up by God, and fitted with learning to confront learning, patience to instruct ignorance, and unflinching fortitude to endure persecution—men in every way worthy to be the instruments of that great change which was being wrought out through the wide world of the Roman empire.

But at Alexandria, the school of Christianity existed under interesting and peculiar conditions. St. Mark had landed on the granite quay of the Great Port with Peter's commission; he had been martyred, and his successors had been martyred after him; and for a long time Christianity here, as everywhere else, had been contemptuously ignored. It spread, however, as we know. In time, more than one student, before he attended his lecture in the splendid halls of the Museum, had given ear to a far different lesson in a different school. The Christian catechetical school of Alexandria is said to have been founded by St. Mark himself. If so, it is only what we might naturally expect; for wherever heathens were being converted, there a school of teachers had to be provided for their instruction; and we read of similar institutions at Jerusalem, at Antioch, and at Rome. But the catechetical school of Alexandria soon assumed an importance that no other school of those times ever attained. Whether it was that the influence of the university gave an impetus to regular and methodical teaching, or that the converts in Alexandria were in great measure from a cultivated and intellectual class, it appears to have been found necessary from the earliest times to have an efficient school, with a man of vigor and intellect at its head, capable of maintaining his position even when compared {39} with the professors of the university. The first of the heads or doctors of the school of whom history has left any account, is Pantaenus. Pantaenus is not so well known as his place in Church history and his influence on his age would seem to warrant. He was appointed to his important post at a time when Christians all over the world must have been rejoicing. The fourth persecution was just dying out. For twenty years, with the exception of the short interval immediately after the miracle of the Thundering Legion, had Marcus Aurelius, imperial philosopher of the Stoic sort, continued to command or connive at the butchery of his Christian subjects. What were the motives that led this paragon of virtuous pagans to lower himself to the commonplace practices of racking, scourging, and burning, is a question that depends for its answer upon who the answerer is. Philosophers of a certain class, from Gibbon to Mr. Mill, are disposed to take a lenient, if not a laudatory, estimate of his conduct in this matter, and think that the emperor could not have acted otherwise consistently with his principles and convictions, as handed down to us in his "Meditations." Doubtless he had strong convictions on the subject of Christianity, though it might be questioned whether he came honestly by them. But his convictions, whatever they were, would probably have ended in the harmless shape of philosophic contempt, had it not been for the men by whom he was surrounded. They were Stoics, of course, like their master, but their stoicism was far from confining itself to convictions and meditations. They were practical Stoics, of the severest type which that old-world Puritanism admitted. As good Stoics, they were of all philosophers the most conceited, and took it especially ill that any sect should presume to rival them in their private virtues of obstinacy and endurance. It is extremely probable that the fourth persecution, both in its commencement and its revival, was owing to the good offices of Marcus Aurelius's solemn-faced favorites. But, whatever be the blame that attaches to him, he has answered for it at the same dread tribunal at which he has answered for the deification of Faustina and the education of Commodus.

However, about the year 180, persecution ceased at Alexandria, and the Christians held up their heads and revived again, after the bitter winter through which they had just passed. Their first thoughts and efforts appear to have been directed to their school. The name of Pantaenus was already celebrated. He was a convert from paganism, born probably in Sicily, but certainly brought up in Alexandria. Curiously enough, he had been a zealous Stoic, and remained so, in the Christian sense, after his conversion. There is no doubt that he was well known among the Gentile philosophers of Alexandria. Perhaps he had lectured in the Museum and dined in the Hall. Probably he had spent many a day buried in the recesses of the great libraries, and could give a good account of not a few of their thousands of volumes. He must have known Justin Martyr—perhaps had something to say to the conversion of that brilliant genius, not as a teacher, but as a friend and fellow-student. He may have come across Galen, when that lively medical man was pursuing his researches on the immortal Hippocrates, or entertaining a select circle, in the calm of the evening, under one of the porticos of the Heptastadion. No sooner was he placed at the head of the Christian school than he inaugurated a great change, or rather a great development. Formerly the instruction had been intended solely for converts, that is, catechumens, and the matter of the teaching had corresponded with this object. Pantaenus changed all this. The cessation of the persecution had, perhaps, encouraged bolder measures; men would think there was no prospect of another, as men generally think when a long and difficult trial is over; so the Christian schools were to be opened {40} to all the world. If Aristotle and Plato, Epicurus and Zeno, had their lecturers, should not Jesus Christ have schools and teachers too? And what matter if the Christian doctrine were somewhat novel and hard—was not Ammonius the Porter, at that very time, turning the heads of half the students in the city, and filling his lecture-room to suffocation, by expounding transcendental theories about Plato's Logos, and actually teaching the doctrine of a Trinity? Shame upon the Christian name, then, if they who bear it do not open their doors, now that danger is past, and break the true bread to the hungry souls that eagerly snatch at the stones and dry sticks that others give! So thought Pantaenus. Of his teachings and writings hardly a trace or a record has reached us. We know that he wrote valued commentaries on Holy Scripture, but no fragment of them remains. His teaching, however, as might have been expected, was chiefly oral. He met the philosophers of Alexandria on their own ground. He showed that the fame of learning, the earnestness of character, the vivid personal influence that were so powerful in the cause of heathen philosophy, could be as serviceable to the philosophy of Christ. The plan was novel in the Christian world—at least, in its systematic thoroughness. That Pantaenus had great influence and many worthy disciples is evident from the fact that St. Clement of Alexandria, his successor, was formed in his school, and that St. Alexander of Jerusalem, the celebrated founder of the library which Eusebius consulted at Jerusalem, writing half a century afterward to Alexandria, speaks with nothing less than enthusiasm of the "happy memory" of his old master. If we could pierce the secrets of those long-past times, what a stirring scene of reverend wisdom and youthful enthusiasm would the forgotten school of the Sicilian convert unfold to our sight! Doubtless, from amidst the confused jargon of all manner of philosophies, the voice of the Christian teacher arose with a clear and distinct utterance; and the fame of Pantaenus was carried to far countries by many a noble Roman and many an accomplished Greek, zealous, like all true academic sons, for the glory of their favorite master.

After ten years of such work as this, Pantaenus vacated his chair, and went forth as a missionary bishop to convert the Indians. Before passing on to his successor, a few words on this Indian mission, apparently so inopportune for such a man at such a time, will be interesting, and not unconnected with the history of the Christian schools.

In the "many-peopled" city there were men from all lands and of all shades of complexion. It was nothing strange, then, that an embassy of swarthy Indians should have one day waited on the patriarch and begged for an apostle to take home with them to their countrymen. No wonder, either, that they specified the celebrated master of the catechisms as their dignissimus. The only wonder is that he was allowed to go. Yet he went; he set out with them, sailed to Canopus, the Alexandrian Richmond, where the canal joined the Nile; sailed up the ancient stream to Koptos, where the overland route began; joined the caravan that travelled thence, from well to well, to Berenice, Philadelphus's harbor on the Red Sea; embarked, and, after sailing before the monsoon for seventy days, arrived at the first Indian port, probably that which is now Mangalore, in the presidency of Bombay. This, in all likelihood, was the route and the destination of Pantaenus. Now those among whom his missionary labors appear to have lain were Brahmins, and Brahmins of great learning and extraordinary strictness of life. Moreover, there appears to be no reason to doubt that the Church founded by St. Thomas still existed, and even flourished, in these very parts, though its apostolic founder had been martyred a hundred years before. It was not so unreasonable, then, that {41} a bishop like Pantaenus should have been selected for such a Church and such a people. Let the reader turn to the story of Robert de' Nobili, and of John de Britto, whose field of labor extended to within a hundred miles of master in human learning when the the very spot where Pantaenus probably landed. St. Francis Xavier had already found Christians in that region who bore distinct traces of a former connection with Alexandria, in the very points in which they deviated from orthodoxy. De' Nobili's transformation of himself into a Brahmin of the strictest and most learned caste is well known. He dressed and lived as a Brahmin, roused the curiosity of his adopted brethren, opened school, and taught philosophy, inculcating such practical conclusions as it is unnecessary to specify. De Britto did the very same things. If any one will compare the Brahmins of De Britto and De' Nobili with those earlier Brahmins of Pantaenus, as described, for instance, by Cave from Palladius, he will not fail to be struck with the similarity of accounts; and if we might be permitted to fill up the picture upon these conjectural hints, we should say that it seems to us very likely that Pantaenus, during the years that he was lost to Alexandria, was expounding and enforcing, in the flowing cotton robes of a venerable Saniastes, the same deep philosophy to Indian audiences as he had taught to admiring Greeks in the modest pallium of a Stoic. Recent missionary experience has uniformly gone to prove that deep learning and asceticism are, humanly speaking, absolutely necessary in order to attempt the conversion of Brahmins with any prospect of success: and the mission of Pantaenus seems at once to furnish an illustration of this fact, and to afford an interesting glimpse of "Christian Missions" in the second century. But we must return to Alexandria.

The name that succeeds Pantaenus on the rolls of the School of the Catechisms is Titus Flavius Clemens, immortalized in history as Clement of Alexandria. He had sat under Pantaemus, but he was no ordinary scholar. Like his instructor, he was a convert from paganism. He was already master in human learning when the grace came. He had sought far and wide for the truth, and had found it in the Catholic Church, and into the lap of his new mother he had poured all the treasures of Egyptian wisdom which he had gathered in his quest. Athens, Southern Italy, Assyria, and Palestine had each been visited by the eager searcher; and, last of all, Egypt, and Alexandria, and Pantaenus had been the term of his travels, and had given to his lofty soul the "admirable light" of Jesus Christ. When Pantaenus went out as a missioner to India, Clement, who had already assisted his beloved master in the work of the schools, succeeded him as their director and head. It was to be Clement's task to carry on and to develop the work that Pantaenus had inaugurated—to make Christianity not only understood by the catechumens and loved by the faithful, but recognized and respected by the pagan philosophers. Unless we can clearly see the necessity, or, at least, the reality of the philosophical side of his character, and the influences that were at work to make him hold fast to Aristotle and Plato, even after he had got far beyond them, we shall infallibly set him down, like his modern biographers, as a half-converted heathen, with the shell of Platonism still adhering to him.

It cannot be doubted that in a society like that of Alexandria in its palmy days there were many earnest seekers of the truth, even as Clement himself had sought it. One might even lay it down as a normal fact, that it was the character of an Alexandrian, as distinguished from an Athenian, to speculate for the sake of practising, and not to spend his time in "either telling or hearing some new thing." If an Alexandrian was a Stoic, never was Stoic more demure or more intent on warring against his body, after Stoic {42} fashion; if a geometrican, no disciple of Bacon was ever more assiduous in experimentalizing, measuring, comparing, and deducing laws; if a Platonist, then geometry, ethics, poetry, and everything else, were enthusiastically pressed into the one great occupation of life—the realizing the ideal and the getting face to face with the unseen. That all this earnestness did not uniformly result in success was only too true. Much speculation, great earnestness, and no grand objective truth at the end of it—this was often the lot of the philosophic inquirer of Alexandria. The consequence was that not unfrequently, disgusted by failure, he ended by rushing headlong into the most vicious excesses, or, becoming a victim to despair, perished by his own hand. So familiar, indeed, had this resource of disappointment become to the philosophic mind, that Hegesias, a professor in the Museum, a little before the Christian era, wrote a book counselling self-murder; and so many people actually followed his advice as to oblige the reigning Ptolemy to turn Grand Inquisitor even in free-thinking Egypt, and forbid the circulation of the book. Yet all this, while it revealed a depth of moral wretchedness which it is frightful to contemplate, showed also a certain desperate earnestness; and doubtless there were, even among those who took refuge in one or other of these dreadful alternatives, men who, in their beginnings, had genuine aspirations after truth, mingled with the pride of knowledge and a mere intellectual curiosity. Doubtless, too, there was many a sincere and guileless soul among the philosophic herd, to whom, humanly speaking, nothing more was wanting than the preaching of the faith. Their eyes were open, as far as they could be without the light of revelation: let the light shine, and, by the help of divine grace, they would admit its beams into their souls.

There are many such, in every form of error. In Clement's days, especially, there were many whom Neo-Platonism, the Puseyism of paganism, cast up from the ocean of unclean error upon the shores of the Church. Take the case of Justin Martyr: he was a young Oriental of noble birth and considerable wealth. In the early part of the second century, we find him trying first one school of philosophers and then another, and abandoning each in disgust. The Stoics would talk to him of nothing but virtues and vices, of regulating the diet and curbing the passions, and keeping the intellect as quiet as possible—a convenient way, as experience taught them, of avoiding trouble; whereas Justin wanted to hear something of the Absolute Being, and of that Being's dealings with his own soul—a kind of inquiry which the Stoics considered altogether useless and ridiculous, if not reprehensible. Leaving the Stoics, he devoted himself heart and soul to a sharp Peripatetic, but quarrelled with him shortly and left him in disgust; the cause of disagreement being, apparently, a practical theory entertained by his preceptor on the subject of fees. He next took to the disciples of Pythagoras. But with these he succeeded no better than with the others; for the Pythagoreans reminded him that no one ignorant of mathematics could be admitted into their select society. Mathematics, in a Pythagorean point of view, included geometry, astronomy, and music—all those sciences, in fact, in which there was any scope for those extraordinary freaks of numbers which delighted the followers of the old vegetarian. Justin, having no inclination to undergo a novitiate in mathematics, abandoned the Pythagoreans and went elsewhere. The Platonists were the next who attracted him. He found no lack of employment for the highest qualities of his really noble soul in the lofty visions of Plato and the sublimated theories of his disciples and commentators; though it appears a little singular that, with his propensities toward the ideal and abstract, he should have tried so many masters before he {43} sat down under Plato. However, be that as it may, Plato seems to have satisfied him for a while, and he began to think he was growing a very wise man, when these illusions were rudely dispelled. One day he had walked down to a lonely spot by the sea-shore, meditating, probably, some deep idea, and perhaps declaiming occasionally some passage of Plato's Olympian Greek. In his solitary walk he met an old man, and entered into conversation with him. The event of this conversation was that Justin went home with a wonderfully reduced estimate of his own wisdom, and a determination to get to know a few things about which Plato, on the old man's showing, had been woefully in the dark. Justin became a convert to Christianity. Now, Justin had been at Alexandria, and, whether the conversation he relates ever really took place, or is merely an oratorical fiction, the story is one that represents substantially what must have happened over and over again to those who thronged the university of Alexandria, wearing the black cloak of the philosopher.

Justin lived and was martyred some half a century before Clement sat in the chair of the catechisms. But it is quite plain that, in such a state of society, there would not be wanting many of his class and temperament who, in Clement's time, as well as fifty years before, were in search of the true philosophy. And we must not forget that in Alexandria there were actually thousands of well-born, intellectual young men from every part of the Roman empire. To the earnest among these Clement was, indeed, no ordinary master. In the first place, he was their equal by birth and education, with all the intellectual keenness of his native Athens, and all the ripeness and versatility of one who had "seen many cities of men and their manners." Next, he had himself been a Gentile, and had gone through all those phases of the soul that precede and accompany the process of conversion. If any one knew their difficulties and their sore places, it was he, the converted philosopher. If any one was capable of satisfying a generous mind as to which was the true philosophy, it was he who had travelled the world over in search of it. He could tell the swarthy Syrian that it was of no use to seek the classic regions of Ionia, for he had tried them, and the truth was not there; he could assure him it was waste of time to go to Athens, for the Porch and the Garden were babbling of vain questions—he had listened in them all. He could calm the ardor of the young Athenian, his countryman, eager to try the banks of the Orontes, and to interrogate the sages of Syria; for he could tell him beforehand what they would say. He could shake his head when the young Egyptian, fresh from the provincial luxury of Antinoë, mentioned Magna Graecia as a mysterious land where the secret of knowledge was perhaps in the hands of the descendants of the Pelasgi. He had tried Tarentum, he had tried Neapolis; they were worse than the Serapeion in unnameable licentiousness—less in earnest than the votaries that crowded the pleasure-barges of the Nile at a festival of the Moon. He had asked, he had tried, he had tasted. The truth, he could tell them, was at their doors. It was elsewhere, too. It was in Neapolis, in Antioch, in Athens, in Rome; but they would not find it taught in the chairs of the schools, nor discussed by noble frequenters of the baths and the theatres. He knew it, and he could tell it to them. And as he added many a tale of his wanderings and searchings—many an instance of genius falling short, of good-will laboring in the dark, of earnestness painfully at fault—many of those who heard him would yield themselves up to the vigorous thinker whose brow showed both the capacity and the unwearied activity of the soul within. He was the very man to be made a hero of. Whatever there was in the circle of Gentile philosophy he knew. St. Jerome calls {44} him the "most learned of the writers of the Church," and St. Jerome must have spoken with the sons of those who had heard him lecture—noble Christian patricians, perchance, whose fathers had often told them how, in fervent boyhood, they had been spell-bound by his words in the Christian school of Alexandria, or learned bishops of Palestine, who had heard of him from Origen at Caesarea or St. Alexander at Jerusalem. From the same St. Alexander, who had listened to Pantaenus by his side, we learn that he was as holy as he was learned; and Theodoret, whose school did not dispose him to admire what came from the catechetical doctors of Alexandria, is our authority for saying that his "eloquence was unsurpassed." In the fourth edition of Cave's "Apostolici," there is a portrait that we would fain vouch to be genuine. The massive, earnest face, of the Aristotelian type, the narrow, perpendicular Grecian brow, with its corrugations of thought and care, the venerable flowing beard, dignifying, but not concealing, the homely and fatherly mouth, seem to suggest a man who had made all science his own, yet who now valued a little one of Jesus Christ above all human wisdom and learning. But we have no record of those features that were once the cynosure of many eyes in the "many-peopled" city; we have no memorial of the figure that spoke the truths of the Gospel in the words of Plato. We know not how he looked, nor how he sat, when he began with his favorite master, and showed, with inexhaustible learning, where he had caught sight of the truth, and, again, where his mighty but finite intellect had failed for want of a more "admirable light;" nor how he kindled when he had led his hearers through the vestibule of the old philosophy, and stood ready to lift the curtain of that which was at once its consummation and its annihilation.

But the philosophers of Alexandria, so-called, were by no means, without exception, earnest, high-minded, and well-meaning. Leaving out of the question the mob of students who came ostensibly for wisdom, but got only a very doubtful substitute, and were quite content with it, we know that the Museum was the headquarters of an anti-Christian philosophy which, in Clement's time, was in the very spring of its vigorous development. Exactly contemporary with him was the celebrated Ammonius the Porter, the teacher of Plotinus, and therefore the parent of Neo-Platonism. Ammonius had a very great name and a very numerous school. That he was a Christian by birth, there is no doubt; and he was probably a Christian still when he landed at the Great Port and found employment as a ship-porter. History is divided as to his behavior after his wonderful elevation from the warehouses to the halls of the Museum. St. Jerome and Eusebius deny that he apostatized, while the very questionable authority of the unscrupulous Porphyry is the only testimony that can be adduced on the other side; but, even if he continued to be a Christian, his orthodoxy is rather damaged when we find him praised by such men as Plotinus, Longinus, and Hierocles. Some would cut the knot by asserting the existence of two Ammoniuses, one a pagan apostate, the other a Christian bishop—a solution equally contradicted by the witnesses on both sides. But, whatever Saccas was, there is no doubt as to what was the effect of his teaching on, at least, half of his hearers. If we might hazard a conjecture, we should say that he appears to have been a man of great cleverness, and even genius, but too much in love with his own brilliancy and his own speculations not to come across the ecclesiastical authority in a more or less direct way. He supplied many imposing premises which Origen, representing the sound half of his audience, used for Christian purposes, whilst Plotinus employed them for revivifying the dead body of paganism. The brilliant sack-bearer seems to have been, at the very least, a liberal {45} Christian, who was too gentlemanly to mention so very vulgar a thing as the Christian "superstition" in the classic gardens of the palace, or at the serene banquets of sages in the Symposium.

The question, then, is, How did Christianity, as a philosophy, stand in relation to the affluent professors of Ptolemy's university? That they had been forced to see there was such a thing as Christianity, before the time of which we speak (A.D. 200), it is impossible to doubt. It must have dawned upon the comprehension of the most imperturbable grammarian and the most materialist surgeon of the Museum that a new teaching of some kind was slowly but surely striking root in the many forms of life that surrounded them. Rumors must long before have been heard in the common hall that executions had taken place of several members of a new sect or society, said to be impious in its tenets and disloyal in its practice. No doubt the assembled sages had expended at the time much intricate quibble and pun, after heavy Alexandrian fashion, on the subject of those wretched men; more especially when it was put beyond doubt that no promises of reward or threats of punishment had availed to make them compromise their "opinions" in the slightest tittle. Then the matter would die out, to be revived several times in the same way; until at last some one would make inquiries, and would find that the new sect was not only spreading, but, though composed apparently of the poor and the humble, was clearly something very different from the fantastic religions or brutal no-religions of the Alexandrian mob. It would be gradually found out, moreover, that men of name and of parts were in its ranks; nay, some day of days, that learned company in the Hall would miss one of its own number, after the most reverend the curator had asked a blessing—if ever he did—and it would come out that Professor So-and-so, learned and austere as he was, had become a Christian! And some would merely wonder, but, that past, would ask their neighbor, in the equivalent Attic, if there were to be no more cakes and ale, because he had proved himself a fool; others would wonder, and feel disturbed, and think about asking a question or two, though not to the extent of abandoning their seats at that comfortable board.

The majority, doubtless, at Alexandria as elsewhere, set down Christianity as some new superstition, freshly imported from the home of all superstitions, the East. There were some who hated it, and pursued it with a vehemence of malignant lying that can suggest only one source of inspiration, that is to say, the father of all lies himself. Of this class were Crescens the Cynic, the prime favorite of Marcus Aurelius, and Celsus, called the Epicurean, but who, in his celebrated book, written at this very time, appears as veritable a Platonist as Plotinus himself. Then, again, there were others who found no difficulty in recognizing Christianity as a sister philosophy—who, in fact, rather welcomed it as affording fresh material for dialectics—good, easy men of routine, blind enough to the vital questions which the devil's advocates clearly saw to be at stake. Galen is pre-eminently a writer who has reflected the current gossip of the day. He was a hard student in his youth, and a learned and even high-minded man in his maturity, but he frequently shows himself in his writings as the "fashionable physician," with one or two of the weaknesses of that well-known character. He spent a long time at Alexandria, just before Clement became famous, studying under Heraclian, consulting the immortal Hippocrates, and profiting by the celebrated dissecting-rooms of the Museum, in which, unless they are belied, the interests of science were so paramount that they used to dissect—not live horses; but living slaves. He could not, therefore, fail to have known how Christianity was regarded at the Museum. Speaking of Christians, then, in his works, he of course retails a good deal of {46} nonsense about them, such as we can imagine him to have exchanged with the rich gluttons and swollen philosophers whom he had to attend professionally in Roman society; but when he speaks seriously, and of what he had himself observed, he says, frankly and honestly, that the Christians deserved very great praise for sobriety of life, and for their love of virtue, in which they equalled or surpassed the greatest philosophers of the age. So thought, in all probability, many of the learned men of Alexandria.

The Church, on her side, was not averse to appearing before the Gentiles in the garb of philosophy, and it was very natural that the Christian teachers should encourage this idea, with the aim and hope of gaining admittance for themselves and their good tidings into the very heart of pagan learning. And was not Christianity a philosophy? In the truest sense of the word—and, what is more to the purpose, in the sense of the philosophers of Alexandria—it was a philosophy. The narrowed meaning that in our days is assigned to philosophy, as distinguished from religion, had no existence in the days of Clement. Wisdom was the wisdom by excellence, the highest, the ultimate wisdom. What the Hebrew preacher meant when he said, "Wisdom is better than all the most precious things," the same was intended by the Alexandrian lecturer when he offered to show his hearers where wisdom was to be found. It meant the fruit of the highest speculation, and at the same time the necessary ground of all-important practice. In our days the child learns at the altar-rails that its end is to love God, and serve him, and be happy with him; and after many years have passed, the child, now a man, studies and speculates on the reasons and the bearings of that short, momentous sentence. In the old Greek world the intellectual search came first, and the practical sentence was the wished-for result. A system of philosophy was, therefore, in Clement's time, tantamount to a religion. It was the case especially with the learned. Serapis and Isis were all very well for the "old women and the sailors," but the laureate and the astronomer royal of the Ptolemies, and the professors, many and diverse, of arts and ethics, in the Museum, scarcely took pains to conceal their utter contempt for the worship of the vulgar. Their idols were something more spiritual, their incense was of a more ethereal kind. Could they not dispute about the Absolute Being? and had they not glimpses of something indefinitely above and yet indefinably related to their own souls, in the Logos of the divine Plato? So the Stoic mortified his flesh for the sake of some ulterior perfectibility of which he could give no clear account to himself; the Epicurean contrived to take his fill of pleasure, on the maxim that enjoyment was the end of our being, "and tomorrow we die;" the Platonist speculated and pursued his "air-travelling and cloud-questioning," like Socrates in the basket, in a vain but tempting endeavor to see what God was to man and man to God; the Peripatetic, the Eclectic, and all the rest, disputed, scoffed, or dogmatized about many things, certainly, but, mainly and finally, on those questions that will never lie still:—Who are we? and, Who placed us here? Philosophy included religion, and therefore Christianity was a philosophy.

When Clement, then, told the philosophers of Alexandria that he could teach them the true philosophy, he was saying not only what was perfectly true, but what was perfectly understood by them. The catechetical school was, and appeared to them, as truly a philosophical lecture-room as the halls of the Museum. Clement himself had been an ardent philosopher, and he reverently loved his masters, Socrates and Plato and Aristotle, whilst he had the feelings of a brother toward the philosophers of his own day. He became a Christian, and his dearest object was to win his brethren to a participation in his own good fortune. {47} He did not burn his philosophical books and anathematize his masters; like St. Paul, he availed himself of the good that was in them and commended it, and then proclaimed that he had the key of the treasure which they had labored to find and had not found. This explains how it is that, in Clement of Alexandria, the philosopher's mantle seems almost to hide the simple garb of the Christian. This also explains why he is called, and indeed calls himself, an Eclectic in his system; and this marks out the drift and the aim of the many allusions to philosophy that we find in his extant works, and in the traditions of his teaching that have come down to us. If Christianity was truly called a philosophy, what should we expect in its champion but that he should be a philosopher? Men in these days read the Stromata, and find that it is, on the outside, more like Plato than like Jesus Christ; and thus they make small account of it, because they cannot understand its style, or the reason for its adoption. The grounds of questions and the forms of thought have shifted since the days of the catechetical school. But Clement's fellow-citizens understood him. The thrifty young Byzantine, for instance, understood him, who had been half-inclined to join the Stoics, but had come, in his threadbare pallium, to hear the Christian teacher, and who was told that asceticism was very good and commendable, but that the end of it all was God and the love of God, and that this end could only be attained by a Christian. The languid but intellectual man of fashion understood him, who had grown sick of the jargon of his Platonist professors about the perfect man and the archetypal humanity, and who now felt his inmost nature stirred to its depths by the announcement and description of the Word made flesh. The learned stranger from Antioch or Athens, seeking for the truth, understood him, when he said that the Christian dogma alone could create and perfect the true Gnostic or Knower; he understood perfectly the importance of the object, provided the assertion were true, as it might turn out to be. Unless Clement had spoken of asceticism, of the perfect man, and of the true Gnostic, his teaching would not have come home to the self-denying student, to the thoughtful sage, to the brilliant youth, to all that was great and generous and amiable in the huge heathen society of the crowded city. As it was, he gained a hearing, and, having done so, he said to the Alexandrians, "Your masters in philosophy are great and noble: I honor them, I admire and accept them; but they did not go far enough, as you all acknowledge. Come to us, then, and we will show what is wanting in them. Listen to these old Hebrew writers whom I will quote to you. You see that they treated of all your problems, and had solved the deepest of them, whilst your forefathers were groping in darkness. All their light, and much more, is our inheritance. The truth, which you seek, we possess. 'What you worship, without knowing it, that I preach to you.' God's Word has been made flesh—has lived on this earth, the model man, the absolute man. Come to us, and we will show you how you may know God through him, and how through him God communicates himself to you." But here he stopped. The "discipline of the secret" allowed him to go no further in public. The listening Christians knew well what he meant; his pagan hearers only surmised that there was more behind. And was it not much that Christianity should thus measure strength and challenge a contest with the old Greek civilization on equal terms, and about those very matters of intellect and high ethics in which it especially prided itself?

But the contest, never a friendly one, save with the dullest and easiest of the pagan philosophers, very soon grew to be war to the knife. We have said that the quiet lovers of literature among the heathen men of science were perfectly ready to admit the Christian philosophy to a fair share {48} in the arena of disputation and discussion, looking upon it as being, at worst, only a foolish system of obtrusive novelties, which might safely be left to their own insignificancy. But, quite unexpectedly and startlingly for easy-going philosophers, Christianity was found, not merely to claim the possession of truth, but to claim it wholly and solely. And, what was still more intolerable, its doctors maintained that its adoption or rejection was no open speculative question, but a tremendous practical matter, involving nothing less than all morality here and all happiness hereafter; and that the unfortunate philosopher, who, in his lofty serenity, approved it as right, and yet followed the wrong, would have to undergo certain horrors after death, the bare suggestion of which seemed an outrage on the dignity of the philosophical character. This was quite enough for hatred; and the philosophers, as their eyes began to open, saw that Crescens and Celsus were right, and accorded their hatred most freely and heartily.

But Christianity did not stop here. With the old original schools and their offshoots it was a recognized principle that philosophy was only for philosophers; and this was especially true of Clement's most influential contemporaries, the Neo-Platonists. The vulgar had no part in it, in fact could not come within the sphere of its influence; how could they? How could the sailors, who, after a voyage, went to pay their vows in the temple of Neptune on the quay, or the porters who dragged the grain sacks and the hemp bundles from the tall warehouses to the holds of Syrian and Greek merchantmen, or the negro slaves who fanned the brows of the foreign prince, or the armorers of the Jews' quarter, or the dark-skinned, bright-eyed Egyptian women of the Rhacôtis suspected of all evil from thieving to sorcery, or, more than all, the drunken revellers and poor harlots who made night hideous when the Egyptian moon looked down on the palaces of the Brucheion—how could any of these find access to the sublime secrets of Plato or the profound commentaries of his disciples? Even if they had come in crowds to the lecture-halls—which no one wanted them to do, or supposed they would do—they could not have been admitted nor entertained; for even the honest occupations of life, the daily labors necessary in a city of 300,000 freemen, were incompatible with imbibing the divine spirit of philosophy. So the philosophers had nothing to say to all these. If they had been asked what would become of such poor workers and sinners, they would probably have avoided an answer as best they could. There were the temples and Serapis and Isis and the priests—they might go to them. It was certain that philosophy was not meant for the vulgar. In fact, philosophy would be unworthy of a habitation like the Museum—would deserve to have its pensions stopped, its common hall abolished, and its lecture-rooms shut up—if ever it should condescend to step into the streets and speak to the herd. It was, therefore, with a disgust unspeakable, and a swiftly-ripening hatred, that the philosophers saw Christianity openly proclaiming and practising the very opposite of all this. True, it had learned men and respected men in its ranks, but it loudly declared that its mission was to the lowly, and the mean, and the degraded, quite as much as to the noble, and the rich, and the virtuous. It maintained that the true divine philosophy, the source of joy for the present and hope for the future, was as much in the power of the despised bondsman, trembling under the lash, as of the prince-governor, or the Caesar himself, haughtily wielding the insignia of sovereignty. We know what its pretensions and tenets were, but it is difficult to realize how they must have clashed with the notions of intellectual paganism in the city of Plotinus—how the hands that would have been gladly held out in friendship, had it come in respectable {49} and conventional guise, were shut and clenched, when they saw in its train the rough mechanic, the poor maid-servant, the negro, and the harlot. There could be no compromise between two systems such as these. For a time it might have seemed as if they could decide their quarrel in the schools, but the old Serpent and his chief agents knew better: and so did Clement and the Christian doctors, at the very time that they were taking advantage of fair weather to occupy every really strong position which the enemy held. The struggle soon grew into the deadly hand-to-hand grapple that ended in leaving the corpse of paganism on the ground, dead but not buried, to be gradually trodden out of sight by a new order of things.

It must not, however, be supposed that the Christian school of Alexandria was wholly, or even chiefly, employed in controversy with the schools of the heathen. The first care of the Church was, as at all times, the household of the faith: a care, however, in the fulfilment of which there is less that strikes as novel or interesting at first sight than in that remarkable aggressive movement of which it has been our object to give some idea. But even in the Church's household working there is much that is both instructive and interesting, as we get a glimpse of it in Clement of Alexandria. The Church in Alexandria, as elsewhere, was made up of men from every lot and condition of life. There were officials, civil and military, merchants, shop-keepers, work-people—plain, hard-striving men, husbands, and fathers of families. In the wake of the upper thousands followed a long and wide train—the multitude who compose the middle classes of a great city; and it was from their ranks that the Church was mainly recruited. They might not feel much interest in the university, beyond the fact that its numerous and wealthy students were a welcome stimulus to trade; but still they had moral and intellectual natures. They must have craved for some kind of food for their minds and hearts, and cannot have been satisfied with the dry, unnourishing scraps that were flung to them by the supercilious philosophers. They must have felt no small content—those among them who had the grace to hearken to the teachings of Clement—when he told them that the philosophy he taught was as much for them as for their masters and their betters. They listened to him, weighed his words, and accepted them; and then a great question arose. It was a question that was being debated and settled at Antioch, at Rome, and at Athens, no less than at Alexandria; but at Alexandria it was Clement who answered it. "We believe your good tidings," they said; "but tell us, must we change our lives wholly and entirely? Is everything that we have been doing so far, and our fathers have been doing before us, miserably and radically wrong?" They had bought and sold; they had married and given in marriage; they had filled their warehouses and freighted their ships; they had planted and builded, and brought up their sons and daughters. They had loved money, and the praise of their fellow-men; they had their fashions and their customs, old and time-honored, and so interwoven with their very life as to be almost identified with it. Some of their notions and practices the bare announcement of the Gospel sufficiently condemned; and these must go at once. But where was the line to be drawn? Did the Gospel aim at regenerating the world by forbidding marriage and laying a ban on human labor; by making life intolerable with asceticism; by emptying the streets and the market-places, and driving men to Nitria and the frightful rocks of the Upper Nile? And what made the question doubly exciting was the two-fold fact, first, that in those very days men and women were continually fleeing from home and family, and hiding, in the desert; and secondly, that there were in that very city congregations of {50} men calling themselves Christians, who proclaimed that it was wrong to marry, and that flesh-meat and wine were sinful indulgences.

The answer that Clement gave to these questionings is found mainly in that work of his which is called Paedagogus, or "The Teacher." The answer needed was a sharp, a short, and a decisive one. It needed to be like a surgical operation—rapidly performed, completed, with nothing further to be done but to fasten the bandages, and leave the patient to the consequences, whatever they might be. Society had to be reset. We need not repeat for the thousandth time the fact of the unutterable corruptness and rottenness of the whole pagan world. It was not that there were wanting certain true ideas of duty toward the state, the family, the fellow-citizen: the evil lay far deeper. It was not good sense that was wanting; it was the sense of the supernatural. "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die," was the formula that expressed the code of popular morality; and because men could not "eat and drink" comfortably and luxuriously without some sort of law, order, and mutual compact, it followed as a necessary consequence that there must be law, order, and compact. It was not, therefore, that Clement had merely to hold up the Gospel and show them its meaning here and its application there. He had to shift the very groundwork of morality, to take up the very foundations of the moral acts that go to make up life as viewed in the light of right and wrong. He had to substitute heaven for earth, hereafter for here, God for self. And he did so—in a fashion not unknown in the Catholic Church since, as indeed it had been not unknown to St. Paul long before. He simply held up to them the crucifix. Let any one turn to the commencement of the Paedagogus, and he will find a description of what a teacher ought to be. At the beginning of the second chapter he will read these words: "My children, our teacher is like the Father, whose Son he is; in whom there is no sin, great or small, nor any temptation to sin; God in the figure of a man, stainless, obedient to his Father's will; the Word, true God, who is in the Father, who is at the Father's right hand, true God in the form of a man; to whom we must strive with all our might to make ourselves like." It sounds like the commencement of a children's retreat in one of our modern cities to hear Clement proclaim so anxiously that the teacher and model of men is no other than Jesus, and that we must all become children, and go and listen to him and study him; yet it is a sentence that must have spoken to the very inmost hearts of all who had a thought or care for their souls in Alexandria; and one can perceive, in the terms used in the original Greek, a conscious adaptation of epithets to meet more than one Platonic difficulty. It was the reconciliation of the true with the beautiful. The Alexandrians, Greek and Egyptian, with their Greek longings for the beautiful, and their Egyptian tendings to the sensible, were not put off by Clement with a cold abstraction. A mathematical deity, formed out of lines, relations, and analogies, such as Neo-Platonism offered, was well enough for the lecture-room, but had small hold upon the heart. Christianity restored the thrilling sense of a personal God, which Neo-Platonism destroyed, but for which men still sighed, though they knew not what they were sighing for; and Christianity, by Clement's mouth, taught that the living and lovely life of Jesus was to be the end and the measure of the life of all. They were to follow him: "My angel shall walk before you," is Clement's own quotation. And having thus laid down the regenerating principle—God through Jesus Christ—he descends safely and fearlessly into details. Minutely and carefully he handles the problems of life, and sets them straight by the light of the life of Jesus.

These details and these directions, {51} as left to us by Clement in the Paedagogus, are only what we might anticipate from a Christian teacher to his flock; and yet they are very interesting, and disclose many facts that are full of suggestion to one who reads by the light of the Catholic faith. Who would not like to hear what Clement said to the Church of Alexandria about dress, beauty, feasting, drinking, furniture, conversation, money, theatres, sleep, labor, and housekeeping? We know well that there must have been ample scope for discourse on all these topics. The rich Alexandrians, like the rich Romans, and the rich Corinthians, and the rich everywhere, were fearfully addicted to luxury, and their poorer neighbors followed their example as well as they could. But there were circumstances peculiar to Alexandria that enabled it to outdo the rest of the world in this matter; putting Rome, of course, out of the question. It was the market for India; and seeing that almost everything in the way of apparel came from India, Alexandria had the pick of the best that the world could afford, and seems not to have been behindhand in taking advantage of its privilege. Nobody enjoyed more than the Alexandrian— whether he were a descendant of the Macedonian who came in with the Conqueror, or a parvenu of yesterday grown great by his wheat-ships or his silk-bales—to sweep the Heptastadion, or promenade the Great Quay, or lounge in the gardens of the Museum, in what ancient tailors and milliners would call a synthesis of garments, as ample, and stiff, and brilliant as Indian looms could make them. Then, again, Alexandria was a university town. Two hundred years of effeminate Ptolemies and four hundred of wealthy students had been more than enough to create a tradition of high, luxurious living. The conjunction of all that was to be got for money, with any amount of money to get it with, had made Alexandria a model city for carrying out the only maxim which the greater number even of the philosophers themselves really understood and practically followed: "Let us eat and drink!" Again, a navigable river, a rainless sky, and a climate perhaps the finest in the world, offered both inducements and facilities for parties of pleasure and conviviality in general. It is true the river was only a canal: one thing was wanting to the perfection of Alexandria as a site for an empire city, viz., the Nile; but that the canal was a moderate success in the eyes of the Alexandrians may be inferred from the fact that Canopus, where it finished its short course of thirteen or fourteen miles, and joined the Nile, was a perfect city of river-side hotels, to which the boats brought every day crowds of pleasure-seekers. Very gay were the silken and gilded boats, with their pleasant canopies and soothing music; and very gay and brilliant, but not very reputable, were the groups that filled them, with their crowns of flowers, their Grecian attitudinizing, and their ingenious arrangements of fan-working slaves. This was the population which it was Clement's work to convert to purity and moderation.

It is very common with Clement's modern critics, when making what our French allies would call "an appreciation" him, to set him down as a solemn trifler. They complain that they cannot get any "system of theology" out of his writings; indeed, they doubt whether he so much as had one. They find him use the term "faith" first in one sense and then in another, and they are especially offended by his minute instructions on certain matters pertaining to meat, drink, and dress. To any one who considers what Clement intended to do in his writings, and especially in the Paedagogus, there is no difficulty in seeing an answer to a difficulty like this. He did not mean to construct a "system of theology," and therefore it is no wonder if his critics cannot find one. He did not even mean to state the broad, general principles of the Gospel: his hearers knew these well enough. What he did mean to do was, {52} to apply these general rules and principles to a variety of cases occurring in everyday life. And yet, as a matter of fact, it is to be observed that he always does lay down broad principles before entering into details. In the matter of eating, for instance, regarding which he is very severe in his denunciations, and not without reason, he takes care to state distinctly the great Catholic canon of mortification: "Though all things were made for man, yet it is not good to use all, nor at all times." Again, in the midst of his contemptuous enumeration of ancient wines, he does not forget to say, "You are not robbed of your drink: it is given to you, and awaits your hand;" that which is blamed is excess. He sums up what he has been saying against the voluptuous entertainments then so universal by the following sentence—a novelty, surely, to both extremes of pagan society in Alexandria—"In one word, whatever is natural to man must not be taken from him; but, instead thereof, must be regulated according to fitting measure and time."

In deciding whether Clement was a "solemn trifler," or not, there is another consideration which must not be omitted, and that is his sense of the humorous. It may sound incongruous when speaking of a Father of the Church, and much more of a reputed mystical Father like Clement, but we think no one can deny that he often supplements a serious argument by a little stroke of pleasantry. As many of his sentences stand, a look or a smile would lighten them up and make them sparkle into humor. Paper and ink cannot carry the tone of the voice or the glance of the eye, and Clement's voice has been silent and his eye dimmed for many a century; but may we not imagine that at times something of archness in the teacher's manner would impart to his weighty words a touch of quaintness, and the habitually thoughtful eye twinkle with a gleam of pleasantry? He would be no true follower of Plato if it were not so. Who shall say he was not smiling when he gave out that formal list of wines, of eatables, and of scents most affected by the fashionables of those days? He concludes an invective against scandalous feats by condemning the universal crown of roses as a "nuisance:" it was damp, it was cold; it hindered one from using either his eyes or his ears properly. He advises his audience to avoid much curious carving and ornamenting of bed-posts; for creeping things, he says, have a habit of making themselves at home in the mouldings. He asks if one's hands cannot be as well washed in a clay basin as in a silver one. He wonders how one can dare to put a plain little loaf on a grand "wing-footed" table. He cannot see why a lamp of earthenware will not give as good a light as one of silver. He alludes with disgust to "hissing frying-pans," to "spoon and pestle," and even to the "packed stomachs" of their proprietors; to Sicilian lampreys, and Attican eels; shell-fish from Capo di Faro, and Ascrean beet from the foot of Helicon; mullet from the Gulf of Thermae, and pheasants from the Crimea. We hear him contemptuously repeat the phrases of connoisseurs about their wines, the startling variety of which we know from other sources besides his writings: he speaks of the "scented Thasian," the aromatic "Lesbian," the "sweet wine of Crete," the "pleasant Syracusan." The articles of plate which he enumerates to condemn would be more than sufficient to furnish out a modern wedding breakfast. To scents he gives no quarter. We have heard a distinguished professor of chemistry assert, in a lecture, that wherever there is scent on the surface there is sure to be dirt beneath; and, from the well-known fact that in Capua there was one whole street occupied by perfumers, he could draw no other inference than that Capua must have been "a very dirty city." It would appear that Clement of Alexandria was much of this opinion. He gives a picture of a pompous {53} personage in a procession, "going along marvellously scented, for the purpose of producing a sensation, and yet underneath as foul as he could be." He enumerates the absurd varieties of ointments in fashion, and orders them to be thrown away. He is indignant at the saffron-colored scented robe that the gentlemen wore. He will have no flowing or trailing vestments; no "Attic buskins," no "Persian sandals." He complains that the ladies go and spend the whole day at the perfumer's, the goldsmith's, and the milliner's, just as if he were speaking of "shopping" in the nineteenth century, instead of A.D. 200. He blames the men for frequenting the barbers' shops, the taverns, and the dicing-houses. It is amusing in these days to read of his denunciations of shaving. He has no patience with "hair-haters:" a man without the hair that God gave him is a "base sight." "God attached such importance to hair," he says, "that he makes a man come to hair and sense at the same time." But, in reality, this vehement attack on the "smooth men," as he calls them, points to one of the most flagrant of heathen immoralities, and reveals in the context a state of things to which we may not do more than allude. He condemns luxury in furniture, from "beds with silver feet, made of ivory and adorned with gold and tortoise-shell," down to "little table-daggers," that ancient ladies and gentlemen used indifferently to their food and to their slaves. All this is not very deep, but it is just what Clement wanted to say, and a great deal more useful in its place and connection than a "system of theology." We may add that it is a great deal more interesting to us, who know pretty well what Clement's "system of theology" was, but not so well what were the faults and failings of his Christian men and women in those far-off Alexandrian times.

There is another epithet bestowed upon Clement, more widely and with better authority than that of "trifler." He is called a mystic. He deals in allegorical interpretations of Holy Scripture, in fanciful analogies, and whimsical reasonings; he was carried away by the spirit of Neo-Platonism, and substituted a number of idle myths for the stern realities of the Gospel. It is not our business at present to show, by references, that this accusation is untrue; but we may admit at once that it is not unfounded, and we maintain that it points to an excellence, rather than a defect, in his teaching. From the remarks made just now, the reader will be prepared to expect that a teacher in Alexandria in Clement's days must have been a mystic. It was simply the fashion; and a fashion, in thought and speech, exacts a certain amount of compliance from those who think or speak for the good of its followers. Neo-Platonism was not extant in his time as a definite system, but ever since the days of Philon its spirit had been the spirit of the Museum. Nature, in its beauty and variety, was an allegory of the soul so said the philosophers, and the crowd caught it up with eagerness. The natural philosopher could not lecture on Aristotle De Animalibus without deducing morals in the style of AEsop. The moralist, in his turn, could hardly keep up his class-list without embodying his Beautiful and his Good in the aesthetical garb of a myth—the more like Plato, the better. The mathematician discoursed of numbers, of lines, and of angles, but the interesting part of his lecture was when he drew the analogy from lines and numbers to the soul and to God. Alexandria liked allegory, and believed, or thought she believed, that the Seen was always a type of the Unseen. Such a belief was not unnatural, and by no means hopelessly erroneous; nay, was it not highly useful to a Christian teacher, with the Bible in his hand, in which he would really have to show them so many things, per allegoriam dicta? Clement took up the accustomed tone. Had he done otherwise, he would have been strange and old-fashioned, whereas he {54} wanted to get the ear of his countrymen, and therefore thought it no harm to fall in with their humor for the mythical; just as good Father Faber preached and wrote like a modern Englishman, and not like an antique Douai controversialist, or a well-meaning translator of "Sermons from the French." But, say the objectors, Clement's interpretation of Scripture is so very forced and unnatural. The whole subject of allegorical interpretation of Sacred Scripture is too wide to be entered upon here; but that the Bible, especially the Old Testament, has an allegorical sense, no one denies, and the decision of what is the true allegorical sense depends more upon the authority of the teacher than upon the interpretation itself. In the time of Clement, when the Gnostics were attributing the Old Testament to the Evil Principle, there was a special necessity for a warm and loving acknowledgment that it was the voice and the teaching of God to man; and it is no wonder, therefore, that he allows himself, with the brilliant fancy of an Athenian, even if sometimes with the fantasticalness of an Alexandrian, to extract meanings out of the sacred text which our sober eyes could never have discovered. As it is, we owe to his mysticism no small portion of the eloquence and beauty of his writings; we may instance that charming passage in the Paedagogus where he alludes to the incident related in the twenty-sixth chapter of Genesis—"Abimelech, King of the Palestines, looking out through a window, saw Isaac playing with Rebecca his wife." Isaac represents, the little one of Christ, and is interpreted to be joy; Rebecca is patience; the royal Abimelech signifies heavenly wisdom. The child of Jesus Christ, joyful with a joy that none but that blessed teacher can give, lovingly sports with his "helpmate," patience, and the wisdom that is from above looks on and wonderingly admires. The beauty of conception and perfection of form that is inseparable from true Greek art, whether in a statue or a medal, an epic or an epigram, is by no means wanting to the first of the Greek Fathers. A reader who should take up the Paedagogus for no other than literary reasons would not be disappointed; he would receive, from his reading, a very high idea of the wisdom, the eloquence, and, above all, the saintly unction of the great Catholic doctor and philosopher who first made human science the handmaid of Christian theology.

The witnessing to the truth before heathen philosophers and the teaching the children of the faith might have fully employed both the zeal and the eloquence of Clement. But there was another and a sadder use for words, in the task of resisting the heresies that seemed to grow like foul excrescences from the very growth of the Church herself. Alexandria, the city of Neo-Platonism, was also with nearly as good a title the city of Gnosticism. To examine the history of Gnosticism is not a tempting undertaking. On the one side, it is like walking into a fog, as dense and unpleasant as ever marked a London November; on the other, it is to disturb a moral cess-pool, proverbially better left alone. Of the five groups of the Gnostic family, which seem to agree in little beside worshipping the devil, holding to "emanations," and owing their origin to Simon Magus, the particular group that made Alexandria its headquarters acknowledged as its leading names Basilides, Valentine, and Mark, each of whom outdid the other in the absurdity of his ravings about eons, generations, and the like, and in the abominableness of his practical licentiousness. Valentine and Mark were contemporaries of Clement, if not personally (Valentine is said to have died A.D. 150) at least in their immediate influence. No one can tell satisfactorily what made these precious followers of Simon Magus spend their days in patching up second-hand systems out of the rags of cast-off Oriental mysticism. No doubt their jargon appeared somewhat less {55} unnatural in their own days than it does in ours. They lived nearer the times when the wrecks of primeval revelation and history had been wrought into a thousand fantastic shapes on the banks of the Indus, the Euphrates, and the Nile, and when, in the absence of the true light, men occupied themselves with the theatrical illuminations of Bel, Isis, and Vishnu. But these Gnostics, in the clear dawn of the Gospel, still stuck to the fulsome properties of the devil's play-house. Unsavory and dishonest, they deserve neither respect for sincerity nor allowance for originality; they were mere spinners of "endless genealogies," and, with such a fig-leaf apron, they tried to conceal for a while the rankness of the flesh that finally made the very pagans join in hounding them from the earth. The infamous Mark was holding his conventicles in Alexandria about the very time that Pantaenus and Clement were teaching. To read of his high-flown theories about eons and emanations, his sham magic, his familiarity with demons, his impositions on the weaker sex, and the frightful licentiousness that was the sure end of it all, is like reading the history of the doings of the Egyptian priests in the Serapeion rather than of those who called themselves Christians. And yet these very men, these deluded Marcosians, gave out to learned and unlearned Alexandria that they alone were the true followers of Christ. We may conceive the heart-breaking work it would be for Clement to repel the taunts that their doings brought upon his name and profession, and to refute and keep down false brethren, whose arguments and strength consisted in an appeal to curiosity and brute passion. And yet how nobly he does it, in that picture of the true Gnostic, or Knower, to which he so often returns in all his extant works!

But philosophers, faithful, and heretics do not exhaust the story of Clement's doings. It lends a solemn light to the memorable history we are noting, to bear in mind that the Church's intellectual war with Neo-Platonist and Gnostic was ever and again interrupted by the yells of the blood-thirsty populace, the dragging of confessors to prison, and all the hideous apparatus of persecution. Which of us would have had heart to argue with men who might next day deliver us to the hangman? Who would have found leisure to write books on abstract philosophy with such stern concrete realities as the scourge and the knife waiting for him in the street? Clement's master began to teach just as one persecution was ceasing; Clement himself had to flee from his schools before the "burden and heat" of another; these were not times, one would suppose, for science and orderly teaching. Yet our own English Catholic annals can, in a manner, furnish parallel cases in more than one solid book of controversy and deep ascetical tract, thought out and composed when the pursuivants were almost at the doors. So true it is that when the Church's work demands scientific and written teaching, science appears and books are written, though the Gentiles are raging and the peoples imagining their vain things.

Here, for the present, we draw to a close these desultory notes on the Christian Schools of Alexandria. They will have served their purpose if they have but supplied an outline of that busy intellectual life which is associated with the names of Pantaenus and Clement. There is another name that ought to follow these two—the name of Origen, suggesting another chapter on Church history that should yield to none in interest and usefulness. The mere fact that in old Alexandria, in the face of hostile science, clogged and put to shame by pestilent heresies, ruthlessly chased out of sight ever and again by brute force— in spite of all this, Catholic science won respect from its enemies without for a moment neglecting the interests of its own children, is a teaching that will never be out of date, and least of all at a time like ours, and in a country where learning {56} sneers at revelation, where a thousand jarring sects invoke the sacred name of Christ, and where public opinion—the brute force of the modern world, as the rack and the fagot were of the ancient—never howls so loudly as when it catches sight of the one true Church of the living and eternal God.

From The Lamp.


"I wish I were a lord," said Pat M'Gowan, a lazy young fellow, as he stretched over his grandmother's turf-fire a pair of brawny fists that were as red as the blaze that warmed them.

"You wish to be a lord!" answered Granny M'Gowan; "oh, then, a mighty quare lord you would make; but, as long as you live, Pat, never wish again; for who knows but you might wish in the unlucky minute, and that it would be granted to you?"

"Faix, then, granny, I just wish I could have my wish this minute."

"You're a fool, Pat, and have no more sense in your head than a cracked egg has a chance of a chicken inside of it. Maybe you'd never cease repenting of your wish if you got it."

"Maybe so, granny, but for all that I'd like to be a lord. Tell me, granny, when does the unlucky minute come that a body may get their wish?"

"Why, you see, Pat, there is one particular little bit of a minute of time in every twenty-four hours that, if a mortal creature has the unlucky chance to wish on that instant, his wish, whether for good or for bad, for life or death, fortune or misfortune, sickness or health, for himself or for others, the wish is granted to him; but seldom does it turn out for good to the wisher, because it shows he is not satisfied with his lot, and it is contrary to what God in his goodness has laid down for us all to do and suffer for his sake. But, Pat, you blackguard, I see you are laughing at your old granny because you think I am going to preach a sermon to you; but you're mistaken. I'll tell you what happened to an uncle of my own, Jem M'Gowan, who got his wish when he asked for it."

"Got his wish—oh, the lucky old fellow!" cried Pat. "Do, granny, tell me all about him. Got his wish! oh, how I wish I was a lord!"

"Listen to me, Pat, and don't be getting on with any of your foolish nonsense. My uncle, Jem M'Gowan, was then something like yourself, Pat— a strapping, able chap, but one that, like you too, would sooner be scorching his shins over the fire than cutting the turf to make it, and rather watching the potatoes boiling than digging them out of the ridge. Instead of working for a new coat, he would be wishing some one gave it to him. When he got up in the morning, he wished for his breakfast; and when he had swallowed it, he wished for his dinner; and when he had bolted down his dinner, he began to wish for his supper; and when he ate his supper, he wished to be in bed; and when he was in bed, he wished to be asleep—in fact, he did nothing from morning to night but wish, and even in his dreams I am quite sure he wished to be awake. Unlucky for Jem, his cabin was convenient to the great big house of Squire Kavanagh; and when Jem went out in the morning, shivering with cold, and wishing for a glass of whisky to put spirits in him, and he saw the bedroom windows of Squire Kavanagh closed, and knew that the squire was lying warm and snug inside, he always wished to be Squire Kavanagh. Then, when he saw the {57} squire driving the horse and the hounds before him, and he all the while working in the field, he wished it still more; and when he saw him dancing with the beautiful young ladies and illigant young gentlemen in the moonlight of a summer's evening, in front of his fine hall-door and under the shade of the old oak-trees, he wished it more than ever. The squire was always coming before him; and so happy a man did he seem that Jem was always saying to himself, 'I wish I was Squire Kavanagh,' from, cockcrow to sunset, until he at last hit upon the unfortunate minute in the twenty-four hours when his wish was to be granted. He was just after eating his dinner of fine, mealy potatoes, fresh-churned buttermilk, and plenty of salt and salt-butter to relish them, when he stretched out his two legs, threw up his arms, and yawned out, 'Oh, dear, I wish I was Squire Kavanagh!'

"The words were scarce uttered when he found himself, still yawning, in the grand parlor of Kavanagh House, sitting opposite to a table laid out with china, and a table-cloth, silver forks, and no end of silver spoons, and a roaring hot beefsteak before him. Jem rubbed his eyes and then his hands with joy, and thought to himself, 'By dad, my wish is granted, and I'll lay in plenty of beefsteak first of all.' He began cutting away; but, before he had finished, he was interrupted by some people coming in. It was Sir Harry M'Manus, Squire Brien, and two or three other grand gentlemen; and says they to him, 'Kavanagh, don't you know this is the day you're to decide your bet for five hundred pounds, that you will leap your horse over the widest part of the pond outside?'

"'Is it me? says Jem. 'Why, I never leaped a horse in my life!'

"'Bother!' says one; 'you're joking. You told us yourself that you did it twenty times, and there's the English colonel that made the bet with you, and he'll be saying, if you don't do it, that the Irish are all braggers; so, my dear fellow, it just comes to this—you must either leap the pond or fight me; for, relying upon your word, I told the colonel I saw you do it myself.'

"'I must fight you or leap the pond, is it?' answered Jem, trembling from head to foot.

"'Certainly, my dear fellow,' replied Sir Harry. 'Either I must shoot you or see you make the leap; so take your choice.'

"'Oh! then, bring out the horse,' whimpered Jem, who was beginning to wish he wasn't Squire Kavanagh.

"In a minute afterward, Jem found himself out in the lawn, opposite a pond that appeared to him sixty feet wide at the least. 'Why,' said he, 'you might as well ask me to jump over the ocean, or give a hop-step-and-a-leap from Howth to Holyhead, as get any horse to cross that lake of a pond.'

"'Come, Kavanagh,' said Sir Henry, 'no nonsense with us. We know you can do it if you like; and now that you're in for it, you must finish it.'

"'Faix, you'll finish me, I'm afeerd,' said Jem, seeing they were in earnest with him; 'but what will you do if I'm drowned?'

"'Do?' says Sir Henry.' Oh, make yourself aisy on that account. You shall have the grandest wake that ever was seen in the country. We'll bury you dacently, and we'll all say that the bouldest horseman now in Ireland is the late Squire Kavanagh. If that doesn't satisfy you, there's no pleasing you; so bring out the horse immediately.'

"'Oh! murder, murder!" says Jem to himself; 'isn't this a purty thing, that I must be drowned to make a great character for a little spalpeen like Squire Kavanagh? Oh, then, it's I that wish I was Jem M'Gowan again! Going to be drowned like a rat, or smothered like a blind kitten! and all for a vagabond I don't care a straw about. I, that never was on a horse's back before, to think of leaping over an ocean! Bad cess to you, Squire Kavanagh, for your boastin' and your wagerin'!'


"Well, a fine, dashing, jumping, rearing, great big gray horse was led up by two grooms to Jem's side. 'Oh, the darling!' said Sir Harry; 'there he goes! there's the boy that will win our bets for us! Clap him at once upon the horse's back,' says he to the grooms. The sight left Jem's eyes the very instant he saw the terrible gray horse, well known as one of the most vicious bastes in the entire country. If he could, he'd have run away, but fright kept him standing stock-still; and, before he knew where he was, he was hoisted into the saddle. 'Now, boys,' roared Sir Harry, 'give the horse plenty whip, and my life for it he is over the pond.'

"Jem heard two desperate slashes made on the flanks of the horse. The creature rose on his four legs off the ground, and came down with a soss that sent Jem up straight from the saddle like a ball, and down again with a crack fit to knock him into a hundred thousand pieces, not one of them bigger than the buttons of his waistcoat. 'Murder!' he shrieked; 'I wish I was Jem M'Gowan back again!' But there was no use in saying this, for he had already got his wish. The horse galloped away like lightning. He felt rising one instant up as high as the clouds, and the next he came with a plop into the water, like a stone that you would make take a 'dead man's dive.' He remembered no more till he saw his two kind friends, Sir Harry M'Manus and Squire Brien, holding him by the two legs in the air, and the water pouring from his mouth, nose, and every stitch of his clothes, as heavy and as constant as if it was flowing through a sieve, or as if he was turned into a watering-pot.

"'I'm a dead man,' says he, looking up in the face of his grand friends as well as he could, and kicking at the same time to get loose from them. 'I'm a dead man; and, what's worse, I'm a murdered man by the two of you.'

"'Bedad, you're anything but that,' said Sir Harry. 'You're now the greatest man in the county, for, though you fell into the pond, the horse leapt it; and I have won my bet, for which I am extremely obliged to you.'

"After shaking the water out of him, they laid him down on the grass, got a bottle of whisky, and gave him as much as he chose of it. Jem's spirits began to rise a little, and he laughed heartily when they told him he had won 500 from the English colonel. Jem got on his legs, and was beginning to walk about, when who should he see coming into the demesne but two gentlemen—one dressed like an officer, with under his arm a square mahogany box, the other with a great big horsewhip. Jem rubbed his hands with delight, for he made sure that the gentleman who carried the box was going to make Squire Kavanagh—that is, himself—some mighty fine present.

"'Kavanagh,' said Sir Harry, 'you will want some one to stand by you as a friend in this business; would you wish me to be your friend?'

"'In troth, I would,' says Jem. 'I would like you to act as a friend to me upon all occasions.'

"'Oh, that's elegant!' said Sir Harry. 'We'll now have rare sport.'

"'I'm mighty glad to hear it,' Jem replied, 'for I want a little sport after all the troubles I had.'

"'Oh, you're a brave fellow,' said Sir Harry.

"'To be sure I am,' answered Jem. 'Didn't I leap the gray horse over the big pond?'

"The gentleman with the box and whip here came up to Jem and his friends; and the whip-gentleman took off his hat, and says he, 'Might I be after asking you, is there any one of the present company Squire Kavanagh?'

"Jem did not like the looks of the gentleman, and Sir Harry M'Manus stepped before him, and said—'Yes; he is here to the fore. What is your business with him? I am acting as his friend, and I have a right to ask the question.'

"'Then, I'll tell ye what it is,' said {59} the gentleman. 'He insulted my sister at the Naas races yesterday.'

"'Faix,' says Jem, 'that's a lie! Sure, I wasn't near Naas races.'

"The word was hardly out of his mouth when he got a crack of a horsewhip across the face, that cut, he thought, his head in two. He caught hold of the gentleman, and tried to take the whip out of his hand; but, instead of the strength of Jem M'Gowan, he had only the weakness of Squire Kavanagh, and he was in an instant collared; and, in spite of all his kicking and roaring, lathered with the big whip from the top of his head to the sole of his foot. The gentleman got at last a little tired of beating him, and, flinging him away from him, said 'You and I are now quits about the lie, but you must give me satisfaction for insulting my sister.'

"'Satisfaction!' roared out Jem, as lie twisted and turned about with the pain of the beating. 'Bedad, I'll never be satisfied till every bone in your ugly body is broken.'

"'Very well,' said the gentleman. 'My friend, Captain M'Ginnis, is come prepared for this.'

"Upon that, Jem saw the square box opened that he thought was filled with a beautiful present for him; and he saw four ugly-looking pistols lying beside each other, and in one corner about two dozen of shining bran-new bullets. Jem's knees knocked together with fright when he saw Captain M'Ginnis and Sir Harry priming and loading the pistols.

"'Oh! murder, murder! this is worse than the gray horse,' he said. 'Now I am quite sure of being killed entirely.' So he caught hold of Sir Harry by the coat, and stuttered out, *Oh, then, what in the world are ye going to do with me?'

"'Do?' replied his friend; 'why, you're going to stand a shot, to be sure.'

"'The devil a shot I'll stand,' said Jem. 'I'll run away this minute.'

"'Then, by my honor and veracity, if you do,' replied Sir Harry, 'I'll stop you with a bullet. My honor is concerned in this business. You asked me to be your friend, and I'll see you go through it respectably. You must either stand your ground like a gentleman, or be shot like a dog.'

"Jem heartily wished he was no longer Squire Kavanagh; and as they dragged him up in front of the gentleman, and placed them about eight yards asunder, he thought of the quiet, easy life he led before he became a grand gentleman. He never while a laboring boy was ducked in a pond, or shot like a wild duck. But now he heard something said about 'making ready;' he saw the gentleman raise his pistol on a level with his head; he tried to lift his arm, but it stuck as fast by his side as if it was glued there. He saw the wide mouth of the wicked gentleman's pistol opened at his very eye, and looking as if it were pasted up to his face. He could even see the leaden bullet that was soon to go skelpin' through his brains! He saw the gentleman's finger on the trigger! His head turned round and round, and in an agony he cried out—'Oh, I wish I was Jem M'Gowan back again!'

"'Jem, you'll lose half your day's work,' said Ned Maguire, who was laboring in the same field with him. 'There you've been sleeping ever since your dinner, while Squire Kavanagh, that you are always talking about, was shot a few minutes ago in a duel that he fought with some strange gentleman in his own demesne.'

"'Oh," said Jem, as soon as he found that he really wasn't shot, 'I wouldn't for the wealth of the world be a gentleman. Better to labor all day than spend half an hour in the grandest of company. Faix, I've had enough and to spare of grand company and being a gentleman since I have gone to sleep here in the potato-field; and Squire Kavanagh, if he only knew it, had much more reason, poor man, to wish he was Jem M'Gowan than I had to wish I was Squire Kavanagh.'


"And ever after that, Pat," concluded the old lady, "Jem M'Gowan went about his work like a man, instead of wasting his time in nonsensical wishings."

"Thankee, granny," yawned Pat M'Gowan, as he shuffled off to bed. "After that long story, I don't think I'll ever wish to be a lord again."

From Chambers's Journal.


The tunnel through the Alps at present being pierced to connect the railway system of France and Italy, has acquired the title of the "Mont Cenis Tunnel;" but its real position and direction have very little in common with that well-known Alpine pass. On examining a chart of the district which has been selected for this important undertaking, we shall observe that the main chain of the Cottian Alps extends in a direction very nearly East and West, and that this portion of it is bounded on either side by two roughly parallel valleys. On the North we have the valley of the Arc, and on the South the valley of the Dora Ripari, or, more strictly speaking, the valley of Rochemolles, a branch of the Dora. The Arc, flowing from East to West, descends from Lanslebourg to Modane, and from thence, after joining the Isere, empties itself into the Rhone above Valence. The torrent Rochemolles, on the other hand, flowing from West to East, unites itself with the Dora Ripari at Oulx, descends through a narrow and winding valley to Susa, and thence along the plain to Turin. The postal road, leaving St. Michel, mounts the valley of the Arc as far as Lanslebourg, then turns suddenly to the South, passes the heights of the Mont Cenis, and reaches Susa by a very steep descent. On mounting the valley of the Arc, and stopping about eighteen miles West of Mont Cenis, and a mile and a half below the Alpine village of Modane, we arrive at a place called Fourneaux. Here, at about three hundred feet above the level of the main road, is the Northern entrance of the tunnel; the Southern entrance is at the picturesque village of Bardonnêche, situated at about twenty miles West of Susa, in the valley of Rochemolles.

The considerations which decided the Italian engineers upon selecting this position for the contemplated tunnel, were principally the following: first, it was the shortest route that could be found; secondly, the difference of level between the two extremities was not too great; and, thirdly, the construction of the connecting lines of railway—on the North, from St. Michel to Fourneaux, and on the South, from Susa to Bardonnêche were, as mountain railways go, practicable, if not easy. The idea of a tunnel through the Alps had long occupied the minds of engineers and of statesmen both in France and Italy; but it is to the latter country that we must give the credit of having worked the idea into a practical shape, and of having inaugurated one of the most stupendous works ever undertaken by any people. To pierce a tunnel seven and a half English miles long, by ordinary means, through a hard rock, in a position where vertical shafts were impossible, would be an exceedingly difficult, if not, in a practical point of view, an impossible undertaking, not only on account of the difficulties of ventilation, but also on account of the immense time and consequent expense which it would entail. It was evident, {61} then, that if the project of a tunnel through the Alps was ever to be realized, some extraordinary and completely new system of mining must be adopted, by means of which not only a rapid and perfect system of ventilation could be insured, enabling the miners to resume, without danger, their labors immediately after an explosion, but which would treble, or at least double, the amount of work usually performed in any given time by the system hitherto adopted in tunnelling through hard rock. To three Piedmontese engineers, Messrs. Grandis, Grattoni, and Sommeiller, is due the merit of having solved this most difficult problem; for whether the opening of the Alpine tunnel take place in ten or twenty years, its ultimate success is now completely assured.

A short review of the history of this undertaking, and a summary of the progress made, together with a description of the works as they are conducted at the present time, derived from personal observation, cannot fail to be interesting to English readers.

Early in 1857, at St. Pier d'Arena, near Genoa, a series of experiments was undertaken before a select government commission, to examine into the practicability of a project for a mechanical perforating-engine, proposed by Messrs. Grandis, Grattoni, and Sommeiller, for the more rapid tunnelling through hard rock, and with a view to its employment in driving the proposed shaft through the Alps. This machine was to be worked by means of air, highly compressed by hydraulic or other economical means; which compressed air, after performing its work in the perforating or boring machines, would be an available and powerful source of ventilation in the tunnel. These experiments placed so completely beyond any doubt the practicability of the proposed system, that, so soon as August of the same year, the law permitting the construction of the tunnel was promulgated.

At this time, absolutely nothing had been prepared, with the exception of a very general project presented by the proposers, and the model of the machinery with which the experiments had been made before the government commission; we cannot, therefore, be much surprised on finding that some considerable time elapsed before the new machinery came into successful operation, the more particularly when we consider the entire novelty of the system, and the unusual difficulties naturally attending the first starting of such large works, in districts so wild and uncongenial as those of Fourneaux and Bardonnêche. Fourneaux was but a collection of mountain-huts, containing about four hundred inhabitants, entirely deprived of every means of supporting the wants of any increase of population, and where outside-work could not be carried on for more than six months in the year, owing to its ungenial climate. Nor was the case very different at Bardonnêche, a small Alpine village, situated at more than thirteen hundred metres (4,225 feet) above the level of the sea, and populated by about one thousand inhabitants, who lived upon the produce of their small patches of earth, and the rearing of sheep and goats, and with their only road of communication with the outer world in a most wretched and deplorable condition. Under these circumstances, we can imagine that the task of bringing together large numbers of workmen, and their competent directing staff, must have been by no means easy; and that the first work of the direction, although of a nature really most arduous and tedious (requiring, above all, time and patience), was also of a nature that could scarcely render its effects very apparent to the world at large for some considerable time. Again, it was necessary in this time to make the detailed studies not only of the tunnel itself, but of the compressing and perforating machinery on the large scale proposed to be used. This machinery had to be made and transported through a country abounding in difficulties. Then, as might be {62} expected, actual trials showed serious defects in the new machines for the compression of air; and, in perfecting the mechanical perforators, unexpected difficulties were encountered, which often threatened to prove insurmountable. The total inexperience and unskilfulness of the workmen, and the necessity of giving to them the most tedious instruction; accidents of most disheartening and discouraging kinds—all tended to delay the successful application of the new system.

The first important work to be undertaken was the tracing or setting out of the centre line of the proposed tunnel. It was necessary first to fix on the summit of the mountain a number of points, in a direct line, which should pass through the two points chosen, or rather necessitated by the conditions of the locality, for the two ends of the tunnel in the respective valleys of the Arc and of Rochemolles; secondly, to determine the exact distance between these two ends; and thirdly, to know the precise difference of level between the same points. These operations commenced toward the end of August, 1857. Starting from the Northern entrance at Fourneaux, a line was set out roughly in the direction of Bardonnêche, which line was found to cut the valley of Rochemolles at a point considerably above the proposed Southern entrance of the tunnel. On measuring this distance, however, a second and corrected line could be traced, which was found to be very nearly correct. Correcting this second line in the same manner, always departing from the North end, a third line was found to pass exactly through the two proposed and given points. The highest point of this line was found to be very nearly at an equal distance from each end of the tunnel, and at but a short distance below the true summit of the mountain-point, called the "Grand Vallon." The line thus approximately determined, it was necessary to fix definitely and exactly three principal stations or observatories—one on the highest or culminating point of the mountain, perpendicularly over the axis of the tunnel; and the other two in a line with each entrance, in such a manner that, from the centre observatory, both the others could be observed. At the Southern end, owing to the convenient conformation of the mountain, the observatory could be established at a point not very far from the mouth of the tunnel; but toward the North, several projecting points or counterforts on the mountain necessitated the carrying of the Northern observatory to a very considerable distance beyond the entrance of the gallery—not, however, so far as not to be discerned clearly and distinctly, and without oscillation, by the very powerful and excellent instrument employed. These three points permanently established, remain as a check for those intervening, and serve as the base of the operations for the periodical testing of the accuracy of the line of excavation.

The first rough tracing out of the line was completed before the winter of the year 1857, and it was considered sufficiently correct to permit the commencement of the tunnel at each end by the ordinary means—manual labor. In the autumn of 1858, the corrected line was traced, and the observatories definitely fixed, and all other necessary geodetic operations completed. Contemporaneously was undertaken a careful levelling between the two ends, taken along the narrow path of the Colle di Frejus, and bench-marks were established at intervals along the whole line. All the data necessary for an exact profile of the work were now obtained. The exact length of the future tunnel was found to be twelve thousand two hundred and twenty metres, or about seven and a half English miles; and the difference of level between the two mouths was ascertained to be two hundred and forty metres, or seven hundred and eighty feet, the Southern or Bardonnêche end being the highest. Under these circumstances, it would have been easy to have established a {63} single gradient from Bardonnêche down to Fourneaux of about two centimètres per mètre—that is, of about one in fifty. But a little reflection will show, that in working both ends of the gallery at once, in order to effect the proper drainage of the tunnel, it would be necessary to establish two gradients, each inclining toward the respective mouths, and meeting in some point in the middle. This, in fact, has been done, and the two hundred and forty metres' difference of level has been distributed in the following manner: From Bardonnêche, the gradient mounts at the rate of 0.50 per one thousand mètres—that is, one in two thousand as far as the middle of the gallery; here it descends toward Fourneaux with a gradient of 22.20 mètres per one thousand, or about one in forty-five. The highest point of the Grand Vallon perpendicularly over the axis of the tunnel is 1615.8 mètres, or 5251.31 feet.

The difficulties encountered in the carrying out of these various geodetic operations can scarcely be exaggerated. It is true that nothing is more easy than to picket out a straight line on the ground, or to measure an angle correctly with a theodolite; but if we consider the aspect of the locality in which these operations had to be conducted, repeated over and over again, and tested in every available manner with the most minute accuracy, we shall be quite ready to accord our share of praise and admiration to the perseverance which successfully carried out the undertaking. In these regions, the sun, fogs, snow, and terrific winds succeed each other with truly marvellous rapidity, the distant points become obscured by clouds, perhaps at the very moment when an important sight is to be taken, causing most vexatious delays, and often necessitating a recommencement of the whole operation. These delays may in some cases extend for days, and even weeks. To these inconveniences add the necessity of mounting and descending daily with delicate instruments from three thousand to four thousand feet over rocks and rugged mountain-paths, the time occupied in sending from one point to another, and the difficulty of planting pickets on elevated positions often almost inaccessible. All these inconveniences considered, and we must admit the unusual difficulties of a series of operations which, under other circumstances, would have offered nothing peculiarly remarkable.

As has already been pointed out, the excavation of the gallery at both ends had already been in operation, by ordinary means, since the latter part of the year 1857; this work continued without interruption until the machinery was ready; and the progress made in that time affords a valuable standard by which to measure the effect of the new machinery. In the interval between the end of 1857 and that to which we have now arrived, namely, the end of 1858, many important works had been pushed forward. At Bardonnêche, the communications had been opened, and bridges and roads constructed for facilitating the transport of the heavy machinery. Houses for the accommodation of the workmen had been rapidly springing up, together with the vast edifices for the various magazines and offices. The canal, more than a mile and a half in length, for conveying water to the air-compressing machines, was constructed, and the little Alpine village had become the centre of life and activity. At Fourneaux, works of a similar character had been put in motion; only here the transport of the water for the compressors was more costly and difficult, the water being at a low level. At first, a current derived from the Arc was used to raise water to the required height, but afterward it was found necessary to establish powerful forcing-pumps, new in their details, which are worked by huge water-wheels driven by the Arc itself. Early in the month of June, 1859, the first erection of the compressing machinery was commenced at Bardonnêche. The badness of the season, however, and {64} the Italian campaign of this year, delayed the rapid progress, and even caused a temporary suspension of this work. The results obtained by the experiments which had previously been made on a small scale at St. Pier d'Arena, failed completely in supplying the data necessary to insure a practical success to the first applications of the new system; numberless modifications, both in the compressing-engines and in the perforating-machines, were found necessary; and several months were consumed in experimenting with, modifying, and improving the huge machinery; so that it was not before the 10th of November, 1860, that five compressors were successfully and satisfactorily at work. On the 12th, however, two of the large conducting-pipes burst, and caused a considerable amount of damage, without causing, however, any loss of life. This accident revealed one or two very serious defects in the manner of working the valves of the engine; and in order to provide against the possibility of future accidents of the same nature, further most extensive modifications were undertaken.

By the beginning of January, 1861, the five compressors were again at work; and on the 12th of this month the boring-engine was introduced for the first time into the tunnel. Very little useful result was, however, obtained for a long and anxious period, beyond continually exposing defects and imperfections in the perforators. The pipes conducting the compressed air from the compressing-machines to the gallery gave at first continued trouble and annoyance; soon, however, a very perfect system of joints was established, and this source of difficulty was completely removed. After much labor and patience, and little by little, the perforating-machines became improved and perfected, as is always the case in any perfectly new mechanical contrivance having any great assemblage of parts. Actual practice forced into daylight those numberless little defects which theory only too easily overlooks; but there was no lack of perseverance and ingenuity on the part of the directing engineers; one by one the obstacles were met, encountered, and eventually overcome, and the machines at last arrived at the state of precision and perfection at which they may be seen to-day. About the month of May, 1861, the work was suspended for about a month, in consequence of a derangement in the canal supplying water to the compressors; and it was considered necessary to construct a large reservoir on the flank of the mountain, to act as a deposit for the impurities contained in the water, and which often caused serious inconvenience in the compressors. In the whole of the first year 1861, the number of working days was two hundred and nine, and the advance made was but one hundred and seventy metres (five hundred and fifty feet), or about eighteen inches per day of twenty-four hours, an amount less than might have been done by manual labor in the same time. In the year 1862, however, in the three hundred and twenty-five days of actual work, the advance made was raised to three hundred and eighty metres (one thousand two hundred and thirty-five feet), giving a mean advance of 1.17 metres, or about three feet nine inches per day. In the year 1863, the length done (always referring to the South or Bardonnêche side) was raised to above four hundred metres; and no doubt this year a still greater progress will have been made.

At the Fourneaux or Northern end of the tunnel—owing to increased difficulties peculiar to the locality—the perforation of the gallery was much delayed. A totally different system of mechanism for the compression of air was necessitated; and it was not before the 25th of January, 1863, that the boring-machine was in successful operation on this side, or two years later than at Bardonnêche. The experience, however, gained at this latter place, and the transfer of a few skilful workmen, soon raised the advance {65} made per day to an amount equivalent to that effected at the Southern entrance. Thus, on the South side (omitting the first year, 1861) since the beginning of 1862, and on the North side since the beginning of 1863, the new system of mechanical tunnelling may be said to have been in regular and successful operation.

In the beginning of September of this year were completed in all three thousand five hundred and seventy metres of gallery. From this we deduct sixteen hundred metres done by manual labor, leaving, for the work done by the machines, a length of nineteen hundred and seventy metres. From this we can make a further deduction of the one hundred and seventy metres executed in the first year of experiment and trial at Bardonnêche, so that we have eighteen hundred metres in length excavated by the machines in a time dating from the beginning of 1862 at the South end, and from the beginning of 1863 at the North end of the tunnel. Thus, up to the month of September, 1864, we have in all four years and six months; and eighteen hundred metres divided by 4.5 gives us four hundred metres as the rate of progress per year at each side, or in total, eight hundred metres per year. Basing our calculation, then, on this rate, we find that the eight thousand six hundred and fifty metres yet to be excavated will require about ten and a half more years; so that we may look forward to the opening of the Mont Cenis tunnel at about the year 1875. The directing engineers, who have given good proof of competency and skill, are, however, of opinion that this period may be considerably reduced, unless some totally unlooked-for obstacles are met with in the interior of the mountain. As has been indicated above, sixteen hundred metres in length of the tunnel was completed by manual labor before the introduction of the mechanical boring-engines, in a period of five years at the North and three years at the South side, equal to four years at each end; and eight hundred metres in four years gives us two hundred metres per year, or just one-half excavated by the machine in the same period.

In using the machines, up to the present time, a perfect ventilation of the tunnel has been secured by the compressed air escaping from the exhaust of the boring-engines; or by jets of air expressly impinged into the lower end of the gallery to clear out rapidly the smoke and vapor formed by the explosion of the mine. It should be remembered, moreover, that in working a gallery of this kind, where vertical shafts are impossible, by manual labor, a powerful and costly air-compressing apparatus would have been necessary for the ventilation of the tunnel alone, so that the economy of the system, as applied at the Mont Cenis over the general system of tunnelling in hard rock, is evident. I propose, in the second portion of this article, to give a short description of the machinery employed and the system of working adopted, both at the South and North ends of the Mont Cenis gallery.


Travellers who are given to pedestrian exercises may easily visit the works being carried on for the perforation of the tunnel through the Alps, both at Bardonnêche and at Modane, passing from one mouth of the tunnel to the other by the Colle di Frejus; and in fine weather, the tourist would not repent the eight hours spent in walking from Bardonnêche to Susa—a distance of about twenty-five miles. The road descends the valley of the Dora Ripari, and abounds in beautiful scenery. The railway to be constructed along this narrow defile will be found to tax the skill of the engineer as much as any road yet attempted. Its total length, from the terminus at Susa to the mouth of the Mont Cenis tunnel, will be forty kilometres, {66} or about twenty-four miles; and the difference of level between these two points is about two thousand five hundred feet, the line having a maximum gradient of one in forty, and a minimum of one in eighty-four. There will be three tunnels of importance, having a total length of about ten thousand feet; three others of lesser dimensions, having a total length of five thousand five hundred feet; and twelve other small tunnels, of lengths varying from two hundred and twenty to eight hundred and fifty feet, their total length being five thousand four hundred feet. Thus, the total length of tunnel on these twenty-four miles of railway will be nearly twenty-one thousand feet, or about four miles—just one-sixth of the whole line. There will also be several examples of bridges and retaining walls of unusual dimensions.

The works being carried on at Bardonnêche are on a larger scale than at Modane; so we will, with our readers' permission, suppose ourselves arrived in company at the former place, and the first point which we will visit together will be the large house containing the air-compressing machinery. Before entering, however, we will throw a glance at the exterior of the building. We find before us, as it were, two houses, in a direct line one with the other—one situated at the foot of a steep ascent; and the other at about seventy or eighty feet above it, on the side of the mountain. These two houses are, however, but one, being joined by ten rows of inclined arch-work. Along the summit of each row of arches is a large iron pipe, more than a foot in diameter. These ten pipes, inclined at an angle of about forty-five degrees, come out of the side of the upper house, and enter the side of the lower house, and serve to conduct the water from the large reservoir above to the air-compressing machinery, which is arranged in the house below, exerting in this machinery the pressure of a column of water eighty-four feet six inches in height. On entering the compression-room, we have before us ten compressing-machines, precisely the same in all their parts—five on the right hand, and five on the left, forming, as it were, two groups of five each. In the centre of these two groups are two machines, in every respect like a couple of small steam-engines, only they are worked by compressed air instead of steam, and which we will call aereomotori. Each of these aereomotori imparts a rotary motion to a horizontal axis extending along the whole length of the room, and on which are a series of cams, which regulate the movements of the valves of the great compressors. This axis we will call the "main shaft." One group of five compressors is totally independent of the other, and has its aereomotore with its main shaft; but still, with one single aereomotore, by means of a simple connecting apparatus, it is possible to work one or the other group separately, or both together; also, any number of the ten compressors can be disconnected for repairs without affecting the action of the rest, or may be injured without conveying any injury to the others. In front of each of the ten compressors are placed cylindrical recipients, in every respect like large steam-boilers, except that they have no fire-grate or flues, each having a capacity of seventeen cubic metres, or five hundred and eighty-three cubic feet. These recipients are put into communication one with the other by means of a tube similar to a steam-pipe connecting a series of steam-boilers; and each connection is furnished with a stop-valve, so that any one recipient can be isolated from the rest.

Let us now examine the end and action of this machinery. As the aereomotori which work the valves of the machines for forcing air into the recipients are themselves worked by compressed air coming from the recipients, it is evident that before we can put the compressing-machines in motion, we must have already some supply of compressed air in the {67} cylindrical vessels. This supply of air, compressed to a pressure of six atmospheres, is obtained in the following manner: Each group of five recipients, filled with air at the ordinary atmospheric pressure, is put in communication with a large pipe which enters into a cistern placed in the side of the mountain at about one hundred and sixty-two feet above the floor of the compressing-room. The first operation, then, is to open the equilibrium valves placed at the bottom of the two pipes (one from each group of recipients); water then rushes into the vessels, compressing the ordinary air therein contained to about a pressure of six atmospheres. A communication is now opened between this compressed air and the cylinders of the aereomotori, which commence their action precisely as a steam-engine would do on the admission of steam; a rotary motion is given to the main shaft; and the equilibrium valves, placed in chambers at the bottom of each of the ten pipes coming from the cistern of water placed in the house above, are opened. We will observe the operation in one of the ten lines of action, as it were, consisting of the pipe conducting the water from the cistern, the compressing-machine, and the cylindrical recipient. The equilibrium valve at the bottom of the pipe being opened in the manner above explained, the water, with its head of eighty-four feet six inches, rushes past it, along a short length of horizontal pipe (in which is an exhaust valve, now closed), and begins to mount a vertical column or tube of cast-iron about ten feet high and two feet in diameter: the air in this column undergoes compression until it has reached a pressure sufficient to force open a valve in a pipe issuing from the summit of the tube, and connecting it with the recipient. This valve being already weighted with the pressure of the air compressed to six atmospheres by the means previously explained, a certain quantity of air is thus forced into the vessel; at this moment, another revolution of the main shaft causes the equilibrium valve at the bottom of the conducting-pipe to be shut, and at the same time opens the exhaust valve at the foot of the vertical column. The head of water being now cut off, and the exhaust open, the water in the vertical column begins to sink by its own gravity, leaving a vacuum behind it, if it were not for a small clack-valve opening inward in the upper part of the compressing column, which opens by the external pressure of the air, so that by the time all the water has passed out of the exhaust valve, the compressor is again full of atmospheric air; the valve in connection with the recipient being closed by the compressed air imprisoned in the vessel. The aereomotori continue their motion, another revolution of the main shaft shuts the exhaust and opens the equilibrium or admission valve; the column of water is again permitted to act, and the same action is repeated, more air being forced into the recipient at each round or pulsation of the machine. Now, supposing no consumption of the compressed air to take place beyond that used for driving the aereomotori, it seems evident that the water in the vessels would be gradually forced out, owing to the growing pressure of the air inside, above the pressure of the column of water coming from the higher cistern; but the communication with this higher cistern is always kept open, the column of water acting, in fact, as a sort of moderator or governor to the compressing-machine, rising or falling according to the consumption of the compressed air, and always insuring that there shall be a pressure of six atmospheres acting against the valve at the summit of the vertical column. A water-tube placed on the outside of each group of recipients, with a graduated scale marked on it, indicates at a glance the consumption of air. If the perforating-machines in the tunnel cease working, the pressure augments in the recipients, and the water in them falls until an equilibrium is established, {68} between the pressure of the column of water and the force of the compressors, until, in fact, these work without being able to lift the valve at the summit of the vertical compressing column. On the other hand, if more air than usual be used for ventilating the tunnel, or by an accidental leakage in the conducting-pipes, the water rises rapidly in the recipients, and consequently in the water-gauge outside, and in thus creating an equilibrium, indicates the state of things. By this means a continual compensation of pressure is kept up, which prevents any shock on the valves, and causes the machine to work with the regularity and uniformity of a steam-engine provided with a governor. In every turn of the main shaft, a complete circle of effects take place in the compressors; and experience has shown that three turns a minute of the shaft—that is, three pulsations of the compressing-machine per minute—are sufficient. It will thus be seen that a column of water, having the great velocity due to a head of eighty-four feet six inches, acts upon a column of air contained in a vertical tube; the effect of this velocity being to inject, as it were, a certain quantity of air into a recipient at each upward stroke of the column, and at each downward stroke drawing in after it an equivalent quantity of atmospheric air as a fresh supply. The ten recipients charged with air compressed to six atmospheres (ninety pounds on the square inch) in the manner above explained, serve as a reservoir of the force required for working the boring-engines in the tunnel, and for ventilating and purifying the gallery. The air is conducted in pipes about eight inches in diameter, having a thickness of metal of about three-eighths of an inch. Much doubt had previously been expressed as to the possibility of conveying compressed air to great distances without a very great and serious loss of power. The experience gained, however, at the Mont Cenis has shown that, conveyed to a distance of thirteen English miles, the loss would be but one-tenth of the original force; and that the actual measured loss of power in a distance of six thousand five hundred feet, a little more than a mile and a quarter, was less than 1-127th of the original pressure in the recipients.

The mouth of the tunnel is but a few hundred yards from the air-compressing house—we will now proceed thither. For nearly a mile in length the gallery is completed and lined with masonry. At the first view, we are struck with the bold outline of its section and its ample dimensions. Excepting, perhaps, the passage of an occasional railway-truck, laden with pieces of rock and rubbish, we find nothing to remind us of the numbers of busy workmen and of the powerful machines which are laboring in the tunnel. All is perfectly quiet and solitary. Looking around us as we traverse this first and completed portion, we observe nothing very different from an ordinary railway-tunnel, with the exception of the great iron pipe which conveys the compressed air, and is attached to the side of the wall. At the end of about a quarter of an hour we begin to hear sounds of activity, and little lights flickering in the distance indicate that we are approaching the scene of operations. In a few moments we reach the second division of the tunnel, or that part which is being enlarged from the comparatively small section made by the perforating-machine to its full dimensions, previously to being lined with masonry. In those portions where the workmen are engaged in the somewhat dangerous operation of detaching large blocks of stone from the roof, the tunnel is protected by a ceiling of massive beams, under which the visitor passes—not, however, without hurrying his pace and experiencing a feeling of satisfaction when the distance is completed. Gradually leaving behind us the bee-like crowd of busy miners, with the eternal ring of their boring-bars against the hard rock, we find the excavated gallery {69} getting smaller and smaller, and the difficulties of picking our way increasing at every step; the sounds behind us get fainter and fainter, and in a short time we are again in the midst of a profound solitude.

The little gallery in which we are now stumbling our way over blocks of stone and rubbish, only varied by long tracts of thick slush and pools of water, is the section excavated by the boring-machine—in dimension about twelve feet broad by eight feet high. The tramway which has accompanied us all the way is still continued along this small section. In the middle portion underneath the rails is the canal, inclined toward the mouth of the tunnel, for carrying off the water; and in this canal are now collected the pipes for conveying the compressed air to the machines, and the gas for illuminating the gallery. At the end of a few minutes, a rattling, jingling sound indicates that we are near the end of our excursion, and that we are approaching the perforating-machines. On arriving, we find that nearly the whole of the little gallery is taken up by the engine, the frame of which, mounted upon wheels, rests upon the main tramway, so that the whole can be moved backward or forward as necessary. On examining the arrangement a little closely, we find that in reality we have before us nine or ten perforators, completely independent of one another, all mounted on one frame, and each capable of movement in any direction. Attached to every one of them are two flexible tubes, one for conveying the compressed air, and the other the water which is injected at every blow or stroke of the tool into the hole, for the purpose of clearing out the debris and for cooling the point of the "jumper." In front, directed against the rock, are nine or ten tubes (according to the number of perforators), very similar in appearance to large gun-barrels, out of which are discharged with great rapidity an equal number of boring-bars or jumpers. Motion is given to these jumpers by the direct admission of a blast of compressed air behind them, the return stroke being effected by a somewhat slighter pressure of air than was used to drive them forward. We will suppose the machine brought up for the commencement of an attack. The points most convenient for the boring of the holes having been selected, the nine or ten perforators, as the case may be, are carefully adjusted in front of them. The compressed air is then admitted, and the boring of the holes commences. On an average, at the end of about three-quarters of an hour, the nine or ten holes are pierced to a depth of two feet to two feet six inches. Another ten holes are then commenced, and so on, until about eighty holes are pierced. The greater number of these holes are driven toward the centre of the point of attack, and the rest round the perimeter. The driving of these eighty holes to an average depth of two feet three inches, is usually completed in about seven hours, and the second operation is then commenced.

The flexible tubes conveying the compressed air and the water are detached from the machines, and placed in security in the covered canal. The perforating-machine, mounted on its frame or truck, is drawn back on the tramway behind two massive folding-doors of wood. Miners then advance and charge the holes in the centre with powder, and adjust the matches; fire is given, and the miners retire behind the folding-doors, which are closed. The explosion opens a breach in the centre part of the front of attack. Powerful jets of compressed air are now injected, to clear off the smoke formed by the powder. As soon as the gallery is clear, the other holes in the perimeter are charged and fired, and more air is injected. Then comes the third operation. Gangs of workmen advance and clear away the debris and blocks of stone detached by the explosion of the mine, in little wagons running on a pair of rails placed by the side of the main tramway. This done, the main line is {70} prolonged to the requisite distance, and the perforating engine is again brought forward for a fresh attack. Thus, we have three distinct operations—first, the mechanical perforation of the holes; secondly, the charging and explosion of the mine; and thirdly, the clearing away of the debris. By careful registers kept since the commencement of the work, it is found that the mean duration of each successive operation is as follows: for the perforation of the holes, seven hours thirty-nine minutes; for the charging and explosion of the mine, three hours twenty-nine minutes; for the clearing away of the debris, two hours thirty-three minutes; or, in all, nearly fourteen hours. Occasionally, however, the three operations may be completed in ten hours, all depending upon the hardness of the rock. It has been found practically more expeditious to make two series of operations in twenty-four hours.

Whatever may be the nature of the rock, if it is very hard, the depth of the holes is reduced; that is, the perforation is only continued for a certain given time—about six and a half hours—which, for the eighty holes with ten perforaters, gives us about three-quarters of an hour for each hole. The rock is generally of calcareous schist, crystallized, and exceedingly hard, traversed by thick veins of quartz, which often break the points of the boring-tools after a few blows. Each jumper gives about three blows per second, and makes one-eighteenth of a revolution on its axis at each blow, or one complete revolution every six seconds. Thus, in the three-quarters of an hour necessary to drive a single hole to the depth of twenty-seven inches, we have four hundred and fifty revolutions of the bar, and eighteen hundred violent blows given by the point against the hard rock, and that under an impulse of about one hundred and eighty pounds. These figures will give us some idea of the wear and tear of the perforating-machines. It is calculated that on an average one perforating-machine is worn out for every six metres of gallery, so that more than two thousand will be consumed before the completion of the tunnel. The total length completed at the Bardonnêche side at the present time is just two thousand three hundred metres, or nearly a mile and a half.

At the north or Modane end, the mechanical perforators are precisely the same as at Bardonnêche, as also is the system of working in the gallery. The machinery for the compression of air, however, is very different, more simple, and in every way an improvement upon that at the South end. Not finding any convenient means of obtaining a head of eighty-four feet of water sufficient in quantity for working a series of compressors, as at Bardonnêche, there has been established at Modane a system of direct compression, the necessary force for which is derived from the current of the Arc. Six large water-wheels moved by this current give a reciprocating motion to a piston contained in a large horizontal cylinder of cast iron. This piston, having a column of water on each side of it, raises and lowers alternately these two columns, in two vertical tubes about ten feet high, compressing the air in each tube alternately, and forcing a certain quantity, at each upward stroke of the water, to enter into a cylindrical recipient. There is very little loss of water in this machine, which in its action is very like a large double-barreled common air-pump. It is a question open to science whether the employment of compressed air for driving the perforating engines in a work such as is in operation at the Mont Cenis, could not be advantageously and economically exchanged for the employment of a direct hydraulic motive force, the ventilation of the tunnel being provided for by other means. The system, however, employed at Modane has many advantages, which it is impossible to overlook, and its complete success has given a marked and decided impulse to the modern science of tunnelling through hard rock.


Translated from the Civiltà Cattolica.



The generation of a human creature takes place neither by the development of a being which is found in the germ, sketched as it were like a miniature, nor by a sudden formation or an instantaneous transition from potential to actual existence. It is effected by the true production of a new being, which pre-exists only virtually in the activity of the germ communicated by the conceiver, and the successive transformation of the potential subject.

This truth, an a priori postulate of philosophy, and demonstrated by physiology a posteriori, was illustrated by us in a preceding article. Here we must discard an error which has sprung from this truth. For there have been materialists who maintained that there was but one type in the whole animal kingdom, that is, man, as he unites in himself in the highest possible degree perfection of organism and delicacy of feelings; and that all the species of inferior animals were so many stages in the development of that most perfect type. This opinion is thus expressed by Milne-Edwards in his highly esteemed lectures on the Physiology and Comparative Anatomy of Man and Animals:

"Every organized being undergoes in its development deep and various modifications. The character of the anatomical structure, no less than its vital faculties, changes as it passes from the state of embryo to that of a perfect animal in its own species. Now all the animals which are derived from the same type move during a certain time in the same embryonic road, and resemble each other in that process of organization during a certain period of time, the longer as their zoological relationship is closer; afterward they deviate from the common road and each acquires the properties belonging to it. Those that are to have a more perfect structure proceed further than those whose organization is completed at less cost. It results from this that the transitory or embryonic state of a superior animal resembles, in a more or less wonderful manner, the permanent state of another animal lower in the same zoological series. Some authors have thought right to conclude from this that the diversity of species proceeds from a series of stages of this kind taking place at different degrees of the embryonic development; and these writers, falling into the exaggerations to which imitators are especially liable, have held that every superior animal, in order to reach its definitive form, must pass through the series of the proper forms of animals which are its inferiors in the zoological hierarchy; so that man, for instance, before he is born, is at first a kind of worm, then a mollusk, then a fish, or something like it, before he can assume the characters belonging to his species. An eminent professor has recently expressed these views in a concise form, saying that the embryology of the most perfect being is a comparative transitory anatomy, and that the anatomic table of the whole animal kingdom is a fixed and permanent representation of the movable aspect of human organogeny."

Thus, according to this opinion, man is the only type of animal life; and every inferior species is but an imitation, more or less perfect, of the same; an inchoation stopped in its course at a greater or shorter distance from the term to which the work of nature tends in its organization of the human embryo. In short, an {72} entoma in difetto, to use the language of Dante.

The doctrine is not new in the scientific world. It was proclaimed in the last century by Robinet, who held that all inferior beings are but so many proofs or sketches upon which nature practises in order to learn how to form man. In the beginning of the present century Lamarck, in Germany, following Kielmayer, reproduced the same theory. According to him all the species of animals inferior to man are but so many lower steps at which the human embryo stops in its gradual development. Man, on the contrary, is the last term reached by nature after she has travelled all through the zoological scale, to fit herself for that work. About the same time the celebrated naturalist, Stephen Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, began to disseminate in France analogous ideas under the name of stages of development (arrêt de devéloppement); and these ideas, exaggerated by some of his disciples, amounted in their minds to the same doctrine of Lamarck, just alluded to. Among them Professor Serres holds the first rank, and it is to him that Milne-Edwards alludes in the passage just cited. He expresses himself thus:

"Human organogeny is a comparative transitory anatomy, as comparative anatomy is the fixed and permanent state of the organogeny of man; and, on the contrary, if we reverse the proposition, or method of investigation, and study animal life from the lowest to the highest, instead of considering it from the highest to the lowest, we shall see that the organisms of the series reproduce incessantly those of the embryos, and fix themselves in that state which for animals becomes the term of their development. The long series of changes of form presented by the same organism in comparative anatomy is but the reproduction of the numerous series of transformations to which this organism is subjected in the embryo in the course of its development. In the embryo the passage is rapid, in virtue of the power of the life which animates it; in the animal the life of the organism is exhausted, and it stops there, because it is not permitted to follow the course traced for the human embryo. Distinct stages on the one hand, progressive advance on the other, here is the secret of development, the fundamental difference which the human mind can perceive between comparative anatomy and organogeny. The animal series thus considered in its organisms is but a long chain of embryos which succeed each other gradually and at intervals, reaching at last man, who thus finds his physical development in comparative organogeny."

Thus speaks Serres. And in another place:

"The whole animal kingdom appears only like one animal in the course of formation in the different organisms. It stops here sooner, there later, and thus at the time of each interruption determines, by the state in which it then is, the distinctive and organized characters of classes, families, genera, and species."



The futility of the above doctrine is manifest, in the first place, from the weakness of the foundation on which it rests. That foundation is no other than a kind of likeness which appears at first sight between the rudimental forms which, in the first steps of its development, are assumed by the human embryo, and the forms of some inferior animals. For the germ, by the very reason that it has not, as it was once believed, all the organism of the human body in microscopic proportions, but in order to acquire it must pass from potential to actual existence—by that very reason, is {73} subjected to continual metamorphoses, that is, to successive transformations, which give it different aspects, from that of a little disc to the perfect human figure. Now, it is clear that, in this gradual transition from the mere power to the act of perfect organization, a kind of analogy or likeness to some of the numberless forms of inferior organizations of the animal kingdom may, and must, be found in its intermediate and incomplete state.

But, evidently, between analogy and identity there is an immense difference; and the fact of there being an analogy with some of those forms, gives us no right to infer that there is one with all. Hence this theory is justly despised by the most celebrated naturalists as the whim of an extravagant fancy.

"According to Lamarck," says Frédault, in speaking of this, theory, "all the animals are but inferior grades at which the human germ stopped in its development, and man is but the result of the last efforts of a nature which has passed successively through the grades of its novitiate, and has arrived at the last term of its perfection. Presented in this view, the doctrine of epigenesis raised against itself the most simple and scientific common sense, as being manifestly erroneous. Numerous works on the development of the germ have demonstrated that appearances were taken for realities, and that imagination had created a real romance. It has been proved that if, at certain epochs of its development, the human germ has a distant resemblance either to a worm or a reptile, such resemblance is very remote, and that on this point we must believe as much as we would believe of the assertion of a man who, looking at the clouds, should say that he could discover the palaces and gardens of Armida, with horsemen and armies, and all that a heated imagination might fancy."

However, laying aside all that, the opinion which we are now examining originates, with those who uphold it, in a total absence of philosophical conceptions. That strange idea of the unity of type and of its stages, in order to establish the forms of inferior animals, would never have risen in the mind of any one who had duly considered the immutability of essences and the reason of the formation of a thing. The act of making differs from the thing made only as the means differs from the end. Both belong to the same order—one implies movement, the other rest. Their difference lies only in this: that what in the term is unfolded and complete, in its progress toward the term is found to be only sketched out, and having a tendency to formation. Hence it follows that, whatever the point of view from which we consider the embryo of each animal, it is nothing else but the total organism of the same in the course of formation; and, therefore, it differs as substantially from every other organism as the term itself toward which it proceeds. And what we affirm of the whole organism must be said of each of its parts, which are essentially related to the whole and follow the nature of the whole. The first rudiments, for instance, of the hands of man could not properly be compared to the wings of a bird. As they are hands after being made, so they are hands in the process of formation; as their structure is different, so is their being immutable.

Whatever may be the likeness between the first appearances of the human embryo and the forms of lower animals, they are not the effect of a stable existence, but of a transitory and shifting existence, which does not constitute a species, but is merely and essentially a movement toward the formation of the species. On the contrary, the forms presented by animals already constituted in their being belong to a stable and permanent existence, which diversifies one species from another. The difference, then, between the former and the latter is interior and substantial, and cannot be changed into exterior and accidental, as it would be if it consisted in {74} stopping or in travelling further on. The movement or tendency which takes place in the germ to become another thing until the said germ assumes a perfect organization relative to the being it must produce, is not a quality which can be discarded, since it is intimately combined with the subject itself in which it is found. The essence itself must be changed in it in order to obtain stability and consistency. But if the essence be changed, we are out of the question, since in that case we should have, not the human embryo arrested at this or that stage on its road, but a different being substituted for it; of analogous exterior appearance, perhaps, but substantially different, which would constitute an annual of inferior degree.

In short, each animal is circumscribed in its own species, like every other being in nature. If to reach to the perfection required by its independent existence it needs development, every step in that journey is an inchoation of the next, and cannot exist but as such. To change its nature and to make it a permanent being, is as impossible as to change one essence into another.

Again: From the opinion we are refuting it would follow that all animals, man excepted, are so many monsters, since they are nothing else but deviations, for want of ulterior development, from what nature really intends to do as a term of its action. Thus anomaly is converted into law, disorder into order, an accidental case into a constant fact.

Finally, in that hypothesis we should have to affirm not only that the inferior and more imperfect species appeared on earth before the nobler and the more akin to the unique and perfect type, but also that on the appearance of a more perfect species the preceding one had disappeared; being inferior in the scale of perfection. For what other reason could be alleged for nature's stopping at a bird when it intends to make a man, but that the causes are not properly disposed, or that circumstances are not quite favorable to the production of that perfect animal? Then when the causes are ready, and the circumstances propitious, it is necessary that man be fashioned and that the bird disappear. Now all that is contrary to experience. For all the species, together with the type, are of the same date, and we see them born constantly in the same circumstances which are common to all, either of temperature or atmosphere or latitude, etc.

The theory, then, of the unity of type in the animal kingdom and of stages of development falls to the ground, if we only look at it from a philosophical point of view.



However, physiological arguments have more force in this matter than the philosophical; since they are more closely connected with the subject, and have in their favor the tangible evidence of fact.

We shall take our arguments from three celebrated naturalists as the representatives of an immense number, whom want of space forbids us to quote.

Flourens shows the error of that opinion by referring to the diversity of the nervous system. The nervous system is the foundation of the animal organism; it is the general instrument of vital functions, of sensation, and of motion. If then one archetypal idea presides over the formation of the different organisms, only one nervous system ought to appear in each, more or less developed or arrested. But experience teaches us the contrary. It shows nervous systems differing in different animals ordained to different functions, each perfect in its kind. "Is there a unity of type?" asks this celebrated naturalist. "To say that there is but one type is to say that there is but one form of {75} nervous system; because the form of the nervous system determines the type; that is, it determines the general form of the animal. Now, can we affirm that there is but one form of nervous system? Can we hold that the nervous system of the zoophyte is the same as that of the mollusk, and this latter the same as that of the articulata, or this again the same as that of the vertebrata? And if we cannot say that there is only one nervous system, can we affirm that there is only one type?"

He speaks likewise of the unity of plan. Every creature is built differently, and the difference is especially striking between members of the several grand divisions of the animal kingdom. The plan then of each is different, and so is the typical idea which prescribes its formation. No animal can then be considered as the proof or outline of another.

"Is there a unity of plan? The plan is the relative location of the parts. One can conceive very well the unity of plan without the unity of number; for it is sufficient that all the parts, whatever their number may be, keep always relatively to each other the same place. But can one say that the vertebrate animal, whose nervous system is placed above the digestive canal, is fashioned after the same plan as the mollusk, whose digestive canal is placed above the nervous system? Can one say that the crustacean, whose heart is placed above the spinal marrow, is fashioned after the same pattern as the vertebrate, whose spinal marrow is placed above the heart? Is the relative location of the parts maintained? On the contrary, is it not overthrown? And if there is a change in the location of parts, how is there a unity of plan?"

Müller draws nearer to the consideration of the development of the human embryo, and forcibly illustrates the falsehood of the pretended theory. "It is not long since it was held with great seriousness that the human foetus, before reaching its perfect state, travels successively though the different degrees of development which are permanent during the whole life of animals of inferior classes. That hypothesis has not the least foundation, as Baer has shown. The human embryo never resembles a radiate, or an insect, or a mollusk, or a worm. The plan of formation of those animals is quite different from that of the vertebrate. Man then might at most resemble these last, since he himself is a vertebrate, and his organization is fashioned after the common type of this great division of the animal kingdom. But he does not even resemble at one time a fish, at another a reptile, a bird, etc. The analogy is no greater between him and a reptile or a bird, than it is between all vertebrate animals. During the first stages of their formation, all the embryos of vertebrate animals present merely the simplest and most general delineations of the type of a vertebrate; hence it is that they resemble each other so much as to render it very difficult to distinguish them. The fish, the reptile, the bird, the mammal, and man are at first the simplest expression of a type common to all; but in proportion as they grow, the general resemblance becomes fainter and fainter, and their extremities, for instance, after being alike for a certain time, assume the characters of wings, of hands, of feet, etc."

Mr. Milne-Edwards takes the same view of embryonic generation:

"I agree with Geoffrey Saint Hilaire, that often a great analogy is observed between the final state of certain parts of the bodies of some inferior animals, and the embryonic state of the same parts of other animals belonging to the same type the organism of which is further developed, and with the same philosopher, I call the cause of the state of permanent inferiority arrests of development. But I am far from thinking with some of his disciples that the embryo of man or of mammals exhibits in its different degrees of formation the species of the less perfect of animate creation. No! a {76} mollusk or an anhelid is not the embryo of a mammal, arrested in its organic development, any more than the mammal is a kind of fish perfected. Each animal carries within itself, from the very origin, the beginning of its specific individuality, and the development of its organism, in conformity to the general outline of the plan of structure proper to its species, is always a condition of its existence. There is never a complete likeness between an adult animal and the embryo of another, between one of its organs and the transitory state of the same in the course of formation; and the multiplicity of the products of creation could never be explained by a similar transmutation of species. We shall see hereafter, that in every zoological group composed of animals which seem to be derived from a common fundamental type, the different species do not exhibit at first any marked difference, but soon begin to be marked by various particularities of constructure always growing and numerous. Thus each species acquires a character of its own, which distinguishes it from all others in the way of development, and each of its organs becomes different from the analogous part of every other embryo. But the changes which the organs and the whole being undergo after they have deviated from the common genesiac form, are generally speaking the less considerable in proportion as the animal is destined to receive a less perfect organism, and consequently they retain a kind of resemblance to those transitory forms."

Reason then and experience, theory and fact, philosophy and physiology, agree in protesting against the arbitrary doctrine of the unity of type in the animal kingdom; a doctrine which has its origin in an absence of sound scientific notions and a superficial observation of the phenomena of nature. Through the former defect men failed to consider that if the end of each animal species is different, different also must be its being, and therefore a different type must preside as a rule and supreme law over the formation of the being. By the latter, some very slight and partial analogies have been mistaken for identity and universality, and mere appearances have been assumed as realities.

From Blackwood's Magazine.

DOMINE, QUO VADIS? [Footnote 6]


[Footnote 6: See Mrs. Jameson's "Sacred and Legendary Art," p. 180.]

  There stands in the old Appian Way,
     Two miles without the Roman wall,
  A little ancient church, and grey:
     Long may it moulder not nor fall!
  There hangs a legend on the name
  One reverential thought may claim.

  'Tis written of that fiery time,
     When all the angered evil powers
  Leagued against Christ for wrath and crime,
     How Peter left the accursed towers,
  Passing from out the guilty street,
  And shook the red dust from his feet.


  Sole pilgrim else in that lone road,
      Suddenly he was 'ware of one
  Who toiled beneath a weary load,
      Bare-headed, in the heating sun,
  Pale with long watches, and forespent
  With harm and evil accident.

  Under a cross his weak limbs bow,
     Scarcely his sinking strength avails.
  A crown of thorns is on his brow,
     And in his hands the print of nails.
  So friendless and alone in shame,
  One like the Man of Sorrows came.

  Read in her eyes who gave thee birth
     That loving, tender, sad rebuke;
  Then learn no mother on this earth,
     How dear soever, shaped a look
  So sweet, so sad, so pure as now
  Came from beneath that holy brow.

  And deeply Peter's heart it pierced;
     Once had he seen that look before;
  And even now, as at the first,
     It touched, it smote him to the core.
  Bowing his head, no word save three
  He spoke—"Quo vadis, Domine?"

  Then, as he looked up from the ground,
     His Saviour made him answer due—
  "My son, to Rome I go, thorn-crowned,
     There to be crucified anew;
  Since he to whom I gave my sheep
  Leaves them for other men to keep."

  Then the saint's eyes grew dim with tears.
     He knelt, his Master's feet to kiss—
  "I vexed my heart with faithless fears;
     Pardon thy servant, Lord, for this."
  Then rising up—but none was there—
  No voice, no sound, in earth or air.

  Straightway his footsteps he retraced,
     As one who hath a work to do.
  Back through the gates he passed with haste,
     Silent, alone and full in view;
  And lay forsaken, save of One,
  In dungeon deep ere set of sun.


  Then he who once, apart from ill,
     Nor taught the depth of human tears,
  Girded himself and walked at will,
     As one rejoicing in the years,
  Girded of others, scorned and slain,
  Passed heavenward through the gates of pain.

  If any bear a heart within,
     Well may these walls be more than stone,
  And breathe of peace and pardoned sin
     To him who grieveth all alone.
  Return, faint heart, and strive thy strife;
  Fight, conquer, grasp the crown of life.

From The Month.





I had not thought to write the story of my life; but the wishes of those who have at all times more right to command than occasion to entreat aught at my hands, have in a manner compelled me thereunto. The divers trials and the unlooked-for comforts which have come to my lot during the years that I have been tossed to and fro on this uneasy sea—the world—have wrought in my soul an exceeding sense of the goodness of God, and an insight into the meaning of the sentence in Holy Writ which saith, "His ways are not as our ways, nor his thoughts like unto our thoughts." And this puts me in mind that there are sayings which are in every one's mouth, and therefore not to be lightly gainsayed, which nevertheless do not approve themselves to my conscience as wholly just and true. Of these is the common adage, "That misfortunes come not alone." For my own part, I have found that when a cross has been laid on me, it has mostly been a single one, and that other sorrows were oftentimes removed, as if to make room for it. And it has been my wont, when one trial has been passing away, to look out for the next, even as on a stormy day, when the clouds have rolled away in one direction and sunshine is breaking overhead, we see others rising in the distance. There has been no portion of my life free from some measure of grief or fear sufficient to recall the words that "Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward;" and none so reft of consolation that, in the midst of suffering, I did not yet cry out, "The Lord is my shepherd; his rod and his staff comfort me."

I was born in the year 1557, in a very fair part of England, at Sherwood Hall, in the county of Stafford. For its comely aspect, commodious chambers, sunny gardens, and the sweet walks in its vicinity, it was as commendable a residence for persons of moderate fortune and contented minds as can well be thought of. Within and without this my paternal home nothing was wanting which might please the eye, or minister to {79} tranquillity of mind and healthful recreation. I reckon it amongst the many favors I have received from a gracious Providence, that the earlier years of my life were spent amidst such fair scenes, and in the society of parents who ever took occasion from earthly things to lead my thoughts to such as are imperishable, and so to stir up in me a love of the Creator, who has stamped his image on this visible world in characters of so great beauty; whilst in the tenderness of those dear parents unto myself I saw, as it were, a type and representation of his paternal love and goodness.

My father was of an ancient family, and allied to such as were of greater note and more wealthy than his own. He had not, as is the manner with many squires of our days, left off residing on his own estate in order to seek after the shows and diversions of London; but had united to a great humility of mind and a singular affection for learning a contentedness of spirit which inclined him to dwell in the place assigned to him by Providence. He had married at an early age, and had ever conformed to the habits of his neighbors in all lawful and kindly ways, and sought no other labors but such as were incidental to the care of his estates, and no recreations but those of study, joined to a moderate pursuit of field-sports and such social diversions as the neighborhood afforded. His outward appearance was rather simple than showy, and his manners grave and composed. When I call to mind the singular modesty of his disposition, and the retiredness of his manners, I often marvel how the force of circumstances and the urging of conscience should have forced one so little by nature inclined to an unsettled mode of life into one which, albeit peaceful in its aims, proved so full of danger and disquiet.

My mother's love I enjoyed but for a brief season. Not that it waxed cold toward me, as happens with some parents, who look with fondness on the child and less tenderly on the maiden; but it pleased Almighty God to take her unto himself when I was but ten years of age. Her face is as present to me now as any time of my life. No limner's hand ever drew a more faithful picture than the one I have of her even now engraved on the tablet of my heart. She had so fair and delicate a complexion that I can only liken it to the leaf of a white rose with the lightest tinge of pink in it. Her hair was streaked with gray too early for her years; but this matched well with the sweet melancholy of her eyes, which were of a deep violet color. Her eyelids were a trifle thick, and so were her lips; but there was a pleasantness in her smile and the dimples about her mouth such as I have not noticed in any one else. She had a sweet womanly and loving heart, and the noblest spirit imaginable; a great zeal in the service of God, tempered with so much sweetness and cordiality that she gave not easily offence to any one, of howsoever different a way of thinking from herself; and either won them over to her faith through the suavity of her temper and the wisdom of her discourse, or else worked in them a personal liking which made them patient with her, albeit fierce with others. When I was about seven years of age I noticed that she waxed thin and pale, and that we seldom went abroad, and walked only in our own garden and orchard. She seemed glad to sit on a bench on the sunny side of the house even in summer, and on days when by reason of the heat I liked to lie down in the shade. My parents forbade me from going into the village; and, through the perverseness common to too many young people, on account of that very prohibition I longed for liberty to do so, and wearied oftentimes of the solitude we lived in. At a later period I learnt how kind had been their intent in keeping me during the early years of childhood from a knowledge of the woeful divisions which the late changes in religion had wrought in our country; which I might easily have heard from {80} young companions, and maybe in such sort as to awaken angry feelings, and shed a drop of bitter in the crystal cup of childhood's pure faith. If we did walk abroad, it was to visit some sick persons, and carry them food or clothing or medicines, which my mother prepared with her own hands. But as she grew weaker, we went less often outside the gates, and the poor came themselves to fetch away what in her bounty she stored up for them. I did not notice that our neighbors looked unkindly on us when we were seen in the village. Children would cry out sometimes, but half in play, "Down with the Papists!" but I witnessed that their elders checked them, especially those of the poorer sort; and "God bless you, Mrs. Sherwood!" and "God save you, madam!" was often in their mouths, as she whom I loved with so great and reverent an affection passed alongside of them, or stopped to take breath, leaning against their cottage-palings.

Many childish heartaches I can even now remember when I was not suffered to join in the merry sports of the 1st of May; for then, as the poet Chaucer sings, the youths and maidens go

"To fetch the flowers fresh and branch and bloom,
And these, rejoicing in their great delight,
Eke each at other throw the blossoms bright."

I watched the merry wights as they passed our door on their way to the groves and meadows, singing mirthful carols, and bent on pleasant pastimes; and tears stood in my eyes as the sound of their voices died away in the distance. My father found me thus weeping one May-day, and carried me with him to a sweet spot in a wood, where wild-flowers grew like living jewels out of the green carpet of moss on which we sat; and there, as the birds sang from every bough, and the insects hovered and hummed over every blossom, he entertained me with such quaint and pleasant tales, and moved me to merry laughter by his witty devices; so that I set down that day in my book of memory as one of the joyfullest in all my childhood. At Easter, when the village children rolled pasch eggs down the smooth sides of the green hills, my mother would paint me some herself, and adorned them with such bright colors and rare sentences that I feared to break them with rude handling, and kept them by me throughout the year, rather as pictures to be gazed on than toys to be played with in a wanton fashion.

On the morning of the Resurrection, when others went to the top of Cannock Chase to hail the rising sun, as is the custom of those parts, she would sing so sweetly the psalm which speaketh of the heavens rejoicing and of the earth being glad, that it grieved me not to stay at home; albeit I sometimes marvelled that we saw so little company, and mixed not more freely with our neighbors.

When I had reached my ninth birthday, whether it was that I took better heed of words spoken in my hearing, or else that my parents thought it was time that I should learn somewhat of the conditions of the times, and so talked more freely in my presence, it so happened that I heard of the jeopardy in which many who held the Catholic faith were, and of the laws which were being made to prohibit in our country the practice of the ancient religion. When Protestants came to our house—and it was sometimes hard in those days to tell who were such at heart, or only in outward semblance out of conformity to the queen's pleasure—I was strictly charged not to speak in their hearing of aught that had to do with Catholic faith and worship; and I could see at such times on my mother's face an uneasy expression, as if she was ever fearing the next words that any one might utter.

In the autumn of that year we had visitors whose company was so great an honor to my parents, and the occasion of so much delight to myself, that I can call to mind every little circumstance of their brief sojourn under our roof, even as if it had taken place but {81} yesterday. This visit proved the first step toward an intimacy which greatly affected the tenor of my life, and prepared the way for the direction it was hereafter to take.

These truly honorable and well-beloved guests were my Lady Mounteagle and her son Mr. James Labourn, who were journeying at that time from London, where she had been residing at her son-in-law the Duke of Norfolk's house, to her seat in the country; whither she was carrying the three children of her daughter, the Duchess of Norfolk, and of that lady's first husband, the Lord Dacre of the North. The eldest of these young ladies was of about my own age, and the others younger.

The day on which her ladyship was expected, I could not sit with patience at my tambour-frame, or con my lessons, or play on the virginals; but watched the hours and the minutes in my great desire to see these noble wenches. I had not hitherto consorted with young companions, save with Edmund and John Genings, of whom I shall have occasion to speak hereafter, who were then my playmates, as at a riper age friends. I thought, in the quaint way in which children couple one idea with another in their fantastic imaginations, that my Lady Mounteagle's three daughters would be like the three angels, in my mother's missal, who visited Abraham in his tent.

I had craved from my mother a holiday, which she granted on the score that I should help her that forenoon in the making of the pasties and jellies, which, as far as her strength allowed, she failed not to lend a hand to; and also she charged me to set the bed-chambers in fair order, and to gather fresh flowers wherewith to adorn the parlor. These tasks had in them a pleasantness which whiled away the time, and I alternated from the parlor to the store-room, and the kitchen to the orchard, and the poultry-yard to the pleasure-ground, running as swiftly from one to the other, and as merrily, as if my feet were keeping time with the glad beatings of my heart. As I passed along the avenue, which was bordered on each side by tall trees, ever and anon, as the wind shook their branches, there fell on my head showers of red and gold-colored leaves, which made me laugh; so easy is it for the young to find occasion of mirth in the least trifle when their spirits are lightsome, as mine were that day. I sat down on a stone bench on which the western sun was shining, to bind together the posies I had made; the robins twittered around me; and the air felt soft and fresh. It was the eve of Martinmas-day—Hallowtide Summer, as our country folk call it. As the sun was sinking behind the hills, the tread of horses' feet was heard in the distance, and I sprang up on the bench, shading my eyes with my hand to see the approach of that goodly travelling-party, which was soon to reach our gates. My parents came out of the front door, and beckoned me to their side. I held my posies in my apron, and forgot to set them down; for the first sight of my Lady Mounteagle, as she rode up the avenue with her son at her side, and her three grand-daughters with their attendants, and many richly-attired serving-men beside, filled me with awe. I wondered if her majesty had looked more grand on the day that she rode into London to be proclaimed queen. The good lady sat on her palfry in so erect and stately a manner, as if age had no dominion over her limbs and her spirits; and there was something so piercing and commanding in her eye, that it at once compelled reverence and submission. Her son had somewhat of the same nobility of mien, and was tall and graceful in his movements; but behind her, on her pillion, sat a small counterpart of herself, inasmuch as childhood can resemble old age, and youthful loveliness matronly dignity. This was the eldest of her ladyship's grand-daughters, my sweet Mistress Ann Dacre. This was my first sight of her who was hereafter to hold so great a place in my heart and {82} in my life. As she was lifted from the saddle, and stood in her riding-habit and plumed hat at our door, making a graceful and modest obeisance to my parents, one step retired behind her grandam, with a lovely color tinging her cheeks, and her long lashes veiling her sweet eyes, I thought I had never seen so fair a creature as this high-born maiden of my own age; and even now that time, as it has gone by, has shown me all that a court can display to charm the eyes and enrapture the fancy, I do not gainsay that same childish thought of mine. Her sisters, pretty prattlers then, four and six years of age, were led into the house by their governess. But ere our guests were seated, my mother bade me kiss my Lady Mounteagle's hand and commend myself to her goodness, praying her to be a good lady to me, and overlook, out of her great indulgence, my many defects. At which she patted me on the cheek, and said, she doubted not but that I was as good a child as such good parents deserved to have; and indeed, if I was as like my mother in temper as in face, I must needs be such as her hopes and wishes would have me. And then she commanded Mistress Ann to salute me; and I felt my cheeks flush and my heart beat with joy as the sweet little lady put her arms round my neck, and pressed her lips on my cheek.

Presently we all withdrew to our chambers until such time as supper was served, at which meal the young ladies were present; and I marvelled to see how becomingly even the youngest of them, who was but a chit, knew how to behave herself, never asking for anything, or forgetting to give thanks in a pretty manner when she was helped. For the which my mother greatly commended their good manners; and her ladyship said, "In truth, good Mistress Sherwood, I carry a strict hand over them, never suffering their faults to go unchastised, nor permitting such liberties as many do to the ruin of their children." I was straightway seized with a great confusion and fear that this was meant as a rebuke to me, who, not being much used to company, and something overindulged by my father, by whose side I was seated, had spoken to him more than once that day at table, and had also left on my plate some victuals not to my liking; which, as I learnt at another time from Mistress Ann, was an offence for which her grandmother would have sharply reprehended her. I ventured not again to speak in her presence, and scarcely to raise my eyes toward her.

The young ladies withdrew early to bed that night, and I had but little speech with them. Before they left the parlor, Mistress Ann took her sisters by the hand, and all of them, kneeling at their grandmother's feet, craved her blessing. I could see a tear in her eye as she blessed them; and when she laid her hand on the head of the eldest of her grand-daughters, it lingered there as if to call down upon her a special benison. The next day my Lady Mounteagle gave permission for Mistress Ann to go with me into the garden, where I showed her my flowers and the young rabbits that Edmund Genings and his brother, my only two playmates, were so fond of; and she told me how well pleased she was to remove from London unto her grandmother's seat, where she would have a garden and such pleasant pastimes as are enjoyed in the country.

"Prithee, Mistress Ann," I said, with the unmannerly boldness with which children are wont to question one another, "have you not a mother, that you live with your grandam?"

"I thank God that I have," she answered; "and a good mother she is to me; but by reason of her having lately married the Duke of Norfolk, my grandmother has at the present time the charge of us."

"And do you greatly love my Lady Mounteagle?" I asked, misdoubting in my folly that a lady of so grave aspect and stately carriage should be loved by children.


"As greatly as heart can love," was her pretty answer.

"And do you likewise love the Duke of Norfolk, Mistress Ann?" I asked again.

"He is my very good lord and father," she answered; "but my knowledge of his grace has been so short, I have scarce had time to love him yet."

"But I have loved you in no time," I cried, and threw my arms round her neck. "Directly I saw you, I loved you, Mistress Ann."

"Mayhap, Mistress Constance," she said, "it is easier to love a little girl than a great duke."

"And who do you affection beside her grace your mother, and my lady your grandam, Mistress Ann?" I said, again returning to the charge; to which she quickly replied:

"My brother Francis, my sweet Lord Dacre."

"Is he a child?" I asked.

"In truth, Mistress Constance," she answered, "he would not be well pleased to be called so; and yet methinks he is but a child, being not older, but rather one year younger than myself, and my dear playmate and gossip."

"I wish I had a brother or a sister to play with me," I said; at which Mistress Ann kissed me and said she was sorry I should lack so great a comfort, but that I must consider I had a good father of my own, whereas her own was dead; and that a father was more than a brother.

In this manner we held discourse all the morning, and, like a rude imp, I questioned the gracious young lady as to her pastimes and her studies and the tasks she was set to; and from her innocent conversation I discovered, as children do, without at the time taking much heed, but yet so as to remember it afterward, what especial care had been taken by her grandmother—that religious and discreet lady—to instill into her virtue and piety, and in using her, beside saying her prayers, to bestow alms with her own hands on prisoners and poor people; and in particular to apply herself to the cure of diseases and wounds, wherein she herself had ever excelled. Mistress Ann, in her childish but withal thoughtful way, chide me that in my own garden were only seen flowers which pleased the senses by their bright colors and perfume, and none of the herbs which tend to the assuagement of pain and healing of wounds; and she made me promise to grow some against the time of her next visit. As we went through the kitchen-garden, she plucked some rosemary and lavender and rue, and many other odoriferous herbs; and sitting down on a bench, she invited me to her side, and discoursed on their several virtues and properties with a pretty sort of learning which was marvellous in one of her years. She showed me which were good for promoting sleep, and which for cuts and bruises, and of a third she said it eased the heart.

"Nay, Mistress Ann," I cried, "but that must be a heartsease;" at which she smiled, and answered:

"My grandam says the best medicines for uneasy hearts are the bitter herb confession and the sweet flower absolution."

"Have you yet made your first communion, Mistress Ann?" I asked in a low voice, at which question a bright color came into her cheek, and she replied:

"Not yet; but soon I may. I was confirmed not long ago by the good Bishop of Durham; and at my grandmother's seat I am to be instructed by a Catholic priest who lives there."

"Then you do not go to Protestant service?" I said.

"We did," she answered, "for a short time, whilst we stayed at the Charterhouse; but my grandam has understood that it is not lawful for Catholics, and she will not be present at it herself, or suffer us any more to attend it, neither in her own house nor at his grace's."

While we were thus talking, the two little ladies, her sisters, came from the house, having craved leave from the governess to run out into the {84} garden. Mistress Mary was a pale delicate child, with soft loving blue eyes; and Mistress Bess, the youngest, a merry imp, whose rosy cheeks and dimpling smiles were full of glee and merriment.

"What ugly sober flowers are these, Nan, that thou art playing with?" she cried, and snatched at the herbs in her sister's lap. "When I marry my Lord William Howard, I'll wear a posy of roses and carnations."

"When I am married," said little Mistress Mary, "I will wear nothing but lilies."

"And what shall be thy posy, Nan?" said the little saucy one again, "when thou dost wed my Lord Surrey?"

"Hush, hush, madcaps!" cried Mistress Ann. "If your grandam was to hear you, I doubt not but the rod would be called for."

Mistress Mary looked round affrighted, but little Mistress Bess said in a funny manner, "Prithee, Nan, do rods then travel?"

"Ay; by that same token, Bess, that I heard my lady bid thy nurse take care to carry one with her."

"It was nurse told me I was to marry my Lord William, and Madge my Lord Thomas, and thee, Nan, my Lord Surrey, and brother pretty Meg Howard," said the little lady, pouting; "but I won't tell grandam of it an it would be like to make her angry."

"I would be a nun!" Mistress Mary cried.

"Hush!" her elder sister said; "that is foolish talking, Madge; my grandmother told me so when I said the same thing to her a year ago. Children do not know what Almighty God intends them to do. And now methinks I see Uncle Labourn making as if he would call us to the house, and there are the horses coming to the door. We must needs obey the summons. Prithee, Mistress Constance, do not forget me."

Forget her! No. From that day to this years have passed over our heads and left deep scars on our hearts. Divers periods of our lives have been signalized by many a strange passage; we have rejoiced, and, oftener still, wept together; we have met in trembling, and parted in anguish; but through sorrow and through joy, through evil report and good report, in riches and in poverty, in youth and in age, I have blessed the day when first I met thee, sweet Ann Dacre, the fairest, purest flower which ever grew on a noble stem.


A year elapsed betwixt the period of the so brief, but to me so memorable, visit of the welcomest guests our house ever received—to wit, my Lady Mounteagle and her grand-daughters—and that in which I met with an accident, which compelled my parents to carry me to Lichfield for chirurgical advice. Four times in the course of that year I was honored with letters writ by the hand of Mistress Ann Dacre; partly, as the gracious young lady said, by reason of her grandmother's desire that the bud acquaintanceship which had sprouted in the short-lived season of the aforesaid visit should, by such intercourse as may be carried on by means of letters, blossom into a flower of true friendship; and also that that worthy lady and my good mother willed such a correspondence betwixt us as would serve to the sharpening of our wits, and the using our pens to be good servants to our thoughts. In the course of this history I will set down at intervals some of the letters I received at divers times from this noble lady; so that those who read these innocent pictures of herself, portrayed by her own hand, may trace the beginnings of those virtuous inclinations which at an early age were already working in her soul, and ever after appeared in her.

On the 15th day of January of the next year to that in which my eyes had feasted on this creature so embellished with rare endowments and {85} accomplished gracefulness, the first letter I had from her came to my hand; the first link of a chain which knit together her heart and mine through long seasons of absence and sore troubles, to the great comforting, as she was often pleased to say, of herself, who was so far above me in rank, whom she chose to call her friend, and of the poor friend and servant whom she thus honored beyond her deserts. In as pretty a handwriting as can well be thought of, she thus wrote:

—Though I enjoyed your company but for the too brief time during which we rested under your honored parents' roof, I retain so great a sense of the contentment I received therefrom, and so lively a remembrance of the converse we held in the grounds adjacent to Sherwood Hall, that I am better pleased than I can well express that my grandmother bids me sit down and write to one whom to see and to converse with once more would be to me one of the chiefest pleasures in life. And the more welcome is this command by reason of the hope it raises in me to receive in return a letter from my well-beloved Mistress Constance, which will do my heart more good than anything else that can happen to me. 'Tis said that marriages are made in heaven. When I asked my grandam if it were so, she said, 'I am of opinion, Nan, they are made in many more places than one; and I would to God none were made but such as are agreed upon in so good a place.' But methinks some friendships are likewise made in heaven; and if it be so, I doubt not but that when we met, and out of that brief meeting there arose so great and sudden a liking in my heart for you, Mistress Constance,—which, I thank God, you were not slow to reciprocate,—that our angels had met where we hope one day to be, and agreed together touching that matter.

"It suits ill a bad pen like mine to describe the fair seat we reside in at this present time—the house of Mr. James Labourn, which he has lent unto my grandmother. 'Tis most commodious and pleasant, and after long sojourn in London, even in winter, a terrestrial paradise. But, like the garden of Eden, not without dangers; for the too much delight I took in out-of-doors pastimes— and most of all on the lake when it was frozen, and we had merry sports upon it, to the neglect of my lessons, not heeding the lapse of time in the pursuit of pleasure—brought me into trouble and sore disgrace. My grandmother ordered me into confinement for three days in my own chamber, and I saw her not nor received her blessing all that time; at the end of which she sharply reproved me for my fault, and bade me hold in mind that 'twas when loitering in a garden Eve met the tempter, and threatened further and severe punishment if I applied not diligently to my studies. When I had knelt down and begged pardon, promising amendment, she drew me to her and kissed me, which it was not her wont often to do. 'Nan,' she said, 'I would have thee use thy natural parts, and improve thyself in virtue and learning; for such is the extremity of the times, that ere long it may be that many first shall be last and many last shall be first in this realm of England. But virtue and learning are properties which no man can steal from another; and I would fain see thee endowed with a goodly store of both. That great man and true confessor, Sir Thomas More, had nothing so much at heart as his daughter's instruction; and Mistress Margaret Roper, once my sweet friend, though some years older than my poor self, who still laments her loss, had such fine things said of her by the greatest men of this age, as would astonish thee to hear; but they were what she had a right to and very well deserved. And the strengthening of her mind through study and religious discipline served {86} her well at the time of her great trouble; for where other women would have lacked sense and courage how to act, she kept her wits about her, and ministered such comfort to her father, remaining near him at the last, and taking note of his wishes, and finding means to bury him in a Christian manner, which none other durst attempt, that she had occasion to thank God who gave her a head as well as a heart. And who knows, Nan, what may befal thee, and what need thou mayst have of the like advantages?'

"My grandmother looked so kindly on me then, that, albeit abashed at the remembrance of my fault, I sought to move her to further discourse; and knowing what great pleasure she had in speaking of Sir Thomas More, at whose house in Chelsea she had oftentimes been a visitor in her youth, I enticed her to it by cunning questions touching the customs he observed in his family.

"'Ah, Nan!' she said, that house was a school and exercise of the Christian religion. There was neither man nor woman in it who was not employed in liberal discipline and fruitful reading, although the principal study was religion. There was no quarrelling, not so much as a peevish word to be heard; nor was any one seen idle; all were in their several employs: nor was there wanting sober mirth. And so well-managed a government Sir Thomas did not maintain by severity and chiding, but by gentleness and kindness.'

"Methought as she said this, that my dear grandam in that matter of chiding had not taken a leaf out of Sir Thomas's book; and there was no doubt a transparency in my face which revealed to her this thought of mine; for she straightly looked at me and said, 'Nan, a penny for thy thoughts!' at the which I felt myself blushing, but knew nothing would serve her but the truth; so I said, in as humble a manner as I could think of, 'An if you will excuse me, grandam, I thought if Sir Thomas managed so well without chiding, that you manage well with it.' At the which she gave me a light nip on the forehead, and said, 'Go to, child; dost think that any but saints can rule a household without chiding, or train children without whipping? Go thy ways, and mend them too, if thou wouldst escape chastisement; and take with thee, Nan, the words of one whom we shall never again see the like of in this poor country, which he used to his wife or any of his children if they were diseased or troubled, "We must not look at our pleasures to go to heaven in feather-beds, or to be carried up thither even by the chins."' And so she dismissed me; and I have here set down my fault, and the singular goodness showed me by my grandmother when it was pardoned, not thinking I can write anything better worth notice than the virtuous talk with which she then favored me.

"There is in this house a chapel very neat and rich, and an ancient Catholic priest is here, who says mass most days; at the which we, with my grandmother, assist, and such of her servants as have not conformed to the times; and this good father instructs us in the principles of Catholic religion. On the eve of the feast of the Nativity of Christ, my lady stayed in the chapel from eight at night till two in the morning; but sent us to bed at nine, after the litanies were said, until eleven, when there was a sermon, and at twelve o'clock three masses said, which being ended we broke our fast with a mince-pie, and went again to bed. And all the Christmas-time we were allowed two hours after each meal for recreation, instead of one. At other times, we play not at any game for money; but then we had a shilling a-piece to make us merry; which my grandmother says is fitting in this time of mirth and joy for his birth who is the sole origin and spring of true comfort. And now, sweet Mistress Constance, I must bid you farewell; for the greatest of {87} joys has befallen me, and a whole holiday to enjoy it. My sweet Lord Dacre is come to pay his duty to my lady and tarry some days here, on his way to Thetford, the Duke of Norfolk's seat, where his grace and the duchess my good mother have removed. He is a beauty, Mistress Constance; and nature has so profusely conferred on him privileges, that when her majesty the queen saw him a short time back on horseback, in the park at Richmond, she called him to her carriage-door and honored him with a kiss, and the motto of the finest boy she ever beheld. But I may not run on in this fashion, letting my pen outstrip modesty, like a foolish creature, making my brother a looking-glass and continual object for my eyes; but learn to love him, as my grandam says, in God, of whom he is only borrowed, and not so as to set my heart wholly on him. So beseeching God bless you and yours, good Mistress Constance, I ever remain, your loving friend and humble servant,


Oh, how soon were my Lady Mounteagle's words exalted in the event! and what a sad brief note was penned by that affectionate sister not one month after she writ those lines, so full of hope and pleasure in the prospect of her brother's sweet company! For the fair boy that was the continual object of her eyes and the dear comfort of her heart was accidentally slain by the fall of a vaulting horse upon him at the duke's house at Thetford.

(she wrote, a few days after his lamentable death),—"The lovingest brother a sister ever had, and the most gracious creature ever born, is dead; and if it pleased God I wish I were dead too, for my heart is well-nigh broken. But I hope in God his soul is now in heaven, for that he was so young and innocent; and when here, a short time ago, my grandmother procured that he should for the first, and as it has pleased God also for the only and the last, time, confess and be absolved by a Catholic priest, in the which the hand of Providence is visible to our great comfort, and reasonable hope of his salvation. Commending him and your poor friend, who has great need of them, to your good prayers, I remain your affectionate and humble servant,


In that year died also, in childbirth, her grace the Duchess of Norfolk, Mistress Ann's mother; and she then wrote in a less passionate, but withal less comfortable, grief than at her brother's loss, and, as I have heard since, my Lady Mounteagle had her death-blow at that time, and never lifted up her head again as heretofore. It was noticed that ever after she spent more time in prayer and gave greater alms. Her daughter, the duchess, who at the instance of her husband had conformed to the times, desired to have been reconciled on her deathbed by a priest, who for that end was conducted into the garden, yet could not have access unto her by reason of the duke's vigilance to hinder it, or at least of his continual presence in her chamber at the time. And soon after, his grace, whose wards they were, sent for his three step-daughters to the Charterhouse; the parting with which, and the fears she entertained that he would have them carried to services and sermons in the public churches, and hinder them in the exercise of Catholic faith and worship, drove the sword yet deeper through my Lady Mounteagle's heart, and brought down her gray hairs with sorrow to the grave, notwithstanding that the duke greatly esteemed and respected her, and was a very moral nobleman, of exceeding good temper and moderate disposition. But of this more anon, as 'tis my own history I am writing, and it is meet I should relate in the order of time what events came under my notice whilst in {88} Lichfield, whither my mother carried me, as has been aforesaid, to be treated by a famous physician for a severe hurt I had received. It was deemed convenient that I should tarry some time under his care; and Mr. Genings, a kinsman of her own, who with his wife and children resided in that town, one of the chiefest in the county, offered to keep me in their house as long as was convenient thereunto a kindness which my parents the more readily accepted at his hands from their having often shown the like unto his children when the air of the country was desired for them.

Mr. and Mrs. Genings were of the religion by law established. He was thought to be Catholic at heart; albeit he was often heard to speak very bitterly against all who obeyed not the queen in conforming to the new mode of worship, with the exception, indeed, of my mother, for whom he had always a truly great affection. This gentleman's house was in the close of the cathedral, and had a garden to it well stored with fair shrubs and flowers of various sorts. As I lay on a low settle near the window, being forbid to walk for the space of three weeks, my eyes were ever straying from my sampler to the shade and sunshine out of doors. Instead of plying at my needle, I watched the bees at their sweet labor midst the honeysuckles of the porch, or the swallows darting in and out of the eaves of the cathedral, or the butterflies at their idle sports over the beds of mignonette and heliotrope under the low wall, covered with ivy, betwixt the garden and the close. Mr. Genings had two sons, the eldest of which was some years older and the other younger than myself. The first, whose name was Edmund, had been weakly when a child, and by reason of this a frequent sojourner at Sherwood Hall, where he was carried for change of air after the many illnesses incident to early age. My mother, who was some years married before she had a child of her own, conceived a truly maternal affection for this young kinsman, and took much pains with him both as to the care of his body and the training of his mind. He was an apt pupil, and she had so happy a manner of imparting knowledge, that he learnt more, as he has since said, in those brief sojourns in her house than at school from more austere masters. After I came into the world, he took delight to rock me in my cradle, or play with me as I sat on my mother's knee; and when I first began to walk, he would lead me by the hand into the garden, and laugh to see me clutch marigolds or cry for a sunflower.

"I warrant thou hast an eye to gold, Con," he would say; "for 'tis the yellow flowers that please thee best."

There is an old hollow tree on the lawn at Sherwood Hall where I often hid from him in sport, and he would make pretence to seek me elsewhere, till a laugh revealed me to him, and a chase ensued down the approach or round the maze. He never tired of my petulance, or spoke rude words, as boys are wont to do; and had a more serious and contemplative spirit than is often seen in young people, and likewise a singular fancy for gazing at the sky when glowing with sunset hues or darkened by storms, and most of all when studded at night with stars. On a calm clear night I have noticed him for a length of time, forgetting all things else, fix his eyes on the heavens, as if reading the glory of the Lord therein revealed.

My parents did not speak to him of Catholic faith and worship, because Mr. Genings, before he suffered his sons to stay in their house, had made them promise that no talk of religion should be ministered to them in their childhood. It was a sore trial to my mother to refrain, as the Psalmist saith, from good words, which were ever rising from her heart to her lips, as pure water from a deep spring. But she instructed him in many things which belong to gentle learning, and in French, which she knew well; and {89} taught him music, in which he made great progress. And this wrought with his father to the furtherance of these his visits to us. I doubt not but that, when she told him the names of the heavenly luminaries, she inwardly prayed he might one day shine as a star in the kingdom of God; or when she discoursed of flowers and their properties, that he should blossom as a rose in the wilderness of this faithless world; or whilst guiding his hands to play on the clavichord, that he might one day join in the glorious harmony of the celestial choirs. Her face itself was a preachment, and the tones of her voice, and the tremulous sighs she breathed when she kissed him or gave him her blessing, had, I ween, a privilege to reach his heart, the goodness of which was readable in his countenance. Dear Edmund Genings, thou wert indeed a brother to me in kind care and companionship whilst I stayed in Lichfield that never-to-be-forgotten year! How gently didst thou minister to the sick child, for the first time tasting the cup of suffering; now easing her head with a soft pillow, now strewing her couch with fresh-gathered flowers, or feeding her with fruit which had the bloom on it, or taking her hand and holding it in thine own to cheer her to endurance! Thou wert so patient and so loving, both with her who was a great trouble to thee and oftentimes fretful with pain, and likewise with thine own little brother, an angel in beauty and wit, but withal of so petulant and froward a disposition that none in the house durst contradict him, child as he was; for his parents were indeed weak in their fondness for him. In no place and at no time have I seen a boy so indulged and so caressed as this John Genings. He had a pretty wilfulness and such playful ways that his very faults found favor with those who should have corrected them, and he got praise where others would have met with chastisement. Edmund's love for this fair urchin was such as is seldom seen in any save in a parent for a child. It was laughable to see the lovely imp governing one who should have been his master, but through much love was his slave, and in a thousand cunning ways, and by fanciful tricks, constraining him to do his bidding. Never was a more wayward spirit enclosed in a more winsome form than in John Genings. Never did childish gracefulness rule more absolutely over superior age, or love reverse the conditions of ordinary supremacy, than in the persons of these two brothers.

A strange thing occurred at that time, which I witnessed not myself, and on which I can give no opinion, but as a fact will here set it down, and let such as read this story deem of it as they please. One night that, by reason of the unwonted chilliness of the evening, such as sometimes occurs in our climate even in summer, a fire had been lit in the parlor, and the family were gathered round it, Edmund came of a sudden into the room, and every one took notice that his face was very pale. He seemed in a great fear, and whispered to his mother, who said aloud—"Thou must have been asleep, and art still dreaming, child." Upon which he was very urgent for her to go into the garden, and used many entreaties thereunto. Upon which, at last, she rose and followed him. In another moment she called for her husband, who went out, and with him three or four other persons that were in the room, and I remained alone for the space of ten or fifteen minutes. When they returned, I heard them speaking with great fear and amazement of what they had seen; and Edmund Genings has often since described to me what he first, and afterward all the others, had beheld in the sky. He was gazing at the heavens, as was his wont, when a strange spectacle appeared to him in the air. As it were, a number of armed men with weapons, killing and murdering others that were disarmed, and great store of blood running everywhere about them. His parents and those with them witnessed the same thing, and a great {90} fear fell upon them all. I noticed that all that evening they seemed scared, and could not speak of this appearance in the sky without shuddering. But one that was more bold than the rest took heart, and cried, "God send it does not forbode that the Papists will murder us all in our beds!" And Mistress Genings, whose mother was a French Huguenot, said, "Amen!" I marked that her husband and one or two more of the company groaned, and one made, as if unwittingly, the sign of the cross. There were some I know in that town, nay and in that house, that were at heart of the old religion, albeit, by reason of the times, they did not give over attending Protestants' worship.

A few days later I was sitting alone, and had a long fit of musing over the many new thoughts that were crowding into my mind, as yet too childish to master them, when Edmund came in, and I saw he had been weeping. He said nothing at first, and made believe he was reading; but I could see tears trickling down through his fingers as he covered his face with his hands. Presently he looked up and cried out,

"Cousin Constance, Jack is going away from us."

"And if it please God, not for a long time," I answered; for it grieved me to see him sad.

"Nay, but he is going for many years, I fear," Edmund said. "My uncle, Jean de Luc, has asked for him to be brought up in his house at La Rochelle. He is his godfather, and has a great store of money, which he says he will leave to Jack. Alack! cousin Constance, I would that there was no such thing in the world as money, and no such country as France. I wish we were all dead." And then he fell to weeping again very bitterly.

I told him in a childish manner what my mother was wont to say to me when any little trouble fell to my lot—that we should be patient, and offer up our sufferings to God.

"But I can do nothing now for Jack," he cried. "It was my first thought at waking and my last at night, how to please the dear urchin; but now 'tis all over."

"Oh, but Edmund," I cried, "an if you were to be as good as the blessed saints in heaven, you could do a great deal for Jack."

"How so, cousin Constance?" he asked, not comprehending my meaning; and thereupon I answered:

"When once I said to my sweet mother, 'It grieves me, dear heart, that I can give thee nothing, who gives me so much,' she bade me take heed that every prayer we say, every good work we do, howsoever imperfect, and every pain we suffer, may be offered up for those we love; and so out of poverty, and weakness, and sorrow, we have wherewith to make precious and costly and cheerful gifts."

I spoke as a child, repeating what I had heard; but he listened not as a child. A sudden light came into his eyes, and methinks his good angel showed him in that hour more than my poor lips could utter.

"If it be as your sweet mother says," he joyfully cried, "we are rich indeed; and, even though we be sinners and not saints, we have somewhat to give, I ween, if it be only our heartaches, cousin Constance, so they be seasoned with prayers."

The thought which in my simplicity I had set before him took root, as it were, in his mind. His love for a little child had prepared the way for it; and the great brotherly affection which had so long dwelt in his heart proved a harbinger of the more perfect gift of charity; so that a heavenly message was perchance conveyed to him that day by one who likewise was a child, even as the word of the Lord came to the prophet through the lips of the infant Samuel. From that time forward he bore up bravely against his grief; which was the sharper inasmuch that he who was the cause of it showed none in return, but rather joy in the expectancy of the change which was to part them. He {91} would still be a-prattling on it, and telling all who came in his way that he was going to France to a good uncle; nor ever intended to return, for his mother was to carry him to La Rochelle, and she should stay there with him, he said, and not come back to ugly Lichfield.

"And art thou not sorry, Jack," I asked him one day, "to leave poor Edmund, who loves thee so well?"

The little madcap was coursing round the room, and cried, as he ran past me, for he had more wit and spirit than sense or manners:

"Edmund must seek after me, and take pains to find me, if so be he would have me."

These words, which the boy said in his play, have often come back to my mind since the two brothers have attained unto a happy though dissimilar end.

When the time had arrived for Mistress Genings and her youngest son to go beyond seas, as I was now improved in health and able to walk, my father fetched me home, and prevailed on Mr. Genings to let Edmund go back with us, with the intent to divert his mind from his grief at his brother's departure.

I found my parents greatly disturbed at the news they had had touching the imprisonment of thirteen priests on account of religion, and of Mr. Orton being likewise arrested, who was a gentleman very dear to them for his great virtues and the steadfast friendship he had ever shown to them.

My mother questioned Edmund as to the sign he had seen in the heavens a short time back, of which the report had reached them; and he confirming the truth thereof, she clasped her hands and cried:

"Then I fear me much this forebodes the death of these blessed confessors, Father Weston and the rest."

Upon which Edmund said, in a humble manner:

"Good Mistress Sherwood, my dear mother thought it signified that those of your religion would murder in their beds such as are of the queen's religion; so maybe in both cases there is naught to apprehend."

"My good child," my mother answered, "in regard of those now in durance for their faith, the danger is so manifest, that if it please not the Almighty to work a miracle for their deliverance, I see not how they may escape."

After that we sat awhile in silence; my father reading, my mother and I working, and Edmund at the window intent as usual upon the stars, which were shining one by one in the deep azure of the darkening sky. As one of greater brightness than the rest shone through the branches of the old tree, where I used to hide some years before, he pointed to it, and said to me, who was sitting nearest to him at the window:

"Cousin Constance, think you the Star of Bethlehem showed fairer in the skies than yon bright star that has just risen behind your favorite oak? What and if that star had a message for us!"

My father heard him, and smiled. "I was even then," he said, "reading the words of one who was led to the true religion by the contemplation of the starry skies. In a Southern clime, where those fair luminaries shine with more splendor than in our Northern heavens, St. Augustine wrote thus;" and then he read a few sentences in Latin from the book in his hand,—"Raising ourselves up, we passed by degrees through all things bodily, even the very heavens, whence sun and moon and stars shine upon the earth. Yea, we soared yet higher by inward musing and discourse and admiring of God's works, and we came to our own minds and went beyond them, so as to arrive at that region of never-failing plenty where thou feedest Israel for ever with the food of truth." These words had a sweet and solemn force in them which struck on the ear like a strain of unearthly music, such as the wind-harp wakes in the silence of the {92} night. In a low voice, so low that it was like the breathing of a sigh, I heard Edmund say, "What is truth?" But when he had uttered those words, straightway turning toward me as if to divert his thoughts from that too pithy question, he cried: "Prithee, cousin Constance, hast thou ended reading, I warrant for the hundredth time, that letter in thine hand? and hast thou not a mind to impart to thy poor kinsman the sweet conceits I doubt not are therein contained?" I could not choose but smile at his speech; for I had indeed feasted my eyes on the handwriting of my dear friend, now no longer Mistress Dacre, and learnt off, as it were by heart, its contents. And albeit I refused at first to comply with his request, which I had secretly a mind to; no sooner did he give over the urging of it than I stole to his side, and, though I would by no means let it out of my hand, and folded down one side of the sheet to hide what was private in it, I offered to read such parts aloud as treated of matters which might be spoken of without hindrance.

With a smiling countenance, then, he set himself to listen, and I to be the mouthpiece of the dear writer, whose wit was so far in advance of her years, as I have since had reason to observe, never having met at any time with one in whom wisdom put forth such early shoots.

(thus the sweet lady wrote),—"Wherefore this long silence and neglect of your poor friend? An if it be true, which pains me much to hear, that the good limb which, together with its fellow, like two trusty footmen, carried you so well and nimbly along the alleys of your garden this time last year, has, like an arrant knave, played fast and loose, and failed in its good service,—wherein, I am told, you have suffered much inconvenience,—is it just that that other servant, your hand, should prove rebellious too, refuse to perform its office, and write no more letters at your bidding? For I'll warrant 'tis the hand is the culprit, not the will; which nevertheless should be master, and compel it to obedience. So, an you love me, chide roundly that contumacious hand, which fails in its duty, which should not be troublesome, if you but had for me one-half of the affection I have for you. And indeed, Mistress Constance, a letter from you would be to me, at this time, the welcomest thing I can think of; for since we left my grandmother's seat, and came to the Charterhouse, I have new friends, and many more and greater than I deserve or ever thought to have; but, by reason of difference of age or of religion, they are not such as I can well open my mind to, as I might to you, if it pleased God we should meet again. The Duke of Norfolk is a very good lord and father to me; but when there are more ways of thinking than one in a house, 'tis no easy matter to please all which have a right to be considered; and, in the matter of religion, 'tis very hard to avoid giving offence. But no more of this at present; only I would to God Mr. Fox were beyond seas, and my lady of Westmoreland at her home in the North; and that we had no worse company in this house than Mr. Martin, my Lord Surrey's tutor, who is a gentleman of great learning and knowledge, as every one says, and of extraordinary modesty in his behavior. My Lord Surrey has a truly great regard for him, and profits much in his learning by his means. I notice he is Catholic in his judgment and affections; and my lord says he will not stay with him, if his grace his father procures ministers to preach to his household and family, and obliges all therein to frequent Protestant service. I wish my grandmother was in London; for I am sometimes sore troubled in my mind touching Catholic religion and conforming to the times, of which an abundance of talk is ministered unto us, to my exceeding great discomfort, by my Lady Westmoreland, his grace's {93} sister, and others also. An if I say aught thereon to Mistress Fawcett (a grave and ancient gentlewoman, who had the care of my Lord Surrey during his infancy, and is now set over us his grace's wards), and of misliking the duke's ministers and that pestilent Mr. Fox—(I fear me, Mistress Constance, I should not have writ that unbeseeming word, and I will e'en draw a line across it, but still as you may read it for indeed 'tis what he is; but 'tis from himself I learnt it, who in his sermons calls Catholic religion a pestilent idolatry, and Catholic priests pestilent teachers and servants of Antichrist, and the holy Pope at Rome the man of sin) she grows uneasy, and bids me be a good child to her, and not to bring her into trouble with his grace, who is indeed a very good lord to us in all matters but that one of compelling us to hear sermons and the like. My Lord Surrey mislikes all kinds of sermons, and loves Mr. Martin so well, that he stops his ears when Mr. Fox preaches on the dark midnight of papacy and the dawn of the gospel's restored light. And it angers him, as well it should, to hear him call his majesty King Philip of Spain, who is his own godfather, from whom he received his name, a wicked popish tyrant and a son of Antichrist. My Lady Margaret, his sister, who is a year younger than himself, and has a most admirable beauty and excellent good nature, is vastly taken with what she hears from me of Catholic religion; but methinks this is partly by reason of her misliking Mr. Fulk and Mr. Clarke's long preachments, which we are compelled to hearken to; and their fashion of spending Sunday, which they do call the Sabbath-day, wherein we must needs keep silence, and when not in church sit still at home, which to one of her lively disposition is heavy penance. Methinks when Sunday comes we be all in disgrace; 'tis so like a day of correction. My Lord Surrey has more liberty; for Mr. Martin carries him and his brothers after service into the pleasant fields about Westminster Abbey and the village of Charing Cross, and suffers them to play at ball under the trees, so they do not quarrel amongst themselves. My Lord Henry Howard, his grace's brother, always maintains and defends the Catholic religion against his sister of Westmoreland; and he spoke to my uncles Leonard, Edward, and Francis, and likewise to my aunt Lady Montague, that they should write unto my grandmother touching his grace bringing us up as Protestants. But the Duke of Norfolk, Mrs. Fawcett says, is our guardian, and she apprehends he is resolved that we shall conform to the times, and that no liberty be allowed us for the exercise of Catholic religion."

At this part of the letter I stopped reading; and Edmund, turning to my father, who, though he before had perused it, was also listening, said: "And if this be liberty of conscience, which Protestants speak of, I see no great liberty and no great conscience in the matter."

His cheek flushed as he spoke, and there was a hoarseness in his voice which betokened the working of strong feelings within him. My father smiled with a sort of pitiful sadness, and answered:

"My good boy, when thou art somewhat further advanced in years, thou wilt learn that the two words thou art speaking of are such as men have abused the meaning of more than any others that can be thought of; and I pray to God they do not continue to do so as long as the world lasts. It seems to me that they mostly mean by 'liberty' a freedom to compel others to think and to act as they have themselves a mind to; and by 'conscience' the promptings of their own judgments moved by their own passions."

"But 'tis hard," Edmund said, "'tis at times very hard, Mr. Sherwood, to know whereunto conscience points, in the midst of so many inward clamors as are raised in the soul by conflicting passions of dutiful affection {94} and filial reverence struggling for the mastery. Ay, and no visible token of God's will to make that darkness light. Tis that," he cried, more moved as he went on, "that makes me so often gaze upward. Would to God I might see a sign in the skies! for there are no sign-posts on life's path to guide us on our way to the heavenly Jerusalem, which our ministers speak of."

"If thou diligently seekest for sign-posts, my good boy," my father answered, "fear not but that he who said, 'Seek, and you shall find,' will furnish thee with them. He has not left himself without witnesses, or his religion to be groped after in hopeless darkness, so that men may not discern, even in these troublous times, where the truth lies, so they be in earnest in their search after it. But I will not urge thee by the cogency of arguments, or be drawn out of the reserve I have hitherto observed in these matters, which be nevertheless the mightiest that can be thought of as regards the soul's health."

And so, breaking off this discourse, he walked out upon the terrace; and I withdrew to the table, where my mother was sitting, and once more conned over the last pages of my lady's letter, which, when the reader hath read, he will perceive the writer's rank and her right to be thus titled.

"And now, Mistress Constance, I must needs inform you of a matter I would not leave you ignorant of, so that you should learn from strangers what so nearly concerns one whom you have a friendship to—and that is my betrothal with my Lord Surrey. The ceremony was public, inasmuch as was needful for the solemnising of a contract which is binding for life—'until death us do part,' as the marriage service hath it. How great a change this has wrought in my thoughts, none knows but myself; for though I be but twelve years of age (for his grace would have the ceremony to take place on my birthday), one year older than yourself, and so lately a child that not a very long time ago my grandmother would chastise me with her own hands for my faults, I now am wedded to my young lord, and by his grace and all the household titled Countess of Surrey! And I thank God to be no worse mated; for my lord, who is a few months younger than me, and a very child for frolicksome spirits and wild mirth, has, notwithstanding, so great a pleasantness of manners and so forward a wit, that one must needs have pleasure in his company; and I only wish I had more of it. Whilst we were only friends and playmates, I used to chide and withstand him, as one older and one more staid and discreet than himself; but, ah me! since we have been wedded, 'tis grand to hear him discourse on the duty of wives, and quote the Bible to show they must obey their husbands. He carries it in a very lordly fashion; and if I comply not at once with his commands, he cries out what he has heard at the play-house:

'Such duty as the subject owes the prince
Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
And when she's froward, peevish sullen, sour,
And not obedient to his honest will,
What is she but a foul contending rebel
And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
I am ashamed that women are so simple
To offer war where they should kneel for peace;
Or seek for rule, supremacy, or sway,
Where they are bound to serve, love, and obey.'

He has a most excellent memory. If he has but once heard out of any English or Latin book so much read as is contained in a leaf, he will forthwith perfectly repeat it. My Lord Henry, his uncle, for a trial, invented twenty long and difficult words a few days back, which he had never seen or heard before; yet did he recite them readily, every one in the same order as they were written, having only once read them over. But, touching that matter of obedience, which I care not to gainsay, 'tis not easy at present to obey my lord my husband, and his grace his father, and Mistress Fawcett, too, who holds as strict a hand over the Countess of Surrey as over Mistress Ann Dacre; for the commands of these my rulers do not at all times accord: but I pray to God I may do my duty, and be a good wife to my lord; and I {95} wish, as I said before, my grandmother had been here, and that I had been favored with her good counsel, and had had the benefit of shrift and spiritual advice ere I entered on this stage of my life, which is so new to me, who was but a child a few weeks ago, and am yet treated as such in more respects than one.

"My lord has told me a secret which Higford, his father's servant, let out to him; and 'tis something so weighty and of so great import, that since he left me my thoughts have been truants from my books, and Monsieur Sebastian, who comes to practice us on the lute, stopped his ears, and cried out that the Signora Contessa had no mercy on him, so to murther his compositions. Tis not the part of a true wife to reveal her husband's secrets, or else I would tell you, Mistress Constance, this great news, which I can with trouble keep to myself; and I shall not be easy till I have seen my lord again, which should be when we walk in the garden this evening; but I pray to God he may not be off instead to the Mall, to play at kittlepins; for then I have small chance to get speech with him to-day. Mr. Martin is my very good friend, and reminds the earl of his duty to his lady; but if my lord comes at his bidding, when he would be elsewhere than in my company, 'tis little contentment I have in his visits.

"'Tis yesterday I writ thus much, and now 'tis the day to send this letter; and I saw not my lord last night by reason of his grandfather my Lord Arundel sending to fetch me unto his house in the Strand. His goodness to me is so great, that nothing more can be desired; and his daughter my Lady Lumley is the greatest comfort I have in the world. She showed me a fair picture of my lord's mother, who died the day he was born, not then full seventeen years of age. She was of so amiable a disposition, so prudent, virtuous, and religious, that all who knew her could not but love and esteem her. And I read a letter which this sweet lady had written in Latin to her father on his birthday, to his great contentment, who had procured her to be well instructed in that language, as well as in her own and in all commendable learning. Then I played at primero with my Lord Arundel and my Lady Lumley and my uncle Francis. The knave of hearts was fixed upon for the quinola, and I won the flush. My uncle Francis cried the winning card should be titled Dudley. 'Not so,' quoth the earl; 'the knave that would match with the queen in the suit of hearts should never win the game.' And further talk ensued; from which I learnt that my Lord Arundel and the Duke of Norfolk mislike my Lord Leicester, and would not he should marry the queen; and my uncle laughed, and said, 'My lord, no good Englishman is there but must be of your lordship's mind, though none have so good reason as yourself to hinder so base a contract; for if my Lord of Leicester should climb unto her majesty's throne, beshrew me if he will not remember the box on the ear your lordship ministered to him some time since;' at which the earl laughed, too; but my Lady Lumley cried, 'I would to God my brother of Norfolk were rid of my Lord Leicester's friendship, which has, I much fear me, more danger in it than his enmity. God send he does not lead his grace into troubles greater than can well be thought of!' Alack, Mistress Constance, what uneasy times are these which we have fallen on! for methinks 'troubles' is the word in every one's mouth. As I was about to step into the chair at the hall-door at Arundel House, I heard one of my lord's guard say to another, 'I trust the white horse will be in quiet, and so we shall be out of trouble.' I have asked Mr. Martin what these words should mean; whereupon he told me the white horse, which indeed I might have known, was the Earl of Arundel's cognisance; and that the times were very troublesome, and plots were spoken of in the North anent the Queen of Scots, her majesty the {96} queen's cousin, who is at Chatesworth; and when he said that, all of a sudden I grew red, and my cheeks burned like two hot coals; but he took no heed, and said, 'A true servant might well wish his master out of trouble, when troubles were so rife.' And now shame take me for taking up so much of your time, which should be spent in more profitable ways than the reading of my poor letters; and I must needs beg you to write soon, and hold me as long as I have held you, and love me, sweet one, as I love you. My Lady Margaret, who is in a sense twice my sister, says she is jealous of Mistress Constance Sherwood, and would steal away my heart from her; but, though she is a winsome and cunning thief in such matters, I warrant you she shall fail therein. And so, commending myself to your good prayers, I remain

"Your true friend and loving servant,

As I finished and was folding up my letter the clock struck nine. It was waning darker without by reason of a cloud which had obscured the moon. I heard my father still pacing up and down the gravel-walk, and ever and anon staying his footsteps awhile, as if watching. After a short space the moon shone out again, and I saw the shadows of two persons against the wall of the kitchen garden. Presently the hall-door was fastened and bolted, as I knew by the rattling of the chain which hung across it. Then my father looked in at the door and said, "'Tis time, goodwife, for young folks to be abed." Upon which my mother rose and made as if she was about to withdraw to her bed-chamber. Edmund followed us up stairs, and, wishing us both good-night, went into the closet where he slept. Then my mother, taking me by the hand, led me into my father's study.


Translated from Der Katholik.



The Church is, in a twofold respect, universal or catholic. While, on the one hand, she extends herself over the whole earth, and encircles the entire human race with the bond of the same faith and an equal love, on the other she makes known, by this very act, the most special inward character of her own being. Thus the Church is the Catholic Church, both in her interior being and in her exterior manifestation.

The ground of the well-known saying of St. Ambrose, "Where Peter is, there is the Church," [Footnote 7] lies in the thought, that the nature of the Church admits of only one form of historical manifestation. The idea of the true Church can only be realized where Peter is, in the communion of the legitimate Pope as the successor of Peter.

[Footnote 7: Ubi Petrus ibi ecclesia. In Ps. xl. No. 30. ]

This proposition has its proximate justification in that clear expression of the will of Jesus Christ, the founder of the Church, in which he designates the Apostle Peter as the rock on which he will build his Church. Moreover, it is precisely this rock-foundation which is to make the Church indestructible. [Footnote 8] From this it follows that, in virtue of the ordinance of Jesus, the office of Peter, or the primacy given him in the Church, was not to expire with the death of the apostle. For, if the {97} Church is indestructible precisely on account of her foundation upon the rock-man Peter, he must remain for all time the support of the Church, and historical connection with him is the indispensable condition on which the Church can be firmly established in any part of the earth. This constant connection with the Apostle Peter is maintained through the bishop of Rome for the time being. For these two offices, the episcopate of Rome and the primacy, were connected with each other in the person of the Apostle Peter. Consequently the same superior rank in the Church which Peter possessed is transmitted to the legitimate bishop of Rome at the same time with the Roman episcopal see. Thus the Prince of the Apostles remains in very deed the rock-foundation of the Church, continually, in each one of his successors for the time being.

[Footnote 8: Matt. xvi. 18.]

In the view of Christian antiquity, the unity of the Church was the particular object for which the papacy was established. [Footnote 9] This unity, apprehended in its historical development, gives us the conception of catholicity. [Footnote 10]

[Footnote 9: St. Cyprian, De Unit Eccl. Primatus Petro dafur, ut una Christi ecclesia et cathedra una monstretur. The primacy is given to Peter, that the Church of Christ may be shown to be one, and the chair one.]

[Footnote 10: Ibid. Ecclesia quoque una est, quae in multitudinem. latius incremento faeccunditatis extenditur.... ecclesia Domini luce perfusa per obem totam radios suos porrigit. Unum tamen lumen est, quod ubique diffunditur, nec unitas corporis separatur.

The Church also is one, which is extended to a very great multitude by the increase of fruitfulness . . . the Church of the Lord pervaded with light extends its rays over the whole world. Nevertheless the light which is everywhere diffused is one, and the unity of the body is never separated.]

Both these marks of the Church must embody themselves in the form of an outwardly perceptible historical reality. The Church being indebted for her unity, and by necessary consequence for her catholicity, precisely to her historical connection with Peter, catholicity is thus rooted in the idea of the papacy. But does its ultimate and most profound principle lie therein?

The argument, briefly sketched above, obliges us to rest the catholicity of the Church on the actual institution of Christ. We can, however, inquire into the essential reason of this institution. Does this reason lie simply in a free, voluntary determination of Christ, or in the interior essence of the Church herself? In the latter case, the Church would appear as Catholic, because the end of her establishment could be fulfilled under no other condition. There would be in her innermost being a secret determination, by force of which the idea of the Church is completely incapable of realization under any other form than that of catholicity. A Christian Church without the papacy were, therefore, entirely inconceivable. If this is actually the case, there lies hidden under the rind of the Church's visible form of catholicity, a still deeper catholicity, in which we are bound to recognize the most profound principle of the outward, historical side of catholicity.

But that inward principle, the marrow of the Church, where are we to look for it? Our theologians, following St. Augustine, teach that the Church, like man, consists of soul and body. The theological virtues form the soul of the Church, and her body is constituted by the outward profession of the faith, the participation of the sacraments, and exterior connection with the visible head of the Church. [Footnote 11] St. Augustine, indeed, also designates the Holy Ghost as the soul or the inner principle of the Church. This is the same thought with the one which will be presently evolved, in which the inner principle of catholicity will be reduced to the conception of the supernatural. This, however, considered in itself, is withdrawn from the region of historical manifestation. In order that it may pass from the region of the invisible into that of apprehensible reality, it needs a medium that may connect together both orders, the invisible order of the supernatural and the order of historical manifestation. It is only in this {98} way that catholicity can acquire for itself a historical shape, and assume flesh and blood.

[Footnote 11: Bellarm., De Eccl. milit., cap. ii.]

We might be disposed to regard the sacraments as this medium, because they are the instruments by which grace is conferred, in a manner apprehensible through the senses. Nevertheless, we cannot find the constitutive principle of the Church in the sacraments alone. It is well known that Protestantism has set forth the legitimate administration of the sacraments as a mark of the true Church. A searching glance at the Protestant conception of the Church will hereafter give us a proof that a bare communication in sacraments, at least from the Protestant stand-point, cannot possibly verify itself as making a visible Church. According to the Protestant doctrine of justification, a sacrament is indebted for its grace-giving efficacy solely to the faith of the receiver. In this view, therefore, the connection of the invisible element of the supernatural with the historically manifested reality, and consequently the making visible of the true Church, is dependent on conditions where historical fulfilment is not provable. Who can prove whether the recipient of a sacrament has faith? It is true that, according to the Catholic view, an objective efficacy is ascribed to the sacrament, i.e., the outwardly perceptible completion of the sacramental action of itself permits the invisible element of the supernatural to penetrate into the sphere of the visible.

Notwithstanding this, the Catholic sacrament is, by itself alone, no sufficient medium through which the being of the true Church can be brought into visibility. Did she embody herself historically only in so far as a sensible matter and an outward action are endued with a supernatural efficacy, the element of the supernatural would come to a historical manifestation only as the purely objective. A profound view of the essence of the Church would not find this satisfactory. The Church, even on her visible side, is not a purely objective, or merely outward, institution. The ultimate principle of catholicity—and this statement will make our conception intelligible—although implanted in the world as a supernatural leaven from above, has nevertheless its seat in the deepest interior of the human spirit. Thence it penetrates upward into the sphere of historical manifestation, and thus proves itself a church-constitutive principle. Such a connection of the region of the interior and subjective with that of historical and visible reality is caused by the objective efficacy of a sacrament, only in the case where the same is productive of its proper effect. This, however, according to Catholic doctrine, presupposes an inward disposition on the part of the recipient, the presence of which cannot be manifested to outward apprehension. A Church, whose essence consisted merely in the bond established through the sacraments, could either not be verified with certitude, or would have an exclusively exterior character. Accordingly, we have not yet found, in the Catholic sacramental conception, the middle term we are seeking, by which the essence of catholicity can be brought into visible manifestation. Rather, this process has to be already completed and the conception of the Church to be actualized, before the sacrament can manifest its efficacy. Through this last, the element of the supernatural, i.e., the invisible germ of the Church, must be originally planted or gradually strengthened in individual souls. But this is effected by the sacrament as the organ and in the name of the Church, though in particular cases outside of her communion.

The continuous existence of Catholicity is essentially the self-building of the body of Christ. It produces its own increase through the instrumentality of the sacraments. [Footnote 12] The union between the supernatural and the historical actuality, or the bond of {99} catholicity, is not then first established in the sacraments. These only mediate for individual souls the reception into the union, or confirm them in their organic relation to it, and are signs of fellowship. In addition to what has been already said, there is another reason, and one of wider application, to be considered, as bearing on this point. The principle of a new life which has to be infused into individual souls through the sacraments is sanctifying grace. In this, therefore, by logical consequence, we should be obliged to recognize the interior constitutive principle of the Church, if it were true that the connection between the inner being of the Church and her historical manifestation were brought to pass through the efficacy of the sacraments. According to this apprehension of the subject, only the saints would belong to the true Church.

[Footnote 12: Eph. iv. 16.]

One might seek to evade this last conclusion by averring that in the instance of baptism, the sacrament produces in the soul of the recipient, beside sanctifying grace, still another effect, independently of the disposition, namely, the baptismal character. This character is an indelible mark impressed on the soul. Here, then, is given us a supernatural principle which penetrates the deepest interior of the human spirit, and which is, at the same time, capable of verifying itself as a historical fact; inasmuch as it is infallibly infused into the soul through an outward, sensible action, and thereby, through the medium of the latter, becomes visible. Beside this, one might be still more inclined to regard the baptismal character as the Church's formative principle, because the same is stamped upon the soul through a sacrament, whose special end is to incorporate with the body of Christ its individual members; for which reason, also, baptism is designated in the language of the Church as the gate of the spiritual life, vitae spiritualis janua. [Footnote 13]

[Footnote 13: Decret. pro Armenia.]

We must, however, in this immediate connection, put in a reminder, that it is a disputed point in theology, whether baptism is really, in all cases, the indispensably necessary condition of becoming a member of the Church. In the opinion of prominent theologians, a mere catechumen can, under certain circumstances, be a member of the Church. [Footnote 14] Be that as it may, no one will certainly dispute the fact that a catechumen, whose soul is glowing with divine love, belongs at least to the soul of the Church. In him, therefore, the inner germ of the Church's life really exists before the reception of the baptismal character. Beside this, it appears to us that the sacramental character, precisely in view of its determinate end, is not so qualified that we can put it forward as the interior principle of catholicity. The baptismal character is intended for a distinctive mark; by it the seal of Church membership is stamped on the soul. It is true that the same action by which the character is impressed on the soul also makes the baptized person a member of the Church, or, that in the same act which plants the inner germ of the Church's being in the heart, the soul receives also the characteristic outward impress of that being. But in so far as it is the immediate and proper faculty of the baptismal character to impress the stamp of the Church in indelible features upon the soul, the very conception of this character presupposes necessarily the conception of the Church, as prior to itself; which shows that we cannot find the principle of the interior being of the Church in the baptismal character. This is confirmed by the additional consideration that the baptismal character is not effaced from those souls which have broken off every kind of connection with the Church, and have absolutely nothing remaining in them by which they communicate in her being. Finally, the existence of the Church, at least so far as her inner being or soul is concerned, {100} does not date its origin from the institution of baptism. We must, therefore, go one step further, in order to discover the interior source of catholicity. As has been heretofore pointed out, this source lies in that region which we are usually wont to designate as the Supernatural Order. Let us, therefore, make a succinct exposition of the interior law of development in this order.

[Footnote 14: Suarez, De Fide. Disp. ix., § i., No. 18.]

According to the Catholic doctrine, faith is the beginning of human salvation, the ground and root of justification, [Footnote 15] i.e., of the supernatural life of the soul. St. Paul designates faith "the substance of things hoped for." [Footnote 16] That is to say, the beatific vision of God, and with it the point toward which the whole supernatural order tends and in which it rests, has its foundation laid in faith, and is already in germ contained in it. Christ, and with him the fountain of our supernatural life, dwells in us through faith. [Footnote 17] Is Christ, therefore, called the foundation, beside which no other can be laid, [Footnote 18 ]then is faith recognized in the basis of the supernatural order, because by faith we are immediately brought into union with Christ. Wherefore the apostle makes our participation in the fruits of the work of redemption precisely dependent on the condition, "If so ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled." [Footnote 19] The same portion as foundation, which faith has in the inner life of grace in the soul, is also accorded to it in relation to the exterior structure of the Church. The visibility of the true Church is only the historical embodiment of the element of the supernatural. The divine building of the Church has for its foundation the apostles, [Footnote 20] that is, as the sense of the passage evidently is, through the faith which they preached. Very remarkable is the form of expression in the well-known saying of the apostle: "One Lord, one faith, one baptism." [Footnote 21] Here the unity of faith is given the precedence of the unity produced through baptism, as being its necessary pre-requisite. The one baptism is the bond of unity of the Church only in the second line. Through it, namely, the fruitful germ of the one faith in which exclusively the unity of the Church has its root, is continually planted in individual souls, an actual confession of that faith being also included in the ceremony of baptism itself.

[Footnote 15: Trid. Sess. vi., cap. 8.]

[Footnote 16: Heb. xi. i.]

[Footnote 17: Eph iii. 17.]

[Footnote 18: I Cor. iii. 11.]

[Footnote 19: Coloss. i. 23.]

[Footnote 20: Eph. ii. 20.]

[Footnote 21: Eph. iv. 5.]

The Church herself makes use of language which clearly shows that she regards faith as the deepest principle of her being. [Footnote 22] The Catechism of the Council of Trent defines the Church as "the faithful dispersed throughout the world." [Footnote 23]

[Footnote 22: Concil. Lateran., iv. cap. Firmiter: Una fidelium universalis ecclesia. ]

[Footnote 23: Catech. Rom., pars 1, cap. x. . qu. 2. ]

According to St. Thomas, also, the unity, and consequently the catholicity of the Church, is radically grounded in faith. The angelic doctor means here living faith, or fides formata. According to this view, the principle of catholicity pervades the innermost depth of subjectivity. At the same time it is clear how the same comes to an historical manifestation. This takes place in the symbol of the Church. The faith which finds its historical expression in the ecclesiastical symbol is to be regarded as fides formata, [Footnote 24] for this reason, because it is a confession of faith made in the name and by the personality of the collective Church, which possesses its inward principle of unity in the fides formata, or living faith. Moreover, the symbol of the Church is a constant warning for those of her members who have not the grace of sanctification to make their faith living through charity. [Footnote 25]

[Footnote 24: That is, faith made perfect by charity as it exists in a person who is in the state of grace, in contradistinction from the faith of a sinner.—TRANSLATOR ]

[Footnote 25: Secunda Secundae, qu. 1. a. q. ad 3. ]

In the foregoing doctrinal exposition St. Thomas has marked out for us the path to be followed in seeking {101} for the medium of union between the exterior and ulterior catholicity of the Church. Our argument must start, therefore, from the position that the unity of the Church in the first line is a unity in faith. In this notion we have the speculative middle term between the inner being of the Church and her historical form of manifestation. From the blending of both these elements is formed the full, adequate idea of catholicity. This last exhibits itself as a force acting in two distinct spheres, that of the inward subjectivity and that of historical objectivity. Consequently, the exterior and interior catholicity of the Church, or the two sides of Catholicism, must be reduced to the same principle. A further evolution of this thought will make it clear, why the being of the true Church can only find its true actualization in the historical form of Catholicism.

The catholic visible form of the Church, as pointed out above, is indicated in the papacy. But in what relation does the latter stand to the interior catholicity of the Church? In order to find the right answer to this decisive question, we must first more exactly define in what sense the papacy must be regarded as the bond of the historical unity of the Church. It must be so regarded, precisely in so far as the primacy has been instituted for the special end of preserving the faith incorrupt. According to the teaching of the Fathers of the Church, Peter is the Church's foundation of rock, in virtue of his faith. [Footnote 26] By this, of course, is not meant the personal confession of the Apostle Peter, but the object-matter of the same, the contents of the faith to be preached by Peter and his successors. Peter, says Leo the Great, is called by Christ the Rock, on account of the solidity of the faith which he was to preach, pro soliditate fidei quam erat praedicaturus. [Footnote 27 ] This is not the place to develop further in what way the papacy proves itself in act the cement of the unity of faith. We shall speak of that later. It is enough for our purpose, in the meanwhile, to take note of the judgment of the ancient Church. According to the doctrine of the Fathers of the Church, the fundamental significance which the papacy has for the Church, rests upon a relation of dependence between her faith and the faith of Peter, including by consequence that of his successors. In this sense St. Hilarius distinctly calls the faith of the Apostle Peter the foundation of the Church. [Footnote 28] The same view is found in St. Ambrose, [Footnote 29] expressed in nearly the same words. But if Peter is the Church's foundation of rock precisely through his faith, that mutual relation between the inner catholicity of the Church and the papacy is no longer doubtful. For that the Church, according to her inward essence, verifies herself as the Catholic Church, she owes precisely to her faith, as likewise, on the other side, her catholic visible form is conditioned by the outward profession of the same faith. Consequently, the papacy as guardian of the unity of faith, stands also in a necessary connection with the inner being of the Church. Here then we have the uniting member we have been seeking between inward and outward catholicity, the essence and the manifestation of the Church. In so far as the historical connection with Peter must be conceived as a bond of faith, in this same connection or in the form of Catholicism, the true Church, even as to her inner being, comes historically into visible manifestation.

[Footnote 26: See the relevant passages from the fathers in Ballerini, De vi ac rations primatus Rom. Pont., cap. xii., § 1, No. 1. ]

[Footnote 27: Serm. 62.]

[Footnote 28: De Trin., vi. 37. ]

[Footnote 29: De Incarn., cap. 5. ]

Faith, which we affirm to be the essential kernel of Catholicism, has two sides, one which is interior and subjective, and another which comes to outward manifestation. With the heart we believe unto justification, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. [Footnote 30] A revealed truth {102} corresponds to supernatural faith as its necessary object. Therefore, it may be remarked in passing, the subjective act of faith is equally infallible with the divine testimony itself, upon which it is essentially based. [Footnote 31] This revealed object of faith, without which a supernatural faith is entirely inconceivable, is mediated or set forth through an organ directly instituted by God for this purpose. An individual, who thinks that he has discovered, through private investigation or in any other way, a particular point of doctrine, which hitherto has not been universally received as such, to be a revealed truth, can only make it an object of supernatural faith, when he is able to judge with certainty that this supposed new doctrine of faith would be approved by the infallible, divinely appointed organ of revealed truth. [Footnote 32]

[Footnote 30: Rom. x. 10.]

[Footnote 31: St. Thomas, Secunda Secunda, q. 1 a. 3.]

[Footnote 32: Suarez, De Fide. Disp. iii., Sect, xiii., No. 9.]

This mediating organ is, however, as we shall fully show in the course of our further exposition, no other than the Apostle Peter, and through the relation which he bears to him, his legitimate successor in office. Peter is the support and the strength of his brethren, inasmuch as his faith, to which the dogmatic utterance of his successors gives a new expression according to the needs of the Church, forms a criterion for the faith of the Church. Peter, preaching of the faith, continually apprehensible through the papal definitions of faith, gives to the faith of the Church the specific form under which the same incorporates itself historically in an ecclesiastical confession. But in the Church-confession of faith, as we have before shown, its inner being comes into visible manifestation. As medium of Peter's preaching of the faith, the papacy is consequently also a Church-constitutive principle, inasmuch as through the actualization of the supreme power delegated to him by Christ, the being of the Church is made visible, and obtains an historical form. This is the sense of the words, "On this Rock I will build my Church."

As we have, in the foregoing remarks, conceived of the papacy as the angle at which the two sides of Catholicism meet, the uniting bond of the outward and inward catholicity of the Church, we are further bound to show why precisely the papacy is the appropriate organ to establish that union between the essence and the manifestation of Catholicism, and thereby to mediate the actualization of the true idea of the Church. For this purpose we must endeavor to penetrate somewhat deeper into the inner being or soul of the Church. We shall there find a tendency which makes the Catholic form of manifestation of the Church a postulate of her being. This tendency lies in the character of the supernatural. In the conception of the supernatural we shall endeavor to point out the radical conception of Catholicism. The papacy, and the Catholic visible form of the Church mediated by it, is, in our opinion, the necessary consequence of the supernaturality of her being.

Thus far we have sketched in brief outlines the mutual relation of the two sides of Catholicism. We must reserve for a subsequent article the detailed theological proof of that which we have for the present suggested as a new theory. Meanwhile we would like to exhibit, in a few words, the interest which an investigation of this subject claims for itself at this particular period of time.


The distinction between an exterior and interior catholicity of the Church is but slightly touched upon in our books of dogmatic instruction. No one need wonder at this circumstance. It is well known that the controversy with Protestantism gave occasion to the usual modern method of treating of the marks of the Church. The {103} method of the great controversialists of the age of the Reformation has, at least in regard to the present question, remained, to a considerable extent, the model for the dogmatic writers of the present time. The theologians of a former time, however, found no necessity for expressly distinguishing between the catholicity of the being of the Church and that of her manifestation. It was enough for their purpose to prove that the Church, in her historical manifestation, is the Catholic Church.

The Protestantism of the epoch of the Reformation claimed for its congregations the honor of having actualized the true idea of the Church. The churches of Wittenberg, Zurich, and Geneva each pretended to be the true copy of the evangelical primitive Church. It was easy for Catholic polemics to destroy this pretension. It was only necessary to inspect the particular Protestant churches a little closely. Such a reconnoissance conducted necessarily to the indubitable conclusion that none of those communions had the marks of the true Church upon it, and that these were realized only in the Church in communion with the Pope.

Modern Protestantism is much more modest in its pretensions. The present champions of the Protestant cause characterize, without disguise, the attempt of the Reformers to bring the essence of the true Church historically into manifestation in their communions as a gross error and a backsliding into Catholicism. They will have it, that the characteristic principle of Protestantism lies precisely in the acknowledgment that the true essence of the Church can find its correlative expression in none of the existing churches. The true Church, according to this notion, remains an unattainable ideal as long as the world stands. Not to actualize the idea of the Church, only to strive after its actualization, is the task of a religious communion. The Protestantism of the day accordingly recognizes it as its vocation "to give Christianity precisely the expression and form which best corresponds to the necessities of the time, the demands of an advanced science and culture, the grade of intellectual and moral development of the Christian nations." [Footnote 33]

[Footnote 33: Schenkel, "Essence of Prot.," p. 4.]

Protestant polemic theology makes the following use of this view. Over against the magnificent historical manifestation of the Catholic Church, the torn and rent condition of the Protestant religious community presents a striking contrast. The proximate conclusion that the true Church can only be found within the circle of Catholicism, they seek now to anticipate on the Protestant side by the observation that already from the outset one makes a false start who would wish to recognize the true Church by her form of historical manifestation. According to the Protestant view, the mark of catholicity verifies itself exclusively in the inner being of the Church, and not in her outward manifestation. For, owing to the constant progress of human development, and the extremely diversified individuality of single nations, the historical manifestation of the Church must be multiform to the same extent as the intellectual and moral wants of the different peoples are various. Nevertheless, in spite of the manifold differences which distinguish the particular churches in their historical manifestation, the members of the same blend themselves together into a great invisible spiritual kingdom. This is the ideal Church.

This is the response which modern Protestantism makes when Catholic criticism places before its eyes the melancholy picture of its inward divisions and the history of its variations. From the historical manifestation of a church to its inner being they say the conclusion is invalid. In order, therefore, to make Catholic polemics effective, the relation between the essence and the manifestation of the Church must be first of all theologically {104} established. It is only after this has been done that the comparison between "the Church and the churches" can be exhibited in its entire argumentative force.

The theory of the ideal church is not yet effectively refuted, when we on the Catholic side content ourselves with proving that the true Church must become visible. This general proposition does not exclude the proposition of our opponents. For, according to the Protestant doctrine, also, the creative power of the spirit of Christianity exhibits itself in the construction of visible congregations, and the gradual actualization of the ideal Church is conditioned by a sensibly apprehensible mediation. The final decision of this question must therefore be sought in the demonstration of the proposition that the inmost being of the Church can only realize itself historically in the one specific form; that a catholicity of the essence of the Church without a catholicity in her manifestation is entirely inconceivable. Only by this demonstration will the retreat of Protestant polemics into the ideal Church be for ever cut off.

Some have argued against the Protestant view, that as Christian truth is one so the visible Church can also be but one. [Footnote 34] The argument is valid only in the prior supposition that there can be but a single form of historical manifestation for the inner being of the Church. This, however, Protestantism denies in the sense, that from its stand-point every particular church represents the idea of the Church, [Footnote 35] even though it may be on one side only. According to the diversified stages of cultivation in the Christian people, so they say, now one, now another side of Christian truth attains to its expression in the particular confessions, but in none the full and entire truth. The contradiction existing between these, therefore, in nowise falls back upon the Christian verity itself. This Protestant evasion can also be alone met in the way above designated, by establishing the relation between the essence and the manifestation of Catholicism.

[Footnote 34: Moehler, "Symbolism."]

[Footnote 35: This is also the theory of High-Church Episcopalianism. Mr. Sewall has defined it more logically than any other writer of that school. According to him, the unity of the Church consists in this, that all churches are formed after one ideal model, or on one principle, and the separate churches of individual bishops are each a perfect organic whole. That is, Catholic unity is an abstract unity, concreted in each particular bishop and diocese. Hence there can be no organized unity of the universal Church, but only union or friendly communion of independent churches. This notion was highly approved by Bishop Whittingham, who expressed it in this way, that the true communion of churches with each other is in speculo Trinitatis. It is pure Congregationalism, bating the difference between a diocese governed by a chief and inferior pastors, and a single congregation under one pastor or several of the same order. But it is the only logical conception of a visible church possible, when the papacy, or principle of universal organic unity, is denied. It is the logical result of the schismatical position of the Greeks, who have no unity among themselves except that which is national, but are divided into several independent bodies. Hence, the so-called "union movement," as clearly shown by Cardinal Patrizi in the Decree sent to the English bishops, is one which proceeds from a denial of Catholic unity, and therefore can never lead to unity, but only aim at union, or voluntary co-operation of distinct churches with each other. The High-Church theory differs from that of the German Protestants in this that the former requires that all churches should be alike, and each one represent completely the ideal Church; but both are based on the same principle, that of an abstract, invisible unity and catholicity, concreted in an individual and not a generic and universal mode.—TRANSLATOR.]

It has been further argued that a Church of the Nations, which the Christian Church must be, according to its idea, is entirely inconceivable without the papacy at its summit. [Footnote 36] Here, also, it is presupposed, as already proved, that the conception of universality which is essentially connected with the idea of the true Church must also necessarily impress itself upon her actual explication of herself in time. But it is precisely against this notion that modern Protestantism contends. Therefore, if our polemic arms are to bring down their man, the affair must begin with a sharper delineation of the mutual relation between the essence and the visible form of the Church.

[Footnote 36: Döllinger, "The Church and the Churches."]

Beside the polemic advantages to be gained in the course which has been suggested, there is another in the interest of pacification. Under the rubbish of the Protestant Church-idea there still lies buried a remnant of {105} Catholic truth. We ought not to shun the trouble of bringing this to light. It is the Christian truth contained in his confession which binds the believing Protestant to it. Catholic theology has to reclaim this as its own property. It has the mission intrusted to it to show how the religious satisfaction, which the deeper Protestant mind thinks it finds in the doctrinal conception of its confession, is imparted to it in richer abundance and morally purified through the dogma of the Church. Through this conciliatory method, an understanding of the Catholic truth can be much more easily and effectually imparted to the unprejudiced Protestant mind than by a rough polemical method. This end is most essentially served by the distinction between the essence and the manifestation of Catholicism.

Protestant piety makes a great boast of its deep spirituality. The modern ideal theory of the Church owes a great share of its popularity to its aptitude of application in this direction. By means of this conception, the Protestant Church is expected to exhibit itself in a new light as the church of the interior and spiritual life. Does one attain the same depth of view from the Catholic stand-point? All doubt on this point must disappear on thorough consideration of what we have above named, the inner side of Catholicism.

There is another ground for the favor with which this ideal theory of the Church is at present received. Protestant theology regards it as a means of its own resuscitation. The old doctrine of justification by faith alone has in great part lost the charm it once exercised over the hearts of the German people. The once mighty battle-cry of inward, subjective faith is no longer to the taste of our age. Therefore, in our time, instead of the antiquated idea of immediate union with Christ, the world-moving power of the mind, the creative power of the idea, is set up as the distinguishing principle of Protestantism. The latter is thus made to appear as the most powerful protector of the liberal aspirations of the age.

Catholic controversy must take some cognizance of this, if it would make its own proper principle prevail. While Protestantism seeks to gain the favor of the contemporary world by obsequiously yielding to the caprices of the spirit of the age, the inner principle of Catholicism raises it above the vacillations which sway particular periods. Only a Church which, thanks to its native principle, is not borne along by intellectual and social periodical currents, can effectually correct their movement. In order, therefore, to measure accurately the influence which the Church, by virtue of her institution, is called to exercise upon human society, we must penetrate into her innermost essence, to the very point where Catholicism has its deepest principle. First from this point can we correctly understand in how far the Church is a social power. From this point of view alone can we comprehend her aptitude to be the teacher of the nations. And precisely of this social and instructive vocation have our contemporaries lost the right understanding to a great extent. It is one of the mightiest tasks of our modern theology to make the minds of men once more capable of apprehending this truth. [Footnote 37]

[Footnote 37: A few sentences rather digressive from the main topic of the article are hero omitted.—TRANSLATOR.]

The high importance of authority in the system of Catholicism is well known. This fundamental principle runs a danger of being placed in a false light, when it is depressed to the level of the historical and exterior side of the Church. Ecclesiastical authority, separated from the ground which lies back of it and which is above the temporal order, may appear even to the well-disposed as a mere brake for the stoppage of all intellectual progress. This suggests a temptation to desire a compromise between the Church and the spirit of the age. When one takes a merely exterior and {106} historical view of church authority, the proper spirit of joyousness which ought to belong to faith is wanting in the submission which is rendered to its decrees. It is very easy, then, to fall into a sort of diplomatic way of acting toward the Church as teacher of doctrine. One seeks to accommodate one's self to her doctrine through subtile distinctions. On the contrary, the boldest scientific mind frankly and cheerfully bows itself under the yoke of the obedience of faith, when it sees that the Church, in her doctrinal decision, is acting from her own interior principle.

Our doctrinal exposition requires now that we should go into a more thorough argument respecting the immanent principle of Catholicism, which we shall first of all undertake to do on Scriptural grounds. This part of the subject will be treated in an ensuing article.

[Continued on
Page 669

From The Cornhill Magazine.



In the immediate vicinity of the capital of the kingdom of Lilliput there is a charming village called "Les Grenouillettes." This rural resort of the citizens of Mildendo consists, mainly, of three hotels, thirty public-houses, and five ponds. The population I should reckon at about ten millions, inclusive of frogs, who are the principal inhabitants, and who make a great noise in the world there.

Hither flock the jocund burgesses, and dance to the sound of harp and viol. …

It occurs to me that, sprightly as I may think it to call Belgium Lilliput, the mystification might possibly become tiresome and inconvenient if persisted in throughout this narrative, beside becoming absolutely unnecessary. As for the village in question, I have a reason or two for not calling it by its right name.

About half-a-dozen years ago, my brother (Captain John Freshe, R.N.), his wife, and I had been wearily jogging all a summer's day in search of country lodgings for a few weeks in the immediate neighborhood of Brussels. Now nothing can be more difficult to find in that locality, except under certain conditions.

You can live at a village hotel, and pay a maximum price for minimum comfort.

You can, possibly, lodge in a public-house, where it will cost you dear, however little you pay.

Or you can, in some villages, hire empty rooms in an entirely empty house, and hire furniture from Brussels, and servants, if you have none, by the month.

This last alternative has the advantage of ennobling your position into a quasi-martyrdom, by, in a measure, compelling you to stay where you are, whether you like it or not.

Toward the end of that longest of the long days, we began to regard life and circumstance with the apathy of despair, and to cease to hope for anything further from them except dinner.

The capital of the kingdom of Lilliput appeared to be partially surrounded by a vast and melancholy campagna of turnips. These wilds, immeasurably spread, seemed lengthening as we went. Village after {107} village had we reached, and explored in vain. Judging by our feelings, I should say we had ransacked at least half-a-hundred of those rural colonies. Almost all these villages possessed at least six public-houses and two ponds. Some few had no ponds, but all had six public-houses. Rural, dusty, cracked public-houses; with frowzy gardens, with rotten, sloppy tables and benches; with beery gorillas playing at quoits and ninepins.

The names of none of these settlements seemed to us pronounceable by human beings, with the exception of two, which sounded like Diggum and Hittumontheback. But our city driver appeared to be acquainted with the Simian tongue, and was directed from village to village by the good-natured apes whom he interrogated.

About sunset we came to a larger and quite civilized place, with a French name, signifying "The Tadpoles"—the place I have described at the commencement of this narrative. Our dusty fly and dejected horse turned into the carriage entrance of the first little hotel we saw. It stood sideways to a picturesque little lake, with green shores. The carriage entrance went through the house. Beyond, we had caught sight of a paved yard or court, and of a vista of green leafiness that looked cool and inviting. We heard the noisy jangling of a barrel-organ playing a polka, and we found a performance going on in the court that absorbed the attention of the whole household. No one seemed to hear, or at least to heed, the sound of our wheels, but, when our vehicle fairly stopped in the paved yard, a fishy-eyed waiter came toward us, jauntily flipping time with his napkin. We begged him to get us dinner instantly.

"Way, Mosou," replied that official, in the sweet Belgian-French language, and let us out of the fly. We had been so long cramped up in it that we were glad to walk, and stand, and look about the court while our food was got ready.

The organ-grinder had not ceased grinding out his polka for a moment. The wiry screams of his infernal machine seemed to charm him as much as they did the rest of the company assembled. He was the usual Savoyard, with a face like a burnt crust; all fire-brown eyes, sable ringlets, and insane grimace. He leaned against a low stone post, and ground out that horrible bray, like a grinning maniac. We walked to a short distance, and took in the scene.

A little sallow young man, having a bushy mustache, stood near a door into the house, with a dish in his hand, as if he had been transfixed in the act of carrying it somewhere. Beside him, on the step of the door, sat a blonde young woman, with large blue eyes and a little mouth—as pretty and as fade as a Carlo-Dolcian Madonna. Evidently these were the landlord and his lady.

On a garden-bench, by the low wall that divided the court from the garden beyond, sat, a little apart, a young person of a decidedly French aspect, dressed quite plainly, but with Parisian precision, in black silk. In her hand and on her lap lay some white embroidery. She was not pretty, but had neat, small features, that wore a pleasant though rather sad smile, as she suspended her work to watch what was going on. An old woman in a dark-blue gown and a clean cap, with a pile of freshly-ironed linen in her arms, stood at the top of some steps leading into a little building which was probably the laundry. She was wagging her old head merrily to the dance tune. Other lookers-on lounged about, but some of them had vanished since our arrival—for instance, the fishy-eyed waiter and a burly individual in a white nightcap.

The centre of attraction remains to be described. Within a few paces of the organ-grinder, a little girl and boy danced indefatigably on the stones, to the unmusical music of his box. The little boy was a small, fair, sickly child, in a linen blouse, and about four years old. He jumped, and stamped, and {108} laughed excitedly. The little girl looked about a year older. She was plump and rosy, dressed in a full pink frock and black silk apron. She had light brown hair, cut short and straight, like a boy's. She danced very energetically, but solemnly, without a smile on her wee round mouth. She poussetted, she twirled—her pink frock spread itself out like a parasol. Her fat little bare arms akimbo, she danced in a gravely coquettish, thoroughly business-like way; now crossing, changing places with her partner; now setting to him, with little pattering feet; now suddenly whisking and whirling off. The little boy watched her, and followed her lead: she was the governing spirit of the dance. Both children kept admirable time. They were dancing the tarantella, though they had never heard of it; but of all the poetry of motion, the tarantella is the most natural measure to fall into.

The organ-grinder ground, and grinned, and nodded; the landlord and his wife exchanged looks of admiration and complacency whenever they could take their eyes off the little dancing nymph: it was easy to see they were her proud parents. The quiet young lady on the bench looked tenderly at the tiny, sickly boy, as he frisked. We felt sure she was his mother. His eyes were light blue, not hazel; but he had the same neat little features.

All of a sudden, down from an open window looking into the court, there came an enormous voice—

"Ah, ah! Bravo! Ah, ah, Monsieur Babébibo-BOU!"

The little boy stopped dancing; so did the little girl, and every one looked up at the window. The little boy, clapping his hands and screaming with glee, ran under it. No one could be seen at that aperture, but we had caught a momentary glimpse of a big blond man in a blue blouse, who had instantly dropped out of sight, and who was crouching on the floor, for we saw, though the child below could not, the top of his straw hat just above the window-edge. The little boy screamed, "Papa, papa!" The great voice, making itself preternaturally gruff, roared out—

"Qui est là? Est-ce par chance Monsieur Babébibo-BOU?" (The first syllables very fast, the final one explosive.)

"Way, way! C'est Mosou Babi—bou!" cried the child, trying to imitate the gruff voice, and jumping and laughing ecstatically.

Out of the window came flying a huge soft ball of many colors, and then another roar: "Avec les compliments du Roi de tous les joujoux, à Monsieur Babébibo-BOU!"

More rapture. Then a large white packet, palpably sugar-plums, "Avec les compliments de la Reine de tous les bonbons, a Mademoiselle Marie, et à Monsieur Babébibo-BOU!"

Rapture inexpressible, except by shrill shrieks and capers. The plump little girl gravely advances and assists at the examination of the packet, popping comfits into her tiny mouth with a placid melancholy, which I have often observed in fat and rosy faces.

Meanwhile, the organ-grinder has at last stopped grinding, has lowered his box, and is eating a plateful of cold meat and bread which the old woman has brought out to him. The landlord and his wife have disappeared. The young Frenchwoman on the garden-bench has risen, and come toward the children; and now, from a doorway leading into the house, issues the big blond man we caught a momentary glimpse of at the window.

The little boy abandons the sugar-plums to his playfellow, and crying "Papa! papa!" darts to the new comer, who stoops and gathers him up to his broad breast, in his large arms and hands, kissing him fondly and repeatedly. The child responds with like effusion. The father's great red face, with its peaked yellow beard, contrasts touchingly, somehow, with the wee pale phiz of his little son. {109} The child's tiny white pads pat the jolly cheeks and pull the yellow beard. Then the man in the blouse sets his son carefully on the ground, and kisses the young Frenchwoman who stands by.

The big man has evidently been absent awhile from his family. "How goes it, my sister?" says he.

"Well, my brother," she answers quietly. "Thou hast seen Auguste dance. Thou hast seen how well, and strong, and happy he is—the good God be thanked."

"And after him, thee, my good sister," says the big man, affectionately.

We had been called in to dinner by this time, but the open window of our eating-room looked into the court close to where the group stood. We observed that Mademoiselle Marie had remained sole possessor of the packet of sweets; and that the little boy, content to have got his papa, made no effort to assert his rights in them. The big papa interfered, saying, "Mais, mais, la petite.… Give at least of the bonbons to thy comrade. It is only fair."

"Let her eat them, Jean," put in his sister, with naive feminine generosity and justice. "They are so unwholesome for Auguste, seest thou?"

The big man laughed, lit his pipe, and the three went away into the little garden, where they strolled, talking in the summer twilight.

We came happily to an anchor here, in this foggy little haven, and finding we could secure, at tolerably moderate charges, the accommodation we required, made up our minds to stay at this little hotel for the few weeks of our absence from Brussels.


Next morning we were breakfasting in the garden under a trellis of hop-leaves, when the big man in the blouse came up the gravel-walk, with his small son on his shoulder.

They were making a tremendous noise. The little boy was pulling his father's great red ear; he affected to bellow with anguish, his roaring voice topped by the child's shrill, gleeful treble. We saluted the new comers in a neighborly manner.

"A beautiful day, Madame," said the big man, in French, taking off his hat and bowing politely to John's wife, at the same time surrounding his son safely with his left arm.

"Madame and these Messieurs are English, is it not?"

"A pretty place," we went on to say, after owning our nationality, "and very pleasant in this hot weather after the glare of Brussels."

"It is that; and I am here as often as possible," returned our new acquaintance. "My sister is staying here for the advantage of this little man. … Monsieur Auguste, at your service. Salute then the society, Auguste. You must know he has the pretension to be a little delicate, this young man. An invalid, if you please; consequently his aunt spoils him! It is a ruse on his part, you perceive. Ah, bah! An invalid! My word, he fatigues my poor arm. Ah—h! I cannot longer sustain him. I faint—I drop him down he goes. … la—a—à!"

Here, lowering him carefully, as if he were crystal, he pretended to let his son suddenly tumble on a bit of grass-plot.

"At present" (grumbling) "here he is, broken to pieces probably; we shall have the trouble of mending him. His aunt must bring her needle and thread."

Monsieur Auguste was so enchanted with this performance that he encored it ecstatically. His father obeyed, and then sent him off running to call out his aunt to breakfast, which was laid under a neighboring trellis.

"He is strong on his legs, is it not, Madame?" said the father, looking after him; his jolly face and light blue eyes a little grave, and wistful. "His spirits are so high, see you? He is {110} too intelligent, too intellectual—he has a little exhausted his strength; that says all. He is well enough; he has no malady; and every day he is getting stouter, plainly to the eye."

Here the aunt and nephew joined us. Our new acquaintance introduced her.

"Ma belle-soeur. Ma chère,—Madame and these Messieurs are English. They are good enough to take an interest in this infant Hercules of ours."

He tossed the child on his shoulder again; established on which throne his little monarch amused himself by ornamenting the parental straw-hat with a huge flaring poppy and some green leaves, beneath which the jovial face bloomed Bacchic.

Meanwhile the quiet young French-woman, smiling affectionately at those playfellows as they went off together, sat down on a chair we offered her, and frankly entered into conversation.

In a few minutes we knew a great deal about this little family. The man in the blouse was a Belgian painter, Jean Baudin, and "well seen in the expositions of Paris and Brussels." "His wife was my sister: we were of Paris. When our little Auguste was born, my poor sister died. She was always delicate. The little one is very delicate. Ah, so delicate, also. It is impossible to be over-careful of him. And his father, who is so strong—so strong! But the little one resembles in every manner his mother. His poor father adores him, as you see. Poor Jean! he so tenderly loved his wife, who died in her first youth. … She had but eighteen years—she had six years less than I. In dying she begged me to be to her infant a mother, and to her poor Jean a sister. Jean is a good brother, bon et brave homme. And for the little one, he is truly a child to be adored—judiciously, it is understood, madame: I spoil him not, believe me. But he is clever to astonish you, that child. So spiritual, and then such a tender little good heart—a disposition so amiable. Hardly he requires correction. … Auguste! how naughty thou art! Auguste! dost thou hear? Jean! take him then off the dusty wall, and wipe him a little. Mon ami, thou spoilest the child; one must be judicious."

We presently left the garden, and, in passing, beheld Monsieur Auguste at breakfast. He was seated between his papa and aunt, and was being adored by both (judiciously and injudiciously) to the heart's content of all three.

We stayed a month at this little hotel at The Tadpoles. The English family soon fraternized with that of Jean Baudin, the Flemish painter, also sojourning there, and the only other resident guests.

John's wife and Mademoiselle became good friends and gossips, and sat at work and chat many a summer hour under the hop trellises. Mademoiselle Rose Leclerc was the Frenchwoman's name, but her name of ceremony was simply "Mademoiselle." John and I used to walked about the country, among the lanes, and woods, and hamlets which diversify the flats on that side of Brussels, accompanying Jean Baudin and his paint-box. We sat under a tree, or on a stone fence, smoking pipes of patience, while Jean made studies for those wonderful, elaborate tiny pictures, the work of his big hands, by which he and his little son lived. I remember, in particular, a mossy old cottage, rough and grey; the front clothed with vines, the quaint long gable running down behind to within a yard of the ground. Baudin sketched that cottage very often; and often used its many picturesque features.

Sometimes it was the rickety, black-timbered porch, garlanded with vine; a sonsy, blond-haired young Flemish maiden sat there, and twirled the bobbins on a lace-cushion, in a warm yellow flicker of sunshine. Sometimes Jean went right into the porch and into the cottage itself, and presently brought us out an old blue-gowned, black-coifed creature, knitting as she kicked the grand-babe's clumsy cradle {111} with her clumsy sabot;—a ray through the leafy little window-hole found the crone's white hair, and the infant cheek. Honest Jean only painted what he saw with his eyes. He could copy such simple poetry as this, and feel it too, though he could indite no original poems on his canvas pages. He was a hearty good fellow, and we soon got to like him, and his kindly, unpretentious, but not unshrewd, talk— that is, when it could be got off the paternal grooves—which, to say the truth, was seldomer than we (who were not ourselves at that period the parents of prodigies) may have secretly desired.

In the summer evenings we used to sit in the garden all together, the ladies graciously permitting us to smoke. We liked to set the children a-dancing again on the grass-plot before us; and I must here confess that they saltated to a mandolin touched by this hand. I had studied the instrument under a ragged maestro of Naples, and flattered myself. I performed on it with credit to both, and to the general delight.

Sometimes Jean Baudin would tie to his cane a little pocket-handkerchief of Monsieur Auguste, and putting this ensign into his hand, cause him to go through a certain vocal performance of a martial and defiant character. The pale little man did it with much spirit, and a truculent aspect, stamping fiercely at particular moments of the strain. I can only remember the effective opening of this entertainment. Thus it began—"Les Belges" (at this point the small performer threw up the staff and flag of his country, and shouted ff) "SONT BRAVES!!" Papa and aunt regarded with pride that ferocious champion of his valiant compatriots, looking round to read our astonishment and rapture in our faces.

We all got on excellently with the hotel folk, ingratiating ourselves chiefly by paying a respectful court to the solid and rosy little princess of the house. Jean Baudin painted her, sitting placid, a little open-mouthed, heavy-lidded, over-fed, with a lapful of cherries. We all made much of her and submitted to her. John's wife presented her with a frock of English print, of a charming apple-green; out of which the fat pink face bloomed like a carnation-bud out of its calyx.

The young landlord would bring us out a dish to our garden dinner-table, on purpose that he might linger and chat about England. That country, and some of its model institutions, appeared to excite in his mind a mixture of awe and curiosity, wonder and horror. For instance, he had heard—he did not altogether believe it (deprecatingly)—that not only were the shops of London closed, with shutters, on the Sunday, but also the theatres; and not only the theatres, but also the expositions, the gardens and salons of dance, of music, of play. How! it was actually the truth?

"Certainly, what Madame was good enough to affirm one must believe. But then what do they? No business, no amusement what then do they, mon Dieu!—"

"They go to church, read the Bible, and keep the Sabbath day holy," asserts Mrs. Freshe, in perfect good faith, and severely and proudly, as becomes a Protestant Britishwoman.

"Tiens, tiens! But it is triste, that—. Is it not that it is triste, Madame? Tiens, tiens! And this is that which is the Protestantism. Since Madame herself affirms it, one can doubt no longer."

And he goes pondering away, to tell his wife; with no increased tendency to the reformed faith.

Even Joseph, the stolid and fishy-eyed waiter, patronized us, and gravely did us a hundred obliging services beyond his official duty.

On a certain evening, Mademoiselle, John, John's wife, and I, sat as usual at book or work under the trellises; while the two children, at healthful play, prattled under the shade of the laurel-bushes hard by. As usual, the solid little Flemish maiden was {112} tyrannizing calmly over her playfellow. We constantly heard her small voice, quiet, slow, and dominating: "Je le veux." "Je ne le veux pas." They had for playthings a little handbell and a toy-wagon, and were playing at railways. Auguste was the porter, trundling up, with shrill cries, heavy luggage-trucks piled with gravel, gooseberry-skins, tin soldiers, and bits of cork. Marie was a rich and haughty lady about to proceed by the next convoi, and paying an immense sum, in daisies, for her ticket, to Auguste, become a clerk. A disputed point in these transactions appeared to be the possession of the bell; the frequent ringing of which was indeed a principal feature of the performance. Auguste contended hotly, but with considerable show of reason, to this effect:—That the instrument belonged to him, in his official capacities of porter and clerk, rather than to the rich and haughty lady, who as a passenger was not, and could not be, entitled to monopolize the bell of the company. Indeed, he declared himself nearly certain that, as far as his experience went, passengers never did ring it at all. But Marie's "Je le veux" settled the dispute, and carried her in triumph, after the crushing manner of her sex, over all frivolous masculine logic.

Mademoiselle sat placid beside us, doing her interminable and elaborate satin-stitch. She was working at a broad white slip, intended, I understood, to form the ornamental base of a petticoat. It was at least a foot wide, of a florid and labyrinthine pattern, full of oval and round holes, which appeared to have been cut out of the stuff in order that Mademoiselle might be at the pains of filling them up again with thready cobwebs. She would often with demure and innocent complacency display this fabric, in its progress, to John's wife (who does not herself, I fancy, excel in satin-stitch), and relate how short a time (four months, I think) she had taken to bring it so near completion. Mrs. Freshe regarded this work of art with feminine eyes of admiration, and slyly remarked that it was really beautiful enough "même pour un trousseau." At the same time she with difficulty concealed her disapproval of the waste of precious time incurred by the authoress of the petticoat-border. Not that Mademoiselle could be accused of neglecting the severer forms of her science; such as the construction of frocks and blouses for Monsieur Auguste—adorned, it must be admitted, with frivolous and intricate convolutions of braid. And the exquisite neatness of the visible portions of Monsieur Jean's linen also bore honorable testimony to Mademoiselle's more solid labors.

Into the midst of this peaceful garden-scene entered a new personage. A man of middle height, with a knapsack at his back, came up the gravel-walk: a handsome brown-faced fellow of five-and-thirty, with a big black beard, and a neat holland blouse, and a grey felt hat.

Mademoiselle and he caught sight of each other at the same instant.

Both gave a cry. Her rather sallow little face flushed like a rose. She started up; down dropped her petticoat-work; she ran forward, throwing out her hands; she stopped short—shy, and bright, and pretty as eighteen! The man made a stride and took her in his arms.

"Ma Rose! ma Rose! Enfin!" cried he in a strangled voice.

She said nothing, but hung at his neck, her two little hands on his shoulders, her face on his breast.

But that was only for a moment. Then Mademoiselle disengaged herself, and glanced shamefacedly at us. Then she came quickly up—came to John's wife, slid an arm round her neck, and said rapidly, tremulously, with sparkling, tearful eyes:

"C'est Jules, Madame. C'est mon fiancé depuis quatre ans. Ah, Madame, j'ai honte—mais,"—and ran back to him. She was transformed. In place of that staid, almost old-maidish {113} little person we knew, lo! a bashful, rosy, smiling girl, tripping, skipping, beside herself with happy love! And her little collar was all rumpled, and so were her smooth brown braids. Monsieur Jules took off his felt hat, and bowed politely when she came to us, guessing that he was being introduced. His brown face blushed a little, too: it was a happy and honest one, very pleasant to see.

The children had left off playing, and stared wide-eyed at these extraordinary proceedings. Mademoiselle ran to her little nephew, and brought him to Jules.

"I recognize well the son of our poor Lolotte," said he, softly, lifting and kissing him. "And that dear Jean, where is he?"

Even as he spoke there came a familiar roar from that window overlooking the court-yard, by which the painter sat at his easel almost all day. "Ohé! Monsieur Ba-Bou!" The little boy nearly jumped out of his new friend's arms.

"Papa! papa! Laissez-moi, done, Mosou!—Papa!"

"Is it that thou art by chance this monsieur whom they call?" laughed Jules, as he put him down.

"Way, way!" cried the little man as he pattered off, with that gleeful shriek of his. "C'est moi, Mosou Ba-Bou! Ba-Bou!"

"Thou knowest that great voice of our Jean," said Mademoiselle; "when he has finished his day's labor he always calls his child like that. Having worked all day for the little one, he goes now to make himself a child to play with him. He calls that to rest himself. And truly the little one idolizes his father, and for him will leave all other playfellows—even me. Come, then, Jules, let us seek Jean."

And with a smiling salute to us the happy couple went arm-in-arm out of the garden.


We did not see much of our friends the next day. After their early dinner, Jean came up the garden all alone, to smoke a pipe, and stretch his legs before he returned to his work. We thought his good-natured face was a little sad, in spite of his cheerful abord, as he came to our garden parlor and spoke to us.

"It is a pleasure to see them, is it not?" said he, looking after the lovers, just vanishing under the archway of the court-yard, into the sunny village road. Mademoiselle had left off her sober black silk, and floated in the airiest of chintz muslins.

"My good little Rose merits well her happiness. She sent that brave Jules marching four years ago, because she had promised my poor wife not to abandon her helpless infant. Truly she has been the best of little mothers to my Auguste. Jules went away angry enough; but without doubt he must have loved her all the better when he came to reflect. He has been to Italy, to Switzerland, to England—know I where? He is artist-painter, like me—of France always understood. Me, I am Flemish, and very content to be the compatriot of Rubens, of Vandyke. But Jules has very much talent: he paints also the portraits, and has made successes. He is a brave boy, and deserves his Rose."

"Will the marriage take place now, at last?" we ventured to ask.

"As I suppose," answered Jean, his face clouding perceptibly.

"But you will not separate; you will live together, perhaps," suggested John's wife.

"Ah, Madame, how can that be? Jules is of France and I of Belgium. When I married I brought my wife to Brussels; naturally he will carry his to Paris. C'est juste."

"Poor little Auguste will miss his aunt," said John's wife, involuntarily, "and she will hardly bear to leave him, I think."

"Ah, Madame," said Jean, with ever so little bitterness in his tone, "what would you? The little one must come second now; the husband will {114} be first. Yes, yes, and it is but fair! Auguste is strong now, and I must find him a good bonne. I complain not. I am not so ungrateful. My poor Rose must not be always the sacrifice. She has been an angel to us. See you, she has saved the life of us both. The little one must have died without her, and apparently I must have died without the little one. C'est simple, n'est ce pas?" smiling. Then he gave a sigh, truly as if he could not repress it, and walked away hastily. "We looked after him, compassion in our hearts.

"That sickly little boy will hardly live if his aunt leaves him," said Mrs. Freshe, "and his father knows it."

"But what a cruel sacrifice if she stayed!" said John.

"And can her lover be expected to wait till Auguste has grown up into a strong man?" I put in.

The day after was Sunday. Coming from an early walk, I heard a tremendous clamor, of woe or merriment, proceeding from a small sitting-room that opened into the entrance passage. The door was wide, and I looked in. Jean Baudin was jammed up in a corner, behind a barricade of chairs, and was howling miserably, entreating to be let out. His big sun-browned face was crowned by a white coif made of paper, and a white apron was tied round his great waist over his blue blouse. Auguste and Marie danced about the barricade with shrill screams, frantic with joy.

When Baudin saw me he gave a dismal yell, and piteously begged me to come to his assistance. "See, then, my dear young gentleman, how these bandits, these rebels, these demons, maltreat their poor bonne! Help, help!" and suddenly, with a roar like a small Niagara, he burst out of his prison and took to his heels, round and round the court and up the garden, the children screaming after him—the noise really terrific. Presently it died away, and he came back to the doorstep where I stood, Auguste on his shoulder and the little maiden demurely trotting after. "At present, I am the bonne," said he. "Rose and her Jules are gone to church; so is our hostess. In the meanwhile, I undertake to look after the children. Have you ever seen a little bonne more pretty? with my coquette cap and my neat apron—hein?"

That evening the lovers went out in a boat on the great pond, or little lake, at the back of the hotel. They carried Auguste with them. We all went to the water's edge; the rest remained a while, leaning over the rails that partly skirted the parapet wall except Jean, who strolled off with his tiny sketch-book. A very peaceful summer picture was before us, which I can see now if I shut my eyes—I often see it. A calm and lovely August evening near sunset; a few golden feathers afloat in the blue sky. Below, the glassy pond that repeats blue sky, red-roofed cottages, green banks, and woody slopes—repeats, also, the solitary boat rowed by Jules, the three light-colored figures it contains, and a pair of swans that glide stately after. The little boy is throwing bits of bread or cake to them.

As we stood there and admired this pretty little bright panorama, John's wife observed that the child was flinging himself dangerously forward, in his usual eager, excited way, at every cast he made.

"I wonder," said she, "that his aunt takes no notice. She is so absorbed in talk with Jules she never turns her head. Look! look! A—h!"

A dreadful shriek went up from lake and shore. The poor little fellow, had overbalanced himself, and had gone headlong into the lake. Some one had flashed over the parapet wall at the same moment, and struck the water with a splash and a thud. Some one was tearing through it like a steam-engine, toward the boat. It was my brother John. We saw and heard Jules, frantic, and evidently impotent to save; we saw him make a vain clutch at something that rose to the surface. At the same time we {115} perceived that he had scarce power to keep Rose with his left hand from throwing herself into the water.

Hardly three minutes had yet passed, yet half the population seemed thronging to the lake-side, here, where the village skirted it.

And suddenly we beheld a terrible—a piteous sight. A big, bareheaded man, that burst through the people, pale, furious, awful; his teeth set, his light blue eyes flaring. He seemed to crash through the crowd, splintering it right and left, like a bombshell through a wall, and was going crazy and headlong over the parapet into the water. He could swim no more than Jules.

"Sauvé! sauvé!" cried John's wife, gripping his hand and hanging to it as he went rushing past. "My husband has found him. See! see there, Jean Baudin! He holds up the dear child."

She could not have kept him back a moment—probably he did not feel her touch; he was only dragging her with him. But his wild eyes, fixed and staring forward, had seen for themselves what he never heard her say.

Fast, fast as one arm could oar him, my brother was bringing Jean his little one, held above water by the other hand. Then that poor huge body swayed and shivered; the trembling hands went out, the face unlocked a little, there came a hoarse sob, and like a thin, strangled cry in a dream—

"Mon petit! mon petit!"

But strong again, and savage with love, how he snatched the pale little burden from John, and tore up the bank to the hotel. There were wooden back-gates that opened into the court on the lake-side, but which were unused and locked. At one mighty kick they yawned open before Jean, and he rushed on into the house. Here all had been prudently prepared, and the little dripping body was quickly stripped and wrapped in hot blankets. The village doctor was already there, and two or three women. Jean Baudin helped the doctor and the women with a touching docility. All his noisy roughness was smoothed. He tamed his big voice to a delicate whisper. He spoke and moved with an affecting submissive gentleness, watching what there was he could do, and doing it exactly as he was bid. Now and then he spoke a word or two under his breath—"One must be patient, I know, Monsieur le Médecin; yes, yes." And now and then he muttered piteously "Mon petit! mon petit!" But he was as gentle as a lamb, and touchingly eager to be helpful.

In half an hour his pain got the better of him a little.

"Mais, mon Dieu, mon Dieu!" he moaned, "how I suffer! Ah, Monsieur, is it not that he breathes a little, my dear little one? Ah, my God, save me him! Mon petit! mon petit!"

He went into a corner of the room, and stood with his forehead against the wall, his shoulders heaving with silent sobs. Then he came back quiet and patient again.

"Priez, priez pour moi, Madame," said he, once, to John's wife.

"I am praying without ceasing, my poor friend," said she. And once she hastily laid a handkerchief soaked in essence on his forehead, for she thought he was surely going to faint, when the hope, long, long deferred, began to turn his heart sick.

All this time John and I lingered in the dusky passage, in which that door ajar made a cleft of yellow light. Every now and then a dim figure stole up to us with an eager sad whisper, asking, "How goes it? how goes it?" and slipped away down-stairs with the comfortless answer.

It was poor Jules, who could do nothing for his Rose but this. She had thrown herself on the floor in a darkening room, and lay there moaning. Her dire anguish, sharp as a mother's for the little one, was cruelly and unduly aggravated by self-reproach, and by the self-inflicted agony of her exile from that room up-stairs. She dared not enter Jean's presence. She felt that he must for ever abhor the sight of her; she was afraid he {116} might curse her! She rejected all kindness, all sympathy, especially from Jules, whom she quite fiercely ordered to quit her. But when it got quite dark, the poor fellow took in a candle, and set it on a table; and he spent the time in going up and down-stairs to fetch her that whisper of news, which, perhaps, he sweetened with a little false hope before he offered it to her.

At last we outside heard a movement—a stifled exclamation; and then one of the women ran out.

"The child has opened his eyes!" said she, as she hurried down-stairs for some article required.

Presently we heard a man sobbing softly; and then—yes, a faint tiny voice. And after that—nothing, for a long while. But at last at last! a miserable, awful cry, and a heavy, heavy fall. And then came out John's wife, at sight of whose face we turned sick at heart, and followed her silently down-stairs. We knew what had happened: the little one was dead.

He had opened his eyes, and had probably known his father; for the light that his presence always kindled there had come into the little white face. Jean, too ready to clutch the delusive hope, fell a-sobbing with rapture, and kissing the little fair head. The child tried to speak, and did speak, though but once.

"He said, 'Ba-Bou' quite distinctly," said John's wife, "and then such a pretty smile came; and it's—it's there still, on his little dear dead face, John."

Here she broke down, and went into a passion of tears, sobbing for "poor Jean! poor Jean!"

He had fainted for the first time in his strong life, and so that blessed unconsciousness was deadening the first insupportable agony of his dreadful wound. They carried him out, and laid him on his bed, and I believe the doctor bled him. They hoped he would sleep afterward from sheer exhaustion.

Presently poor Jules came to us, crying like a child, and begging us to go to his Rose to try to rouse her, if only to make her weep. She had fallen into a dry depth and abyss of despair—an icy crevasse, where even his love could not reach her.

Since she had known the child was dead, she had not stirred, except to resist, moaning, every attempt to lift her from the floor, where she had cast herself, and except that she shuddered and repulsed Jules, especially, whenever he went near her.

We went into the room where she lay. My good brother stooped, and spoke to her in his tender, manly fashion, and lifted her, with a resolution to which she yielded, and seated her on a sofa beside his wife, whose kind arms closed round her suffering sister.

And suddenly some one had come in whom Rose could not see, for her eyes were pressed to that womanly bosom. John's wife made a little warning gesture that kept us others silent.

It was poor Jean himself; he came in as if in search of somewhat; he was deadly pale, and perhaps half unconscious what he did. He was without shoes, and his clothes and blond hair and beard were tumbled and disordered—just as when they had laid him on his bed. When he saw Rose, he came straight up to her, and sat down on her other side.

"Ma pauvre Rose," said he piteously—

She gave a cry and start of terror, and turned and saw him. The poor fellow's broken heart was in his face; she could not mistake the sweet-natured anguish there. Half bewildered by his inconceivable grief, he had gone to her, instinctively, like a child, for sympathy and comfort.

"Ma pauvre Rose," said he, brokenly; "notre petit—"

Passionately she took his great head between her hands, and drew it down on her bosom, and kissed it passionately weeping at last.

And we all came out softly, and left them—left them to that Pity which sends us the wholesome agony of such tears.



"It was in the year 1863," says Monsignore Manning, in his funeral oration on the great prince of the Church whose loss the whole Catholic world is now deploring, "that the sovereign pontiff, speaking of the cardinal, described him as 'the man of divine Providence for England.'" And truly it seems to us that the direct inspiration of the Holy Ghost has seldom been so clearly apparent in the choice of a bishop as it was in the case of him who has filled the cathedral chair of Westminster for the last fifteen years. When we remember the peculiar circumstances under which he began his pastorship—the reaction which was steadily, though as yet almost imperceptibly, going on in favor of the Church; the doubt and perplexity and wavering with which a crowd of wandering souls were groping in darkness for the portals of divine truth; and then the outburst of anger with which the nation at large read the bulls of the Holy Father, raising up the English Church from the humiliation in which she had lain for three hundred years, we shall readily understand that a rare union of qualities was required in the man who should understand and direct those honest seekers after truth, and breast successfully that storm of popular fury. That Nicholas Wiseman, who had left England at the age of sixteen, and passed twenty years of his youth and early manhood at Rome—absorbed, just at the time when the character is most liable to be moulded by external associations, in the theological studies and ceremonies and sacred traditions of the ecclesiastical capital—that he, we say, should have displayed such a remarkable fitness for both these works, is not only an indication of the great qualities of the man, but an instructive commentary on the school in which he had been formed. It shows us that a Roman education, while it enlarges the view and sweeps away local prejudices, yet leaves untouched the salient points of national character. For his success in dealing with the Catholic movement which followed the emancipation act of 1829, Cardinal Wiseman was largely indebted to the quickness and accuracy of perception in theological matters which he had acquired during his long residence at the centre of the Christian Church; what helped him most in his victory over the burst of Protestant fury which followed the restoration of the English hierarchy, and found official expression in the ecclesiastical titles bill, was his thorough English boldness and honesty of speech and manly bearing. He appealed to his countrymen's traditional love of fair-play; they heard him; and before long all classes learned to love and respect him.

Of the twenty years' schooling by which he prepared himself for his work in England, the cardinal has left us some admirable sketches, scattered through his books. Dr. Manning alluded briefly to the influence of his Roman education. We propose to gather up what the cardinal himself has said about it; to paint with his own pencil a picture of his life of preparation; leaving other hands, if they will, to paint his subsequent life of labor.

Nicholas Wiseman was born at Seville, in Spain, on the second of August, 1802. His father was an English merchant, his mother an Irish lady. He lost his father in infancy, and at the age of six, in consequence of those wars of invasion which for a time made Spain no longer habitable, was taken to Ireland to be educated. After spending one or two years at a boarding-school near Waterford, his mother went with him to England, and {118} placed him at St. Cuthbert's college, Ushaw, near Durham. Dr. Lingard was then vice-president of the college, "and I have retained upon my memory," wrote the cardinal, nearly fifty years afterward, "the vivid recollection of specific acts of thoughtful and delicate kindness, which showed a tender heart, mindful of its duties amidst the many harassing occupations just devolved on him through the death of the president and his own literary engagements; for he was reconducting his first great work through the press. But though he went from college soon after, and I later left the country, and saw him not again for fifteen years, yet there grew up an indirect understanding first, and by degrees a correspondence and an intimacy which continued to the close of his life." [Footnote 38]

[Footnote 38: Recollections of the Last Four Popes. Leo XII. Chap. vii.]

It was in the course of the eight years which he passed at this reverend seat of learning—lineal descendant of the old English college of Douay—that he determined to become a priest. Here he first began to manifest that deep affection for the city of St. Peter which distinguished him down to the end of his life. "Its history," he says, "its topography, its antiquities, had formed the bond of a little college society devoted to this queen of cities, while the dream of its longings had been the hope of one day seeing what could then only be known through hearsay tourists and fabulous plans." But the hope was fulfilled soon and unexpectedly. In 1818, Pope Pius VII. restored the English college at Rome, "after it had been desolate and uninhabited during almost the period of a generation." Nicholas Wiseman was one of a band of young men sent out to colonize it. He gives a charming description of the arrival of the little party at their Roman home, and the delight and surprise with which they roamed, alone and undirected, through the solemn building, with its wide corridors; its neat and cheerful rooms; its wainscotted refectory, from whose groined ceiling looked down St. George and the dragon; its library heaped with tumultuous piles of unorganized volumes; its garden, glowing with the lemon and orange, and presenting to one's first approach a perspective in fresco by Pozzi; and, above all, its chapel, illuminated from floor to roof with saints of England and celestial glories;—or, better still, adjoining the college, the old roofless church of the Holy Trinity, where in generations long past many a pilgrim from the British Isles had knelt to pray when the good priests of his nation fed and lodged him on his visit to the tomb of the apostles. Pleasant must have been the meeting, on that December afternoon in the year 1818, between these six young men and their appointed rector Dr. Gradwell, who, being absent when they arrived, came home that evening and found himself at the head of a college, and his frugal meal appropriated by the hungry students.

The happiness of that day casts a glow over the page on which, when he was an old man, the cardinal recorded the incidents. On Christmas eve he was presented, with some of his companions, to the venerable Pius VII. We can imagine the feelings of awe with which he approached this saintly man, released only a few years before from the French captivity. "There was the halo of a confessor round the tiara of Pius that eclipsed all gold and jewels.…… Instead of receiving us, as was customary, seated, the mild and amiable pontiff rose to welcome us, and meet us as we approached. He did not allow it to be a mere presentation, or a visit of ceremony. It was a fatherly reception, and in the truest sense our inauguration into the duties that awaited us. .… The friendly and almost national grasp of the hand, after due homage had been willingly paid, between the head of the Catholic Church, venerable by his very age, and a youth who had nothing even to promise; {119} the first exhortation on entering a course of ecclesiastical study—its very inaugural discourse from him whom he believed to be the fountain of spiritual wisdom on earth;—these surely formed a double tie, not to be broken, but rather strengthened, by every subsequent experience."

Doubtless his early dreams of Rome were now surpassed by the reality of his daily life. It was unalloyed spiritual and intellectual enjoyment. Study was no task; it was only a sort of pleasure; and the hours of relaxation became a source of mental schooling, even while he was pursuing the most delightful recreations. It is not difficult to imagine how he must have spent his holidays—roaming through the field of art, or resting at some seat of the Muses, or wandering along the stream of time, bordered by monuments of past greatness—every footstep awakening the echoes of classic antiquity, or calling up the most sacred memories of the early suffering Church. Even the solitude of buried cemeteries, "where the tombs themselves are buried, where the sepulchres are themselves things decayed and mouldering in rottenness," is no solitude to him; for he peoples it with the shadowy forms of the Scipios and Nasones whose ashes are there deposited. How often, in after years, did he not recur with fond delight to the "images of long delicious strolls, in musing loneliness, through the deserted ways of the ancient city; of climbings among its hills, over ruins, to reach some vantage-ground for mapping the subjacent territory, and looking beyond on the glorious chains of greater and lesser mountains, clad in their imperial hues of gold and purple; and then perhaps of solemn entrance into the cool solitude of an open basilica, where the thought now rests, as the body then did, after the silent evening prayer, and brings forward from many well-remembered nooks every local inscription, every lovely monument of art, the characteristic feature of each, or the great names with which it is associated.…… Thus does Rome sink deep and deeper into the soul, like the dew, of which every separate drop is soft and weightless, but which still finds its way to the root of everything beneath the soil, imparting there to every future plant its own warm tint, its own balmy fragrance, and its own ever rejuvenescent vigor."

Such were his hours of recreation: still more delightful were his hours of study, especially in "the great public libraries, where noiseless monks brought him and piled round him the folios which he required, and he sat as still amidst a hundred readers as if he had been alone." Every day his love, his enthusiasm, for his work seemed to increase. So he passed six or seven years, "lingering and lagging behind others," and revelling in spiritual and intellectual luxury. "Every school-fellow had passed on, and was hard at his noble work at home, was gaining a crown in heaven to which many have passed." Our young student had kissed the feet of the dead Pius VII., as he lay in state in one of the chapels of St. Peter's; had mourned over the departure of the great minister Consalvi; had presented himself to Leo XII., and told him, "I am a foreigner who came here at the call of Pius VII., six years ago; my first patrons, Pius VII., Cardinals Litta, De Pietro, Fontana, and now Consalvi, are dead. I therefore recommend myself to your Holiness's protection, and hope you will be a father to me at this distance from my country." He had obtained the Holy Father's promise. Already he was known for a youth of marvellous talents and learning. He had maintained a public disputation in theology, and been rewarded for his success by the title of D.D. At last came the jubilee-year of 1825. "The aim of years, the goal of long preparation, the longed-for crown of unwavering desires, the only prize thought worthy of being aspired to, was attained in the bright jubilee spring of Rome. It marks a blessed epoch in a {120} life to have had the grace of the priesthood superadded to the exuberant benedictions of that year."

Fortunately for the English college,—and fortunately, perhaps we should add, for England,—he was not yet to depart for the field of his great labor. To use his own modest words, he was found to be at hand in 1826, when some one was wanted for the office of vice-rector of the English college, and so was named to it; and when, in 1828, the worthy rector, Dr. Gradwell, was appointed bishop, Dr. Wiseman was, by almost natural sequence, named to succeed him.

Thus he continued to drink in the spirit of catholicity, and devotion, and steadiness in faith, of which Rome is the fountain on earth. With reverent affection he traced out the mementos of primitive Christianity, the tombs of the martyrs and saints, the altars and hiding-places and sacred inscriptions of the catacombs. These holy retreats had for him a fascination such as no other spot even in Rome possessed. Again and again he recurs to them in his writings, lingering fondly around the hallowed precincts, and inspiring his readers with the love for them that burned so ardently in his own breast. One of the last pieces that came from his pen was the little story of a martyr's tomb, which we have placed in this number of our magazine.

Other studies were not neglected. While his companions were indulging in the mid-day sleep, which almost everybody takes in Rome, he was at his books. Often he passed whole nights in study, or walking to and fro, in meditation, through the corridors of the English college. The seasons of vacation he would often spend collating ancient manuscripts in the Vatican library, and one of the fruits of that labor was his Horae Syriacae, published when he was only twenty-five years old. In the same year (1827), he was appointed—though without severing his connection with the English college—professor of oriental languages in the Roman university. It is no doubt to these two events that he alludes in the following extract from his "Recollections" of Leo XII., though he tells the story as if he had been only a witness of the circumstances: "It so happened," he says, "that a person connected with the English college was an aspirant to a chair in the Roman university. He had been encouraged to compete for it, on its approaching vacancy, by his professors. Having no claims of any sort, by interest or connection, he stood simply on the provision of the papal bull, which threw open all professorships to competition. It was but a secondary and obscure lectureship at best; one concerning which, it was supposed, few would busy themselves or come forward as candidates. It was, therefore, announced that this rule would be overlooked, and a person every way qualified, and of considerable reputation, would be named. The more youthful aspirant unhesitatingly solicited an audience, at which I was present. He told the Pope frankly of his intentions and of his earnest wish to have carried out, in his favor, the recent enactments of his Holiness. Nothing could be more affable, more encouraging, than Leo's reply. He expressed his delight at seeing that his regulation was not a dead letter, and that it had animated his petitioner to exertion. He assured him that he should have a fair chance, 'a clear stage and no favor,' desiring him to leave the matter in his hands.

"Time wore on; and as the only alternative given in the bull was proof, by publication of a work, of proficiency in the art or science that was to be taught, he quietly got a volume through the press—probably very heavy; but sprightliness or brilliancy was not a condition of the bull. When a vacancy arrived, it was made known, together with the announcement that it had been filled up. All seemed lost, except the honor of the pontiff, to which alone lay any appeal. Another audience was asked, and {121} instantly granted, its motive being, of course, stated. I was again present, and shall not easily forget it. It was not necessary to re-state the case. 'I remember it all,' the Pope said most kindly; 'I have been surprised. I have sent for C——, through whom this has been done; I have ordered the appointment to be cancelled, and I have reproved him so sharply that I believe it is the reason why he is laid up to-day with fever. You have acted fairly and boldly, and you shall not lose the fruits of your industry. I will keep my word with you and the provisions of my constitution.' With the utmost graciousness he accepted the volume—now treasured by its author, into whose hands the copy has returned—acknowledged the right to preference which it had established, and assured its author of fair play.

"The Pope had, in fact, taken up earnestly the cause of his youthful appellant; instead of annoyance, he showed earnestness and kindness; and those who had passed over his pretensions with contempt were obliged to treat with him and compromise with him on terms that satisfied all his desires. Another audience for thanksgiving was kindly accorded, and I witnessed the same gentle and fatherly temper, quietly cheerful, and the same earnest sympathy with the feelings of him whose cause had been so graciously carried through. If this young client gained no new energies, gathered no strength from such repeated proofs of interest and condescension; if these did not both direct and impel, steer and fill, the sails of his little bark through many troubled waters; nay, if they did not tinge and savor his entire mental life, we may write that man soulless and incapable of any noble emotions."

We must not suppose, however, that all this while he was so lost among his books as to have forgotten that land for whose conversion he was destined to labor through the best part of his life. He told a dear friend how, having to wait one day at the Sapienza for the Hebrew lecture, he went into the Church of St. Eustachio to pray; and there, before the altar of the Blessed Sacrament and the altar of the Holy Virgin Mother, the thought came into his mind that, as his native country, in the oath which she imposes upon the chief personages of the state, solemnly abjures these sacred mysteries, it was his duty to devote himself to the defense and honor of those very doctrines in England. And no one who has read his sermons and lectures and pastorals can have failed to notice the burning love for the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin which inspired him.

The time was not yet for his mission to England; and it is so hard, when the mind has been long running in one groove, to break out of it and take a totally different course, that perhaps he might have come in time to look upon the Roman theological schools as the ultimate sphere of usefulness for which God had destined him, had he not been suddenly called forth from his studious retirement by the voice of the supreme pontiff. It was in 1827 that Leo XII. determined to institute in the church of Gesù e Maria a course of English sermons, to be attended by all colleges and religious communities that spoke the language, and by as many other persons as chose to listen. It was intended, of course, principally for the benefit of strangers. His Holiness appointed Dr. Wiseman preacher. "The burden was laid there and then," says the cardinal, describing the audience at which he received this commission, "with peremptory kindness, by an authority that might not be gainsaid. And crushingly it pressed upon the shoulders. It would be impossible to describe the anxiety, pain, and trouble which this command cost for many years after. Nor would this be alluded to were it not to illustrate what has been kept in view through this volume—how the most insignificant life, temper, and mind may be moulded by the action of a {122} great and almost unconscious power. Leo could not see what has been the influence of his commission, in merely dragging from the commerce with the dead to that of the living one who would gladly have confined his time to the former,—from books to men, from reading to speaking. Nothing but this would have done it. Yet supposing that the providence of one's life was to be active, and in contact with the world, and one's future duties were to be in a country and in times where the most bashful may be driven to plead for his religion or his flock, surely a command overriding all inclination and forcing the will to undertake the best and only preparation for those tasks, may well be contemplated as a sacred impulse and a timely direction to a mind that wanted both. Had it not come then, it never more could have come; other bents would have soon become stiffened and unpliant; and no second opportunity could have been opened after others had satisfied the first demand."

From this time it would seem as if England had a stronger hold upon his heart than ever. The noble purpose—which worldly men have since laughed at as a wild dream—of devoting himself to the conversion of England, became the ruling idea of his life. And often alone at night in the college chapel he would "pour out his heart in prayer and tears, full of aspirations and of a firm trust; of promptings to go, but fear to outrun the bidding of our divine Master." He offered himself to the Pope for this great work; but still the time was not come; and he was told to wait.

But if he was not to go yet himself, he had his part to perform in making others ready. He well knew that to fit his pupils for their work, he must teach them something beside theology. Englishmen were a sort of Brahmins; the missionary who went among them must go as one versed in all learning, or he would not be listened to. He saw how the natural sciences were growing to be the favorite pursuit—we may almost say the hobby—of modern scholars, and in a preface to a thesis by a student of the English college he insisted on the necessity of uniting general and scientific knowledge to theological pursuits. As another instance of the personal influence which several successive pontiffs exercised over his studies, and the many kind marks of interest which contributed to attach him so strongly to their persons, we may repeat an anecdote which he tells in reference to this little essay. He went to present it to Pius VIII., but the Holy Father had it already before him, and said, "You have robbed Egypt of its spoil, and shown that it belongs to the people of God." The same idea which he briefly exposed in this essay, he developed more fully and with great wealth of illustration in a course of lectures on the Connection between Science and Revealed Religion, delivered first to his pupils and afterward to a distinguished audience at the apartments of Cardinal Weld. It was partly with a view to the revision and publication of these lectures that he visited England in 1835.

During his stay in London, he preached a series of controversial discourses in the Sardinian chapel during the Advent of 1835, and another in St. Mary's, Moorfields, in Lent, 1836. The latter were published under the title of Lectures on the Principal Doctrines and Practices of the Catholic Church. They exhibit in a remarkable degree the qualities, so rare in polemical literature, of kindness, moderation, and charity for all men. The odium theologicum, indeed, has less place at Rome than anywhere else in the Christian world. It was at the very centre and chief school of the science of divinity that he learned to fight against error without temper, and expose falsehood without hard language. "I will certainly bear willing testimony," he says, "to the absence of all harsh words and uncharitable insinuations against others in public lectures or private teaching, or even {123} in conversation at Rome. One grows up there in a kinder spirit, and learns to speak of errors in a gentler tone than elsewhere, though in the very centre of highest orthodox feeling." Dr. Wiseman went back to the English college, leaving among his countrymen at home an enviable reputation for honesty, learning, and good sense.

A few years more passed in frequent contact with the Holy Father, and under the continuous influence of the sacred associations with which eighteen centuries have peopled the Christian capital, and Nicholas Wiseman was then ready to go forth to his work. The recollection of numberless favors and kind words from the supreme pontiff went with him, and strengthened him, and colored his thoughts. He has told of the cordial and paternal treatment with which he was honored by Gregory XVI. in particular. "An embrace would supply the place of ceremonious forms on entrance. At one time a long, familiar conversation, seated side by side; at another a visit to the penetralia of the pontifical apartment (a small suite of entresols, communicating by an internal staircase) occupied the time. …… What it has been my happiness to hear from him in such visits, it would be betraying a sacred trust to reveal; but many and many words there spoken rise to the mind in times of trouble, like stars, not only bright in themselves, but all the brighter in their reflection from the brightness of their mirror. They have been words of mastery and spell over after events, promises, and prognostics which have not failed, assurances and supports that have never come to naught." [Footnote 39]

[Footnote 39: He gives an amusing account of a perplexing situation from which this same Pope once unwittingly delivered him, while he was engaged in his course of lectures on Science and Revealed Religion at the apartments of Cardinal Weld. "On one of the days of delivery," says he, "I had been prevented from writing the lecture in time, and was laboring to make up for my delay, but in vain. Quarter after quarter of each hour flew rapidly on, and my advance bore no proportion to the matter before me. The fatal hour of twelve was fast approaching, and I knew not what excuse I could make, nor how to supply, except by a lame recital, the important portion yet unwritten of my task—for an index to the lectures had been printed and circulated. Just as the last moment arrived, a carriage from the palace drove to the door, with a message that I would step into it at once, as His Holiness wished to speak to me. This was, indeed, a deus ex machina—the only and least thought of expedient that could have saved me from my embarrassment. A messenger was despatched to inform the gathering audience of the unexpected cause of necessary adjournment of our sitting till the next day. The object of my summons was one of very trifling importance, and Gregory little knew what a service he had unintentionally rendered me."]

In 1840 it was determined to increase the number of vicars apostolic in England from four to eight, and Dr. Wiseman, at the same time, was appointed coadjutor to Bishop Walsh at Wolverhampton. "It was a sorrowful evening," he says, "at the beginning of autumn, when, after a residence in Rome prolonged through twenty-two years, till affection clung to every old stone there, like the moss that grew into it, this strong but tender tie was cut, and much of future happiness had to be invested in the mournful recollections of the past."

Here we leave him. It was not until ten years later that he became cardinal, but though from 1840 to 1850 he filled only a subordinate position, he was working hard and well during this period, and fast rising to be the foremost man of all the Catholics of England. And his work never ceased. He lived to see the hierarchy established, and the conversion of his countrymen making steady if not rapid progress; but his energy never flagged when a part of his task was done; he passed on from one labor to another, until that last day, when "he entered into the sanctuary of God's presence, from which he never again came forth."


From All The Year Bound.


Let us suppose a case that might occur if it has not occurred.

John Mullet, immersed (say) in the button trade at Birmingham, has made money in business. He bequeaths his property by will, and is in due time gathered to his fathers. His two sons, Jasper and Josiah, take certain portions; and other portions are to go either to the family of Jasper or to that of Josiah, according as either one of those brothers survives the other. Jasper remains in England; but Josiah goes out to Australia, to establish something that may make his children great people over there. Both brothers, twelve thousand miles apart, die on the same day, May 1st, one at noon (Greenwich time), the other at noon (Sydney time). Jasper's children have been on pleasant cousinly terms with Josiah's; but they are aware of the fact that it would be better for them that Josiah should die before their own father, Jasper. Josiah's children, on the other hand, be they few or many, although they always liked uncle Jasper, cannot and do not ignore the fact that their interests would be better served by the survivorship of Josiah than that of Jasper. The two sets of cousins, therefore, plunge into a contest, to decide the question of survivorship between the two sons of old John Mullet.

This is one variety of a problem which the courts of law and equity are often called upon to settle. Occasionally the question refers to two persons who die at the same time, and in each other's company. For instance: Toward the close of the last century, George Netherwood, his children by his first wife, his second wife, and her son, were all wrecked during a voyage from Jamaica to England. Eight thousand pounds were left by will, in such a way that the relations of the two wives were greatly interested in knowing whether the second Mrs. Netherwood did or did not survive her husband, even by one single minute—a matter which, of course, could not be absolutely proved. Again, in 1806, Mr. Mason and one son were drowned at sea; his remaining eight children went to law, some of them against the others; because, if the father died before the son, £5,000 would be divided equally among the other eight children; whereas, if the son died before the father, the brothers only would get it, the sisters being shut out. A few years afterward Job Taylor and his wife were lost in a ship wrecked at sea; they had not much to leave behind them; but what little there was was made less by the struggles of two sets of relatives, each striving to show that one or other of the two hapless persons might possibly have survived the other by a few minutes. In 1819 Major Colclough, his wife, and four children, were drowned during a voyage from Bristol to Cork; the husband and wife had both made wills; and there arose a pretty picking for the lawyers in relation to survivorships and next of kin, and trying to prove whether the husband died first, the wife first, or both together. Two brothers, James and Charles Corbet, left Demerara on a certain day in 1828, in a vessel of which one was master and the other mate; the vessel was seen five days afterward, but from that time no news of her fate was ever received. Their father died about a month after the vessel was last seen. The ultimate disposal of his property depended very much on the question whether he survived his two sons or they survived him. Many curious arguments were used in court. Two or three captains stated that from August to January are hurricane {125} months in the West Indian seas, and that the ship was very likely to have been wrecked quite early in her voyage. There were, in addition, certain relations interested in James's dying before Charles; and they urged that, if the ship was wrecked, Charles was likely to have outlived by a little space his brother James, because he was a stronger and more experienced man. Alas for the "glorious uncertainty!" One big-wig decided that the sons survived the father, and another that the father survived the sons. About the beginning of the present reign, three persons, father, mother, and child, were drowned on a voyage from Dublin to Quebec; the husband had made a will, leaving all his property to his wife; hence arose a contest between the next of kin and the wife's relations, each catching at any small fact that would (theoretically) keep one poor soul alive a few minutes longer than the other. About ten years ago, a gentleman embarked with his wife and three children for Australia: the ship was lost soon after leaving England; the mate, the only person who was saved among the whole of the crew and passengers, deposed that he saw the hapless husband and wife locked in each other's arms at the moment when the waves closed over them. There would seem to be no question of survivorship here; yet a question really arose; for there were two wills to be proved, the terms of which would render the relatives much interested in knowing whether husband or wife did really survive the other by ever so small a portion of time.

These entangled contests may rest in peace, so far as the actual decisions are concerned. And so may others of a somewhat analogous nature. Such, for instance, as the case of an old lady and her housekeeper at Portsmouth. They were both murdered one night. The lady had willed all her property to the housekeeper, and then, the lawyers fought over the question as to which of the women died first. Or, the case of a husband who promised, on his marriage-day, to settle £1,200 on his wife "in three or four years." They were both drowned about three years after the marriage; and it was not until after a tough struggle in chancery that the husband's relatives conquered those of the wife—albeit, the money had nearly vanished in law expenses by that time. Or, the case of a man who gave a power of attorney to sell some property. The property was sold on the 8th of June, but the man was never seen after the 8th of the preceding March, and was supposed to have been wrecked at sea; hence arose a question whether the man was or was not dead on the day when the property was sold—a question in which the buyer was directly interested. The decisions in these particular cases we pass over; but it is curious to see how the law sometimes tries to guess at the nick of time in which either one of two persons dies. Sometimes the onus of proof rests on one of the two sets of relations. If they cannot prove a survivorship, the judgment is that the deaths were simultaneous. Sometimes the law philosophizes on vitality and decay. The Code Napoleon lays down the principle that of two persons who perish by the same calamity, if they were both children, the elder probably survived the younger by a brief space, on account of having superior vital energy; whereas, if they were elderly people, the younger probably survived the elder. The code also takes anatomy and physiology into account, and discourses on the probability whether a man would or would not float longer alive than a woman, in the event of shipwreck. The English law is less precise in this matter. It is more prone to infer simultaneous death, unless proof of survivorship be actually brought forward. Counsel, of course, do not fail to make the best of any straw to catch at. According to the circumstances of the case, they argue that a man, being usually stronger than a woman, probably survives her a little in a case of {126} simultaneous drowning; that, irrespective of comparative strength, her greater terror and timidity would incapacitate her from making exertions which would be possible to him; that a seafaring man has a chance of surviving a landsman, on account of his experience in salt-water matters; that where there is no evidence to the contrary, a child may be presumed to have outlived his father; that a man in good health would survive one in ill health; and so forth.

The nick of time is not less an important matter in reference to single deaths, under various circumstances. People are often very much interested in knowing whether a certain person is dead or not. Unless under specified circumstances, the law refuses to kill a man—that is, a man known to have been alive at a certain date is presumed to continue to live, unless and until proof to the contrary is adduced. But there are certain cases in which the application of this rule would involve hardship. Many leases are dependent on lives; and both lessor and lessee are concerned in knowing whether a particular life has terminated or not. Therefore, special statutes have been passed, in relation to a limited number of circumstances, enacting that if a man were seen alive more than seven years ago, and has not since been seen or heard of, he may be treated as dead.

The nick of time occasionally affects the distribution or amount of property in relation to particular seasons. Some years ago the newspapers remarked on the fact that a lord of broad acres, whose rent-roll reached something like £40,000 a year, died "about midnight" between the 10th and 11th of October; and the possible consequences of this were thus set forth: "His rents are payable at 'old time,' that is, old Lady-day and old Michaelmas-day. Old Michaelmas-day fell this year on Sunday, the 11th instant. The day begins at midnight. Now, the rent is due upon the first moment of the day it becomes due; so that at one second beyond twelve o'clock of the 10th instant, rent payable at old Michaelmas-day is in law due. If the lord died before twelve, the rents belong to the parties taking the estates; but if after twelve, then they belong to and form part of his personal estate. The difference of one minute might thus involve a question on the title to about £20,000." We do not know that a legal difficulty did arise; the facts only indicate the mode in which one might have arisen. Sometimes that ancient British institution, the house clock, has been at war with another British institution, the parish church clock. A baby was born, or an old person died, just before the house clock struck twelve on a particular night, but after the church clock struck. On which day did the birth or death take place—yesterday or to-day? And how would this fact be ascertained, to settle the inheritance of an estate? We know an instance (not involving, however, the inheritance to property) of a lady whose relations never have definitely known on which day she was born; the pocket watch of the accoucheur who attended her mother pointed to a little before twelve at midnight, whereas the church clock had just struck twelve. Of course a particular day had to be named in the register; and as the doctor maintained that his watch was right, there were the materials for a very pretty quarrel if the parties concerned had been so disposed. It might be that the nick of time was midnight exactly, as measured by solar or sun-dial time: that is, the sun may have been precisely in the nadir at that moment; but this difficulty would not arise in practice, as the law knows only mean time, not sun-dial time. If Greenwich time were made legal everywhere, and if electric clocks everywhere established communication with the master clock at the observatory, there might be another test supplied; but under the conditions stated, it would be a nice matter of Tweedledum and Tweedledee {127} to determine whether the house clock, the church clock, or a pocket watch, should be relied upon. All the pocket watches in the town might be brought into the witness-box, but without avail; for if some accorded with the house clock, others would surely be found to agree better with the church clock.

This question of clocks, as compared with time measured by the sun, presents some very curious aspects in relation to longitude. What's o'clock in London will not tell you what's o'clock in Falmouth, unless you know the difference of longitude between the two places. The sun takes about twenty minutes to go from the zenith of the one to the zenith of the other. Local time, the time at any particular town, is measured from the moment of noon at that town; and noon itself is when the sun comes to the meridian of that place. Hence Falmouth noon is twenty minutes after London noon, Falmouth midnight twenty minutes after London midnight; and so on. When it is ten minutes after midnight, on the morning of Sunday, the 1st of January, in London, it is ten minutes before midnight, on Saturday, the 31st of December, at Falmouth. It is a Sabbath at the one place, a working-day at the other. That particular moment of absolute time is in the year 1865 at the one, and 1864 at the other. Therefore, we see, it might become a ticklish point in what year a man died, solely on account of this question of longitude, irrespective of any wrong-going or wrong-doing of clocks, or of any other doubtful points whatever. Sooner or later this question will have to be attended to. In all our chief towns, nearly all our towns indeed, the railway-station clocks mark Greenwich time, or, as it is called, "railway time;" the church clocks generally mark local time; and some commercial clocks, to serve all parties, mark both kinds of time on the same dial-face, by the aid of an additional index hand. Railway time is gradually beating local time; and the law will by-and-by have to settle which shall be used as the standard in determining the moment of important events. Some of the steamers plying between England and Ireland use Greenwich time in notifying the departures from the English port, and Dublin time in notifying those from the Irish port; a method singularly embarrassing to a traveller who is in the habit of relying on his own watch. Does a sailor get more prog, more grog, more pay, within a given space of absolute time when coming from America to England, or when going from England to America? The difference is far too slight to attract either his attention or that of his employers; yet it really is the case that he obtains more good things in the former of these cases than in the latter. His days are shorter on the homeward than on the outward voyage; and if he receive so much provisions and pay per day, he interprets day as it is to him on shipboard. When in harbor, say at Liverpool, a day is, to him as to every one else who is stationary like himself, a period of definite length; but when he travels Eastward or Westward, his days are variable in length. When he travels West, he and the sun run a race; the sun of course beats; but the sailor accomplishes a little, and the sun has to fetch up that little before he can complete what foot-racers call a lap. In other words, there is a longer absolute time between noon and noon to the sailor going West, than to the sailor ashore. When he travels East, on the contrary, he and the sun run toward each other; insomuch that there is less absolute time in the period between his Monday's noon and Tuesday's noon than when he was ashore. The ship's noon is usually dinner-time for the sailors; and the interval between that and the next noon (measured by the sun, not by the chronometer) varies in length through the causes just noticed. Once now and then there are facts recorded in the newspapers which bring this {128} truth into prominence—a truth demonstrable enough in science, but not very familiar to the general public. When the Great Eastern made her first veritable voyage across the Atlantic in June, 1860, she left Southampton on the 17th, and reached New York on the 28th. As the ship was going West, more or less, all the while, she was going with or rather after the sun; the interval was greater between noon and noon than when the ship was anchored off Southampton; and the so-called eleven days of the voyage were eleven long days. As it was important, in reference to a problem in steam navigation, to know how many revolutions the paddles made in a given time, to test the power of the mighty ship, it was necessary to bear in mind that the ship's day was longer than a shore day; and it was found that, taking latitude and longitude into account, the day on which the greatest run was made was nearly twenty-four and a half hours long; the ship's day was equal to half an hour more than a landsman's day. The other days varied from twenty-four to twenty-four and a half. On the return voyage all this was reversed; the ship met the sun, the days were less than twenty-four ordinary hours long, and the calculations had to be modified in consequence. The sailors, too, got more food in a homeward week than an outward week, owing to the intervals between the meals being shorter albeit, their appetites may not have been cognizant of the difference.

And this brings us back to our hypothetical Mullets. Josiah died at noon (Sydney time), and Jasper died on the same day at noon (Greenwich time). Which died first? Sydney, although not quite at the other side of the world, is nearly so; it is ten hours of longitude Eastward of Greenwich; the sun rises there ten hours earlier than with us. It is nearly bed-time with Sydney folks when our artisans strike work for dinner. There would, therefore, be a reasonable ground for saying that Josiah died first. But had it been New Zealand, a curious question might arise. Otago, and some other of the settlements in those islands, are so near the antipodes of Greenwich, that they may either be called eleven and three-quarter hours East, or twelve and a quarter hours West, of Greenwich, according as we suppose the navigator to go round the Cape of Good Hope or round Cape Horn. At six in the morning in London, it is about six in the evening at New Zealand. But of which day? When it is Monday morning in London, is it Sunday evening or Monday evening in New Zealand? This question is not so easy to solve as might be supposed. When a ship called at Pitcairn Island several years ago, to visit the singular little community that had descended from the mutineers of the Bounty, the captain was surprised to find exactly one day difference between his ship's reckoning and that of the islanders; what was Monday, the 26th, to the one, was Tuesday, the 27th, to the other. A voyage East had been the origin of one reckoning, a voyage West that of the other. Not unlikely we should have to go back to the voyage of the Bounty itself, seventy-seven years ago, to get to the real origin of the Pitcairners' reckoning. How it may be with the English settlers in New Zealand, we feel by no means certain. If the present reckoning began with some voyage made round Cape Horn, then our Monday morning is New Zealand Sunday evening; but if with some voyage made round the Cape of Good Hope, then our Monday morning is New Zealand Monday evening. Probabilities are perhaps in favor of the latter supposition. We need not ask, "What's o'clock at New Zealand?" for that can be ascertained to a minute by counting the difference of longitude; but to ask, "What day of the week and of the month is it at New Zealand?" is a question that might, for aught we can see, involve very important legal consequences.


From the Dublin Review.


The chromo-lithographic press, established at Rome by the munificence of Pius IX., has issued its first publication, four sheets in large folio, Imagines Selectae Deiparae Virginis in Caemeteriis Suburbanis Udo depictae, with about twenty pages of text from the pen of the Cavaliere G. B. de Rossi. The subject and the author are amply sufficient to recommend them to the Christian archaeologist, and the work of the artists employed is in every way worthy of both. It is by no means an uncommon idea, even among Catholics who have visited Rome and done the catacombs, that our Blessed Lady does not hold any prominent place in the decorations of those subterranean cemeteries. Protestant tourists often boldly publish that she is nowhere to be found there. The present publication will suffice to show, even to those who never leave their own homes, the falsehood of this statement and impression. De Rossi has here set before us a selection of four different representations of Holy Mary, as she appears in that earliest monument of the Christian Church; and, in illustrating these, he has taken occasion to mention a score or two of others. Moreover, he has vindicated for them an antiquity and an importance far beyond what we were prepared to expect; and those who have ever either made personal acquaintance with him, or have studied his former writings, well know how far removed he is from anything like uncritical and enthusiastic exaggerations. Even such writers as Mr. Burgon ("Letters from Rome") cannot refrain from bearing testimony to his learning, moderation, and candor; they praise him, often by way of contrast with some Jesuit or other clerical exponent of the mysteries of the catacombs, for all those qualities which are calculated to inspire us with confidence in his interpretations of any nice points of Christian archaeology. But we fear his Protestant admirers will be led to lower their tone of admiration for him, and henceforward to discover some flaw in his powers of criticism, when they find him, as in these pages, gravely maintaining, concerning a particular representation of the Madonna in the catacombs, that it is of Apostolic, or quasi-Apostolic antiquity. It is a painting on the vaulted roof of an arcosolium in the cemetery of St. Priscilla, and it is reproduced in the work before us in its original size. The Blessed Virgin sits, her head partially covered by a short slight veil, holding the Divine Infant in her arms; opposite to her stands a man, holding in one hand a volume, and with the other pointing to a star which appears between the two figures. This star almost always accompanies our Blessed Lady in ancient paintings or sculptures, wherever she is represented either with the Magi offering their gifts, or by the manger's side with the ox and the ass; but with a single figure, as in the present instance, it is unusual. Archaeologists will probably differ in their interpretation of this figure; the most obvious conjecture would, of course, fix on St. Joseph; there seem to be solid reasons, however, for preferring (with De Rossi) the prophet Isaias, whose predictions concerning the Messias abound with imagery borrowed from light, and who may be identified on an old Christian glass by the superscription of his name. But this question, interesting as it is, is not so important as the probable date of the painting itself; and here no abridgment or analysis of' De Rossi's arguments can do justice to the moderation, yet irresistible force, with which he accumulates proofs of {130} the conclusion we have already stated, viz., that the painting was executed, if not in Apostolic times and as it were under the very eyes of the Apostles themselves, yet certainly within the first 150 years of the Christian era. He first bids us carefully to study the art displayed in the design and execution of the painting; he compares it with the decorations of the famous Pagan tombs discovered on the Via Latina in 1858, and which are referred to the times of the Antoninuses; with the paintings in the pontifical cubiculum in the cemetery of St. Callixtus, and with others more recently discovered in the cemetery of Pretextatus, to both of which a very high antiquity is conceded by all competent judges; and he justly argues that the more classical style of the painting now under examination obliges us to assign to it a still earlier date. Next, he shows that the catacomb in which it appears was one of the oldest,—St. Priscilla, from whom it receives its name, having been the mother of Pudens and a contemporary of the Apostles (the impress of a seal, with the name Pudens Felix, is repeated several times on the mortar round the edge of a grave in this cemetery); nay, further still, it can be shown that the tombs of Sts. Pudentiana and Praxedes, and therefore, probably, of their father St. Pudens himself, were in the immediate neighborhood of the very chapel in which this Madonna is to be seen; moreover, the inscriptions which are found there bear manifest tokens of a higher antiquity than can be claimed by any others from the catacombs: there is the complete triple nomenclature of pagan times, e.g., Titus Flavius Felicissimus; the epitaphs are not even in the usual form, in pace, but simply the Apostolic salutation, Pax tecum, Pax tibi; and finally, the greater number of them are not cut on stone or marble slabs, but written with red paint on the tiles which close the graves—a mode of inscription of which not a single example, we believe, has hitherto been found in any other part the catacombs. This is a mere outline of the arguments by which De Rossi establishes his conclusion respecting the age of this painting, and they are not even exhibited in their full force in the present publication at all. For a more copious induction of facts, and a more complete elucidation both of the history and topography of the catacombs, we must be content to wait till the author's larger work on Roma Sotterranea shall appear.

The most recent painting of the Madonna which De Rossi has here published is that with which our readers will be the most familiar. It is the one to which the late Father Marchi, S.J., never failed to introduce every visitor to the catacomb of St. Agnes, and has been reproduced in various works; the Holy Mother with her hands outstretched in prayer, the Divine Infant on her bosom, and the Christian monogram on either side of her and turned toward her. This last particular naturally directs our thoughts to the fourth century as the date of this work; and the absence of the nimbus and some other indications lead our author to fix the earlier half of the century in preference to the later. Between these two limits, then, of the first or second, and the fourth century, he would place the two others which are now published; he distinguishes them more doubtfully, as belonging respectively to the first and second half of the third century. In one, from the cemetery of Domitilla, the Blessed Virgin sits holding the Holy Child on her lap, whilst four Magi offer their gifts; the other, from the catacomb of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus, represents the same scene, but with two Magi only. In both there is the same departure from the ancient tradition of the number of the wise men, and from the same cause, viz., the desire to give a proper balance and proportion to the two sides of the picture, the Virgin occupying the middle place. Indeed, in one of them, it is still possible to trace {131} the original sketch of the artist, designing another arrangement with the three figures only; but the result did not promise to be satisfactory, and he did what thousands of his craft have continued to do ever since, sacrificed historic truth to the exigencies of his art.

We trust our readers will be induced to get this valuable work and to study it for themselves; the text may be procured either in French or in Italian, so that it is readily accessible to all. At the same time we would take the opportunity of introducing to them another work by the same indefatigable author, which is also published both in French and in Italian. At least, such is the announcement of a prospectus now lying before us, which states that the French translation is published by Vives, in Paris. We have ourselves only seen the original Italian. It is a short monthly periodical, illustrations, Bollettino di Archeologia Cristiana, and is addressed not merely to savans, Fellows of Royal Societies, and the like, but rather to all educated men who care for the history of their religion and are capable of appreciating its evidences. De Rossi claims for the recent discoveries in the Roman catacombs the very highest place among the scientific events of the day which have an important religious bearing, and we think that the justice of his plea must be admitted. Unfortunately, however, the vastness of the subject, the multiplied engagements of the author, and (not least) the political vicissitudes of the times, have hitherto prevented the publication of these discoveries in a complete and extended form. We are happy to know that the work is satisfactorily progressing; but meanwhile he has been persuaded by the suggestions of many friends, and by the convenience of the thing itself, to publish this monthly periodical, which will keep us au courant with the most important additions that are being made from time to time to our knowledge of those precious memorials of primitive Christianity, and also supply much interesting information on other archaeological matters. In these pages the reader is allowed to accompany, as it were, the author himself in his subterranean researches, to assist at his discoveries, to trace the happy but doubtful conjecture of a moment through all its gradual stages, until it reaches the moral certainty of a conclusion which can no longer be called in question; e.g., the author gives us a portion of a lecture which he delivered on July 3, 1852, to the Roman Pontifical Academy of Archaeology. In this lecture he maintained, in opposition to the usual nomenclature of the catacombs, and entirely on the strength of certain topographical observations, that a particular cemetery, into which a very partial opening had been made in 1848, was that anciently called by the name of Pretextatus, and in which were buried St. Januarius, the eldest of the seven sons of St. Felicitas, Felicissimus and Agapitus, deacons of St. Sixtus, Pope Urban, Quirinus, and other famous martyrs. Five years passed away, and this opinion had been neither confirmed nor refuted; but in 1857, excavations undertaken for another purpose introduced our author into a crypt of this cemetery, of unusual size and richness of ornament, where one of the loculi bore an inscription on the mortar which had secured the grave-stone, invoking the assistance of "Januarius, Agatopus (for Agapitus), and Felicissimus, martyrs!" This, of course, was a strong confirmation of the conjecture which had been published so long before; but this was all which he could produce in the first number of his Bollettino in January, 1863. In the second number he could add that, as he was going to press (February 21), small fragments of an inscription on marble had been disinterred from the same place, of which only single letters had yet been found, but which, he did not hesitate to say, had been written by Pope Damasus and contained his name, as well as the name of {132} St. Januarius. In March he published the twelve or fourteen letters which had been discovered, arranging them in the place he supposed them to have occupied in the inscription, which he conjecturally restored, and which consisted altogether of more than forty letters. In April he was able still further to add, that they had now recovered other portions; amongst the rest, a whole word, or rather the contraction of a word (episcop. for episcopus), exactly in accordance with his conjecture, though, at the time he made the conjecture, only half of one of the letters had yet come to light.

We need not pursue the subject further. Enough has been said to satisfy those of our readers who have any acquaintance with the catacombs, both as to the kind and the degree of interest and importance which belong to this publication. Its intelligence, however, is by no means confined to the catacombs. The basilica of San Clemente; the recent excavations at San Lorenzo, fuori le mura; the postscript of St. Pamphilus the Martyr at the end of one of his manuscript copies of the Bible, reproduced in the Codex Sinaiticus lately published by Tischendorf; the arch of Constantine; ancient scribblings on the wall (graffiti) of the palace of the Caesars on the Palatine, etc., etc., are subjects of able and learned articles in the several numbers we have received. With reference to the graffiti, one singular circumstance mentioned by De Rossi is worth repeating here. Most of our readers are probably acquainted with the graffiti from this place, published by P. Garrucci, in which one Alessamenus is ridiculed for worshipping as his God the figure of a man, but with the head of an ass, nailed to a cross. P. Garrucci had very reasonably conjectured that this was intended as a blasphemous caricature of the Christian worship; and recently other graffiti in the very same place have been discovered with the title Episcopus, apparently given in ridicule to some Christian youth; for that the room on whose walls these scribblings appear was used for educational purposes is abundantly proved by the numerous inscriptions announcing that such or such a one exit de paedagogio. We seem, therefore, in deciphering these rude scrawls, to assist, as it were, at one of the minor scenes of that great struggle between paganism and Christianity, whereof the sufferings of the early martyrs, the apologies of Justin Martyr, etc., were only another but more public and historical phase. History tells us that Caracalla, when a boy, saw one of his companions beaten because he professed the Christian faith. These graffiti seem to teach us that there were many others of the same tender age, de domo Caesaris, who suffered more or less of persecution for the same cause. Other interesting details of the same struggle have been brought together by De Rossi, carefully gleaned from the patrician names which appear on some of the ancient grave-stones, sometimes as belonging to young virgins or widows who had dedicated themselves to the service of Christ under the discipline of a religious community. That such a community was to be found early in the fifth century, in the immediate neighborhood of S. Lorenzo fuori le mura, or, at least, that the members of such a community were always buried about that time in that cemetery, is one of the circumstances which may be said to be clearly proved by the recent discoveries. The proofs are too numerous and minute for abridgment, but the student will be interested in examining them as they appear in the Bollettino.

Another feature in this archaeological publication is its convenience as a supplement to the volume of Christian Inscriptions published by the same author. That volume, as our readers are already aware, contains only such inscriptions of the first six centuries as bear a distinct chronological note by the names of the chief magistrates, or in some other way. Additional specimens of these are not unfrequently discovered in the excavations still {133} in progress on various sides of the city; and these De Rossi is careful to chronicle, and generally also to illustrate by notes, in the pages of his Bollettino. The chief value of these additions, perhaps, is to be found in the corroboration they uniformly give to the conclusions which De Rossi had already deduced, the canons of chronological distinction and distribution which he had established, from the larger collection of inscriptions in the work referred to—whether as to the style of writing or of diction and sentiments, etc.—canons, the full importance of which will only be recognized when he shall have published the second volume of the collection of epitaphs bearing upon questions of Christian doctrine and practice.

In the earlier numbers of the Bollettino for the present year there is a very interesting account of the recent discoveries in the Ambrosian basilica of Milan, where there seems no room to doubt but that they have brought to light the very sarcophagus in which the relics of the great St. Ambrose, as well as those of the martyrs Sts. Gervasius and Protasius, have rested for more than ten centuries. The history of the discovery is too long to be inserted here, and too interesting to be abridged. One circumstance, however, connected with it is too important to be omitted. The sarcophagus itself has not yet, we believe, been opened; but, from the two sepulchres below and on either side of it, where the bishop and the martyrs were originally deposited, and where they remained until their translation in the ninth century, many valuable relics have been gleaned. We will only mention one of them--viz., portions of an ampulla such as are found in the catacombs, and concerning which Dr. Biraghi, the librarian of the Bibliotheca Ambrosiana (to whose zeal we are indebted for the whole discovery, and for the account of it to his learning), assures us that it has been subjected to a chemical examination, and is shown to have contained blood. This, as De Rossi truly remarks, is the most notable instance which has yet come before us of this ampulla having been placed in the sepulchre of famous and historical martyrs, and it is of very special importance as throwing a flood of light on those words of St. Ambrose about these relics so often quoted in the controversy on this subject—Sanguine, tumulus madet; apparent cruoris triumphales notae; inviolatae reliquiae loco suo et ordine repertae. And it is certainly singular that this discovery should have been made at a moment when the validity of these ampullae, as sure signs of martyrdom, has been so much called in question. The Sacred Congregation of Rites had only recently reaffirmed their former sentence on this matter; and this fact now comes most opportunely from Milan to add further weight to their decision, by giving a historical basis to an opinion which before had been thought by some rather to rest upon theory and conjecture. It will go far, we should think, toward rehabilitating in the minds of Christian archaeologists the pious belief of former ages upon this subject, wherever it may have been shaken.




The Mason-Spider of Corfu.—A correspondent of a London journal gives an interesting account of certain habits of this insect, which belongs to the mygalidae family. The mygales are chiefly found in hot climates, and include the largest specimens of spiders known. They are called mason-spiders, from the curious manner in which they build their houses. "The mygale nest," says the correspondent, "varies much in size, from one inch in length to three or four, and even six or seven inches. In the West Indies, where the spiders are crab-like, the insects measure six inches over. One nest, especially mentioned and minutely described by Mr. Oudouin, was three inches and a quarter long and eight-tenths of an inch wide. The nest, of cylindrical form, is made by boring into the earth; making his excavation, the next thing, having decided upon the dimensions of his habitation, is to furnish it, and most beautiful are his paper-hangings. The whole of the interior is lined with the softest possible silk, a tissue which the 'major domo' spins all over the apartment until it is padded to a sufficient thickness and made soft enough. Silk lining like this gives the idea of the mygale having a luxurious turn. This done, and the interior finished, the mygale shows his peculiarity by taking steps to keep out the of intruders by making not only a door, and that self-closing, but a door with swinging hinge, and sometimes one at each end of his nest, which shows that he has a very good opinion of his own work within, and knows how to take care of it. Not having met with any case where any one had seen the positive operation of making the door of these nests, I thought the details would be interesting, the more so as they corroborated preconceived ideas of their construction, and were noticed by a friend quartered at Corfu, who brought home the nest with him. The following is the description he gave me:

"Lying out in one of the sandy plateaux covered with olive groves with which Corfu abounds, enjoying his cigar and lounging about in the sandy soil, he came to a spider's nest. Examining it, he found the lid or door would not open, and seemed held firmly within by the proprietor—as if Jack were at home—so he applied forthwith the leverage of a knife-blade, upon which the inmate retired to his inner chamber. The aggressor decided not to disturb him any more that day, but marking the place—most necessary thing to do—thought he would explore further the next day, if fine.

"Accordingly, the next day my friend called early, intending to take off the door and to watch the progress of restoration, and how it would be accomplished. After waiting a long time, out came Monsieur Mygale, and looking carefully round, and finding all quiet, commenced operations by running his web backward and forward across the orifice of his nest, till there was a layer of silken web; upon this he ejected a gluten, over which he scratched the fine sand in the immediate neighborhood of his nest; this done, he again set to work—webbing, then gluten, sand; then again web, gluten, sand, about six times; this occupied in all about eight hours. But the puzzling part was that this time he was cementing and building himself out from his own mansion, when, to the astonishment and delight of his anxious looker-on, he began the finishing stroke by cutting and forming the door by fixing his hind legs in the centre of the new covering, and from these as a centre he began cutting with his jaws right through the door he had made, striking a clear circle round, and leaving about one-eighth of the circumference as a hinge. This done, he lifted the door up and walked in. My friend then tried to open the door with a knife, but the insect pulled it tight from the inside. He therefore dug round him and took him off bodily—mygale and nest complete. The hinge is most carefully and beautifully formed; and there appears to be an important object in view when the spider covers over the whole of the orifice, for immediately the door is raised it springs back as soon as released; and this is caused by the elasticity of the web on the hinge and the peculiar formation of the lid or door, which is made thicker on the lower side, so that its {135} own weight helps it to be self-closing, and the rabbeting of the door is wonderfully surfaced. Bolts and Chub locks with a latch-key the mygale family do not possess, but as a substitute the lower part of the door has clawholding holes, so that a bird's beak or other lever being used, Mons. Mygale holds on to the door by these, and with his legs against the sides of his house, offers immense resistance against all comers."

Instinct of Insects.—One of the regular course of free scientific lectures delivered at the Paris Sorbonne this last winter, under the auspices of the Minister of Public Instruction, was by the distinguished naturalist M. Milne-Edwards, on the instinct and intelligence of animals. Taking for his text the saying of Linnaeus, Natura maxime miranda in minimis, he spoke principally of the instinct of insects, and especially of solitary bees. These hymenoptera, in fact, afford one of the most striking examples known of that faculty which impels an animal, either for its own preservation or for the preservation and development of its offspring, to perform the most complicated and intelligent actions, readily and skilfully, yet without having learned how to do them. One species, the carpenter-bee (xylocopa), bores in the trunks of trees galleries running first horizontally and then vertically to a considerable depth. She then collects a quantity of wax and honey. The honey she kneads into a little ball of alimentary matter, in the midst of which she deposits her first egg. With the wax she constructs a horizontal partition, formed of concentric annular layers; this encloses the cell. On this partition she deposits a second egg, enclosed like the first in the provision destined for the support of the future larva; and over it builds another partition of wax; and so on, to the top of the vertical cavity. Then she dies; she never sees her offspring. The latter, so long as they remain larvae, feed upon the honey which the maternal foresight provided for them; and so soon as they have passed through their second metamorphosis and become winged insects, issue forth from their retreat, to perform in their turn a similar labor.

Another species of solitary bee, whose larva is carnivorous, resorts to a still more wonderful, but, it must be confessed, very cruel, expedient to supply the worm-like progeny with food. She constructs a gallery or tunnel in the earth, and crowns it with a chimney curved somewhat like a crosier, so as to keep out the rain. Then she goes a-hunting, and brings back to her den a number of caterpillars. If she kills them at once, they will spoil before her eggs are hatched; if she lets them alone, they will run away. What shall she do? She pierces the caterpillars with her venomous little dart, and injects into them a drop of poison, which Mr. Claude Bernard no doubt will analyze some day. It does not kill, it only paralyzes them; and there they lie, torpid and immovable, till the larvae come into the world and feast off the sweet and succulent flesh at their leisure.

Everybody is familiar with the habits and wonderful industry of hive-bees, wasps, and ants. These insects seem to be governed by something more than blind instinct: it is hardly too much to say that they give indubitable signs of intelligence. They know how to modify their course according to circumstances, to provide against unexpected wants, to avert dangers, and to notify to each other whatever is of consequence to be known by their whole community. Huber, the celebrated bee-keeper of Geneva, relates the following anecdote: One of his hives having been devastated one night by a large sphinx-moth, the bees set to work the next morning and plastered up the door, leaving only a small opening which would just admit them, one at a time, but which the sphinx, with its big body and long wings, could not pass. As soon as the season arrived when the moths terminate their short lives, the bees, no longer fearing an invasion, pulled down their rampart. The next season, as no sphinx appeared to trouble them, they left their door wide open.

Ostrich-keeping.—By late news from the Cape of Good Hope we learn that the farmers of that colony are beginning to find it profitable to keep flocks of ostriches, for the feathers of those birds are worth £25 sterling the pound. For thirty-five ostriches, there must be three hundred acres of grazing-ground. The plucking takes place once in six months; the yield of feathers from each bird being worth from £10 to £12, 10s. The original cost of the young ostriches is said to be £5 each. Some of the {136} farmers who have tried the experiment are of opinion that ostrich-feathers will pay better than any other produce of the colony.

Extraordinary Inland Navigation.—We hear from South America that a steamer built in England for the Peruvian government, for the exploration of rivers, has penetrated the great continent from the Atlantic side to a distance of ninety-five leagues only from the Pacific, or nearly all across. The vessel, which draws seven feet water, steamed seven hundred leagues up the Amazon, two hundred up the Ucayati, and thence into the Pachitea, which had never before been navigated except by native canoes. What a magnificent extent of inland navigation is here opened to commercial enterprise! The mind becomes somewhat bewildered in imagining the future of those vast river-valleys when hundreds of steamers shall navigate the streams, trading among millions of population dwelling on their banks.

Is the Sun getting Bigger?—It is known that various speculations have been put forward as to the cause or source of the sun's heat. Among those who consider that it consists in the falling of asteroids or meteorites into the sun, is Mr. J. R. Mayer, of Heilbronn, who states that the surface of the sun measures 115,000 million square miles, and that the asteroids falling thereon form a mass every minute equal in weight to from 94,000 to 188,000 billion kilogrammes. It might be supposed that this enormous shower would increase the mass and weight of the sun, and by consequence produce an appreciable effect on the motion of the planets which compose our system. For instance, it would shorten our year by a second or something less. But the calculations of astronomers show that this effect does not take place; and Mr. Mayer states that to increase the apparent diameter of the sun a single second by the shower of asteroids would require from 33,000 to 66,000 years.

Teaching the Deaf and Dumb to Speak.—Dr. Houdin, director of an institution for the deaf and dumb at Passy, lately announced to the French Academy, that after twenty-five years' experience he had proved the possibility of communicating the faculty of speech, in a certain degree, to deaf mutes. A commission appointed by the Academy and the Faculty to investigate the subject, reports that the learned doctor has really succeeded in several instances in teaching these unfortunate beings to speak and even comprehend spoken language so well that it is difficult to believe that they are not guided by the ear. The patients conversed with the members of the commission, and answered the different questions put to them. They were found to be perfectly familiar with the use and mechanism of speech, though destitute of the sense of hearing, and they comprehended what was said to them, reading the words upon the lips of the speaker with a marvellous facility. Thus they become fit to enter into society and capable of receiving all manner of instruction.

But here is another case still more wonderful. What would you do if you had to instruct and prepare for first communion a child who was at the same time deaf, dumb, and blind? The case is not an imaginary one; it has occurred in an asylum for deaf-mutes at Notre Dame de Larnay, in the diocese of Poitiers. A nun was there charged with the instruction of a child in this unfortunate state, to whom she could appeal only by the sense of touch. Yet the child, who astonishes everybody by her sensibility and intelligence, has come by that means to a knowledge of the spiritual life, of God and his divine Son, of religion and its mysteries and precepts—has been prepared, in fine, for a worthy reception of the Eucharist.


The past winter in New York has scarcely kept pace with its immediate predecessor in the number and merit of the collections of pictures opened to public inspection or disposed of at auction. The unprecedented prices obtained for the really excellent collection of Mr. Wolfe, in Christmas week of 1863, seemed to have inoculated art collectors and dealers with what may be called a cacoethes vendendi, and until far into the succeeding summer the picture auctioneers were called upon to knock down dozens of galleries of "private gentlemen about to leave the country," varying in merit from respectable to positively bad. In these sales the moderns had decidedly the best of it, the few {137} "old masters" who ventured to appeal to the sympathies and pockets of our collectors being at last treated with proper contempt. But the prices realized by the Wolfe gallery, even when reduced to a specie basis, were too high to become a recognized standard of value, and gradually the interest in such sales, as well as the bids, declined, until the sellers became aware (the purchasers had become aware some time previous) that the market was overstocked and the demand for pictures had ceased. The contributions of the foreign artists to the New York Sanitary Fair brought probably less than a third of the money that would have been obtained for them had they been sold in January instead of June, and such collections as have been scraped together for sale during the present season have met with but moderate pecuniary success. It is gratifying to know, however, that our resident artists, both native and foreign-born, have for the most part been busily and profitably employed, and that in landscape, and in some departments of genre, their works have not suffered in competition with similar ones by reputable European painters. Without wishing in any respect to recommend or suggest a protective system for fostering native art, we cannot but rejoice that the overthrow of the late exaggerated prices for foreign works will tend to encourage and develop American artists.

The principal art event in anticipation is the opening of next exhibition of the National Academy of Design in the building now hastening to completion at the corner of Fourth avenue and Twenty-third streets. It is to be hoped that the contributions will be worthy of the place and the occasion. Recent exhibitions have not been altogether creditable to the Academy.

Durand, the late president of the Academy, and one of our oldest and most careful landscape painters, has a characteristic work on exhibition at Avery's Art Agency, corner of Fourth street and Broadway. It is called "A Summer Afternoon," and is pervaded by a soft, pensive sentiment of rural repose. In the elaboration of the trees and in the soft, mellow distances the artist shows his early skill, albeit in some of his later pieces the timid handling inseparable from age is discernible.

A collection of several hundred sketches and studies of no special merit, by Hicks, has recently been disposed of at auction. The essays of this gentleman in landscape are not happy, and the specimens in this collection had better, perhaps, have been excluded.

Rossiter's pictures representing Adam and Eve in Paradise, now on exhibition in New York, have excited more remark than commendation. It may be said briefly, that they fail to do justice to the subject.

Curnmings's "Historic Annals of the Academy of Design" have been published, and constitute an interesting addition to the somewhat meagre collection of works illustrating American art history.

Mr. Thomas Ball, the well-known sculptor of Boston, is about to depart for Italy, with the intention of remaining several years in Florence, and executing there in marble a number of plaster models. Among these are a life-size statue of Edwin Forrest in the part of "Coriolanus," and busts of the late Rev. Thomas Starr King and Edward Everett. The latter is said to be an admirable likeness.

M. J. Heade, an American artist, formerly of Boston and Providence, is publishing in London a work upon the humming-birds of Brazil, illustrated from designs by himself.

The United States Senate was recently the scene of a somewhat animated debate on art matters, arising out of a proposition to authorize the artist Powell to "paint a picture for the Capitol at a cost not to exceed $25,000." The scheme was defeated, chiefly through the opposition of Senator Sumner, who thought the present an improper time to devote so large a sum to such a purpose.

A very remarkable picture by Gérôme, the most original, and realistic of living French painters, is now on exhibition at Goupil's, in this city. It is entitled "The Prayer of the Arab in the Desert," and in a small space presents a complete epitome of Oriental life.

In London the General Exhibition of water-color drawings, and collections of works of Holman Hunt, Madox Brown, and the late David Roberts, have recently been opened. The last named contains 900 pictures, drawings, and sketches, showing the amazing industry of the artist, and his skill as a draughtsman.


A monument to Shakespeare, from penny subscriptions, is to be erected on Primrose Hill, near London.

The sale of the celebrated Pourtalès collection at Paris has been the all-absorbing art topic abroad. The gallery, at last accounts, was daily crowded with representatives from all parts of Europe, and the prices surpassed the estimates of the experts. The value set upon the whole collection was upward of 3,000,000 francs, but that sum will probably fall far short of the real total. The bronzes and terra-cotta occupied four days, and produced over 150,000 francs. The following are among the most remarkable items: A very small statuette of Jupiter, found at Besançon in 1820, 8,000 francs; another small statuette of the same, seated, formerly in the Denon collection, 12,000 francs; the celebrated statuette of Apollo, supposed to date from the sixth century B.C., from the Neri collection, 5,000 francs; small statuette of Minerva, arms missing, found at Besançon, 19,200 francs; armor found at Herculaneum, and presented by the Queen of Naples to Josephine, purchased by the Emperor for 13,000 francs; a small Roman bust, supposed by Visconti to be a Balbus, bought for the Louvre for 4,550 francs; a tripod, found in the ruins of the town of Metapont, and described by Panofka, purchased for the Berlin gallery, 10,000 francs; fine old Roman seat, in bronze, bought for the Louvre, 5,300 francs; vase from Locres, 7,000 francs; another vase, found in one of the tombs of the Vulci, 9,000 francs.

At the sale of the collection of the Marquis de Lambertye, in Paris, a charming work by Meissonier, "Reynard in his Study, reading a Manuscript," was purchased for 12,600 francs; had it not been for the effect of the Pourtalès sale on the art market, the work would have fetched considerably more money. It was purchased of the artist himself, for 16,000 francs, by the late marquis. Another and smaller picture, not six inches by four, also by Meissonier, was sold on the same occasion—subject, "Van de Velde in his Atelier"—for 7,020 francs. In the same collection were four works by Decamps, whose pictures are in great request. One of these, an Eastern landscape, sold for 15,500 francs; another, a small work, a peasant girl in the forest, for 4,240 francs; and two still smaller and less important works, "Tide Out, with Sunset," and "Gorges d'Ollioule," for 1,500 francs each. Three small works by Eugene Delacroix, a "Tiger attacking a Serpent," "Combat between Moors and Arabs," and "The Scotch Ballad," sold, respectively, for 1,820 francs, 1,300 francs, and 2,300 francs. A minute picture by Paul Delaroche, "Jesus on the Mount of Olives," sold for 2,200 francs; Diogenes sitting on the edge of an immense jar, holding his lantern, by Gèrôme, 1,950 francs; and "Arnauts at Prayer," by the same, 3,900 francs. "The Beach at Trouville," by the lately deceased painter, Troyon, 4,000 francs, and "Feeding the Poultry," by the same, 4,850 francs.

At the sale of a collection of the works of M. Cordier, the sculptor, who has earned considerable popularity by his variegated works, composed of marbles, onyx and bronze, and variously tinted and decorated, a marble statue, called "La Belle Gallinara," sold for 4,100 francs; a young Kabyle child carrying a branch loaded with oranges, in Algerian onyx and bronze, and partly colored, 3,000 francs; an Arab woman, a statue of the same materials as the preceding, intended to support a lamp or candelabrum, purchased by the Due de Morny for 6,825 francs.

There is a report that the collections of pictures and curiosities belonging to the Comte de Chambord will shortly be dispersed by the hammer in Paris.

The scaffolding before the north front of the cathedral of Notre Dame, in Paris, has been removed, and the façade, with the magnificent Gothic window, forty feet in diameter, can now be seen to great perfection, all the rich sculptures having been admirably restored.

A Paris letter says: "The celebrated painting of the 'Assassination of the Bishop of Liege,' by Eugene Delacroix, was recently sold at auction at 35,000 francs. The 'Death of Ophelia,' in pencil, by the same painter, was knocked down for 2,020 francs, which was considered a large sum for a sketch. 'St. Louis at the Bridge of Taillebourg,' in water-colors, fetched 3,100 francs. Some copper-plates engraved by Eugene Delacroix himself were likewise sold."

At the sale of the collection of the Chevalier de Knyff, at Brussels, the Virgin with the host and surrounded by angels, by Ingres, was withdrawn at 28,500 francs.


Among the works of art destroyed in the recent conflagration of the ducal palace at Brunswick was the colossal bronze figure of Brunonia, the patron goddess of the town, standing in a car of victory, drawn by four horses. It was executed by Professor Howaldt and his sons, after a design by Rietschel.

The colossal bronze statue of Hercules, lately exhumed at Rome, has been safely deposited in the Vatican.


SERMONS ON OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND ON HIS BLESSED MOTHER. By his Eminence Cardinal Wiseman. 8vo., pp. 421. New York: D. & J. Sadlier & Co.

Coming to us almost in the same moment in which we hear of Cardinal Wiseman's death, these sermons will be read with a deep and peculiar interest, now that the eloquent lips which uttered them are closed for ever. Most of them were preached in Rome, some so long ago as 1827. These were addressed to congregations composed partly of ecclesiastics, partly of Catholic sojourners in the Eternal City, and partly of Protestants. At least one was delivered in Ireland in 1858. But although some of the discourses belong to the period of the author's noviceship in the pulpit, and between some there is an interval of more than thirty years, we are struck by no incongruity of either thought or style. The earliest have the finish and elegance of maturity; the latest all the vigor and enthusiasm of youth.

They are not controversial, and hardly any of them can even be called dogmatic sermons. They are addressed more to the heart than directly to the understanding, although reasoning and exhortation are often so skilfully blended that it is hard to say where one begins and the other ends. They are the outpourings, in fact, of a warm and loving heart and a full brain. The argument is all the more effective because the cardinal covers his frame-work of logic with the rich drapery of his brilliant rhetoric. And yet, with all their gorgeous phraseology, they are characterized by a simplicity of thought which brings them down to the level of the commonest intellect.

The greater part of them were preached during the seasons of Lent and Advent, and the subjects will therefore be found especially appropriate to the present period. Here is a beautiful passage in reference to our Lord's agony in the garden:

"There are plants in the luxurious East, my dearly beloved brethren, which men gash and cut, that from them may distil the precious balsams they contain; but that is ever the most sought and valued which, issuing forth of its own accord, pure and unmixed, trickles down like tears upon the parent tree. And so it seems to me, we may without disparagement speak of the precious streams of our dear Redeemer's blood. When forced from his side, in abundant flow, it came mixed with another mysterious fluid; when shed by the cruel inflictions of his enemies, by their nails, their thorns, and scourges, there is a painful association with the brutal instruments that drew it, as though in some way their defilement could attaint it. But here we have the first yield of that saving and life-giving heart, gushing forth spontaneously, pure and untouched by the unclean hand of man, dropping as dew upon the ground. It is the first juice of the precious vine; before the wine-press hath bruised its grapes, richer and sweeter to the loving and sympathizing soul, than what is afterward pressed out. It is every drop of it ours; and alas, how painfully so! For here no lash, no impious palm, no pricking thorn hath called it forth; but our sins, yes, our sins, the executioners not of the flesh, but of the heart of Jesus, have driven it all out, thence to water that garden of sorrows! Oh, is it not dear to us; is it not gathered up by our affections, with far more reverence and love than by virgins of old was the blood of martyrs, to be placed for ever in the very sanctuary, yea, within the very altar of our hearts?"

From the discourse on the "Triumphs of the Cross," we select the closing paragraph:


"O blessed Jesus, may the image of these sacred wounds, as expressed by the cross, never depart from my thoughts. As it is a badge and privilege of the exalted office, to which, most unworthy, I have been raised, to wear ever upon my breast the figure of that cross, and in it, as in a holy shrine, a fragment of that blessed tree whereon thou didst hang on Golgotha, so much more let the lively image of thee crucified dwell within my bosom, and be the source from which shall proceed every thought, and word, and action of my ministry! Let me preach thee, and thee crucified, not the plausible doctrines of worldly virtue and human philosophy. In prayer and meditation let me ever have before me thy likeness, as thou stretchest forth thine arms to invite us to seek mercy and to draw us into thine embrace. Let my Thabor be on Calvary; there it is best for me to dwell. There thou hast prepared three tabernacles; one for such as, like Magdalen, have offended much, but love to weep at thy blessed feet; one for those who, like John, have wavered in steadfastness for a moment, but long again to rest their head upon thy bosom; and one whereinto only she may enter whose love burns without a reproach, whose heart, always one with thine, finds its home in the centre of thine, fibre intertwined with fibre, till both are melted into one in that furnace of sympathetic love. With these favorites of the cross, let me ever, blessed Saviour, remain in meditation and prayer, and loving affection for thy holy rood. I will venerate its very substance, whenever presented to me, with deep and solemn reverence. I will honor its image, wherever offered to me, with lowly and respectful homage. But still more I will hallow and love its spirit and inward form, impressed on the heart, and shown forth in the holiness of life. And oh! divine Redeemer, from thy cross, thy true mercy-seat, look down in compassion upon this thy people. Pour forth thence abundantly the streams of blessing, which flow from thy sacred wounds. Accomplish within them, during this week of forgiveness, the work which holy men have so well begun, [Footnote 40] that all may worthily partake of thy Paschal feast. Plant thy cross in every heart; may each one embrace it in life, may it embrace him in death; and may it be a beacon of salvation to his departing soul, a crown of glory to his immortal spirit! Amen."

[Footnote 40: Alluding to the mission just closed by the Fathers of the Institute of Charity.]

What follows is from the sermon on the "Veneration of the Blessed Virgin:"

"If, then, any one shall accuse me of wasting upon the mother of my Saviour feelings and affections which he hath jealously reserved for himself. I will appeal from the charge to his judgment, and lay the cause before him, at any stage of his blessed life. I will go unto him at the crib of Bethlehem, and acknowledge that, while, with the kings of the East, I have presented to him all my gold and frankincense and myrrh, I have ventured, with the shepherds, to present an humbler oblation of respect to her who was enduring the winter's frost in an unsheltered stable, entirely for his sake. Or I will meet him, as the holy fugitives repose on their desert-path to Egypt, and confess that, knowing from the example of Agar, how a mother cast forth from her house into the wilderness, for her infant's sake, only loves it the more, and needs an angel to comfort her in her anguish (Gen. xxi. 17), I have not restrained my eyes from her whose fatigues and pain were a hundred-fold increased by his, when I have sympathized with him in this his early flight, endured for my sins. Or I will approach a more awful tribunal, and step to the foot of his cross, and own to him, that while I have adored his wounds, and stirred up in my breast my deepest feelings of grief and commiseration for what I have made him suffer, my thoughts could not refrain from sometimes glancing toward her whom I saw resignedly standing at his feet, and sharing his sorrows; and that, knowing how much Respha endured while sitting opposite to her children justly crucified by command of God (2 Kings xxi. 10), I had felt far greater compassion for her, and had not withheld the emotions, which nature itself dictated, of love, and veneration, and devout affection toward her. And to the judgment of such a son I will gladly bow, and his meek mouth shall speak my sentence, and I will not fear it. For I have already heard it from the cross, addressed to me, to you, to all, as he said: 'Woman, behold thy son;' and again: 'Behold thy mother.' (John xix. 26, 27.)"

An appendix to the volume contains six beautiful pastorals, on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in connection with education.

SPIRITUAL PROGRESS. By J. W. Cummings, D.D., LL.D., of St. Stephen's Church, New York City. 12mo., pp. 330. New York: P. O'Shea.

We cannot better state the purpose of this excellent little book than in the words of the author's preface: "Spiritual Progress is a familiar exposition of Catholic morality, which has for its object to tell people of common intelligence what they are expected to do in {141} order to be good Christians, and how they shall do it, and the results that will follow." It is written not for those strong, heroic souls, whose faith is firm, whose devotion is ardent, and who crave strong spiritual food; but for that numerous class of weak Christians, recent converts, honest inquirers, and fervent but uninstructed Catholics, who are not yet prepared to accept the more difficult counsels of perfection; who are ready perhaps to do what God says they must do; but need a little training before they can be brought to do any more. To put an ascetic work into the hands of such persons would often be like giving beef to a young baby: it would hurt, not help them. Dr. Cummings's book, in fact, is a sort of spiritual primer for the use of those who are just beginning their spiritual education. It is simple, straightforward, and practical. There is a charm in the style—so clear, so terse, often almost epigrammatic, and sometimes rising to the poetical—which carries the reader along in spite of himself. The tone is not conversational; yet when you read, it seems as if you were not so much reading as listening. And that argues great literary merit.

Here is an extract from the chapter on "Faults of Conversation:"

"Gossip is the bane of conversation, for it is the name under which injustice makes her entrance into society. There is an element in the breast of the most civilized communities, even in times of great refinement, that explains how man may, under certain circumstances, become a cannibal. It is exhibited in the turns our humor takes in conversation. We are not ill-natured, nor disposed to lay a straw in the way of any one who has not injured us, and yet, when spurred on by the stimulus of talking and being talked to, we can bring ourselves to mimic, revile, and misrepresent others, traduce and destroy their good name, reveal their secrets, and proclaim their faults; and all this merely to follow the lead of others, or for the sake of appearing facetious and amusing, or for the purpose of building up ourselves by running down those whom in our hearts we know and believe to be better than we are.…… But as the gossip attacks the absent because the absent cannot defend himself or herself, shall not we, dear readers, form a society to assist the weak and the persecuted? Shall we not enter into a compact to defend those who cannot defend themselves? Let us answer as a love of fair play suggests. If we are at all influenced by regard for Christian charity, let us remember that it takes two to carry on a conversation against our neighbor, and that if our visitor is guilty of being a gossip, a false witness, or a detractor, we are also guilty by consenting to officiate as listeners."

In a chapter on the "Schooling of the Imagination," Dr. Cummings shows how the imaginative faculty may be made to serve the cause of religion, especially in the practice of meditation, and how dangerous it becomes when it is not held in check:

"We hear songs and the flutters of many wings at Bethlehem, and see the light streaming from heaven upon the face of the new-born Saviour. We look out over the blue waters of the Lake of Genesareth, and see the quaint little bark of Peter as it lay near the shore when Jesus preached to the people from its side, or as it flew before the wind when the sea waxed wroth, and a great storm arose, he meanwhile sleeping and they fearing they would perish. With the aid of this wonderful faculty we see him before us in the hour of his triumph, surrounded by the multitudes singing, 'Hosanna to the son of David,' and in that sad day of his final sorrow, when the same voices swelled the fearful cry, 'Crucify him, crucify him.'"

A GENERAL HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, FROM THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE CHRISTIAN ERA UNTIL THE PRESENT TIME. By M. L'Abbé J. E. Darras. First American from the last French edition. With an Introduction and Notes, by the Most Rev. M. J. Spalding, D.D., Archbishop of Baltimore. Parts 1, 2, and 3. 8vo. New York: P. O'Shea.

This valuable work, which Mr. O'Shea, with a laudable spirit of enterprise, is giving us by instalments, is intended for just that class of readers who stand most in need of a readable and pretty full Church history. When completed it will fill four portly volumes, imperial octavo; yet it is a work adapted more especially to family reading than to the use of the scholar in his closet. The Abbé Darras has judiciously refrained from obstructing the flow of his narrative by minute references and quotations, nor has he suffered his pen to run away into long discussions of controverted questions. What he says of the chronology which he has followed, he might have said, if we have read him {142} aright, of his whole work: "We have adopted a system already completed, not that it may perhaps be the most exact in all its details, but because it is the one most generally followed." This seems to be the principle which he has kept before his eyes throughout; and considering the purpose for which he wrote, we think it a good one. With all the simplicity and modesty of his style, however, he shows a thorough knowledge of the intricacies of his subject, and an acquaintance with what the best scholars have written before him. His history, therefore, fills a void which has long been aching.

The translation, made by a lady well known and respected by the Catholics of the United States, reads smoothly, and we doubt not is accurate. It has been revised by competent theologians, and has the special sanction of the Archbishop of Baltimore, beside the approbation of the Archbishops of New York and Cincinnati. The work in the original French received the warmest encomiums from the European clergy, and the author was honored, at the conclusion of his labors, by a kind letter from the Pope.

The mechanical execution of the book is beautiful. The paper is good, and the type large and clear. We thank Mr. O'Shea for giving us so important a work in such a rich and appropriate dress.

THE PROGRESS OF THE AGE, AND THE DANGER OF THE AGE. Two lectures delivered before the St. Xavier Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Brotherhood in the Hall of St. Louis University. By the Rev. Louis Heylen, S. J. 12mo., pp. 107. Cincinnati: John P. Walsh.

These two lectures formed parts of a course delivered during the winter of 1862-63, by some of the professors of the St. Louis University. They are admirable compositions, redolent of good sense, learning, and ripe thought, and deeply interesting. The style has a true oratorical ring. In the first lecture Father Heylen, after adverting to the fact that every age since the days of Adam has been marked by some special characteristic, examines the claim set forth by our own century to be emphatically the age of progress. In part he admits and in part he denies it. In material progress, and in the natural sciences, especially as applied to the purposes of industry and commerce, it stands at the head of ages. But moral progress is not one of its characteristics. "Here I feel," says he, "that I am entering upon a difficult question. Has there been, in the last fifty years, any marked increase of crime? Is our age, all things considered, really worse than preceding ages? This question I shall not undertake to decide; but there are some forms of crime which appear to me decidedly peculiar to our age." A brief review of these sins of the day leads naturally to the subject of the second lecture. Father Heylen sees our greatest danger in that practical materialism which places material interests and materialistic passions above the interests of the soul and the claims of virtue. He considers successively its extent, its effects, and the means to avert it—the last being, of course, the ennobling and spiritualizing influence of Catholicism.

We advise those who wish to see how a scholar and an orator can throw a fresh charm into a stale subject, to read Father Heylen's review of the startling discoveries of modern science in the first lecture, and his brilliant description in the second of the ruins with which materialism has spread the pages of history and the new life which Catholicism has infused into effete civilizations.

Prefixed to the little volume before us is a short biographical sketch of Father Heylen, who died in 1863.

UNDINE, OR THE WATER-SPIRIT. Also SINTRAM AND HIS COMPANIONS. From the German of Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué. I vol. 12mo., pp. 238. New York: James Miller.

THIODOLF, THE ICELANDER. A Romance. From the German of the Baron de la Motte Fouqué. 12mo., pp. 308. New York: James Miller.

For a man of refined and cultivated taste we know of hardly any more delightful literary recreation than to turn from the novels of our own day to one of the exquisite romances of La Motte Fouqué. There is a nobleness of sentiment in his wild and beautiful fancies which seems to lift us out of this world into a higher sphere. All his writings are pervaded by an ideal Christian chivalry, {143} spiritualizing and refining the supernatural machinery which he is so fond of borrowing from the old Norse legends. No other author has ever treated the Northern mythology so well; because no other has attempted to give us its beauties without its grossness. The gods and heroes of the Norsemen have been very much in fashion of late years; but take almost any of the Scandinavian tales recently translated—tales which, if they have any moral, seem to inculcate the morality of lying and cheating, and the virtue of strong muscles and how immeasurably finer and more beautiful by the side of them appear the fairy legends which Fouqué interweaves with his romances, mingling old superstitions with Christian faith and virtues, in so delicate a manner that we see no incongruity in the association. This mutual adaptation, if we may call it so, he effects partly by transporting us back to those early times when the faith was as yet only half-rooted in the Northern soil, and when even many Christian converts clung almost unconsciously to some of their old pagan beliefs; partly by the genuine religious spirit which inspires every page of his books, no matter what their subject; and partly by the allegorical significance which his romances generally convey. So from tales of water-sprites and evil spirits, devils, dwarfs, and all manner of supernatural appearances, we rise with the feeling that we have been reading a lesson of piety, truth, integrity, and honor. Carlyle calls the chivalry of Fouqué more extravagant than that which we supposed Cervantes had abolished; but we are far from agreeing in such a judgment. A chivalry which rests upon "wise and pious thoughts, treasured in a pure heart," deserves something better to be said of it.

The three tales whose titles are given above are specimens of three somewhat different styles in which Fouqué treats his darling subject of Christian knighthood. The story of "Undine" has always been a pet in every language of Europe. Sir Walter Scott called it "ravishing;" Coleridge expressed unbounded admiration of it; the author himself termed it his darling child. For the tale of "Sintram" we have a particular affection. As a work of art, it is not to be compared with the former: it has but little of that tender aerial fancy which makes the story of the {144} water-sprite so inexpressibly graceful; but there is a sombre beauty in it which is not less captivating. It is a story of temptation and trial, of battle with self and triumph over sin. Its allegorical meaning is more distinct than that of Undine; it speaks more unmistakably of faith and heroic virtue. "Thiodolf, the Icelander," is a picture of Norse and Byzantine manners in the tenth century, and presents an interesting contrast between the rough manliness of the former and the luxury of the court of Constantinople. To the merits of wealth of imagination, skilful delineation of character, and dramatic power of narration, it is said to add historical accuracy.

OUR FARM OF FOUR ACRES, AND THE MONEY WE MADE BY IT. 12mo., pp. 128. New York: James Miller.

It is no slight proof of the merit of this little book that it has gone through at least twelve editions in England, and had so many imitators that it may almost be called the founder of a school of literature. Its popularity is still undiminished, and promises long to continue so. Hardly any one can fail of being interested in this simple narrative of the blunders, mishaps, and final triumphs of two city-bred sisters, in their effort to keep a little farm and make it pay; but to those who, either for health's sake or economy, are about entering on a similar enterprise, we cannot too strongly recommend it. It is so practical that we cannot doubt it is all true—indeed its directness and air of truth and good sense are the secrets of its remarkable success. We commend it to our readers as an interesting exemplification of a truth which ought to be more widely known than it is—that with proper management a small family on a small place in the country can raise all their own vegetables, not only to their great comfort, but with considerable pecuniary profit. Men who spend half-a-year's income in the rent of a city house would do well to take to heart the lessons of this little book.

THE IRVINGTON STORIES. By M. E. Dodge. Illustrated by F. O. C. Darley. 16mo., pp. 256. New York: James O'Kane.

This is a collection of tales for young people, manufactured with considerable {145} taste and neatness. Some of the stories bear a good moral, distinctly brought out.


The Christian Examiner for January, 1865, contained an article on "The Order of St. Paul the Apostle, and the New Catholic Church," in which the writer, after describing a visit to the Paulist establishment in Fifty-ninth street, and representing Father Hecker and his companions as being engaged in the attempt to found a new Catholic Church, passed on to the consideration of the question what form of religion is best adapted to the wants of the American people. It was a remarkable article—remarkable not only for its graceful diction, but for its curious admissions of the failure of Protestantism as a religious system. "The process of disintegration," says the Examiner, "is going forward with immense rapidity throughout Protestant Christendom. Organizations are splitting asunder, institutions are falling into decay, customs are becoming uncustomary, usages are perishing from neglect, sacraments are deserted by the multitude, creeds are decomposing under the action of liberal studies and independent thought." But from these falling ruins mankind will seek refuge not in the bosom of the Catholic Church, says the Christian Examiner, but in Naturalism. The object of the pamphlet before us is to show, after correcting certain misstatements concerning the congregation of Paulists, that Naturalism is utterly unable to satisfy those longings of the heart which, as the Examiner confesses, no Protestant sect can appease.


In promulgating the jubilee lately proclaimed by the sovereign pontiff, the Most Rev. Archbishop Spalding takes occasion to make a few timely remarks on the Encyclical, the character of Pius IX., the temporal power of the Popes, and the errors recently condemned. He explains the true purport of the much-abused Encyclical, shows against whom it is directed—namely, the European radicals and infidels—and proves that it never was the intention of the Pope, as has been alleged, to assail the institutions of this country. In view of the absurd mistranslations of the Encyclical which have been published by the Protestant press, Catholics will be glad to have the correct English version of that important document, which is given by way of appendix to the pastoral.

We have received the First Supplement to the Catalogue of the Library of the Young Men's Association of the City of Milwaukee, with the annual report of the Board of Directors for 1863.


VOL. I., NO. 2. MAY, 1865.

From the Dublin Review.


Hedwige was the youngest daughter of Lewis, nephew and successor to Casimir the Great, who, on account of the preference he evinced for his Hungarian subjects, drew upon himself the continued ill-will of the nation he was called upon to govern. Finding he was unable to cope with the numerous factions everywhere ready to oppose him, he, not without many humiliating concessions to the nobles of Poland, induced them to elect as his successor his daughter Maria, wife of Sigismund, Marquis of Brandenburg (afterward emperor), and having appointed the Duke of Oppelen regent of the kingdom, retired to his native Hungary, unwilling to relinquish the shadow of the sceptre which continually evaded his grasp.

On his death, which happened in 1382, Poland became the theatre of intestine disorders fomented by the turbulent nobles, who, notwithstanding the allegiance they had sworn to the Princess Maria, refused to allow her even to enter the kingdom. Sigismund was not, however, inclined thus easily to forego his wife's claims; and as the Lord of Mazovia at the same time aspired to the vacant throne, many of the provinces became so desolated by civil war that the leaders of the adverse factions threw down their arms, and simultaneously agreed to offer the crown to the Princess Hedwige, then residing in Hungary under the care of her mother Elizabeth. By no means approving of a plan which thus unceremoniously excluded her eldest daughter from the throne, the queen dowager endeavored to oppose injustice by policy. Hedwige was at the time only fourteen years of age, and the deputies were informed that, as the princess was too young to undertake the heavy responsibilities of sovereignty, her brother-in-law Sigismund must act in her stead until such time as she herself should be considered capable of assuming the reins of government. This stratagem did not succeed; the duke was not allowed to cross the frontiers of Poland, and Elizabeth found herself compelled to part with her daughter, if she would not see the crown placed on the brow of whomever the diet might elect.

Now commenced the trials of the young Hedwige, who was thus early called upon to exercise those virtues of heroic fortitude, patient endurance, and self-denial which rendered her life a sort of continual martyrdom, a sacrifice daily offered up at the shrines of religion and patriotism. At the early age of four years she had been affianced to William, Duke of Austria, {146} who, in accordance with the custom of the times, had been educated in Hungary; his affection for his betrothed growing with his growth, and increasing with his years. Ambition had no charms for Hedwige; her fervent piety, shrinking modesty, and feminine timidity sought to conceal, not only her extraordinary beauty, but those rare mental endowments of which she was possessed. Bitter were the tears shed by this gentle girl, when her mother, alarmed at the menaces of the Polish nobles, informed her she must immediately depart for Cracow, under the protection of Cardinal Demetrius, Bishop of Strigonia, who was pledged to deliver her into the hands of those whom she was disposed to regard rather as her masters than as her subjects. There had been one stipulation made, which, had she been aware of its existence, would have added a sharper pang to the already poignant anguish of Hedwige: the Poles required that their young sovereign should marry only with the consent of the diet, and that her husband should not only reside constantly in Poland, but pledge himself never to attempt to render that country dependent on any other power. Although aware of the difficulties thus thrown in the way of her union with Duke William, her mother had subscribed to these conditions; and Hedwige, having been joyfully received by the prelates and nobles of her adopted country, was solemnly crowned in the cathedral at Cracow, October 15, 1385, being the festival of her patron, St. Hedwige. Her youth, loveliness, grace, and intellectual endowments won from the fierce chieftains an enthusiastic affection which had been denied to the too yielding Lewis; their national pride was flattered, their loyalty awakened, by the innocent fascinations of their young sovereign, and they almost sought to defer the time which, in her husband, would necessarily give them a ruler of sterner mould. Nor was Hedwige undeserving of the exalted station she had been compelled to fill: a worthy descendant of the sainted Lewis, her every word and action waa marked by a gravity and maturity which bore witness to the supernatural motives and heavenly wisdom by which it was inspired; and yet, in the silence of her chamber, many were the tears she shed over the memory of ties severed, she feared, for ever. Amongst the earliest candidates for her hand was Ziemovit, Duke of Mazovia, already mentioned as one of the competitors for the crown after the death of her father; but the Poles, still smarting from the effects of his unbridled ambition, dismissed his messengers with a refusal couched in terms of undisguised contempt. The question of her marriage once agitated, the mind of Hedwige naturally turned to him on whom her heart was unalterably fixed, and whom from her childhood she had been taught to consider as her future husband; but an alliance with the house of Austria formed no part of Polish policy, and neither the wishes nor the entreaties of their queen could induce the diet to entertain the idea for a moment; in short, their whole energy was employed in bringing about a union which, however disagreeable to the young sovereign, was likely to be in every way advantageous to the country and favorable to the interests of religion.

Jagello, the pagan Duke of Lithuania, was from his proximity and the extent of his possessions (comprising Samogitia and a large portion of Russia [Footnote 41]) a formidable enemy to Poland. Fame was not slow in wafting to his ears rumors of the beauty and accomplishments of Hedwige, which being more than corroborated by ambassadors employed to ascertain the truth, the impetuous Jagello determined to secure the prize, even at the cost of national independence. The idolatry of the Lithuanians and the early betrothal of Hedwige to Duke William were the chief obstacles with which he had to contend; but, after a brief {147} deliberation, an embassy was despatched, headed by Skirgello, brother to the grand-duke, and bearing the most costly presents; Jagello himself being with difficulty dissuaded from accompanying them in person. The envoys were admitted into the presence of the council, at which the queen herself presided, and the prince proceeded to lay before the astonished nobles the offers of the barbarian suitor, offers too tempting to be weighed in the balance against such a trifle as a girl's happiness, or the violation of what these overbearing politicians were pleased to term a mere childish engagement, contracted before the parties were able to judge for themselves. After a long harangue, in which Skirgello represented how vainly the most illustrious potentates and the most powerful rulers had hitherto endeavored to effect the conversion of Lithuania, he offered as "a tribute to the charms of the queen" that Jagello and his brothers, together with the princes, lords, and people of Lithuania and Samogitia, should at once embrace the Catholic faith; that all the Christian captives should be restored unransomed; and the whole of their extensive dominions be incorporated with Poland; the grand-duke also pledging himself to reconquer for that country Pomerania, Silesia, and whatever other territories had been torn from Poland by neighboring states; and, finally, promising to make good to the Poles the sum of two hundred thousand florins, which had been sent to William of Austria as the dowry forfeited by the non-fulfilment of the engagement entered into by their late king Lewis. A murmur of applause at this unprecedented generosity ran through the assembly; the nobles hailed the prospect of so unlooked-for an augmentation of national power and security; and the bishops could not but rejoice at the prospect of rescuing so many souls from the darkness of heathenism, and securing at one and the same time the propagation of the Catholic faith and the peace of Poland. But the queen herself shared not these feelings of satisfaction: no sooner had Skirgello ceased than she started from her seat, cast a hasty glance round the assembly, and, as if reading her fate in the countenances of the nobles, buried her face in her hands and burst into a flood of tears. All attempts to soothe and pacify her were in vain: in a strain of passionate eloquence, which was not without its effect, she pleaded her affection for Duke William, the sacred nature of the engagement by which she was pledged to become his wife, pointed to the ring on her finger, and reminded an aged prelate who had accompanied her from Hungary that he had himself witnessed their being laid in the same cradle at the ceremony of their betrothal. It was impossible to behold unmoved the anguish of so gentle a creature; not a few of the younger chieftains espoused the cause of their sovereign; and, at the urgent solicitation of Hedwige, it was finally determined that the Lithuanian ambassadors, accompanied by three Polish nobles, should repair to Buda for the purpose of consulting her mother, the Queen of Hungary.

[Footnote 41: The territories of many of the Russian or Ruthenian dukes which were conquered by the Lithuanian pagans.]

But Elizabeth, though inaccessible to the temptations of worldly ambition, was too pious, too self-denying, to allow maternal affection to preponderate over the interests of religion. Aware that the betrothal of her daughter to the Duke of Austria had never been renewed from the time of their infancy, she, without a moment's hesitation, replied that, for her own part, she desired nothing, but that the queen ought to sacrifice every human feeling for the glory of Christianity and the welfare of Poland. To Hedwige herself she wrote affectionately, though firmly, bidding her lay every natural inclination at the foot of the cross, and desiring her to praise that God who had chosen so unworthy an instrument as the means by which the pure splendor of Catholicity should penetrate the darkness of Lithuania and the other pagan nations. Elizabeth was aware {148} of the real power of religion over the mind of her child, and doubted not but that, after the first paroxysm of grief had subsided, she should be able to overcome by its means the violence of her daughter's repugnance to the proposed measure. In order to give a color of impartiality to their proceedings, a diet was convoked at Cracow, immediately on the return of the embassy, to deliberate on the relative claims of Jagello, William of Austria, and the Dukes of Mazovia and Oppelen, all of whom aspired to the hand of Hedwige and the crown of Poland. The discussion was long and stormy, for amongst those nobles more immediately around the queen's person there were many, including a large body of ecclesiastics, who, although convinced that no lawful impediment existed to the marriage, yet shrank from the cruelty of uniting the gentle princess to a barbarian; and these failed not to insist upon the insult which would be implied by such a choice to the native Catholic princes. The majority, however, were of a different opinion, and at the close of the diet it was decided that an ambassador should be despatched to Jagello, inviting him to Cracow for the purpose of continuing the negotiations in his own person. But William of Austria was too secure in the justice of his cause and the affection of his betrothed to resign his pretensions without an effort; and his ardor being by no means diminished by a letter which he received from the queen herself, imploring him to hasten to her assistance, he placed himself at the head of a numerous retinue, and, with a treasure by which he hoped to purchase the good-will of the adverse faction, appeared so suddenly at Cracow as to deprive his opponents of their self-possession. The determination of Hedwige to unite herself to the object of her early and deep affection was loudly expressed, and, as there were many powerful leaders—among others, Gniewosz, Vice-chamberlain of Cracow—who espoused her cause, and rallied round Duke William, the Polish nobles, not daring openly to oppose their sovereign, were on the point of abandoning the cause of Jagello, when Dobeslas, Castellain of Cracow, one of the staunchest supporters of the Lithuanian alliance, resolved at any risk to prevent the meeting of the lovers, and actually went so far as to refuse the young prince admission into the castle, where the queen at the time was residing, not only drawing his sword, but dragging the duke with him over the drawbridge, which he commanded to be immediately lowered. William, thus repulsed, fixed his quarters at the Franciscan monastery; and Hedwige, fired by the insult, rode forth accompanied by a chosen body of knights and her female attendants, determined by the completion of her marriage to place an insuperable bar between her and Jagello.

In the refectory of the monastery, the queen and the prince at length met; and, after several hours spent in considering how best to avert the separation with which they were threatened, it was arranged that William should introduce himself privately into the castle of Cracow, where they were to be united by the queen's confessor. Some time elapsed before this plan could be carried into execution; for although even Dobeslas hesitated to confine his sovereign within her own palace, the castle gates were kept shut against the entrance of the Duke of Austria. Exasperated at this continued opposition, and her affection augmented by the presence of its object, from whom the arrival, daily expected, of Jagello would divide her for ever, Hedwige determined to admit the prince disguised as one of her household, and a day was accordingly fixed for the execution of this romantic project. By some means or other the whole plan came to the knowledge of the vigilant castellain; the adventurous prince was seized in a passage leading to the royal apartments, loaded with insult, and driven from the palace, within the walls of which the queen now found herself a prisoner. {149} It was in vain she wept, and implored to be allowed to see her betrothed once more, if only to bid him farewell; her letters were intercepted, her attendants became spies on her movements, and, on the young prince presenting himself before the gates, his life was threatened by the barons who remained within the fortress. This was too much; alarmed for her lover's safety, indignant at the restraint to which she was subjected, the passion of the girl triumphed over the dignity of the sovereign. Quitting her apartment, she hurried to the great gate, which, as she apprehended, was secured in such a manner as to baffle all her efforts; trembling with fear, and eager only to effect her escape, she called for a hatchet, and, raising it with both hands, repeatedly struck the locks and bolts that prevented her egress. The childish simplicity of the attempt, the agony depicted in the beautiful and innocent countenance of their mistress, so touched the hearts of the rude soldiery, that, but for their dread of the nobles, Hedwige would through their means have effected her purpose. As it was, they offered no opposition, but stood in mournful and respectful silence; when the venerable Demetrius, grand-treasurer of the kingdom, approached, and falling on his knees, implored her to be calm, and to sacrifice her own happiness, if not to the wishes of her subjects and the welfare of her country, at least to the interests of religion. At the sight of that aged man, whose thin white hairs and sorrowful countenance inspired both reverence and affection, the queen paused, and, giving him her hand, burst into an agony of tears; then, hurrying to her oratory, she threw herself on the ground before an image of the Blessed Virgin, where, after a sharp interior conflict, she succeeded in resigning herself to what she now believed to be the will of God—embracing for his sake the heavy cross which she was to bear for the remainder of her life.

Meanwhile Duke William, to escape the vengeance of the wrathful barons, was compelled to quit Poland, leaving his now useless wealth in the charge of the vice-chamberlain, who still apparently continued his friend. Not long after his departure, Jagello, at the head of a numerous army, and attended by his two brothers, crossed the frontiers, determined, as it seemed, to prosecute his suit. At the first rumor of his approach, the most powerful and influential among the nobles repaired to Cracow, where prayers, remonstrances, and even menaces were employed to induce the queen to accept the hand of the barbarian prince. But to all their eloquence Hedwige turned a deaf ear: in vain did agents, despatched for the purpose, represent the duke as handsome in person, princely and dignified in manner; her conscience was troubled, duty had enlisted on the same side as feeling, and the contest again commenced. Setting inclination aside, how dared she break the solemn compact she had made with the Duke of Austria? She persisted in regarding her proposed marriage with Jagello as nothing short of an act of criminal infidelity; and, independently of the affliction of her heart, her soul became a prey to the most violent remorse. To obtain the consent of Duke William to their separation was of course out of the question; and before the puzzled council could arrive at any decision, Jagello entered Cracow, more in the style of a conqueror than a suitor, and repaired at once to the castle, where he found the queen surrounded by a court surpassing in beauty and magnificence all that his imagination had pictured. Pale as she was from the intensity of her sufferings, he was dazzled, almost bewildered, by the childlike innocence and winning loveliness of Hedwige; and his admiration was expressed the following day by the revenues of a province being laid at her feet in the shape of jewels and robes of the most costly description. But the queen was more obdurate than ever. With her knowledge and consent Duke William had returned to Cracow, though compelled {150} to resort to a variety of disguises to escape the fury of the barons, now determined to put an end to his pretensions and his existence together; and it is said that, in order to avoid his indefatigable enemy, Dobeslas, he was once compelled to seek refuge in a large chimney. Forced eventually to quit the capital without seeing Hedwige, he still loitered in the environs; nor did he return to Austria until her marriage with Jagello terminated those hopes which he had cherished from his earliest infancy. In order to quiet the queen's religious scruples, a letter is said to have arrived from Rome, in which, after pronouncing that the early betrothal involved no impediment to the marriage, the Holy Father placed before her the merits of the offering she was called upon to make, reminding her of the torments so cheerfully suffered by the early martyrs for the honor of God, and calling upon her to imitate their example. This statement, however, is not sufficiently authenticated.

After the severest interior trials, days spent in tears, fasting, and the most earnest petitions to the throne of Divine grace, the queen received strength to consummate the sacrifice demanded from her. Naturally ardent and impulsive, and at an age when every sentiment is freshest and most keen, she was called upon to extirpate from her heart an affection not only deep but legitimate, to inflict a wound on the object of her tenderest love, and, finally, to transfer her devotion to one whom she had hitherto regarded with feelings of unqualified aversion. The path of highest, because self-sacrificing duty, once clear before her, she determined to act with generosity toward a God from whom she had received so much: her beauty, talents, the virtues with which she was adorned, were so many precious gifts to be placed at the disposal of him by whom they had been bestowed. Covering herself with a thick black veil, she proceeded on foot to the cathedral of Cracow, and, repairing to one of the side chapels, threw herself on her knees, where for three hours, with clasped hands and streaming eyes, she wrestled with the violent feeling that struggled in her bosom. At length she rose with a detached heart, having laid at the foot of the cross her affections, her will, her hopes of earthly happiness; offering herself, and all that belonged to her, as a perpetual holocaust to her crucified Redeemer, and esteeming herself happy so that by this sacrifice she might purchase the salvation of those precious souls for whom he had shed his blood. Before leaving the chapel she cast her veil over the crucifix, hoping under that pall to bury all of human infirmity that might still linger round her heart, and then hastened to establish a foundation for the perpetual renewal of this type of her "soul's sorrow." This foundation yet exists: within the same chapel the crucifix still stands, covered by its sable drapery, being commonly known as the Crucifix of Hedwige.

The queen's consent to the Lithuanian alliance endeared her still more to the hearts of her subjects, who regarded her as a martyr to the peace of Poland. On the 14th of February, 1386, her marriage was celebrated with becoming solemnity, Jagello having previously received the sacrament of baptism; shortly afterward he was crowned, in the presence of Hedwige, under his Christian name of Wladislas, which he had taken in deference to the wishes of the Poles. The unassuming piety, gentle disposition, and great learning of the young queen commanded at once the respect and admiration of her husband. So great, indeed, was his opinion of her prudence, that, being obliged to march into Upper Poland to crush the rebellion of the Palatine of Posnia, he took her with him in the capacity of mediatrix between himself and the disaffected leaders who had for months desolated that province. This mission of mercy was most acceptable to Hedwige; after the example of the sainted {151} Elizabeth of Hungary, her generosity toward the widows, orphans, and those who had lost their substance in this devastating war, was boundless; whilst ministering to their wants, she failed not, at the same time, to sympathize with their distress; and, like an angel of peace, she would stand between her husband and the objects of his indignation. On one occasion, to supply the necessities of the court, so heavy a contribution had been laid upon the peasants that their cattle did not escape; watching their opportunity, they, with their wives and children, threw themselves in the queen's path, filling the air with their cries, and conjuring her to prevent their utter ruin. Hedwige, deeply affected, dismounted from her palfrey, and, kneeling by their side, besought her husband not to sanction so flagrant an act of oppression; and when the satisfied peasants retired fully indemnified for their loss, she is said to have exclaimed, "Their cattle are restored, but who will recompense them for their tears?" Having reduced the country to obedience, it was time for Wladislas to turn his attention to his Lithuanian territories, more especially Russia Nigra, which, although governed by its own princes, was compelled to do homage to the house of Jagello. Pomerania, which by his marriage articles he was pledged to recover for Poland, had been usurped by the Teutonic Knights, who, sensible with how formidable an opponent they had to contend, endeavored to frustrate his intentions, first by carrying fire and sword into Lithuania, and then by exciting a revolution in favor of Duke Andrew, to whom, as well as to the heathen nobles, the alliance (by which their country was rendered dependent on Poland) was displeasing. Olgerd, the father of Wladislas, was a fierce pagan, and his thirteen sons, if we except the elder, inherited his cruelty, treachery, and rapacity. The promised revolution in religion was offensive to the majority of the people; and, to their shame be it spoken, the Teutonic Knights (whose order was first established to defend the Christian faith against the assaults of infidels) scrupled not to adopt a crooked policy, and, by inciting the Lithuanians against their sovereign, threw every impediment in the way of their conversion. Before the king had any suspicion of his intentions, the grand-master had crossed the frontiers, the duchy was laid waste, and many important fortresses were already in the hands of the order.

Wladislas, then absent in Upper Poland, despatched Skirgello into Lithuania, who, though haughty, licentious, and revengeful, was a brave and skilful general. Duke Andrew fled before the forces of his brother, and the latter attacked the Knights with an impetuosity that compelled them speedily to evacuate their conquests. The arrival of the king, with a number of learned prelates, and a large body of clergy, proved he was quite in earnest regarding the conversion of his subjects, hitherto immersed in the grossest and most degrading idolatry. Trees, serpents, vipers, were the inferior objects of their adoration; gloomy forests and damp caverns their temples; and the most disgusting and venomous reptiles were cherished in every family as household gods. But, as with the eastern Magi, fire was the principal object of the Lithuanian worship; priests were appointed whose office it was to tend the sacred flame, their lives paying the penalty if it were allowed to expire. At Wilna, the capital of the duchy, was a temple of the sun; and should that luminary chance to be eclipsed, or even clouded, the people fled thither in the utmost terror, eager to appease the deity by rivers of human blood, which poured forth at the command of the Ziutz, or high priest, the victims vying with each other in the severity of their self-inflicted torments.

As the most effectual method of at once removing the errors of this infatuated people, Wladislas ordered the forests to be cut down, the serpents to {152} be crushed under the feet of his soldiers, and, after extinguishing with his own hand the sacred fires, he caused the temples to be demolished; thus demonstrating to the Lithuanians the impotency of their gods. With the cowardice ever attendant on ignorance and superstition, the pagans cast themselves with their faces to the earth, expecting to see the sacrilegious strangers blasted by the power of the profaned element; but, no such results following, they gradually lost confidence in their deities, and of their own free will desired to be instructed in the doctrines of Christ. Their theological knowledge was necessarily confined to the Lord's Prayer and the Creed, and a day was fixed for the commencement of the ceremony of baptism. As, on account of the number of catechumens, it was impossible to administer the sacrament to each individual separately, the nobles and their families, after leaving the sacred font, prepared to act as sponsors to the people, who, being divided into groups of either sex, were sprinkled by the bishops and priests, every division receiving the same name.

Hedwige had accompanied her husband to Lithuania, and was gratified by witnessing the zeal with which he assisted the priests in their arduous undertaking; whilst Wladislas, aware of the value of his young auxiliary, was not disappointed by the degree of enthusiastic veneration with which the new Christians regarded the sovereign who, at the age of sixteen, had conferred upon them peace and the light of the true faith. Hedwige was admirably adapted for this task: in her character there was no alloy of passion, pride, or frivolity; an enemy to the luxury and pomp which her sex and rank might have seemed to warrant, her fasts were rigid and her bodily mortifications severe. Neither did her fervor abate during her sojourn in the duchy. By her profuse liberality the cathedral of St. Stanislas of Wilna was completed. Nor did she neglect the other churches and religious foundations which, by her advice, her husband commenced in the principal cities of his kingdom. Before quitting Lithuania, the queen's heart was wrung by the intelligence she received of a domestic tragedy of the deepest dye. Her mother, the holy and virtuous Elizabeth of Hungary, had during a popular insurrection been put to a cruel death; whilst her sister Maria, who had fallen into the power of the rebel nobles, having narrowly escaped the same fate, was confined in an isolated fortress, subject to the most rigorous and ignominious treatment.

Paganism being at length thoroughly rooted out of Lithuania, a bishopric firmly established at Wilna, and the seven parishes in its vicinity amply supplied with ecclesiastics, Wladislas, preparatory to his return to Poland, appointed his brother Skirgello viceroy of the duchy. This was a fatal error. The proud barbarians, little disposed to dependence on a country they had been accustomed to despoil at pleasure, writhed under the yoke of the fierce tyrant, whose rule soon became odious, and whose vices were rendered more apparent by the contrast which his character presented to that of his cousin Vitowda, whom, as a check upon his well-known ferocity, Wladislas had designated as his colleague. Scarcely had the court returned to Poland, when the young prince, amiable, brave, and generous, by opposing his cousin's unjust and cruel actions, drew upon himself the vengeance of the latter, and, in order to save his life, was obliged to seek refuge in Pomerania, from whence, as his honor and patriotism alike forbade his assisting the Teutonic Knights in their designs upon his country, he applied to the king for protection.

Wladislas, of a weak and jealous disposition, was, however, at the time too much occupied in attending to foul calumnies uttered against the spotless virtue of his queen to give heed to the application. Notwithstanding the prudence of her general conduct, and {153} the tender devotion evinced by Hedwige toward her husband, the admiration which her beauty and sweetness of disposition commanded from all who approached her was a continual thorn in his side. Her former love for the Duke of Austria and repugnance to himself haunted him night and day, until he actually conceived suspicions injurious to her fidelity. In the polluted atmosphere of a court there were not wanting those who, for their own aggrandizement, were base enough to resort to falsehood in order to destroy an influence at which the wicked alone had cause to tremble. It was whispered in the ear of the unfortunate monarch that his queen had held frequent, and of course clandestine, interviews with Duke William, until, half frantic, he one day publicly reproached her, and, turning to the assembled bishops, wildly demanded a divorce. The proud nobles indignantly interposed, many a blade rattled in its sheath, eager to vindicate the innocence of one who, in their eyes, was purity itself; but Hedwige calmly arose, and with matronly dignity demanded the name of her accuser, and a solemn trial, according to the custom of her country. There was a dead silence, a pause; and then, trembling and abashed before the virtue he had maligned, the Vice-chamberlain Gniewosz, before mentioned as the friend of Duke William (whose wealth he had not failed to appropriate), stepped reluctantly forward. A murmur of surprise and wrath resounded through the council-chamber: many a sword was drawn, as though eager for the blood of the offender; but the ecclesiastics having at length calmed the tumult, the case was appointed to be judged at the diet of Wislica.

The queen's innocence was affirmed on oath by herself and her whole household, after which the castellain, John Tenczynski, with twelve knights of noble blood and unsullied honor, solemnly swore to the falsehood of the accusation, and, throwing down their gauntlets, defied to mortal combat all who should gainsay their assertion. None, however, appeared to do battle in so bad a cause; and the convicted traitor, silenced and confounded, sank on his knees, confessed his guilt, and implored the mercy of her he had so foully aspersed. The senate, in deference to the wishes of Hedwige, spared his life; but he was compelled to crouch under a bench, imitate the barking of a dog, and declare that, like that animal, he had dared to snarl against his chaste and virtuous sovereign. [Footnote 42] This done, he was deprived of his office, and banished the court; and Wladislas hastened to beg the forgiveness of his injured wife.

[Footnote 42: This was a portion of the punishment specially awarded by the penal code of Poland to the crime of calumny. Like many other punishments of those ages, it was symbolical in its character. (See the valuable work of Albert du Boys, Histoire du Droit Criminel des Peuples Modernes, liv. ii.; chap. vii.) Similar penalties had been common in Poland from early times. Thus we find Boloslas the Great inviting to a banquet and vapor bath nobles who had been guilty of some transgression; after the bath he administered a paternal reproof and castigation. Hence the Polish proverb, "to give a person a bath."]

Meanwhile Prince Vitowda, despairing of assistance and pressed on all sides, after much hesitation joined the Teutonic Knights in an incursion against Lithuania. The country was invaded by a numerous army, the capital taken by storm, abandoned to pillage, and finally destroyed by fire; no less than fourteen thousand of the inhabitants perishing in the flames, beside numbers who were massacred without distinction of sex or age. Fortunately the upper city was garrisoned by Poles, who determined to hold out to the last. The slight fortifications were speedily destroyed; but, being immediately repaired, the siege continued so long that Skirgello had time to assemble an army before which the besiegers were eventually obliged to retreat. Vitowda, now too deeply compromised to draw back, though thwarted in his designs on Upper Wilna, gained possession of many of the frontier towns, and, encouraged by success, aimed at nothing less than the independent sovereignty of Lithuania. He was, however, opposed during {154} two or three campaigns by Wladislas person, until, wearied of the war, the king had the weakness not only to sue for peace, but to invest Vitowda with the government of the duchy. This, as might be expected, gave great umbrage to Skirgello, and to another brother, Swidrigal, so that Lithuania, owing to the ambition of the rival princes, became for some time the theatre of civil discord.

Among her other titles to admiration, we must not omit to mention that Hedwige was a munificent patroness of learning. She hastened to re-establish the college built by Casimir II., founded and endowed a magnificent university at Prague for the education of the Lithuanian youth, and superintended the translation of the Holy Scriptures into Polish, writing with her own hands the greater part of the New Testament. Her work was interrupted during her husband's absence by the attack of the Hungarians on the frontiers of Poland; and it was then that, laying aside the weakness of her sex, she felt herself called upon to supply his place. A powerful army was levied, of which this youthful heroine assumed the command, directing the councils of the generals, and sharing the privations of the meanest soldier. When she appeared on horseback in the midst of the troops, nothing could exceed the enthusiasm of these hardy warriors; and the simplicity with which they obeyed the slightest order of their queen was touching in the extreme. Hedwige led her forces into Russia Nigra, and, partly by force of arms, partly by skilful negotiations, succeeded in reconquering the whole of that vast province, which her father Lewis had detached from the Polish crown in order to unite it to that of his beloved Hungary. This act of injustice was repaired by his daughter, who thus endeared her name to the memory of succeeding generations. The conquering army proceeded to Silesia, then usurped by the Duke of Oppelen, where they were equally successful; so that Wladislas was indebted for the brightest trophies of his reign to the heroism of his wife.

Encouraged by her past success, he determined to reconduct her into Lithuania, in hopes by her means to settle the dissensions of the rival princes. Accordingly, in the spring of 1393, they proceeded thither, when the disputants, subdued by the irresistible charm of her manners, agreed to refer their claims to her arbitration. Of a solid and mature judgment, Hedwige succeeded in pacifying them; and then, by mutual consent, they entered into a solemn compact that in their future differences, instead of resorting to arms, they would submit their cause unreservedly to the arbitration of the young Queen of Poland.

Notwithstanding its restoration to internal tranquillity, this unfortunate duchy was continually laid waste by the Teutonic Knights; and Wladislas, determined to hazard all on one decisive battle, commanded forces to be levied not only in Lithuania, but in Poland. Before the preparations were completed, an interview was arranged to take place between the king and the grand-master, Conrad de Jungen; but the nobility, fearing lest the irritable temper of Wladislas would prove an insurmountable obstacle to all accommodation, implored him to allow the queen to supply his place. On his consent, Hedwige, accompanied by the ecclesiastics, the barons, and a magnificent retinue, proceeded to the place of rendezvous, where she was met by Conrad and the principal knight-commanders of the order. The terms she proposed were equitable, and more lenient than the Teutonic Knights had any reason to expect; but, under one trifling pretext or another, they refused the restitution of the usurped territories on which the king naturally insisted, and the queen was at length obliged to return, prophesying, says the chronicler, that, after her death, their perversity would receive its deserved punishment at the hands of her husband. Her prediction was fulfilled. Some years afterward, on the plains {155} between Grunnervaldt and Tannenberg, the grand-master, with fifty thousand knights, was slain, and by this decisive victory the order was placed at the mercy of Poland, though, from the usual indecision of its king, the fruits of this splendid action were less than might have been expected.

Until her early death, Hedwige continued the guardian angel of that beloved country for which she had made her first and greatest sacrifice; and it is likely that but for her watchfulness, its interests would have been frequently compromised by the Lithuanian union. Acting on this principle, she refused to recognize the investiture of her husband's favorite, the Palatine of Cracow, with the perpetual fief of Podolia; and, undazzled by the apparent advantages offered by an expedition against the Tartars headed by the great Tamerlane, she forbade the Polish generals to take part in a campaign which, owing to the rashness of Vitowda, terminated so fatally.

It was shortly after her unsuccessful interview with the Teutonic Knights that, by the death of her sister Maria, the crown of Hungary (which ought to have devolved on her husband Sigismund) became again an object of contention. The Hungarians, attracted by the report of her moderation, wisdom, and even military skill—not an uncommon accomplishment in females of those times—determined to offer it to Hedwige; but her brother-in-law, trusting to her sense of justice, hastened to Cracow, praying her not to accept the proposal, and earnestly soliciting her alliance. The queen, whom ambition had no power to dazzle, consented, and a treaty advantageous to Poland was at once concluded.

Hedwige was a good theologian, and well read in the fathers and doctors of the Church; the works of St. Bernard and St. Ambrose, the revelations of St. Bridget, and the sermons of holy men, being the works in which she most delighted. In Church music she was an enthusiast; and not long after the completion of the convent of the Visitation, which she had caused to be erected near the gates of Cracow, she founded the Benedictine abbey of the Holy Cross, where office was daily recited in the Selavonian language, after the custom of the order at Prague. She also instituted a college in honor of the Blessed Virgin, where the Psalms were daily chanted, after an improved method, by sixteen canons.

It was toward the close of the year 1398 that, to the great delight of her subjects, it became evident that the union of Wladislas and Hedwige would at length be blessed with offspring. To see the throne filled by a descendant of their beloved sovereign had been the dearest wish of the Polish people, and fervent had been the prayers offered for this inestimable blessing. The enraptured Wladislas hastened to impart his expected happiness to most of the Christian kings and princes, not forgetting the Supreme Pontiff, Boniface IX., by whom the merits of the young queen were so well appreciated that, six years after her accession, he had addressed to her a letter, written with his own hand, in which he thanked her for her affectionate devotion to the Catholic Church, and informed her that, although it was impossible he could accede to all the applications which might be transmitted to the Holy See on behalf of her subjects, yet, by her adopting a confidential sign-manual, those requests to which she individually attached importance should be immediately granted. The Holy Father hastened to reply in the warmest terms to the king's communication, promising to act as sponsor to the child, who, if a boy, he desired might be named after himself.

Unfortunately, some time before the queen's delivery, it became necessary for her husband to quit Cracow, in order to direct an expedition against his old enemies the Teutonic Knights. During his absence, he wrote a long letter, in which, after desiring that the happy event might be attended with all possible magnificence, he entered {156} into a minute detail of the devices and embroidery to be used in the adornment of the bed and chamber, particularly requesting that the draperies and hangings might not lack gold, pearls, or precious stones. This ostentatious display, though excusable in a fond husband and a powerful monarch about to behold the completion of his dearest wishes, was by no means in consonance with Hedwige's intense love of Christian simplicity and poverty. We find her addressing to her husband these few touching words, expressing, as the result proved, that presentiment of her approaching end which has often been accorded to saintly souls: "Seeing that I have so long renounced the pomps of this world, it is not on that treacherous couch—to so many the bed of death—that I would willingly be surrounded by their glitter. It is not by the help of gold or gems that I hope to render myself acceptable to that Almighty Father who has mercifully removed from me the reproach of barrenness, but rather by resignation to his will, and a sense of my own nothingness." It was remarked after this that the queen became more recollected than ever, spending whole hours in meditation, bestowing large alms, not only on the distressed of her own country, but on such pilgrims as presented themselves, and increasing her exterior mortifications; wearing a hair shirt during Lent, and using the discipline in a manner which, considering her condition, might have been deemed injudicious. She had ever made a point of spending the vigil of the anniversary of her early sacrifice at the foot of the veiled crucifix, but on this occasion, not returning at her usual hour, one of her Hungarian attendants sought her in the cathedral, then but dimly lighted by the massy silver lamp suspended before the tabernacle. It was bitterly cold, the wind was moaning through the long aisles, but there, on the marble pavement, in an ecstacy which rendered her insensible to bodily sufferings, lay Hedwige, she having continued in this state of abstraction from the termination of complin, at which she invariably assisted.

At length, on the 12th of June, 1399, this holy queen gave birth to a daughter, who was immediately baptized in the cathedral of Cracow, receiving from the Pope's legate, at the sacred font, the name of Elizabeth Bonifacia. The babe was weak and sickly, and the condition of the mother so precarious that a messenger was despatched to the army urging the immediate return of Wladislas. He arrived in time to witness the last sigh of his so ardently desired child, though his disappointment was completely merged in his anxiety for his wife. By the advice of the physicians it had been determined to conceal the death of the infant, but their precautions were vain. At the very moment it occurred, Hedwige herself announced it to her astonished attendants, and then humbly asked for the last sacraments of the Church, which she received with the greatest fervor. She, however, lingered until the 17th of July, when, the measure of her merits and good works being full, she went to appear before the tribunal of that God whom she had sought to glorify on earth. She died before completing her twenty-ninth year.

A few days previously she had taken a tender leave of her distracted husband; and, mindful to the last of the interests of Poland, she begged him to espouse her cousin Anne, by whose claim to the throne of the Piasts his own would be strengthened. She then drew off her nuptial ring, as if to detach herself from all human ties, and placed it upon his finger, and although, from motives of policy, Wladislas successively espoused three wives, he religiously preserved this memorial of her he had valued the most; bequeathing it as a precious relic (and a memento to be faithful to the land which Hedwige had so truly loved) to the Bishop of Cracow, who had saved his life in battle. Immediately after her funeral, he retired to his Russian {157} province, nor could he for some time be prevailed upon to return and assume the duties of sovereignty.

There was another mourner for her loss, William of Austria, who, notwithstanding the entreaties of his subjects, had remained single for her sake. He was at length prevailed upon to espouse the Princess Jane of Naples, but did not long survive the union.

The obsequies of Hedwige were celebrated by the Pope's legate with becoming magnificence. All that honor and respect from which she had sensitively shrunk during life was lavished on her remains; she was interred in the cathedral of Cracow on the left of the high altar; her memory was embalmed by her people's love, and was sanctified in their eyes. Numerous miracles are said to have been performed at her tomb: thither the afflicted in mind and body flocked to obtain through her intercession that consolation which during her life she had so cheerfully bestowed. Contrary to the general expectation, she was never canonized; [Footnote 43] her name, however, continued to be fondly cherished by the Poles, and by the people who under God were indebted to her for their first knowledge of Christianity, and of whom she might justly be styled the apostle. On her monument was graven a Latin inscription styling her the "Star of Poland," enumerating her virtues, lamenting her loss, and imploring the King of Glory to receive her into his heavenly kingdom.

[Footnote 43: Polish writers give her the title of saint, though her name is not inserted in the Martyrologies.—Butler's Lives of the Saints, October 17th.]

The life of Hedwige is her best eulogium. As it has been seen, she combined all the qualities not only of her own, but of a more advanced age. The leisure which she could snatch from the affairs of government she employed in study, devotion, and works of charity. True to her principles, she at her death bequeathed her jewels and other personal property in trust to the bishop and castellain of Cracow, for the foundation of a college in that city. Two years afterward her wishes were carried into effect, and the first stone was laid of the since celebrated university.

Wladislas survived his wife thirty-five years. In his old age he was troubled by a return of his former jealousy, thereby continually embittering the life of his queen, a Lithuanian princess, who, although exculpated by oath, as Hedwige had formerly been, was less fortunate, inasmuch as she was the continual victim of fresh suspicions. The latter years of his reign were much disturbed by the hostilities of the Emperor Sigismund, and by the troubles occasioned in Lithuania by the rebels, who had again combined with the Teutonic Knights.

Wladislas died in 1434, at the age of eighty years. It is said that he contracted his mortal sickness by being tempted to remain exposed too long to the night air, captivated by the sweet notes of a nightingale. Notwithstanding his faults, this monarch had many virtues; his piety was great, and he practised severe abstinences; and although he at times gave way to a suspicious temper, his general character was trusting, frank, and generous even to imprudence. His suspicions, in fact, did not originate with himself. They sprang, in the case of both his wives, from the tongues of calumniators, to whom he listened with a hasty credulity. He raised the glory and extended and consolidated the dominion of Poland. He was succeeded by his son, a child of eleven years, who had previously been, elected to the throne, but not until Jagello had confirmed and even enlarged the privileges of the nobles. His tardy consent, at the diet of Jedlin, roused their pride, so that it was not until four years later that they solemnly gave their adhesion.

It has not been our purpose to give more than a page out of the Polish annals illustrative of the patriotic and Christian spirit of sacrifice for which Poland's daughters have, down to the {158} present day, been no less noted than her sons. The mind naturally reverts to the late cruel struggle in which this generous people has once more succumbed to the overwhelming power of Russia, and her unscrupulous employment of the gigantic forces at her command. Europe has looked on apathetically, and, after a few feeble diplomatic remonstrances, has allowed the sacrifice to be completed. But the cause of Poland is essentially the cause of Catholicism and of the Church; and this, perhaps, may account for the small degree of sympathy it has awakened in European governments. Russia's repression of her insurgent subjects became from the first a religious persecution. Her aim is not to Russify, but to decatholicize Poland. The insurrection, quenched in blood, has been followed by a wholesale deportation of Poles into the eastern Russian provinces, where, with their country, it is hoped they will, ere long, lose also their faith. These are replaced by Russian colonists transplanted into Poland. To crush, extirpate, and deport the nobility—to leave the lower class alone upon the soil, who, deprived of their clergy—martyred, exiled, or in bonds—may become an easy conquest to the dominant schism—such is the plan of the autocrat, as we have beheld it actively carried out with all its accompanying horrors of sacrilege and ruthless barbarity. One voice alone—that of the Father of Christendom—has been raised to stigmatize these revolting excesses, and to reprove the iniquity of "persecuting Catholicism in order to put down rebellion." [Footnote 44] The same voice has exhorted us to pray for our Polish brethren, and has encouraged that suffering people to seek their deliverance from the just and compassionate Lord of all.

[Footnote 44: The terms of the Holy Father's address have been strangely exaggerated in many continental journals, where he is made to refer to the subject politically, and loudly to proclaim the justice of the Polish insurrection in that regard. The Pope entirely restricted his animadversions on the Czar to his persecution of the faith of his subjects.]

From The Lamp.


In tracing the progress of the various branches of science during the Middle Ages, there is nothing more striking than the slow stages by which a knowledge of the truth was reached on the subject of the earth's form, and the relative positions of the various countries which compose it. Though from the very earliest period the subject necessarily occupied a considerable amount of attention, and though facts began to be observed bearing upon it in the first ages after the diffusion of mankind, and were largely multiplied in proportion as the formation of colonies and intercommunication for purposes of commerce or war became more frequent, yet we find very little advance made in geographical knowledge from the days of Ptolemy, when the observations of the ancients were most systematically collected and arranged, till some centuries after, when the maritime enterprise of the Portuguese impelled them to the series of discoveries which led to the doubling of the Cape of Good Hope, and incited the genius of Columbus to the discovery of a new world.

The cause of this slow advance of geographical, in comparison with other branches of knowledge, was owing in some measure to the absence of any exact records of the discoveries made, by which they might have been communicated to others, and become the {159} starting-point for further investigations; but still more to the imperfect means of navigation in existence, and to those barbarian uprisings and migrations which for centuries, at least, were perpetually changing the state of Europe and Asia, and, by removing the landmarks of nations, obliging geography to begin as it were anew. During the whole of this period, however, we find evidences of the patient cultivation of this, as of all other branches of human knowledge, within the walls of those monastic institutions which ignorant prejudice still regards as the haunts of idleness, but to which the learned of all creeds and countries acknowledge their deep debt of obligation. Formal accounts of some distant land, either written by the traveller himself or recorded from the oral information he communicated; historical chronicles, in which not alone the events, but all that was known of the country is recorded, and maps in which the position of various places is attempted to be laid down, were to be found in every monastery both on the continent and in our own island. The holy men, too, who preached the gospel to pagan nations were usually careful also to enlarge their contemporaries' knowledge concerning the places and the people among whom they labored. Thus the great St. Boniface not only converted the Sclavonic nations to Catholic truth, but, at the special injunction of the Pope, wrote an account of them and of their country. St. Otho, bishop of Bamberg, did the same for the countries upon the shores of the Baltic; the holy monk Anscaire for Scandinavia, where he carried on his apostolic labors; and many others might be mentioned.

Among the most valuable of the contributions to the geography of the Middle Ages were those furnished by some monks of the order of St. Francis, who in the middle of the thirteenth century penetrated into the remote east, on special missions to the barbarian hordes that then threatened the very existence of religion and civilization, and whose enterprises, embarked in at the call of duty, are in many respects interesting.

History, whether ancient or modern, has few chapters so remarkable as that which records the rise of the Mongol power. A great chief, who had ruled over an immense horde of this hitherto pastoral people, died, leaving his eldest son an infant, and unable to command the adhesion of his rude subjects. The young chief, as he grew to man's estate, found his horde dispersed, and only a few families willing to acknowledge his sway. Determined, however, to regain his power and carry out the ambitious design which he had formed of conquering the world, he caused an assembly of the whole people to be summoned on the banks of the Selinga. At this assembly one of the wise men of the tribes announced that he had had a vision, in which he saw the great God, the disposer of kingdoms, sitting upon his throne in council, and heard him decree that the young chief should be "Zingis Khan," or "Greatest Chief" of the earth. The shouts of the Mongols testified their readiness to accept the decree; Zingis Khan was raised to supreme power over the whole Mongol race. He soon subdued the petty opposition of his neighbors, and, establishing the seat of his empire at Karakorum, spread his conquests in every direction with extraordinary rapidity, and died the ruler of many nations, bequeathing his power to sons and grandsons as warlike and ambitious as himself. One of these, Batoo Khan, invaded Europe with an immense army. He overran Russia, taking Moscow and its other principal places; subdued Poland and burnt Cracow; defeated the king of Hungary in a great battle; penetrated to Breslau, which he burned; and defeated, near Liegnitz, an army composed of Christian volunteers from all lands;—one of the bloodiest battles ever fought against the eastern hordes.

It was four years after this great battle, namely, in 1246, and when all {160} Europe was trembling at the expectation of another invasion of the Mongols (who, having devastated the country with fire and sword, had retired loaded with spoils), that two embassies were despatched by the Pope, Innocent IV., to endeavor to induce them to stop their progress into Europe, and to embrace Christianity. These important missions were intrusted to monks of the Franciscan order; Jean du Plan Carpini being despatched toward the north-east, where the camp of Batoo was fixed, and Nicholas Ascelin, the year after, sent into Syria and Persia.

Ascelin's mission, which comprised three other monks of the same order beside himself, was the most rapidly terminated. Following the south of the Caspian Sea, the party traversed Syria, Mesopotamia, and Persia, and at length reached the Mongol or Tatar encampment of Baiothnoy Khan. Being asked their object as they approached, the holy men boldly but undiplomatically declared that they were ambassadors from the head of the Christian world, and that their mission was to exhort the Tatars to repent of their wicked and barbarous attacks upon God's people. Being asked what presents they brought to the khan, according to eastern custom, they further replied that the Pope, as the vicar of God, was not accustomed to purchase a hearing or favor by such means, especially from infidels. The Mongols were astonished at this bold language used toward a race accustomed to strike terror into all who came into contact with them. They were still more astonished when the holy men refused, as a reprehensible act of idolatry, to make the usual genuflexions on being admitted to the presence of the khan, unless he first became a Catholic and acknowledged the Pope's supremacy, when they offered to do so for the honor of God and the Church. Hitherto the barbarians had borne patiently the display of what they doubtless regarded as the idiosyncrasies of the good friars, but this last refusal incited their rage; the ambassadors and their master the Pope were insulted and threatened, and it was debated in council whether they should not be flayed alive, their skins stuffed with hay, and sent back to the Pope. The interposition of the khan's mother saved their lives, however; but the Mongols could never understand how the Holy Father, who they found from Ascelin kept no army and had gained no battles, could have dared to send such a message to their victorious master, whom they styled the Son of Heaven. Ascelin and his companions were treated during their stay with scant courtesy, and were dismissed with a letter to the Pope from Baiothnoy Khan, commanding him, if he wished to remain in possession of his land and heritage, to come in his own person and do homage to him who held just sway over the whole earth. They reached as speedily as possible the nearest Syrian port, and embarked for France. They brought back to Europe some valuable information respecting the country of the Mongols, though small compared with that of the other ambassadors whom we have to mention.

Carpini was a man better fitted the office of ambassador, and able, without sacrificing his principles or his dignity, to become "all things to all men." He travelled with a numerous suite through Bohemia and Poland to Kiow, then the Russian capital. A quantity of skins and furs was given him in the northern capitals, as presents to the Tatar chiefs, and all Europe watched with interest the result of the embassy. On the banks of the Dnieper they first encountered the barbarians. The purpose of their journey being demanded, they replied that they were messengers from the Pope to the chief of the Tatar people, to desire peace and friendship between them, and request that they would embrace the faith of Christ, and desist from the slaughter of the Pope's subjects, who had never injured or attempted to injure them. Their {161} bearing made a very favorable impression. They were conducted to the tent of the chief, where they did not hesitate to make the usual salutations; and by his command post-horses and a Mongol escort were given them to conduct them to Batoo Khan. They found him at a place on the borders of the Black Sea; and, before being admitted to an audience, had to pass between two fires, as a charm to nullify any witchcraft or evil intention on their parts. They found Batoo seated on a raised throne with one of his wives, and surrounded by his court. They again made the usual genuflexions, and then delivered their letters, which Batoo Khan read attentively, but without giving them any reply. For some months they were "trotted about," with a view to show them the wealth, power, and magnificence of the people they were among; and in order that they might communicate at home what they saw. The holy men passed Lent among the Mongols; and, notwithstanding the fatigues they had passed through, observed a strict fast, taking, as their only food for the forty days, millet boiled in water, and drinking only melted snow. They witnessed the imposing ceremony of the investiture of a Tatar chief, at which a large number of feudatory princes were present, with no less than four thousand messengers bearing tribute or presents from subdued or submitted states. After the investiture, they also were ushered into the presence; but, alas, the gifts intrusted to them and their whole substance were already consumed. The Tatars, however, considerately dispensed with this usual part of the proceedings; for the coarse garb of the monks, contrasting as it did with the rich silks and garments of gold and silver which they describe as being worn generally during the ceremonies, must have marked them as men who possessed little of this world's goods.

The ceremonials of investiture over, Carpini was at length called upon to deliver his message to the newly-appointed khan; and a reply was given, which he was desired to translate into Latin, and convey to the Pope. It contained only meaningless expressions of good-will; but the fact was, that the khan intended to carry the war into Europe, though he did not desire to give notice of his intent. He offered to send with them an ambassador to the Pope; but Carpini seems to have surmised his purpose, and that this ambassador would really be only a spy; and he therefore found means to evade the offer. They returned homeward through the rigors of a Siberian winter, accompanied by several Genoese, Pisan, and Venetian traders, who, following the papal envoys, had found their way, in pursuit of commerce, to the Tatar encampment. The hardships the good men endured on the return journey were of the most fearful kind. Often, in crossing the extensive steppes of that country, they were forced to sleep all night upon the snow, and found themselves almost buried in snow-drifts in the morning. Kiow was at length reached; and its people, who had given up the adventurous travellers as lost, turned out to welcome them, as men returned from the grave. The rest of Carpini's life was spent in similar hardships, while preaching the gospel to the savage peoples of Bohemia, Hungary, Denmark, and Norway; and death came to him with his reward, at an advanced age, in the midst of his apostolic labors.

A few years after the missions of Ascelin and Carpini, another Franciscan, named William Van Ruysbroeck, better known as Rubriquis, a native of Brabant, was sent by Saint Louis of France on a similar errand to the Mongols, one of whose khans, it was reported, had embraced Christianity. He found the rumor void of foundation; and, though received courteously, as Carpini had been, could perceive not the slightest disposition among the barbarians to receive or even hear the truth. At the camp of Sartach Khan, Rubriquis was commanded to appear before the chief in his priestly vestments, and did so, carrying a missal {162} and crucifix in his hands, an attendant preceding him with a censer, and singing the Salve Regina. Everything he had with him was examined very attentively by the khan and his wives, especially the crucifix; but nothing came of this curiosity. Like Carpini, the party were frequently exposed to great privations, both at the encampments and on their journeys; and on one occasion Rubriquis piously records: "If it had not been for the grace of God, and the biscuit which we had brought with us, we had surely perished." On one journey from camp to camp, they travelled for five weeks along the banks of the Volga, nearly always on foot, and often without food. Rubriquis' companion Barthelemi broke down under the fatigues of the return journey; but Rubriquis persevered alone, and traversed an immense extent of country, passing through the Caucasus, Armenia, and Syria, before he took ship for France, to report the failure of his mission to the pious king.

Bootless as these journeys proved, so far as their main object was concerned, there is no doubt that in many ways they effected a large amount of good. The religious creed of the Mongols appears to have been confined to a belief in one God, and in a place of future rewards and punishments. For other doctrines, or for ceremonies of religion, they appear to have cared little. They trampled the Caliph of Bagdad, the "successor of the Prophet," beneath their horses' hoofs at the capture of that city; and they tolerated at their camps our Christian monks, as well as a number of professors of the Nestorian heresy. It was only on becoming Mohammedans that they, and the kindred but rival race of Ottomans, became intolerant. But it is to be observed that Islamism, which allowed polygamy, and avoided interference with their other national habits and customs, would be likely to attract them, in consequence of their religious indifference, as naturally as Christianity, which sought to impose restraints upon their ferocity and sensualism, would repel them. It is no wonder, therefore, that the efforts of the zealous Franciscans were unsuccessful. But their zeal and disinterestedness, their irreproachable lives and simple manners, were not without producing an effect upon the savage men with whom their embassies brought them into contact; and by their intercourse, and that mercantile communication for which their travels pioneered the way, the conduct of the Mongols toward the Christian races was sensibly affected beneficially, while on the other side they taught Europe to regard the Mongols as a people to be feared indeed, and guarded against, but not as the demons incarnate they had been pictured by the popular imagination. The benefit these devoted monks conferred upon the progress of science and civilization is scarcely to be over-estimated; as not only did they acquaint Europe with a number of minute, and in the main accurate, details respecting a vast tract of country previously unknown, and the peoples by whom it was inhabited, but they opened up new realms to commerce, in the exploring of which Marco Polo, Clavijo, and subsequent travellers, pushed onward to China, Japan, and India, and prepared the way for the great maritime discoveries of the succeeding century.


From The Month.





As I entered the library, which my father used for purposes of business as well as of study, I saw a gentleman who had often been at our house before, and whom I knew to be a priest, though he was dressed as a working-man of the better sort and had on a riding coat of coarse materials. He beckoned me to him, and I, kneeling, received his blessing.

"What, up yet, little one?" he said; "and yet thou must bestir thyself betimes to-morrow for prayers. These are not days in which priests may play the sluggard and be found abed when the sun rises."

"At what hour must you be on foot, reverend father?" my mother asked, as sitting down at a table by his side she filled his plate with whatever might tempt him to eat, the which he seemed little inclined to.

"Before dawn, good Mrs. Sherwood," he answered; "and across the fields into the forest before ever the laboring men are astir; and you know best when that is."

"An if it be so, which I fear it must," my father said, "we must e'en have the chapel ready by two o'clock. And, goodwife, you should presently get that wench to bed."

"Nay, good mother," I cried, and threw my arms round her waist, "prithee let me sit up to-night; I can lie abed all to-morrow." So wistfully and urgently did I plead, that she, who had grown of late somewhat loth to deny any request of mine, yielded to my entreaties, and only willed that I should lie down on a settle betwixt her chair and the chimney, in which a fagot was blazing, though it was summer-time, but the weather was chilly. I gazed by turns on my mother's pale face and my father's, which was thoughtful, and on the good priest's, who was in an easy-chair, wherein they had compelled him to sit, opposite to me on the other side of the chimney. He looked, as I remember him then, as if in body and in mind he had suffered more than he could almost bear.

After some discourse had been ministered betwixt him and my father of the journey he had been taking, and the friends he had seen since last he had visited our house, my mother said, in a tremulous voice, "And now, good Mr. Mush, an if it would not pain you too sorely, tell us if it be true that your dear daughter in Christ, Mrs. Clitherow, as indeed won the martyr's crown, as some letters from York reported to us a short time back?"

Upon this Mr. Mush raised his head, which had sunk on his breast, and said, "She that was my spiritual daughter in times past, and now, as I humbly hope, my glorious mother in heaven, the gracious martyr Mrs. Clitherow, has overcome all her enemies, and passed from this mortal life with rare and marvellous triumph into the peaceable city of God, there to receive a worthy crown of endless immortality and joy." His eye, that had been before heavy and dim, now shone with sudden light, and it seemed as if the cord about his heart was loosed, and his spirit found vent at last in words after a long and painful silence. More eloquent still was his countenance than his words as he exclaimed, "Torments overcame her not, nor the sweetness of life, nor her vehement affection for {164} husband and children, nor the flattering allurements and deceitful promises of the persecutors. Finally, the world, the flesh, and the devil overcame her not. She, a woman, with invincible courage entered combat against them all, to defend the ancient faith, wherein both she and her enemies were baptized and gave their promise to God to keep the same until death. O sacred martyr!" and, with clasped hands and streaming eyes, the good father went on, "remember me, I beseech thee humbly, in thy perfect charity, whom thou hast left miserable behind thee, in time past thy unworthy father and now most unworthy servant, made ever joyful by thy virtuous life, and now lamenting thy death and thy absence, and yet rejoicing in thy glory."

A sob burst from my mother's breast, and she hid her face against my father's shoulder. There was a brief silence, during which many quickly-rising thoughts passed through my mind. Of Daniel in the lions' den, and the Machabees and the early Christians; and of the great store of blood which had been shed of late in this our country, and of which amongst the slain were truly martyrs, and which were not; of the vision in the sky which had been seen at Lichfield; and chiefly of that blessed woman Mrs. Clitherow, whose virtue and good works I had often before heard of, such as serving the poor and harboring priests, and loving God's Church with a wonderful affection greater than can be thought of. Then I heard my father say, "How was it at the last, good Mr. Mush?" I oped my eyes, and hung on the lips of the good priest even as if to devour his words as he gave utterance to them.

"She refused to be tried by the country," he answered, in a tremulous voice; "and so they murthered her."

"How so?" my mother asked, shading her eyes with her hand, as if to exclude the mental sight of that which she yet sought to know.

"They pressed her to death," he slowly uttered; "and the last words she was heard to say were 'Jesu, Jesu, Jesu! have mercy on me!' She was in dying about a quarter of an hour, and then her blessed spirit was released and took its flight to heaven. May we die the death of the righteous, and may our last end be like hers!"

Again my mother hid her face in my father's bosom, and methought she said not "Amen" to that prayer; but turning to Mr. Mush with a flushed cheek and troubled eye, she asked, "And why did the blessed Mrs. Clitherow refuse to be tried by the country, reverend father, and thereby subject herself to that lingering death?"

"These were her words when questioned and urged on that point," he answered, "which sufficiently clear her from all accusation of obstinacy or desperation, and combine the rare discretion and charity which were in her at all times: 'Alas!' quoth she, 'if I should have put myself on the country, evidence must needs have come against me touching my harboring of priests and the holy sacrifice of the mass in my house, which I know none could give but only my children and servants; and it would have been to me more grievous than a thousand deaths if I should have seen any of them brought forth before me, to give evidence against me in so good a cause and be guilty of my blood; and, secondly,' quoth she, 'I know well the country must needs have found me guilty to please the council, who so earnestly seek my blood, and then all they had been accessory to my death and damnably offended God. I therefore think, in the way of charity, for my part to hinder the country from such a sin; and seeing it must needs be done, to cause as few to do it as might be; and that was the judge himself.' So she thought, and thereupon she acted, with that single view to God's glory and the good of men's souls that was ever the passion of her fervent spirit."

"Her children?" my mother murmured in a faint voice, still hiding her face from him. "That little Agnes {165} you used to tell us of, that was so dear to her poor mother, how has it fared with her?"

Mr. Mush answered, "Her happy mother sent her hose and shoes to her daughter at the last, signifying that she should serve God and follow her steps of virtue. She was committed to ward because she would not betray her mother, and there whipped and extremely used for that she would not go to the church and hear a sermon. When her mother was murthered, the heretics came to her and said that unless she would go to the church, her mother should be put to death. The child, thinking to save the life of her who had given her birth, went to a sermon, and thus they deceived her."

"God forgive them!" my father ejaculated; and I, creeping to my mother's side, threw my arms about her neck, upon which she, caressing me, said:

"Now thou wilt be up to their deceits, Conny, if they should practice the same arts on thee."

"Mother," I cried, clinging to her, "I will go with thee to prison and to death; but to their church I will not go who love not our Blessed Lady."

"So help thee God!" my father cried, and laid his hand on my head.

"Take heart, good Mrs. Sherwood," Mr. Mush said to my mother, who was weeping; "God may spare you such trials as those which that sweet saint rejoiced in, or he can give you a like strength to hers. We have need in these times to bear in mind that comfortable saying of holy writ, 'As your day shall your strength be.'"

"'Tis strange," my father observed, "how these present troubles seem to awake the readiness, nay the wish, to suffer for truth's sake. It is like a new sense in a soul heretofore but too prone to eschew suffering of any sort: 'tis even as the keen breezes of our own Cannock Chase stimulate the frame to exertions which it would shrink from in the duller air of the Trent Valley."

"Ah! and is it even so with you, my friend?" exclaimed Mr. Mush. "From my heart I rejoice at it: such thoughts are oftentimes forerunners of God's call to a soul marked out for his special service."

My mother, against whom I was leaning since mention had been made of Mrs. Clitherow's daughter, began to tremble; and rising said she would go to the chapel to prepare for confession. Taking me by the hand, she mounted the stairs to the room which was used as such since the ancient faith had been proscribed. One by one that night we knelt at the feet of the good shepherd, who, like his Lord, was ready to lay down his life for his sheep, and were shriven. Then, at two of the clock, mass was said, and my parents and most of our servants received, and likewise some neighbors to whom notice had been sent in secret of Mr. Mush's coming. When my mother returned from the altar to her seat, I marvelled at the change in her countenance. She who had been so troubled before the coming of the Heavenly Guest into her breast, wore now so serene and joyful an aspect, that the looking upon her at that time wrought in me a new and comfortable sense of the greatness of that divine sacrament. I found not the thought of death frighten me then; for albeit on that night I for the first time fully arrived at the knowledge of the peril and jeopardy in which the Catholics of this land do live; nevertheless this knowledge awoke in me more exultation than fear. I had seen precautions used, and reserves maintained, of which I now perceived the cause. For some time past my parents had prepared the way for this no-longer-to-be-deferred enlightenment. The small account they had taught me to make of the wealth and comforts of this perishable world, and the histories they had recounted to me of the sufferings of Christians in the early times of the Church, had been directed unto this end. They had, as it were, laid the wood on the altar of my heart, which they prayed might one day burn into {166} a flame. And now when, by reason of the discourse I had heard touching Mrs. Clitherow's blessed but painful end for harboring of priests in her house, and the presence of one under our roof, I took heed that the danger had come nigh unto our own doors, my heart seemed to beat with a singular joy. Childhood sets no great store on life: the passage from this world to the next is not terrible to such as have had no shadows cast on their paths by their own or others' sins. Heaven is not a far-off region to the pure in heart; but rather a home, where God, as St. Thomas sings,

    "Vitam sine termino
  Nobis donet in patria."

But, ah me! how transient are the lights and shades which flit across the childish mind! and how mutable the temper of youth, never long impressed by any event, however grave! Not many days after Mr. Mush's visit to our house, another letter from the Countess of Surrey came into my hand, and drove from my thoughts for the time all but the matters therein disclosed.

(my lady wrote),—"In my last letter I made mention, in an obscure fashion, of a secret which my lord had told me touching a matter of great weight which Higford, his grace's steward, had let out to him; and now that the whole world is speaking of what was then in hand, and that troubles have come of it, I must needs relieve my mind by writing thereof to her who is the best friend I have in the world, if I may judge by the virtuous counsel and loving words her letters do contain. 'Tis like you have heard somewhat of that same matter, Mistress Constance; for much talk has been ministered anent it since I wrote, amongst people of all sorts, and with various intents to the hindering or the promoting thereof. I mean touching the marriage of his grace the Duke of Norfolk with the Queen of Scots, which is much desired by some, and very little wished for by others. My lord, as is reasonable in one of his years and of so noble a spirit, and his sister, who is in all things the counterpart of her brother, have set their hearts thereon since the first inkling they had of it; for this queen had so noted a fame for her excellent beauty and sweet disposition that it has wrought in them an extraordinary passionate desire to title her mother, and to see their father so nobly mated, though not more than he deserves; for, as my lord says, his grace's estate in England is worth little less than the whole realm of Scotland, in the ill state to which the wars have reduced it; and when he is in his own tennis-court at Norwich, he thinks himself as great as a king.

"As a good wife, I should wish as my lord does; and indeed this marriage, Mistress Constance, would please me well; for the Queen of Scots is Catholic, and methinks if his grace were to wed her, there might arise some good out of it to such as are dependent on his grace touching matters of religion; and since Mr. Martin has gone beyond seas, 'tis very little I hear in this house but what is contrary to the teaching I had at my grandmother's. My lord saith this queen's troubles will be ended if she doth marry his grace, for so Higford has told him; but when I spoke thereof to my Lady Lumley, she prayed God his grace's might not then begin, but charged me to be silent thereon before my Lord Arundel, who has greatly set his heart on this match. She said words were in every one's mouth concerning this marriage which should never have been spoken of but amongst a few. 'Nan,' quoth she, 'if Phil and thou do let your children's tongues wag anent a matter which may well be one of life and death, more harm may come of it than can well be thought of.' So prithee, Mistress Constance, do you be silent as the grave on what I have herein written, if so be you have not heard {167} of it but from me. My lord had a quarrel with my Lord Essex, who is about his own age, anent the Queen of Scots, a few days since, when he came to spend his birthday with him; for my lord was twelve years old last week, and I gave him a fair jewel to set in his cap, for a love-token and for remembrance. My lord said that the Queen of Scots was a lady of so great virtue and beauty that none else could be compared with her; upon which my lord of Essex cried it was high treason to the queen's majesty to say so, and that if her grace held so long a time in prison one who was her near kinswoman, it was by reason of her having murthered her husband and fomented rebellion in this kingdom of England, for the which she did deserve to be extremely used. My lord was very wroth at this, and swore he was no traitor, and that the Queen of Scots was no murtheress, and he would lay down his head on the block rather than suffer any should style her such; upon which my lord of Essex asked, 'Prithee, my Lord Surrey, were you at Thornham last week when the queen's majesty was on a visit to your grandfather, my Lord Arundel?' 'No,' cried my lord, 'your lordship being there yourself in my Lord Leicester's suite, must needs have noticed I was absent; for if I had been present, methinks 'tis I and not your lordship would have waited behind her majesty's chair at table and held a napkin to her.' 'And if you had, my lord,' quoth my Lord Essex, waxing hot in his speech, 'you would have noticed how her grace's majesty gave a nip to his grace your father, who was sitting by her side, and said she would have him take heed on what pillow he rested his head.' 'And I would have you take heed,' cries my lord, 'how you suffer your tongue to wag in an unseemly manner anent her grace's majesty and his grace my father and the Queen of Scots, who is kinswoman to both, and even now a prisoner, which should make men careful how they speak of her who cannot speak in her own cause; for it is a very inhuman part, my lord, to tread on such as misfortune has cast down.' There was a nobleness in these words such as I have often taken note of in my lord, though so young, and which his playmate yielded to; so that nothing more was said at that time anent those matters, which indeed do seem too weighty to be discoursed upon by young folks. But I have thought since on the lines which 'tis said the queen's majesty wrote when she was herself a prisoner, which begin,

'O Fortune! how thy restless, wavering state
Hath fraught with cares my troubled wit;
Witness this present prison, whither fate
Could bear me, and the joys I quit'—

and wondered she should have no greater pity on those in the same plight, as so many be at this time. Ah me! I would not keep a bird in a cage an I could help it, and 'tis sad men are not more tender of such as are of a like nature with themselves!

"My lord was away some days after this at Oxford, whither he had been carried to be present at the queen's visit, and at the play of Palamon and Arcite, which her majesty heard in the common hall of Christ's Church. One evening, as my lady Margaret and I (like two twin cherries on one stalk, my lord would say, for he is mightily taken with the stage-plays he doth hear, and hath a trick of framing his speech from them) were sitting at the window near unto the garden practising our lutes and singing madrigals, he surprised us with his sweet company, in which I find an ever increasing content, and cried out as he approached, 'Ladies, I hold this sentence of the poet as a canon of my creed, that whom God loveth not, they love not music.' And then he said that albeit Italian was a very harmonious and sweet language which pleasantly tickleth the ear, he for his part loved English best, even in singing. Upon which, finding him in the humor for discreet {168} and sensible conversation, which, albeit he hath good parts and a ready wit, is not always the case, by reason of his being, as boys mostly are, prone to wagging, I took occasion to relate what I had heard my Lord of Arundel say touching his visit to the court of Brussels, when the Duchess of Parma invited him to a banquet to meet the Prince of Orange and most of the chief courtiers. The discourse was carried on in French; but my lord, albeit he could speak well in that language, nevertheless made use of an interpreter. At the which the Prince of Orange expressed his surprise to Sir John Wilson, who was present, that an English nobleman of so great birth and breeding should be ignorant of the French tongue, which the earl presently hearing, said, 'Tell the prince that I like to speak in that language in which I can best utter my mind and not mistake.' And I perceive, my lord,' I said, 'that you are of a like mind with his lordship, and no lover of new-fangled and curious terms.'

"Upon which my dear earl laughed, and related unto us how the queen had been pleased to take notice of him at Oxford, and spoke merrily to him of his marriage. 'And prithee, Phil, what were her highness's words?' quoth his prying sister, like a true daughter of Eve. At which my lord stroked his chin, as if to smooth his beard which is still to come, and said her majesty had cried, 'God's pity, child, thou wilt tire of thy wife afore you have both left the nursery.' 'Alack,' cried Meg, 'if any but her highness had said it, thy hand would have been on thy sword, brother, and I'll warrant thou didst turn as red as a turkey-cock, when her majesty thus titled thee a baby. Nay, do not frown, but be a good lord to us, and tell Nan and me if the queen said aught else.' Then my lord cleared his brow, and related how in the hunting scene in the play, when the cry of the hounds was heard outside the stage, which was excellently well imitated, some scholars who were seated near him, and he must confess himself also, did shout, 'There, there—he's caught, he's caught!' upon which her grace's majesty laughed, and merrily cried out from her box, 'Those boys in very troth are ready to leap out of the windows!' 'And had you such pleasant sports each day, brother?' quoth our Meg. 'No, by my troth,' my lord answered; 'the more's the pity; for the next day there was a disputation held in physic and divinity from two to seven; and Dr. Westphaling held forth at so great length that her majesty sent word to him to end his discourse without delay, to the great relief and comfort of all present. But he would not give over, lest, having committed all to memory, he should forget the rest if he omitted any part of it, and be brought to shame before the university and the court.' 'What said her highness when she saw he heeded not her commands?' Meg asked. 'She was angered at first,' quoth my lord, 'that he durst go on with his discourse when she had sent him word presently to stop, whereby she had herself been prevented from speaking, which the Spanish Ambassador had asked her to do; but when she heard the reason it moved her to laughter, and she titled him a parrot.'

"'And spoke not her majesty at all?' I asked; and my lord said, 'She would not have been a woman, Nan, an she had held her tongue after being once resolved to use it. She made the next day an oration in Latin, and stopped in the midst to bid my Lord Burleigh be seated, and not to stand painfully on his gouty feet. Beshrew me, but I think she did it to show the poor dean how much better her memory served her than his had done, for she looked round to where he was standing ere she resumed her discourse. And now, Meg, clear thy throat and tune thy pipe, for not another word will I speak till thou hast sung that ditty good Mr. Martin set to music for thee.' I have set it down here, Mistress Constance, with the notes as {169} she sung it, that you may sing it also; and not like it the less that my quaint fancy pictures the maiden the poet sings of, in her 'frock of frolic green,' like unto my sweet friend who dwells not far from one of the fair rivers therein named.

    A knight, as antique stories tell,
    A daughter had named Dawsabel,
        A maiden fair and free;
    She wore a frock of frolic green,
    Might well become a maiden queen,
        Which seemly was to see.

    The silk well could she twist and twine,
    And make the fine March pine,
    And with the needle work;
    And she could help the priest to say
    His matins on a holy day,
    And sing a psalm in kirk.

    Her features all as fresh above
    As is the grass that grows by Dove,
    And lythe as lass of Kent;
    Her skin as soft as Leinster wool,
    And white as snow on Penhisk Hull,
    Or swan that swims on Trent.

    This maiden on a morn betime
    Goes forth when May is in its prime,
    To get sweet setywall,
    The honeysuckle, the hurlock,
    The lily and the lady-smock,
    To deck her father's hall.

"'Ah,' cried my lord, when Meg had ended her song, beshrew me, if Monsieur Sebastian's madrigals are one-half so dainty as this English piece of harmony.' And then,—for his lordship's head is at present running on pageants such as he witnessed at Nonsuch and at Oxford,—he would have me call into the garden Madge and Bess, whilst he fetched his brothers to take part in a May game, not indeed in season now, but which, he says, is too good sport not to be followed all the year round. So he must needs dress himself as Robin Hood, with a wreath on his head and a sheaf of arrows in his girdle, and me as Maid Marian; and Meg, for that she is taller by an inch than any of us, though younger than him and me, he said should play Little John, and Bess Friar Tuck, for that she looks so gleesome and has a face so red and round. 'And Tom,' he cried, 'thou needst not be at pains to change thy name, for we will dub thee Tom the piper.' 'And what is Will to be?' asked my Lady Bess, who, since I be titled Countess of Surrey, must needs be styled My Lady William Howard.' 'Why, there's only the fool left,' quoth my lord, 'for thy sweetheart to play, Bess.' At the which her ladyship and his lordship too began to stamp and cry, and would have sobbed outright, but sweet Madge, whose face waxes so white and her eyes so large and blue that methinks she is more like to an angel than a child, put out her little thin hands with a pretty gesture, and said, 'I'll be the fool, brother Surrey, and Will shall be the dragon, and Bess ride the hobby-horse, an it will please her.' 'Nay, but she is Friar Tuck,' quoth my lord, 'and should not ride.' 'And prithee wherefore no?' cried the forward imp, who, now she no more fears her grandam's rod, has grown very saucy and bold; 'why should not the good friar ride, an it doth pleasure him?'

"At the which we laughed and fell to acting our parts with no little merriment and noise, and sundry reprehensions from my lord when we mistook our postures or the lines he would have us to recite. And at the end he set up a pole on the grass-plat for the Maying, and we danced and sung around it to a merry tune, which set our feet flying in time with the music:

    Now in the month of maying,
    When the merry lads are playing,
        Fa, la, la.

    Each with his bonny lasse,
    Upon the greeny grasse,
        Fa, la, la.

Madge was not strong enough to dance, but she stole away to gather white and blue violets, and made a fair garland to set on my head, to my lord's great content, and would have me unloose my hair on my shoulders, which fell nearly to my feet, and waved in the wind in a wild fashion; which he said was beseeming for a bold outlaw's bride, and what he had seen in the Maid Marian, who had played in the pageant at Nonsuch. Mrs. Fawcett misdoubted that this sport of ours should be approved by Mr. Charke, who calls all {170} stage-playing Satan's recreations, and a sure road unto hell; and that we shall hear on it in his next preachment; for he has held forth to her at length on that same point, and upbraided her for that she did suffer such foolish and profane pastimes to be carried on in his grace's house. Ah me! I see no harm in it; and if, when my lord visits me, I play not with him as he chooses, 'tis not a thing to be expected that he will come only to sing psalms or play chess, which Mr. Charke holds to be the only game it befits Christians to entertain themselves with. 'Tis hard to know what is right and wrong when persons be of such different minds, and no ghostly adviser to be had, such as I was used to at my grandmother's house.

"All, Mistress Constance! when I last wrote unto you I said troubles was the word in every one's mouth, and ere I had finished this letter—which I was then writing, and have kept by me ever since—what, think you, has befallen us? 'Tis anent the marriage of his grace with the Queen of Scots; which I now do wish it had pleased God none had ever thought of. Some weeks since my lord had told me, with great glee, that the Spanish ambassador was about to petition her majesty the queen for the release of her highness's cousin; and Higford and Bannister, and the rest of his grace's household—whom, since Mr. Martin went beyond seas, my lord spends much of his time with, and more of it methinks than is beseeming or to the profit of his manners and advancement of his behavior—have told him that this would prepare the way for the greatly-to-be-desired end of his grace's marriage with that queen; and my lord was reckoning up all the fine sports and pageants and noble entertainments would be enacted at Kenninghall and Thetford when that right princely wedding should take place; and how he should himself carry the train of the queen-duchess when she went into church; who was the fairest woman, he said, in the whole world, and none ever seen to be compared with her since the days of Grecian Helen. But when, some days ago, I questioned my lord touching the success of the ambassador's suits, and the queen's answer thereto, he said: 'By my troth, Nan, I understand that her highness sent away the gooseman, for so she entitled Senor Guzman, with a flea in his ear; for she said he had come on a fool's errand, and gave him for her answer that she would advise the Queen of Scots to bear her condition with less impatience, or she might chance to find some of those on whom she relied shorter by a head.' Oh, my lord,' I cried; 'my dear Phil! God send she was not speaking of his grace your father!' 'Nan,' quoth he, 'she looked at his grace the next day with looks of so great anger and disdain, that my lord of Leicester—that false and villainous knave—gave signs of so great triumph as if his grace was even on his way to the Tower. Beshrew me, if I would not run my rapier through his body if I could!' 'And where is his grace at present?' I asked. 'He came to town night,' quoth my lord, 'with my Arundel, and this morning went Kenninghall.' After this for some days I heard no more, for a new tutor came to my lord, who suffers him not to stay in the waiting-room with his grace's gentlemen, and keeps so strict a hand over him touching his studies, that in his brief hours of recreation he would rather play at quoits, and other active pastimes, than converse with his lady. Alack! I wish he were a few years older, and I should have more comfort of him than now, when I must needs put up with his humors, which be as changeful, by reason of his great youth, as the lights and shades on the grass 'neath an aspen-tree. I must be throwing a ball for hours, or learning a stage-part, when I would fain speak of the weighty matters which be on hand, such as I have told you of. Howsoever, as good luck would have it, my Lady Lumley sent for me to spend {171} the day with her; and from her ladyship I learnt that his grace had written to the queen that he had withdrawn from the court because of the pain he felt at her displeasure, and his mortification at the treatment he had been subjected to by the insolence of his foes, by whom he has been made a common table talk; and that her majesty had laid upon him her commands straightway to return to court. That was all was known that day; but at the very time that I was writing the first of these woeful tidings to you, Mistress Constance, his grace— whom I now know that I do love dearly, and with a true daughter's heart, by the dreadful fear and pain I am in—was arrested at Burnham, where he had stopped on his road to Windsor, and committed to the Tower. Alack! alack! what will follow? I will leave this my letter open until I have further news to send.

"His grace was examined this day before my Lord-keeper Bacon, and my Lords Northampton, Sadler, Bedford, and Cecil; and they have reported to her majesty that the duke had not put himself under penalty of the law by any overt act of treason, and that it would be difficult to convict him without this. My Lord of Arundel, at whose house I was when these tidings came, said her majesty was so angered at this judgment, that she cried out in a passion, 'Away! what the law fails to do my authority shall effect;' and straightway fell into a fit, her passion was so great; and they were forced to apply vinegar to restore her. I had a wicked thought come into my mind, Mistress Constance, that I should not have been concerned if the queen's majesty had died in that fit, which I befear me was high treason, and a mortal sin, to wish for one to die in a state of sin. But, alack! since I have left going to shrift I find it hard to fight against bad thoughts and naughty tempers; and when I say my prayers, and the old words come to my lips, which the preachments I hear do contradict, I am sometimes well-nigh tempted to give over praying at all. But I pray to God I may never be so wicked; and though I may not have my beads (which were taken from me), that the good Bishop of Durham gave me when I was confirmed, I use my fingers in their stead; and whilst his grace was at the Tower I did say as many 'Hail Maries' in one day as I ever did in my life before; and promised him, who is God's own dear Son and hers, if his grace came out of prison, never to be a day of my life without saying a prayer, or giving an alms, or doing a good turn to those which be in the same case, near at hand or throughout the world; and I ween there are many such of all sorts at this time.

"Your loving servant to command, whose heart is at present heavier than her pen,

"P. S. My Lord of Westmoreland has left London, and his lady is in a sad plight. I hear such things said on all sides touching Papists as I can scarce credit, and I pray to God they be not true. But an if they be so bad as some do say, why does his grace run his head into danger for the sake of the Popish queen, as men do style her? They have arrested Higford and Bannister last night, and they are to taste of the rack to-day, to satisfy the queen, who is so urgent on it. My lord is greatly concerned thereat, and cried when he spoke of it, albeit he tried to hide his tears. I asked him to show me what sort of pain it was; whereupon he twisted my arm till I cried out and bade him desist. God help me! I could not have endured the pain an instant longer; and if they have naught to tell anent these plots and against his grace, they needs must speak what is false when under the rack. Oh, 'tis terrible to think what men do suffer and cause others to suffer!"

This letter came into my hand on a day when my father had gone into Lichfield touching some business; and {172} he brought with it the news of a rising in the north, and that his Grace of Northumberland and my Lord of Westmoreland had taken arms on hearing of the Duke of Norfolk's arrest; and the Catholics, under Mr. Richard Norton and Lord Latimer, had joined their standard, and were bearing the cross before the insurgents. My father was sore cast down at these tidings; for he looked for no good from what was rebellion against a lawful sovereign, and a consorting with troublesome spirits, swayed by no love of our holy religion but rather contrary to it, as my Lord of Westmoreland and some others of those leading lords. And he hence foreboded fresh trials to all such as were of the ancient faith all over England; which was not long in accruing even in our own case; for a short time after, we were for the first time visited by pursuivants, on a day and in such a manner as I will now briefly relate.


On the Sunday morning which followed the day on which the news had reached us of the rising in Northumberland, I went, as was my wont, into my mother's dressing-room, to crave her blessing, and I asked of her if the priest who came to say mass for us most Sundays had arrived. She said he had been, and had gone away again, and that she greatly feared we should have no prayers that day, saving such as we might offer up for ourselves; "together," she added after a pause, "with a bitter sacrifice of tears and of such sufferings as we have heard of, but as yet not known the taste of ourselves."

Again I felt in my heart a throbbing feeling, which had in it an admixture of pain and joy—made up, I ween, of conflicting passions—such as curiosity feeding on the presentment of an approaching change; of the motions of grace in a soul which faintly discerns the happiness of suffering for conscience sake; and the fear of suffering natural to the human heart.

"Why are we to have no mass, sweet mother?" I asked, encircling her waist in my arms; "and wherefore has good Mr. Bryan gone away?"

"We received advice late last evening," she answered, "that the queen's pursuivants have orders to search this day the houses of the most noted recusants in this neighborhood; and 'tis likely they may begin with us, who have never made a secret of our faith, and never will."

"And will they kill us if they come?" I asked, with that same trembling eagerness I have so often known since when danger was at hand.

"Not now, not to-day, Conny," she answered; "but I pray to God they do not carry us away to prison; for since this rising in the north, to be a Catholic and a traitor is one and the same in their eyes who have to judge us. We must needs hide our books and church furniture; so give me thy beads, sweet one, and the cross from thy neck."

I waxed red when my mother bade me unloose the string, and tightly clasped the cross in both my hands "Let them kill me, mother," I cried; "but take not off my cross."

"Maybe," she said, "the queen's officers would trample on it, and injure their own souls in dishonoring a holy symbol." And as she spoke she took it from me, and hid it in a recess behind the chimney; which no sooner was done, than we heard a sound of horses' feet in the approach; and going to the window, I cried out, "Here is a store of armed men on horseback!" Ere I had uttered the words, one of them had dismounted and loudly knocked at the door with his truncheon; upon which my mother, taking me by the hand, went down stairs into the parlor where my father was. It seemed as if those knocks had struck on her heart, so great a trembling came over her. My father bade the servants throw {173} open the door; and the sheriff came in, with two pursuivants and some more men with him, and produced a warrant to search the house; which my father having read, he bowed his head, and gave orders not to hinder them in their duty. He stood himself the while in the hall, his face as white as a smock, and his teeth almost running through his lips.

One of the men came into the library, and pulling down the books, scattered them on the floor, and cried:

"Look ye here, sirs, what Popish stuff is this, fit for the hangman's burning!" At the which another answered:

"By my troth, Sam, I misdoubt that thou canst read. Methinks thou dost hunt Popery as dogs do game, by the scent. Prithee spell me the title of this volume."

"I will have none of thy gibing, Master Sevenoaks," returned the other. "Whether I be a scholar or not, I'll warrant no honest gospeller wrote on those yellow musty leaves, which be two hundred years old, if they be a day."

"And I'll warrant thee in that credence, Master Samuel, by the same token that the volume in thy hand is a treatise on field-sports, writ in the days of Master Caxton; a code of the laws to be observed in the hunting and killing of deer, which I take to be no Popish sport, for our most gracious queen—God save her majesty!—slew a fat buck not long ago in Windsor Forest with her own hand, and remembered his grace of Canterbury with half her prey;" and so saying, he drew his comrade from the room; I ween with the intent to save the books from his rough handling, for he seemed of a more gentle nature than the rest and of a more moderate disposition.

When they had ransacked all the rooms below, they went upstairs, and my father followed. Breaking from my mother's side, who sat pale and still as a statute, unable to move from her seat, I ran after him, and on the landing-place I heard the sheriff say somewhat touching the harboring of priests; to the which he made answer that he was ready to swear there was no priest in the house. "Nor has been?" quoth the sheriff; upon which my father said:

"Good sir, this house was built in the days of Her majesty's grandfather, King Henry VII.; and on one occasion his majesty was pleased to rest under my grandfather's roof, and to hear mass in that room," he said, pointing to what was now the chapel, "the church being too distant for his majesty's convenience: so priests have been within these walls many times ere I was born."

The sheriff said no more at that time, but went into the room, where there were only a few chairs, for that in the night the altar and all that appertained to it had been removed. He and his men were going out again, when a loud knocking was heard against the wall on one side of the chamber; at the sound of which my father's face, which was white before, became of an ashy paleness.

"Ah!" cried one of the pursuivants, "the lying Papist! The egregious Roman! an oath is in his mouth that he has no priest in his house, and here is one hidden in his cupboard."

"Mr. Sherwood!" the sheriff shouted, greatly moved, "lead the way to the hiding-place wherein a traitor is concealed, or I order the house to be pulled down about your ears."

My father was standing like one stunned by a sudden blow, and I heard him murmur, "'Tis the devil's own doing, or else I am stark, staring mad."

The men ran to the wall, and knocked against it with their sticks, crying out in an outrageous manner to the priest to come out of his hole. "We'll unearth the Jesuit fox," cried one; "we'll give him a better lodging in Lichfield gaol," shouted another; and the sheriff kept threatening to set fire to the house. Still the knocking from within went on, as if {174} answering that outside, and then a voice cried out, "I cannot open: I am shut in."

"'Tis Edmund!" I exclaimed; "'tis Edmund is in the hiding-place." And then the words were distinctly heard, "'Tis I; 'tis Edmund Genings. For God's sake, open; I am shut in." Upon which my father drew a deep breath, and hastening forward, pressed his finger on a place in the wall, the panel slipped, and Edmund came out of the recess, looking scared and confused. The pursuivants seized him; but the sheriff cried out, surprised, "God's death, sirs! but 'tis the son of the worshipful Mr. Genings, whose lady is a mother in Israel, and M. Jean de Luc's first cousin! And how came ye, Mr. Edmund, to be concealed in this Popish den? Have these recusants imprisoned you with some foul intent, or perverted you by their vile cunning?" Edmund was addressing my father in an agitated voice.

"I fear me, sir," he cried, clasping his hands, "I befear me much I have affrighted you, and I have been myself sorely affrighted. I was passing through this room, which I have never before seen, and the door of which was open this morn. By chance I drew my hand along the wall, where there was no apparent mark, when the panel slipped and disclosed this recess, into which I stepped, and straightway the opening closed and I remained in darkness. I was afraid no one might hear me, and I should die of hunger."

My father tried to smile, but could not. "Thank God," he said, "'tis no worse;" and sinking down on a chair he remained silent, whilst the sheriff and the pursuivants examined the recess, which was deep and narrow, and in which they brandished their swords in all directions. Then they went round the room, feeling the walls; but though there was another recess with a similar mode of aperture, they hit not on it, doubtless through God's mercy; for in it were concealed the altar furniture and our books, with many other things besides, which they would have seized on.

Before going away, the sheriff questioned Edmund concerning his faith, and for what reason he abode in a Popish house and consorted with recusants. Edmund answered he was no Papist, but a kinsman of Mrs. Sherwood, unto whose house his father had oftentimes sent him. Upon which he was counselled to take heed unto himself and to eschew evil company, which leads to horrible defections, and into the straight road to perdition. Whereupon they departed; and the officer who had enticed his companion from the library smiled as he passed me, and said:

"And wherefore not at prayers, little mistress, on the Lord's day, as all Christian folks should be?"

I ween he was curious to see how I should answer, albeit not moved thereunto by any malicious intent. But at the time I did not bethink myself that he spoke of Protestant service; and being angered at what passed, I said:

"Because we be kept from prayers by the least welcome visit ever made to Christian folks on a Lord's morning." He laughed and cried:

"Thou hast a ready tongue, young mistress; and when tried for recusancy I warrant thou'lt give the judge a piece of thy mind."

"And if I ever be in such a presence, and for such a cause," I answered, "I pray to God I may say to my lord on the bench what the blessed apostle St. Peter spoke to his judges: 'If it be just in the sight of God to hear you rather than God, judge ye.'" At which he cried:

"Why, here is a marvel indeed—a Papist to quote Scripture!" And laughing again, he went his way; and the house was for that time rid of these troublesome guests.

Then Edmund again sued for pardon to my father, that through his rash conduct he had been the occasion of so great fear and trouble to him.


"I warrant thee, my good boy," quoth my father, "thou didst cause me the most keen anguish, and the most sudden relief from it, which can well be thought of; and so no more need be said thereon. And as thou must needs be going to the public church, 'tis time that thou bestir thyself; for 'tis a long walk there and back, and the sun waxing hot."

When Edmund was gone, and I alone with him, my father clasped me in his arms, and cried:

"God send, my wench, thou mayest justify thy sponsors who gave thee thy name in baptism; for 'tis a rare constancy these times do call for, and such as is not often seen, saving in such as be of a noble and religious spirit; which I pray to God may be the case with thee."

My mother did not speak, but went away with her hand pressed against her heart; which was what of late I had often seen her to do, as if the pain was more than she could bear.

One hour later, as I was crossing the court, a man met me suited as a farmer; who, when I passed him, laid his hand on my shoulder; at the which I started, and turning round saw it was Father Bryan; who, smiling as I caught his hand, cried out:

"Dost know the shepherd in his wolf's clothing, little mistress?" and hastening on to the chapel he said mass, at the which only a few assisted, as my parents durst not send to the Catholics so late in the day. As soon as mass was over, Mr. Bryan said he must leave, for there was a warrant issued for his apprehension; and our house famed for recusancy, so as he might not stay in it but with great peril to himself and to its owners. We stood at the door as he was mounting his horse, and my father said, patting its neck:

"Tis a faithful servant this, reverend father; many a mile he has carried thee to the homes of the sick and dying since our troubles began."

"Ah! good Mr. Sherwood," Mr. Bryan replied, as he gathered up the bridle, "thou hast indeed warrant to style the poor beast faithful. If I were to shut my eyes and let him go, no doubt but he would find his way to the doors of such as cleave to the ancient faith, in city or in hamlet, across moor or through thick wood. If a pursuivant bestrode him, he might discover through his means who be recusants a hundred miles around. But I bethink me he would not budge with such a burthen on his back; and that he who made the prophet's ass to speak, would, give the good beast more sense than to turn informer, and to carry the wolf to the folds of the lambs. And prithee, Mistress Constance," said the good priest, turning to me, "canst keep a secret and be silent, when men's lives are in jeopardy?"

"Aye," cried my father quickly, "'tis as much as worthy Mr. Bryan's life is worth that none should know he was here to-day."

"More than my poor life is worth," he rejoined; "that were little to think of, my good friends. For five years I have made it my prayer that the day may soon come—and I care not how soon—when I may lay it down for his sake who gave it. But we must e'en have a care for those who are so rash as to harbor priests in these evil times. So Mistress Constance must e'en study the virtue of silence, and con the meaning of the proverb which teacheth discretion to be the best part of valor."

"If Edmund Genings asketh me, reverend father, if I have heard mass to-day, what must I answer?"

"Say the queen's majesty has forbidden mass to be said in this her kingdom; and if he presseth thee more closely thereon, why then tell him the last news from the poultry-yard, and that the hares have eat thy mignonette; which they be doing even now, if my eyes deceive me not," said the good father, pointing with his whip to the flower-garden.

So, smiling, he gave us a last blessing, and rode on toward the Chase, and I went to drive the hares away {176} from the flower-beds, and then to set the chapel in fair order. And ever and anon, that day and the next, I took out of my pocket my sweet Lady Surrey's last letter, and pictured to myself all the scenes therein related; so that I seemed to live one-half of my life with her in thought, so greatly was my fancy set upon her, and my heart concerned in her troubles.


Not many days after the sheriff and the pursuivants had been at our house, and Mr. Bryan, by reason of the bloody laws which had been enacted against Papists and such as harbor priests, had left us,— though intending to return at such times as might serve our commodity, and yet not affect our safety,—I was one morning assisting my mother in the store-room, wherein she was setting aside such provisions as were to be distributed to the poor that week, together with salves, medicines, and the like, which she also gave out of charity, when a spasm came over her, so vehement and painful, that for the moment she lost the use of speech, and made signs to me to call for help. I ran affrighted into the library for my father, and brought him to her, upon which, in a little time, she did somewhat recover, but desired he would assist her to her own chamber, whither she went leaning on his arm. When laid on her bed she seemed easier; and smiling, bade me leave them for awhile, for that she desired to have speech with my father alone.

For the space of an hour I walked in the garden, with so oppressive a grief at my heart as I had never before experienced. Methinks the great stillness in the air added thereunto some sort of physical disorder; for the weather was very close and heavy; and if a leaf did but stir, I started as if danger was at hand; and the noise of the chattering pies over my head worked in me an apprehensive melancholy, foreboding, I doubt not, what was to follow. At about eleven o'clock, hearing the sound of a horse's feet in the avenue, I turned round, and saw Edmund riding from the house; upon which I ran across the grass to a turning of the road where he would pass, and called to him to stop, which he did; and told me he was going to Lichfield for his father, whom my mother desired presently to see. "Then thou shouldst not tarry," I said; and he pushed on and left me standing where I was; but the bell then ringing for dinner, I went back to the house, and, in so doing, took notice of a bay-tree on the lawn which was withered and dried-up, though the gardener had been at pains to preserve it by sundry appliances and frequent watering of it. Then it came to my remembrance what my nurse used to say, that the dying of that sort of tree is a sure omen of a death in a family; which thought sorely disturbed me at that time. I sat down with my father to a brief and silent meal; and soon after the physician he had sent for came, whom he conducted to my mother's chamber, whereunto I did follow, and slipped in unperceived. Sitting on one side of the bed, behind the curtains, I heard her say, in a voice which sounded hollow and weak, "Good Master Lawrenson, my dear husband was fain to send for you, and I cared not to withstand him, albeit persuaded that I am hastening to my journey's end, and that naught that you or any other man may prescribe may stay what is God's will. And if this be visible to you as it is to me, I pray you keep it not from me, for it will be to my much comfort to be assured of it."

When she had done speaking, he did feel her pulse; and the while my heart beat so quick and, as it seemed to me, so loud as if it must needs impede my hearing; but in a moment I heard him say: "God defend, good madam, I should deceive you. While there is life, there is hope. Greater {177} comfort I dare not urge. If there be any temporal matter on your mind, 'twere better settled now, and likewise of your soul's health, by such pious exercises as are used by those of your way of thinking."

At the hearing of these his words, my father fetched a deep sigh; but she, as one greatly relieved, clasped her hands together, and cried, "My God, I thank thee!"

Then, stealing from behind the curtain, I laid my head on the pillow nigh unto hers, and whispered, "Sweet mother, prithee do not die, or else take me with thee."

But she, as one not heeding, exclaimed, with her hands uplifted, "O faithless heart! O selfish heart! to be so glad of death!"

The physician was directing the maids what they should do for her relief when the pain came on, and he himself stood compounding some medicine for her to take. My father asked of him when he next would come; and he answered, "On the morrow;" but methinks 'twas even then his belief that there would be no morrow for her who was dying before her time, like the bay-tree in our garden. She bade him farewell in a kindly fashion; and when we were alone, I lying on the bed by her side, and my father sitting at its head, she said, in a low voice, "How wonderful be God's dealings with us, and how fatherly his care; in that he takes the weak unto himself, and leaves behind the strong to fight the battle now at hand! My dear master, I had a dream yesternight which had somewhat of horror in it, but more methinks of comfort." My father breaking out then in sighs and tears as if his heart would break, she said, "Oh, but thou must hear and acknowledge, my loved master, how gracious is God's providence to thy poor wife. When thou knowest what I have suffered—not in body, though that has been sharp too, but in my soul—it will reconcile thine own to a parting which has in it so much of mercy. Thou dost remember the night when Mr. Mush was here, and what his discourse did run on?"

"Surely do I, sweet wife," he answered; "for it was such as the mind doth not easily lose the memory of; the sufferings and glorious end of the blessed martyr Mrs. Clitherow. I perceived what sorrowful heed thou didst lend to his recital; but has it painfully dwelt in thy mind since?"

"By day and by night it hath not left me; ever recurring to my thoughts, ever haunting my dreams, and working in me a fearful apprehension lest in a like trial I should be found wanting, and prove a traitor to God and his Church, and a disgrace and heartbreak to thee who hast so truly loved me far beyond my deserts. I have bragged of the dangers of the times, even as cowards are wont to speak loud in the dark to still by the sound of their own voices the terrors they do feel. I have had before my eyes the picture of that cruel death, and of the children extremely used for answering as their mother had taught them, till cold drops of sweat have stood on my brow, and I have knelt in my chamber wringing my hands and praying to be spared a like trial. And then, maybe an hour later, sitting at the table, I spake merrily of the gallows, mocking my own fears, as when Mr. Bryan was last here; and I said that priests should be more welcome to me than ever they were, now that virtue and the Catholic cause were made felony; and the same would be in God's sight more meritorious than ever before: upon which, 'Then you must prepare your neck for the rope,' quoth he, in a pleasant but withal serious manner; at the which a cold chill overcame me, and I very well-nigh faulted, though constraining my tongue to say, 'God's will be done; but I am far unworthy of so great an honor.' The cowardly heart belied the confident tongue, and fear of my own weakness affrighted me, by the which I must needs have offended God, who helps such as trust {178} in him. But I hope to be forgiven, inasmuch as it has ever been the wont of my poor thoughts to picture evils beforehand in such a form as to scare the soul, which, when it came to meet with them, was not shaken from its constancy. When Conny was an infant I have stood nigh unto a window with her in my arms, and of a sudden a terror would seize me lest I should let her fall out of my hands, which yet clasped her; and methinks 'twas somewhat of alike feeling which worked in me touching the denying of my faith, which, God is my witness, is dearer to me than aught upon earth."

"'Tis even so, sweet wife," quoth my father; "the edge of a too keen conscience and a sensitive apprehension of defects visible to thine own eyes and God's—never to mine, who was ever made happy by thy love and virtue—have worn out the frame which enclosed them, and will rob me of the dearest comfort of my life, if I must lose thee."

She looked upon him with so much sweetness, as if the approach of death had brought her greater peace and joy than life had ever done, and she replied: "Death comes to me as a compassionate angel, and I fain would have thee welcome with me the kindly messenger who brings so great relief to the poor heart thou hast so long cherished. Now, thou art called to another task; and when the bruised, broken reed is removed from thy side, thou wilt follow the summons which even now sounds in thine ears."

"Ah," cried my father, clasping her hand, "art thou then already a saint, sweet wife, that thou hast read the vow slowly registered as yet in the depths of a riven heart?" Then his eyes turned on me; and she, who seemed to know his thoughts, that sweet soul who had been so silent in life, but was now spending her last breath in never-to-be-forgotten words, answered the question contained in that glance as if it had been framed in a set speech.

"Fear not for her," she said, laying her cheek close unto mine. "As her days, so shall her strength be. Methinks Almighty God has given her a spirit meet for the age in which her lot is cast. The early training thou hast had, my wench; the lack of such memories as make the present twofold bitter; the familiar mention round thy cradle of such trials as do beset Catholics in these days, have nurtured thee a stoutness of heart which will stand thee in good stead amidst the rough waves of this troublesome world. The iron will not enter into thy soul as it hath done into mine." Upon which she fell back exhausted and for a while no sound was heard in or about the house save the barking of our great dog.

My father had sent a messenger to a house where we had had notice days before Father Ford was staying but with no certain knowledge he still there, or any other priest in neighborhood, which occasioned him no small disquietude, for my mother's strength seemed to be visibly sinking which was what the doctor's words had led him to expect. The man he sent returned not till the evening; in the afternoon Mr. Genings and son came from Lichfield, which, when my mother heard, she said God was gracious to permit her once more to see John, which was Mr. Genings' name. They had been reared in the same house; and a kindness had always continued betwixt them. For some time past he had conformed to the times; and since his marriage with the daughter of a French Huguenot who lived in London, and who was a lady of very commendable character and manners, and strenuous in her own way of thinking, he had left off practising his own religion in secret, which for a while he used to do. When he came in, and saw death plainly writ in his cousin's face, he was greatly moved, and knelt down by her side with a very sorrowful countenance; upon which she straightly looked at him, and said: "Cousin John, my {179} breath is very short, as my time is also like to be. But one word I would fain say to thee before I die. I was always well pleased with my religion, which was once thine and that of all Christian people one hundred years ago; but I have never been so well pleased with it as now, when I be about to meet my Judge."

Mr. Genings' features worked with a strange passion, in which was more of grief than displeasure, and grasping his son's shoulder, who was likewise kneeling and weeping, he said: "You have wrought with this boy, cousin, to make him a Catholic."

"As heaven is my witness," she answered, "not otherwise but by my prayers."

"Hast thou seen a priest, cousin Constance?" he then asked: upon which my mother not answering, the poor man burst into tears, and cried: "Oh, cousin—cousin Constance, dost count me a spy, and at thy death-bed?"

He seemed cut to the heart; whereupon she gave him her hand, and said she hoped God would send her such ghostly assistance as she stood in need of; and praying God to bless him and his wife and children, and make them his faithful servants, so she might meet them all in perpetual happiness, she spoke with such good cheer, and then bade him and Edmund farewell with so pleasant a smile, as deceived them into thinking her end not so near. And so, after a while, they took their leave; upon which she composed herself for a while in silence, occupying her thoughts in prayer; and toward evening, through God's mercy, albeit the messenger had returned with the heavy news that Father Ford had left the county some days back, it happened that Mr. Watson, a secular priest who had lately arrived in England, and was on his way to Chester, stopped at our house, whereunto Mr. Orton, whom he had seen in prison at London, had directed him for his own convenience on the road, and likewise our commodity, albeit little thinking how great our need would be at that time of so opportune a guest, through whose means that dear departing soul had the benefit of the last sacraments with none to trouble or molest her, and such ghostly aid as served to smooth her passage to what has proved, I doubt not, the beginning of a happy eternity, if we may judge by such tokens as the fervent acts of contrition she made both before and after shrift, such as might have served to wash away ten thousand sins through his blood who cleansed her, and her great and peaceable joy at receiving him into her heart whom she soon trusted to behold. Her last words were expressions of wonder and gratitude at God's singular mercy shown unto her in the quiet manner of her death in the midst of such troublesome times. And methinks, when the silver cord was loosed, and naught was left of her on earth save the fair corpse which retained in death the semblance it had had in life, that together with the natural grief which found vent in tears, there remained in the hearts of such as loved her a comfortable sense of the Divine goodness manifested in this her peaceable removal.

How great the change which that day wrought in me may be judged of by such who, at the age I had then reached to, have met with a like affliction, coupled with a sense of duties to be fulfilled, such as then fell to my lot, both as touching household cares, and in respect to the cheering of my father in his solitary hours during the time we did yet continue at Sherwood Hall, which was about a year. It waxed very hard then for priests to make their way to the houses of Catholics, as many now found it to their interest to inform against them and such as harbored them; and mostly in our neighborhood, wherein there were at that time no recusants of so great rank and note that the sheriff would not be lief to meddle with them. We had oftentimes had secret advices to beware of such and such of our servants who might betray our hidden conveyances of safety; and my father scarcely durst {180} be sharp with them when they offended by slacking their duties, lest they might bring us into danger if they revealed, upon any displeasure, priests having abided with us. Edmund we saw no more since my mother's death; and after a while the news did reach us that Mr. Genings had died of the small-pox, and left his wife in so distressed a condition, against all expectation, owing to debts he had incurred, that she had been constrained to sell her house and furniture, and was living in a small lodging near unto the school where Edmund continued his studies.

I noticed, as time went by, how heavily it weighed on my father's heart to see so many Catholics die without the sacraments, or fall away from their faith, for lack of priests to instruct them, like so many sheep without a shepherd; and I guessed by words he let fall on divers occasions, that the intent obscurely shadowed forth in his discourse to my mother on her deathbed was ripening to a settled purpose, and tending to a change in his state of life, which only his love and care for me caused him to defer. What I did apprehend must one day needs occur, was hastened about this time by a warning he did receive that on an approaching day he would be apprehended and carried by the sheriff before the council at Lichfield, to be examined touching recusancy and harboring of priests; which was what he had long expected. This message was, as it were, the signal he had been waiting for, and an indication of God's will in his regard. He made instant provision for the placing of his estate in the hands of a friend of such singular honesty and so faithful a friendship toward himself, though a Protestant, that he could wholly trust him. And next he set himself to dispose of her whom he did term his most dear earthly treasure, and his sole tie to this perishable world, which he resolved to do by straightway sending her to London, unto his sister Mistress Congleton, who had oftentimes offered, since his wife's death, to take charge of this daughter, and to whom he now despatched a messenger with a letter, wherein he wrote that the times were now so troublesome, he must needs leave his home, and take advantage of the sisterly favor she had willed to show him in the care of his sole child, whom he now would forthwith send to London, commending her to her good keeping, touching her safety and religious and virtuous training, and that he should be more beholden to her than ever brother was to sister, and, as long as he lived, as he was bound to do, pray for her and her good husband. When this letter was gone, and order had been taken for my journey, which was to be on horseback, and in the charge of a maiden gentlewoman who had been staying some months in our neighborhood, and was now about in two days to travel to London, it seemed to me as if that which I had long expected and pictured unto myself had now come upon me of a sudden, and in such wise as for the first time to taste its bitterness. For I saw, without a doubt, that this parting was but the forerunner of a change in my father's condition as great and weighty as could well be thought of. But of this howbeit our thoughts were full of it, no talk was ministered between us. He said I should hear from him in London; and that he should now travel into Lancashire and Cheshire, changing his name, and often shifting his quarters whilst the present danger lasted. The day which was to be the last to see us in the house wherein himself and his fathers for many centuries back, and I his unworthy child, had been born, was spent in such fashion as becometh those who suffer for conscience sake, and that is with so much sorrow as must needs be felt by a loving father and a dutiful child in a first and doubtful parting, with so much regret as is natural in the abandonment of a peaceful earthly home, wherein God had been served in a Catholic manner for many generations and up to that time without discontinuance, only of late years as it were by {181} night and stealth, which was linked in their memories with sundry innocent joys and pleasures, and such griefs as do hallow and endear the visible scenes wherewith they be connected, but withal with a stoutness of heart in him, and a youthful steadiness in her whom he had infected with a like courage unto his own, which wrought in them so as to be of good cheer and shed no more tears on so moving an occasion than the debility of her nature and the tenderness of his paternal care extorted from their eyes when he placed her on her horse, and the bridle in the hand of the servant who was to accompany her to London. Their last parting was a brief one, and such as I care not to be minute in describing; for thinking upon it even now 'tis like to make me weep; which I would not do whilst writing this history, in the recital of which there should be more of constancy and thankful rejoicing in God's great mercies, than of womanish softness in looking back to past trials. So I will even break off at this point; and in the next chapter relate the course of the journey which was begun on that day.


Abridged from Le Correspondant.


In the bleak region of Upper Burgundy, not far from the domain of Vauban, stands the old manor of Chastellux, famous since the fifteenth century as the birth-place of two brothers, one of whom became an admiral, the other a marshal of France. From this feudal stronghold came forth one of the most amiable of the courtiers of Louis XVI.—a disciple of Voltaire and Hume, a rival of Turgot and Adam Smith, a friend of Washington and Jefferson, a forerunner of the revolutionists of 1789, a philosopher, an historian, a political economist, something of a poet, something of a naturalist, something of an artist, a man of taste, an enthusiastic student, a brilliant talker, and an elegant writer. The rude Sieurs de Chastellux would have been not a little astonished could they have foreseen what character of man was destined to inherit their title.

François Jean de Beauvoir, first known as Chevalier and afterward Marquis de Chastellux, was born at Paris in 1734. He was a son of the Count de Chastellux, lieutenant-general of the armies of the king, by Mlle. d'Aguesseau, daughter of the chancellor. His mother, being left a widow at an early period, withdrew thereupon into the privacy of domestic life, and the young marquis had the good fortune to be brought up under the eyes of the Chancellor d'Aguesseau himself. He entered the army at sixteen, and was hardly twenty-one before he had risen to be colonel. He distinguished himself highly during the campaigns of the Seven Years' War, and it was as a reward of his gallantry no less than out of compliment to his hereditary rank that he was selected on one occasion to present to the king the flags of a conquered city. It is hard to understand how, in the midst of such an active life, he could find time for study; but for all that he knew Greek, Latin, English, and Italian, and had some acquaintance with every branch of science cultivated in his time. From boyhood he showed a zealous interest in every sort of invention or discovery which promised to be of practical use {182} to mankind. When the principle of inoculation for small-pox was first broached in Europe, everybody shrank in alarm from the experiment. The young marquis had himself inoculated without his mother's knowledge, and then, running to Buffon, who knew his family, exclaimed joyfully, "I am saved, and my example will be the means of saving many others."

When peace was declared in 1763, he was not yet thirty. With his eminent gifts of mind and person, a brilliant career in society lay open to him, but he aimed to be something more than a mere man of fashion. His first literary productions were biographical sketches of two of his brother officers, MM. de Closen and de. Belsunce, which appeared in the Mercure, in 1765. He wrote a lively and graceful little essay on the "Union of Poetry and Music,"—the same subject which Marmontel afterward treated in his poem of Polymnie. The great quarrel between the schools of Gluck and Piccini did not break out until ten years later; but mutterings of the coming tempest were heard already. Italian music had its enthusiastic admirers and its implacable foes, and in the midst of their disputes Monsigny and Grétry had just given to France a lyric school of her own by creating the comic opera. M. de Chastellux, like everybody else in those days, was passionately fond of the theatre, and he espoused the cause of Italian music with the ardor that characterized everything he did. About the same time he fell into the society of the Encyclopoedists, and allied himself with Helvétius, d'Alembert, Turgot, and the rest of the philosophical party, who received the illustrious recruit with open arms.

About the same time that M. de Chastellux left the army, and made his debut in civil life, the Scottish historian and philosopher, David Hume, arrived in Paris, with the British ambassador, Lord Hertford. He became the lion of the day. Courtiers and philosophers fell down and worshipped him; his skeptical opinions were eagerly imbibed, and the three years that he spent in the French capital became, owing to his extraordinary influence, one of the most important epochs in the literary history of the eighteenth century. M. de Chastellux shared in the general enthusiasm; and the "Essays" and "Political Discourses" of Hume, together with the Essai sur les moeurs et l'esprit des nations of Voltaire, which had appeared a few years before, wrought upon his mind a deep and lasting impression. The united influence of these two authors led him to a course of study which resulted in a work upon which his reputation was finally established. This was his celebrated treatise, "On Public Felicity; or, Considerations on the Condition of Man at different Periods of his History," in two volumes. It bears a resemblance to both its parents. It is historical, like the Essai sur les moeurs, and dogmatic, like the "Essays" and "Discourses." And that is one of its defects. The "Considerations" on the condition of man at various periods serve by way of introduction to the author's theory of public felicity; but the second part is inferior to the first. The body of the book is sacrificed to the introduction.

This was four years before the appearance of Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations." The Marquis de Mirabeau and others of his school had begun to write; but their notions of political economy were still unfamiliar to the public. M. de Chastellux may therefore be regarded as one of the first supporters of that doctrine of human perfectibility which lies at the bottom of all the prevailing opinions of the eighteenth century. To this he added another theory, that the only end of government ought to be "the greatest happiness of the greatest possible number." Nearly one hundred years ago, therefore, he discovered and developed the principle which is now one of the most popular epitomes of social science. His style is good, {183} but neither very concise nor very brilliant. It is now and then obscure, sometimes digressive, sometimes declamatory; but for the most part clear, lively, and abounding in those happy touches which show the writer to be a man of the world as well as an author.

It is said that the immediate occasion of his writing the book was a conversation with Mably, the author of "Observations on the History of France," who maintained that the world was constantly degenerating, and that the men of to-day were not half so good as their grandfathers. The young philosopher, his head full of the new ideas, resolved to demonstrate the superiority of the present over the past. The first edition of his work appeared in 1772, two years before the death of Louis XV. It was printed anonymously in Holland. Everywhere it was read with avidity, abroad as well as in France. It was translated into English, German, and Italian. Voltaire read it at Ferney, and was so much struck by it that he covered his copy with marginal notes—not always of approbation—which were reproduced in a new edition of the work by the author's son, in 1822.

Despite great merits, which cannot be denied it, the essay "On Public Felicity" is now almost forgotten. In the historical portion, M. de Chastellux passes in review all the nations of ancient and modern times, for the purpose of showing that the general condition of man has never before been so good as it is now. The fundamental principle of his work is disclosed in the following profession of faith: "To say that man is born to be free, that his first care is to preserve his liberty when he enjoys it, and to recover it when he has lost it, is to attribute to him a sentiment which he shares with the whole animal kingdom, and which cannot be called in question. And if we add that this liberty is by its very nature indefinite, and that the liberty of one individual can only be limited by that of another, we do but express a truth which few in this enlightened age will be found to contradict. Look at society from this point of view, and you will see nothing but a series of encroachments and resistances; and if you want to form a just idea of government, you must consider it as the equilibrium which ought to result from these opposing struggles.… Government and legislation are only secondary and subordinate objects. They ought to be regarded merely as means through which men may preserve in the social state the greatest possible portion of natural liberty."

It is melancholy to see how, in a work that has so much to recommend it, the chapter which treats of the establishment of Christianity is disfigured by the skeptical philosophy of the age. Our regret at this is perhaps the more keen because the fault was altogether without excuse. Turgot had argued before the Sorbonne, only a few years previously, that a belief in the progress of the human race, so far from being incompatible with the doctrine of redemption, is its necessary consequence. De Chastellux might have shown that, if the coming of our Lord did not immediately effect a sensible reformation throughout the civilized world, it was because the vices and bad passions of the old pagan society long survived the overthrow of the old pagan gods. But there is this to be said for him: if he does not evince an adequate appreciation of the great moral revolution effected by Christianity, he at least does not speak of it in the same insolent tone that was fashionable in his day. When he comes down to modern times, and treats of density of population in its relation to national prosperity, he repeats the popular fallacy that the multiplication of religious orders exerts a pernicious influence upon the progress of population. But when from general views he descends to statistics, he refutes his own arguments. "The number of monks in France," he says, "according to a careful enumeration {184} made by order of government, a few years ago, was 26,674, and it certainly is not less now." In point of fact, the real number when the property of the clergy was confiscated in 1790 was only 17,000; and what is that in a population of 24,000,000 or 26,000,000? The army withdraws from the marriage state twenty times that number of men, in the vigor of their age; whereas the greater part of the monks are men in the decline of life.

It is a matter of astonishment that a work which professes to treat of "public felicity" should devote itself entirely to the material well-being of society, and have nothing to say of the moral condition of mankind, which is the more important element of the two in making up the sum of human happiness. Every author, of course, has a right to fix the limits of his subject; but then he must not promise on the title-page more than he means to perform.

The authorship of the essay on "Public Felicity" was not long a secret; but de Chastellux received perhaps as much annoyance as glory from the discovery. His ideas did not please everybody, and among those who fell foul of him for his philosophical errors were some of his own family. He made little account of their opposition, and in 1774 came out boldly with an eulogy on Helvétius, with whom he had lived for a long time on the most intimate terms. Two years later, he published a second edition of his previous treatise, with the addition of a chapter of "Ulterior Views," in which he points out the danger of some of the revolutionary opinions which were then coming more and more into vogue, and the futility of trying to realize in actual life that form of government which might be theoretically the best. If he had been alive in 1789, he would have belonged to the monarchical party in the Constituent Assembly; and, after having done his part in paving the way for the revolution, he would have perished as one of its victims. Among political and social reformers, he must be classed with the school of Montesquieu rather than with that of Rousseau.

The attention of France, however, was now fixed more and more firmly upon the contest going on in America between Great Britain and her rebellious colonies. Louis XVI., after some resistance, yielded to the demand of public opinion, and, in 1778, not only recognized the independence of the United States, but sent a fleet under Count d'Estaing to help them. A second expedition was despatched under Count de Rochambeau. M. de Chastellux, who then held the grade of maréchal de camp [equivalent to something between brigadier and major-general in the present United States army—ED.], obtained permission to join it, and was appointed major-general. The expeditionary corps arrived at Newport, capital of the state of Rhode Island, July 10, 1780. It consisted of eight ships of the line, two frigates, two gunboats, and over 5,000 troops. The next year came a reenforcement of 3,000 men. Lord Cornwallis, who commanded the English force was shut up in Yorktown, Va., and, being closely besieged by the allies and invested by land and sea, was compelled to surrender in October, 1781. This forced England to conclude a peace, and the auxiliary corps re-embarked at Boston on their return to France at the close of 1782. It had been two years and a half in America, and during this time the republic had achieved its independence.

During his visit to America, M. de Chastellux employed the brief periods of leisure left him from military occupations in making three tours through the interior. He wrote down as he travelled a journal of his observations, and printed at a little press on board the fleet some twenty copies of it, ten or twelve of which found their way to Europe. So great was the eagerness {185} with which people there seized upon every book relating to America, that a number of copies were surreptitiously printed, and a publisher at Cassel brought out an imperfect edition. The author then published the book himself in 1786 (2 vols., 12mo, Paris), under the title, Voyages de M. le Marquis de Chastellux dans l'Amérique septentrionale en 1780, 1781, et 1782. Though written originally only for his friends, it has a general interest, and presents a curious picture of the condition of North America at the period of which it treats.

The author set out from Newport, where the troops had landed and gone into winter-quarters, in order to visit Pennsylvania. Accompanied by two aides-de-camp, one of whom was the Baron de Montesquieu, grandson of the author of the Esprit des lois, and by five mounted servants, he started, November 11, 1780, on horseback, for that was the only means of travelling that the country afforded. The ground was frozen hard, and already covered with snow. The little party directed their steps first toward Windham, where Lauzun's hussars, forming the advance-guard of the army, were encamped. They found the Duke de Lauzun at the head of his troops, and this meeting between the grandsons of d'Aguesseau and Montesquieu, and a descendant of the Lauzuns and Birons, all three fighting for the cause of liberty in the wilds of America, was a curious beginning of their adventures. It was this same Duke de Lauzun, a friend of Mirabeau and Talleyrand, who became Duke de Biron after the death of his uncle, was chosen a member of the States General in 1789, commanded the republican army of La Vendée, and finished his career on the scaffold.

The travellers crossed the mountains which separated them from the Hudson, and, after passing through a wild and almost desert country, arrived at West Point, a place celebrated at that time for the most dramatic incidents of the war of independence (the treason of General Arnold and the execution of Major André), and now famous as the seat of the great military school of the United States. The American army occupying the forts of West Point, which Arnold's treachery had so nearly given over to the enemy, saluted the French major-general with thirteen guns—one for each state in the confederation. "Never," says he, "was honor more imposing or majestic. Every gun was, after a long interval, echoed back from the opposite bank with a noise nearly equal to that of the discharge itself. Two years ago, West Point was an almost inaccessible desert. This desert has been covered with fortresses and artillery by a people who, six years before, had never seen a cannon. The well-filled magazines, and the great number of guns in the different forts, the prodigious labor which must have been expended in transporting and piling up on the steep rocks such huge trunks of trees and blocks of hewn stone, give one a very different idea of the Americans from that which the English ministry have labored to convey to Parliament. A Frenchman might well be surprised that a nation hardly born should have spent in two years more than 12,000,000 francs in this wilderness; but how much greater must be his surprise when he learns that these fortifications have cost the state nothing, having been constructed by the soldiers, who not only received no extra allowance for the labor, but have not even touched their regular pay! It will be gratifying for him to know that these magnificent works were planned by two French engineers, M. du Portail and M. Gouvion, [Footnote 45] who have been no better paid than their workmen."

[Footnote 45: MM. du Portail and Gouvion went to America with Lafayette, and returned with him. Each rose afterward to the rank of lieutenant-general in the French army. The former, through the influence of Lafayette, was appointed minister-of-war in 1790; he fled to the United States during the Reign of Terror. The other was created major-general of the National Guard of Paris in 1769; he fell in battle in 1792.]

West Point stands on the bank of {186} the Hudson, in a situation which may well be compared with the most beautiful scenery of the Rhine. M. de Chastellux describes it with the liveliest admiration; but he remained there only a short time, because he was in haste to reach the head-quarters of Washington.

"After passing thick woods, I found myself in a small plain, where I saw a handsome farm. A small camp which seemed to cover it, a large tent pitched in the yard, and several wagons around it, convinced me that I was at the head-quarters of His Excellency, for so Mr. Washington is called, in the army and throughout America. M. de Lafayette was conversing in the yard with a tall man about five feet nine inches high, of a noble and mild aspect: it was the general himself. I was soon off my horse and in his presence. The compliments were short; the sentiments which animated me and the good-will which he testified for me were not equivocal. He led me into his house, where I found the company still at table, although dinner had long been over. He presented me to the generals and the aides-de-camp, adjutants, and other officers attached to his person, who form what is called in England and America the family of the general. A few glasses of claret and madeira accelerated the acquaintances I had to make, and I soon felt at my ease in the presence of the greatest and best of men. The goodness and benevolence which characterize him are evident from everything about him; but the confidence he inspires never gives occasion to familiarity, for it originates in a profound esteem for his virtues and a high opinion of his talents."

The next day Washington offered to conduct his guest to the camp of the marquis: this was the appellation universally bestowed in America upon Lafayette, who commanded the advance of the army.

"We found his troops in order of battle, and himself at their head, expressing by his air and countenance that he was better pleased to receive me there than he would be at his estate in Auvergne. [Footnote 46] The confidence and attachment of his troops are invaluable possessions for him, well-earned riches of which nobody can deprive him; but what, in my opinion, is still more flattering for a young man of his age (he was not more than twenty-three) is the influence and consideration he has acquired in political as well as military matters. I do not exaggerate when I say that private letters from him have often produced more effect upon some of the states than the most urgent recommendations of the Congress. On seeing him, one is at a loss to decide which is the stranger circumstance—that a man so young should have given such extraordinary proofs of ability, or that one who has been so much tried should still give promise of such a long career of glory. Happy his country, should she know how to make use of his talents! happier still, should she never stand in need of them!"

[Footnote 46: M. de Chastellux was cousin-german by the mother's side to the Duchess of Ayen, the mother of Madame de Lafayette.]

This last remark shows that M. de Chastellux, with all his enthusiasm for the present, was not without anxiety for the future. He spent three days at head-quarters, nearly all the while at table, after the American fashion. At the end of each meal nuts were served, and General Washington sat for several hours, eating them, "toasting," and conversing. These long conversations only increased his companion's admiration.

"The most striking characteristic of this respected man is the perfect accord which exists between his physical and moral qualities. This idea of a perfect whole cannot be produced by enthusiasm, which would rather reject it, since the effect of proportion is to diminish the idea of greatness. Brave without rashness, laborious without ambition, generous without prodigality, noble without pride, virtuous without severity, he seems always to have {187} confined himself within those limits where the virtues, by clothing themselves in more lively but more changeable and doubtful colors, may be mistaken for faults."

The city of Philadelphia was the capital of the confederation and the seat of the Congress. M. de Chastellux did not fail to visit it. He enjoyed there the hospitality of the Chevalier de la Luzerne, French minister to the United States, and had the pleasure of meeting several young French officers, some in the service of the United States, others belonging to the expeditionary corps, whom the interruption of military operations had left at liberty, like himself. Among them were M. de Lafayette, the Viscount de Noailles, the Count de Damas, the Count de Custine, the Chevalier de Mauduit, and the Marquis de la Rouérie. Let us give a few particulars about these "Gallo-Americans," as our author calls them. The Viscount de Noailles, brother-in-law of Lafayette, and colonel of the chasseurs of Alsace, was afterward a member of the States General, and principal author of the famous deliberations of the 4th of August. The Count Charles de Damas, an aide-de-camp of Rochambeau, in after years took part, on the contrary, against the revolutionists, and, attempting to rescue Louis XVI. at Varennes, was arrested with him. The Count de Custine, colonel of the regiment of Saintonge infantry, is the same who was general-in-chief of the republican armies in 1792, and who died by the guillotine the next year, like Lauzun. The Chevalier de Mauduit commanded the American artillery. At the age of fifteen, with his head full of dreams of classical antiquity, he ran away from college, walked to Marseilles, and shipped as cabin-boy on board a vessel bound for Greece, in order to visit the battle-fields of Plataea and Thermopylae. The same spirit of enthusiasm carried him, at the age of twenty, to America. Appointed, after the war, commandant at Port au Prince, he was assassinated there by his own soldiers in 1791. The history of the Marquis de la Rouérie, or Rouarie, is still more romantic. In his youth he fell violently in love with an actress, and wanted to marry her. Compelled by his family to break off this attachment, he determined to become a Trappist; but he soon threw aside the monastic habit and went to America, where he commanded a legion armed and equipped at his own cost. He abandoned his surname and title, and would only be known as Colonel Armand. After his return to France, he was concerned, with others of the nobility of Brittany, in the troubles which preceded the revolution. He was one of the twelve deputies sent in 1787 to demand of the king the restoration of the privileges of that province, and as such was committed to the Bastile. The next year he had occasion to claim the same privileges, not from the king, but from the Third Estate. In 1791 he placed himself at the head of the disaffected, and organized the royalist insurrection in the west. Denounced and pursued, he saved himself by taking to the forest, lay hid in one chateau after another, fell sick in the middle of winter, and died in a fit of despair on hearing of the execution of Louis XVI.

The Chevalier de la Luzerne, brother of the Bishop of Langres, afterward cardinal, so distinguished for his noble conduct in 1789, was a man of more coolness and deliberation, but not less devoted to the cause of the United States. He had given abundant proof of his friendship by contracting a loan on his own responsibility for the payment of the American troops.

"M. de la Luzerne," says de Chastellux, "is so formed for the station he occupies, that one would be tempted to imagine no other could fill it but himself. Noble in his expenditure, like the minister of a great monarchy, but plain in his manners, like a republican, he is equally fit to represent the king with the Congress, or the Congress with the king. He loves the {188} Americans, and his own inclination attaches him to the duties of his administration. He has accordingly obtained their confidence, both as a private and a public man; but in both these respects he is inaccessible to the spirit of party which reigns but too much around him. He is anxiously courted by all parties, and, espousing none, he manages all." In acknowledgment of his services in America, the Chevalier was appointed, after the peace, minister at London;—rather an audacious action on the part of the government of Louis XVI. to choose as their representative in England the very man who had contributed most of all to the independence of the United States. The state of Pennsylvania, in gratitude for his acts of good-will, gave the name of Luzerne to one of her counties.

The principal occupation of these officers, during their stay at Philadelphia, was to visit, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, the scenes of the recent conflicts near that city, or to discuss the causes which had turned the fortune of war, now in favor of the Americans, and now against them. Our author here shows himself in a new light, as a tactician who, with a thorough knowledge of the art of war, points out the circumstances which have led to the success or failure of this or that manoeuvre. Those affairs in which the French figured especially attracted his attention. Bravery, generosity, disinterestedness, all the national virtues were conspicuous in these volunteers who had crossed the ocean to make war at their own expense, and who softened the asperity of military operations by the charm of their elegant manners and chivalric bearing.

Among the battle-fields which these young enthusiasts, while a waiting something better to do, loved to trace out was that of Brandywine, where M. de Lafayette, almost immediately after his landing in America, received the wound in the leg of which he speaks so gaily in a letter to his wife. Lafayette himself acted as their guide, and recounted to his friends, on the very scene of action, the incidents of this day, which was not a fortunate one for the Americans. He did the honors of another expedition to the heights of Barren Hill, where he had gained an advantage under rather curious circumstances. He had with him there about two thousand infantry with fifty dragoons and an equal number of Indians, when the English, who occupied Philadelphia, endeavored to surround and capture him.

"General Howe [Sir Henry Clinton—ED.] thought he had now fairly caught the marquis, and even carried his gasconade so far as to invite ladies to meet Lafayette at supper the next day; and, whilst the principal part of the officers were at the play, he put in motion the main body of his forces, which he marched in three columns. The first was not long in reaching the advanced posts of M. de Lafayette, which gave rise to a laughable adventure. The fifty savages he had with him were placed in ambuscade in the woods, after their own manner; that is to say, lying as close as rabbits. Fifty English dragoons, who had never seen any Indians, entered the wood where they were hid. The Indians on their part, had never seen dragoon. Up they start, raising a horrible cry, throw down their arms, and escape by swimming across the Schuylkill. The dragoons, on the other hand, as much terrified as they were, turned tail, and fled in such a panic that they did not stop until they reached Philadelphia. M. de Lafayette, finding himself in danger of being surrounded, made such skilful dispositions that he effected his retreat, as if by enchantment, and crossed the river without losing a man. The English army, finding the bird flown, returned to Philadelphia, spent with fatigue, and ashamed of having done nothing. The ladies did not see M. de Lafayette, and General Howe [Clinton] himself arrived too late for supper." By the side of these admirable military sketches, we have an account of a ball at the Chevalier de la Luzerne's. "There were near twenty women, {189} twelve or fifteen of whom danced, each having her 'partner,' as the custom is in America. Dancing is said to be at once the emblem of gaiety and of love; here it seems to be the emblem of legislation and of marriage: of legislation, inasmuch as places are marked out, the country-dances named, and every proceeding provided for, calculated, and submitted to regulation; of marriage, as it furnishes each lady with a partner, with whom she must dance the whole evening, without being permitted to take another. Strangers have generally the privilege of being complimented with the handsomest women; that is to say, out of politeness, the prettiest partners are given to them. The Count de Damas led forth Mrs. Bingham, and the Viscount de Noailles, Miss Shippen. Both of them, like true philosophers, testified a great respect for the custom of the country by not quitting their partners the whole evening; in other respects they were the admiration of the whole assembly from the grace and dignity with which they danced. To the honor of my country, I can affirm that they surpassed that evening a chief justice of Carolina, and two members of Congress, one of whom (Mr. Duane) passed for being by ten per cent. more lively than all the other dancers."

At Philadelphia, as in camp, a great part of the day was passed at table. The Congress having met, M. de Chastellux was invited to dinner successively by the representatives from the North and the representatives from the South; for the political body was even then divided by a geographical line, each side having separate reunions at a certain tavern which they used to frequent: so we see the differences between North and South are as old as the confederation itself. He made the acquaintance of all the leading members, and especially of Samuel Adams, one of the framers of the Declaration of Independence. [Footnote 47] He saw also the celebrated pamphleteer, Thomas Paine, who ten years afterward came to France, and was chosen a member of the National Convention. Together with Lafayette, our author was elected a member of the Academy of Philadelphia. Despite so many circumstances to prepossess him in favor of the Americans, he appears not a very ardent admirer of what he witnesses about him. He shows but little sympathy with the Quakers, whose "smooth and wheedling tone" disgusts him, and whom he represents as wholly given up to making money. Philadelphia he calls "the great sink in which all the speculations of the United States meet and mingle." The city then had 40,000 inhabitants; it now contains 600,000.

[Footnote 47: A mistake of the reviewer's. Samuel Adams had no hand in writing the Declaration, nor does de Chastellux say that he had.——ED. C. W. ]

We can easily conceive that, in contrasting the appearance of this republican government with the great French monarchy, he should have found abundant food for study and reflection. He speaks with great reserve, but what little he says is enough to show that he was not so much enamored of republican ideas as Lafayette and most of his friends. The disciple of Montesquieu loses much of his admiration for the American constitutions when he sees them in operation, and seems especially loath to introduce them into his own country. The constitution of Pennsylvania strikes him as particularly defective.

"The state of Pennsylvania is far from being one of the best governed of the members of the confederation. The government is without force; nor can it be otherwise. A popular government can never have any whilst the people are uncertain and vacillating in their opinions; for then the leaders seek rather to please than to serve them, and end by becoming the slaves of the multitude whom they pretended to govern."

This constitution had one capital defect: it provided only for a single legislative chamber. After a disastrous trial, Pennsylvania was {190} compelled to change her laws, and adopt the system of two chambers, like the other states of the Union.

Our author betrays his misgivings most clearly in his narrative of an interview with Samuel Adams. His report of the conversation is especially curious, as it shows how entirely the two speakers were preoccupied by different ideas. Samuel Adams, who has been called "the American Cato," bent himself to prove the revolution justifiable, by arguments drawn not only from natural right but from historical precedent. The thoroughly English character of mind of these innovators led them to make it a sort of point of honor to find a sanction for their conduct in tradition. M. de Chastellux, like a true Frenchman, made no account of such reasonings.

"I am clearly of opinion that the parliament of England had no right to tax America without her consent; but I am still more clearly convinced that, when a whole people say, 'We will be free!' it is difficult to demonstrate that they are in the wrong. Be that as it may, Mr. Adams very satisfactorily proved to me that New England was peopled with no view to commerce and aggrandizement, but wholly by individuals who fled from persecution, and sought an asylum at the extremity of the world, where they might be free to live and follow their own opinions; that it was of their own accord that these colonists placed themselves under the protection of England; that the mutual relationship springing from this connection was expressed in their charters, and that the right of imposing or exacting a revenue of any kind was not comprised in them." There was no question between the two speakers of the Federal Constitution, for it did not yet exist. The states at that time formed merely a confederation of sovereign states, with a general congress, like the German confederation. They had no president or central administration. The constitutions spoken of in this conversation were simply the separate constitutions of the individual states, and Samuel Adams, being from Massachusetts, referred particularly to that state. M. de Chastellux, accustomed to the complex social systems of Europe, was surprised that no property qualification should be required of voters; the Americans, on the contrary, who had always lived in a democratic community, both before and since the declaration of independence, could not comprehend the necessity of such a restriction. Both were doubtless right; for it is equally difficult to establish political inequality where it does not already exist, and to suddenly abolish it where it does exist. The constitution of Massachusetts, superior in this respect to that of Pennsylvania, provided for a moderating power by creation of a governor's council, elected by property-holders.

Our author's first journey terminates in the north, near the Canada frontier. He crosses the frozen rivers in a sleigh, in order to visit the battle-field of Saratoga, the scene, three years before, the capitulation of General Burgoyne, the most important success which the Americans had achieved previous to the arrival of the French. Returning to Newport in the early part of 1781, after having travelled, in the course of two months, more than three hundred leagues, on horseback or in sleighs, he passed the rest of the year solely occupied in the duties of the glorious campaign which put an end to the war. He wrote a journal of this campaign, but it has not been published. He speaks of it in the narrative of his travels. From the Memoires of Rochambeau, however, we learn something of his gallant behavior at the siege of Yorktown, where, at the head of the reserve, he repulsed a sortie of the enemy.

His second journey was made immediately after the surrender of Cornwallis, and was directed toward Virginia, the most important of the southern, as Pennsylvania was of the northern, states. It was the birth-place of Washington, of Jefferson, of Madison, and {191} of Monroe; the state which shared most actively in the war of independence, and which is now the principal battle-field of the bloody struggle between North and South. This second journey did not partake of the military and political character of the first. Now that the destiny of America seemed settled, the author gave his attention, principally, to natural history. In every phrase we recognize the pupil and admirer of Buffon. His chief purpose was to visit a natural bridge of rock across one of the affluents of the James river, in the Appalachian mountains. He describes this stupendous arch with great care, and illustrates his narrative with several drawings which he caused to be made by an officer of engineers.

À propos of this subject, he indulges in speculations upon the geological formation of the New World, quite after the manner of the author of Époques de la nature. On the road he amused himself by hunting. He describes the animals that he kills, and gives an account of the mocking-bird, which almost equals Buffon's in vivacity, and excels it in accuracy. He gives several details respecting the opossum, that singular animal which almost seems to belong to a different creation. All natural objects interest him, and he studies them with the zeal of a first discoverer. His description of the mocking-bird is well worth reproducing:

"I rose with the sun, and, while breakfast was preparing, took a walk around the house. The birds were heard on every side, but my attention was chiefly attracted by a very agreeable song, which appeared to proceed from a neighboring tree. I approached softly, and perceived it to be a mocking-bird, saluting the rising sun. At first I was afraid of frightening it, but my presence, on the contrary, gave it pleasure; for, apparently delighted at having an auditor, it sang better than before, and its emulation seemed to increase when it saw a couple of dogs, which followed me, draw near to the tree on which it was perched. It kept hopping incessantly from branch to branch, still continuing its song; for this extraordinary bird is not less remarkable for its agility than its charming notes. It keeps perpetually rising and sinking, so as to appear not less the favorite of Terpsichore than Polyhymnia. This bird cannot certainly be reproached with fatiguing its auditors, for nothing can be more varied than its song, of which it is impossible to give an imitation, or even to furnish any adequate idea. As it had every reason to be satisfied with my attention, it concealed from me none of its talents; and one would have thought that, after having delighted me with a concert, it was desirous of entertaining me with a comedy. It began to counterfeit different birds; those which it imitated the most naturally, at least to a stranger, were the jay, the raven, the cardinal, and the lapwing. It appeared desirous of detaining me near it; for, after I had listened for a quarter of an hour, it followed me on my return to the house, flying from tree to tree, always singing, sometimes its natural song, at others those which it had learned in Virginia and in its travels; for this bird is one of those which change climate, although it sometimes appears here during the winter."

Continuing his journey, the traveller visited Jefferson at his country-home, situated deep in the wilderness, on the skirts of the Blue Ridge. This visit gives him opportunity for a new historical portrait:

"It was Jefferson himself who built his house and chose the situation. He calls it Monticello ['little mountain'], a modest title, for it is built upon a very high mountain; but the name indicates the owner's attachment to the language of Italy, and above all to the fine arts, of which that country was the cradle. He is a man not yet forty, of tall stature and a mild and pleasant countenance; but his mind and understanding are ample substitutes for every external grace. {192} An American who, without having ever quitted his own country, is skilled in music and drawing; a geometrician, an astronomer, a natural philosopher, a jurist and a statesman; a senator who sat for two years in the congress which brought about the revolution, and which is never mentioned without respect, though unhappily not without regret; [Footnote 48] a governor of Virginia, who filled this difficult station during the invasions of Arnold, of Phillips, and of Cornwallis; in fine, a philosopher in voluntary retirement from the world and public affairs, because he only loves the world so long as he can flatter himself with the conviction that he is of some use to mankind. A mild and amiable wife, charming children, of whose education he himself takes charge, a house to embellish, great possessions to improve, and the arts and sciences to cultivate—these are what remain to Mr. Jefferson after having played a distinguished part on the theatre of the New World. Before I had been two hours in his company, we were as ultimate as if we had passed our whole lives together. Walking, books, but above all a conversation always varied and interesting, sustained by that sweet satisfaction experienced by two persons whose sentiments are always in unison, and who understand each other at the first hint, made four days seem to me only so many minutes. No object had escaped Mr. Jefferson's attention; and it seemed as if from his youth he had placed his mind, as he has done his house, on an elevation from which he might contemplate the universe."

[Footnote 48: The United States were then passing through a crisis of anarchy, which lasted until the adoption of the Federal Constitution in 1788, and the elevation of Washington to the presidency.]

At the period of this visit, Mr. Jefferson thought only of retirement; but when M. de Chastellux's Voyages en Amérique appeared, three years afterward, he was minister-plenipotentiary of the United States in Paris. The death of his wife had determined him to return to public life. He formed a solid friendship for M. de Chastellux, of which his correspondence contains abundant proof. The brilliant French soldier introduced the solitary of Monticello, the "American wild-man of the mountains," to the salons of Paris; and the republican statesman, with the manners of an aristocrat, entered, nothing loath, into the society of the gay and polished capital, where he received the same welcome and honors that were accorded to Franklin.

This portion of the Journal closes with some general remarks upon Virginia, which possess a new interest now that the people of that state reappear upon the scene in the same bellicose and indomitable character which they bore of old.

"The Virginians differ essentially from the people of the North, not only in the nature of their climate, soil, and agriculture, but in that indelible character which is imprinted on every nation at the moment of its origin, and which, by perpetuating itself from generation to generation, justifies the great principle that 'everything which is partakes of that which has been.' The settlement of Virginia took place at the commencement of the seventeenth century. The republican and democratic spirit was not then common in England; that of commerce and navigation was scarcely in its infancy. The long wars with France and Spain had perpetuated the military spirit, and the first colonists of Virginia were composed in great part of gentlemen who had no other profession than that of arms. It was natural, therefore, for these colonists, who were filled with military principles and the prejudices of nobility, to carry them even into the midst of the savages whose lands they came to occupy. Another cause which operated in forming their character was the institution of slavery. It may be asked how these prejudices have been brought to coincide with a revolution founded on such different principles? I answer {193} that they have perhaps contributed to produce it. While the insurrection in New England was the result of reason and calculation, Virginia revolted through pride."

The third and last journey of M. de Chastellux led him through New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and northern Pennsylvania. This was during the months of November and December, 1782, on the eve of his return to France. He started from Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, and, after visiting several other places, went to Boston, for he could not leave America without seeing this city, the cradle of the revolution. He found at this port the French fleet, under command of M. de Vaudreuil, which was to carry back the expeditionary corps to France. He closes his Journal with an interesting account of the university at Cambridge, which Ampère, who was, like him, a member of the French Academy, visited and described seventy years afterward. In the appendix to his book he gives a letter written by himself on board the frigate l'Émeraude, just before sailing, to Mr. Madison, professor of philosophy in William and Mary College. It is upon a subject which has not yet lost its appropriateness—the future of the arts and sciences in America. A democratic and commercial society, always in a ferment, seemed to him hardly compatible with scientific, and still less with artistic, progress. But, in his solicitude for the welfare of the country he had been defending, he would not allow that the difficulty was insuperable. Some of his remarks upon this subject are extremely delicate and ingenious.

The question which troubled him is not yet fully answered, but it is in a fair way of being settled. The United States have really made but little progress in the arts, though they have produced a few pictures and statues which have elicited admiration even in Europe at recent industrial exhibitions. They are beginning, however, to have a literature. Even in the days of the revolution they could boast of the writings of Franklin, which combined the-most charming originality with refinement and solid good sense. Now they can show, among novelists, Fenimore Cooper and the celebrated Mrs. Beecher Stowe, whose book gave the signal for another revolution; among story-tellers, Washington Irving and Hawthorne; among critics, Ticknor; among historians, Prescott and Bancroft; among economists, Carey; among political writers, Everett; among moralists, Emerson and Channing; among poets, Bryant and Longfellow. In science they have done still more. They have adopted and naturalized one of the first of modern geologists, Agassiz; and the hydrographical labors of Maury, [late] director of the Washington Observatory, are the admiration of the whole world. Their immense development in industrial pursuits implies a corresponding progress in practical science. It was Fulton, an American, who invented the steamboat, and carried out in his own country the idea which he could not persuade Europe to listen to; and only lately the reaping-machine has come to us from the shores of the great lakes and the vast prairies of the Far West.

When the Voyages en Amérique appeared, the revolutionary party in France were still more dissatisfied with the book than they had been with the Félicité publique. They were angry at the wise and unprejudiced judgments which the author passed upon men and things in the New World; they were angry that he found some things not quite perfect in republican society, that his praises of democracy were not louder, his denunciations of the past not more sweeping. Brissot de Warville, whose caustic pen was already in full exercise, published a bitter review of the book. Some of the hostile criticisms found their way to the United States, and M. de Chastellux, in sending a copy of his work to General Washington, took occasion to {194} defend himself. He received from the general a long and affectionate reply, written at Mount Vernon, in April, 1786.

M. de Chastellux also wrote a "Discourse on the Advantages and Disadvantages which have resulted to Europe from the Discovery of America," and edited the comedies of the Marchioness de Gléon. This lady, celebrated for her wit and beauty, was the daughter of a rich financier. At her house, La Chevrette, near Montmorency, she entertained all the literary world, and gave representations of her own plays. Her friend, M. de Chastellux, was himself the author of a few dramatic pieces, performed either at La Chevrette or at the Prince de Condé's, at Chantilly; but they have never been published. We shall respect his reserve, and refrain from giving our readers a taste either of these compositions or of his "Plan for a general Reform of the French Infantry," and other unpublished writings.

After his return from America, de Chastellux was appointed governor of Longwy. He had reached the age of nearly fifty and was still unmarried, when he met at the baths of Spa, which were still the resort of all the good company in Europe, a young, beautiful, and accomplished Irish girl, named Miss Plunkett, with whom he fell over head and ears in love. He married her in 1787, but did not long enjoy his happiness, for he died the next year. Like most men who devote themselves to the public welfare, he had sadly neglected his private affairs. Being the youngest of five children, his fortune was not large, and it gave him little trouble to run through it. General officers in those days took a pride in their profuse expenditures in the field: he ruined himself by his American campaign. His widow was attached in the capacity of maid of honor to the person of the estimable daughter of the Duke de Penthièvre, the Duchess of Orléans, mother of King Louis Philippe. This princess adopted, after a certain fashion, his posthumous son, who became one of the chevaliers d'honneur of Madame Adelaide, the daughter of his patroness. He was successively a deputy and peer of France after the revolution 1830. He published a short memoir of his father, prefixed to an edition of the Félicité publique.


From The Month.



  There is a convent on the Alban hill,
      Round whose stone roots the gnarlèd olives grow;
  Above are murmurs of the mountain rill,
      And all the broad Campagna lies below;
  Where faint gray buildings and a shadowy dome
  Suggest the splendor of eternal Rome.

  Hundreds of years ago, these convent-walls
      Were reared by masons of the Gothic age:
  The date is carved upon the lofty halls,
      The story written on the illumined page.
  What pains they took to make it strong and fair
  The tall bell-tower and sculptured porch declare.

  When all the stones were placed, the windows stained,
      And the tall bell-tower finished to the crown,
  Only one want in this fair pile remained,
      Whereat a cunning workman of the town
  (The little town upon the Alban hill)
  Toiled day and night his purpose to fulfil.

  Seven bells he made, of very rare devise,
      With graven lilies twisted up and down;
  Seven bells proportionate in differing size,
      And full of melody from rim to crown;
  So that, when shaken by the wind alone,
  They murmured with a soft AEolian tone.

  These being placed within the great bell-tower,
      And duly rung by pious skilful hand,
  Marked the due prayers of each recurring hour,
      And sweetly mixed persuasion with command.
  Through the gnarled olive-trees the music wound,
  And miles of broad Campagna heard the sound.

  And then the cunning workman put aside
      His forge, his hammer, and the tools he used
  To chase those lilies; his keen furnace died;
      And all who asked for bells were hence refused.
  With these his best, his last were also wrought,
  And refuge in the convent-walls he sought.

  There did he live, and there he hoped to die,
      Hearing the wind among the cypress-trees
  Hint unimagined music, and the sky
      Throb full of chimes borne downward by the breeze;
  Whose undulations, sweeping through the air,
  His art might claim as an embodied prayer.

  But those were stormy days in Italy:
      Down came the spoiler from the uneasy North,
  Swept the Campagna to the bounding sea,
      Sacked pious homes, and drove the inmates forth;
  Whether a Norman or a German foe,
  History is silent, and we do not know.

  Brothers in faith were they; yet did not deem
      The sacred precincts barred destroying hand.
  Through those rich windows poured the whitened beam,
      Forlorn the church and ruined altar stand.
  As the sad monks went forth, that self-same hour
  Saw empty silence in the great bell-tower.

  The outcast brethren scattered far and wide;
      Some by the Danube rested, some in Spain:
  On the green Loire the aged abbot died,
      By whose loved feet one brother did remain
  Faithful in all his wanderings: it was he
  Who cast and chased those bells in Italy.

  He, dwelling at Marmontier, by the tomb
      Of his dear father, where the shining Loire
  Flows down from Tours amidst the purple bloom
      Of meadow-flowers, some years of patience saw.
  Those fringèd isles (where poplars tremble still)
  Swayed like the olives of the Alban hill.

  The man was old, and reverend in his age;
      And the "Great Monastery" held him dear.
  Stalwart and stern, as some old Roman sage
      Subdued to Christ, he lived from year to year,
  Till his beard silvered, and the fiery glow
  Of his dark eye was overhung with snow.

  And being trusted, as of prudent way,
      They chose him for a message of import,
  Which the "Great Monastery" would convey
      To a good patron in an Irish court;
  Who, by the Shannon, sought the means to found
  St. Martin's off-shoot on that distant ground.

  The old Italian took his staff in hand,
      And journeyed slowly from the green Touraine
  Over the heather and salt-shining sand,
      Until he saw the leaping crested main,
  Which, dashing round the Cape of Brittany,
  Sweeps to the confines of the Irish Sea.


  There he took ship, and thence with laboring sail
      He crossed the waters, till a faint gray line
  Rose in the northern sky; so faint, so pale,
      Only the heart that loves her would divine,
  In her dim welcome, all that fancy paints
  Of the green glory of the Isle of Saints.

  Through the low banks, where Shannon meets the sea,
      Up the broad waters of the River King
  (Then populous with a nation), journeyed he,
      Through that old Ireland which her poets sing;
  And the white vessel, breasting up the stream,
  Moved slowly, like a ship within a dream.

  When Limerick towers uprose before his gaze,
      A sound of music floated in the air—
  Music which held him in a fixed amaze,
      Whose silver tenderness was alien there;
  Notes full of murmurs of the southern seas,
  And dusky olives swaying in the breeze.

  His chimes! the children of the great bell-tower,
      Empty and silent now for many a year,
  He hears them ringing out the vesper hour,
      Owned in an instant by his loving ear.
  Kind angels stayed the spoiler's hasty hand,
  And watched their journeying over sea and land.

  The white-sailed boat moved slowly up the stream;
      The old man lay with folded hands at rest;
  The Shannon glistened in the sunset beam;
      The bells rang gently o'er its shining breast,
  Shaking out music from each lilied rim:
  It was a requiem which they rang for him.

  For when the boat was moored beside the quay,
      He lay as children lie when lulled by song;
  But never more to waken. Tenderly
      They buried him wild-flowers and grass among,
  Where on the cross alights the wandering bird,
  And hour by hour the bells he loved are heard.


From London Society.



  There is a tide in the affairs of men,
  Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune—

So says the sage, and it is not to be gainsayed by any man whom forty winters have chilled into wisdom. Ability and opportunity are fortune. Opportunity is not fortune; otherwise all were fortunate. Ability is not fortune, else why does genius slave? Why? But because it missed the opportunity that fitted it?

What I have—wife, position, independence—I owe to an opportunity for exercising the very simple and unpretending combination of qualities that goes by the name of ability. But to my story.

My father was a wealthy country gentleman, of somewhat more than the average of intelligence, and somewhat more than the average of generosity and extravagance. His younger brother, a solicitor in large practice in London, would in vain remonstrate as to the imprudence of his course. Giving freely, spending freely, must come to an end. It did; and at twenty I was a well educated, gentlemanly pauper. The investigation of my father's affairs showed that there was one shilling and sixpence in the pound for the whole of his creditors, and of course nothing for me.

The position was painful. I was half engaged—to that is, I had gloves, flowers, a ringlet, a carte de visite of Alice Morton. That, of course, must be stopped.

Mr. Silas Morton was not ill-pleased at the prospect of an alliance with his neighbor Westwood's son while there was an expectation of a provision for the young couple in the union of estates as well as persons; but now, when the estate was gone, when I, Guy Westwood, was shillingless in the world, it would be folly indeed. Nevertheless I must take my leave.

"Well, Guy, my lad, bad job this; very bad job; thought he was as safe as the Bank. Would not have believed it from any one—not from any one. Of course all that nonsense about you and Alice must be stopped now; I'm not a hard man, but I can't allow Alice to throw away her life in the poverty she would have to bear as your wife; can't do it; wouldn't be the part of a father if I did."

I suggested I might in time.

"Time, sir! time! How much? She's nineteen now. You're brought up to nothing; know nothing that will earn you a sixpence for the next six months; and you talk about time. Time, indeed! Keep her waiting till she's thirty, and then break her heart by finding it a folly to marry at all.'

"Ah! Alice, my dear, Guy's come to say 'Good by:' he sees, with me, that his altered position compels him, as an honorable man, to give up any hopes he may have formed as to the future."

He left us alone to say 'Farewell!'—a word too hard to say at our ages. Of course we consulted what should be done. To give each other up, to bury the delicious past, that was not to be thought of. We would be constant, spite of all. I must gain a position, and papa would then help us.

Two ways were open; a commission in India, a place in my uncle's office. Which? I was for the commission, Alice for the office. A respectable influential solicitor; a position not to be despised; nothing but cleverness wanted; and my uncle's name, and no one to wait for; no liver {199} complaints; no sepoys; no sea voyages; and no long separation.

"Oh, I'm sure it is the best thing."

I agreed, not unnaturally then, that it was the best.

"Now, you young people, you've had time enough to say 'Good by,' so be off, Guy. Here, my lad, you'll need something to start with," and the old gentleman put into my hands a note for fifty pounds.

"I must beg, sir, that you will not insult—"

"God bless the boy! 'Insult!' Why I've danced you on my knee hundreds of times. Look you, Guy,"—and the old fellow came and put his hand on my shoulder,—"it gives me pain to do what I am doing. I believe, for both your sakes, it is best you should part. Let us part friends. Come now, Guy, you'll need this; and if you need a little more, let me know."

"But, sir, you cut me off from all hope; you render my life a burden to me. Give me some definite task; say how much you think we ought to have; I mean how much I ought to have to keep Alice—I mean Miss Morton—in such a position as you would wish."

Alice added her entreaties, and the result of the conference was an understanding that if, within five years from that date, I could show I was worth £500 a year, the old gentleman would add another £500; and on that he thought we might live for a few years comfortably.

There was to be no correspondence whatever; no meetings, no messages. We protested and pleaded, and finally he said—

"Well, well, Guy; I always liked you, and liked your father before you. Come to us on Christmas day, and you shall find a vacant chair beside Alice. There, now; say 'Good by,' and be off."

I went off. I came to London to one of the little lanes leading out of Cannon street. Five hundred a year in five years! I must work hard.

My uncle took little notice of me; I fancied worked me harder than the rest, and paid me the same. Seventy-five pounds a year is not a large sum. I had spent it in a month before now, after the fashion of my father: now, I hoarded; made clothes last; ate in musty, cheap, little cook-shops; and kept my enjoying faculties from absolute rust by a weekly half-price to the theatres—the pit.

The year passed. I went down on Christmas, and for twenty-four hours was alive; came back, and had a rise of twenty pounds in salary for the next year. I waited for opportunity, and it came not.

This jog-trot routine of office-work continued for two years more, and at the end of that time I was worth but my salary of £135 per year—£135! a long way from £500. Oh, for opportunity? I must quit the desk, and become a merchant; all successful men have been merchants; money begets money. But, to oppose all these thoughts of change, came the memory of Alice's last words at Christmas, "Wait and hope, Guy, dear; wait and hope." Certainly; it's so easy to.

"Governor wants you, Westwood. He's sharp this morning; very sharp; so look out, my dear nephy."

"You understand a little Italian, I think?" said my uncle.

"A little, sir."

"You will start to-night for Florence, in the mail train. Get there as rapidly as possible, and find whether a Colonel Wilson is residing there, and what lady he is residing with. Learn all you can as to his position and means, and the terms on which he lives with that lady. Write to me, and wait there for further instructions. Mr. Williams will give you a cheque for £100; you can get circular notes for £50, and the rest cash. If you have anything to say, come in here at five o'clock; if not, good morning. By-the-by, say nothing in the office."

I need not say that hope made me believe my opportunity was come.

I hurried to Florence and discharged my mission; sent home a {200} careful letter, full of facts without comment or opinion, and in three weeks' time was summoned to return. I had done little or nothing that could help me, and in a disappointed state of mind I packed up and went to the railway station at St. Dominico. A little row with a peasant as to his demand for carrying my baggage caused me to lose the last train that night, and so the steamer at Leghorn. The station-master, seeing my vexation, endeavored to console me:

"There will be a special through train to Leghorn at nine o'clock, ordered for Count Spezzato: he is good-natured, and will possibly let you go in that."

It was worth the chance, and I hung about the station till I was tired, and then walked back toward the village. Passing a small wine-shop, I entered, and asked for wine in English. I don't know what whim possessed me when I did it, for they were unable to understand me without dumb motions. I at length got wine by these means, and sat down to while away the time over a railway volume.

I had been seated about half an hour, when a courier entered, accompanied by a railway guard. Two more different examples of the human race it would be difficult to describe.

The guard was a dark, savage-looking Italian, with 'rascal' and 'bully' written all over him; big, black, burly, with bloodshot eyes, and thick, heavy, sensual lips, the man was utterly repulsive.

The courier was a little, neatly-dressed man, of no age in particular; pale, blue-eyed, straight-lipped, his face was a compound of fox and rabbit that only a fool or a patriot would have trusted out of arm's length.

This ill-matched pair called for brandy, and the hostess set it before them. I then heard them ask who and what I was. She replied, I must be an Englishman, and did not understand the Italian for wine. She then left.

They evidently wanted to be alone, and my presence was decidedly disagreeable to them; and muttering that I was an Englishman, they proceeded to try my powers as a linguist. The courier commenced in Italian, with a remark on the weather. I immediately handed him the Newspaper. I didn't speak Italian, that was clear to them.

The guard now struck in with a remark in French as to the fineness of the neighboring country. I shrugged my shoulders, and produced my cigar case. French was not very familiar to me, evidently.

"Those beasts of English think their own tongue so fine they are too proud to learn another," said the guard.

I sat quietly, sipping my wine, and reading.

"Well, my dear Michael Pultuski," began the guard.

"For the love of God, call me by that name. My name is Alexis Alexis Dzentzol, now."

"Oh! oh!" laughed the guard; "you've changed your name, you fox; it's like you. Now I am the same that you knew fifteen years ago, Conrad Ferrate—to-day, yesterday, and for life, Conrad Ferrate. Come, lad, tell us your story. How did you get out of that little affair at Warsaw? How they could have trusted you, with your face, with their secrets, I can't for the life of me tell; you look so like a sly knave, don't you, lad?"

The courier, so far from resenting this familiarity, smiled, as if he had been praised.

"My story is soon said. I found, after my betrayal to the police of the secrets of that little conspiracy which you and I joined, that Poland was too hot for me, and my name too well known. I went to France, who values her police, and for a few years was useful to them. But it was dull work; very dull; native talent was more esteemed. I was to be sent on a secret service to Warsaw; I declined for obvious reasons."

"Good! Michael—Alexis; good, {201} Alexis. This fox is not to be trapped." And he slapped the courier on the shoulder heartily.

"And," resumed the other, "I resigned. Since then I have travelled as courier with noble families, and I trust I give satisfaction."

"Good! Alexis; good Mich—good Alexis! To yourself you give satisfaction. You are a fine rascal!—the prince of rascals! So decent; so quiet; so like the curé of a convent. Who would believe that you had sold the lives of thirty men for a few hundred roubles?"

"And who," interrupted the courier, "would believe that you, bluff, honest Conrad Ferrate, had run away with all the money those thirty men had collected during ten years of labor, for rescuing their country from the Russian?"

"That was good, Alexis, was it not? I never was so rich in my life as then; I loved—I gamed—I drank on the patriots' money."

"For how long? Three years?"

"More—and now have none left. Ah! Times change, Alexis; behold me." And the guard touched his buttons and belt, the badges of his office. "Never mind—here's my good friend, the bottle—let us embrace—the only friend that is always true—if he does not gladden, he makes us to forget."

"Tell me, my good Alexis, whom do you rob now? Who pays for the best, and gets the second best? Whose money do you invest, eh! my little fox? Why are you here? Come, tell me, while I drink to your success."

"I have the honor to serve his Excellency the Count Spezzato."

"Ten thousand devils! My accursed cousin!" broke in the guard. "He who has robbed me from his birth; whose birth itself was a vile robbery of me—me, his cousin, child of his father's brother. May he be accursed for ever!"

I took most particular pains to appear only amused at this genuine outburst of passion, for I saw the watchful eye of the courier was on me all the time they were talking.

The guard drank off a tumbler of brandy.

"That master of yours is the man of whom I spoke to you years ago, as the one who had ruined me; and you serve him! May he be strangled on his wedding night, and cursed for ever."

"Be calm, my dearest Conrad, calm yourself; that beast of an Englishman will think you are drunk, like one of his own swinish people, if you talk so loud as this."

"How can I help it? I must talk. What he is, that I ought to be: I was brought up to it till I was eighteen; was the heir to all his vast estate; there was but one life between me and power—my uncle's—and he, at fifty, married a girl, and had this son, this son of perdition, my cousin. And after that, I, who had been the pride of my family, became of no account; it was 'Julian' sweet Julian!'"

"I heard," said the courier, "that some one attempted to strangle the sweet child, that was——?"

"Me—you fox—me. I wish I had done it; but for that wretched dog that worried me, I should have been Count Spezzato now. I killed that dog, killed him, no not suddenly; may his master die like him!"

"And you left after that little affair?"

"Oh yes! I left and became what you know me."

"A clever man, my dear Conrad. I know no man who is more clever with the ace than yourself, and, as to bullying to cover a mistake, you are an emperor at that. Is it not so, Conrad? Come, drink good health to my master, your cousin."

"You miserable viper, I'll crush you if you ask me to do that again. I'll drink—here, give me the glass—Here's to Count Spezzato: May he die like a dog! May his carcase bring the birds and the wolves together! May his name be cursed and hated while the sun lasts! And may purgatory keep him till I pray for his release!"


The man's passion was something frightful to see, and I was more than half inclined to leave the place; but something, perhaps a distant murmur of the rising tide, compelled me to stay. I pretended sleep, allowing my head to sink, down upon the table.

He sat still for a few moments, and then commenced walking about the room, and abruptly asked:

"What brought you here, Alexis?"

"My master's horse, Signor Conrad."

"Good, my little fox; but why did you come on your master's horse?"

"Because my master wishes to reach Leghorn to-night, to meet his bride, Conrad."

"Then his is the special train ordered at nine, that I am to go with?" exclaimed the guard eagerly.

"That is so, gentle Conrad; and now, having told you all, let me pay our hostess and go."

"Pay! No one pays for me, little fox; no, no, go; I will pay."

The courier took his departure, and the guard kept walking up and down the room, muttering to himself:

"To-night, it might be to-night. If he goes to Leghorn, he meets his future wife; another life, and perhaps a dozen. No, it must be to-night or never. Does his mother go? Fool that I am not to ask! Yes; it shall be to-night;" and he left the room.

What should be "to-night?" Some foul play of which the count would be the victim, no doubt. But how? when? That must be solved. To follow him, or to wait—which? To wait. It is always best to wait; I had learned this lesson already.

I waited. It was now rather more than half-past eight, and I had risen to go to the door when I saw the guard returning to the wine-shop with a man whose dress indicated the stoker.

"Come in, Guido; come in," said the guard; "and drink with me."

The man came in, and I was again absorbed in my book.

They seated themselves at the same table as before, and drank silently for a while; presently the guard began a conversation in some patois I could not understand; but I could see the stoker grow more and more interested as the name of Beatrix occurred more frequently.

As the talk went on, the stoker seemed pressing the guard on some part of the story with a most vindictive eagerness, repeatedly asking, "His name? The accursed! His name?"

At last the guard answered, "The Count Spezzato."

"The Count Spezzato!" said the stoker, now leaving the table, and speaking in Italian.

"Yes, good Guido; the man who will travel in the train we take to-night to Leghorn."

"He shall die! The accursed! He shall die to-night!" said the stoker. "If I lose my life, the betrayer of my sister shall die!"

The guard, returning to the unknown tongue, seemed to be endeavoring to calm him; and I could only catch a repetition of the word "Empoli" at intervals. Presently the stoker took from the seats beside him two tin bottles, such as you may see in the hands of mechanics who dine out; and I could see that one of them had rudely scratched on it the name "William Atkinson." I fancied the guard produced from his pocket a phial, and poured the contents into that bottle; but the action was so rapid, and the corner so dark, that I could not be positive; then rising, they stopped at the counter, had both bottles filled with brandy, and went out.

It was now time to get to the station; and, having paid my modest score, I went out.

A little in front of me, by the light from a small window, I saw these two cross themselves, grip each other's hands across right to right, left to left, and part.

The stoker had set down the bottles, and now taking them up followed the guard at a slower pace.


Arrived at the station, I found the count, his mother, a female servant, and the courier.

The count came up to me, and said, in broken English, "You are the English to go to Leghorn with me? Very well, there is room. I like the English. You shall pay nothing, because I do not sell tickets; you shall go free. Is that so?"

I thanked him in the best Italian I could muster.

"Do not speak your Italian to me; I speak the English as a native; I can know all you shall say to me in your own tongue. See, here is the train special, as you call it. Enter, as it shall please you."

The train drew up to the platform; and I saw that the stoker was at his post, and that the engine-driver was an Englishman.

I endeavored in vain to draw his attention to warn him, and was compelled to take my seat, which I did in the compartment next the guard's break—the train consisting of only that carriage and another, in which were the count, his mother, and the servant.

The guard passed along the train, locked the doors, and entered his box.

"The Florence goods is behind you, and the Sienna goods is due at Empoli Junction four minutes before you; mind you don't run into it," said the station-master, with a laugh.

"No fear; we shall not run into it," said the guard, with a marked emphasis on the "we" and "it" that I recalled afterward.

The whistle sounded, and we were off. It was a drizzling dark night; and I lay down full length on the seat to sleep.

As I lay down a gleam of light shot across the carriage from a small chink in the wood-work of the partition between the compartment I was in and the guard's box.

I was terribly anxious for the manner of the guard; and this seemed to be a means of hearing something more. I lay down and listened attentively.

"How much will you give for your life, my little fox?" said the guard.

"To-day, very little; when I am sixty, all I have, Conrad."

"But you might give something for it, to-night, sweet Alexis, if you knew it was in danger?"

"I have no fear; Conrad Ferrate has too often conducted a train for me to fear to-night."

"True, my good Alexis; but this is the last train he will ride with as guard, for to-morrow he will be the Count Spezzato."

"How? To-morrow? You joke, Conrad. The brandy was strong; but you who have drunk so much could hardly feel that."

"I neither joke, nor am I drunk; yet I shall be Count Spezzato to-morrow, good Alexis. Look you, my gentle fox, my sweet fox; if you do not buy your life of me, you shall die tonight. That is simple, sweet fox."

"Ay; but, Conrad, I am not in danger."

"Nay, Alexis; see, here is the door" (I heard him turn the handle). "If you lean against the door, you will fall out and be killed. Is it not simple?"

"But, good Conrad, I shall not lean against the door."

"Oh, my sweet fox, my cunning fox, my timid fox, but not my strong fox; you will lean against the door. I know you will, unless I prevent you; and I will not prevent you, unless you give me all you have in that bag."

The mocking tone of the guard seemed well understood, for I heard the click of gold.

"Good, my Alexis; it is good; but it is very little for a life. Come, what is your life worth, that you buy it with only your master's money? it has cost you nothing. I see you will lean against that door, which is so foolish."

"What, in the name of all the devils in hell, will you have?" said the trembling voice of the courier. "Only a little more; just that belt {204} that is under your shirt, under everything, next to your skin, and dearer to you; only a little soft leather belt with pouches in. Is not life worth a leather belt?"

"Wretch! All the earnings of my life are in that belt, and you know it."

"Is it possible, sweet fox, that I have found your nest? I shall give Marie a necklace of diamonds, then. Why do you wait? Why should you fall from a train, and make a piece of news for the papers? Why?"

"Take it; and be accursed in your life and death!" and I heard the belt flung on the floor of the carriage.

"Now, good Alexis, I am in funds; there are three pieces of gold for you; you will need them at Leghorn. Will you drink? No? Then I will tell you why, without drink. Do you know where we are?"

"Yes; between St. Dominico and Signa."

"And do you know where we are going?"

"Yes; to Leghorn."

"No, sweet Alexis, we are not; we are going to Empoli: the train will go no further. Look you, little fox; we shall arrive at the junction one minute before the Sienna goods train, and there the engine will break down just where the rails cross; for two blows of a hammer will convert an engine into a log; I shall get out to examine it; that will take a little time; I shall explain to the count the nature of the injury; that will take a little time; and then the goods train will have arrived; and as it does not stop there, this train will go no further than Empoli, and I shall be Count Spezzato to-morrow. How do you like my scheme, little fox? Is it not worthy of your pupil? Oh, it will be a beautiful accident; it will fill the papers. That beast of an English who begged his place in the train will be fortunate; he will cease, for goods trains are heavy. Eh! but it's a grand scheme— the son, the mother, the servant, the stranger, the engine-driver, all shall tell no tales."

"And the stoker?" said the courier.

"Oh, you and he and I shall escape. We shall be pointed at in the street as the fortunate. It is good, is it not, Alexis, my fox? I have told him that the count is the man who betrayed his sister. He believes it, and is my creature. But, little fox, it was not my cousin, it was myself, that took his Beatrix from her home. Is it not good, Alexis? Is it not genius? And Atkinson—he, the driver—is now stupid: he has drunk from his can the poppy juice that will make him sleep for ever. I will be a politician. I am worthy of office. I will become the Minister of a Bourbon when I am count, my dear fox, and you shall be my comrade again, as of old."

I was, for a time, lost to every sensation save that of hearing. The fiendish garrulity of the man had all the fascination of the serpent's rattle. I felt helplessly resigned to a certain fate.

I was aroused by something white slowly passing the closed window of the carriage. I waited a little, then gently opened it and looked out. The stoker was crawling along the foot-board of the next carriage, holding on by its handles, so as not to be seen by the occupants, and holding the signal lantern that I had noticed at the back of the last carriage in his hand. The meaning of it struck me in a moment: if by any chance we missed the goods train from Sienna, we should be run into from behind by the train from Florence.

The cold air that blew in at the open window refreshed me, and I could think what was to be done. The train was increasing its pace rapidly. Evidently the stoker, in sole charge, was striving to reach Empoli before the other train, which we should follow, was due: he had to make five minutes in a journey of forty-five, and, at the rate we were going, we should do it. We stopped nowhere, and the journey was more than half over. We were now between Segua and {205} Montelupo; another twenty minutes and I should be a bruised corpse. Something must be done.

I decided soon. Unfastening my bag, I took out my revolver, without which I never travel, and looking carefully to the loading and capping, fastened it to my waist with a handkerchief. I then cut with my knife the bar across the middle of the window, and carefully looked out. I could see nothing; the rain was falling fast, and the night as dark as ever. I cautiously put out first one leg and then the other, keeping my knees and toes close to the door, and lowered myself till I felt the step. I walked carefully along the foot-board by side steps, holding on to the handles of the doors, till I came to the end of the carriages, and was next the tender. Here was a gulf that seemed impassable. The stoker must have passed over it; why not I? Mounting from the foot-board on to the buffer, and holding on to the iron hook on which the lamps are hung, I stretched my legs to reach the flat part of the buffer on the tender. My legs swung about with the vibration, and touched nothing. I must spring. I had to hold with both hands behind my back, and stood on the case of the buffer-spring, and, suddenly leaving go, leaped forward, struck violently against the edge of the tender, and grasped some of the loose lumps of coal on the top. Another struggle brought me on my knees, bruised and bleeding, on the top. I stood up, and at that moment the stoker opened the door of the furnace, and turned toward me, shovel in hand, to put in the coals. The bright red light from the fire enabled him to see me, while it blinded me. He rushed at me, and then began a struggle that I shall remember to my dying day.

He grasped me round the throat with one arm, dragging me close to his breast, and with the other kept shortening the shovel for an effective blow. My hands, numbed and bruised, were almost useless to me, and for some seconds we reeled to and fro on the foot-plate in the blinding glare. At last he got me against the front of the engine, and, with horrible ingenuity, pressed me against it till the lower part of my clothes were burnt to a cinder. The heat, however, restored my hands, and at last I managed to push him far enough from my body to loosen my pistol. I did not want to kill him, but I could not be very careful, and I fired at his shoulder from the back. He dropped the shovel, the arm that had nearly throttled me relaxed, and he fell. I pushed him into a corner of the tender, and sat down to recover myself.

My object was to get to Empoli before the Sienna goods train, for I knew nothing of what might be behind me. It was too late to stop, but I might, by shortening the journey seven minutes instead of five, get to Empoli three minutes before the goods train was due.

I had never been on an engine before in my life, but I knew that there must be a valve somewhere that let the steam from the boiler into the cylinders, and that, being important, it would be in a conspicuous position. I therefore turned the large handle in front of me, and had the satisfaction of finding the speed rapidly increased, and at the same time felt the guard putting on the break to retard the train. Spite of this, in ten minutes I could see some dim lights; I could not tell where, and I still pressed on faster and faster.

In vain, between the intervals of putting on coals, did I try to arouse the sleeping driver. There I was, with two apparently dead bodies, on the foot-plate of an engine, going at the rate of forty miles an hour, or more, amidst a thundering noise and vibration that nearly maddened me.

At last we reached the lights, and I saw, as I dashed by, that we had passed the dread point.

As I turned back, I could see the rapidly-dropping cinders from the train which, had the guard's break been sufficiently powerful to have made me {206} thirty seconds later, would have utterly destroyed me.

I was still in a difficult position. There was the train half a minute behind us, which, had we kept our time, would have been four minutes in front of us. It came on to the same rails, and I could hear its dull rumble rushing on toward us fast. If I stopped there was no light to warn them. I must go on, for the Sienna train did not stop at Empoli.

I put on more fuel, and after some slight scalding, from turning on the wrong taps, had the pleasure of seeing the water-gauge filling up. Still I could not go on long; the risk was awful. I tried in vain to write on a leaf of my note-book, and after searching in the tool-box, wrote on the iron lid of the tank with a piece of chalk, "Stop everything behind me. The train will not be stopped till three red lights are ranged in a line on the ground. Telegraph forward." And then, as we flew through the Empoli station, I threw it on the platform. On we went; the same dull thunder behind warning me that I dare not stop.

We passed through another station at full speed, and at length I saw the white lights of another station in the distance. The sound behind had almost ceased, and in a few moments more I saw the line of three red lamps low down on the ground. I pulled back the handle, and after an ineffectual effort to pull up at the station, brought up the train about a hundred yards beyond Pontedera.

The porters and police of the station came up and put the train back, and then came the explanation.

The guard had been found dead on the rails, just beyond Empoli, and the telegraph set to work to stop the train. He must have found out the failure of his scheme, and in trying to reach the engine, have fallen on the rails.

The driver was only stupefied, and the stoker fortunately only dangerously, not fatally, wounded.

Another driver was found, and the train was to go on.

The count had listened most attentively to my statements, and then, taking my grimed hand in his, led me to his mother.

"Madam, my mother, you have from this day one other son: this, my mother, is my brother."

The countess literally fell on my neck, and kissed me in the sight of them all; and speaking in Italian said—

"Julian, he is my son; he has saved my life; and more, he has saved your life. My son, I will not say much; what is your name?"

"Guy Westwood."

"Guy, my child, my son, I am your mother; you shall love me."

"Yes, my mother; he is my brother, I am his. He is English too; I like English. He has done well. Blanche shall be his sister."

During the whole of this time both mother and son were embracing me and kissing my cheeks, after the impulsive manner of their passionate natures, the indulgence of which appears so strange to our cold blood.

The train was delayed, for my wounds and bruises to be dressed, and I then entered their carriage and went to Leghorn with them.

Arrived there, I was about to say "Farewell."

"What is farewell, now? No; you must see Blanche, your sister. You will sleep to my hotel: I shall not let you go. Who is she that in your great book says, 'Where you go, I will go?' That is my spirit. You must not leave me till—till you are as happy as I am."

He kept me, introduced me to Blanche, and persuaded me to write for leave to stay another two months, when he would return to England with me. Little by little he made me talk about Alice, till he knew all my story.

"Ah! that is it; you shall be unhappy because you want £500 every year, and I have so much as that. I am a patriot to get rid of my money. So it is that you will not take money. You have saved my life, and you will {207} not take money; but I shall make you take money, my friend, English Guy; you shall have as thus." And he handed me my appointment as secretary to one of the largest railways in Italy. "Now you shall take money; now you will not go to your fogland to work like a slave; you shall take the money. That is not all. I am one of the practice patriots—no, the practical patriots—of Italy. They come to me with their conspiracies to join, their secret societies to adhere to, but I do not. I am director of ever so many railways; I make fresh directions every day. I say to those who talk to me of politics, 'How many shares will you take in this or in that?' I am printer of books; I am builder of museums; I have great share in docks, and I say to these, 'It is this that I am doing that is wanted.' This is not conspiracy; it is not plot; it is not society with ribbons; but it is what Italy, my country, wants. I grow poor; Italy grows rich. I am not wise in these things; they cheat me, because I am an enthusiast. Now, Guy, my brother, you are wise; you are deep; long in the head; in short, you are English! You shall be my guardian in these things—you shall save me from the cheat, and you shall work hard as you like for all the money you shall take of me. Come, my Guy, is it so?"

Need I say that it was so? The count and his Blanche made their honeymoon tour in England. They spent Christmas day with Alice and myself at Mr. Morton's, and when they left, Alice and I left with them, for our new home in Florence.

From The Cornhill Magazine.


  O wild raving west winds.…
  Oh! where do ye rise from, and where do ye die?

The question which is put in these lines is one which has posed the ingenuity of all who have ever thought on it; and though theories have repeatedly been propounded to answer it, yet one and all fail, and we again recur to the words of him who knew all things and said, "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth."

However, though we cannot assign exactly the source whence the winds rise or the goal to which they tend, the labors of meteorologists have been so far successful as to enable us to understand the causes of the great currents of air, and even to map out the winds which prevail at different seasons in the various quarters of the globe. The problem which has thus been solved is one vastly more simple than that of saying why the wind changes on any particular day, or at what spot on the earth's surface a particular current begins or ends. Were these questions solved, there would be an end to all uncertainty about weather. There need be no fear that the farmer would lose his crops owing to the change of weather, if the advent of every shower had been foretold by an unerring guide, and the precise day of the break in the weather predicted weeks and months before. This is the point on which weather-prophets—'astro-meteorologists' they call themselves now-a-days—still venture their predictions, undismayed by their reported and glaring failures. {208} It has been well remarked that not one of these prophets foretold the dry weather which lasted for so many weeks during the last summer; yet, even at the present day, there are people who look to the almanacs to see what weather is to be expected at a given date; and even the prophecies of "Old Moore" find, or used to find within a very few years, an ample credence. In fact, if we are to believe the opinions propounded by the positive philosophers of the present day, we must admit that it is absurd to place any limits on the possibility of predicting natural phenomena, inasmuch as all operations of nature obey fixed and unalterable laws, which are all discoverable by the unaided mind of man.

True science, we may venture to say, is more modest than these gentlemen would have us to think it; and though in the particular branch of knowledge of which we are now treating daily prophecies (or 'forecasts,' as Admiral Fitzroy is careful to call them) of weather appear in the newspapers, yet these are not announced dogmatically, and no attempt is made in them to foretell weather for more than forty-eight hours in advance. We are not going to discuss the question of storms and storm-signals at present, so we shall proceed to the subject in hand—the ordinary wind-currents of the earth; and in speaking of these shall confine ourselves as far as possible to well-known and recorded facts, bringing in each case the best evidence which we can adduce to support the theories which may be broached.

What, then, our readers will ask, is the cause of the winds? The simple answer is—the sun. Let us see, now, how this indefatigable agent, who appears to do almost everything on the surface of the earth, from painting pictures to driving steam-engines, as George Stephenson used to maintain that he did, is able to raise the wind.

If you light a fire in a room, and afterward stop up every chink by which air can gain access to the fire, except the chimney, the fire will go out in a short time. Again, if a lamp is burning on the table, and you stop up the chimney at the top, the lamp will go out at once. The reason of this is that the flame, in each case, attracts the air, and if either the supply of air is cut off below, or its escape above is checked, the flame cannot go on burning. This explanation, however, does not bear to be pushed too far. The reason that the fire goes out if the supply of air is cut off is, that the flame, so to speak, feeds on air; while the sun cannot be said, in any sense, to be dependent on the earth's atmosphere for the fuel for his fire. We have chosen the illustration of the flame, because the facts are so well known. If, instead of a lamp in the middle of a room, we were to hang up a large mass of iron, heated, we should find that currents of air set in from all sides, rose up above it, and spread out when they reached the ceiling, descending again along the walls. The existence of these currents may be easily proved by sprinkling a handful of fine chaff about in the room. What is the reason of the circulation thus produced? The iron, unless it be extremely hot, as it is when melted by Mr. Bessemer's process, does not require the air in order to keep up its heat; and, in fact, the constant supply of fresh air cools it, as the metal gives away its own heat to the air as fast as the particles of the latter come in contact with it. Why, then, do the currents arise? Because the air, when heated, expands or gets lighter, and rises, leaving an empty space, or vacuum, where it was before. Then the surrounding cold air, being elastic, forces itself into the open space, and gets heated in its turn.

From this we can see that there will be a constant tendency in the air to flow toward that point on the earth's surface where the temperature is highest—or, all other things being equal, to that point where the sun may be at that moment in the zenith. Accordingly, if the earth's surface were either {209} entirely dry land, or entirely water, and the sun were continually in the plane of the equator, we should expect to find the direction of the great wind-currents permanent and unchanged throughout the year. The true state of the case is, however, that these conditions are very far from being fulfilled. Every one knows that the sun is not always immediately over the equator, but that he is at the tropic of Cancer in June, and at the tropic of Capricorn in December, passing the equator twice every year at the equinoxes. Here, then, we have one cause which disturbs the regular flow of the wind-currents. The effect of this is materially increased by the extremely arbitrary way in which the dry land has been distributed over the globe. The northern hemisphere contains the whole of Europe, Asia, and North America, the greater part of Africa, and a portion of South America; while in the southern hemisphere we only find the remaining portions of the two last-named continents, with Australia and some of the large islands in its vicinity. Accordingly, during our summer there is a much greater area of dry land exposed to the nearly vertical rays of the sun than is the case during our winter.

Let us see for a moment how this cause acts in modifying the direction of the wind-currents. We shall find it easier to make this intelligible if we take an illustration from observed facts. It takes about five times as much heat to raise a ton weight of water through a certain range of temperature, as it does to produce the same effect in the case of a ton of rock. Again, the tendency of a surface of dry land to give out heat, and consequently to warm the air above it, and cause it to rise, is very much greater than that of a surface of water of equal area. Hence we can at once see the cause of the local winds which are felt every day in calm weather in islands situated in hot climates. During the day the island becomes very hot, and thus what the French call a courant ascendant is set in operation. The air above the land gets hot and rises, while the colder air which is on the sea all round it flows in to fill its place, and is felt as a cool sea-breeze. During the night these conditions are exactly reversed: the land can no longer get any heat from the sun, as he has set, while it is still nearly as liberal in parting with its acquired heat as it was before. Accordingly, it soon becomes cooler than the sea in its neighborhood; and the air, instead of rising up over it, sinks down upon it, and flows out to sea, producing a land-wind.

These conditions are, apparently, nearly exactly fulfilled in the region of the monsoons, with the exception that the change of wind takes place at intervals of six months, and not every twelve hours. In this district—which extends over the southern portion of Asia and the Indian ocean—the wind for half the year blows from one point, and for the other half from that which is directly opposite. The winds are north-east and south-west in Hindostan; and in Java, at the other side of the equator, they are south-east and north-west. The cause of the winds—monsoons they are called, from an Arabic word, mausim, meaning season—is not quite so easily explained as that of the ordinary land and sea breezes to which we have just referred. Their origin is to be sought for in the temperate zone, and not between the tropics. The reason of this is that the districts toward which the air is sucked in are not those which are absolutely hottest, but those where the rarefaction of the air is greatest. When the air becomes lighter, it is said to be rarefied, and this rarefaction ought apparently to be greatest where the temperature is highest. This would be the case if the air were the only constituent of our atmosphere. There is, however, a very important disturbing agent to be taken into consideration, viz., aqueous vapor. There is always, when it is not actually raining, a quantity of water rising from the surface of {210} the sea and from every exposed water-surface, and mingling with the air. This water is perfectly invisible: as it is in the form of vapor, it is true steam, and its presence only becomes visible when it is condensed so as to form a cloud. The hotter the air is, the more of this aqueous vapor is it able to hold in the invisible condition.

We shall naturally expect to find a greater amount of this steam in the air at places situated near the coast, than at those in the interior of continents, and this is actually the case. The amount of rarefaction which the dry air on the sea-coast of Hindostan undergoes in summer, is partially compensated for by the increased tension of the aqueous vapor, whose presence in the air is due to the action of the sun's heat on the surface of the Indian ocean. In the interior of Asia there is no great body of water to be found, and the winds from the south lose most of the moisture which they contain in passing over the Himalayas. Accordingly the air is extremely dry, and a compensation, similar to that which is observed in Hindostan, cannot take place. It is toward this district that the wind is sucked in, and the attraction is sufficient to draw a portion of the south-east trade-wind across the line into the northern hemisphere. In our winter the region where the rarefaction is greatest is the continent of Australia; and accordingly, in its turn, it sucks the north-east trade-wind of the northern hemisphere across the equator. Thus we see that in the region which extends from the coast of Australia to the centre of Asia we have monsoons, or winds which change regularly every six months. As to the directions of the different monsoons, we shall discuss them when we have disposed of the trade-winds—which ought by rights, as Professor Dove observes, rather to be considered as an imperfectly developed monsoon, than the latter to be held as a modification of the former.

The origin of the trade-winds is to be sought for, as before, in the heating power of the sun, and their direction is a result of the figure of the earth, and of its motion on its axis. When the air at the equator rises, that in higher latitudes on either side flows in, and would be felt as a north wind or as a south wind respectively, if the earth's motion on its axis did not affect it. The figure of the earth is pretty nearly that of a sphere, and, as it revolves round its axis, it is evident that those points on its surface which are situated at the greatest distance from the axis, will have to travel over a greater distance in the same time than those which are near it. Thus, for instance, London, which is nearly under the parallel of 50, has only to travel about three-fifths of the distance which a place like Quito, situated under the equator, has to travel in the same time. A person situated in London is carried, imperceptibly to himself, by the motion of the earth, through 15,000 miles toward the eastward in the twenty-four hours; while another at Quito is carried through 25,000 miles in the same time. Accordingly, if the Londoner, preserving his own rate of motion, were suddenly transferred to Quito, he would be left 10,000 miles behind the other in the course of the twenty-four hours, or would appear to be moving in the opposite direction, from east to west, at the rate of about 400 miles an hour. The case would be just as if a person were to be thrown into a railway carriage which was moving at full speed; he would appear to his fellow-passengers to be moving in the opposite direction to them, while in reality the motion of progression was in the train, not in the person who was thrown into it. The air is transferred from high to low latitudes, but this change is gradual, and the earth, accordingly, by means of the force of friction, is able to retard its relative velocity before it reaches the tropics so that its actual velocity, though still considerable, is far below 400 miles an hour.

This wind comes from high latitudes and becomes more and more easterly {211} reaching us as a nearly true north-east wind; and as it gets into lower latitudes becoming more and more nearly east, and forming a belt of north-east wind all round the earth on the northern side of the equator. In the southern hemisphere, there is a similar belt of permanent winds, which are, of course, south-easterly instead of north-easterly. These belts are not always at equal distances at each side of the equator, as their position is dependent on the situation of the zone of maximum temperature for the time being. When we reach the actual district where the air rises, we find the easterly direction of the wind no longer so remarkable, as has been noticed by Basil Hall and others. The reason is, that by the time that the air reaches the district where it rises, it has obtained by means of its friction with the earth's surface a rate of motion round the earth's axis nearly equal to that of the earth's surface itself.

The trade-wind zones, called, by the Spaniards, the "Ladies' Sea"—El Golfo de las Damas—because navigation on a sea where the wind never changed was so easy, shift their position according to the apparent motion of the sun in the ecliptic. In the Atlantic the north-east trade begins in summer in the latitude of the Azores; in winter it commences to the south of the Canaries.

In the actual trade-wind zones rain very seldom falls, any more than it does in these countries when the east wind has well set in. The reason of this is, that the air on its passage from high to low latitudes is continually becoming warmer and warmer. According as its temperature rises, its power of dissolving (so to speak) water increases also, and so it is constantly increasing its burden of water until it reaches the end of its journey, where it rises into the higher regions of the atmosphere, and there is suddenly cooled. The chilling process condenses, to a great extent, the aqueous vapor contained in the trade-wind air, and causes it to fall in constant discharges of heavy rain. Throughout the tropics the rainy season coincides with that period at which the sun is in the zenith, and in this region the heaviest rain-fall on the globe is observed. The wettest place in the world, Cherrapoonjee, is situated in the Cossya hills, about 250 miles northeast of Calcutta, just outside the torrid zone. There the ram-fall is upward of 600 inches in the year, or twenty times as much as it is on the west coasts of Scotland and Ireland. However, in such extreme cases as this, there are other circumstances to be taken into consideration, such as the position of the locality as regards mountain chains, which may cause the clouds to drift over one particular spot.

To return to the wind: When the air rises at the equatorial edge of the trade-wind zone, it flows away above the lower trade-wind current. The existence of an upper current in the tropics is well known. Volcanic ashes, which have fallen in several of the West Indian islands on several occasions, have been traced to volcanoes which lay to the westward of the locality where the ashes fell, at a time when there was no west wind blowing at the sea-level. To take a recent instance: ashes fell at Kingston, Jamaica, in the year 1835, and it is satisfactorily proved that they had been ejected from the volcano of Coseguina, on the Pacific shore of Central America, and must consequently have been borne to the eastward by an upward current counter to the direction of the easterly winds which were blowing at the time at the sea-level.

Captain Maury supposes that when the air rises, at either side of the equator, it crosses over into the opposite hemisphere, so that there is a constant interchange of air going on between the northern and southern hemispheres. This he has hardly sufficiently proved, and his views are not generally accepted. One of the arguments on which he lays great stress in support of his theory is that on certain occasions dust has fallen in {212} various parts of western Europe, and that in it there have been discovered microscopical animals similar to those which are found in South America. This appears to be scarcely an incontrovertible proof; as Admiral Fitzroy observes: "Certainly, such insects may be found in Brazil; but does it follow that they are not also in Africa, under nearly the same parallel?"

This counter-current, or "anti-trade," as Sir J. Herschel has called it, is at a high level in the atmosphere between the tropics, far above the top of the highest mountains; but at the exterior edge of the trade-wind zone, it descends to the surface of the ground. The Canary islands are situated close to this edge, and accordingly we find that there is always a westerly wind at the summit of the Peak of Teneriffe, while the wind at the sea-level, in the same island, is easterly throughout the summer months. Professor Piazzi Smyth, who lived for some time on the top of that mountain, making astronomical observations, has recorded some very interesting details of the conflicts between the two currents, which he was able to observe accurately from his elevated position. In winter the trade-wind zone is situated to the south of its summer position in latitude, and at this season the southwest wind is felt at the sea-level in the Canary islands. Similar facts to these have been observed in other localities where there are high mountains situated on the edge of the trade-wind zone, as, for instance, Mouna Loa, in the Sandwich islands. There can, therefore, be no doubt that the warm, moist west wind, which is felt so generally in the temperate zones, is really the air returning to the poles from the equator, which has now assumed a south-west direction on its return journey, owing to conditions the reverse of those which imparted to it a north-east motion on its way toward the equator. This, then, is our south-west wind, which is so prevalent in the North Atlantic ocean that the voyage from Europe to America is not unfrequently called the up-hill trip, in contradistinction to the down-hill passage home. These are the "brave west winds" of Maury, whose refreshing action on the soil he never tires of recapitulating.

The south-west monsoons of Hindostan, which blow from May to October, and the north-west monsoons of the Java seas, which are felt between November and April, owe their westerly motion to a cause similar to that of the anti-trades which we have just described. To take the case of the monsoons of Hindostan: we have seen above how the rarefaction of the air in Central Asia attracts the southeast trade-wind of the southern hemisphere across the equator. This air, when it moves from the equator into higher latitudes, brings with it the rate of motion, to the eastward, of the equatorial regions which it has lately left, and is felt as a south-west wind. Accordingly, the directions of the monsoons are thus accounted for. In the winter months the true north-east trade-wind is felt in Hindostan; while in the summer months its place is taken by the south-east trade of the southern hemisphere, making its appearance as the south-west monsoon. In Java, conditions exactly converse to these are in operation, and the winds are south-east from April to November, and north-west during the rest of the year.

The change of one monsoon to the other is always accompanied by rough weather, called in some places the "breaking out" of the monsoon; just as with us the equinox, or change of the season from summer to winter, and vice versa, is marked by "windy weather," or "equinoctial gales."

The question may, however, well be asked, why there are no monsoons in the Atlantic Ocean?

In the first place, the amount of rarefaction which the air in Africa and in Brazil undergoes, in the respective hot seasons of those regions, is far less considerable than that which is {213} observed in Asia and Australia at the corresponding seasons.

Secondly, in the case of the Atlantic ocean, the two districts toward which the air is attracted are situated within the torrid zone, while in the Indian ocean they are quite outside the tropics, and in the temperate zones. Accordingly, even if the suction of the air across the equator did take place to the same extent in the former case as in the latter, the extreme contrast in direction between the two monsoons would not be perceptible to the same extent, owing to the fact that the same amount of westing could not be imparted to the wind, because it had not to travel into such high latitudes on either side of the equator. A tendency to the production of the phenomena of the monsoons is observable along the coast of Guinea, where winds from the south and south-west are very generally felt. These winds are not really the south-east trade-wind, which has been attracted across the line to the northern hemisphere, They ought rather to be considered as of the same nature as the land and sea breezes before referred to, since we find it to be very generally the case, that in warm climates the ordinary wind-currents undergo a deflection to a greater or less extent along a coast-line such as that of Guinea, Brazil, or north of Australia.

Our readers may perhaps ask why it is, that when we allege that the whole of the winds of the globe owe their origin to a regular circulation of the air from the Polar regions to the equator, and back again, we do not find more definite traces of such a circulation in the winds of our own latitudes? The answer to this is, that the traces of this circulation are easily discoverable if we only know how to look for them, In the Mediterranean sea, situated near the northern edge of the trade-wind zone, the contrast between the equatorial and polar currents of air is very decidedly marked. The two conflicting winds are known under various names in different parts of the district. The polar current, on its way to join the trade-wind, is termed the "tramontane," in other parts the "bora," the "maestral," etc.; while the return trade-wind, bringing rain, is well known under the name of the "sirocco." In Switzerland the same wind is called the "Fohn," and is a warm wind, which causes the ice and snow to melt rapidly, and constantly brings with it heavy rain.

In these latitudes the contrast is not so very striking, but even here every one knows that the only winds which last for more than a day or two at a time are the north-east and the south-west winds, the former of which is dry and cold, the latter moist and warm. The difference between these winds is much more noticeable in winter than in summer, inasmuch as in the latter season Russia and the northern part of Asia enjoy, relatively to the British Islands, a much higher temperature than is the case in winter; so that the air which moves from those regions during the summer months does not come to us from a climate which is colder than our own, but from one which is warmer.

So far, then, we have attempted to trace the ordinary wind-currents, but as yet there are very many questions connected therewith which are not quite sufficiently explained. To mention one of these, we hear from many observers on the late Arctic expeditions, that the most marked characteristic of the winds in the neighborhood of Baffin's Bay, is the great predominance of north-westerly winds. It is not as yet, nor can it ever be satisfactorily, decided how far to the northward and westward this phenomenon is noticeable. The question then is, Whence does this north-west wind come?

As to the causes of the sudden changes of wind, and of storms, they are as yet shrouded in mystery, and we cannot have much expectation that in our lifetime, at least, much will be done to unravel the web. Meteorology is a very young science—if it deserves {214} the title of science at all—and until observations for a long series of years shall have been made at many stations, we shall not be in the possession of trustworthy facts on which to ground our reasoning. It is merely shoving the difficulty a step further off to assign these irregular variations to atmospheric waves. It will be time enough to reason accurately about the weather and its changes when we ascertain what these atmospheric waves are, and what causes them. Until the "astro-meteorologists" will tell us the principles on which their calculations are based, we must decline to receive their predictions as worthy of any credence whatever.

From The Month.


The life of Eugénie de Guérin forms a great contrast with those which are generally brought before the notice of the world. Not only did she not seek for fame, but the circumstances of her life were the very ones which generally tend to keep a woman in obscurity. Her life was passed in the deepest retirement of a country home. The society even of a provincial town was not within her reach. Poverty placed a bar between her and the means for study in congenial society. The routine of her life shut her out from great deeds or unusual achievements. In fact, her life, so far from being a deviation from the ordinary track which women have to tread, was a very type of the existence which seems to be marked out for the majority of women, and at which they are so often wont to murmur. The want of an aim in life, the necessity of some fixed, engrossing occupation, and the ennui which follows on the deprivation of these, forms the staple trial of thousands of women, especially in England, where there is much intellectual vigor with so little power for its exercise. That the reaction from this deprivation is shown by "fastness," or an excessive love of dress and amusement, is acknowledged by the most keen observers of human nature. But to the large class of women who, disdaining such means of distraction, bear their burden patiently, Eugénie de Guérin's Journal et Lettres possess an intense interest. Her life was so uneventful that it absolutely affords no materials for a biography, but her character is so full of interest that her name is now a familiar one in England and France.

Far away in the heart of sunny Languedoc stands the chateau of Le Cayla, the home of the de Guérins. They were of noble blood. The old chateau was full of reminiscences of the deeds of their ancestors. De Guérin, Bishop of Senlis and Chancellor of France, had gone forth, with a valor scarcely befitting his episcopal character, to animate the troops at the battle of Bouvines; and from the walls of Le Cayla looked down from his portrait de Guérin, Grand Master of the Knights of Malta in 1206. A cardinal, a troubadour, and countless gallant and noble soldiers filled up the family rolls—the best blood in France had mingled with theirs; but now the family were obscure, forgotten, and poor. But these circumstances were no hindrances to the happiness of Eugénie's early life.

"My childhood passed away like one long summer-day," said she {215} afterward. Thirteen happy years fled by. There was the father, cherished with tender, self-forgetting love; the brother Eranbert; the sister Marie, the youngest pet of the household; the beautiful and precocious Maurice; and the mother, the centre of all, loving and beloved. But a shadow suddenly fell on the sunny landscape, and Madame de Guérin lay on her death-bed, when, calling to her Eugénie, her eldest child, she gave to her especial charge Maurice, then aged seven, and his mother's darling. The dying lips bade Eugénie fill a mother's place to him, and the sensitive and enthusiastic girl received the words into her heart, and never forgot them.

From that day her childhood, almost her youth, ended; and it is without exaggeration we may say that the depth of maternal love passed into her heart. Henceforth Maurice was the one object and the absorbing thought of her heart, second only to one other, and that no love of earth. Sometimes, indeed, that passionate devotion to Maurice disputed the sway of the true Master, as we shall hereafter see, but it was never ultimately victorious. It was not likely that their lives should for long run side by side. The extraordinary brilliancy of Maurice's gifts made his father determine upon cultivating his mind. As soon as possible, he was sent first to the petit séminaire at Toulouse, and then to the college Stanislaus at Paris.

Maurice de Guérin was a singularly endowed being. He possessed that kind of personal beauty so very rare among men, and which is so hard to describe—a spiritual beauty, which insensibly draws the hearts of others to its possessor. Added to this, he had that sweetness of tone and manner, that instinctive power of sympathy, that sparkling brilliance which made him idolized by those who knew him, which rendered him literally the darling of his friends. "Il était leur vie," said those who spoke of him after he was gone from earth.

The early and ardent aspirations of this gifted being were turned heavenward. His youthful head was devoutly bowed in prayer. The country people called him "le jeune saint;" and his conduct at the petit séminaire gave such satisfaction that the Archbishop of Toulouse, and also the Archbishop of Rouen, offered to take the whole charge of his future education on themselves; but his father refused both. The temptations of a college life had left him scathless, and the longing of his soul was for the consecration of the priesthood. What he might have been, had he fallen into other hands, cannot now be known. Whether there was an inherent weakness and effeminacy in the character which would have unfitted him for the awful responsibilities of the priestly office, we know not. At all events, he was attracted, as many minds of undoubted superiority were at that time, by the extraordinary brilliancy and commanding genius of de Lamennais; and Maurice de Guérin found himself in the solitude of La Chesnaie, a fellow-student with Hippolyte Lacordaire, Montalembert, Saint-Beuve, and a group of others. Here some years of his life were spent, divided between prayer, study, and brilliant conversation, led and sustained by M. de Lamennais. Maurice, of a shy and diffident disposition, does not seem to have attached himself to Lamennais, although he admired and looked up to him, and although the insidious portion of his teaching was making havoc with his faith.

And now, it may be asked, what of Eugénie? Dwelling in an obscure province, with no other living guide than a simple parish curé, with a natural enthusiastic reverence for genius, and a predilection for all Maurice's friends, was she not dazzled from afar off by this great teacher of men's minds, this earnest reformer of abuses? The instinct of the single in heart was hers. Long ere others had discerned the canker eating away the fruit so fair to look on, Eugénie, with prophetic voice, was warning Maurice. {216} Lacordaire's noble soul was yet ensnared. Madam Swetchine's remonstrances had not yet prevailed; while this young girl in the country, whose name no one knew, was watching and praying for the issue of the deliberations at La Chesnaie.

At length the break-up came—the memorable journey to Rome was over. Submission had been required, and Lacordaire had given it. "Silence is the second power in the world," he had said to Lamennais; and he had withdrawn with him to La Chesnaie for a time of retreat, where he was soon undeceived as to Lamennais' intentions. And these two great men parted—one to reap the fruits of patient obedience in the success of one of the greatest works wrought in his century, to gain a mastery over the men of his age, and to die at last worn out by labors before his time, the beloved child of the Church, whose borders he had enlarged, whose honor he had defended; the other, to follow the course of self-will, and to quench his light in utter darkness.

The students of La Chesnaie went away, and Maurice was thrown on the world with no definite employment. An unsuccessful attachment deepened the natural melancholy of his sensitive nature. He went to Paris, and was soon in the midst of the literary world. He wrote, and obtained fame; he was admired and sought after; but the beautiful faith of his youth faded away like a flower, and the innocent pleasures of his childhood, and the passionate love of his sister, had no attractions for him compared to the brilliant circles of Parisian society.

And thus was Eugénie's fate marked out. From afar off her heart followed him; and, partly for his amusement, partly to relieve the outpourings of her intensely-loving heart, she kept a journal, intended for Maurice's eye only. A few letters to Maurice and one or two intimate friends make up the rest of the volume, which was, after her death, most fortunately given to the world. In these pages her character stands revealed, and no long description of her mode of life could have made us more thoroughly acquainted with her than these words, written sometimes in joy, sometimes in sorrow, in weariness and depression, in all weathers, and at all times; for, believing that she pleased her brother, nothing would prevent her from keeping her promise of a daily record of her life and thoughts. Its chief beauty lies in that she made so much out of so little. "I have just come away very happy from the kitchen, where I stood a long time this evening, to persuade Paul, one of our servants, to go to confession at Christmas. He has promised me, and he is a good boy and will keep his word. Thank God, my evening is not lost! What a happiness it would be if I could thus every day gain a soul for God! Walter Scott has been neglected this evening; but what book could have been worth to me what Paul's promise is? … The 20th.— I am so fond of the snow! Its perfect whiteness has something celestial about it. To-day I see nothing but road-tracks, and the marks of the feet of little birds. Lightly as they rest, they leave their little traces in a thousand forms upon the snow. It is so pretty to see their little red feet, as if they were all drawn with pencils of coral. Winter has its beauties and its enjoyments, and we find them every-where when we know how to see them. God spreads grace and beauty everywhere. … I must have another dish to-day for S.R., who is come to see us. He does not often taste good things—that is why I wish to treat him well; for it is to the desolate that, it seems to me, we should pay attentions. No reading to-day. I have made a cap for a little child, which has taken up all my time. But, provided one works, be it with the head or the fingers, it is all the same in the eyes of God, who takes account of every work done in his name. I hope, then, that my cap has been a charity—I have given my time, a little material, and a thousand interesting lines that I could {217} have read. Papa brought me yesterday Ivanhoe, and the Siècle de Louis XIV. Here are provisions for some of our long winter evenings."

Then she had a keen sense of enjoyment, and a wonderful faculty of making the best of things. Thus a simple pleasure to her was a source of delight. Here is her description of Christmas night in Languedoc:

"Dec. 31. I have written nothing for a fortnight. Do not ask me why. There are times when we cannot speak, things of which we can say nothing. Christmas is come—that beautiful fête which I love the most, which brings me as much joy as the shepherds of Bethlehem. Truly our whole soul sings at the coming of the Lord, which is announced to us on all sides by hymns and by the pretty nadalet. [Footnote 49] Nothing in Paris can give an idea of what Christmas is. You have not even midnight mass. [Footnote 50] We all went to it, papa at our head, on a most charming night. There is no sky more beautiful than that of midnight: it was such that papa kept putting his head out of his cloak to look at it. The earth was white with frost, but we were not cold, and, beside, the air around us was warmed by the lighted fagots that our servants carried to light us. It was charming, I assure you, and I wish I could have seen you sliding along with us toward the church on the road, bordered with little white shrubs, as if they were flowering. The frost makes such pretty flowers! We saw one wreath so pretty that we wanted to make it a bouquet for the Blessed Sacrament, but it melted in our hands; all flowers last so short a time. I very much regretted my bouquet; it was so sad to see it melt drop by drop. I slept at the presbytery. The curé's good sister kept me, and gave me an excellent réveillon of hot milk." Then, again, the grave part of her nature prevails, and she continues:

[Footnote 49: A particular way of ringing the bells during the fifteen days which precede the feast of Christmas, called in patois nodal.]

[Footnote 50: Since the period at which Mdlle. de Guérin wrote, midnight mass has been resumed in Paris.]

"These are, then, my last thoughts; for I shall write nothing more this year; in a few hours it will be over, and we shall have begun a new year. Oh, how quickly time passes! Alas, alas, can I say that I regret it? No, my God, I do not regret time, or anything that it brings; it is not worth while to throw our affections into its stream. But empty, useless days, lost for heaven, this causes me regret as I look back on life. Dearest, where shall I be at this day, at this hour, at this minute, next year? Will it be here, elsewhere; here below, or above? God only knows; I am before the door of the future, resigned to all that can come forth from it. To-morrow I will pray for your happiness, for papa, Mimi, Eran [her other brother and sister], and all those whom I love. It is the day for presents; I will take mine from heaven. I draw all from thence, for truly there are few things which please me on earth. The longer I live, the less it pleases me, and I see the years pass by without sorrow, because they are but steps to the other world. Do not think it is any sorrow or trouble which makes me think this. I assure you it is not, but a home-sickness comes over my soul when I think of heaven. The clock strikes; it is the last I shall hear when writing to you."

The following is an account of what she called "a happy day:" "God be blessed for a day without sorrow. They are rare in this life, and my soul, more than others, is soon troubled. A word, a memory, the sound of a voice, a sad face, nothing, I know not what, often troubles the serenity of my soul—a little sky, darkened by the smallest cloud. This day I received a letter from Gabrielle, the cousin whom I love so for her sweetness and beautiful mind. I was uneasy about her health, which is so delicate, having heard nothing of her for more than a month. I was so pleased to see a letter from her, that I read it before my prayers. I was so eager to read it. To see a letter, and not to open it, is {218} an impossible thing. Another letter was given to me at Cahuzac. It was from Lili, another sweet friend, but quite withdrawn from the world; a pure soul—a soul like snow, from its purity so white that I am confounded when I look at it—a soul made for the eyes of God. I was coming from Cahuzac, very pleased with my letter, when I saw a little boy, weeping as if his heart were broken. He had broken his jug, and thought his father would beat him. I saw that with half a franc I could make him happy, so I took him to a shop, where we got another jug. Charles X. could not be happier if he regained his crown. Has it not been a beautiful day?"

Here is another instance of the way she had of beautifying the most simple incidents: "I must notice, in passing, an excellent supper that we have had—papa, Mimi, and I—at the corner of the kitchen-fire, with the servants: soup, some boiled potatoes, and a cake that I made yesterday with the dough from the bread. Our only servants were the dogs Lion, Wolf, and Tritly, who licked up the fragments. All our people were in church for the instruction which is given for confirmation;" and, she adds, "it was a charming meal."

The daily devotions of the month of Mary were very recently established when Eugénie wrote; she speaks thus of them: on one first of May when absent from home, she writes: "On this day, at this moment, my holy Mimi (a pet name for her sister) is on her knees before the little altar for the month of Mary in my room. Dear sister, I join myself to her, and find a chapel here also. They have given me for this purpose a room filled with flowers; in it I have made a church, and Marie, with her little girls, servants, shepherds, and all the household, assemble together every evening before the Blessed Virgin. They came at first only to look on, for they had never kept the month of Mary before. Some good will result to them of this new devotion, if it is only one idea, a single idea, of their Christian duties, which these people know so little of, and which we can teach them while amusing them. These popular devotions please me so, because they are so attractive in their form, and thereby offer such an easy method of instruction. By their means, salutary truths appear most pleasing, and all hearts are gained in the name of our Lady and of her sweet virtues. I love the month of Mary, and the other little devotions which the Church permits; which she blesses; which are born at the feet of the Faith like flowers at the mountain-foot."

Speaking of St. Teresa, to whom she had a great devotion, she says: "I am pleased to remember that, when I lost my mother, I went, like St. Teresa, to throw myself at the feet of the Blessed Virgin, and begged her to take me for her daughter." At another time she says: "To-day, very early, I went to Vieux, to visit the relics of the saints, and, in particular, those of St. Eugénie, my patron. I love pilgrimages, remnants of the ancient faith; but these are not the days for them; in the greater number of people the spirit for them is dead. However, if M. le Curé does not have this procession to Vieux, there will be discontent. Credulity abounds where faith disappears. We have, however, many good souls, worthy to please the saints, like Rose Drouille, who knows how to meditate, who has learnt so much from the rosary; then Françon de Gaillard and her daughter Jacquette, so recollected in church. This holy escort did not accompany me; I was alone with my good angel and Mimi. Mass heard, my prayers finished, I left with one hope more. I had come to ask something from St. Eugène? The saints are our brothers. If you were all-powerful, would you not give me all that I desired? This is what I was thinking of while invoking St. Eugène, who is also my patron. We have so little in this world, at least let us hope in the other."

Those who are not of the same faith as Eugénie de Guérin have not failed {219} to be attracted by the depth and ardor of her faith and piety. A writer in the Cornhill Magazine observes, "The relation to the priest, the practice of confession assume, when she speaks of them, an aspect which is not that under which Exeter Hall knows them."

"In my leisure time I read a work of Leitniz, which delighted me by its catholicity and the pious things which I found in it—like this on confession:

"'I regard a pious, grave, and prudent confessor as a great instrument of God for the salvation of souls; for his counsels serve to direct our affections, to enlighten us about our faults, to make us avoid the occasions of sin, to dissipate our doubts, to raise up our broken spirit; finally, to cure or to mitigate all the maladies of the soul; and, if we can never find on earth anything more excellent than a faithful friend, what happiness is it not to find one who is obliged, by the inviolable law of a divine sacrament, to keep faith with us and to succor souls?'

"This celestial friend I have in M. Bories, and therefore the news of his departure has deeply affected me. I am sad with a sadness which makes the soul weep. I should not say this to any one else; they would not, perhaps, understand me, and would take it ill. In the world they know not what a confessor is—a man who is a friend of our soul, our most intimate confidant, our physician, our light, our teacher—a friend who binds us to him, and is bound to us; who gives us peace, who opens heaven to us, who speaks to us while we, kneeling, call him, like God, our father; and faith truly makes him God and father. When I am at his feet, I see nothing else in him than Jesus listening to Magdalen, and pardoning much because she has loved much. Confession is but an expansion of repentance in love."

Again she writes: "I have learnt that M. Bories is about to leave us— this good and excellent father of my soul. Oh, how I regret him! What a loss it will be to me to lose this good guide of my conscience, of my heart, my mind, of my whole self, which God had confided to him, and which I had trusted to him with such perfect freedom! I am sad with the sadness which makes the soul weep. My God, in my desert to whom shall I have recourse? Who will sustain me in my spiritual weakness? who will lead me on to great sacrifices? It is in this last, above all, that I regret M. Bories. He knew what God had put into my heart. I needed his strength to follow it. The new curé cannot replace him; he is so young; then he appears so inexperienced, so undecided. It is necessary to be firm to draw a soul from the midst of the world, and to sustain it against the assaults of flesh and blood.

"It is Saturday—the day of pilgrimage to Cahuzac. I will go there; perhaps I shall come back more tranquil. God has always given me some blessing in that chapel, where I have left so many miseries.… I was not mistaken in thinking that I should come back more tranquil. M. Bories is not going! How happy I am, and how thankful to God for this favor. It is such a great blessing to me to keep this good father, this good guide, this choice of God for my soul, as St. Francis de Sales expresses it.

"Confession is such a blessed thing, such a happiness for the Christian soul; a great good, and always greater in measure when we feel it to be so; and when the heart of the priest, into which we pour our sorrow, resembles that Divine Heart which has loved us so much. This is what attaches me to M. Bories; you will understand it."

Nevertheless, when the trial of parting with this beloved friend did come, at length, it was borne with gentle submission.

"Our pastor is come to see us. I have not said much to you about him. He is a simple and good man, knowing his duties well, and speaking better of God than of the world, which he knows little of. Therefore, he does not shine in conversation. {220} His conversation is ordinary, and those who do not know what the true spirit of a priest is would think little of him. He does good in the parish, for his gentleness wins souls. He is our father now. I find him young after M. Bories. I miss that strong and powerful teaching which strengthened me; but it is God who has taken it from me. Let us submit and walk like children, without looking at the hand which leads us."

Eugénie's life revolved round that of Maurice. No length of separation could weaken her affection, nor make her interest in his pursuits less engrossing. His letters, so few and so scanty, were treasured up and dwelt upon in many a lonely hour. She suffered with him, wept over his disappointments, and prayed for his return to the faith of his youth with all the earnestness of her soul. With exquisite tact she avoided preaching to him. It was rather by showing him what religion was to her that she strove to lead him back to its practice.

"Holy Thursday.—I have come back all fragrant from the chapel of moss, in the church where the Blessed Sacrament is reposing. It is a beautiful day when God wills to rest among the flowers and perfumes of the springtime. Mimi, Rose, and I made this reposoir, aided by M. le Curé. I thought, as we were doing it, of the supper-room, of that chamber well furnished, where Jesus willed to keep the pasch with his disciples, giving himself for the Lamb. Oh, what a gift! What can one say of the Eucharist? I know nothing to say. We adore; we possess; we live; we love. The soul is without words, and loses itself in an abyss of happiness. I thought of you among these ecstasies, and ardently desired to have you at my side, at the holy table, as I had three years ago."

Mademoiselle de Guérin occasionally composed; her brother was very anxious she should publish her productions, but she shrank from the responsibility. "St. Jean de Damas," she remarks, "was forbidden to write to any one, and for having composed some verses for a friend he was expelled from the convent. That seemed to me very severe; but one sees the wisdom of it, when, after supplication and much humility, the saint had been forgiven, he was ordered to write and to employ his talents in conquering the enemies of Jesus Christ. He was found strong enough to enter the lists when he had been stripped of pride. He wrote against the iconoclasts. Oh, if many illustrious writers had begun by a lesson of humility, they would not have made so many errors nor so many books. Pride has blinded them, and thus see the fruits which they produce, into how many errors they lead the erring. But this chapter on the science of evil is too wide for me. I should prefer saying that I have sewn a sheet. A sheet leads me to reflect, it will cover so many people, so many different slumbers—perhaps that of the tomb. Who knows if it will not be my shroud, and if these stitches which I make will not be unpicked by the worms? While I was sewing, papa told me that he had sent, without my knowledge, some of my verses to Bayssac, and I have seen the letter where M. de Bagne speaks of them and says they are very good. A little vanity came to me and fell into my sewing. Now I tell myself the thought of death is good to keep us from sin. It moderates joy, tempers sadness, makes us see that all which passes by us is transitory."

Again she writes: "Dear one, I would that I could see you pray like a good child of God. What would it cost you? Your soul is naturally loving, and prayer is nothing else but love; a love which spreads itself out into the soul as the water flows from the fountain."


"Ash-Wednesday.—Here I am, with ashes on my forehead and serious thoughts in my mind. This 'Remember thou art dust!' is terrible to me. I hear it all day long. I cannot banish {221} the thought of death, particularly in your room, where I no longer find you, where I saw you so ill, where I have sad memories both of your presence and your absence. One thing only is bright—the little medal of Our Lady, suspended over the head of your bed. It is still untarnished and in the same place where I put it to be your safeguard. I wish you knew, dearest, the pleasure I have in seeing it—the remembrances, the hopes, the secret thoughts that are connected with that holy image. I shall guard it as a relic; and, if ever you return to sleep in that little bed, you shall sleep again near the medal of the Blessed Virgin. Take from, me this confidence and love, not to a bit of metal, but to the image of the Mother of God. I should like to know, if in your new room I should see St. Teresa, who used to hang in your other room near the bénitier:

      'Où toi, nécessiteux
  Défaillant, tu prenais l'aumône dans ce creux.'

You will no longer, I fear, seek alms there. Where will you seek them? Who can tell? Is the world in which you live rich enough for all your necessities? Maurice, if I could but make you understand one of these thoughts, breathe into you what I believe, and what I learn in pious books—those beautiful reflections of the Gospel—if I could see you a Christian, I would give life and all for that."


Maurice's absence was the great trial of Eugénie's life; but there were minor trials also, concerning the little things that make up the sum of our happiness. She suffered intensely and constantly from ennui. Her active, enterprising mind had not sufficient food to sustain it, and bravely did she fight against this constant depression and weariness.

A duller life than hers could hardly be found; she had literally "nothing to do." She had no society, for she lived at a distance from her friends. Sometimes the curé called, sometimes a priest from a neighboring parish, and then the monotonous days went on without a single incident. There was no outward sign of the struggle going on. Speaking of her father, she says: "A grave look makes him think there is some trouble, so I conceal the passing clouds from him; it is but right that he should only see and know my calm and serene side. A daughter should be gentle to her father. We ought to be to them something like the angels are to God."

Nor would she distract her thoughts by any means which might injure her soul. "I have scarcely read the author whose work you sent, though I admired him as I do M. Hugo; but these geniuses have blemishes which wound a woman's eye. I detest to meet with what I do not wish to see; and this makes me close so many books. I have had Notre Dame de Paris under my hands a hundred times to-day; and the style, Esméralda, and so many pretty things in it, tempt me, and say to me, 'Read—look.' I looked; I turned it over; but the stains here and there stopped me. I read no more, and contented myself with looking at the pictures." At another time, when she is staying at a "deserted house," rather duller than her own, she writes: "The devil tempted me just now in a little room, where I found a number of romances. 'Read a word,' he said to me; 'let us see that; look at this;' but the titles of the books displeased me. I am no longer tempted now, and will go only to change the books in this room, or rather to throw them into the fire."

There was one sovereign remedy for her ills, and she sought for it with fidelity, and reaped her reward.

"This morning I was suffering. Well, at present, I am calm; and this I owe to faith, simply to faith, to an act of faith. I can think of death and eternity without trouble, without alarm. Over a deep of sorrow there floats a divine calm, a serenity, which is the work of God only. In vain have I tried other things at a time like this; {222} nothing human comforts the soul, nothing human upholds it.

  'A l'enfant il faut sa mère,
  A mon âme il faut mon Dieu.'"

At another time of suffering she writes: "God only can console us when the heart is sorrowful: human helps are not enough; they sink beneath it, it is so weighed down by sorrow. The reed must have more than other reeds to lean on."


"To distract my thoughts, I have been turning over Lamartine, the dear poet. I love his hymn to the nightingale, and many other of his 'Harmonies' but they are far from having the effect on me that his 'Meditations' used to have. I was ravished and in ecstacy with them. I was but sixteen, and time changes many things. The great poet no longer makes my heart vibrate; to-day he has not even power to distract my thoughts. I must try something else, for I must not cherish ennui, which injures the soul. What can I do? It is not good for me to write, to communicate trouble to others. I will leave pen and ink. I know something better, for I have tried it a hundred times; it is prayer—prayer which calms me when I say to my soul before God, 'Why art thou sad, and wherefore art thou troubled?' I know not what he does in answering me, but it quiets me just like a weeping child when it sees its mother. The Divine compassion and tenderness is truly maternal toward us."


And, further on: "Now I have something better to do than write: I will go and pray. Oh, how I love prayer! I would that all the world knew how to pray. I would that children, and the old, and the poor, the afflicted, the sick in soul and body—all who live and suffer—could know the balm that prayer is. But I know not how to speak of these things. We cannot tell what is ineffable."

She had said once, as we have seen, that she would give life and all to see Maurice once more serving God. She had written to him thus, not carelessly indeed, but as we are too wont to write—not counting the cost, because we know not what the cost is. She wrote thus, and God took her at her word, and he asked from her not life, as she then meant it, but her life's life. First came the trial of a temporary estrangement. Her journal suddenly stops; she believed it wearied him, and, without a word of reproach, she silenced her eager pen. Maurice, however, declared she was mistaken, and she joyfully resumed her task with words which would evidence, if nothing else were left, us, the intense depth of her love for her brother. "I was in the wrong. So much the better; for I had feared it had been your fault." Then Maurice's health, which had always been delicate, began to fail, and her heart was tortured at the thought of him suffering, away from her loving care, unable to send her news of him.

"I have, been reading the epistle about the child raised to life by Elias. Oh, if I knew some prophet, some one who would give back life and health, I would go, like the Shunamite, and throw myself at his feet."

And again, most touchingly, she says: "A letter from Felicité, which tells me nothing better about you. When will those who know more write? If they knew how a woman's heart beats, they would have more pity."

Maurice recovered from these attacks, and in the autumn of 1836 married a young and pretty Creole lady. He had not the violent attachment as to the "Louise" of his early youth; but the union seemed a suitable one on both sides. One of Eugénie's brief visits to Paris was made for the purpose of being present at her brother's marriage. It was a romantic scene. It took place in the chapel of the old and quaint Abbaye aux Bois. The church was filled with brilliant and admiring friends. The bride and bridegroom, both so beautiful, knelt before the altar; the Père Bugnet, who had {223} known Maurice as a boy, blessed the union. The gay procession passed from the church, and met a funeral cortège! It fell like an omen on Eugénie's heart. Six short months went by, and Eugénie was again summoned to Paris, to Maurice's sick-bed—his dying-bed it indeed was, but his sister's passionate love would not relinquish hope. The physicians, catching at a straw, prescribed native air, and the invalid caught at the proposal with feverish impatience. That eager longing sustained him through the long and terrible journey of twenty days; for, the moment he revived, he would be laid in the salon, and see the home-faces gathered round him. Then he was carried to his room, and soon the end came. At last Eugénie knew that he must go, and all the powers of her soul were gathered into that one prayer, that he might die at peace with God. Calmly she bent over him, and kissed the forehead, damp with the dews of death.

"Dearest, M. le Curé is coming, and you will confess. You have no difficulty in speaking to M. le Curé?" "Not at all," he answered. "You will prepare for confession, then?" He asked for his prayer-book, and had the prayers read to him.

When the priest came, he asked for more time to prepare. At last the curé was summoned.

"Never have I heard a confession better made," said the priest afterward. As he was leaving the room, Maurice called him back, and made a solemn retraction of the doctrines of M. de Lamennais. Then came the Viaticum and the last anointing. Life ebbed away; he pressed the hand of the curé, who was by him to the last, he kissed his crucifix, and died. Eugénie's prayer was heard. He died, but at home; a wanderer come back; an erring child, once more forgiven, resting on his Father's breast.

And he was gone!—"king of my heart! my other self!" as she had called him—and Eugénie was left behind. She had loved him too well for her eternal peace, and it was necessary that she should be purified in the crucible of suffering. Very gradually she parted from him; the gates of the tomb closed not on her love; slowly she uprooted the fibres of her nature which had been entwined in his. Her journal did not end, and she wrote still to him—to Maurice in heaven: "Oh, my beloved Maurice! Maurice, art thou far from me? hearest thou me? Sometimes I shed torrents of tears; then the soul is dried up. All my life will be a mourning one; my heart is desolate." Then, reproaching herself, she turns to her only consolation: "Do I not love thee, my God? only true and Eternal Love! It seems to me that I love thee as the fearful Peter, but not like John, who rested on thy heart—divine repose which I so need. What do I seek in creatures? To make a pillow of a human breast? Alas! I have seen how death can take that from us. Better to lean, Jesus, on thy crown of thorns.


"This day year, we went together to St. Sulpice, to the one o'clock mass. To-day I have been to Lentin in the rain, with bitter memories, in solitude. But, my soul, calm thyself with thy God, whom thou hast received to-day, in that little church. He is thy brother, thy friend, the well-beloved above all; whom thou canst never see die; who can never fail thee, in this world or the next. Let us console ourselves with this thought, that in God we shall find again all we have lost."

One great desire was, however, left to her; that of publishing the letters and writings of Maurice, and of winning for her beloved one the fame which she so despised for herself. A tribute to his memory appeared the year after his death, in the Revue des deux Mondes, from the brilliant pen of Madame Sand; but it was the source of more pain than pleasure to Eugénie. With the want of candor which is so often a characteristic of the class of writers to whom Madame Sand {224} belongs, she represented Maurice as a man totally without faith. Eugénie believed that he had never actually lost it, although it had been darkened and obscured; and she was certainly far more in his confidence than any of his friends.

For some time before his death he had gradually been returning to religious exercises; and, as we have seen, on his death-bed, he had most fully retracted and repented of whatever errors there had been in his life. But Madame Sand was not very likely to trouble herself about the dying moments of her friend, while it was another triumph to infidelity to let the world think this brilliant young man lived and died in its ranks.

"Madame Sand makes Maurice a skeptic, a great poet, like Byron, and it afflicts me to see the name of my brother—a name which was free from these lamentable errors—thus falsely represented to the world." And again: "Oh, Madame Sand is right when she says that his words are like the diamonds linked together, which make a diadem; or, rather, my Maurice was all one diamond. Blessed be those who estimated his price; blessed be the voice which praises him, which places him so high, with so much respect and enthusiasm! But on one point this voice is mistaken—when she says he had no faith. No; faith was not wanting in him. I proclaim it, and attest it by what I have seen and heard; by his prayers, his pious reading; by the sacraments he received; by all his Christian actions; by the death which opened life unto him—a death with his crucifix."

This article of Madame Sand only increased Eugénie's desire to vindicate her brother, by letting the world judge from his own writings and letters what Maurice really was. Many projects were set on foot for publishing this work. Rather than leave it undone, Eugénie would have undertaken it herself, though her broken spirit shrank more than ever from any sort of notoriety, or communication with the busy world outside her quiet home. But she would greatly have preferred the task should be accomplished by one of his friends; and much of her correspondence was devoted to the purpose. Time passed, and plan after plan fell to the ground. This last satisfaction was not to be hers. She was to see, as she thought, the name of her beloved one gradually fading away, and forgotten as years went on. To the very last drop she was to drain the cup of disappointment and loss. Her journal ceased, and its last sentence was, "Truly did the saint speak who said, 'Let us throw our hearts into eternity.'"

There are a few fragments and letters, which carry us on some years later; and in one of the last of these letters, dated 15th of June, 1845, we find these consoling words: "I have suffered; but God teaches us thus, and leads us to willingly place our hearts above. You are again in mourning, and I have felt your loss deeply. I mean the death of your poor brother. Alas! what is life but a continual separation? But you will meet in heaven, and there will be no more mourning nor tears; and there the society of saints will reward us for what we have suffered in the society of men. And, while waiting, there is nothing else to do than to humble one's self, as the Apostle says, 'under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in the time of visitation; casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you.'"

These are almost her closing words; and thus we see God comforted her. Three years more passed, of which we have no record; and we cannot but deeply regret the determination of M. Trebutien not to give any account of her beyond her own words. As long as they lasted, they are indeed sufficient; but we would have fain followed her into the silence of those last years, and have seen the soul gradually passing to its rest. We would have liked to know if the friends she loved soothed her dying hours—whether M. Bories, with his "strong {225} and powerful words," was by her side in her last earthly struggle. But a veil falls over it all. We feel assured, as we close the volume, that whatever human means were wanting, the God she had faithfully served consoled his child to the last, and sustained her mortal weakness till she reposed in him. After her death, her heart's wish was fulfilled, and abundant honor has been rendered to Maurice de Guérin. Nay, more; for homage is ever given to the majesty of unselfish love; and from henceforth, if Maurice the poet shall be forgotten, Maurice the brother of Eugénie will never be. She has embalmed his memory with her deep and fond devotion; and she has left a living record of how, in the midst of a wearisome, an objectless, a monotonous life, a woman may find work to do, and doing it, like Eugénie, with all her might, leave behind her a track of light by which others may follow after her, encouraged and consoled.




Rome, according to the old aphorism, was not built in a day. Neither was the old town of Mourne, although it was destroyed in a day, and made fit almost for the sowing of salt upon its foundations, by the great Lord of Thomond, Murrough of the Ferns, when he gathered around it his rakehelly kerns, as Spenser in his spleen called them, and his fierce galloglasses and roving hobbelers. But the present story has naught to do with the spoliation and burning of towns. Far different, indeed, was the founding of Mourne, to the story of the disastrous termination of its prosperity. You will look in vain to the histories for a succinct or circumstantial account of the building of this ancient town; but many a more famous city has its early annals involved in equal obscurity—Rome, for instance. What tangible fact can be laid hold of with regard to its early history, save the will-o'-the-wisp light emanating from the traditions of a more modern day? A cimmerian cloud of darkness overhangs its founding and youthful progress, through which the double-distilled microscopic eyes of the historian are unable to penetrate with any degree of certainty. Mourne, however, though it cannot boast of a long-written history, possesses an oral one of remarkable perspicuity and certainty. The men are on the spot who, with a mathematical precision worthy of Archimedes or Newton, will relate everything about it, from its foundation to its fall. The only darkness cast upon their most circumstantial history is the elysian cloud from their luxuriant dudheens, as they whiff away occasionally, and relate—

That there was long ago a certain Dhonal, a nobleman of the warlike race of Mac Caurha, who ruled over Duhallow, and the wild mountainous territories extending downward along the banks of the Blackwater. This nobleman, after a long rule of prosperity and peace, at length grew weary of inaction, and manufactured in his pugnacious brain some cause of mortal affront and complaint against a neighboring potentate, whose territory extended in a westerly direction on the opposite shore of the river. So he mustered his vassals with all imaginable speed, and prepared to set out for the domains of his foe on a foray of unusual ferocity and magnitude. Before departing from his castle, which stood some miles above Mallow, on the banks of the river, he held a long and confidential parley with his wife, in which he told her, if he were defeated or slain, and if the foe should cross the Blackwater to make reprisals, that she should hold out the fortress while one stone would stand upon another, and especially that she should guard their three young sons well, whom, he doubted not, whatever might happen, would one day gain prosperity and renown. After this, he set out on his expedition, at the head of a formidable array of turbulent kerns and marauding horsemen. But his neighbor was not a man to be caught sleeping; for, at the crossing of a ford near Kanturk, he attacked Dhonal, slew him in single combat, and put his followers to the sword, almost to a man. After this he crossed the Blackwater, laid waste the territories of the invader, and at length besieged the castle, where the widowed lady and her three sons had taken refuge. For a long time she held her own bravely against her enemy; but in the end the castle was taken by assault, and she and her three young sons narrowly escaped with their lives out into the wild recesses of the forest.

After wandering about for some time, the poor lady built a little hut of brambles on the shore of the Clydagh, near the spot where stand the ruins of the preceptory of Mourne, or Ballinamona, as it is sometimes called. Here she dwelt with her children for a long time, in want and misery. Her sons grew up without receiving any of those accomplishments befitting their birth, and gained their subsistence, like the children of the common people around, by tilling a little plot of land before their hut, and by the products of the chase in the surrounding forest. One day, as Diarmid, the eldest, with his bow and arrows ready for the chase, was crossing a narrow valley, he met a kern, one of the followers of the great lord who had slain his father. Now, neither Diarmid nor his brothers recollected who had killed their father, nor the high estate from which they had fallen, for their mother kept them carefully in ignorance of all, fearing that they might become known, and that their enemies would kill them also. So the kern and himself wended their way for some time together along the side of the valley. At length they started a deer from its bed in the green ferns. Each shot his arrow at the same moment, and each struck the deer, which ran downward for a short space, and at last fell dead beside the little stream in the bottom of the valley.

"The deer is mine!" said the strange kern, as they stood over its body.

"No!" answered Diarmid, "it is not. See! your arrow is only stickin' in the skin of his neck, an' mine is afther rattlin' into his heart, through an' through!"

"No matther," exclaimed the kern, with a menacing look. "I don't care how he kem by his death, but the deer I must have, body an' bones, whatever comes of it! Do you think sich a sprissawn as you could keep me from it, an' I wantin' its darlin' carkiss for the table o' my lord, the Mac Donogh?"

Now Diarmid recollected that his mother and brothers were at the same time almost dying in their little hut for want of food. So without further parley he drew his long skian from its sheath.

"Very well," said he, "take it, if you're a man; but before it goes, my carkiss must lie stiff an' bloody in its place!"

The kern drew his skian at the word, and there, over the body of the fallen deer, ensued a combat stern and fierce, which at last resulted in Diarmid's plunging his skian through and through the body of his foe into the gritty sand beneath them.


Diarmid then took the spear and other weapons of the dead kern, put the deer upon his broad shoulders, and marching off in triumph, soon gained his mother's little hut. There, after eating a comfortable meal, and telling his adventure, Diarmid began to lay down his future plans.

"Mother," he said, "the time is come at last when this little cabin is too small for me. I'm a man now, an' able to meet a man, body to body, as I met him to-day; so I'll brighten up my weapons, an' set off on my adventures, that I may gain renown in the wars. Donogh here, too, has the four bones of a man," continued he, turning to his second brother; "so let him prepare, an' we'll thramp off together as soon as we can, an' perhaps afther all we'd have a castle of our own, where you could reign in glory, as big an' grand as Queen Cleena o' the Crag!"

"Well, then," answered his mother, "if you must go, before you leave me, you and your brothers must hunt in the forest for a month, and bring in as much food as will do me and Rory here for a year and a day."

"But," said Rory, the youngest, or Roreen Shouragh, or the Lively, as he was called, in consequence of the 'cute and merry temperament of his mind—"but, Diarmid, you know I am now beyant fifteen years of age, an' so, if you go, I'll folly you to the worldt's end!"

"You presumptious little atomy of a barebones," answered his eldest brother, "if I only see the size of a thrush's ankle of you follyin' us on the road, I'll turn back an' bate that wiry an' freckled little carkiss o' yours into frog's jelly! So stay at home in pace an' quietness, an' perhaps when I come back I might give you a good purse o' goold to begin your forthin with."

"That for your mane an' ludiacrous purse o' goold!" exclaimed Roreen Shouragh, at the same time snapping his fingers in the face of his brother. "Arrah! do you hear him, mother? But never mind. Let us be off into the forest to-morrow, an' we'll see who'll bring home the most food before night!"

"Well," said his mother, "whether he stays at home or goes away, I fear he'll come to some bad end with that sharp tongue of his, and his wild capers."

"With all jonteel respect, mother," answered Shouragh again, "I mane to do no such thing. I think myself as good a hairo this minnit—because I have the sowl an' heart o' one as King Dathi, who was killed in some furrin place that I don't recklect the jography of, or as Con o' the Hundhert Battles, or as the best man amongst them, Fion himself—an' I'll do as great actions as any o' them yet!"

This grandiloquent boast of Roreen Shouragh's set his mother and brothers into a fit of laughter, from which they only recovered when it was time to retire to rest. In the morning the three brothers betook themselves to the forest, and at the fall of night returned with a great spoil of game. From morning till night they hunted thus every day for a month, at the end of which time Diarmid said that they had as much food stored in as would last his mother and Rory for a year and a day.

On a hot summer noon the two brothers left the little hut, with their mother's blessing on their heads, and set off on their adventures. After crossing a few valleys, they came at length to the shore of the Blackwater, and sat down in the shade of a huge oak-tree on the bank to rest themselves. Beneath them, in a clear, shady pool, a huge pike, with his voracious jaws ready for a plunge, was watching a merry little speckled trout, which in its turn was regarding with most affectionate eyes a bright blue fly, that was disporting overhead on the surface of the water. Suddenly the trout darted upward into the air, catching the ill-starred fly, but, in its return to the element beneath, unfortunately plumped itself into the Charybdis-like jaws of the villanous {228} pike, and was from that in one moment quietly deposited in his stomach.

"Look at that!" said Diarmid to his brother. "That's the way with a man that works an' watches everything with a keen eye. He'll have all in the end, just as the pike has both fly and throut—an' just as I have both fly, an' throut, an' pike!" continued he, giving his spear a quick dart into the deep pool, and then landing the luckless pike, transfixed through and through, upon the green bank. "That's the way to manage, and the divvle a betther sign o' good luck we could have in the beginning of our journey, than to get a good male so aisy!"

"Hooray!" exclaimed a voice behind them. "That's the way to manage most galliantly. What a nate dinner the thurminjous monsther will make for the three of us!" and on turning round, the two brothers beheld Roreen Shouragh, accoutred like themselves, and dancing with most exuberant delight at the feat beside them on the grass.

"An' so you have follied us afther all my warnin', you outragious little vagabone!" exclaimed Diarmid, making a wrathful dart at Roreen, who, however, eluding the grasp, ran and doubled hither and thither with the swiftness of a hare, around the trunks of the huge oak-trees on the shore. In vain Diarmid tried every ruse of the chase to catch him. Roreen Shouragh could not be captured. At length the elder brother, wearied out, returned to Donogh, who, during the chase, was tumbling about on the grass in convulsions of laughter.

"'Tis no use, Donogh," he said, "we must only let him come with us. He'll never go back. Come here, you aggravatin' young robber," continued he, calling out to Roreen, who was still dancing in defiance beneath a tree, some distance off—"come here, an' you'll get your dinner, an' may folly us if you wish."

Roreen knew that he might depend on the word of his brother. "I towld ye both," said he, coming up to the spot, "that I'd folly ye to the worldt's end; so let us have pace, an' I may do ye some service yet. But may I supplicate to know where ye're preamblin' to at present; for if ye sit down that way in every umberagious coolin' spot, as the song says, the divvle a much ye'll have for yeer pains in the ind?"

"I'll tell you then," answered Donogh, now recovered from his fit of laughing. "We're goin' off to Corrig Cleena, to see the Queen o' the Fairies, an' to ask her advice what to do so as to win wealth an' renown."

"'Tis aisier said than done," said Roreen, "to see Queen Cleena. But howsomdever, when we're afther devourin' this vouracious thief of a pike here, we'll peg off to the Corrig as swift as our gambadin'-sticks will carry us!"

After the meal the three brothers swam across the river, and proceeded on their way through the forest toward Corrig Cleena. On gaining the summit of a little height, a long, straight road extended before them.

On and on the straight road they went, till, turning up a narrow path in the forest, they beheld the great grey boulders of Corrig Cleena towering before them. They searched round its base several times for an entrance, but could find none. At length, as they were turning away in despair, they saw an extremely small, withered old atomy of a woman, clad all in sky blue, and sitting beside a clump of fairy thimbles, or foxgloves, that grew on a little knoll in front of the rock. They went up and accosted her:

"Could you tell us, ould woman," asked Diarmid, "how we can enter the Corrig? We want to speak to the queen."

"Ould woman, inagh!" answered the little atomy in a towering passion. "How daar you call me an ould woman, you vagabone? Off wid you—thramp, I say, for if you sted there till your legs would root in the ground, you'd get no information from me!"


"Be aisy, mother," said Donogh, in a soothing voice; "sure, if you can tell us, you may as well serve us so far, an' we'll throuble you no more."

"Ould woman an' mother, both!" screamed the little hag, starting up and shaking her crutch at the brothers; "this is worse than all. You dirty an' insultin' spalpeens, how daar ye again, I say call me sich names? What for should I be decoratin' my fingers wid the red blossoms o' the Lusmore, if I was as ould as you say? Be off out o' this, or be this an' be that, I ruinate ye both wid a whack o' this wand o' mine!"

"Young leedy," said Roreen Shouragh, stepping up cap in hand at this juncture, and making the old hag an elaborately polite bow—"young, an' innocent, an' delightful creethur, p'r'aps you'd have the kindness to exercise that lily-white hand o' yours in pointin' out the way for us into Queen Cleena's palace!"

"Yes, young man," answered the crone, greatly mollified at the handsome address of Roreen. "For your sake, I'll point out the way. You at laste know the respect that should be paid to youth an' beauty!"

"Allow me, my sweet young darlint," said Roreen at this, as he stepped up and offered her his arm—"allow me to have the shuprame pleasure of conductin' you. I'm sure I must have the honor an' glory of ladin' on my arm one of the queen's maids of honor. May those enticin' cheeks o' yours for ever keep the bloomin' an' ravishin' blush they have at the present minnit, an' may those riglar ivory teeth o' yours, that are as white as the dhriven snow, never make their conjay from your purty an' delightful mouth!"

The "delightful young creethur" allowed herself, with many a gratified smirk, to be conducted downward by the gallant Roreen toward the rock, where, striking the naked wall with her crutch, or wand as she was pleased to call it, a door appeared before them, and the three brothers were immediately conducted into the presence of the fairy queen.

It would be long, but pleasant, to tell the gallant compliments paid by Roreen to the queen, and the queen's polite and gracious acceptance of them; merry to relate the covert laughter of the lovely maids of honor, as Roreen occasionally showered down praises on the head of the "young leedy" who so readily gained him admittance to the palace, and who was no other than the vain old nurse of the queen; but, despite all such frivolities, this history must have its course. At length the queen gave them a gentle hint that their audience had lasted the proper time, and as they were departing she cast her bright but love-lorn eyes upon them with a kindly look.

"Young man," she said, "you ask my advice how to act so as to gain wealth and renown. I could give you wealth, but will not, for wealth thus acquired rarely benefits the possessor. But I will give you the advice you seek. Always keep your senses sharp and bright, and your bodies strong by manly exercise. Look sharply round you, and avail yourselves honorably of every opportunity that presents itself. Be brave, and defend your rights justly; but, above all, let your hearts be full of honor and kindness, and show that kindness ever in aiding the poor, the needy, and the defenceless. Do all this, and I doubt not but you will yet come to wealth, happiness, and renown. Farewell!"

And in a moment, they knew not how, they found themselves sitting in the front of the Rock of Cleena, upon the little knoll where Roreen had so flatteringly accosted the "young leedy." Away they went again down to the shore, swam back across the river, and wandered away over hill and dale, till they ascended Sliabh Luchra, and lost themselves in the depths of the great forest that clothed its broad back. Here they sat down in a green glade, and began to consider what they should further do with themselves. At length {230} they agreed to build a little hut, and remain there for a few days, in order to look about the country. No sooner said than done.

To work they went, finished their hut beneath a spreading tree, and were soon regaling themselves on a young fawn they had killed as they descended the mountain. Next day they went out into the forest, killed a deer, brought him back to the hut, in order to prepare part of him for their dinner. Diarmid undertook the cooking for the first day, while his two younger brothers went out along the back of the mountain to kill more game. With the aid of a small pot, which they had borrowed from a forester at the northern part of the mountain, and a ladle that accompanied it, Diarmid began to cook the dinner, stirring the pieces of venison round and round over the fire, in order to have some broth ready at the return of his brothers. As he was stirring and tasting alternately with great industry, he heard a light footstep behind him, and on looking round, beheld sitting on one of the large mossy stones they used for a seat a little crabbed-looking boy, with a red head almost the color of scarlet, a red jacket, and tight-fitting trowsers of the same hue, which, reaching a little below the knee, left the fire-bedizened and equally rubicund legs and feet exposed in free luxury to the air. His face was handsomely formed, but brown and freckled, and he had a pair of dark, keen eyes, which seemed to pierce into the very soul of Diarmid as he sat gazing at him. There was a wild, elfish look about him altogether, as, with a vivacious twinkle of his acute eye, he saluted Diarmid politely, and asked him for a ladleful of the broth. Diarmid, however, in turning round from the pot, had spilt the contents of the ladle on his hand, burning it sorely, and was in consequence not in the most amiable humor.

"Give you a ladle of broth, indeed, you little weasel o' perdition!" exclaimed he. "Peg off out o' my house this minute, or I'll catch you by one o' them murtherin' legs o' yours, an' bate your brains out against one o' the stones!"

"I'm well acquainted with the cozy an' indestructible fact, that a man's house is his castle," said the little fellow, at the same time thrusting both his hands into his pockets, inclining his head slightly to one side, and looking up coolly at Diarmid; "but some o' that broth I must have, for three raisons. First, that all the wild-game o' the forest are mine as well as yours; second, that I'm a sthranger, an' you know that hospitality is a virthue in ould Ireland; an', third an' best, because you darn't refuse me! So, sit down there an' cool me a good rich ladleful, or, be the hole o' my coat! there'll be wigs on the green bethune you an' me afore you're much ouldher!"

"Ther's for your impidence, you gabblin' little riffin!" said Diarmid, making a furious kick at the imperturbable little intruder, who, however, evaded it by a nimble jump to one side; and then leaping up suddenly, before his assailant was aware, hit him right and left two stunning blows with his hard and diminutive fists in the eyes. Round and round hopped redhead, at each hop striking the luckless Diarmid right in the face, till at length, with one finishing blow, he brought him to the ground, stunned and senseless.

"There," he said, as he took a ladleful o' broth and began to cool it deliberately, "that's the most scientific facer I ever planted on a man's forehead in my life. I think he'll not refuse me the next time I ask him."

With that he drank off the broth at a draught, laid the ladle carefully in the pot, stuck his hands in his pockets, and jovially whistling up, "The cricket's rambles through the hob," he left the hut, and strutted with a light and cheerful heart into the forest.

When Diarmid's brothers returned, they found him just recovering from his swoon, with two delightful black eyes, and a nose of unusual dimensions. {231} He told them the cause of his mishap, at which they only laughed heartily, saying that he deserved it for allowing himself to be beaten by such an insignificant youngster. Next day, Diarmid and Roreen went out to hunt, leaving Donogh within to cook the dinner. When they returned, they found the ill-starred Donogh lying almost dead on the floor, with two black eyes far surpassing in beauty and magnitude those received on the preceding evening by his brother.

"Let me stay within to-morrow," said Roreen, "for 'tis my turn; an' if he has the perliteness o' payin' me a visit, I'll reward him for his condescension."

"Arrah!" said both his brothers, "is it a little traneen like you to be able for him, when he bate the two of us?"

"No matther," answered Roreen; "tis my turn, an' stay I will, if my eyes were to be oblitherated in my purricranium!"

And so, when the morrow came, Diarmid and Donogh went out to hunt, and Roreen Shouragh stayed within to cook the dinner. As the pot commenced boiling, Roreen kept a sharp eye around him for the expected visitor, whom he at length descried coming up the glade toward the door of the hut, whistling cheerfully as he came.

"Good-morrow, youngster!" said the chap as he entered, and made a most hilarious bow; "you seem to have the odor o' charity from your handsome face here, at laste it comes most aromatically from the pot, anyhow."

"Ah, then! good-morrow kindly, my blushin' little moss-rose!" said Roreen, answering the salutation with an equally ornamental inclination of his head—"welcome to the hall o' my fathers. P'r'aps you'd do me the thurminjous honor o' satin' that blazin' little carkiss o' yours on the stone fornent me there."

"With all the pleasure in the univarse," answered the other, seating himself; "but as the clay is most obsthreporously hot an' disthressin' to the dissolute traveller, p'r'aps you'd have the exthrame kindness o' givin' me a ladleful o' broth to refresh myself."

"Well," said Roreen, "I was always counted a livin' respectacle o' the hospitality of ould Ireland. Yet, although the first law is not to ask the name of a guest, in regard to the unmerciful way you thrated my brothers, I must make bowld, before I grant your request, to have the honor an' glory of hearin' your cognomen."

"With shuprame pleasure," answered the visitor. "My name, accordin' to the orthography o' Ogham characters, is Shaneen cus na Thinné, which, larnedly expounded, manes John with his Feet to the Fire. But the ferlosophers an' rantiquarians of ould Ireland, thracin' effect from cause, call me Fieryfoot, an' by that name I shall be proud to be addhressed by you at present."

"Well," rejoined Roreen, "it only shows their perfound knowlidge an' love for truth, to be able to make out such a knotty ploberm in derivations; an' so, out o' compliment to their oceans o' larnin', you'll get the broth; but," continued he, as he took up a ladleful and held it to cool, "as there are a few questions now and then thrublin' my ruminashins, p'r'aps you may be so perlite as to throw a flash o' lightnin' on them, while we're watin'. One is in nathral history. I've heerd that of late the hares sleep with one eye shut an' th' other open. What on earth is the raison of it?"

"That," answered Fieryfoot, "is aisily solvoluted. Tis on account o' the increase o' weasels, and their love for suckin' the blood o' hares in their sleep. So the hares, in ordher to be on their guard an' prevent it, sleep with only one eye at a time, an' when that's rested an' has slept enough, they open it an' shut the other!"

"The other," said Roreen, "is in asthronomy, an' thrubbles me most of all, sleepin' an' noddin', aitin' an' dhrinkin'. Why is it that the man in the moon always keeps a rapin'-hook in his hand, and never uses it?"


"Because," answered Fieryfoot, getting somewhat impatient, "because, you poor benighted crathure, he's not a man at all, but the image of a man painted over the door of Brian Airach's shebeen there, where those that set off on a lunarian ramble go in to refresh themselves, as I want to refresh myself with that ladle o' broth you're delayin' in your hand!"

"Oh! you'll get it fresh an' fastin'!" exclaimed Roreen, and with that he dashed the ladleful of scalding broth right into the face of Fieryfoot, who started up with a wild cry, and rushed half-blinded from the hut. Away went Roreen in hot pursuit after him, with the ladle in his hand, and calling out to him, with the most endearing names imaginable, to come back for another supply of broth—away down the glades, till at length, on the summit of a smooth, green little knoll, Fieryfoot suddenly disappeared. Roreen went to the spot, and found there a square aperture, just large enough to admit his body. He immediately went and cut a sapling with his knife, stuck it by the side of the aperture, and placed his cap on it for a mark, and then returned to the hut, and found his brothers just after coming in. He related all that happened, and they agreed to go together to the knoll after finishing their dinner. When the dinner was over, the three brothers went down to the knoll, and easily found out the aperture through which Fieryfoot had disappeared.

"An' now, what's to be done?" asked Diarmid.

"What's to be done, is it?" said Roreen; "why just to have me go down, as I'm the smallest—smallest in body I mane—for, to spake shupernathrally, my soul is larger than both of yurs put together; an', in the manetime, to have ye build another hut over the spot an' live there till I return with a power o' gold an' dimons, and oceans o' renown an' glory!"

With that he crept into the aperture, while his brothers busied themselves in drawing brambles and sticks to the spot in order to build a hut as he had directed. As Roreen descended, the passage began to grow more broad and lightsome, and at length he found himself on the verge of a delightful country, far more calm and beautiful than the one he had left. Here he took the first way that presented itself, and travelled on till he came to the crossing of three roads. He saw a large, dark-looking house, part of which he knew to be a smith's forge, from the smoke, and from the constant hammering that resounded from the inside. Roreen entered, and the first object that presented itself was Fieryfoot, as fresh and blooming as a trout, and roasting his red shins with the utmost luxuriance and happiness of heart before the blazing fire on the hob.

"Wisha, Roreen Shouragh," exclaimed Fieryfoot, starting from his seat, spitting on his hand for good luck, and then offering it with great cordiality, "you're as welcome as the flowers o' May! Allow me to offer you my congratulations, ad infinitum, for your superior cuteness in the art of circumwentin' your visitors. I prizhume you'll have no objection to be presented to the three workmen I keep in the house—the smith there, the carpenter, an' the mason. Roreen Shouragh, gentlemin, the only man in the world above that was able to circumwint your masther!"

"A céad mille fáilté, young gintleman!" said the three workmen in a breath.

Roreen bowed politely in acknowledgment.

"Any news from the worldt above?" asked the smith, as he rested his ponderous hammer on the anvil.

"Things are morthially dull," answered Roreen, giving a sly wink at Fieryfoot. "I've heard that the Danes are making a divarshin in Ireland; that a shower o' dimons fell in Dublin; that the moon is gettin' mowldy for want o' shinin'; and that there's a say in the west that is gradually becoming transmogrified into whiskey. I humbly hope that the latther intelligence {233} is unthrue, for if not, I'm afraid the whole worldt will become drunk in the twinklin' of a gooldfrinch's eye!"

"Milé, milé gloiré!" exclaimed the three workmen, "but that's grate an' wondherful intirely! P'r'aps masther," continued they, addressing Fieryfoot, and smacking their lips at the thought of whiskey, "p'r'aps you'd have the goodness o' givin' us a few days' lave of absence!"

"Not at present," answered Fieryfoot; "industry is the soul o' pleasure, as the hawk said to the sparrow before he transported him to his stomach, so ye must now set to work an' make a sword, for I want to make my frind here a present as a compliment for his superior wisdom."

To work they went. The smith hammered out, tempered, and polished the blade, the carpenter fashioned the hilt, which the mason set with a brilliant row of diamonds; and the sword was finished instantly.

"An' now," said Fieryfoot, presenting the sword to Roreen, "let me have the immorthial pleasure o' presenting you with this. Take it and set off on your thravels. Let valior and magnanimity be your guide, and you'll come to glory without a horizintal bounds. In the manetime I'll wait here till you return."

"I accept it with the hottest gratitudinity an' gladness," said Roreen, taking the sword and running his eye critically along hilt and blade. "'Tis a darlin', handy sword; 'tis sharp, shinin', an' killin', as the sighin' lover said to his sweetheart's eyes, an' altogether 'tis the one that matches my experienced taste, for 'tis tough, an' light, and lumeniferous, as Nero said to his cimitar, whin he was preparin' to daycapitate the univarsal worldt wid one blow!"

Saying this, Roreen buckled the sword to his side, bade a ceremonious farewell to the polite Fieryfoot and his workmen, left the house, and proceeded on his adventures. He took the west and broader road that led by the forge, and travelled on gaily till night. For seven days he travelled thus, meeting various small adventures by the way, and getting through them with his usual light-heartedness, till at length he saw a huge dark castle before him, standing on a rock over a solitary lake. He accosted an old man by the way-side, who told him that a huge giant of unusual size, strength, and ferocity dwelt there, and that he had kept there in thrall, for the past year and a day, a beautiful princess, expecting that in the end she'd give her consent to marry him. The old peasant told him also that the giant had two brothers, who dwelt far away in their castles, and that they were the strangest objects ever seen by mortal eyes; one being a valiant dwarf as broad as he was long, and the other longer than he was broad, for he was tall as the giant, but so slightly formed that he was designated by the inhabitants of the country round Snohad na Dhial, or the Devil's Needle. Roreen thanked the old man with great urbanity, and proceeded on his way toward the castle. When he came to the gate, he knocked as bold as brass, and demanded admittance. He was quickly answered by a tremendous voice from the inside, which demanded what he wanted.

"Let me in, ould steeple," said Roreen; "I'm a poor disthressed boy that's grown wary o' the worldt on account o' my fatness, an' I'm come to offer myself as a volunthary male for your voracious stomach!"

At this the gate flew open with a loud clang, and Roreen found himself in the great court-yard of the castle, confronting the giant. The giant was licking his lips expectantly while opening the gate, but seemed now not a little disappointed as he looked upon the spare, wiry form standing before him.

"If you're engaged, ould cannibal," said Roreen again, "in calkalatin' a gasthernomical ploberm, as I'm aweer you are, by the way you're lookin' at me, allow me perlitely to help you in hallucidatin' it. In the first place, if {234} you intend to put me in a pie, I must tell you that you'll not get much gravy from my carkiss, an' in the next, if you intend to ate me on the spot, raw, I must inform you that you'll find me as hard as a Kerry dimon, an' stickin' in your throat, before you're half acquainted with the politics of your abdominal kingdom!"

As an answer to this the giant did precisely what Roreen Shouragh expected he would do. He stooped down, caught him up with his monstrous hand, intending to chop off his head with the first bite; but Roreen, the moment he approached his broad, hairy chest, pulled suddenly out the sword presented to him by Fiery foot, and drew it across the giant's windpipe, with as scientific a cut as ever was given by any champion at the battle of Gaura, Clontarf, or of any other place on the face of the earth. The giant did not give the usual roar given by a giant in the act of being killed. How could he, when his windpipe was cut? He only fell down simply by the gate of his own castle, and died without a groan. Roreen, by way of triumph, leaped upon his carcass, and with a light heart cut a few nimble capers thereon, and then proceeded on his explorations into the castle. There he found the beautiful princess sad and forlorn, whom he soon relieved from her apprehensions of further thraldom. She told him that she was not the only lady whose wrongs were unredressed in that strange country, for that the two remaining brothers of the giant, to wit, the dwarf and the Devil's Needle, had kept, during her time of thrall, her two younger sisters in an equally cruel bondage.

"An' now, my onrivalled daisy," said Roreen, after some conversation had passed between them, "allow me, while I'm in the humor for performin' deeds o' valior, to thramp off an' set them free!"

"But," said the princess, "am I to be left behind pining in this forlorn dungeon of a castle?"

"Refulgint leedy," answered Roreen, "a pair of eyes like yours, when purferrin' a request, are arrisistible, but this Kerry-dimon' heart o' mine is at present onmovable; and in ferlosophy, when an arrisistible affeer conglomerates against an onmovable one, nothin' occurs, an' so I must have the exthrame bowldness of asking you to stay where you are till I come back, for 'tis always the maxim of an exparienced an' renowned gineral not to oncumber himself with too much baggage when settin' out on his advinthures!"

And so the young princess consented to stay, and Roreen, with many bows and compliments, took his leave. For three days he travelled, till at length he espied the castle of the dwarf towering on the summit of a great hill. He climbed the hill as fast as his nimble legs could carry him, blew the horn at the gate, and defied the dwarf to single combat. To work they went. The skin of the dwarf was as hard and tough as that of a rhinoceros, but at length Roreen's sword found a passage through it, and the dwarf fell dead by his own gate. Roreen went in, brought the good news of her sister's liberation to the lady, and after directing her to remain where she was till his return, set forward again. For three days more he travelled, till he came to the shore of a sea, where he saw the castle of Snohad na Dhial towering high above the waves. He climbed up the rock on which the castle stood, found the gate open, and whistling the romantic pastoral of "The piper in the meadow straying," he jovially entered the first door he met. On he went, through room after room, and saw no one, till at last he came before an exceedingly lofty door, with a narrow and perpendicular slit in it, extending almost from threshold to lintel. He peeped in through the open slit, and beheld inside the most beautiful young lady his eyes ever rested upon. She was weeping, and seemed sorely troubled. Roreen opened the door, presented himself before her, and told her how he had liberated her {235} sisters. In return she told him how that very day she was to be married to Snohad na Dhial, and wept, as she further related that it was out of the question to think of vanquishing him, for that he was as tall as the giant, yet so slight that the slit in the door served him always for an entrance, but then he was beyond all heroes strong, and usually killed his antagonist by knotting his long limbs around him and squeezing him to death.

"No matther," said Roreen. "I'll sing a song afther my victory, as the gamecock said to the piper. An' now, most delightful an' bloomin' darlint o' the worldt, this purriliginious heart o' mine is melted at last with the conshumin' flame o' love. Say, then, the heart-sootherin' an' merlifluous word that you'll have me, an' your thrubbles are over in the twinklin'—"

"Not over so soon!" interrupted a loud, shrill voice behind them, and Roreen, turning round, beheld Snohad na Dhial entering at the slit, with deadly rage and jealousy in his fiery eyes. Snohad, however, in his haste to get in and fall upon Roreen, got his middle in some way or other entangled in the slit, and in his struggles to free himself, his feet lilted upward, and there he hung for a few moments, inward and outward, like the swaying beam of a balance. For a few moments only; for Roreen, running over, with one blow of his faithful sword on the waist cut him in two, and down fell both halves of Snohad na Dhial as dead as a door-nail. After this Roreen got the heart-sootherin' answer he so gallantly implored. He then bethought himself of returning. After a few weeks he found himself with the three sisters, and with a cavalcade of horses laden with the most precious diamonds, pearls, and other treasures belonging to the three castles, in front of the forge where he had met Fieryfoot, and talking merrily to that worthy.

"An' now," said Fieryfoot, after he had complimented the ladies on their beauty, and Roreen on his success and bravery, "I am about to give my three workmen lave of absence. But they must work seven days for you first. Then they may go on their peregrinations about ould Ireland. Farewell. Give my ondeniable love to the ladle, and remember me to your brothers balligerently!"

With that the two friends embraced, on which Fieryfoot drew out a small whistle and blew a tune, which set Roreen Shouragh and the three princesses into a pleasant sleep; on awakening from which they found themselves by the side of the little hut on the knoll, with the three workmen beneath them, holding the horses and guarding their loads of treasure. Roreen's two brothers had just returned from the chase, and were standing near them in mute wonderment at the spectacle. After some brief explanations, the whole cavalcade set out on their journey home, and travelled on till they came to the hut of the lonely widow on the banks of the Clydagh. It was nightfall when they reached the place. Roreen told the three workmen that he wanted to have a castle built on the meadow beside the hut, and then went in and embraced his mother. The workmen went to the meadow, and when the next morning dawned, had a castle of unexampled strength and beauty built for Roreen and his intended bride. The two succeeding mornings saw two equally splendid castles built for the two brothers and their brides elect, for they were about to be married to the two elder princesses. By the next morning after that they had a castle finished for Roreen's mother. On the second morning afterward they had a town built, and at length, on the seventh morning, when Roreen went out, he found both castles and town' enclosed by a strong wall, with ramparts, gateways, and every other necessary appliance of defence. The three workmen then took their leave, and by the loud smacking of their lips as they departed, Roreen knew that they were going off to the west in search of the "say" of whiskey. After this the three {236} brothers were married to the three lovely princesses, mercenary soldiers flocked in from every quarter, and took service under their banners; the inhabitants of the surrounding country removed into the town, and matters went on gaily and prosperously. The name of Roreen's wife was Mourne Blanaid, or the Blooming, and on a great festival day got up for the purpose, he called the town Mourne, in honor of her. In a pitched battle they defeated and killed the slayer of their father, and drove his followers out of their patrimony, and after that they lived in glory and renown till their death.

For centuries after the town of Mourne flourished, still remaining in possession of the race of the Mac Carthys. At length the Normans came and laid their mail-clad hands upon it. In the reign of King John, Alexander de St. Helena founded a preceptory for Knights Templars near it, the ruins of which stand yet in forlorn and solitary grandeur beside the little river. Still the town flourished and throve, though many a battle was fought within it, and around its gray walls, till at length, according to Spenser, Murrogh na Ranagh, prince of Thomond, burst out like a fiery flame from his fastnesses in Clare, overran all Munster, burnt almost every town in it that had fallen into the possession of the English, and among the rest Mourne, whose woeful burning did not content him, for he destroyed it altogether, scarcely leaving one stone standing there upon another. And now only a few mounds remain to show the spot where Roreen Shouragh got his town built, and where he ruled so jovially.

And so, gentle reader, if you look with me to the history of Troy, Rome, the battle of Ventry Harbor, the Pyramids, or Tadmor in the Desert, I think you will say that there is none of them so clear, so circumstantial, and so trustworthy as the early history of the old town of Mourne.




  "Hark, child—again that knocking!  Go, fling wide the door, I pray;
  Perchance 'tis some poor pilgrim who has wandered from his way.
  Now save thee, gallant stranger! Sit thou down and share our cheer:
  Our bread is white and wholesome—see! our drink is fresh and clear."

  "I come not here your bread to share, nor of your drink to speak.
  Your name?"—"Hans Euler."—"So! 'tis well: it is your blood I seek.
  Know that through many a weary year I've sought you for a foe:
  I had a goodly brother once: 'twas you who laid him low.

  "And as he bit the dust, I vowed that soon or late on you
  His death should be avenged; and mark! that oath I will keep true."
  "I slew him; but in quarrel just. I fought him hand to hand:
  Yet, since you would avenge his fall,—I'm ready; take your stand.

  "But I war not in my homestead, by this hearth whereon I tread;
  Not in sight of these—my dear ones—for whose safety I have bled.
  My daughter, reach me down yon sword,—the same that laid him low;
  And if I ne'er come back again, Tyrol has sons enow."

  So forth they fared together, up the glorious Alpine way,
  Where newly now the kindling east led on the golden day.
  The sun that mounted with them, as he rose in all his pride,
  Still saw the stranger toiling on, Hans Euler for his guide.

  They climbed the mountain summit; and behold! the Alpine world
  Showed clear and bright before them, 'neath the mists that upward curled.
  Below them, calm and happy, lay the valley in her rest,
  With the châlets in her arms, and with their dwellers on her breast.

  Amidst were sparkling waters; giant chasms, scarred and riven;
  Vast, crowning woods; and over all, the pure, blest air of heaven:
  And, sacred in the sight of God, where peace her treasures spread,
  On every hearth, on every home, the soul of freedom shed!

  Both gazed in solemn silence down. The stranger stayed his hand.
  Hans Euler gently pointed to his own beloved land:
  "'Twas this thy brother threatened; such a wrong might move me well.
  'Twas in such a cause I struggled:—'twas for such a fault he fell."

  The stranger paused: then, turning, looked Hans Euler in the face;
  The arm that would have raised the sword fell powerless in its place.
  "You slew him. Was it, then, for this—for home and fatherland?
  Forgive me! 'Twas a righteous cause. Hans Euler, there's my hand!"



From All the Year Round.


Water to raise corn from the seed, to clothe the meadow with its grass, and to fill the land with fruit and flowers; water to lie heaped in fantastic clouds, to make the fairy-land of sunset, and to spread the arch of mercy in the rainbow; water that kindles our imagination to a sense of beauty; water that gives us our meat, and is our drink, and cleans us of dirt and disease, and is our servant in a thousand great and little ways—it is the very juice and essence of man's civilization. And so, whether we shall drag over cold water, or let hot water drag us, is one way of putting the question between canal and steam communication for conveyance of our heavy traffic. The canal-boat uses its water cold without, the steam-engine requires it hot within. Before hot water appeared in its industrial character to hiss off the cold, canals had all the glory to themselves. They are not yet hissed off their old stages and cat-called into contempt by the whistle of the steam-engine, for canal communication still has advantages of its own, and canal shares are powers in the money market.

Little more than a century ago, not only were there neither canals nor railroads in this country, but the common high-roads were about the worst in Europe. Corn and wool were sent to market over those bad roads on horses' or bullocks' backs, and the only coal used in the inland southern counties was carried on horseback in sacks for the supply of the blacksmiths' forges. Water gave us our over-sea commerce, that came in and went out by way of our tidal rivers; and the step proposed toward the fostering of our home industries was a great one when it occurred to somebody to imitate nature, by erecting artificial rivers that should flow whereever we wished them to flow, and should be navigable along their whole course for capacious, flat-bottomed carrying-boats.

The first English canal, indeed, was constructed as long as three hundred years ago, at Exeter, by John Trew, a native of Glamorganshire, who enabled the traders of Exeter to cancel the legacy of the spite of an angry Countess of Devon, who had, nearly three hundred years before that time, stopped the ascent of sea-going vessels to Exeter by forming a weir across the Exe at Topham. Trew contrived, to avoid the obstruction, a canal from Exeter to Topham, three miles long, with a lock to it. John Trew ruined himself in the service of an ungrateful corporation.

After this time, improvements went no further than the clearing out of some channels of natural water-communication, until the time of James Brindley, the father of the English canal system.

James Brindley was born in the year 1716, the third of the reign of George the First, in a cottage in the parish of Wormhill, midway between the remote hamlets of the High Peak of Derby. There his father, more devoted to shooting, hunting, and bull-running, than to his work as a cottier, cultivated the little croft he rented, got into bad company and poverty, and left his children neglected and untaught. The idle man had an industrious wife, who taught the children, of whom James was the eldest, what little she knew; but they must all help to earn as soon as they were able, and James Brindley earned wages at any ordinary laborer's work that he could get until he was seventeen years old. {239} He was a lad clever with his knife, who made little models of mills, and set them to work in mill-streams of his own contrivance. The machinery of a neighboring grist-mill was his especial delight, and had given the first impulse to his modellings. He and his mother agreed that he should bind himself, whenever he could, to a millwright; and at the age of seventeen he did, after a few weeks' trial, become apprentice for seven years to Abraham Bennett, wheelwright and millwright, at the village of Sutton, near Macclesfield, which was the market-town of Brindley's district.

The millwrights were then the only engineers; they worked by turns at the foot-lathe, the carpenter's bench, and the anvil; and, in country places where there was little support for division of labor, they had to find skill or invention to meet any demand on mechanical skill. Bennett was not a sober man, his journeymen were a rough set, and much of the young apprentice's time was at first occupied in running for beer. He was taught little, and had to find out everything for himself, which he did but slowly; so that, during some time, he passed with his master for a stupid bungler, only fit for the farm-work from which he had been taken. But, after two years of this sort of pupilage, a fire having injured some machinery in a small silk-mill at Macclesfield, Brindley was sent to bring away the damaged pieces; and, by his suggestions on that occasion, he showed to Mr. Milner, the mill superintendent, an intelligence that caused his master to be applied to for Brindley's aid in a certain part of the repairs. He was unwillingly sent, worked under the encouragement of the friendly superintendent with remarkable ability, and was surprised that his master and the other workmen seemed to be dissatisfied with his success. When they chaffed him, at the supper celebrating the completion of the work, his friend Milner offered to wager a gallon of the best ale that, before the lad's apprenticeship was out, he would be a cleverer workman than any of them there present, master or man. This was a joke against Brindley among his fellow-workmen; but in another year they found "the young man Brindley" specially asked for when the neighboring millers needed repairs of machinery, and sometimes he was chosen in preference to the master himself. Bennett asked "the young man Briudley" where he had learnt his skill in mill-work, but he could tell no more than that it "came natural like." He even suggested and carried out improvements, especially in the application of the water-power, and worked so substantially well, that his master said to him one day, "Jem, if thou goes on i' this foolish way o' workin', there will be very little trade left to be done when thou comes oot o' thy time: thou knaws firmness o' wark's h' ruin o' trade."

But presently Jem's "firmness o' wark" was the saving of his master. Bennett got a contract to set up a paper-mill on the river Dane, upon the model of a mill near Manchester. Bennett went to examine the Manchester mill, brought back a confused and beery notion of it, and, proceeding with the job, got into the most hopeless bewilderment. An old hand, who had looked in on the work, reported, over his drink at the nearest public-house, that the job was a farce, and that Abraham Bennett was only throwing away his employer's money. Next Saturday, after his work, young Jem Brindley disappeared. He was just of age, and it was supposed he had taken it into his head to leave his master and begin life on his own account. But on Monday morning, there he was at his work, with his coat off, and the whole duty to be done clear in his head. He had taken on Saturday night a twenty-five mile walk to the pattern mill, near Manchester. On Sunday morning he had asked leave of its proprietor to go in and examine it. He had spent {240} some hours on Sunday in the study of its machinery, and then had walked the twenty-five miles back, to resume his work and save his master from a failure that would have been disastrous to his credit. The conduct of the work was left to him; he undid what was amiss, and proceeded with the rest so accurately, that the contract was completed within the appointed time, to the complete satisfaction of all persons concerned. After that piece of good service, Bennett left to James Brindley the chief care over his business. When Bennett died, Brindley carried on to completion all work then in hand, and wound up the accounts for the benefit of his old master's family. That done, he set up in business on his own account at the town of Leek, in Staffordshire; he was then twenty-six years old, having served seven years as an apprentice and two years as journeyman.

Leek was then but a small market-town, with a few grist-mills, and Brindley had no capital; but he made himself known beyond Leek as a reliable man, whose work was good and durable, who had invention at the service of his employers, and who always finished a job within the stipulated time. He did not confine himself to mill-work, but was ready to undertake all sorts of machinery connected with the draining of mines, the pumping of water, the smelting of iron and copper, for which a demand was then rising, and became honorably known to his neighbors as "the Schemer." At first he had no journeyman or apprentice, and he cut the tree for his own timber. While working as an apprentice, he had taught himself to write in a clumsy, half-illegible way—he never learnt to spell—and when he had been thirteen years in business, he would still charge an employer his day's work at two shillings for cutting a big tree, for a mill-shaft or for other use. When he was called to exercise his skill at a distance upon some machinery, he added a charge of sixpence a day for extra expenses.

When the brothers John and Thomas Wedgwood, potters in a small way at the outset of their famous career, desired to increase the supply of flint-powder, they called "the Schemer" to their aid, and the success of the flint-mill Brindley then erected brought him business in the potteries from that time forward.

About this time, also, a Manchester man was being married to a young lady of mark in the potteries, and, during the wedding festivities, conversation once turned on the cleverness of the young millwright of Leek. The Manchester man wondered whether he was clever enough to get the water out of some hopelessly drowned coal mines of his, and thought he should like to see him. Brindley was sent for, told the case and its hitherto insuperable difficulties, went into a brown study, then suddenly brightened up, and told in what way he thought that, without great expense, the difficulty might be conquered. The gist of his plan was to use the fall of the river Irwell, that formed one boundary of the estate, and pump the water from the pits by means of the greater power of the water in the river. His suggestion was thought good, and, being set to work upon this job, he drove a tunnel through six hundred yards of solid rock, and by the tunnel brought the river down upon the breast of an immense water-wheel, fixed in a chamber thirty feet below the surface of the ground; the water, when it had turned the wheel, was carried on into the lower level of the Irwell. That wheel, with its pumps, working night and day, soon cleared the drowned outworkings of the mine; and for the invention and direction of this valuable engineering work, he seems only to have charged his workman's wages of two shillings a day.

An engineer from London had been brought down to superintend the building of a new silk-mill at {241} Congleton, and Brindley was employed under him to make the water-wheel and do the common work of his trade. The engineer from London got his work into a mess, and at last was obliged to confess his inability to carry out his plan. "The Schemer" Brindley was applied to by the perplexed proprietor. Could he put the confusion straight? James Brindley asked to see the plans; but the great engineer refused to show them to a common millwright. "Well, then," said Brindley to the proprietor of the mill, "tell me exactly what you want the machinery to do, and I will try to contrive what will do it. But you must leave me free to work in my own way." He was told the results desired, and not only achieved them, but achieved much more, adding new contrivances, which afterward proved of the greatest value.

After this achievement, Brindley was employed by the now prospering potters to build flint-mills of more power upon a new plan of his own. One of the largest was that built for Mr. Baddely, of which work there is record in such trade entries of his as "March 15, 1757. With Mr. Baddely to Matherso about a now" (new) "flint-mill upon a windey day 1 day 3s. 6d. March 19 draing a plann 1 day 2s. 6d. March 23 draing a plann and to sat out the wheelrace 1 day 4s."

At this time Brindley is also exercising his wit on an attempt at an improved steam-engine; but though his ideas are good, it is hard to bring them into continuously good working order, and after the close of entries about it in his memorandum-book, when it seems to have broken down for a second time, he underlines the item "to Run about a Drinking Is. 6d." But he confined his despair to the loss of a day and the expenditure of eighteen pence. Not long afterward he had developed a patent of his own, and erected, in 1763, for the Walker Colliery at Newcastle, a steam-engine wholly of iron, which was pronounced the most "complete and noble piece of iron-work" that had up to that time been produced. But the perfecting of the steam-engine was then safe in the hands of Watt, and Brindley had already turned into his own path as the author of our English canal system.

The young Duke of Bridgewater, vexed in love by the frailty of fair woman, had abjured interest in their sex, had gone down to his estate of Worsley, on the borders of Chat Moss, and, to give himself something more wholesome to think about than the sisters Gunning and their fortunes, conferred with John Gilbert, his land steward, as to the possibility of cutting a canal by which the coals found upon his Worsley estate might be readily taken to market at Manchester. Manchester then was a rising town, of which the manufacturers were yet unaided by the steam-engine, and there was no coal smoke but that which arose from household fires. The roads out of Manchester were so bad as to be actually closed in winter, and in summer the coal, sold at the pit mouth by the horse-load, was conveyed on horses' backs at an addition to its cost of nine or ten shillings a ton.

When the duke discussed with Gilbert old abandoned and new possible schemes of water conveyance for his Worsley coal, Gilbert advised the calling in of the ingenious James Brindley of Leek, "the Schemer." When the duke came into contact with Brindley, he at once put trust in him, and gave him the direction of the proposed work; whereupon he was requested to base his advice upon what he enters in his memorandum-book of jobs done, as an "ochilor," (ocular) "servey or a ricconitering."

Brindley examined the ground, and formed his own plan. He was against carrying the canal down into Irwell by a flight of locks, and so up again on the other side to the proposed level, but counselled carrying the canal by solid embankments and a stone aqueduct right over the river upon one {242} level throughout. The duke accepted his opinion, and had plans prepared for a new application to parliament, Brindley often staying with him at work and in consultation for weeks together, while still travelling to and fro in full employment upon mills, water-wheels, cranes, fire-engines, and other mechanical work. Small as his pay was, he lived frugally. He had by this time even saved a little money, and gained credit enough to be able, by borrowing from a friend at Leek, to pay between five and six hundred pounds for a fourth share of an estate at Turnhurst, in Staffordshire, supposed by him to be full of minerals.

The Duke of Bridgewater obtained his act in the year 1760, but the bold and original part of Brindley's scheme, which many ridiculed as madness, caused the duke much anxiety. In England there had never been so great an aqueduct, but the scheme was not only for the carrying of water in a water-tight trunk of earth over an embankment, but also for the carrying of ships on a bridge of water over water. Brindley had no misgivings. To allay the duke's fears, he suggested calling in and questioning another engineer, who surprised the man of genius by ending an adverse report thus: "I have often heard of castles an the air; but never before saw where any of them were to be erected."

The duke, however, with all his hesitation, had most faith in the head of James Brindley, bade him go on in his own way, and resolved to run the risk of failure. And so, on a bridge of three arches, the canal was carried over the Irwell by the Barton aqueduct, thirty-nine feet above the river. The water was confined within a puddled channel, to prevent leakage, and the work is at this day as sound as it was when first constructed. For the safe carrying of water along the top of an earthen embankment, Brindley had relied upon the retaining powers of clay puddle. It was by help also of clay puddle that he carried the weight of the embankment safe over the ooze of Trafford Moss.

With great ingenuity, also, Brindley provided for the crossing of his canal by streams intercepting its course, without breach of his rule that it is unsafe to let such waters freely mix with the canal stream. Thus, to provide for the free passage of the Medlock without causing a rush into the canal, an ingenious form of weir was contrived, over which its waters flowed into a lower level, and thence down a well several yards deep, leading to a subterranean passage by which the stream was passed into the Irwell, near at hand. Arthur Young, who saw Brindley's canal soon after it was opened, said that "the whole plan of these works shows a capacity and extent of mind which foresees difficulties, and invents remedies in anticipation of possible evils. The connection and dependence of the parts upon each other are happily imagined; and all are exerted in concert, to command by every means the wished-for success." At the Worsley end Brindley constructed a basin, into which coal was brought from different workings of the mine by a subterranean water channel. Brindley also invented cranes for the more ready loading of the boats, laid down within the mines a system of underground railways leading from the face of the coal where the miners worked, to the wells that he had made at different points in the tunnels for shooting the coal down into the boats waiting below. He drained and ventilated with a water-bellows the lower parts of the mine. He improved the barges, invented water-weights, raising dams, riddles to wash the coal for the forges. At the Manchester end Brindley made equally ingenious arrangements for the easy delivery of the coal at the top of Castle Hill. At every turn in the work his inventive genius was felt. When the want of lime for the masonry was a serious impediment, Brindley discovered how to make, of a useless, unadhesive lime-marl, by tempering it and casting it in {243} moulds before burning, an excellent lime, a contrivance that alone saved the duke several thousands of pounds cost. When the water was let in, and the works everywhere stood firm, people of fashion flocked to see Brindley's canal, as "perhaps the greatest artificial curiosity in the world:" and writers spoke in glowing terms of the surprise with which they saw several barges of great burden drawn by a single mule or horse along a "river hung in the air," over another river flowing beneath.

As for Manchester, with the price of coal reduced one half, it was ready to make the best use of the steam-engine when it was established as the motive-power in our factories.

Within two months of the day, seventeenth of July, 1761, when the first boat-load of coals travelled over the Barton viaduct, Brindley's notes testify that he was at Liverpool "recconitoring" and by the end of September he was levelling for a proposed extension of his canal from Manchester to Liverpool, by joining it with the Mersey, eight miles below Warrington Bridge, whence there is a natural tideway to Liverpool, about fifteen miles distant. At that time there was not even a coach communication over the bad roads between Manchester and Liverpool, the first stage-coach having been started six years later, when it required six, and sometimes eight horses to pull it the thirty miles along the ruts and through the sloughs. The coach started from Liverpool early in the morning, breakfasted at Prescot, dined at Warrington, and reached Manchester by supper-time. From Manchester to Liverpool it made the return journey next day. The Duke of Bridgewater's proposed canal was strongly opposed as an antagonist interest by the Mersey and Irwell Navigation Company. The canal promised to take freights at half the price charged by the Navigation Company. A son of the Earl of Derby took the part of the "Old Navigators," and as the Duke of Bridgewater was a Whig, Brindley had to enter in his note-book that "the Toores" (Tories) had "mad had" (made head) "agane ye Duk." But at last his entry was: "ad a grate Division of 127 fort Duk 98 nos for t e Duke 29 Me Jorete," and the Duke's cause prospered during the rest of the contest.

Brindley bought a new suit of clothes to grace his part as principal engineering witness for the canal, and having upset his mind for some days by going to see Garrick play Richard the Third, (wherefore he declared against all further indulgence in that sort of excitement), he went to the committee-room duly provided with a bit of chalk in his pocket, and made good the saying that originated from his clear way of showing what he meant, upon the floor of the committee-room, that "Brindley and chalk would go through the world." When asked to produce a drawing of a proposed bridge, he said he had none, but could immediately get a model. Whereupon he went out and bought a large cheese, which he brought into the committee-room and cut into two equal parts, saying, "Here is my model." The two halves of the cheese represented the two arches of his bridge, the rest of the work connected with them he built with paper, with books, or with whatever he found ready to hand. Once when he had repeatedly talked about "puddling," some of the members wished to know what puddling was. Brindley sent out for a lump of clay, hollowed it into a trough, poured water in, and showed that it leaked out. Then he worked up the clay with water, going through the process of puddling in miniature, again made a trough of the puddled clay, filled it with water, and showed that it was water-tight. "Thus it is," he said, "that I form a water-tight trunk to carry water over rivers and valleys, wherever they cross the path of the canal."

And so the battle was fought, and the canal works completed at a total {244} cost of two hundred and twenty thousand pounds, of which Brindley was content to take as his share a rate of pay below that of an ordinary mechanic at the present day. The canal yielded an income which eventually reached eighty thousand pounds a year; but three and sixpence a day, and for a greater part of the time half a crown a day, was the salary of the man of genius by whom it was planned and executed. Yet Brindley was then able to get a guinea a day for services to others, though from the Duke of Bridgewater he never took more than a guinea a week, and had not always that. The duke was investing all the money he could raise, and sometimes at his wit's end for means to go on with the work. Brindley gave his soul to the work for its own sake, and if he had a few pence to buy himself his dinner with—one day he enters only "ating and drinking 6d."—he could live, content with having added not a straw's weight of impediment to the great enterprise he was bent with all the force of his great genius upon achieving. It gave him the advantage, also, of being able, as was most convenient, to treat with the duke on equal terms. He was invited as a canal maker to Hesse by offers of any payment he chose to demand, but stuck to the duke, who is said even to have been in debt to him for travelling and other expenses, which he had left unpaid with the answer, "I am much more distressed for money than you; however, as soon as I can recover myself, your services shall not go unrewarded." After Brindley's sudden death his widow applied in vain for sums which she said were due to her late husband.

The Staffordshire Grand Trunk Canal, Brindley's other great work, started from the duke's canal, near Runcorn, passed through the salt-making districts of Cheshire and the Pottery district, to unite the Severn with the Mersey by one hundred and forty miles of water-way. This canal went through five tunnels, one of them, that at Harecastle, being nearly three thousand yards long, a feature in the scheme accounted by many to be as preposterous as they had called his former "castle in the air." The work was done; bringing with it traffic, population, and prosperity into many half-savage midland districts. It gave comfort and ample employment in the Pottery district, while trebling the numbers of those whom it converted, from a half-employed and ill-paid set of savages, into a thriving community.

Once, when Brindley was demonstrating to a committee of the House of Commons the superior reliableness and convenience of equable canals as compared with rivers, liable to every mischance of flood and drought, he was asked by a member, "What, then, he took to be the use of navigable rivers?" and replied, "To make canal navigations, to be sure!" From the Grand Trunk, other canals branched, and yet others were laid out by Brindley before he died. He found time when at the age of fifty to marry a girl of nineteen, and the house then falling vacant on the estate of Turnhurst, of which he had, for the sake of its minerals, bought a fourth share, and by that time had a colliery at work, he took his wife home as the mistress of that old, roomy dwelling. He was receiving better pay then as the engineer of the Grand Trunk Canal, and his new home was conveniently near to the workings of its great Harecastle Tunnel, into which he and his partners sent a short branch canal—of a mile and a half long—from their coal mine, which was only a few fields distant from his house.

Water, that made his greatness, was at last the death of Brindley. He got drenched one day while surveying a canal, went about in his wet clothes, and when he went to bed at the inn was put between damp sheets. This produced the illness of which he died, at the age of fifty-six. It was not the first time that he had taken to his bed. Scarcely able to read, and if he could have read, engaged on work so new that no book precedents could have {245} helped him, whenever Brindley had some difficulty to overcome that seemed for a time insuperable, he went to bed upon it, and is known to have stopped in bed two or three days, till he had quietly thought it all over, and worked his way to the solution. It is said that when he lay on his death-bed some eager canal undertakers urged to see him and seek from him the solution of a problem. They had met with a serious difficulty in the course of their canal, and must see Mr. Brindley and get his advice. They were admitted, and told him how at a certain place they had labored in vain to prevent their canal from leaking. "Then puddle it," murmured Brindley. "Sir, but we have puddled it." "Then"—and they were almost his last words in life—"puddle it again—and again." As he had wisely invested his savings in Grand Trunk shares, they and his share in the colliery enabled him to leave ample provision for his widow and two daughters.

As for the canal system that he established, it has not been made obsolete by its strong younger brother, the railway system. The duke's canal is as busy as ever. Not less than twenty million tons of traffic are at this date carried yearly upon the canals of England alone, and this quantity is steadily increasing.

We have taken the facts in this account of Brindley, from a delightful popular edition of that part of Mr. Smiles's Lives of the Engineers which tells of him and of the earlier water engineers. Of Mr. Smiles's Lives of George and Robert Stephenson there is a popular edition as a companion volume, and therein all may read, worthily told, the tale of the foundation and of the chief triumphs of that new form of engineering which dealt with water, not by the riverful, but by the bucketful, and made a few buckets of water strong as a river to sweep men and their goods and their cattle in a mighty torrent from one corner of the country to another.

From Chambers's Journal.


  A thistle grew in a sluggard's croft,
  Rough and rank with a thorny growth,
  With its spotted leaves, and its purple flowers
  (Blossoms of Sin, and bloom of Sloth);
  Slowly it ripened its baneful seeds,
  And away they went in swift gray showers.

  But every seed was cobweb winged,
  And they spread o'er a hundred miles of land.
  'Tis centuries now since they first took flight,
  In that careless, gay, and mischievous band,
  Yet still they are blooming and ripening fast,
  And spreading their evil by day and night.


From The Dublin Review.


The History of our Lord as exemplified in Works of Art; with that of the Types, St. John the Baptist and other persons of the Old and New Testament. Commenced by the late Mrs. JAMESON; continued and completed by Lady EASTLAKE. 2 vols. London: Longman. 1864.

The series of works on Christian Art brought out by the late Mrs. Jameson, and which earned for her so high a reputation as an art critic, was conceived upon a plan of progressive interest and importance. From "Sacred and Legendary Art," published in 1848, she passed to the special legends connected with Monastic Orders, and in 1852 gave to the public her most charming volume, entitled "Legends of the Madonna." The series was to have closed with the subject of the volume now before us, and some progress had been made by Mrs. Jameson in collecting notes on various pictures, when, in the spring of 1860, death cut her labors short. The work, however, has passed into hands well able to complete it worthily. We may miss some of the freshness and genuine simplicity with which Mrs. Jameson was wont to transfer to paper rare impression made on her mind and heart; but Lady Eastlake, while bringing to her task the essential qualification of earnestness and exhibiting considerable grace and force of style, is possessed of a far wider and more critical acquaintance with the history of art than her amiable predecessor either had or pretended to have. It is pleasant to find in these pages, as in those which preceded them, the evidence of a desire to avoid controversial matter; and that, without compromise of personal conviction, care has been generally taken not to wound the feelings of those who differ from the writer in religious belief. The primary object of the work is aesthetic and artistic, not religious; and it is seldom that the laws of good taste are transgressed in its pages by gratuitous attacks upon the tenets of the great body of artists who are the immediate subject of criticism. Indeed, considering that these volumes are the production of a Protestant, we think that less of Protestant animus could hardly be shown, at all consistently with honesty of purpose and frankness of speech. That no traces of the Protestant spirit should appear, would be next to an impossibility; and the affectation of Catholic feeling, where it did not exist, would be offensive from its very unreality. So much self-control in traversing a vast extent of delicate and dangerous ground deserves all the more hearty acknowledgment, as it must have been peculiarly difficult to a person of Lady Eastlake's ardent temperament and evident strength of conviction. If, therefore, in the course of our remarks, we feel bound to point out the evil influence which Lady Eastlake's religious views seem to us to have exercised on her critical appreciations, it will be understood that theories, not persons, are the object of our animadversions. It is at all times an ungrateful task to expose the weak points of an author; it would be especially ungenerous to be hard upon the shortcomings of one who has done such good service to the cause of truth, in proving, however unconsciously, by the mere exercise of persistent candor, the identity of Christian and Catholic art. Catholics, indeed, do not ordinarily stand in need of such proof. If they know anything of art, the fact of this identity must be with them an early discovery; but it is gratifying, especially in a time and country in which scant justice on such matters is too often dealt out to us, to be able to adduce a {247} testimony the more valuable because given in despite of an adverse bias. It is quite possible, indeed, that the writer has not perceived the full import of her work; but no one, we think, can study her examples or weigh the force of her criticism with out coming to the true conclusion upon this subject.

But, before establishing the correctness of this assertion, we must draw attention to one point upon which we are at issue with Lady Eastlake: a point, moreover, of no small importance, as it vitally affects the value of a large part of her criticisms. A question arises at the outset, what standard or test of Christian art is to be set up; and Lady Eastlake makes an excellent start in the investigation. There is, perhaps, no principle so steadily kept in view throughout the work, or so often and earnestly insisted on, as this: that genuine Christian art and true Christian doctrine are intimately and essentially connected. Art is bound to depict only the truth in fact or doctrine (vol. ii., p. 266, note). Departure from sound theology involves heresy in art. Now, no principle can be more true than this, or of greater importance toward forming a correct judgment upon works professing to belong to Christian art. Beauty and truth are objectively identical, for beauty is only truth lighted up and harmonized by the reason; and to supernatural beauty, which Christian art essentially aims at expressing, supernatural truth must necessarily correspond. For here we have nothing to do with mere material beauty, "the glories of color, the feats of anatomical skill, the charms of chiaroscuro, the revels of free handling." Admirable as these are in themselves, and by no means, theoretically at least, injurious to Christian art, they belong properly to art as art, and are more or less separable from art as Christian. Christian art is never perfect as art, unless material beauty enters into the composition; but as Christianity is above art, and the soul superior to the body, so material beauty must never forget its place, never strive to obtain the mastery, or constitute itself the chief aim of the artist, upon pain of total destruction of the Christian element. The soul of Christian art is in the idea—the shadowing out by symbol or representation, under material forms and conditions, of immaterial, supernatural, even uncreated beauty, the beauty of heavenly virtue, or heavenly mystery or divinity itself. But how are these objects, in all their harmony, proportion, and splendor, to be realized—how is supernatural beauty to be conceived—except by a soul gifted with supernatural perceptions? Faith, at least, is indispensably requisite to the truthfulness of any artistic work intended to represent the supernatural. Without faith, distortion and caricature are inevitable. With faith—the foundation of all knowledge of the supernatural in this life—much, very much, may be accomplished. But it is when faith, enlivened and perfected by supernatural love, exercises itself in contemplation, that the spiritual sight becomes keen, and the soul, from having simply a just appreciation, passes to a vision of exquisite beauty, sublimity, and tenderness, which a higher perception of divine mysteries has laid open to its gaze. The hand may falter, and be faithless to the mental conception, so as to produce imperfect execution and inadequate artistic result. Faith and love do not make a man an artist. But, amidst deformity or poverty of art in the material element, if there is any, however slight, artistic power employed, the outward defects will be qualified, and almost transformed, to the eye of an appreciating spectator, through the inner power which speaks from the painter's soul to his own: just as we learn to overlook, or even to admire, plain features, and anything short of positive ugliness of outline, in those whose mental greatness and moral beauty we have learned to venerate and to love. On the other hand, any amount of material perfection in contour and color is insipid as a doll, {248} a mere mask of nothingness, incapable of arresting attention or captivating the heart, unless within there be a soul of beauty—that inward excellence which subordinates to itself, while it gives life and meaning to, the outward form. On the side of the object, truth; on the part of the spectator, faith and love—these are the palmary conditions of Christian art and its appreciation. For it must ever be remembered that supernatural truth lies beyond the ken of any but souls elevated by faith; and, what is of equal importance, that faith can have no other object than the truth. Its object is infallible truth, or it is not faith. No wonder, then, that, when we see a prodigality of manual skill and grace of form, and even moral beauty of the natural order, devoid of the inspiration of supernatural faith and love, we are forced to exclaim with St. Gregory, as he gazed on the fair Saxon youths, Heit proh dolor! quod tam lucidi vultus homines tenebrarum auctor possideret, tantaque gratia frontis conspicui mentem ab aeterna gratia vacuam gestarent. [Footnote 51] Alas! that so much physical beauty should embody nothing but a pagan idea! It were as unreasonable to look for Christian art as the product of an heretical imagination, as to demand Christian eloquence or Christian poetry from an heretical preacher or a free-thinking poet. The vision is wanting, the appreciation is not there—how, then, is the expression possible?

[Footnote 51: "Alas! what pain it is to think that men of such bright countenance should be the possession of the Prince of Darkness; and that though conspicuous for surprising grace of feature, they should bear a soul within untenanted by everlasting grace."]

Nor is this a mere abstract theory, erected on a priori principles. It would be easy to verify our position by a large induction from the history of art. Is there a picture whose mute eloquence fills the soul with reverential awe, or holy joy, or supernatural calm, or deep, deep sympathy with the sufferings of our Lord, or the sorrows of his Immaculate Mother, we may be sure the painter was some humble soul, ascetical and pious, who, like Juan de Joanes, or Zurbaran, spent his days in lifelong seclusion, given up to the grave and holy thoughts which their pictures utter to us; or that other Spaniard, Luis de Vargas, famed alike for his austerity and amiable Christian gaiety; or a Sassoferrato, or a Van Eyck, seeking in, holy communion the peace of soul which can alone reflect the calmness of sanctity, or the bliss of celestial scenes; or the holy friar, John of Fiesoli, known to all as the Angelic whose heroic humility and Christian simplicity, learned in a life of prayer and contemplation, invest his pictures with an unearthly charm. These, and many another pious painter, known or unknown by name to men, looked on their vocation as a holy trust, and sought to keep themselves unspotted from the world. Theirs was the practical maxim so dear to the blessed Angelico, that "those who work for Christ must dwell in Christ." On the other hand, does a picture, albeit Christian in subject and in name, offend us by false sentiment, or cold conventionalism, or sensuality, or affectation, or strain after theatrical effect, or any of the hundred forms which degraded art exhibits when it has wandered from the Christian type—we know that we are looking on the handiwork of some schismatic Greek, or modern Protestant; or that, if the painter be a Catholic, he lived in the days or wrought under the influence of the Renaissance, when paganism made its deadly inroads upon art, substituting the spirit of voluptuousness for the sweet and austere graces that spring of divine charity; or under the blighting influence of Jansenism, which killed alike that queenly virtue and her sister humility by false asceticism and pharisaic rigor. We might even trust the decision as to the truthfulness of our view to an inspection of the examples with which Lady Eastlake has so abundantly illustrated her volumes. Indeed, hitherto her principle and ours are one.


But unfortunately, though the major premise of the art-syllogism is granted on both sides, Lady Eastlake adopts a minor, from which we utterly dissent. It is implied in one and all of the following statements, and is more or less interwoven with the whole staple of her work. She tells us that "the materials for this history in art are only properly derivable from Scripture, and therefore referable back to the same source for verification" (vol. i., p. 3). And again: "It may be at once laid down as a principle, that the interests of art and the integrity of Scripture [by integrity is meant literal adherence to the text of Scripture] are indissolubly united. Where superstition mingles, the quality of Christian art suffers; where doubt enters, Christian art has nothing to do. It may even be averred that, if a person could be imagined, deeply imbued with aesthetic instincts and knowledge, and utterly ignorant of Scripture, he would yet intuitively prefer, as art, all those conceptions of our Lord's history which adhere to the simple text. … All preference for the simple narrative of Scripture he would arrive at through art—all condemnation of the embroideries of legend through the same channel" (vol. i., p. 6). And again: "The simplicity of art and of the Gospel stand or fall together. The literal narrative of the agony in the garden lost sight of, all became confusion and error" (vol. ii., p. 30).

Now, whatever obscurity and confusion these passages contain—and they do contain a great deal—one thing is unmistakably clear, that the orthodoxy of the ultra-Protestant maxim, "The Bible and the Bible only," is a fixed principle with Lady Eastlake. And the consequence is, that, whenever she looks at a religious picture, she refers to the Gospel narrative for its verification. If it does not stand this test, it is nowhere in her esteem. What is not in Scripture is legendary and unartistic, because necessarily at variance with scriptural truth. Thus whole provinces of art in connection with our Lord are banished from her pages. Surely such a canon of taste is not only narrow, but arbitrary: narrow, as excluding whatever comes down to us hallowed by tradition, considered apart from or beyond the limits of scriptural statement; arbitrary, because it leaves art at the mercy of the sects, with their manifold dissensions as to the extent of Scripture, or its true interpretation. Thus, Lady Eastlake, being herself no believer in the doctrine of the real presence, does not recognize its enunciation in the sacred pages, and loses, apparently, all interest in the great pictures which symbolize or relate to the most holy sacrament of the altar. So, too, most of the special devotions to the person of our Lord, which have sprung out of the living faith of the church, and have furnished subjects for pictures incontestably of a high order, are totally omitted from her classification of devotional compositions. We can hardly imagine it possible for her to adhere consistently to her rule in other departments of Christian art. The Immaculate Conception, for instance, the Assumption, the Coronation of our Lady, the marriage of St. Catherine, the stigmata of St. Francis, the vision of St. Dominic, the miracles of the saints—subjects, many of which have inspired some of the noblest productions of her favorite Fra Angelico, or of Raphael, or Murillo, or Velasquez—undoubtedly do violence to her criteria of artistic merit, though we cannot believe that she would contest their universally acknowledged claim to the highest honors in Christian art. Indeed, fidelity to this narrow Protestant maxim would have rendered these two volumes an impossibility. Strange, then, that it should not have occurred to the mind of the authoress that by far the larger part, and, on her own showing, the most glorious part, of the fraternity of Christian artists have been men full to overflowing of the spirit of a church which has never adopted her standard of orthodoxy.


The Catholic Church is at once the parent, historically, of all Christian art and the upholder of that grand principle of tradition which gives to art, no less than to doctrine, a range far wider and more ample than the mere letter of the biblical records. Of course, contradiction of Scripture, or "alterations of the text, which, however slight, affect the revealed character of our Lord," must give offence to every judicious critic; but it is tradition and the voice of the living Church—together with that instinctive sense of the faithful which, so long as they live in submission to their divinely-appointed teachers, is so marvellously true and unerring—that must be the criteria of orthodoxy, and determine when the artist's conceptions or mode of treatment are contrary to, or in accordance with, the spirit of the sacred text.

Lady Eastlake does not like the notion of our Lord's falling under the cross. It is not in the Bible, and she pronounces it to be counter to the spirit and purport of the Gospel narrative. She grows positively angry with some painters for having represented an angel holding the chalice, surmounted by a cross or host, before the eyes of our blessed Redeemer in his agony. She has her own standard of feeling, abstract and arbitrary, to which she refers the decision of such points. But where is the guarantee for the correctness of that standard, or the security for its general acceptance? The Bible does not tell us what its own spirit and purport are, and outside the Bible Lady Eastlake, at least, cannot point to any infallible authority. She is, therefore, imposing her own judgment, unsupported by any assigned reason, upon the world, as a rule to be followed. So, too, St. Veronica to her is always de trop, morally and pictorially, in the Way of the Cross; and scholastic interpretations, seemingly because they are scholastic, of the types of the Old Testament, are invariably pronounced by her to be strained, unreal, and superstitious. So effectually does Protestantism interfere with the capacity of a critic to appreciate the higher developments and fuller expression of Christian art.

Not that a Protestant or a free-thinker can have no sense at all of the supernaturally beautiful. If they are trained to a high degree of moral and intellectual cultivation in the natural order, and in proportion to the height of their attainments in that order, they will not fail to be affected by beauty of a superior order. For there is no contradiction between the truth of nature and the truth which is above nature. The Protestant, indeed, as sincerely holding large fragments of Christian truth, will necessarily have much sympathy with many exhibitions of supernatural beauty. But he lacks the clue to it as a whole; and if he can often admire, rarely, if ever, can he create. Both Protestant and unbeliever must therefore labor under much vagueness and uncertainty of judgment, inasmuch as they can have no fixity of principle. Often they will not know what they want; they will praise in one page what they condemn in the next; or, when moved, will be at a loss to account for their emotion. They will exhibit phenomena not unlike those so often presented in this country by unbelievers, who, entering our churches, are one while overawed by a presence they cannot define, and which bewilders their intellect, whilst it captivates their imagination; and another while, as unaccountably, are moved to disgust and derision by what to them is an insoluble riddle, a perplexity, and an annoyance. To such critics some phases of the supernatural will never be welcome. The tortures of the martyrs, the self-inflicted macerations of ascetics, the sublime self-abandonment of heroic charity—whatever, in a word, embodies and brings home the grand, sacred, but, to the natural man, repugnant idea of the cross, will always be offensive, and produce a sense of irritation, such as even Lady Eastlake, with all her {251} self-mastery and good taste, cannot wholly suppress or conceal. So true is it in the sphere of Christian art, as in that of Christian doctrine and devotion, Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis. Casual excitement, transient enthusiasm, unmeaning admiration, are at best the pitiful substitutes for an intelligent and abiding appreciation of excellence, in those who are not possessed of supernatural ideas in common with the subjects and authors of the works of genuine Christian art.

It would be unfair, however, not to mention that Lady Eastlake admits many important modifications of this rigid principle of adherence to the letter of Scripture. The following secondary canons go far to soften down the asperity of her Protestantism. They shall be stated in her own words:

"On the other hand, additions to Scripture given in positive images, if neither prejudicial to art nor inconsistent with our Lord's character, are not in themselves necessarily objectionable; but will, according to their merits, be looked upon with indulgence or admiration. The pictures, for instance, representing the disrobing of our Lord—a fact not told in Scripture, yet which must have happened—will be regarded with pathetic interest. The same will be felt of Paul Delaroche's exquisite little picture, where St. John is leading the Virgin home; for such works legitimately refresh and carry on the narrative in a scriptural spirit. Nay, episodes which are more purely invention—such as the ancient tradition of the Mother of Christ wrapping the cloth round her son, previous to his crucifixion; or, again, the picture by Paul Delaroche, of the agony of her and of the disciples, represented as gathered together in a room while Christ passes with his cross—even such imaginary episodes will silence the most arrant Protestant criticism, by their overpowering appeal to the feelings; since in neither case is the great duty of art to itself or to its divine object tampered with.

"The same holds good where symbolical forms, as in Christian art of classic descent, are given, which embody the idea rather than the fact. For instance, where the Jordan is represented as a river god, with his urn under his arm, at the baptism of our Lord; or when, later, the same event is accompanied by the presence of angels, who hold the Saviour's garments. Such paraphrases and poetical imaginings in no way affect the truth of the facts they set forth, but rather, to mortal fancy, swell their pomp and dignity.

"Still less need the lover of art and adorer of Christ care about inconsistencies in minor matters. As, for example, that the entombment takes place in a renaissance monument, in the centre of a beautiful Italian landscape, and not in a cave in a rock in the arid scenery of Judea. On the contrary, it is right that art should exercise the utmost possible freedom in such circumstances, which are the signs and handwriting of different schools and times, and enrich a picture with sources of interest to the historian and the archaeologist. It is the moral expression which touches the heart and adorns the tale, not the architecture or costume; and whether our Lord be in the garb of a Roman citizen or of a German burgher (though his dress is usually conventional in color and form), it matters not, if he be but God in all."

The arbitrariness of the principles set forth in the earlier portion of this passage, and the quiet assumption that all ancient traditions are pure inventions, may well be excused by the reader for the sake of the inconsistency which saves from condemnation not a few glorious pictures, which could never otherwise have been made to square with the rule of literal adherence to the Gospel narrative.

Another principle essential to the right appreciation of art is admirably stated by Lady Eastlake:

"All will agree that the duty of the Christian artist is to give not only the {252} temporary fact, but the permanent truth. Yet this entails a discrepancy to which something must be sacrificed. For, in the scenes from our Lord's life, fact and truth are frequently at variance. That the Magdalen took our Lord for a gardener, was the fact; that he was Christ, is the truth. That the Roman soldiers believed him to be a criminal, and therefore mocked and buffeted him without scruple, is the fact; that we know him through all these scenes to be the Christ, is the truth. Nay, the very cruciform nimbus that encircles Christ's head is an assertion of this principle. As visible to us, it is true; as visible even to his disciples, it is false. There are, however, educated people so little versed in the conditions of art, as to object even to the nimbus, as a departure from fact, and, therefore, an offence to truth; preferring, they say, to see our Lord represented as he walked upon earth. But this is a fallacy in more than one sense. Our Lord, as he walked upon earth, was not known to be the Messiah. To give him as he was seen by men who knew him not, would be to give him not as the Christ. It may be urged that the cruciform nimbus is a mere arbitrary sign, nothing in itself more than a combination of lines. This is true; but there must be something arbitrary in all human imaginings (we should prefer to say symbolizings) of the supernatural. Art, for ages, assumed this sign as that of the Godhead of Christ, and the world for ages granted it. It served various purposes; it hedged the rudest representations of Christ round with a divinity, which kept them distinct from all others. It pointed him out to the most ignorant spectator, and it identified the sacred head, even at a distance."

This principle may, indeed, be legitimately extended much further. The purpose of Christian art is instruction, either in morals or in dogma, or in both. It is not, therefore, a sin in art to sacrifice upon occasion some portion of historical truth, in subservience to this end. Nor in fact, in Catholic ages, was there danger of the people being led into error on the fundamental facts of religion. The Gospel narrative was too familiar to them for that. They seem, as is well remarked by Father Cahier, to have had hearts more elevated than ours, and more attuned by meditation and habitual catholicity of spirit to mystery, and its sublimer lessons; and therefore, whenever we find in early paintings what seems to us anomalous in an historic point of view, we may conclude with safety that there was a dogmatic intention.

There are, however, limits to liberties of this kind, which may not be transgressed without incurring censure. Overbold speculation has ere now betrayed even orthodox theologians into accidental error. And a Catholic artist may depict, as a Catholic schoolman may enunciate, views which deserve to be stigmatized as rash, offensive, erroneous, scandalous, or even, in themselves, heretical. There have been occasions in which the Church has felt herself bound to interfere with wanderings of the artistic imagination, as injurious, morally or doctrinally, to the faithful committed to her charge. Nor have theologians failed to protest from time to time against similar abuses. Bellarmine frowned upon the muse in Christian art. Savonarola, in his best days, made open war upon the pagan corruptions which in his time had begun to abound in Florentine paintings. Father Canisius denounces those painters as inexcusable who, in the face of Scripture, represent our Lady as swooning at the foot of the cross; and Father de Ligny reprobates, on the same grounds, the introduction of St. Joseph into pictures of the meeting between the Blessed Virgin and St. Elizabeth. For—whatever we may think as to his having accompanied our Lady on the journey—had he been present at the interview, he would have been enlightened upon the mystery, his ignorance of which afterward threw him into such perplexity.


As to the order of the work, Lady Eastlake gives ample explanation in the preface:

"In the short programme left by Mrs. Jameson, the ideal and devotional subjects, such as the Good Shepherd, the Lamb, the Second Person of the Trinity, were placed first; the scriptural history of our Lord's life on earth next; and, lastly, the types from the Old Testament. There is reason, however, to believe, from the evidence of what she had already written, that she would have departed from this arrangement. After much deliberation, I have ventured to do so, and to place the subjects chronologically. The work commences, therefore, with that which heads most systems of Christian art—The Fall of Lucifer and Creation of the World—followed by the types and prophets of the Old Testament. Next comes the history of the Innocents and of John the Baptist, written by her own hand, and leading to the Life and Passion of our Lord. The abstract and devotional subjects, as growing out of these materials, then follow, and the work terminates with the Last Judgment."

Mrs. Jameson's own share in the work is confined mainly to some of the types, the histories specified above, and familiar scenes in the earlier portions of the Gospel narrative, including a few of the miracles and parables of our Lord. The notes are fragmentary, but written in her usual interesting and lively style. How refreshing, for instance, and characteristic are the following comments upon some pictures representing the dismissal of Hagar and Ishmael at the imperious request of Sarah:

"I believe the most celebrated example is the picture by Guercino, in the Brera; but I do not think it deserves its celebrity—the pathetic is there alloyed with vulgarity of character. I remember that, when I first saw this picture, I could only think of the praises lavished on it by Byron and others, as the finest expression of deep, natural pathos to be found in the whole range of art. I fancied, as many do, that I could see in it the beauties so poetically described. Some years later, when I saw it again, with a more cultivated eye and taste, my disappointment was great. In fact, Abraham is much more like an unfeeling old beggar than a majestic patriarch, resigned to the divine will, yet struck to the heart by the cruel necessity under which he was acting. Hagar cries like a housemaid turned off without wages or warning, and Ishmael is merely a blubbering boy. For expression, the picture by Govaert Hiricke (Berlin Gallery, 815) seems to me much superior; the look of appealing anguish in the face of Hagar as she turns to Abraham, and points to her weeping boy, reaches to the tragic in point of conception, but Ishmael, if very natural, with his fist in his eye, is also rather vulgar. Rembrandt's composition is quite dramatic, and, in his manner, as fine as possible. Hagar, lingering on the step of the dwelling whence she is rejected, weeps reproachfully; Ishmael, in a rich Oriental costume, steps on before, with the boyish courage of one destined to become an archer and a hunter in the wilderness, and the father of a great and even yet unconquered nation; in the background Sarah is seen looking out of the window at her departing rival, with exultation in her face."

Those who are acquainted with Italian paintings of the 15th century must have remarked the frequency with which the great masters of the Tuscan school in that era treat the subject of "The Massacre of the Innocents." Though our Lord is not an actor in the scene, it is intimately connected with his history. The Innocents were the first martyrs in his cause, and from the earliest times attracted the veneration and tender affection of Christians. Painful as the subject is, it affords scope for the exercise of the highest tragic power. The mere fact that Herod's sword swept the nurseries of Bethlehem, though necessarily entering into the picture, becomes subordinate to the {254} sorrow which then started into life in so many mothers' hearts. That is the point made most prominent in the Gospel by the citation of the pathetic words of Jeremias in the prophecy: "In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentations, and weeping, and great mourning. Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." The mind is carried back to the time when the very sound of those tottering feet sufficed to waken the pulses of love in the mother's bosom; when those confiding hands were ever locked in hers. How dear had been the pretty prattle of those little ones, the first stammerings of the tongue, the silvery laughter, even the cries of passion or of pain! Hitherto all had bsen sunshine, or once and again the shadow of some light cloud had drifted across the face of heaven; but now agony comes on the wings of the whirlwind—a pitiless storm that leaves nothing but blank, broken hearts behind. Here we see a bereaved mother, wildly passionate, tossing her frantic arms heavenward; we almost fancy we hear her rave and moan. There we mark the wandering footsteps, no longer obedient to the helm of reason. Another, with clasped hands, kneels, gazing on the purple stains which dye the ivory limbs of her slaughtered darling. Or the eye rests with awful compassion on a standing figure, another speechless Niobe, pale and unconscious as a statue, still pressing her dead infant to her breast. Upon one or two upturned faces a light has broken; the grand thought seems just to have flashed upon their souls —that the purple stains are the dye of martyrdom, destined by a loving Providence to adorn a robe of unfading glory. And so sorrow passes almost into joy, and the imagination reaches forward to another sorrowful Mother —Mother of sorrows—who is to sit in desolation, yet mastering her deep woe, and, with a sacrificing love that transcends resignation, entering into and uniting herself with the mysterious designs of God. In spite, however, of the interest of the subject, for ages it was rarely depicted. Mrs. Jameson gives the following account of its sudden rise into general favor:

"All at once, however, in the latter half of the 15th century—that is, after 1450—we find the subject of the Holy Innocents assuming an extraordinary degree of popularity and importance. Then, for the first time, we find chapels dedicated to them, and groups of martyred children in altar-pieces round the throne of Christ or the Virgin. From this period we have innumerable examples of the terrible scene of the massacre at Bethlehem, treated as a separate subject in pictures and prints, while the best artists vied with each other in varying and elaborating the details of circumstantial cruelty and frantic despair.

"For a long time, I could not comprehend how this came about, nor how it happened that through all Italy, especially in the Tuscan schools, a subject so ghastly and so painful should have assumed this sort of prominence. The cause, as it gradually revealed itself, rendered every picture more and more interesting; connecting them with each other, and showing how intimately the history of art is mixed up with the life of a people.

"There had existed at Florence, from the 13th century, a hospital for foundlings, the first institution of the kind in Europe. It was attached to the Benedictine monastery of San Gallo, near one of the gates of the city still bearing the name. In the 15th century, when the population and extent of the city had greatly increased, it was found that this hospital was too small, and the funds of the monastery quite inadequate to the purpose. Then Lionardo Buruni, of Arezzo, who was twice chancellor of Florence—the same Lionardo who gave to Ghiberti the subjects of his famous gates—filled with compassion for the orphans and neglected children, addressed the senate on the subject, and made such an affecting appeal in their behalf, that not the senate only, but the whole people of {255} Florence, responded with enthusiasm, frequently interrupting him with cries of 'Viva Messer Lionardo d'Arezzo!' 'And,' adds the historian, 'never was a question of importance carried with such [more] quickness and unanimity' (mai con maggior celerità e pienezza de' voti fu vinto partito di cosa grave come questa). Large sums were voted, offerings flowed in, a superb hospital was founded, and Brunelleschi was appointed architect. When finished, which was not till 1444, it was solemnly dedicated to the 'Holy Innocents.' The first child consigned to the new institution was a poor little female infant, on whose breast was pinned the name 'Agata,' in remembrance of which an altar in the chapel was dedicated to St. Agatha. We have proof that the foundation, progress, and consecration of this refuge for destitute children excited the greatest interest and sympathy, not only in Florence, but in the neighboring states, and that it was imitated in Pisa, Arezzo, and Siena. The union of the two hospitals of San Gallo and the 'Innocenti' took place in 1463. Churches and chapels were appended to the hospitals, and, as a matter of course, the painters and sculptors were called upon to decorate them. Such are the circumstances which explain, as I think, the popularity of the story of the Innocents in the 15th century, and the manner in which it occupied the minds of the great cotemporary artists of the Tuscan school, and others after them."

We cannot pretend to decide upon the truth of this supposed connection between the establishment of an institution to minister to the wants of the forsaken and the development of a special branch of Christian art. Whether true or not, this much is certain, that it is in keeping with a multitude of instances which go to prove how favorable the practice of Catholic charity is to the progress of the arts. Love ever pours itself around in streams of radiance, lighting up whole regions which lie beyond its immediate object. It copies the creative liberality of God, who, in providing us with what is necessary for subsistence, surrounds us at the same time with a thousand superfluous manifestations of beauty.

But it is time to pass on to the second volume of this history, which we owe almost entirely to the pen of Lady Eastlake. It is mainly occupied with the Passion of our Lord; and certainly the diligent attention paid by the authoress to this subject, and the judgment displayed in the arrangement of the narrative and the selection of examples, cannot be too highly commended. The style is generally clear, simple, and earnest. Always dignified, it sometimes rises to eloquence, as in the description of Rembrandt's etching of the "Ecce Homo," and in the following criticism of Leonardo da Vinci's celebrated "Last Supper." After a clever disquisition on the difficulties of the subject, and the conditions essential to its effective treatment, she thus proceeds:

"We need not say who did fulfil these conditions, nor whose Last Supper it is—all ruined and defaced as it may be—which alone arouses the heart of the spectator as effectually as that incomparable shadow in the centre has roused the feelings of the dim forms on each side of him. Leonardo da Vinci's Cena, to all who consider this grand subject through the medium of art, is the Last Supper—there is no other. Various representations exist, and by the highest names in art, but they do not touch the subtle spring. Compared with this chef d'oeuvre, their Last Suppers are mere exhibitions of well-drawn, draped, or colored figures, in studiously varied attitudes, which excite no emotion beyond the admiration due to these qualities. It is no wonder that Leonardo should have done little or nothing more after the execution, in his forty-sixth year, of that stupendous picture. It was not in man not to be fastidious, who had such an unapproachable standard of his own {256} powers perpetually standing in his path.

"Let us now consider this figure of Christ more closely.

"It is not sufficient to say that our Lord has just uttered this sentence, viz., 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, one of you shall betray me;' we must endeavor to define in what, in his own person, the visible proof of his having spoken consists. The painter has cast the eyes down—an action which generally detracts from the expression of a face. Here, however, no such loss is felt. The outward sight, it is true, is in abeyance, but the intensest sense of inward vision has taken its place. Our Lord is looking into himself—that self which knew 'all things,' and therefore needed not to lift his mortal lids to ascertain what effect his words had produced. The honest indignation of the apostles, the visible perturbation of the traitor, are each right in their place, and for the looker-on, but they are nothing to him. Thus here at once the highest power and refinement of art is shown, by the conversion of what in most hands would have been an insipidity into the means of expression best suited to the moment. The inclination of the head, and the expression of every feature, all contribute to the same intention. This is not the heaviness or even the repose of previous silence. On the contrary, the head has not yet risen, nor the muscles of the face subsided from the act of mournful speech. It is just that evanescent moment which all true painters yearn to catch, and which few but painters are wont to observe—when the tones have ceased, but the lips are not sealed—when, for an instant, the face repeats to the eye what the voice has said to the ear. No one who has studied that head can doubt that our Lord has just spoken: the sounds are not there, but they have not travelled far into space.

"Much, too, in the general speech of this head is owing to the skill with which, while conveying one particular idea, the painter has suggested no other. Beautiful as the face is, there is no other beauty but that which ministers to this end. We know not whether the head be handsome or picturesque, masculine or feminine in type—whether the eye be liquid, the cheek ruddy, the hair smooth, or the beard curling—as we know with such painful certainty in other representations. All we feel is, that the wave of one intense meaning has passed over the whole countenance, and left its impress alike on every part. Sorrow is the predominant expression—that sorrow which, as we have said in our Introduction, distinguishes the Christian's God, and which binds him, by a sympathy no fabled deity ever claimed, with the fallen and suffering race of Adam. His very words have given himself more pain than they have to his hearers, and a pain he cannot expend in protestations as they do, for this, as for every other act of his life, came he into the world.

"But we must not linger with the face alone; no hands ever did such intellectual service as those which lie spread on that table. They, too, have just fallen into that position—one so full of meaning to us, and so unconsciously assumed by him—and they will retain it no longer than the eye which is down and the head which is sunk. A special intention on the painter's part may be surmised in the opposite action of each hand: the palm of the one so graciously and bountifully open to all who are weary and heavy-laden; the other averted, yet not closed, as if deprecating its own symbolic office. Or we may consider their position as applicable to this particular scene only; the one hand saying, 'Of those that thou hast given me none is lost,' and the other, which lies near Judas, 'except the son of perdition.' Or, again, we may give a still narrower definition, and interpret this averted hand as directing the eye, in some sort, to the hand of Judas, which lies nearest it, 'Behold, the hand of him that {257} betrayeth me is with me on the table.' Not that the science of Christian iconography has been adopted here, for the welcoming and condemning functions of the respective hands have been reversed—in reference, probably, to Judas, who sits on our Lord's right. Or we may give up attributing symbolic intentions of any kind to the painter—a source of pleasure to the spectator more often justifiable than justified—and simply give him credit for having, by his own exquisite feeling alone, so placed the hands as to make them thus minister to a variety of suggestions. Either way, these grand and pathetic members stand as preeminent as the head in the pictorial history of our Lord, having seldom been equalled in beauty of form, and never in power of speech.

"Thus much has been said upon this figure of our Lord, because no other representation approaches so near the ideal of his person. Time, ignorance, and violence have done their worst upon it; but it may be doubted whether it ever suggested more overpowering feelings than in its present battered and defaced condition, scarcely now to be called a picture, but a fitter emblem of him who was 'despised and rejected of men.'"

Perhaps there is no other passage in the work so lovingly elaborated as this. Rivalling in energy, it surpasses in delicate discrimination even such brilliant criticisms as that of the eloquent Count de Montalembert on Fra Angelico's "Last Judgment"—a criticism which must have struck all readers of "Vandalism and Catholicism in Art" as worthy of the painting it describes. But the mention of the blessed friar of Fiesoli reminds us that he is a special favorite with Lady Eastlake also. The spell of his tender and reverent contemplations has told upon her with considerable power, to an extent, indeed, which makes her scarcely just toward Raphael himself. Several graphic pages are devoted to a description of Fra Angelico's "Last Judgment." His "Adoration of the Cross" also is dwelt upon with much affection, and in great detail. But our readers will be enabled, we hope, to form some idea of the feelings with which Lady Eastlake regards this most Christian of all artists, from the shorter extracts which we subjoin. After criticizing a fine fresco by Giotto of "Christ washing the Disciples' feet," she thus comments upon Fra Angelico's treatment of the same subject:

"Of all painters who expressed the condescension of the Lord by the impression it produced upon those to whom it was sent, Fra Angelico stands foremost in beauty of feeling. Not only the hands, but the feet of poor shocked Peter protest against his Master's condescension. It is a contest for humility between the two; but our Lord is more than humble, he is lovely and mighty too. He is on his knees; but his two outstretched hands, so lovingly offered, begging to be accepted, go beyond the mere incident, as art and poetry of this class always do, and link themselves typically with the whole gracious scheme of redemption. True Christian art, even if theology were silent, would, like the very stones, cry out and proclaim how every act of our Lord's course refers to one supreme idea."

And, once more, speaking of the same artist's picture of the "Descent from the Cross," she thus contrasts his conception with those of Luca Signorelli, Michael Angelo, Raphael, Razzi, Da Volterra, and other Italian versions of the 15th and 16th centuries:

"After contemplating these conceptions of the deposition in which a certain parade of idle sorrow, vehement action, and pendent impossibilities are conspicuous, it is a relief to turn to one who here, as ever, stands alone in his mild glory. Fra Angelico's Descent, painted for the Sta. Trinita at Florence, now in the Accademia there, is the perfect realization of the most pious idea. No more Christian conception of the subject, and no more probable {258} setting forth, of the scene, can perhaps be attained. All is holy sorrow, calm and still; the figures move gently, and speak in whispers. No one is too excited to help, or not to hinder. Joseph and Nicodemus, known by their glories, are highest in the scale of reverential beings who people the ladder, and make it almost look as if it lost itself, like Jacob's, in heaven. They each hold an arm close to the shoulder. Another disciple sustains the body as he sits on the ladder, a fourth receives it under the knees; and St. John, a figure of the highest beauty of expression, lifts his hands and offers his shoulder to the precious burden, where in another moment it will safely and tenderly repose. The figure itself is ineffably graceful with pathetic helplessness, but Corona gloriae, victory over the old enemy, surrounds a head of divine peace. He is restored to his own, and rests among them with a security as if he knew the loving hands so quietly and mournfully busied about him. And his peace is with them already: 'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.' In this picture it is as if the pious artist had sought first the kingdom of God, and all things, even in art, had been added unto him. … We have taken only the centre group (the size forbidding more), leaving out the sorrowing women on the right, with the Mother piously kneeling with folded hands, as if so alone she could worthily take back that sacred form."

Such a picture might have been supposed to be the source of Father Faber's most pathetic description of the same scene in his "Foot of the Cross," did we not know that there is sure to be a strong family likeness between the conceptions of two gentle, humble souls, deriving their inspiration from the same exercise of prayerful and compassionate contemplation.

It would be a pity to mar the impression made upon our readers by passages such as we have quoted, and of which there are many kindred examples scattered throughout Lady Eastlake's volume, by the painful contrast of a sad passage upon the Agony in the Garden (vol. ii., p. 30). Though not the sole, it is the most serious, blot upon her work. Misconceiving altogether the symbolic intention of Catholic artists in placing the chalice and host in the hand of the ministering angel, Lady Eastlake for once allows the Protestant spirit within to break through all bounds of decorum. In what sense the eucharistic chalice, introduce it where you will, can be a profane representation, it is impossible to conceive. Good taste, not to say reverence, should have proscribed the employment of such an epithet. A little patient reflection, or the still easier and surer method of inquiry at some Catholic source, would, we venture to think, have overcome her repugnance, and have saved her Catholic readers some unnecessary pain. But we are willing to let this offence pass, and to leave the logic of the accompanying strictures, bad as it is, unchallenged, in consideration of the eminent service rendered by the work, as a whole, to the cause of Christian art. Few could have brought together a larger amount of instructive and interesting matter. Few, perhaps no one, at least among Protestants, could have undertaken the task with so much to qualify, so little to disqualify, them for the office of historian and critic of the glorious series of monuments which Christian artists have bequeathed to us.

One lesson, above all, every unprejudiced reader ought to derive from these volumes—that Christian art and Catholic art are identical. Not to every Catholic artist is it given to produce true Christian art; but he, caeteris paribus, is most certain of attaining the true standard who is most deeply imbued with true Catholic principles, most highly gifted with the Catholic virtues of supernatural faith and love. Looking at the whole range of Christian art, it may be safely averred that whatever shortcomings there have been within the Church have been owing to {259} the influence of principles foreign to her spirit; and that, outside the Church (we say it in spite of Lady Eastlake's admiration of Rembrandt), there has simply never existed any Christian art at all. In our own days the rule is not reversed. Whom have Protestants to set against Overbeck, Cornelius, Deger, Molitor, and we are proud to add our own illustrious countryman, Herbert? Not surely the Pre-Raphaelite school in England, though it is the only one that has the least pretensions to the cultivation of Christian art. No, it is the Catholic Church alone that can stamp upon the painter's productions the supernatural impress of those notes by which she herself is recognizable as true.

There is a unity of intention, scope, and spirit in Catholic art of every age and clime. Like the doctrines and devotions of the Church, Catholic art, in all its various forms—symbolical, historical, devotional, ideal—ever revolves round one centre, and is referable to one exemplar. Divine beauty "manifest in the flesh"—the image of the Father clothed in human form and living in the Church—he is the inspirer of Christian art. Deum nemo vidit unquam: unigenitus Filius, qui est in sinu Patris, ipse narravit. [Footnote 52] The God-man is the primary object of artistic contemplation. As in doctrine, so in aestheticism, every truly Catholic artist may exclaim, Verbum caro factum est, et habitavit in nobis; et vidimus gloriam ejus, gloriam quasi unigeniti a Patre, plenum gratia et veritatis. [Footnote 53]

[Footnote 52: "No man hath seen God at any time: the only-begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."—John i. 18.]

[Footnote 53: "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only-begotten of the father, full of grace and truth."—John i. 14.]

But this unity, how exuberant in its fertility! The unity of the Church is the source of her catholicity. The two stand or fall together. And, so, too, the oneness of Catholic art is the secret of its universality. It admits of no partial view, excludes no variety or difference. Unity of spirit binds all together in perfect harmony, just as diversity of race and multiplicity of individual gifts, in her members, are fitted together, organized, and held in balance by the unity of the Church. Unity is the basis and safeguard of catholicity; catholicity the glory and crown of unity.

Nor is the note of apostolicity wanting. For the Bible, and the Bible only, as the rule and standard of art, substitute Catholic tradition handed down from the apostles, inclusive of all that is in Scripture, but reaching beyond the limits of the written word, and ever interpreted to the artist, no less than to the rest of the faithful, by the living voice of the teaching Church, and then the principle which identifies orthodoxy with Christian art may safely be applied as a test to religious painting.

Lastly—we had almost said above all—the beauty of holiness is stamped exclusively upon all art created after the mind of the Church. For Catholic art is nothing else than the product of contemplation in souls gifted with artistic capacities; and contemplation is only another word for the gaze of supernatural faith, quickened and perfected by supernatural love, upon one or other of those mysteries which the Church sets before the minds of her children. So at least we have learned from the Angelic Doctor; who tells us [Footnote 54] that beauty is found primarily and essentially in the contemplative life. For, although St. Gregory teaches that contemplation consists in the love of God, we are to understand this rather of the motive than of the precise act. The will inflamed with love desires to behold the beauty of the beloved object, either for its own sake—the heart always being where the treasure is—or for the sake of the knowledge itself which results from the act of vision. Sometimes it is the senses which are thus compelled to act, sometimes the intellect which is prompted to this gaze, according as the object is material or spiritual. But how is the beauty of the object {260} perceived? What is the faculty whose office it is to light up and reduce to order and due proportion what is seen? Evidently, the reason. For reason is light, and where there is reason there is harmony and proportion. And so beauty, whose essence is brightness and due proportion, is, as we have said, primarily and necessarily found in the contemplative life; or, which is the same thing, in the exercise of the reason—its natural exercise, if the beauty contemplated be in the natural order; its supernatural exercise, if revealed mystery be that which attracts and occupies the soul.

[Footnote 54: 2. 2. Q. clxxx. a. 1, and a. 2. ad 3.]

From Chambers's Journal.


Nearly seven years ago, I was walking hurriedly along the boulevards of Paris one winter's evening; it was Christmas-eve, and had been ushered in by thick fog and miserable drizzling rain, which provoked the inhabitants of the gay capital to complain loudly of the change which they fancied had taken place in the seasons of late years, whereby the detested brouillards de Londres had been introduced into their once clear, pure atmosphere. The weather was certainly most unseasonable, and took away almost entirely the small remnant of Christmas-like feeling, which an Englishman, with all his efforts, can manage to keep up in a foreign land. I had sat chatting with a friend over a cosey fire until dusk; and, on leaving his house, neither a remise nor a fiacre was to be met with empty; so I made up my mind to a wet walk, and amused myself, as I went on, by observing the various groups of passengers, some of them suddenly benighted like myself, as they sped on their way along the crowded thoroughfare. The brilliant lamps hung from the shops threw a glare over each face as it flitted past, or paused to look in at the windows; and the noise of hammers resounded incessantly from the edge of the pavement, where workmen were busy erecting small wooden booths for the annual New-Year's fair. Some were already completed, and their owners hovered about, ever and anon darting forth from behind their small counters, to pounce upon a likely customer, to whom they extolled the beauty and cheapness of their wares in tempting terms.

"Tenez, monsieur!" cries an old woman, whose entire stock-in-trade consists of a few pairs of doll's shoes of chocolate, displayed upon a tin tray, over which she carefully holds a weather-beaten umbrella. "Two sous the pair, two sous!" "Voilà, mesdames," bawls a youth of ten, who, in London, would probably execute an unlimited number of Catherine-wheels under the feet of paterfamilias, as he crosses a crowded street; here he is carefully watching a basinful of water, in which float a number of glass ducks of the most brilliant and unnatural colors. "Pour un sou!" and he holds up one tiny image between his finger and thumb, with a business-like air. "Fi done!" answers a sharp-visaged elderly woman, as she withdraws six of the ducks from their watery bed, and places them gently in a corner of her capacious basket, offering the owner at the same time four sous, {261} which he accepts with the invariable "Merci, madame," and the polite Parisian bow; and depositing the coins in some deep recess of his huge trouser-pockets, he resumes his cry of "Un sou, mesdames, pour un sou," with unblushing mendacity. Just at the corner of the boulevard, where the Rue de la Paix joins it, stood a lively, wiry-looking little man, whose bows and cries were incessant, holding something in his outstretched hands carefully wrapped in wet grass, which he entreats the bystanders to purchase. As I approach him, he uncovers it, and discloses a small tortoise, who waves his thin neck from side to side deprecatingly, and looks appealingly out of his dark eyes. "Buy him, monsieur," cries the little owner: "he is my last; he will be your best friend for many years, and afterward he will make an excellent soup!" A laugh from some of the passers-by rewarded this very naive definition of a pet; and leaving the lively bustle of the boulevard, I turned down the Rue de la Paix, and into the dark-looking Rue Neuve St. Augustin; a little way down which, I perceived a small knot of people gathered under the arched entrance to a hôtel.

There were not many—a few bloused workmen returning from their daily toil, two or three women, and the usual amount of active gamins darting about the outskirts; within, I could perceive the cocked-hat of the ever-watchful sergent de ville. Prompted by that gregarious instinct which leads most men toward crowds, I went up to it; and, by the help of a tolerably tall figure, I looked over the heads of the people into the centre, at a group, the first sight of whom I shall not soon forget. There, before me, on the cold pavement, now wet with wintry rain, lay a little, a very little girl, fainting. Her face, which was deadly pale, looked worn and pinched by want into that aged, hard look so touching to see in the very young, because it tells of a premature exposure to trial and care, if not of a struggle literally for life. Her jet-black hair, of which she had a profusion, lay unbound over her shoulders like a mantle. Her dress was an old black velvet frock, covered with spangles, with a piece of something red sewn on the skirt, and a scarlet bodice. Her neck and arms were bare; and the gay dress, where it had been opened in front, showed nothing underneath it but the poor thin body. Her legs were blue and mottled with cold; and the tiny feet were thrust into wooden sabots, one of which had dropped off, a world too wide for the little foot it was meant to protect. A kind-looking elderly woman knelt on the pavement, and supported the child's head in her arms, chafing her cold hands, and trying, by every means in her power, to restore animation; and wandering uneasily up and down beside them, was a curious-looking non-descript figure, such as one can rarely meet with out of Paris. It was a poodle—at least so its restless, bead-like, black eyes and muzzle betokened, and also a suspicious-looking tuft of hair, now visible, waving above its garments—but the animal presented a most ludicrous appearance, from being dressed up in a very exact imitation of the costume of a fine lady during the century of Louis le Grand. The brilliant eyes were surmounted by a cleverly contrived wig, frizzed, powdered, and sparkling with mock jewels; the body decked out in a cherry-colored satin bodice, with a long peaked stomacher, trimmed with lace, and a stiff hoop, bell-like in shape, but, in proportion, far within the dimensions of a modern crinoline; even the high-heeled shoes of scarlet leather were not forgotten; and the strange anomaly between the animal and its disguise was irresistibly ludicrous. The dog was perfectly aware that something was going on—something strange, pitiful, and, what was more to the purpose, nearly concerning himself; and clever as he was, he could not yet see a way through his difficulties.

His misery was extreme; he pattered piteously up and down the space {262} round the fainting child, and raised himself up anxiously on his hind-legs to peer into her little wan face, presenting thus a still more ludicrous aspect than before. With his wise doggish face peeping out curiously from the ridiculous human head-dress, he sniffed all over the various feet which encircled his precious mistress, suspiciously; and finally placing himself, still on his hind-legs, close by her side, he laid his head lovingly to her cheek, and uttered a low dismal howl, followed, after an instant's pause, by an impatient bark. The child stirred—roused apparently by the familiar sound—gasped for breath once or twice; and presently opening her eyes, she cried feebly, "Mouton, où es tu done?" He leaped up in an ecstacy, trying, in the height of his joy, to lick her face; but this was not to be: she pushed him away as roughly as the little feeble hand had strength to do.

"Ah, wicked dog, go away; you do mischief," she said, fixing a pair of eyes as round and almost as black as his own upon the unfortunate animal. He dropped instantly, and with a subdued, sorrowful air, lay down, licking diligently, in his humility, the little foot from which the sabot had fallen: he had evidently proved that submission was the only plan to pursue with his imperious mistress. The girl was stronger now, and able to sit up with the help of the good woman's knee, and she drank off a cup of milk which the compassionate wife of the concierge handed to her. "Thanks, madame," said the child, with native politeness; "I am better now. You are a good Christian," she added, turning her head so as to look in the face of the woman who supported her.

"What are you called, my child?" asked her friend. "Where do you live?"

"Antoinette Elizabeth is my baptismal name," answered the child, with odd gravity; "but I am generally called Poucette, because, you see, I am small;" and a faint tinge of color came into her pale cheeks.

No wonder the name was bestowed upon her, for we could see that she was small, very small; and, from the diminutive size of her limbs, she seemed likely to remain so till the end of her days.

"Will you go home now?" asked the woman, after a moment's pause.

"No, not just yet," said the tiny being. "I have had no supper. I shall go to Emile, but Mouton may go home. Go!" she cried, imperiously, to the dog, as she swiftly slid off the marvellous dress and wig, out of which casing Mouton came forth an ordinary looking and decidedly dirty poodle. He hesitated for an instant, when she raised her little clenched fist, and shook it fiercely at him, repeating "Go!" in louder tones. He wagged his tail deprecatingly, licked his black lips, looked imploringly at her out of his loving eyes, and seemed to beg permission to remain with her; but in vain; then, seeing her endeavor to rise, he turned, fled up the street with the swiftness of a bird, and disappeared round the corner. His mistress, in the meantime, folded up the dog's finery carefully, and deposited it inside her own poor garments; then, after an instant's pause, she rose to her feet, and looked round at us. She was well named Poucette: in stature she did not exceed a child of four years old; but she was perfectly made, and the limbs were in excellent proportion with the stature, only her face showed