The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Catholic World, Vol. 27, April 1878 to September 1878

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Title: The Catholic World, Vol. 27, April 1878 to September 1878

Author: Various

Release date: May 4, 2019 [eBook #59433]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by David King and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive.)



Transcriber’s Note:

Footnotes have been collected at the end of the text, and are linked for ease of reference.

The Catholic World, Vol. XXVII

The Catholic World, Vol. XXVII
A Monthly Magazine Of General Literature and Science
April, 1878, To September, 1878.
Copyright: Rev. Isaac T. Hecker. 1878.
New York:
The Catholic Publication Society Co.,
9 Barclay Street.



New Publications.


VOL. XXVII., No. 157.—APRIL, 1878.



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


Rabbi, one little moment only, wait
Till I kneel down and wet with tears of shame
Thy blessed feet, thy garment’s sacred hem—
O thou so long unheeded, loved so late!
Let me pour forth the ointment of my soul,
The precious store wherewith thou fill’st my vase,
My love’s devotion and my sorrow’s grace;
Withholding naught from thee that givest all.
2The more I give the richer grows my share,
Since unto thee one cannot give and lose.
Thou givest e’er; we but thy gifts diffuse.
Worthless all gold unless thy stamp it bear.
Worthless my tears unless their source be thee:
What gem shall, then, outshine their purity?


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


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


Was’t not enough, dear Lord, that thou shouldst give
Thy body to the scourge, the thorn, the reed,
That thou in dark Gethsemani shouldst bleed,
The purple garment from rude hands receive,
But that thou still must give thyself to bear
New stripes, new Calvary in that dim life
That is our refuge in the weary strife
Earth offers all who seek thy life to share?
3O Love divine! was’t not enough to hold
Thine own so dear thou lovedst to the end,
Deep-wounded hands on Calvary to extend,
Seeking poor earth in Love’s wide arms to fold,
But still thou giv’st thyself, Love’s sacrament,
As with thy love and sorrow uncontent?


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


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


Through Lent, dear Lord, I seemed to walk with thee
As thy disciples once; thy tender voice,
From Mary won, making my soul rejoice
E’en through the sorrow of Gethsemani,
Though oft I wept such infinite love to grieve.
And seemed thy human life to mine so near
That ever shadowed all my joy the fear
The end must come, and thou that life must leave.
4To-day with Magdalen I weep once more—
My Lord is risen and my life’s love lost.
O silly soul, on sorrow’s ocean tossed,
Does he not tell thee, as to her before,
“Be not afraid”?—to thee is he less near?
Dead, yet arisen; crucified, yet here!


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

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

We now proceed to show the relation between this period and its 5great events, as making the most important chapter in ancient universal history, with the origin and extension of Christianity. The modern rationalist theory of a purely natural origin of the Christian religion by development from previous stages of purely natural phases of the human intellect, should be refuted by a true exposition of the connection between the natural and the supernatural causes which concurred in producing the great historical phenomenon of Christianity. The history of the one true and revealed religion, and specifically of its latest form in Christianity, is not isolated and separate from the general history of mankind.

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

The answer to this is easy. God began by giving a revelation and a divine religion to all mankind. The general falling away from this primitive religion was not so far advanced as to make it necessary for God to select a special race as the recipient and preserver of a renewed form of the divine religion until two thousand years before Christ. The period of the old and universal form of religion, therefore, embraces all the time from the calling of Abraham to the creation of man, at least two thousand years, and, according to the opinion of many, from two thousand five hundred to four thousand years. During the entire period of human history, therefore, from the creation of man to the present moment, embracing from sixty to eighty centuries, the divine religion derived from revelation has been more or less universally promulgated, with the exception of its mediæval portion—that is, during a time including from two-thirds to three-fourths of the whole time in which the human race has existed. The period in which the mass of mankind was left to itself apparently, without the law of God manifested by revelation—the period called by St. Paul “the time of ignorance which God winked at”—embraces only the remaining third or fourth part of time, that is, twenty centuries. This state of ignorance was not original, and not natural in the sense of being conformed to the exigencies of human nature and human 6destiny, or intended and directly produced by the Author of nature. It was the result of an apostasy, a degeneration, a wilful departure, a rebellion, a schism, a voluntary fall from the primitive state. Moreover, in this very state of apostasy, the principles of all the good which remained, the principles of civilization, science, virtue; political, social, and personal well-being and improvement; were all remnants from the first period in which the divine religion was universal. Therefore, when we point out in heathendom the preparation for a new promulgation of the universal religion, we are not tracing Christianity back to its natural causes and to its origin, but are tracing the movement of humanity along its re-entering curve, from the ultimate term of its departure, to its point of contact with a new motive power, the true and divine cause of the re-conversion and restoration of mankind through Christ, qui restauret omnia.

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

Even during the period of the universal excommunication of mankind from the church of God that church existed, the divine revelation was preserved and increased, and the line of continuity between the past and the future was kept unbroken, in the nation of the children of Abraham. It was from Juda that the Lawgiver and the law came forth to the subjugation of the nations. The historical and rational basis of the supernatural origin and power of Christianity reaches down, therefore, to the first foundations of the world and the human race. So, then, we can have no fear of searching after and pointing out any natural and concurrent causes in the progress of human events which have prepared the way for Christianity and facilitated its universal conquests. The state of heathendom is not to be considered as a normal, natural, and necessary stage in the evolution and progress of mankind, from which Christianity was educed. The plan of divine Providence proposed to conduct mankind from one degree of development to another, until the perfection of religion and civilization was attained in the Catholic Church and carried forward to its last results in the universal resurrection and the everlasting kingdom of heaven, for which all the progeny of Adam, without exception, were destined. According to this plan, the church would always have been one and universal, and whatever might have been the special mission and privileges of the people of Israel, the covenant of God with them, and the possession of divinely-revealed doctrine, discipline, and worship would not have been exclusive. The national and exclusive constitution of the church in the posterity of Abraham and Jacob through the Law of Moses was a dispensation established on account of the general apostasy 7of mankind, a measure of protection against an absolute and final defection of the human race. And the preparation which went on in heathendom for the new promulgation of the divine law to all the world by Jesus Christ was also a measure of remedy and rescue, a “second plank after shipwreck,” thrown to the nations who were drowning in a sea of errors and miseries.

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

In like manner the human race, in its youth, went forth from the cradle-land of Armenia to take possession of the wide inheritance of the earth. Carried away by the illusions of the senses and the imagination, in the pride of its youthful strength, the human race sought to find its destiny and create its paradise on the earth, forgetful of God, of his law, of his doctrine, and of his promises. The colonization of new countries, the foundation of empires and cities, the cultivation of science, literature, art, and every sort of commerce, handicraft, and industry, all that is included in the term civilization, employed the energies of that portion of mankind whose doings find a place in universal history, until everything was accomplished which was possible to 8man and God saw fit to permit him to achieve. As for his relations with the world above this earth, with the duration which is beyond time, and with superhuman and divine powers, since he could not ignore them or confine his intellect of divine origin and immortal destiny to merely temporal and earthly things, he invented religions, or sought by the light of reason to discover the truth about the supersensible world. The result of all was that a state of things was produced in which mankind, unable to proceed further, dissatisfied and sighing after something better, cried out for God to come and accomplish the work which was too much for man. A young man or a young woman, feeling deeply the emptiness of all the enjoyments to be obtained by wealth, gives up his or her fortune for charitable purposes. A prince, tired of war and politics, devotes his castle and domain to the foundation of a monastery and assumes the religious habit. An artist, a poet, an orator, a great scholar, convinced of the futility of chasing the shadow of earthly glory, consecrates his gifts and acquisitions to religion. In like manner all that the human race had gained in civilization, in empire, in wealth, in philosophy and literature and art, was so much material accumulated for the spirit and genius of Christianity to appropriate and employ in the work of the regeneration of mankind.

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

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

It is only with the past history of that select portion of the human race which has advanced steadily on the road of progress toward the completion attained in Christianity that our theme is concerned. Even some portions of the Aryan race, as the Hindoos, have but little connection with it. And in that later period upon which our attention is at present specially directed, the Jews, the Greeks, and the Romans make the principal factors in producing the result which we wish to estimate—viz., the preparation for the actual 9conquest and extension of Christianity as a universal religion, which has been thus far achieved, and has become an historical fact. Jewish faith, Hellenic intellectual culture, Roman polity, were the chief agents in preparing the way for Christianity as the world-religion and the world-subduing power. The Hellenic philosophy and literature we leave aside for the present. The Roman imperial and universal monarchy is the topic to be specially considered in this article. This great world-subduing power is historically and logically connected with the great monarchies of a similar character which preceded it, and which are all presented under one figure, that of a colossal statue, whose members are cast from different metals, in the celebrated vision of Nabuchodonosor, interpreted and recorded by the prophet Daniel. It is remarkable that this vision, which presents emblematically a summary of the universal political history of the world in prophecy, was given to the monarch of the great Assyrian Empire, yet in such a way that it passed before his mind like an evanescent flash. He could not understand or even remember it until the great prophet of Juda repeated and explained it. The date of this vision is a little later than B.C. 600, just at the beginning of the period we are considering. “Thou, O king! didst begin to think, in thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and He that revealeth mysteries showed thee what shall come to pass. Thou, O King! sawest, and behold there was, as it were, a great statue: this statue, which was great and tall of stature, stood before thee, and the look thereof was terrible. The head of this statue was of fine gold, but the breast and the arms of silver, and the belly and the thighs of brass: and the legs of iron, the feet part of iron and part of clay. Thus thou sawest, till a stone was cut out of a mountain without hands: and it struck the statue upon the feet thereof, that were of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces: but the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”

Daniel then interpreted the vision as a prophecy of the destinies of the world under four universal monarchies, the Assyrian being the first, represented by the head of gold. The other three are manifestly the Medo-Persian, Macedonian, and Roman. The weak feet and toes of the statue are the extension of the empire among the barbarians of the West. The prophet finishes by declaring that after the decadence of the last empire God will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed or transferred to another power, but which shall destroy entirely the whole fabric of world-monarchy which was represented by the statue of gold, silver, brass, and iron, terminating in clay—i.e., the Babylo-Roman Empire. Thus, at the very beginning of the course of events which took place during the six centuries of the period preceding the Messianic epoch, the great prophet who is inspired to foretell with minute distinctness the times of the Messianic kingdom is made the counsellor and prime minister of the last monarchs of the Assyrian Empire, and of the first of the succeeding Medo-Persian kings, and Nabuchodonosor and Cyrus are instructed by divine revelation in the designs and purposes for which God has raised them up to prepare the way for the coming and reign of his Son upon the earth. The great world-empire, whose seat is first established in Babylon, and afterwards transferred to Rome, has a mission to accomplish, and, when 10that has been fulfilled, it is finally abolished to make way for the Catholic Church and the Christendom of which it is the nucleus, the Christian political, social, and moral order, the unification and restoration to one universal fraternity of the regenerated human race.

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

Let us turn now to Judea, whose mission was much higher in the order of moral grandeur, though not so dazzling to the imagination as that of Rome. Daniel foretold the end of the captivity of the Jews when a period of seventy years should be completed, and the birth and death of the Messias after another period of seven times seventy years from the rebuilding of the city and Temple. The schism and captivity of the ten tribes had freed the kingdom of David from putrescent parts and given a more pure and healthy life to Juda. The corruption of Juda found a severe and efficacious remedy in the captivity which befell that tribe also at a later period. A purified remnant, the élite of the nation, were restored to their own land under Cyrus. The city and temple were rebuilt. Alexander the Great extended the same favor to the Jewish nation which had been granted by the Persian monarchs. Under his successors, the kings of Syria and Egypt, Judea flourished both in a political and a religious sense for three centuries, although not exempt from vicissitudes, a second temple was established in Egypt, and in Alexandria, the new capital founded by Alexander, the Jews became numerous and attained to great consideration and importance. The Hebrew Scriptures were translated into Greek and the important books of the second canon were written. Under Antiochus Epiphanes a new crisis arrived, which threatened the total extinction of Judaism. A large portion of the priests and people were infected with the corrupted Greek civilization of that period, the practice of the Mosaic law was forbidden 11and suppressed by the most oppressive edicts sanctioned by the most cruel penalties, and Jerusalem was changed into an apparently heathen city. The sacred ark containing all the hopes of the world in the ages to come seemed about to be wrecked. But God raised up the heroic family of the Machabees to rescue once more Jerusalem and Judea from the ruin which seemed to be imminent.

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

St. Paul declares that the mystery of divine Providence respecting both the Jews and the Gentiles, made known in the full Christian revelation, was to “establish all things in Christ, in the dispensation of the fulness of times” (Eph. i. 10). We infer from this statement, that all the ages preceding the birth of Christ were a preparation for the foundation of the Catholic Church, which was completed at the epoch of his coming. The work of Judaism was done and its mission completed. Henceforth it was only an obstacle in the way of the universal religion which it had been created to serve. The oracles of God which it preserved and transmitted, the faith which it inherited from Abraham, its genuine spirit, the essence of religion which had been embodied in its outward organization, were transmitted to Christianity. The lifeless mass which was left behind was only fit to be buried as a putrescent carcass. The mission of the Roman Empire was also completed, its destruction decreed, and dimly foretold by the apostles. The entire Greco-Roman civilization, with its philosophy, its literature, its religious superstitions, had run its course, and its ultimate result was an intellectual and moral abyss of vacancy and unfulfilled longing for the truth and the good which alone can fill the frightful void in the human soul and in universal humanity caused by the absence of God. St. Paul says that Christ, having first descended to the lowest depth, ascended to the highest celestial summit, “ut impleret omnia”—that he might fill all things. The Emmanuel, the God in humanity, the very sovereign truth and sovereign good impersonated in a twofold nature, divine and human, is the only fulfilment of universal history, of human destiny, as the term and expression of the thoughts and purposes of God. His kingdom on the earth, the Catholic Church, is the instrument and medium by which he extends his action through time and upon universal humanity during the period of universal history which is now in the process of fulfilment. The material part of the substantial essence of this new Messianic empire was furnished by the commingling 12of the elements of Judaism and Greco-Roman civilization. The vital and informing principle was supernatural and divine, inspired into the now organic structure by a new out-breathing of the creative and life-giving Spirit.

This supernatural character of Christianity is capable of a rigorous historical and rational demonstration. Rationalists, as they call themselves, having first made themselves their own dupes, have duped the great mass of the unlearned and the unthinking in this age, and even imposed to a greater or a lesser degree on numbers of Catholics whose instruction in sound Christian knowledge is defective and superficial, by a shallow and pretentious system vaunted under the name of scientific criticism. Like the pseudo-Smerdis, its pretence to be the true, legitimate possessor of dominion, and heir to the acquisitions of reason and experience historically transmitted from the past, is founded on an illusory semblance of likeness to genuine science. As the impostor who passed himself off on a credulous people for the son of Cyrus was detected and exposed by stripping off the royal head-dress which he had stolen, and showing that his head had long since been deprived of the ears as an ignominious punishment for crime, so this base-born rationalism, when the logic of facts and sound reasoning seizes hold of it, meets the fate which befell the Persian usurper under the iron grasp and death-dealing sword of Darius, the son of Hystaspes. It is an old culprit, long since marked by the sword of truth, and doomed to perish under the blows of the genuine offspring of the noble, ancestral chiefs in the intellectual kingdom. Christianity is historical and rational, resting on the principles of contradiction and of the sufficient reason. That which has occurred and which exists cannot be denied or doubted, and must be referred to a sufficient reason and an adequate cause. The facts and events of the religion of Christ, as well those which preceded as those which have followed his human birth, are historically certain. The flimsy hypotheses of sceptical criticism have been destroyed by critical science. The penetrating acid of critical investigation, a solvent which is destructive of all counterfeits and semblances, has only made more manifest and clear of all accidental adhesions the real substance and imperishable solidity of the great historical structure of the primeval and universal religion. The books of Moses and his successors, the four Gospels and the other apostolic documents, together with all else that is accessory and corroborative of sacred history in the genuine records and works of antiquity, have come unscathed, and with brighter and clearer evidence than before, out of the restless and audacious researches of that modern school of rationalists who have sought to destroy all ancient science and belief, to make way for a new fabric of hypothesis which they call modern science and philosophy. Their visionary systems stand confronted with unassailable facts and convicted of falsehood. These great facts, from the creation of man to the resurrection of Christ, and from his resurrection to the present, actual existence of the Catholic Church, irresistibly, and with all the force of invincible logic, demand the recognition of their sole, assignable sufficient reason, a supernatural cause. It is because of this necessary connection of the great facts upon which Christianity is founded with a supernatural cause that rationalists 13deny, in so far as that is possible, these facts. But, as they cannot deny altogether the reality of all, they deny the principle of causality itself, like Hume and the whole sceptical sect of pseudo-philosophers, or, at least, by their hypotheses, ignore and subvert the principle of causality, through the contradiction of necessary deductions from the principle which is contained in these hypotheses.

The fact of Christianity cannot be denied, because it is too immediately present and evident before the minds of all men. Unless one avowedly abjures reason, it must be accounted for. The hypothesis of the rationalists supposes that a young man of Galilee, without education, evolved out of his own mind and the Scriptures of the Old Testament a doctrine which he taught for about one year to the people of Judea and Galilee, and was then crucified as a teacher of false doctrine and a disturber of the religion of his country. The effect of his moral excellence and heroism in dying for his convictions, together with that of his teaching of a few simple and sublime doctrines of theology and ethics, was the astounding revolution which has resulted in historical Christianity. This is a theory of lunatics. The birth of Jesus precisely at the period which was the fulness of the times, the promulgation of a universal religion which appropriated and subjected to its dominion and utility all the results of previous preparation, combined opposite elements into a new form, conquered and regenerated the human race; and all the phenomena of the origin and progress of Christianity; prove the intervention of the same power which created the world and has governed it since the beginning. The divine mission of Jesus is proved by the work which he accomplished. The precise nature and comprehension of that mission and work, as God intended it, and as Jesus Christ revealed it to his apostles, is proved by the effect actually produced, by the argument a posteriori, from the effect to the cause. The religion which actually became universal is the religion which is founded on the confession of the Trinity, the true and proper divinity of the Son of God, his assumption of human nature by a miraculous birth from the Virgin, his redemption of the human race, fallen through the sin of the first Adam, by the cross, his absolute sovereignty over the earth and the whole universe, and his delegation of authority to the apostles under their prince and head, St. Peter. The conversion of the Roman Empire to this religion demands a sufficient cause, and the only cause to which it can possibly be traced is the divine power of its founder, Jesus Christ. The law did not go forth from Sion and Jerusalem to the whole world by virtue of any power which Judaism put forth. The Roman imperial power did not undergo a transmutation into the kingdom of Christ. Catholic theology was not the fruit of Greek philosophy, and the regeneration of mankind was not the natural result of Greco-Roman civilization. All these forms were overmastered and supplanted by a superior force which overcame a most violent and stubborn resistance on their part. They had only prepared the way, and were destroyed when their work was done. Jesus Christ proved himself to be the possessor of that divine power which had employed them to prepare his way before him, by establishing his new kingdom upon their territory, and making their work subservient to his own conquest and dominion. 14Rome was made the seat of his own Vicar, the monarch of his spiritual kingdom. The thirteen great dioceses of the Roman Empire were parcelled out to the great princes of the church, the patriarchs, exarchs, and primates, who received a delegated share of the supremacy of the Sovereign Pontiff of the city of Rome. The great provincial cities were made the seats of the metropolitans, and the thousands of minor cities the sees of the bishops of the Catholic Church. This great work was substantially accomplished within three centuries from the death and resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. One must be demented not to recognize a supernatural cause for this effect, and, as directed by and concurring with this first, supreme, efficient cause, a chain-work of second causes extending through all previous history backward to the origin of the human race and of the great nations of the earth.

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

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

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

In this present article it is especially some parts of the preparation which immediately preceded the epoch of the Messias that are presented to the reader’s consideration. It is one of the most interesting and useful fields of exploration upon which any one who has taste and time for solid reading can enter. There are not wanting in our modern literature some excellent works in which the desirable information can be obtained. In the German language the Universal History of Leo, in the first part, on ancient history, presents a condensed but most complete, learned, and philosophical sketch of the great historical events of the pre-Christian period, conceived entirely in accordance with the idea we have here endeavored to present. In French, the History of the Universal Church, by Rohrbacher, has remarkable merit in this respect and is very full in its details. This subject is treated most explicitly and comprehensively in a work by M. l’Abbé Louis Leroy, entitled Philosophie Catholique de l’Histoire. In English the learned works of Father Thébaud, and a recent one entitled De Ecclesiâ et Cathedrâ, by Colin Lindsay, are especially valuable. As a French bishop, Mgr. Angebault, of Angers, has said: “For the last hundred years an effort has been kept up to make history lie by perverting it; it is requisite that men of learning and sound faith 15should bring it back into the right path from which it has been drawn away.”

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


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



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

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

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

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

Without noticing the interruption Father O’Dowd continued:

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

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

“That is a fallacy. They had no war policy, nor had he. It was the blaze of revolution lighted in Paris in forty-eight that set men on fire here. They seceded from O’Connell on the point of the celebrated test resolutions, which declared it would not be lawful to take up arms for the recovery of national rights. The non-acceptance of this declaration led to the Irish Confederation. The confederates were decidedly unpopular, 17especially after the death of O’Connell, whose demise was laid at their door, and they themselves became the victims of secession. John Mitchel and his following were for preparing the people for war against England. Thus we had three parties and no real national movement. When Paris hurled Louis Philippe from the throne, the pulse of Ireland became intensely agitated, and two schools of insurrectionists were to be found in the new insurrectionary party: one that declared that Smith O’Brien wanted a rose-water revolution, the other that Mitchel was a Red and wanted a Jacquerie. The refusal to rise for the release of Mitchel led to bad blood, and the subsequent rising resulted in a fiasco. The men who ordered it had no command from the nation, and were but a fraction of a fraction.”

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

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

“But the cities—”

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gratis anhelans, multo agendo nihil agens.

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

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

“Five minutes will do me, Peter,” 19laughed Father O’Dowd. “The Irish passion for national existence still glowed in our bosoms, and we cried for light. A field for Irish devotion and heroism was what was wanted. We were sick of the hecatombs of victims offered up by the last sad effort. As you are well aware, Mr. Hawthorne, the Tory party came into power during the Fenian scare, and they went to their work in a spirit which would have shamed Oliver Cromwell himself. They fined, fettered, imprisoned, and hanged, until a glut of vengeance seemed an impossibility. ‘This is my chance,’ says Mr. Gladstone. ‘I’ll make capital out of this Fenian scare, and, dashing at the Church Establishment, I’ll gather in the straying bands which once formed the rank and file of the liberal party. England wants a salve, and when she finds herself doing a virtuous thing she will purge her conscience of all her recent evil-doing.’”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I am so glad.”

“He says that his reverence has the Irish question at his fingers’ ends, and gave him more information 21than a dozen Commons debates or ten dozen editions of Hansard. We are going over to visit Father O’Dowd, are we not?”

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

“Send us! Are you not coming?”

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

What a boy I was!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

“Are all your family interred there?”

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

22“I should like to visit the churchyard.”

“By moonlight?” I said laughingly.

“Oh! yes.

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

sings Scott.”

“Your wish shall be gratified.”


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

“Startling news!” he exclaimed.

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

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

“Dead?” I cried.

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

“Is it Mr. Bromly de Ruthven?”


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

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

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

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

“How should I know, papa?”


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

“No; guess again. A friend of yours.”

“A friend of mine?” somewhat surprised.

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

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

“Not Wynwood Melton?” she said.

“The very man!”

I knew it.

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

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

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

“I am a liberal,” she laughed.

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

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

“My friend, Mr. Wynwood Melton.”

“For a seat in Parliament?”


“Is there a vacancy?”


“In an Irish constituency?”

“You have not heard the news, then?”

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

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


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

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

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

The priest gave a short laugh.

“Mr. Wynwood Melton will not have a walk-over; I promise you that. Neither will he win the election; I promise you that, too.”

“Is there another candidate in the field?”

“There will be, please God.”

“Are you at liberty to name him?”

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

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

“Mr. Fitzgerald dislikes politics,” observed Mabel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You may.”

“To oppose my nominee?”


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“An’ so yer goin’ for to be the mimber? Good luck to ye, Masther Fred darlint!” exclaimed Peter 25O’Brien, who was wild with delight at the intelligence, regarding the election as a foregone conclusion.

“I hope so, Peter.”

“For to repale the Union, Masther Fred?”

“Not quite so fast, Peter.”

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

“I’ll go as near to it as I can.”

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

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

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

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

“Mr. Melton?” I said.

“Yaas,” with a drawl and a bow.

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

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

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

“Don’t care for kissing. How 26does Miss Hawthorne like this precious country?”

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

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

A self-sufficient smile appeared as he almost yawned:

“I should hope so.”

At this moment Mabel appeared upon the steps.

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


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

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

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

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

“Oh! dear, yes.”

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

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

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

Miss Hawthorne glanced at me.

“You are to be opposed,” I said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nous allons voir,” with a shrug.

“Yes, we shall see the outcome.”

“You don’t mean to go on?”

“To the bitter end.”

“The sinews of war are at my command.”

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

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

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

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

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

27I couldn’t play the hypocrite, I couldn’t act the Arab, and, while sharing bread and salt with mine enemy, plot his downfall as soon as he quitted my tent; so, making a very plausible excuse, I betook myself to my gay little dog-cart, and was about to give the mare her head when Peter O’Brien whispered to me:

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

“That is Mr. Melton,” I replied.

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

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

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

“I won’t have it.”

“The pond below is convaynient.”

“Silence, sir!”

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

I’m afraid I swore at my retainer.

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

Miss Hawthorne suddenly appeared upon the steps.

Bon voyage,” she gaily cried. “Go where glory waits you.”

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



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

The explanation may be satisfactory to conceited sciolists, especially 28if a hatred of the Papacy be one of the component parts of their moral constitution. Latterly, however, a veritable enemy to the political unity of Italy has begun to assert itself, in a manner so striking as to alarm even the most sanguine liberals. Not a spectre but a startling reality assists at the deliberations of the Italian legislature, and, insinuating itself with deadly effect into every department of governmental administration, produces jealousies, feuds, and schisms which threaten ultimately to dismember the nation. This danger is what is called Regionalism.

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

Having explained our terms, we would remind the reader of the fact that, when the question of uniting Italy into one body with Piedmont at the head was first mooted, a formidable obstacle at once presented itself in the shape of the difficulties arising at once from the different and almost contradictory elements to be united. It was argued—and with reason, too—that to build up a new state upon the foundation of new institutions, and annul disparities which had existed for centuries, was easier to plan than to carry through. The conflict of interests, of local affections and jealousies, notoriously characteristic of the Italian states, was pronounced by the distinguished statesmen of Italy and Europe a fatal obstacle, if not to the formation, at least to the preservation, of unity. Count Cavour himself was of the number of those who proposed such a consideration, and, for his own part, expressed himself perfectly satisfied if Lombardy and Venice were but annexed to Sardinia. But the liberals and sectarians were urged on to the unification of Italy by the irresistible force of Mazzini’s mind, and to do so quickly, even without Venice and Rome, because the arms of 29Napoleon III. were at their disposal. A happy opportunity had presented itself, and they seized it. They obviated the difficulties alleged above by a heroic compact. Arrogating to themselves the right of representing the sentiments of the Italian people at large, and assuming the moral personality of the various regions to which they belonged, they proclaimed to the whole world that the all-absorbing desire of the people was to be united in one nation, and that they sacrificed for ever upon the altar of their country the interests, traditions, jealousies, and local affections which had hitherto divided them, and swore to seek no other glory for the future but the one only glory of Italy united.

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

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

We assert this much on the authority of a member of the Italian Parliament. In an address to his constituents, delivered on the 9th of September last, Federico Gabelli said: “Do differences and divisions exist in the country? Yes, great ones; and no wonder. We have had in Italy different histories, different glories, different sufferings, and different styles of education. We have ideas, habits, tendencies, and characters, different in different regions. For many years we were unknown to one another. The sole fact of our accomplished unity—the living together, so to speak—has revealed to us the existence of these great diversities. But the most profound diversity has been constituted by the material wants of the different parts of Italy. I do not take into account the petty desires of municipalities. I look at the 30matter very broadly. A real difference exists between the wants of the northerners and southerners, greater still between the demands of the two parties. There, the great word is said, the fearful phrase pronounced—a real and profound disparity between meridionali and settentrionali (southerners and northerners). But why hide it? Is it possible to hide it? This division is felt by all, but all are afraid to declare its existence. They are afraid (and their fear is honorable, because inspired by the holy love of country) to compromise, by the declaration, the grand fact of the unity of Italy.”

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

When the first Italian legislature assembled in Turin it was observed that nearly all the deputies formed themselves into groups, separate and divided, not politically in parties, but geographically in regions. There was the Tuscan group, the Sicilian group, the Neapolitan group, and later on the Lombard and the Venetian groups, which were the occasion of constant lamentations on the part of the Piedmontese. Then began the general struggle for power, to the almost incurable laceration of poor, real Italy. All the martyrs and confessors of the country clamored for offices in compensation for their heroic sufferings. As their number bordered on the infinite for such a puny state as Italy, so infinite was the number of positions created, and, consequently, infinite was (and continues to be) the number of peculations. But with masterly tact the Piedmontese element maintained the preponderance in power, and so great was the fury of the other patriots that they finally, with one accord, devoted all their energies to the extermination of Piedmonteseism. The molestations and bitternesses which fell to the lot of Count Cavour in the struggle that ensued were, in the opinion of many Piedmontese, among the causes which hastened his death. Whenever a new ministry was to be formed, to the personal rivalries which are inseparable from such an occasion were superadded the jealousies, the intrigues, and the pretensions of the different regions. Every region clamored for the exaltation to the ministerial bench of its own representative, not as the exponent of a political principle, but as the defender of some provincial interest. The Unità Cattolica, apropos of this, observes (September 21, 1877): “When it is a question of forming a cabinet in England, in France, in Spain, do they take care to have representatives of the various English, French, and Spanish regions? Certainly not. Personages are chosen according to their opinions, not according to the regions from which they come. But here in Italy a ministry cannot spring into existence but there enters at least one Piedmontese, one Neapolitan, one Lombard, one Sicilian, one Tuscan. Examine all our ministries, from 1861 down, and you will find that they were formed more on a regional than a political basis.” This is quite true as regards the past few years. Formerly, however, as we have already intimated, the Piedmontese held the majority in the cabinets, to the unquenchable 31ire of the other provincials.

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

It took seven years of laborious intrigues, amalgamations, and combinations of parties to effect the downfall of the Piedmontese. Their obituary notice is dated March 18, 1876. On the same day began the reign of the Neapolitans, and within the short space of nineteen months they have 32so thoroughly disposed of Piedmonteseism in every branch of civil and military administration that even the word Buzzurri (chestnut-roasters), applied seven years ago by the Romans to their new masters, has become obsolete. The Venetian Gabelli has given us a description of the condition of affairs at present. In the discourse alluded to he proposes a league of the septentrionals. He says: “There is nothing, gentlemen, that drives people to an abuse of power more than the certainty of having so much of it that there is no danger of being made responsible for the abuse. The meridionals are in this position to-day, because they are supported therein by the division of the septentrionals. A part, and a great part, of our votes and forces is subordinate to the votes and forces of the meridionals. But is it true that in Parliament they vote for regional interests?” He answers in the affirmative, and adduces a series of amusing yet startling facts to prove his assertion. He then continues: “I might go on indefinitely with the enumeration of facts proving the existence of the struggle of interests between the northerners and the southerners. This struggle is real and active. Many preach that, even admitting the unfortunate existence of these divisions in the country, they should be kept secret, should not be proclaimed or discussed; above all, they should not be considered as a test in government. What would you say, gentlemen, of the logic of a physician who would reason in this wise: ‘I have a patient prostrate with typhoid fever. But, as this disease is very serious, I will hide it from myself, deny its existence; and because this disease can terminate fatally for my patient I will treat it as a simple inflammation of the bowels.’ That physician would be a fool. But would those rulers be more logical who, recognizing the existence of a condition so serious for the country, would persist in governing without taking it into account? The struggle of interests is an evil. Let us cure it. But to cure it let us begin with an exact diagnosis, and with a recognition that the evil exists. Without an exact diagnosis an efficacious cure would be a miracle. I am for unity. But the unity, and even the existence, of Italy might be threatened by mistrust in our systems of government, by the ever-increasing discontent. The country will always be governed badly, unless consideration be had for its actual condition. I am for unity. But I hold it to be fatal for Italy to pass through a crisis determined by the war of northern and southern interests. What the vicissitudes of this war will be, or who will prevail, no one can foresee. If we northerners remain united and form a compact party, our more advanced civilization, and, let us speak frankly, our honesty, more extensive and serious, will ensure for us a just predominance. If we continue to be divided, while the southerners form one phalanx, we will have to submit to the law of their interests, to the influence of a social condition entirely different from our own.”

We have said nothing in reference to Regionalism—of that faction in the liberal camp which is always conspiring against the monarchical unity of Italy, with a view of substituting a regional confederation of independent republics; nothing of the multitude of liberals who 33are clamoring for administrative decentralization, as a restoration, in part, of the independence in administration which was taken from the individual regions by political unity; nothing of the absolute impossibility of having a territorial army in Italy, for the reason that Regionalism might assert itself in a more material style, to the imminent peril of the government. We have simply narrated facts furnished by the liberals themselves—by legal Italy, which assumes to be the nation. Narration has the force of demonstration in this instance, and clearly establishes the fact that Regionalism exists in the very core of Italy, nay, rules supreme, regulating politics, constituting parties, biassing every discussion, and threatening, in the long run, not only the unity of the nation but the monarchy personified in the unity.

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

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

From what has been said already the absurdity and, we will add, the malice of the accusation that the Papacy is the only obstacle to the perfection and enjoyment of political unity in Italy become quite apparent. The most powerful obstacle to such unity is not in the Papacy, but in the very nature of things; it is in the history of ages, in the varied character of the people, in the contrariety of the material and moral interests of the different portions of the country. Let liberalism eradicate from its bosom the gnawing worm of Regionalism; let it reconcile opposing interests, quiet regional passions, which are the seeds of civil war; and, having done this much, let it effect a unity with the real country. Until this much be accomplished, to charge the Papacy with the ill success of the national unity is absurd. It is malicious, also, inasmuch as it manifestly tends to separate the people from the Catholic 34Church, making them regard the spiritual head of the church and their father in the faith as an enemy of their country. Nay, were the liberals successful in effecting their daring purpose, which is the separation of the people from the see of Peter, then indeed would the political unity of Italy receive its death-blow; then indeed would the bond which unites the Italian people be severed, the bond of one faith, the bond of the only unity they really can boast of—religious unity. It were well if the demagogues of Italy bestowed the necessary consideration upon the incomparable uniting force of religion to a people, instead of promoting and hailing with delight every measure devised to destroy it. Since they deem it advisable to affect Prussian and Russian ways and means, why do they not perceive the manifest wisdom of Bismarck’s measures against the Catholic Church?—measures the fundamental purpose of which is not the extinction of the church, as much as the establishment of a firm and lasting basis to the unity of the empire in a uniformity of worship—Protestant, of course. And with this intent were the Falk laws promulgated. Russia, too, fully alive to the importance of a religious uniformity as the indestructible basis of political unity, has peopled Siberia and the squalid prisons of the empire with non-conformists to the so-called Orthodox creed of the land. Never yet was there a dynasty which did not find its main support and perpetuation in the religious unity of its subjects. True or false though the religion may have been, the principle of support was there. And Italy’s patriots, with the connivance, not to say the active concurrence, of a petty provincial dynasty, would perpetuate unity by sowing religious discord among the people; by making of a people, one in faith, in baptism, and actual religious profession, a discordant, divided multitude of Evangelicals, Calvinists, Waldensians, Quakers, Presbyterians, and Methodists. The discord produced in Italy to-day by Regionalism is a great and, in all probability, a fatal evil to the unity of the country. Add the religious disunion of the people to that caused by Regionalism, and the result will be simply chaotic.

The reader may add to these conclusions: If the Pope came to terms with Italy, as she now exists, would not the political unity of the country improve, not to say receive its formal perfection, in consequence? We answer, the hypothesis is inadmissible. Waiving the fact that, as governments are conceived nowadays, the Pope cannot be the subject of any one of them, and that he cannot in conscience accept terms from the Italian government without compromising rights which he is bound to maintain—though in fact they be trampled under foot and no human probability predict their restoration—it is sufficient for us that he declares a Non possumus. But admitting the supposition of a reconciliation, of a cession of imprescriptible rights, would the confusion which now predominates in Italy give place to order? Would the only beatitude to which Italy now aspires be realized? Would the political unity of the nation be established for ever? Would the war of interests cease? Would the interests themselves change their nature? Would the “more civilized” northerners of Italy leave off increasing their prosperity at the 35expense of the southerners, and these be content with contributing as taxpayers of the land, not as rulers? Would Sicilians and Calabrians live en famille with Venetians and Ligurians? Would Turin, and Venice, and Modena, and Parma, and Florence, and Naples forget that they were once the flourishing capitals of separate, independent states, and be beatified in their present condition, simply the residence of a prefect, and he a favorite of an ill-favored ministry? The glory of being made the capital of Italy presumably satisfies Rome. Think you, however, that the old city is never retrospective? If the puny provincial cities and regions, in struggling for their own regional interests and asserting their importance, cause people to yield to dark forebodings, and to re-peruse and reflect upon the history of the Italian states, what confusion could not the mistress of the world produce, were she to fall back upon her eighteen centuries of glory as the centre of Christendom?

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

asks considerable good-will and 36knowledge of the Latin to make it sound quite reasonable, and “diverse flowery things” we have some private doubts about. But “hovered” is certainly a better equivalent for “volabant” than “crowded,” which gives no hint of the shadowy, unsubstantial nature of these dwellers in the realms of Dis—animæ, quibus altera fato corpora debentur:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

than in the

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

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

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

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

“Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem”:
“No safety can the vanquished find
Till hope of safety be resigned”;
“Mixtoque insania luctu
Et furiis agitatus amor et conscia virtus”:
“A warrior’s pride, a father’s pain,
In mingled madness glow”;
“Sed neque currentem se nec cognoscit euntem
Tollentemve manu saxumque immane moventem”

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

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

the description of Turnus’ horses in book xii.:

“Qui candore nives anteirent, cursibus auras”:
“To match the whiteness of the snow,
The swiftness of the breeze”;

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

“Dolus an virtus, quis in hoste requirat?”
“Who questions, when with foes we deal,
If craft or courage guides the steel?”

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

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


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

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

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

So much we are led to say, because in his preface Mr. Cranch hints that only a poet can or should attempt to translate the Æneid, and asserts that only in blank-verse can it be fitly translated at all. Into that interminable controversy as to whether any but a poet can translate a poet, or whether rhyme is a curb or a spur, a help or a hindrance, to the judicious translator who knows how to follow its inspiration, we do not propose to enter. But Mr. Cranch, in declaring against the rhymed couplet of Dryden and his followers, delivers himself in a way which to us seems to imply a curious misconception of Virgil’s manner, and leads us to anticipate on the threshold one of the points in which Mr. Cranch’s version most strikingly fails. “The incessantly-recurrent rhyme,” he says, “gives an appearance of antithesis which disturbs the very simplicity and directness of the original.” Adjectives are apt to be used somewhat vaguely—or, as our Western friends would say in their delightful, breezy idiom, “to be slung about with a looseness”—in speaking of the style of ancient writers, of which so few of us nowadays know enough to be justified in speaking at all. We have no desire to meddle more than is needful with these dangerous epithets, double-edged weapons as they are. 38But unless we have read Virgil quite amiss, he is especially fond of antithesis, which Mr. Cranch seems to think he is not; and he is not especially simple or direct, which Mr. Cranch seems to think he is. Not that he cannot be, as in truth he often is, both simple and direct; but that simplicity and directness are not the features of his style which we should select to characterize it, as we should select them, for example, to characterize the style of Homer. Whatever simplicity Virgil has belongs, we think, to the general conception and conduct of his story, by no means to the manner of his telling it, to the general quality of his thought or style. What directness he has belongs to the general movement of his verse and the necessities of epic composition, and is in spite of a tendency to dwell curiously on incidents not in the track of his narrative, to turn, as it were, from his epic path and linger over wayside flowers of rhetoric or sentiment—a tendency illustrated by that subtlety of allusion which all his critics have remarked, and the habit of hinting at two or three modes of expression while employing one. These characteristics of his poetry would naturally have resulted from the quality of his genius—the genius of taste the Abbé Delille calls it; he was the first of the racinien poets, says Sainte-Beuve[2]—and the character of his time. The age he wrote for was one of extreme literary and social refinement, of keen philosophical speculation; the Latin he wrote in was already a literary language—as much so as the French of Racine or the English of Pope. The age of Augustus, in many points, was strikingly like that of Louis XIV. in France and of Charles II. or, still closer, of Queen Anne in England, as has been more than once pointed out. Sainte-Beuve, with his usual insight, has seized upon this resemblance to explain why Virgil, in the account of the shipwreck in the first book (vv. 81 seq.), which is an ingenious cento from the Iliad and Odyssey, should have dropped two of Homer’s most striking similes: that the pilot, struck by the falling mast, went overboard “like a diver,” and that the scattered swimmers—rari nantes in gurgite vasto—were borne like sea-birds on the wave. Virgil omits these images, says the French critic, just because they are so salient, so life-like, so frank and real. “Comparisons of that sort the age of Augustus, like the age of Louis XIV., rather eschewed. They were by no means to the taste of Frenchmen in the days of Saint-Evremond and Segrais (I use extreme terms purposely)—men of society, of the drawing-room, nice scholars who had been often in the Hôtel Rambouillet but little at sea, and to whom divers and sea-birds were unfamiliar sights. The Frenchman of that time preferred general descriptions to images too minutely particularized, and so, too, in a measure, did the Roman of the time of Augustus and the circle of Mæcenas. Mæcenas is not so far, either in taste or philosophy, from Saint-Evremond.”

With some reservations, much the same thing applies to the ages of Dryden and of Pope—to Pope’s age and to Pope himself more strictly, perhaps, than to Dryden or his time; so that one is half inclined to think it a caprice of literary destiny that Pope should have been 39set to translate Homer, and Dryden Virgil, rather than the reverse. Not that the result would have been a better Homer, if we may judge from Dryden’s sample work in the first book of the Iliad; a better Homer than Pope’s was perhaps not to be looked for in an age which in its poetry thought it fine to call a spade—about which it was apt to be only too plain-spoken in free fireside prose—an agricultural implement, and the bucolic person who wielded it a swain. Pope’s famous ironical essay in the Guardian on his own and Ambrose Phillips’ pastorals is a curious illustration of the then passion for putting Nature into hoops and periwig. Phillips, in a dim, blundering way, is nearer right with his Cecilias and Rogers, who talk at least like ploughmen and milkmaids, than Pope with his gentle Delias and sprightly Sylvias, who converse like masquerading duchesses; but as all the world happened to be masquerading, the laugh was with Pope.

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

“O dolor atque decus magnum rediture parenti”

than in

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

Is the antithesis less pointed in

“Qui candore nives anteirent, cursibus auras”

than in

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

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

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

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

Indeed, we must confess that we are at a loss to know what Mr. Cranch means by saying: “I am far from pretending that my versification may not frequently fail to convey the movement of the Latin lines to the ear of those to whom they are familiar.” If he means that his versification often, or even sometimes, or at all, conveys the movement of the Latin lines to his own ear, then his ear must be as curiously constructed as the “arrected ears” he bestows 40on Æneas in the famous shepherd simile in the second book.[3]

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

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

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

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

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

“Junon muette écoute auprès de son époux,”

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

Of the three translators of Virgil we are now considering, Mr. Morris certainly brought to his task the greatest natural and acquired 41gifts. Nay, had we been asked from the ranks of living English writers to pick out the one who could give us Virgil most fitly, with least loss of majesty or beauty, in an English dress, we think we should have named the author of Jason and the Earthly Paradise. For Mr. Morris is not only a poet—a poet of very nearly the first order; whereas Mr. Cranch, we are constrained to say in the teeth of the Boston muses, is hardly more than a poet by brevet—he is also a classical scholar who, in point of general acquirements at least, is a rival whom even Prof. Conington would respect. Since the time of Dryden, and not excepting him, we know of no English poet—unless, perhaps, Pope and the present laureate—whose natural genius should seem to have fitted him so well as Mr. Morris to interpret the Æneid. His own poetry shows many of the most distinctive qualities of Virgil’s verse: its elegance, its pathos, its pregnant allusiveness, above all the pensive grace, the under-note of tender sadness, that runs through all the strain of the Æneid, the underlying motif of its theme. And though the form of narrative verse, in which Mr. Morris has chiefly exercised his powers, is sufficiently remote in tone and spirit from the tone and spirit of epic narrative, yet here and there, as in passages of Jason and of the Lovers of Gudrun, he has come as near to striking the true epic note as any modern poet we recall, unless it be Mr. Matthew Arnold in his admirable and touching fragment of Sohrab and Rustum. Add to this his minute and well-digested knowledge of classic mythology and legend, and his rare mastery of the Saxon and Romance elements of the language, in which so much of its tear-compelling power resides—what Joubert might have called les entrailles des mots—his possession of the secret, so hard to learn, of the sweetness of short and simple words,[4] and we had every reason to expect from Mr. Morris a version of the Æneid which should be in the highest degree original, elegant, and fresh, which should even take rank as the best English translation of Virgil’s poem that had yet appeared. That pre-eminence, indeed, has by many English critics been assigned to it; but to their verdict we cannot assent.

Fresh and original this version certainly is; for it is altogether unlike any that has preceded it, in conception, in method, in treatment, we might almost say in metre, since Mr. Morris’ long Alexandrines are, in metrical effect, no more the Alexandrines of Phaer than those of Chapman. Elegant it is, too, so far as regards artistic workmanship and finish; that everything that Mr. Morris sets his hand to is sure to have. But it is not the elegance of Virgil; it is not even the elegance of the Earthly Paradise. The final grace of proportion and fitness it has not, and in spite of many and singular beauties—of beauties which scarcely any living English writer that we know of, except Mr. Morris, could give us—it is not to us, upon the whole, a satisfactory version. Nay, it is most unsatisfactory, and it is so because of the two qualities which should otherwise have made its chief charm—its freshness and its originality; because to the attainment of these Mr. Morris seems to us to have sacrificed the most important 42quality of all in a translation—fidelity to the spirit of his author.

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

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

but which, except for fidelity to its meaning, seems to us hardly nearer being Virgil’s Æneid than Pope’s Iliad was to being Homer’s. Close it certainly is; we may say marvellously close. Indeed, so far as we have been able to collate, it surpasses in this respect all previous rhymed versions, even Conington’s, and falls but little below any of those in blank-verse. Not only does it render the Latin line 43for line—no trifling task, even for the Alexandrine, with its unvarying fourteen syllables against the average fifteen of the hexameter—but not seldom word for word. Moreover, notwithstanding its exactness, it reads as smoothly and as spiritedly as an original poem; it is everywhere set off with those verbal graces of which Mr. Morris is a master, and the metre, which has many merits for the purpose, is throughout handled with admirable skill. Wherein and how, then, does it fail of giving us Virgil?

Because, we answer, not only is Virgil’s tone—his coloring, his local atmosphere-conspicuously absent from Mr. Morris’ translation, not only is the tone of the latter as unlike the tone of the Æneid as can well be, but it is even carefully, studiously, nay, laboriously, removed from it. It may be taken as a rule in translation that any word is out of place which violently disturbs the associations that belong to the original, the train of ideas raised by the original in the reader’s mind. For instance, when Mr. Theodore Martin makes use of the word “madrigal” in his translation of the Carmen Amœbæum of Horace, we somehow feel that he has struck a false note; we are sensible of a discord. The word to the English reader brings up associations wholly foreign to Horace and his time, turns the thoughts of the English reader into a widely different track, and dispels the Horatian effect. Mr. Morris not only does this in single words, but his very design is based on doing it as often as he can; his entire vocabulary is carefully selected with a view to doing it uniformly throughout his work. From the stately towers of Ilium, city of the gods, the arces Pergameæ and incluta bello mœnia Dardanidum; from the splendid temples of Carthage; from the fertile plains of Hesperia, the royal city of Laurentum, and the mighty hundred-pillared palace of Picus; from the Ausonian battle-fields, ringing with the clatter of chariots, the clang of sword on helm and spear on buckler, the shouts and shocks of the contending heroes—from all the scenes and characters so familiar to us in the Virgilian story, Mr. Morris ushers us into a strange, remote, wild Westland, where all the famous doings we thought we knew so well are transformed in the most grotesque fashion. It is a land of “steads” and “firths,” of “meres” and “leas” and “fells,” he takes us into, inhabited not by a people but by “a folk,” who are not named but “hight”; who dwell in “garths” and “burgs” and worship “very godheads” in “fanes”; who never by any chance go anywhere, but either “wend” or “fare” when they are not engaged in “flitting”—a mysterious kind of locomotion which they sometimes achieve by means of “wains”—and who hold converse among themselves not in words but in “speech-lore,” which they at times condescend to speak, but very much prefer, when the rhyme will give them the ghost of a chance, “to waft” through “tooth-hedge” (ore locutus). In this mysterious region are neither times nor numbers, but only “tales” and “tides”; what would be mere tillers of the soil (agricolæ) in Virgil are here become “acre-biders” or “field-folk,” who for cattle have “merry, wholesome herds of neat” (læta boum armenta), and for horses “war-threatening herd-beasts.” Here things are rarely carried, but, like the “speech-lore” above spoken of, are “wafted” whenever humanly possible, 44and are never done or made when they can by any means be “dight.” Here we are puzzled to recognize our old friends, the Muses, under the disguise of “Song-maids”; we fairly cut those amiable sisters, the Furies, when they are introduced to us as the “Well-willers”; and of the heroes who roar and ruffle so gallantly through the battlefields of the Æneid we have scarcely a glimpse, but instead a “tale” of “lads of war,” “begirded” with “war-gear” and led by “Dukes of man,” who are for ever falling on and smiting or being smitten by a “sort of fellows” dight in “war-weeds,” who fare around in “war-wains” and “deal out iron-bane” (dant funera ferro) with “shot-spears” or “weapon-smiths” and “wound-smiths” instead of simple javelins and swords. Following Mr. Morris’ lead, in short, we find ourselves in a land where Virgil would be as much at home as he would in Asgard or Valhalla, or as the hero Beowulf might be in Elysium. It is a pleasant land enough in its way, and the folk are entertaining folk, but we feel that we have left the Æneid behind us.

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

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


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

anything more than the shell of Virgil’s

“Tantæ molis erat Romanam condere gentem”


“Hos successus alit; possunt quia posse videntur,”

where the pretence of verbal fidelity only makes the verbal affectation 45more annoyingly weak. These ever-recurring eccentricities of phrase tease the reader and spoil half his enjoyment. In a translator whose daily speech was of “trowing” instead of “trusting,” of “tale” for number or “sort” for company, of “wending” and “wafting,” and “folk” in the singular, and who used “very” rather profusely, and on slight provocation, as an adjective, and “feared” and “learned” as transitive verbs, and agreed with some modern great men in thinking grammar generally a bore, such lines as

“O Palinure, that trowed the shies and soft seas overmuch”;
“These tidings hard for us to trow unto our ears do win”;
“In all thou needest toil herein, from me the deed should wend”;
“A hundred more, and youths withal of age and tale the same”;
“There with his hand he maketh sign and mighty speech he wafts”;
“From the open gates another sort is come”;
“And her much folk of Latin land were fain enow to wed”;
“Hard strive the folk in smiting sea, and oar-blades brush the main”;
“The straits besprent with many a folk”;
“To Helenus his very thrall me very thrall gave o’er”;
“So with their weapons every show of very fight they stir”;
“But learn me now who fain the sooth would wot”;
“About me senseless, throughly feared with marvels grim and great”;
“And many a saying furthermore of God-loved seers of old
Fears her with dreadful memories”;
“Nor was he worser than himself in such a pinch bestead”

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

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


Cum ferro accisam crebrisque bipennibus instant
Eruere agricolæ certatim”;


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


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


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


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


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


“Non cursu, certandum sævis est comminus armis”

—such phrases as these, if to any translator at any time they could have seemed a natural way of saying things, would not then, in such a translator’s version, have struck us with more than the passing and not unpleasant sense of quaintness which is part of the charm we find in the diction of a past age when used by its lawful owners. But when a poet of the nineteenth century sacrilegiously invades the tomb and seizes upon this castoff and moth-eaten verbal bravery of buried ages to bedeck himself withal, it is much as if he should come to make his bow in a modern 46drawing-room arrayed in the conventional dress-coat, Elizabethan ruff and trunks, Wellington boots, and a Vandyke hat. The novelty might please for a moment, but the incongruity must offend in the end. In the very time which Mr. Morris so much admires they knew this to be false art. “That same framing of his stile to an old rusticke language,” says Sir Philip Sidney in his Apologie for Poesie, speaking of The Shepherd’s Calendar, “I dare not alowe, since neither Theocritus in Greeke, Virgile in Latin, nor Sannazar in Italian did affect it.”

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

“So did the Father Ænĕas, with all at stretch to hear”;
“To aid, Erāto, while I tell what kings, what deedful tide”;

the false rhymes, such as “wrath” and “forth,” “poured” and “abroad,” “abroad” and “reward,” which might be forgiven to the stress of so long and difficult a task had we not such reason for suspecting them to be intentional; the occasional use of phrases familiar, even low, and totally at variance with Virgil’s lofty and cultivated style, such as “gobbets of the men” for frusta, iii. 632; “Phrygian fellows” (Phrygii comites); “those Teucrian fellows”; “the other lads” for juventus; “but as they gave and took in talk” (hac vice sermonum); “he spake and footed it afore” (dixit et ante tulit gressum); “unlearned Æneas fell aquake” (Horruit ... inscius Æneas)—surely a most undignified proceeding for a hero; “so east and west he called to him, and spake such words to tell” (dehinc talia fatur)—the list is long, scarce a page but would swell it; or the compound epithets which Mr. Morris—herein, no doubt, taking his cue from Chapman, but not so happily or with such good reason—has coined profusely. “In the Augustan poets,” says Prof. Conington, “compound epithets are chiefly conspicuous by their absence, and a translator of an Augustan poet ought not to suffer them to be too prominent 47a feature of his style.” This assertion must be qualified with regard to Virgil, who, in imitation of his model, Homer, and in obedience, perhaps, to a supposed law of epic composition, has too many compounds to permit it to pass unchallenged—such, for instance, as armisonus (Palladis armisonæ—“Pallas of the weapon-din”), velivolus (“sail-skimmed”), legifer (legiferæ Cereri—“Ceres wise of law”), letifer (“deadly”), cælicolus (“heaven-abider”), laniger (“woolly”), noctivagus (“nightly-straying”), and the like. Yet, not content to render these by English compounds even where it is not always expedient—since the compound form in our own language will often, from its strangeness in a familiar tongue, seem strained and awkward, where in the less familiar Latin it seems only natural and elegant[6]—Mr. Morris has introduced many other compounds of his own invention for which there is no authority in Virgil at all, which in many instances are discordant with his style and not seldom downright grotesque—such combinations as “hot-heart” for ardens, or “cold-hand in the war” (frigidus bello) or even “fate-wise,” “weapon-won,” “war-lord,” “battle-lord,” “air-high,” “star-smiting,” “outland-wrought,” “heaven-abider” (cœlicolus), “like-aged,” “goddess-led,” etc., which meet us at every turn. And what are we to say of such inventions as “murder-wolf,” “death-stealth” (“on death-stealth onward the Trojan went”—hic furio fervidus instat), “dreaming-tide” for somnus, “war-Turnus,” “weapon-great,” “helpless-fain” for nequidquam avidus, “hero-gathered stone” (lapis ipsi viri), “anger-seas,” “wounding-craft,” “bit-befoaming,” “speech-masters,” or those others, if possible still more extraordinary, already mentioned, “weapon-smith,” “wound-smith,” “tooth-hedge”? These, and scores of other such we have marked for notice, are surely as little like Virgil as they are like any English that is spoken to-day; and they are scarcely less potent than Mr. Morris’ archaisms in disturbing and altering the Virgilian tone. Of a like effect are the quaint and unconsequential translations now and then of Latin names—as of Musæ into “Song-maids,” Eumenides into “Well-willers,” Avernus into “Fowlless,” and soon—whereby for a perfectly familiar and intelligible term of the Latin is substituted in the English a grotesque and puzzling word, and which again stops the current of the story until the reader can readjust his mind to the novel ideas it awakes. The most unclassical of readers has his notions formed of the Muses and the Furies, at least, if not of the Eumenides; but of these Song-maids—who might as well be milk-maids—and of these Well-willers—who rather suggest well-diggers—he must form a new notion as he reads. And one might add, at the risk of seeming to split hairs, that in thus translating the word Eumenides we lose much of the effect of that euphemism with which the Greeks, like all strongly imaginative peoples, sought to keep disagreeable subjects at arm’s length—the form τι παθεῖν, as a synonym for dying, is 48exactly paralleled by the Irish phrase “suffered,” applied to an executed rebel—or perhaps to ward off the wrath of these ticklish neighbors, as Celtic races, again, are in the habit of calling fairies “the good people.” A more substantial objection is that Mr. Morris seems capricious in the matter, for we see no particular reason for his translating one such name and others not at all—-why he should not give us Quail-land for Ortygia, or Chalk Island for Crete, as well as Westland for Hesperia, or Fowlless for Avernus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“... All Ausonia yet unstirred brake suddenly ablaze;
And some will go afoot to field, and some will wend their ways
Aloft on horses dusty-fierce; all seek their battle-gear.
Some polish bright the buckler’s face and rub the pike-point clear
With fat of sheep; and many an axe upon the wheel is worn.
They joy to rear the banners up and hearken to the horn.
49And now five mighty cities forge the point and edge anew
On new-raised anvils: Tibur proud, Atina stanch to do,
Ardea and Crustumerium’s folk, Antennæ castle-crowned.
They hollow helming for the head; they bend the withe around
For buckler-boss; or other some beat breastplates of the brass,
Or from the toughened silver bring the shining greaves to pass.
Now fails all prize of share and work, all yearning for the plough;
The swords their fathers bore afield anew they smithy now.
Now is the gathering trumpet blown; the battle-token speeds,
And this man catches helm from wall; this thrusteth foaming steeds
To collar; this his shield does on, and mail-coat threesome laid
Of golden link, and girdeth him with ancient trusty blade.”

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

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

Compare Chapman, Iliad vi. 503 (Οὐδέ Πάρις δήθυνεν ἐν ὑψηλοῖοι δόμοιοιν):

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

Is not the modern older in style than the ancient?

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

50Perhaps we cannot better dismiss our subject than by saying, in the old-time fashion of comparison, that of these three translations Conington’s will probably be read for the story by those who know Virgil not at all; Mr. Cranch’s for its literalness by those who half know Virgil and are willing to know him better; and Mr. Morris’ for its very ingenuity of perversion by those who know Virgil so well that to see him in any new light, even a false light, only adds a fillip to their love for him.


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What exactions did you impose?”


“Did you carry off any Jewish women?”


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

Pilate did not reply.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What say you?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

53As they reached the “Quirinal” street on the way back, they were met and separated by a crowd of idlers who, attracted by the trumpets, had gathered from every side to witness the passage of the prætorian escort. Pilate found himself isolated, and soon became an object of interest, as is the case with one who seeks alone to stem a popular current. His dress was enough to attract insulting remarks. For from his long sojourn in Judea Pilate had insensibly adopted Hebrew fashions in dress, gesture, and deportment. His very figure, black hair, and dark complexion (he was of Iberian origin) betrayed more the Hebrew than the Roman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I am recognized,” cried Pilate as Albinus entered; “the little children pointed their fingers at me on the street. O Albinus! remember that our lips as very children uttered words of friendship; remember that we played together on the banks of the Tiber; that we have sat at the same banquets and raised our cups in the same libations. Remember the past and protect me beneath the inviolable shelter of thy roof. I seek a refuge beneath 54the sacred wings of thy hospitality.”

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

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

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

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

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

“Albinus, have a care what you say!”

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

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

Changing his seat for one more comfortable, Pilate continued:

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

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

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

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

‘Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.[8]

Go and be happy.’

55“The auguries were favorable, you see.

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

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

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

“Thence the great liberty which I gave to the Nazarene; it was doubtless 56in my power to arrest him at any time, put him on a galley, and send him to Pontus, but I should have felt myself acting against justice and good Roman sense. The man was neither seditious nor rebellious. I gave him, perhaps without his knowledge, the benefit of my protection; he was free to act, to speak to the people, to fill a whole square with his audience, to create a legion of disciples to follow him from city to desert, or lake to mountain, and never did an order from me interpose to trouble either orator or auditory. If some day—may the gods forefend!—if some day the religion of our fathers fall before the religion of Jesus, Rome will pay a noble tribute to her own generous toleration, and I, unhappy I! will be called the instrument of what the Christians call Providence—what we call fate.

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

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

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

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

“O Albinus! now that age has weakened every part of my bodily frame, and that my muscles in vain ask a little vigor from my thin and cold blood, I am not astonished if Pilate occasionally trembles; but I was younger then, and my Spanish blood, mingled with the Roman which coursed through my veins, was proof against any ordinary emotion of fear. When I saw the Nazarene enter my basilica, where I was walking, it seemed as if a hand of iron held me to the marble of the pavement. I thought I heard the very bucklers of gilt-bronze, dedicated to Cæsar, sigh as they hung against the columns. The Nazarene was as calm as innocence itself; he stood before me, with a single gesture, as if to say: Behold me. For some time I remained contemplating, with mingled terror and admiration, this extraordinary man, type of a physical perfection unknown to any of the innumerable 57sculptors who have given face and form to so many gods and heroes. ‘Jesus,’ said I at last, when my emotion had subsided—‘Jesus of Nazareth, for nearly three years I have allowed you freely to speak in public and everywhere, nor do I now regret it. Your words have ever been those of a true sage. I know not whether you have ever read Socrates or Plato, but there is in your language a majestic simplicity which raises you far above even those great philosophers. The emperor has been informed of it, and I, his humble representative at Jerusalem, count myself happy to have allowed you the toleration of which you are worthy. I must not, however, disguise from you that your words have provoked against you powerful and terrible enemies; be not astonished that you have thus become an object of hatred, for so was Socrates to those who encompassed his death. Your enemies are doubly irritated, against you and against me: against you, because of your sharp criticisms; against me, because of the liberty which I have allowed you. I am even accused of complicity with you to destroy what little civil power has been left to the Hebrews by Rome. I give you no commands, but I charge you seriously to spare the pride of your enemies, that they may not stir up against you a stupid populace, and that I may not be obliged to detach from these trophies the axe and the fasces, which should serve here only as an ornament and never as an occasion of fear.’

“The Nazarene answered me:

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

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

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

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

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

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

“‘Prince of the earth,’ said he, ‘I do not bring war to the nations, but charity and love. I was born the 58very day when Cæsar Augustus proclaimed peace to the Roman world. Persecution cannot come from me; I expect it from others, and do not flee before it. I go before it, in obedience to the will of my Father, who has appointed my way. Keep thy foolish prudence. It is not in thy power to stop the victim at the foot of the altar of expiation.’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Three powerful sects had coalesced in this plot against Jesus: first the Herodians and the Sadducees, who had a double motive—hatred against him and impatience at the Roman yoke. They had never forgiven me for entering the holy city with the banners of the empire; and although I made them an unwise concession in this matter, the sacrilege still remained in their eyes. Yet another grief stood against me, because I had wished a contribution from the treasures of the Temple towards certain buildings of public importance, and which had been coarsely refused. Then the Pharisees, who were the 59direct enemies of Jesus: they did not trouble themselves about the governor, but for three years they had angrily heard and endured the severe language of Jesus against their weaknesses. Too weak and pusillanimous to act alone, they eagerly embraced the quarrel of the Herodians and Sadducees. Besides these three parties, I had also to struggle against a crowd of those idle, worthless beings who are always ready to rush into a sedition out of love for disorder and a taste for blood.

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

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

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

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

“‘What is his crime?’

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

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

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

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

“After many useless efforts to withdraw him from the hands of the self-willed multitude, I had the fatal weakness to command what, at the time, occurred to me as the only thing that might perchance save his life. I ordered him to be beaten with rods, and, calling for a basin, washed my hands before the 60crowd, which, if not hearing my voice, might at least catch the allegorical meaning of my act.

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

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

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

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

“Returning to the prætorium, my own breast seemed to embrace all the desolation of this painful scene, and as I climbed the stairs I saw, by the lightning flash, the marble still covered with His blood. There stood, awaiting me in most humble attitude, an old man, accompanied 61by several women, sobbing in the darkness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Albinus lowered his eyes and was silent.

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

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

“It is well!” answered Pilate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The soldier made a sign of assent.

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

An hour after these two men had reached midway the side of a mountain overlooking the city of Vienne. The sun was rising in all the calm beauty of a summer morn; its first rays glistened upon the gilt-bronze dome of the Temple of Victory and the marble roof of the Temple of the Hundred Gods. Mysterious night still reigned in the sacred woods which crowned the dwelling of the Immortals. The city, inclined towards the Rhone, seemed listening in unbroken silence to the harmonious murmurings of the stream; the hill-tops floated in an atmosphere of molten gold, while the noise of 63cascades, the song of birds, and the countless melodies of a fresh, delicious morning, rising from valley to mountain-top, filled all whose hearts were light with joy and gratitude to the Powers above.

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

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

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

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

So died the man under whom Christ suffered.




In the strong sunshine lies Jerusalem,
Undarkened yet by shadow of the doom
That hideth in the terror-freighted gloom
Lying afar along the low hills’ hem.
Twinkle the silver-leavèd olive-trees,
Resting in garish light ’neath heaven’s cloudy seas.
From Calvary’s Mount descends the winding train;
Glitter the Roman eagles in the sun,
Leading the soldiers and the people on
To tread the city’s dolorous streets again,
Whose blood-tracked stones would cry, had they but breath,
“Woe! woe! Jerusalem, for this day’s deed of wrath.”
Almost unheeding passes on the crowd,
Save, here and there, turned from the populace,
Rests look of doubting or malignant face
On That we see not in death’s anguish bowed.
Wild cries of hate mount up and break the still
And ominous glare that broodeth dumbly o’er the hill.
Our sad hearts hear the very footsteps fall,
The horse-hoofs striking hard against the stones,
And distant echoes of heart-broken moans—
Jerusalem’s daughters mourning so the thrall
Of Him, their fairest one, to death betrayed,
The hands that blessed their little ones so sore arrayed.
Where is the dying King the cross uplifts?
We cannot see him, and our upraised eyes
Meet but the awful gloom in far-off skies,
The lurid moon dull gazing through the rifts
Of gathering darkness; here the waiting glare
Of cruel sunshine making all the city fair.
Fain would we kneel with Magdalen and weep,
Clasp wounded feet in passionate embrace,
Win with the loved disciple word of grace,
Vigil with God’s woe-stricken Mother keep:
We cannot find Him, and blaspheming cries
From that retreating train still in fierce chorus rise.
65Is He not here? Lo! sadly looking down,
Just at our feet a shadow strange we trace
Falling across the sunlit grassy place—
The likeness of three crosses darkly thrown,
And His, the centre one, e’en so most fair
Through semblance of a form divine it dim doth bear.
Here, ’gainst the sunshine traced, lie those bent knees
That knew the sorrow of Gethsemani
As trembled they ’neath its dread mystery;
Here droops the thorn-crowned head in silent peace,
And here, in the unswerving shadow lined,
Are stretched the arms that bear the ransom of mankind.
So rests unseen the presence of the Lord
Whose shadow seems as blessèd aureole,
A holy writing on a sacred scroll,
Rich oil from consecrated vessel poured—
All merit his, the Infinite Son of God,
Whose death so lightly falls on earth’s poor, soulless sod.
Within the painted shadow is no life,
Save in the grassy sward whereon it falls.
Beyond arise the city’s firm-built walls.
With spring’s swift-coursing sap the boughs are rife
Of the gnarled olives with their silver leaves
Shining against the dusky veil the storm-wind weaves.
We see the wild-faced moon in skies far-off,
The bare and weary light of undimmed sun,
And Caesar’s glittering eagles leading on
The thoughtless people, who, with jeer and scoff,
An abject God in proud derision scorn,
Alike from barren shade and living presence turn.
O weary thought! hath earth lost sight of Him?
And do her children with dulled vision grope,
With fain-believing heart and doubting hope,
His cross a parable with meaning dim?
A shadow resting in the feeble clasp
Of them that fear the bitterness of truth to grasp?
Is all that sorrow of the Son of Man
A dreary darkness shutting out the light?
Poor human pain dwarfing eternal might?
An o’ergrown bramble with its prickly span
Piercing the delicate leaves of earth-born flowers,
And blighting with harsh touch kind nature’s generous powers?
66Alas! that men that Infinite Love should fear,
Should dread its glory and its shade despise,
Banish its semblance from imploring eyes,
Give men but empty shadow to revere—
Blind beggars leaving them unto whose cry
None answereth when He of Nazareth goes by.
Of this sad modern world of ours to-day
The artist’s picture seemeth counterpart,
When men erase old lessons from the heart,
Striving who farthest from the cross may stray—
Swift, swift descending ’neath the eagles’ shine,
Some longing face still turned to meet the gaze divine.
In her long-ordered way the earth moves on,
The moon doth change with steady law her face,
Swift-growing grass still hides our footsteps’ trace,
And dew falls softly when the day is done:
All nature’s tale seems old, but one thing strange—
The Christ of God a shade the westering sun shall change!
Nay, fear not! Stand to-day as e’er of old
The faithful Maries, who brave vigil keep,
The loved disciple with a love as deep
As in old days lay shrined in heart of gold;
And rests God’s patience till from shadowed sod
The piercing cry break forth, “This was the Son of God.”


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

With the presentiment of future events, or rather of the storm which was about to break over their pastor 67on account of the Kulturkampf, the people of Paderborn came in large numbers in the spring of 1874 to assure him of their love and devotion. The demonstration began on the 25th of March, when the train deposited five thousand pilgrims in the ancient city of Paderborn. They repaired to the bishop’s house, and terminated the meeting by simultaneously falling on their knees to recite aloud the Apostles’ Creed. These deputations lasted for two months, and on one occasion the number of deputies amounted to fifteen thousand. It is not an insignificant fact to see how well and bravely the flock stood by the pastor in his hour of need. But at last the cloud burst. Repeated infringements of the May Laws were laid to the bishop’s charge; and the fine in proportion rose to a sum altogether beyond his means, and a corresponding term of imprisonment was the only alternative. Here an unknown, and therefore doubly generous, benefactor interposed, and paid the money required without the bishop’s knowledge. But, to use his own simple language, Dr. Martin, “from higher considerations, thought he could not accept the benefit,” and protested against it,[12] whereas the local authority said that he could. At last an answer came from Berlin deciding that he should submit himself to imprisonment. As the bishop would not consent to that, force was used, and on the 4th of August, 1874, he was taken from his house through a dense crowd of sympathizers to his prison, where he was witness of a scene “not to be described by words.” Bouquets of flowers fell at his feet from all sides, and the steps leading up to the abode of his sorrow were thick with them. Two works had been near his heart as a pastor—the establishment of ecclesiastical institutions for the fitting education of the clergy, and the labor of love which is expressed by the perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This touching devotion was therefore one of the first-fruits of his own workings, and it has become widely known through the world. But never before had the bishop of Paderborn shared the prison common to malefactors of every degree. The prisoner was then conducted to his two cells. One he describes as “certainly not roomy, but still not wholly unpleasant”;[13] the second was to serve merely as a bed-room. Loneliness is the prisoner’s trial, and when first the bishop heard the lock and key tell him of his utter solitude, sad thoughts pressed themselves upon him. Many years before he had paid a pastoral visit to this same prison, and his own encouraging words spoken then came home to him now. “Could you only have imagined then,” he said to himself, “that you yourself should be confined in the same dungeon, and come to need the recommendation to resignation and patience which you gave to those prisoners? Oh! what a change, what a comparison then and nowthen, when there was no Kulturkampf, but an undisturbed and joyous peace. O tempora, o mores![14] But the angel of consolation was at hand. The thought of that divine Providence whose care of us is so beautifully specified in Holy Scripture brought peace. “Every hair of our head is numbered.” The bishop determined upon active endurance, and during those first few hours of his imprisonment planned for himself an order 68of duties for the coming solitary days. That night the breaking of a pane of glass in his bed-room window, caused by the hurling of a stone from an unknown hand outside, was a little alarming, and, in spite of inquiries on the subject, it could not be discovered whether the missile was directed by a friend in a serenading spirit, or by a foe who might have taken umbrage at the demonstrations of intense affection on the part of the people of Paderborn.

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

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

Upon the bishop’s six weeks of confinement followed eighteen of custody. The only distinguishable difference between the two consisted in the non-bolting of the prison-door from the exterior. On the outset he was saddened by the command to surrender his office as bishop. The summons came to him through the Oberpräsident von Kühlwetter, whose attitude to Dr. Martin from the beginning of the Kulturkampf had been most hostile. One act in particular of the bishop’s seems to have roused the enmity of the non-Catholic party, but the principle of authority must fall to the ground where demands wholly contrary to his conscience are urged upon a spiritual ruler. The act in question had 69been a certain pastoral letter in the affair of the Old Catholics. The bishop replied immediately that “devotion to the Catholic Church had been his first love, and that it would be his last.” Ten days of respite were allowed for the reconsideration of the question, under the threat of ultimate expulsion from his dignity. But, thanks to an energetic nature and the quiet peace which is the fruit of a brave determination, it had small influence over the bishop. He labored to finish his work on the Christian Life, and time, which is so often the greatest trial of the prisoner, passed rapidly away. His feast-day was the next small event to break the monotony of his life. From his window he could see the festive appearance of some neighboring houses, and from far and wide came wishes of sympathy and affection. The telegraphic messages and letters of congratulation numbered over eight hundred on this day, and proved a provision of encouragement for several succeeding days. They were the flowers of persecution, and as such most dear to the bishop’s Catholic spirit.

Oppression does indeed often bring the work of the Lord to a timely and palpable development, and we may echo the prisoner’s words: “Would years of hard work have given evidence of so close a union as well as this short and fleeting sorrow?”[17] At the same time two other addresses reached him which were a source of particular joy: the one from a good number of Belgian noblemen, who thereby drew forth a remonstrance on the part of Prince Bismarck, the other from two imprisoned bishops of the far west who were themselves confessors of the faith, and protesting by their personal suffering against the evil spirit of Freemasonry. They were the bishops of Para and Pernambuco, who, profiting by the journey of a priest to Europe, took occasion to express their love and sympathy to the fellow-sufferer in Germany who was bearing the self-same testimony to Catholic truth as they themselves. Comfort, too, came from the Holy Father, who sent first a gold medal, and then, on the feast of St. Conrad, a telegraphic message of greeting and good wishes. But the price of these favors was suffering and greater suffering. The threat on the part of the secular power to depose the bishop was now carried out. Many and grievous had been his shortcomings, according to the standard established by the May Laws, and amongst the accusations brought against him was the erroneous charge that he alone amongst the German bishops had worked in favor of the Papal Infallibility at the Vatican Council. Extensive quotations from his pastoral letters were given in the indictment, whilst the words he had addressed on various occasions to his faithful children, their constant devotion to him, the legal measures recently carried out, and the cause now pending were alleged as the ground why he could not continue to exercise his office. He was invited to appear on the 5th of January, 1875, to answer these charges, after which day, and having simply refused to accept the act of deposition, it was nailed to his door inside. There it remained quietly hanging, says the bishop with dry German humor, “without my casting one single glance upon its contents.”[18] The feast of 70Christmas, which occurred in the midst of these cares, found him not altogether joyless. The prison chapel bore for him a resemblance to the lonely grotto of Bethlehem.

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

After his life in the fortress the bishop was refreshed by a little breathing-time in a friendly house in Wesel itself. His host had just married and taken his bride to Rome. On their return they brought to the exiled pastor a new token of sympathy from the Holy Father in the shape of another gold medal. The days passed pleasantly for the bishop, as far as that was possible out of his diocese, until he made the discovery that he had not yet paid the entire penalty of the famous pastoral. He was sentenced to another month’s 71imprisonment in the fortress. “I had always thought,” he writes, “that for one offence it sufficed to be punished once. But the powers of the state said no.”[21] Summer had come, and a return to the fortress in that season was no small penance. The sun’s penetrating rays made the prisoner’s little cells almost intolerable, and the bishop’s health began visibly to decline. He lost his appetite and his sleep, and the only remedy, according to the doctor, to produce return of vital power would have been change of air and a course of sea-baths. But for this desired end he learned from the mayor of Wesel that it would be necessary to undergo an examination from the district doctor, and to procure a written statement that such treatment was necessary. Moreover, it was enjoined that the place chosen for the cure should be at least twenty miles distant from the diocese of Paderborn. A Protestant district doctor was accordingly consulted, and his opinion exactly corresponded with the bishop’s own account of his state, whereupon Dr. Martin gave himself up to the pleasant hope of soon being able to leave Wesel. “I wished for haste the more,” he says, “as my state became worse from day to day. The continual agitation in which I was kept helped to aggravate things. For day after day I received tidings of new ruins which the unhappy Kulturkampf worked in my poor diocese.”[22] In the autumn of 1873—that is, after the promulgation of the May Laws—the bishop had given faculties to four newly-ordained priests. This is the most natural and harmless action of a bishop, for what spiritual act can take place without that exercise of his jurisdiction? Pronouncing a priest competent for the care of souls is analogous to the action in law of giving a brief to a barrister. What if the church should require a barrister to present himself to the bishop for approbation before he received such a brief? But the May Laws completely confuse spiritual and temporal things. The bishop was accused of breaking article fifteen of those regulations, which runs that “spiritual rulers are bound to present such candidates as are about to receive a spiritual office to the Oberpräsident, whilst at the same time the office is specified.” If the barrister obtain briefs after he has been called, the bishop does not meddle with him; but because the priests in question had exercised their faculties Berlin thought well to condemn the bishop to a further imprisonment of six months.

But now a new phase began in the life of Dr. Martin. Having “waited and waited” for the permission to follow out the cure which a disimpassioned authority had pronounced absolutely necessary, he resolved to act in spite of the law, and to fly from Wesel. He considered this course not only allowable, but even obligatory, seeing two principal reasons. His health was seriously endangered, if he could not have the required treatment, and that health belonged not to himself but to his diocese. Furthermore, in Wesel his movements were so closely watched that one single act of the pastoral office might give the government a plea for still more rigorous measures. Therefore on the 3d of August he wrote an official letter stating his intended departure from Wesel on the morrow; and so, as the clock struck the hour of midnight, he was quietly crossing the bridge 72over the Rhine, and on the following day, the 5th of August, he was received at the Castle of Neuburg by the family of Ausemburg. How full his heart was of his appointed work we may gather from the attempt to return to Paderborn. At Aix-la-Chapelle two railway authorities recognized him, and he was counselled by a valued friend to go back to Holland in “God’s name!” The document which reached him a few days later proved the soundness of the advice. It was from the Minister of the Interior at Berlin, announcing to him the fact that he was from henceforth an outlaw in the eyes of his country. The May Laws further exhausted their bitterness against him by the warrant which was issued from the district court in Paderborn for another imprisonment of six months. But it seems that these punishments did not affect the bishop’s peace of mind. Amidst tokens of universal love and devotion he was spending his time chiefly with the Ausemburg family, occupying his leisure with writing on religious subjects, amongst which one was Devotion to the Sacred Heart. After his fruitless attempt to join his bereaved flock he had directed his efforts in the first place towards his own physical restoration. After a three weeks’ cure in Kattwyk, which worked a wonderful change for the better in his state, he visited the bishops of Haarlem and Roermond, and rejoiced his spirit by witnessing some of the fruits of the new and vigorous Catholic life which has been promoted in Holland by the re-establishment of the hierarchy. Whilst Dr. Martin was with the bishop of Haarlem he received intelligence of the dreadful fire which the “dear Paderstadt” had sustained.

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

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

A homeless, houseless exile, the bishop once more wandered forth in strict incognito, we are not told where, but the place must have been wisely chosen, for there he remained in great retirement from April, 1876, till the following April. Then it was that Rome, the home of all Catholic hearts, once more awoke his desires; but, owing to the well-known 73sentiments of the Italian government, he was aware that the journey had its dangers for a bishop under the ban of the Kulturkampf. He set out, nevertheless, and on his journey through France experienced numberless consolations and the warmest reception from the French bishops. Persecution imprints on the heart the device, Cor unum et anima una.

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

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

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

“The Papacy is in fact the one and only point round which the Kulturkampf is raging, and I am convinced that if the ‘deposed’ and banished bishops were to break off their connection with the Papacy to-day, to-morrow they would be re-established in all their honors and privileges.... On the 3d of August last it was three years since 74I parted from my beloved flock. After God that flock is daily my first and last thought. My prayers, my anxieties, my studies, and my occupations of whatever nature belong to it. I will be true to it till death, and I hope by God’s grace that it will be true to me. Hours of temptation come upon me sometimes, it is true—hours when the painful doubt suggests itself whether I shall ever return to it. But I take courage to myself again through a trusting look up to God. He has counted every hair of our heads, and, if my return is in accordance with his providence, no Kulturkampf will have power to prevent it. But should it be his good pleasure that I close my eyes to this world separated from my flock, I say with most humble resignation: May His will be done!

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


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

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

Poets, too, have come here to seek inspiration. Several Spanish poets of note have celebrated its natural beauties and its legendary 75glory. Goethe could find no more suitable place than this wild, mysterious mountain for the scenery of one of the most wonderful parts of Faust—the scene where he makes the Pater Ecstaticus float in the golden air, the hermits chant from their mystic caves, and the bird-like voices of the spirits come between like the breathings of a wind-swept harp.[25]

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

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

We stopped at the station of Monistrol, two miles from the town of that name which stands at the very foot of the mountain, and walked along the banks of the Llobregat by an excellent road, often bordered with olives at the right, while the other side was overhung by cliffs fragrant with rosemary and wild thyme. We passed several cotton manufactories, for this is the region of contrasts: Industry is running to and fro in the fertile valley, while Contemplation kneels with folded palms on the rocky heights above. But what divine law is there that makes physical activity superior to moral, or productive of greater results, as so many would have us believe in these cui bono days? Who knows what rich returns the cloud-wrapped altar above has rendered to these heavens? or how 76much the proud world owes to the solitary Levite who in the temple keeps alive

“The watchfire of his midnight prayer”?

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

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

The following morning was warm and cloudless, though in the middle of February. The tartana came at ten o’clock—a wagon with a hood, drawn by three stout mules—and we set off with two men and three women, all Spanish, and all as gay as the crickets on the wayside. If their forefathers ascended the mountain with streaming eyes and unshod feet, they, at least, went up on stout wheels, and with many a song and quirk, though perfectly innocent withal. They were light-hearted laborers, released from toil, going with their lunch to spend a holiday at Our Lady of Montserrat’s. Just after starting we passed the little chapel of the Santísima Trinidad, built, as the tablet on it says, to commemorate the happy ending of the African war in 1860. We soon left Monistrol below us. The view at every moment became more extended as we wound up the steep sides of the mountain. At the right was always the towering wall of solid rock, while the left side of the road was often built up, or at least supported, by masonry. Vines and olives clung to the crags as long as they could find foothold, and here and there was an aloe on the edge of the precipice. The bells of 77Monistrol could be heard far below. The plain began to assume a billowy appearance, swelling more and more to the north till lost in the mountains. The air grew more exhilarating. In two hours’ time we came to a chapel with a tall cross before it, and nearly opposite suddenly appeared the abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat, seven or eight stories high, with a cliff rising hundreds of feet perpendicularly behind, divided by deep fissures, and terminating in needles that looked inaccessible, but where we could see a hermitage perched on the top like the nest of an eagle. There is no beauty about the convent, or pretension to architecture, but there is a certain austere simplicity about it that harmonizes with the mountain. The narrowness of the terrace has prevented its extending laterally, so it has been forced to tower up like the peaks around it. The mountain, as M. Von Humboldt says, seems to have opened to receive man into its bosom. But nearly everything is modern, and everywhere are ruins and traces of violence left by the French in their ravages of 1811. Passing through an arched gateway, we found ourselves in a close, around which stood several large buildings for the accommodation of pilgrims. These are of three classes, according to the condition of the visitor, and named after the saints, such as Placido, Ignacio, Pedro Nolasco, Francisco de Borja, etc. The poor have two houses for the different sexes, where they are lodged and fed gratuitously. Bread is distributed to them at seven in the morning; at noon, more bread with olla and wine; and at night the same. Pilgrims of condition sometimes go to receive the bread of charity, which they preserve as a relic. No one, rich or poor, is allowed to remain over three days without special permission. Even the better class of rooms are of extreme simplicity, containing the bare necessaries for comfort. They are paved with brick, and the walls are plastered, but not whitewashed. A man brought us towels, sheets, and a jug of water, and left us to our own devices. The visitor offers what he pleases on leaving. Nothing is required. Meals are obtained at a restaurant at fixed prices. After taking possession of our rooms we went to pay homage to Our Lady of Montserrat.

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

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

For here it was that in 1522 came the chivalrous hero of Pampeluna, who had passed his youth in the court of Ferdinand V., trained in the practice of every knightly accomplishment, but now smitten down, like St. Paul, by divine grace, and come here in accordance with the principles of Christian chivalry in which he had been nurtured, to devote himself to Jesus and Mary as their knight. He laid aside his worldly insignia, and put on the poverty of Christ as the truest armor of virtue, and, on the eve of the Annunciation, kept his vigil of arms before the altar of Our Lady, whom he now chose as the Señora 78de sus pensamientos—“no countess,” as he said, “no duchess, but one of far higher degree”—and he hung up his sword on a pillar of her sanctuary as a token that his earthly warfare was over.

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

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

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

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

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

79Amid all the wars and commotions of that age, it is not surprising that the remembrance of the holy statue became a dim tradition, and the precise spot of its concealment utterly forgotten. It was not till two centuries after that some young shepherds, guarding their flocks at the foot of the mountain, observed that every Saturday night, as soon as the darkness came on, a light descended from the heavens and gathered in a blaze around one of the lofty peaks. Their story was at first made light of at Monistrol, but, coming to the ear of the curate, a great servant of God and Our Lady, he resolved to ascertain its truth for himself. Accordingly, the next Saturday night, he set forth at an early hour with a number of people for the most favorable point of observation. As soon as it grew dark the supernatural light was seen, and a soft, delicious music heard issuing as from the depths of a cave. The curate did not venture to approach, but returned to consult the bishop of Vich, then residing at Manresa, the former place being in the hands of the Moors. This bishop, whose name was Gondemaro, took the curate and other members of the clergy, and, accompanied by several knights, ascended the mountain at the usual hour of the wonderful occurrence. They found the cliff enveloped in a cloud of fragrance. A shower of stars settled around the summit like a crown, and dulcet symphonies came forth from its bosom. This phenomenon lasted till midnight, when the music died away, the stars returned to their spheres, and silence and darkness resumed their empire.

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

But this was not the first chapel on the mountain. The oldest was that of San Miguel, on the other side of the ravine of Santa Maria, said to have been built out of the ruins of a temple of Venus. We went to see it that afternoon. It stands on a lofty ridge of the mountain to the north, commanding a magnificent prospect. Beneath is 80the whole valley of the Llobregat, but what below seemed like a vast plain here looked like the sea in a storm, in which wave after wave succeeded each other till lost in the Pyrenees. And these, capped with snow, looked like the foaming sea, run mountains high, all along the northern horizon. The whole country was dotted with villages. The river looked like a thread of silver winding through the surging valley. The sounds came up from below in a subdued murmur. At the right lay the Mediterranean, calm as a sea of crystal. Behind the chapel rose the tall cones, like the watch-towers of a vast fortress.[27] The solitude, the wildness, the awful depths over which we hung made a profound impression on us all. “How easy for the soul to rise to God in such a place!” we said. “Let us remain here the rest of our lives. With books to read, the chapel in which to pray, the mountain-side on which to meditate, and such a glorious view of God’s world around us, what more in this world could we ask for?” Every now and then came the peal of the convent bells. The air was fragrant with the balsamic odor of the shrubs. The glowing sun lit up mount and sea. And a certain melancholy about these gray peaks and unfathomable abysses, the ruined hermitages and violated chapels, and even the wintry aspect of yonder plain, gave them an additional charm. While sitting on the rocks a Spaniard came along with his daughter, and, entering into conversation, we learned that they were visiting the holy mountain for the last time together, she being on the point of entering a sisterhood. They both showed the most lively faith, and talked with enthusiasm of Montserrat, telling us how it had been rent asunder at the Crucifixion. After they had gone on in the direction of Collbato we sat a long time in silence, and then went slowly down the winding path, bordered with laurel, holly, heather, and shrubs of various kinds. On the way we met a long file of pupils from the abbey, ranging from ten to twenty years of age, all in gowns and leather belts like young monks. Two of the Benedictine fathers came behind them.

It was nearly night when we got back to the monastery, and as soon as we had dined we went to the church. It was wrapped in utter darkness, all but the sanctuary, which was blazing with lamps around the Madonna and the tabernacle. We knelt down in the obscurity close to the reja. In a short time thirty or forty students entered in their white tunics, and, encircling the altar, began the Rosario in a measured, recitative way that was almost a chant. Then they gathered around the organ and sang the Salve and Tota pulchra es with admirable expression. The lateness of the hour, the vast nave shrouded in darkness, the blazing altar, with the black Madonna above in her golden robes after the Spanish fashion, the groups of worshippers motionless as statues, the venerable monks of St. Benedict in the choir, and the white-robed singers around the organ, gave great effect to the scene. We wished we might keep our vigil before the altar, like St. Ignatius; but one of the lay brothers, with a queer old lantern that must have been handed down from the Goths, began to hustle us out of the church as soon as the devotions were over, and we went stumbling through 81the dark court into the open air; and giving one look at the violet heavens, across which flashed a shooting-star, and to the tall black cliffs that overshadowed us, we went to our rooms, our hearts still under the influence of the music. The bells of the monastery kept ringing from time to time as long as we were awake, and they roused us again at an early hour the following morning, as if the laus perennis were still kept up as in the olden time.

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

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

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

They looked at each other, but without at first breaking the holy silence that set its seal on their contemplative life. At length the Diablo addressed Fray Juan, saying he was a great sinner who had come to the mountain three years previously to seek pardon of God for his innumerable offences in solitude and mortification, and expressing surprise that they had never met before. Garin at first repulsed his advances, as if by instinct, but the Diablo continued to speak with so much unction on the redoubled fervor that would result from a holy union of prayer and 82penitential exercises that Garin at length yielded, and finally let no day pass without meeting him and unveiling the innermost recesses of his heart.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

83The overjoyed count took his daughter back to Barcelona, where an immense crowd came to see her whom the great Madre de Dios had awakened from the sleep of death. One of the knights of the court, struck with her beauty, requested her hand in marriage, but Riquilda felt that after so strange a restoration to life, she ought to consecrate herself to God on the mount where the wonder had been accomplished.

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

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

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

These pilgrims had a kind of sacred character which prevented them from being cited before tribunals till they returned, except for crimes committed on the way, under a penalty of five hundred crowns. Leonora, the wife of Don Pedro el Catolico, was the first queen of Aragon to visit the sanctuary, and Don Pedro the Great the first king. The latter passed the night before the altar of Our Lady, imploring her aid against the French, who 84were invading Catalonia. Don Jaime and his wife Blanca came together and endowed the monastery, of which their son was then prior. Don Pedro el Ceremonioso came twice: on his way to the conquest of Majorca, and again at his return, when he presented a silver galley in thanksgiving for his success. Queen Violante, wife of Juan I., came here with bare feet, out of pure love for the Virgin, bringing with her rich gifts.

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

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

Charles V. came to Montserrat when nineteen years of age, accompanied by his tutor, Adrian of Utrecht, afterwards pope. They found the court full of soldiers, with lighted torches in their hands, and the Count Palatine at the head of an embassy to offer him the crown of Carlo Magno in the name of the electors of Germany. Charles went to prostrate himself at the feet of the Virgin, and the following day left for Barcelona, after giving the father abbot the title and privileges of Sacristan Mayor of the crown of Aragon. He subsequently bestowed many gifts on the abbey, and gave it rule over the town of Olessa and other places. He visited it repeatedly, and not only remained several days at a time, but is even said to have tried the monastic life he afterwards embraced in the convent of Yuste. The third time he came here was in 1533, and on Corpus Christi day he walked in the procession with the monks, carrying a lighted candle in his hand. He liked to pass such great solemnities in a monastery, contributing by his presence and generosity to the brilliancy of the festival. He always invoked Our Lady of Montserrat before engaging in battle, and attributed to her his victories. He was at Montserrat when he received notice of the discovery of Mexico by Hernando Cortes, and when he heard of one of his important victories over the Moors. And on St. Margaret’s day, 1535, the parish of Santa Maria del Mar at Barcelona sent a deputation of twelve persons to the mountain, habited as penitents, to pray for the success of the royal arms. They united with the monks and hermits in a devout procession around 85the cloister, and made such prevailing prayer at the altar of Our Lady that Charles V. that very day took possession of Tunis. When the emperor, in 1558, found he was dying, he called for the taper blessed on the altar of Montserrat, and holding it in one hand, with the crucifix that had been taken from the dead hand of his mother Juana in the other, this great monarch, who, as he acknowledged to his kinsman, St. Francis Borgia, had never, from the twenty-first year of his age, suffered a day to pass without devoting some part of it to mental prayer, now slept for ever in the Lord.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

The abbey at this time was one of the richest in Spain. It was surrounded by ramparts and towers for defence. It had its courts and cloisters full of sculptures, and carvings, and tombs of precious marble, whereon knights lay in 86their armor, and abbots with mitre and crosier. But the church was too small for the number of pilgrims, and dim in spite of its seventy silver lamps. Abbot Garriga, one of the ablest men who ever ruled over the monastery, resolved to build a new one. This distinguished abbot rose from the humblest condition in life. When he was only seven years old his father, a poor man, ascended the mountain on an ass, with a kid in one pannier and his son in the other, and offered them both at the convent gate. The porter accepted the kid, but refused the boy. The father, however, persisted in leaving him, and the abbot, struck with his intelligence, gave him a place in the school. He received the monastic habit at the age of nine. While a novice he used to lament the inadequate size of the church, and predicted he should rebuild it. He subsequently became abbot, and fulfilled his prophecy, but he ended his days in the lofty hermitage of St. Dimas, where he had retired to prepare for eternity.

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

All the kings of Spain, down to the end of the eighteenth century, came here with their votive offerings. The church had a font of jasper, a reja of beautiful workmanship that cost fourteen thousand ducats, and around the altar of the Virgin burned over two hundred costly lamps, the gifts of kings, princes, and nobles. She had four gold crowns studded with gems; one estimated at fifty thousand ducats, sent by the natives of Mexico converted to the faith. The monstrance for the exposition of the Host gleamed like the sun with its rays of sparkling jewels. Chalices were covered with rubies. There were golden candlesticks for the altar, and ornaments of amber and crystal, and vestments of cloth 87of gold embroidered with precious stones, and a profusion of other valuable things that may to Judas eyes seem uselessly poured out in this favored sanctuary.

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

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

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

But to return to the history of the abbey. The day came when all its riches were suddenly swept away. Catalonia was the first to rise against the government of Napoleon. Montserrat, being considered almost impregnable, was made a depot of provisions and munitions of war. It was fortified, and bristled with cannon like a citadel. Suchet attacked the mountain. It was vigorously defended by three hundred Spaniards entrenched in the defiles, but the French succeeded in gaining possession of it. The monastery was blown up. The hermitages were ruined. The hermits were “hunted like chamois from rock to rock,” and the treasures of the church were carried off as spoils of war. All the testimonials of the faith of 88Spain that had been accumulating here for centuries were swept away: the gold and the jewels, the paintings and carvings, the Gothic cloister and the tombs of alabaster—all, all disappeared. Only one priceless jewel remained, around which all the others had been gathered—the ancient Madonna brought from the East, which was once more concealed in a cave, as in the time of the Moors.

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

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

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

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

The next morning, after the usual offices, we went to receive the father abbot’s blessing and visit the treasury of the Virgin—no longer filled with countless jewels, but containing many touching offerings that tell of perils past, such as soldiers’ knapsacks and swords, sailors’ hats, innumerable plaits of hair, etc. Then we went up a winding stair, on which, at different turnings, three white angels pointed the way, to kiss Our Lady’s hand, according to the custom of pilgrims. Afterwards we took a guide, and went to visit several of the hermitages, most of which are still in ruins. That of the Virgin has been restored, and from below 89looks like a small château rising straight up from the edge of the precipice overhanging the ravine of Santa Maria. The ancient Cueva, or cave, where the Madonna was found, is now converted into a pretty chapel lighted by small stained windows. The adjoining cell has a balcony that hangs over the abyss, commanding a lovely view.

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

“Gistas damnatur, Dismas ad astra levatur,”

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

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

The most elevated hermitage is that of San Geronimo. The way to it lies along the edge of deep ravines, over steep cliffs, through narrow fissures—a rough, fatiguing, enchanting excursion. There is a fresh surprise at every instant, from the continual variety of nature. We gathered fragrant violets, daisies, the purple heather, delicate ferns, branches of holly and box, that grew in crevices along the mountain-paths. We were so fatigued when we arrived that we 90were glad to sit down against the crumbling walls of the hermitage, and eat our lunch, and take a draught from the cool cistern. The cell is on the brink of a gulf worn by torrents, into which it makes one giddy to look. Close by rises a tall cone which is the highest point of Montserrat. Here is a magnificent prospect of mountain, and sea, and four provinces of Spain. On the north is Catalonia and the glorious Pyrenees; at the east the blue Mediterranean, with the Balearic Isles in the distance; to the south the coasts of Castillon and Valencia; and to the west Lerida and the mountains of Aragon.

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

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


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

Emerson’s sentences are so pointed that frequently the point is so fine as to be lost. His eloquence is anything but Asiatic, and, indeed, its terseness very much resembles affectation. He is called 91the American Carlyle, but his proper title is the American Montaigne. There is not an idea in Emerson that cannot be traced to the garrulous old Frenchman. The first reading of Emerson is an era in a young man’s life. The short, apothegmic sentences strike him with the force of proverbs. The happy quotation and illustration seem inspirations of genius. The misty transcendentalism has a roseate hue, in delightful contrast with the bald practicality of Watts’ hymns and orthodox sermons. The stimulating style, resultant from exquisite taste and the manly resolve to carry out Pope’s advice about the “art to blot,” is high perfection when compared with the weak and weary prosing of moral essayists. Yet there is nothing original in Emerson. He has contributed little or nothing to the body of ideas. Not even his poetry, which is supposed to be productive of ideas, presents anything new or striking. The passion for nature-worship, which Wordsworth carried to its highest expression, becomes tiresome and unnatural in Emerson’s short metre and careless versification.

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

Thomas à Kempis tells us that “words fly through the air and hurt not a stone.” There is certainly no objection to a writer’s careful elaboration of his style. The study of words is a part of rhetoric. But there is a subtle and elusive application of words, outside of their obvious and generally-used meaning, which is at once a rhetorical and a logical vice. And as ideas fail, so words are sedulously cultivated. The style is the man, as Buffon did not say; but what of an affected style? If there is any truth in the saying, it convicts Emerson of being stilted, unnatural, and affected. No man thinks by jerks and starts, and no man writes so. The fanciful and abrupt indicate either affectation or an unbalanced intellect. All the 92great philosophers write calmly and equably. The sustained strength of Plato, on whom Emerson professes to model himself, is in direct contrast with the abruptness of Seneca, who was a mass of conceit and hypocrisy. We have no quarrel with Mr. Emerson on account of his studied style; only, with Sydney Smith, we object to a discourse in which are hung out preconcerted signals for tears or excitement. It is quite easy to form a quaint style. The success of Charles Lamb’s imitation of Sir Thomas Browne, or of Bret Harte’s or Thackeray’s burlesques of popular novels, shows how quickly a ready writer can fall into a philosophical diction. Emerson attempts the epigrammatic. Like Pythagoras, he disdains reasons. The ipse dixit, he supposes, will suffice for his disciples. He contradicts himself on his very self-satisfactory theory of “not being in any mood long.” He admires opposite characters; but, to the credit of American good sense be it said—good sense even in a philosophe—he does not “boil over,” like Carlyle, in all sorts of oddities of hero-worship. The Yankee hard head which he has cannot be softened by all the philosophy and poetry in the world; and, notwithstanding his ethereal views, he drives a hard bargain.

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

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

Nathaniel Hawthorne, who, of all 93American writers, had the true transcendental mind, ridicules it unsparingly. His doleful experience upon Brook Farm, when he attempted to milk a cow, may have had a practical awakening effect upon his dreams. In a little sketch entitled The Celestial Railroad, in which he whimsically carries out Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, he introduces Giant Transcendentalism, who has taken the place of Giant Pope, and Giant Despair, that interrupted Christian’s progress to the Delectable Mountains. Giant Transcendentalism is a huge, amorphous monster, utterly indescribable, and speaking an unintelligible language. This language, which Emerson strives to make articulate, we read with mingled amusement and astonishment in the German writers. Emerson is not a member of the Kulturkampf, like Carlyle. His mind does not take in their wild rhapsodies. His essay on Goethe (in Representative Men) is cold and unappreciative when compared with the Scotchman’s eulogies. We firmly believe that no healthy intellect can feed upon Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, or even Kant, who was the most luminous intellect of the group. Emerson has not the stolid pertinacity of Herr Teufelsdröckh. His genius is French. He delights in paradox and verbal gymnastics. Carlyle works with a sort of furious patience at such a prosaic career as Frederick the Great’s. He gets up a factitious enthusiasm about German Herzhogs and Erstfursts. Emerson would look with dainty disdain upon his Cyclopean work among big, dusty, musty folios and the hammering out of shining sentences from such pig-iron.

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

And here we meet him on his philosophy of words. A word, according to St. Thomas, should be the adæquatio rei et intellectus, for a word is really the symbol and articulation of truth. Where words convey no clear or precise idea to the mind they are virtually false. The terminology of Emerson falls even below Carlyle’s in obscurity. What does he mean by the one-soul? What by compensation? What by fate and necessity? Explica terminos is the command of logic and reason; yet he maunders on in vague and extravagant speech, using terms which it is very probable he himself only partly or arbitrarily understands. He is not master of his own style. His own words hurry him along. This fatal bondage to style spoils his best thoughts. He seems to aim at striking phrases and ends in paradox. 94His very attempt to strengthen and compress his sentences weakens and obscures his meaning. The oracular style does not carry well. He is happiest where he does not don the prophetic or poetical mantle. When we get a glimpse of his shrewd character, he is as gay as a lark and sharp as a fox. He muffles himself in transcendentalism, but fails to hide his clear sense, which he cannot entirely bury or obfuscate. It seems strange to us that such a mind could be permanently influenced by the fantasies of Swedenborg, whom he calls a mystic, but who, very probably, was a madman. The pure mysticism of the Catholic Church is not devoid of what to those who have not the light to read it may seem to wear a certain air of extravagance, which, apparently, would be no objection to Emerson; but it is kept within strict rational bounds by the doctrinal authority of the church. We do not suppose that Emerson ever thought it worth his while to study the mystic or ascetic theology of the church, though here and there in his writings he refers to the example of saints, and quotes their sayings and doings. But it must be a strange mental state that passively admits the wild speculations of Swedenborgianism with its gross ideas of heaven and its fanciful interpretations of Scripture. Besides, Emerson clearly rejects the divinity of Jesus Christ, which is extravagantly (if we may use the expression) set forth in Swedenborgianism, to the exclusion of the Father and the Holy Ghost. He is, or was, a Unitarian, and his allusions to our Blessed Lord have not even the reverence of Carlyle.

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

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

There is a high, supersensual region, 95imagination, fantasy, or soul-life, in which he loves to disport, and to which he gives the strangest names. One grows a little ashamed of what he deems his own unimaginativeness when he encounters our philosopher “bestriding these lazy-pacing clouds.” He wonders at the “immensities, eternities, and fates” that seem to exert such wondrous powers. When Emerson gets into this strain he quickly disappears either in the clouds or in a burrow, according to the taste and judgment of different readers. There is often a fine feeling in these passages which we can understand yet not express. Sublime they are not, though obscurity may be considered one of the elements of sublimity. They are emotional. Emerson belongs rather to the sensualistic school; at least, he ascribes abounding power to the feelings, and, in fact, he is too heated and enthusiastic for the coldness and calmness exacted by philosophical speculation. Many of his essays read like violent sermons; and his worst ones are those in which he attempts to carry out a ratiocination. He is dictatorial. He announces but does not prove. He appears at times to be in a Pythonic fury, and proclaims his oracles with much excitement and contortion. It is impossible to analyze an essay, or hold on to the filmy threads by which his thoughts hang together. It is absurd to call him a philosopher who has neither system, clearness of statement, nor accuracy of thought.

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

Puritanism, always unlovely, despotic, and gloomy, began to lose its hold even upon the second generation of the Puritans. Its life will never be thoroughly revealed to the sunshiny Catholic mind. Perhaps its ablest exponent was Nathaniel Hawthorne, who, in the Scarlet Letter, revealed its possibilities and, in fact, actualities of hideousness. We have no fault to find with any elements of stern self-control or ascetic character that it might develop, but its effect on the intellect was darkening and crippling. The whole Puritan exodus from England was a suppressed and blinding excitement. The rebound from their harsh and unbending discipline was terrific. The frowning-down of all amusement, the irritating espionage over private life, the high-strung religious enthusiasm which it was necessary to simulate 96if not feel, the abnormal development of ministerial power and influence, and the baleful gloom of Calvinistic doctrine, were elements that had necessarily to be destroyed, or they would madden a nation. They could no more endure, if it were possible to extirpate them, than could a colony of rabid dogs. Human nature, as created by God, tends to preserve the primal type. It asserts its functions, its rights, its powers, and its aptitudes. After a century, in which religious intolerance ruled New England with a rod of iron, the long-pent-up storm burst with indescribable fury and scattered orthodoxy to the four winds. The people breathed more freely; the atmosphere cleared; there was a healthy interchange of sentiment. The predominance of public-school education, combining with the multiplication of books, developed that crude and half-formed culture which has characterized New England to the present day. The best-educated portion of the Union, filled with all the insolence of a little learning, aspired to rule the nation, and succeeded. Its ideas were zealously propagated. Wherever a Yankee settled he planted all New England around him. The peddler did not need religion, but the philosopher did. The culture of æsthetics engaged some; others went off into Socinianism. The doctrines of Fourierism had charms for many, among whom was Emerson. He longed for an ideal life. The country was not leavened then, as now, by the solid thought and practice of Catholicity. The mystic radiance and grace of the Adorable Sacrament did not sweetly pervade the whole atmosphere of the land. Satan was busy and jubilant. The strangest and most eccentric forms of religion sprang up like rank mushroom growths, with neither beauty nor wholesome nutriment. It was then that Emerson’s call to a high manhood seemed to have the right ring in it. At least, it attracted and fixed the wandering attention of New England. For many a winter he lectured, speaking great words, the heroic wisdom of old Plutarch and the practical sense and insight of Montaigne. His fine scholarship won the scholars and his homely maxims charmed the farmers. It was well that in that dreary, chaotic period there was a brave and bold speaker who did not entirely despair of humanity, even when he and his companions had broken adrift from their anchorage in the rotten and worn-out systems of Protestant theology.

The grace of the faith has thus far escaped the Concord philosopher, but who shall speak of the ways of God? The theologian will solve you quickly all questions in his noble science, except questions upon the tract of grace. There he hesitates, for the most intimate and personal communications of God with the soul take place in the mystery of grace. Every man has his own tractatus de gratia written upon his own heart in the all-beautiful handwriting of God, sealing us, as St. Paul says, and writing upon us the mark that distinguishes us as his beloved. It is the miserable consequence of the New England system of early education, which inheres in a man’s very spirit, that it perversely misrepresents the Catholic Church. It is simply astounding how little Americans know about our divine faith. They have never deemed it worth their while to examine it, taking it for granted that all that is said against it is true. We remember, as a boy, reading Peter Parley’s histories, which were very popular in New England, and not a page was free from some misrepresentation of 97the church. Emerson classes “Romanism” with a half-dozen absurd theories; which goes to show that he has not even reached that point of culture which, according to its advocates, understands and embraces all the great creeds of humanity, in their best and most universal truth.

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


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

As soon as the pope has breathed his last amidst the consolations of religion, and after making his profession of faith in presence of the cardinal grand-penitentiary—who usually administers the last sacraments—and of the more intimate members of his court, the cardinal-chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, accompanied and assisted by the right reverend clerks of the apostolic chamber, takes possession of the palace and causes a careful inventory to be made of everything that is found in the papal apartments.[30] He then proceeds to the chamber of death, in which the pope still lies, and, viewing the body, assures himself, and instructs a notary to certify to the fact, that he is really dead. He also receives from the grand chamberlain 98of the court—Monsignor Maestro di Camera—a purse containing the Fisherman’s ring which His Holiness had used in life. The cardinal, who, by virtue of his office of chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, has become the executive of the government, sends an order to the senator of Rome, who is always a layman and member of one of the great patrician families, to have the large bell of the Capitol tower tolled, at which lugubrious signal the bells of all the churches throughout the city are sounded. Twenty-four hours after death the body of the pope is embalmed, and lies in state, dressed in the ordinary or domestic costume, upon a bed covered with cloth of crimson and gold, the pious offices of washing and dressing the body being performed by the penitentiaries or confessors of the Vatican basilica, who are always Minor Conventuals of the Franciscan Order. It is next removed to the Sistine Chapel, where it is laid out, clothed in the pontifical vestments, on a couch surrounded with burning tapers and watched by a detachment of the Swiss Guard. On the following day the cardinals and chapter of St. Peter assemble in the Sistine and accompany the transport of the body to the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in the Vatican basilica, where it remains exposed for three days, the feet protruding a little through an opening in the iron railing which closes the chapel, that the faithful may approach and kiss the embroidered slipper. The nine days of funeral services—Novendialia—which the Roman ceremonial prescribes for the pope now begin. These are his public obsequies. For the first six days the cardinals and prelates of the court and Holy See assemble daily in the choir chapel of the canons of St. Peter, where, the Office for the Dead being chanted, a cardinal says Mass; but during the remaining three days the services are performed around an elevated and magnificent catafalque which in the meanwhile has been silently erected in the great nave of the basilica. This structure is a perfect work of art in its way, every part of it being carefully designed with relation to its solemn purpose, and in harmony of form and proportions with the vast edifice in which it is reared. It is illustrated by Latin inscriptions and by paintings of the most remarkable scenes of the late pontificate, and adorned with allegorical statues. A detachment of the Noble Guard stands there motionless as though carved in stone. Over the whole is suspended a life-size portrait of the pope. A thousand candles of yellow wax and twenty enormous torches in golden candelabra burn day and night around it. On each of these three days five cardinals in turn give the grand absolutions, and on the ninth day a funeral oration is pronounced by some one—often a bishop, or always at least a prelate of distinction whom the Sacred College has chosen for the occasion. In former days the cardinal nephew or relative of the deceased had the privilege, often of great importance for the future reputation of the pontiff and the present splendor of his family, raised to princely rank, of selecting the envied orator. Ere this, however, the final dispositions of the pope’s body have been made. On the evening of the third day, the public having been excluded from the basilica, the cardinal-chamberlain, cardinals created by the late pope, clerks of the chamber and chapter of St. Peter, headed by monsignor the vicar—who is always an archbishop in partibus—vested in pontificals, assemble in the 99chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, in which the pope still lies in state. The body is then reverently enfolded in the gold and crimson cover of the couch, and taken up to be laid in a cypress-wood coffin, into which are also put three red purses containing medals of gold, silver, and bronze, as many of each sort as there were years of the pontificate, bearing the pope’s effigy on one side, and a design commemorative of some act of his temporal or spiritual government on the other. If there should be a relative of the late pope among the cardinals, he covers the face with a white linen veil, otherwise this last office of respect is performed by the major-domo. When the coffin has been closed it is placed inside of a leaden case, which is immediately soldered and sealed, while the metal is hot, with the arms of the cardinal-chamberlain and major-domo. A brief inscription is cut at once on the face of this metal case, giving simply the name, years of his reign, and date of death. The coffin and case are now enclosed in a plain wooden box, which is covered with a red pall ornamented with golden fringes and an embroidered cross, and carried in sad procession to the uniform temporary resting-place which every pope occupies in turn in St. Peter’s, in a simple sarcophagus of marbled stucco which is set into the wall at some distance above and slightly overhanging the floor of the church, on the left-hand side of the entrance to the choir chapel. A painter is at hand to trace the name of the pope and the Latin initials of the words High Pontiff—Pius IX., P.M. Before the pope’s body is taken up from the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, some workmen, under the direction of the prelates and officers of the congregation for the supervision of St. Peter’s—Reverenda Fabrica di San Pietro—have broken in the sarcophagus at the top and removed its contents (which in this case were those of Gregory XVI., who had been there since 1846) to the crypt under the basilica until consigned to the tomb prepared, but not always in St. Peter’s, either by the pope himself before his death[31] or by his family or by the cardinals of his creation, and the new claimant for repose takes his place there.

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

100After the sermon and the singing by the papal choir of the first strophe of the hymn Veni Creator, the cardinals ascend in procession to the Pauline Chapel in the Vatican palace, where the dean recites aloud before the altar the prayer Deus qui corda fidelium, and afterwards addresses his brethren on the great business which they are about to engage in, exhorting them to lay aside all human motives and perform their duty without fear or favor of any man. All the persons who are to remain in conclave, as the prelates, custodians, conclavists or attendants on the cardinals, physicians, barbers, servants, are passed in review, and take an oath not to speak even among themselves of matters concerning the election. Every avenue leading into the conclave, except the eight loop-holes or windows, as mentioned in a former article, are carefully closed by masons; one door, however, is left standing to admit any late-coming cardinal, or let out any one expelled from, or for whatever cause obliged to leave, the conclave. It is locked on the outside by the prince-marshal, and on the inside by the cardinal-chamberlain, both of whom retain the key of their own side. The lock is so combined that it requires both keys to open the door. On the following day the cardinal-dean says a votive Mass de Spiritu Sancto, at which all the cardinals in stoles receive Holy Communion from his hands.... Fervet opus....

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

Thirty-eight popes, from St. Cornelius, in 254, to Benedict XIII., in 1724, are recorded in history as having positively refused to accept the election, although they were afterwards induced by various motives, however much against their own inclinations, to ratify it. As soon as he has answered in the affirmative to the question of the cardinal-dean, proposed in the following very ancient formula: Acceptasne electionem de te canonicè factam in Summum Pontificem? the first master of ceremonies, turning to certain persons around him, calls upon them in an audible voice to bear witness to the fact.[34] The new pope then retires and is dressed in the ordinary or domestic costume of the Holy 101Father, three suits of which, of different sizes, are ready made, and disposed in the dressing-room for the elect to choose from. It consists of white stockings, cassock and sash with gold tassels, white collar and skull-cap, red mozzetta, stole, and shoes. He then takes his seat on a throne and receives the first homage—adoratio prima—of the cardinals, who, kneeling before him, kiss his foot and afterwards his hand, and, standing, receive from him the kiss of peace on the cheek. We see, from the ceremonial composed in the thirteenth century by Cardinal Savelli, that the present custom is not very different from the mediæval one; for, speaking of the pope’s election, he says: Quo facto ab episcopis cardinalibus ad sedem ducitur post altare, et in ea, ut dignum est, collocatur; in qua dum sedet electus recipit omnes episcopos cardinales, et quos sibi placuerit ad pedes, postmodum ad osculum pacis. The custom of kissing the pope’s foot is so ancient that no certain date can be assigned for its introduction. It very probably began in the time of St. Peter himself, to whom the faithful gave this mark of profound reverence, which they have continued towards all his successors—always, however, having been instructed to do so with an eye to God, of whom the pope is vicar. In which connection most beautiful was the answer of Leo X. to Francis I. of France, who, as Rinaldi relates (Annal. Eccles., an. 1487, num. 30), having gone to Bologna, humbly knelt before him and kissed his foot, se lætissimum dicens, quod videret facie ad faciem Pontificem Vicarium Christi Jesu. “Thanks,” said Leo, “but refer all this to God himself”—Omnia hæc in Deum transferens, et omnia Deo tribuens. To make this relative worship more apparent a cross has always been embroidered on the shoes since the pontificate of that most humble pope, St. Gregory the Great, in the year 590. It is curious to read of the objection made to this custom by Basil, Tzar of Muscovy, to Father Anthony Possevinus, S.J., who was sent to Russia on a religious and diplomatic mission by Gregory XIII. in the sixteenth century. His eloquent defence of the custom, appealing, too, to prophecy,[35] is found in the printed account of his embassy (Moscovia, Cologne, 1587, in fol.)

When the pope is dressed in the pontifical costume he receives on his finger a new Fisherman’s ring, which he immediately removes and hands to one of the masters of ceremonies to have engraved upon it the name which he has assumed. The popes have three special rings for their use. The first is generally a rather plain gold one with an intaglio or a cameo ornament; this is called the papal ring. The second one, called the pontifical ring, because used only when the pope pontificates or officiates at grand ceremonies, is an exceedingly precious one. The one worn on these occasions by Pius IX., and which his successor will doubtless also use, was made during the reign of Pius VII., whose name is cut on the inside. It is of the purest gold, of remarkably fine workmanship, set with a very large oblong diamond. It cost thirty thousand francs (about $6,000), and has 102a contrivance on the inside by which it can be made larger or smaller to fit the wearer’s finger. (Barraud, Des Bagues à toutes les Époques. Paris, 1864.) The Fisherman’s ring, which is so called because it has a figure of St. Peter in a bark throwing his net into the sea (Matthew iv. 18, 19), is a plain gold ring with an oval face, bearing the name of the reigning pope engraved around and above the figure of the apostle, thus: Leo XIII., Pont. Max. On the inside are cut the names of the engraver and of the major-domo. The ring weighs an ounce and a half. It is the official seal of the popes, but, although the first among the rings, it is only the second in the class of seals, since it serves as the privy seal or papal signet for apostolic briefs and matters of lesser consequence, whereas the great seal of the Holy See is used to stamp the heads of SS. Peter and Paul in lead, and sometimes, but rarely, in gold, on papal bulls. This ring was at first a private and not an official one, as we learn from a letter written at Perugia on March 7, 1265, by Clement IV. to his nephew Peter Le Gros, in which he says that he writes to him and to his other relatives, not sub bulla, sed sub piscatoris sigillo, quo Romani Pontifices in suis secretis utuntur. From this it would appear that such a ring was already in well-known use, but it cannot be determined at what period it was introduced, or precisely when it became official, although it is certain that it was given this character in the fifteenth century; but another hundred years passed before it became customary to mention its use in every document on which the seal was impressed by the now familiar expression, “Given under the Fisherman’s ring,” which is first met with in the manner of a curial formula in a brief given by Nicholas V. on the 15th of April, 1448: Datum Romæ, apud Sanctum Petrum, sub annulo Piscatoris, die xv. Aprilis, MCCCCXLVIII., pontificatus nostri II.[36]

Briefs are no more sealed with the original ring, which is always in the keeping of the pope’s grand chamberlain, who, as we have said, delivers it to the cardinal-camerlengo on the pope’s decease, to be broken in the first general congregation preliminary to the conclave, according to a custom dating from the death of Leo X. A fac-simile is preserved in the Secretaria de’ Brevi which serves in its stead; but since June, 1842, red sealing-wax, because too brittle and effaceable, is no longer used, but in its place a thick red ink or pigment is employed. Briefs are pontifical writs or diplomas written on thin, soft parchment and more abbreviated than bulls, and treating of matters of less importance, requiring, therefore, briefer consideration[37]—whence, perhaps, they derive their distinctive name, although it has been suggested that the word comes from the German Brief, a letter, and was introduced into Rome from the imperial court during the middle ages. They are signed by the cardinal secretary of briefs, and differ from bulls in their manner of dating and their forms of beginning and ending. Their heading always contains the name of the reigning pope and the venerable formula, Salutem et apostolicam benedictionem, which was first used by Pope John V. in the year 685. When the pope sends a brief to a person who is not baptized he substitutes 103for this form the other one, Lumen divinæ gratiæ. Both briefs and bulls are always dated from the basilica nearest to which the pope resides at the time; thus, we understand why the brief erecting the diocese of Baltimore was dated (6th of November, 1789) from St. Mary Major’s, although Pius VI. was then living at the Quirinal palace. Another of the very ancient and venerable forms used by the popes is Servus servorum Dei—Servant of the servants of God. It is a title first assumed by St. Gregory the Great in the sixth century as a hint to the arrogant patriarch of Constantinople, John the Faster, who had taken the designation of universal bishop, which belongs only to the Roman Pontiff: “Whoever will be first among you shall be servant of all” (Mark x. 44).

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

The word pope—in Latin Papa, and by initials PP.—was once common to all bishops, and even to simple priests and clerics; but when certain schismatics of the eleventh century began to use it in a sense opposed to the supreme fatherhood of the Roman Pontiffs over all the faithful, clergy as well as people, it was reserved as a title of honor to the bishops of Rome exclusively. Cardinal Baronius says, in a note to the Roman Martyrology, that St. Gregory VII. held a synod in Rome against the schismatics in the year 1073, in which it was decreed inter alia plura, ut PAPÆ Nomen unicum 104esset in universo orbe Christiano, nec liceret alicui seipsum, vel alium eo nomine appellare.”[38] Another singularity about one of the pope’s titles deserves to be noted. The word Dominus in Latin—lord—was originally used only of Almighty God, and a contracted form—Domnus—was employed in speaking of saints, bishops, and persons of consideration; but in course of time, although a vestige of the once universal custom still lingers in the Jube Domne benedicere of the Office recited in choir, the term Domnus came to be specially reserved to the Roman Pontiff, for whom we pray in the litany as Domnum Apostolicum. Cancellieri, who, as usual, has sought out an abstruse subject, gives everything that can be said upon the matter in his Lettera sopra l’Origine Delle Parole Dominus e Domnus e Del Titolo Don che Suol Darsi ai Sacerdoti ai Monaci ed a Molti Regolari. In Roma, MDCCCVIII.


Claiming the hill-crowned city as its own,
The gray cathedral rears its rough-hewn front
Like ancient fortress built to bear the brunt
Of leaguering ram on e’er unyielding stone;
Signing with holy cross the land it claims,
Its walls protecting seek the infinite blue
Grown, softly falling painted window through,
High heaven brought down to shape life’s noblest aims.
In this strong fortress, safe from those salt waves
Of doubt that curve and break and evermore repeat
The weary lesson of life incomplete,
Moaning and groping in unsunny caves,
Beating against a rock that will not break,
Flinging their bitter anger far on high,
Seeking to chill the tender flowers that lie
Close nestled to the rock for its warmth’s sake,
I kept sad feast one doubting April day,
When robins’ song had drifted from the hills,
When buds were bursting, and the golden bells
Of town-nursed bloom were ringing ill away.
With folded hands St. Helen’s glance beneath,
I trod in thought the highway of the cross—
Jerusalem’s triumph blending with her loss,
The palm-bough changing for the thorny wreath.
105And clasped the folded hands about the bough
Of northern hemlock that as palm I bore,
Listening the words of sorrow chanted o’er—
The old evangel’s solemn voice of woe;
O wondrous power of a passing breath!
O tearful sweetness of that voice of God
Breaking amid the clamor of the crowd
Of Jews and soldiers hastening him to death!
Often the chant bad stirred my soul before
In humbler church, till had familiar grown
Almost each word and every varying tone
That with each added year a new grace wore;
But never grace so pitiful as this
That filled the arches with all deep distress,
With passionate sense of human guiltiness—
Our God sore bruised for our infirmities!
Oh! blinding sweet the vision that awoke
Within my soul to fill my eyes with tears!
To-day was it, not in those long-past years,
That Heart divine, with love unbounded, broke.
Oh! blinding sweet in its strange melody
The voice that, rending heart, called from the cross,
In that dark hour of life’s bitterest loss,
Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani!
O strong gray walls! blessed was that little space
Ye left our souls with Christ on Calvary,
Where hearts might weep their living cruelty,
In their own depths Jerusalem’s lesson trace.
O cross-boughed branch of spicy northern spruce
That witness bore on that dim April day
To faith no waves of doubt shall wash away,
To love’s dear chains no envious state shall loose,
Blessing was ours who bore thee that gray morn
Through all the heedless glances of the street,
Through longing looks that knew thy meaning sweet,
And spoken words of unbelieving scorn.
Alas! for those, of eyes and heart both blind,
Who in such symbol find but empty rite,
Who, dazzled by a false and flickering light,
See not the cross wherewith the palm is signed.

Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, Mass.



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

Mr. Marshall was born the 19th of June, 1815; was educated under Dr. Burnup at Greenwich and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was ordained in the Anglican Church by the bishop of Salisbury in 1842. In 1844 he published his Notes on the Episcopal Polity of the Church of England, for which he received the thanks of the then archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Howley. This was the prelate, it may be remarked, to whom the writers of the famous Tracts for the Times dedicated their translation of what they called “this library of ancient bishops, Fathers, doctors, martyrs, confessors of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church,” with, as they added, “his grace’s permission, in token of reverence for his person and sacred office, and of gratitude for his episcopal kindness.” We mention this, because thanks from such a man in such an office for a work on the episcopal polity of the Church of England in 1844, when that polity was not a little canvassed, was an omen of good things to come for the writer, who was then nestled in a very small and poor cure among the Wiltshire downs, once a house of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. These prospects were blighted for ever by Mr. Marshall’s conversion in the following year, 1845. Indeed, he seems in that year to have committed two acts, one blameless and the other highly to be commended, which yet in their conjunction foreboded a life of no small anxiety in temporal matters; we mean to say that his marriage was followed in a few months by his reception into the church at Oscott by Dr. Wiseman. Thus the nest in the southern hills was lost just as he wanted its shelter most, and instead of the future protection of him whom the Tractarian dedication called “The most reverend Father in God, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England”—a patron, it may be added, of one hundred and seventy livings, besides canonries and options—Mr. Marshall, at the age of thirty, with a young wife, commenced a new life without a profession and without prospect, and with 107fifty pounds in his pocket. It may be said Mr. Marshall was true all his life long to the spirit which he thus showed at the first crisis of it.

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

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

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

Anything, humanly speaking, more absolutely hopeless than Mr. Marshall’s position, after taking that step in 1845, as a married ex-clergyman convert, cannot be conceived. At that time private education offered no emolument, for pupils were entirely in the hands of institutions taught by priests or of individual priests; and as even now the services of a priest, well educated and intellectually gifted, are thought among Catholics in England to be adequately remunerated by the salary of one hundred pounds a year, what chance had a married convert to pick a living out of that mode of employing his brains? Much more was writing—that is to say, for Catholic objects—unremunerative. Brains are still at a fearful discount among Catholics in England. They are not paid as much as the lowest unskilled labor; and if this is true in 1081878, judge how it was true in 1845. The writer believes that it was the very last time he saw Mr. Marshall when he complained bitterly of the inadequate remuneration that he received for writing. Then, further, for any occupation in the outside world, to be an ex-clergyman Catholic convert was the worst possible recommendation. The writer remembers a most distinguished author in Anglican history quitting the railway carriage in which he was sitting, in order not to converse with one who had lately deserted what was called “the church of his baptism”—as if Christian baptism was insular in its nature, and was a peculiar possession belonging to the “penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos.” Such is the lot which, for a whole generation since Mr. Marshall’s conversion in 1845, he and a host of others have voluntarily encountered. Mr. Marshall may be taken as a typical instance of the class. He may be spoken of freely now. He has run his course; he has kept the faith; he knows now fully, as none of us yet know, the wisdom of such a course; as he knew once, as none of us can more fully feel, the folly of such a course in the estimation of the world.

Most unexpectedly, however, and in a way that he could not the least have foreseen, this common lot of indigence and inaction, in which the work of life and the head which supports it are together taken away in the case of a married clergyman-convert, was terminated about three years after by his appointment as an inspector of schools in the government system of primary education. The Catholics were entering into that system in 1847, and, as a consequence of the rules and conditions obtained by the Catholic poor-school committee with reference to such entry, the appointment of a Catholic to the office of inspector by the government, whose nomination, however, was to be approved by the committee as representing the Catholic body, became necessary. The first so appointed was Mr. Marshall, and he held the office from 1848 to 1860. There cannot be a doubt that the functions which he there had to discharge were in certain respects functions which required great delicacy of touch. It was not without many suspicions that Catholic clergy admitted an officer of the government into their schools. That those who had been in old times forbidden every act of their ministry, pursued by ferocious spies of the state into their most secret lurking-holes, unearthed in order to be tortured by the race of Cecils and Walsinghams, and then hanged, drawn, and quartered—this in the first stage of the state’s enmity; then, in the second, who had been contemptuously ignored, and left to struggle with every trial of poverty, and to collect their scattered sheep in holes and corners—that the descendants and inheritors of such men, in whom the royal blood of Peter was flowing, should suspect at first the servants of a government which had done such things in hatred of Peter’s royal blood, this was most natural. We are convinced that during the five years in which Mr. Marshall was the only Catholic inspector of primary schools, he did much by courtesy, and yet more by his character as an uncompromising Catholic, to do away with this suspicion, and to lead an ever-increasing number of Catholic primary schools to accept inspection. 109By this conduct he indirectly raised greatly their standard of efficiency in secular instruction; and he commenced that union of the spiritual and the secular authority in the work of education which is now bearing great fruit, and which is incomparably fairer to the dearest interests of Catholics than the system existing in the primary schools of the United States. We think, indeed, that Mr. Marshall, in his anxiety to conciliate, may sometimes have pushed the limits of indulgence somewhat too far. It is honorable to him that he never spared in his reports to government the open commendation of religious teachers. Some of those reports contain the most enthusiastic praise of Catholic teaching which we remember to have read. And they were reports of a government official.

His occupation of inspector ceased in 1860; and being fully conversant with the circumstances which led to his quitting a post of honor and trust, which was then producing to him an income of eight hundred pounds a year, we must express our strong feeling that it was a great error of judgment on his part which led him so to act that it was possible to deprive him of this office. He was thus thrown back into all those difficulties of maintenance which he had so bravely encountered fifteen years before. It is true that Mr. Marshall was in fibre an author; the elementary character of the education he had to control, and the constant iteration of its petty details, besides the exclusion from his range of inspection of all those religious instructions in which he would naturally have taken a great interest—these things galled him. He fled for refuge to the more interesting subject of “Christian Missions,” on which he composed the well-known work published by him at Brussels in 1862, but which, in spite of the vast number of volumes which it required him to look over for his facts, he managed to compose before he quitted the inspectorship. If he could have had the place of a professor in some great Catholic institution, which would have afforded him a moderate income and a fitting subject on which he could have thrown the powers of his most active and apprehensive mind, that would have been to him an earthly elysium. But elysiums are not of the earth, at least not of nineteenth-century earth to Catholics in England. He gave up eight hundred pounds a year to be for the rest of his life a vigorous, witty, sarcastic, and trenchant Catholic champion and a wanderer on the face of the earth. From henceforth he was of those who have “no abiding city.” If he began this second stadium of his life with an act of imprudence which religion did not call for, which, in our individual judgment, we think it did not even justify, he traversed those seventeen years of bitter trial with the spirit of a confessor, and he ended them with the death of an humble, contrite, earnest Christian. He on whose words, defending Catholic doctrines, illustrating Catholic truths, excited multitudes in great cities have hung, who could make them thrill through with the emotions which he felt himself, died in a small room over a shop in an obscure outskirt of London, tended by an unwearied, uncomplaining affection which had been proof against every sorrow and every trial, and was the only earthly consolation left to him. In the eyes 110of the world it was a sad end of an agitated life. But we make bold to say that he is not sorry now for his choice; and that what he accepted rashly he transformed by endurance into matter for lasting reward, for the praise which does not pass away.

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

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



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

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

There is an exquisite appropriateness in the fact that the charge of political rapacity comes from a minister of that sect of which Henry VIII., half-Catholic, half-Protestant, and wholly beast, 112was the acknowledged supreme head, the so-called bishops of which sit in the British House of Lords, and owe their appointment to anybody, Jew or Gentile, who may happen to be prime minister. Lord Melbourne—by no means a model Christian, unless as entitled to the name by being an adept in profanity—leaves us ample testimony of the cliquing and caballing by which the appointments to vacant sees were secured, and puts on record a jocose saying that they (bishops and deans) just died to plague him. It is true that their presence in the Lords means nothing, and that they have no power but that of being a little obstructive. That, however, is not their fault. They would fain have more power, if they could. Even in their dioceses they have no sort of effective power belonging to a bishop. Neither clergy nor laity obey them even in spiritual matters, whether in England or in the United States; nor can we for our life see why, on Protestant grounds, in view of the utter nullity of their office, so far as its influence for good is concerned, they have not long ago been abolished, as much more valuable articles have been done away with. In political life other sinecures have in this century been got rid of. Irish disestablishment, which these bishops opposed to their utmost, will infallibly prove the precursor of a similar fait accompli in England. If, after that, the members of their sect choose to maintain them, and even to add to their number, we can have no sort of objection, because then those who utterly repudiate their ministry will not, as now, be obliged to contribute to their support. They may, if they please, match the American army in the proportion of highly-paid, showy, and useless officials to the number of rank and file; in fact, they come in the United States pretty near doing so already. But that is not our business, since we do not pay for them; still, we cannot help having an opinion in the matter.

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

It is strange, by the way, how the ignorant and insane prejudice which exists among many Protestants against the church warps otherwise fair minds and kindly hearts in the consideration of any question in which she is a party or her rights are in question. We 113venture to say that if any government attempted the same sort of tyrannical interference at this day with the Jews, not to speak of any Christian sect, that Prussia is now striving to exercise over the Catholics of her dominion, a cry of righteous indignation against the wanton and palpable injustice would go up from all the rest of Christendom. We should, perhaps, except the Anglicans, who are less a sect of Christendom than a clique or set of recipients of government pap, with no fixed doctrinal or moral principles save an overweening idea of their own eminent respectability, a thorough knowledge of the buttered side of their own bread, and a keen appreciation of number one. They have become hereditarily accustomed to consider Anglicanism less as a scheme of doctrine and morals than as an institution for distributing government patronage among their ministers, and for securing in these a somewhat superior police in aid of the state. Yet some of the best minds even among these have been very outspoken in condemnation of the aggressions of Prussia upon the principles of religious freedom. Let us imagine even a George Washington appointing the rabbins who should minister to the adults, and the teachers who should instruct in Judaism the rising generation of Hebrews in this country. Is there anybody who does not see at a glance the wrong thereby done these people? Does any one need argument on the subject? Suppose, in addition, he were to claim the right to appoint the instructors in the rabbinical seminaries, to select schismatic or suspended rabbins for the purpose, and to insist on prescribing the curriculum of the establishment in which young men are instructed for their ministry. Would we not all consider them very unjustly treated, and do our utmost to rectify the wrong? Yet this is exactly what the Prussian government has for some years been attempting to do with the Catholics within their territorial limits; and the vast majority of Protestants either look on with indifference or actually encourage the efforts made for rendering the church but a subordinate bureau of government under Bismarck and Falk, of whom it would be exceedingly difficult to say whether they are Protestants, simply infidels, or downright atheists. What is certain is that they are not Catholics and that they hate the church. Not long since the body of a drowned man was being towed ashore in the East River, and a considerable crowd had gathered to see it, when some one on the edge of the dock remarked, “Oh! it’s only a negro.” Nobody took any further interest in the corpse, and the crowd dispersed at once, every one going his way. So, in this case, the idea seems to be that it is only the Catholics that suffer. But these gentlemen will find out, in the long run, that it is a blow at liberty of conscience (for which theoretically they express great regard), struck, it is true, at Catholics only as yet; they will find out, if any sect of Protestantism but holds together long enough, or ever believes anything with sufficient seriousness to imagine it vital, that the same Prussian government has just as strong an objection to any other decided conscience as to the Catholic. In the references that Mr. Maury makes to this struggle we will assume him to be honest; and, in so doing, we must also take for granted that he 114does not understand the nature of the contest between Prussia and her Catholic population, else he would not attempt to represent it as a flaming instance of “unsparing political rapacity” on the part of the church. The fable of the wolf and the lamb has rarely had a more apt illustration.

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

In the middle ages and under the feudal system all the lands of each separate country were looked upon as belonging to the sovereign, and were held of him in feudum (hence the name of that system)—on condition, namely, of certain services to be rendered. In no country had the feudatory process got such vogue and attained such magnitude as in that portion of the Holy Roman Empire now going by the name of Germany, about the beginning of the eleventh century. There is no Holy Roman Empire now. Each separate parcel of it has had perhaps twenty different forms of government since, and may within a hundred years have as many more. That emperor was at that time essentially the master of Christendom; and between him and the few smaller monarchs then existing there was no breakwater, no umpire, but the pope. Now, it came to pass in course of time that many bishops 115and abbots in Germany became possessed, by legacy, gift, purchase, or otherwise, in their own personal right or as appanages of their sees or abbeys, of farms, estates, demesnes and castles, to the possession of each of which was attached the condition of rendering at stated times some certain services to the sovereign as their liege lord. Many archbishops, bishops, and abbots there also were who were not simply ecclesiastical rulers but at the same time temporal lords. The people, who unfortunately had then and for ages afterward very little to say, or at least could say but little effectively, in regard to how they should be governed, have left on record an enduring monument of the view they entertained as to the difference between the rule of the secular knights and the ecclesiastical regimen in that most trustworthy of all forms, that evidence which cannot be forged—i.e., the proverb. To this day there is not a dialect of Germany that has not, in one form or other, the saying: “Unterm Krummstab ist gut leben”Happy the tenant whose landlord bears the crosier. They were well cared for, kindly treated, and their complaints attended to by their clerical landlords, which, we all know, was far from being the case with the serfs and villeins under the marauding knights. There was no reason for objection to the service or homage by which ecclesiastical persons, dioceses, or abbeys held those lands; and with the usual care of the church, which has always laid stress first on the physical well-being of the people and then on their moral improvement—deeming the former at least highly conducive to the latter, and esteeming it of no use to leave a moral tract in a house where there is no bread—the church, we repeat, for the benefit of the people, encouraged at that time the holding of these lands by ecclesiastics, and neither pope, prelate, nor people complained for over two hundred years of the acts of homage—observe that the homage of the middle ages is not our homage of to-day—by which those estates were held. And this, too, though the rulers of the church, having nearly all the prudence, wisdom, and learning then existing in Christendom, must have known, just as well as we do to-day, that every acre of land beyond what is indispensably necessary held by the church, and every building that can be utilized for any other than an ecclesiastical purpose, is simply an inducement to the extent of its value, a temptation to plunder, sure to be acted upon sooner or later by the civil government, until that one shall arise which the world has never yet seen, in which right shall ever be stronger than might.

But under Conrad II. and Henry III. the possession of these lands began to give rise to an abuse which had not been foreseen. Both these emperors were chronically in want of money. They were afflicted with a standing incapacity to pay what they borrowed; and there resulted, as a natural consequence, an exceeding hesitancy on the part of lenders to take the royal word in lieu of funds. The name was no doubt regal, imperial, and all that, but the paper to which was attached the signature or thumb-mark of his imperial majesty was not what would now be denominated on ’Change gilt-edged; and money must be procured. In the words of another and later august emperor: Kaiser bin i, und Knödel muss 116i hale. So these emperors commanded on sundry occasions, when a bishop or abbot died, that the ring and pastoral staff, emblems and insignia of spiritual dignity and jurisdiction, should be brought to them. They appropriated the revenues during the vacancy of the diocese or abbey, prevented the canonical elections from being held, or refused to allow the prelates elect to exercise their functions. But to men of this stamp a lump sum of money in hand was of far more importance than a regularly-recurring income, and they began to give over the ring and crosier to that cleric (of course noble, and of course unfit) who could pay the highest price for them. This knave was then supposed to become bishop or abbot, so far, at least, as to have a right to the temporalities of the see or abbacy—generally all that such a man would care about. In this way dioceses were kept vacant for a series of years and flourishing monasteries went to ruin, since the pope would not (save where a deception was resorted to) permit the consecration of flagitious persons. We need not argue to show that this was simony of the basest sort. The thing had become so general in Germany, and the effect such, at the time of the accession of Henry IV., that, instead of the election of a bishop by the clergy of the diocese, or of an abbot by the monks of the monastery (which is the only canonical mode), the power of appointing and installing both had been seized by the emperor; and it may more readily be imagined than described in words what sort of men the purchasers were. Bishoprics and other prelacies were shamelessly put up at auction; and not merely the right to the temporalities (in itself sufficiently unjust) but the sacred authority itself was currently believed to be conferred by the investiture per annulum et baculum. It was only when things had come to this pass—one plainly not to be borne, unless with the loss of all ecclesiastical liberty and the grievous detriment of religion—that the Roman pontiffs, who had previously intervened but in special instances of complaint, deemed that the foul system must be plucked up by the roots. A more flagrant abuse, or one more imperatively demanding redress, it would be hard to find in all history.

Henry IV. made no scruple whatever of selling all ecclesiastical benefices to the highest bidder, and had already twice disposed in that way of the archiepiscopal see of Milan. He seems to have been a sort of prototype of Henry VIII. of England, but to have ruled over a people of a much less elastic conscience and possessing a stronger sense of religion. In the early part of his reign he sought by all means in his power to procure from the pope a divorce from his wife, Bertha, using the basest means for the purpose of tempting her into seeming criminality. He saw at the time a Gospel light beaming from the eyes of another Anne Boleyn of that day. The refusal of the pope, coupled with the threats of his subjects (we mean the nobility, for there were at that time no subjects in the modern sense), who were more willing to put up with his tyranny than to see the innocent empress treated as poor Katharine of Aragon subsequently was, caused him to desist; but he was a monster of lust, injustice, mendacity, and cruelty. 117Hildebrand, while yet cardinal, wrote to him that, should he ever become pope, he would surely call him to account for his tyranny, licentiousness, and for his making merchandise of benefices. Having been elected in 1073, Hildebrand assumed the tiara under the name of Gregory VII.; wrote at once to the Countess Mathilda not to recognize or countenance in any way the simoniacal bishops of Tuscany; to the archbishop of Mainz to the same effect concerning the intruding prelates of that country; and to Henry himself he addressed at intervals three several letters, warning him of the injury he was doing to religion by his uncanonical and simoniacal course toward the church of God, and exhorting him to desist from his detestable presumption. These several letters and all of them having proved of no effect, he issued his decree, the important words of which begin: Siquis deinceps.

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

It would be hard to imagine anything more absurd in the face of history than the charge of rapacity, and that, too, political rapacity, alleged against St. Gregory because he would not allow ecclesiastical benefices, abbacies, and bishoprics to be sold like meat in the shambles, and the miscreants who could gather together the largest sums of money to minister at the altar and bear rule over God’s people. That controversy was not excited on account of, or in opposition to, the homage exacted or the investiture conferred on the transfer of secular estates. Those ceremonies were both legal and right. Nobody objected to them then, nor would anybody object to them at this day if lands were held on feudal tenure. If Mr. Hayes chose to grant an estate to the archbishop of Cincinnati in trust for the church (the archbishop has no other use for it), on condition that the archbishop should appear on a certain day of every year and bow three times reverentially toward him, we suppose there is not a Catholic in the 118State of Ohio that would enter the smallest objection to the annual ceremony. But let Mr. Hayes, or any President of the United States, on the death of, say, the bishop of Columbus, send for or take his crosier and ring; still more, let him appoint some one (cleric or not), who is willing to pay for the billet, to the vacant see, and we promise that there would be unpleasant times and doings. There never has been but one legitimate way to preferment, high and low, in the church—that is, the canonical; and now, as in the days of the apostle, he that comes not in by the door, the same is a thief and a robber. As to the statement that the action of the pope, in abolishing investiture by ring and crosier, was in any sense a blow aimed at the independence of civil government, it is simply false; while it is manifest that neither the dignity, the liberty, nor even the very existence of the church was consistent with simony and the advancement of the most unworthy men to her dignities. The pope, whoever he might be, could not have acted otherwise than did St. Gregory; and had the latter not done as he was inspired by the Almighty to do, he could, when dying at Salerno, not have used those words which thrill one as do no other dying words, save those uttered from the cross: “Dilexi,” said the dying saint—“dilexi justitiam et odi iniquitatem: propterea morior in exilio.”

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

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

Here is a statement very glibly uttered and flatly untrue. The church, as such, neither has nor desires to have any political influence 119in this or in any other country; and we challenge the assertor to the proof of his slander. Her members have votes like other people; and there are probably in the United States within her communion (taking the ordinary statistics and ratio of voters to population) about a million voters. But they vote on both sides, like their neighbors; and whenever there are three parties the third always presents a sprinkling of Catholic voters. The proportion of Catholic office-holders in our country never has been in any sort of proportion to the Catholic population; nor do we mention the fact to complain of it. Our prayer is that they may be long kept out of the foul wallow. The only prominent official that we can for the moment recollect was Judge Taney. We believe there is one Catholic in the present Senate, but we doubt very much whether the present House of Representatives contains ten Catholic members. Men like James T. Brady and Charles O’Conor are not apt to be chronic office-holders. These alleged advances toward political aggrandizement, if made at all, have not been made in the dark or in a corner. They must be capable of being pointed out. Put your finger on them; show them to us. What are they? Where are they? Where were they made? We had occasion lately in these pages to insist that the statement was false by which Catholics were represented as all voting one way, or as voting under the direction of their priests and bishops; and we reproduce the words then used, viz.:

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

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

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

We did not imagine that there was any man at this day, pretending to an inkling of education, who did not know that it has at no time been lawful for a clergyman of the Church of Rome to bear arms. Clergymen bearing arms are 120excommunicated by the law of the church. Mr. Maury, in another part of his article, undertakes to give a definition of canon law which is misleading, and bears every appearance of having been culled from some writer who knew as little of the canon law as does Mr. Maury. The drill-master needs only to see a recruit take up a musket in order to state positively: “My lad, you never had a lesson on musket-drill in your life.” To us Mr. Maury’s uncouth and largely false definition of canon law is proof positive that he never opened a book on the subject in his life. And yet he undertakes deliberately to enlighten people upon its nature in print. Fie, Mr. Maury! Let us give you your first lesson on canon law, and it is this: Those clerics who enlist are irregular, and it is prescribed by canon law that “they shall be punished by loss of their grade, as contemners of the holy canons and profaners of the sanctity of the church.” Of course we, like others, have frequently read that little story, well befitting a Protestant ecclesiastical history, in which it is stated that a certain bishop of Beauvais was taken prisoner in arms, and that, on the pope’s interceding for him, the coat of mail in which the prisoner is said to have been clad was sent to His Holiness with the message: Discerne an hæc sit vestis filii tui. It is more than probable that the story was made for the sake of the supposed jest. Certain it is that the attempt to trace it deprives it of any authority, while even as a fiction it shows on the part of its author what Mr. Maury has not—viz., a knowledge of the canon law on the subject. Did not a late bishop of Louisiana act as a major-general in the army? Now, canon law is not binding on members of that sect, nor are its ministers at all bound to know the canons, unless, indeed, they undertake to instruct others upon them, and then we humbly submit that things are different.

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

What the state actually did was this. It said: “We have sold to the highest bidder this see or that abbacy. We know full well that to be simony, and that the person on whom we have conferred the crosier and ring is ipso facto excommunicated by reason of that simony. We also know him to be an unfit, and even a grossly immoral, person. But there he is; and you must either consecrate him or that prelature shall not be filled. At all events he shall have the revenues. He has bought and paid for them.” How any man of ordinary honesty, how any one not previously determined by his prejudices to make out a case, should talk of its “not suiting the views of the ambitious pontiff that the church should be subjected to the state even to this limited (sic!) extent,” is one of those things that must remain a mystery till the day when we shall be able to look back on the affairs and actions of this world with a clearer mental vision than any we have borne while in it. Mr. Maury’s sect, founded by a king, the doctrines of which (if it have any) are in England defined by a parliament and its practice decided by the courts, the convocation of which has for two hundred years not ventured to cheep, and then hardly above its breath, can of 121course endure, in view of the loaves and fishes, to be subject to the state in all matters. But the church of God can only, like her Master, render to Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’s; and she does not deem conscience to be one of his perquisites. Instructive, if not edifying, reading in regard to the results brought about by the secular power’s appointment of bishops, deans, etc., may be found in the lives, autobiographic and otherwise, of the prime ministers of England. The doctrines of Anglicanism are now, notwithstanding parliaments and courts, just what they have been from the beginning—a series of incomprehensible shifts and evasions, a set of enigmas with no fixed response to any of them. The columns of the London Times will show how “livings” are disposed of, canted at public sale, puffed into fictitious value by representations of the age of the present incumbent and the short-livedness of his family. If we must take instructions from anybody, surely ministers of such a sect as this are not the persons to be listened to either in matter of religion or of taste.

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

After what has been given of the history of this controversy it is but a work of supererogation to show that each one of the statements in these three sentences is a separate and distinct falsehood. St. Gregory excommunicated and debarred from entrance into the church the simoniacal holders of bishoprics or abbacies, as also every emperor, duke, marquis, count, knight, or other person who should presume to confer the investiture of a bishopric or other ecclesiastical dignity; he finds no fault with the temporal homage or service due on account of secular estates, whether pertaining to the incumbent or to the prelature. Being head (not of a sect nor of a church, but) of the church, he was not, like a titular archbishop of Canterbury, a mere figure-head, whose presence served to give a false show of authority to ecclesiastical decrees made by a collection of laymen, perhaps not even Christians; and his excommunication must consistently strike all the accomplices in a most nefarious work. It is impossible for a Catholic to conceive how the pope could have acted otherwise than he did, since the church knows to this day, and will till the end of time know, no different rules to apply to those of her members who are highest in temporal dignity from those which affect the poorest inmate of the almshouse. The state had now for nearly a century been making war upon the church; and as to the impossibility under feudal tenure of anything but disobedience to the decree of His Holiness, we see in point of actual fact that the matter was quietly and satisfactorily settled by the withdrawal on the part of the state of the offensive and impious claim to confer investiture in spiritualibus. No one found any fault with the purely temporal homage, and it was only when, by seizure and sale of cross and crosier (with which, according to the rude ideas of many 122people in that age, was involved the spiritual authority), the king put forth a claim to the power of appointing bishops, that the church withstood him to the face. He strove to usurp a spiritual power which never belonged to him or to any other temporal authority. We can all see in history what has been the fate of those sects of Protestantism which, for the sake of mere existence or of temporary courtly favor, have given up the rights and powers that would have been inherent in them, were they a church. Their doctrines are a mass of doubt and contradiction. Their ministry, having neither authority nor message to the world, consists of dumb dogs that bark not. Perhaps Anglicanism has been the most successful of them. Is there any thoughtful man, even among its own members, that can in reason look hopefully forward to its future?

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

This power was not, nor was it ever claimed to be, inherent in the Papacy, but was simply the result of a necessity, alike felt and acknowledged by all in those turbulent and unruly times, for some tribunal of final arbitrament. It had its source in the common consent of all Christendom—in the fact that the popes were, in the language of Count de Maistre, “universally recognized as the delegates of that power from which all authority emanates. The greatest princes looked upon the sacred unction as the sanction and, so to speak, as the complement of their right.” Even the highest of all the monarchs of the middle ages, the German emperor, derived his august character and was regarded as emperor in virtue of the unction and coronation by the pope. It was “the public law of the middle ages,” as Fénelon has well explained; and it is the universal acquiescence in that law which explains the conduct of popes and councils in deposing incompetent or vicious rulers. “In exercising this power,” says M. Gosselin, “the popes but followed and applied the principles received, not merely by the mass of the people but by the most virtuous and enlightened men of the age.” We sometimes nowadays have sense enough to avoid a war by leaving the decision of a question to a convention of arbitrators, as in the case of the Geneva conference; sometimes to a single umpire, as the difficulty about the occupancy of the island of San Juan was submitted to the decision of the late king of Belgium. Several international disputes, which might doubtless otherwise have eventuated 123in war, have been left to the emperor of Brazil as arbiter. We know very well that the right to bind by such decisions is in no way inherent in the sovereignty of Brazil or of Belgium, but in the fact that mankind agrees to abide by their decision in the matters submitted to them. Now, in those days, while unfortunately, as history shows us but too many proofs, knaves and scoundrels existed as now, yet while feudalism lasted the theory was that civil society was completely swayed by the spirit of Christianity. All the new governments which had sprung up from the débris of the Roman Empire were indebted both for foundation and nurture, during what may be termed their infancy and childhood, to the fostering care of the popes and bishops. Had it not been for the church, mankind would without doubt have relapsed into a state of barbarism. It is not, then, matter of surprise that common consent should, under those circumstances, have vested in the pope the right of deposing a sovereign in cases where no other remedy existed. Our sole remedy nowadays for such evils rests in the power of insurrection, which may or may not be successful, but must, in either case, be the cause of at least as much misery and far more actual bloodshed than the evils it was meant to remedy. There is room extra ecclesiam for difference of opinion on the subject, and minds do, no doubt, honestly differ as to which of the two is the better plan. For our own part, while we utterly disclaim the remotest sympathy with the feudal system, yet we are not prepared to say that it was not the best possible in that age, and should most unhesitatingly give the preference, first, to papal intervention, as being least likely to be biassed, and, second, to any fixed and recognized, fairly impartial tribunal, rather than risk the doubts and undergo the horrors of rebellion, successful or otherwise. Far be it from us to wish to recall the middle ages with their utter disregard for the rights of the people, who, but for the popes, would have had none to put in a word in their behalf; and it was only under the feudal system that the public law of Europe could call for the interference of him whom all then believed the vicegerent of the Almighty. Laws, nationalities, customs, languages, and religion have all changed. What then was legal and desirable, nay, absolutely necessary, is no longer law; and the lapse of whole nations and of large parts of others from the faith of Christ has abrogated a custom which, like all other civil regulations, could but derive its authority from international consent. It may, however, “be doubted whether in a historical light,” to use the words of Darras, “the system of the middle ages was not quite equal to our modern practice.” But this troublesome and invidious duty thus thrown upon the popes was, however, never claimed to be an integral or essential part of their authority, but simply to attach temporarily to the office by law, consent, and necessity. Of course there were then, as there are now, men who imagined that the political system of their day would never change, and that the Holy Roman Empire and the feudal system would last for ever. It is well to remember that there is but one institution that is sure and steadfast among men—the church to which He has promised who can perform.

The right and duty of excommunicating 124professing Catholic kings and princes is, on the other hand, and always has been, inherent in the Papacy, to be exercised by the pope when all other means have failed, in case of stern necessity and for the good of the church. Such right is inseparable from his office, and can be exercised just as fully from the Catacombs or from a dungeon as from the high altar of St. Peter’s at Rome.

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

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

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

Only two further points shall we briefly notice. One is the restoration of the Jesuits by Pius VII.—a fact upon which Mr. Maury lays great stress, as indicating the political rapacity of the church. The order had been suppressed by Pope Clement in 1773, not as having been proved guilty of any wrong whatever, but simply because their existence as an order, under the then circumstances and state of feeling in Europe, seemed to that pope and his council to give not cause but pretext for scandal to a certain portion of nominal Christendom. It is admitted that the prime movers in exciting this enmity against the Jesuits were the infidels in France, the Pombal faction in Portugal, the persons bearing in Spain the same relations to the monarch which were in France held by Madame de Pompadour, and those weak people who believe all that is diligently sounded in their ears from the rostrum or presented to their eyes by the press. Pope Clement deemed it the most 125prudent course to suppress the order, and he did so. It was their duty to obey, and they obeyed to the letter. Had he been a Protestant archbishop or bishop, would he have been so thoroughly obeyed? Would there even have been a pretence of obedience? Had the Jesuits been the wily knaves they are frequently represented as being, would they have disbanded on the instant? Has any association in history, we will not say so powerful, but even one-tenth part so numerous, so able, and so well disciplined, ever been extinguished by the myrmidons of the most powerful civil government? Had they been Protestants, we should at once have had a new and powerful sect. Had they been merely a conscienceless, oath-bound society, they could have gone on, despite all the civil governments on earth. Being Jesuits, they obeyed the mandate of the Vicar of God. Pius VII. deemed the time opportune for their revival. It may be that his experience of the favor shown to the usurping Napoleon during the period of his own imprisonment, and the manifest tergiversations of nearly all the higher French clergy at that unhappy time, caused him to long for the faithful Jesuits. Of this we know nothing. His right to restore them was just as clear as had been that of Pope Clement to suppress them. We propose neither to go into a eulogy of the Jesuits nor to defend them from the slurs and slanders cast upon them, mostly by those who know little more of them than the name. They need no eulogy from us, and are quite competent to defend themselves by word and pen. Mr. Maury (who seems to be an ardent Jesuit-hater; we know nothing of him but his article) is evidently one of those who fancy that the church is a political party, and that, on gaining an advantage over her opponents, she may bargain to shift principles and suit discipline to those who have been instrumental in bringing about the result. We quite agree with him, however, that, judging by all history, the church does not seem to regard herself in that light. Very many popes have died in exile. For seventy continuous years the head of the church was in captivity at Avignon. Pope Pius VII. was long a prisoner at Savona. For all that we know, the present pontiff may yet have to hide in the Catacombs. But neither in the past has there been, nor will there be found in the future, a pope who for personal duress or temporal domain (however clear his right thereto) will barter away one iota of the sacred deposit of faith and practice. The church leaves it to the politicians to seek foul ends by base means—to bargain that “in case you commit this forgery or that perjury for me, I shall, on attaining power, see that you are not only held guiltless but rewarded.” Were this her way of acting, she would be very unlike her Founder, and certainly would not be the institution with which our Saviour has promised to be till the consummation of the world. Mr. Maury would seem to think that he is making a point in charging the church with being true to her principles, with being changeless, with not giving way to feelings of gratitude (?) so far as, upon occasion, to give up her position as the conservatrix of faith and morals. He repeats the charge, under different forms, sundry times in the course of his article. Does he perchance not know that this is 126exactly the characteristic of the church in which Catholics glory? Did he never hear of the church before? Does she now come before his mental vision for the first time? One is really tempted to think so from the fact that he speaks of the pope’s styling himself “God’s vicar upon earth,” as though it were a new title never assumed until Pope Pius used it in his encyclical of March, 1814. If it will do Mr. Maury any good or save him future labor in writing, we can inform him that we Catholics would have neither faith nor confidence in a church that could sway and swerve, that allowed herself to be ruled by politicians or by heretics; and that we all believe Pope Leo XIII. to be, like his predecessor St. Peter, “God’s vicar here on earth.” Let him stop the first Catholic boy he meets who attends catechism class, ask him what is the pope, and he will get that answer in so many words.

The other point is this: Mr. Maury takes it very ill that the church should find fault with the Falk laws and the supervision that the German government claims and attempts to exercise over her in that country; while he asserts that no fault is found with the Bavarian government, which (he says) exercises the self-same jurisdiction over the church that Germany is now striving to carry out. The latter part of his statement is untrue. But, admitting that it were true, cannot even Mr. Maury see that there would be all the difference in the world between permitting to a Catholic ruler certain rights of supervision touching ecclesiastical matters, and giving the same rights to infidels, rationalists, transcendentalists, atheists—in any case to non-Catholics? Perhaps we should hardly expect this, since, unless our information be very incorrect, wardens or vestrymen, or both, may be, and often are, in his own sect, not mere non-communicants but of no profession of religion whatever. That such is the case in England we know; and Mr. Thackeray painted from life both the Rev. Charles Honeyman and Lady Whittlesea’s chapel, which is there depicted as a speculation of Sherrick, the Jewish wine-merchant. True, the Bavarian government has adopted a new constitution subsequent to the establishment of its concordat with the Holy See; and we are far from denying that things would be on a very unsatisfactory footing in Bavaria were the reigning house to become Protestant, or the government, by an accidental (and we admit possible) influx of free-thinkers, to determine to give trouble. This, however, has not yet taken place, and the proverb holds that it is unnecessary to greet his satanic majesty till one actually meets him. We doubt not but that any overt act against the freedom of the church will, in that country, be as promptly resented and rendered as thoroughly ineffective as has hitherto been the case in Prussia. All the power and influence of the German government has, so far, been unable to push the so-called Old Catholics into even a decent show of repute; and no Catholic in communion with the pope will ever lend himself to any such thing as the Bismarckian scheme of a German national church, or national church of any other empire, kingdom, or republic. An independent provincial church is to the mind of the Catholic an utter absurdity; and no proposition looking to any such end 127would for a moment be entertained at Rome. Catholics do not and cannot exist without being in communion with the pope, whosoever or wheresoever he or they may be. It seems grievously to vex Mr. Maury that in no single instance has the church allowed herself to be made, as has the legal sect in England, a mere tool in the hands of the state; and he takes pains to stigmatize what he ironically describes as the “gentle suavity” of Pope Pius and the Cardinal Consalvi, intimating that it was mere stratagem; but he forgets that there is no sort of hypocrisy in doing the best that can be done under given circumstances, providing always that no principle be given up. Even on his own showing the church has under no circumstances abandoned for a moment the principle that she should and must be entirely free from any control of the state in matters spiritual. Were it any one of the little sects that set up such claim for religious freedom as against governmental interference, a cry in its favor would go up along the line from Dan to Beersheba; but in the case of mother church it only furnishes a reason for an article on her political rapacity. Some original genius once remarked that consistency is a jewel. It certainly is very rare; and here is a radiant instance of it on the part of our opponents. The moment that the state presumes to trench upon the domain of conscience we must all obey God rather than man. Usque huc et ne plus ultra. Up to that point we stand ready to act and obey loyally as citizens. Beyond that line we neither can nor will be bound; and they who demand that we should put our consciences in the keeping of Reichstag, Parliament, or Congress know but little of human rights and less of the rightful domain of civil law.

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

That system of religion is surely in a very bad way the hold of which on the minds and consciences of its adherents cannot be maintained without the aid of government; nor does it deserve the name of religion at all when its ministers are such as those must be who owe their appointment to the back-stair intrigues by which men attain political offices. The Roman Curia has shown both wisdom and a high sense of honor in persistently refusing, on principle, to recognize 128any other than the canonical election of her prelates. But it does seem somewhat hard that her unwillingness to curry favor with the various reigning houses and their ministries should be attributed to political rapacity. So far as the pope is concerned, he was just as much the head of the church under the persecution of Diocletian as in the days of Leo X., and is just as really and effectually the father of all the faithful to-day as on the day when the Papal States were restored to him by Pepin in 768. The minds of men have, however, become so accustomed to acts of injustice that they regard them with comparative indifference. The justice of the pope’s claim to the patrimony of St. Peter is infinitely clearer and of far more ancient standing than that of any sovereign in Christendom to the throne he occupies. Necessary to the existence of the Papacy those states certainly are not, save in the sense that he who is not a temporal sovereign must to a certain extent be a subject, and that an ill-disposed government, under or within control of which the pope may be, will always be in a condition to hamper him, and to put trammels on his intercourse with his people over the entire world. As it may well be doubted whether there ever was a period when the Holy Father was more firmly entrenched in the affections and confidence of his faithful children than now, when despoiled of territory, courtly pomp and splendor—all of which he might have retained had he been willing to stretch principle to compliance with iniquity—so a more unsuitable season could hardly, in the view of any impartial on-looker, have been selected for charging the church with political rapacity. Had she possessed that, or desired its results, her position, however high in a worldly point of view, would hardly have been so honorably glorious in the eyes of her faithful members.




Rome, February 21, 1878.

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

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


Towards evening, on the 6th inst., it was observed by his physicians that the Holy Father was somewhat feverish. This excited no alarm, for such attacks seemed but the lingering traces of his recent illness. The Pope retired to bed at his usual hour, about ten o’clock. His rest, however, was not tranquil. He seemed to be oppressed in his breathing. About four o’clock on the morning of the 7th he was seized with a shivering chill, his breathing became quick and hard, his pulse excited. About half-past six o’clock the fever came on with greater force, producing an utter prostration of the august patient. His mental faculties remained clear and undisturbed, and at half-past eight he received the Viaticum with great devotion from the hands of his sacristan, Mgr. Marinelli. The malady became more intense, the catastrophe inevitable; so at nine o’clock he was anointed. Meanwhile, the news of the Pope’s sudden and dangerous illness had spread through the city, and the cardinals hastened to the Vatican. By order of the cardinal-vicar the Blessed Sacrament was exposed in all the churches of the city. That fact contained the dread significance that the Pope was dying. The Romans flocked to the churches and prayed fervently against the crisis, yet trembled at the thought that, when the Blessed Sacrament would be restored to the tabernacle, all would be over, well or ill. The cardinals and prelates assembled around the bed of the sufferer knew too well what the issue would be. He knew it himself, for, taking the crucifix from under his pillow, he blessed them. His suffering increased. At one o’clock p.m. Cardinal Bilio, the grand-penitentiary, began to repeat the last prayers of the church for the dying. The Holy Father pronounced distinctly, though with the greatest difficulty, the act of contrition. Then he subjoined in a voice that betokened great trust, “In domum Domini ibimus”—We will go into the house of the Lord. When the cardinal came to pronounce the last address to the departing soul, he hesitated at the word proficiscere (depart); but the Pope added quickly, “Si! proficiscere”—Yes! proficiscere. When he had repeated the exhortation the cardinal knelt down and asked the dying Pope to bless the cardinals. There were present Cardinals Borromeo, Sacconi, De Falloux, Manning, Howard, and Franchi. He raised his right hand and made the triple sign of the cross. It was the last 130Apostolic Benediction imparted by Pius IX. At half-past two in the afternoon the rumor spread through the city that the Pope was dead. Telegrams to the same effect were sent to all parts of the world by the correspondents of the press. The secretary of the Minister of the Interior had caused a bulletin of the same tenor to be posted up in the vestibule of Parliament. But the agony of death had not even set in upon the venerable patient, though all hope of a change for the better was abandoned. At half-past three the struggle began in very earnest. It was a sight that brought copious tears to the eyes of the beholders—Pius IX. in his agony. Never more strongly than during those supreme moments did the youthful vitality of the Pontiff manifest itself. Two hours and a half of a death-agony is something we associate only with robust constitutions in the flower of manhood. At five o’clock the physician requested Cardinal Bilio to pronounce a second time the recommendation of the departing soul. He did so, and then, kneeling down, he began the rosary, giving out for contemplation the Five Sorrowful Mysteries. At the fourth—the carrying of the cross—he stopped, looked anxiously at the face of the Pontiff, stood up, and gazed still more eagerly upon those loving features. The eyes had closed sweetly, a pearly tear, just born, glistened on the lids, the lines of agonizing pain seemed to disappear perceptibly—it was all over, and the Angelus bell rang out over a fatherless city, ay, a fatherless world.


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


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

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

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

“To this effect, 1. Notice is given 131that public and solemn funeral services will be celebrated in the patriarchal Vatican basilica by the chapter thereof, whither, as soon as possible, the body of the immortal Pontiff will be carried, and placed, according to custom, in the chapel of the Most Holy Sacrament. 2. It is ordained that in all the churches of this illustrious city, as well of the secular as the regular clergy, and privileged in any way, all the bells be rung in funeral notes for the space of an hour, from three to four, to-morrow. 3. As soon as the precious mortal remains of the Sovereign Pontiff be carried into the Vatican basilica, solemn obsequies shall be celebrated in the aforesaid churches. 4. The reverend clergy, secular and regular, are exhorted to offer up the unbloody Sacrifice in suffrage for the soul of the august deceased, as has always been done, and the communities of both sexes, as also all the faithful, are invited to recommend his blessed soul in their prayers. 5. Finally, it is prescribed that in each of the aforesaid churches, in the Mass and other functions, the collect Pro Pontifice be added as long as the vacancy of the Apostolic See shall last.

“Given from our residence, February 7, 1878.

R. Card. Monaco, Vicar.
Placido Can. Petacci, Secretary.”

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

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

“Having ascertained the death of the Holy Father, and recited opportune prayers in suffrage of the blessed soul, his aforesaid most reverend eminence made a request to the Most Illustrious and Reverend Mgr. Macchi, Master of the Chamber of His Holiness, for the Fisherman’s ring, which was immediately consigned by the same Mgr., the Master of the Chamber, to the most eminent chamberlain, who received it, with 132a view of presenting it in the first cardinalitial congregation (to be broken); for which ring his most reverend eminence gave an act of receipt to the aforesaid Mgr. the Master of the Chamber.

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

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


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

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

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

The city on the 8th presented a sad appearance. All the shops were closed, traffic for the most part was suspended, the Bourse was closed, and the soldiers marched to and from their regular stations without music. There were no amusements in the evening, and very few people 133to be seen in the streets. A shadow rested on the city. There was a great blank. Something was wanting—is wanting. The world seems strange, purposeless, and unutterably dreary without Pius IX.


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

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

At an early hour on Sunday morning, long before dawn, the steps of the great temple were crowded with people, waiting for the moment when the bronze doors would swing open and admit them to view the remains of their father. Detachments of the Italian soldiery had taken up positions within the vestibule and outside. Others marched around the basilica and entered by the sacristy door. They formed a double line from the door of entrance on the left, up along the corresponding aisle, across the nave, and down to the door of egress. Those stationed at the iron gates of the vestibule had a difficult task in trying to stem the onflowing and irresistible tide of 134thousands of people when the gate at last swung open. They acquitted themselves well, poor fellows, and as reverently too, both within and without the temple, as could be expected under the circumstances. As the people entered the temple at half-past six A.M. a solemn Mass of requiem had already commenced in the chapel of the canons. It was the first of the Novendiales. Throughout that day and the three following a continuous stream of people of all classes flowed into and out of St. Peter’s, and every individual paused, at least, to contemplate that figure lying in peaceful repose, a heavenly contrast, to the intelligent, against the pleasure-surfeited and revolting mass which defied the embalmer’s art, yet was enshrined at the Quirinal not a month since. And thou, Mark Minghetti, who didst abandon this sainted figure to serve that other in the name of liberty, forsooth, what has brought thee into St. Peter’s, and face to face with the holy dead? Speak, thou whose deeds for the past quarter of a century have been at cross-purposes with good faith; unbosom thy sentiments as thou didst linger at the catafalque of thy old and too-trusting master! Thou, too, Visconti Venosta, author of the notorious Memorandum of 1870, wouldst gaze once more on the face of him thou conspiredst to betray? Many a traitor besides these two went there, and the exponents of their iniquity, the liberal papers, said that Pius IX. seemed to sleep, and commended the martial bearing of the four Noble Guards who stood erect and vigilant around the catafalque.

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


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


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


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

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


The funeral services performed by the Sacred College of Cardinals began in the Sistine Chapel on Friday morning, the 15th. They were attended by the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, by the Roman nobility, and persons of distinction who received invitations. A wish was expressed indirectly by the King of Italy to be present. The cardinal chamberlain took no notice of this indirect wish. The obsequies lasted for three days. After each service the Sacred College gave a reception to the diplomatic personages in the Hall of the Consistory. Pending these events, the preparations for the conclave were completed. The story of the Vatican above the apartments of the Holy Father was divided off into little cells for the cardinals and their attendants. The windows outside were covered with gratings, and the court of St. Damasus entirely walled up to prevent any communication with the outer world. Physicians, an apothecary, barbers, cooks, and bakers, were appointed. On Monday morning, the 18th, the Mass of the Holy Ghost was celebrated in the Pauline Chapel by Cardinal Schwarzenberg. All the cardinals and officers of the conclave were in attendance. The diplomatic corps assisted in stalls allotted to them. A Latin oration De eligendo Summo Pontifice was read after the Mass by the Secretary of Briefs. This might be termed the formal inauguration of the conclave. At half-past four of the same evening the cardinals all, of the Holy Roman Church, with but three exceptions—their Eminences Cullen, McCloskey, and Paya y Rico—assembled in the Pauline Chapel, whence, having recited the usual prayers, they proceeded in procession to the Sistine Chapel, singing the Veni Creator Spiritus. There the sub-dean of the Sacred College, Cardinal di Pietro, read the Papal Constitutions on Conclaves, after all but the cardinals had been invited to withdraw. The reading of the constitutions was followed by a solemn oath, pronounced by the cardinals in a body, to observe them faithfully. This oath had previously been sworn in the presence of the cardinal-chamberlain, Pecci, by the patriarchs, archbishops, and auditors of the Rota, who were to mount guard at the cells of the cardinals to prevent their communicating each with the other. The marshal of the conclave, Prince Chigi, had also been sworn. The doors of the chapel were then opened, a cleric took up the processional cross, reversing the figure toward the cardinals, who followed, each one accompanied by a Noble Guard, and all entered the precincts of the conclave. Each cardinal entered the cell which had fallen to him by lot. That night, in company with the cardinal-chamberlain, and the deans of 136the three cardinalitial orders, and the apostolic prothonotaries, the marshal made a formal visitation of the cells and precincts of the conclave, after which the chamberlain consigned to him a purse containing the keys, and, with the other cardinals, retired to his cell. The doors of the cells and the general entrance of the conclave were locked, and a formal document attesting the operation was read and subscribed to. The reign of silence and communion with the Paraclete began. Pending the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, let us glance at the world outside.


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

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


This announcement was received with cheers in the square below. The great bell of the basilica began to ring joyously, and every bell in the Eternal City re-echoed the glad news to the people, and hurried them in haste to St. Peter’s. Let us go back an hour in our narrative. The votes were counted at noon, and the name of Cardinal Pecci was read aloud forty-four times, thus giving him the two-thirds majority required for election. The sub-dean of the Sacred College then opened the door of the chapel and ushered in the master of ceremonies. With the assistance of others, he lowered all the canopies which covered the seats of the cardinals, with the exception of number nine on the gospel side of the altar. The sub-dean of the Sacred College, accompanied by Cardinals Schwarzenberg and Caterini, approached his Eminence Cardinal Pecci, and asked him if he accepted the election: Acceptasne electionem in Summum Pontificem? He replied that, albeit unworthy of the great charge, he would submit to the will of God. The sub-dean continued: Quomodo vis vocari? Leo Decimus Tertius was the reply. He was then conducted into the sacristy by two cardinal-deacons, Mertel and Consolini, and attired in the white cassock, red slippers bearing the cross, the rochet, red cope, stole, and white cap of the Sovereign Pontiff. Returning to the chapel, he received the homage of the Sacred College, after which Cardinal Schwarzenberg, just nominated pro-chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, placed upon his finger the Fisherman’s 137ring. The Pope immediately retired to his cell. The cardinals followed his example.

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

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

The Church is no longer a widow.


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

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

It was less to describe this hopeful and bright land, whose day has not yet come, but whose morning we see dawning in the east, than to set forth in a clear light the stages that led up to it, that, we take it, induced Mr. Sullivan to write his brilliant, most interesting, and valuable book, which, perhaps, no pen but his could have written, or at least written so well, with its series of graphic pictures, its passionate reasoning, flecked 138with the gayest humor and most mournful pathos. It is in itself an epitome of the Irish character, with a notable improvement. The despairing courage of a “forlorn hope” that marked such writings in the past has yielded here to a resolute and practical purpose, which of all things is the most striking and hopeful sign of a really new Ireland.

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

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

It seems to us that never before was 139Ireland so well fitted to play a large part in history as it is to-day. It is now, to a great extent, certainly it is in the right way of being, its own master, its own law-giver, its own educator, its own priest. It has grasped the realities of political life and political power. These it has in its hands, and we do not well see how they can be taken from it. This fact ought to smother any smouldering fires of revolution that may be left, and it will smother them effectually, if the English legislature, as seems to us likely, can only rise to the fact that the best cure for discontent is to remove the discontent by removing its cause. We do not say that Ireland will leap at once into full national life, prosperity, and social happiness. That, even in a far from complete state, must be a work of time, and care, and struggle, not alone to the Irish but to all peoples. The Irish, however, have now in their own hands the adequate means of national representation; and this, it seems to us, is the great first step towards a true national life. Whether in after-years that life will have its centre in London or in Dublin seems to us a question hardly worth discussing just now. We like to take hold of actual facts and shape the future out of them. At present Ireland is represented in the English Parliament by a strong, resolute, and able body of Irishmen. These men may not be collectively or individually the ideals of political wisdom and sagacity. They may not have any great leader among them. They may be a little new in their harness yet. But their power, as a united body, is very great and undeniable, and it can be constantly exercised and increased. To expect that in a session or two they are going to wring from the English government repeal of the Union, or total separation, or even one-tenth part of the measures that Ireland needs in order to secure such prosperity as she has, or to advance it, or to do away with crying and cruel evils now existing, is to expect altogether too much. It is like expecting a city to be built in a day because some of the chief artisans and implements and material for the building are already on the ground.

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

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

With this exception, we heartily congratulate the author on his latest volume. He is himself one of the political chieftains who has nobly helped to make a 140new Ireland. He is a very able and ready man, whose value was at once recognized in the English Parliament, and whose services to his country and to the party which he materially helped to form have been of the most marked and important character. His life has been an honorable one, and he has well earned the fame that now attends him. No man who looks hopefully to the new Ireland can help following with sympathy and interest the future career of A. M. Sullivan.

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

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

The Nabob. From the French of Alphonse Daudet, author of Sidonie, Jack, etc. By Lucy H. Hooper. Author’s edition. Boston: Estes & Lauriat. 1878.

Sidonie and Jack have been briefly noticed in these columns. The Nabob is a large advance upon either. Possessing all the characteristics that individualized those stories, it is larger in scope, firmer in touch, fuller in character, more vigorous and finished in execution. As far as writing, plot, and development go, it is a very remarkable book. We must say of it, however, as we said of its predecessors, it is not a pleasant story. There is a kind of hot-house effect about it, a forced process, so to say, that, while fascinating for the moment, is not natural and healthy. We breathe in an overcharged atmosphere. There is any quantity of intoxicating odors, of lights and flowers, and soft music and rich costumes and beautiful faces. But the light is not the blessed sunlight; the odors and flowers oppress us with their heaviness like those around a bier; the beautiful faces are painted, and we sigh for something fresh and free, even if it be not half 141so elegant or well “made up.” There is from the beginning a brooding sense of a storm coming, and the storm comes with awful and repulsive vehemence.

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

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

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

Alphonse Daudet has all the gifts that a powerful novelist needs, and has cultivated them to the highest degree. He writes with that passionless tone of an intense but calm observer who sees things as they are, and sees deeper and farther than other men, and paints his picture with pitiless truth. He misses nothing that can add even incidental effect to the firm yet delicate stroke of his pencil. He writes with that apparent effortless ease which is really the result of the strongest effort in a man who is perfectly master of his work. He has even, we believe, that highest quality—a moral 142purpose in what he writes. But though he sees virtue and the possibilities of virtue even in his Paris, vice seems too strong for it and always to get the best of the bargain, even if in the end it goes out in darkness, disaster, and despair. This undertone of despair of the good is principally what imparts so unhealthy and morbid an air to his stories. Thackeray pictured bad enough people, and with an awful accuracy. But the devil never had it all his own way in Thackeray’s stories, as he has not in real life. He invariably came out of the fight with his tail between his legs, very limp and woe-begone, and in a disgraceful condition generally. There was rude health and pure blood in all Thackeray’s stories strongly set off against the other side. If M. Daudet could only muster moral pluck enough to make his virtuous people a little more robust and aggressive—and there are plenty of such virtuous people in Paris—his stories would gain rather than lose in tone and make much more pleasant reading than they do at present. After all, we tire of a crowd of “awfully wicked” people, going through all their wickedness for our special edification and instruction.

Miss Hooper’s translation is excellent.

The Church and the Gentile World at the First Promulgation of the Gospel. Considerations on the Catholicity of the Church soon after her Birth. By the Rev. Aug. J. Thébaud, S.J. Vol. I. New York: Peter F. Collier. 1878.

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

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

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

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

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

143The Vatican Library. New York: Hickey & Co. 1878.

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

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

Leo XIII. and His Probable Policy. By Rev. Bernard O’Reilly, D. D. New York: Peter F. Collier. 1878.

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

A Few of the Sayings and Prayers of the Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy. Edited by a member of the order, authoress of Catherine McAuley, Venerable Hofoauer, etc. New York: The Catholic Publication Society Co. 1878.

A beautiful little book made up of beautiful maxims and prayers. Such a gem will, we are sure, meet with a welcome 144reception by religious of all orders. Its reading will also benefit those who are not religious.

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

The History of John Toby’s Conversion. With his Views on Temperance, the Liquor Trade, and the Excise Law. A Lecture by the Rev. C. A. Walworth. Albany News Company. 1878.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Way of the Cross. Drawn by N. H. J. Westlake, F.S.A. With a letter of approbation by His Eminence Cardinal Manning. Devotions by St. Alphonsus Liguori. Baltimore: Kelly, Piet & Co. 1878.

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


VOL. XXVII., No. 158.—MAY, 1878.


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

We do not propose to discuss directly the subject of the reality and the nature of eternal punishment. There is a previous question respecting the destiny for 146which man was originally created, upon which depends the whole solution of the subsequent one concerning the necessity or contingency of its attainment. We must know what this destiny is, and what are the means ordained by the Creator for securing its fulfilment, before we can know whether there is a danger of final and irretrievable failure on the part of those who are placed in the way of attaining their end, involved in the very nature of these means.

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

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

It is supernatural beatitude which the revelation of God proposed by the Catholic Church discloses to faith as the end for which man was created. By its very essence and definition it is infinitely beyond and above the end which human nature spontaneously aspires 147to attain, in which it finds the perfection and scope corresponding to its essence and its capabilities. To attain this end it needs grace, or a supernatural mode of being and acting, elevation above every nature excepting only the divine, transformation, and, in a sense, deification. Such a destiny for a mere creature, especially one which is lowest in the intellectual order, would be inconceivable, and incredible, unless explicitly revealed by God. Even when it is made known by revelation, its intrinsic possibility cannot be apprehended or proved by reason. It is one of the mysteries which is above reason, and the utmost we can do by a rational argument is to prove that it has been revealed by God, and therefore rationally demands our assent to its truth because of the divine veracity. We can, however, by a rational argument, prove that such an elevation of a created nature must necessarily be supernatural and cannot be effected by any evolution of a natural capacity, or expansion of the intrinsic being even of a pure spirit, although it were to increase in intelligence by an indefinite progress for ever.

Cognition is a vital act, immanent in the intelligent spirit, determined in perfection by the essence of the spirit itself, and incapable of transcending its limits as a created and finite being. By this act other beings are received into and united with the intelligent being, according to the mode of the recipient; that is, ideally, by a representation through which they are perceived and known as objects in their own proper reality outside of the subject. This representation cannot exceed the capacity of the intelligence which is its active recipient. The idea by which a created spirit receives God into itself and unites itself to him, cannot represent his essence and produce immediate cognition, because the essence of God absolutely and infinitely transcends all genera and species of created beings. The highest angel can perceive no essence which intrinsically transcends his own, and must therefore represent God to himself by and through himself, that is, analogically and by abstractive not intuitive cognition. His intellectual vision is as utterly incompetent to perceive the essence of God, as the sensible vision of man is to see a pure spirit, or his finger to touch the points of an argument. The indefinite increase of the power of sensible vision will never bring it any nearer to spiritual vision, and, in like manner, the indefinite increase of intelligence will never bring it any nearer to divine intuition. The essence of a created spirit is finite and its intellectual light is finite. Its immediate intelligible object is within the limits of its created nature. As the mind of man cannot rise to any natural knowledge of God except by discursive reasoning from first principles on the works of God, that is, by the argument from effects to the first cause, so the purely spiritual being cannot rise above his own intellectual cognition of God as the cause and first principle of his own intelligent nature. It is vain, therefore, to think that it is the grossness of the body, or the body itself, which hinders the human spirit from seeing God. Separated from the body, and elevated to an equality with the highest angel, it could never possess itself of an intelligible object outside of its own supreme genus as a created spirit, 148outside the limit of created and finite being.

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

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

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

It is evident, without any reasoning on the subject, that in proposing this supernatural and purely gratuitous beatitude to created beings, God might select whom he pleased as the recipients of so great a grace, and prescribe any conditions which are possible and reasonable for securing its permanent possession. It is perfectly consonant with justice and goodness, that it should be made a prize and reward of merit, and that a state of trial and probation should be appointed for those who were permitted to aspire to this reward. Divine revelation, whose teachings are confirmed by universal experience, makes known to us, that in fact God did place the angels, and afterwards mankind, in a state of probation for this supernatural 149destiny. A probation must be real and not illusory. It involves the possibility and danger of failure. It must have a prescribed period for each individual and for the whole number. When this period is finished, those who have failed are by the very terms of the probation finally excluded from the hope of retrieving their loss. Divine revelation informs us that the probation of the angels was terminated long ago, and resulted in the winning of eternal beatitude by a certain number and the loss of it by the others. One among the chiefs of the angelic hierarchy rebelled against God and drew after him many other spirits, and with these fallen angels for his ministers and associates, he has continued and will continue on the earth the revolt he began in another sphere, until the day appointed for the final judgment. He has continued it on this earth, by seducing men to join in his rebellion, and making war against Jesus Christ and his kingdom, the universal church. The conditions of human probation are of a very special and peculiar nature, in accordance with the specific nature of mankind, which is extremely different from that of the angels. The angels, as pure spirits and having a simple, intellectual essence, were created singly, and in the actual possession from the first instant of existence of their complete being. Man was made a rational animal, by the law of his nature increasing numerically by generation, and progressing from an inchoate state to his perfection through gradual and successive stages of growth. The first progenitors of the race alone, were immediately created, in full maturity of perfection, and endowed with all the natural and supernatural gifts suitable for their high destination, to be transmitted to their offspring. Their disobedience and fall entailed on themselves and their descendants the loss of the supernatural destiny and of all the gifts and privileges connected with it. Nevertheless, the human race was restored again by another dispensation, which is that of the Redeemer Jesus Christ. All those who receive from him the grace which he merited by his atonement, and do not wilfully and finally reject this grace, obtain in the end a complete resurrection to the glory and beatitude of heaven. The rest of mankind are for ever excluded from the kingdom of heaven. This is a summary of first principles and fundamental truths pertaining to the very essence of Christianity. In so far as the destiny of mankind is concerned, the first constitution of human nature in the person of the common progenitor of the race in the state of grace and integrity, with a right to the kingdom of heaven; the ruin of the whole human race by the sin of Adam; the redemption of the race through Jesus Christ; are the sum of the teaching of the Old and New Testaments, of the traditional doctrine concurrent with it, and of the common belief of all generations of men who have professed to make this doctrine their rule of faith, especially those who have lived in the full light of Christianity. It is idle to pretend to call any doctrine different from this by the name of Christianity, for the whole world knows that this is of the very essence of the genuine, historical religion which acknowledges Jesus Christ as its founder. Those who reject it, and yet call themselves Christians, are only philosophers, professing a 150merely natural religion, partly constructed from materials borrowed from Christianity and altered to suit their own private notions, but really in its fundamental principles and distinctive character nothing more than a system of rationalism. The traditional and orthodox Christianity has invariably taught that all men naturally descending from Adam and Eve need salvation, and can receive it only through an act of gratuitous mercy on account of the merits of the divine Redeemer. No man is entitled by the rights of his natural birth to heaven, or capable of obtaining a right to it by any exertion of his natural powers. All are under a doom of exclusion from the kingdom of heaven. That future state, with all its circumstances of locality and other adjuncts and environments, to which all are destined by virtue of this doom, is called in the authorized language of the Catholic Church Infernum, in the English language, Hell. The doctrine of hell as an eternal state is therefore necessarily the shadow which must accompany the doctrine of heaven. It is impossible for any one to believe in salvation by grace through Jesus Christ, without implicitly at least acknowledging that all men might have been left under the doom of destination to the infernal state, without any prejudice to the justice or the goodness of God. The case is not one whit altered, if one supposes that all men are actually saved because Christ died for all. If the mercy of God were universal, it would still remain evident that mercy is not identical with justice. It could not be argued that any man has a natural right to salvation, because salvation is bestowed as a boon upon all men. It is vain, therefore, to argue on à priori grounds, that all men must eventually be saved. In truth, it has never been a doctrine of traditional and orthodox Christianity, that the simple fact of redemption placed every one of the human race in the possession of an inalienable right to final salvation. That many never recover the lost right to heaven, and that many who have obtained it lose it again irretrievably and for ever, is the common and universal doctrine of Christians. The efforts made to twist the language of Christ and the apostles into a contrary sense are so futile, that only a fixed determination to force the Holy Scripture into agreement with one’s own private opinions and feelings can account for them. The doctrine of the Catholic Church is unalterably determined. The fallen angels were not redeemed by Jesus Christ, and for them there is no restoration to the place which they have forfeited. Of men, all, be their number greater or smaller, who have been regenerated by the grace of Christ, and have passed out of this life in the state of grace, will obtain the kingdom of heaven, and the remainder will be forever excluded. The notion of an ἀποκατάστασις or future restitution of all angels and men, proposed as a mere theory by Origen, and alluded to by one or two other Catholic Fathers of the early ages as a possible conjecture, was universally reprobated and condemned by the church as soon as it attracted general attention. There is no doubt as to the Catholic faith on this matter.

The recent discussion has turned chiefly on the question of moral probation, the cause and reason of the mutability and liability to error in the intellect and perversion 151in the will of rational beings, and the manner and extent of their passing through the state of mutability to a state of permanent stability in good or evil. The errors of Origen were derived from the Platonic philosophy. So far as the Periarchon really presents his fanciful conjectures, we must consider them as vagaries of a man who, although richly endowed with intellectual gifts and moral virtues, was destitute of a truly rational and Christian philosophy, and therefore unable to think consistently, when he ventured beyond those primary doctrines of the faith which were clearly known to him. We perceive the same cause of aberration and incoherence in most of the current statements and expositions of theological opinion which appear in our modern publications. It would seem that Origen considered it to be a necessary law of creation, that God must create all souls alike, and in an elementary state, with a most capricious and uncontrollable liberty to choose good or evil, so that they were for ever liable to indefinite mutations of character and condition, and could never become stable in one fixed position. His state of restitution was no more permanent and eternal than the previous one of degradation. There is no eternal heaven possible, according to his hypothesis, or rather that of the Periarchon, any more than an eternal hell. Our modern Protestant religious writings are affected by a similar tendency to a chaotic confusion of ideas. It would be an endless task to attempt to follow them through the maze of conflicting and incoherent reasonings with which they contend mutually, and strive to construct some sort of rational and credible eschatology. It is only in Catholic theology based on dogmas of faith, and a philosophy in harmony with this theology derived from the ancient masters of intellectual science, that a remedy for this chaotic state of things can be found. We cannot do more at present than merely state a few sound and certain principles, without attempting to reproduce the arguments by which they have been often and fully demonstrated.

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

The intelligent creature participates in this intelligence, in that degree of being which God gives him. The object of the spontaneous and natural act of intelligence is the real verity of being, and by his intelligent nature he can never be deceived. The object perceived by the intelligence contains in it the good, toward which the will moves by a spontaneous and natural act. It is only necessary that the object be so placed before the intellect that it compels assent, to make all error, voluntary or involuntary, impossible. The good which is thus perfectly presented necessarily draws the will to itself, and thus immutability in good is produced. Error in the intellect is an accident and a defect in nature, and all perversion of will or evil choice is a consequence of error. The liability of sinning is therefore no necessary adjunct of the spontaneity or liberty of will which is an 152attribute of intelligent beings. It is removed by making the intelligence perfect. It is easy, therefore, for God to make any intelligent being immutably good, even from the beginning of his existence, since it is easy for him to give to nature any degree of perfection, within the purely natural order.

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

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

This defectibility supposes an equilibrium or indetermination of the will in respect to contraries which is overcome by a self-determining power. Such an equilibrium can only exist, when opposite objects, in which some good corresponding to the spontaneous tendency of the will is contained, are presented to the intellect as desirable and worthy of choice; in such a way that the motives for choice balance each other. The will must follow the intellect, and therefore an error in the choice must be preceded by an erroneous judgment, which is possible only when the object presented to it does not compel assent. Moral probation requires that there should be an obligation, arising from the eternal law of God or a positive command, to choose one of the opposite objects and reject the other. It is this which makes these objects contrary to each other in a moral respect, and is the reason why liberty of choice between them is called the liberty of contrariety, and the determination to the one is a virtuous, while that to the other is a vicious act. It is easy to understand this liberty of contrariety and the moral discipline which is requisite for its due control and direction, in respect to human nature. From its complex constitution, the sensible good is often opposed to the rational good, and reason, which ought to govern, is easily deceived by the imagination. In the case of pure spirits, it is more difficult to see how they can be subject to any illusion, or capable of undergoing any moral probation. In the natural order, they are perfect, and cannot err in the apprehension of that which is truly desirable as their chief good. They are not, therefore, capable of probation in the moral order of pure nature. But in the supernatural order, the object proposed to them being presented in an obscure, supernatural light, which does not compel assent, there is room for a suspension of the act of consent, and a power of rejecting the sovereign good by a voluntary self-determination, in adhering to the inferior object which they naturally comprehend and love. In fact, it was in this way that the fallen angels sinned and rebelled against God. In like manner, Adam, who was elevated to a perfect state like that of the angels, and enjoyed absolute dominion over all sensible concupiscence, underwent a supernatural probation, in which he fell 153through the seduction of Eve, who was the instrument of the demon, who had previously made her the victim of his diabolical sophistry.

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

There is no prohibition placed on the exercise of intellect and reason in seeking to understand these revealed doctrines, provided we respect the authority which God has established as our extrinsic 154rule and criterion of truth. Under this regulation, reason can go very far toward solving the problem of the origin, nature, and reason of evil.

The origin of evil is in the abuse of free-will by intelligent beings who are placed by the Creator in a state of probation. Its nature is merely privative, consisting in deficiency and disorder. The sufficient reason for permitting it is either that it is a necessary incident to any order of moral probation, or to such an order as the one actually established, in view of the greater glory of God and the greater general good of the universe. The evil condition, or state of deficiency and privation, into which intelligent beings are degraded in consequence of their abuse of the power of free choice, is the natural consequence of their voluntary sin, and is, in itself, permanent and irremediable. Since the order of probation is supernatural, and the power of efficaciously electing the sovereign good is a grace freely given by God, sin, which is a supernatural death, is eternal in its duration and consequences, unless God restores the lost state of grace by his divine power. He can easily do it, and it is therefore vain to attempt, as it were, an apology for the Almighty, by pretending that he actually does all that is possible, to restore the fallen, and to bring every intelligent being to the perfection for which he was originally destined. It is by the will of the Almighty, that each one who has been placed in a state of probation, if he passes out of that state with the guilt of sin upon him, is for ever deprived of the grace which is absolutely necessary for expiation and restoration. The probation of angels ended long ago, and those who sinned were left without any offer of pardon and reconciliation. The pardon which is offered to men, is offered to them as a gratuitous act of mercy on the part of God, which is available so long as they live and have the use of reason and free-will. Probation ceases with death, and all merit and demerit become eternal. The doom awarded to merit is eternal reward, to demerit eternal punishment. The final privation of that good which is the reward of merit, and of that grace which is necessary for making the least movement toward it, is a penalty which God has annexed to sin. This is the Christian and Catholic doctrine, and to deny it is equivalent to a complete renunciation of the genuine Christian religion. The recent developments of the extent to which this fundamental tenet of orthodox Protestantism is disbelieved or doubted among the various sects, are an evidence that their dogmatic and historical basis is crumbling and passing away with unexpected rapidity. The genuine dogmatic system of Protestantism is Calvinism. And although the Calvinistic system retains a number of the fundamental articles of Catholic faith, its omissions and additions and perversions make it as a whole self-contradictory and absurd. The principle of private judgment logically results in rationalism, and no such system as Calvinism can long stand a rational test. All other theological systems which have sprung up as modifications of the Luthero-Calvinistic system are too incoherent and incomplete to be permanent. An irresistible current is sweeping away all these fabrics hastily built upon the sand, leaving only a confused débris of truths and errors to the amazement of mankind. While this breaking up of old and 155general beliefs and convictions is in many respects lamentable and dangerous, we recognize, nevertheless, that there is a divarication in the irresistible logical current which is sweeping them into the sea of oblivion. The tendency of the general mind is not exclusively destructive. There is a yearning and an effort toward universal truth, and a deeply-seated conviction that this truth is really contained in Christianity rightly understood, which makes a strong and wide counter-current, bearing away from the tide that sets so strongly toward materialism and atheism. We recognize in the views and arguments more or less rationalistic which have been recently put forth in respect to the future destiny of the human soul, a revival of ethical and theological ideas in respect to the relation of the soul toward God, which are more in harmony with the Catholic faith than those of the old Protestant belief. The intrinsic, inherent good qualities and state of the soul itself, its voluntary determination to the good, its actual perfection in spiritual excellence and virtue, are acknowledged to be the ground and measure of the relation of friendship with God, and the want of this subjective fitness and worthiness is confessed to be a necessary cause of a corresponding alienation. The state of interior rectitude, integrity, and likeness to God, is acknowledged to be the necessary qualification of congruity and condignity in the soul, which gives it an aptitude to receive from the Creator that permanent and perfect enjoyment of its highest good which constitutes its everlasting beatitude. Sin is acknowledged to be the supreme evil of the soul which deprives it of its true good and degrades it below the order in which its proper excellence and felicity are placed. Therefore, the whole question of the final restoration of all intelligent beings who have lapsed from good, is resolved into a question respecting the cessation or the perpetual continuance of a moral order, under which renovation is possible, and the possibility sure to become actual, by a necessary and eternal law, in every individual instance. What is the criterion by which those who maintain this ἀποκατάστασις intend to determine its truth or falsity? It must be either divine revelation distinctly and certainly made known, or pure human reason. Every one who thinks logically must select between the two. As we have before said, we judge it by the criterion of revelation. What is the Christian, that is, what is the Catholic doctrine, founded on the veracity of God, clearly declared, and unalterable? We have already stated it, and it is known to all men. Those who still profess that they have in the Scriptures interpreted by their own private judgment an infallible rule of faith, are bound to demonstrate that their doctrine is clearly taught in the Scriptures, or is at least compatible with what is taught in them. It is open to any Catholic writer to discuss the matter with them on that ground if he thinks fit to do so, and it may be of some utility. It is equally suitable to discuss the question on purely philosophical grounds with those who do not admit revelation. But, as this is not our present purpose, we confine ourselves to the statement of what is the Catholic doctrine, and merely affirm that it is impossible to bring any conclusive argument against it, either 156from Scripture or from reason. It is really only the objections from reason which have any weight in the minds of men. Now, it is impossible to prove from reason that God may not propose to intelligent creatures a supernatural end to be attained by their voluntary operation under a moral law, and fix definite limits to their probation; or that it is not just to leave those who have misused their liberty by turning away from their prefixed end, in the permanent state of privation of their sovereign good. Nor is it possible to prove that penalties are not justly inflicted as a retribution for violations of law, in the state which succeeds the term of probation. It is God alone who is the judge of the nature and quantity of retribution which is due according to justice to individual demerits. Reason is not qualified to criticise the divine judgment which has decreed an eternal penalty for sin. The only rational mode of inquiring into the penalty for sin in the future life, is by seeking to ascertain what the divine revelation actually discloses and teaches on this momentous subject. This is determined with certainty by the Catholic rule, and taking all that is contained in this certain doctrine as a point of departure and a regulating principle, a theological and philosophical exposition of its relations with the other known principles and doctrines of revelation and reason manifests its harmony with all these truths, in a sufficiently clear light to command a firm rational assent. If all difficulties and obscurities are not completely removed, many misconceptions and apparent objections are dissipated, while the obscurity which finally remains is shown to be a necessary accompaniment of the dim light, by which the human mind, in its present condition, perceives these remote objects of eternity; and to make part of that limitation of knowledge which is an element of our moral discipline.

It is a demonstrable truth, contained in the first principles both of natural and revealed theology, that God has made all things for good, and that he will not permit the abuse of free-will by his creatures to thwart the final attainment of the end he has proposed, by causing permanent disorder in the universe. St. Thomas teaches that the punishment of the future life is decreed for this very reason. “It pertains to the perfect goodness of God, that he should not leave anything inordinate in existing things. Now, those things which exceed their due quantity are comprehended in the order of justice which reduces all things to equality; but man exceeds his due measure of quantity when he prefers his own will to the divine will by satisfying its desires inordinately; and this inequality is removed, when man is compelled to suffer something contrary to his own will according to God’s established order” (Con. Gent., iii. 146). F. Liberatore, commenting on this text, says: “Punishment is therefore a certain reaction of reason and justice for the restoration of the disturbed order. The argument which demonstrates the necessity of a sanction for the natural law, shows also that when God punishes those who commit mischievous acts he is not impelled by a movement of vengeful ire, but only by the love of goodness and order. For retribution, which proceeds from the order of justice according to the quality of the works done, imports in its very notion the concept of rectitude 157and goodness” (Eth., c. iii. art. 2).

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

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

The reproach of dualism, and of a failure to establish a final subjugation of evil by good and of disorder by the triumph and domination of order, made against the orthodox doctrine, is shown by these arguments, in connection with other well-known principles of Catholic theology and philosophy, to be groundless. There is no dualism in God, for his creative act, and all that he does for bringing it to its ultimate term, proceeds from love diffusive of the good of being in a wise and benevolent order. There is no dualism in the essence and being of intelligent creatures, in respect to God or each other. Their essence is good, and all nature whatsoever is essentially good. No evil substance does or can exist. Evil is privation and disorder. The temporary disorder, which is permitted as an incident to the liberty of a state of probation and movement toward a stable order, is rectified in the final ordination of all things under the supremacy of sovereign law. The loss of some good, which might have been added to the actual sum of good if all had attained their end, is compensated by the greater good which God has brought out of evil. Reason and order and law are vindicated and satisfied, by the compulsory subjection and homage of those who have refused 158to give their concurrence and pay their just tribute of obedience and labor freely. Privation does not disfigure the spiritual universe in which all that is requisite to consummate order and beauty exists, any more than empty space disfigures a stellar system. The good has therefore a complete and universal triumph, which leaves no deordination in the universe.

Disorder is only in the moral order of liberty in the election of contraries, by which the permanent order of those who exercise this power is determined. Those who rise above the moral order go to a higher order which is permanent; those who fall below it go to an order beneath which is permanent. The moral order passes away, and with it all conflict between opposing moral forces. Those who have fallen below their proper destiny receive precisely what is due to them and results naturally from their voluntary choice. Whatever is superadded to the misery naturally involved in the state of alienation from God and the frustration of their proper end, is directed to remove and prevent but not to perpetuate and increase deordination; and thus eternal punishment, whatever its nature, qualities, and instrumentalities may be, really restricts the limits of evil. It is the bonum honestum and not the bonum delectabile which is the just and reasonable object of the primary and direct complacency of intelligent beings. The bonum delectabile is secondary. That which is most contrary to this highest good is the revolt of free-will against the will of God. When the term allowed by the Almighty for the rebellion of Lucifer to run its course has been reached, it will be suppressed by that act of sovereign power, which places each one of those who have merited exclusion from heaven in a fixed and unchangeable state, precisely suited to his character. No further disturbance of the moral order is possible, no further privation can be incurred, no new injuries can be attempted against any of God’s creatures. Those who suffer, actually endure nothing beyond the retribution justly due to the demerits of their state of probation, and their suffering compensates in the order of the bonum honestum for their offences against that order, restoring the disturbed equilibrium of justice. It is an effect of the divine goodness frustrated (in respect to them) of its intention, and deprived of its due quality as bonum delectabile by their own voluntary opposition to the benevolent will of God. Socrates and Plato taught that it is better even for the one who deserves punishment to undergo it than to remain in impunity. Assuredly it is better for the common order which he has violated. Impunity for great political frauds is the greatest of disorders in a community, and the punishment of the criminals is a reparation to the public honor and the sanctity of right, which adds decorum to a state. This is in virtue of an eternal and universal law, and holds good in the supreme order, with which the ethical constitution of human society is in an analogical resemblance. Justice reduces all things to equality, by subjugating the inordinate wills of created beings under the coercive force of the reaction of reason and order against their rebellion. The inequality removed by this violent reaction is measured by the voluntary and free excesses of the rebels and transgressors against the sovereign will 159of God. Beyond this measure, there is no violence done to the spontaneous desires and natural tendency to good intrinsic to the essence of every intelligent being. Unless there is an inequality caused by voluntary contrariety to the divine will, there is no opposition, and therefore there must be a perfect harmony and equality of proportion between the eternal order and the wills of those who are subject to it. Therefore, there is no such thing possible as pain, discontent, deficiency from the bonum honestum and bonum delectabile of nature, in the eternal world, except that which is the retribution for voluntary transgressions.

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

We return now to that which we proposed at the beginning as a primary question, not for those who are already certain by Catholic faith, but for inquirers into the mystery of human destiny beyond the veil. Is there a heaven, and what is the way by which it can be attained? Modern rationalism presents at best nothing higher that the eternal state into which human nature fell by the transgression of Adam, and from which we are redeemed by Christ. This species of philosophical and semi-Christian Theism, which is respectable in pagans and those who are in a similar condition of dim enlightenment, has no intellectual foundation which can stand or give support, in opposition to the clear Christian revelation. The firm assent to its really sound and rational principles and their logical conclusions, inexorably demands a further assent, to the physical, moral, and metaphysical demonstration by which the certain truth of Christianity is made evident to reason. A consistent and thorough rejection of Christianity reacts with irresistible logical violence against the first premises of natural theology. The prevailing rationalism is materialistic and atheistic. The contrary of Catholic faith, the real error of the age, the logical alternative of genuine undiluted Christianity, is anti-spiritual, anti-theistic Nihilism. To those who have a repugnance for the hell which is the shadow of heaven in Catholic doctrine, the night-side of the supernatural, this system cannot be very attractive; unless they are in despair, and already so unhappy and hopeless that existence seems to them an intolerable evil. In this system there is nothing besides hell. Hell is the necessary, eternal 160reality, the only being. The negation of all eternal good, of all beatitude whether natural or supernatural, is the one, fundamental dogma of Pessimism.

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

Note.—The reader is referred for a more full exposition of the relation of the supernatural to the natural order, and the other principal topics belonging to the subject of the future destiny of man, to the following works: Aspirations of Nature, by the Rev. I. T. Hecker; Problems of the Age and The King’s Highway, by the Rev. A. F. Hewit; Catholicity and Pantheism, by the Rev. J. de Concilio; The Knowledge of Mary, by the same author; and Catholic Eschatology, by H. N. Oxenham.



O precious book! in lines of fire I see
Upon each page the record of a soul
Which soared above the clouds, serenely free,
Which read with eagle eye the mystic scroll;
To whose ecstatic love th’ Eternal Three
Sublime and hidden mysteries did unroll.
A heart, a living heart, is throbbing here!
A heart whose every fibre[41] thrilled to One
Unknown to human wisdom, yet most clear
To him, whose spirit, as a luminous sun,
Caught from the splendors of high heaven’s sphere,
A light for centuries set in shadows dun.
O shadows dark and sad! with prophet-gaze
Did he foresee your baneful, blinding cloud
Enwrap man’s reason, soul, and heart? the ways
Of God enveloped in a death-like shroud
Of folly, prejudice, and pride? Amaze
Had seized that noble soul! Yet he had bowed
’Neath persecution’s fury; toiled with heart
Undaunted, while upraised were savage hands
To strike, as Jews of old, the deadly dart.
Through sufferings borne with joy he won those bands,
Through burning zeal and (his own heavenly art)
Divinest meekness, which all power commands.
What secret charm had he so early learned
Which made a joy of pain? of sacrifice
His life-long pleasure? Soul and heart had burned
Within love’s fiery crucible where dies
Nature and self and sense; for God he yearned;
For God and souls were poured his nightly sighs.
Thou sacred volume, fruit of years of prayer,
Of holy contemplation, seraph love,
Dost unto me this hidden charm declare;
With his own life each word is interwove.
His holy pen would oft, methinks, repair
To Calvary’s shade or to the olive grove,
And, deep within the Wounded Side, would seek
The living flame, as strong as death, which breathes
In each dear line. Methinks he still doth speak,
162And with celestial sweetness still bequeathes
His dying legacy of love; his meek
And gentle lessons in the soul inwreathes
Like flowers, the garden of the Spouse to grace.
O zeal inflamed and generous! No rest
While heart and hand the path to heaven may trace
For souls brought back on Calvary’s bleeding crest;
No rest while he one tender lamb may place,
All bruised, for healing on the Saviour’s breast.
No sweet repose of prayer and love while pure
And virgin hearts, aspiring heavenward, pine
For light and guidance in the way obscure
And thorny leading to the mystic shrine—
The “inner temple,” where God, throned secure,
Binds fast the soul in his embrace divine.
No rest for him while still on earth the fire
His Master brought remains unkindled; while
One human heart, Grief’s trembling, deep-toned lyre,
Vibrates not to his Master’s touch with smile
Of peace, ev’n while the chords are breaking; higher,
And higher still! the sacrificial pile
Awaits a host of generous souls who mount
With ardor at his word; new strength endows,
And, like the phœnix,[42] they from Light’s own Fount
Draw odorous flames of love; while sacred vows
Bind them, like Isaac, hand and foot, who count
The sword and fire but pleasure with their Spouse.
O priceless heritage of poet-saint!
What wisdom born of Heaven adorns each page!
To fancy seems some master-hand to paint;
To intellect speaks philosophic sage;
Passion impulsive yields to sweet constraint,
And heart and will bow down in every age.
Strange spell which o’er the soul it casts! the strong,
Clear message more like ancient prophet’s tone;
Again, to his full gaze as mysteries throng,
Its breathings are the loved disciple’s own;
And now it rises like th’ ecstatic song
Of some grand seraph veiled before the throne!


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

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

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

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

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

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

After admiring the young artist a few minutes he continued his way along the gallery. But his mind was too occupied with the 164living picture which he had just seen to care a jot for anything else, and all the rest of the day this vision of beauty haunted him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Walburga, who was of a nature inclined to melancholy, had for more than a year kept a skull in her bed-room, and before it she was wont to meditate sometimes for 165hours, until the ugly thing stole away the bloom from her cheek and drew a black mark under each of her eyes. Her appetite, too, began to fail; and ’twere not easy to say what might have happened if she had been living alone. But one morning, while she was plunged in one of her reveries before this death’s head, Moida approached, and, after kneeling beside her and saying a prayer—for Moida was a good girl, and quite as pious as Walburga, only in a different way—she reverently took the skull in her hands and said: “Now, dear friend, I think ’tis time to put this aside. ’Tis making a ghost of you. It has honeycombed you with scruples, and I am sure that your father-confessor would approve of the reformation which I am going to inaugurate. Therefore take one more good look at this eyeless, grinning object ere it disappears from your sight for ever.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Dear, sweet spot!” murmured Walburga.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

168While Caro was frisking about and yelping, the nightingale, as we have already observed, was warbling a song for its mistress, who stood listening with a pensive air.

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

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

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

“Well, he loves you, doesn’t he?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

which may be rendered:

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

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

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

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

“Yes, yes, so he will, the dear boy! and then I’ll take you in my 169arms, and carry you away too, and thus we’ll all three fly off together,” interrupted the sunny-hearted girl.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

170It is sunset, and the new owner of Loewenstein has just returned from Munich, whither he went to enjoy himself awhile in the Pinakothek.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These words, uttered in a frank, manly tone, pleased Conrad, who, when he first met the young artist, had taken him for a silly fellow that was clinging to the shadow of a great name while too proud to do any work. Ulrich certainly had rather a haughty mien; but, thanks to the girl to whom he was betrothed, he had acquired a good deal of common sense, and, moreover, 171he had a warm heart. So that Conrad, who pitied his threadbare appearance, soon grew to like him, and during the past week had made the youth take up his quarters with him in the tower.

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

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

“Although I am an ardent believer in the aristocracy of nature, nevertheless I feel all the more drawn to you for being a Von Loewenstein.” After a pause he added: “I wonder who my Dream will turn out to be? Will she appreciate dwelling in a castle? Oh! yes, I am sure she will.”

And Conrad went on to tell again of Walburga’s look of rapture as she stood at her easel, and of her tall, graceful figure:

“I am sure, too, her hair is all her own; in fact, every part of her is as classic as her face.”

While he thus gave utterance to his admiration for Ulrich’s sister Ulrich’s heart was in a flutter, and he could not help thinking what happiness ’twould be if Walburga were one day to become mistress of Loewenstein. Yet at the same time he thought it not a little strange that Conrad should express such unbounded admiration for one who did not expect, any more than he did himself, that ever a man would wish her for his bride.

“But tell me,” pursued Conrad, twitching his sleeve, “is there no dear girl whom you have fallen in love with? Artists, of all men, you know, are the most prone to the tender passion.”

“Oh! indeed there is,” answered Ulrich—“as sweet a girl as ever breathed. Once a week she writes to me and I to her.”

“Well, who is she? Where does she live?”

“In Munich, sir. Her name is Moida Hofer; and, although of peasant descent, I call her noble, for many of our mountaineers have owned their rough acres for generations, and, moreover, Moida’s grandfather was Hofer the Patriot.”

“Really! Oh! then, don’t let her slip; marry her by all means, for she belongs to my nobility,” exclaimed Conrad with enthusiasm. “And of course she is beautiful?”

“Every girl, sir, is beautiful when a man loves her; and I detest Greek noses and Roman noses since I have known Moida, for she hasn’t one.”

Here the other burst into a loud laugh, which frightened away a couple of bats that had been circling about their heads; for bats and swallows, as well as owls and hawks, found their way into this ancient chamber, which had not been occupied till now since Ulrich and his sister left it as children.

“And you should hear Moida sing,” continued Ulrich; “and hear her talk, too. Oh! she is so wise. She knows how to preach to me and tell me of my faults without ever making me angry. I was living in Cloudland before I met her. She said: ‘Ulrich, come down out of the clouds and earn 172your bread’; and ’tis owing to her that I persevered in my art-studies and am able to paint a little.”

“You certainly have talent,” said Conrad, “judging by the sketches in your portfolio. But let me ask why you do not marry?”

At this question Ulrich heaved a sigh.

“Is it want of money?”

“Well, our honeymoon will come some day or other,” said the youth, evading a response. “She is patient—more patient than I. She cheers me up; knits stockings for me; makes me shirts; in fact, she does as much for me almost as if she were my wife. Dear, dear, dear Moida!”

“May I inquire how Miss Hofer earns a livelihood?”

“She keeps a small store, an old-curiosity shop, where one may buy for a mere trifle chairs and mirrors, and clocks and engravings, together with many other articles that at some time or another adorned noble houses. You may find there a number of things that used to belong to Loewenstein.”

“Indeed! Then I’ll buy out her whole stock—upon my word I will—and back to this spot shall come every chair and mirror and clock. O Ulrich, Ulrich! why didn’t you tell me this before?”

After thus conversing awhile within the tower, and it being settled that the young man was to begin on the morrow his labor of restoring the frescos, they passed out by what must once have been a stately passage-way, but was now so encumbered with fragments of stone and mortar that Conrad and Ulrich were obliged to stoop very low, at one place almost to creep, in order to emerge into the open air. As we have already observed, the tower was the only portion of the castle not entirely in ruin; the rest of the building was so shattered by time that it was difficult even for imagination to picture it as it had been in the days of its glory.

“Here,” said Ulrich, “used to be the chapel. On this spot the first Mass was offered up in Loewenstein.”

“Well, I will rebuild this, too, unbeliever though I am,” said Conrad. “And oh! would that my dead faith might be quickened as easily as these crumbled stones can be put into shape again. But, happily, women are still prayerful, and the young lady whom I hope to win shall have her chapel to pray in. But, alas! what desolation has come to this hallowed spot—what desolation! Everything gone except one tomb. I must not tread upon it, for doubtless one of your race lies buried underneath.”

“Only a few words on the monument are legible,” said Ulrich, stooping and brushing off the dust with his hands:

‘Hic jacet Walburga;
Requiescat in pace!’

The rest I cannot make out; but I remember hearing my father say that this Walburga was a Hungarian princess, who married Hugo von Loewenstein toward the close of the fourteenth century.”

“How sad is the fall of old families!” observed Conrad after a moment’s silence, during which his eyes remained fixed on the blurred slab at his feet. “But I sometimes believe there is a law which governs the strange and solemn procession of generations: as the wheel of time goes round and round, the king takes his turn at beggary, and 173the beggar shuffles off his rags and mounts up to the throne.”

“Therefore at some future day, if your notion be correct, I, or one of my descendants, will get this castle back again,” said Ulrich, smiling.

“Nowadays,” pursued Conrad, as if in soliloquy, “people affect to be democratic; we win our spurs by speculating in cotton, or grain, or some other stuff, instead of by brave deeds on the battle-field. Well, well, I for one prefer the helmet and the battle-axe to the chinking of the money-changers.” Then, turning to Ulrich: “It surprises you to hear me say this, eh?”

To tell the truth, it did surprise him; but Ulrich did not show it.

“Well, a fortnight ago I would not have spoken thus,” he continued. “But the truth is, the veriest democrat loves in his secret heart a pedigree; and if he hasn’t one, he’ll pay somebody to make him a family-tree; and then he’ll buy a ruin, as I have done, and get to feel as I feel, perhaps. Why, Ulrich, I do believe somebody has thrown a spell over me; ay, this fair lady sleeping under the old stone here has touched me with her spirit wand. Why, I feel as if I were a Loewenstein—I do! I do!” Here Conrad brandished his cane and repeated aloud the Loewenstein motto: Intaminatis fulget honoribus.

“How it would please Walburga to hear him talking thus!” said Ulrich inwardly. “Proud as she is, I think her heart might incline towards him.”

It should perhaps be observed that hardship had wrought little effect upon Walburga. It had scarcely bent her spirit at all; and not once since she quitted the home of her forefathers had she returned to visit the dearly-loved spot. “It would be too bitter a sight to see vulgar people wandering amid its ruins,” she would tell her brother. “I’d rather have Loewenstein disappear entirely, be covered up by the mountain, than that some rich upstart should buy it, then pull down the mite that is left of its glorious walls, and erect a modern villa in their stead.”

Nor had she for several years entered Moida Hofer’s store, where so many curious objects were exposed for sale; and once, when her friend had disposed of a Loewenstein clock, one of the primitive kind, with pendulum swinging in front—ay, and disposed of it, too, for a pretty good price—Moida did not dare mention the fact. Indeed, the old-curiosity shop was now a banished theme of conversation between them.

By and by, after telling Ulrich for the twentieth time how finely the castle was to be renovated, Conrad said: “Now let us go in and take some repose; for to-morrow, you know, we are to be up early—you to do a good day’s work, while I must be off by the first train to Munich, where I am determined to have another look at my Dream.”

With this they went back into the tower, and after trying, but without success, to drive the bats out of their dormitory, Conrad and Ulrich lay down to rest. The former was soon fast asleep; but the youth, who had a more vivid imagination, stayed awake a whole hour thinking of the many who had occupied this chamber in days gone by. The moon shimmering in through the iron-barred window over his head flung a weird halo round about the lady painted on the wall; and he could not but think what a very, very ghostly chamber it was.

174A month had gone by since Ulrich had laid eyes on Moida Hofer—only a month, yet it seemed as long as six months. So next morning, when Conrad was making ready to descend the hill on his way to Munich, the youth thrust his hand into his pocket, and, drawing forth some small pieces of silver, counted them over carefully. With anxious heart he counted them, and to his great delight found that there was just enough money to carry him to his betrothed and back. The other, who had a quick eye, was not slow to read what was passing in Ulrich’s mind, and said: “Is there any message you wish delivered to Miss Hofer? Or perhaps you will accompany me? Do; and we may visit her curiosity-shop together. To-morrow will be time enough to begin work on the frescos.”

“Well, I own, sir,” replied Ulrich, “’twould give me great happiness to see my lady-love; and I’ll labor all the harder for making her a visit.”

Accordingly they both set out for Munich, which was reached in four hours—eight it seemed to the impatient travellers, who as soon as they arrived went straight to Fingergasse.

Never was street better named, for it is little broader than a finger, and consequently only at high noon does the sun cheer it with its rays.

But this morning Fingergasse looked anything but dismal to the young artist, who knew that a pair of bright eyes were about to greet him, and already were shooting floods of light into his heart.

“Why, Ulrich! Ulrich!” These were Moida’s first words as she flew towards him. Perhaps in presence of a stranger she may have expected only a warm shake of the hand in response or a pat on the cheek. But in an instant the arms of her lover were twined about her neck. Then, when the greeting was over, Conrad Seinsheim was introduced, and we need not say that the girl surveyed him carefully. Moida found him not handsome like her Ulrich; rather the opposite. But she admired his broad forehead and the energy which flashed through his eyes; even his air of sternness did not displease her, for she recognized in him a man with opinions of his own, a man of power and decision.

And now, reader, blame her not for telling Conrad frankly and in her most winning way that her store was the best place in town to find old curiosities. “Why, sir,” said Moida, “I have even some fourteenth-century chairs from Loewenstein Castle, of which doubtless you have heard. ’Tis the oldest castle in Tyrol, and——”

“Moida,” interrupted Ulrich, “did I not write to you that——”

“Oh, hush! hush!” said Moida, blushing and putting her plump hand over his mouth.

“Well, I am here,” observed Conrad, trying hard not to smile—“I am here purposely to buy everything your store contains; for I am now owner of Loewenstein, and mean to fit it up as far as possible in true mediæval style.”

“Really!” exclaimed Moida. “Really!”

Whereupon Conrad did smile outright at her look of surprise and joy. Then presently she turned towards Ulrich, and her lips moved as if she were trying to speak. But he could only guess what she wanted to say. Yes, Moida, if Conrad purchases all that your little store holds, then indeed you may name your wedding-day. And if a radiant 175expression can make a homely face beautiful, it would have been difficult to find a more beautiful girl than Moida at this moment.

After speaking volumes to Ulrich through her blue eyes, she turned again to Conrad and said in an earnest tone: “O, sir! how kind you are. I cannot find words to express my thanks.”

The latter waved his hand, as if to say, “Pray do not thank me,” then set about examining the curiosities. These consisted of nine chairs ranged side by side along the wall, half a dozen breast-plates and helmets, a stack of arquebuses and pikes, three crossbows, some silver plates and goblets, a ewer, a couple of clocks which had not ticked in a century, an earthenware stove quaintly embossed with scenes from Holy Writ, and apparently a countless number of smaller objects, such as seals, rings, miniatures, and coins.

Picking up one of the miniatures, Conrad exclaimed: “Why, I declare, this is very like a young lady whom I saw lately in the Pinakothek, only here is a full view of her face, whereas I saw but the profile of my Dream.”

At this remark Moida stepped up and whispered: “’Tis the portrait of Walburga, the spouse of Hugo von Loewenstein; and ’tis the only thing I am not willing to part with.” The other turned towards her a moment with an air of disappointment; then, perceiving that she was in earnest, he let the subject drop.

A few minutes later Conrad was on his way to the picture-gallery, while Ulrich remained to enjoy the company of his betrothed. The first thing Moida did was to run out and fetch him a mug of beer. This may seem too trivial a fact to relate; nevertheless, truth may as well be told. She knew that in Tyrol he had had only water or wine to drink; and what can equal Munich beer? As Ulrich quietly sipped the delicious beverage, her quick eye ran over his buttons. She took them all in at a glance, and in another moment Moida’s needle was busy mending a rent in his sleeve. But while the girl sewed, she ever and anon peeped up at his face, and thought to herself: “In the whole kingdom of Bavaria there is nobody can compare with my Ulrich.” And, moreover, full of common sense as Moida was, there was nothing she admired more than the two sword-cuts on her dear boy’s cheek, in shape like a cross; and well did she remember the day when he received them, now five years ago. For, like most German students, Ulrich had belonged to a corps (his was the Teutonia), and occasionally engaged in a duel. It was on that memorable day that he addressed her the first tender word, after having had his wounds sewed up; while Moida, as she listened with fluttering heart and drooping eyes, thought to herself: “I am the third one to whom he has said this. Oh! I wonder which of us will win?”

Then she pretended that she did not care a straw for him; whereupon Ulrich presented her with a beautiful nosegay—four florins it cost him—and the rest we need not narrate.

“By the way, how is Caro?” inquired Ulrich, after holding the glass to her lips and making Moida take a sip of the beer.

“As frisky as if he were a puppy,” answered the latter, highly pleased at the question. Ulrich knew it would please her.

“Well, wouldn’t it be nice to 176have the old dog settled at Loewenstein, where he might get plenty of fresh air and be outdoors as much as he chose?” added the youth.

“Ay; but what chance is there of that?—unless you were to take him; and he’d be rather troublesome.”

“No pet of yours would ever trouble me,” rejoined Ulrich. “And let me tell you, Moida, strange things happen in the world.”

With this he proceeded to reveal how much Conrad Seinsheim admired a certain young lady whom he had seen in the Pinakothek.

“’Tis the very one you heard him say that miniature is so like; and I know he is gone there now purposely to see her again. And it must be Walburga, for isn’t she copying Carlo Dolce’s picture of Innocence?”

Leaving Ulrich and his betrothed to discuss the possibility of a union between a Von Loewenstein and a Seinsheim, let us follow the footsteps of Conrad.

He found the one of whom he was in quest seated at her easel, perhaps a trifle nearer the wall than before, and with the same expression on her face which had so ravished his heart the first time he lighted upon her. She seemed not to notice his approach, and when at length Conrad ventured to ask if the copy she was making were for sale, Walburga replied, apparently with indifference, and without taking her eyes off the canvas: “Yes, sir, it is.” Yet how his question set her heart a-throbbing! For the sale of the picture would enable the girl to pay several bills that were due, as well as take a trip to Nuremberg, which for years she had been longing to visit; for Nuremberg was the birthplace of Albert Dürer.

“How differently Miss Hofer would have answered me!” thought Conrad, observing Walburga with close attention. “She would have looked me full in the face and completed a bargain forthwith; ay, and persuaded me, too, to offer a high price for the picture.” Then aloud, and addressing Walburga in courtly German style: “Well, if the gracious lady will allow me to possess her beautiful copy, I shall be delighted. For I have just bought an old castle in the Tyrol, which I mean to restore, as far as money may, to its former state of grandeur, and I promise you your painting shall adorn the fairest chamber in it.”

“An old castle, indeed!” murmured Walburga, still without glancing at him. She wondered whether it might be Loewenstein. Then presently, unable to contain her eager desire to know if it was or not, she said: “May I ask, sir, in what part of the Tyrol your castle is?”

“In the Innthal, not far from Innspruck; and it once belonged to the noble house of Von Loewenstein.”

At these words a flush crimsoned the girl’s cheek for a moment, then disappeared, leaving her paler than before; while her brush, always so steady, now tremblingly touched the canvas. At length, after vainly endeavoring to master her feelings, she let the brush drop and buried her face in her hands.

Conrad’s curiosity was here raised to a high pitch; for although Ulrich had not told him that he had a sister an artist, yet he was quick-witted, and since he had seen the miniature in the old curiosity-shop—and Moida, we remember, had informed him that it came from Loewenstein—Conrad had been 177hoping that the young lady whom he called his Dream might prove to be one of the Loewenstein family, a near relative of Ulrich’s—his sister, perhaps.

“And why not?” he asked himself. “A likeness may be handed down through many generations; it may vanish for a space, like a lost stream, then reappear in the person of a far-off descendant. And verily, this charming girl is the living image of Walburga, the bride of Hugo von Loewenstein. And, oh! if I am right, what a treasure she will be. True, I am not highborn, and she may not view me at first with favor. But I’ll go through fire to win her!”

Presently Walburga uncovered her face, and for the first time stole a furtive glance at the one who stood beside her. Then quick her eyes were fastened on the canvas again; and while Conrad was wondering at her shyness a tear rolled down her cheek. His curiosity to know who she was now increased tenfold, and he said, in a voice the tenderness of which he did not care to conceal:

“Gracious lady, pray be not offended if I ask whether you have ever been to Loewenstein?”

“I was there once; I never wish to lay eyes on it again,” answered Walburga, trying to conceal her emotion.

“Would it offend you if I were to inquire the reason why?” pursued Conrad, now scarcely doubting who she was.

For more than a minute Walburga did not trust herself to speak. Finally she said:

“What spot, sir, can be so sad as an abandoned home? Parting with our birthplace to strangers does not tear up the deep roots whereby our heart clings to it. We feel towards it as towards a dear friend whom we have deserted. O sir! for many, many years—for centuries”—here Walburga drew herself proudly up—“my race held the castle which now is yours; and I love it so much that I cannot speak of it with calmness. A friend dies and we hide him in the earth; a dead home remains, mournfully gazing on us whenever we pass by. ’Tis why I will not go near dear, dear Loewenstein: nothing so ghostlike as an abandoned home!”

By this time tears were glistening in the dark, cavernous eyes of her listener; and when Walburga finished speaking Conrad said:

“Gracious lady, you cannot imagine how precious to me the old ruin has become. I love it, too.”

Here for the second time Walburga looked at him, but, as before, only by a swift side-glance. Then she said: “I must return you thanks, sir, for your kindness to my brother. He wrote to a young lady, his betrothed, all about it, and she told me; and I sincerely rejoice that Loewenstein has fallen into the hands of a gentleman like yourself.”

“Then you are Ulrich’s sister?” exclaimed Conrad.

“His only sister, and he my only brother. You cannot tell how I miss him.”

“Well, he accompanied me today, and is now with Miss Hofer.”

“Indeed! How delighted I am!”

“And I am much pleased with his lady-love,” added Conrad.

“Well you may be, sir. She is the salt of the earth. Ulrich needs a shrewd, practical woman for his wife; for the dear fellow is somewhat of a dreamer like myself. We both of us live in the past. But now do let me know how you came to meet Moida Hofer.”

178“It happened in this wise: Your brother told me there were in her curiosity-shop many relics from Loewenstein, which I determined to possess. And really, I was charmed with the few words she addressed to me; her ways are so sprightly and winning. And I, for my part, am curious to know how you fell in with the granddaughter of Hofer the Patriot.”

“Well, I’ll tell you all about it,” answered Walburga, as she went on finishing the golden hair of her picture. “You must know, sir, that Ulrich and I were left orphans at an early age, and immediately after the death of our parents the castle fell into the hands of the state; for there were many taxes unpaid, as well as heavy debts owing here and there. So away went Loewenstein. But, although quite penniless, God sent us in our uttermost need a generous lady, who had no children of her own, and who adopted us and gave us a home in Munich. This lady had a small fortune, enough to live comfortably on and to educate us. Ah! what should we have done without her? Well, ’twas during this happy period that Ulrich made Moida’s acquaintance. She was then an orphan, too, and clad in the picturesque costume of Tyrol; a real mountain daisy she was, and brother fell in love with her. Shortly thereafter our adopted mother died, bequeathing to us her fortune, and we little thought we should ever suffer want. But, alas! the bank where our money was placed failed, and all, or nearly all, was lost. Then poor Ulrich, who had already become engaged to Moida, feared that he could not be married—at least not so soon as he had hoped. ’Twas a bitter disappointment to them both. But Moida said: ‘Let us be patient and hope. I will never give you up.’ Brother and I were now fortunately well advanced in our art studies—Ulrich, moreover, had passed through the university—and we resolved to try and earn our bread by painting.

“But ’tis easier to paint a picture than to sell one”—here Walburga’s cheek reddened—“and so for Ulrich and I ’twas Lent all the year round; and we grew very thin, for we did not even eat fish. Until one day dear Moida discovered our miserable plight: we had done our best to conceal it. Then she insisted on doing her utmost to help us. She made me share her lodging; she even clothed me. And this was most noble in her, for Moida knew that our high-born acquaintances had told Ulrich he would be marrying infinitely beneath him if he married her. Yet not one of those proud families extended to us a helping hand. About this time Moida had set up a little store—the one she keeps to-day. But she would not let me help her to dispose of anything; she treated me as if she knew I was not born for such drudgery—sometimes archly saying I could not make a good bargain, which perhaps was true.

“But when the furniture of dear Loewenstein was sold at auction, and when Moida bought it all, oh! from that day I have not set foot in her curiosity-shop; for I know every clock and cup and pike and helmet, and ’twould break my heart to see this man and that coming in and cheapening those precious heirlooms. But Moida is not displeased with me for holding aloof; she respects my feelings, although not at all a sentimental girl herself. Unhappily during the past year business has been very dull, and she sells but few things, 179while the rent of the store keeps high; and only that my friend has great spirit she might almost fall into despair. Yet even now, in what I may call her darkest hour, she tells Ulrich to be cheerful, that their wedding-day will come sooner or later.”

“Yes, yes; very soon,” murmured Conrad, who felt tempted to lay bare at once his whole heart to Walburga. But a moment’s reflection deterred him: it might appear too abrupt, for the young lady had never seen or spoken to him before. So, while admiring her more and more, he resolved to wait a little.

But Walburga’s voice sounded so sweetly to his ears that Conrad urged her to go on and tell him something more about herself and Moida.

Whereupon Walburga smiled and hesitated; for although she had scarcely paused an instant with her brush, yet his presence was felt to be a distraction. If she interested him, it was no less certain that he interested her. She could not feel towards Conrad as towards a stranger; she knew that he had befriended Ulrich; that he was now the owner of the place where she was born; and that the many precious things which debt and the auction-sale had scattered to the winds he was bent on recovering and taking back to Loewenstein. What wrought most potently upon Walburga was the evident interest which he showed in herself. Instead of buying her picture and then retiring, Conrad had dallied half an hour by her side, and prevailed on her to talk about her affairs with an openness at which she inwardly blushed.

Nor was he at all like the other sight-seers who were wont to visit the gallery. The two shy glances she had given him had convinced her that Conrad was no ordinary man; that whatever his origin—even if he did not know who his great-grandfather was, as Ulrich had written to Moida—yet his was not a grovelling, low-born soul.

Accordingly, after remaining silent well-nigh a minute, Walburga yielded to his request and proceeded to tell him more about herself. “Moida and I and two others, sir,” she resumed, “have a home together—which makes four of us in one small lodging.”

“Four!” repeated Conrad, just a little disturbed and wondering who the other two might be.

“Yes, four. There is myself, Moida, Caro, and a nightingale.”

“Oh! indeed—Caro and a nightingale,” ejaculated her admirer, with a sense of relief he was hardly able to conceal.

“And never was a more peaceful home. Up under the roof it is; but that gives us fresh air, and into our dormer windows the sunshine comes sooner than into any other windows on the street.”

“And you have the sweetest of all birds to sing for you,” observed Conrad.

“Yes, indeed. But I sometimes think of giving my pet his freedom. Moida laughs at me for it. Moida is——”

“Not in the least sentimental,” interrupted the other, with a smile.

“Well, true, she is not. But my bird is now a prisoner, and I am sure he must feel lonesome where he is.”

“Oh! believe me, he is far happier as your prisoner than if he were enjoying the freedom of all the woods in Bavaria,” said Conrad, with a faint tremor in his voice.

“Indeed!” exclaimed Walburga, answering his emotion by a crimson spot on her cheek.

180“Well, you may be right,” he added presently. “Your kind heart may tell you that your nightingale sighs for some other little bird to love.”

At these words the sweet, pink blush spread itself with the quickness of light over Walburga’s whole cheek, and she answered:

“I declare, ’tis just what I told Moida.”

“And what did she say?”

“Moida said—and no harm in repeating it—she said Ulrich was her nightingale.”

“Her nightingale! Well, really, your friend is sentimental; and I envy your brother. It must be the greatest of earthly joys to be happily wedded, as they soon will be.”

Here Walburga’s countenance grew suddenly pensive, and she murmured to herself: “Ay, the greatest of earthly joys.”

Conrad noticed the change in her expression and wondered at it. Then he thought to himself: “’Tis time for me to withdraw; I may be wearying her.”

But ere he retired he said: “May I come again, gracious lady, tomorrow or the day after? I sometimes have melancholy moods, but these lovely pictures bring the sunshine back to my heart; and the loveliest picture of all is in this part of the gallery.”

“You may, sir, if it pleases you,” was the answer he received. Then, making an obeisance, Conrad went away, leaving Walburga hardly in a fit state to continue her work; and she inwardly repeated the words which he had uttered about her nightingale: “Far happier as your prisoner than enjoying the freedom of all the woods in Bavaria.”

“What did he mean?” she asked herself. “What did he mean?”

A few minutes later the girl rose and went away too, still murmuring the question: “What did he mean?”




Luke xxii. 44.

No impious hand, no torture-instrument
The Son of Mary yet has touched. Alone
His prostrate form upon the ground is rent
With cruel agony of blood to atone
For thy too easy life. A heart of stone
Could but dissolve before the piteous sight.
All through the Holy Hour he made his moan,
Beneath the olives, on the sacred height;
Wrongs of the ages saw in vision that dread night!


John xix. 1.

An act, a little word, of God made man
Bears in itself his own immensity;
To him the universe is but a span,
A world’s full ransom his one tear might be.
Not as we reckon outlay reckons he,
Until his boundless love has lavished all.
The knotted scourge precedes the fatal tree.
Couldst thou return him less, if he should call?
Or would the martyr’s palm thy coward soul appall?


John xix. 5.

A crown of thorns for him, a crown of bays
For such as I! A fool might surely deem
The servant greater than his Master. Praise
Might to the sinner merest irony seem,
The while the Sinless One is made a theme
Of ribaldry. Before his crown of thorn
Honor and earthly glory are a dream,
A phantom flimsier than of vapor born:
By that pierced brow the crown of all the worlds is worn.


Matt. xi. 30.

Simon to bear thy cross they would compel;
Yet for the deed, though done against his will,
On him and on his sons rich blessing fell,
As old traditions say. How richer still
The graces that the heart’s long thirst will fill
For him who runs that sacred load to meet,
And bear it upward to the holy hill!
To share His burden be my footstep fleet:
True love will make his yoke unfelt, his burden sweet.


John i. 29.

Behold, the Lamb of God is crucified!
His head is bowed, to impart the kiss of peace;
Stretched are his arms, to draw thee to his side;
182Opened his heart, thy heart’s love to increase.
His all is spent to purchase thy release.
Canst thou, my soul, love great as this refuse?
Henceforth in thee let sin’s dominion cease,
And with the Mother of the martyrs choose,
Rather than him in death, a whole world’s wealth to lose.


It has been well said that “the best government is that which governs least”; and it might with infinite propriety be added that the legislative body stultifies itself when it passes laws that cannot possibly be carried into effect. One such law on our statute-books, yet constantly and notoriously violated, does more to destroy that political morality with which our people are, to say the least, not overburdened—of which certainly there is no surplus—than would ten wrong practices against which no law exists. We learned, during the late war, of how little avail legislation is when it undertakes to regulate and declare the value of gold; and it is designed briefly to set forth in this article that the proposed much-vaunted prohibitory legislation touching alcoholic liquors is false in theory, must be unsuccessful in practice; that remedial (not repressive) measures are what is required; and to suggest means by which the end aimed at by such enactments can be attained without invading the domain of the church, the free-will of humanity, or placing the state in the odious light of executor of a grinding tyranny exercised by a temporary majority over a recalcitrant minority.

And here, in the outset, let it be understood that there is no difference between ourselves and the most ardent favorers of the Maine Law, or any similar enactment on this matter, concerning the detestable nature of drunkenness, which we both admit to be a damning sin in the sight of God and a crying scandal before man. That it is a loathsome vice is a proposition requiring only to be stated, not argued. Even the wretched being who is enthralled by it will admit this and lament his deplorable condition. The days are past when Fox, Pitt, and Sheridan went openly drunk to the House of Commons; when the usages of the highest society were such that we still retain therefrom the saying, “Drunk as a lord”; when the literature of the age informs us everywhere that gentlemen were not expected to be sober after dinner; when Burns could write in Presbyterian Scotland, “I hae been fou wi’ godly priests”; and when, in our own country, the first thing on entering and the last on leaving a house was a visit to the sideboard. Drunkenness is now deservedly 183considered by the entire community not only a vice but an inherently vulgar one. Fashionable society will not tolerate it, and there is no pretence of usage any longer set up that will even partially condone it. In short, it is the one unpardonable sin against modern society, and we are well pleased to see it ranked in this category. But while detesting drunkenness, and deprecating, in the strongest manner, the habitual use of intoxicating liquors, we dislike very much to perceive a tendency on the part of the public to ignore the fact that there are other sins besides the abuse of liquor, and that it is not by legal provision that people are to be kept sober. As Almighty God has been pleased to leave us our free-will, the reason is not evident why frail man should seek to take it away; and we object utterly to that queer manipulation by which the word “temperance” itself, the proper meaning of which is “moderation in any use or practice,” should be restricted to the moderate use of alcoholic drinks, much more that it should falsely be twisted and perverted into implying a total abstinence from them. Why should we be wise above what is written? Has Almighty God failed his church? Are we prepared to admit that Christianity is a miscarriage? This we tacitly do when we invoke to her aid the arm of the civil law. It is not to be doubted but there are persons so unfortunately constituted that they cannot use stimulants of any kind without abusing them. “Madam,” said Dr. Johnson to a lady who asked him to take a little wine—“madam, I cannot take a little, and therefore I take none at all!” Such persons must plainly abstain entirely; whether they shall do so of their own accord, by taking a simple pledge or by joining a “temperance society,” is for themselves to answer. In any case there is no safety for them save in total abstinence; but said abstinence, to have any merit whatever, must be voluntary, not one of legal enforcement.

While attention had, from time to time within the last century, been called to the intemperate use of alcoholic liquors, it is only within comparatively recent times that any organized efforts have been made to grapple with this monstrous evil. The first association for the purpose was made in Massachusetts in 1813. By its means facts and statistics were gathered and published for the purpose of calling the attention of the public to the magnitude of the evil, and suggestions made for its abatement or suppression. Similar associations were soon formed in adjoining States, and these again organized branches, until associations of the kind existed in nearly all the Eastern and Middle States. About 1820 there was formed in Boston “The American Society for the Promotion of Temperance,” which in 1829 had over one thousand auxiliary societies, no State in the Union being without one or more. The influences relied upon by this institution were the dissemination of tracts in which were portrayed the evil effects of the use of alcohol, and the employment of travelling lecturers to deliver addresses in favor of temperance. The first society professing the principle of total abstinence from intoxicating liquors was formed at Andover in 1826. These several societies, under 184one form or other, soon spread largely not only in our own country but in Canada, England, and Scotland, until they existed by hundreds in each; and about this time the word temperance began to lose its normal signification, and to be used as a synonym for total abstinence from the use of liquors. Teetotalism became the popular cry. The country was taken by storm; lecturers loomed up all over the States, administered the “pledge” publicly to hundreds of thousands; various minor denominations refitted their terms of communion in accordance with the new war-cry. In Ireland the cause of total abstinence was so successfully advocated by Very Rev. Father Mathew that he is stated to have administered the pledge to more than a million persons within three years from 1838; and since that time there has been, in the popular mind, no such thing as temperance, except in the sense of total abstinence from all that can intoxicate. All the former associations which proposed to themselves any such secondary and inefficient object as moderation in the use of liquors, or which administered either a partial pledge or one merely for a specified time, were disbanded or fell out of sight. Societies of Washingtonians, Sons of Temperance, Good Templars, and Rechabites sprang up, most of them secret and with signs, passwords, grips, tokens, etc., the members of which were pledged neither to touch, taste, handle, buy, sell, manufacture, nor use as a beverage the accursed thing. In 1851 the Legislature of Maine passed the well-known “Maine Law,” by which it was made penal to manufacture, have in possession, or sell intoxicating drinks. The law was repealed in 1856, and it has since been lawful to distil, keep, or sell spirits under certain restrictions, but drinking-houses are prohibited. A similar law was enacted in Massachusetts in 1867. In many of the States there is a law prohibiting the sale of liquors on Sunday, and in a majority the local-option law (which leaves the question whether license to sell spirits shall be granted or not to the decision, at the polls, of the people of each city, town, township, or county) is now in full blast, with results that we shall glance at hereafter. A political party has been formed in many States, under the name of “prohibitionists,” which, though as yet but rarely sufficiently numerous or powerful to elect a governor on that single issue, yet numbers adherents enough frequently to hold the balance of power between the two prominent parties, and thus extort from candidates very important concessions in their own interests. They are active, energetic, conscientious in the main, and they besiege the various legislatures with petition upon petition against the liquor-traffic, which, to their minds, is the sum of all iniquities. The various religious sects come to their aid, loudly decrying all traffic in, and use of, spirituous drink. Matters have been brought to such a pass that a man’s reputation is imperilled by taking a glass of liquor; and there is yet wanting but the one further step of making its use illegal and its procurement impossible—a course strongly and unhesitatingly urged by almost all the various supporters of what is nowadays called temperance, and which seems quite likely to succeed, should the upholders of 185these views increase in numbers for a few more years as they have done within the last two decades.

It is a law of all fanatical movements, and one of their most peculiarly dangerous features, that they readily enmesh large numbers of people, and that their workings, tendencies, and developments fall of necessity, in the long run, into the hands of the extremists, the intransigentes, among themselves. Nor has this movement proved an exception, as is seen in the attempt made by legal enactment to coerce people into the practice of an enforced abstinence from stimulants—an abstinence not shown to be physiologically desirable, not commanded by the church, and most assuredly not inculcated in Scripture. But in secret societies always, in sectarian combinations generally, and oftentimes in political parties, the experience of all ages shows that people first set up for themselves a master, and then obey him like so many slaves. They do this, too, under the delusion, for the most part, that they are carrying out their own convictions of right. It is much easier to join one of these secret organizations in a flush of curiosity, enthusiasm, or other temporary excitement than it afterwards proves to leave them in calm blood. Ties of acquaintance and quasi friendship have been formed which most men strongly dislike to break. Good care is usually exercised that “the rhetorician, from whom,” as Aristotle says, “it is an error to expect demonstration,” shall be on hand to stimulate, exhort, inspirit, and incite to still further and more vigorous exertion; the boundaries between right and wrong fade away from the mental view; and few start in on this false track who fail to accompany their misled companions as far as the archbigot or archfanatic may choose to take them.

Within the Catholic Church a large number of total-abstinence societies have been formed, of course with her sanction. Most of these are at the same time beneficial institutions, which in case of sickness give the member, and in case of death to his nearest kin, a certain allotted sum. But probably most priests on the mission will say that the great mass of Catholics who feel the necessity for them of such abstinence take the pledge as individuals at the hands of the priest, either for a certain term or for life, without joining any special society. An immense amount of good has thus been accomplished, particularly among the poorer and laboring population, a very large proportion of whom are Catholics, and, from their circumstances and inevitable surroundings, most in danger of falling into temptation in the matter of drink, as well as most certain to suffer very severely from its effects. But it has at no time been, nor is it now, any part of the teaching of the church that her children shall not manufacture, buy, sell, and use (should they be so disposed) vinous, malt, or spirituous drink. Condemning the abuse of them, and reprobating drunkenness as a mortal sin, she yet allows to her children the moderate use and enjoyment of that wine which our Blessed Lord himself made for the use of the guests at the wedding at Cana, as well as of the other forms of it, which no physician or chemist ever found to be injurious per se until it chimed in with a cry emanating from a large, an influential, possibly a well-meaning, but in our view certainly, if so, a false-thinking, or 186it may be a deceived, portion of the community.

And here it may be well to note the unpardonable arrogance of assumption with which the intemperately temperate of all sorts take it for granted that all intelligence and morality belong peculiarly to those who inculcate or practise this one principle of abstinence from liquors. We see it displayed most offensively, indeed, among the variously bedizened and becollared gentry of the divers oath-bound secret societies, and among such sectaries as practically make total abstinence a term of communion; but truth compels us to go further, and to admit the tendency, even among Catholics, on the part of those who have ardently attached themselves to the societies got up with this view, to treat all outsiders as though living on a lower plane of piety and morality than themselves. “Stand thou off, for I am holier than thou” is too frequently their language in effect, if not in words; and, indeed, that is an almost inevitable effect of what the Scotch call “unco guidness.” However, the teaching and tenets of the church remain what they have always been, and the Catholic manufacturer or vender of wines and spirits, the total abstainer and the moderate drinker, go to confession, receive absolution and holy communion, together; nor do intelligent or well-instructed Catholics imagine for a moment that the formal pledge of abstinence from intoxicants, or membership in a total-abstinence society, are anything more than adminicula to the individual whom his own weakness, the circumstances under which he earns a livelihood, or other reasons place in peculiar danger with reference to this vice.

But there must be some strong reason why an all-pervading necessity has been felt, in this century, for doing something in regard to drunkenness, the need of which (if ever previously perceived) has certainly never been acted upon by the most enlightened nations, whether of antiquity or of modern times. Lot was made drunk; Noe was drunk; Nabal and the Ephraimites were “drunken withal”; and all the evils and phenomena of intoxication are fully described in various passages of the Old Testament, always with reprobation, but there is not to be found in the entire book the slightest disapproval of the use of the fruit of the vine. On the contrary, oblations of wine to the Deity are enjoined upon the children of Israel; and the most horrible judgments denounced by the prophets of God upon the Jews consist in their being deprived of wine. In New Testament times our Saviour was called by the Pharisees (the prototypes of our ultra-abstainers) a wine-bibber; yet the same Jesus does not deem it at all necessary to proclaim himself on the teetotal side, or to leave us any precept against the use of wine. On the contrary, he institutes in wine the sacrament of his love, thus rendering the manufacture of wine necessary till the end of time. He himself changes water into wine. His apostles nowhere discourage its use, while they frequently speak of and upbraid professing Christians with its abuse, and one of them actually advises another to drop water and use a little wine for sanitary reasons. It would be sheer waste of time to undertake to refute those very ignorant or very dishonest persons who try to make it appear that wine, when mentioned in Scripture with 187commendation, is merely the unfermented juice of the grape, and that the shechar, tirosh, and yayin were only intoxicating when excess in their use was reprobated. Either these people know better, and are wittingly making use of a dishonest argument, or their ignorance is too dense to be penetrated by any proof, however cogent. The reader who may wish to see this branch of the subject succinctly yet exhaustively treated should refer to an article in the Westminster Review for January, 1875, entitled “The Bible and Strong Drink.”

The Greeks and Romans cultivated the vine very largely, made and used wine habitually; but their whole literature, while teeming with reference to the use, in no single instance commends the abuse, of wine. That the Spartans were accustomed to make their slaves intoxicated, in order by their example to deter young men from becoming addicted to the vice, is as well attested as any fact in history; while even in the worst periods of Roman story drunkenness is invariably referred to as disgraceful in itself, never to be predicated of people entitled to respect, and relegated, even at the Saturnalia, to the rabble and to slaves.

In the Stromata of St. Clement of Alexandria, who lived in the latter part of the second century, we find allusion made to a few who at that day attempted to disturb the harmony of the church by imitating the example which they professed to consider set them in the narration by the Prophet Jeremias of the story of the sons of Jonadab-ben-Rechab, and we find those persons classed by him with those of whom the apostle speaks, as “commanding to abstain from that which God hath ordained to be received with thanksgiving.” Two centuries later St. Chrysostom and St. Augustine both pointedly condemn, as acting “plainly and palpably contrary to Scripture and to the doctrine of the Church,” some who, fancying they had attained spiritual information not generally accessible, tried to introduce among Christians the vow of the Nazarites. From that time till the former half of the present century we read, indeed, of drunkenness as existing; for that matter, we know of its existence in the earliest ages, and in all times and countries since, just as we do of incontinence, of theft, and of suicide by poison. It was reserved for the nineteenth century to attempt to do away with the possibility of the vice of drunkenness by rendering penal the production of the means; which is as though the law should step in to render men chaste by emasculation, theft impracticable by the abolition of property; and not in the least more feasible than would be the carrying out of an edict against the production of animal, mineral, or vegetable poisons.

Now, we should not in the least object to any well-devised and practical legislation that would do away with drunkenness entirely, if that were possible, which it unfortunately is not; nor will it ever be the case so long as the human race exists upon earth. The question, then, arises, What would be practical legislation in the matter? This, in turn, involves an inquiry into the latent causes of the great commotion raised within this generation on the subject. It will be fresh in the memory of reading people in the United States that some two years ago one of our ablest metropolitan journals employed an agent to purchase samples 188of every possibly adulterable commodity from the most reputable venders in that city, drugs of the same description from the most respectable apothecaries—in short, specimens of everything on sale that was capable of deterioration by admixture of foreign substances; and that, on handing them over to a competent chemist for analysis, there was not a single instance of an article so purchased and tested that was not found adulterated to the last extent. All, without exception, whether articles of food, drink, medicine, or products of the arts and manufactures, were debased and corrupted—always, of course, with an inferior and cheaper, frequently with an absolutely injurious, and in some instances with a poisonous, admixture. The exposure occupied the columns of the paper referred to for some two weeks, and was then discontinued; not, however, without leaving food for reflection in the minds of the thoughtful. Now, when we consider the still greater temptation, the patent feasibility, and the larger gains resulting from adulteration of the various liquors, owing to the many hands through which they must and do pass before reaching their consumers, and the almost total impossibility, as things are, of detection, we shall have strong reason à priori to believe that such adulteration takes place. But we have before us at this moment a book of some two hundred pages, entitled the Bar-keeper’s Manual, in which the facts are laid down, the method explained, the ingredients unblushingly named, the manipulations described, and a clear reason thus afforded why the use of liquors nowadays is so ruinous to health, so productive of hitherto comparatively unknown forms of disease, and has become in this century especially such a crying abomination. In this book (which forcibly recalls to our mind an advertisement for “a man in a liquor store” that we once saw, and which wound up by stating that no one need apply who did not understand “doctoring” liquors) recipes are given for making from common whiskey any kind of gin, brandy, rum, arrack, kirschwasser, absinthe, etc., as well as any other desired brand of whiskey; together with full directions for mixing, diluting, coloring, adding strength, bead, and fruitiness, as well as for flavoring them each up to the required mark. When we find among the ingredients recommended (and evidently used, as the result of experience in this diabolical laboratory) nux vomica, cocculus indicus, strychnia, henbane, poppy-seed, creosote, and logwood, to impart strength to the false liquor, we need not inquire after the thousand other less pernicious articles used to supply color, odor, or bead to the noxious compounds. Now, from conversations held with persons who have been engaged in the liquor business in its various forms, as well as from reliable information long since spread before the public, but to quote which in extenso would occupy too much space, we may generalize these facts, which we take to be not only undisputed but indisputable; viz., that wines never, and brandies, gins, etc., rarely, reach our shores in their pure state; that the same assertion is true of every imported liquor; that the subsequent adulteration is something fearful to contemplate; and that the advocates of prohibitory laws are talking within bounds when they call such preparations 189poisons. We may further learn that rarely indeed do our home-manufactured liquors pass in a pure state into the hands of the first purchaser; and that, after they have passed through two or three subsequent hands, whatever they may have become, they are anything in the world but pure liquors. By the time, then, that they reach the small groceries, drinking-shops, doggeries, and the lowest classes of saloons, all liquors will, on an average, have passed through at least seven or eight hands, each man quite as eager as the last to make all the gain he possibly can upon the article; and adulteration (he has the Manual before him) presenting the safest and easiest plan, it follows that the laborer or artisan, those whose poverty forces them to frequent the lowest and meanest places, will be supplied with the most villanous article possible to be conceived under the name of liquor. Mr. Greenwood, in his work, The Seven Plagues of London, says:

“Where there is no pure liquor—and there is little such in London, even for the wealthy—perhaps nothing used by man as a stimulant is liable to greater and more injurious adulterations than gin; and I assert that it is not to-day to be procured pure (I speak not of merely injurious but) of absolutely poisonous drugs at a single shop in London to which a poor man would go or where he would be served.”

Mr. Nathaniel Curtis, the founder and first Worthy Chief of the Order of Good Templars, has (though his deductions from the facts are entirely different from ours) made it abundantly evident that the adulteration of all liquors, fermented, vinous, and ardent, is carried on in a most reckless manner and without regard to consequences in our own country. His words are:

“From the tramp’s glass of beer, through the sot’s glass of rum, jorum of whiskey, or pull of gin, up to the merchant’s madeira or sherry and the millionaire’s goblet of champagne, we have shown them all to be, not what the drinker supposes—and that were bad enough in all conscience—but universally drugged, most frequently poisoned, and not in one case of ten thousand containing more than a small percentage of the article the purchaser paid for.”

We might multiply authorities, chemical, medical, and purely statistic, on this subject to an indefinite extent, but it would occupy too much space; besides which, reading men are already sufficiently convinced of the facts. Within the last few years such a mass of damning evidence has been put before the public on this subject that the man must be wilfully blind who does not admit adulteration of the most injurious sort to be the rule in all the various branches and phases of the liquor-traffic. One quotation, however, we must make from the pages of the Dublin Review, July, 1870, article “Protestant London,” in which the writer suggests something very like our own view, though he seems to have an idea that the wholesale adulteration was, in England, confined to fermented liquors, which is indeed a grave mistake, whether as regards England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, or in fact any of the countries peculiarly afflicted by this demon of drink. The writer says:

“Yet the effects of beer in England are confessedly far worse than those of wine in France. We believe the real explanation of this to be its adulteration. It is by drinking, at first in moderation, adulterated beer that the habit of intoxication becomes a slavery, by which men are afterwards led on to the abuse of gin. 190There are at this moment thousands of habitual drunkards among us who would never have been drunkards at all, had they not been betrayed into the snare by drinking in moderation adulterated beer—that is, if the beer sold in public-houses were not universally adulterated. This evil, at least, law well administered might meet and uproot. Government should not allow men both to cheat and poison their neighbors with impunity.”

It is, then, not at all surprising that mania a potu, delirium tremens, and other disorders arising from the abuse of good or the use of drugged liquor should have become so common in this country as to furnish a good or, at any rate, a plausible reason why many conscientious persons have attributed to the use of liquor effects due, either solely or in great measure, to the stupefying and poisonous decoctions vended under that name. But while this would have been, at all times as it is now, an excellent and an all-sufficient reason for trying to induce people to refrain, whether by pledge or otherwise, from such infernal compounds, and for having analysts appointed by law to examine and test the liquors sold in every tavern, we insist that it is no argument at all for doing away by law with the use of liquor in toto. We believe sincerely that no single measure (that can be carried out) would do more to lessen the national curse of drunkenness than the appointment of competent chemists to see to the purity of the liquors vended. And, considering the advanced state of chemical science among us, is it absurd to suppose, that if the government were determined that so it should be, the selling of adulterated liquor might not easily be made so dangerous a trade as to be very soon given over? It is lamentable that people are so eager for gain that they will and do adulterate everything capable of the process. Physicians tell us that it is nearly impossible to get at the ordinary drug-stores any of the higher-priced medicines in their pure state; that opium, quinine, etc., are nearly always impure, mixed with foreign ingredients; and that, for this reason, their prescriptions often fail of the intended effect. This, certainly, is no good reason for enacting a law to abolish entirely the use of adulterable drugs; nor because tea, coffee, sugar, tobacco, mace, mustard, and pepper are rarely found pure should we therefore abandon their use altogether.

Here, of course, it will be contended that the cases are not parallel; that whereas the abuse of liquor, or the use of the drugged article going by that name, renders man like the brute, degrades and obliterates the image of God in us, yet such is not the case with the adulterated commodities of food or with the drugs referred to. True, the analogy does not hold equally good throughout in each case, but the principle is exactly the same in all. We will go further, admitting that liquor is in very few cases an absolute necessity; but what a large number of mankind regard it as of prime importance to their well-being, to their comfort, or, finally, to their enjoyment! How few of the great mass of humanity, on the other hand, are of that unfortunate constitution of mind, of body, or of both that they cannot restrain themselves within the bounds of moderation in the use of liquor vinous or fermented! Suppose even that the passage of a prohibitory law by the majority were consonant with church and Scriptural 191teachings, would it be fair or reasonable that for the lamentable weakness of the very few the comfort and enjoyment of the vast mass of humanity should be lightly set aside as an unconsidered trifle? That Anglican bishop who said he “would rather see England free than England sober” expressed a noble sentiment, and we think, with him, that enforced sobriety (as would be that produced by such a law) would be dearly purchased at the expense of virtual slavery. Some one pithily condemns that false system of morality that begins by pledges of total abstinence, but the falsity of such a scheme is trifling compared with that which would invite us to come and admire a nation sober, enforcedly sober, de par la loi! As well ask us to applaud the sobriety of the convicts in the penitentiary. We are not placed in the world to be free from temptation, but to resist it. All theologians assure us that this is a state of probation, nor is it the business of the civil code either to abolish property lest many may steal, or to suppress the manufacture of liquor lest some shame themselves and sin against God by getting drunk. Again, if you begin this business, where is it to end? Human beings are very full of kinks and crotchets. Each half-century is sure to have its peculiar vagary. What may not be that of the next one? King James considered tobacco as a direct emanation from the devil; and John Wesley was no whit behind him either in the belief or its expression. It is certainly quite as unnecessary, quite as much an article de pur luxe, as beer, wine, or spirits. Who is bail to me that, the principle once established of suppressing human nature by act of Congress, future Good Templars, prospective Rechabites, Sons of Temperance yet to come, nay, the whole Methodistic fraternity, may not revivify the views of Wesley and thunder anathemas against Yaras, Fine-cut, and Cavendish? Or there may arise an expounder of Scripture who shall deduce thence a system of vegetarianism (quite as unlikely doctrines and practices have been deduced from Holy Writ) to his own satisfaction and that of crowds greater than wait on the ministrations of our latest evangelists. Of course then, marshalled to victory by the “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,” they will soon have a law enacted forbidding to us all beefsteak or mutton-chop! There is, in short, no end to the antics and absurdities that may, nay, that must, arise under the ægis of such a precedent as this law would furnish. We, for our part, fully believe in rendering to Cæsar what belongs to him; but it is the province of the church, representing God upon earth—of religion, in other words—so to dispose man as to enable him to withstand temptation to sin and crime; and the business of the civil power to punish him for offences committed, not to remove all temptation to wrongdoing. In short, the law is not held to an impossibility, which this would plainly be, unless the world were made a tabula rasa. The assumption, therefore, by the civil law, of the divinely-conferred duty and prerogative of the church would, in any case, be a usurpation, were it even practicable. We shall see that in the case before us, at least, it would be purely impossible to carry out the legal mandate by all the power of the government, were it multiplied a hundred-fold.

192The heavy tariff on foreign, and the large internal revenue tax on domestic, liquors, necessitated by our civil war, have also been a great inducement to the adulteration of spirits, as well as to the advance of that already too wide-spread practice of cheating the government in matter of revenue, now so common as hardly to be regarded in the light of a moral wrong. Howsoever it may have come about, the fact is that the tone of political morality with us is about as low as it has ever been in any country that the sun shines on. From the Stocking & Leet trial, through the troubles of Tammany’s magnates and the charges of complicity with smugglers pending against some of our most prominent mercantile firms, down to the “crooked whiskey” cases of to-day, as well as the constantly-bandied and the sometimes thoroughly proven charges of bribery against our most highly-placed public men, we see everywhere either a desperate resolution to evade all law, or a serene belief that deception and the withholding of tax and tariff legally due cease to be cheating and swindling when the government is the party of the second part. It is now clearly made out that, since the laying on of high duties and revenue tax, it has cost our government an average of three dollars to collect every two dollars received from that source in the public treasury; while as to the amount of which the government is annually defrauded, no calculation other than an approximate one can, of course, be made, but those whose position gives them the best chance to form an accurate judgment place the yearly sum at the minimum of $80,000,000. Before our late war we had a federal treasury ever full. Indeed, but a very short time before that dismal experience the general government distributed a large surplus among the States; our treasury notes were always above par, and our simple government bonds at high premium. With the advent of war came the necessity for raising a large and an immediate revenue. Taxation, direct and indirect, was resorted to, the like of which has rarely (if ever) been known in civilized countries. Paper money, redeemable at the pleasure of the government, was issued. Gold and silver entirely disappeared. An army of internal revenue officers had to be created, and a supplementary host of detectives to ferret out infractions of the new-made laws. The tax on common whiskey was placed at two dollars and fifty cents per gallon, and corresponding sums on foreign liquors; Cognac, for example, being rated at seven dollars per gallon. Our people were not accustomed to, and did not like, taxation; and the government neither knew how to suggest, nor its officials how to carry out honestly and skilfully, any well-devised plans for the collection of revenue on such a gigantic scale. Here there was a strong inducement at once both to the illicit manufacture and to the increased adulteration of liquors, the latter of which (though existing too largely before) took, from that time, large strides in advance, and both have uninterruptedly continued their progress till the present day, threatening (unless most stringent measures be taken for their repression) to ruin our country, morally, and a large number of her citizens temporally and eternally. It is true that the tax on home-manufactured spirits was 193largely cut down in 1870, and that on foreign wines and liquors heavily curtailed; but those at all acquainted with the subject know how little this step, taken after eight years of the reverse practice, was likely to interfere with clandestine manufacture, and how immensely it tended to give a superadded impetus to the practice of adulteration. Our internal revenue officers are now legion, yet they do not collect one-half of the revenue that should be collected; and of that one-half not more than two-fifths inures to the benefit of the treasury. Our detectives swarm everywhere, yet illicit distillation and poisonous adulteration of liquors are on a very rapid increase. Now, a very large number of people, learned and lay, rich and poor, of practical experience in the use of liquor, and deriving their information from the experience of others, or from reading, are strongly of the opinion that the best and most practicable mode of decreasing actual drunkenness, and of mitigating or diminishing the acknowledged evils of drink, would be the furnishing of pure liquors instead of the noxious compounds now on sale. Certainly, to put the matter in the mildest terms, there prevails a very extensive belief, founded, we think, upon good reason, that if pure liquors alone were sold drunkenness would not prevail as it now does. It is not contended that intoxication would thereby be done away with, any more than that the most skilful devices can ever entirely prevent theft, forgery, murder, or other crime; but we insist that the tendency to drunkenness, now so inseparable (as experience shows) from the use of the drugged article, would not exist in a tithe of the instances nor to a hundredth part of the extent that we daily see. Certain it is that in the last century, and until adulteration began to prevail extensively in the present, the terrific effects of liquor-drinking now known to us, under so many different names and forms of disease, did not present themselves with any frequency; and it is equally certain that just in proportion to the universality of adulteration has been the commonness and virulence of mania and delirium resulting from drink. We have said that stringent measures should be taken to guard the interests of the comparatively helpless consumers, so that they may have some reasonable ground for believing that in taking a glass of ale or beer they have not imbibed a dose of cocculus indicus, that a drink of whiskey does not of necessity imply an undefined amount of nux vomica, or that the symptoms resultant from a mixture of brandy and water at dinner are not due to strychnia or creosote. We found it much easier during the war to raise prices on account of the enhanced value of gold than it has since proved to diminish them in accordance with the approximation of greenbacks to coin. So, too, in this matter of suppressing adulteration of drink (which is the remedy we propose, and which will be just so far valuable as it is thorough and uncompromising, while comparatively useless unless rigidly and strenuously carried out), we have called into play a practice, we have evoked a demon, which is not to be abolished or banished by feeble instrumentality. We shall illustrate what may be done here in our own country by what has been successfully accomplished in Sweden (a country in which 194drunkenness and its attendant evils had attained a magnitude beyond, perhaps, any other of Europe); nor can we do it better than by the following account taken from Dr. Carnegie’s late book, entitled The License Laws of Sweden:

“In the town of Gothenburg, however, these measures (prohibitory laws), partly from local reasons, were not found sufficiently restrictive; and a committee, appointed in 1865, readily traced a concurrent progress between the increasing pauperism and the increasing drink. The laws were evaded, the police set at naught, and nothing remained but to inaugurate a radically new system. This consisted of various measures, all subordinate to one great principle—viz., that no individual, either as proprietor or manager, under a public-house license, should derive any gain from the sale of liquor. To carry out this principle in its integrity the whole liquor-traffic of the town was gradually transferred to a company, limited, consisting of the most highly respected gentlemen of the town, who undertook, by their charter, to carry on the business in the interests of temperance and morality, and neither to derive any profit from it themselves nor to allow any person acting under them to do so. The company now rent all the houses and licenses from the town, paying a moderate interest on the capital invested, and making over the entire profits of the trade to the town treasury. The places for drink—the number of which was immediately curtailed—are of two classes, public-houses and retail shops, both bound to purchase their wine and spirits (analyzed and authoritatively pronounced pure) from the company, to sell them without any profit, to supply good food and hot meals on the premises, and not to sell Swedish brandy except at meals. The public-houses are managed by carefully-chosen men, who derive their profits from the sale of malt liquors (also analyzed before being put on sale), coffee, tea, soda and seltzer water, cigars, etc., and from the food and lodgings. The retail shops are managed entirely by women, who have a fixed salary but no share in the profits. This system began to work in October, 1865. Its effects have been at once perceptible. In 1864 the number of fines paid in Gothenburg for drunkenness was 2,164; in 1870, with a largely increased population, 1,416. Cases of delirium tremens in 1864 were 118; in 1868 but 54. Nor are the financial effects less encouraging. In 1872 the company realized in net profits no less than £15,846, which, being paid over to the town, far more than covers the entire poor-rate. Another pleasant fact is that this large amount of trade is virtually carried on without any paid-up capital, the whole outlay of the company having only amounted to £454.”

It is interesting to learn from the same authority whence the above extract is taken that whilst the consumption of liquor in Sweden is still enormous, it has been reduced (mainly owing to the care exercised in testing its purity, and partially, also, to well-regulated restriction) from ten gallons per head throughout the kingdom in 1860 to about two gallons in 1870, which is about the same proportion as in Scotland at present; and that the universal testimony of the Swedish philanthropists, far from favoring absolute prohibition, looks rather to purity of liquor, conjoined with moderate restriction, and finds the results eminently satisfactory. But while we point to their experience, as well as to common sense, right reason, the practice both of the ancient and modern world till the beginning of this agitation of a factitious temperance; while we invoke the teachings of Scripture for those who profess to be guided in matters of morals and doctrine by that, and by that alone, and appeal to the constant practice and to the authority of the church, which should, with Catholics, be paramount to all other considerations, yet we are painfully aware that to produce conviction in the minds of extremists is a task that no logic can accomplish. It is, like the cure 195of the vice itself which gives occasion for this article, only to be accomplished by the grace of God. The English-speaking world—the most enterprising and energetic portion of the human race—occupying, for the most part, regions which suggest toiling and striving physically and mentally so as, in the opinion of many of them, to necessitate an occasional resort to alcoholic stimulants, have used these liquors largely, we will say too largely, if you please. Other shrewd and unscrupulous Anglo-Saxons have stepped in and poisoned, for gain, the cup which they thought one of refreshment. Death and disease, drunkenness and dipsomania, have been so long and so frequently the result that the attention of the public is imperatively called to it. “Take the pledge,” says one; “that will settle the matter”—forgetting that without the help of God no pledge is of any account, and that with his grace no pledge is needed. “Join the order,” bawls another; “here you find the sovereign panacea for drink”—oblivious of the fact that these secret institutions are never permanent, rarely at peace within themselves, constantly shifting in views and practice, and that in joining them the neophyte simply takes as many masters as there are members, exchanging the slavery to drink for one still more galling and quite as sinful. “No license to sell less than a quart,” says yet another. The quart is soon disposed of, and many another quart and gallon go the same road. “Sell no liquor, open no drinking-house on Sunday,” screams a full-throated chorus of religionists. This, too, is tried, and the poor man, obliged to choose between entire dulness and intoxication, prepares himself on Saturday night for a Sunday’s drinking bout. “No license less than three hundred dollars,” suggest the cannie property-holders; and, presto! higher adulteration; more poison in the drink; a higher rate per glass, it may be, but not a tippling-shop less in country or city. “No license at all,” is the next cry. It is tried; adulteration becomes still more barefaced, but the same amount of drinking is done, it can hardly be said clandestinely, for it is done in the face of day, and everybody knows or may know of it. Macrae’s America tells us that when an investigation was instituted into the workings of the prohibitory or no-license system in Boston, there were found to be in that city over two thousand places where liquor was vended by the glass, and that the average annual amount spent per head (men, women, and children included) for liquor in the entire State was a little over ten dollars. “We’re all for the Maine Law here,” said a man to Mr. Macrae, “but we’re agin its enforcement.” It may here be stated once for all, without possibility of successful contradiction, that not one of these laws, whether for Sunday-closing, higher license, no license, partial license, or entire prohibition, ever was carried out, or ever had any other effect than possibly to add to the cost, and certainly to enlarge illicit distillation and set an enhanced premium on the adulteration of liquors.

Quicquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi!

Maine was obliged, after a few years’ trial, to abrogate her prohibitory law; and the most ardent favorers of local option, which has now had a full and fair trial in many States, confess it a failure. 196Our own experience of it is that drunkenness is nowhere so rife as in the midst of those very regions where no license is granted and entirely prohibitory laws are supposed to prevail; and there is surplusage of testimony to the facts.

Strange, certainly, it seems to us, that among the various modes, some plausible and some supremely silly, that have been proposed and acted upon with a view of checking the ravages of intemperance, so few should have suggested, and none should have acted upon the idea of trying, what might be the possible effect of pure liquor. Common sense should have at once suggested it, and a portion of the redundant and exuberant philanthropy of the age might have been well, at least harmlessly, employed in making an experiment which could in no case have worked disastrously, as all those plans have done which familiarize the people with systematized violation of law, to gratify the morbid craving for those poisons the use of which, growing with every indulgence, soon leaves the victim incapable of resisting the craving that never abandons him but with life. Most people, however, once fairly inoculated with the views of the temperance societies (we refer to the secret institutions under that name), see everything but from one point of view; the vision becomes jaundiced, prejudice carries the day, argument is of no avail, moderate measures are futile, liquor in any shape, alcohol in any quantity, are the accursed thing, and those who deal in them, nay, those who see no objection to their use, are Amalekites. What to them are the vested interests of the eight hundred thousand persons engaged in the manufacture and sale of liquor in the United States alone? What the employment of hundreds of thousands engaged in its transportation? What care they about the wives and families of either? It is of no sort of consequence to them that over sixty million dollars accrue to the federal treasury, even under the present extremely defective system of collection, from the tax on domestic liquors; half as much more from the tariff on foreign wines and spirits; and that the amounts paid for municipal, county, State, and federal purposes, by license on liquor-selling and drinking-houses, are simply incalculable. As well plant and try to cultivate the sands from high-water mark to ebb-tide as attempt to reason with such people! They are the communists of our country, the impracticables, the men of one idea, and that idea a wrong one. We would much like to be able to reach them, to be able to make them hear the words of genuine truth and soberness; but they are “joined to their idols,” as Ephraim of old; the doctrines of the “lodge,” the rulings of the W. Patriarch, W. Chief Templar (or whatever else may be the name of the presiding Grand Mogul), are of more avail to them than all the philosophy and all the logic of ancient and modern times. What are the Fathers of the church to the Rev. Boanerges Blunderbuss, at Brimstone Corner, who explains to the satisfaction of his hearers that wine, “which cheers the heart of God and of man,” is but the unfermented juice of the grape, and that our Saviour, at his last supper, squeezed out some three or four clusters of grapes into the goblet whence he and his disciples drank? Talk to one of these people about the desirableness of some regard for the habits and customs of the multitudes 197in this wide world who use wine and spirits without abusing them; he regards you with a withering contempt for your ignorance, and informs you that they are all drunkards and must be reformed; that if five glasses of wine make a man drunk, one-half of a glass must make him one-tenth part drunk; that liquor is never necessary, even in disease as a remedy; that the Good Samaritan was really poisoning the poor fellow to whom he gave the wine; and he leaves on your mind the general impression that Solomon had yet a great deal to learn from Sons of Temperance and prohibitory-law men when he over-hastily recommended in his Proverbs to “give drink to the sorrowful.” Just as impracticable, though in a different way and for a different reason, is the man who has no sympathy for habits and needs which he never knew; who never had a generous impulse in his life; whose every act is based on cold reason and personal interest; who seldom or never took, and who never longed for, a glass of wine since his wedding-day; who has no sympathy for those differently situated in life or of different physiological diathesis. He has neither genuine sympathy for the unfortunate drunkard nor fellow-feeling for those who use liquor. Mistaking oftentimes his own plentiful surroundings for honesty, the want of temptation for temperance, and his own success in life for virtue, we need expect from him no other cry than “do away with the whole thing.”

Those poor degraded wretches at the other extreme of society who, from congenital inclination, bad surroundings, evil training, folly, disease, or the gnawing remorse engendered by failure in life, have fallen a prey to the accursed poisons sold as drink, their intellect shattered and their physical constitution prostrate, do not, we confess, deserve a very ardent sympathy from a community for which they have done little but harm. Still, that community was to blame that received money for licensing the houses that sold them narcotics instead of beer, henbane instead of wine, and liquid damnation for strong drink. It is, at least, a duty which we owe in future to all who can control themselves that, when they ask for bread, they shall not be furnished with a stone.

We are very anxious not to be misunderstood. This article is not intended to be either a recommendation of, or an excuse for, tippling habits, still less as an argument in favor of the drinking usages of the last century or of any other period distinguished for copious drinking. The personal habits and practice of the writer are opposed entirely to the use of wine, beer, or spirits. His profession does not render them necessary nor his taste crave them, and he would that in this one respect the world “were altogether such as” he is; but he cannot ignore the fact that all men are not so constituted physically, so situated in a worldly point of view, or mentally disposed in the same way. What all can clearly see is that a cry is being raised, an attempt being made, to add in a clandestine and illegitimate way something that shall in effect be tantamount to a precept, and that this something so foisted upon us is opposed to the practice of the church, consequently to the Scriptures. We see that this cry has become fashionable, a fear of being reckoned with the “vulgar 198herd” (for drunkenness is a vice of the vulgar) or a fear of giving offence causing many to be silent who should “cry aloud and not spare,” lest haply the harm may be done and it be too late for the remedy. Now, the whole clamor, save in so far as it inveighs against drunkenness, “the disgrace of man and the mother of misery,” proceeds on the false hypotheses, 1, that the Holy Scripture discountenances the moderate use of liquor; 2, that the church opposes it; 3, that the ancient philosophers condemned it; 4, that it is injurious in health; 5, that it is valueless as a remedy in sickness; and, 6, that prohibitory laws should be passed forthwith forbidding under penalty the manufacture, purchase, sale, or importation of wine, beer, or spirits. Not a single one of these assertions is true, or has about it the semblance of verisimilitude to any but the average brain of the secret-society affilié, or the fungus that stands in the place of a heart for the bigoted sectary. Were they every one true, we should still be opposed to the manner in which it is attempted to carry them into effect; fully believing, as we do, that the whole matter of personal reform lies within the domain of the church, upon which region the civil power has no right to trench. Of course the state has a perfect and undisputed right to tax wines, liquors, etc., like all other articles of luxury, to any extent she may deem advisable, either for revenue or repression of habits of expense among her citizens. But, inseparably bound up with this right, and as a corollary from it, it is the duty of the state to see that the article or articles for allowing the sale of which she receives revenue shall not injure, much less ruin, her citizens; and it is in the performance of this duty that we affirm government to have been totally remiss and delinquent. Had it been otherwise, and had the state been half as anxious to perform her duty as she has been always eager to claim her right, there never would have been the faintest plausibility in the cry raised; no agitation could have resulted; with her performance of the duty the clamor must, of necessity, cease, and with it those secret societies, so powerless for good, so potential for evil, that have been evoked by it.

There is, however, no limit in our age to the power of clap-trap, of a cry well started and persistently kept up. Back such a cry by the unremitting efforts of a few secret organizations, which demagogues well know how to use as a means of climbing into power, and superadd the influence of some of the sects, it deepens to a howl, and a careless or lethargic community is easily induced to believe that there must be some reason for the clamor; that what so many people say must be true; that where so much smoke exists there must have been a fire at some time; and, finally, that the object on which so many persons seem to have set their minds, to carry which so many are combined, must be a good one. From this point to supporting it with vote and influence the step is an easy one. Hence it is that, absurd as is the proposal of those who favor Congressional prohibitory laws touching liquor, we feel no certainty that its unreasonableness will prove a barrier to its being at some time put into effect. We have indicated previously that there exists, even among Catholics, who should know better, a lurking notion that in joining the T. B. A. 199or any of its congeners, they take a step forward in holiness, approach nearer to the imitation of the Saviour, and outstrip in piety those who remain outside the institution using (and able to enjoy without abusing) “the liberty wherewith Christ has made them free.” Now, this is false, and consequently is not Catholic doctrine or feeling. It is according to the doctrine of the church, with which the practice of Catholics must agree, that should the experience of any individual prove to him that total abstinence from drink is in his special case easier than moderation in its use, and that he ought, consequently, not to use liquor at all; and if, in addition, he is clearly of opinion that this, his proper course, is much facilitated by joining a Catholic temperance association, he has a clear right, nay, it is his duty, to attach himself to it. Further, should a Catholic have a friend, whom he can largely influence, who is becoming over-fond of drink, and whom he judges in conscience he can reclaim by taking with him the pledge of total abstinence, or by accompanying him into any of the Catholic associations got up and recommended for such purposes, the Catholic so doing acts nobly and performs a meritorious work, greater and more laudable just in proportion as he himself was further removed from temptation or danger of fall in the matter of drink. But it is not a bounden duty enjoined on every Catholic Christian to abstain entirely from liquor, much less to join a temperance society; and, except where it is done to save another, as in the case just presented, the Catholic so joining it is no more laudable, certainly, than he who stands aloof, using his God-given liberty in the matter.

While the church, like her divine Lord and Founder, has never forcibly interfered with man’s free-will, yet her entire history proves that her salutary influence has been exerted, and that, too, with the highest success, against every shape in which the sin of luxury has appeared. The Catholic countries of the world are not now, and they never have been, the drunken countries. Drunkards are not found to-day among those who frequent the tribunal of penance; and, with that consistency of action and oneness of doctrine which is found in no other existent institution, the church maintains that against the sin of drunkenness, as against all other forms of sin, there is no thoroughly effectual remedy but the frequentation of her sacraments. Pledges and associations, while sanctioned by her, are regarded as mere adminicula, tending to bring the sinner to the use of confession, the performance of enjoined penance, and the worthy reception of the Blessed Sacrament. Abstinence, whether for a time or for life, she looks upon as a work of perfection, of remedy, or of penance for the individual. The pledge, as administered by her, is neither oath nor vow, but either a resolution taken by one’s self in the presence of another, or at the utmost a solemn promise made to man. While more than fifteen hundred years ago the church anathematized the heresy of the Manicheans, who taught that spirituous liquors are not creatures of God, and that, as they are intrinsically evil, he who uses them is thereby guilty of sin, yet both before and after the rise of that detestable sect all the writings of her fathers and doctors, all the decrees of her synods and councils, all the decisions of her Supreme Pontiffs, and all the labor 200of her priests have been persistently directed towards teaching her members to “subdue the flesh with its affections and lusts.” How well she succeeded let her conquest to Christianity of the conquering northern barbarian hordes testify. Of these, whose temperament rendered them peculiarly inclined to debauch, whose habits by no means belied their inclinations, and whose besetting sin was drunkenness even after their conversion to the faith, she made sober nations. Acts of Parliament, municipal and other local measures, show us the huge strides toward unbounded intemperance in drink taken by the English people from the time when, in giving up the true church, they abandoned the sacrament of penance; while the same acts, and what we have had of so-called repressive law-tinkering on the same subject in our own country, show us the utter futility of any and every attempt by the civil law to render men moral by statute—to do God’s work without the help of the Omnipotent. Were it even possible for the state to succeed in carrying out the most stringent prohibitory or repressive laws that it ever entered the brain of the wildest or most narrow-minded fanatic to conceive, what would be the result? Simply that people would, like inmates of the work-house or penitentiary, endure privation without practising abstinence. The church of God takes no such ground; and the state can no more succeed in carrying out such measures than did Domitian with his sumptuary decree. Legislators forget what the church always bears carefully in mind and has always inculcated—viz., that drunkenness is the sin not of the drink but of the drunkard. The assertion that alcohol in any form is an emanation of the evil spirit, or the denial of the lawfulness of the use of liquor, is in itself just as much a heresy today as it was in the days of the Egkratites. But, that we may not overrun our limits in pursuing this branch of the subject, we refer such readers as may be anxious to see it fully and ably treated to the valuable little work entitled The Discipline of Drink, by Rev. T. E. Bridgett, C.SS.R.

It is not, however, from Catholic sources that the proposal emanates to cut off by legal enactment the supply of beer, wine, and spirits, which many people—indeed, the vast majority of the civilized inhabitants of the earth—deem necessary for their health, conducive to their comfort, or desirable for their enjoyment. Such schemes come from the Radicaux enragés; from those who addle their intellects by striving to decipher the mystic number of the Apocalyptic beast; from the men of the George Fox stripe, to whom a steeple-house is the unclean thing; always from men on whom the name of the Church of Rome operates as does the flaunting of a red rag by the picador on the bull in the amphitheatre of Seville; and, finally, from those who believe neither in this nor in anything else that man should hold sacred, but who see and seek in the secret societies, and in the agitation of this and similar questions, a stepping-stone to power and a means of gaining influence.

Were one to judge by the pamphlets and tracts written on the side of the prohibitionists, he would readily suppose that it is admitted on all hands by physicians and chemists that alcohol is of no use as a remedial or curative agent; that it is not food, is not life-sustaining; 201that no possible good can come out of Nazareth; that the unclean thing is altogether accursed, and should be relegated to the bottomless pit whence it sprang. And, that we may not overburden this article, we shall simply give the conclusion arrived at by a writer in the Edinburgh Review for July, 1875, entitled “The Physiological Influence of Alcohol,” in which the writer (himself a physician, whose yearning to find against us is evident throughout), after an able comparison and summing up of the cases, experiments, and arguments of Doctors Richardson, Thudichum, Dupré, Anstie, and other celebrated authorities, thus perorates:

“The inference is plain. The nutritious capability of alcohol, when used in appropriate circumstances and in reasonable quantity, is yet a matter of controversy, and a question which has yet to be further investigated and weighed by competent scientific authorities before any absolute judgment regarding it can be pronounced that shall be worthy of general acceptance.”

Those who feel any interest in this part of the subject would do well to read the entire article referred to, and we feel convinced that nine out of ten who do so will come to the conclusion, from the data given, that the able writer’s patent bias is what caused the very non-committal wording of his final dictum; while the same number will decide the large preponderance of proof to be in favor of the nutritive qualities of alcohol. We have failed to see in any of the “temperance” documents the remotest hint that there was anything at all to be said in favor of alcohol as an article of nutriment. Is this honest? These people must calculate largely on the gullibility of the public; but they should recollect, too, that the same public, when it once discovers their prevarication, is very ready to apply the proverb, Falsus in uno, etc.

The great Swedish chancellor, Oxenstierna, said to his son: “You do not yet know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed.” We are in this respect neither better nor worse off than other countries, with perhaps this exception: that our best citizens, those of largest experience and soundest judgment, are too self-respecting, too proud, to descend into the dirty arena of politics, a vast majority of such never having attended a primary meeting in their lives, and many, very many, rarely casting a vote. True, when corruption has run its course, when ring-rule becomes unendurable, this class will sometimes, as lately in New York, arouse itself. Now, the men of one idea, the canters (honest and dishonest), and the knaves are not so. They never miss an opportunity of propagating their views, and it would seem almost as though there were an intimate and necessary connection between the falsity or illiberality of the view and the pertinacity of its upholders in spreading it. Besides, they are not indifferent to, but they hate, broad and liberal views on any subject; they must gauge all humanity by their own instrument, which, while it suits the pint-pot, is but ill adapted to the hogshead. “Les idées générales sont toujours haïes par les idées partielles,” says a French writer to whom (while we by no means agree with him in everything) ability must be conceded. Should people ever have the power to do it—a contingency by no means unlikely in this century, in which the secret societies seem to hold “high carnival” (May a subsequent Lenten time 202purge the world of such foul humors!)—they will infallibly enact a penal prohibitory law. This will be accomplished by means of the already-organized associations, the oath-bound classes, the pledged abstainers, some of the sects, largely aided by the lethargy and carelessness of people who hold clearer and more correct views. It will be worse than useless to pass such laws, unless provision be made for stringently carrying into effect their details. Suppose that the prohibitory law proposed has been enacted and is vigorously enforced, and let us cursorily examine what is this Golden Age, this antedated millennium promised us so confidently by our over-temperate friends.

A blockade of coast will be necessary, to which the blockade of the Confederate territory during the late war will be as nothing, either for extent of coast to be guarded or for the numbers, ingenuity, and means at the command of the blockade-runners. The Canadian and Mexican borders will require cordons of sentries day and night, to furnish which one hundred armies such as we possess would be ridiculously inadequate. A government detective force of at least one-fourth our adult male population will have to be employed, organized, and paid; and not less than one-half of the remainder will soon be in prison for infraction or evasion of the law. Meanwhile, the revenues will have diminished by fully one-third, while the governmental expenses will have been tenfold increased. The hundreds of thousands who now make a livelihood for themselves and families by the manufacture, transport, and sale of beer, wines, or spirits must find other employment or join the already too numerous army of tramps; and in this case what becomes of the unfortunate families? If the laboring man finds it difficult to procure work now, what will it be then? Taxation must, of necessity, be decoupled; and meantime a large proportion of the population will have come to the conclusion that they are suffering under the most odious of all tyrannies, and will be ripe for revolution. The pretext will not be wanting in the details of carrying out the provisions of the law. This state of things might last, at the utmost, a year, during which insurrections would be of constant occurrence in every part of the country; outbreaks in the cities would take place day after day; and, finally, the minority, in revolution against what they considered an unjust and tyrannical edict, would carry the day either peacefully at the polls (by aggregating to themselves such of the majority as had become convinced of the absurdity of the law) or, sword in hand and at the mouth of the cannon, would revindicate to themselves the rights so wantonly trampled upon. The results of such a victory may be better imagined than described. History, fortunately, has but few examples of such revolutions against the extravagance of over-zealous reform, but those few are terrifically replete with warning.

We wish, then, to insist that no law at all is better by far than a law which, in its nature, cannot be carried into effect. That this is such a law we think manifest on the above showing; and did we wish further proof, it is readily found in the fact that all those communities, great or small, towns, counties, or states, that have tested this, or even much milder doses of similarly-intended 203laws, have been obliged either to abandon them after a longer or shorter trial, or to acknowledge their impotence to execute them, and to own that under such régime the evils deprecated become more virulent and drunkenness more rampant. Contempt, too, for the law, in one instance, has the inevitable tendency to sap the foundations of respect for all law, not merely in the mind of the drunkard but in that of the moderate drinker, as well as of those who abet them both in their violation of legal enactment. Meanwhile, the sensible man, the practical but unpledged total abstainer, cannot be expected to feel strongly interested in the success of a law which his judgment tells him to be merely an arbitrary enforcement, by a majority, of their views of morality on a minority entitled to their own ideas and practices in this matter alike by natural reason, Scriptural teaching, and church commands. “A nation is near destruction when regard for law has disappeared.”

Fully aware, as we are, that the arguments and deductions, the statements and quotations, contained in this paper are far from being in accord with the oral and printed teachings most in vogue and most palatable to the reading public, and much as we might desire to be on the popular side, still we are not prepared, for the attainment of this end, to sacrifice our convictions of right, to ignore the experience of the past, to turn a deaf ear to the teachings of the church, or to superadd to her commands practices in morals that she knows not. We cannot undertake to find in Scripture injunctions that do not exist; still less are we willing to lie supine when erroneous views are stealthily creeping in (even amongst ourselves), are sedulously promulgated over the length and breadth of the non-Catholic world, and when the attempt is making to enforce even desirable practices in morals and personal discipline by false arguments and means that will not stand the test of right reason. Let us review the ground and gather together the results.

The use of intoxicating liquor or strong drink has been known in all countries and from the earliest times; drunkenness must have been and was equally well known. In no system, even of heathenism, has intoxication been recommended; and in none, save that of Mohammed, has abstinence from liquor been enjoined. The Old and New Testaments, while teeming with allusions to the use of wine and strong drink, nowhere lay down any precept forbidding their use, but frequently by the clearest implication, and in a few instances by express injunction, command the use of both; and the manufacture of wine must, by the institution of our Blessed Saviour, be kept up so long as the world shall exist. There is no proof for the assertion, that alcohol is not food, and less for the averment that it has no efficacy as a remedial agent. The taste for liquor is a natural one and inherent to all men, but probably stronger and more necessary of gratification among hard-working men, and in damp or cold climates, than in the case of sedentary persons or in mild and hot countries. It is not the province of civil government to remove temptation to the infraction of the moral law; its province is to keep order and to punish infractions of law. To pass a series of totally prohibitory laws would be to attempt the legal suppression of 204human nature; which being impossible, such legislation must be absurd. There are great evils in the present management of the liquor-traffic, chiefly arising from the wholesale adulterations with poisonous drugs everywhere largely practised, but most ruinously in the northern countries of Europe, in Canada, and in the United States. Were the traffic so taken in charge by governments or carefully-appointed companies that pure liquors only should be furnished for consumption, all profits from the sale accruing to government, the great mass of the evils (now justly complained of) in connection with the liquor trade would disappear, while at the same time an immense revenue would accrue to the federal or State treasury, as the case might be. If these prohibitory laws were passed, and carried out in their spirit, dreadful evils would be the result; and, finally, such laws never can be carried out at all, and, by consequence, it is not competent for government to enact them. The whole matter of intemperance comes purely within the domain of morals; religion alone can deal with it radically; and while the civil law should and must punish drunkenness, with the crimes resulting therefrom, it is to Christianity alone that we must look for the effectual reformation of the drunkard and prevention of his sin.

These are the arguments that present themselves to us against the enactment of what are called “prohibitory laws”; and we believe the suggestions above given, regarding the evils of the present liquor trade and the mode of ridding the world of those evils, to be in full consonance both with the facts and with common sense.

“Si quid novisti rectius istis.
Candidus imperti; si non, his utere mecum.”


There is, in the French language, one peculiarity amongst others which only becomes perceptible to foreigners after a somewhat lengthened residence in France—namely, the frequent use of proverbial expressions of which the original meaning, as far as the speaker is concerned, is utterly lost.

For instance, a person grandly dressed out is said to be sur son trente et un; an old piece of furniture or of attire is vieux comme Hérode; again, il ne se foule pas la ratte means “he takes things easily”; prendre les jambes au cou is to go as fast as possible; and a person who speaks French badly is said to parler Français comme une vache Espagnole.

When the English-speaking races use expressions of this kind, there is in them almost always some recognized allusion, quotation, or, it may be, a quaint adaptation of the words of some well-known author, ancient or modern, or they point to some fact or tradition or popular notion. In French familiar conversation, however, there are numberless proverbial and popular sayings still in common use the sense 205of which has been lost for centuries. Comparatively few amongst those who use them know that they are expressions borrowed, it may be, from certain customs or from history or from literature; but usually the trace is lost, the connection broken, and the reason of their existence forgotten.

These proverbial expressions have, for the most part, been recently collected, and as far as possible accounted for, and their source and history, where not discovered, at least suggested, in an ingenious volume by M. Charles Rozan, in which he gives also certain popular words usually qualified as vulgar, but “whose fundamental meaning it is all the more acceptable to learn, from the fact of their not being yet admitted into the official dictionaries; since,” he adds, “it is intruders more especially whom we would question as to who they are, whence they come, and what they have done.”

In the present notice we have chiefly selected examples having a local, historical, or in some way characteristic interest, and, with one or two exceptions, we have left aside those taken from the drama, besides the numerous sayings, not by any means peculiar to France alone, which relate to classical antiquity, and which any one possessing a very moderate knowledge of ancient history and literature would at once understand.

Je m’en moque comme de l’an quarante is a saying which dates from the beginning of the eleventh century. There was at that period an extensive belief that the end of the world was at hand, and that the thousand years and more supposed to have been assigned by our Lord as the duration of his church on earth, and of society in general, were to expire in the year 40 of that century. Sinners were converted in crowds; many talked of turning hermit; but, once this redoubtable epoch was over, men changed their tone, and from that time to this the expression used in speaking of a thing which need inspire no alarm is: “I care no more for it than for the year forty!”

La beauté du Diable we should naturally suppose meant an appalling ugliness. It means nothing of the kind, but, on the contrary, that exceeding prettiness frequently noticeable in young girls between the ages of fourteen and nineteen, or thereabouts, which then passes away. This, the freshness of youthful beauty, seems to derive its name from the old proverb, The devil was handsome when he was young—namely, while he was yet an unfallen angel.

Ladies somewhat advanced in the debatable ground of life’s pilgrimage, when youth has made way for the nameless years of “a certain age,” are said to coiffer Sainte Catherine.

It was formerly the custom in France, as it still is in Spain and some parts of Italy, on particular festivals, to array in festal garments and headgear the statues of the saints. St. Catherine being the patroness of virgins, the care of her adornment was always entrusted to young girls. This charge, however agreeable and honorable at sixteen, might, nevertheless, not be desirable in perpetuity, and thus it came to be said of any middle-aged maiden: “She stays to coiffer St. Catherine.”

To speak French very badly, or with a bad accent, is called parler Français comme une vache Espagnole. The people inhabiting the Basque provinces obtain their name from the indigenous word vaso—mountain—which, 206when taken adjectively, is augmented by the final co, and thus becomes vasoco, and, by contraction, vasco—mountaineer. The French, knowing little enough of Spanish, said at first vacco, and then vacce. Thus, parler comme un vacce Espagnol meant at first to allude to the inhabitants of the Basque provinces of Spain, whose language still bears all the characteristics of a primitive tongue, and who have great difficulty in expressing themselves in French; but vacce, at a time when the Latin had left its traces everywhere, was said for vache, the peasants in many of the French provinces retaining it still. Thence arose the confusion which produced the senseless comparison, “to speak French like a Spanish cow.”

Attendez-moi sous l’orme (wait for me under the elm) implies that “the rendezvous you ask is disagreeable to me, and I will not keep it.” The type of an unpleasant rendezvous is that which compels an appearance before the judge, and it is to this that the expression here quoted originally referred. Formerly the judges administered justice under a tree planted in the open space before the church or the entrance of a seignorial mansion; hence the phrase of juges de dessous l’orme, and also that of danser sous l’orme. Attendez-moi sous l’orme means, Find me there if you can (ironically), and to name a rendezvous which one has no intention of keeping.[49]

Faire Charlemagne is to retire from the game after winning it, without giving the adversary a chance of revenge. This expression evidently alludes to the death of the great Charles, who, when he had become the monarch of the West, quitted this life without having lost any of his conquests.

To make unlawful profits by deceiving as to the price of any articles a person has been charged to buy is called “shoeing the mule” (Ferrer la mule). The expression dates from the time when the counsellors of the Parliament repaired to the Palais de Justice mounted on mules, and the lackeys who remained outside during the sittings of the Assembly spent their time in gambling, extorting from their masters the money they wanted for their amusement by pretending that they had had to pay for shoeing the mules. Others carry the origin of the saying back to the time of Vespasian; the muleteer of that emperor, when on a journey, having been bribed to do so, suddenly stopped the mules under pretext of having them shod, so as to give time to a person whom they had met on the way to speak to the emperor of his affairs.

Faire danser l’anse du panier is said of a cook who fraudulently obtains from her mistress more money for her purchases at market than they have really cost. The idea is that of shaking the basket so as to make its contents take up as much room as possible, and thus look worth their alleged price.

Connaître les êtres de la maison is to know the doors, staircases, passages, rooms, outlets, etc.—in a word, the internal arrangements—of the house. Êtres, which for a long time was written aîtres, has for its origin the Latin atria, in the sense of dwelling.

Je l’ai connu poirier is said of a 207parvenu whose sudden rise from a mean condition has not earned him much consideration. There was in a village near Brussels an image of St. John, black and worm-eaten with age, and held in great veneration by the people. M. le Curé, thinking it time to replace it by a new one, sacrificed his best pear-tree for that purpose. One of his parishioners, who had shown great veneration for the ancient statue, took no notice whatever of the new one. “Have you lost your devotion to St. John?” the curé one day asked him. “No, M. le Curé; but the new St. John is not the real one—I knew him when he was a pear-tree.”

The expression of Cordon Bleu is a singular example of the degradation of an aristocratic word, and we discover its ancestry with the same feeling that we once received the answer of a poor mason’s apprentice, who, on being asked his name, gave as his Christian and surname those of two of the oldest and noblest families in the county of Devon.

To the Order of the Holy Ghost, instituted in 1578 by Henri III., not every one could aspire. It consisted of only one hundred members, at the head of whom, as grand master, was the king.[50] The Dauphin, the sons and grandsons of the monarch, knights by right, were, as well as the princes of the blood, received at the time of their First Communion. Foreign princes were not admitted before the age of twenty-five; dukes and other nobles of high rank not until thirty-five; and in all cases none was allowed to enter who could not trace back at least three generations of nobility on the father’s side. The cord to which the symbol of the order was attached was blue, and the knights themselves were commonly designated Cordons Bleus.

The distinction being reserved to only a small number of persons of the highest rank, it gradually became customary to give the name of cordon bleu to persons of superior merit. The Order of the Holy Ghost was abolished at the Revolution. All the dignities as well as all the ideas which had grouped themselves around this noble order have disappeared with it. Its name is no longer used in the figurative language of France to recall great merit or a distinguished name; the last memory of the order lingers in the kitchen, and the only cordon bleu of the nineteenth century is a good cook!

Those who have hard work and scant pay are wont to observe that they might just as well travailler pour le roi de Prusse. The kingdom of Prussia not having been a century and a half in existence, this expression cannot have an earlier origin. M. Rozan asks, therefore, which is it of the five Fredericks who thus puts in doubt the royal generosity? Some persons say that it is Frederick William I., constantly anxious to show himself economical of the property of his subjects, unlike his father, who was, according to the expression of Frederick the Great, “great in little things and little in great.” Either from what the one did not spend at all, or from what the other spent amiss, a conclusion might be drawn in the sense of the proverb. We incline, however, rather to charge upon the Great Frederick himself all the responsibility of the French reproach.

Frederick II. was fond of employing 208French workmen, but not quite so fond of paying them; and as no people know better than the French that noblesse oblige, it is no matter of surprise that he should have furnished them with a proverb. We also find an example of his sparing management in the conflict which arose between him and Voltaire (who was very economical also) about lumps of sugar and candle-ends. In the agreement he had made with the poet Frederick had promised him, besides the key of chamberlain and the Cross of Merit, the ordinary appointments of a minister of state—i.e., an apartment at the château, board, firing, two candles a day, and so many pounds of tea, sugar, coffee, and chocolate every month. These articles, though duly provided, were of such bad quality that Voltaire complained to the king. Frederick professed to be infinitely pained, and promised to give fresh orders. Were the orders given? In any case the provisions were as bad as ever, and Voltaire again remonstrated. The king got out of the affair with equal economy and cunning. “It is frightful,” he exclaimed, “to think how badly I am obeyed! I cannot hang those rascals for a lump of sugar or an ounce of tea; they know it, and laugh at my orders. But what most pains me is to see M. de Voltaire disturbed in his sublime ideas by small miseries like these. Ah! let us not waste upon mere trifles the moments that we can devote to friendship and the muses. Come, my dear friend, you can do without these little provisions. They occasion you cares unworthy of you; we will speak of them no more. I will command that for the future they shall be stopped.”

On another occasion Frederick was having a new front put to a Lutheran place of worship in Berlin. The ministers complained to the king that they had not light enough to carry on the service. The building, however, being too far advanced for his majesty to wish to incur the cost of alteration, he sent back their address, after writing upon it: “Blessed are they who see not, and yet believe.”

As a last proof of the just implication of the proverb, an English traveller, who does full justice to the eminent qualities of the monarch, says: “Never was there a fat soldier in any country; but the King of Prussia has not even a fat sergeant. A profound knowledge of financial economy is a point on which this sovereign excels. It is also a reason why his troops should never be otherwise than lean.”

This observer might have added that Frederick made it a rule never to allow his soldiers any pay on the 31st day of the month. There were thus seven days in the year on which the whole Prussian army travaillait pour le roi de Prusse.

Manger de la vache enragée is to suffer great privations, to procure with difficulty the merest necessaries of life, and so to be reduced, as it were, to “eat the flesh of a mad cow.” The expression has also come to mean the trials of every kind which, in the course of life, ought to strengthen the body to endure hardness and the mind to a habit of fortitude.

On entering upon a house or appartement in Paris it is customary to make a present of a few francs to the concierge, which present is called le dernier adieu. The newcomer, if a foreigner, wonders why the first dealings he has with the concierge of his new abode should be so singularly misnamed as “the 209last farewell.” The words are a corruption of the Denier à Dieu—God’s penny—the piece of money given to the person with whom a bargain was concluded, with the intention of taking God to witness that the engagement had been made, and of offering him a pledge that it should be faithfully kept. The sums thus given were bestowed by the receiver in alms to the poor, and were not appropriated, like the arrhes, a part payment of what was due to the person with whom an agreement had been made.

The lugubrious associations connected with the name of the melancholy building at the back of Notre Dame de Paris encourage the idea that the word morgue must relate to corpses, or in any case to death. M. Rozan disabuses us of the mistake.

There was formerly at the entrance of prisons a room where new arrivals were detained for a few days after committal, in order that the keepers might learn to know their faces and appearance sufficiently well to preclude any chance of their escape. Later on the corpses found in the Seine or elsewhere were exposed in this same room, the public being admitted to see them through a small aperture made in the door.

Until 1804 the corpses were exposed in the lower jail dependent on the prison of the Grand Châtelet, when they were transferred to the quay of the Marché Neuf in a small building which received the name of morgue, an old French word for face or visage, and used also to express a fixed or scrutinizing look. It is doubtless in the latter sense that we find the true meaning of the term.

Now that we have given a greatly abridged version of portions of M. Rozan’s work, we refer the reader for the remaining curious fragments of information scattered throughout its pages to the book itself. At the same time we venture a suggestion that in future editions it might be well if the author were, as far as practicable, to classify its contents under certain heads—such, for instance, as are dramatic, historic, local, or classic, etc., in their origin or allusion—so as to allow some continuity of ideas in its perusal, and to gather its at present scattered stones into a collection of mosaics.




I was received at Clonacooney with an enthusiasm that sent the hot blood surging through my veins in prideful throbs. At the entrance to the village I was presented with an address by a splendid specimen of the Irish race in the person of Myles Moriarty, a man who had been “out” in forty-eight, who, on the part of the tenant-farmers of Clonacooney, tendered me welcome and assurances of both moral and physical support.

“The dark hour is passin’ from the ould country, sir, and yours be the hand to wipe the tear from the cheek of Erin,” were his concluding words.

I must have spoken to the point, for I was cheered to the echo, and my right hand almost wrung from the arm by repeated shakings.

In Father O’Dowd’s garden a small platform had been raised, composed of the kitchen table, the safety of which Biddy Finnegan watched over with tender regard.

Around the little grass-plat some hundred of the “boys” were gathered, who bared their heads in respectful reverence when the good priest ascended the dais.

It is chiefly in Ireland that one sees the visible link that binds priests and people. The Irish peasant never forgets that he is in the presence of the Lord’s anointed, and the respect for the clergyman upon the hillside or wayside is the same as though he were clad in his vestments and upon the altar.

Father O’Dowd introduced me in a speech that burned into the minds of his auditory. It was full of fiery eloquence, full of patriotism, full of Catholicity. In dealing with the question of Home Rule he said: “Over a country agitated by dissension and weakened by mistrust we have raised the banner of Home Rule. We raised it hesitatingly, unfurling it tremblingly to the breeze; but the hearts of the people have been moved by the two small words, and the soul of the nation has felt their power and their spell. These words have passed from man to man along the valley and along the hillside. Everywhere our despairing sons have turned to that banner with confidence and hope. Thus far we have borne it. Upon these young and stalwart shoulders,” placing his arm affectionately around me, “we shall now place it, to be borne unto victory. It is meet that the representative of a stainless race, of a race that upheld their creed when its avowal led to the scaffold and gibbet, should go forth from among us young in years, high in hope, ardent in the cause of creed and country. We shall hand our banner into his youthful hands, and with him this trust shall be considered 211sacred. He will defend it, if necessary, with his life. The cause of the church will be his; the cause of the country will be his.”

When it came to my turn to speak a mist seemed to gather before my eyes and my head began to swim.

“Courage!” whispered Father O’Dowd. “Nos hæc novimus esse nihil.

I plunged in medias res, floundering on, stumbling, staggering, repeating myself, till I felt all aflame, and as if my head were red-hot. Suddenly the idea smote me that I had Wynwood Melton to beat, and I became cool as ice. Yes, the transition was simply instantaneous, and with it came a flow of words such as have never welled from me since, save, perhaps, upon the day of the election.

I spoke for nearly an hour, and I subsequently recollected that I had discussed the entire political situation of Ireland, as I had done some years before in a debate at the Catholic University. Memory came gallantly to the rescue, and when I concluded Father O’Dowd cried enthusiastically:

“A born orator—nascitur, non fit. Now, boys,” addressing the tumultuous assemblage, “haven’t we got the right man, and won’t we put him in the right place?”

When I returned to Kilkenley I found that Mr. Melton had taken his departure.

“He is alive to the importance of an active canvass,” said Mr. Hawthorne, “and has repaired to the tents of his people. I am very sorry that the warning should come from me—a warning that may be of singular disservice to you.”

“I feel that I shall win.”

“My dear young friend, I felt that I would win, and discredited the returns that threw me overboard when I contested Fromsey. Do not let your feelings mislead you. Work as if expecting defeat, and as if endeavoring to reduce the majority against you. I’m an old campaigner and know the ropes.”

My mother was all eagerness to know how I had progressed. When I told her that I had made two speeches, one of them of an hour’s duration, her delight was boundless.

“You were lost, dear child,” she cried. “Your talents are of a high order, and you have at last found a field for them.”

Harry Welstone had attended a meeting at Ballynashaughragawn, and had held forth in my behalf, like a regular brick that he was. All my jealousy disappeared upon the mention of Melton, and Harry was again my confidant in everything.

“I don’t think she cares much for that fellow, Fred.”

“I tell you that they understand each other.” And I writhed in the agony of the thought.

“I think her governor is nibbling for Melton as a son-in-law, but there is no ring of the true metal about the girl’s feelings—nothing that I can detect; and I’m not utterly unobservant.”

I never felt that the gash in my heart was so deep until Miss Hawthorne referred to their leaving.

“Our time is up. We have overstayed our limit.”

“Surely you will not desert us until after the election,” said my mother. “You must celebrate his success, if success it is to be.”

“Oh! Miss Hawthorne is not interested in my success, mother,” I interposed.

She turned her violet eyes full upon me.

212“Much more so than you give me credit for.”

“My non-success, you mean.”

“I do not mean it.”

“It is quite right that you should,” I said bitterly. “I have no claim upon your interest.”

“A very strong one, I assure you.”

“Melton’s the man,” assuming a savage gayety. “How jolly he will feel if he wins! how delighted to bear the news to his lady-love!”

“Does it not strike you, Mr. Ormonde, that your last observation is upon the borderland of—what shall I call it?”

“Truth,” I suggested.

She did not deign to reply to me, but, turning to my mother, expressed a fear that she should leave Kilkenley upon the following day.

“I will not hear of it,” said my mother stoutly.

There was one chance left, and that lay in inducing Mr. Hawthorne to stump the county with me. This scheme I confided to Harry, who highly approved of it. After dinner, when the ladies had returned to the drawing-room, Harry opened fire.

“Mr. Hawthorne, the people about here are exceedingly anxious to hear you speak. They have heard a good deal of your eloquence in Parliament, and have read some of your speeches.”

“I am not reported, sir. Those scoundrels in the press gallery ignore me because I defy them. Would you believe it, gentlemen, my speech upon the removal of a custom-house officer upon a charge of disloyalty to the throne and constitution, and which occupied two hours and a half in its delivery—I went into the question of customs generally, into those of foreign countries, into the national debt, into our relations with Japan, into the contracts for constructing ironclads—in fact, I grasped a series of subjects of the highest importance to the country; and would you believe it, Mr. Speaker—I mean gentlemen—the Times, although I saw that the reporter—yes, gentlemen, I watched him with an eagle eye—was present and apparently engaged in reporting me—the Times, I say, had the audacity to publish that the honorable member for Doodleshire uttered some irrelevant observations which were inaudible in the reporters’ gallery; and yet this unprincipled scoundrel pockets his pay, and reports the flimsy orations of other honorable members not one tithe of so much national importance as mine.” And trembling with anger, Mr. Hawthorne gulped down three glasses of claret in rapid succession.

“The Irish people,” continued Harry, “are the most rhetorical and oratorical in the world, and prefer a good speech to any known amusement except a wake. News of your presence here has gone far and wide, and I may tell you fairly that it is incumbent upon you to let them hear you.”

“I—ahem!—would be very pleased to do so, did a suitable opportunity present itself,” said the M.P. with a pleased smile.

“The opportunity luckily does present itself. On Thursday next our host here must attend a meeting of his constituents at Bohernacallan, and, if you were to accompany him and address the people, I assure you it will be regarded as a very considerable favor by the hundreds who will be assembled.”

“On Thursday next I shall be on my way to London.”

“Not a bit of it,” I chimed in.

213“There is nothing to be done in London now, Mr. Hawthorne,” said Harry.

“My arrangements are all made, and nothing, sir, nothing could induce me to break them. I am a man of iron, adamant in such matters.”

I looked blankly at Harry, but Master Harry was still hopeful, as indicated by a dexterous half-wink while the M.P. was tossing off another glass of claret.

“I may tell you as a matter of fact, Mr. Hawthorne, that you are expected at this meeting.”

“It is very flattering, Mr. Welstone, but the meeting must stand disappointed in so far as I am concerned. No, gentlemen; in the House or outside of it, once I lay down a plan of operations, I never diverge from it by the distance of a single hair.”

Again I looked blankly at Harry, and again I met with a half-wink.

“That’s very unfortunate, Mr. Hawthorne, but I suppose it cannot be helped.”

“It cannot indeed, sir.”

“And reporters coming down from Dublin, too,” said Harry, addressing me.

“What is that you say, Mr. Welstone?” demanded the member of Doodleshire with considerable earnestness.

“Oh! it’s not worth repeating.”

“I think I heard you mention something about reporters?”

“Oh! yes; the Dublin newspapers are sending down special reporters, and the London Times’ correspondent is a reporter on the Daily Express.”

“Ahem!” And Mr. Hawthorne gravely produced a memorandum-book, which he proceeded to scan with apparent interest.

Harry gave me the full wink now.

“Oh dear me—ahem!” exclaimed the M.P. “I find that I need not be in London quite so soon, and if it obliges you, my dear Ormonde, I shall be glad to strike a blow in your aid. Did you say the Times’ correspondent will be there? Not that it makes the slightest difference to me; yet, belonging as I do to the great liberal party, and belonging as this election does to the great liberal party, I deem it a sacred duty to aid the great liberal party in so far as it lies in my power. Mr. Ormonde, rely upon me, sir.”

When later on I spoke with Harry on the question of deceiving my guest, especially as no reporters would be within fifty miles of us, “Don’t bother your head about it, Fred. Leave it all to me. I’ll get Tom Rafferty and the two O’Briens to come with big pencils and lots of paper, and tell them to write for their lives the whole time old Hawthorne is speaking. Everything is fair in love, war, and an election.”

The excitement in the county was intense as soon as the fact of my being in the field became known across its length and breadth. The De Ruthvens were furious, the head of the family, Mr. Beresford de Ruthven, honoring me with a personal visit, in order to ascertain whether I was in my senses or out of them.

“Am I to understand, Mr. Ormonde, that you are a candidate for the representation of this county?” he asked, after the usual ceremonial questions had been pushed aside.

“You are, Mr. De Ruthven.”

“That you have consented to be nominated by a rabble—to be—”

“I have been nominated by no rabble, Mr. De Ruthven.”

214“You are the nominee of the priests.”

“I am, sir; but have a care how you speak of a Catholic clergyman in this house. You are not now at Ruthventown.” I was hot with anger.

“Do you want to break up the harmony that has existed for centuries in the county, Mr. Ormonde?”

“I want to see a liberal represent the county, and I am willing to give way to a better man.”

“Liberal! What liberality do you require? Do not the liberals have their share in everything?”

I had him now.

“How many liberals are there on the grand panel, Mr. De Ruthven?”

“Oh! I grant you that there has been mismanagement,” he hastily replied, “but we’ll see to that.”

“What liberality is it that leaves the roads approaching every Catholic church in a condition that would shame a backwoods clearing, while those near the meanest Protestant place of worship are cared for like the avenues in your own domain?”

“That shall be looked to.”

“Where is the liberality at the union boards, in the magistracy, in the county offices? Is there a single Catholic in any office whatever?”

“O Mr. Ormonde! I see you are primed and loaded, and must go off like a fifth-of-November cracker. Now, all I can say to you is this: that if you persist in this audacious attempt in breaking up the harmony of this great county, on your own head be the penalty; and let me add, sir, that when next you attend the assizes, do not be surprised if you are openly insulted.”

“And do not be surprised, Mr. De Ruthven, if the man who dares insult me is openly horse-whipped.”

Mr. De Ruthven, very much disgusted at my papistical audacity, took his leave, warning me, even when in his carriage, that I was certain of defeat, and equally certain of being put in Coventry.

My attempt to wrest the seat from the conservative party was regarded with the same interest as Mr. A. M. Sullivan’s daring effort to snatch Louth from the Right Honorable Chichester Fortescue—an effort that was crowned with such signal success. The cabinet minister and ex-Irish secretary, who was regarded as Mr. Gladstone’s official representative in Ireland, was deemed invulnerable in Louth, having sat for it for twenty-seven years. The government laughed to scorn the idea of disturbing him, but Mr. Sullivan polled two to one, and was carried in by such a weighty majority as virtually to close the county for ever and a day, as the children’s story-books say.

In my county the conservatives laughed my attempt to scorn, pooh-poohing my pretensions and ridiculing my supporters. My opponent made Ruthventown his headquarters, and from Ruthventown came forth his address. From Ruthventown also was issued a manifesto, or imperial ukase rather, commanding the tenants to vote for the De Ruthven candidate, while from every conservative landlord appeared a notice couched in similar dictatorial terms. To these counter-proclamations were scattered broadcast by my various committees throughout the country, calling upon Catholics to support a Catholic, upon Irishmen to support Home Rule.

Father O’Dowd was indefatigable, leaving Sir Boyle Roche’s bird simply nowhere, as he would appear to be in half a dozen different places at 215one and the same time. He lived upon his little outside-car, and the dead hours of the night saw him dashing through lonely glens, winding up steep mountain-sides, speeding through sleeping villages, all for the purpose of bringing the old faith to the front, and of rescuing representation from the clutches of the Orange clique, who had held it so long, to the prejudice of Catholicity and the shame of Catholics.

“We’ll shake off the yoke now or never!” was his constant cry. “Down with the De Ruthven ascendency! We’ll take their heels off our necks. We have suffered and endured too long and too patiently. We have allowed a little clique to govern a nation at their own sweet will. It is time for the people to assert themselves, to come to the front, to share in their own government. The hour is at hand, and the men.”

The county was ablaze. Meetings were held in every village, and my name was handed from townland to townland as a talisman. The most despicable coercive measures were adopted by the conservative landlords toward their tenants with reference to their votes, threats of eviction, of rent-raising, of persecution being openly resorted to.

“Make no promises, boys. Keep yourselves unpledged,” was the constant cry of Father O’Dowd. “Recollect that you have consciences and a country.”

At one meeting, whilst I was engaged in speaking—even now I feel astonished at my eloquence of that time—I was interrupted by some of the De Ruthven faction, who endeavored to hiss and hoot me down.

“Boys,” yelled a voice in the crowd, “there’s iligant bathing in Missis Moriarty’s pond below; they say it’s Boyne wather.” And ere I could interpose or take any step towards cooling the feverish excitement of my supporters, the luckless Ruthvenites were ruthlessly swept towards the dam in question, where in all human probability they would have been half-drowned had not Father O’Dowd rushed to the rescue.

“Are you mad, boys? Don’t touch a hair of their heads.”

“We want for to larn them manners, yer riverince; shure there’s no great harm in that.”

“If one of these vagabonds is ill-treated by you, they’ll unseat Mr. Ormonde on petition. You will not suffer, but Mr. Ormonde will. For Heaven’s sake, boys, don’t lay a finger on them.”

The announcement caused a general gloom.

“Never mind, boys,” shouted one of the crowd. “Shure if we can’t bate thim afore the election, we can knock sawdust out av thim whin it’s all over, an’ that’s a comfort anyhow.”

From every side promises of support came pouring in. The priests and people were working as one man, silently, swiftly, surely. The “hard word” had gone forth, and every parish was preparing its contingent. The hints and cajoleries of the other side were received in dignified silence—a silence which the ascendency party construed into assent. It was deemed utterly impossible that the tenantry could vote against the nominee of their landlords; and although these “slave-owners” received very significant warnings from their bailiffs, they could not and would not give heed to them.

My address was drawn up in a solemn committee composed of Father O’Dowd, Mr. Hawthorne, 216Mabel, my mother, and myself. I need not reproduce it here. It was Catholic and national, and when it went forth to the county it was received with universal enthusiasm. The opposite party stigmatized it as an “audacious document,” a “firebrand.” “Yes,” said the parish priest of Derrymaleena, “it is a firebrand, and one that lights the funeral pyre of the Orange party.”

I found Miss Hawthorne rewriting a copy of my address.

“I will save you the trouble, Miss Hawthorne,” I said bitterly, and Heaven knows my heart was at a dead ache, “and I will send a copy to Mr. Melton.”

She flushed, the hot blood mounting over her little ears. “You do me a cruel injustice, Mr. Ormonde,” she replied. “Read that!” contemptuously flinging me an open letter across the table.

“I do not wish to pry into Mr. Melton’s secrets.”

“That letter is not from Mr. Melton. I never received one from him in my life, nor do I care to receive one; but since you will not read this letter, you shall hear its contents.”

She read as follows in a pained voice:

My Dear Mrs. Ormonde:

As the coming man is so busy, and is probably at the other side of the county, I write to you to ask you to send me a copy of his address as soon as ever you can. We are all alive here, and Victory is within our grasp. Always yours,

Peter Heffernan.

“Now, Mr. Ormonde, may I ask you if it was generous of you to—”

“Forgive me, Miss Hawthorne,” I exclaimed. “I—I do not know what I am doing, what I am saying. I am distracted—wretched.” I was silent. I dared go no further. The vision of Wynwood Melton cried check to the bounding thoughts that came surging from my heart.

“The evening of the 20th will find you in better form.”

I shook my head. The future was utterly dreary—one blank, sunless waste.

“You will win this election, Mr. Ormonde.”

I sighed deeply.

“A barren victory.”

“A barren victory!” she exclaimed with considerable animation. “Do you consider it a barren victory to beat the Carlton Club, the great conservative stronghold of England, whose every ukase is law—to beat the De Ruthven faction, who have held your beautiful county in subjection since the Pale?”

“A Dead-Sea apple. In winning this election I win your hatred.”

My hatred?” opening her lovely violet eyes in delicious wonder.

“Yes, Miss Hawthorne; if I am elected I shall have beaten the man you love.”

She flushed again—a shower of rose-petals.

“There is not a more miserable being on the face of this earth than I am this moment, Miss Hawthorne. Were I not pledged in honor to this election, I would stand aside and let Mr. Melton win this stake, as he has won the higher stake—your heart.”

She was about to interrupt me, her lips tremulous, her hands in strong action.

“Hear me for one moment,” I cried, carried away in a rush of tumultuous feeling, every sense in a mad whirl. “I love you, Mabel—love you with a love that is more than love. I tried to hate you. In that vain attempt I resolved to bring sorrow to your heart, to glut my own desire for vengeance. It was jealous despair that led me 217into this conflict. It is possible I may not see you until the fight is over, perhaps never again; but, Mabel Hawthorne, my first, my last love, it may be sweet to you to know why this victory will be a barren one, why the hand that grasps the laurel will seize but dead ashes.” And without trusting myself even to glance at her, I rushed from the room, from the house, and was many miles on the road to Derrymaclury ere thoroughly aware of the fact.

I did not return to Kilkenley. I dreaded the fearful fascination of Mabel’s presence, and, now that I had declared my hopeless love, I did not care to meet her. It would be mean and shabby to hang about her, knowing she was never to be mine. It would be despicable, under the peculiar circumstances of the case, were I again to refer to Melton or the election. There was nothing for it but to remain at a distance. I recall the agonies of those few days with a shiver. The powerful excitement of the approaching contest was over-weighted by the dull gnawing at my heart. I was as one walking in a painful dream. In vain I plunged into the whirl of speech-making, canvassing, and all the absorbing surroundings of the election—truly in vain, for the one idea ever grimly tortured me, and the one hopeless thought ever perched raven-like in my gloom-laden mind.

“Take heart of grace, man,” Father O’Dowd would say. “We’ll beat them three to one.”

Could he minister to the disease that was eating away my very heart?

Harry Welstone came over.

“Why, there has been a sort of panic at Kilkenley on account of your abrupt departure, Fred. The last person who saw you in the flesh was Miss Hawthorne, and she is very reticent in the matter. I tried to pump her, and got quietly sat upon for my pains. She has disappeared, too.”

“What do you mean?”

“She has been playing the invisible princess. Your opponent called twice, and she refused to see him.”

“Is it Melton?” I cried, a wild joy surging around my heart.

“Yes; the great M.P. in embryo.”

“Wouldn’t see him?”

“Said she had a headache.”

“You jest, Harry.”

“Not a bit of it. Old Blunderbuss was as mad as a hatter, but missy stuck fast to her colors.”

“I wish to heaven you hadn’t told me this, Harry.”


“I do not know.”

And I did not know, but so it was. There lay a disturbing element in this news that completely set me astray. Hope, that springs eternal in the human breast; hope, that seemed shut out from mine for ever, was timidly knocking at the portals demanding admittance; but I resolutely barred the portals, raising the drawbridge, and dropping the portcullis. And yet—

No. I would not admit the impossible.

The nomination took place in the court-house at Ballyraken, the county town, which was literally packed with the country people, who had come in from the great harvest districts to hear the “speechifyin’.” The De Ruthven faction mustered very strongly, all the Protestant gentry arriving in their equipages, making “a brave and goodly show.” Mr. Wynwood 218Melton—who appeared in a faultlessly-fitting black frock-coat, with the last rose of summer in his button-hole, a hat that literally shone like jet, and pale lavender gloves—was proposed by Sir Robert Slugby de Ruthven, D.L., and seconded by Mr. Beresford de Ruthven, D.L.

Sir Robert, an aged, aristocratic-looking man, with a lordly voice and royal mien, after dilating, amidst fearful interruption, upon the misfortune that had fallen on the county in the ill-considered enterprise of this rash young man—meaning me—in his hopeless endeavor to disturb the harmony which had so long existed in the county, proceeded to say:

“I have a gentleman to propose to your consideration—a gentleman of birth, a gentleman of education, a gentleman of position, a gentleman of means, a gentleman—”

Here a voice, which I immediately recognized as that of Peter O’Brien, cried out in the crowd:

“Arrah, blur an’ ages, we’re tired av gintlemin; can’t ye stand yerself?”

This sally, which was greeted with a roar of laughter, completely upset the little speech which Sir Robert had prepared, and in a few mumbled words he proposed Mr. Wynwood Melton as a fit and proper person to represent the county in the Imperial Parliament.

Mr. Beresford de Ruthven was an able and popular speaker. He knew how, when, and where to touch the heart of the Irish peasant. His tact was admirable, while he possessed the rare qualification of being enabled to keep his audience in his hands as a juggler his golden balls.

We feared his speech. It was a rock ahead, and every word that fell from his lips was to be caught up and treasured, in order that our best men should reply to him. We knew it was nearly impossible to catch him tripping, and that he was one of those agile performers who spring smilingly to their feet even after an ugly fall.

“I wish this was over,” whispered Father O’Dowd. “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. He’ll butter the boys like parsnips, and promise them the moon.”

Mr. De Ruthven commenced his speech in a breathless silence. Oratory is always respected in Ireland, even in an opponent, although that opponent be a Protestant and an Orangeman. The speaker labored under the disadvantage of possessing but one hand, the other having been accidentally shot off by the bursting of a fowling-piece while Mr. De Ruthven was grouse-shooting in Scotland.

His speech was, unhappily for us, most felicitous. He seemed to suit himself to the occasion, and to make the occasion suit him. A faint murmur followed one or two of his well-directed points, which gradually swelled into open applause, until, to our dismay, we found he was carrying the audience with him.

Our party gazed significantly one at the other. We all perceived that the danger we had already anticipated was upon us in real earnest. At this moment I perceived Peter O’Brien elbowing himself to the front. A dead silence had fallen, one of those unaccountable stillnesses that occasionally come upon all assemblages, however large. Mr. De Ruthven was about to recommence, when Peter, putting his hands to his mouth, and in a voice that could be heard in the adjacent barony, shouted at the top of his lungs:

219Where’s the hand that sthruck the priest?

To describe the effect of this query would be impossible. It was simply electrical. In one second the current, which had been flowing smoothly, became dammed, and instantly turned into another channel. In vain did Mr. De Ruthven endeavor to gain a hearing; in vain to disclaim the odious charge that had been indirectly preferred against him. It was useless. Every effort was met by a thousand cries of “Where’s the hand that sthruck the priest?” And in these few words the sun of his eloquence had set for ever. The high-sheriff almost burst a blood-vessel in his endeavor to obtain silence, until, finding the task a hopeless one, he advised Mr. De Ruthven to formally second the nomination and retire, which was accordingly done, and in dumb show.

When Melton presented himself he was received with laughter and jeers. The people had just warmed into that facetious good-humor that is so dangerous to a candidate for their suffrages. Opposition makes a martyr. Laughter causes a man to appear ridiculous.

“What’ll ye take for the posy?”

“Off wud yer gloves.”

“Will ye give us a pup out o’ that hat?”

“Is that coat ped for?”

“The raison it’s so new is that he wants to be able for to turn it, boys.”

“Spake up.”

“Give us a little Irish.”

“Sing the ‘Wearin’ av the Green.’”

“We’ll return ye—to England.”

“Go home to yer mother.”

“Cud ye say boo to a goose?”

“Och! we’ll vote for ye all together like Brown’s cows, an’ he had only wan.”

“Yer a fine man to send—out o’ the counthry.”

“Arrah, what brought ye here at all?”

“Ax for the price o’ the thrain for to take ye home, an’ mebbe ould Beresford wud give it to ye.”

Such were the greetings that interrupted Mr. Wynwood Melton during the delivery of a very brief speech, not one word of which even reached the reporters’ table. He seemed, however, perfectly unruffled, and continued bowing for a considerable time in response to the derisive cheering that followed upon his silence.

Father O’Dowd was received with a whirlwind of cheers, yells, and other manifestations of enthusiastic delight.

In proposing me he was very brief, alluding to the degrading position held by Catholics in a county where the large majority of the people were Catholics, and where everything that could be denied a Catholic was denied him. He was good enough to refer to the intrepidity with which my poor father had upheld the ancient faith, to his true-hearted patriotism, and wound up by declaring that this was the hour for the county to assert itself, both for conscience and country.

I read my speech in the Weekly Courier on the following Saturday, and I suppose I must have uttered it, but I have not the remotest conception of what I said. It read wonderfully well; and as Father O’Dowd told me I surpassed myself, I felt more or less elated at my success.

“If she had been there to hear it!” was my sad, sickening thought.

Læta dies aderat. The eventful day arrived big with my fate and that of the county. I felt that 220I was but the mere instrument, and, if victory were to crown the effort, it would be due to the principle and not the man. We knew that in some districts we would be badly beaten, while in others the issue was somewhat doubtful; but as to the ultimate outcome we entertained not a shadow of a doubt. The people were panting for a chance, and they had got it now.

When I showed the voting-papers to Peter, telling him that a cross marked in pencil should go opposite the name of the candidate for whom the voter wished to vote, he anxiously demanded:

“An’ must the min that votes for the Englishman put in a crass, too?”

“Every man of them.”

“Och, thin, glory be to God! shure it’s a judgmint on thim Protestants for to have to make the sign av the blessed an’ holy crass at all, at all—curse of Crummle on thim!”

Fearing a disturbance, as party spirit ran so high and as my supporters were so excited, a strong detachment of the Sixtieth Rifles was marched into Ballyraken on the eve of the polling. The Protestant landlords had secured free quarters in the town for such of their tenantry as chose to inhabit them, while they themselves occupied the Club House and De Ruthven Arms in a most imposing and demonstrative manner.

I was walking down the main street, all alone, thinking not of the forthcoming ballot, but of Mabel, when I perceived my opponent lounging on the steps of the Club House. I should be compelled to pass the Club House or cross the street, and as I was a member of the club, although I never frequented it, I now resolved upon boldly entering the enemy’s camp.

I was passing Melton with a nod when he stepped forward and in a singularly insolent tone demanded a word with me. He was very white.

“I was at Kilkenley yesterday.”

“Indeed!” I said. His tone was too uncertain to admit of my making any comment upon his visit.

“I suppose Miss Hawthorne is acting under your orders?” he hissed.

“I am at a loss to understand your meaning, sir,” I hotly replied.

“Not at home save to those whom you may be pleased to admit to your palatial residence,” he sneered.

“My residence is a very humble one, Mr. Melton, and when you honored it with your person I hope you found it a hospitable one. Miss Hawthorne is mistress of her own movements, but let me tell you, sir, that she is my mother’s guest, and the guest of an Ormonde is sacred.”

“Very dramatic, but scarcely to the point.”

“I’ll come to any point you please.”

“When this election business is over I may have something to say to you,” his tone fairly exasperating.

I could stand it no longer.

“You white-livered cub, whatever you have to say, say it now!” I shouted, the blood rushing like molten lava through my veins.

“I don’t row in public.”

“Do you wish me to tell you what I think of you, in public, Mr. Melton?”

He smiled.

“Pah! you are not worth this stick, or I’d break it across your shoulders.” And I marched into the 221club, my heart bumping against my ribs from sheer excitement.

What could he mean? Miss Hawthorne refuse to see him at my request? It was too absurd. Some lover’s quarrel. Was this cad her lover? Had her heart gone forth to such a man as this?

It was torture to think it.

Contrary to all expectations, the conduct of the people was orderly and peaceable. The dread of a petition had been seared into their very souls by Father O’Dowd and by the admirable organization that had charge of my interests. They came up to the booths silent, almost sullen. The landlords and bailiffs were all at their posts, uttering a last warning word as the tenants filed into the booths, addressing them cheerily as they emerged therefrom, in the hope of gleaning the much-coveted information as to the direction of the vote; but the responsibility of that day’s work appeared upon every face, and they entered the voting-places as though stepping into a church. Telegrams came pouring in all day from the outlying districts.

“Ballymaclish is all right—a majority of sixty; Derrymaclooney accounts for every man,” cried Father O’Dowd. “Bravo, my dear old parish! I knew I could trust my good, brave, pious children.”

Later on: “The De Ruthvens have carried Tubbercurry.”

“That’s because Father Nolan is on the broad of his back.”

“Ay, and because the Beresfords have stopped at nothing,” observed one of my committee. “If we want a petition we can pick it up in Tubbercurry. A telegram this morning says that there were money and whiskey going all the week.”

“How about Dharnadhulagh?”

“No returns yet.”

“Or Derrycunnihy?”

“Derrycunnihy is doubtful.”

“Not a bit of it.”

“I say it is.”

“I say it isn’t. Sure, Father James O’Neil has it in hands.”

“Oh! that will do. Put us down at forty at the very least.”

This sort of thing went on all day; but as the day wore on and the returns came in, we found at four o’clock that I had a majority, and at five that I had beaten Melton like a hack.

A wild flash of joy quivered through me. Frederic Fitzgerald Ormonde, M.P.! Visions of St. Stephen’s, of fierce debates over the crushing wrongs of expectant Erin, of glorious oratory, of splendid, supreme efforts, of magnificent rewards, honors—Cui bono?

She would hate me for having beaten her lover in the race. But was he her lover? Had not her tell-tale blushes told me all? And yet I had given her no chance of reply. Perhaps—

As this idea smote me a nameless ecstasy vibrated through every fibre of my being, and I longed to get to Kilkenley, I knew not why.

It was excruciating to be compelled to wait and receive the congratulations of my friends and supporters. It was simply fearful to have to sit out a dinner which had been prepared in my honor, and to listen to the leaden speeches all harping upon the one theme.

Somehow or other the night passed onwards, and at about eleven o’clock I found myself free. I rode over to Kilkenley; it was a mad race, and how I contrived to avoid riding down some of my constituents is still a matter of mystery to me. It relieved my feverish spirits to give the reins to my horse, and we flew homewards, past villages, past 222homesteads, past inebriated revellers on low-backed cars, past bonfires which were lighted for miles along the route, past hedges, ditches—everything; nor did I draw rein until I drew up at the lodge, shouting the word “Gate!”

“Lord be merciful to us! but it’s the masther,” cried Mrs. O’Rourke, the lodge-keeper, as she tremblingly threw open the gate. “May I make so bould as to ax ye if ye bet the Englishman, sir?”

“Beat him to smithereens.”

“Glory be to God! I knew Father O’Dowd would settle it.”

There were lights all through the house. The great event had kept the household out of their beds. My mother fell upon my neck in a paroxysm of joy when I told her the news.

“Where is Mabel—I mean Miss Hawthorne, mother?” I stammered.

“She was here a moment ago. Is Mr. Hawthorne at Ballyraken?”

“Yes; I left him making a third speech.”

“You must be worn out, my child. I’ll make you some mulled port.”

Something told me that I should find Mabel in the adjoining room; and my instincts had not deceived me. She stood in the centre of the apartment, one hand resting upon a small table. When I found myself standing opposite to her I felt utterly, totally dumbfounded. I could only stare at her.

“I heard the news,” she said, casting down her violet eyes. Ah! that was all she had to say.

“Will you forgive me?” I cried.

“Mr. Ormonde,” her hands working nervously, her glorious eyes still bent upon the table, her exquisitely-shaped head half averted, “I—I—that is—you have been under a most extraordinary misconception with reference to Mr. Melton. That gentleman is only a friend. As a matter of fact, I—I was so—so distressed at your ideas about him in connection with myself”—here she blushed red as a rose—“that I refused to see him when he came to visit here yesterday.”

“Then you are not in love with him?”

She raised her violet eyes, and her glance met mine as she uttered the, to me, ecstatic word, “No.”

“And not engaged to him?”


I do not know what I said or what I did; but this I do know: that when my mother entered the room with a tumbler of mulled port, she dropped the tumbler, uttering an exclamation of delight, and fell to kissing Mabel, exclaiming: “This is the one thing wanted to make me perfectly happy. My poor boy was breaking his heart about you.”

I was declared duly elected to serve the county in the United Parliament of Great Britain and Ireland.

Mr. Hawthorne duly presented me to Mr. Speaker upon the occasion of my taking the oaths and my seat. My first nap in the House was during a speech from the member for Doodleshire, which was not treating the ethereal thunder of his mind with becoming respect, especially as he had just been good enough to give me his daughter in marriage. We were married at the pro-cathedral at Kensington, by Father O’Dowd.

Melton I never met.

Harry Welstone and I are closer friends than ever, as he is in the House, representing the borough 223of Bohernabury, and we are always “agin the government.”

We reside at Kilkenley, and Peter O’Brien is teaching my eldest boy to handle the ribbons.

“Musha, thin, whin I rowled out forninst ye in the dirt beyant at the railway station, it’s little I ever thought I’d see ye misthress av the ould anshint property, ma’am,” is his constant remark to the lady of the manor, while he is perpetually urging upon me the crying necessity for “takin’ a heat out av Drizzlyeye.”

“Bloody wars, Masther Fred, but you an’ ould Butt is too aisy wud him. Give him plinty av impudince, an’ as shure’s me name’s Pether O’Brien ye’ll have Home Rule while ye’d be axin’ the lind av a sack.”



Our federal government, as a government, is absolutely forbidden by the Constitution to have anything whatever to do with religion; but the State Department has been for years and is now conducted as if it were an agency for a religious sectarian propaganda. The gentlemen whom it has sent to represent us at foreign courts have acted, in numberless instances and with few exceptions, as if they were the emissaries of Protestant or infidel missionary societies rather than as the ambassadors, ministers, and chargés d’affaires of a government which professes no religion, but which nevertheless has among its citizens eight millions of Roman Catholics, more or less, whose rights and opinions it is bound at least to respect. Many of these gentlemen have seemed to believe that one of their principal duties, especially if accredited to a Catholic country, was to form intimate associations with conspirators and agitators; to espouse their cause; and to fill their despatches to Mr. Seward, Mr. Fish, and Mr. Evarts with absurd but pernicious misrepresentations concerning the relations of the church towards education, civil freedom, and material progress. It may be admitted that many of these agents have erred rather through ignorance than malice; not a few of them have received but a limited education; it is only lately that a knowledge of the French language has been deemed requisite for even an ambassador. Scores of our ministers and chargés d’affaires have been sent abroad, remained for a few years, and returned, without acquiring more than a mere smattering of the language of the country to which they were accredited. Too frequently these misrepresentatives of ours fall into the hands of the agents of the secret sects which are plotting all over the world for the destruction of the church and the overthrow of Christian society, and receive from these sources the erroneous and pernicious views of affairs which they transmit to Washington. One of our diplomatists, returning from a long residence in 224the capital of a Catholic country, had for a fellow-traveller on the steamship an American Catholic.

“I envy you your residence in ——,” said this gentleman; “the intellectual society there is agreeable. Were you not well acquainted with Father —— and Mgr. ——?” naming two individuals of wide-spread celebrity.

“Oh! no,” replied the astute statesman, “not at all; I never met them. They are Papists, you know, and I never cared to waste my time with men who pray to idols, and pretend to believe that a piece of bread is God. Besides,” he added, with ingenuous simplicity, “my interpreter, a very shrewd fellow, told me all the priests in —— were bitter foes of our free republican institutions, and I thought it my duty to keep aloof from them.”

A perusal of the Red Books for the last two years inclines one to believe that many of our ministers to foreign countries derive their opinions and their information chiefly from their “interpreters.” The Hon. Mr. Scadder, rewarded for his eminent services to his party by being torn from his sorrowing constituents at Watertoast, and sent to represent us at the proud court of a papistical sovereign, may be at the mercy of any wag who chooses to humbug him with fantastical lies, or of any emissary from a Masonic sect who is instructed to fill his mind with misrepresentations; but Mr. Fish and Mr. Evarts are men of culture, and are supposed, at least, to be able to distinguish a hawk from a handsaw. It is of them that we chiefly complain. If the exigencies of party have made it impossible for them to select the best men for our diplomatic service, and if they have been obliged to put up with Mr. Scadder and his kind, it has at least been always in their power to cause our foreign agents to understand that it is no part of their duty to write despatches calumniating the Catholic Church, or to employ themselves in promoting the missionary enterprises of Protestant sects in Catholic countries. Had Mr. Fish and Mr. Evarts possessed a true idea of their own official duties, they never could have permitted one of their agents to write a second time such despatches as some of those contained in the Red Books before us. They would have administered to their Scadders, and Marshes, and Beales, and Partridges, and Bassetts a rebuke that would have opened the eyes of these public servants and taught them a useful lesson. Mr. Fish, we know, is a prominent and zealous member of the Protestant Episcopal Church; Mr. Evarts, we believe, is an adherent of the same sect. In their private capacity they have at least a legal right to do what they can to advance the interests of their own communion, and to expose and check the diabolical designs of the Man of Sin. But as Secretary of State at Washington Mr. Fish had not, and Mr. Evarts has not, any right to instruct, encourage, or even permit our agents abroad to calumniate the Catholic Church, to encourage conspiracies against her, or to spend their time, which belongs to the country, and the money with which the country supplies them, in promoting Anti-Catholic propagandism. Such a course is as bad a policy as it is un-American. We trust that the present Secretary of State will give this matter his immediate and careful attention; and the Senate and the House of Representatives 225would do well to look into it. Let him, as becomes his duty, inform the diplomatic agents of this republic that they are sent and paid to attend to the material and political interests of our country, and are expected to keep to themselves their religious opinions, whatever those opinions may be, in their correspondence with the Department of State. A proper sense of dignity on the part of the American who holds the office of the Secretary of State, and a decent respect for others, would not suffer that a diplomatic agent under his control should use his political position to insult the religious convictions of so large, important, and patriotic a portion of his fellow-citizens. Catholic citizens ask no favors as Catholics, and the time has gone by for them to accept silently from the hired agents of our common country insults to their religious faith. No one deprecates more than we do to see the tendency of the Catholic vote in this country given almost exclusively to one of its political parties. The only way in which to prevent this is by the opposite party putting an end to the display of bigotry and fanaticism against the Catholic Church.

The Department of the Interior, in its Indian Bureau, has repeatedly been guilty of gross violations of good faith and fair dealing towards the Catholic Church; but this has been due, probably, to the direct pressure put upon it by the various sects, whose cupidity was excited by the hope of reaping where Catholic priests had sown. But the foreign agents of the State Department often appear to have gone out of their way, in mere wantonness, to insult, irritate, and injure Catholic interests and feeling. Imagine the collector of the port of New York writing official despatches to the Secretary of the Treasury, informing him that, in the absence of anything better to do, he had been giving his mind to an investigation of Catholicism in this metropolis, and that he had arrived at the conclusion that much of the pauperism of the city was due to the facts that the entire Catholic population were in the habit of refusing to work on eight days of the year—days known in the superstitious jargon of the Papists as “days of obligation”—and that vast sums of money were exacted by the priests from their ignorant and degraded dupes, and sent over to Rome to support in idle luxury the pampered pope! It is probable that Secretary Sherman would administer to the collector a severe reprimand, and that this particular letter would not form part of the annual treasury report. But this is precisely the sort of news with which our minister to Hayti—Mr. Ebenezer Bassett—regales Mr. Evarts, so much to the apparent satisfaction of the latter that Mr. Bassett again and again returns to the subject and dwells upon it with unction. Or fancy Postmaster James sending a despatch to Mr. Key to cheer him with the happy intelligence that an unfrocked and disgraced Catholic priest had started a brand-new sect of his own in New York, and predicting that in a short time a majority of the Papists would desert their pastors and joyfully embrace the new gospel. But this is in substance the intelligence that such a man as Mr. Bancroft most delighted to send from Berlin. The collector of the port and the postmaster would be as much out of the line of their duty in the cases we have mentioned as Mr. Bassett and Mr. Bancroft have 226been. The duty of our foreign representatives is to promote the commercial, financial, and political interests of this republic at the courts to which they are accredited, and not to make themselves channels for the conveyance of idle, false, and scandalous gossip, much less to interfere in the domestic affairs of the countries to which they are sent, or allow themselves to be used as the tools of secret societies or of Methodist or any other missionary boards.

We have at present thirteen envoys extraordinary and ministers plenipotentiary—in Austria, Brazil, Chili, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Russia, and Spain; eight ministers resident—in the Argentine Republic, Belgium, Central American States, Hawaiian Islands, Netherlands, Sweden and Norway, Turkey, and Venezuela; and two ministers resident and consuls-general, in Hayti and Liberia. There are also five chargés d’affaires—in Denmark, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, and Uruguay and Paraguay. We have no representative in Bolivia, Ecuador, or the United States of Colombia. The great majority of the inhabitants of nineteen of the above-named thirty-one countries are Roman Catholics; yet not one of our foreign representatives is a Catholic. We ask not is this fair, but is it good policy? The population of these nineteen Roman Catholic nations is in round numbers, and according to the latest enumerations, about 170,000,000 souls; but we now are, and so far as we know almost always have been, represented at their capitals by Protestants. Of this, in itself, we do not complain. Wisdom—nay, even common sense—would indeed seem to dictate that the best results would be attained, other things being equal, by sending Catholics as envoys to Catholic countries. An American Catholic in a Catholic country finds himself in sympathy with, and not in antagonism to, the religious habits and modes of thought of the people; and his path towards the accomplishment of any good and worthy object is greatly smoothed by this fact. We believe that intelligent, clever, patriotic, Catholic envoys at Vienna, Rio Janeiro, Santiago, Paris, Rome, Mexico, Lima, Madrid, Buenos Ayres, Brussels, Guatemala, Caracas, Port au Prince, Lisbon, Montevideo, Asuncion, Quito, Bogota, and La Paz would have been more successful in accomplishing the best and highest duties of diplomatic representatives of this republic than Messrs. Beale, Partridge, Logan, Washburne, Marsh, Foster, Gibbs, Cushing, Osborne, Merrill, Williamson, Russell, Bassett, Moran, and Caldwell have been. We are certain that they would not have committed the sins against good taste and propriety which must be laid at the door of nearly all these gentlemen; they surely would not have committed the still graver offences of which we shall have to give some instances. We wish to except from this remark, however, Mr. Moran, long our faithful and exemplary secretary of legation at London, and for the last two or three years our chief representative at Lisbon. Although not a Catholic, Mr. Moran is a gentleman of excellent culture, of correct opinions concerning his official duties, and a very skilful diplomatist. One may look in vain through his despatches for anything that should not be there. We wish 227we could say half as much for some of his confrères.

Let us take, as an instance, our misrepresentative at Rome, Mr. George P. Marsh, of Vermont. Mr. Marsh leaves us in no doubt whether or not he is in full sympathy with the worst political elements in Italy, and inspired by a lively hatred of the church. He deems it one of his most pressing duties to assail and calumniate the Pope; he seems never so happy as when he can give a false and malicious interpretation to the acts of the Papal See; he appears never so miserable as when he finds himself disappointed in his fond anticipation of seeing the Italian government invade the Vatican, drive out the Pope, and finish up what is left of the church in Italy. In what Mr. Marsh is pleased to call his mind, the church in Italy is a ravening wolf, wounded, sick, and in a trap, but still with life enough in her to make her dangerous, and to render it necessary that she should be knocked on the head as soon as possible. Whenever Mr. Marsh observes indications of a willingness on the part of the government to let the wolf live a little longer, or even to make terms with her, he scolds and laments at a fearful rate. He writes as if he were a member of the Extreme Left, and evidently draws his inspiration from the most advanced radical sources. “I see no reason to expect,” says he, “any more vigorous resistance to the encroachments of the church from this administration”—the administration that was in power in November, 1876. What is it that Mr. Marsh would wish? What can be “the encroachments of the church” in Italy—the “encroachments” of men disarmed, despoiled, captive, and helpless as far as human agency is concerned? The elections for members of the Chamber of Deputies in November, 1876, were regarded by Mr. Marsh as evidence that the electors were greatly dissatisfied with the government as it had been administered. Doubtless they were. Mr. Marsh speaks of “the heavy burdens of taxation imposed by it upon the people”; of its “financial difficulties that prevent the execution of important works of public improvement”; of its failure even to attempt “the abolition of the macinto tax, or of any of the financial abuses which weigh so heavily on the poor.” But his remedy for this is simply “a more vigorous resistance to the encroachments of the church”—a little more plundering, a little more confiscation; the seizure of the Vatican, for instance, and the sale of its treasures at public auction, would no doubt put a few million lire in the public treasury. That would suit the amiable Mr. Marsh exactly. But the Italians hesitate, and Mr. Marsh is disgusted with them. At times he informs Mr. Evarts of terrible secrets—confidential information which could only have been communicated to him under the pledge of solemn secrecy by one of those practical jokers who lounge about the cafés in Rome and exercise their ingenuity in beguiling simple foreigners with incredible canards. In a despatch dated April 23, 1877, Mr. Marsh gives an account of a seditious outbreak that had occurred in Central and Southern Italy, instigated by people who were well dressed and who had plenty of money, but whose purpose, as explained by themselves, was “not only the overthrow of the existing government, but the destruction of 228all established civil, social, and religious institutions, and the triumph of universal anarchy.” These, in fact, were members of Mr. Marsh’s own party; but his secret informant in Rome made him believe that they were in the pay of the Pope, and probably Jesuits in disguise! “Long live Pius IX.! was shouted by the Internationalists at Benevento in the same breath with their cries of sedition,” writes Mr. Marsh; and he goes on to warn Mr. Evarts that “the number of persons prepared to lend a ready ear to the promptings of International emissaries”—videlicet the Jesuits in disguise aforesaid—“already large, is increasing; and that Italy may be the theatre of convulsions, to resist which will demand the most strenuous efforts of wise rulers and the most self-sacrificing patriotism on the part of the governing classes,” but always in the direction of resisting “the further encroachments of the church.” Mr. Marsh indulged in glowing hopes when the so-called Clerical Abuses Bill passed the Chamber of Deputies. He described the measure as “a bill for repressing the license of the clergy in public attacks upon the ecclesiastical policy of the government,” and looked for the happiest results to follow its enforcement. Mr. Marsh is an American citizen; he is the representative of a government which plumes itself upon the almost unchecked freedom of its citizens; he is paid by a people whose political shibboleth is “free speech.” If Mr. Marsh were running for Congress in Vermont instead of exercising his powerful intellect as minister at Rome, what would he say concerning an attempt by Congress to enact that the penalty of fine and imprisonment should be inflicted upon every clergyman or minister who should “attack the policy,” for instance, of the government seizing all the Methodist and Baptist meeting-houses throughout the country, and converting them into barracks? The Italian bill was worse than this, for it inflicted these penalties upon every priest who, even in the discharge of his duties as a director, might “disturb the peace of families” by advising a mother to teach her children that it was a sin to steal. But the Italian senate was less brave than Mr. Marsh, and his heart was almost broken by its final rejection of the bill. “This rejection,” he moans, in his despatch of April 23, “will encourage the clergy to measures of more active hostility against the state.” He feels so cut up about it that he returns to the subject in his despatch of May 10, and is so far carried away by his feelings as to write that

“The violence of the clergy and of their lay supporters in Italy and France is almost beyond description, and any one living among them has abundant opportunities of being convinced that they are prepared to resort to arms in support of the pretensions of the Papacy and of the principles of the Syllabus of 1864!”

A viler calumny, a more wicked falsehood against the French and Italian clergy has seldom been written. We are amazed, not that Mr. Marsh should have written it, but that Mr. Evarts should have allowed such balderdash to be printed. But Mr. Marsh grows worse as he goes on. In his despatch of May 26 he almost excels himself. He takes it as a personal grievance that the Pope has compared Prince Bismarck to Attila; he is impatient for the abrogation of the Law of Guarantees; he is 229certain that sooner or later “a violent conflict between the government and the church is inevitable,” and he wishes it to come rather sooner than later. Apparently he is anxious to assist at the final sacrifice, and he is tormented with the fear that the crafty Papists may cheat him out of that gratification.

“The Roman Curia,” he writes, “is at all times shrouded in such mystery that the purposes of those who administer it (sic) are very rarely foreshadowed, and no positive predictions can ever be hazarded concerning it beyond the general presumption that its future will be like its past.” In all soberness and earnestness we ask Mr. Evarts whether Mr. Marsh is kept in Rome for the purpose of writing nonsense about the “mystery” of the “Roman Curia”? What has he to do with the affairs of the Holy See? He is not accredited to the Vatican; he has no more to do with the Pope than our minister at London has to do with the Archbishop of Canterbury. True, the Pope is a far more important personage than is Mr. Tait; but Mr. Marsh, as we understand it, was not sent to Rome to occupy himself about the Pope. Instead of attending to his own business he goes out of his way to insult the Holy Father, and through him the entire Catholic population of the United States. If everything were as it should be, we should have as our representative at Rome, the capital of Christendom and the seat of the head of the universal church, a Catholic statesman. We do not insist upon this; but we do insist that our representative at Rome should be at least a fair-minded, candid, well-educated, and discreet gentleman, and not an ignorant, rude, prejudiced, and foolish dupe like Mr. Marsh. That we may not be accused of doing him injustice, let us give here the exact text of the essential portions of his despatch of May 26 last, to which we have already referred:

“The excesses of the clericals,” he writes, “are producing their natural and legitimate effect in a feeling of dissatisfaction with the position in which Italy has placed herself toward the Papacy by the Law of Guarantees. A recent allocution by the Pope, in which, for acts of the German government, Count Bismarck is likened to Attila, is much commented upon, and it is seriously asked whether Italy can protect herself against all responsibility for tolerating the use of such language in public discourses by the Pope, and its circulation through the press, under the plea that, by the seventh article of the law referred to, she has enacted that the Pope ‘is free to perform all the functions of his spiritual ministry, and to affix to the doors of the basilicas and churches of Rome all acts of that ministry.’ Such questions are bringing more clearly into view the incongruities and inconveniences of the anomalous position in which the general sovereignty of the state and the still higher virtual sovereignty of the Papacy, admitted by the terms of the Law of Guarantees, are placed toward each other. The Syllabus of 1864, having been promulgated before the enactment of that law, was notice to all the world of the extent of the inalienable rights claimed by the Papacy, and it is not a violent stretch of Vatican logic to maintain that, in spite of its protests, the law in question is legally a recognition of those claims. In fact, there are many occasions of collision between the two jurisdictions, such, for example, as the right of asylum implied in the extraterritoriality of the Vatican, which can never be avoided or reconciled without such an abandonment of the claims of one of the parties as will be yielded only to superior force; and hence a violent conflict between them is at any time probable, and at no distant day certainly inevitable. Such occasions were expected by many to arise from the pilgrimages to Rome on the fiftieth episcopal anniversary of the present Pope. But the number of pilgrims thus far has not reached the 230tithe of that predicted, probably not amounting in all to ten thousand, while the garrison and municipal police have been quietly strengthened to a force abundantly able to repress any disturbance. The death of Pius IX. and the election of his successor, events almost hourly expected, are looked to as probably fraught with important changes in the attitude of the Papacy toward Italy, and in the general policy of the church. For this expectation I see no ground, though the Roman Curia is at all times shrouded in such mystery that the purposes of those who administer it are very rarely foreshadowed, and no positive predictions can ever be hazarded concerning it beyond the general presumption that its future will be like its past.”

Mr. Edward F. Beale, of Pennsylvania, was our representative at Vienna, having been sent there to succeed that ardent anti-Catholic, Mr. John Jay, and being now in his turn superseded by Mr. Kasson, of Iowa. Mr. Beale’s career at the Austrian capital was brief but not brilliant. In August, 1876, he undertook to instruct Mr. Fish concerning the drift of public opinion, not only in Austria but in France and England, upon the Eastern question. He had ascertained that the prevailing sentiment in these countries was “religious fervor”; the people were so much in love with Christianity and so full of hatred of Moslemism in that they desired nothing more than to see Russia enter Constantinople, and to drive the Turks out of Europe “bag and baggage.” “It is a question of faith which will govern Europe,” writes the astute Mr. Beale, “and a crusade is quite as possible now as when Peter the Hermit preached.” The European congress which is about to assemble as we are writing will not disturb itself about any “question of faith”; its members will concern themselves only with questions of boundaries, fleets, and money. But not content with forecasting the future, Mr. Beale reverts to the past, and kindly undertakes to furnish the State Department with easy lessons in European history. Thus, in a despatch dated September 27, 1876, and apropos des bottes, he bids Mr. Fish to remember that

“It is interesting to recall that in Bosnia originated the first Protestant movement of Western Europe, and that even before the heresies (as the Catholic Church calls them) of John Huss in Bohemia she had sent out her missionaries to preach the Gospel as she read it, and to disseminate her religious views over the rest of the world. When the persecutions of the Church of Rome were at their worst she offered a generous asylum to her co-religionists, many of whom found here what had been denied them at home—the right to worship God after their own forms and belief.”

In point of fact, the heretics of Bosnia, at the time referred to by our erudite minister at Vienna, were advocating principles utterly subversive of order and tending directly to anarchy. They taught that a subject was released from all allegiance to a ruler if that ruler were in a state of mortal sin, and each subject was to judge for himself as to the spiritual condition of his ruler. The Church of Rome had no hesitation in setting the seal of her condemnation upon this vagary of Protestantism, and even Mr. Beale would probably admit that she was right in so doing. But he evidently was ignorant of the facts, and was anxious only to air his newly-acquired learning and to have a fling at the church. Is there among the secret instructions of our State Department to its agents a rule to this effect: “When you have nothing else to write about, pitch into the Pope”?

It is a far cry from Vienna to 231Port au Prince; but our misrepresentative in Hayti next demands our attention. He, of all his brethren, is perhaps the most vulgar, insolent, and ignorant; but he is one of the most outspoken. The United States pay him $7,500 a year, and have done so since 1869. How much the Protestant Episcopal Church pays him, if anything, we do not know; but he seems to have given much of his time and influence to the advancement of the interests of that body, and to the abuse of the Roman Catholic clergy of the island. Several of Mr. Bassett’s despatches contain eulogiums upon a “Rev. Dr. Holly,” who, he says, was “at Grace Church, New York, in 1874, ordained bishop of Hayti,” and whom Mr. Bassett appears to have taken under his special protection and care. Now, there is no “bishop of Hayti”; there is an archbishop of Port au Prince, the Most Rev. Alexius Guilloux; and he has four suffragans, the bishops of Cap-Haitien, Les Cayes, Gonayves, and Port Paix. “The Rev. Dr. Holly” has no more right to call himself bishop of Hayti than he has to call himself the Pope of Rome; but Mr. Bassett deems it very hard indeed that the archbishop, the bishops, and the clergy of Hayti have taken the liberty of warning their people that “the Rev. Dr. Holly” is not bishop, and that his teachings that marriage is not a sacrament, and that the first duty of a Christian is to revolt against the church, are not to be accepted. In May Mr. Bassett writes to Mr. Evarts that “the Roman Catholic archbishop and his clergy have assumed a pretension to supremacy over the civil code, notably in the matter of marriage”; and in July he writes again a long letter upon “the introduction and growth of Protestantism in Hayti and its influence upon the government.” He admits that in 1804 “Romanism,” which was “then, as now, the faith professed by a great majority of the Haytian people,” “was declared to be the religion of the state and placed under the state’s special protection and support,” and that “it still continues to enjoy that protection and support.” But he complains that “the Roman priesthood have made many strongly-directed and persistent but truly uncommendable efforts to cause to be suppressed, or effectively placed under ban, every other form of worship and belief than their own.” Mr. Bassett is not the only Protestant who cannot or will not understand the difference between the duty of Catholic prelates in a country where heresy does not exist and where it is sought to be introduced from outside, and their duty in countries like our own, where theoretically all religions are placed on the same footing, and the government is absolutely forbidden by its organic law to interfere in any way for the propagation of religious truth or the suppression of religious error. The first ruler of Hayti who endeavored to introduce Protestantism into the island was, according to Mr. Bassett, “Henri Christophe, the autocratic king of the north of Hayti,” who in 1815, although “himself a Roman Catholic,” engaged a clergyman of the Church of England to propagate heresy in his dominions. But King Henri, five years afterwards, “died by his own hand,” and Protestantism made no further progress “until, in 1861, the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States was pleased to establish a mission with the Rev. J. T. Holly as its pastor.”

232He hit upon the idea “of raising up a national clergy in Hayti—a policy which seems never to have been thought of by any other religious denomination in this country, and which opened a new road and gave a new impetus to Protestantism here. The mission continued to grow. It was encouraged and visited in 1863 by Bishop Lee, of Delaware; in 1866 by Bishop Burgess, of Maine; and in 1872 by Bishop Coxe, of Western New York; and finally the Rev. Dr. Holly was, at Grace Church, New York City, in 1874, ordained bishop of Hayti. So that since 1874 there has been established in Hayti an independent Protestant Church, with the distinguishing feature that all its clergy are citizens of the country, several of them educated in the United States under the vigilance of Bishop Holly.”

There are ninety-three Catholic priests in Hayti, and of these nearly all are educated and cultured French gentlemen, who are undoubtedly far better able to discharge the duties of the priestly office than the native apostates who have been “educated in the United States under the vigilance of Bishop Holly.” But Mr. Bassett has the ignorant malice to vilify them and to display his own foolishness in this happy style:

“The French Roman Catholic priest, in coming to Hayti, leaves behind him all his social ties, in the hope of returning to them within eight or ten years, the average period of his labors here. All that he receives while in the country, over and above his scanty personal wants, goes abroad to enrich France at the expense of the Haytian people, and he even bends his energies to accumulate. In addition to his salary from the government, which ranges from 20,000 francs to the archbishop to 1,200 francs to the country curate, he is allowed a tariff of prices for all public religious services performed by him. Baptisms, marriages, funerals, dispensations, indulgences, Masses for the dead—services for each of these yield him by law a revenue ranging from 50 cents up to $50. Not only this, but he can collect offerings from the faithful, and it is even affirmed that many such offerings are made to him under the dread secrecy inspired by the confessional.

“It is true that France lost open political control over this island in 1804, but by means of the Roman Catholic clergy she has maintained almost exclusive control over the religious affairs of these people. Indeed, the domination which she once held over their bodies was hardly more complete than that which she still holds over their consciences and spiritual susceptibilities. The priests, in their present controversy with the government, which is outlined in my No. 501 already referred to, do not fail to rely upon the spiritual subjugation of the Haytian to the papal system of Rome, in connection with their own supposed power over him as citizens of a country which once held him in physical bondage, and to whose interests they themselves are devoted.

“In the light of these facts it is no cause for astonishment that the Haytian government, aroused and inspired by the policy and success of the Protestant Bishop Holly in raising up and establishing a national clergy for the Protestant Episcopal denomination, should seek to conserve its own integrity and the resources of its people, as well as to avoid continual misunderstandings with a class of foreigners resident here and shielded by the dignity of sacerdotal robes, by stimulating and encouraging the young men of the country to enter the ecclesiastical vocation.

“Meanwhile, it ought not to be unknown to those who feel bound by the holy injunction to have the Gospel preached to all the world that in Hayti the door stands wide open for every kind of Christian missionary work.”

And it is for writing such stuff as this that we pay Mr. Ebenezer Bassett $7,500 a year—that is to say, as much as is received by thirty of the “country curates” whom he reviles.

Our space is limited, and we have but skimmed through our two Red Books. We should have been glad to have followed the erratic flight of Mr. Partridge, our late minister to Brazil, who fills quires of paper with ridiculous nonsense 233about “the exactions of Rome,” the wickedness of “the ultramontane party,” and the awful danger that the Brazilian ministry “will yield to the demands of the Roman Curia.” Nothing escapes the birds-eye view of this Partridge; he unconsciously explains much that would otherwise be mysterious by stating that the prime minister of the cabinet is “a member of the Masonic fraternity”; but the scope of his intellect is best shown by his remark that “the throwing of stones at the bishop of Rio, as he ascended the pulpit to preach,” was “a trick of the Jesuits.” It would have been pleasant to congratulate Mr. Orth, who was our representative at Vienna in 1876, upon his sagacity in advocating, with hysterical warmth, the law for the virtual confiscation and destruction of the houses of the religious orders in Austria—a measure denounced by Cardinal Schwarzenberg and thirty-one archbishops and bishops as “a law which equally violates the equality and personal freedom of the citizen, the dignity of religion, the honor of the Catholic Church, and the members of religious orders,” but which, in Mr. Orth’s opinion, was “sound and salutary, and demanded by the progressive spirit of the age.” A page or two is deserved by Mr. Williamson, who gives us a history of a presidential campaign in Chili, in which all the virtues are attributed to the Masonic candidate, and all that is devilish is ascribed to “the church party,” “the ultramontanes,” and “the church.” Delightful would it be to tarry with Mr. Scruggs, our talented and courteous minister at Bogota, who commences one of his despatches thus: “In April last one Bermudez, a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, proclaimed against the public-school system of this republic,” and who gives an account of the events which followed, closing his glowing periods with the cheerful assurance that “the church property will probably be appropriated to pay the war debt.” The letters of our Mr. Rublee, at Berne, apropos of the Old-Catholic schism in Switzerland; of our Mr. Nicholas Fish, who during a brief interregnum represented us at Berlin; and of several of our other agents, furnish equally tempting matter for comment. But we must pass by them with the remark that none of them are quite so outrageous as those of Mr. Bassett, Mr. Beale, and Mr. Marsh.

The present administration has made changes in six of our most important embassies. Mr. Kasson has been appointed to Vienna, Mr. Stoughton to St. Petersburg, Mr. Hilliard to Brazil, Mr. Lowell to Madrid, Mr. Welsh to London, and Mr. Bayard Taylor to Berlin. It goes without saying that none of these gentlemen have received any diplomatic training. Mr. Kasson is a respectable provincial lawyer, who has sat in Congress, and who rendered important services to his party by going to Florida and taking care that the electoral vote of that State was properly counted. What he knows about Austria, and how he may deport himself there, remains to be seen. Without being extravagant, one may indulge the hope that he may prove to be an improvement upon Mr. Beale. Mr. Welsh is an old and worthy merchant of Philadelphia, a prominent member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and an extensive dealer in sugars: but we have yet to learn what are his qualifications for the weighty duties of minister to the 234court of St. James. Mr. Lowell is a poet, a man of letters, and a scholar who has done honor to his country; but we should be inclined to doubt his fitness for managing our commercial and political affairs at the court of King Alfonso. Mr. Taylor is a good journalist, in a certain way; he has been a traveller of some experience, and he is an ardent admirer and a close student of Schiller and of Goethe; but he has himself been swift to disclaim the idea that these things made him fit for the post to which he has been appointed, and he rather ridiculed the notion that he had been appointed minister to Berlin in order that he might there finish his great work—a new biography of Goethe. There is much to be said on both sides of the question, “Is it worth while to keep up our diplomatic service at all?” We should be inclined to take the affirmative; but we are not disposed to enter into the discussion at present. One thing, however, is certain, and that is the necessity of freeing the service from the weight of men like Marsh, Beale, Partridge, Orth, Williamson, and Scruggs. There are others as bad, but these will serve as types of the worst. In no sense can they be said to rightly represent this great, free, and noble people; in every sense they may be said to misrepresent the Catholic population of the republic, whose interests, rights, and feelings can no longer be, as they never ought to have been, safely trampled upon by any administration or by any party. Whatever party does this betrays an un-American spirit; its policy is a bad one both for the country and itself, and unless it changes for the better its reign will be short.


Beneventum is a small town of about fifteen thousand inhabitants, situated geographically in the kingdom of Naples. It formerly depended, spiritually and temporally, on the Holy See, which also held jurisdiction over part of the territory of the ancient duchy; the other part being subject to the king of Naples as to temporal affairs, and to the archbishop of Beneventum as to those of a spiritual nature.

The archiepiscopal palace, or the episcopio, to use the old term, stands in its proper place, next the cathedral, flanking the apsis. One of the wings faces the market square, where public gratitude has erected a marble statue to Pope Benedict XIII., the immortal benefactor of the city, of which he had been archbishop under the title of Cardinal Orsini. The entrance is to the south. At the west, from the garden terrace, or the windows of the conventino, is a superb view over a fertile valley, the verdure of which extends up the very sides of the mountains that fade away in bluish tints on the horizon. It is at once in the city from the proximity of the inhabitants, and in the 235country as to its pure air, calm solitude, and the enchanting aspect of a landscape that always commands attention and admiration.

The building is not, strictly speaking, a palace.[52] It is large and spacious, but not lofty or elegant. Nothing in its exterior bespeaks its occupant. It might be taken for a theological seminary or a convent, wrapped as it is in gloomy silence, and surrounded by thick walls. Its general appearance is dismal and unattractive. Only an archæologist would take any pleasure in examining the huge stones of which the walls are built. These stones were hewn out in the time of the Romans, and more than one have the characteristic trou de louve by which they were raised and put in place. They were probably taken from the amphitheatre, for the misfortune that made the Coliseum at Rome an inexhaustible quarry for the construction of so many palaces, like the Farnese, Barberini, etc., also befell the theatre of Beneventum, of which but a bare outline remains, though great blocks from it are to be found at every step in the private dwellings and the walls that surround the city. After the earthquakes of June 5, 1688, and March 4, 1702, the exterior of the palace was greatly modified by Cardinal Orsini, but the building, as a whole, is ancient, and many features of the walls, like the belfry of the cathedral, carry us back to the middle ages. Let us study it in detail, for in more than one respect it presents a model worthy of imitation.[53]

The portal of the palace is monumental. It has a semi-circular arch, which is more graceful than a square entrance, and more conformable to ecclesiastical traditions. And the tympanum which fits into the arch or ogive offers ample space to the sculptor or painter for decoration. Against the lintel rest the folding doors. These are open all day, however, for the house of a bishop is like that of a father who cannot shut out his children. Above are the arms of Cardinal Orsini, carven in stone. Two other scutcheons once hung beside them: one of Pius IX., destroyed when his temporal power was suppressed in the duchy of Beneventum—that is, in 1860, when the kingdom of Naples was overrun by the Garibaldian hordes; the other that of Cardinal Carafa, the actual archbishop, who was driven into exile, and whose palace was devastated.

Two enormous lions, taken from the front of the Duomo, stand at the sides of the entrance. They have come down from Roman times. They are not of remarkable workmanship, but the outlines are good. There is life in their partly stretched-out forms, and pride in the pose of their heads. The paws are pressed resolutely together. One of them grasps a head covered with a helmet, and the other the remains, 236probably, of one of those nude children to be seen in the mouths of the crouching lions watching at the doors of the churches at Rome, symbolic of helplessness and innocence that need aid and protection from the strong. When the lion is represented crushing a beast or holding a warrior’s head, it signifies the vice to be overcome, the enemy to be annihilated.

Some look upon the lion as the emblem of justice. This queen of the cardinal virtues is generally represented as a woman with various attributes, such as the book of the law, the balance wherein actions are weighed, the sword to smite the guilty, the eagle to show her imperial nature, and the globe indicating the extent of her empire. On the public square at Bari is to be seen a lion of the twelfth century, with the brief but significant inscription, Cvstos Ivsticie, on its collar. The lion, then, does not represent justice itself. That virtue is only exercised in the temple, either by God or by his representative. But the lion stands, like the guardian of Justice, watching at the door of the Holy Place in which she has taken up her abode. Nothing, then, could be more suitable for the door of a bishop, the unflinching enemy of vice as well as the sure protector of virtue, than these two lions, type of the power conferred by the church on her ministers. And they are specially emblematic of the firmness and energy of Cardinal Orsini, who had them placed here.

The wall through which the gateway is cut is bordered by a line of merlons, the peculiar form of which reminds one of Cordova and the Alhambra. They produce a picturesque effect, but are not of the slightest utility. They are the relics of feudal authority and power, the last vestige of which is the annual payment of the cathédratique, identical with the nominal tribute some lords required of their vassals, of no importance in itself, but typical of the honor due from the inferior to the pre-eminence of his lawful chief—in signum præeminentiæ et honoris, to quote the holy canons revived by Cardinal Orsini, and maintained to our day, particularly in this point, by the collateral descendant of Pope Paul IV., who for more than thirty years has occupied the see of Beneventum.

From the top of the wall rises one of those small open belfries called bell-gables. It is of the most primitive construction, being a mere extension of a part of the wall through which an opening for a bell has been made. It terminates in a gable like a mitre, on which are an iron cross fleurdelisée and a small vane to mark the direction of the wind. The cross is always appropriate for a belfry, large or small, if not obligatory, as Anastasius the Bibliothecarius insists in his works. The vane is no less traditional at Rome, where it is generally in the shape of a little banner (the origin of which is quite feudal), wherein the armorial ensigns are so cut as to be emblazoned against the azure sky. Here the vane is shaped like a flame. It once bore the arms of the resident archbishop, but the rain has washed off the color, and the surface is now corroded by rust.

The small bell is of the kind called nola. In ancient times it was rung whenever the archbishop left his palace or re-entered it, as the bells of St. Peter’s at Rome announce the visit and departure of 237the pope. Later it only rang when he set out on a journey and at his coming back. Now it is mute, and no longer announces his appearance in public or his return to the palace.

Passing through the gateway, we come to the court. On the left are the carriage and store houses, and, beyond, the saddle-room, which was quite brilliant in former times when the cardinals went forth in gala array. At the right is an arched passage leading to the interior of the palace, and further on is the porter’s lodge, formerly the guard-house of the curia armata.

Around the court are many ancient monuments and inscriptions, which constitute a small museum, begun long since by the archbishops. There is an Egyptian obelisk of red granite, broken in two, which once stood in the cathedral court. It is covered from top to bottom with hieroglyphics relating to the deeds of some old king. Domitian consecrated it to Isis. On another side are three fragments of fine marble columns: one of cipollino, so called on account of its greenish veins, which resemble those of an onion, in Italian cipolla; the second, of what is called porta santa, because the casing of the door in the Vatican basilica, opened only at the Jubilee, is of this marble, which is of a pale violet color, or a purple that has lost its freshness; and the third is of breccia corallina, the white ground of which is relieved by reddish veins.

The ancient inscriptions collected here, whether sepulchral, votive, or commemorative, are not rare. But they are noteworthy for their clearness and brevity. How expressive, for instance, are these four lines consecrated to the manes of Vibbius Optatus, who died in the flower of youth:

D. M. A. Vibbio . Opta
To. Vix. An. XI. M. XI. D. XIX.
Parent. Infelicissimi

The unfortunate parents had no illustrious name to bequeath to posterity. The discreet marble only echoes a profound grief.

Here is a landmark, rounded at the top, and hewn to a point at the bottom, the better to insert it in the ground, that once stood on the Appian Way, which passes triumphantly through the arch raised to the glory of Trajan at one end of Beneventum.

Beneventum, which copied Rome, even in the device of its senate: S. P. Q. B.Senatus populusque Beneventanus—had a magistrature of ediles at its head, who made generous provision for the embellishment of the city. Here is a pedestal on which this municipal corps pompously proclaimed itself:

Splendidissimus ordo Beneventanorum.

One cannot help exclaiming, in view of the present order of things:

“Comment en un plomb vil l’or pur s’est-il changé!”

How into vile dross hath the pure gold changed!

The Romans loved statuary, and were lavish of it in all their public as well as private dwellings. Above all, their sculptors produced divinities and illustrious men, but sometimes the principal members of a household, if not the whole family, to adorn the atrium. Who does not remember the Balbus family in the Museum at Naples, the father and son on horseback, and the rest gathered around them? Here we find several statues, both nude and draped. Nudity was 238chiefly confined to heroes and the gods. It signified apotheosis—the ascension to a higher world. The terrestrial garb was laid aside; only a glorified body remained. Pagan art showed itself incapable of fully expressing a state indicated in the middle ages by a radiance surrounding the transfigured body. We have an admirable example of the immediate change to the glorified state in Perugino’s immortal production in the Sala del Cambio at Perugia. There the bankers and money-changers have constantly before their eyes a symbol of the change wrought by divine power on a body in the state of celestial beatitude. Paganism divested the body of its garments, but did not render it luminous. It only invented a symbol which the church has retained to designate the saints—the nimbus around the head, as the most noble part of man because the seat of the intelligence. But it could go no further. From Apollo, who alone had the nimbus in the beginning to express in a measure the luminous atmosphere of the sun, personified in him, it passed to other divinities, and finally even to those to whom the senate accorded the title of divine, thus becoming the equivalent of divus. It is really amusing to see, on the Arch of Constantine at Rome, the Emperor Trajan so divinized that his bare head is surrounded by a nimbus, though he is engaged in the chase. The nude among the Romans was, therefore, a conventional way of expressing what was right in substance, the immutation wrought by glory, and was not intended to excite ignoble passion. In other cases their statues were modestly draped, though sometimes a little too much of the form was revealed by the clinging folds of the garments.

There are several sarcophagi in the court, with nothing extraordinary about them, but even in the most unpretending affording proof of artistic taste. They are adorned with scenic masques, vases of fruit, the genii of the seasons, etc., which have their significance and are not without poetry. Here is one with a medallion of its former occupant in the centre—a portrait full of life and animation, as if he still were under illusion as to his nothingness. It is supported by two genii, winged and nude, as if bearing him to the celestial regions—winged, because they are fulfilling a mission; nude, to indicate their celestial origin. This emblem was common in ancient times. The middle ages did nothing but Christianize it by substituting angels for genii, and placing in their hands, not the body, but the soul, of the deceased, about to receive the reward of his sanctity and good works. We see them on the tomb of King Dagobert, in the abbatial church of St. Denis, snatching the soul of the king from the demon who was endeavoring to bear it away.

But we have lingered too long in the precincts. Let us enter the palace, and first visit the prisons—for prisons there are, the archbishop of Beneventum, as we have said, having formerly a twofold jurisdiction, temporal as well as spiritual. His tribunal of justice imposed the canonical penalties. Fines seem to have been specially employed, for among the officials of the Curia there was one to receive and apply them to some religious object. At the same time there was a register in which they were faithfully recorded. There were, too, different 239degrees of imprisonment. In the carcere alla larga there was comparative liberty. The purgatorio indicates a temporary expiation. The inferno was perhaps the prison from which death alone could be looked forward to as a release. The two latter correspond to the carcere duro of the Venetians. There are similar ones, but not so spacious, in the governor’s castle overlooking Beneventum, which also bore the terrible names of purgatorio and inferno.[54] Cardinal Orsini, who, though severe, was of a humane disposition, visited these prisons in 1704, at which time there were only three prisoners, it appears, from the report of his visit. After assuring himself that the vaults were in a good condition, capable of resisting all efforts at escape, confornicatæ et proinde tutæ, he saw the necessity of obviating the dampness of the ground by a brick pavement, ut humiditas arceatur, and ordered the inferno to be closed for ever, because, as he said, it was a very damp and atrocious place. A thoughtfulness so full of humanity is something to dwell on. The very text should be cited: “Eminentissimus archiepiscopus utpote humidissimam et immanissimam claudi demandavit et quod sub pœna excommunicationis nemo ibi detendatur.” The prisoners must have been delighted at a threat so much to their advantage.

The cardinal, preoccupied also with their spiritual condition, found means of providing them with a chapel where they could attend Mass and on festivals hear a sermon. Their cells were sprinkled with holy water to drive away the malign spirit, and ornamented with 240pictures of devotion. They were forbidden to play cards or read bad books, and were to go to confession six times a year—at Christmas, Easter, Whitsunday, St. Peter’s day, Assumption, and All Saints. Every month the vicar-general visited them to listen to their grievances, remove all grounds of complaint, and assure himself that all orders had been executed. And the cardinal, who always kept an eye on everything himself, went to see them twice a year.

One item in the register of accounts is particularly touching. Cardinal Orsini increased the ration of bread from time to time at his own expense, and had a fire made in the winter, that the prisoners might not suffer from the cold.

The three soldiers employed to make the necessary arrests were under the command of a baricello, or corporal, all of whom, with the jailer, were lodged in the guardiola beside the arched passage which connects the two interior courts.

The second court is bounded on one side by the sacristy of the cathedral, and on the other by the stables and the jubilee hospice. The stables, built by Mgr. Pacca (of the same family from which the cardinal of that name descended), are large enough for about twenty horses—none too many for the archbishop and his suite, for his visits could not always be made in a carriage. Even in our day a cross-bearer precedes his eminence on horseback, clothed in a violet cassock and mantellone, and in former times the cortége must have been much more imposing.

The hospice affords a proof of Cardinal Orsini’s inexhaustible charity. He had before built a special asylum for pilgrims, not far from the palace, under the title of 241St. Bartholomew, patron of the city. There is nothing left now to remind one of it, except a narrow street still called the Via dei pellegrini. But on extraordinary occasions, as at the time of a jubilee, this asylum was insufficient, and the cardinal accordingly set apart a whole wing of his palace to lodge those who came to Beneventum or were on their way to Rome to gain the indulgence of the Holy Year. This hospice had two entrances to admit the sexes separately: one opening into the first court, the other into the second. The latter has on its lintel this inscription, which gives the precise date and object of the foundation:

Xenodochivm Archiepiscopale
Vrsinvm pro An. Ivbilæi MDCC.

Nor was the cardinal content to give them benches and tables in such numbers as still to be spoken of. He had the bare walls relieved by paintings of some religious subject. In the room where public prayers were offered and the rosary sung, as it still is daily in the cathedral to a peculiar air handed down by tradition, was painted Our Lady of the Rosary, with St. Dominic and St. Catharine of Siena at her feet. In the refectory was depicted a scene from the life of the Blessed Ambrogio Sansedoni, a Dominican friar. He was in the habit of serving five pilgrims in honor of the five wounds of our Lord. One day, while waiting on his guests, his eyes being opened by the Holy Spirit, denoted by the white dove on his shoulder, he saw with astonishment that they were five angels sent by God to reward his charity. In the room where the pilgrims’ feet were washed is to be seen the Blessed Andrea de Franchi, also a Dominican, humbly prostrate before a pilgrim who afterwards reveals himself to be the Saviour.

In the arched passage we find a staircase, leading on the one hand to the hall of state, and on the other to the curia. Taking the latter direction, we pass beneath a statue of St. Philip Neri, larger than life, for which reason it is called St. Filippone. Before it burns a votive lamp, a tribute of gratitude from Cardinal Orsini. Higher up are two medallions of the fifteenth century: one of the Blessed Virgin modestly veiled, her hands folded, borne to heaven by two angels; the other represents St. Mark with his usual attribute, the winged lion. The walls of the court-room are enlivened by a series of landscapes, alternating with the Orsini arms, but the most appropriate decoration is the sentence from the writings of St. Jerome:

Privsqvam avdias
Ne Ivdicaveris
D. Hieron:
De Sept: eccl.

To judge no one without first hearing him is one of those axioms it seems useless to repeat, and yet how many precipitate judgments, how many sentences that would not be rendered, were so obvious a duty heeded!

The metropolitan archives are between the chancery and the office of the vicar-general, which pour into it every week a mass of official documents for preservation. On the ceiling are emblazoned the arms of Cardinal Banditi, who fitted up the room with conveniences for the registers and papers, distributing them, according to their contents, among the large pigeon-holes which extend from 242the floor to the very ceiling, and are literally crammed with documents. To find one’s way through such an accumulation requires the sagacity and good memory of an archivist like the present one, whose patience is only equalled by his wish to oblige. Beneventum is full of such excellent priests, who are ready to spend their leisure moments in aiding you in your researches.

It is here Cardinal Orsini may best be studied, and that we can learn to what an extent he sacrificed himself for his flock, thereby meriting to become, by the unanimous suffrage of the Sacred College, the successor of Pope Innocent XIII. His incessant activity is shown by the Diario of six volumes in folio in which, till his elevation to the Papacy, his secretary, day by day, noted down the most minute details of his official life. It begins December 1, 1685, the date of his preconization as archbishop of Beneventum by Pope Innocent XI.

The contents refer chiefly to his pastoral visits, ordinations, both regular and extraordinary; assisting at the offices of the cathedral, preaching in pontificals with seven deacons around him; confirmation, with examination of the children on the eve; general communions, baptisms, visits to the dying, visits of devotion to churches; consecration of bishops, churches, altars, and chalices; blessings of all kinds, including vestments; religious professions; processions wearing the red hat; attending lectures on the Holy Scriptures by a theologian; exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, absolution of the excommunicated, synods, provincial councils, consultations in cases of conscience, instructions to the people after the Gospel, saying the rosary with the faithful, teaching children the catechism, journeys, etc., etc.

At the end of the year a summary was made of his principal labors. We give that of the year 1694: Cardinal Orsini baptized 67 children and confirmed 13,851; conferred orders on 841 clerks, 503 porters, 450 lectors, 449 exorcists, 435 acolytes, 436 subdeacons, 434 deacons, and 457 priests; consecrated 12 bishops, 100 churches, 100 stationary altars, 500 portable altars, 176 patens, and 188 chalices; blessed 5 abbots and 4 abbesses; received the profession of 88 nuns; performed 6 marriages; administered extreme unction 8 times; placed 13 corner-stones, and blessed 14 cemeteries and 234 bells.

What a proof of his activity, combined with a very complicated administration! But let us cite a few items from this unpretending diary:

“In the evening I kept vigil before the relics exposed in the church to be consecrated on the morrow.

“In the morning I solemnly consecrated the church of the Most Holy Annunciation at Jelsi, preached to the congregation, and then said Low Mass. This church is the CXXXV.

“I solemnly administered the sacrament of confirmation in the church to 34 boys and 24 girls, in all 58.

“Assisted in cappa at a sermon on the Blessed Sacrament by one of the students of my seminary.

“Assisted in cappa at the Mass of the feria, chanted (it was in Lent), and at the sermon.

“At Fragnitello I was received with the usual ceremonies, but, what was unusual (and this greatly affected me), all the men, women, and children came out to meet me a mile distant, with olive branches in their hands, showing by this manifestation the joy in their hearts. God be for ever blessed!”

At the end of the year the cardinal signed the register to guarantee 243the authenticity of the contents. He adopted this formula:

“Annus 1695, Deo propitio, hic terminatur.

“Ita est. Ego fr. Vin. Mar. card. archiepiscopus m(anu) p(ropria).”

The old palaces had a hall of state for exceptional occasions, when the bishop had to appear in all his dignity. There is such an apartment here, and it is of grand proportions. It is adorned with the portraits and arms of the prelates who have occupied the see, with a concise notice of each. Among them are fourteen saints and two beati: viz., SS. Photinus, Januarius, Dorus, Apollonius, Cassian, Januarius II., Emilius, John, Tamarus, Sophus, Marcian, Zeno, Barbato, and Milon. The latter belongs to the eleventh century, St. Photinus to the first, and the remainder range between the fourth and seventh. The Blessed Giacomo Capocci and Blessed Monaldi lived in the fourteenth century. Let us hope, as the cause has been introduced, we may soon add the Venerable Orsini.

From St. Photinus to his Eminence Cardinal Carafa di Traeto there are fifty-one bishops and seventy-one archbishops. The see was not made archiepiscopal till the year 969, during the pontificate of Pope John XIII. Of the twenty-three cardinal archbishops two became popes: Alexander Farnese, under the name of Paul III.; and Cardinal Orsini, under that of Benedict XIII. Three other popes were likewise from Beneventum—St. Felix (526), Victor III. (1086), and Gregory VIII. (1187).

As an example of the concise and elegant manner in which these prelates’ lives are noticed, we give that of St. Milon, a native of Auvergne:

“LIX. Archiep. VIII. S. Milo ex Arvernia
in Gallia oriundus, VIII. Beneventanus
archiepiscopus, ille idem qui
pietate et literis Stephanum Grandimontensis
familiæ fundatorem erudivit. Provincialem
synodum consummavit A.D.
MLXXV. Obiit die XXIII. Februarii
A.D. MLXXVI. cum sedisset paucis
supra annum mensibus.”

Above these records of the bishops is a long array of armorial ensigns, in which, unfortunately, the arms and seal are often confounded, though essentially different. The archbishops of Beneventum have used for ages a seal of lead on their diplomas and licenses, similar to the bulla of the popes. On one side, separated by a cross, are the heads of the Blessed Virgin, titular of the cathedral, and of St. Bartholomew, the patron of the city and diocese. On the other side are the name and title of the actual archbishop. This seal, in spite of the principles of archæology and heraldry, is given as a coat of arms to the bishops who had none, beginning with St. Photinus, and continuing to the seventh century. From the time of St. Barbato, who died in 682, another seal is added in parti to the bulla, representing a bishop on horseback crossing a bridge and precipitating a dragon into the water. This is doubtless St. Barbato himself, and perhaps refers to the golden viper which he abolished the worship of at Beneventum, transforming it into a chalice, on which, says tradition, was graven the Lord’s Supper.[55] This counter-seal is maintained from the seventh to the eleventh century, when the bulla is resumed under Amelius (1072).

The first arms really heraldic make their appearance under Cardinal 244Roger, the sixteenth archbishop, who died in 1221. The red hat is found on the escutcheons of the twelfth century, though not conceded to cardinals till about a hundred years later (at the Council of Lyons), and not to be seen on their arms before the fourteenth century. But this may be on the same principle that St. Jerome is usually represented with a cardinal’s hat at his side.

The bulla, seal, and arms, from the first, bear the tiara and crosier. The latter adds nothing to the significance, and does not imply any special privilege, being common to bishops and abbots. As to the tiara, even with a single crown at the base, it is a manifest usurpation. The archbishops of Beneventum, it is true, wore it in the middle ages, as is shown by a document of the fourteenth century and the reliefs on the bronze doors of the cathedral. But Paul II., and later St. Pius V., by a motu proprio, the original of which is to be seen in the archives of the chapter, condemned the practice in formal terms. If the tiara is no longer admissible on ceremonial occasions, why retain it on the arms? And this tiara is boldly surrounded by a nimbus when placed over the arms of the canonized bishops, though none of them ever wore it, with the exception, perhaps, of St. Milon. The nimbus is suitable for the head, which represents the whole body, whereas the covering of the head, however sonorous its name or rich its make, should not have an emblem which denotes elevation on our altars and a claim to public veneration. This would be a grave error, infringing on the liturgy as well as iconography.

The archbishops of Beneventum had a mania for imitating the pope. Thus, they wore the tiara, had the Blessed Sacrament borne before them in their visits, styled themselves Servus servorum Dei, issued diplomas in solemn form after the style of the Cancellaria, sealed them sub plumbo, and imposed on the bishops of the province the annual visit ad limina B. Bartholomæi apostoli. Of all these usurpations, only the tiara remains on the arms, and the bulla on the licenses; but even these are too much, for the tiara and bulla are essentially papal, and rightfully belong to the Sovereign Pontiff alone.

On the walls of the apartment are painted en camaïeu all the sainted bishops of Beneventum in simulated niches, clothed pontifically, with the tiara on their heads. One alone has a distinguishing attribute—St. Barbato, who has in his hand the viper of gold. St. Photinus, according to the Diptychon of Beneventum, was ordained and sent here by St. Peter in the year 40. He is believed to be of Greek origin. From him to St. Januarius, who was martyred in 305, is a long interval with no names, though tradition tells us the see had eleven occupants in the time. This loss of names is said to be owing to Diocletian, who ordered the writings of Christians to be destroyed. There is a similar vacancy in all the sees in France, but this is no argument against their apostolic origin. The first founders might receive their mission from St. Peter or his immediate successors, and the difficulties of the times might prevent their being at once replaced. The churches had to exist as best they could for a long period, and were perhaps governed by bishops with no fixed residence or distinct territory.

To complete the parallel with 245Rome, Beneventum is said to have had a woman for one of its bishops, as the papal see, according to its enemies, was fraudulently occupied by Pope Joan. Cardinal Orsini spiritedly replies to this calumny in the noble words inscribed next the name of Bishop Enrico, who died in 1170: “Ex errore in necrologio monialium S. Petri orta fuit fabula de Sebastiana moniali pro archiepiscopo habita ne fabula sua vacaret Beneventana Sedes in hac Sebastiana ut Romana de sua Johanna.” This calumny sprang from a false interpretation of the record in the necrology of the abbey of San Pietro for November 29: “Obiit archiepiscopus et Sebastian. mon.” The archbishop and the nun might certainly die on the same day, without being, on that account, one and the same person.

On the east wall of the hall is painted the city of Beneventum, surrounded by the principal towns of the diocese and the sees of the suffragans. As their number is considerable, the frescos are continued in the passage leading to the sacristy. They are not without interest, though perhaps maps would be preferable, after the manner of those, so striking and complete, which adorn the gallery of Gregory XIII. at the Vatican.

As conferences and ecclesiastical assemblies, as well as the Mandatum on Holy Thursday, were held in this hall, there is a permanent throne of carved wood, but it stands between the windows on one side, instead of being at the end in capite aulæ, the proper place, where the entrance now is from the private apartments.

One of the doors in the hall opens into the Monte di Pietà, founded by Cardinal Orsini to relieve the poor of his diocese, where money was lent on articles pledged and without the least interest, conformably to the bulls of Leo X. and Paul V., which definitely regulated such institutions. He established, moreover, a Mons Frumentarius, or wheat fund, to furnish grain to the poor in want of bread, or to sow, at the mere recommendation of their curate, and inscribed over the door appropriate texts from Holy Writ, showing him to be the comforter of the poor:

Mons frumentarius Beneventanus erectus anno Domini 1694.

Factus es fortitudo pauperi, fortitudo egeno[56] (Isaias xxv.)

Eripiet de angustia[57] pauperem (Job xxxvi.)

Revolutions have naturally put an end to these charitable institutions, without substituting anything more to the advantage of the people, but they cannot efface the memory of the incomparable prelate who founded them. Canonico Feuli has reason to say in his Bulletino Ecclesiastico that “others may equal Orsini, but can never surpass him.”

At the top of the staircase is a kind of marquise, supported by elegant columns, before the door leading to the private apartments. Above are the Orsini arms of inlaid marbles, the colors conformed to the rules of heraldry, and the inscription:

Fr. Vinc. Maria. Ord. Præd. Card. Ursino. Archiep. An. MDCCVIII.

which reminds us that Cardinal Orsini belonged to the Dominican Order. Even when pope he continued to be a frate. From him emanated the celebrated constitution which admonished bishops chosen from the regular orders to remember, by the color of their 246costume, the solemn profession they had once made.

The most striking thing in the antechamber is a double band of emblematic medallions on the walls, with explanatory mottoes, such as were popular in the sixteenth century. They all refer to the obligations of a bishop, and evidently allude to Cardinal Orsini as the model of one. They begin with the holy name of God in Greek, with the Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, the angels’ eternal song of praise. We will rapidly review the other emblems here employed to raise the mind from the visible to the invisible, the material to the spiritual.

The telescope, which enables the human eye to penetrate the profound mysteries of the heavens. So the spiritual world is opened by prayer and meditation. Alta a longe cognoscit (Ps. cxxxvii. 6).

A dog, guarding the fold: emblem of pastoral vigilance. Vt vitam habeant (St. John x. 10).

The mitre, supported by a column: episcopal firmness. Firmalitvr et non flectetvr (Ecclus. xv. 3).

The wine-press overflowing with the juice of the grape: emblem of the spiritual harvest. Vt fructvm plvs afferat (St. John xv. 2).

A clock, which tells the hours and minutes: the value of time. Particvla non te prætereat (Ecclus. xiv. 14).

The crane, emblem of vigilance, because it was formerly believed to sleep on one foot; the other holding a stone, which, when it fell, awoke it. Excvbat in custodiis (Num. xviii. 4).

The horse, held in check by a vigorous hand: self-government. Ne declines in ira (Ps. xxvi. 9).

The elephant, believed every morning to adore the sun at its rising: humility before God. Hvmiliat semetipsvm (Philipp. ii. 8).

The lamp which burns and gives light: figure of the bishop consuming himself for others. Vt ardeat et lvceat (St. John v. 35).[58]

The pelican, nourishing its young with the blood from its own breast: a lively expression of extreme devotedness. Reficiam vos (St. Matt. xi. 28).

The crosier is the shepherd’s crook. It terminates with a graceful hook for the purpose of drawing the lambs more gently. It was once a saying: “It is good to live under the crosier!” Svm pastor bonvs (St. John x. 2).

The sun, shedding its rays on a balance: equity under the inflexible eye of God. Æqvitatem vidit vvltvs eivs (Ps. x. 8).

The honeycomb, in which the bee deposits its honey gathered from the flowers: activity and sweetness. Mansvetvm exaltant (Ps. cxlix. 4).

The stag, which, according to an old notion, attracted serpents by its breath in order to exterminate them: the might of the Holy Spirit, of which a bishop is the organ. Flavit Spiritvs eivs (Ps. cxlvii. 18).

The trumpet, which, though sonorous, can give forth sweet notes. In spiritv lenitatis (Gal. vi. 1).

The mill, turned by the water, grinds wheat to feed the hungry. A bishop, above all, should be the father of the poor and needy. Frangit esvrienti (Isai. lviii. 7).

A painting representing the sun: the divine attributes should be reproduced in a bishop. In eandem imaginem (2 Cor. iii. 18).

The fox, emblem of the transgressor, flies before the dog, symbol of episcopal vigilance. A facie tva fvgiam (Ps. cxxxviii. 7).

The dolphin, by the odor it exhales, draws to it the fish of the 247sea: the influence of virtue. In odorem cvrrimvs (Cant. i. 3).

An anvil, struck by two hammers at once, without being moved: strength to resist exterior assaults. Fortitvdinem meam cvstodiam (Ps. lviii. 10).

The phœnix, which springs to new life on the pile where it is consumed: the power of multiplying time. Mvltiplicabo dies (Prov. ix. 2).

The bear, taking its young in its paws, to teach them to stand and walk: paternal direction of souls. Donec formetvr (Gal. iv. 19).

The compass, turning its needle to the polar star. A bishop should not be guided by human influences. Hanc reqviram (Ps. xxvi. 4).

The rain, watering the garden: going about doing good. Pertransiit benefaciendo (Acts x. 38).

The pomegranate contains a great number of seeds: a bishop shelters the multitude. Coperit mvltitvdinem (St. James v. 20).

The mitre, surrounded by an aureola: the splendor sanctity adds to the episcopal dignity. Contvlit et splendorem (Judith x. 4).

The eagle, trying its eaglets by making them look at the sun: God alone should be looked to in trial. Cvm probatvs fverit (St. James i. 12).

A tree, the vigor of which is only increased by age: experience increases one’s efficiency. Fortior cvm senverit (Prov. xxii. 6).

At one end of the antechamber is the library, formerly containing a fine collection of books, mostly belonging to Cardinal Orsini, but now unfortunately scattered. He also established a printing-press in the palace for the purpose of publishing his own edicts, licenses, and pamphlets for the direction of his clergy. A small oratory opens into the library with its marble altar turned towards the East and its walls covered with paintings. One of these is a votive picture from Cardinal Orsini after his miraculous preservation in the earthquake of 1688 by the special intervention of St. Philip Neri, representing him buried among the ruins of his palace, his head alone visible, resting on a picture of the saint, who, in consequence of this memorable circumstance, has ever since been regarded as one of the patrons of Beneventum.

It is said that when Cardinal Orsini was leaving Beneventum for Rome, he turned towards the weeping inhabitants, and, after praying silently for an instant, promised them his protection henceforth against earthquakes, and, in fact, not only has the city been spared when serious disasters have occurred in the country around, but no citizen of Beneventum has received any injury, even when exposed elsewhere to terrible danger. Many families keep with veneration a bust of the holy cardinal in their houses, or some object once belonging to him, and attribute to this devotion a special protection.

There is nothing of interest in the private rooms once occupied by Cardinal Orsini. One would like to see his unpretending furniture, his pictures of devotion, the kneeling-stool where he so often prayed for his flock, and the books he daily used, but they are all gone. There is not even an authentic likeness of him,[59] though he resided here thirty-eight years, and expended in the restoration and embellishment 248of the palace 64,589 ducats of his personal fortune.

We have already alluded to the quarter of the palace called il conventino, because it has the aspect of a monastery. It is divided by a corridor, with cells on both sides that communicate with each other, or can be made private at pleasure. Here, without any luxury or display, Cardinal Orsini lodged the bishops convoked for the provincial councils, and generously provided for every expense these assemblies involved. The priests who accompanied them were lodged in the convent of San Modesto, where nothing was wanting to their comfort. The register of accounts gives some curious details as to the supplies. Macaroni necessarily played an important rôle. Snow was furnished for refreshing drinks. And as the wine called Lachryma would doubtless have been too heavy, it was previously tempered by a strong addition of the ordinary red wine!

But the patience of the reader is already exhausted with these details. As we have implied, the archiepiscopal palace of Beneventum is not precisely artistic, and yet it is interesting and curious. If the account has been unreasonably prolonged, the memory of Cardinal Orsini is a sufficient justification. We cannot make too prominent the name and labors of those who lived only for the church, and sacrificed themselves for its development and glory. Quam multa, quam opportuna, quam grandia accepta referunt beneficia, let us say, in conclusion, with the inscription on the hospital at Beneventum, graven on marble to the praise of Fra Vincenzo Maria, priest of the title of St. Sixtus, Cardinal Orsini.


“Dear Lord,” we say, “could we have stood
With thy sweet Mother and Saint John
Beside thy cross; or knelt and clung—
Heedless what ruffian eyes look’d on—
With Magdalen’s wild grief, and flung
Our arms about th’ ensanguined wood!...”
But have we not the Crucified
Among us, “even at the door”?
Whom else behold we, day by day,
In the sore-laden, patient poor?
And where disease makes want its prey,
Can we not stand that cross beside?
O blest vocation, theirs who come,
At chosen duty’s high behest,
To soothe the squalid couch of pain
With pledges of a better rest
Than all earth’s wealth can give or gain,
And whispers of eternal home!
249Never so near our Lord as then,
We touch His Wounds—more heal’d than healing:
Never so close to Mary’s Heart,
Hear too for us its throbs appealing:
And when for other scenes we part,
It is with John and Magdalen.


La Bruyère sees in all extravagance of phrase some symptom of weakness. “To say modestly of anything it is good or it is bad, and to give reasons why it is so, needs good sense and expression. It is much shorter to pronounce in a decisive tone either that it is execrable or admirable.” He himself is a model of clearness and exactness of expression. His English counterpart is Swift, of whom Thackeray said: “He writes as if for the police.” Nothing in literature surpasses the vraisemblance of Gulliver’s Travels, which reads like a book of authentic adventure. Its artlessness is the perfection of art concealing art. La Bruyère also says: “What art is needed to be natural (rentrer dans la nature)! What time, what rules, what attention, what labor to dance with the ease and grace with which we walk, to sing as easily as we talk, to speak and express one’s self as one’s self thinks!” To speak or to write as one thinks seems, in these days of tumid and extravagant expression, to be one of the lost arts. We generally say either more or less than we think, usually more. For this reason we should turn to the older classical writers, because of the importance they attribute to diction, and the sense of duty they attach to it.

The new rhetorical doctrine is, “Let the style take care of itself. Give us thought.” Robert Browning, whose poetry nobody understands, probably not even himself, declares in favor of “burrs of expression that will stick in the attention.” Any one who has scrambled through the labyrinths of some of his poems has had “burrs” enough to suffice him for a lifetime. It is clear that this plea for thought to the neglect of style is an excuse for slovenly composition. There is no reason why thought should not have clear, precise, and beautiful expression. Unless style be made a subject of deep attention, and be brought to the severest test of rhetorical criticism, there is an end of literature. If the barbaric “yawp” of Walt Whitman is to pass for poetry; if the pictorial daubs of J. A. Froude are to be considered historical portraitures; and if extravagant and exaggerated forms of speech are to be ranked as striking beauties, the literary critics and the lovers of literature in general must gird themselves for a tougher battle for letters than they ever did for any attack that threatened them from Philistia. What we call the Extravagant School of Literature numbers eminent names, and is by no means confined to the more obvious and pronounced sensationalism of the daily press. Contemporaneous 250history, criticism, poetry, sectarian theology, and, wonderful to say, philosophy and science deal largely in exaggerated expression and extravagant theory.

It may be some consolation to the newspapers and to the gentler sex, both charged by the critics with the use of exaggeration and hyperbole, that they but follow the example set them by grave modern historians and scientists. The reckless writing in the journals, like the fluent gossip at Mrs. Grundy’s tea-parties, is ephemeral. But extravagance aspires to immortality in the pages of the historian. The description of Mary Stuart’s beheading in Froude lacks even the historical accuracy of a New York Herald reporter’s account of an “execution.” Macaulay’s fantastic analysis of motives exceeds in boldness of conjecture a journalist’s article on the future policy of the Vatican. In both sets of examples there is the same fault—unlimited speculation and unjustifiable comment. Darwin observes some particular facts in natural history, and, in defiance of a familiar rule in syllogisms, leaps at once to a universal conclusion. Matthew Arnold, fired by his name as a critic, indulges in extravagant speculation upon the relations of literature and dogma. Science loses its cool head, and philosophy its cautious pace, on the presentation of hitherto unexplained phenomena. Protestant theology hears aghast that the Greek of the Epistle to the Hebrews is more classic than that in the other Pauline epistles, and telegraphs the discovery to the Board on the Revision of the Scriptures. The dainty trick of Tennyson’s metre is the despair and admiration of inglorious Miltons, whose hands cannot strike the resounding lyre with like skilfulness, and thereupon jangle it in woful measures. Bret Harte makes a “hit” in the delineation of wild Western life, and he is hailed as a new-born genius. John Hay and Joaquin Miller assume the bays. A crowd of nonentities rush before the public on the lecture platform, and their extravagant nonsense brings them fame and fortune. The two classes react upon each other for the worse. The extravagant never corrects his faults, and the public never perceive them, so used have they become to this baneful influence of sensationalism. It permeates popular religion. A Protestant Life of Christ by a prominent preacher reads like a dime novel.

We readily pardon the extravagance of fiction; and catechresis in poetry does not call forth the severest censure of the critic. Any one familiar with the hard conditions of modern newspaper writing will not be disposed to judge harshly if both editor and reporter combine to make their journal “spicy.” It may be that the high-pressure system on which newspapers are conducted has exercised a marked influence upon all classes of readers and writers. The New York dailies have a rather questionable élan, which provincial journals follow from afar off. The stupendous enterprise of sending expeditions to South Africa and to the North Pole, the insatiable quest for news, the undisguised love of the sensational characteristic of foremost journalism, have, in our opinion, a debilitating and disastrous effect upon the scholarship and the intellectual life of America. The showy story, the painfully epigrammatic drama, and the pyrotechnical poetry of the land are newspapery to the last degree. 251Journalists do not even seem to know or realize the influence which they exert. What is a pointed and brilliant editorial compared to the honest endeavor of a journalist to inculcate sound ethical and social views in the minds of his readers? Who cares about Jones’ slashing attack upon Smith? Why, in the name of common decency, are columns opened to the discussion of Robinson’s domestic infelicities? We do not wish to make up our minds every morning upon the state and prospects of the universe. We are firmly convinced that the world will go on, without being daily buttonholed by talented editors to acquaint us with the fact. The sensational newspaper has spoiled some of the best traits in the American, and it has given abnormal development to his worst tendency—his curiosity. A newspaper would have scattered all the happiness of Rasselas’ valley. It is happy for Americans that they have a weakness for print, and seem rather to enjoy a figure therein. If the Bungtown Bugle did not notice the arrival in town of Mr. Porkpacker, let the editor tremble.

But the extravagance of journalism is mainly confined to words. It is not altogether true that the guiding spirit of the newspaper is sensation. This charge, which can readily be sustained against the contemporary historian, does not hold of the journalist. He makes the most of news, but he rarely invents. He is sensitive on this point. Accuracy is a prime requisite in a reporter. His is the hyperbole of words. This comes generally from a limited education and inexact habits of thought. When we reflect that the first and last lesson of rhetoric is simplicity, we should not expect too much from men who are trained to think and believe that no idea is acceptable unless arrayed in gorgeous imagery and blazing with tawdry rhetoric. A fire with loss of life is a terribly startling thing, and the reporter imagines that he is really describing its horror when, with apt alliteration’s artful aid, he heads his account with “The Fire-fiend Furious—Flaunting Flames Frantically Flashing—Fainting Firemen Fused by the Fierce Fire,” etc. Richard Grant White has wearied his readers for a decade and more on the theme of newspaper English and cognate subjects. The fact is, no man can be an etymologist without a fair knowledge of the languages from which the English is derived, and it is simply wasted labor to counsel the attainment of a classic style from a mere acquaintance with one language, and that the vernacular. The wonder is that so much really good writing is done under such limitations.

It takes some self-denial in a newspaper man to say a thing simply. We understand that Western newspapers have made a new departure in announcing deaths, and that a rather coarse, if not ribald, humor is tolerated. This is an evidence of a lower sensationalism. The West has exercised a rough and energetic influence upon the laughable dilettanteism of the Eastern press, but we must confess our inability to relish its humor. Its humor is extravaganza, and thus would work out the very reform and improvement which it is the design of this article to advocate. The pompous descriptions ending in anti-climax, the open burlesquing of the style of newspaper novelists, the riotous characterization of oddities, and the hearty dislike of sham and cant that one meets in 252Western journalism must have a good effect upon the general literature of the country. But one tires of Mark Twain, mayhap for the reason that one grows speedily weary of professedly funny papers. The poor court-jesters of the middle ages got more frowns than smiles. Mark Twain has little of that heartiness and bonhomie that are the characteristic of true humor. Real wit he has none, nor does he pretend to it. His humor is extravagance, which, even in this humble but oh! how genial faculty and expression of the human heart, is seen to be out of place and power.

The more we read and write, the clearer becomes to us the wisdom of the Horatian maxim to keep our lucubrations by us for years. Hasty writing is not only hard reading but often dangerous utterance. An editor told the writer that when the news of the late Pope’s death reached us he had his biography already in type, but without editorial comment. It was necessary to compose some sort of editorial upon an event which for a time suspended the breath of Christendom, and our editor, with the nonchalance and conceit which unfortunately characterize so many of the journalistic guild, sat down to dash off as fast as pen could travel his estimate of that great, long-suffering, and heroic man on whose brow, where gathered the glory of Thabor and the gloom of Calvary, rested the mystic diadem of the Supreme Pontificate. “Of course,” said our editor, “I hadn’t time to get up anything very fine, but my Protestant friends were delighted. I gave the good old man some pretty severe raps—that thing, you know, about his being a Mason, and opposed to progress—and—and—Antonelli, and that little love-affair, you know. Ha! ha! ha!” No wonder Dickens impaled the editor of the New York Rowdy. Now, if this man could have waited, and read and reflected, it would have been morally impossible for him to have composed an obituary which, if it had been written of any other man than the dead Vicar of Jesus Christ, would have exposed its author to the pistol-shot of outraged relatives or to the chastisement of public justice.

So long as ignorant and irresponsible men are suffered to guide and control the expression of a journal, so long will the American newspaper fail of any high mission. It is a good sign of the sturdy independence of the American character that it has shaken off the journalistic yoke and thinks for itself. Formerly the editorial pages were the first to be scrutinized and the mysterious oracle consulted. But

“Apollo from his shrine
Can no more divine.”

The garish light of day has been poured in upon the sanctum, and the divinity has fled. The newspaper is not likely soon again to attain to that high dignity and power which it held prior to the last Presidential election, for reasons too obvious to the reader to need mention here. Year by year the strongly-marked individuality of the chief editor, so familiar of old, fades out of sight, either because the race of great editors is run or the conditions of newspaper life have changed. We speak of the newspaper only as it falls within the scope of this article, which regards its literary and not its moral aspect. We do not advert to it at all as a teaching or ethical power, for we look upon the average 253journal with feelings akin to contempt at its blind or wilful neglect of the highest possibilities of good. No men are better acquainted than are newspaper men with the absurdity of Protestantism, its failure both as a public institution and a private religious life, its petty tyrannies, its squeamishness, its rhodomontade, and its helplessness before any attack of sound and manly logic. They know, too, or ought to know, the real good of the Catholic Church. Yet how rarely one sees in a journal even a feeble recognition of the benefits of Catholicity! Why, in many quarters we do not even get the show and hearing graciously accorded to the Mormons. Who has not felt the covert sneer, the poorly-concealed bigotry, and the ignorant prejudice so thinly disguised? When Doyle, England’s best caricaturist, not even excepting Cruikshank, was required by the proprietors of Punch to draw a caricature of the Pope, he threw his pencil in their faces and told them “be ——,” a word which the recording angel certainly blotted out. What are we to think of a journal that seizes the celebration of the feast of a great national saint as a happy occasion for publishing a series of “jocular” and blasphemous articles on the saint’s memory, twice piercing the sensibilities of Irishmen, once through their faith and next through their nationality? Is that honest, worthy, or dignified journalism?

Enough has been said to place the general newspaper press upon a low form in the school of extravagant expression. Not until editors feel a profound moral responsibility, and enlarge their minds with at least a cursory study of Catholic theology—two things which are least likely to come to pass—will the American journal attain any lasting prestige or power. As it is, its tone becomes less dignified and effective year by year, and we should not be surprised to discover in the newspaper, in time, the most stubborn and powerful opponent of Christianity, and even of general morality. Heaven knows what incalculable harm it now does to immortal souls by its constant vomiting forth of social impurities and criminal details. There are certain papers of large circulation and “respectability” which cannot be read by all without proximate danger of mortal sin. But if a Catholic critic ventures to proclaim these manifest truths, he is answered with a howl about the church’s opposition to progress and enlightenment. The newspapers cannot bear criticism whilst savagely attacking any person or institution to which they take a dislike. This sensitiveness is a symptom of weakness.

We turn to the great masters of extravagant expression. At their head we place Lord Macaulay, who has demonstrated the art of making history romantic, and romance historical. Query: whether Sir Walter Scott was not the founder of the contemporaneous historical school? At any rate the cry is, “Let us have no more dryly accurate histories like Lingard’s or Arnold’s. Relegate to an appendix state papers and statistics. Give us delightful conversations between historical personages, somewhat in the style of Landor’s Imaginary Conversations, only not so heavy.” It is so delightful to enter into the secret motives of men, to interpret their hidden spirit, and clearly understand their whole mental and moral being. This is the new school of historical writing, carried 254to extravagant lengths by Macaulay, Froude, and Carlyle. The old-fashioned idea of history was the simple and exact statement of events, the ascertained motives of historical personages, and the actual results of their deeds and decrees. This idea the trio before mentioned scout with derisive laughter. Macaulay writes down “the dignity of history”; Froude penetrates into the arcana of royal bosoms; and Carlyle shrilly hoots at the Dryasdusts for their historical investigations, and makes a bonfire of archives and state papers. Of this precious triad Macaulay is the least vehement, but none the less must we dub him an extravagant. He never can say a thing naturally. He cannot rise above an epigram or an antithesis. Nor was there ever any intellectual growth in him. In Trevelyan’s Life and Letters of Macaulay there is a characteristic anecdote of his boyhood. His mother refused him a piece of cake for some misdemeanor—for missing a lesson, we think. “Very well,” antithetically answered the future reviewer (ætat. 9), “hereafter industry shall be my bread and application my butter.” This might have been written in the Edinburgh forty years after. When the famous essay on Milton appeared, sensationalism had not as yet invaded the prosy precincts of the reviews. Jeffrey’s classic but dull reviews were models; nor did the humor of the “joking parson of St. Paul’s” receive much countenance from the Scotch, on whom the parson revenged himself when he said that a surgical operation was necessary to get a joke into a Scotchman’s head. Macaulay’s brilliancy took the town by storm. But what is there in the review of Milton? of Johnson? of Bacon? He began the carnival of the sensational. George Cornewall Lewis said of Macaulay: “The idea of a man of forty writing such flowery and sentimental stuff! Macaulay will never be anything but a rhetorician.” But the reading people had their appetites whetted by Scott and Byron, and there has been little sobriety in literature since. The extravagance of the praise with which Macaulay bedaubed Milton struck the critics at the time; but when they answered, he was famous. The Americans raved over him. It was perhaps as well that his History was never finished, for it is morally certain that his infatuation for saying brilliant things would have led him to hurl Washington and the American patriots of the Revolution from their pedestals. He could not resist the temptation to bid men abate their admiration of any esteemed character. To wind up with a brilliant period was the height of his poor literary ambition. Of course he received his reward; but no man now who values his reputation for scholarship would think of citing him as an historical or, what may seem stranger, a literary authority. That glowing tribute to the Catholic Church in the review on Ranke has always seemed to us one of his rhetorical bursts. There were in the subject light and color, imposing figures, an atmosphere of art and beauty, and innumerable chances for introducing epigrams and startling paradoxes. He wrote an article which flames like one of Rubens’ pictures. The whole argument is false from beginning to end, and its logic would shame the New Zealander himself. The conclusion which any thoughtful man would draw from the powers and 255attributes therein ascribed to the Catholic Church is that such an institution must be divine—a conclusion furthest from the reviewer’s thought. He has made the dull pages of English political history as interesting as a fairy-tale, under which designation it no doubt will be tabulated by future scholars; for there is not a point d’appui in the entire history, from his glorification of King William to his defamation of Penn, that has not been shattered by some one. But who should seriously attack romance?

James II. was a poltroon, and William III. was a brave man and a great statesman. Macaulay did not attempt all the possibilities of sensationalism. This was left for J. A. Froude, who now reigns in his stead. Casting about for a striking character, Froude lights on Henry VIII. And it is here that that delightful historico-romantic style soars to hitherto unexplored heights of extravagance. The injured monarch is introduced to the sound of mournful music. His tortured mind is apparent in his anguish-riven face. Contemplate at leisure that Achillean form, that massive brow, the melancholy grace of those royal legs. A pensive smile irradiates a countenance on which all the graces play. He is thinking of Katharine. His conscience is smitten. Enter to him Anne Boleyn. What thoughts are hidden beneath that alabaster brow?—and so on for volumes. The forte of the historian of this school is his thorough knowledge of the thoughts and designs of his personages. Nothing escapes his eagle eye. This wondrous faculty, which has hitherto been considered preternatural, enables him to detect deep meanings in the slightest act. The king smiled significantly. Ah-hah! Sergeant Buzfuz’s interpretation of Pickwick’s note about the warming-pan sinks into obscurity alongside of the calm and connected analysis of motive that Mr. Froude can weave out of King Henry’s stockings. It will amuse our readers to take up a few pages of any of Froude’s historical works, and study out illustrations of this criticism. They will soon discover that it is he who does all the thinking, planning, and suffering for his historical automata, that are moved by the chords of his sympathetic heart. No one would call Froude a historian except in burlesque. He is a romancist.

But what shall we say of the Scotch Diogenes, Carlyle, who hurls books instead of tubs, though the latter missile would do less mischief? He is an extravagant. We have hesitated some time about classing him in the school, but we think that we are justified, at least by the wildness, unconnectedness, and rhapsodical fury of his speech. Besides, he frantically hates and denounces America, which fact would set him down at once as a man of unbalanced intellect and malignant humor. He used to know how to write English, as his Life of Schiller and Life of John Sterling abundantly prove. But in an evil hour he learned German, and the next view of him we have discovers him tossing in a maelstrom of German metaphysics. He certainly deserved a better fate. We very much doubt if any sane man can long keep his wits and study German philosophy, especially in the mad outcomes of Fichte’s Absolute Identity and Schelling’s theories of the το εγο. The best minds of Germany, both Catholic 256and Protestant, Möhler and Neander, have pronounced the judgment of all sensible men upon these absurdities in one word—rubbish. Carlyle patiently worked in this rubbish for years, and his result is not half so good as his brave old words, spoken out of his honest heart: “Do what you are able to do in this world and leave the rest to God.” In the name of common sense, do rational men care anything about the critic of Pure Reason, or the beer and tobacco speculations of conceited egoists? It were well if men, like the parish priest in Don Quixote, burnt all those foolish books of knight-errantry carried on in a world as dreamy and fantastic as that fabled by the old writers on chivalry. Carlyle’s command of language is marvellous, but his style is hybrid, wearisome, and frequently unintelligible. He is sensational, in a bad sense, too. There is not a hero that he has chosen who was not chosen with an eye to effect: Mohammed, a prophet! Luther, the hero-priest! Cromwell, the hero-king! The selection of these worthies enabled him to say something startling. Then the idea of taking Frederick II. of Prussia as a type of the heroic, kingly, religious, literary, and general excellence of the eighteenth century was carrying the extravagant a little too far. The old man now sits like a bear with a sore head. We pardon him much, for we look upon him as an embittered and disappointed man. He seems not to care what he says nor how rudely he says it. His criticism on Swinburne, the erotic poet, whose success is an indication of something rotten in English letters, is so harsh that we hesitate to quote it, though it is richly deserved: “He is a man up to his neck in a cess-pool, and adding to the filth.” We need Diogenes to snub Alexander and to trample on the pride of Plato. Had Carlyle escaped fantastic Germanism and its wretched philosophizing, he would rank with the greatest masters of language in any tongue. The glow and beauty of many of his descriptions are beyond praise, and no more skilful hand has ever drawn the vast and gloomy tableaux of the French Revolution. His historical method has the same vice as Macaulay’s and Froude’s. He is pictorial, imaginative, and given to unwarranted speculation. His style has the worst faults of the sensational school, though it may be alleged in his defence that his vast knowledge of German has unconsciously and radically modified it. Affectation he has none, which cannot be said of his imitators in word-coining.

Literary criticism, which certainly should have advanced somewhat since the days of Dennis, is at present as “slashing” as that old cynic himself could have desired. The great reviews, spoiled by Macaulay’s example, have adopted a supercilious tone that but ill comports with the dignity and functions of true criticism. We recall only one great exception, John Wilson (Christopher North), in recent English literary criticism, that is not open to the charge of querulous fault-finding. The narrowness of the English reviews, and their fatal obtuseness to see beyond the limits they have drawn for themselves, have deprived them of the proper power of literary judgment or suggestive writing such as we associate with a review. The latest of their number, the Nineteenth Century, is not long 257enough before us to enable us to form a satisfactory judgment. It lacks unity, but, perchance, this is a merit. The reader knows beforehand the judgment of the Edinburgh, the London and British Quarterlies, and the Westminster on any subject. They are a bench of Lord Jeffreys passing sentence before any evidence is presented to them.

There is no writer on whom sensationalism works such quick and fatal destruction as the critic. We look to him to be above the passions of the hour, the rage of the fashion, and the influence of literary and political cliques. Even his admiration must be tempered. He must betray no weaknesses. When we come across a critique which runs over with passion, weak sentiment, petty jealousies, unworthy bickerings, and a subdued but potent sensationalism, we are shocked and disappointed. Most contemporary reviews are pompous exhibitions of the writer’s own learning, which may be in one sense encyclopædic, and which generally throws the author under review quite in the shade. The older reviewers gave some hearing to an author. They quoted him largely, and enabled the reader to judge for himself. They proffered their opinions modestly, and supported their objections with proof drawn from the book itself. But nowadays, if a reviewer condescends to advert to the book which he is supposed to be reviewing, it is in a high and mighty tone of censure or of autocratic approval. This obtrusion of self and opinions smacks much of the sensational. The reviewer wishes to be seen upon the tripod, and he is convinced in his own heart, or at least allows his reader plainly to understand, that he could write a much better book than that which he has deigned to review. Slashing criticisms are in great favor. Oh! for another Macaulay to blast another Montgomery. We say, Oh! for another Pope to place these gentlemen in another Dunciad. There is no merit in cutting a book to pieces. An eye sharpened by malice and on the lookout for faults will detect blunders in a title. Where merited chastisement must be inflicted it should not be spared; but that is a poor idea of literary criticism that views it as a medium of communicating only stinging comment and bitter diatribe. Criticism is essentially calm and judicial. It should sift a book as law does evidence. No stormy passions should be suffered to disturb its equanimity. There is no other department of letters that invites and exacts such rare scholarship and genial wisdom.

The man who can quickly recognize and honestly praise a work of genius, and, through wise commendation, introduce it to a wide circle of readers, merits a crown more precious than the poet’s. In these days of much bad writing and wide reading there is deep need of such exact criticism, such careful watchfulness over literature, and such sure guidance of the public taste. Keep sensationalism at least out of our reviews and our book notices, for if the critic loses the reckoning we are indeed at sea.

We hinted that sectarian theology has its sensational side. If we can dignify with the name of theology that congeries of books, sermons, pamphlets, and tracts that is the literary outcome of Protestantism, then theology, the queen of the sciences, is in the plight of Hecuba as described in Hamlet:

“But who, oh! who had seen the mobled queen
Run barefoot up and down, threatening the flames,” etc.

258No attempt is made to conceal the sensationalism of the Protestant pulpit. A dull preacher had best betake himself to another occupation; say anything that will be listened to, sooner than behold the agonizing sight of a sleeping congregation. Modern congregations do not enjoy the traditional nap. They are kept awake by the attitudinizer in the pulpit. They are not sure of what he is going to say next. Sir Roger de Coverley made his chaplain preach one of Barrow’s sermons, and, thus being assured of orthodoxy, he slept with a quiet conscience. The quality of the majority of Protestant sermons is as spiced and sensational as the average popular lecture. What motive but that of making a sensation can induce Farrar and Stanley to preach against hell in Westminster Abbey? Their sermons are as high colored as a story in the New York Ledger. The new tack which the Protestant hulk is now painfully taking is the harmonization of science and religion. We verily believe that Darwin, Huxley, and Tyndall take a malicious pleasure in seeing the squirms of Protestant theologians. Those men know themselves the inconclusiveness of their arguments against revelation, but the fatal spell is on science, too—it must be sensational or nothing. The old scientists worked calmly away for years, and set forth the results of their investigations with the modesty of true merit. But Huxley cannot anatomize the leg of a spider without publishing the process in the newspapers, with some reflections upon its bearing and probably fatal effect upon the Mosaic records.

In summing up the conclusions suggested by our reflections upon the extravagant, we must not forget that the ways and habits of modern social life have almost necessitated this species of literature. It is remarkable that the Latin writers under the later emperors have neither the purity of thought nor of style of the old masters. Literature is the reflex of passing life. Our century is the century of startling discovery, of kaleidoscopic changes, of rapid social life and intense intellectual energy. Its expression must be loud and boisterous. But it is the duty of writers to keep the gross sensational elements of life out of letters. Literature should soothe and compose the mind; should be its refuge from turbulence and care; should be a ministry of peace and refreshment to the wearied spirit. The enduring products of human genius are marked by the calmness and serenity of the great souls that conceived them, and they produce in us the like frame of mind. The public should look coldly upon the class of productions we have been examining, and bid

“The extravagant and erring spirit hie
To its confine.”



Not Philomel, ’mid dark of night, unseen,
Pipes sweeter notes unto the listening heart
Than from the adventurous blue-bird start
That sings amid the cedars’ dusky green
When March doth fleck the sky with windy clouds,
When sodden grass is gray as naked boughs
Along whose length no touch of summer glows—
Folded the buds within their spicy shrouds,
Waiting the coming of their Easter morn,
When the up-risen sun their bonds shall break,
Earth’s alleluia in the forests wake,
Wherein no voice more glad than this is born
That fills the farewell hours of winter gloom
With skies of blue and fields knee-deep in bloom.


Who hears the music of the blue-bird’s song,
And sees not straightway cloudy skies grow fair
With softened light pale April kindleth there?
Who heareth not the swollen, rippling throng
Of loosened streams that trip the roads beside,
That wear soft channels in the meadow grass,
And peaceful grow to uphold the crisp-leaved cress?
Who sees not o’er the marsh-pools, dark and wide,
Rise tasselled willow and the later glow
Of sturdy marigolds’ broad, golden bloom,
Dim light of violets; while fresh perfume
From every budding twig doth overflow?
Such world a song can build of shivering air—
Earth’s miracles unfolding everywhere.


Singeth the dreamy nightingale of love,
Unsevered still the thrush from Paradise,
The lark’s swift aspiration to the skies
Is faith that sees in perfect light above;
And type doth seem spring’s blue-winged herald’s song
Of that calm faith Eternal Wisdom blessed,
Believing things unseen with quiet breast,
Not asking first to see the angels throng.
260Faith meet for earth, filling the storm-rent skies
With cheerful song of trust and heavenly grace,
Softening with joys to come earth’s rugged face,
Tinting life’s gray with heaven’s rainbow dyes—
Thy note, O fearless blue-bird! stainless scroll
O’er writ with love and hope for earth and soul.


A diligent and impartial German bibliographer, Dr. John Geffcken, Protestant pastor of St. Michael’s, Hamburg, in his learned work on catechetical treatises of the fifteenth century, has pointed out the almost complete forgetfulness of present scholars of a branch of literature important in the theological and controversial history of Germany before the Reformation. He says of his own researches in this field:

“There was a lost, or at any rate a forgotten, literature to be discovered step by step, and its spirit grasped in all the branches thus brought together and compared. The following information will show how little light the fragmentary notices of Langemack in his Historia Catechetica (vol. i.), or of Köcher, in his Catechetical History of the Papal Church, threw upon the times to which I have devoted my attention. The worst, however, was that even these scanty notices were often false or misleading, and that, instead of pointing out the right track, they not seldom led into error. They consist mostly of lists of titles of books, without a hint of the contents of such books, and not seldom an uncertain or fanciful title is interpreted as denoting contents utterly different from the reality. The spirit of controversial prejudice in which these works were written impelled the authors, whenever they had to deal with ante-Reformation times, to paint the historical background in the darkest possible colors, in order to bring out in corresponding relief the brightness of the new dawn of the sixteenth century.”

If this is true of such works as those to which Geffcken refers, it is equally so of the German Plenarii, or glossaries, commentaries, homilies, and various devotional manuals in the vulgar tongue published in the last half of the fifteenth century and the first quarter of the sixteenth. The inquiry into the publication, contents, and diffusion of these books is as interesting from an antiquarian as from a theological point of view. They are little known even to cataloguists of acknowledged merit. Brunet, in his Manuel du Libraire,[61] etc., under the heading Plenarium, vol. iv., mentions only one, as the Plenarium, or Book of the Gospels, printed at Basle by Peter von Langendorff in 1514; while under the heading of Gospels (vol. ii.) he mentions in general terms several “Evangelia.” Hain, in his Repertorium 261Bibliographicum (Stuttgart and Tübingen, 1826-1828), in which he claims to have collected the names of all the books printed from the time of the discovery of printing to the year 1500, is a little more explicit as to the gospels and epistles under the heading of that name, but has nothing to say of any Plenarium; although the name stands as a separate heading, it is followed by no details or examples. Graesse, in his Trésor de livres rares et précieux, ou nouveau dictionnaire bibliographique (Dresden, 1859-1869), mentions only five of these works, giving the dates and presses but no hint of the contents of the books. Earlier scholars, however, had not so wholly lost the tradition of the existence of these manuals; for instance, Nicholas Weislinger, in his Armamentarium Catholicum Argent., 1749 fol. sub anno 1488 (pp. 412-415), and Panzer, in his Annals of Ancient German Literature; or, notices and descriptions of those books which, since the invention of printing till the year 1520, were printed in the German tongue (Nuremberg, 1788), mentions a fact which Dr. Alzog says he has not yet found proved by other documents—the existence of similar manuals in other countries than Germany. The French have Les Postilles et Expositions des Epistres et Evangiles Dominicales, etc. (Troyes, 1480 and 1492, and Paris, 1497), and the Italians the same in 1483, press and date not mentioned, and Epistole e Evangeli per tutto l’anno, per Annibale da Parma (Venice, 1487). No doubt research among the libraries of ancient Italian cities, colleges, and monasteries would discover many copies of such manuals, and the same may be said of French glossaries. The fact that they have but recently come to light in Germany argues equally in favor of their being at some future time discovered in other countries, certainly not less enlightened at the time whence date the German manuals.

It seems that hitherto no satisfactory etymology of the name of this class of books has been found; the explanation of Du Cange[62] being rather bald, that the books “wholly contain the four gospels and the canonical epistles.” Whatever the origin of the title, the books themselves multiplied rapidly from 1470 to 1522. They were invariably in the vulgar tongue, often in dialect. They were meant as emphatically popular hand-books, guides to the liturgy, and interpreters of the Latin offices of the church, while they also supplied the place of sermons, homilies, and meditations by their glossaries and explanations of the gospels, lessons, and epistles. Some of these are much in the style of the commentaries of the early Fathers on Scriptural subjects. The translations from the Vulgate are generally original, and do not follow strictly any of the authorized versions of the day. In some of the later Plenarii the Collects and Prefaces are given, in others the Graduals and Communions; in a few the whole liturgy is translated and the ceremonies explained. None of these books was ever published in Latin, and, unlike our modern missals, they very seldom, and then sparingly, included the Latin text with that in the vulgar tongue. Hymns and sequences were also often printed. Dr. Alzog was drawn to the study of this branch of church literature by his researches for a hand-book of universal 262church history, and by his opportunities in the University Library of Freiburg in Breisgau, which alone contains six editions of Plenarii of 1473, press unknown, five respectively of 1480 (Augsburg), of 1481 (Urach), of 1483 (Strassburg), of 1514 and 1522 (Basle), and several others without authors’ or publishers’ names, as well as the kindred works of a famous preacher of that time, Geiler von Keisersperg, printed at Strassburg. The reproach sometimes made to the fifteenth century, of being destitute of sufficient religious and moral instruction in printed form, is much neutralized by the opposite reproach of a contemporary whose name is famous in literature as that of the author of the Ship of Fools, Sebastian Brant. This powerful satire, the work of a priest, begins with these words in German rhyme:

“All the land is now full of holy writings
And of what touches the weal of souls,
Bibles, and the lore of holy fathers,
And many more such like,
In measure such that I much marvel
No one grows better on such cheer.”

Alzog names thirty-eight manuals, including five by Keisersperg, with his sermons and expositions of doctrine, and seven in Low Saxon dialect, interesting as showing the peculiarities of spelling in certain districts at that time. The form of the title is almost unvaried in all: “In the name of the Lord. Amen. Here follows a Plenarium according to the order of the holy Christian Church, in which are to be found written all epistles and gospels as they are sung and read in the ceremony of the holy Mass, throughout the whole year, in order as they are written in the following.” The two earliest mentioned by Alzog are of 1470-1473. They are adorned with title-pages or frontispieces, Scriptural or allegorical subjects. In the University Library of Freiburg is a small folio with a wood-cut of our Lord, his right hand uplifted in the act of blessing, and his left carrying an imperial globe, the ball surmounted by a cross, such as may be seen in pictures of the old German emperors. Round the four sides of the print runs the following curious inscription, unfortunately clipped short in part by the binder: “This portrait is made from the human Jesus Christ when he walked upon the earth. And therefore he had hair and a beard, and a pleasant countenance. Also a ... He was also a head taller than any other man on the earth.” The first edition mentioned by Panzer and Hain as containing a glossary on the Sunday gospels is of the year 1481, printed at Augsburg, but the four editions between 1473 and 1483 all had uniform glossaries.

The mention is worded thus: “A glossary will be found of each Sunday gospel—that is, a good and useful teaching, and an exposition of each gospel, very useful for every Christian believer (or believer in Christ) to read.” In 1488 Weislinger and Panzer point to a book printed at Baden by Thomas Ansselm, called Gospels with Glossaries and Epistles in German, for the whole year; also the beginning; the Psalm (the “Judica” and Introit) and the Collect of each Mass according to the order of the Christian Church. Another book of 1516, printed at Dutenstein, has the same title with this addition: “for the whole year, with nothing left out.” A very elaborate manual, of which a copy (1514) is in the University Library of Freiburg and is mentioned in Panzer’s catalogue, is called

263“The Plenarium, or gospel book. Summer and Winter parts, through the whole year, for every Sunday, Feria, and Saints’ days. The order of the Mass, with its beginning or Introit. Gloria Patri, Kyrie Eleyson, Gloria in Excelsis, Collect or prayer, Epistle, Gradual or penitential song, Alleluia or Tract, Sequence or Prose. Gospel with a glossary never yet heard by us, and ended by fruitful and beautiful examples.[63] The Patrem or Creed, Offertorium, Secreta, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Communion, Compleno and Ite Missa est or Benedicamus Domino, etc. And for every separate Sunday gospel a beautiful glossary or Postill, with its example, diligently and orderly preached by a priest of a religious order, to be seriously noticed and fruitfully applied for the greater use of the believer, who in this quickly-passing life can read nothing more useful....” At the end are these words: “To the praise and worth of Almighty God, his highly-praised Mother Mary and all saints, and to the use, bettering, and salvation of men.... Printed by the wise Adam Peter von Langendorff, burgher of Basle. 1514. In folio.”

The book contains four large wood-cuts of some artistic merit, Christ crucified, with a landscape in the background, and two groups, one of four women on one side, the other of four men on the other, and the following legend beneath, taken from Notker’s famous hymn Mediâ Vitæ, which “wonderful anthem or sequence,” says an Anglican writer, is “so often mistaken for a psalm or text”[64]: “In the midst of life we are in death: whom shall we seek to help us, and to show us mercy, but thou alone, O Lord, who by our sins art righteously enwrathed? Holy Lord God, holy strong God, holy, merciful, and eternal God, suffer us not to taste the bitterness of death.” The other wood-cuts, respectively indicating Christmas day, Easter eve, and Whitsunday, represent the Adoration of the Infant Jesus by Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds, with a landscape in the background; the Resurrection; and the Descent of the Holy Ghost in the form of fiery tongues. The book contains many smaller wood-cuts.

Another Plenarium (Strassburg, 1522) boasts of being “translated from the Latin into better German,” and another, of the same year (Basle), announces “several other Masses, never hitherto translated into German,” as well as a register with blank leaves. Keisersperg’s sermons “in the last four years of his life, taken down word for word from his own mouth,” are printed at Strassburg in 1515, and are qualified in the title-page as “useful and good, not only for the laity, and never hitherto printed.” His Postill, or “Commentaries on the Four Gospels,” is printed in four parts in Strassburg in 1522, also his Lenten sermons, and some additional ones on a few saints’ days, “written down from his own mouth by Henry Wessmer”; but the most curious work mentioned is a folio volume of his sermons, without title, and containing other treatises with fanciful titles and bearing on mysterious subjects. “The Book of Ants, which also gives information concerning witches, ghostly appearances, and devilish possession, very wonderful and useful to know, and, further, what it is lawful to hold and believe touching them”; also, “the little book, ‘Lord, whom I would gladly serve,’ in fifteen parts of fine and useful doctrine; finally, the book of ‘Pomegranate,’ in Latin Malogranatus, containing 264much wholesome and sweet doctrine and advice.” This dates from 1517 (Strassburg, John Greinninger). For the sake of the language the manuals printed in Low Saxon, chiefly in Lübeck, are among the most interesting specimens. The titles are much the same as the German, but generally more concise. Panzer remarks of one of them, printed by Stephen Arndes at Lübeck in 1496, and adorned with several fine wood-cuts, that he has seen three other editions, printed in 1488, 1493, and 1497. A few of the peculiarities of spelling, and of the indifferent use of various forms of one word, will be seen in the following examples: book, in the contemporary High-German, spelt buch or buoch, is here spelt boek, boeck, bok, and boke, this last a form often found in Old English writers; holy, heylig, heilig, or hailig, is here spelt in five different ways: hilgen, hylgen, hylligen, hilligen, and hyllyghen; and birth, geburt, is bort and borth. Das (the) becomes dat; endigt (ends) is turned to ondighet; and the o’s and n’s are in general used the reverse way to that common in High-German.

The contents of the Plenarii show the peculiarities of the liturgy as used at that time. The same epistle and gospel sung or read on Sunday was repeated on Monday, Tuesday (which the oldest manuals call After-Monday), and Thursday. Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year had separate epistles and gospels, and Saturday is not mentioned, unless it is indicated by the “third day,” which the later editions speak of as “having a separate epistle and gospel throughout the year.” Each day of Lent had a separate one. Some of the books of 1473 contained special Masses—that of the Wisdom of God for Mondays, the Holy Ghost for Tuesdays, the Holy Angels for Wednesdays, the Love of God for Thursdays, the Holy Cross for Fridays, and the Blessed Virgin for Saturdays. There followed Masses for rain, for health, for sinners, for fair weather, and for “all believing souls.” The glosses on the gospels in the earlier editions are interesting from their simplicity and directness. Even the preface of the Basle Plenarium of 1514, though less simple, is a good specimen. It is noteworthy that the Immaculate Conception is implied in the text. The heading is from Luke xi. 28: “Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.” The preface runs thus:

“Jesus Christ is the Word of the Eternal Father; the Word is made flesh (understand by that, man) in the womb of the immaculate, holy, and pure Virgin Mary, that we too may be saved. From this Word, as from Christ the Son of God, flows Holy Scripture, which is the life-giving flow of the blessed paradise of the highest heaven, penetrating and making fruitful on this earth the paradise of the holy church to the use of all believers. And in order that man may better know and acknowledge his Lord, he has at hand the help of Holy Scripture, which is the source of all knowledge and wisdom, of whom all knowledge is the servant and follower, and which teaches and admonishes us, through the wonderful works of God, to worship the Maker of all; for Christ the Son of God is the wisdom of the Eternal Father, and in him and through him are all creatures made, and, indeed, so wonderfully made and hidden that no human wisdom can fully penetrate into these secret recesses. Such is the teaching of Holy Writ.

“To confess God, to avoid sin, to do good, and to show ourselves diligent in the love of God and our neighbor—this is a spiritual pharmacy of all sweet-smelling and precious medicine. Although many prophets and other saints have written Holy Scripture and divine 265truth, each one according as it was given to him by the Holy Ghost, yet are the strength and truth of the holy gospels above every other Scripture, as says St. Augustine in his Concordance of the Gospels. And Holy Scripture is so fruitful, wise, and unfathomable that we can never fathom it till the end of this passing life on earth, and till we come to the place whence Scripture itself floweth ... and ourselves read in the great Bible—that is, the Book of Life.

“And because many men do not understand Latin, and yet can read German, therefore this book of the gospels, with its belongings, has been translated into German, to the glory of God and the use of such as shall feed their souls on it. For man liveth not on material bread alone, but on the spiritual bread which is the Word of God, as Christ says by the mouth of the evangelist Matthew, in the fourth chapter.”

Much more follows; for instance, an enumeration of the nine graces that a diligent reader of Scripture receives, in which much good but rather trite advice is given, and of the five kinds of men who read Holy Writ, only two of whom do it to advantage. These conceits belonged to the age, and, indeed, survived the age, as we find in the Presbyterian sermons of two centuries later in Scotland and the Puritan sermons of New England. Keisersperg was profuse of them, and some of the quaint and rather strained combinations and coincidences which he imagined are a curious illustration of the sort of pulpit eloquence popular in the fifteenth century. The prominence given among saints to the four evangelists grew naturally out of the reverence paid to the four gospels as the noblest part of Scripture. The Plenarii often contained allegorical representations of them under the conventional figures known to art, and undertook to explain the reason of these figures being applied to them, connecting them with the four living creatures of Ezechiel’s vision and those of the Apocalypse. But, beyond the constantly-received explanations, they sometimes contained details calculated to astonish readers of a later day. Such is the idea of the fitness between St. Mark and the symbolic lion, derived from the belief that lion whelps were awakened the third day, by the roaring of their mother, from the sleep or trance in which they had been born, which was interpreted to refer to the fact that St. Mark chiefly dwells on the resurrection of the Lord on the third day after his death. The Basle manual from which the foregoing preface is quoted has special prayers in honor of the evangelists, chiefly to the end that they would help the faithful to a better understanding of, and acting up to, the principles of the Gospel. The wood-cuts which distinguish these as well as the Latin missals took the place of the illuminations of the older books in manuscript, and, though wanting in the finish and delicacy of the latter, were designed on the same models and in the same spirit. The Latin missals now in the University Library of Freiburg, of 1485 and 1520, are rich in this kind of ornamentation, the latter having as title-page the Crucifixion, with a group of many figures, and around the illustration representations of the seven sacraments, whose grace flows from the atonement of Christ. The same idea is conveyed in the often-repeated allegorical representation in mediæval pictures of two angels collecting in golden cups the blood that flows from the outstretched hands of the Saviour on the cross.

Freiburg has many treasures in the department of illuminated 266manuscripts, the chief one being a Codex of the tenth century, with the Sacramentarium Gregorianum. It contains two hundred and ten pages of parchment, and begins with a calendar of twelve pages on purple ground with arabesque borders. The Ordinary of the Mass is written on a similarly colored ground, and has three illuminated pictures—a portrait of Pope Gregory the Great, an angel uplifting the Host, and an elaborate Byzantine crucifix. Five thousand francs were offered for it by a French archæological society, and refused by the university. Among the peculiarities set forth by the German manuals is the order of Sundays throughout the year, which, before the Council of Trent, were reckoned from Trinity instead of Whitsunday, and, in the case of Easter falling early, were supplemented by a “twenty-fifth Sunday after Trinity,” as the editions of 1473 to 1483 have it, “if another Sunday is needed.” The later editions and the Latin missals simply call it, without comment, “the twenty-fifth Sunday.” As time went on, the German Plenarii contained more and more, sometimes additional votive Masses, and the Passions and Prophecies of Holy Week, sometimes the whole of the liturgy, including the minor parts, sometimes even more than the Latin books themselves—as, for instance, the thirteenth to the fifteenth chapters of St. John, inclusive, for the edification of their readers on Maundy Thursday. The glossaries or homilies also grew longer and more serious after 1514, and among explanations of undoubted moral worth and pious intent—due, Alzog thinks, greatly to the influence of the Swiss “Friends of God,” a brotherhood devoted to popular teaching and the propagation of practical piety among the masses—we often come upon those naïvely-propounded conceits which were common to earnest and ingenious men of that day. For instance, the word alleluia, whose etymology was probably wholly unknown to the author, is thus dissected and explained in one of the Basle editions of the sixteenth century:

“The word has four syllables—that is, four meanings: the first, al—that is, altissimus, or Most High and Almighty; the second, le, levatus in cruce, or uplifted on the cross; the third, lu, lugentibus apostolis, or the apostles have mourned and all creation bemoaned him; the fourth, ja, or jam surrexit—that is, he is now risen from the dead, wherefore we should rejoice with all our strength and sing alleluja.”

On the other hand, some of the prayers and meditations of these now obscure books of devotion were beautiful, dignified, and worthy of imitation. The language often reminds one of the Following of Christ:

“Consider, O my soul! with thorough devotion, the gifts and benefits of God wherewith he has so abundantly blessed thee. He has created thee out of nothing and in his image. He has given thee wisdom and understanding, that thou mayest distinguish good from evil. He has also given thee reason beyond that of all other creatures, and made them subject unto thee. He has put the sun and the moon in heaven to give light to the world. He causes all green things to grow and ripen on the earth to thy use, that thou mayest be fed and clothed therewith. Consider also, O my soul! with great devotion, how inestimable are the gifts of the holy sacraments, so sweetly prepared for thee. How clean should be thy hands from all evil works, how chaste thy lips, how holy thy body, how spotless thy heart, to which the Lord Almighty, the God of purity, humbles himself so lovingly! How great should be thy thankfulness to God thy Creator, 267who gives himself to thee so freely, not for any good he derives therefrom, but only that he may cleanse thee, in thy misery and sickness, from sin, and give thee eternal life. Amen.”

The manuals also made typographical progress corresponding to that of their contents, and, after 1483, began to have their pages both numbered and headed, while the spelling became a little more uniform, but the odd comparisons and arbitrary combinations in the text developed themselves as freely as ever. Indeed, they had one merit—that of fixing a thing in the minds of hearers less likely to be impressed by generalities; and, unlike the sensational devices of the present day, they were not resorted to as mechanical means by men to whom they were themselves indifferent, but came from the “abundance of the heart” of authors fully penetrated by their meaning and proud of having originated this particular form of it. For instance, a panegyric on St. Martin, Bishop of Tours, is résumed in the seven letters of the German word Bischof, each standing for the initial of a word describing some quality of the saint; and the same happens with the seven letters of the name of Matthew, Matheus (seven was, from obvious causes, a favorite number in the mystical mind of those ages), which are thus interpreted: Magnificentia in relinquendo (magnanimity in relinquishing), Auscultatio in obediendo (hearing in obeying), Tractabilitas in non resistendo (tractability in not resisting), Humilitas in sequendo (humility in following), Evangelisatio in prædicando (evangelization in preaching), Virtuositas in operando (efficiency in working), Strenuitas in patiendo (fortitude in enduring).

The glossaries on the epistles and gospels contain many passages remarkable as setting forth the reverence for Holy Writ of which those times have been too hastily pronounced deficient. The four oldest editions (from 1473 to 1483) have the same commentary for the first Sunday in Advent, on which the gospel of Palm Sunday, pointing to preparation for the coming of the Lord, was then read. The whole is filled with texts and allusions to the prophets; the preparation is asserted to consist in being “washed clean of evil thoughts,” in laying aside the torn garments of sin, that bind us to the darkness where we have hidden ourselves that we may not be seen, ... in hating the garments of impurity and those of pride.... It is not seemly to stand in the hall of the King clothed in mean garments, as we find in the Book of Esther, cap. iii., and therefore no one should enter the holy time of Advent while yet burdened with sin and so on through a host of Scriptural quotations in which moral virtues only are inculcated, and of ceremonial observances there is no mention. The edition of 1514 (Basle) on the same occasion says that this gospel is read twice in the year, on the anniversary of the day when our Lord entered Jerusalem, and on the first Sunday in Advent, which commemorates his spiritual coming and his assuming human nature. The various kinds of advents or comings are represented by the gospels of the four Sundays, the last being the entry into the heart of every sinner when he repents of his sin and is converted. “As the Jews asked John the Baptist, ‘Who art thou?’ so should every man ask himself, Who am I? If we examine honestly we must needs acknowledge that we are but 268poor sinners. Of this advent St. John speaks in the Apocalypse: ‘Behold I stand at the door of thy heart and knock with my gifts; and whoever opens unto me, to him will I go in, and give him bread from heaven, and a new stone in his hand, that is the new joy of everlasting life.’“[65] Of this advent St. Augustine speaks:

“Lord, who shall give it to me that thou shouldst come into my heart, sweet Jesus, and fill it, and that my soul should forget all evil and all sin?... ‘This is everlasting life (John xvii. 3), that men know thee, Father in heaven, and confess thee alone the living and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.’ This raises a question—namely, Why did the Lord Jesus not come earlier? why delay his coming so long? For this reason: that Adam transgressed God’s command on the sixth day, and the coming of Christ was therefore deferred till the sixth age of the world.... If you turn to the Lord in truth, he will answer you through the prophet Ezechiel: ‘In whatsoever hour the sinner repents of his sins and forsakes them, and is turned from his unrighteousness, I will remember his sins no more, saith the Lord.”

The commentary on the gospel of the first Mass on Christmas night in the Basle edition of 1514 contains glimpses of legends which long kept their hold on the popular and even the scholarly mind of that age. The story of the Sibyllic prophecies is outlined:

“The Emperor Augustus, when he had conquered the whole world for the Roman Empire, was about to be adored by the Romans as a god. But he resisted and asked for a delay of three days, during which he sent for the wise woman, the Sibyl of Tibur, and asked her advice. When she shut herself up with the emperor and prayed to God to tell her how to advise the emperor, she saw close by the sun a shining ring of light, and within the ring a beautiful Virgin with a fair Child upon her knees. Then the Sibyl showed the Virgin and Child to the emperor, and said: “This Child upon the knees of a Virgin must thou adore, for he is God and Lord of the whole world, and the Child that is to be born of a Virgin shall be for the consolation and salvation of mankind.’ So when the emperor saw this he refused to let himself be adored....

“We read also that once the Romans built a fine temple, large and grand, which they meant to call the Temple of Peace. While they were building it they asked the Sibyl how long the temple should stand. She answered and said: ‘Until a Virgin shall bear a Child.’ ‘Then,’ said the Romans, ‘as that can never happen, the temple will stand for ever, and shall be called the Temple of Eternity.’ Then came the night when our Lord Jesus Christ was born, and a great part of the temple fell suddenly in ruins, and many who have been in Rome say that every Christmas night a portion of this temple still crumbles into ruin, as a sign that on this earth nothing is eternal.”

The three Maries at the sepulchre give the author occasion in the homily on Easter Sunday to link the virtues we ought to practise with the names of the three holy women. From Mary Magdalen, whom, according to the tradition of the time, he identified with Mary the Sinner, he bids us learn “the great diligence and great love with which she sought God the Lord; ... so should we also anoint the feet of Christ with the ointment of contrition and repentance. From Mary Jacobi (Mary the mother of James, or Jacob) we should learn to overcome sin, because Jacob means a fighter and striver.... From the third Mary we should learn to have a true hope of obtaining grace, for Salome means a woman of grace (probably he considered wisdom and grace identical), ... especially the grace to battle against despair.” And this suggests a comparison of the three Maries with the three virtues, faith, 269hope, and charity. Galilee, again, which he interprets to mean in German Passover, is set as a sign that we must part with sin and cross over to God, die to the world and be detached from its allurements. The commentary on the gospel of Whitsunday, in the older editions (1473-83), contains these words: “If you love God, you will willingly hear his word and diligently say to yourself, What I hear is a token from the great King.” Then follow several Scriptural quotations strengthening and illustrating this truth. The epistle of the day gives rise to an explanation of the appearance “as it were of fiery tongues”: “The fire of the Holy Ghost consumed all fear in their hearts, and so enkindled them that they feared neither king nor emperor. So was fulfilled the saying of the Redeemer, ‘I am come to bring a fire upon the earth,’ and what do I wish but that it should be enkindled?” Then the tongues signify that the word is spread by the tongue; God sent the Holy Ghost in fiery tongues, that they (the apostles) might burn with love and overflow in words. What is the Holy Ghost? He is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, who confirms and establishes all things, and who comes at all times to the heart of every man who makes himself ready to receive him, as says St. Augustine: “It is of no use for a teacher to preach to our outer ears, if the Holy Ghost be not in our hearts and do not give us true understanding.” The likeness of the Holy Spirit to a dove is then ingeniously drawn out in comparisons such as St. Francis of Sales, two centuries later, might have adopted in his Introduction to a Devout Life, and the prayer or aspiration at the end is thus worded: “May the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost help us to hear the word of God and keep it, that our hearts may be enlightened and enkindled by the fire of the Holy Ghost, that we may live with simplicity and joy among the doves, and that the true Dove, the Holy Ghost, may come to us and abide with us for ever.”

The later editions of the sixteenth century have a longer and more complicated homily on the same subjects; they dwell, among other things, on the peace and comfort brought by the Holy Ghost, and distinguish three kinds of peace, that of the heart, that of time, and that of eternity, the second of which alone was not given to the apostles, because their Master also had it not, as is inferred from several texts quoted at length. The suddenness, the force of the wind, and the quickness of the appearance in the upper chamber in Jerusalem are all turned to practical account by the commentator, who also reminds his readers that the grace of God comes soonest to those who lead a life of inner recollection and prayer. The love of God is shown under a sort of parable, that of the scholars of an Athenian philosopher, who begged their master to write them a treatise upon love, and received from him in answer the picture of a lion with a legend round his neck: “Love brings forth nothing which afterwards causes remorse to man.” Thus Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, is spiritually this lion of love, whose works were all for the salvation of man. For Trinity Sunday the glossaries of both the older and the later editions are very short, the mystery being confessedly unfathomable, and the ancient Fathers themselves having but feebly 270succeeded in throwing any other light than that of faith upon the subject. Both editions contain a warning not to search curiously into the mystery, but believe with simplicity, and the later ones cite the legend of St. Augustine and the child whom he met by the sea-shore trying to bail the sea into a small trench in the sand. On the thirteenth Sunday after Trinity the vision of God by purity of heart, “and by the reading of Holy Scripture and practising its precepts,” is descanted upon in the 1514 Basle edition, and the fate of Lot’s wife is used as a simile for the turning back from God into sin, while the love of our neighbor, as flowing from a true love of God, is strenuously inculcated by Scripture texts and warnings.

The description of the contents of these manuals, however, would not be complete, nor wholly convey the spirit of the age in which they were published and read, without some mention of the miraculous stories printed in them under the head of “useful examples.” Of these Frederick Hurter, in his work on Pope Innocent III., vol. iv. pp. 547-8, says:

“All writers of this time (the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; and what applies to those applies to later centuries almost as far as the seventeenth) are full of wonder-stories—a proof of how universal and deeply ingrained in man was the belief in wonders. Many of these are simply mythical, others had passed by tradition and literary embellishments from the region of facts into that of myths, while others again must be left uninterpreted by criticism, unless it is disposed to dismiss them with a mere denial. Whatever decision one may come to on this point, one truth certainly underlies this mass of tales: that they cannot have been without influence on the mind of thousands. Many may be looked upon as childish and crude, but from beneath this coating still shines the true gold of a belief in one almighty, ever-present Being, a father and protector of the good, a leader and raiser-up of the fallen or the wavering, an avenger against the evil and oppressing.”

Such stories have to later research appeared as interesting landmarks of the progress of a nation’s mind, and links with all its former beliefs and traditions. Again, they were striking illustrations, fitter to remain in the popular mind as emblems of great truths than the learned doctrinal disquisitions, which were always above the understanding of the masses. They are rather emblems than facts; the condensation of a truth than its actual outcome. We have only room for a single specimen. Whether it was intended to be related as a vision in a dream, or partly as a waking dream, does not appear clearly from the text:

“There was,” says the Basle Plenarium of 1514, on the occasion of Good Friday, “a prior in a monastery, who sat in his cell after his meal and fell asleep. While he slept, one of his brethren died and came to the sleeping prior, and spoke to him: ‘Father prior, with your permission, I am going.’ When the other asked him where, he answered: ‘I am going to God in eternal blessedness, for in this very moment I have died.’ Then said the prior: ‘Since many a perfect man must after death pass through purgatory, and one seldom comes back to earth from it, I ask you how can you go at once to God, and how do you know you have deserved it?’ Then answered the monk: ‘I always had the habit of praying thus at the feet of the crucifix: “Lord Jesus Christ, for the sake of thy bitter sufferings which thou hast endured on the holy cross for my salvation, and especially at the moment when thy blessed soul left thy body, have mercy on my soul when it leaves my body.“ And God mercifully heard my prayer.’ Then the prior asked again: ‘How was it with you when you died?’ and the other answered: ‘I thought at 271that moment that the whole world was a stone, and that it lay upon my breast, so terrible did death seem to me.’”

The Plenarii were not the only manuals scattered among the rapidly-increasing number of people who, in Germany, could read in their native tongue. Besides the Scriptures, of which nine translations, some partial, some entire, were printed before Luther’s, from 1466 to 1518, and three entire ones after his in the sixteenth century alone,[66] there were previous to that period fourteen complete Bibles in High-German and five in Low-German (the University of Freiburg possesses copies of eight of the former), and many psalters and gospels, as well as separate books of Scripture published singly. The psalter was undoubtedly the best-known and most commonly used part of Holy Writ. Panzer mentions the three oldest editions printed in Latin and German, without date or press, in folio; another octavo at Leipsic; others in German, Augsburg, 1492 and 1494; Basle, 1502 and 1503; Spires, 1504; Strassburg, 1506 and 1507; Metz, 1513; and the Book of Job, Strassburg, 1498. Again in the same years, and from the same presses as well as Mayence and Nuremberg, came the epistles and gospels, and the four Passions, divided according to their use on Sundays, while the first popular illustrated “Bibles of the Poor,” condensations and selections, chiefly of the most stirring stories told in the Old and New Testaments, followed each other rapidly after 1470. The wood-cuts were generally very good, and the Latin and German texts printed side by side. “German explanations of the office of the Mass” were also printed, and the devotional writings, meditations, etc., of Tauler, Suso, Thomas à Kempis, Geiler von Keisersperg, and Sebastian Brant. Lives of the saints and martyrologies were also printed, arranged according to the calendar in two parts, winter and summer; but though in the main edifying, these were chiefly reflections of traditions rather than authentic biographies taken from contemporary sources. That style of writing was not known then, and the general example of a holy life was more the object of the writers than the historic details of real life. But even in these traditions some nucleus of undisputed fact might always be found beneath the ivy tracery of legend. Panzer remarks that these editions differed greatly from Jacob of Voragine’s Legenda Aurea, and often contradicted it. Catechisms and manuals for confession and communion were also familiar, and some of the litanies now reprinted in modern prayer-books are of this date, while even the contents of the Breviary were translated into German by a Capuchin, James Wyg, and printed in Venice in 1518. “Little prayer-books” are mentioned by Panzer as printed at Nuremberg, Lübeck 272(these in Low German), Basle, and Mayence from 1487 to 1518. Two were called the Salus Animæ and the Hortulus Animæ. The latter is as well known now in English as it was then in German; one edition of 1508 has a little versified introduction, interesting as showing how Sebastian Brant’s talents were often practically employed:

“The soul’s little garden am I called.
Known am I yet from my Latin name.
At Strassburg, his fatherland,
Did revise me Sebastian Brant,
And industriously me corrected,
And into German much translated,
That now is to be found in me
Which will give joy to every reader;
Now, who uses me aright,
And plants me well, reward shall have.”

The prayer Anima Christi is found in some editions. A book called The Mirror of the Sinner went through five editions from 1480 to 1510, which Pastor John Geffcken has most impartially and fully criticised in his history of catechetical instruction in the fifteenth century. The Ten Commandments was the title of two books printed at Venice by an Augsburg printer in 1483, and Strassburg in 1516, and a Manual for Preparation for Holy Communion, several times reprinted at Basle, has suggested this praise from Herzog, the biographer of John Œcolampadius: “It breathes the purest and noblest devotion (mystik); we shall seldom find a communion-book penetrated with such a glow of devotion”; if we had any room left for quotation, this judgment would be found fully deserved. Manuals for the sick and dying were also widely used; three of 1483, 1498, and 1518, and one without date, are given in Panzer’s catalogue. The Garden of the Soul also contains a long passage on the fit preparation for death; and other books have special prayers for the same circumstances. That we are apt to see but one side of any question, and that false impressions unluckily in the popular mind chiefly avail themselves of the axiom that “possession is nine points of the law,” Jacob Grimm very appositely complains in the preface to his Antiquities of German Jurisprudence. “What is the use,” he says, “of the poetry being now discovered which presents the joyous vitality of life in that time (the middle ages) in a hundred touching and serious representations? The outcry about feudalism and the right of the strongest is still uppermost, as if, forsooth, the present had no injustice and no wretchedness to bear.”



‘Drizza (disse) ver me l’acute luci
Dello Intelletto, e fieti manifesto
L’error de’ ciechi, chi si fanno duci.’
Purg. xviii. 16.
Turn thy sharp lights of intellect towards me
And many errors will be manifest,
In many a volume by the world possessed,
Of men called leaders, and who claim to be.
Blackness of hell, and of a night unblest
By any planet in a barren sky
Which dunnest clouds to utmost gloom congest,
Could not with veil so gross have barred mine eye
Nor so austere to sense as now oppressed
Us in that fog which we were folded by.
Its sharpness open eye might not abide,
Therefore my wise and faithful escort lent
His shoulder’s aid, close coming to my side,
And, thus companioned, close with him I went
(Like a blind man who goes behind his guide,
Lest he go wrong or strike him against aught
To kill him haply or his life impair)
On through that sharp and bitter air, in thought
My duke observing, who still said: ‘Beware
Lest thou be separate from me!’ Anon
Voices I heard, and each voice seemed in prayer
For peace and pity to the Holy One
Of God, the Lamb who taketh sins away;
Still from them all one word, one measure streamed,
Still Agnus Dei prelude of their lay,
So that among them perfect concord seemed.
‘Those, then, are spirits, Master, that I hear?’
I asked. He answered: ‘Rightly hast thou deemed
They go untangling anger’s knot severe.’
‘Now who art thou discoursing at thy will
Of us? Who cleavest with thy shape our smoke
As time by calends thou wert measuring still?’
So said a voice, whereat my Master spoke:
‘Ask him if any mounteth hence, up there.’
And I: ‘O being, who dost make thee pure
Unto thy Maker to return as fair
As thou wert born! draw near me, and full sure
Thou shalt hear something to awake thy stare.’
274‘Far will I follow as allowed,’ he said;
‘And if the smoke permit us not to see,
Our sense of hearing may avail instead
Of sight, and grant me to converse with thee.’
Then I began: ‘With that same fleshly frame
Which death dissolveth, I am bound above:
Here through the infernal embassy I came,
And if God so enfold me in his love
That his grace grants me to behold his court
In manner diverse from all modern wont,
Keep not from me the knowledge, but report
Who thou wast, living, and if up the mount
My course is right: thy word shall us escort.’
‘Lombard I was, and Mark the name I bore;
I knew the world, and loved that sort of worth
At which men bend their bows not any more.
Thy course is right: climb on directly forth.’
He answered, adding: ‘Pray for me when thou
Shalt be up there.’ I answered him: ‘I bind
Myself in good faith by a solemn vow
To grant thy wish; but with one doubt my mind
Will burst within unless I solve it now.
The simple doubt which I had formed before
From others’ words is doubled now by thine,
Which, joined with those words, make my doubt the more.
The world in sooth, as I may well divine
From what thou say’st, is wicked at the core
And clothed with evil; of all virtue bare:
Show me, I pray, that I may tell again
Others, the cause of this; for some declare
That Heaven is cause of ill, and some say men.
A deep-drawn sigh which anguish made a groan
First giving vent, to ‘Brother’ spake he then:
‘The world is blind; sure thou of them art one.
Ye who are living every cause refer
Still to high Heaven, as though necessity
Moved all things through Heaven’s[67] motion. If this were,
Freedom of will impossible would be,
Nor were it just that Goodness should for her
Sure meed have joy, and Badness misery.
Heaven to your actions the first movement gives—
I say not all; but granted I say all,
275For good or evil each his light receives,
And a free will which, if it do not fall,
But win Heaven’s first hard battle, then it lives,
And, if well trained, is never held in thrall.
‘To greater power and to a higher soul
Free, ye are subject; and that power in you
Creates the mind, which no stars can control:
Hence if the present world go wrong, ’tis due
To your own selves; and of this theme the whole
I will expound as an informer true.
Forth from His hand (before its birth who smiled
On his new offspring) into being goes
A little weeping, laughing, wanton child;
The simple infant soul that nothing knows,
Save that, by pleasure willingly beguiled,
She turns to joy as her glad Maker chose.
Taste of some trifling good it first perceives,
And, cheated so, runs for the shining flower,
Unless a rein or guide its love retrieves.
Hence there was need of Law’s restraining power;
A king there needed, that at least some one
Of God’s true city might discern the tower.
The laws exist, but who maintains them? none;
Because the Shepherd, Sovereign of the fold,