Project Gutenberg's The Catholic World, Vol. X, October 1869, by Various

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Title: The Catholic World, Vol. X, October 1869
       A Monthly Magazine of General Literature and Science

Author: Various

Release Date: August 21, 2013 [EBook #43524]

Language: English

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General Literature and Science.

OCTOBER, 1869, TO MARCH, 1870.

126 Nassau Street.

16 and 18 Jacob St., N. Y.







VOL. X., No. 55.—OCTOBER, 1869.


We notice in this review the article on the Spirit of Romanism for a single point only, which it makes, for as a whole it is not worth considering. Father Hecker asserts in his Aspirations of Nature, that, "Endowed with reason, man has no right to surrender his judgment; endowed with free-will, man has no right to yield up his liberty. Reason and free-will constitute man a responsible being, and he has no right to abdicate his independence." To this and several other extracts from the same work to the same effect, the Christian Quarterly opposes what is conceded by Father Hecker and held by every Catholic, that every one is bound to believe whatever the church believes and teaches. But bound as a Catholic to submit his reason and will to the authority of the church, how can one assert that he is free to exercise his own reason, and has no right to surrender it, or to abdicate his own independence? Father Hecker says, "Religion is a question between the soul and God; no human authority has, therefore, any right to enter its sacred sphere." Yet he maintains that he is bound to obey the authority of the church, and has no right to believe or think contrary to her teachings and definitions. How can he maintain both propositions?

What Father Hecker asserts is that man has reason and free-will, and that he has no right to forego the exercise of these faculties, or to surrender them to any human authority whatever. Between this proposition and that of the plenary authority of the church in all matters of faith or pertaining to faith and sound doctrine, as asserted by the Council of Trent and Pius IX. in the Syllabus, the Christian Quarterly thinks it sees a glaring contradiction. Father Hecker, it is to be presumed, sees none, and we certainly see none. Father Hecker maintains that no human authority has any right to enter the sacred sphere of religion, that man is accountable to no man or body of men for his religion or his faith; but he does not say that he is not responsible to God for the use he makes of his faculties, whether of reason or free-will, or that God has no right to enter the sacred sphere of religion, and tell him even authoritatively[2] what is truth and what he is bound to believe and do. When I believe and obey a human authority in matters of religion, I abdicate my own reason; but when I believe and obey God, I preserve it, follow it, do precisely what reason itself tells me I ought to do. There is no contradiction, then, between believing and obeying God, and the free and full exercise of reason and free-will. Our Cincinnati contemporary seems to have overlooked this very obvious fact, and has therefore imagined a contradiction where there is none at all, but perfect logical consistency. Our contemporary is no doubt very able, a great logician, but he is here grappling with a subject which he has not studied, and of which he knows less than nothing.

It is a very general impression with rationalists and rationalizing Protestants, that whoso asserts the free exercise of reason denies the authority of the church, and that whoso recognizes the authority of the church necessarily denies reason and abdicates his own manhood, which is as much as to say that whoso asserts man denies God, and whoso asserts God denies man. These people forget that the best of all possible reasons for believing any thing is the word, that is, the authority of God, and that the highest possible exercise of one's manhood is in humble and willing obedience to the law or will of God. All belief, as distinguished from knowledge, is on authority of some sort, and the only question to be asked in any case is, Is the authority sufficient? I believe there were such persons as Alexander the Great, Julius Cæsar, Charlemagne, Louis XIV., Robespierre, and George Washington, on the authority of history, the last two, also, on the testimony of eye-witnesses, or persons who have assured me that they had seen and known them personally; yet in the case of them all, my belief is belief on authority. On authority, I believe the great events recorded in sacred and profane history, the building of the Temple of Jerusalem in the reign of Solomon, the captivity of the Jews, their return to Judea under the kings of Persia, the building of the second temple, the conquest of Jerusalem by Titus and the Roman army, the invasion of the Roman empire by the northern barbarians, who finally overthrew it, the event called the reformation, the thirty years' war, etc. Nothing is more unreasonable or more insane than to believe any thing on no authority; that is, with no reason for believing it. To believe without authority for believing is to believe without reason, and practically a denial of reason itself.

Catholics, in fact, are the only people in the world who do, can, or dare reason in matters of religion. Indeed, they are the only people who have a reasonable faith, and who believe only what they have adequate reasons for believing. They are also the only people who recognize no human authority, not even one's own, in matters of Christian faith and conscience. Sectarians and rationalists claim to be free, and to reason freely, because, as they pretend, they are bound by no human authority, and recognize no authority in faith but their own reason. Yet why should my reason be for me or any one else better authority for believing than yours? My authority is as human as yours, and if yours is not a sufficient reason for my faith, how can my own suffice, which is no better, perhaps not so good? As a fact, no man is less free than he who has for his faith no authority but his own reason; for he is, if he thinks at all, necessarily always in doubt as to[3] what he ought or ought not to believe; and no man who is in doubt, who is unable to determine what he is or is not required to believe in order to believe the truth, is or can be mentally free. From this doubt only the Catholic is free; for he only has the authority of God, who can neither deceive nor be deceived, for his faith.

It is a great mistake to suppose that the Catholic believes what the church believes and teaches on any human authority. To assume it begs the whole question. The act of faith the Catholic makes is, "O my God! I believe all the sacred truths the Holy Catholic Church believes and teaches, because thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived." The church can declare to be of faith only what God has revealed, and her authority in faith is the authority not of the law-maker, but of the witness and interpreter of the law. In faith we believe the word of God, we believe God on his word; in the last analysis, that God is true, Deus est verax. Better authority than the word of God there is not and cannot be, and nothing is or can be more reasonable than to believe that God is true, or to believe God on his word, without a voucher.

That the church is a competent and credible witness in the case, or an adequate authority for believing that God has revealed what she believes and teaches as his word, can be as conclusively proved as the competency and credibility of a witness in any case in court whatever. She was an eye and ear-witness of the life, works, death, and resurrection of our Lord, who is at once perfect God and perfect man; she received the divine word directly from him, and is the contemporary and living witness of what he taught and commanded. The church has never for a moment ceased to exist, but has continued from Christ to us as one identical living body that suffers no decay and knows no succession of years; with her nothing has been forgotten, for nothing has fallen into the past. The whole revelation of God is continually present to her mind and heart. She is, then, a competent witness; for she knows all the facts to which she is required to testify. She is a credible witness; for God himself has appointed, commissioned, authorized her to bear witness for him to all nations and ages, even unto the consummation of the world, and has promised to be with her, and to send to her assistance the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, who should recall to her mind whatsoever he had taught her, and lead her into all truth. The divine commission or authorization to teach carries with it the pledge of infallibility in teaching; for God cannot be the accomplice of a false teacher, or one who is even liable to err. What surrender is there of one's reason, judgment, free-will, manhood, in believing the testimony of a competent and credible witness?

In point of fact, the case is even stronger than we put it. The church is the body of Christ, and in her dwelleth the Holy Ghost. She is human in her members, no doubt; but she is divine as well as human in her head. The human and divine natures, though for ever distinct, are united in one divine person by the hypostatic union. This one divine Person, the Word that was made flesh, or assumed flesh, for our redemption and glorification, is the person of the church, who through him lives a divine as well as a human life. It is God who speaks in her voice as it was God who spoke in the voice of the Son of Mary, that died on the cross, that rose from the dead, and[4] ascended into heaven, whence he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead. Hence, we have not only the word of God as the authority for believing his revelation, but his authority in the witness to the fact that it is his revelation or his word that we believe. We may even go further still, and state that the Holy Ghost beareth witness within us with our spirits in concurrence with the external witness to the same fact, so that it may be strengthened by the mouth of two witnesses. More ample means of attesting the truth and leaving the unbeliever without excuse are not possible in the nature of things.

It is not, then, the Catholic who contradicts himself; for between the free exercise of reason and complete submission to the authority of the church, as both are understood by Catholics, there is no contradiction, no contrariety even. Faith, by the fact that it is faith, differs necessarily from science. It is not intuitive or discursive knowledge, but simply analogical knowledge. But reason in itself cannot go beyond what is intuitively apprehended, or discursively obtained, that is, obtained from intuitive data either by way of deduction or induction. In either case, what is apprehended or obtained is knowledge, not belief or faith. To believe and to know are not one and the same thing; and whatever reason by itself can judge of comes under the head of science, not faith; whence it follows that reason can never judge of the intrinsic truth or falsehood of the matter of faith; for if it could, faith would be sight, and in no sense faith. If we recognize such a thing as faith at all, we must recognize something which transcends or does not fall under the direct cognizance of reason; and therefore that which reason does not know, and can affirm only as accredited by some authority distinct from reason. The Catholic asserts faith on authority, certainly, but on an authority which reason herself holds to be sufficient. True, he does not submit the question of its truth or falsehood to the judgment of reason; for that would imply a contradiction—that faith is not faith, but sight or knowledge. This is the mistake of sectarians and rationalists, who deny authority in matters of faith. They practically deny reason, by demanding of it what exceeds its powers; and faith, by insisting on submitting it to the judgment of reason, and denying that we have or can have any reason for believing what transcends reason. It ill becomes them, therefore, to accuse Catholics of contradicting themselves, when they assert the rights of reason in its own order, and the necessity of authority in matters of faith, or matters that transcend reason. They themselves, according to their own principles, have, and can have no authority for believing; and therefore, if they believe at all, they do and must believe without reason; and belief without reason is simple fancy, caprice, whim, prejudice, opinion, not faith.

But the Christian Quarterly is not alone in imagining a contradiction between reason and authority. The whole modern mind assumes it, and imagines a contradiction wherever it finds two extremes, or two opposites. It has lost the middle term that brings them together and unites them in a logical synthesis. To it, natural and supernatural, nature and grace, reason and faith, science and revelation, liberty and authority, church and state, heaven and earth, God and man—are irreconciliable extremes; and not two extremes only, but downright contradictions, which necessarily exclude each other. It does not, even if it accepts both terms, accept[5] them as reconciled, or united as two parts of one whole; but each as exclusive, and warring against the other, and each doing its best to destroy the other.

Hence the modern mind is, so to speak, bisected by a painful dualism, which weakens its power, lowers its character, and destroys the unity and efficiency of intellectual life. We meet every day men who, on one side, assert supernatural faith, revelation, grace, authority, and, on the other, pure naturalism, which excludes every thing supernatural or divine. On the one side of their intelligence, nothing but God and grace, and on the other, nothing but man and nature. Indeed, the contradiction runs through nearly the whole modern intellectual world, and is not encountered among the heterodox only. We find even men who mean to be orthodox, think they are orthodox, and are sincerely devoted to the interests of religion, who yet see no real or logical connection between their faith as Catholics and their principles as statesmen, or their theories as scientists.

The two terms, or series of terms, of course, must be accepted, and neither can be denied without equally denying the other. The objection is not that both are asserted, but that they are asserted as contradictories; for no contradiction in the real world, which is the world of truth, is admissible. The Creator of the world is the Logos, is logic in itself, and therefore, as the Scripture saith, makes all things by number, weight, and measure. All his works are dialectic, and form a self-consistent whole; for, as St. Thomas says, he is the type of all things—Deus est similitudo rerum omnium. There must then be, somewhere, the mediator, or middle term which unites the two extremes, and in which their apparent contradiction is lost, and they are opposed only as two parts of one uniform whole. The defect of the modern mind is that it has lost this middle term, and men retain in their life the dualism we have pointed out, because they do not see that the conflicting elements are not harmonizable in their intelligence; or, because they have lost the conception of reality, and are false to the true principle of things.

In the early ages of the church, the fathers had no occasion to take care that reason and nature should be preserved, for no one dreamed of denying them. All their efforts were needed to bring out and vindicate the other series of terms, God, the supernatural, revelation, grace, faith, which was denied or perverted by the world they had to war against. The ascetic writers, again, having for their object the right disciplining of human nature through grace, which includes revelation and faith, as well as the elevation and assistance of nature and reason, had just as little occasion to assert reason and nature, for they assumed them, and their very labors implied them. Grace, or the supernatural, was rarely exaggerated or set forth as exclusive. The danger came chiefly from the opposite quarter, from Pelagianism, or the assertion of the sufficiency of nature without grace.

When, however, the reformers appeared, the danger shifted sides. The doctrines of the reformation, the doctrines of grace, as they are called by evangelicals, were an exaggerated and exclusive supernaturalism. The reformers did not merely assert the insufficiency of reason and nature, but went further, and asserted their total depravity, and utter worthlessness in the Christian life. They made man not merely passive under grace, but actively and necessarily[6] opposed to it, resisting it always with all his might, and to be overcome only by sovereign grace, the gratia victrix of the Jansenists. The church met this and its kindred errors in the holy Council of Trent, and while affirming the supernatural element, and defining the sphere and office of grace, rescued nature and reaffirmed its part in the work of life. But error has no principle and is bound to no consistency, and the Catholic has ever since had to defend nature against the exclusive supernaturalists, and grace against the exclusive naturalists; reason, for instance, against the traditionalists, and revelation and authority against the rationalists. To do this, it has been and still is necessary to distinguish between the two orders, nature and grace, natural and supernatural, reason and faith.

But we find a very considerable number of men who are not exclusively supernaturalists, nor exclusively rationalists, but who are syncretists, or both at once. They accept both orders in their mutual exclusiveness, and alternately, rather, simultaneously, assert exclusive supernaturalism, and exclusive rationalism. This is the case with the great mass of Protestants, who retain any reminiscences of grace, and even with some Catholics in countries where Jansenism once had its stronghold, and where traces of its influence may still be detected with people who deny its formally heretical propositions, and accept the papal constitutions condemning them. The two extremes are seen, and both are accepted; but the mediator between them, or the truth which conciliates or harmonizes them, seems to be overlooked or not understood. Of course, Catholic theology asserts it, and is in reality based on it; but, some how or other, the age does not seize it, and the prevailing philosophy does not recognize it.

The problem for our age, it seems to us, is to revive it, and show the conciliation of the two extremes. The labor of theologians and philosophers is not, indeed, to find a new and unknown truth or medium of reconciliation, as so many pretend, but to bring out to the dull and enfeebled understanding of our times the great truth, always asserted by Catholic theology, which conciliates all extremes by presenting the real and living synthesis of things. This Father Hewit has attempted and in great part achieved in his Problems of the Age.

There can be no question that the dominant philosophy, especially with the heterodox, does not present the conditions of solving this problem, and the scholastic philosophy, as taught in Catholic schools, needs to be somewhat differently developed and expressed before the age can see in it the solution demanded. According to the philosophy generally received since Des Cartes, the natural and supernatural are not only distinct, but separate orders, and reason without any aid from revelation is competent to construct from her own materials a complete science of the rational order. It supposes the two orders to be independent each of the other, and each complete in itself. Reason has nothing to do with faith, and faith has nothing to do with reason. The church has no jurisdiction in philosophy, the sciences, politics, or natural society; philosophers, physicists, statesmen, seculars, so long as they keep in the rational order, are independent of the spiritual authority, are under no obligation to consult revelation, or to conform to the teachings of faith. Hence the dual life men live, and the absurdity of maintaining in one order what they contradict in another.


This, we need not say, is all wrong. The two orders are distinct, not separate and mutually independent orders, nor parallel orders with no real or logical relation between them. They are, in reality, only two parts of one and the same whole. We do not undertake to say what God could or could not have done had he chosen. If he could have created man and left him in a state of pure nature, as he has the animals, we know he has not done so. He has created man for a supernatural destiny, and placed him under a supernatural or gracious providence, so that, as a fact, man is never in a state of pure nature. He aspires to a supernatural reward, and is liable to a supernatural punishment. His life is always above pure nature, or below it. The highest natural virtue is imperfect, and no sin is simply a sin against the natural law. The natural is not the supernatural, but was never intended to subsist without it. The supernatural is not an interpolation in the divine plan of creation, nor something superinduced upon it, but is a necessary complement of the natural, which never is or can be completed in the natural alone. In the divine plan, the two orders are coeval, always coexist, and operate simultaneously to one and the same end, as integral parts of one whole. The natural, endowed with reason and free-will, may resist the supernatural, or refuse to co-operate with it; but if it does so, it must remain inchoate, incomplete, an existence commenced yet remaining for ever unfulfilled, which is the condition of the reprobate. A true and adequate philosophy explains man's origin, medium, and end; and no such philosophy can be constructed by reason alone; for these are supernatural, and are fully known only through a supernatural revelation.

The natural demands the supernatural; so also does the supernatural demand the natural. If there were no nature, there could be nothing above nature; there would be nothing for grace to operate on, to assist, or complete. If man had no reason, he could receive no revelation; if he had no free-will, he could have no virtue, no sanctity; if not generated, he could not be regenerated; and if not regenerated, he could not be glorified, or attain to the end for which he is intended. To deny nature is to deny the creative act of God, and to fall into pantheism—a sophism, for pantheism is denied in its very assertion. Its assertion implies the assertor, and therefore something capable of acting, and therefore a substantive existence, distinguishable from God. The denial of God, as creator, is the denial alike of man, the natural, and the supernatural. To solve the problem, and remove the dualism which bisects the modern mind, it is necessary to study the Creator's works in the light of the Creator's plan, and as a whole, in the whole course or itinerary of their existence, or in their procession from him as first cause, to their return to him as final cause, and not piecemeal, as isolated or unrelated facts. If we know not this plan, which no study of the works themselves can reveal to us, we can never get at the meaning of a single the smallest part, far less attain to any thing like the science of the universe; for the meaning of each part is in its relation to the whole. What is the meaning of this grain of sand on the sea-shore, or this mosquito, this gnat, these animalculæ invisible to the naked eye? Have they no meaning, no purpose in the Creator's plan? What can you, by reason, know of that purpose or meaning, if you know not that plan? Your physical sciences, without a knowledge of that plan, are[8] no sciences at all, and give you no more conception of the universe than a specimen brick from its walls can give you of the city of Babylon.

Though that plan is and can be known only as revealed by God himself, yet when once known we may see analogies and proofs of it in all the Creator's works, and study with profit the several parts of the universe, and attain to real science of them; for then we can study them in their synthesis, or their relation to the whole. We may then have rational science, not built on revelation, but constructed by reason in the light of revelation. We do not make revelation the basis of the natural sciences. They are all constructed by reason, acting with its own power, but under the supervision, so to speak, of faith, which reveals to it the plan or purpose of creation, to which it must conform in its deductions and inductions, if they are to have any scientific value. If it operates in disregard of revelation, without the light radiating from the Creator's plan, reason can know objects only in their isolation, as separate and unrelated facts or phenomena, and therefore never know them, as they really are, or in their real significance; because nothing in the universe exists in a state of isolation, or by and for itself alone; but every thing that exists, exists and is significant only in its relation to the whole. It is a mistake, then, to assume that the church, the witness, guardian, and interpreter of the faith or revelation, has nothing to say to philosophy, or to the physical sciences, cosmogony, geology, physiology, history, or even political science. None of them are or can be true sciences, any further than they present the several classes of facts and phenomena of which they treat in their respective relations and subordination to the divine plan of creation, known only by the revelation committed to the church.

The principle of the solution of the problem, or the middle term that unites the two extremes, or the natural and the supernatural, in a real and living synthesis, or reconciles all opposites, is the creative act of God. The supernatural is God himself, and what he does immediately without using any natural agencies; the natural is what God creates with the power to act as second cause, and what he does only through second causes, or so-called natural laws. Nothing is natural that is not explicable by natural laws, and nothing so explicable is properly supernatural, though it may be superhuman. A miracle is an effect of which God is the immediate cause, and which can be referred to no natural or second cause; a natural event is one of which God is not the direct and immediate cause, but only first cause—Causa eminens, or cause of its direct and immediate cause. The copula or nexus that unites the natural and supernatural in one dialectic whole, is the creative act of the supernatural, or God, which produces the natural and holds it joined to its cause. Creatures are not separable from their Creator; for in him they live and move and are, or have their being; and were he to separate himself from them, or suspend his creative act, they would instantly drop into the nothing they were before he produced them. The relation between them and him is their relation of entire dependence on him for all they are, all they have, and all they can do. There is, then, no ground of antagonism between him and them. If man aspires to act independently of God, he simply aspires to be himself God, and becomes—nothing.

But we have not exhausted the creative act. God creates all things[9] for an end, and this end is himself; not that he may gain something for himself, or increase his own beatitude, which is eternally complete, and can be neither augmented nor diminished, but that he may communicate of his beatitude to creatures which he has called into existence. Hence God is first cause and final cause. We proceed from him as first cause, and return to him as final cause, as we have shown again and again in the magazine with all the necessary proofs.

Between God as final cause, and his creatures, the mediator is the Incarnate Word, or the man Christ Jesus, the only mediator between God and men. In Christ Jesus is hypostatically united in one divine person the divine nature and the human, which, however, remain for ever distinct, without intermixture or confusion. This union is effected by the creative act, which in it is carried to its summit. The hypostatic union completes the first cycle or procession of existences from God as first cause, and initiates their return to him as final cause, as we have said in our remarks on Primeval Man. It completes generation and initiates the regeneration, or palingenesiac order, which has its completion or fulfilment in glorification, the intuitive vision of God by the light of glory, or, as say the schoolmen, ens supernaturale.

Theologians understand usually, by the supernatural order, the order founded by the Incarnation or hypostatic union, the regeneration propagated by the election of grace, instead of natural generation. But between the natural and the supernatural, in this sense, the nexus or middle term is the creative act effecting the hypostatic union, or God himself mediating in his human nature. The Incarnation unites God and man, without intermixture or confusion, in one and the same divine Person, and also the order of generation with the order of regeneration, of which glorification is the crown. But as the two natures remain for ever distinct but inseparable in one person, so, in the order of regeneration, the natural and the supernatural are each preserved in its distinctive though inseparable activity.

These three terms, generation, regeneration, glorification, one in the creative act of God, cover the entire life of man, and in each the natural and supernatural, distinct but inseparable, remain and co-operate and act. There is no dualism in the world of reality, and none is apparent—except the distinction between God and creature—when the Creator's works are seen as a whole, in their real relation and synthesis. The dualism results in the mind from studying the Creator's works in their analytic divisions, instead of their synthetic relations; especially from taking the first cycle or order of generation as an independent order, complete in itself, demanding nothing beyond itself, and constituting the whole life of man, instead of taking it, as it really is, only as the beginning, the initial, or the inchoate stage of life, subordinated to the second cycle, the teleological order, or regeneration and glorification, in which alone is its complement, perfection, ultimate end, for which it has been created, and exists. Our age falls into its heresies, unbeliefs, and intellectual anarchy and confusion, because it undertakes to separate what God has joined together—philosophy from theology, reason from faith, science from revelation, nature from grace—and refuses to study the works and providence of God in their synthetic relations, in which alone is their true meaning.

The Positivists understand very well the anarchy that reigns in the[10] modern intellectual world, and the need of a doctrine which can unite in one all the scattered and broken rays of intelligence and command the adhesion of all minds. The church, they say, once had such a doctrine, and for a thousand years led the progress of science and society. Protestants, they assert, have never had, and never, as Protestants, can have any doctrine of the sort, and the church has it no longer. It is nowhere set forth except in the writings of Auguste Comte, who obtains it not from revelation, theology, or metaphysics, but from the sciences, or the positive facts of nature studied in their synthetic relations. But unhappily, though right in asserting the necessity of a grand synthetic doctrine which shall embrace all the knowable and all the real, they forget that facts cannot be studied in their synthetic relations unless the mind is previously in possession of the grand synthetic doctrine which embraces and explains them, while the doctrine itself cannot be had till they are so studied. They must take the end as the means of gaining the end! This is a hard case, for till they get the synthetic formula they can only have unrelated facts, hypotheses, and conjectures, with no means of verifying them. They are not likely to succeed. Starting from anarchy, they can only arrive at anarchy. Only God can move by his Spirit over chaos, and bring order out of confusion and light out of darkness.

Moreover, the Positivists do not reconcile the conflicting elements; for they suppress one of the two series of terms, and relegate God, the supernatural, principles, causes, and supersensible relations into the region of the unknowable, and include in their grand synthesis only positive sensible facts or phenomena and their physical laws. They thus restrict man's existence to the first cycle, and exclude the second or palingenesiac order, in which alone reigns the moral law. The first or initial cycle does not contain the word of the ænigma. It does not exist for itself, and therefore is not and cannot be intelligible in or by itself. If they could succeed in removing the anarchy complained of, they would do so by ignorance, not science, and harmonize all intelligences only by annihilating them.

Nor is it true that the church has lost or abandoned her grand synthetic doctrine, or that her synthesis has ceased to be complete, or sufficiently comprehensive. Her doctrine is Christianity; and Christianity leaves out no ancient or modern science; has not been and cannot be outgrown by any actual or possible progress of intelligence; for it embraces at once all the real and all the knowable, reale omne et scibile. If the church fails to command the adhesion of all minds, it is not because any minds have advanced in science beyond her, or have attained to any truth or virtue she has not; but because they have fallen below her, have become too contracted and grovelling in their views to grasp the elevation and universality of her doctrine. She still leads the civilized world, and commands the faith and love of the really enlightened portion of mankind. The reason why so many in our age refuse her their adhesion is not because her doctrine or mode or manner of presenting it are defective, but because they are engrossed with the development and application of the physical or natural laws, or with the first or initial cycle, and exhaust themselves in the production, exchange, and accumulation of physical goods, which, however attractive to the inchoate or physical man, are of no moral or religious value. The cause is not in[11] the church but in them; in the fact that their minds and hearts are set on those things only after which the heathen seek; and they have no relish for any truth that pertains to the teleological or moral order.

The church does not object to the study of the natural or physical sciences, nor to the accumulation of material wealth; but she does object to making the initial order the teleological, and to the cultivation of the sciences or study of the physical laws for their own sake; for, with her, not knowledge but wisdom is the principal thing. She requires the physical and psychological sciences to be cultivated for the sake of the ultimate end of man, and in subordination to the Christian law which that end prescribes. So of material wealth; she does not censure its production, its exchange, or its accumulation, if honestly done, and in subordination to the end for which man is created. What she demands of us is that we conform to the Creator's plan, and esteem things according to their true order and place in that plan. She tolerates no falsehood in thought, word, or deed.

The natural is not suppressed or injured by being subordinated to the supernatural, for it can be fulfilled only in the supernatural. We find the indications of this in nature herself. There are, indeed, theologians who talk of a natural beatitude; but whether possible or not, God has not so made us that we can find our beatitude in nature; that is, in the creature or a created good. He has made us for himself, and the soul can be satisfied with nothing less. This is the great fact elaborated by Father Hecker in his Questions of the Soul, and his Aspirations of Nature. In the first work, he shows that the soul asks questions which nature cannot answer, but which are answered in the supernatural; in the second, he shows that nature desires, craves, aspires to, and has a capacity for, the supernatural; that the soul is conscious of wants which only the supernatural can fill. Man has, as St. Thomas teaches, a natural desire to see God in the beatific vision; that is, to see him as he is in himself; to be like him, to partake of his divine nature, to possess him, and be filled with him. This alone can satisfy the soul, and hence holy Job says, "I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness."

There can be no real antagonism between the natural and the supernatural; for there can be none between nature and its Creator, and equally none between it and its fulfilment, or supreme good. There is none, we have shown, between reason and faith, any more than there is between the eye and the telescope, which extends its range of vision, and enables it to see what it could not see without it. There can be none between science and revelation; when the science is real science and is cultivated not for itself alone, but as a means to the true end of man; and there can be none between earth and heaven, when the earth is regarded solely as a medium and not confounded with the end. There can be none between liberty and authority; for man can be man, possess himself, be himself, and free only by living in conformity to the law of his existence, or according to the plan of the Creator; and finally there can be none between church and state, if the state remembers that it is in the teleological order, and under the moral law, therefore subordinated to the spiritual order.

We have passed over a great number of important questions, several of which, on starting, we intended to consider, and some of which we may[12] take up hereafter; but we have given, we think, the principle that solves the problem of the age, and shows that the dualism which runs through and disturbs so many minds has no foundation either in the teaching of the church or in the real order. The Creator's works all hang together, are all parts of one uniform plan, and the realization ad extra of one divine thought, of which the archetype is in his own infinite, eternal, and ineffable essence. The trouble with men is, that many of them do not see that the church is catholic, even when professing to believe it; because their own minds are not catholic. They often suppose they are broader than the church, because they are too narrow to see her breadth. They also fancy that there are fields of science which they may cultivate which lie beyond her catholicity, and concerning which they are under no obligation to consult her. This shows that they understand neither her catholicity nor the nature, conditions, and end of science. They contract the church to their own narrow dimensions.

We conclude by saying that the men who undertake to criticise the church, and to unchurch her, are men who want breadth, depth, and elevation. They are mole-eyed, and have slender claims to be regarded as really enlightened, large-minded, large-hearted men.


Hast thou indeed
Sacred ambition,
In word and deed
Based on contrition?
Pray low and long,
Sowing and weeping;
Promises strong
Pledge thee thy reaping.
Thus hast thou prayed?
Wait then contented;
Blessings delayed
Are blessings augmented.
Every thing proves
Holy ambition
Is what God loves
Next to contrition.





We must not conclude that Master Swibert gave only a musical education to his child. His instruction was solid, and intended, beyond every thing, to develop in her a religious sentiment.

For metaphysics he had a love that years had not lessened. His philosophy was very simple; a few lines could comprise it—only what he took a liking to; and he never pretended to have invented it.

His soul exercised itself in applying every creature as a connection with the Infinite. He said summarily that if a thinker could not so comprehend things, he retarded his progress and lost his end.

Paganina could not always understand her father, but this did not distress him. Like the good laborer, he sowed thickly the land he had prepared, knowing well that much would be lost; but knowing, too, that he would come, some day, and find the luxuriant verdure that would repay his pains.

The young girl adopted with eagerness all that could elevate character and ennoble life. Happy to repose in the artistic emotions that shook her so deeply, she relaxed into the serene contemplation of the truth toward which her father conducted her.


Such, in its principal characteristics, is the life Paganina led until she was twenty-two years of age. Her beauty had developed radiantly. She held her head aloft, as one who looks on high; and her eyes so sought the distance that she won the name of proud from the good women who met her in their daily walks.

She never was without her father, and the contrast between the two was painful. He was an old man—more from the effect of sickness than old age; and although he appeared active, it was easy to see that, undermined by an inward malady, he would soon be completely wrecked.

He felt it himself, and employed all his strength to instruct and enlighten his daughter.

Without saddening her in advance, by announcing his approaching malady, he endeavored to accustom her to a future separation, but she could not comprehend it. The last thing in which youth can believe is the rupture of holy affections. It never learns that such love can be interrupted.

One day, Master Swibert and his daughter were seated at the turn of the road, where they generally rested in their daily walk. The organist returned to the subject with which his mind was always preoccupied—that future in which he had no part—and finished by saying, "My daughter, your cousin loves you. What he felt for you here he has not lost by separation; his heart is devotedly yours. You are all in all to him, and I have long understood his affection for you. I should feel happy to know you returned his love."

Paganina, surprised, replied, "I love but you, my father; must you[14] leave me?" The organist replied by this verse of St. Paul, "Insipiens: tu quod seminas, non vivificatur, nisi prius moriatur", and Paganina, who did not know Latin, began to weep.

From this day, Master Swibert declined rapidly. He made what he called his will; his last instructions, only to arm his daughter for the struggles of life. He urged her to see, through him, the immortality of the soul; so especially visible in the early Christians, in the mournful hour when, their bodies, falling to ruin, betrayed the interior flame that disengaged them from earth, to shine for ever among the stars in unfading lustre.

After several days of agony, the good musician found his peroration. He died.

It was morning. He had talked a long time with his daughter, and the peace he enjoyed announced the end of the struggle. His large, troubled eyes looked once more toward the mountain, on her, and on his crucifix, then closed for ever.


The world—even the best of it—don't like to be entertained with the sufferings of others; so I will not stop to relate those of Paganina. I will pause longer on the chapter of her consolations. She drew these from two sources, her memories and her labors.

Her memories were realities. She felt that her father had never left her; and lived in his presence, meditating on and practising his lessons. Her ardor for the study of her art redoubled. Often in the silence of the night, at a late hour, her voice was heard by an admiring crowd beneath her window. The young artist, without knowing or desiring it, became popular.

She had other joys, too, which helped her to live her isolated life. It is not of those of love I speak. Paganina did not know the passion. She lived apart from the world, and her character became half legendary. Fancy held play where love was excluded; and in the regions of the ideal grew her immortal works, and their imperishable beauty, to be shed on humanity.

Perhaps the memory of such things should only be intruded on the very few; for it is said that often a ray from on high illuminated the chamber where the young girl sat, and in that moment she felt a new world tremble in her heart.


Happiness is not the guest of earth. The miserable and deceptive pleasure that pretends to this glorious name is a bait rather than a food, and never nourishes any body. Therefore such moments as we have spoken of are fugitive, and are mostly followed by exhaustion and bitter disgust, which would be a good price for them, could such moments be paid for. Paganina experienced the common law. She could not live on ecstasy. Her days, therefore, were mingled and diverse.

I must relate the crisis of her life; but I turn with regret to the chamber that sheltered her genius and her innocence. I see in spirit—shut in this place—a treasure that no one was permitted to contemplate; for Paganina bloomed in the shade, and reserved for her solitude her beauty and the perfume of her loveliness.

Sometimes, only when debauch slept and idleness prolonged its useless repose, the beautiful young girl appeared before her opened window. Robed with the reflection of the aurora, she saluted the growing day;[15] and, as the antique statue, she exhaled divine harmony by contact with its earliest rays.


Having, not without success, terminated his musical studies, André quitted Naples. His affection for his cousin had greatly increased. Love sang in his heart; for, if we may borrow such an expression from the poetical vocabulary, it assuredly belongs to a musician.

From the day he was free, he had but one desire—to see Paganina. He set out with this intention, and restless regarding his reception. Indeed, his future depended upon it.

During the journey, his thoughts went ahead, and heaped up every imaginable supposition on the manner in which his cousin would receive him; but she did not receive him at all. He entered a deserted mansion.

He wandered among the deserted places, where every thing recalled the days of his childhood. Death had passed by, and left, perhaps, some unknown scourge. In his poignant distress, he imagined the worst.

Perhaps he did not deceive himself. Paganina was to appear the next day at the theatre of Milan.

I must add that she was always worthy of her father, in the strictest sense of the word; though for three months, it is true, in order to prepare herself for the stage, she had mixed in the world of the theatres, and, what is far worse, in the world of parasites, insinuating themselves by every means and with every end. She breathed a poisoned air in the incense of impure flatteries. Her bitter contempt prevented its injuring her; but as soon as she was free, she ran to conceal her wounds in a retreat where no one could discover her.


Extract from the Gazette of Lombardy, the 20th of September, 18—.

"Her father was German, her mother an Italian; her father belonged to the church, her mother to the theatre. Both were superior musicians. Such a birth could promise her a more than common destiny, and this birth had a singular predestination. She was born in the side-scenes of the theatre during a soirée, the memory of which is still fresh among us. Her first cries were drowned in the passionate strains of the violin of Paganini, and the bursts of admiration from his auditory. The little creature, as if in reply to the powerful invocation of the master, appeared before the hour fixed by nature.

"This is all her history. From that hour she disappeared. Without doubt, the new-born vestal sought the retreat of the sacred fire.

"To-day she returns to the place of her birth. The words are literally true; we will hear her this evening in La Scala.

"I have desired to announce this fête. Let no one fail to be there, for I predict it will be an event.

"My task is finished. I would like to describe this cantatrice, but she belongs to no formula. It would require two to express the dualism of which her person and character bear the imprint.

"She seems to have received from her parents two natures which by turns inspire her. Even now we hear her pure and original voice mount to heaven; no breath of human passion seems to agitate it. We listen enchanted, lifted far above ourselves, and share the serenity, the peace she inspires; suddenly the air changes, the color mounts to her cheeks, passion absorbs her, and she bursts out in its most marvellous tones. I could see the spectre of the old Paganini grimacing by the side of his beautiful god-child, and goading on her enchained genius."


The result was as predicted. The young cantatrice excited immense enthusiasm.

The Italians are quickly roused, and never sell the evidences of their admiration. To show more than ordinary emotion, they invent unheard-of and extravagant expressions.


When Paganina could withdraw from these ovations, the night was far advanced; she took refuge in solitude.

Let us follow her. It will be curious to observe in her the intoxication of applause, and see how she bore her first triumph—she who had elicited such flattering testimony of love and admiration.

She wept, but not with happy emotions.

"My father," she cried, "my father, you are already revenged. To punish me, you have fulfilled my desires. I wished for the clatter of applause, for the tumult of bravos. I am satisfied already. Is it for this, great God, that I have deserted thy ways? Is it for such fugitive pleasure, whose bitterness I have known before even I have tasted it? O happiness of solitude! ineffable family joys! where have you fled?

"Those who have just applauded me little know the inexpressible sadness that overcame me. For a moment despair drew tears to my eyes. They thought it the triumph of my art—but I wept for thee, my father; for thee, my childhood—and the peace of the old, happy hours."

André at this moment appeared.


He watched her in silence—he on the threshold, and she half turning toward him proudly in her surprise.

André was the first to break the silence.

"Paganina," said he, "I come from the home that you have left. I found the house deserted, and I went to seek you at the tomb of your father."

"Yes," she replied with bitterness, "and you find me here in the garb of a comedian. What do you wish with me?"

"I wish to snatch you from this cursed place; to fly with you so far that you may forget this fatal evening, and again become obedient to the voice of your father. Come, I will be your protector, your guardian, your slave—until the day," he added in a lower voice, "when I dare breathe to you my secret, and tell you that I love you."

"André, listen to me. I will speak to you sincerely. I wish to love you. I swear to you I wish it. To quit this country, fly with you, go into Germany and inhabit the house of my father, and there raise a family, would be my happiness; but it can never be."

"The love I bear you, Paganina, has taken deep root. Near you alone am I happy; but if it must be so, speak! If you have given your heart to a man worthy of you, tell me, and destroy in me all hope for ever. For you I can bear any thing. But if it is not so, do not answer me yet. Wait; my humility may disarm you, and some day my patience may end in moving your heart."

"No! my heart is but ashes; no affection blooms nor will bloom within it. It is too late."

"Do not speak so, I beg of you. You do not know what the future has in store for you, nor see the Providence that watches over you. It has sent me to you, and with me the remembrance of happy years and the presence of your father."

"The angel itself is not yet arrested in its fall. Go! let me hang suspended between the heaven that is shut against me, and the abyss whose depths I seek."

She burst into tears. André, after a silence, approached her.

"Paganina," said he, "do not weep. Come; see! the dawn already whitens the fields. Let the God of the morning comfort you. The wind rises forerunner of a new day. Bathe[17] your forehead in its breath, and respire with its penetrating odors the forgetfulness of your sufferings. To-day, perhaps, will bring us back peace and happiness."

"No, to-day will be fatal. The beauty of the morning moves me no longer; for me the evening fires, the flames of the foot-lights, the éclat of triumph. I will go from fête to fête, from ovation to ovation. I want the whirlpool of the world to seize and carry me until I lose my health—and forget every thing. Immediately I set out for the Château Sarrasin."

"Ah! this, then," cried André with a sudden explosion of passion, "this, then, is the secret of your resistance and the avowal of your shame. The public cry that brought me here had already warned me. I refused to listen to it. Well, go; but fear every thing. You have roused in me a monster that I knew not of."

And raising his hands to heaven, the unhappy one fled.


Paganina was calumniated by her cousin; she was pure, though it is true she slid on a fatal declivity. Already appearances were against her reputation. André was deceived; but he was not the only one; and from thence the reports to which he had made allusion, and the pretext of which will be explained.

The Count Ludovic, proprietor of the Château Sarrasin and actual head of the house of the Ligonieri, inscribed in the golden book of European aristocracy, was a man of proud appearances, endowed with masculine beauty quite in accordance with his character; for he was superior to his race, and possessed many noble qualities.

His life was not without stain; but even his faults bore that chivalrous character that renders them honorable in the eyes of the world. We well know that the code of the world is not that of the saints.

And the Count Ludovic, who willingly mingled with the people of the theatre, had known Paganina while she was preparing for her début. At the first glance he had rightly judged the soul of the young artist, and saw her superior to her companions.

His heart was touched. Penetrated with sincere sentiments, he preserved in her presence an attitude of reserve and respect, and his influence was secretly employed to isolate and protect her. His manner toward her was observed; for it was not his usual way of adding to the conquests for which he was famous. It might have been believed a mutual admiration; but it is not well to credit the judgments of one's neighbors.

The Count Ludovic wished to celebrate the début of Paganina by one of those fêtes that an ostentatious tradition had preserved in his family. He made important preparations at the Château Sarrasin and sent out his invitations.

The delicate point was to gain for his project her who was the soul of it; so he proposed it to her at the moment when she received her first applause, trusting, no doubt, to her excitement and wish for future conquests. He knew his auditory would be of the first distinction; he knew his motive—but no matter.

The young girl, warned as if by instinct, feeling herself at the fatal point of her destiny, made him no reply. The next day, under the influence of her bad angel, she consented.


They set out alone in an open chariot. The Count Ludovic had proposed for himself a gallant tête-à-tête, without, however, the desired[18] success; for all day long Paganina spoke not a word. Her wandering looks were on the horizon, perhaps there to discover the mysterious and avenging power with which she believed herself menaced.

Toward evening they arrived at Arèse. The young cantatrice was recognized and applauded; but she appeared totally unconscious of sight or sound, and maintained her obstinate silence. The count had long since renounced all effort at conversation. He rather liked the oddity of the adventure, and dreamed of the legend where the paladin carried away his bride and wondered she was pale—so pale that she was dead.

Meanwhile, the carriage labored on the declivity of the road to Germany. The heat was excessive, not a breath stirred the air; but a dull and heavy murmuring announced that the midday wind was pent up in the higher mountain regions. The setting sun was red as blood. At a turn of the road, Paganina shuddered, for she saw André on a rock above them; she could never explain by what energy of passion he had reached this point.

When the carriage neared him he seized the branch of a tree, and, throwing it before the horses' feet, cried out, "Paganina, stop! or, by the soul of thy father, be cursed for ever!" The Count Ludovic had some difficulty in managing his frightened horses; he did not observe that his companion was as pale as the bride of the paladin.

A little further on, in returning, he saw the same man in the same place, illuminated by the burning sky, and pointing with the laugh of a madman to the black mass of the Château Sarrasin.

The adventure was becoming more and more singular. The count wondered what part this man took in this unheard-of drama.

He was too much the gentleman to betray any surprise; but he profited by the incident to renew his efforts at conversation. "Do you know," he said to Paganina, "that these slight accidents might have had a tragical ending? The horses we drive have already caused the death of a man, and, like those of the fable, may be said to feed their ferocity on human blood. The whip has never touched them. If it had not been my pride to place at your disposal the most beautiful equipage in the world, I should have hesitated to trust you to them."

Still she did not reply. But the moment was approaching when she would speak, and in terrible words reveal her anguish.

The carriage entered the road that ended at the Château Sarrasin. As we said before, this road descends by a steep and dangerous declivity, and on the very edge of the precipice. The horses walked quietly. Seizing the whip, Paganina struck them violently, crying out,

"Go on, then! Is it not said that you can lead to death?"

"To death, indeed!" cried the count, surprised and alarmed. "In this road, and at this hour, a miracle only can save us."

The horses, breathing fire, made frightful bounds, leaving starry tracks behind them. The stones rolled heavily into the abyss. The few inhabitants of these solitudes, stopping on the borders of the road, looked on pale and as in a dream, to see this fantastic chariot drawn by such furious horses, while a young girl, standing, and her hair flying in the wind, lashed them on to desperation.

If it needed a miracle to save them, this miracle took place. The team stopped; upset the carriage on the[19] steps of the château. One of the horses was killed, the carriage broken to pieces. The count sprang up safe and sound, his first inquiry for Paganina.

"I am here," she replied; "the hand of God has led us hither."

With her intention, such words were blasphemy; but she spoke in delirium.


Paganina, leaning on the arm of the count, promenades with him the highest terrace. The guests, in groups at a distance, regard them with hungry eyes.

A hot and violent wind agitates the half-stripped trees. The clouds traverse the sky hurriedly and quickly, and their moving shadows rest on the mountains. The moon, disengaging itself here and there, throws its pure light on the white form of the young girl. She seems to grow in the estimation of the admirers who seek her.

The Count Ludovic is strangely moved. His sincere sentiments are rekindled by the newness of the situation, and the strangeness of the adventure. He thanks his companion for having, at one stroke, played with their two lives. Exalted and nervous, enervated with the perfume of the life that she had so nearly lost only a few moments before, Paganina replies to him. The observers of the scene listen attentively. Detached from the murmur of the distant storm, their words are heard for a moment, but the tempest again arises and carries them away in its roar. Yes, ardent and mysterious breath, bear away these words of irony, of revolt, and of despair—bear afar the bitter laugh that accompanies them.

For a long time, O powerful voice! have men listened to your painful harmony. Long have you roamed the earth, picking up the notes of grief, the cries of the new-born, the sobs of mothers, the sighs of the dying, and the groaning of the crowds who groan and groan on. But never, never have you borne away any thing more sad or desolate than the laugh of this unhappy child.


The night advances. Already the moon has commenced to decline. Some of the invited ones have retired; others, grouped here and there, seated or half-extended, are sleeping in the hot breath of the storm. There are two powers that watch—Paganina and the tempest, and the thunder rolls and shakes the mountains.

Silent and isolated, Paganina looks at the shadow of the Château Sarrasin. She sees it advance and recede. She thinks of the legend of this cursed place—so fatal to the honor of women. And yet fate has led her there—the gulf is yawning for her. She advances; she will enter never there.

A cry is heard; the sleepers, wakened suddenly, run to and fro, pale and frightened. They find Paganina fainting and covered with blood. A deep wound is found in her throat. The count sustains her, and in a voice thundering above the tempest orders his people to seize the assassin.

The assassin was André!

When they wished to carry the wounded one into the Château Sarrasin, she could not speak, but betrayed, in signs of such mortal terror, her repugnance to enter, that they were obliged to relinquish the idea.

She said since, at the moment that the doors opened to make way for her, she again saw the scene which, several years before, had so forcibly struck her. Nothing was wanting; the brightness of the light, or the luxury[20] of the dress. All the actors were there, all—but they were hideous skeletons; they still made gestures of applause, while above them, the woman with the green diamond showed a livid face, the eyes extinct, and an open mouth, from which no sound proceeded.

Paganina was laid on a litter and carried to Arèse.

André followed her, chained, and guarded from sight. They arrived next morning.

It is said the infuriated crowd rushed upon the assassin and his guard, and obliged them to fly for their lives. Paganina had him brought to her, took him by the hand, and so passed through the moved and disarmed assemblage.


For a long time her life was despaired of. A burning fever consumed her. Her sufferings were such as belonged to her thirsty nature. She experienced the most terrible of earthly tortures; and prayed in her delirium for a stream of water to flow into her parched lips.

Her moral sufferings were still greater. Every evening she became the prey to a terrible hallucination, that she regarded as the punishment of her wish for popularity; she saw herself raised far above an immense crowd, and this crowd becoming by turns insulting and mocking. Its waves of fury flowed and reflowed at the feet of their victim, and covered her with their froth. Paganina, in despair, would have thrown herself into this shoreless tide; but in vain; she felt herself enchained to her height, and obliged to wait for the rays of morning to dissipate her phantoms.

These two features suffice to characterize her malady, which was moral as well as physical. Its intensity lasted during the winter months. In the spring only she appeared to be restored to health, but the blow had been a severe one, and the rest of her life was merely a prolonged convalescence.


But suffering in silence accomplished its work. Her long confinement had curbed if not wholly subdued her ardent nature, and those who thought to find the revived Paganina on the declivity where they had left her, were greatly mistaken.

Their surprise was greater, too, as no indication had prepared them for the change. The work in her soul was well and firmly done, and she remained calmly impenetrable to her friends, until there escaped from her, in spite of herself, a jet of revealing flame.

The Count Ludovic had never ceased his attentions during her illness. His passion, far from weakening, had grown stronger during his separation. When he could be admitted to her presence, he expressed his sentiments, perhaps, too tenderly; he who knew her, knew of what sudden movements and prompt returns she was capable, strove with all his energy, but remained confounded. Not without reason, for so Paganina answered him:

"Since the day when I first heard all you have just repeated to me, I have stood on the borders of eternity. New lights have been shed on all things since then; do not be surprised that my language is no longer the same.

"It must be true that you place yourself in very high and me in very low esteem! Do you consider my honor a worthy prey for your vanity? Do you not think that a few days of pleasure might be too well paid for by my past and my future?[21] What, then, do you wish? You ask that I abjure the past, that I sacrifice to you my whole future, and even more! My immortal soul is what you would wish to debase. And in a few days you would give me, in exchange, your contempt, to run, freer and more honored than ever, into new pleasures. This is what you wish, and yet you say you love me.

"Good God! what might I have been to-day, if heaven had not arrested me—and what am I now?

"Ah! forgive me; I have lost the right to be severe. Words of blame or bitterness should not come from my lips. No, it is myself I despise; and this contempt, to which I am consecrated, plunges into my heart a poisoned iron. It oppresses, it stifles me, and leaves for my punishment the life I hate.

"Count Ludovic, you are the son of chevaliers. I know at the bottom of your heart is the nobility of your ancestors. Adieu; we have met for the last time."

And the count, retiring on this command, lost his reputation for a man of gallantry.


It was Easter-Sunday, the feast of eternal life. The sun shed through the clouds its humid rays, the trees—clothed in new verdure and brightly agitated—sent forth their sweet and subtle perfumes.

Paganina, still weak, was placed by the open window; she turned toward the church her eyes, grown larger in suffering, and listened to the notes of the feast, weakened by the distance. When Faust heard such songs the poisoned cup fell from his hands. In his desperation he believed no longer in God. The earth had reclaimed him. Heaven was going to reconquer Paganina.

The angels, approaching her, brought back a world of innocent and gentle memories; she wept.

At this moment the bells, pealing their joyous notes, announced the end of the ceremony.

The virgins, clothed in white, quitted the church in silent swarms. Paganina saw them pass before her in a vision, for they appeared in groups of such supernatural beauty that she was thrown into an ecstasy.

She saw them leave the second banquet—some retiring sweetly within themselves, as slender stalks bending under the weight of the heavenly dew; others, pale, with foreheads high and open, and eyes pure and ardent. They crossed their arms on their breasts, the better to guard their treasure. All wore the trace of that fire which for eighteen hundred years has marked the victory of the virgins and the martyrs. The ray of divine beauty which fell on these figures was reflected back on Paganina; her soul was transfixed and vanquished for ever.

She rose, and standing, pale as her long white vestments, she prayed:

"Thou seekest me again, my God; behold! I come. To thee I return, and with the frightful experience of the darkness of oblivion, and penetrated with the horror of those places where thou art not.

"Thou art witness that, before I abandoned the heights where thou residest, I sustained an infernal struggle. That day my vision was lowered, the dragon of the abyss mounted toward me, to drag me to its depths.... Thy angels have fallen, my God! But while they are lost for ever, why, why am I reclaimed?

"I come trembling in thy light. Do not reject thy victim; acknowledge the blood-stain with which thou hast marked me to save me, I hope;[22] let me again contemplate thy eternal beauty. Thy beauty, my Lord, I must see. I thirst for it; one of its bright rays has shone before me, and the world has nothing more to offer.

"My last hour will be the hour of my deliverance; I wait for it. Accept the offering of a broken life, whose failing forces will be employed to repair the evil I have done. And thou, my father, I bless thee, because I may yet sleep again in thy bosom."


The day fixed for the trial of André having arrived, a great mass of people pressed around the court of justice. In the memory of man, no celebrated cause had ever attracted so great a multitude. At every hour, the waves of the crowd mounted higher and higher against the walls of the palace. When it was known that Paganina would appear to give her testimony, such tumult and agitation arose that the judges were obliged to suspend proceedings. Calm being somewhat reëstablished, the president called Paganina to testify against the assassin. Then, without raising her eyes, in a low and trembling voice, which ran shuddering through the crowd, she answered, "He saved my honor!" Twice she said it, and when the president, renewing his interrogation, menaced her with the penalties of the law if she refused her testimony, she fixed upon him a steady gaze and repeated in a strong voice,

"He saved my honor!"

At these words there was a shout of enthusiasm. Men threw their caps into the air, and cried, "Hurrah!" Women wept and were agitated; and André, sobbing aloud, held out to her his trembling hands.

It is easily known he was acquitted.


Soon after, a strange, unheard-of rumor was afloat. They said the Count Ludovic asked Paganina in marriage. The Count Ludovic! This flower of nobility, this last of an antique chivalry, condescend to propose to an actress, and tarnish his escutcheon! It was not to be believed. But the evidence was excellent. He said so himself, and even rudely, to the unlucky flatterers who thought to make capital out of the enormity of the story.

We can conceive the emotion was great, and spread rapidly.

Things stood so, when two other pieces of news, following closely on this, caused it to be forgotten.

And these were, first, that the demand of the Count Ludovic was not acceded to; the second, that his preferred rival was André, an obscure musician with a weak brain; and, even worse than that, that all his merit rested in his attempt at the assassination of the object of his passion.

I give the facts in their entire simplicity. Truth is worth more than its resemblance; so any extenuation, any covering of phrases, would be useless, and neither make them accepted nor understood by practical people—those who judge every thing from their own stand-point, and name it so well "common sense."

Paganina wished to repair the evil of which she was the cause. She found "at her hand" the sacrifice she desired.

From the terrible night passed at the Château Sarrasin, André had never resumed the complete use of his reason. To have the right to devote herself to him, his cousin married him; surrounded him with every care, and watched over the flame of his vacillating intelligence with a love[23] more maternal than conjugal. In our existence, many things are strange. She never seemed the wife of André. She lived with him as a sister. And can you imagine what was her life, tête-à-tête with an idiot? Calculate the energy to sustain, and the patience to calm him.

When the spectres of madness approached the poor invalid, warned by his cries of terror, Paganina ran to him. Her presence, and the sound of her voice, dispelled the phantoms. Delivered from his terrors, he threw himself at her feet, covered her hands with kisses and tears, and invoked her as his angel, swearing to her inviolable obedience.

Since King David's time, we all know the power of music to dispel the spirits of darkness. Paganina made use of it, and found consolation in the mingled studies that brought her cousin such relief. So even they had hours of happiness.

The genius, too, of Paganina was not entirely lost to her contemporaries. She was heard once in Milan, in a religious ceremony; and once again in Germany, where she had gone, nearly two years after her marriage, to make, with André, a pilgrimage to the house of her father. For her it was the song of the swan, for her exhausted and uncertain life went out soon afterward.

This song of songs will reveal her last thoughts and conclude her history.


In one of those festivals which are the noble pleasure and the glory of Germany, an oratorio was to be given for the first time, the expectation of which excited a passionate impatience.

This composition, called The Angels' Fall, is due to a musician whose name will descend to the latest posterity, carried onward by the tempests his genius has evoked.

The part of the archangel Lucifer was awarded to Paganina. These phlegmatic Germans, when they give themselves to enthusiasm, lose all bounds; and Paganina might have been satisfied could she have known her success; but her soul was elsewhere.

This oratorio was divided into three parts. The first expressed heaven. If there is any thing in this world that can make man see what his eyes cannot, and understand what his ears have never heard, it is music; for the true musician knows that such harmony, quitting earth, mounts to the vaults of paradise, where it wakens the echoes that have nothing of earth, and falls again on us—the messenger of hope and consolation.

Paganina's rôle, in this part, was less important than in that which followed. Her voice was rarely detached from the whole; but now and then two or three dazzling notes rose through the harmony, and the transported auditors believed they saw the fluttering wings of the archangel already hovering on the eternal heights.

I will say nothing of the second part, although several found it superior to the two others, on account of the sombre energy, the terrible power with which is rendered the insurrection of the rebel angels.

Paganina should have been perfectly at her ease, to display here the richness of her voice—this voice which, in other parts, rang as a trumpet of gold and brass. But these accents of revolt choked her, and here she was unequal. She would soon surpass herself in the last air.

The composer, by one of those happy mistakes from which the best works grow, forgot the tradition. His angels were not thunder-struck in[24] their pride, and shrieking in blasphemy; but vanquished. They were condemned, and wept. They weep for the heaven they have lost. Admiration believed there was nothing more to expect; but here the master recalls his power, reanimates his genius, and finds an inspiration supreme to chant the farewell to infinite happiness of the guilty phalanx.

The sobs of the orchestra and chorus are heard alternately, and the voice of the archangel rises once again. At this moment, Paganina sang her last air on earth with an intensity of love and grief that cannot be described.

No, Paganina! one who can so weep has not lost heaven.

Those who saw her then will never forget her. In this high-vaulted room, lofty as a church, she stood above the others, in a long black robe covered with stars. Her beauty was that of an archangel.

As she finished, a ray of sunlight, streaming through the red glass, and sparkling as the flaming sword that forbade the entrance into Eden, rested a moment at her feet and expired.


Now that the attention of the Catholic world is directed to the coming Ecumenical Council, and various questions are asked about the nature and the probable effects of such a meeting, one's eyes naturally turn to the latest general synod of the church. The history of the Council of Trent is, indeed, of great interest. "Than it," says its accomplished historian, Pallavicini, "no preceding council was more distinguished for length of duration, for the definition of important dogmas, for the efficient reformation of manners and laws; none hindered by greater obstacles, none more patient and accurate in discussion, none more highly praised by friends, or more bitterly censured by opponents."[2] A review of the history of this great council, its work, and its results, will not be out of place, at this time and in these pages.

The so-called Reformation was different from any other heresy that had attacked the church of God in this, that it impugned the vital principle of church authority. Other heresiarchs had denied one or another dogma; Luther and his followers denied the existence of any authority to define dogmas. Other schismatists had rebelled against the governing power, but, even in their rebellion, had admitted its existence, though they might wish to curtail its powers, or to dispute its legitimate possession; the reformers declared that there was no external authority appointed of God to govern the spiritual affairs of men. "The combat," says D'Aubigné, "was to be to the death. It was not the abuses of the pontiff's authority Luther had attacked. At his bidding, the pope was required to descend meekly from his throne, and become again a simple pastor or bishop on the banks of the Tiber." And his pastoral or episcopal charge was not to be recognized as delegated from God, but given to him by the consent of the faithful. Real church authority was utterly denied; [25] it was not its exercise, but its very existence that was brought into question. As Dr. Ewer puts it, "This was the meanest mode of attack" to Christianity. "Protestantism made an ally of the Bible, and with it flew at the church to destroy her. Satan ... picked his men.... Protestantism, making an ally of the Bible, succeeded not in reforming the church, but in attacking and destroying her in many lands."[3] Against such a rebellion the church had to put on her strongest armor. No mere outworks were attacked; the strongest citadel, the key to the whole position, was the object of deadly assault. The lines of attack were twofold. It was said that the church, under the guidance of the pontiffs of Rome, had fallen away from the true faith, and proposed superstitious errors and mere human inventions to the belief of her children. It was furthermore charged that she had become horribly deformed in morals, a very sink of iniquity, instead of that spotless and stainless bride whom Christ had laved in his blood. The intricate and difficult questions of original sin, its nature, its effects, its remedy—the justification of the sinner—were again opened and discussed with force and acrimony, if not with discretion and candor. The whole sacramental system was practically denied; the altar and the priesthood removed; and the church, as it is seen by the eyes of men, reduced to a mere voluntary association of believers, for which indefectibility, infallibility, or authority could not by any means be claimed. The Bible was appealed to in support of these novel statements, and to each one's private judgment was generously granted the privilege of securely interpreting the sacred page. The new doctrine flattered the vanity of the human intellect; and there were found many not unwilling to sit as judges where they had before stood as hearers; to leave the humble bench of the scholar for the magisterial chair of the religious teacher. The constant attacks on real or pretended abuses added greatly to the temporary success of the reformers. Against these (to borrow an expression from Hallam) "Luther bellowed in bad Latin." That there was much to be reformed, the numerous decrees of the Council of Trent leave us no room to doubt. It is also clear that it would have been well for the church had prompter remedies taken away in advance the specious pretext of the turbulent Augustinian. But it pleased her Divine Head to permit that the wrong should continue to thrive, and, when the time of trial came, many gave as an excuse for their falling off, the scandals which they alleged could no longer be endured. A glance at the history of the times will, however, show how flimsy was such a pretext. The scandals of the lives of the seceders and their immediate followers contrast darkly with the honest reforms of Trent, and the dissoluteness which was the immediate result of the revolution, taken in connection with the acknowledged improvement inside of the church, would lead one to suppose that the authors and abettors of the real abuses had abandoned the ancient fold, and betaken themselves to freer and more congenial pastures. Of his own party, Luther, as quoted by Döllinger, said:

"Our evangelicals are now sevenfold more wicked than they were before. In proportion as we hear the Gospel, we steal, lie, cheat, gorge, swill, and commit every crime. If one devil has been driven out of us, seven worse ones have taken their place, to judge from the conduct of princes, lords, nobles, burgesses, and peasants, their utterly[26] shameless acts, and their disregard of God and of his menaces."

Of the old church, Henry Hallam says:

"The decrees of the Council of Trent were received by the spiritual princes of the empire in 1566, 'and from this moment,' says the excellent historian who has thrown most light on this subject, 'began a new life for the Catholic Church in Germany.'... Every method was adopted to revive an attachment to the ancient religion, insuperable by the love of novelty or the force of argument. A stricter discipline and subordination was introduced among the clergy; they were early trained in seminaries, apart from the sentiments and habits, the vices and the virtues of the world. The monastic orders resumed their rigid observances."[4]

Luther, anticipating his condemnation by Pope Leo X., appealed in 1518 to a general council, a course, we may remark, frequently taken by heretics, if for nothing else, at least to gain time to enroll followers, and thus increase in importance, before the final condemnation. The diet of Nuremberg, in 1522, in answer to the conciliatory and truly apostolic communication of Pope Adrian VI., through his nuncio, Cheregat, requested his holiness to call a council in some city of Germany, with the double object of a thorough reformation, and of devising means of resistance to the menacing advances of the Turkish power. Adrian died before he could take any action on the subject, and the new pontiff, Clement VII., did not receive the proposal with favor. According to Pallavicini, he feared that under the actual circumstances the council would only aggravate the evil, especially if the fathers should revive the pretensions of their predecessors of Constance and Basle, an apprehension very prevalent at that time at Rome, and, it must be admitted, not altogether groundless; besides, the war then raging between Charles V. and Francis I., from whose dominions most of the bishops were to come, rendered the possibility of a successful convocation almost hopeless; and, lastly, the demand was for a council which would satisfy Luther and his party; namely, one in which any one that might choose, even laymen, should be allowed to take part, and the pontiff should lay aside his high prerogatives, and sit as a simple bishop. He consequently instructed his legate, Campeggi, that it was impossible to call a council until the conclusion of peace between the two great princes of Europe, offering, at the same time, to carry out the measures of reform decreed by the council of Lateran, held not long before by Leo X., and to provide by his own authority proper remedies on other points. The unfortunate war in which Clement became afterward involved with Charles V. delayed for some time all question of holding a council; but, with the return of peace, the negotiations were resumed, and at a consultation held in Bologna, in 1533, between the pontiff and the emperor, the former agreed to convoke the council within six months from the acceptation of certain very equitable conditions by all interested. But the Protestant princes of Germany, in a meeting at Smalcald, (1533,) refused to accept the two first conditions, "that the council should be free, and be held after the manner of the ancient general councils; and that those who wished to take part in it should promise beforehand to obey its decrees;" a refusal which justified, in part at least, the fears of the pontiff. He did not, however, desist, and was engaged in negotiations on the subject until his death, (September 25th, 1534.) His successor, Paul III., had never shared[27] his fears, and, soon after his elevation, sent nuncios to the various princes to promote the speedy convocation of the council. In point of fact, he did convoke it, appointing Mantua, which had been agreed on by the emperor and the Catholic princes of Germany, as the place, and the 23d day of May, 1537, as the time, of the meeting. It is useless minutely to detail the obstacles placed in the way of the great event by the Duke of Mantua and others, the selection of Vicenza, the suspension of the council, and the bootless legation of Contarini to the diet of Ratisbon. At last, as the pontiff himself says, in his bull of convocation:

"While we awaited the hidden time, the time of thy good pleasure, O God! we were compelled to say that when we take counsel concerning things sacred, and pertaining to Christian piety, every time is pleasing to God. Wherefore, seeing, to our great sorrow, that the condition of Christendom was every day becoming worse, Hungary oppressed by the Turks, the Germans themselves in danger, and all the rest of Europe seized with fear and sadness—we determined no longer to wait on the consent of any prince, but to regard solely the will of Almighty God and the good of the Christian commonwealth."

To satisfy the Germans, he selected Trent as the place of meeting, though he himself would have preferred some city of Italy nearer Rome. But new obstacles arose, and the council, though convoked for the feast of All Saints, (November 1st, 1542,) was not opened until December 13th, 1545. Even then, it was necessary to commence with a very small attendance of prelates. At the first session there were present, besides the legates of the apostolic see and the Cardinal Bishop of Trent, only four archbishops, twenty bishops, and five general superiors of religious orders.[5] But it was thought better to make a beginning, even though the number of fathers was lamentably small, especially since, according to ancient ecclesiastical usage, a council, legitimately convoked by the apostolic see, legitimately celebrated under its presidency, and approved by its authority, is ecumenical, even though many of the bishops called to it were either unable or unwilling to take part in its deliberations.

Bishops in greater number gradually found their way to the assembly, and seven sessions were held in succession, the last on March 3d, 1547, so that the deliberations of this period of the council lasted over fourteen months. The work of reformation was commenced, together with the dogmatical definitions, and the same plan was followed throughout. On March 11th, the eighth session was held; but the only business transacted was the passing of a decree transferring the council to Bologna, the reason assigned being an epidemic, the existence of which in Trent was declared to be a matter of notoriety, and which had already caused some prelates to leave that city, others to protest against a further sojourn. Many fathers obeyed the decree, and the congregations were held regularly in Bologna. The Emperor Charles V. did not, however, relish this transfer from a city of his dominions to one under the temporal jurisdiction of the pope, and he detained at Trent the prelates from his states. The result was that, after two formal sessions, the synod was prorogued, "at the pleasure of the Sacred Council," on September 14th, 1547, and the remainder of the pontificate of Paul III. was spent in fruitless negotiations for its resumption. Paul died on November 10th, 1549, of whom Pallavicini says: "By his inordinate affection for his family, he showed himself to be only a man; for the rest, he has deserved in the[28] church the name of hero."[6] His successor was Julius III., who as Cardinal del Monte had presided over the council in the quality of first legate apostolic. His first care was to reopen the sacred synod, and he immediately sent nuncios to the emperor and the French king, to bring about this desired result. The stand taken by Charles for Trent made it advisable again to select that city, and Julius was enabled, on December 1st, 1550, to publish a bull appointing the first day of May of the ensuing year for the reassembling of the council. The first session (eleventh of the whole series) was accordingly held on that day, but, to give time to the Germans to arrive, no business was transacted, September 1st being appointed for the next session. Meanwhile, the preparatory work went on, and on the appointed day, the archbishop, electors of Mayence and Treves, and many other prelates being present, another session was held, in which it was determined to wait until October 11th, for other bishops of Germany and other nations, who were known to be on their way. The thirteenth session was celebrated on this day, and it was followed by three others, in all of which important canons and decrees were passed. But civil war had broken out in Germany, and Maurice of Saxony, at the head of a Protestant army, in league with the French king, had occupied Augsburg and menaced Innspruch, where Charles held his court, and whence he soon afterward retired. It was not to be wondered at that the fathers in the neighboring city of Trent should wish to shun a danger before which even the great emperor was obliged to retreat, and, in the sixteenth session, held on April 28th, 1552, a decree was passed suspending the celebration of the council for two years, providing, however, that in case of a speedy return of peace it might be resumed sooner. Pressed by his enemies, Charles agreed to the pacification of Passau, which promulgated a kind of toleration of both the old and the new religion. It also provided for a diet of the empire, in which the question was to be discussed whether an ecumenical council, or a national synod, or a conference, or an imperial diet, afforded the surest method of settling the existing religious differences. This, of course, put off the council again. Meanwhile, Julius III. died on March 23d, 1555. His former colleague in the apostolic legation to the council under Paul III., Cardinal Cervini, succeeded him in the pontificate; but death summoned him on the twenty-second day of his reign. The austere, zealous, but by no means prudent Cardinal Caraffa was the next choice of the Sacred College. The career of Paul IV. affords a singular example of the fallacy of human expectations. Before his election, he was a subject of the emperor, (he was a Neapolitan by birth;) in the pontificate, he waged war against Charles, son and successor; himself pure and above all suspicion, his reign was disgraced by the worst form of nepotism, so that, under his successor, his nephews, one of them a cardinal, died the death of malefactors; a great and really zealous promoter of reform, he took no steps to reassemble the council. Nor indeed could he. He was for the greater part of his reign at war with Philip II., successor of Charles V., in the latter's hereditary dominions, and he would never recognize Ferdinand as Charles's legitimate successor in the empire, on account of the part taken by that prince in the pacification of Passau. Yet so opposed was he to heresy, that he had recalled from England[29] the gentle and prudent Cardinal Pole, and was about to summon him to Rome to purge himself of the suspicion of heresy, and he actually imprisoned, on a similar suspicion, Cardinal Morone, who was destined to be the moving spirit, as he was the actual president of the last sessions of the great council. Paul died on August 18th, 1559. He was an excellent ecclesiastic, conspicuous for learning and virtue, and in less troubled times would have been a successful, as he was a holy pontiff. But, to quote Pallavicini, "he was braver in punishing crime, no matter how high the criminal, than prudent in preventing it. He took the amplitude of his sacred power as the proper measure of its exercise."[7] He waged war, however, on abuses, and was a severe ecclesiastical disciplinarian. His whole pontificate is a proof of the uselessness, not to say positive evil, in persons in high position, of determination, zeal, vigor, unless tempered by discretion, prudence, and meekness. His successor, Cardinal Medici, who took the name of Pius IV., a learned and virtuous prelate, though not so remarkable for natural parts or austere asceticism, accomplished much more for the glory of God and the good of Holy Church.

The new pontiff immediately turned his attention to the council. He had three princes of first class to deal with—the Emperor Ferdinand, and the kings of France and Spain. This last and the emperor desired the council to be reassembled at Trent; but the French sovereign objected to this place on account of its want of accommodations and unhealthy air, but especially because the Protestants had already commenced to hate the name, and proposed Constance. But at last the pontiff obtained the unanimous consent of all the Catholic princes of Europe for Trent, and on November 29th, 1560, issued a bull appointing Easter Sunday of the coming year for the reopening of the council. He sent his legates to Trent, and many prelates soon arrived; the congregations and other preparatory meetings were held; but the troubles in France, on the succession of Charles IX., prevented the arrival of the French bishops. At last, on January 18th, 1562, was held, with unusual solemnity, the first session under Pius IV., (seventeenth of the whole series,) at which there were present, besides the apostolic legates and the Cardinal of Trent, one hundred and six bishops, four mitred abbots, and four generals of religious orders. From this happy day, the council went on with its appointed work without any interference. There were grave discussions, sometimes warm and prolonged, but always ending in peace and harmony. The French bishops arrived, before the end of the year, under the leadership of the illustrious Charles of Guise, Cardinal of Lorraine. At last, to use the words of Jerome Ragazzoni, Bishop of Nazianzen, and coadjutor of Famagosta, orator at the last session, "the day arrived which Paul III. and Julius III. had yearned for, but which it was not given to them to see—a gladness reserved to Pius IV.—on which the Council of Trent, commenced long before, often interrupted, and sometimes transferred, was at last, thanks to God's great mercy, happily ended, to the great and unspeakable joy of all classes of men." The twenty-fifth and last session was held on December 3d and 4th, 1563. There were present at it four cardinal legates of the apostolic see, two other cardinals, those of Trent and Lorraine, three patriarchs, twenty-five archbishops,[30] one hundred and sixty-eight bishops, thirty-nine procurators of prelates legitimately absent, seven abbots, and seven generals of religious orders—making, in all, two hundred and fifty-five prelates, whose signatures are attached to the decrees. Amid the festive acclamations, composed and intoned by the Cardinal of Lorraine, tears of joy testified the gladness of all hearts; opponents embraced one another, no longer rivals, but brethren; the Te Deum was sung with feelings of the deepest gratitude; and as the first legate, Morone, having given his solemn blessing to the fathers, bade them, in the name of the supreme pontiff, go in peace, the last solemn act of the great council was performed. The whole time, from the first session under Paul III. to the last under Pius IV., was within a few days of eighteen years; but that actually occupied by the council was four years and about eight months. The canons and decrees, both in faith and discipline, were solemnly approved, at the request of the fathers, by "the most blessed Roman pontiff," Pius IV., as the council styled him, on January 25th, 1564; and, by a subsequent bull, they were declared obligatory on the whole church, from the first day of May of the same year.

This historical sketch will serve to give some idea of the difficulties the work of the council had to encounter. Whatever may be said in the abstract of the union of church and state, their relations in the sixteenth century were very unsatisfactory. Popes Paul III., Julius, and Pius wanted a general council; but it was very difficult so to arrange matters as to obtain the necessary consent of all the Catholic powers, and this difficulty always afforded an excuse for delay when delay was really desired. Then there were courtiers at Rome "to whose ears the word reform sounded harsh," as Pallavicini says; and who were suddenly animated by the most ardent zeal in defence of the prerogatives of the holy see, which, they alleged, would be unduly curtailed by the council. But the firmness of the pontiffs, under the grace of God, which never abandons his church, brought these machinations to nought. They refused to interfere to save their dependents from a thorough reform; and Pius IV., especially, declared that he left full liberty to the fathers in the matter. And in a discourse in the Consistory of Cardinals, on December 30th, 1563, he expressly thanked the fathers "for the religious zeal and resolute freedom with which they had spared no labor, no care, to remove all heresies and corruptions." "We are also," he continued, "not a little indebted to them for having been so moderate and indulgent in the work of reformation, in regard to our own affairs, (that is, the papal court,) that, had we preferred to take this duty on ourselves, and not commit it to their discretion, we should certainly have been more severe. Wherefore, as salutary measures have been adopted, it is our firm determination forthwith to carry the reform into effect by the observance of the decrees of the sacred synod. We shall rather, when necessary, make up by our own diligence for the moderation and leniency of the fathers; so far are we from wishing to neglect or diminish one iota."[8] And he appointed Cardinals Morone and Simonetta, both legates to the council, to see that nothing was done by any of the papal officials in contravention of the so lately approved decrees. The courtiers had to submit, and the court of Rome since that day has given little or no occasion [31] for serious complaint, and certainly no pretext for a schism under the name of reform. Another difficulty arose from the multitude of counsellors, and the liberty left in discussion. Now that the council has passed into history, it is pleasant to see that such ample freedom was allowed; but it must have been sometimes a sore task for the legates to keep order. They well deserved the encomium of Ragazzoni, "You have been our excellent leaders and directors in action. You have used incredible patience and diligence in guarding against any violation of our liberty, either in speaking or in legislating. You have spared no bodily labor, no mental exertion, to bring the undertaking to its desired end." But the principal difficulty arose from the Protestants themselves. They had asked for the council, but when it was assembled they would have nothing to do with it. Three different safe conducts were issued for them—one under Paul III., another under Julius III., and the last under Pius IV.—all of them as ample as could be desired; but to no purpose. They did not really want a council, but an ecclesiastical mob without a head; in other words, they wanted the main question of church authority to be decided in advance in their favor. Their course was substantially that of all former heretics; first, to appeal to the council, to gain time and cause trouble; then, after their condemnation, to abuse the council as much as they had formerly abused the pope. It would be difficult to determine which is to-day the greater bugbear of the average Protestant, the Council of Trent or the holy see.

Few, if any, assemblages have received such praise for learning, moderation, and zeal—not only from friends, but from candid opponents—as that of Trent. We will give as a sample the judgment of Hallam, himself not at all well disposed toward Catholic dogma. His testimony is the more valuable that he acknowledges to have taken his facts from the disingenuous account of the more than half Protestant, Fra Paolo Sarpi,[9] and never to have read the able and exhaustive history of Pallavicini:

"It is usual for Protestant writers to inveigh against the Tridentine fathers. I do not assent to their decisions, which is not to the purpose, nor vindicate the intrigues of the papal party. But I must presume to say that, reading their proceedings in the pages of that very able and not very lenient historian to whom we have generally recourse, an adversary as decided as any that could have come from the reformed churches, I find proofs of much ability, considering the embarrassments with which they had to struggle, and of an honest desire of reformation, among a large body, as to those matters which, in their judgment, ought to be reformed."[10]


"It will appear, by reading the accounts of the sessions of the council, either in Father Paul, or in any more favorable historian, that, even in certain points, such as justification, which had not been clearly laid down before, the Tridentine decrees were mostly conformable with the sense of the majority of those doctors who had obtained the highest reputation; and that upon what are [32] more usually reckoned the distinctive characteristics of the Church of Rome, namely, transubstantiation, purgatory, and invocation of the saints and the Virgin, they assert nothing but what had been so engrafted into the faith of this part of Europe as to have been rejected by no one without suspicion or imputation of heresy. Perhaps Erasmus would not have acquiesced with good-will in all the decrees of the council; but was Erasmus deemed orthodox?... No general council ever contained so many persons of eminent learning and ability as that of Trent; nor is there ground for believing that any other ever investigated the questions before it with so much patience, acuteness, temper, and desire of truth. The early councils, unless they are greatly belied, would not bear comparison in these characteristics. Impartiality and freedom from prejudice, no Protestant will attribute to the fathers of Trent; but where will he produce these qualities in an ecclesiastical synod? But it may be said that they had only one leading prejudice, that of determining theological faith according to the tradition of the Catholic Church, as handed down to their age. This one point of authority conceded, I am not aware that they can be proved to have decided wrong, or at least against all reasonable evidence. Let those who have imbibed a different opinion ask themselves whether they have read Sarpi through with any attention, especially as to those sessions of the Tridentine Council which preceded its suspension in 1549."[11]

To the praise of ability, industry, and fairness, all of the highest order from a natural point of view, Hallam unconsciously adds a still greater, in the eyes of any true Catholic, namely, that the council, on controverted dogmatic points, adhered to the tradition of the Catholic Church. And this on the authority of the carping Sarpi! What more could the greatest admirer say? Right in its view of dogma from the traditional—the true Catholic—stand-point, honest and unswerving in reforming abuses, patient in discussion, diligent in research, calm in decision—such is the substantial verdict of a Protestant writer, in the nineteenth century, on the great council of the sixteenth.

If we consider the variety of matters treated of in the council, its work will appear immense. The following accurate synopsis is taken from the oration of Ragazzoni, at the last session, which we have quoted before. In matters of faith, after the adoption of the venerable creed sanctioned by antiquity, the council drew up a catalogue of the inspired books of the Old and New Testament, and approved the old received Latin version of the Hebrew and Greek originals. It then passed to decide the questions that had been raised concerning the fall of man. Next, with admirable wisdom and order, it laid down the true Catholic doctrine on justification. The sacraments then claimed attention, and their number, their life-giving power through grace, and the nature of each one were accurately defined. The great dogma of the blessed eucharist was fully laid down; the real dignity of the Christian altar and sacrifice was vindicated; and the moot question of communion under one or two kinds settled both in theory and practice. Lastly, the false accusations of opponents were dispelled, and Catholic consciences gladdened by the enunciations on indulgences, purgatory, the invocation and veneration of saints, and the respect to be paid to their relics and images. The decision on so many important and difficult questions was no light task, and of the utmost importance. A "hard and fast line" was drawn between heresy and truth; and if the wayward were not all converted, the little ones of Christ were saved from the danger of being led astray. In her greatest trial, the church gave no uncertain sound. Nations might rage, and the rulers of the earth meditate rash things; but the truth of God did not abandon her, and she fearlessly proclaimed it in her council. In regard to some abuses in practical matters,[33] dependent on dogma, from which the innovators had seized a pretext to impugn the true faith, a thorough reform was decreed. Measures were taken to prevent any impropriety or irreverence in the celebration of the divine sacrifice, whether from superstitious observances, greed of filthy lucre, unworthy celebrants, profane places, or worldly concomitants. The different orders of ecclesiastics were accurately distinguished, and the exclusive rights and duties of each one clearly defined; some impediments of matrimony, which had been productive of evil rather than good, were removed, and most stringent regulations adopted to prevent the crying wrongs to which confiding innocence and virtue had been subjected under the pretext of clandestine marriages. All the abuses connected with indulgences, the veneration of the saints, and intercession for the souls of purgatory, were fully and finally extirpated. Nor was less care taken in regard to purely disciplinary matters. Measures were taken to insure, as far at least as human frailty would permit, the elevation of only worthy persons to ecclesiastical dignities; and stated times were appointed for the frequent and efficient preaching of the word of God, too much hitherto neglected, the necessity of which was insisted on with earnestness and practical force. The sacred duty of residence among their flocks was impressed on bishops and all inferiors having the care of souls; proper provision was made for the support of needy clergymen, and all privileges which might protect heresy or crime were swept away. To prevent all suspicion of avarice in the house of God, the gratuitous administration of the sacraments was made compulsory; and measures were taken to put an effectual stop to the career of the questor, by abolishing the office. Young men destined for the priesthood were to be trained in ecclesiastical seminaries; provincial synods were restored, and regular diocesan visitations ordered; many new and extended faculties were granted to the local authorities, for the sake of better order and prompter decision; the sacred duty of hospitality was inculcated in all clerics; wise regulations were passed to secure proper promotions to ecclesiastical benefices; all hereditary possession of God's sanctuary prohibited; moderation prescribed in the use of the power of excommunication; luxury, cupidity, and license, as far as possible, exiled from the sanctuary; most holy and wise provisions adopted for the better regulation of the religious of both sexes, who were judiciously shorn of many of their privileges, to the proper development of episcopal authority; the great ones of the world were warned of their duties and responsibilities. These, and many other similar measures, were the salutary, efficient, and lasting reforms with which God, at last taking mercy on his people, inspired the fathers of Trent, legitimately congregated under the presidency and guidance of the apostolic see. Such was the great work done by the council—so great that even this summary review makes our wonder at the length of its duration cease. One remark seems worthy of special notice. The usual complaint of Protestants against the council was, and is, that it was too much under papal influence. Now, one of the most notable features of its legislation is the great increase of the power of bishops. Not only was their ordinary authority confirmed and extended, but they were made in many cases, some of them of no little importance, perpetual delegates of the apostolic see, so that Philip II. of Spain is reported to have said of his bishops, that "they went to Trent[34] as parish priests, and returned like so many popes."[12] So groundless is the statement that the papal jealousy of episcopal power prevented any really salutary reforms.

Such was the great work of the Council of Trent. But a tree is best judged by its fruits, and this test will give us even a better idea of its importance and magnitude. Perhaps the best encomium of the council is that the Catholic of to-day reads with astonishment of abuses and measures of reform in the sixteenth century. The prophecy of Ragazzoni, in his often-quoted oration, has been literally fulfilled—the names of many of the evils of that period have been forgotten. Thank God! to understand the work of Trent, we have to study the internal troubles of the church of those days in the pages of history, for we do not find them in our own time. They have utterly disappeared. We have already quoted Hallam on the revival of faith and piety in the church that was the immediate effect of the council. All historians agree that the triumphs of Protestantism closed with the first fifty years of its existence. After that it gradually declined. "We see," says Macaulay in his famous Edinburgh Review article on the papacy, "that during two hundred and fifty years Protestantism has made no conquests worth speaking of. Nay, we believe that as far as there has been a change, that change has been in favor of the Church of Rome." Hallam has noticed the same fact, and assigned its real causes; we shall give his words, as, with a few obvious exceptions, they might have been written by a Catholic: "The prodigious increase of the Protestant party in Europe, after the middle of the (sixteenth) century, did not continue more than a few years. It was checked and fell back, not quite so rapidly or completely as it came on, but so as to leave the antagonist church in perfect security." He goes on to give the causes of the reaction. The influence of the Council of Trent in its reform of the clergy, both secular and regular, (we have already given his words,) is mentioned as the principal cause; and, "far above all the rest," he says, "the Jesuits were the instruments of regaining France and Germany to the church they served." "They conquered us," says Ranke, "on our own ground, in our own homes, and stripped us of a part of our country." The following passages will give some idea of the extent and causes of the change:

"Protestantism, as late as 1578, might be deemed preponderant in all the Austrian dominions, except the Tyrol. In the Polish diets, the dissidents, as they were called, met their opponents with vigor and success. The ecclesiastical principalities were full of Protestants; and even in the chapters some of them might be found. But the contention was unequal, from the different characters of the parties; religious zeal and devotion, which, fifty years before, had overthrown the ancient rites in northern Germany, were now more invigorating sentiments in those who rescued them from further innovation. In religious struggles, where there is any thing like an equality of forces, the question soon comes to be, which party will make the greatest sacrifice for its own faith? And, while the Catholic self-devotion had grown far stronger, there was much more secular cupidity, lukewarmness, and formality in the Lutheran Church. In a very few years the effects of this were distinctly seen. The Protestants of the Catholic principalities went back into the bosom of Rome. In the bishopric of Wurtzburg alone, sixty-two thousand converts are said to have been received in the year 1586. The Emperor Rodolph and his brother archdukes, by a long series of persecution and banishment, finally, though not within this century, almost outrooted Protestantism from the hereditary provinces of Austria. It is true that these violent measures were the proximate cause of so[35] many conversions; but if the reformed had been ardent and united, they were much too strong to be thus subdued. In Bohemia, accordingly, and in Hungary, where there was a more steady spirit, they kept their ground. The reaction was not less conspicuous in other countries. It is asserted that the Huguenots had already lost more than two thirds of their number in 1580;[13] comparatively, I presume, with twenty years before; and the change in their relative position is manifest from all the histories of this period. In the Netherlands, though the seven united provinces were slowly winning their civil and religious liberties at the sword's point, yet West Flanders, once in great measure Protestant, became Catholic before the end of the century; while the Walloon provinces were kept from swerving by some bishops of great eloquence and excellent lives, as well as by the influence of the Jesuits planted at St. Omer and Douay. At the close of this period of fifty years, the mischief done to the old church in its first decennium was very nearly repaired; the proportion of the two religions in Germany coincided with those which had existed at the pacification of Passau. The Jesuits, however, had begun to encroach a little on the proper domain of the Lutheran church.

"This great revival of the papal religion, after the shock it had sustained in the first part of the sixteenth century, ought for ever to restrain that temerity of prediction so frequent in our ears.... In the year 1560, every Protestant in Europe doubtless anticipated the overthrow of popery; the Catholics could have found little else to warrant hope than their trust in heaven. The late rush of many nations toward democratical opinions has not been so rapid and so general as the change of religion about that period. It is important and interesting to inquire what stemmed this current. We readily acknowledge the prudence, firmness, and unity of purpose that for the most part distinguished the court of Rome, the obedience of its hierarchy, the severity of intolerant laws, and the searching rigor of the Inquisition, the resolute adherence of great princes to the Catholic faith, the influence of the Jesuits over education; but these either existed before, or would at least not have been sufficient to withstand an overwhelming force of opinion. It must be acknowledged that there was a principle of vitality in that religion, independent of its external strength. By the side of its secular pomp, its relaxation of morality, there had always been an intense flame of zeal and devotion. Superstition, it might be, in the many, fanaticism in a few; but both of these imply the qualities which, while they subsist, render a religion indestructible. That revival of an ardent zeal, through which the Franciscans had, in the thirteenth century, with some good and much more evil effect, spread a popular enthusiasm over Europe, was once more displayed in counteraction of those new doctrines that themselves had drawn their life from a similar development of moral emotion."[14]

In the Council of Trent were again fulfilled the words of the prophet concerning the Messiah: "Behold, he cometh ... like a refining fire, and like the fuller's herb; and he shall sit refining and cleansing the silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine them as gold, and as silver; and they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice; and the sacrifice shall please the Lord, as in the days of old, and in the ancient years."[15]

The zeal of the fathers did not, it is true, succeed in bringing back all the Protestants; but neither did the Council of Nice succeed with the Arians, or that of Ephesus with the Nestorians, or that of Chalcedon with the followers of Eutyches. But they kept the Catholic faith pure; they sternly applied the pruning-hook to the numerous excrescences which had been allowed to accumulate. God blessed their work; and the tree of life, planted by running waters, again produced new flowers and fruits of holiness.

Though from the moment the decrees were solemnly approved by the holy see, with the exception of that on clandestine marriages, for which special provision had been made, they commenced to be obligatory on the whole church; yet it was thought [36] well to obtain a special promulgation in the different Catholic countries of Europe. The republic of Venice and the king of Portugal first gave the example; Philip II. of Spain followed, and was imitated, after some little delay in the hope of reconciling the Protestants, by the German emperor. France, then governed by Catharine of Medici, alone, of Catholic countries, refused. The excuse given was, principally, the turbulence of the Huguenots; the real reason, the desire to preserve certain royal prerogatives in church matters,[16] with which the reforms of the council interfered. So, in the name of Gallican liberties and royal privileges, the disciplinary portion was not published in France. Most of the measures were actually adopted by the bishops in provincial councils; but the seed of great evils was sown. These same liberties, so called, rendered possible the chicanery by which the Jansenists subsequently sought to elude the solemn condemnations of the holy see; and at the revolution gave the idea of the civil constitution of the clergy, rather than accept which so many noble bishops and priests gladly met death. But the French Church has tired of them; a terrible experience has taught her that the only true safeguard of her liberty is, in a close union with the see of him to whom Christ confided the duty of strengthening his brethren. In regard to the decrees on faith, there was never any hesitancy in France; and we owe some of our very best apologetic or controversial works against Protestantism to zealous and learned writers of that nation.

One remarkable consequence of the council was a great outpouring of the spirit of sanctity. St. Charles Borromeo, as prime minister of his uncle, Pius IV., contributed greatly to its successful termination. Afterward, as archbishop of Milan, he set an example of enforcing its decrees which has ever since served as a rule for zealous bishops. He changed the face of affairs in Lombardy, and may be said to have led the way in practically carrying the reforms into effect. Numbers of holy bishops aided him, or imitated his example; and before he died the new discipline was well established. At Rome, St. Philip Neri excited in a wonderful way the spirit of zeal in the clergy, and of piety in the laity; and his work and example remain to this day. It is impossible not to be struck with the new spirit that had seized the papal court. The popes themselves were men not only of blameless lives, but zealous and active for the good of religion. A glance at Ranke's history—especially the notes at the end—will satisfy the reader of this; while Catholic works abound in edifying accounts. Such men as Baronius and Bellarmine were ornaments of the Sacred College, not only for their learning, but for their solid, extraordinary piety, which has barely failed of obtaining the honors of the altar. The Society of Jesus, and other religious orders, were seminaries of virtues, of zeal, of missionary spirit; and the heralds of the cross went to the very ends of the earth to bring the glad tidings of salvation to those sitting in darkness. Every state and condition of life has its saints of this period. St. Mary Magdalen di Pazzi, the nun; St. Francis Borgia, the rich[37] man who gave up all for Christ; St. Felix of Cantalice, the unlettered lay brother; St. Aloysius, the pattern of youth; St. Francis Xavier, the apostle; St. Charles, the model bishop; St. Philip Neri, the perfect secular priest; St. Pius V., the pope who added to his triple crown the fourth, and greatest, of sanctity; and many others, whose names are not so well known to the world. It was emphatically the age of saints: war always produces heroes.

There have been shortcomings since Trent, because the church has her human as well as her divine element, and heresies and scandals, it was foretold by her divine Founder, must come; but, by far, not so many as before it. The contrast between the ease with which Pius IX. convokes a general council and the difficulties with which his predecessors had to contend in the sixteenth century, is so plain as to require no comment, and, at the same time, affords striking evidence of the efficacy of the work done at Trent. It was a great work, in every sense of the word. It met from the beginning with great difficulties, which were overcome by equal constancy; it was devised and executed by men great in learning, prudence, and zeal; it effected a reaction in favor of Catholicity than which there never occurred "one on a larger scale in the annals of mankind;"[17] it thoroughly purified the church from wretched and inveterate abuses; it revived a spirit of sanctity that emulated the palmiest days of the church; and it has handed down to us the boon of pure faith and strict observance which our unfortunate opponents cannot but admire, even though they attempt to decry it. While Protestantism was pulling down, the council built up on a sure foundation; and its work has been lasting.

Through the lapse of three centuries the grateful church has ever re-echoed, as she re-echoes at this day, the acclamation of the Cardinal of Lorraine, "The sacred ecumenical Council of Trent—let us profess its faith; let us always observe its decrees. Semper confiteamur, semper servemus."


"And He answered them nothing."

O mighty Nothing! unto thee,
Nothing, we owe all things that be.
God spake once when He all things made,
He saved all when He nothing said.
The world was made of nothing then;
'Tis made by nothing now again.






Herr Frank returned to the city. Before he went he took advantage of the absence of Richard, who had gone out about nine o'clock, to converse with Klingenberg about matters of importance. They sat in the doctor's studio, the window of which was open. Frank closed it before he began the conversation.

"Dear friend, I must speak to you about a very distressing peculiarity of my son. I do so because I know your influence over him, and I hope much from it."

Klingenberg listened with surprise, for Herr Frank had begun in great earnestness and seemed greatly depressed.

"On our journey from the city, I discovered in Richard, to my great surprise, a deep-seated antipathy, almost an abhorrence of women. He is determined never to marry. He considers marriage a misfortune, inasmuch as it binds a man to the whims and caprices of a wife. If I had many sons, Richard's idiosyncrasy would be of little consequence; but as he is my only son and very stubborn in his preconceived opinions, you will see how very distressing it must be to me."

"What is the cause of this antipathy of your son to women?"

Herr Frank related Richard's account of his meeting with Isabella and his knowledge of the unhappy marriage of his friend Emil.

"Do you not think that experiences of this kind must repel a noble-minded young man?" said the doctor.

"Admitted! But Isabella and Laura are exceptions, and exceptions by no means justify my son's perverted judgment of women. I told him this. But he still declared that Isabella and Laura were the rule and not the exception; that the women of the present day follow a perverted taste; and that the wearing of crinoline, a costume he detests, proves this."

"I know," said the doctor, "that Richard abominates crinoline. Last year he expressed his opinion about it, and I had to agree with him."

"My God!" said the father, astonished, "you certainly would not encourage my son in his perverted opinion?"

"No," returned the doctor quietly; "but you must not expect me to condemn sound opinions. His judgment of woman is prejudiced—granted. But observe well, my dear Frank. This judgment is at the same time a protest of a noble nature against the age of crinoline. Your son expects much of women. Superficiality, vanity, passion for dress, fickleness, and so forth, do not satisfy his sense of propriety. Marriage, to him, is an earnest, holy union. He would unite himself to a well-disposed woman, to a noble soul who would love her husband and her duties, but not to a degenerate specimen of womankind. Such I conceive to have been the reasons which have produced in your son this antipathy."

"I believe you judge rightly," answered Frank. "But it must appear clear to Richard that his views are[39] unjust, and that there are always women who would realize his expectations."

The doctor thought for a moment, and a significant smile played over his features.

"This must become clear to him—yes, and it will become clear to him sooner, perhaps, than you expect," said the doctor.

"I do not understand you, doctor."

"Yesterday we met Angela," said Klingenberg. "This Angela is an extraordinary being of dazzling beauty; almost the incarnation of Richard's ideal. I told him of her fine qualities, which he was inclined to question. But happily I was able to establish these qualities by facts. Now, as Angela lives but a mile from here and as the simple customs of the country render access to the family easy, I have not understood the character of your son if he does not take advantage of this opportunity to become more intimately acquainted with Angela, even if his object were only to confirm his former opinions of women. If he knew Angela more intimately, it is my firm conviction that his aversion would soon change into the most ardent affection."

"Who is this Angela?"

"The daughter of your neighbor, Siegwart."

Frank looked at the doctor with open mouth and staring eyes.

"Siegwart's daughter!" he gasped. "No, I will never consent to such a connection."

"Why not?"

"Well—because the Siegwart family are not agreeable to me."

"That is no reason. Siegwart is an excellent man, rich, upright, and respected by the whole neighborhood. Why does he happen to appear so unfavorably in your eyes?"

Frank was perplexed. He might have reasons and yet be ashamed to give them.

"Ah!" said the doctor, smiling, "it is now for you to lay aside prejudice."

"An explanation is not possible," said Frank. "But my son will rather die a bachelor than marry Siegwart's daughter."

Klingenberg shrugged his shoulders. There was a long pause.

"I renew my request, my friend," urged Frank. "Convince my son of his errors."

"I will try to meet your wishes," returned Klingenberg. "Perhaps this daughter of Siegwart will afford efficient aid."

"My son's liberty will not be restricted. He may visit the Siegwart family when he wishes. But in matters where the mature mind of the father has to decide, I shall always act according to my better judgment."

The doctor again shrugged his shoulders. They shook hands, and in ten minutes after Herr Frank was off for the train. Richard had left Frankenhöhe two hours before. He passed quickly through the vineyard. A secret power seemed to impel the young man. He glanced often at Siegwart's handsome dwelling, and hopeful suspense agitated his countenance. When he reached the lawn, he slackened his pace. He would reflect, and understand clearly the object of his visit. He came to observe Angela, whose character had made such a strong impression on him and who threatened to compel him to throw his present opinions of women to the winds. He would at the same time reflect on the consequences of this possible change to his peace and liberty.

"Angela is beautiful, very beautiful, far more so than a hundred[40] others who are beautiful but wear crinoline." He had written in his diary:

"Of what value is corporal beauty that fades when it is disfigured by bad customs and caprices? I admit that I have never yet met any woman so graceful and charming as Angela; but this very circumstance warns me to be careful that my judgment may not be dazzled. If it turns out that Angela sets herself up as a religious coquette or a Pharisee, her fine figure is only a deceitful mask of falsehood, and my opinion would again be verified. I must make observations with great care."

Frank reviewed these resolutions as he passed slowly over the lawn, where some servants were employed, who greeted him respectfully as he passed. In the hall he heard a man's voice that came from the same room he had entered on his first visit. The door was open, and the voice spoke briskly and warmly.

Frank stopped for a moment and heard the voice say,

"Miss Angela is as lovely as ever."

These words vibrated disagreeably in Richard's soul, and urged him to know the man from whom they came.

Herr Siegwart went to meet the visitor and offered him his hand. The other gentleman remained sitting, and looked at Frank with stately indifference.

"Herr Frank, my esteemed neighbor of Frankenhöhe," said Siegwart, introducing Frank.

The gentleman rose and made a stiff bow.

"The Assessor von Hamm," continued the proprietor.

Frank made an equally stiff and somewhat colder bow.

The three sat down.

While Siegwart rang the bell, Richard cast a searching glance at the assessor who had said, "Angela is as lovely as ever."

The assessor had a pale, studious color, regular features in which there was an expression of official importance. Frank, who was a fine observer, thought he had never seen such a perfect and sharply defined specimen of the bureaucratic type. Every wrinkle in the assessor's forehead told of arrogance and absolutism. The red ribbon in the button-hole of Herr von Hamm excited Frank's astonishment. He thought it remarkable that a young man of four or five and twenty could have merited the ribbon of an order. He might infer from this that decorations and merit do not necessarily go together.

"How glad I am that you have kept your word!" said Siegwart to Frank complacently. "How is your father?"

"Very well; he goes this morning to the city, where business calls him."

"I have often admired your father's attentions to Dr. Klingenberg," said Siegwart after a short pause. "He has for years had Frankenhöhe prepared for the accommodation of the doctor. You are Klingenberg's constant companion, and I do not doubt but such is the wish of your father. And your father tears himself from his business and comes frequently from the city to see that the doctor's least wish is realized. I have observed this these last eight years, and I have often thought that the doctor is to be envied, on account of this noble friendship."

"You know, I suppose, that the doctor saved my father when his life was despaired of?"

"I know; but there are many physicians who have saved lives and who do not find such a noble return."

These words of acknowledgment had something in them very offensive to the assessor. He opened and shut his eyes and mouth, and cast a grudging, envious look at Richard.


The servant brought a glass.

"Try this wine," said Siegwart; "my own growth," he added with some pride.

They touched glasses. Hamm put his glass to his lips, without drinking; Frank tasted the noble liquor with the air of a connoisseur; while Siegwart's smiling gaze rested on him.

"Excellent! I do not remember to have drank better Burgundy."

"Real Burgundy, neighbor—real Burgundy. I brought the vines from France."

"Do you not think the vines degenerate with us?" said Frank.

"They have not degenerated yet. Besides, proper care and attention make up for the unsuitableness of our soil and climate."

"You would oblige me, Herr Siegwart, if you would preserve me some shoots when you next trim them."

"With pleasure. I had them set last year; they shot forth fine roots, and I can let you have any number of shoots."

"Is it not too late to plant them?"

"Just the right time. Our vine-growers generally set them too early. It should be done in May, and not in April. Shall I send them over?"

"You are too kind, Herr Siegwart. My request must certainly destroy your plan in regard to those shoots."

"Not at all; I have all I can use. It gives me great pleasure to be able to accommodate a neighbor. It's settled; I'll send over the Burgundies this evening."

It was clear to Hamm that Siegwart desired to be agreeable to the wealthy Frank. The assessor opened and shut his eyes and mouth, and fidgeted about in his chair. While he inwardly boiled and fretted, he very properly concluded that he must consider himself offended. From the moment of Frank's arrival, the proprietor had entirely forgotten him. He was about to leave, in order not to expose his nerves to further excitement, when chance afforded him an opportunity to give vent to his ill-humor.

Two boys came running into the room. They directed their bright eyes to Siegwart, and their childish, joyful faces, seemed to say,

"Here we are again; you know very well what we want."

One of them carried a tin box in his hand; there was a lock on the box, and a small opening in the top—evidently a money-box.

"Gelobt sei Jesus Christus," said the children, and remained standing near the door.

"In Ewigkeit," returned Siegwart. "Are you there again, my little ones? That's right; come here, Edward." And Siegwart took out his purse and dropped a few pennies into the box.

"A savings-box? Who gave the permission?" said the assessor in a tone that frightened the children, astonished Richard, and caused Siegwart to look with embarrassment at the questioner.

"For the pope, Herr von Hamm," said Siegwart.

The official air of the assessor became more severe.

"The ordinances make no exceptions," retorted Hamm. "The ordinances forbid all collections that are not officially permitted." And he eyed the box as if he had a notion to confiscate it.

Perhaps the lads noticed this, for they moved backward to the door and suddenly disappeared from the room.

"I beg pardon, Herr Assessor," said Siegwart. "The Peter-pence is collected in the whole Catholic world, and the Catholics of Salingen thought they ought to assist the head of their church, who is so sorely pressed, and[42] who has been robbed of his possessions."

"I answer—the ordinances make no exceptions; the Peter-pence comes under the ordinances. I find myself compelled to interpose against this trespass."

"But the Peter-pence is collected in the whole country, Herr von Hamm! Why, even in the public journals we read the results of this collection, and I have never heard that the government forbade the Peter-pence."

"Leave the government out of the question. I stand on my instructions. The government forbids all collections unless permission is granted. You must not expect an official to connive at an open breach of the ordinances. I will do my duty and remind the burgomaster of Salingen that he has not done his."

The occurrence was very annoying to Siegwart; this could be seen in his troubled countenance. He thought of the reproof of the timid burgomaster, and feared that the collection might in future be stopped.

"You have the authority, Herr Assessor, to permit it; I beg you will do so."

"The request must be made in written official form," said Hamm. "You know, Herr Siegwart, that I am disposed to comply with your wishes, but I regret I cannot do so in the present case; and I must openly confess I oppose the Peter-pence on principle. The temporal power of the pope has become unnecessary. Why support an untenable dominion?"

"I consider the temporal power of the pope to be a necessity," said Siegwart emphatically. "If the pope were not an independent prince, but the subject of another ruler, he would in many things have to govern the church according to the mind and at the command of his superior. Sound common sense tells us that the pope must be free."

"Certainly, as far as I am concerned," returned Hamm. "But why drain the money out of the country for an object that cannot be accomplished? I tell you that the political standing of the bankrupt papal government will not be saved by the Peter-pence."

"Permit me to observe, Herr Assessor, that I differ with you entirely. The papal government is by no means bankrupt—quite the contrary. Until the breaking out of the Franco-Sardinian revolution, its finances were as well managed and flourishing as those of any state in Europe. I will convince you of this in a moment." He went to the bookcase and handed the assessor a newspaper. "These statistics will convince you of the correctness of my assertion."

"As the documents to prove these statements are wanting, I have great reason to doubt their correctness," said Hamm. "Paper will not refuse ink, and in the present case the pen was evidently driven by a friendly hand."

"Why do you draw this conclusion?"

"From the contradictions between this account of the papal finances and that given by all independent editors."

"Permit me to call that editor not 'an independent,' but a 'friend of the church.' The enemies of the church will not praise a church which they hate. The papal government is the most calumniated government on earth; and calumny and falsehood perform wonders in our times. The Italian situation furnishes at present a most striking illustration. The king of Piedmont has been raised to the rulership of Italy by the unanimous voice of the people—so say the papers. But the revolution in the greater part of Italy at the present time proves that the unanimous voice[43] of the people was a sham, and that the Piedmontese government is hated and despised by the majority of the Italians. It is the same in many other things. If falsehood and calumny were not the order of the day, falsehood and calumny would not sit crowned on the throne."

"Right!" said Richard. "It is indisputable. It is nothing but the depravity of the times that enables the emperor to domineer over the world."

Siegwart heard Frank's observation with pleasure. Hamm read this in the open countenance of the proprietor, and he made a movement as though he would like to tramp on Frank's toes.

"I admit the flourishing condition of the former Papal States," said Hamm, with a mock smile. "I will also admit that the former subjects of the pope, who have been impoverished by the hungry Piedmontese, desire the milder papal government. 'There is good living under the crozier,' says an old proverb. But what does all this amount to? Does the beautiful past overthrow the accomplished facts of the present? The powers have determined to put an end to papal dominion. The powers have partly accomplished this. Can the Peter-pence change the programme of the powers? Certainly not. The papal government must go the way of all flesh, and if the Catholics are taxed for an unattainable object, it is, in my opinion, unjust, to say the least."

The proprietor shook his head thoughtfully. "We consider the question from very different stand-points," said he. "Pius IX. is the head of the church—the spiritual father of all Catholics. The revolution has robbed him of his revenues. Why should not Catholics give their father assistance?"

"And I ask," said Hamm, "why give the pope alms when the powers are ready to give him millions?"

"On what conditions, Herr Assessor?"

"Well—on the very natural condition that he will acknowledge accomplished facts."

"You find this condition so natural!" said Siegwart, somewhat excited. "Do you forget the position of the pope? Remember that on those very principles of which the pope is the highest representative, was built the civilization of the present. The pope condemns robbery, injustice, violence, and all the principles of modern revolution. How can the pope acknowledge as accomplished facts, results which have sprung from injustice, robbery, and violence? The moment the pope does that, he ceases to be the first teacher of the people and the vicar of Christ on earth."

"You take a strong religious position, my dear friend," said Hamm, smiling compassionately.

"I do, most assuredly," said the proprietor with emphasis. "And I am convinced that my position is the right one."

Hamm smiled more complacently still. Frank observed this smile; and the contemptuous manner of the official toward the open, kind-hearted proprietor annoyed him.

"Pius IX. is at any rate a noble man," said he, looking sharply at the assessor. "There exists a critical state of uncertainty in all governments. All the courts and principalities look to Paris, and the greatest want of principle seems to be in the state taxation. The pope alone does not shrink; he fears neither the anger nor the threats of the powers. While thrones are tumbling, and Pius IX. is not master in his own house, that remarkable man does not make the least[44] concession to the man in power. The powers have broken treaties, trampled on justice, and there is no longer any right but the right of revolution—of force. There is nothing any longer certain; all is confusion. The pope alone holds aloft the banner of right and justice. In his manifestoes to the world, he condemns error, falsehood, and injustice. The pope alone is the shield of those moral forces which have for centuries given stability and safety to governments. This firmness, this confidence in the genius of Christianity, this unsurpassed struggle of Pius, deserves the highest admiration even of those who look upon the contest with indifference."

Siegwart listened and nodded assent. Hamm ate sardines, without paying the least attention to the speaker.

"The Roman love of power is well known, and Rome has at all times made the greatest sacrifices for it," said he.

The proprietor drummed with his fingers on the table. Frank thought he observed him suppressing his anger, before he answered,

"Rome does not contend for love of dominion. She contends for the authority of religion, for the maintenance of those eternal principles without which there is no civilization. This even Herder, who is far from being a friend of Rome, admits when he says, 'Without the church, Europe would, perhaps, be a prey to despots, a scene of eternal discord, and a Mogul wilderness.' Rome's battle is, therefore, very important, and honorable. Had it not been for her, you would not have escaped the bloody terrorisms of the power-seeking revolution. Think of French liberty at present, think of the large population of Cayenne, of the Neapolitan prisons, where thousands of innocent men hopelessly languish."

"You have not understood me, my dear Siegwart. Take an example for illustration. The press informs us almost daily of difficulties between the government and the clergy. The cause of this trouble is that the latter are separated from and wish to oppose the former. To speak plainly, the Catholic clergy are non-conforming. They will not give up that abnormal position which the moral force of past times conceded to them. But in organized states, the clergy, the bishops, and the pastors should be nothing more than state officials, whose rule of conduct is the command of the sovereign."

"That is to make the church the servant of the state," said Siegwart. "Religion, stripped of her divine title, would be nothing more than the tool of the minister to restrain the people."

"Well, yes," said the official very coolly. "Religion is always a strong curb on the rough, uneducated masses; and if religion restrains the ignorant, supports the moral order and the government, she has fulfilled her mission."

The proprietor opened wide his eyes.

"Religion, according to my belief, educates men not for the state but for their eternal destiny."

"Perfectly right, Herr Siegwart, according to your view of the question. I admire the elevation of your religious convictions, which all men cannot rise up to."

A mock smile played on the assessor's pale countenance as he said this. Siegwart did not observe it; but Frank did.

"If I understand you rightly, Herr Assessor, the clergy are only state officials in clerical dress."

The assessor nodded his head condescendingly, and continued to soak a sardine in olive-oil and take it between[45] his knife and fork as Frank began to speak. The fine-feeling Frank felt nettled at this contempt, and immediately chastised Hamm for his want of politeness.

"I take your nod for an affirmative answer to my question," said he. "You will allow me to observe that your view of the position and purpose of the clergy must lead to the most absurd consequences."

The assessor turned an ashy color. He threw himself back on the sofa and looked at the speaker with scornful severity.

"My view is that of every enlightened statesman of the nineteenth century," said he proudly. "How can you, a mere novice in state matters, come to such a conclusion."

"I come to it by sound thinking," said Frank haughtily. "If the clergy are only the servants of the state, they are bound in the exercise of their functions to follow the instructions of the state."

"Very natural," said the official.

"If the government think a change in the church necessary, say the separation of the school from the church, the abolition of festivals, the appointing of infidel professors to theological chairs, the compiling of an enlightened catechism—and all these relate to the spirit of the times or the supposed welfare of the state—then the clergy must obey."

"That is self-evident," said the assessor.

"You see I comprehend your idea of the supreme power of the state," continued Frank. "The state is supreme. The church must be deprived of all independence. She must not constitute a state within a state. If it seems good to a minister to abolish marriage as a sacrament, or the confessional, or to subject the teaching of the clergy to a revision by the civil authority, because a majority of the chambers wish it, or because the spirit of the age demands it, then the opposition of the clergy would be illegal and their resistance disobedience."

"Naturally—naturally," said the official impatiently. "Come, now, let us have the proof of your assertion."

"Draw the conclusions from what I have said, Herr Assessor, and you have the most striking proof of the absurdity and ridiculousness of your gagged state church," said Frank haughtily.

"How so, how so?" cried Hamm inquiringly.

"Simply thus: If the priest must preach according to the august instructions of the state and not according to the principles of religious dogma, he would then preach Badish in Baden, Hessish in Hesse, Bavarian in Bavaria, Mecklenburgish in Mecklenburg; in short, there would be as many sects as there are states and principalities. And these sects would be constantly changing, as the chambers or ministerial instructions would command or allow. All religion would cease; for it would be no longer the expression of the divine will and revelation, but the work of the chambers and the princes. Such a religion would be contemptible in the eyes of every thinking man. I would not give a brass button for such a religion."

"You go too far, Herr Frank," said Hamm. "Religion has a divine title, and this glory must be retained."

"Then the clergy must be free."

"Certainly, that is clear," said the assessor as he arose, and, with a smiling face, bowed lowly. Angela had entered the hall, and in consequence of Hamm's greeting was obliged to come into the room. She might have returned from a walk, for she wore a straw hat and a light shawl was thrown over her shoulders.[46] She led by the hand her little sister Eliza, a charming child of four years.

The sisters remained standing near the door. Eliza looked with wondering eyes at the stranger, whose movements were very wonderful to the mind of the little one, and whose pale face excited her interest.

Angela's glance seemed to have blown away all the official dust that remained in the soul of Hamm. The assessor was unusually agreeable. His face lost its obstinate expression, and became light and animated. Even its color changed to one of life and nature.

To Richard, who liked to take notes, and whose visit to Siegwart's had no other object, the change that could be produced in a bureaucrat by such rare womanly beauty was very amusing. He had arisen and stepped back a little. He observed the assessor carefully till a smile between astonishment and pity lit up his countenance. He then looked at Angela, who stood motionless on the same spot. It seemed to require great resignation on her part to notice the flattering speech and obsequious attentions of the assessor. Richard observed that her countenance was tranquil, but her manner more grave than usual. She still held the little one by the hand, who pressed yet closer to her the nearer the wonderful man came. Hamm's voice rose to a tone of enthusiasm, and he took a step or two toward the object of his reverence, when a strange enemy confronted him. Some swallows had come in with Angela. Till now they were quiet and seemed to be observing the assessor; but when he approached Angela, briskly gesticulating, the swallows raised their well-known shrill cry of anxiety, left their perches and fluttered around the official. Interrupted in the full flow of his eloquence, he struck about with his hands to frighten them. The swallows only became the noisier, and their fluttering about Hamm assumed a decidedly warlike character. They seemed to consider him as a dangerous enemy of Angela whom they wished to keep off. Richard looked on in wonder, Siegwart shook his head and stroked his beard, and Angela smiled at the swallows.

"These are abominable creatures," cried Hamm warding them off. "Why, such a thing never happened to me before. Off with you! you troublesome wretches."

The birds flew out of the room, still screaming; and their shrill cries could be heard high up in the air.

"The swallows have a grudge against you," said Siegwart. "They generally treat only the cats and hawks in this way."

"Perhaps they have been frightened at this red ribbon," returned Hamm. "I regret, my dear young lady, to have frightened your little pets. When I come again, I will leave the object of their terror at home."

"You should not deprive yourself of an ornament which has an honorable significance on account of the swallows, particularly as we do not know whether it was really the red color that displeased them," said she.

"You think, then, Miss Angela, that there is something else about me they dislike?"

"I do not know, Herr Assessor."

"Oh! if I only knew the cause of their displeasure," said Hamm enthusiastically. "You have an affection for the swallows, and I would not displease any thing that you love."

She answered by an inclination, and was about to leave the room.

"Angela," said her father, "here is Herr Frank, to whom you are under obligations."


She moved a step or two toward Richard.

"Sir," said she gently, "you returned some things that were valuable to me; were it not for your kindness, they would probably have been lost. I thank you."

A formal bow was Frank's answer. Hamm stood smiling, his searching glance alternating between the stately young man and Angela. But in the manner of both he observed nothing more than reserve and cold formality.

Angela left the room. The assessor sat down on the sofa and poured out a glass of wine.

Eliza sat on her father's knee. Richard observed the beautiful child with her fine features and golden silken locks that hung about her tender face. The winning expression of innocence and gentleness in her mild, childish eyes particularly struck him.

"A beautiful, lovely child," said he involuntarily, and as he looked in Siegwart's face he read there a deep love and a quiet, fatherly fondness for the child.

"Eliza is not always as lovely and good as she is now," he returned. "She has still some little faults which she must get rid of."

"Yes, that's what Angela said," chattered the little one. "Angela said I must be very good; I must love to pray; I must obey my father and mother; then the angels who are in heaven will love me."

"Can you pray yet, my child," said Richard.

"Yes, I can say the 'Our Father' and the 'Hail Mary.' Angela is teaching me many nice prayers."

She looked at the stranger a moment and said with childish simplicity,

"Can you pray too?"

"Certainly, my child," answered Frank, smiling; "but I doubt whether my prayers are as pleasing to God as yours."

"Angela also said we should not lie," continued Eliza. "The good God does not love children who lie."

"That is true," said Frank. "Obey your sister Angela."

Here the young man was affected by a peculiar emotion. He thought of Angela as the first instructor of the child; placed near this little innocent, she appeared like its guardian angel. He saw clearly at this moment the great importance of first impressions on the young, and thought that in after life they would not be obliterated. He expressed his thoughts, and Siegwart confirmed them.

"I am of your opinion, Herr Frank. The most enduring impressions are made in early childhood. The germ of good must be implanted in the tender and susceptible heart of the child and there developed. Many, indeed most parents overlook this important principle of education. This is a great and pernicious error. Man is born with bad propensities; they grow with his growth and increase with his strength. In early childhood, they manifest themselves in obstinacy, wilfulness, excessive love of play, disobedience, and a disposition to lie. If these outgrowths are plucked up and removed in childhood by careful, religious training, it will be much easier to form the heart to habits of virtue than in after years. Many parents begin to instruct their children after they have spoiled them. Is this not your opinion, Herr Assessor?"

Hamm was aroused by this sudden question. He had not paid any attention to the conversation, but had been uninterruptedly stroking his moustache and gazing abstractedly into vacancy.

"What did you ask, my dear Siegwart?[48] Whether I am of your opinion? Certainly, certainly, entirely of your opinion. Your views are always sound, practical, and matured by great experience, as in this case."

"Well, I can't say you were always of my opinion," said Siegwart smiling; "have we not just been sharply disputing about the Peter-pence?"

"O my dear friend! as a private individual I agree with you entirely on these questions; but an official must frequently defend in a system of government that which he privately condemns."

Frank perceived Hamm's object. He wished to do away with the unfavorable impressions his former expressions might have made on the proprietor. The reason of this was clear to him since he had discovered the assessor's passion for Angela.

"I am rejoiced," said Siegwart, "that we agree at least in that most important matter, religion."

Frank remembered his father's remark, "The Siegwart family is intensely clerical and ultramontane." It was new and striking to him to see the question of religion considered the most important. He concluded from this, and was confirmed in his conclusions by the leading spirit of the Siegwart family, that, in direct contradiction to modern ideas, religion is the highest good.

"Nevertheless," said Siegwart, "I object to a system of government that is inimical to the church."

"And so do I," sighed the assessor.

Richard took his departure. At home, he wrote a few hasty lines in his diary and then went into the most retired part of the garden. Here he sat in deep thought till the servant called him to dinner.

"Has Klingenberg not gone out yet to-day?"

"No, but he has been walking up and down his room for the last two hours."

Frank smiled. He guessed the meaning of this walk, and as they both entered the dining-room together his conjecture was confirmed.

The doctor entered somewhat abruptly and did not seem to observe Richard's presence. His eyes had a penetrating, almost fierce expression and his brows were knit. He sat down to the table mechanically, and ate what was placed before him. It is questionable whether he knew what he was eating, or even that he was eating. He did not speak a word, and Frank, who knew his peculiarities, did not disturb him by a single syllable. This was not difficult, as he was busily occupied with his own thoughts.

After the meal was over, Klingenberg came to himself. "My dear Richard, I beg your pardon," said he in a tone of voice which was almost tender. "Excuse my weakness. I have read this morning a scientific article that upsets all my previous theories on the subject treated of. In the whole field of human investigation there is nothing whatever certain, nothing firmly established. What one to-day proves by strict logic to be true, to-morrow another by still stronger logic proves to be false. From the time of Aristotle to the present, philosophers have disagreed, and the infallible philosopher will certainly never be born. It is the same in all branches. I would not be the least astonished if Galileo's system would be proved to be false. If the instruments, the means of acquiring astronomical knowledge, continue to improve, we may live to learn that the earth stands still and that the sun goes waltzing around our little planet. This uncertainty is very discouraging[49] to the human mind. We might say with Faust,

'It will my heart consume
That we can nothing know.'"

"In my humble opinion," said Frank, "every investigator moves in a limited circle. The most profound thinker does not go beyond these set limits; and if he would boldly over-step them, he would be thrown back by evident contradiction into that circle which Omnipotence has drawn around the human intellect."

"Very reasonable, Richard; very reasonable. But the desire of knowledge must sometimes be satiated," continued the doctor after a short pause. "If the human mind were free from the narrow limits of the deceptive world of sense, and could see and know with pure spiritual eyes, the barriers of which you speak would fall. Even the Bible assures us of this. St. Paul, writing to the Corinthians, says, 'We see now through a glass in an obscure manner, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know as I am known.' I would admire St. Paul on account of this passage alone if he never had written another. How awful is the moral quality of the human soul taken in connection with its future capacity for knowledge. And how natural, how evident, is the connection. The human mind will receive knowledge from the source of all knowledge—God, in proportion as it has been just and good. For this reason our Redeemer calls the world of the damned 'outer darkness,' and the world of the blessed, the 'kingdom of light.'"

"We sometimes see in that way even now," said Frank after a pause. "The wicked have ideas very different from those of the good. A frivolous spirit mocks at and derides that which fills the good with happiness and contentment. We might, then, say that even in this life man knows as he is known."

The doctor cast an admiring glance at the young man. "We entirely agree, my young friend; wickedness is to the sciences what a poisonous miasma and the burning rays of the sun are to the young plants. Yes, vice begets atheism, materialism, and every other abortion of thought."

Klingenberg arose.

"We will meet again at three," said he with a friendly nod.

Richard took from his room Vogt's Physiological Letters, went into the garden, and buried himself in its contents.




We promised in our last number to pay our respects to an infamous calumny about Rome, the capital of the Christian Church, and seat of the Sovereign Pontiffs, Vicars of our Lord Jesus Christ upon earth.

This calumny has been extensively circulated. We have found it in each one of the works at the head of this article, and we suppose it has been repeated in many others which have not fallen under our observation; for our "evangelical" journals, as they style themselves, and a large portion of the secular press, seem to have very loose notions of morality where the Catholic Church is concerned. Every story to her disadvantage will be sure to please their public, or to supply the want of argument, and therefore it is seized upon with eagerness and repeated over the length and breadth of the land. It matters little to them whether it be true or not, so long as it answers the purpose. It is enough for them that somebody or other has started it, without inquiring who it was, or whether he had any right to make such a statement. It is also quite immaterial how improbable the story may be, or what contradictions it may involve, or out of what ingenious inferences, by putting this and that together, it may be constructed; it suffices that it be something injurious to the Catholic religion, and at once the end sanctifies the means; and God, they seem to think, will easily wink at any breach of the commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor," when that neighbor is only a papist. Besides, the appetite of the public for this sort of thing seems to be so insatiable that they are deemed ready to swallow any thing, however it may outrage common sense or probability; and therefore they do not fear any loss of reputation if they are detected in the circulation of the falsehood. Corporations are said to have no souls, and the reverend editor of a religious periodical easily seems to absolve himself from any obligation which Christian charity or even decency would seem to impose upon him, in regard to the papist, whom he readily classes with the infidel or the pagan.

The calumny we are about to refute furnishes us with an apt illustration of these remarks. It wears on its face an air of extreme improbability. It is to this effect: that in Rome nearly three fourths of all the children born are illegitimate.

This is simply incredible. When we read of half the children in Stockholm, in Protestant Sweden, or in Vienna, in Catholic Austria, being illegitimate, we can scarcely believe the naked statement. Without disputing the official figures, we look to see if there is no way of explaining this anomalous state of things—if the reality corresponds with the appearance. The large excess in the number of births in proportion to the[51] population, and the existence of a large foundling hospital, as in Vienna, used by the poorer inhabitants of the country around even to a considerable distance, would lead us to a sounder conclusion in regard to its social state than the bare inspection of the figures. But the supposition that three fourths of all the children born in Rome or any other city, Protestant or Catholic, are illegitimate, is too exaggerated to be entertained for a moment. It seems to find ready credence, however; probably through some such mental process as this: "Catholics are corrupt and vicious. Rome is the chief of all Catholic cities, and therefore the most corrupt and vicious of all, and no story of its corruption is too big for belief. The more incredible for any other place, the more worthy of belief for Rome."

But let us come more to details about this statement in regard to Rome. We quote from Mr. Seymour's book:

"In the Italian statistics of Mittermaier we have the number of exposed infants received in Il S. Spirito, Il Conservatorio, and other establishments of this class. The number received during a series of ten years amounts to 31,689. This total distributed among the ten years gives as the mean, the number of 3160 infants exposed annually in the city of Rome."

He goes on to say that according to Bowring, an agent of the British government, the population of Rome was 153,678, and the total number of births was 4373. Hence we have,

Total number of births,4373
Total number of foundlings,3160

And we are left to infer that there were only 1213 lawful children born in Rome in that year.

To make a still closer deduction from his premises, we should take his remark that the population of Rome should be taken at the mean of 130,000, instead of 153,678. The mean number of births corresponding to this would be 3700; hence, in strictness, we should have,

Total number of births,3700
Total number of foundlings,3160
Total number of lawful children,540

This is indeed a state of things described by Mr. Seymour as indicating "a frightful number of illegitimate births, and a number without parallel of cruel and unnatural mothers." And we may add, it indicates an unparalleled amount of gullibility in any one who will entertain for a moment such an absurd statement. It would be more creditable to Rev. Mr. Seymour and his friend Rev. L. W. Bacon and The New Englander, before circulating the story, to inquire who Mittermaier is; whether he has said exactly what he is quoted to say; whether he was misled about his statements; whether some one else has not altered what he said; whether some word has not been used in a double sense, to carry a wrong impression, or some word slipped into the general statement to put the reader on the wrong track; in short, to pay great attention and be extremely cautious in a matter which wears so great an improbability on its face.

The story is an absurd fabrication, and very clumsily put together at that. "The number of exposed infants in Il S. Spirito, Il Conservatorio, and other establishments of this class, according to Mittermaier, amounts to 31,689 in ten years." Mittermaier, or whoever else wrote this, proves conclusively that he knew very little of what he was writing about. There is no such establishment as Il Conservatorio in Rome. This is not the name of a particular place, but a general term signifying about what we mean by the term "asylum." There are more than a dozen asylums for children in Rome, but only one is a foundling[52] hospital, that of Il S. Spirito. The conservatorios or asylums are not "of this class," but of a different class altogether. There may have been 3160 children provided for, annually, in Il S. Spirito and all the different establishments for children, for what we know, and we see no reason to dispute the statement; but this is the aggregate of children of all ages and all sorts, of the sick and destitute, and by no means the number of foundlings received, or even the number of orphans received within a single year.

There are over 400 children in one orphan asylum in Fiftieth street in this city, and the aggregate for ten years would be over 4000, but to say that over 4000 children were received there in ten years would be an outrageous statement. To obtain the real number, we should also ascertain the average number of years each child remains in the institution.

The hospital of Il S. Spirito is the only "foundling hospital" in Rome. It receives all the infants brought there, and if the person who brings them is unwilling to answer, he can refuse to do so. It is amply sufficient to accommodate all left there; has revenue enough, and, in short, renders the existence of "any other establishment of the sort" entirely superfluous. There are branches of this institution to which "foundlings" are transferred as they grow older. The institution looks out for them until they can look out for themselves; but there is only one place where they are received.

The total number of foundlings received in Rome is about 900 annually.[19] Maguire says:

"The number of 900 may seem very great as representing the annual average received; but it should be stated that the hospital of Santo Spirito affords an asylum not only to the foundlings of Rome, but to those of the provinces of Sabina, Frosinone, Velletri, and the Comarca, and also districts on the borders of Naples."

This number of foundlings does not represent the amount of illegitimacy, for very many of the foundlings are lawful children. Maguire says:

"If it happen, as it often does with people in the humblest condition of life, that their family exceed their means of support, one of the children is committed to the wheel of the foundling hospital of Santo Spirito—it might be, with some mark on its dress by which its identity would be afterward proved and it be reclaimed by its parents, a thing of no uncommon occurrence. Another frequent cause of having recourse to this institution is the delicacy of the mother, or of the child. The mother has no nourishment to give the infant, and she bears it to the hospital to be provided for. Or it is a rickety, miserable thing from its birth, stunted, malformed, or so delicate that in the rude hut of its parents it has no chance of ever doing well; then too, in its case, the wheel of the hospital is a safe recourse, and with parents of hard hearts takes the place of many an evil suggestion, such as is often present in the homes and the breasts of the destitute. Frequently the parent is known to argue that the infirm or malformed child, who is thus got rid of, has the best chance of recovery, and certainty of being provided for, where eminent medical attendance is always to be had, and where the greatest care is taken of the training and future interests of the foundling. It may be said that this facility of getting rid of legitimate offspring leads to a disregard of the manifest obligations of a parent's duty; but to this fair objection I can only offer a preponderating advantage, that it does away with that awful proneness to infanticide which distinguishes other countries, but pre-eminently England."

This estimate of Maguire's is confirmed by a statement taken from the records of the hospital for May, June, and July, 1868, and transmitted to us by an American clergyman residing in Rome. Of the total number, some were of legitimate births, as shown by authentic parish certificates;[53] others of doubtful or uncertain birth; as follows:

Foundlings received. Of legitimate birth. Uncertain.
In May, 38 46
In June, 25 51
In July, 29 49
  92 146

This would give us an aggregate of 952 for the year, of which 584 would be of uncertain birth. A large proportion came from the provinces around Rome, and there is no reason to suppose all the uncertain births to be illegitimate; therefore we shall make a liberal allowance if we take the total number of foundlings of illegitimate birth, belonging to Rome itself, at 400. The real number is quite as likely to be below as above it.

When Mittermaier, whoever he was, stated the annual number of foundlings in Rome to be 3160, the mean population of that city was stated to be 130,000. It is now 215,573. By Mittermaier's proportion the annual number of foundlings should now be 5226. Are we called on to believe this, and to hang our heads in shame at this enormous number of 5226 illegitimates each year in the capital of the Catholic world? And this, when we know that the actual number of foundlings from Rome is not over 900, and the actual number of illegitimate children is about 400.

A small discrepancy, no doubt; a little peccadillo in the figures! We hope we have not shown any undue warmth in exposing it; for who knows, our "evangelic" friends may feel themselves insulted, and entirely absolved from any obligation of refuting us; our unchristian warmth of temper and vituperative manner being enough—to use the expression of Rev. L. W. Bacon, in The New Englander—"to discredit without any particular refutation" whatever we assert in this article.

But whence come the three thousand one hundred and sixty foundlings of "Mittermaier" annually received in Rome? Without doubt, from adding up all the inmates of the different asylums for children in Rome, and the foundlings of S. Spirito, and representing the total as an aggregate of foundlings received.

"Il Conservatorio and other establishments of this class" in Rome are as follows:

Asylums for children of all ages, with schools attached:

S. Maria, in Aguiro, 50  
S. Michael, 200 boys.
S. Michael, 240 girls.
Divine Providence, 100 girls.
S. Mary of Refuge, 50 girls.
S. Euphemia, 40 girls.
Tata Giovanni, over 100 boys.
Quatro SS. Giovanni, 12 girls.
Zoccoletti, 60 girls.
S. Maria del Angeli, number not stated. boys and girls.
S. Caterina, " girls.
Trinitarians, " girls.
St. Pietro, " girls.
Il Borromeo, " girls.
Mother of Sorrows, " girls.

These are institutions of which Dr. Neligan, who visited them, gives an account in his Rome, published by Messrs. Sadlier; and to these must be added the department of S. Spirito, where female foundlings, after being nursed, are received back—if not otherwise provided for—and taken care of for life, or until they marry or get a situation; this numbers about six hundred, according to Maguire. If we add all the numbers together, and also the children under the care of the foundling hospital out at nurse, or being brought up in private families; in short, all the recipients of charity of the different institutions of Rome, we might approach a number corresponding to the three thousand one hundred and sixty of Mittermaier.

We can see by this "how the noble and Christian charity of Rome, excelling that of any other city of its size on the earth, is," by a base and[54] groundless falsehood, sought to be turned into a means of holding her up to the scorn and indignation of the whole world.

We can show, also, in an entirely different way, by the official census of Rome, the absurdity of the statement of Seymour, and that in the most conclusive manner. In the Civilta Cattolica of 21st of December, 1867, we have the census of the population and the number of births for the year 1866; also a tabular statement of those for a period of ten years, ending 21st of April, 1867.

From these we find the present population to be 215,573; the number of the legitimate births for the year from Easter, 1866, to Easter, 1867, was 5739, and adding thereto the still-born, 6120. The average annual number of births in an average population of 197,737, excluding the still-born, was 5657 legitimate, for the decennial period. Adding the still-born, we have an annual average of over 6000 legitimate births.

Now, if we consider that in Rome there is a large class of the population who belong to the clergy, who do not marry; a large body of military; the Jews, whose children of course do not appear in any baptismal register, from which the number of annual births is made out; we may set down the average productive part of the population, corresponding to the population of any other city, at an average of not more than 175,000. From this number, according to the general vital statistics of the civilized world, we must look for from 6300 to 6400 annual births. Take from this the number of annual legitimate births stated above, and there remains no margin for any large number of illegitimate births. Any one can see that it is a moral impossibility that they should exceed three or four hundred.

The same thing can be made out by means of the number of the married, which is accurately taken every year. In April, 1867, there were 30,471 married women in Rome. Now, how many children could be expected to be born annually from that number? We can approximate very nearly to this by considering the census of the kingdom of Italy, as given in the Civilta Cattolica of 20th of June, 1868. From this we find that for about 4,297,346 married women there were about 900,000 births, which gives us one yearly for every five married women, very nearly. Applying this proportion to Rome, we should have of 30,471 married women, 6094 births. The actual number, including still-born, was, as we have seen, 6120.

The Civilta Cattolica says, "This proportion of 28.3 of legitimate births for every one thousand of the population speaks very well for a capital city." And so it does; it shows, what we have always understood them to be, that the Romans are as virtuous and moral as any people of the world.

In passing, we commend to the Rev. Mr. Bacon the figures of the official census of the kingdom of Italy, from which we find the percentage of illegitimacy for 1863 to have been 4.8; for 1864, 5. It is to be observed that there is somewhat of a deterioration in this last year, perhaps owing to the success of the efforts of the Bible and tract societies to throw the pure light of "gospel truth" on this hitherto benighted land. The rate of illegitimacy in Scotland, which Mr. Laing, in his Notes of a Traveller, calls the most religious Protestant country in Europe, is double that of Italy, the country most thoroughly Catholic.

And we ask, moreover, of Mr. Bacon, the direct question, What is the[55] honesty of representing the relative chastity of England and Italy as 5 to 21, when the real proportions are 6.4 to 5? It may do very well to charge Brother Hatfield and Brother Prime, when you have your own good name to vindicate against their charges, with gross unfairness in controversy; but we consider your adroit shirking of all the statements of The Catholic World, on the plea of an error found in a quotation from The Church and World, as quite as dishonorable as any thing you have charged against them. Your persistence in repeating calumnious statements, and spreading them out as you do among readers who will not see the refutation, will give you and your friend, Mr. M. Hobart Seymour, an unenviable notoriety among the worst calumniators of the Catholic religion who have as yet appeared. You have repeated, some time ago, that most infamous calumny of the Tax-book of the Roman Chancery, so amply refuted by Bishop England; but although it has been called to your notice, you have never had the grace to apologize. The old maxim seems to have been, "Lie as hard as you can, and lay it on thick, for it will all be believed," and hence we had our Maria Monks and our Brownlees. Now the tactics are to be changed, and the maxim seems to be, "Let there be some semblance of truth mixed with the lie, so that it may sink deeper; let the calumny be sugared over with professions of 'fair play,' and it will work with better effect;" and hence come such things as the Moral Results of Romanism, by Messrs. Seymour and Bacon, the "model controversialists."

To come back to Rome. The Civilta Cattolica tells us that the census has been taken in the same way since the sixteenth century. The total number of births, 4373, of Bowring, were then the total of legitimate births, not the absolute total. The number of 3160 foundlings received turns out to be the number of orphans—some of them 80 years old, for all we know; for some are cared for as long as they live—and other destitute or abandoned children. And thus this beautiful piece of "mosaic work," intended to exhibit the horrible vice of Rome to the gaze of an admiring and astonished public, falls to pieces. Instead of the anomalous state of things in which each married couple in Rome would have on an average one child in the space of 25 years, they are found to be quite as prolific as other people, and quite as virtuous. Rome, in respect to offences against chastity, is probably the most orderly and decent city of its size in the world. Maguire says:[20]

"The returns (criminal) embrace all kinds of crime.... And among the rest they comprehend a class of offenders who, in some countries—for instance, in France—are under the control as well as sanctioned by the police authorities, and in others defy almost all authority or restraint whatsoever. I allude to women of depraved character, not one of whom is to be met with in the streets of Rome, which may accordingly be traversed with impunity at any hour of the evening or night by a modest female without the risk of having her eyes and ears offended, as they are in too many cities of our highly civilized empire. Offenders of this class are at once made amenable to the law, and committed either to the Termini, or to the institution of the Good Shepherd, where the most effectual means of reformation are adopted, and in very many instances with success—both institutions being specially under the care and control of religious communities."

It is the fashion to decry Rome—to represent her population as cowed down and discontented with their government; to this the reception which Garibaldi with his war-cry of "Rome or death"—though he lived to [56] see another day, after all—met with from the Roman people, is a sufficient reply: or to say that they are miserably poor or degraded; to this, Count de Reyneval, in his report to the French minister for foreign affairs, says:

"The condition of the population is one of comparative ease.... An appearance of prosperity strikes the eyes of the least observant. Gaiety of the most expansive kind is to be traced in the faces of all. It may be asked whether this can be the people whose miseries excite to such a degree the commiseration of Europe?"[21]

Rome, then, with a garrison of over 7000 soldiers, and with an immense influx of visitors from all parts of the world, and particularly of wealthy pleasure-seekers from England and America; with a stern suppression of prostitution and public vice, still shows a rate of illegitimacy less than six per cent; a rate lower than that of England, or any Protestant country which has published statistics on the subject.

We have thus given this matter as thorough and complete an investigation as has been possible under the circumstances. We have given the reasons for all we have stated, and the reader can see for himself the force of our arguments. We neither desire to misrepresent nor to be misrepresented; and we would not make one misstatement to the disadvantage of any one, be he Protestant or any thing else; or conceal any thing which has a bearing on the question, even if it should put our side of it in an unfavorable light. If we have done any of these things, it is unconsciously to ourselves; and therefore we feel, perhaps too warmly and indignantly, this trickery, when it is attempted to make us the victims of it.

From our previous experience, we look for a more active circulation of this calumny, from our refutation of it; but we console ourselves with the reflection that there is a God in heaven who watches over all, and who will make the truth apparent in due time. At any rate, no such consideration shall hinder us a moment from exposing error and deception, so far as our occupations and duties shall afford us the leisure to do so.


"Pour chercher mieux."—Device of Queen Christina of Sweden.


I entered the novitiate on the 22d. The Veni sponsa Christi, accipe coronam quam tibi Dominus præparavit in æternum has been sounding in my heart ever since like a war-cry, animating me to the interior combat. For the cloister is that oasis in the great desert of the world where is carried on a vital combat between nature and grace, more furious than that between Christian and Paynim in the Diamond of the desert. I have been much happier since I entered upon my new life, and am glad I can go out no more. I love the solitude [57] and calmness of the cloister, which at last extends to the heart; I love the shrines "where their vigils pale-eyed virgins keep;" I love the companionship of those who seem unsullied by earthly passions; and I love this release from all earthly care, with no thought for what we shall eat, or what we shall drink, or wherewithal we shall be clothed. Is it not better than the bustle and vanity of the world, which almost efface the thought of God?

And then, you know, I have always believed that there are some who are called to perpetuate the glorious fellowship of Christ's sufferings; to share, as members of his body, the pains and sorrows of the great Head of the church; and to make reparation to heaven for the constant outrages against the Divine Majesty. As Faber says, "Nuns are the turtle-doves of the church, who have to mourn in a spirit of loving sorrow and sweet reparation over the wrongs of their heavenly Spouse."

The heart of St. Augustine was so full of the love of God and the sense of what is his due, that he is always represented holding it all aflame in his hands. Old legends tell us how an angel bore it away to a sanctuary, where it will still tremble in its crystal case if an unbeliever enters the church where it is exposed. So tremulously alive to the honor and glory of God should be the hearts that are gathered together in the cloister. How many souls fly thither to make up, as it were, to God what is wanting on the part of their sinful brethren! Apropos, I must tell you about one of our nuns, who is full of holy fervor. In the late retreat, the director asked her the subject of her particular examen. "Self-abnegation," was the reply. "Do you find many occasions for practising it?" inquired the père. "Not as many as I could wish." "What is the virtue which you particularly ask of our Lord in your devotions, and by the actions of each day?" "I ask for no virtue, mon père." "With what intention, then, do you offer them?" "For the conversion of sinners, and the greater glory of God."

Is not this admirable? I am sure many Protestants could hardly comprehend a piety so disinterested as to lose sight, in a measure, of one's own profit in zeal for God's cause.

The facilities are also great in the cloister for the frequent reception of the sacraments, which quicken the moral circulation. The pulsations of the soul are more healthful after the infusion of divine grace through them. I went to holy communion this morning. The Divine Host seemed to me a burning coal from off the altar of God, and the priest, the angel who placed it on my lips. "Our God is a consuming fire." I prayed that he might consume every affection in my heart that was not centred in him; and, as I felt the torrent of divine flame circulating in my veins, every earthly desire, every human passion, seemed to die away within me. For a moment, at least, I felt the signification of the words of the great apostle of the Gentiles, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who liveth in me." Might such moments be perpetuated! But it is of faith that those who have partaken of Christ's body and blood remain in him, and he in them, as long as they are in a state of grace. It is this interior presence of the divinity which animated the saints to the sacrifice, and made even this world, amid all their privations and austerities, a very foretaste of heaven. What sweet solemnity and thoughtfulness reign in the heart sensible of this divine presence! In its light the soul,


"Like the stained web that whitens in the sun,
Grows pure by being purely shone upon."

As you say, a great deal does depend upon the influences that surround us, especially with weak souls like me. I envy those men who are as gods, in spite of temperament, or clime, or any outward influence; who go on unchecked from one degree of glory to another, to the very heights of sanctity. I am always drifting along, awaiting the impulse of the sacraments, or the helping hand of some stronger friend, too glad if I do not recede. Ah! solitude brings us face to face with ourselves, and reveals to us our moral littleness. Nothing is more humbling than this revelation. Nothing makes us more distrustful of ourselves, and more willing to accept the appointed means of perfection. The life our director thinks the safest is a common life, lived in an uncommon manner; that is, while we do the same things as those around us, it is with motives so holy that each action is rendered in a degree supernatural. This is the great secret of the hidden and interior life, which the saints of all ages have loved and of which St. Joseph is the type.

I have been reading Fioretti; or, the Little Flowers of St. Francis d'Assisi—a collection of the sayings of the first Franciscans, with a rare bloom on them. These mediæval flowers, so long shut up in a foreign tongue, have a delicious fragrance, and while I inhaled their odor I forgot that I belonged to an incredulous age. There is a simplicity truly poetical in this collection, which is admirable. One little remark of Friar Egide struck me: "La voie la plus directe pour nous sauver, c'est de nous perdre." This loss, this annihilation of self, on the ruins of which must be built up the great edifice of our perfection, is what I daily sigh after, and what I ask for you. The Père Milley, a Jesuit, speaks much of "le pays des âmes perdues"—a country to which all my desires tend. It is a promised land which I see afar off; another Canaan, which I hardly dare hope to enter, though I look wistfully on those who are lost in God—that ocean without limit, where our littleness is swallowed up in immensity, and we almost forget our fears and our frailties; we know not whether we suffer or are consoled; conscious only of the divine atmosphere—conscious only that we love!...

Our novitiate is a large apartment with five immense windows in it. (When you are taxed for windows, you may as well have large ones, and the French love the air and live in it.) No matter how cold it is, the windows are always open—and when I say open, I mean the whole window; for, as I have already remarked, they swing open like folding doors. On cold days a few mottes are burning in the fireplace, around which a folding screen is drawn. These mottes are mostly of tan, pressed into flat round cakes like a small cheese. They give out strong heat. Wood is very scarce here, and consequently dear, and I have never seen coal. As for lights, we burn linseed-oil, which gives a clear yellow light, and the odor is not offensive like whale-oil. Each sister has a little coil of yellow wax-taper to light when she wishes to go about the monastery in the evening.

The floor is paved with square red tiles, as in all the houses here, but we have little mats to protect our feet from the chill. Each novice has her table and writing-desk, at which she studies or sews. At one end of the room is an altar, and the walls are adorned with engravings of a religious character. Leading from the novitiate is the chambrette of the[59] mistress of novices, in which is the novices' library. It is always open to us, and we like an excuse for entering it.

Our manner of spending the day is nearly unvaried. We rise at half-past four, and, after completing our toilettes, (for even nuns have toilettes; one's garments must be put together somehow,) we descend to the chapel. The choir is impenetrably dark most of the year at this early hour. Only the little lamp is twinkling near the tabernacle! One by one the nuns come noiselessly in, like so many shadows. This hour of morning meditation is delicious. The perfect stillness, in which you can hear your own heart beat, disposes you to reflection. The soul becomes steeped in the spirit of the place and the hour passes too quickly away. Then we say the hours. The morning sacrifice follows with its awful mysteries, which are ever fresh and wonderful.

When we issue from the chapel, after our exercises of more than two hours, we go one by one, when we choose, to the refectory, for there is no breakfast, properly speaking. The nuns take a piece of dry bread, with perchance some fruit, and eat it, as the children of Israel ate the passover, standing and ready girded for the labors of the day, for which we are all ready at eight. That would be called a fast in America. But when a sister is delicate, she can have some coffee or chocolate. The world used to cry out against the good living of monastic orders; now it says their austerities are fatal to the health. It is always the way with the world—now, as in the days when John the Baptist came "neither eating nor drinking."

The French know nothing of the cup that cheers but does not inebriate. They only take tea medicinally, and seem to have no idea of how it should be prepared. It is a prevalent belief here that every Englishman in his travels carries his tea-kettle with him, and they suppose the whole race partial to the beverage. So, by way of a fête, they proposed regaling me with some the other day. I accepted what was no luxury to me. A good sister brought me what she styled soupe au thé, consisting of an abundance of milk and water, with a dash of tea. (I rely on the veracity of the cuisinière for this last item.) Into this, bread was sliced, and the whole served up in a soup-plate! Confucius himself would have laughed. I am sure I did till I cried, to the great scandal of all the nuns, who were gravely listening to some holy legend as they ate. Shall I tell you what I did with my soupe au thé? I hope I am not vain of the heroic act, but I—ate it!

Fifteen minutes before dinner we have examination of conscience. We go to the table saying, "De profundis clamavi" and leave it reciting, "Miserere Domine!" We eat in silence, listening to the gospel of the day, the lives of the saints, or some other religious book, read by one of the sisters from a high pulpit. After dinner is a reunion, when we come together with our sewing or other handiwork, and have the privilege of talking, and sometimes we make la cour du roi Pétaud, I assure you. At one o'clock the lay sisters come in, while we read aloud for half an hour, if no chapter has been convoked. They too bring their work. One old sister always brings her spindle and distaff, and twirls away, sitting bolt upright, and looking so grim that she always seems to me one of the Fates lengthening out the thread of life. At three we have vespers, and then make half an hour's meditation. From compline we go to supper at[60] six, after which we walk in the garden or assemble together within doors. At eight o'clock is read the subject for the next morning's meditation, and we go to the choir to say the office, and for night prayers. Thus closes the day with prayer, as it began. We all light our little tapers and go silently to our cells for the night. Such is the outline of our life, which is so well filled up that we have few leisure moments. We hear of lazy monks and nuns, but there are no drones in our busy hive, with our boarding-school, day and free schools, with their hundreds of pupils, and this vast building to keep in order. Night comes before we know it, and another day is gone. There is one day less in which to struggle with self, and, alas! one day less in which to sacrifice something for God! You ask for the shadow in the picture of my life. There is ever one dark spot in our existence, the shadow of ourselves, which follows us wherever we go.

But we have one grievance just now. Finisterre is the name of the portal that separates us from the world, but it cannot wholly exclude its sounds. I will explain. The city rises so abruptly behind our monastery that the garden of the Count de T——, on the opposite side of the street, is on a level with our second story. And the street that separates us is one of those dim, narrow streets found only in old cities of the south, where it is desirable to exclude the heat. For several nights past when we have come from our dear quiet chapel, with our hearts all subdued and thoughtful, and pondering on the subject for the next morning's meditation, a "toot, tooting," is heard from the garden opposite that is enough to distract a saint. It is a French horn, or some other wind instrument, surely meant for some vast campagna. But, essayed in a small garden, with a hill in the rear to aid the reverberation, the whole volume of sound comes pouring across the corridor into our cells, the very embodiment of worldly discord and tumult. "Pazienza!" we say to ourselves, and try to turn a deaf ear. I dare say the performer has some idea of enlivening the poor recluses, who have no other wish but to be left to their own reveries, save that the time of the vintage may soon come when he can awaken the echoes of the vineyard.

It is the festival of the Assumption. While I write, all the bells of the city are ringing, statues and banners of Mary are borne through the streets by the clergy, followed by a long procession of people. The deep-toned "ora pro nobis" breaks in upon the stilly air. Each invocation seems like a cry of agony, which goes heavenward from hearts weary of the world and the things of the world. These processions are made throughout France in memory of the celebrated vow of Louis XIII., who consecrated France to the Virgin. It is also a national holiday in honor of Napoleon I., being his birthday. "St. Napoleon's Day," say the people with a smile!

I saw a pretty picture last evening—Sister Rose standing on a stool near the fountain of the court, surrounded by a group of gay young ladies, to whom she was preaching. She looked like a statue of St. Angèle. Sister Rose is a lay sister, wholly uneducated, but with a certain piety of a mystical nature which has given her quite a reputation for sanctity. She has an oval face of pale olive hue, jet black eyes with an indrawn look as if conscious of some interior Presence, and regular features, with a delicacy and refinement quite remarkable considering[61] her laborious life. She never meets you without a smile and a "word for Jesus," as she says. The young ladies of the boarding-school love and revere her so much that they often lay violent hands upon her and force her to preach to them, which she does with a smile and the same inward look, and with a grace of gesture peculiar to her country. As her discourse was in patois, (one of the langues d'Oc, and the tongue of Jasmin, who lives at Agen,) which all understand here, I was not benefited thereby; but her appearance and her saintly face, with its gentle, serious smile, were impressive. The exuberance of her audience was soon subdued.

There are a good many Spaniards in this city who are exiled on account of their political opinions, being Carlists. They had a solemn mass of requiem chanted in our chapel, the other day, for the repose of the soul of Don Carlos. Nearly thirty Spanish gentlemen and some ladies were present. A bier was placed in the centre of the chapel and surrounded by lights, as if the body were there, and on the pall was placed a wreath of laurel. The officiating priest, too, was a Spaniard. I looked with interest on these exiles from their native land, and my heart grew warm toward them; they were extremely devout during mass, and I saw many of them wipe away their fast-falling tears. I could not repress my own; for separation from the fatherland seemed a bond of sympathy I could not resist. Thus, when I am gone, and my remains lie in a foreign land, may some kind souls gather together in the sanctuary of God to chant the Requiem æternam for my tried soul!

Once a month we meditate particularly on death, and offer all our devotions as a preparation for our last end. When mass is over, and the thanksgiving for our communion is ended—no, not ended, for it can never end; but while it is still ascending from our hearts, our dear mère, who is as pale as the wife of Seneca, goes forward and kneels before the grate that separates the choir from the chancel, and says in earnest tones the litany for a happy death. Her voice trembles as she repeats the awful petition: "When my eyes, obscured at the approach of death, cast their dying looks toward thee, O merciful Jesus! and when my lips, cold and trembling, pronounce for the last time on earth thy adorable name—" "Merciful Jesus, have pity on me!" sighs every heart in response. The impression of these prayers pursues the mind all day. "Lord, in that strait, the Judge! remember me!"

On St. Andrew's day we buried one of the nuns, who was about ninety years of age and quite superannuated. This death did not affect me so much as that of Sister Sophie. The transition from old age to the grave seems so natural that it excites less horror than when one dies in the full vigor of life. Mère Ste. Ursule was of a noble family of La Vendée. At the age of sixteen she entered a community of Poor Clares, one of the most rigid orders of the church; but, during her novitiate, the great French Revolution swept away nearly every vestige of religion, and the nuns of St. Clare were driven out from their quiet cells into the world. When the gendarmes forced them to leave the convent, these emissaries desecrated every thing and broke and threw out the sacred emblems. As Sister Ursule, who had a most tender devotion to her whom Châteaubriand styles "the divinity of the frail and the desolate," was leaving the cloister she had loved so much, she turned to give it a last look, and saw a[62] small statue of Notre Dame de Grâce standing on the convent wall. She said to one of her sister nuns, "It seems as if the Blessed Virgin reproaches me for leaving," and she turned back to save the statue from insult. The gendarmes did not oppose the design of the young novice, and this bonne Vierge was for more than sixty years the ornament and tutelary genius of the cell of Mère Ste. Ursule, after her re-entrance into religion. With all the fervor of southern devotion toward Mary, she used to prostrate herself daily before this statuette, and when fallen into second childhood she would pour out her heart in effusions of child-like simplicity at once charming and poetic. She often said to her novices: "When I am dying, place my bonne Vierge on my bed beside me."

After the Revolution, the more rigid orders were not restored, and Mère Ste. Ursule, despairing of the re-establishment of the Poor Clares, joined the Ursulines, and was for a long time mistress of novices at the priory. In her last days she did nothing but pray and adorn the altar in her cell. She knew the office by heart, and always recited it at the canonical hours. Her beads were told many times a day, and she never failed to use the discipline with severity. I often went to see her and her bonne Vierge. She died suddenly of old age. Being somewhat more feeble than usual, one of the sisters remained with her during the night. Mère Ste. Ursule said her office and rosary, but did not sleep. Toward day the sister perceived the approach of death; she took down the statue of Notre Dame de Grâce and laid it in the arms of the aged nun, whose spirit instantly fled to the presence of Mary in heaven. It was at the hour of dawn. The first beam of the dayspring from on high carried her soul away from earth.

Again those solemn funeral services! I cannot tell you the effect they have on me.

A friend sent me a curious pear to-day, said to be peculiar to this city. It is called the Bon Chrétien, but very different from the one we called so at home. It is a large, coarse-grained pear, but juicy and toothsome, and has no seeds; that is, as every one says, those that grow within the limits of the city have none, while those that are found in the country are seedy enough. Old legends connect this peculiarity with St. Oren's miraculous powers.

December 8.—This is the festival of the Immaculate Conception, the patronal feast of the chapel of the priory. For nine days past the convent bell has rung out a joyful peal at the hour of the novena to Maria Immaculata, when her litany was chanted to a beautiful Spanish air which completely melts the heart. Unusual pomp has been given to this fête on account of the expected decision respecting the dogma of the Immaculate Conception at Rome. This morning we had more than a dozen masses, for the clergy love to come to this antique chapel on the feasts of Mary. At ten o'clock, about twenty priests came to sing high mass, and again this afternoon for vespers. The chapel was crowded with people from the city. Thus for centuries have the faithful congregated on this same day. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed all day. I passed hours in its presence, bearing in my heart all my innumerable wants, and those of my friends afar off. How like heaven is our dear chapel when the Lamb of God is[63] thus exposed to our adoration! In a niche over the altar gleams the holy image of Mary. The Divinity is enshrined in light beneath her maternal eye, the air filled with incense, as if fanned by adoring angels. The arches are full of harmony. Every power of body and mind is captivated, and one abandons one's self to the impressions of the moment. It gives one a peculiar emotion to hear men chant the praises of Mary. What a reverence they must have for womanhood! Their Miserere nobis in the litany was the very cry of a contrite heart. I should have thought myself in paradise had not the supplicatory tones of the clergy announced a felicity still imperfect.

All this is infinitely beautiful and poetic, apart from every sentiment of religion. Every day of my life would seem to you a chapter full of poetry; but I have become so accustomed to what I once thought belonged to a bygone age of mystery and romance, that it all seems the natural order of events. And one soon learns to rise above the mere ceremonials of religion, which are so full of enjoyment to some natures, to that which they typify. Such is the design of Holy Church—to lead the heart up to God, its true centre. Perhaps, too, she wishes that every power of our being should be enlisted in his service; the imagination as well as reason.

After vespers we had a fine sermon from the Abbé Lassale upon the invocation: Regina sine labe concepta, ora pro nobis! It is the custom here now, as, from the sermons of Bossuet, we see it was in the time of Louis XIV., for the preacher, after invoking the Holy Spirit, to present a plan of his discourse, make some introductory remarks, and then stop. Both preacher and audience kneel in silence for the space of an Ave Maria, then all rise and the sermon is continued. The custom is quite impressive.

December 15.—Owing to the antiquity of our chapel, long since dedicated to the mystery of the Immaculate Conception, the archbishop permitted us, as a particular favor, to celebrate the octave of this great festival of Mary with a sermon and benediction every evening. The whole chapel was daily illuminated, and the effect was magical when it was lighted up. Imagine arches of light, pillars wreathed in flame, altar covered with flowers and brilliant with immense wax candles; while in the midst gleamed the Virgin in a perfect bower of pure white lilies. And, just as the imagination is fired with so much brilliancy and taste, Kyrie eleison! floats up with the incense in the most plaintive, heart-rending tones—a very tear of the heart dropped at the feet of Mary! It is the commencement of the litany of Maria Immaculata, chanted by the nuns in choir, and responded to by the crowds that fill the chapel without. Light and music are the two ideas of which Dante's Paradise is composed; and I felt with what true poetic instinct, when kneeling before that shrine of light, my ears listened to harmonies approaching those that swell for ever before the throne of God! This struck me from the first; and I have since found my thoughts expressed by another far better than I could express them. Leigh Hunt says: "It is impossible to see this profusion of lights, especially when one knows their symbolical meaning, without being struck with the source from which Dante took his idea of the beatified spirits. His heaven, filled with lights, and lights, too, arranged in figures, which glow with lustre in proportion to the beatitude of the souls within them, is the sublimation[64] of a Catholic church. And so far it is heavenly indeed; for nothing escapes the look of materiality like fire. It is so airy, joyous, and divine a thing, when separated from the idea of pain and an ill purpose, that the language of happiness naturally adopts its terms, and can tell of nothing more rapturous than burning bosoms and sparkling eyes. The seraph of the Hebrew theology was a fire."

Christmas.—Yesterday was spent in retreat, by way of preparing our hearts for the solemnities of the nativity; and I have kept a real old-fashioned vigil—a vigil of the middle ages. I wish you could have heard the joyful ring of all the bells of the city as midnight approached. At the cathedral, the clear tones of the smaller bells, like the voices of nuns in choir, and the great Bourdon among them, "like the chanting of a friar," as Longfellow says; the carillon, too, from St. Pierre; and then all the convent bells sounding from Carmel, the Oratory, the Filles de Marie, and La Miséricorde, and those of the Hospital, Le Grand Séminaire, etc., etc., are infinitely impressive in the stillness of the night—the prelude of a great joy, breaking in upon our meditation on the birth of Christ. When the bells were all hushed, the priest stood at the foot of the blazing altar; all the rest of the chapel was in darkness—not a taper in the choir. There was not a sound but the night wind. The saints on the walls, half revealed in their dim recesses, looked like the spirits of the old monks come forth at this mystic hour to guard the chapel their hands once raised.

It was the second time I ever communicated at midnight mass, and I imagined my heart the manger in which the Infant Jesus came to repose. I thought, as I returned from the holy table to my prie-dieu, of the first tears of the Divine Babe, and that he bewailed my continued imperfections. "Ah! why should not thy tears," I exclaimed, "wash away my sins, that thou be not forced to shed also thy most precious blood! I, too, weep. I, who deserve to weep, join my tears to thine. O Virgin Mother! take back thy child! His presence makes me an object of horror to myself. His tears scald my very heart. His caresses are like arrows that pierce my soul. Thou alone canst console him; only clean hands and a pure heart should embrace spotless innocence. My spiritual vision is too weak to bear the Orient from on high. Yes, Mary, thou alone canst console him; for thou art immaculate. Embrace him for me—those hands and feet which will be pierced for me; and wipe away the tears that have commenced to flow but too soon."

"Oh! blissful and calm was the wondrous rest
That thou gavest thy God in thy virginal breast.
For the heaven he left he found heaven in thee;
And he shone in thy shining, sweet Star of the sea!"

After hearing three masses, we went to visit the manger. A kind of tent had been erected in the upper choir. In it was a statue of St. Joseph, the Blessed Virgin, an ox, an ass, and in the centre on the straw lay the new-born Infant with its little arms outstretched. Above hovered the angels. Though rudely cast, their effect was good in the dim light. We knelt around, and the novices sang out joyfully a Christmas carol, the chorus of which was "Jésus est né!"—Christ is born! All this gave a certain vividness to the festival which it never had before; and I enjoyed it much. True, our manger is too homely to bear the criticisms of the scoffer. St. Joseph, for a carpenter, is rather gaudily dressed out in a[65] scarlet robe, purple mantle, ruffle-bosomed shirt, with a breast-pin; and the Virgin hardly does credit to her reputation for beauty and grace; but the eye of faith looks beyond and reads only the lesson of child-like simplicity and humility—nowhere so well learned as at Bethlehem.

"I adore thee, O Infant Jesus! naked, weeping, and lying in the manger. Thy childhood and poverty are become my delight. Oh! that I could be thus poor, thus a child like thee. O eternal wisdom! reduced to the condition of a little babe, take from me the vanity and presumptuousness of human wisdom! Make me a child with thee. Be silent, ye teachers and sages of the earth! I wish to know nothing but to be resigned, to be willing to suffer, to lose and forsake all, to be all faith! The Word made Flesh! now is silent, now has an imperfect utterance, now weeps as a child! And shall I set up for being wise? Shall I take a complacency in my own schemes and systems? Shall I be afraid lest the world should not have an opinion high enough of my capacity? No, no; all my pleasure shall be to decrease—to become little and obscure, to live in silence, to bear the reproach of Jesus crucified, and to add thereto the helplessness and imperfect utterance of Jesus, a child."[22]

The manger remains till Epiphany. It is gotten up by the scholars, who delight in it, especially the younger ones, who go to present the Infant Jesus with fruit, nuts, bonbons, money, and whatever their childish hearts suggest. These things are for the Holy Infant in the person of poor children among whom they are distributed, that they too may have some pleasure at Christmas-tide. I find it a pretty custom, as well as beneficial; for piety should not all evaporate in sentiment, but, even in children, ought to be embodied in some good deed, or prompt to some act of self-denial. The children of France take much pleasure in making little sacrifices of pocket-money (not in the spirit of Mrs. Pardiggle's unfortunate children!) for the association of the Sainte Enfance, the funds of which are destined to rescue hundreds of little children, who are exposed to death in China by their parents, and even to buy those who are exposed for sale, that they may be reared as Christians. Last year, four hundred thousand children were thus baptized—an angelic work, worthy of young and pure hearts. Our scholars embroider collars and do a variety of fancy work for a fair among themselves, by which they amass quite a sum in the course of the year. The French children are exceedingly volatile, but there is a great deal of piety among them. During Passion-time a little girl of nine or ten, belonging to the poor scholars, undertook to meditate fifteen minutes a day, for a certain number of days, on the sufferings of Christ. One of the nuns asked her how she employed the time, so long for a child. She replied, naïvement, "I thought each thorn that pierced the head of Christ was one of my sins!"

After our nocturnal devotions, we novices returned to the novitiate, where the Yule log was blazing. By way of a rarity, we all had coffee to refresh us after our vigil, and we sat around the fire chatting in a home-like manner, and repeating Christmas carols.

"He neither shall be born
In housen nor in hall,
Nor in the place of Paradise,
But in an ox's stall;
He neither shall be rocked
In silver nor in gold,
But in a wooden cradle
That rocks upon the mould."

In the country, on Christmas eve, the young peasants go about from house to house, singing Christmas carols, expecting some treat in return.

I saw to-day a little picture of the Child Jesus making crosses in the work-shop of his foster-father. Perhaps[66] it was one of these that the poets tell us the little St. John contended for:

"Give me the cross, I pray you, dearest Jesus!
Oh! if you knew how much I wish to have it,
You would not hold it in your hand so tightly.
Something has told me, something in my breast here,
Which I am sure is true, that if you keep it,
If you will let no other take it from you,
Terrible things I cannot bear to think of
Must fall upon you. Show me that you love me;
Am I not here to be your little servant,
Follow your steps and wait upon your wishes?"

At four o'clock in the morning we returned to the choir. I stationed myself before the manger to make my meditation on the mystery of the day. Of course Christmas is not very merry after such a vigil, but who can tell the holy joy of such a night—worth all the gayeties of the world!

I read in the refectory for the first time to-day. When I returned to the novitiate after my dinner the good mother said, "You have read so well, you merit a recompense." I glanced at the mantel and saw the American stamps with the benign faces of Washington and Franklin, so welcome in this far-off land....

I hope you will never speak of burdening me with an account of your infirmities, whether bodily or spiritual. I love that loving command of the apostle, to bear one another's burdens; for we are never more Christ-like than when we forget our own trials to bind up the wounds of a fellow-sufferer. Be assured I pray for you without ceasing. I never enter the presence of the Blessed Sacrament without invoking a blessing on you and on my dear country. I never communicate or perform an act of penance without desiring that you may participate in the grace I receive. Oh! that by my fidelity to God I might draw down the blessings I daily implore for you and for all who are dear to me! O my God! spare me not. Let me suffer mental and bodily trials, let me be the victim of thy justice; but spare my loved ones! If I cannot labor directly for thee, I can at least suffer for thee, for them, and for the whole world. Thy victim, O God! thy victim. The name befits me better than that of thy spouse.

I have read somewhere that the ropes in the English navy are so twisted that a red thread runs through them all, in such a way that the smallest pieces may be recognized as belonging to the crown. So through our lives should run a thread, coloring its whole woof—a love for God interwoven with the very thread of existence, and inspiring every act of our lives. St. Francis de Sales said if he knew that the least fibre of his heart did not beat with love for God he would pluck it out. O love that transcends all others! how did we once exist without thee? O days without a sun! O nights rayless and dark! how happy are we who have escaped from your gloom! How different is the divine friend from our earthly one. When once we have studied a person and penetrated his individuality, the charm of his presence is gone. We have squeezed him dry. But the friend that sticketh closer than a brother, he is unfathomable and ever new. The heart is never weary of divine companionship. On the contrary, the more completely we give ourselves up to it, to the exclusion of every other, the more we feel that God alone can satisfy the cravings of our hearts.

Dieu seul was the device a holy American bishop gave me on the day of my confirmation. The signification of these words has been growing upon me ever since. They have expanded till they have filled the whole heavens, and lit up my life[67] with wondrous splendor. There is no spot on my horizon where they do not shine out. Every object unmarked by them seems to fade out of view. All knowledge, all science grows pale before their significance, and every wound of the heart finds a balm in their healing ray. "Paix! paix! Dieu seul est la paix!" says Fénélon.

February.—The day on which Pius IX. added the crowning star of immaculate purity to the coronet of Mary was the cause of great rejoicing throughout France. All the principal cities have been illuminated. At Toulouse, the sides and roof of St. Saturnin's cathedral were covered with lights, and another church had fifteen thousand lamps upon it. Ours was not least among the cities in her joy, and it did the soul good to witness such a display of Catholic piety and enthusiasm, worthy of the ages of faith. As soon as the bull of promulgation arrived from Rome, Monseigneur ordered the Te Deum to be chanted with the utmost pomp in all the churches of the diocese. The same evening the whole city was illuminated. Nothing had been seen like it since the visit of Napoleon I. to this city. At the grand portal of the priory were several hundred lamps, forming a monogram of Mary, over a beautiful transparency of the Vierge Immaculée. The belfry, tower, and all the windows of this immense establishment were lighted up, and many windows were like chapels of the Virgin all aflame. The top of the convent walls was one long line of light, so closely were the lamps placed upon it. Pennons with the colors of the Virgin were placed at uniform distances among these lights, and one floated from the stone cross on the chapel. The whole scene was magical. From the tower we could see much of the city, which was so universally illuminated and adorned that it looked like that city of jewels

"In fairy land whose streets and towers
Are made of gems, and lights, and flowers."

All was so still that no one would have suspected the intense enthusiasm that reigned in every heart. Only from before a little statue of the Madonna, in the convent garden, rose a sweet song to the Virgin, Ave Sanctissima! which floated up through the damp night air from the lips of the spouses of Christ with a sound as plaintive as the voice of past times.

Even the poorest people in the city—and you know not how poor are the poorest in this old country—had their candles and a picture of the Virgin at the window. One poor woman begged enough to buy a wax candle, which she cut in three pieces to light up her wretched abode. The towers of the cathedral looked like the jewelled turrets of Irim. All the public buildings were also lighted up. I wonder when the civil authorities of the United States will order a general illumination in honor of the Virgin Mary! On the top of the hospital was a Vierge en feu. Even one window of the prison tower, which looms up behind the cathedral—a huge quadrangular monument, dark and forbidding as a donjon keep of ages past—was brilliant with lights, while far up in the very highest window gleamed one bright solitary lamp, like the last ray of hope in the heart of the captive. That light pierced me to the heart.

And all this in honor of a once obscure virgin of Judea. One can well sing "Exaltavit humiles." In the streets were arches of triumph, and at most of the windows were Madonnas, crosses, monograms, flags, etc., etc. The streets were crowded with people as on Holy Thursday, for every[68] body went to visit the different churches and monasteries, and thousands came in from the country. But all were so quiet and thoughtful that one felt it was a religious festival. The Rue du Prieuré was crammed, but so subdued were the voices that we should hardly have been aware of it, had we not seen the people from the grated windows above. Such thoughtfulness was truly edifying.

Holy Week has just passed again with its touching ceremonies, which recall so many overwhelming mysteries of faith. What a feast for the soul on Maunday Thursday, when the Divine Host remained all day and night on the altar amid a blaze of lights, and the perfume of flowers and incense, exposed to the eyes of his adorers! Who could tear himself away from that altar? Who could hunger after earthly aliment when that Living Bread was replenishing the hungry soul? Ah! what are the pleasures of the world compared with those found in thy presence, O Incarnate Word! I read the fourteenth chapter of St. John's Gospel, those tender words of our Saviour before his crucifixion, and meditated on them for hours.

Many of the nuns remained all night before the Blessed Sacrament. We novices made the holy hour together—that midnight hour of union with the Saviour's agony in the garden. "Couldst thou not watch one hour with me," he seemed to say. Such an hour is an eternity for the heart that loves.

"O God!" I say constantly, "the Catholic Church alone knows how to honor thee with due worship." I wish I could define all the emotions of the past few days, when the sufferings of Christ were renewed in our hearts. I thought my very heart would break on Holy Thursday during the Stabat Mater. The words and the music are the very embodiment of sorrow, and I felt myself with Mary at the foot of the cross, sharing the pain from that sword of grief.

The ceremonies of this holy time are, of course, far more simple in our chapel than at the cathedral, but perhaps not less touching. Nothing could be more so than, at the veneration of the cross on Good Friday, to see the long train of nuns reverently lay off their shoes, and, all enveloped in their long black veils, and bowed down by sorrow of heart, approach the crucifix, prostrating themselves to kiss the sacred wounds; and then the three hours agony, when the heart is full of anguish on Calvary.... Several of us remained a part of Good Friday night to grieve with Marie désolée over the traces of her crucified Son. There is a whole existence in such days and nights, and when we come back to ordinary life we are oppressed by the heaviness of the atmosphere.

"How shall we breathe in other air
Less pure, accustomed to immortal fruits?"

Our whole Lent was uncommonly solemn. I never entered so fully into the spirit of the church, never meditated so much on the sufferings of Christ. They so occupied my mind during the hours of meditation, the via crucis, which we make so often, and even during the ordinary duties of our life, that I felt bowed down by a weight of inexpressible sorrow, which the alleluias of Easter and the joyful "Regina Cœli lætare" have hardly dissipated. Oh! why are you not sharing all these impressions? But then you have what perhaps is better—the cross, which is our portion everywhere. "Souffrir et mourir, c'est toute la vie."

I was struck with a little picture I[69] saw to-day: the picture of a cross with cords extending from one of the arms to the foot, like a harp. A person stands leaning on it, his hands touching the strings; and our Saviour was near him; his holy hands uplifted to bless. Every cross would thus be to us a divine lyre with a capability of wonderful harmony, had we the courage to learn to draw it forth. May my hand yet acquire the skill of producing this heavenly music, my ears quick to catch the vibrations of this wonderful instrument, and my soul attuned to its harmony! O wonderful science of the cross! how varied are the lessons the loving heart may learn therefrom. When St. Thomas of Aquin was asked whence he drew the inspiration that fed his wonderful genius, he pointed to his crucifix as its only source. Ah! could we only learn to know "Jesus Christ and him crucified!" May you have the grace to bear your cross with patience, and learn therefrom its wonderful lore. The cross imposed by Almighty God is far more meritorious, far more beneficial to our souls, than any of our own choice; for he alone knows how to crucify. I constantly feel this more and more, that he alone knows how to crucify.

May 11.—This is one of the Rogation days. Curé and flock go in procession around the country chanting the Litany of the Saints to implore the blessing of God on the fruits of the earth. At these times the propriétaires erect huge crosses on their land by the highway, adorn them with garlands, and place at the foot an offering for the curé, perhaps of provisions. The procession passes from one cross to another. All kneel around the emblem of our salvation to beg the divine blessing on the basket and store of him who erected it. It is a beautiful ceremony, at which the peasantry assist with great faith and devotion. It is an expression of dependence on the Giver of all good for every blessing.

Thursday will be the feast of the Ascension. The paschal candle, in whose sacred light we have loved to linger since Easter, is again to be extinguished, and the ten succeeding days we are to pass in retreat and prayer, like the disciples in the upper chamber awaiting the feast of Pentecost.

June.—Yesterday I had been writing for some time in my cell, when I heard an unusual bustle of nuns going to and fro in the long corridors, as if something had happened. Going to the window, I saw the river had risen to an alarming height. An inundation was expected, owing to the sudden melting of snow in the Pyrenees. We all went to clear the chapel. A priest came to transport the blessed sacrament to the upper choir. The quais were crowded with spectators, and the gendarmes were among them keeping order. Masseube is said to be under water. Several of the nuns watched all night. This morning less danger is apprehended, though the river is very high, and the water is coming into the chapel. "Le bon Dieu est irrité contre nous," say the nuns, as they tell their beads to deprecate the wrath of Heaven. Every thing is depressing to-day. Dark clouds hang over us heavy with rain. The cathedral bell is tolling for some funeral. The trees seem to shiver in the winds that come cold from the snowy Pyrenees. And the dying-away tones of some chant afar off is the very voice of sorrow, and only adds to the impressive gloom.

On Trinity Sunday, the whole country was inundated in the valleys of the Garonne, the Adour, and the Gers, causing an immense loss of[70] property. Such a flood has not been known for a hundred years. Some villages are nearly destroyed, many lives lost, the produce of the farms all washed away, and the meadows nearly ruined. The whole country was in consternation. As we are on the banks of the river, we are sufferers of course. It was fortunate we had the precaution to have the blessed sacrament transported to the upper choir, as the next morning there were six or eight feet of water in the chapel, lower choir, and sacristy. It was pitiful to look down from the upper choir on the sanctuary. Notre Dame de Bon Secours was washed down from her niche into the middle of the church, and lay floating on the water flat on her back. The garden was overflowed and nearly ruined; the kitchen, refectory, etc., were invaded. Most of the nuns were up all night carrying things into the second story. All was confusion for some days. We ate what we could and where we could in primitive style—a complete subversion of monastic regularity. The weather had been gloomy for days, but Sunday was one of the brightest, clearest days of June. I went to the tower to see the whole valley covered with water. The effect was fine. The vast expanse of water was sparkling in the sun. The trees and groves were like islets in the midst of a glittering lake. The rapid current swept oceanward, carrying down houses, furniture, bridges—every thing that offered resistance. Crowds of people were out, giving animation to the scene. All this brilliancy was in striking contrast with the wretchedness produced by such a flood! The air was so clear that the Pyrenees seemed very near us, and they gleamed in their snow-clad summits above the verdure and desolation and activity of the world, like the Bride of Heaven in her veil of purity; but they looked cold and cheerless even in the morning sun—and so near heaven!

At Condom, (a village not far off, and remarkable for nothing but that Bossuet was its bishop before he was transferred to Meaux, though he never saw the place,) at Condom more than thirty houses were destroyed—a great number, considering that all the houses here are of stone and very solidly built. Had not our monastery been on a strong foundation, we should now be uncloistered. The chapel is not yet dry, so we have mass still in the upper choir. We are thus brought close to the feet of our Lord. During the office I stand or kneel not two steps from the altar on which is the tabernacle. What bliss! We seem more closely united to Him who is our life, our consolation, our all, and for whom we have left all!

Having mass in the choir obliges the priest to enter the cloister every morning, which seems strange, as ordinarily he never enters except to administer the consolations of religion to the sick. The cloister is very strict here. Our parlors have the blackest of grates, beyond which no visitor comes, and through which we talk to our friends. I love this barricade against the world, which says, "Thus far shalt thou come, and no farther." There is also a grating in the sacristy through which the sacristaine can attend to the wants of the chaplain. Even the choir is separated from the chapel by a grate; the body of the church being for the world.

Having a private opportunity of sending a package to America, I shall despatch my note-book to you, all full of odds and ends as it is. Caught up in my few spare moments, it only contains fragments of what[71] was in my heart. The young missionary who is to take it is only twenty-five years old, and has just been ordained. He is full of enthusiasm for the missionary life. He belongs to a noble family in Auvergne, and is a relative of our dear Sr. St. A——'s. He is the youngest of a patriarchal family of eighteen, six of whom are in heaven. Of the remaining twelve, nine are consecrated to God—two are Jesuits, two Visitandines, one a lady of the Sacred Heart, two devote themselves to the care of the insane, and the ninth is in some other order of charity. This young père has been thirteen years with the Jesuits, six as a pupil, and since as a member of the order. His first mass was at Christmas, and was served by one of the children of La Salette, to whom the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared. The next day his mission to America was assigned him. He seems full of zeal and piety.[23]

I must close my long journal. It is a piece of my heart which I send across the waters, while I remain here. Good-night, my friend. I extend my arms across the wide ocean to embrace you. I never retire to rest without throwing open my casement to look at "the cloistered stars that walk the holy aisles of heaven." They alone are familiar to me in this strange land. I have loved them from my infancy, and I fancy they look down tenderly and tearfully upon me. The thought brings tears to my eyes. Oh! shine as gently on those I love. Let each bright beam be a holy inspiration in their hearts—each tearful ray carry consolation to the soul troubled and in sorrow. A passage from the German says, "I know but two beautiful things in the universe—the starry sky above our heads and the sense of duty within our hearts." I leave the one and return to the other.





Pius IX. Pope, to His Beloved Daughter in Christ, Marie de Gentelles:

Beloved daughter in Christ, grace and apostolic benediction.

In these days when the peril of souls is continually growing greater, we have always directed our efforts particularly to the extirpation of the roots of evil, among which not the least pernicious is female extravagance. Hence, last October, when we spoke of the respect due to the holiness of our churches and of certain disorders which had begun to appear among the people of Rome, we took occasion to speak likewise of this destructive pestilence which is spreading in every direction, and of its remedies.

We were much pleased, therefore, to see, beloved daughter in Christ, [72] that you have not only followed our advice yourself; but, being deeply impressed with its force and importance, have written a book in which you depict the sad consequences of extravagance, and call upon the women of the present day, and particularly those who belong to the societies of the Christian Mothers and the Daughters of Mary, to unite against this pernicious evil, which is so destructive to morals and to the welfare of the family.

Female extravagance wastes, in superfluous adornment of the body, and in frequent attention to the toilette, time which should be given to works of piety and mercy, and to the care of the household; it calls its votaries from home to brilliant assemblages, to public places, and to theatres; it causes them, under pretext of complying with the requirements of society, to pay numerous visits, and thus to waste hours in news-seeking and in scandalous conversation; it attracts sinful desire; it wastes the patrimony of children and deprives poverty of needful assistance; frequently it separates those who are married; more frequently, it prevents marriages, for there are but few men who are willing to incur such heavy expenses. As Tertullian wrote, "In a little casket of jewels women display an immense fortune; they place on a single string of pearls ten millions of sesterces; a slender neck upbears forests and islands; beautiful ears expend the income of a month; and every finger of the left hand plays with the contents of a bag of gold. Such is the strength of vanity; for it is vanity that enables the delicate body of woman thus to walk beneath the weight of enormous wealth." Experience shows that this aversion to marriage fosters and increases immorality. In the family, it is almost impossible in the midst of so many distracting vanities to cultivate domestic love by means of domestic intercourse, or to give to religion even what ordinary custom requires.

The education of children is neglected, household affairs do not receive proper attention and fall into disorder, and the words of the apostle become applicable, "If any one have not care of his own, and especially of those of his household, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

As a city is composed of families, and a province of cities, and a country of provinces, the family thus vitiated disorders the whole of society, and step by step brings upon us those calamities which to-day we behold on every side.

We trust, therefore, that many will unite with you to remove from themselves, their families, and their fatherland the cause of so many evils. We trust, also, that their example will induce others to lay aside whatever goes beyond the just limits of neatness. Oh! that women would believe that the esteem and love of their husbands is to be won, not by magnificent dress or costly adornments, but by cultivation of the mind and of the heart and of every virtue. For the glory of woman is from within, and she that is holy and modest is grace added unto grace, and she alone shall receive praise who feareth the Lord.

We trust and believe, therefore, that your undertaking will meet with the happiest success. As a presage of which, and a pledge of our paternal good will, with the tenderest affection, we impart to you our apostolic benediction.

Given in Rome, at St. Peter's, on the eighth day of July, 1868, in the twenty-third year of our pontificate.

Pius IX. Pope.


On occasions rendered doubly solemn by their infrequency, the common father of the faithful raises his voice to warn the entire world either against abuses which threaten society, or against those perverse doctrines which would attempt the annihilation of the kingdom of truth. These sacred words, coming from the lips of him to whom Jesus Christ has entrusted the care of his church, are always received by the whole of the immense Catholic family with that respect and submission which are due to a father.

A few months ago, Pius IX. suggested the establishment of a society of ladies who by their example and influence might succeed in moderating that extravagance which is the ruin of families, and one of the principal causes of immorality. "In order to accomplish this most difficult undertaking," adds his Holiness, "we must remind women that if in every place it is unbecoming modesty to endeavor to attract attention by extravagance and strangeness of dress, in the sacred church where God dwells and sits upon a throne of mercy to receive the prayers and adorations of the faithful, it is a true insult to him in whose eyes pride, pomp, and the desire of pleasing men are hateful."

These words of the Holy See, we may rest assured, are more applicable to us women of France than to the ladies of the Roman nobility, who are more grave, more pious, and more reserved, whatever may be said to the contrary, than the women of our land.

When travelling through England, Germany, or Russia, have we not sometimes felt a foolish pride on seeing that everywhere the most elegant robes and head-dresses were styled "modes de Paris." It is true that whatever in dress is new or elegant is imported from the capital of France, or is made after our Paris fashions. But we have no reason to be proud of this frivolous and dangerous supremacy; for if it is universally said that the French woman is truly elegant in matters of dress, we should, for that reason, feel under obligation to undertake the reform of an abuse which we aid if we do not originate.

Already, for several years, not only has the Catholic pulpit spoken with serious severity against the extravagance of our sex, but even the government has been aroused by these abuses which are every day producing the most evil results; and we have not forgotten the severe words of President Dupin to the Senate in June, 1865. To-day, things have assumed a still graver aspect, for the Holy Father has called our attention to this deplorable abuse.

The time, then, has come to undertake a crusade, as it were, against an enemy whom we shall not have to cross the seas to seek, because he has cunningly penetrated to our firesides, there to sit beside us and to disturb and destroy the peace of the family.

This necessary reform must be inaugurated by the young women of France; those of a mature age will encourage and aid our efforts; but it will be for us who cannot be accused of envy or of jealousy to raise aloft the standard of the holy league, to put limits to extravagance, and to say, "Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther."

Extravagance in dress, and the point it has at present attained, is simply ridiculous folly, and at the same time, what is more to be lamented, it is in direct opposition to the spirit of Christianity.

We are thinking creatures, rational and intelligent. It is evident, and there are those of our sex who have proved that we are capable of feeling the noble joy which is found in the[74] study of literature and the sciences, and in the cultivation of the arts. How comes it, then, that we are content with those frivolous occupations in which most of us squander our time?

To rise as late as possible, to make some calls, to drive to the Bois de Boulogne, to visit some fashion emporiums, to consult for whole hours on the arrangement of a lace flounce or the trimming of a gauze dress; to return home, dress for dinner; dress again for a soirée, a concert, or a ball; to pass a number of hours in exhibiting our own toilettes and in finding fault with those of others, and, finally, to retire to rest when the sun is on the point of rising—frankly, is not this the history of day after day? When do we take a book into our hands, unless perhaps it be some new romance, of which the style is as frivolous as the matter is pernicious. But a book, a true book, can one be seen on the table of our boudoirs? Some journals of fashion may be there; a review perhaps, cut only where some romantic story is found. What care we for the rest? As to standard literary works, and historical studies, how can we think of them?

We never have a moment to ourselves, and we often say with an affected sigh, "Alas! the world is a cruel tyrant; it takes up all my time, my days, my nights." And we might add, "My life and my intelligence;" for are not many among us what Tertullian would style "gilded nullities"?

While I was still a child, I happened to meet with a charming young woman, twenty-two years of age, who, on recovering from an illness which had nearly proved fatal, was seized with a singular mania. She used to play with dolls.... Isabel had remained very gentle. Her friends at first endeavored to drive away this unaccountable mania; but as soon as they took her dolls from her, she seated herself in a corner of the apartment, wept, refused all nourishment, and would not speak.

In accordance with the advice of physicians, her family had then yielded to her childish tastes, and she passed her whole time in dressing and undressing her daughters, as she called the dolls. Nothing could be more pitiful than to see this tall, beautiful girl, surrounded by her toys, and amusing herself like a child of six years.

Well! do we not resemble poor Isabel somewhat, and, like her, would we not be capable of weeping and giving ourselves up to despair if our playthings were taken from us?

Oh! yes, insanity, real insanity, is that foolish extravagance which consists in a constant changing of the shape, material, and pattern of our clothing. And is not insanity a stranger to wisdom?

To be wise is to give to each object in life that place which reasonably belongs to it. It is to have for all our actions a special and determined end. If we see a man devoting his whole time, his fortune, his researches, to the formation of some strange and perhaps eccentric collection—of shoes, for instance, from every country—we smile and say to one another, "He is out of his senses!" Out of his senses! and why? Is it because he has but one thought, but one ambition—to augment, to increase his collection at any price? We are more foolish than this collector of old shoes, for many of us have but one fixed thought, one only desire, dare I acknowledge it, one sole aim in life—to adorn ourselves! And no collection will remain after us.

We might attempt to acquire an honorable position in society by our[75] virtues, or by the superiority of our minds; but we merely desire to attract attention by the extravagance of our dress, to cause ourselves to be remarked and admired, and if possible, to humble our rivals. Do not think I exaggerate, because such is really the case, with an infinite variety of shades; for in every woman whose exclusive occupation is the toilette, there inevitably exist a desire to please and jealousy. You enter a parlor in the evening wearing a new robe, (and when you go into company your toilettes are always new, since you never appear twice in the same dress;) well! you are not satisfied until you observe some admiring glances directed toward you, until you perceive some expressions of annoyance and envy on the countenances of the young women who surround you. Having returned to your homes, what occupation precedes your sleep? What interrupts, what destroys it? You think over in your mind all the ladies you met at the ball; and if one of them had a dress more beautiful than yours, flowers more gracefully arranged, or diamonds more sparkling, you are discontented. You are jealous. Then what plans you make not to be eclipsed another time, but to be the most beautiful. It is not enough that we are admired; our happiness is in reigning alone.

We often shelter ourselves behind this singular excuse, "I do not wish that my husband should be ashamed of me. I endeavor to present a fine appearance, but it is entirely for his sake."

If we would occasionally condescend to ask the advice of our masters, if we would do so particularly with our dry-goods or millinery bills in our hands, I think they would be more likely to advise simplicity in our toilettes than to express themselves satisfied with their extravagant elegance. Now frankly, do you believe these gentlemen so simple as to desire that every glance may be directed to the dress of their young wife, or to the garland of flowers which adorns her hair?

I was present one day, in the house of a friend, at an amusing contradiction given to assertions of this sort.

Madame de G——, assisted by her maid, was trying on a rose-colored satin dress which had just been sent home from the dressmaker's, and which she was to wear at a grand official ball the same evening. She turned round and round before the mirror of the room, and her immense trail appeared to her much too short. What distressed her particularly was that the corsage was not low enough. I asked in astonishment how low she wanted it.

"Mariette," said she to her maid, "this must be cut several inches lower all round."

And turning to me, "My husband does not like such high-necked dresses," she said.

While the lady was occupied with some other detail of her charming toilette, the door opened and the husband to whom she so generously sacrificed the requirements of modesty entered. He examined his wife's toilette. He had the right to do so, since he would have to pay for it. He thought the rose color a little too lively, the trail a little too long, and, above all, the corsage much, very much too low.

"My dear child," said he, "your dressmaker is incorrigible; she has not the least judgment; you must procure another. You cannot appear in company so uncovered. Arrange matters as best you can, but this dress must be altered."

"Why! every one dresses this[76] way. Is it my fault if you do not understand these things, Adrian? However, I shall not contradict you. I will have a puff of tulle put around the corsage. It is going to make the dress horribly high, and all its style will be lost."

Such is the opinion of a husband, heard by chance; it is what is sometimes said and what is always thought.

Let us then appeal to the husbands!

Undoubtedly, to clothe one's self is a necessity; to make her garments becoming is, I might almost say, woman's marriage portion; and I would not dare to assert that our ancestors, the Gauls, did not seek and discover the means of wearing in a graceful manner the skins of wild animals which protected them from the inclemencies of the seasons, just as the women of the present day have learned to clothe themselves with elegance in the rich fabrics of India or in clouds of exquisite lace.

But between the former and the latter what a distance! What a broad gulf!

There is something peculiar to the toilettes of the present century; a desire for unceasing change which exceeds the bounds of eccentricity and even of extravagance. The Greek wife or Roman matron desired but one thing—garments which would enhance their beauty. Undoubtedly they admired rich and costly goods; but I do not believe that the day after they had imported, at a great expense, robes of the finest linen or silken tunics of brilliant colors, they would declare that fashion would not permit a garment so cut or a head dress arranged in such a manner.

And without going back so far, what would our ancestors of two centuries ago say, if they saw the decided repugnance we feel to appearing twice in society with the same toilette?

Their dresses, so rich, so graceful, so sparingly adorned, were handed down almost from generation to generation; and surely those celebrated women of the eighteenth century were not less beautiful than we, as their admirable portraits which adorn our parlors clearly show. I lately saw three pictures of the same marchioness, taken at different periods of life—as a very young woman, at thirty-five or forty years of age, and at a more advanced period of life; and I found her in the three portraits wearing the same robe of brocade, only the rose-colored ribbon which adorned her hair and her corsage in the first two pictures had been replaced in the third by a bow of a more sombre color.

How astonished would those ladies of the court of Louis XIV. have been, if it had been predicted that their great-grand-daughters would change the style of their apparel or the dimensions of their head-dresses every year, and that a hundred different publications would carry every week from one end of France to the other the inventions, more or less happy, more or less singular, of some fashion-maker of the capital. For let us remark, and it is a sufficiently striking fact, that in the continual changes of fashion we who at times find it so difficult to yield our wishes to those of a husband whom we have sworn before the altar to obey, are always ready to yield obedience to a milliner or a mantua-maker, whose only desire is to sell their goods. And in truth they succeed in doing this very well. Have you never remarked a very curious circumstance, and one which deserves to be related in the history of the costumes of the nineteenth century?[77] To-day, fashion passes from one extreme to another, so that what was worn last year is not permitted this year. And now do you understand this apparently strange custom? A robe is graceful in style and trimming; it is very becoming to you; the color harmonizes well with your complexion and your hair; your mirror has told you so. The fashion changes; your face, your style of beauty, if beauty you possess, remain the same; yet you do not hesitate to discard your becoming attire for something so ridiculous, so extravagant, so frightful perhaps, as to make you appear ungraceful or even ugly; but you have obeyed the mandates of fashion. Certainly the extravagances and caprices of the present day amply prove the truth of what I have said.

Even if past forty, we will wear short dresses, round hats, curls, and high-heeled boots. Even if tall and slender, no one will wear narrower skirts. Even if possessed of a full rounded form which we vainly deplore, we will pick out white corsages, light dresses, and the smallest of hats, because our greatest, or rather our only, fear is lest people should say that we wear things which are out of fashion.

Fashion! Let us throw off its shameful yoke. Instead of accepting, let us make its laws. This is reasonable ambition. Why not form a committee, and every year, or at the beginning of every season, pass judgment on the important question of the transformation of our toilettes? Why not submit the laws made by this female assembly to a committee composed of our husbands; and finally, promulgate and introduce them to the notice of all whom they concern by a special and duly authorized publication?

I commend this project to the serious consideration of our young women. All will admit that it would be less humiliating for us to submit to the dictates of fashion under such, than under present circumstances.

Clothing has a twofold end: to cover us and protect us from the inclemencies of the seasons, to supply the place of the beautiful fur or the brilliant plumage which forms the natural covering of beasts and birds. I will return later to the question of woman's clothing considered in a religious and moral point of view. At present, I shall treat of it only as it regards health. Do our dresses cover us? By a strange reversion of common sense, it is during the severity of winter we most willingly expose our arms and necks. You smile? The parlors are warm. But are our carriages, are the streets of our large cities? You would shudder if I should present to you the frightful statistics of the young women who have fallen victims to such imprudences. Every religion has its martyrs. Do you wish to be martyrs to fashion?

The second end of our apparel is to indicate the respective positions of persons in society. Thus, the Roman senators had the privilege of wearing the white tunic ornamented with purple. So also, in our own time, the uniform of the army reveals at a glance the rank of the wearer. Alas! in this respect, of how much use is it to us at the present day? The sumptuary laws, the edicts of Louis XIII. and Louis XIV., are entirely forgotten.

There was a time when each class of society had its special dress. Furs, silk, gold, and silver could be worn only by persons of a certain rank in society. What a frightful revolution would break forth among the women of France if to-day the ruling sovereign should attempt to regulate the[78] width of our laces or the number of our jewels! In the present age extravagance tends, on the contrary, to confound all ranks of society. From the servant girl to the fine lady there is but one desire, one ambition—to appear what one is not. Yes, to appear what one is not; let us acknowledge it to our shame. Is not the fashion of our garments imitated, often invented by women to whom we would not speak? And around the lake of the Bois de Boulogne have we not sometimes mistaken the Marchioness de —— for Mlle. X——, or Mlle. Z—— for the Countess de ——?

I feel rather ashamed to mention such things; but addressing my own sex, it is allowable; the truth is often severe; but it is always useful. I saw a lovely young woman in a saloon one evening covered with confusion at these few words addressed to her by the Ambassador de ——.

"I admired exceedingly, madame, that elegant yellow dress you wore this afternoon in the park."

"I!" she exclaimed in astonishment. "My dear count, you are mistaken. I was in blue, and the yellow dress was worn by ——."

"You are right. But pardon my mistake; both ladies wore the same kind of head-dress."

See to what our round hats, little bonnets, and red locks lead.

What folly to keep ourselves continually in a false position by our extravagant outlays; to be reduced to have recourse to a thousand petty means of freeing ourselves from the embarrassments in which our love of dress has involved us.

To-day it is a lie.

"How much did this dress cost you?" asks a husband, a little uneasy at the prodigality of his young wife.

"Two hundred francs," she replies without hesitation, while she is fully aware that double or triple that amount would scarcely suffice to pay for it.

And when the time arrives for paying these formidable bills, how difficult to procure the thousands of francs represented by a few yards of lace or faded silk. How we stoop from the rightful dignity of our position when we condescend to beg for time and favor of a tradesman, or dressmaker, or milliner, after confessing that we have not the necessary sum at our disposal.

In a certain city that I could name a linen-draper had sold goods on credit to a young woman to the amount of forty thousand francs. Fearing that she would never pay him, he sacrificed the interest and accepted this singular promissory note: "To receive from my estate forty thousand francs." The lady's heirs will find her elegant dresses and fine laces rather costly.

O folly, folly! Our lives pass away amidst such trifles. We are seeking happiness; it is here at our hands. We could not only be happy in the bosom of our families by fulfilling our duties, but we could, moreover, render those around us happy. We foolishly prefer to cast aside these true enjoyments and fill up our lives with empty appearances of pleasure.

We forget how swiftly time flies. To-day we are young, and the world welcomes us; but our bloom, our beauty, which to us is every thing, will soon fade; it will vanish, and what is more melancholy than old age for many women? To know how to grow old,... it is knowledge which the wise alone possess.

The Holy Scripture, in addressing the daughters of Sion, pictures with striking truth the kind of punishment which God reserves for them. The Holy Spirit adopts, in some measure, the language of the worldly woman[79] herself, and it seems to me that these words might be addressed to each one of us:

"Because the daughters of Sion are haughty, and have walked with stretched-out necks, and wanton glances of their eyes, and made a noise as they walked with their feet, and moved in a set pace:

"The Lord will make bald the crown of the head of the daughters of Sion, and the Lord will discover their hair.

"In that day the Lord will take away the ornaments of shoes, and little moons,

"And chains and necklaces, and bracelets, and bonnets,

"And bodkins, and ornaments of the legs, and tablets, and sweet-balls, and ear-rings,

"And rings, and jewels hanging on the forehead.

"And changes of apparel, and short cloaks, and fine linen, and crisping-pins.

"And looking-glasses, and lawns, and head-bands, and fine veils.

"And instead of a sweet smell there shall be stench, and instead of a girdle a cord, and instead of curled hair baldness, and instead of a stomacher hair-cloth."[24]

In these words we are threatened with old age; with that old age which is daily drawing nearer; which awaits but the moment to seize upon its prey; which makes the woman who leads a life of gayety that which you well know.

Oh! those women who remain beautiful in spite of old age, with their white hair, their wrinkles undisguised, their cultivated minds, and their winning kindness. These are not the women who in earlier life placed all their happiness in following, even to the most minute details, the frivolities of fashion. I am, moreover, convinced that if the woman of the world of twenty or thirty years ago was fond of dress, she was far from devoting her whole time to it. Fashion was not then so variable. The outlay for clothing was evidently a much smaller item in the family expenses. In a word, if this folly was sometimes seen, it was an isolated case.

In these latter days only has the contagion spread in an alarming manner.

So much for the human side of the question. Permit me now to enter into a more elevated circle of ideas, and to remark that hitherto I have appealed neither to conscience nor to religion. I have addressed myself to women of the world; I now turn to young Christian women; to those whose tender years were watched over by pious mothers, whose youth was formed by a truly religious education; to those whose lives have not been blighted by any of those errors which banish a woman from her position in society, but who, on the contrary, have remained unsullied in the eyes of the world and have no cause to blush beneath its gaze. Here I feel at my ease, since it is permitted me to make use of the language of faith. This faith we still possess, but it slumbers in the depths of our souls; undoubtedly it will awaken in the hour of trial; the death of a darling child, a sudden change of fortune; less than that even—a single deception may suffice, and we shall feel that God is our father; and we shall see things in their true light; that poisonous cloud which surrounds the woman of the world will be instantly dispelled, and the mysteries of life and death will be unfolded to our astonished gaze. But until that time shall come, our life is consumed in a strange and dangerous illusion. A few religious practices of which we have retained the habit, perhaps because they were fashionable, make us believe, and therefore cause others to believe, that we are still real Christians. Meanwhile, carried away by the round of pleasure which we call legitimate enjoyment, we live on, without troubling ourselves to inquire[80] whither we are hastening. Days follow days, years succeed years; from time to time one among us is missing. God has called her away; but we did not hear her last words; we did not see the despair of that poor young woman when she found herself in the presence of her Judge with her hands empty. And hence we continue in our mode of life. Hours and days of weariness, of sadness occasionally steal in upon our worldly lives. Some new pleasure claims us, and in its presence past bitterness is soon forgotten. Thus are spent the best years of our lives, lost—religiously speaking—lost for ever. Our actions are useless, our thoughts frivolous, our existence devoid of all merit. And yet ought not our constant aim be to secure the happiness of our husband, and the salvation of his soul as well as of our own? to bring up our children in a Christian manner, and to edify the world by our example?

This point presents a fit subject for religious moralizing, which, however, comes neither within my aim nor my ability. It is for voices possessing greater authority than mine to treat of such grave matters in a becoming manner. The ministers of the church, both by preaching and the pen, have shown us our duties with a clearness and a correctness before which we humbly bow. But as to a question of detail, especially when, as at present, it concerns extravagance of dress, I believe I am right in thinking that one of yourselves can, better than any one else, treat a subject so distinctively pertaining to woman.

Let me remark in the beginning that I wish to condemn in our toilette nothing save what is contrary to propriety or modesty. I am not opposed to crinoline, to trails, to diamonds, nor to rubies. Rose color, blue, white, and black are alike to me. Whether linen, silk, or wool serve by turn to cover us, is a matter of indifference. Moreover, it is evident that woman, whatever her age or condition, should endeavor to render her attire suitable and becoming. St. Francis of Sales desires that a wife should adorn herself to please her husband; and a maiden, with a view to a holy marriage.

The woman who betrays an absolute negligence in her toilette, who would willingly appear in a torn dress or a faded bonnet, when her position in society requires something better, is almost as much to blame as those who spend their whole time in dressing and undressing.

That which we ought to possess, that which should regulate our dress, as well as all our actions, is a clear comprehension of our duties. We should appeal to our conscience, scrutinize our intentions and our desires, and then regulate and reform wherever there is need.

We do not deny that this world is a place of pilgrimage, and life a season of trials; that they are foolish indeed who think only of culling flowers from the road-side while time flies and eternity approaches. We often experience within ourselves a certain opposition between our convictions and our conduct. Our life is not regulated as it ought to be. It is not tending to its end, which is our eternal salvation. We have acknowledged these truths when, on leaving the church where we had listened to some celebrated preacher, we confessed to ourselves that our mode of life was not sufficiently serious, and that it ought to be reformed.

Strange to say, I feel, I see, many women in like manner feel and see, that the love of dress, the importance we attach to every thing connected with fashion, is the principal cause of the frivolity and inutility of our lives.[81] But there we stop. What! you will say, has a ribbon, a flower, a piece of velvet or satin so great an influence with us? Try, then, to maintain the contrary with your hand upon your conscience, and you will see that I have not gone too far.

Much is said about woman's mission! It is constantly repeated that the future of society depends on us. If we occasionally forget this, we should certainly not suffer others to doubt it. We wish—and we are right in doing so—we wish to occupy an important position in the family and in society; we struggle vigorously against those who would assign to us a secondary position; we boast that we exercise a great influence over men. This idea flatters our self-love.

But let us not forget that this circumstance becomes for us a source of strict obligations. Man is nurtured in our arms, and grows up at our side. He is, we may say, whatever we make him. That primary instruction which it is our duty to impart to him, exercises the greatest influence on his after life. His mother! He will always remember her, and her example, good or evil, will leave an indelible impression on his soul. And our husbands, our fathers and brothers! We know our power over them, and we sometimes use it in matters which are not really worth all the diplomacy we employ. That mission of mother, of wife! Have we forgotten that it is the end of our life, the reason of our creation? God, who has established laws for the material world, laws from which even a slight derogation would produce a great catastrophe, has likewise marked out for each one of us her place here below. He has not placed us in this world without a definite end in view. Woman has serious duties to perform, of which she must one day render a strict account to her Creator.

Have these duties, these obligations which our Lord has imposed upon us, been hitherto our principal concern? Has our worldly life, with its numerous preoccupations, left us time to be true wives and true mothers? Alas! the world and its requirements take up all our time. And yet the duties to which we are bound by this twofold title, although differing with our different positions in the world, oblige equally the wife of the mechanic, the merchant, the officer, and the prince, before both God and society. Here, then, is the pith of this question; it may be summed up in a single word: are we wives and mothers, or are we merely women of the world?

Those children whom God has confided to our care, and of whom we shall have to render an account, do we suppose that we have done our duty toward them when we have procured tutors for them, or when we have placed them in an academy?

How many among us, alas! find it difficult to see our children for even a few minutes during the course of the day. We have not the time to attend to them, we say. We have not the time! To whom does our time belong, if not to these little ones who call upon us by the sweet name of mother? Let us not plead our position. I know women who mingle a great deal in society, who have a great number of servants to be looked after, who yet manage their time so well that they are enabled to spend the greater part of the day with their children. They have hours set apart for conversing with them, for informing themselves of their progress—in a word, for attending to their education. These mothers are happy. The gratitude of their young families, the affection[82] which surrounds them, the sense of duty performed—shall we dare compare these true and noble enjoyments with the empty pleasures which the exhibition of a new dress or even an eulogium passed on our beauty procures us? And, candidly, is it not more worthy, more sensible, to say, "I have not time to go to the park," than to allege that we have not time to love and to care for our children?

And our husbands—do we devote our time to them any more than to our children?

Ah! you will perhaps reply, my husband has very little need of my society; he lives for himself; I live for myself. If I have my toilettes, my drives, and my friends, he has his horses, his friends, and his club.

There is the misfortune; and the question is, are we not, to a considerable extent, responsible for this deplorable habit of, so to speak, separate existences? Do you not think, then, that the majority of husbands would prefer a different kind of life? That it would be more agreeable to them to enjoy oftener the pleasures of home, in your company, surrounded by their children?

You do not believe it? Be it so; but have you ever tried the experiment? Have you not yourselves created a necessity for this life of continual agitation and excitement? Have you ever reserved time to be devoted to your husband? And is it not your desire that things should remain just as they are—you with your liberty and your husband with his? Do you not prefer to squander (for that is the word) your hours and your days, rather than face the ennui that your own worldly tastes would cause you to experience in the retirement of a serious, and, in comparison, solitary home?

But it is not our time alone that we thus waste. We waste likewise a fortune which in reality is not ours.

We are born rich, while all around us the poor—children of the same God—are without bread to eat, and ready to die of hunger, perhaps under the same roof.

We forget that, according to the designs of Providence, we have a duty to discharge toward the suffering and the needy! It is not for ourselves alone that God has given us riches. He wishes us to be his almoners, and the practice of charity is a strict duty.

The bestowing of alms is not only an evangelical counsel; it is often a precept. If the divine Ruler employs the most tender images in describing the merit of charity and the clearest and strongest promises when speaking of its reward, he has for the one who refuses to assist a brother, and leaves him in want, the severest of condemnations. Consider the parable of Lazarus and the rich sinner, but especially those terrible words: "I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat.... Depart into everlasting fire."[25]

Will a few gold pieces ostentatiously dropped each year into the collection boxes, a few contributions to other charities, which we are ashamed to refuse, suffice to save us from a similar sentence? What has become of that pious custom of tithes for the poor formerly found in rich families?

If, before entering the establishment of the fashionable jeweller, we would ascend to the garret of the indigent—we should often purchase fewer bracelets. It is not heart that is wanting in us, but reflection.

A young woman of whom some one was asking assistance for a family which had fallen into misery, and whose sufferings they were picturing [83]to her, exclaimed with a simplicity which was her only excuse:

"Why, are there people who are poor? I did not know it!"

We know that there are poor people, but we too often forget it. Love of dress and the voice of vanity smother in us the love of the suffering members of Jesus Christ and render us deaf to the appeal of our unhappy brethren.

If we would only consider that by sacrificing a few yards of lace, or by consenting to appear twice during a season in the same dress, we might with the money thus saved assist several families each winter, we would more frequently be kind and charitable.

And that we may not forget the necessities of our brethren, let us assist them directly. Does not history tell us of more than one queen fashioning with her own hands garments for the poor, and laying aside the grandeur of her position to distribute them herself?

Ball-rooms, theatres, and the public drives are, unfortunately, not the only places in which we make a display. Fashionable dressing has become such a habit, such a necessity with us, that, as the Sovereign Pontiff remarked with sorrow, our holy temples often present the sad spectacle of women who call themselves Christians, and believe themselves such, coming to these holy places rather to rival one another in extravagance of attire than to excite to piety. Alas! what influence will our supplications have, if humility, that essential condition of prayer, be wanting. Ah! let us rather remain at home than go to the foot of the altar with the guilty desire of being admired.

I have yet another part of this important subject to treat: the impropriety, the indecency, why not say the word, of certain fashions?

I turn in shame from the thought of them. Let each one of us descend to the very depths of our conscience, let us scrutinize our hearts, bearing in mind this terrible utterance: "He that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."[26]

How, then, are we to remedy so great an evil? How oppose a barrier to this ever-increasing tide of luxury and of prodigality? The Holy Father points out the way in a few plain and simple words. To form among ourselves an association—a holy league, if I may thus express myself—to have our laws and regulations, and, with the zeal and determination which characterize us when we wish to attain any end, to pursue this one without truce or mercy.

But what promises could and should be made by the members of this sacred league? They will have to be determined by the brave champion who shall bear the standard in this war against extravagance. I do not think, however, any difficulty will be found in their determination. We should begin by promising to examine seriously before God what are the motives which actuate us in the adornment and embellishment of our persons; to purify our intentions, and to entertain none that would cause a blush if revealed.

To please our husbands, to support our position in society, to remain within the bounds of a just elegance, these are motives which we can without shame avow. But to seek in the toilette a means of being remarked, or admired, or loved, outside of our home circle; a means of humiliating other women, of surpassing them, of [84] reigning without a rival; in a word, of eclipsing all others—all this would be entirely contrary to the spirit of the association.

As to the engagements, in some sort material, to be entered into by the members, I think they might be limited to three.

We should first determine in advance, and in the most positive manner, the amount to be expended each year on our toilette; which amount we should never exceed. From this sum we should deduct a portion for the poor, and increase the amount as much as possible by accustoming ourselves to sacrifice from time to time our wish for some novelty, in order that we may relieve our unfortunate brethren, upon whom we should bestow our charities in person.

Finally, and here is a very essential point, we should never purchase any thing without paying for it immediately; or if, in some circumstances, this is impossible, we should lay aside the price of the dress, the bonnet, or the cashmere we have selected.

Oh! if we could well understand how much there is of order and of good sense in those two words so little known to most women—cash payments! Try this plan, if only for a year, or even six months, and you will see the truth of my assertion.

I have finished; pardon me for having dared to raise my voice, not to give you advice, I have neither the right nor the intention to do so, but only to communicate to you ideas which have been suggested to my mind by the admonitions of the highest of authorities, and by the resolutions which I have taken, and which I trust I shall have the courage to keep.

My object is, to ask of you in this matter that union in which is found strength, and to remind you that God is in the midst of those who fight for a holy cause. May my voice be heard! May the young women of our beloved France arouse themselves at the thought of a danger which threatens the dignity of our sex! May this new and holy war be soon inaugurated in which we shall be both combatants and conquerors!


What woman, travelling alone, has not encountered the embarrassment of entering a car already nearly filled with passengers? Perhaps the awkwardness of the situation may not be as keenly felt by those who frequently meet it, and who are accustomed to the manifold jostlings of this busy world, as by a recluse like myself. However this may be, I can testify from experience that the ordeal is a painful one to a sensitive and shrinking nature. So it chanced that, upon discovering this condition of affairs as I entered a car at Prescott, on a fine morning in June, 1867, I dropped into the first vacant place my eye detected, by the side of an elderly lady dressed in deep mourning. The first glimpse of her face and manner satisfied me that she also was from the "States," and I felt quite at home with her at once.

We soon fell into conversation, and[85] I found my companion most agreeable, quiet, and intelligent. We beguiled the monotony of a railway journey by pleasant chat upon the scenery through which we were passing, and such other topics as came uppermost. I noticed, as we stopped a few minutes at Brockville, that she seemed to scan all that could be seen from the car with deep interest; and again, as we pursued our course up the river in sight of the Thousand Islands, she was quite absorbed in her observation of the scenery.

"Beautiful islands," I remarked; "I would like nothing better than to occupy some days in exploring their fairy haunts."

"You would find many of them beautiful indeed!" she replied. "They are very dear to me; for my early life was passed in their neighborhood, and I retain for them much of the affection that clings to the memory of dear friends, though I have not seen them before for many years. What frequent merry-makings and picnic festivals did the young people from the American shore and those of Brockville enjoy together among the windings of their picturesque labyrinth, long ago!" she added with a sigh.

She then informed me that she was now on her way to Illinois, to visit her children there, and had chosen this route, that she might catch a passing glimpse of scenes most interesting to her, from their connection with memories of the past.

Time and space passed almost imperceptibly to us, as we were engaged in discussing one subject after another of general interest, until some time in the afternoon, when, clatter! clatter! thump! thump! a jolt and a bounce, brought every man in the car to his feet, and caused every woman instinctively to settle herself more firmly in her place, while a volley of exclamations, "What can it be?" "There's something wrong!" "Cars off the track!" "We shall be down the embankment!" burst from every quarter, the swaying, irregular movement preventing the possibility of reaching the door, to discover the cause of all this disturbance. The time seemed long, but in reality occupied only a few seconds, before the motion ceased suddenly, with a hitch, a backward jerk, and a concussion, which had well-nigh thrown us all upon our faces; and the conductor appeared for a moment in the door, uttering with hasty tremor, "Don't be alarmed, ladies and gentlemen—no danger! axle broke—cars off the track. We shall be detained here some time." And away he went.

This announcement was met, I am sorry to say, with more murmurs at the detention than thanks for our providential escape from imminent peril. "How unfortunate!" cried one. "And in this lonely, disagreeable place too!" added another. A third wondered where we were, when one of the company familiar with the route volunteered the information that we were not many miles from Toronto.

Now, from the moment I sat down by my new acquaintance, I had divined—by that sort of mysterious sympathy, impossible to define, but which will be understood by all converts to the Catholic faith—that she was, like myself, of this class; and she had formed the same conjecture in relation to me; which was, perhaps, the cause of our having formed a sudden intimacy not quite in keeping with the native reserve, not to say shyness, of both. Our first and simultaneous act, upon the occurrence of the incident recorded—in fortifying ourselves with the blessed sign of benediction and protection so precious to all Catholics—had confirmed the mutual conjecture, and[86] established a strong bond of sympathy between us.

As we left the cars together, I observed that she still scanned the surrounding localities with an earnestness that did not seem warranted by any claims they possessed to notice; for a more tame and uninteresting region can scarcely be imagined than that in which we so reluctantly lingered.

"What wonderful changes forty years will make in the face of a new country!" she at length exclaimed. "I passed this way, going and returning, in 1827, at an age when the deepest impressions are received, and upon an errand so peculiar in its nature as to make those impressions indelible. I have always carried the picture of the route, slowly traversed at that time, in my memory; but the transformation is so complete that I look in vain for one familiar feature."

After walking for some time in silence, she resumed: "It is strange how vividly the most minute details of that journey and the incidents connected with it return to me, now that we are so singularly detained in the vicinity of the scenes I then sought, though there is nothing in the aspect of the country to bring them back!"

By this time we had loitered into a shady nook, at no great distance from the disabled car; and its coolness inviting us to remain after we had seated ourselves upon a rock overgrown with moss, I begged that she would while away the time of our detention by giving me a history of those incidents.

"The narrative may not prove very interesting to you," she replied. "The recollection of events that took place around us in youth has more power to move ourselves than others. But of this you shall judge for yourself.

"In 1826, I was visiting a dear friend who lived on St. Paul street, in Montreal. It was a pleasant evening in June, the close of one of those very warm days so common in the early part of a Canadian summer, where the interval between the snows and frost of winter and the fervid heat, the verdure and bloom, of summer, is often so marvellously short as to astonish a stranger.

"I was sitting in my room, at an open window that looked out on a narrow back-court, the opposite side of which was bounded by a row of low-roofed tenant-houses parallel with the bank of the river, and over these, upon a magnificent view of the St. Lawrence rolling grandly down past the city, at which I was never tired of gazing. I had been contemplating the mighty flood for some time, my thoughts wandering sorrowfully far up its waters and the stream of time to tranquil scenes now closed to me for ever, when the words, 'Ah, Donald! that I should live to see this day! Do not ask me to sing the hymn we love this night, when my heart is sae sair that it is like to break! I canna, canna sing the sangs o' Zion i' this strange place, and in our sharp, sharp griefs!' came floating to my ear on the evening breeze, from an open balcony along the rear of the tenements mentioned.

"There was a depth of anguish in the tones that touched the tenderest chord of sympathy in my heart, which was then writhing under the pangs of a recent sore bereavement.

"My childhood had been passed near settlements of the Lowland Scotch in St. Lawrence County, New York, and I was therefore familiar with their dialect, the use of which added to my interest in the speaker, and I listened eagerly for further sounds. For some time I heard only[87] a suppressed sobbing, and the low tones of a manly voice that seemed to be soothing an outburst of grief which was overwhelming his companion. At length I heard him say, with an accent that betokened a tongue accustomed to the use of the Gaelic dialect,

"'It would drown the sorrows of my gentle Maggie, if she would only strive to sing. Let us not forget the dolors of our Blessed Mother in the agonies of our ain grief. I will sing, and mayhap she will join me.'

"Presently a singularly wild and plaintive air was borne to my ear upon the flowing cadences of a man's voice, as soft and musical as any to which I had ever listened. The words were in Gaelic, but the refrain at the close of each verse 'Ora, Mater, ora'—revealed their religion, and that it was a hymn of the Blessed Virgin to which I was listening. Before the close of the first verse, he was joined by a voice, low and clear as the tones of a flute, bearing upon every strain the fervent outpourings of tender piety, though tremulous with emotion.

"Soon after it ceased, they retired within the open door of their room, and I heard them reciting alternately, in a low voice, that treasured devotion of the Catholic heart—of which I was then entirely ignorant, but which has since (thank God!) become inestimably precious to me—the beads of the Holy Rosary.

"Their evening prayers being over, they walked for some time on the balcony in silence, when she said in a trembling voice,

"'It is a month to-morrow, Donald, a month to-morrow, sin' God took awa' our darlings; and och! wha wad hae thought I could bide sae lang i' this cauld warld without a sight o' their bonnie faces! I dinna ken why I live, when my sweet bairnies are buried far awa' i' their watery grave!'

"'Ah Maggie! why wad ye not live for your poor Donald? He mourns for the bonnie bairnies too; but he does not wish to leave his Maggie because God has ta'en them from her. Cast awa' these repining thoughts, my own love, and let us go to the church thegither to-morrow morning, and lay all our griefs before the altar of our God.'

"I heard no more; but resolving to accompany them to church, I arose very early the next morning, and preparing myself, watched an opportunity to join them, as they passed from the street where they were stopping into St. Paul street.

"We walked on in silence after I joined them, and I saw that he was a tall, athletic young Highlander, of dark complexion, and with soft black eyes; whose remarkably fine face glowed with intelligence and mildness. Her beauty was more conformed to the Lowland type; her eyes being of a deep clear blue, her hair 'flaxen,' and her complexion exceedingly fair, while her teeth of snowy whiteness had a little prominence that caused them to be slightly revealed between her rose-bud lips, even when her countenance was in repose. Her form was very slender, and her beautiful face so youthful as to seem child-like. I never saw such a perfect expression of soul-absorbing yet patient and subdued sorrow as lingered upon every line of those youthful features.

"We entered the old Recollet church, and I remained near them during the service. It was my first visit to a Catholic church, and I had never before been present at the offering of the holy sacrifice.

"Soon after our entry, I noticed that first one of them and then the[88] other passed for a brief space of time into a little curtained box at the side of the aisle; but being ignorant of Catholic usages, I did not know for what purpose, though I was deeply impressed by their solemn, reverent manner, and the peaceful expression of their faces. During the progress of the service, which commenced soon after, I saw them approach the rail before the altar, and knew it was to receive holy communion. The sweetly serene and pensive light that rested upon their features after that solemn act is still vividly before me, notwithstanding the lapse of years.

"When they left the church, I followed closely, determined to learn something, if possible, of their history. At the church door the man parted from her, and went away in an opposite direction from that by which we had come, leaving her to walk back alone. As I walked by her side, I addressed some casual remark to her, and then, confessing the interest I felt in them on account of what I had accidentally overheard the evening before, begged her to tell me, as her sister in affliction, of the griefs which were oppressing her.

"We sauntered slowly down the narrow streets from the Recollet church to our places of abode, and our young hearts being drawn together by the bonds of sorrow, I mingled my tears in sympathy with hers while she related her artless story.

"She was the only child of a minister of the Scottish Kirk, whose name was Lauder, and who died when she was quite young. Her mother, being left in feeble health, and destitute of any means of support, gladly accepted the home offered by her sister, who was married some years before to a Highland gentleman by the name of Kenneth McGregor, and who became a Catholic soon after her marriage.

"They were welcomed to the home of her aunt with true Scottish hospitality; and the most devoted and delicate attentions which affection could devise were lavished upon her heart-broken mother, to soothe and comfort her, while the little Maggie became at once the pet of a large household of cousins older than herself, who regarded her ever after as a dear sister. So kind were the whole family to her, that she was not permitted to feel the loss of her father in the sense most chilling and painful to the heart of the orphan, that of being an object of indifference and neglect. They went frequently to visit their Lowland friends, and kept up an intercourse with them during the life of her mother.

"When she had reached her twelfth year, the minister of the kirk which they had attended since their removal to the Highlands, with several of his small congregation, among whom were her mother and herself, made their profession of the Catholic faith; soon after which event her mother died.

"When Maggie was in her fourteenth year, she became acquainted with Donald Macpherson, whose father was a warm friend of her uncle Kenneth. A strong attachment soon grew up between the young people, and when she was sixteen she was married to Donald. When they had been married about six years, and had three children—the oldest of them a daughter five years old and named for herself, and the others boys—Donald thought best to join a colony (among whom were two of her cousins and their families) who were preparing to depart for one of the new and remote districts of Upper Canada. Donald, as the one best fitted by education for that purpose, was appointed surveyor[89] of the wild lands, and to lay out roads in the wilderness.

"They suffered much in parting with home and friends, but alas! subsequent floods of affliction obliterated all traces of those lighter griefs.

"Their voyage was long and stormy, and when they were at length in sight of Newfoundland, and hoped they were about to reach the end of it in safety, a storm in the Gulf of St. Lawrence drove their vessel upon the rocks in the darkness of evening, and it was wrecked. The poor young parents lashed their little Maggie firmly to a plank, and committed her to the waves; then taking each a child, and imploring the aid of heaven for themselves and their little ones, they plunged into the water. The mother was soon exhausted with the buffeting of the waves; her child was borne from her arms, just before she was thrown within the reach of friendly hands, and taken up unconscious. Donald was dashed against the rocks, and caught from the receding waters of an immense wave, shortly after, by those who were on the shore watching to render aid to the sufferers, insensible and apparently lifeless. The child he had was also lost.

"They were taken to a fisherman's hut, and by the persevering efforts of those in attendance animation was restored, though it was some days before they recovered their consciousness, only to find that their children and their relations had perished. But a small number of their companions on the voyage survived. Their goods and clothing, with the exception of what they wore, were all lost; but this was too trifling to be thought of in comparison with their other misfortunes.

"As soon as they were able, they proceeded to Montreal, in company with the survivors of the wreck, and Donald showed the certificate of his appointment as surveyor—which he fortunately carried in his vest-pocket—to the mayor of the city, who provided comfortable quarters for them, and advised him to remain there until he should receive remittances from Scotland, for which they sent immediately after their arrival in Montreal.

"They had not yet decided whether they would return when these funds should arrive, or go on to the place for which they had started, as their companions were anxious to have them do.

"She expressed entire indifference as to going on or returning; her children being gone, she did not care where she was. The terrified, imploring look of her darling Maggie, as she was dashed from them on her frail support, amid the merciless buffetings and boiling surges of the furious waves—her eyes straining to catch a glimpse of them, and her dear little arms extended so pitifully to them for protection—haunted the imagination of the broken-hearted mother, and, she assured me, had not been absent from her thoughts one moment since, sleeping or waking.

"My sincere and fervent sympathy seemed to afford her some comfort, and it was freely and heartily offered; for I was myself, as I have hinted, at that time a mourner over the recent loss of the kindest and best of fathers, whose only daughter and cherished pet I had ever been. His death, when I was yet but a child in years, was followed by severe pecuniary reverses, which had driven us from our home and involved our hitherto affluent and most happy family in difficulties and poverty. In my ignorance of sorrow and of the religion which alone can sustain the afflicted, I had thought there could be none so unhappy and unfortunate as ourselves. I could not then believe the[90] truth of the assurance, which was the solace of my invalid mother, that 'The Lord loveth whom he chasteneth.' I could not see the tender mercy and love that had inflicted this cruel bereavement and surrounded our helpless family with such calamities, in the clear light with which his grace afterward made it manifest to me.

"But here was an instance far more inscrutable and heart-rending. Strangers in a strange land; the broad Atlantic rolling between them and every heart upon which they had any special claim for sympathy; their children relentlessly torn from them; and all their worldly substance buried in the consuming deep! Why had they thus been singled out as marks for such a shower of fatal arrows? I pondered much upon it, and my eyes were opened to see the mercies that had been mingled with the chastisements of a loving Father in our own case. We had numerous and kind friends, whose sympathy had poured balm upon our wounded spirits, and whose generous hands had been opened to aid us in our necessities. Of these, the dear friends with whom I was then staying had been among the first, and their assistance and advice at that dark period of my life have ever been remembered with gratitude.

"While my new acquaintances remained in Montreal, I passed much time with poor Maggie, to the entire satisfaction of my friends, to whom I communicated the sorrowful story on the day I heard it, and whose active sympathy contributed much toward the relief and comfort of the youthful mourners.

"When they at length received the expected funds from Scotland, they decided to comply with the wishes of their surviving fellow-sufferers in exile and affliction, by accompanying them, according to their original intention, to Upper Canada. Our parting was very affecting. They had learned to look upon my friends as kind benefactors, while they regarded me as a sister. I felt very lonely after they were gone; but the lesson I had learned from my intercourse with them was never forgotten. Their united and unquestioning acquiescence with the will of God, and the persistent patience with which every action of their daily lives expressed, 'Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him,' made a permanent impression on my mind.

"At the invitation and by the advice of my friends, I remained much longer in Montreal than I at first intended, in order to learn the French language, and to acquire the knowledge of some other branches, for which superior facilities were presented by the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame, and which were necessary to advance my education sufficiently to fit me for teaching, the object I then had in view.

"Nearly a year had passed since our parting with the Macphersons, when some friends from Vermont arrived on a visit to those with whom I was staying. I was requested, in consequence of the indisposition of the lady of the house, to accompany them to several places of interest in the city, which they wished to see. Among these was the house of the 'Gray Nuns,' a sisterhood devoted to the care of a great number of foundlings. In passing through the rooms appropriated to the children, I was particularly attracted by the face and attitude of a delicate-looking little girl of surprising beauty, who was sitting on the floor and devoting herself to the care and amusement of a little boy about two years old, whose beauty equalled her own, though entirely different in character. She was[91] fair as a lily; her large blue eyes were shaded by drooping lids and long silken lashes, which imparted a touching pensiveness to their expression, while her golden hair floated in shining curls to her shoulders. The little boy's complexion was dark and clear, his black eyes soft and brilliant. The startled timidity combined with searching earnestness in their expression as he raised them to mine and encountered my admiring gaze, (for I was always passionately fond of children,) thrilled my very soul, and, turning to the good sister who was conducting us, I exclaimed with enthusiasm, pointing to them,

"'What beautiful children!'

"'Yes,' she said with fond pride, and evidently flattered by our notice of her pets, 'they are indeed beautiful; and alas! their misfortunes are as striking as their beauty. They belonged to a Scotch family on board a vessel that was wrecked off Newfoundland, and their parents perished. Mr. Ferguson, a Scotch gentleman in very infirm health, from our city, was visiting some friends in that vicinity, and happened to be passing in a carriage with one of them on the evening of the storm and the shipwreck, when, noticing the torches and bustle on the shore, they stopped to inquire the cause and to render assistance, if possible, to those who were washed ashore. This little girl had been lashed to a plank, and, by a wonderful providence, when the baby was borne away from his mother, the same wave carried him within reach of his little sister, who seized and clung to him as with a dying grasp, until she was snatched insensible by Mr. Ferguson from the top of a wave which rolled far up on the shore, and would have hurried them back in its receding surf but for a powerful effort on his part, which had nearly cost him his life; for he received injuries in the attempt, by severe sprains and otherwise, that rendered him almost helpless for some weeks. His friend took the children and himself in the carriage to his residence, over two miles distant—it being the nearest house on that unfrequented part of the coast, with the exception of some fishermen's huts at some distance in the opposite direction. Mr. Ferguson was unable to leave his bed for some weeks. Unfortunately, the physician of that neighborhood was absent on a visit to a distant city.

"'It was long before they succeeded in restoring any sign of life to either of the children, and when their efforts were at length rewarded by faint evidences of returning animation, they had to exert themselves to the utmost for many days to keep alive the vital spark, which had been so nearly extinguished. When they began to revive and recover strength, another difficulty met the devoted friends of the little unfortunates. The nerves of the little girl had sustained so severe a shock that she could not be aroused to a sense of any thing around her. She was constantly struggling fearfully with imaginary billows, or settled in a kind of idiotic vacancy. When the physician returned, he gave but little hopes of her recovery, as he feared her brain was so far affected as to unsettle reason permanently.

"'As soon as the gentleman who had taken them to his house dared to leave them and Mr. Ferguson so long, he went to inquire after the survivors of the wreck, and found they had departed in a vessel bound for Montreal. Mr. Ferguson was confined, as I have said, for many weeks at the house of this friend, and before he could return to Montreal he had become so much attached to the little treasures he had snatched[92] from a watery grave, that he could not be persuaded to leave them, (although he was a bachelor,) but brought them to us, that they might be where he could sometimes see them.

"'The little girl recovered but slowly. After some time she began to have lucid intervals, from which she would sink into mental apathy. Her sleep was for a long time broken by dreams of agonizing struggles, from which she would awake screaming, and so terrified that it required our most anxious and tender efforts to soothe and quiet her. She has, however, recovered almost entirely from these, and her mind is quite clear, though physically she is still a very delicate child, and we fear her constitution has encountered a shock from which it will never recover. During the first of her lucid intervals, she told us her name, and what she could of her parents.'

"While the good sister was reciting this little history, I stood like one in a maze, half unconscious of the bewildering conviction which was stealing over me that these were two of the children whose loss my poor friends, the Macphersons, were bemoaning; and when at length she closed the narrative, by saying that the child had revealed her name, I seized her arm with such a sudden and convulsive grasp as called attention for the first time to the fact that I had become pale as death, and whispered huskily,

"'What did she say was her name?'

"'Maggie Lauder Macpherson,' replied the sister, as I tottered to the nearest seat, almost fainting under the intense excitement. She hastened to bring me some cold water and other restoratives; after taking which I explained to her, and to my astonished companions, the cause of my agitation in few words, and that the parents still lived. When I sank into the chair, little Maggie had risen, and, approaching timidly, stood watching me with great anxiety. As soon as the momentary faintness passed, I drew her closely to my heart, and—still trembling with agitation—whispered fondly and gently,

"'My dear little lassie, I knew and loved your mother!' Looking up most wistfully in my face, she asked,


"'Here in Montreal,' I replied.

"'That canna be!' she murmured with plaintive softness, and as if half-musing, while the very expression of her mother's own serene resignation, mingled with a shade of disappointment, passed over her lovely features.

"'That canna be, gentle leddy, for my mither (and she shuddered as she uttered it) was buried in the cauld waves!'

"'No! my child,' I said softly; 'your father and mother both escaped, and are living, though a great ways from here.'

"It would be useless for me to attempt a description of what followed, as the truth of my assurance took possession of her mind; but the excitement of the sudden and joyful surprise—which we feared might injure her—seemed to restore the elasticity of her youthful spirit; a result that all other appliances had failed to secure. It was then discovered that the depressing consciousness of their orphan and destitute condition had so weighed upon her sensitive young heart, as to affect her delicate frame and prevent her restoration to health.

"I immediately sought my friends, and told them of the discovery; after which we went together to see Mr. Ferguson. It was agreed between them, at once, that I should accompany the children to Upper[93] Canada and deliver them to their parents, as a privilege to which I was especially entitled on account of the interest I had taken in the family. They furnished all necessary means for defraying the expenses of the journey.

"I set out with my little treasures the next morning, under charge of an old gentleman who was going to that vicinity on business. Our course lay up the St. Lawrence, and through a considerable portion of Lake Ontario. When we landed and left its shores, our journey continued through a rugged wilderness country of great extent, to regions, then wilder still, in the interior of Upper Canada, where settlements of Scotch had been located. We stopped at a rude log cabin that aspired to the dignity of an inn, at the settlement where the route of our stage-wagon terminated, and which was only a few miles distant from the place we were in search of.

"While the gentleman who had the care of us was out looking for a carriage to take us on, I thought I heard a familiar voice outside, and, stepping to the window, looked from it just in time to see Donald Macpherson himself, in the very act of driving away from the door, at which he had stopped a moment to speak to a man there. I tapped loudly on the window, he turned his head, and, throwing the reins to the hostler, in another moment rushed into the room, just as I had succeeded in hiding the children in an adjoining bedroom, and closing the door.

"'Is it possible, then,' said he, 'that it is indeed yoursel' I saw! What in the name of gudeness could hae brought you (the last one I should have thought of seeing) to this awfu' wild region! But I am that glad, any how, to see your dear face that I could cry, as Maggie will, I'm sure; but they will be right joyful tears she'll shed, for you will go with me this very hour to our home in the woods. But what could have brought you to face the fatigue of this rough journey?'

"'I came,' I replied as calmly as I could, 'on business that nearly concerns you and Maggie, and I am so glad to meet you here! I am sure Providence must have sent you; for I have been trying all the way to think how I could manage the business on which I came, without being able to settle upon any plan. Breathe a prayer to Heaven, Donald Macpherson, as fervently for strength to bear your joy, as I have heard you utter under the pressure of crushing griefs, while I tell you,' I said slowly, and fixing my eyes upon his face, 'that Almighty God has sent two of your lost children back to you by my hands—your little Maggie and your baby boy!'

"Never can I forget the expression that stole over his features—now white as the sculptured marble—when I succeeded in finishing what I had to say! He lifted his hands and eyes reverently to heaven, and murmured a prayer in his native dialect. Then looking at me as if awe-struck, he exclaimed,

"'Can it be that heaven has again employed you, the former messenger of its mercies to us, to bring this crowning one to our stricken hearts and desolated hearth? It is not possible! It must be some wild dream!' and he passed his hand over his head as if bewildered. As he said it, I drew him gently to the door of the bedroom, opened it, and rushed out of the room. I could not stay to witness that meeting, and I knew that the father would wish to be alone with his recovered treasures.

"After some time I went back to the happy group, but it was long[94] before we could speak. Such joy seemed too sacred for the interruption of words.

"When we had sufficiently recovered from the blissful agitation of the scene, we set about concerting measures for breaking the joyful news to Maggie.

"He decided that he would go home and bring her with him in a double wagon—the one he had being single—to accompany me to their home; pleading my fatigue after my journey as the reason why I did not go with him at once. On the way he was to prepare her for the glad meeting, as well as he could.

"I will not dwell upon the raptures of the young mother when she received her children who had 'been dead, but were alive again—had been lost, but were found!'—only to remark that she who had borne grief so calmly and patiently met the elevation also of this sudden transport in the same edifying spirit, and with many soft and tender ejaculations of the gratitude with which her heart was overflowing.

"The possibility of their children's escape had never for one moment occurred to the minds of the parents, and in the confusion and darkness of the shipwreck scene on the coast their recovery was unnoticed. Their condition, and that of Mr. Ferguson, their being consequently hurried away so suddenly from the vicinity, and remaining so long unconscious, together with the absence of the physician, had prevented any communications of a kind which might have led to the disclosure of their escape.

"The glad tidings soon spread through all the settlements, and the house was thronged early and late, with people of high and low degree. Rich and poor, Canadians, emigrants, and 'Americans,' came from all parts of the country to offer their congratulations—where their sympathies had before been freely bestowed—over the Lost and Found.

"I formed many agreeable acquaintances during the few weeks to which I was persuaded to prolong my visit in that part of the country.

"The vicissitudes of a changeful life—the lapse of forty years, during which I have stood by many graves of my nearest and dearest—have not been able to obliterate my fond recollections of the Macphersons, and have served only to engrave more and more deeply in my heart the lessons I learned from them, and my conviction that those upon whom God designs to bestow his richest spiritual gifts must go up, as did Moses of old, to 'meet him in the cloud!'"

We sat for some time in silence after she closed, and I then asked,

"Did you ever see or hear from them after your departure?"

"Cars ready! Hurry up, ladies and gentlemen! Hurry up!"

And groups of loungers, starting from every direction, hastened gladly to take their places and resume their broken journey.

When we were again seated in the car, I repeated my question, "Did you ever see or hear from them again?"

"I never saw them again," she replied, "but we kept up a correspondence for a long time. The example of their lovely and pious lives exerted a wide-spread influence in Canada. Some years after the events I have related, a large estate in Scotland was left to them, from a distant relative, and they returned to that country. Their departure was deeply deplored by all their neighbors in the land of their adoption, and I have heard that since their increased means they have been active in advancing[95] every good work, both in their Canadian home and in that to which they have returned."

I parted with sincere regret from my new friend at Toronto, which was the limit of my excursion.

Her wayside story had so impressed my memory that I indulged my pen in transcribing it. If it yields half the interest to others, at second hand, with which I received it from the actual participant, my labor will be amply rewarded.


Though France is a Catholic country, the humiliating fact that a considerable portion of its male population manifests a certain religious apathy, cannot well be disguised. This estrangement from the church is due to various causes, but mainly to the training received by the youth educated at those public institutions which monopolize the government patronage. The University of Paris largely influences all the public schools, and its authority extended at one time even over the establishments for bringing up infants. The female schools have, for various reasons, formed, to a limited extent, an exception, chiefly for the want of lay instructresses, which rendered it absolutely necessary to grant to the numerous orders of nuns more extensive privileges. The university, originally half Christian and half deistic, has lately sunk into the lowest materialism. Even among the teachers of the elementary schools there are many who have discarded, more or less openly, the Christian faith, and thereby set the pupils a most pernicious example. The secret and avowed foes of religion preponderate in the educational domain, and it is only with the utmost difficulty that Christians, or even deists, can be found for the different scientific faculties. In other respects, a marked improvement has, however, taken place since 1850, when the church was first allowed to exercise a more direct influence over the public schools, and some of the most obnoxious opponents of Christianity were removed from their educational trusts. Still more beneficial has been the concession of greater school facilities. The public institutions superintended by religious have doubled in numbers and extent, being at present attended by over 1,200,000 girls and 250,000 boys. In 1854, there were in France 825 private institutions, with 42,462 pupils, presided over by laymen; and 256 institutions, with 21,195 pupils, under the charge of religious. In 1865, the number of lay institutions amounted to only 657, with 43,007 pupils, while the religious had increased to 278, with 34,897 pupils. While the former gained, therefore, within eleven years only 545 pupils, the latter gained 13,702. Nor is this all. The schools conducted by laymen have advanced equally in a religious and a scientific point of view, and are now no longer so inferior as formerly to those conducted by religious. The decided progress which the church has made in France during the last ten or twelve years is principally owing to the growth of religious instruction[96] Unfortunately, the university still remains unchanged, and many a pious youth is lost when he enters one of the faculties. It is otherwise with reference to the lyceums and colleges, where the religious have secured a greater influence over the pupils, though rationalists and sceptics still continue to fill some of the chairs. Three years ago, 29,852 pupils attended the lyceums, and 32,495 the colleges—a total of 62,347, which shows a gain of 19,228 pupils since 1854. This increase is accounted for by the support which these institutions receive from the state. In 1854, the number of lyceums was 53; in 1865, it was 86.

In about the same period of time, the Brothers of the Christian Schools (Frères de la Doctrine Chretiènne) had founded 864 educational establishments in France, 16 in the States of the Church, 13 in Italy, 42 in Belgium, 2 in Switzerland, 2 in Austria, 3 in Prussia, 2 in England, 2 in Egypt, 4 in Turkey, 19 in Canada, 29 in the United States, 8 in India, and 2 in Ecuador—making a total of 1043 establishments with 8822 brothers. This number has multiplied since. In France alone, there are now over 900 establishments and 6000 brothers. In more recent days, many similar orders have been organized, like that founded by Lammenais, the brother of the apostate priest, which is exclusively intended for the agricultural education of boys, and counts already thirty-odd schools in Brittany. France has 18,000 male ecclesiastics, and of these the greater half are engaged in training the rising generation. Of the 90,000 female members belonging to the various religious orders, one third are employed in the same way. Out of the whole number of religious, no less than 72,000 are computed to devote themselves to education, to the care of the orphans, the sick, and the aged. The pupils, the orphans, the invalids, the incurables, the helpless, the poor under the charge of the different religious societies and orders number over two millions. These are startling figures for a land where the church had been blotted out of existence eighty years ago, and where religion has ever since had to contend against special legislation, unfriendly government, and a whole host of powerful foes, never very scrupulous in the choice of their weapons.

Another cause of the religious apathy is to be found in the desecration of Sunday, which has become very general in France, especially in the larger cities. The revolution suppressed Sunday by brute force, and the law has ever since afforded the greatest possible latitude to all who were inclined to disregard its obligations. Sunday labor came thus to be gradually sanctioned by custom and countenanced by law. Under Louis Philippe, the bourgeoisie managed to turn this laxity to account, and even to this day the work on the public improvements proceeds without reference to the festivals of Holy Church or Sundays. At first the laborer, tempted by the offer of higher wages, consented to work on Sundays for the sake of gain. Now stern necessity compels the majority of laborers to do this, and yet they barely manage to support life. Once men desecrated the Sunday out of avarice; now they desecrate it to satisfy their hunger. Such is the condition to which irreligion has reduced the French working-man. The capitalist who introduced this desecration can, however, afford better than ever to rest each day of the week.

The amount of evil which the desecration of Sunday has sown can hardly be conceived. Hundreds and thousands of those honest laborers who flock to Paris and to the[97] great manufacturing centres from the provinces have been morally and physically destroyed by it. Not only has the discharge of all religious obligations become impracticable, but there being no longer a day on which the family finds itself united, every thing like the love of home has been destroyed. The tenderest and most holy ties have been broken, the unity of family interests has ceased, and each member of the household has been left to pursue his own course. But as the human body requires some rest, the mind some relaxation, so men by way of compensation drink and dissipate, which speedily destroys their love for the fireside. On Sunday afternoons and evenings, the working-men exchange the shop only for the tavern, and they soon learn to find their relaxation and amusement there even on week-days. The consequence is, that the working-men have become demoralized; they think of nothing but work, or rather of the means by which they may procure that which will enable them to minister to their depraved appetites.

In this manner the wants of these men multiply in an inordinate degree, their minds and tastes are debased, and all their earnings soon cease to suffice for even the most indispensable articles of food and raiment. Those who break the Lord's day, though they seem to earn better wages, look wretched, and have rarely a decent coat to their backs. If the weather, or some other unforeseen cause, prevents them from working, they resort to the tavern and spend there their Sunday gains. It is notorious that exactly in those work-shops where the Sunday is habitually ignored, the hands are the most dissipated and shiftless. Even from a purely material stand-point the non-observance of Sunday is therefore a fearful social evil which has unhappily made serious progress, even in the rural districts, and especially in those immediately surrounding Paris.

This pagan system of civil legislation interferes very materially with the religious life. The French code robs the father of nearly all authority over his grown children; for instance, a son eighteen years of age may legally mortgage half the property which he is to inherit, even though it may have been earned by the parent's personal industry. Husband and wife hold their property separately, neither being liable for the debts of the other. In this way the members of the same family are invested with such widely diverging rights that they can have no interests in common. The effect of this arrangement upon the domestic relations, upon the harmony, unity, and morals of the family will be readily conceived. It is therefore to be regarded at once as a wonder and a proof of the power of the Catholic Church that there should still exist so many exemplary households in France.

Wretchedness in all its forms naturally goes hand in hand with these false principles of legislation. Thanks to the boasted progress of modern days, there is more suffering and misery in Paris than in any other city on the continent of Europe. Those who speak from personal observation of the social condition in Berlin, Vienna, and Paris, acknowledge that pauperism is most gigantic in the latter capital. In the year 1866, Paris contained 1,791,980 inhabitants, of whom 105,119 were paupers, or 40,644 families who received aid from the municipal authorities. This gives one pauper to every seventeen inhabitants; but the number of destitute who stand in need of help is at least as large again. The Conferences of St. Vincent[98] de Paul, the many other charitable societies, and the pastors, support and succor quite as many more families, the greater portion of whom are also dependent on the public. And with all this, most societies are compelled to turn away nearly as many destitute as they can relieve. It is therefore not too much to assume that one tenth of the Parisians are reduced to the verge of absolute poverty. And how inadequate, at the best, is the relief doled out by the municipality to the poor! A couple of pounds of bread each week, a few cast-off garments, occasionally some bedding, is about all which a family can usually expect to receive from this source. In 1866, the city disbursed, by way of relief, four millions of francs among 40,644 families, which gives forty-eight francs and sixty-five centimes per year for each family, or eighteen francs and sixty-five centimes per head. But it should be borne in mind that bread sells at one fourth of a franc per pound, which shows how insignificant the relief is which the otherwise so extravagant Paris municipality bestows on its destitute. And it should be further remembered that a family has to pay an average annual rental of one hundred and forty-one francs and twenty-five centimes—which average was only one hundred and thirteen francs and forty-five centimes prior to the year 1860. These statistics sufficiently demonstrate the grave importance which the solution of the social problem threatens to assume in France.

But there is at least an equally large number of families who, though they may not be regular applicants for municipal and other charity, are yet unable to get on without undergoing greater or less privations and self-denials. It can hardly be believed how much this wide-spread distress tends to the demoralization of the poor. Without education, without intellectual incentive, without religious consolation, and even without a day of rest; constantly fighting for bare existence; weighed down by bodily suffering, the better feelings of these unfortunates have become so blunted that they think only of gratifying their unceasing, never quite satisfied material wants. The disuse of the Sunday solemnities has weaned them even from bestowing a proper care on their persons. They rarely possess any other dress than the one worn in the work-shop. Still worse, if possible, is the state of the quarters, or holes, in which they are domiciled. Besides a wretched couch, an old table, some broken chairs and crockery, one meets there nothing but filth and offensive odors. Parents and children sleep in one close room; the children run wild in the streets, and thus deteriorate morally and mentally before they perish physically.

Such an element of the population can only be redeemed morally and religiously by relief of their material misery. No amelioration of their condition is otherwise possible. Wherever the church desires to interfere, she must be prepared with material aid—must send the Sister of Mercy as well as the priest. A sort of brutishness has been engrafted on this pauperism, and until it is eliminated no improvement can be seriously attempted. When modern science, therefore, represents man as a purely animal organism, the conclusion is perhaps not so very illogical after all. By systematically degrading the disinherited working classes into a race of human beings inferior in many essential features to the savage, modern political economy has to a certain extent furnished this theory with an illustration. The savage[99] still experiences the necessity of prayer, a want which the modern proletarian has long ceased to feel; the religious necessity is either dulled or destroyed in him, because the religious sentiment has been torn from his heart. For this reason also the reconciliation of the proletarian with Christianity is frequently surrounded by far greater difficulties than the conversion of the downright heathen. The Christian, corrupted by our so-called progress, stands perhaps lowest in the scale of humanity.

On the other hand, the craving for sensual indulgences seems to have become so general among the higher class of working-men that there are few who lead a well-regulated, frugal, quiet life. It is, no doubt, difficult to resist the manifold temptations which Paris presents, and which are intensified by the frequent financial and industrial revulsions. All the more remunerative trades are subject to periods of stagnation, during which numbers of operatives are thrown out of employment, or work only half-time. The self-denial which they have then to practise leads them afterward to make up for it by dissipation, and they thus contract habits which end in ruin. Here we see again, and most distinctly in Paris, what immense influence a nation's political economy exerts on its religious and moral character. Nowhere are the fruits of the mischief committed by the politico-economical theories now ascendant in France to be observed more plainly than in the metropolis, a city in which at least one half of the population, if not permanently in want, are certainly always in danger of it.

Under these circumstances, it is all the more cheering that so large a number of working-men's families should have preserved their Christian faith and still attend to their religious duties. A more than ordinary amount of virtue and self-denial is required for it, and those who practise them amidst the vicissitudes of life are truly noble souls. Yet there exist many such even among the poorest and lowliest. Another guarantee of a brighter future is that nearly all working-men appear fully convinced of the necessity of an education, and that they therefore rarely object to having their children instructed. Even the most irreligious among them manifest an implicit confidence in the clergy, and prefer to have their children attend the schools controlled by the religious. Though pretending to care nothing for the church themselves, they deem religion an excellent thing for their families. With the steady improvement in the system of popular education, and with the diffusion of schools superintended by the church, a corresponding advance in the religious and moral condition of the masses may be expected, and is indeed already apparent. There are in Paris 53 schools for boys attended by 17,360 pupils, which are managed by the different religious orders, and 63 schools for boys attended by 16,750 pupils, conducted by laymen. Of the schools for girls 68, with 19,720 pupils, are controlled by the sisters, and 57, with 12,630, by lay instructresses. The elementary Protestant establishments are included in the above figures. A similar ratio exists between the intermediate and the higher schools.

To form an adequate idea of the superior advantages which the different religious orders possess as educators, it should be known that, while the city of Paris pays its elementary lay teachers yearly from 2000 fr. to 3000 fr. salary, besides giving them lodgings and a retiring pension, the brothers have only 950 fr., lodgings,[100] but no pension. The female lay teachers, mostly single, receive from 1800 fr. to 2400 fr. per annum, while the sisters have only 800 fr. In this comparison we made no mention of the difference in the expense of the lodgings, which is much larger in the case of laymen, most of whom have families. The city of Paris could therefore well afford, without incurring the reproach of any especial extravagance, to present the church with a large piece of ground and a sum of money for a building where the superannuated brothers could pass the rest of their days. The evening classes for adults, which have been opened under the auspices of the church, are quite a success.

The chair rent exacted in the French churches is no doubt a disadvantage to religion; for it always thins the audience more or less. Though the sum collected is a trifle, and especially when we consider the recklessness with which the Parisians spend their money, many good and thoughtful men object to the practice on principle. Indeed, the tide of popular opinion seems set against the tax, and it certainly suggests to the sceptic an unpleasant parallel between the theatre and the sanctuary. Those who cannot afford the expense of hiring a chair during the service must stand up, or kneel, or occupy one of the benches fastened to the walls. The poor man goes, however, to church to forget the outside world. And yet it is there, in the very place where all should be equal, where rich and poor, high and low, should be esteemed alike, that his poverty is thrust into his face, that he is again reminded of the difference between him and his more fortunate fellows. There are many so extremely poor in Paris that even a few sous are an object to them. This explains why the few mission churches, in which no charge is made for chairs, attract such large crowds, principally composed of working-men, who are otherwise rarely, if ever, seen at worship. On this account, several of the parish churches in Paris have lately been so arranged that no rent is exacted. To do away with the system entirely is, however, not feasible at once. Some provision will first have to be made to replace the considerable revenue which accrues from this source not only to the parishes, but also to the dioceses. If the obstacles in the way to the acquisition of property by the church, the acceptance of legacies, and the accumulation of means from similar sources, were less formidable, this reform might perhaps be introduced in a comparatively brief period. But owing to legislative restrictions, bequests and other love-gifts can only be accepted by the church after long-protracted and expensive proceedings ingeniously invented for the benefit of the bureaucratic hierarchy. Had Napoleon III., instead of spending many hundreds of millions on the metamorphosis of his capital, devoted only one hundred millions to the erection of a dozen large parish churches and the endowment of the rest, he might have obtained a more substantial guarantee for the preservation of his throne and dynasty than the strategic streets which now traverse Paris. At any rate, this much is certain: with the abolition of chair-rent in the churches the attendance at divine service, and consequently the religious sentiment, might be greatly stimulated. It is also to be hoped that juster views in relation to the restoration of the sanctity of Sunday may obtain the ascendency in due time. As regards the latter subject, the example set by the government in suspending hereafter all public works on holidays and Sundays[101] would of itself have a very happy influence on the national morality.

Inasmuch as the church chairs are rented to families and paid for yearly or half-yearly, this evil is less glaring in the provinces. The wealthier parishioners there usually try to secure places in front, often at high rents, which renders it possible to let the remainder more cheaply, sometimes at mere nominal prices, to the poorer classes.

What we have stated above applies, in many respects, equally to the larger provincial cities, among which Lyons, Marseilles, Nantes, and Toulouse deserve special mention for their religious zeal. Nor are Rouen, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Lille, and Metz indifferent to the success of the church. The other large and small cities may be judged according to the state of their respective provinces. One thing may, however, be safely depended upon, namely, that every city contains a circle of laymen which sets a praiseworthy example in religious conduct and social Christian deportment. The women cling, nearly everywhere, with deeper devotion to the church than the men, and in the provinces even more than in Paris. The most devout of spirit are the German provinces, Alsace, Lothringen, and Flanders, as well as Brittany, Auvergne, Limouisin, Dauphiné, and the provinces south and west, where most if not all the adults fulfil the precept of Easter communion. Least devout are perhaps the provinces in the vicinity of Paris, Normandy, Champagne, Picardie, Orleans, down into the very heart of France, as far as Tours and Bourges. Within a radius of about sixty miles from Paris, the condition of the villages is truly deplorable, and in the towns, the religious sentiment is only very slowly awakened. There are localities where Sunday is even more habitually disregarded than at the capital; and if the men go occasionally to church, they rarely partake of the Holy Sacrament. This state of things is, however, an exceptional one, and especially in the villages near Paris which send their vegetables, flowers, fruits, and other produce to market. The daily contact of the peasantry with metropolitan life has had a bad effect on their morals. At these points the church is chiefly attended by Parisians who spend a portion of the year at their villas.

But while we feel constrained to admit that there is a great deal of religious indifference among the male population, it is pleasant to feel justified in saying that France is able to boast of a large body of ecclesiastics whose zeal and piety must command the genuine admiration of the Catholic world. In the year 1865, there were only 837 vacancies in the 31,388 parishes into which France is divided. The budget for 1869 appropriates salaries for the incumbents of 106 new parishes, and 50 new vicarages. The ecclesiastics in France number 45,000—a very high percentage in a population of thirty-eight millions, of whom about a million are non-Catholics. At the same time, the pay is very small. Not half the parish priests have an income exceeding 1500 francs per annum, while several thousands have no more than 1200, (two hundred and forty dollars in gold.) Only the incumbents of the comparatively few parishes of the first and second classes—numbering little above 3000 all told—have an addition of from 1200 to 1500 francs yearly from the state. The income of the canons varies from 1600 to 1800 francs, rarely reaching 2400, and this leaves them partly dependent on mass stipends and casuals. Many bishops are obliged to make[102] extra allowances out of their own pockets to the canons of their cathedrals. The archbishops, who are also senators and cardinals with extra pay attached to these dignities, enjoy large revenues, ranging from 120,000 to 150,000 francs, all of which they sorely need. Mons. Morlot, the late Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, imperial land almonier and peer of France, had an annual income of 230,000 francs. Of this sum he had, however, set aside from the beginning 30,000 francs for distribution among the Paris poor. Although this estimable prince of the church enjoyed his income for several years, he left not enough at his death to bury him, and the expenses of his funeral had to be paid by the emperor. The demands on the purses of these high ecclesiastics are so heavy that they are constrained to practise the most rigid economy, unless they possess independent fortunes. The household of a French bishop or archbishop usually consists of a private secretary, a coachman, a man-servant, and a cook, who is generally the wife of the coachman or servant. His house, furniture, carriage, are all of the plainest description. A bishop does not entertain what is called company. On special occasions he may invite some clergymen to his table, but nothing more. If business calls him to Paris, or some other place outside of his diocese, he takes his secretary with him, and puts up at one of those quiet hotels patronized by religious. When away from home, he always appears in public either on foot or in some hired conveyance. Now and then he accepts an invitation from some Christian family, and calls on Catholic laymen who have attested their zeal by word or deed. The most distinguished prelates often love to surprise the offices of the Parisian journals, such as the Monde and the Univers, by a visit, when they request the different writers to be presented to them, throw out valuable suggestions, and converse with the greatest freedom and bonhomie. This cordial intercourse between bishops, priests, and laymen has contributed no little toward the glory of the church and the efficiency of the Catholic press. Except in the sanctuary itself, the Catholic Church in France is utterly devoid of pomp and splendor, and by far the largest part of her resources is set aside for the maintenance of numerous educational, charitable, and other benevolent establishments, at which it may be interesting in this connection to cast here a brief glance.

First in importance and influence are the Conferences of St. Vincent de Paul, founded at Paris in the beginning of the third decade of the present century. In the metropolis alone are eighty odd conferences, one for each parish, besides some national and special ones connected with various other religious institutions and associations. Among the national conferences may be instanced a Polish, a Flemish, an Italian, an English, and two German. The most prominent of the special conferences are the Cercle du Luxembourg, formed by the Catholic students, and the Cercle de la Jeunesse, formed by the youth of the higher schools. The total number of members is probably over 4000. In addition to this, many other religious associations have been directly and indirectly promoted by the Conferences of St. Vincent de Paul: for instance, the patronages for promoting the physical and spiritual welfare of apprentices; the work-shops for young girls belonging to the working classes, who are not only furnished with employment, but instructed in their religious duties; the society for the relief of the Faubourgs,[103] managed by women whose object is the education of the children of laboring people who reside in the wretched hovels of the remoter suburbs. The Société Maternelle, established in 1788, which has in every quarter of the city its female agent to relieve working-women who cannot afford to remain at home to nurse their infants. This society expends over 60,000 francs a year, and relieves nearly a thousand mothers. A similar society is that of the Crèches, where infants under three years of age are taken care of while their mothers earn their daily bread. One of the greatest evils of our modern system of economy is the compulsory labor of females. There are in Paris 106,300 working-women who earn on an average only 1 franc and 10 centimes per day, (twenty-two cents in gold,) and have to support a family on this pittance. Very excellent institutions are the Salles d'Asiles, play-schools for children aged from two to six years, which already number over 4000 in France, and are attended by hundreds and thousands of children. The Child's Friend Society is designed to save those children who are in danger of being demoralized by the evil example of their parents. The Société de St. François Regis aims to counteract the illicit relations but too frequently entered into between the opposite sexes. It labors to supply the poor who flock to the capital from every part of the provinces with the documents which the law requires for the solemnization of a legal marriage. The advocates of the civil marriage contract may learn from this the beauties of the system which they praise so highly. Nothing can be more expensive, troublesome, or attended with greater loss of time, than the legalization of the different papers required to be produced before a marriage can be ratified by the civil authorities. On the other hand, the church exacts only a few and simple formalities to unite a pair in the bonds of holy wedlock. This society was founded in 1826, and in 1866 it brought about the marriages of no less than 43,256 couples, who had previously lived together without being married.

Paris contains fifty-eight nunneries, the greater part of which make the education of the young and the care of the infirm and the aged their main occupation. The nuns also tend the sick in twenty-four out of the thirty-six public hospitals in Paris. An order of more modern origin, but one that has already accomplished much good, is that of the Sisters of St. Paul, for the blind of their own sex. Most of its members are blind themselves; but their proficiency in all domestic employments is such that their pupils are taught to excel in them. The founder of this order, a Parisian widow, has done for this class of the afflicted what the famous Abbé de l'Grée has done for the deaf and dumb. The sisters are principally taken from the ranks of the pupils who cannot be otherwise provided for. This institution is already self-supporting. The Little Sisters of the Poor, founded in 1840, at St. Servan, near St. Malo, in Brittany, have in Paris alone five large establishments with 1700 sisters, where they support in comfort 11,006 aged poor. Its members solicit broken victuals in the kitchens of the rich, and unsold vegetables from the market-hucksters, which they take home in small carts drawn by donkeys. They also take up collections on stated days at the doors of the churches. Not content with constituting themselves the guardians of the helpless, they also relieve them of the trouble and humiliation of soliciting alms. Is not[104] this conduct worthy of the best days of Christianity? Though not yet quite thirty years old, the Little Sisters of the Poor are already widely known and honored. Recruited at first from the lowest classes of society, many women of the higher have latterly joined the order, though the majority of the sisters are still working-women and servant-girls. We would here incidentally remark that the French servant-girls rank far above those of the other continental countries in a moral and religious point of view. This is mainly due to the strictness with which good behavior and chastity are enforced in all French households, where no promiscuous intercourse between the sexes is countenanced. However indifferent master and mistress may themselves be to religion, they nevertheless invariably insist that their servants should be regular communicants and church-goers. The status of the female domestics is therefore higher than that of the average working-woman, whose independence of control but too often proves her ruin. This also explains why servant-girls should be so much more eagerly sought in marriage than working-girls. In France, the domestic, and especially the female one, is treated almost as a member of the family. The difference between master and servant is not so marked, and the result is that the latter has more self-respect and pride. Indeed, the manner in which servants are treated by their employers in France is a highly creditable feature in the national character.

But to return to the religious and other societies. A very useful association is a woman's society founded by a dozen ladies, "Invalid Working-Woman's Aid Society," which numbers in 27 parishes 600 members, and cordially co-operates with the sisters of St. Vincent de Paul in visiting and tending the sick in their own habitations. In 1865, its members had paid 158,368 sick calls to 52,748 sufferers. Another female society attends the sick poor in the public hospitals, and seeks to assist feeble convalescent girls and boys in procuring employment. "The Church Aid Society" furnishes churches destitute of means with vestments worked by the hands of its members. Still another society of women keeps on hand stocks of clothing for the needy, its members sewing for this purpose several hours each day. One society has set itself the laudable task of returning to their relatives and friends the destitute and forsaken orphans who have come with their families to the city from the provinces. Several orphan schools have been opened for the same purpose by laymen and the rural clergy in different parts of France. Many of the orders labor to a similar end, especially that of the Trappists, who own now twenty-two extensive agricultural settlements, mostly in France, some of them with a hundred brothers. Some of the most barren and unhealthy districts were taken in hand by the Trappists, and the results which they there achieved are really marvellous. At the abbey of Staoueli, in Algeria, they fed during the last famine 600 Arabs a day for several months, without materially lessening the provisions sent for sale to the markets. Though the brothers work from ten to twelve hours daily, besides devoting several hours at night to their religious duties, they eat nothing but bread, (1½ lbs. per diem,) vegetables seasoned with salt, and drink only water. The Bernhardines also follow agriculture; but their rules are less severe, for they are permitted to use milk, fish, and a little wine. Four flourishing settlements have been established by[105] this order in the most sterile districts of Southern France. The Brothers of the Holy Ghost (Frères du Saint Esprit) make foreign missionary enterprises and the amelioration of the condition of the convicts their specialty. The Brothers of St. Joseph educate the deaf and dumb, and the Brothers of St. Gabriel vagrant boys. The Œuvre des Campagnes is a society which strives to provide for the spiritual and material wants of the poorer rural parishes. Its main object is to awaken the dormant religious feelings by popular missions, devotional works, etc. Several societies have been organized in Paris and the provinces for the better observance of Sunday. The societies called "Reunion of the Holy Family" consist of the poor who meet on Sundays in chapels and halls for mutual instruction and prayers. A special society under the patronage of St. Michael has charged itself with the distribution of pious publications, tracts, etc. The colossal missionary enterprise of France is well known. No nation furnishes so many missionaries, gives such large contributions as the French, a people among whom a century ago the Catholic religion was, during several years, formally abolished. Of the 8000 missionaries distributed over the globe more than one third are Frenchmen. The Lyons-Paris Society for the Propagation of the Faith extends all over the earth, and possessed in 1867 an income of 5,149,918 fr., of which sum 3,582,659 fr. had been collected in French dioceses. During the preceding year the Society of the Holy Infancy could afford to disburse 1,603,200 fr. for 59 missions supported by it alone. It has baptized 383,206 children, and educated 41,226 more.

A separate mission exists for the Holy Land and the Orient, (Œuvre des Ecoles d'Orient.) The society mainly applies itself to supplying the missions established in these regions by the Franciscans and Lazarists with money and other aid. The return of the Nestorians, Armenians, and other eastern schismatics to the bosom of the mother church is one of its principal objects, and has already made considerable progress.

It must seem almost incredible that the greater number of these benevolent and religious societies should enjoy no fixed or only very inadequate revenues. Yet such is actually the fact. Except their buildings, many of which are heavily mortgaged, very few of the societies have any property or capital. Under these circumstances it naturally requires the most untiring exertions and the closest economy to sustain themselves. Aside from the regular collections in the churches, these organizations are mainly dependent on the charity sermons, by which funds are raised, as well as on the lotteries and bazaars gotten up for religious and charitable purposes. We see therefore that they have had a severe struggle for existence. The church is the only institution in France which can never be centralized, and the future belongs for this reason all the more surely to her.

These results show the great and many-sided activity of the French Catholics. There is no known ailing or misery, no human evil, caused by our short-sighted legislation or social policy, which is not met and alleviated by the church and her servants. These efforts may not be crowned with the desired success in all instances; but when we consider the opposition which every religious project encounters in France, it must be confessed that the church has accomplished more in that country than in any other. Nor should it be forgotten that this is largely owing to a fact[106] which neither the sophistries of modern scepticism nor the equality of all denominations under the constitution of the empire can do away with, namely, that the Catholic Church still remains the national one. For the same reason we venture to predict that the occurrence of any extraordinary events, of any great public calamity, would rather tend to promote than retard the growth of the religious sentiment among the masses. It is a remarkable circumstance that in times of national distress and suffering, the attachment to the church is strengthened. Never were the sanctuaries so crowded as during the disturbances of 1848 and 1849. How many of those who had until then worked for the overthrow of church and state were not converted when they saw whither their principles led them? Will this not again be the case at the next revolution? It often requires such violent shocks to check the baneful passions and to open the eyes of the people.


The recent solar discoveries, of which mention has been made in past numbers of this magazine, have on the whole increased the interest attached to the observation of eclipses, though in some respects the importance of these phenomena as opportunities of extending our knowledge of the constitution of the sun has been diminished. It will be remembered that immediately after the total eclipse of last year in India, it was found that the great prominences on the rim of the sun which are never seen with any ordinary appliances, except on these occasions, could be observed at any time with the spectroscope, and that by means of this admirable instrument their shape as well as the spectral lines indicating their chemical composition could be determined; and since that time many observations of them have been made, and interesting conclusions arrived at on both these points, as stated in the article translated in the last number. The principal ones as yet established with certainty are, that they are gaseous, and mainly composed of hydrogen, and that they change their shape with astonishing rapidity, some of their particles perhaps moving with the inconceivable velocity of one hundred miles a second. At any rate, immensely energetic forces and rapid movements must be required to change essentially the shape and position of these masses—which often have ten times the diameter, or a thousand times the volume of the earth—in a quarter of an hour.

So we are not now obliged to wait a year or more and travel several thousand miles to observe for a few minutes these peculiar and still somewhat mysterious bodies; still, it does not follow that they cannot be better examined at the time of an eclipse, or that new appearances may not be noticed on such occasions, now that we are accustomed to these, from which the other more startling phenomena for a long time diverted attention. Success has excited hope of yet greater successes; and eclipses,[107] though affording but a short time for actual observation, are undoubtedly the best occasions for the observer to learn in what direction his labors should be turned. There are also other things, such as the corona, Baily's beads, possible new planets inside of the orbit of Mercury, etc., which can only be seen at these times.

The eclipse of this year, therefore, was by no means neglected by the scientific men of the United States; in fact, it was felt that the reputation of the country depended upon the skill shown in preparing for and in observing it, and a large number of parties were formed, to be stationed at various points of the path of the moon's shadow or line of totality, so that if clouds should prevent success at one place, it might be obtained at another.

The first point touched by the shadow proper, and at which consequently a total eclipse occurred, was in longitude 165° west from Washington, latitude 53° north, being in Siberia; the last, in longitude 10° east, latitude 31° north, being off the coast of North Carolina. At the former the sun rose totally obscured at half-past four, at the latter it set in that condition, at a quarter to seven; and at the intermediate points the eclipse took place at all the intermediate hours of the day. It is rather singular that, owing to the necessary skip of a day in going round the world, it was Sunday morning in Siberia, but Saturday afternoon in the United States; so that the eclipse may be said to have been one of the longest on record. Its actual duration was, however quite short, half-past four A.M. in Siberia, and a quarter to seven P.M. at the ending point, being about four and half-past six P.M. respectively in New York; giving an interval of two and a half hours in which the shadow passed over the long line connecting these points, which it will be perceived are nearly opposite in longitude.

If it had travelled by the shortest route, it would have passed within three degrees of the north pole, and the eclipse would have been invisible in this country; but, fortunately, it lengthened its course, reaching its highest latitude near Behring's Straits, which it crossed, and then swept to the south-east, crossing the territories of Montana and Dakota, and the States of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina. It could hardly have taken a better route for us.

The length of the line was over seven thousand miles, and the consequent average velocity in passing over it about fifty miles a minute, though in the United States it exceeded that amount considerably. The breadth of the belt traversed was somewhat variable; in this country it was about one hundred and fifty miles. Of course, the sun was partially hidden by the moon over a very large portion of the globe; but the region from which its light was at any time completely excluded was comparatively quite small.

Observers stationed themselves at numerous points, even as far west as Alaska and Siberia; but of course most chose positions within the United States. The writer was connected with a party which was established at Shelbyville, Kentucky.

The general diffusion of intelligence, both subjective and objective, as we may say, had of course excited great interest in the eclipse among the people, especially in that part of the country actually within or bordering upon the limits of totality; and though, of course, the nature of[108] the expected event was fully understood by all the educated portion of the community, and by many of the uneducated, still there were some, especially in the rural districts, who vaguely apprehended some great event, to be probably of a disastrous nature, (a hailstorm was the most popular;) and perhaps were as much terrified in anticipation as any entirely ignorant people have ever been at the actual occurrence of this most impressive and sublime spectacle.

Of course, excursions were planned by railroad companies and others to points on the line of the shadow, the usual directions for observing were extensively circulated, and the eclipse was made the catch-word for many advertisements whose substance had no connection with it. We are afraid that many persons may have lost the most beautiful features of the scene by a too persistent use of smoked glass, which of course was not necessary during or even near the time of the total obscuration.

The weather for some days previous was not very promising—not on account of too much rain, but owing to the absence of it; and every evening the sun set in a bank of haze, which each day seemed to increase, and no storm occurred to clear the air of the burden accumulated by the drought. This was particularly unpromising for the photographers, who needed really clear air for good work; the times of beginning and ending, to which, formerly, great importance was attached, could probably have been observed nearly or quite as well through haze, or even thin cloud.

We have just implied that less consequence is now attached to the time observations than was formerly the case; this is due to the great perfection which the lunar and solar theories have now attained, which is such that the prediction of the positions of the sun and moon, and even of the beginning and ending of an eclipse, can be made with greater accuracy, perhaps, than almost any one observer could note them. Still, by combination of all the results, some slight corrections to the tables now used may perhaps be deduced, and on the present occasion this portion of the work was not disregarded, but provided for with all the appliances of modern science.

The recording of time is now usually made by the electric method, which may be here described briefly, though many are probably familiar with it. The principle is the following, subject to various modifications in the particular form of apparatus: A line is described by a pen made to move uniformly over the paper by means of clock-work. That this line may be indefinitely prolonged without retracing, it is usual to make it a spiral round a horizontal cylinder, which revolves, say, once a minute, while the marking-pen (otherwise stationary) moves slowly from one end of the cylinder to the other, perhaps requiring several hours for the complete passage.

The pen making this line is held in its place by the action of an electro-magnet pulling against a spring; the circuit through this magnet is broken every second by the escapement of a clock or chronometer; the magnet then for an instant ceases to act, and the spring pulls the pen aside, making a break in the line at regular intervals corresponding to every second of time. The same interruption of the circuit can also be made by an observer provided with a key like those used by telegraph operators, and the time of his observation thus registered on the chronograph, as the instrument is called. For identification of the clock-mark preceding his observation, mechanical arrangements can easily[109] be devised, by which the first second in each minute shall be omitted, the circuit not being broken; so that it will be known what second of every minute each mark corresponds to; and the fraction of the second elapsed from this clock-mark to his own can easily be estimated by the eye, or measured more carefully. The reading of the record is, of course, facilitated by having the cylinder revolve once a minute, so that all the clock-marks answering to any particular second (as the twenty-third, for example, of each minute) will come in the same horizontal row; and the marks are not made on the cylinder itself, but on a sheet of paper fastened round it, which can be detached when filled.

Instruments of this character were used at Shelbyville, and also at the border stations near the edge of the path of the shadow, but inside of it, one of which was at Falmouth, about thirty miles south of Cincinnati, the other at Oakland, near the Mammoth Cave. The observations of time were especially important at these places, since, as will readily be seen, the length of time required for a circular or elliptical shadow to pass a point near its edge will vary very rapidly for a slight change in the size of the shadow, or a slight shifting of its path toward or from the point selected. Even rough observations, merely of the duration of the eclipse, made at two such stations on opposite sides of the central line, suffice to determine with great accuracy the dimensions and precise track of the shadow, and thus give the elements of the moon's motion.

We have just spoken of the shadow as being elliptical; this was of course the case, the sun being quite low at the time, so that the round cone of darkness, technically known as the umbra, was cut very obliquely at the earth's surface. To realize the amount of this ellipticity or distortion, one would only need to hold some spherical body so as to cast a shadow on the ground about an hour and a half before sunset. The elongation was also continually increasing as the sun sunk toward the horizon, and its direction changed as the sun at the same time changed its direction or bearing, the longer axis of the ellipse always pointing toward the sun. This axis was, in Kentucky, about three hundred miles long; the shorter ninety; and this elliptical patch of darkness was moving in a course some thirty degrees south of east, or about twenty-three degrees south of its own longer diameter; its speed was about seventy-five miles a minute, or more than the average on the whole track, as before stated, and it required rather less than three minutes to pass any given point on the central line; this was consequently the duration of the totality; and short enough it certainly was, for the amount of work which was to be done by the observers.

For the stations on or near the central line, it was important to obtain the absolute times of the contacts, and for this purpose transits were observed, to get the error and rate of the chronometer, for some time before and after the eclipse. The border observations locate the path on which the shadow travels, and determine its breadth; but to obtain the position of the shadow on this path at any fixed time, the true times of its arrival and departure at fixed points must be observed. But on the border no such preparations were necessary, only the interval being required; and a simple pendulum, without clock-work, was set up for this purpose, which broke the circuit at each second, and thus left its record, serving to count the number[110] of seconds and the fraction between the beginning and end of the totality, which were observed and similarly recorded by means of a break-circuit key. This pendulum was so arranged as to break the circuit on the main telegraph line, and thus to be heard, and record its beats at a number of stations in different towns; but the main circuit did not itself mark upon the registers used by the observers, but mechanically (by means of what is called a relay magnet) broke short circuits set up at their stations, which could also be broken in another place by their own keys, without, of course, interfering with the main circuit itself; so that every observer could receive the pendulum beats upon his own record, without receiving those made by observers at other stations.

On Thursday afternoon, the 5th of August, some showers occurred, but not sufficient, according to ordinary experience, to have much effect in clearing the atmosphere; and on Friday morning the sky became overcast with mackerel clouds of a most unpromising character. All the preparations were, however, hopefully continued, and the photographer, Mr. Whipple, of Boston, took on that day some very successful views of Shelbyville, of the college buildings, and of the party of observers. The principal station had been established in the grounds of the college, the instruments being protected by a large tent; close by was the Coast Survey station, where the chronographs just described for recording time, as well as a transit instrument for observing it, had been placed.

Friday evening was cloudy at Shelbyville, but without rain, and the chance seemed to be gradually diminishing of any thing like a good observation of the eclipse.

The plans for photographing the successive phases were most perfect. The movement of the sun from east to west of course made it necessary that the plate should also move correspondingly, but this was readily accomplished by connecting it with a telescope mounted on an axis parallel to the earth's equator, which axis is itself fixed to another at right angles to it, or parallel to that of the earth; this second axis being turned by clock-work once in twenty-four hours in a direction opposite to that of the earth's rotation, all the parts of the instrument evidently follow the movement of the heavens or of any celestial object to which the telescope may be directed. The axis around which the telescope turns can be rotated by hand or clamped in position, and in connection with the other, which can be disengaged from the clock-work, enables the instrument to be pointed in any direction at pleasure. This style of mounting is known as the equatorial, and is almost always used for astronomical telescopes. It is similar to the ordinary tripod used for small instruments, except in the addition of clock-work, and in having the principal axis inclined toward the pole-star instead of being vertical.

But it was necessary not only to take photographs, but to know the time at which they were taken, that they might accurately measure the movement of the lunar disc over that of the sun. This might have been secured by simply noting them from the face of the chronometer; but the object was more neatly and certainly attained by having the slide itself, as it dropped at the end of the exposure, break the electric circuit, and record its own time on the chronograph.

The spectroscopic work was the most difficult and important of all. Professor Winlock, the director of[111] Harvard College Observatory and chief of the party, had charge of this. Though, as above stated, it has been found that the prominences can be seen with the spectroscope at any time, still the probability that they could be better observed at the time of the eclipse than at other times made it a duty to try the experiment, and the result has, as will soon be seen, proved that such is the case. Another observation was obtained with a spectroscope at Bardstown.

A large number of persons had come in, some from considerable distances, to observe the expected phenomenon. Among them was Mr. Frankenstein, of Springfield, Ohio, an artist, who hoped to paint the appearance of the eclipse and its effect on the landscape. This seemed an admirable idea, and it is quite remarkable that attempts of this kind have not been previously made; as they have not, at least to our knowledge. The circumstances of the present one made it eminently suitable for pictorial effect, owing to the small altitude of the sun; and the landscape, seen from the point selected, (some high hills east of the town,) is certainly one of great beauty.

The clouds broke away at about midnight and the thermometer fell considerably, reading about 59 at sunrise. The observing party improved the opportunity for final adjustments of instruments and preparatory observations, and hope revived in the hearts of all.

The sun rose unobscured on the morning of the 7th, and the day was cloudless till about ten o'clock, when some small cumuli drifted for about an hour across the sky, which then resumed its unbroken blue. The weather was also delightfully cool with a light breeze, which increased in the afternoon, and at four was blowing quite freshly. There were no signs of the predicted hailstorm, and strong faith would certainly have been needed for one to retain a belief of its arrival.

As the prospect of fine weather improved, and in fact seemed almost certain, the people, citizens and strangers, assembled on the observatory hill, and a rope was drawn round the tent where the instruments were mounted, to prevent a natural but dangerous curiosity on the part of those not immediately engaged in the special observations.

Every one now felt that they would be fully repaid for the time and labor devoted to the journey.

At about half-past four the edge of the sun was visibly indented; some persons maintained that they could see the moon some time previous to the contact; but this must probably be ascribed to a lively imagination. Smoked glass now came into demand, and all eyes were anxiously watching the rapidly decreasing orb. I had secured, through the kindness of an influential friend, an excellent position on the court-house, itself a high building and situated on the highest point in the town, commanding a fine view in all directions, particularly toward the north-west, from which quarter the shadow was sweeping toward us at the rate of more than a mile every second.

Some five or six gentlemen had followed me to the roof of the building, after which the ladder leading to the cupola was drawn up, to prevent a general ascent by the crowd below. At a quarter or twenty minutes past five, the wind began to abate, and the darkness was quite noticeable, and of course from that time continually increased, the general effect being like that of moonlight some time before the totality. The darkness was much more striking than at any time during the annular eclipse of[112] 1854; this was probably owing to the total absence of any cloud, which would have reflected and multiplied the light of the unobscured portion of the sun, as on that occasion.

A minute or so before the totality, the complete circle of the moon was easily visible, with faint brushes of light streaming from it in all directions, which were soon to assume much larger dimensions, and, apparently, though not really, a greater brilliancy.

I cast now my eyes to the north-western horizon, and saw a brick-red tinge on the sky evidently caused by the rapidly approaching umbra. The long-expected moment had come; the last direct beam from the sun vanished, and a magnificent corona of rays, faint, of course, compared with the solar light, but bright in the prevailing gloom, shot out round the disc of the moon. These rays were prolonged in four directions at right angles to each other much more than elsewhere; having in these directions a length about equal to the sun's diameter, making the corona or aureola obviously cruciform in its shape.

Venus and Mercury appeared conspicuously on opposite sides of the moon, and Regulus could be seen, though with some difficulty. Several other first magnitude stars appeared in other parts of the sky, Arcturus, Vega, and Saturn being specially noticed by the observers at my side; and undoubtedly fainter ones could have been easily discerned, could one have been willing to divert his eyes from the beautiful sight placed before them, which seemed to surpass the expectations of every beholder. To all our party, I think, it conveyed little or no idea of horror or dread, but only of inexpressible beauty. The moon was at about one sixth of the distance to the zenith above the horizon, so that no straining of necks was necessary to look at it, as it hung over the darkened landscape. Certainly, as it so hung or floated, surrounded by the irrepressible splendor of the great source of light which lay behind it, and attended by its two bright planetary companions, one on each side, it was no unfit type of the glorious mystery which the church had just commemorated on the preceding day. The darkness was not so great as that of moonlight, but of course of a somewhat different character, the light not coming from one definite direction. I think it probable that no shadows were cast, but was too much occupied in other observations to be sure of this point. The birds around the building flew about wildly; and it was said that the fowls went to roost, and the cows started for home, and that the cocks crowed on the reappearance of the sun.

The eclipse had not lasted many seconds when I saw, without specially looking for it, a bright light red or orange drop on the lower edge of the moon, which of course was one of the famous protuberances. It was easily seen with the naked eye, though probably many who had not heard of these appearances did not notice it. Before the end of the obscuration, another appeared on the right where the sun was about to emerge. A third was also visible to the telescope above. Possibly they may have had some connection with the long rays of the corona.

Before we had fairly begun to satisfy our curiosity, a well-marked boundary between the general darkness and a bright portion of sky to the north-west gave warning of the end of the eclipse, and immediately afterward the sun flashed out on the right.

The separation of the discs of the sun and moon during the following hour was probably carefully observed[113] by few except the astronomers and photographers; the moment of interest had passed, and few cared to do more than exchange congratulations on the success of the display. I forgot to notice whether the corona and prominences were visible after the totality; the latter were still seen, according to accounts received from elsewhere, and I met with one gentleman some days afterward who had seen the great protuberance on the lower edge of the sun at Shelbyville, Indiana, a point some fifteen miles from the outside line of totality; he had, of course, no previous suspicion of its existence.

The eclipse was naturally the principal topic of conversation during the evening, and every one was anxious to report his own observations and learn those of others. I found that eleven spectral lines had been seen by Professor Winlock in the great prominence, some of them characteristic of the metal magnesium. He saw only three before and after totality; thus confirming the idea previously entertained, that solar eclipses, though not the only occasions on which these interesting objects may be seen, are, with our present apparatus, far the best. The photographers had taken some eighty pictures, several during the totality, and the times of beginning and ending had been accurately observed both at Shelbyville and, as we afterward learned, also at the stations on the border line, Falmouth and Oakland; which border observations give the position and breadth of the path of the shadow within some eight or ten rods; the southern edge can even be determined with much greater accuracy, owing to a fortunate selection of the station, which proved to be extremely near it. The precise amounts by which these results differ from the previous computations have yet to be determined; but it is probable that the corrections to the tables now used will be very small.

An ingenious method of observing the time of the external contacts, or beginning and end of the whole eclipse, was, as I heard, devised by a gentleman at another station. These phenomena, especially the first, are very difficult to observe accurately, owing to the invisibility of the moon when off of the sun's disc, and the waviness of the sun's limb, making it doubtful that an indentation has been made in it till it has become quite deep, which is, of course, some time after the actual meeting of the two bodies. He observed it with the spectroscope by noting the time of disappearance of one of the lines only visible on the extreme edge of the sun's disc.

Every one not engrossed in some special work had, of course, seen the planets Venus and Mercury; and many had seen others of the first magnitude. The darkness was not so great as was hoped for by those who were searching for intra-Mercurial planets; no candle was necessary for examining the charts which had been prepared. One observer at Shelbyville reported having seen a star of the third magnitude with the naked eye, and as he had no previous knowledge of the existence of such a star in the place in which he was looking, the fact seems indubitable. Dr. B. A. Gould, of Cambridge, who observed at Burlington, Iowa, has since informed me that he saw a star of the fifth magnitude, with a telescope of five inches aperture, near the sun; the star is a well-known one, and the observation shows that, had any planets of that brilliancy (about one fiftieth of that of Mercury) been within three degrees of the sun, within which limits he was restricted in his search by the shortness of time,[114] he would not have failed to detect them.

"Baily's beads" do not appear to have been considered as extraordinary by any of the observers. The limb of the sun just before the totality was of course more or less broken up by the irregularities of that of the moon; but the fragments had no remarkable appearance; and this phenomenon, which has been the subject of so much discussion, seems probably due to irradiation and the difficulty of determining the precise shape of small and brilliant objects.

An able astronomer, who was the chief of the party at Oakland, and who owing to his station being very near the southern edge of the shadow, saw them for fifteen or twenty seconds, says that they presented most clearly the phenomena which he should expect to be caused by the irregular contour of the moon, when its indentations were exaggerated by irradiation.

No discoveries of equal importance with M. Janssen's last year have yet been reported; but as no eclipse has ever been so thoroughly observed, the results cannot fail, when thoroughly collected and compared, to be of great scientific value.


For the last quarter of a century, a society has existed in this city entitled the "Prison Association of New York." It counts among its members a large number of the wealthy and influential men of the State. Its object is to improve our prison systems and to effect as far as possible the permanent reformation of our criminals. With so humane and Christian an object we most heartily sympathize.

Its Twenty-fourth Annual Report, which we recently received, is a very interesting and comprehensive document. Accompanying it is a circular in which we are told that the association desires "that the public attention may be directed to this question, and the public sentiment in relation to it enlightened and invigorated, so that our prison systems and our administration of criminal justice may everywhere be improved and brought into harmony with the advancing civilization of the age."

We shall, therefore, offer a few suggestions on this subject.

A criminal is a man morally diseased. As such he should be considered—as such be treated. In a right prison system, the punishment of past offences should be but the secondary object; the prevention of future offences, the main one. No permanent outward change can be effected till an inward reformation has been wrought; and that reformation must come through mental but especially through moral development.

We learn from this report, with much pleasure, that, in the prisons of the chief States, libraries have been established; and that, in many of them, instruction is regularly imparted to the inmates, through classes and lectures. Ignorance is a fruitful source of vice. The Catholic Church,[115] which alone raised the world from the intellectual darkness into which, at the fall of the Roman empire, the inpouring of northern barbarians had plunged her, stands to-day the foremost champion of enlightened Christian education. She regards knowledge as an aid to virtue. She courts the light of science, that in its beams the truth of her dogmas may appear with brighter resplendence.

But experience has clearly shown that virtue is not a necessary consequence of education—that moral does not always follow mental development. To prove this, we need not go outside of this report, in which, page 373, we read the following words of Amos Pilsbury, "the Nestor of jailers on this continent; an officer whose name is almost as well known in Europe as it is in America":

"Experience has, unhappily, demonstrated that the possession of education is not incompatible with the commission of crimes of every kind; and we have seen many melancholy examples of very highly educated men falling victims to drunkenness and other degrading vices." Daniel Webster therefore truthfully said: "Man is not only an intellectual, but he is also a moral being; and his religious feelings and habits require cultivation. Let the religious element in man's nature be neglected; let him be influenced by no higher motive than low self-interest, and subjected to no stronger restraints than the limits of civil authority, and he becomes the creature of selfish passions and blind fanaticism. The cultivation of the religious sentiment represses licentiousness, incites to general benevolence and the practical acknowledgment of the brotherhood of men; inspires respect for law and order, and gives strength to the whole social fabric; at the same time it conducts the human soul upward to the Author of its being."

After quoting these words, Rev. David Dyer, chaplain of the Albany Penitentiary, adds, page 348: "Of all the attributes of man, the moral and religious are the most important and influential. They, by divine arrangement, have this precedency. They are designed to be the mainspring of thought and action, the director of the whole man. Let them be neglected, debased, or treated as of secondary importance, and the whole system will be deranged. Readjustment and reformation will be impossible. There may, indeed, be induced, under the power of seclusion or physical force, a servile fear; perverse passions may, for a time, be checked, and the developments of a depraved will may be staid; but let these appliances be removed, and it will soon become apparent that instead of promoting reformation they have induced spiritual hardness, recklessness, and hate, and made the man a more inveterate slave to his passions and a greater injury to the state. The moral and religious improvement of convicts should, therefore, be the first and constant aim of all to whose care they are committed. Their chief efforts should be directed to the sanctification of the springs of thought and action; and this secured, through the benediction of God, those objects of Christian solicitude will go forth to exemplify in virtuous lives the wisdom and utility of these efforts."

It being plain, therefore, that upon religious and moral influences chiefly we must rely for the reformation of criminals, the question next arises, What should be the nature of those influences? Should they be in accordance with the conscience of the criminal or not? Should the clergyman who is to minister to his spiritual wants, possess his confidence, and[116] lead him to good, be a clergyman of his own church, or of a church from which the prisoner was, is, and will be throughout life, fundamentally separated, in thought and feeling? Should the books which are placed in his hands, with a view to his moral improvement, be such as will attract, because written in accordance with the principles of his church, and recommended by its teachers, or such as will raise suspicion, if they do not actually repel, because coming from a doubtful source, and full, perhaps, of expressions and statements at variance with his religious sentiments?

The proper answer to these questions is, we think, self-evident. No man who has to build a house on a foundation already laid begins by attempting to weaken that foundation.

Last year, in the city of New York, 46,476 were committed to prison. Of this number, 28,667, nearly two thirds, were of foreign birth. A statistical view of all the prisoners of the United States, page 149, shows that twenty-seven per cent of the inmates belong to the same class. A large share of these are undoubtedly Catholics. So, likewise, are many who are put down as of native birth.

Now, we ask, how much is done to bring to bear on these unfortunates the salutary influences of their own religion?

How many prisons in the United States have Catholic chaplains? In how many is a priest invited to minister at stated times to the spiritual wants of this great number of inmates? In how many cases, not so much in this as in other parts of the country, is the priest not only not invited, but with difficulty allowed, if allowed at all, to say mass and administer the sacraments of penance and the eucharist to the prisoners who are of his own faith?

We read in this report, with much pleasure, that libraries have been established in our chief prisons; that "the aggregate number of volumes is 15,250;" that "in some States, a fixed annual sum is appropriated of the increase of the prison libraries; in others, additions are made by special grants. New York appropriates for her three prisons, $950; Pennsylvania, for her two, $450; Michigan, $300; Massachusetts, $200; Connecticut, $200." Of this large and annually increasing supply of books, intended as an aid in the moral reformation of criminals, of whom probably one third are Catholics, what portion is written by Catholics? What portion is Catholic, either in its tone or in its teaching? How many of these books are not more or less anti-Catholic, and hence repulsive to the religious feelings of those for whose benefit they are intended?

We have no desire to make proselytes in our prisons. We do not wish to interfere with the religious convictions of prisoners who do not belong to our faith; but we claim as a right, and maintain in the name of justice and of philanthropy and of true statesmanship, that our Catholic criminals should, as far as possible, be attended by Catholic clergymen and be supplied with Catholic books. As the Russian Count Sollohub says, page 572, in his paper on "The Prison System of Russia," "Religion is, beyond contradiction, the first principle of all human perfection. It is this alone which consoles, this alone which replaces the passions by humility, and a disordered life by a life without reproach. But every religion has its forms. Let Catholicism pursue its propagandism (?) in the prisons—nothing better; for this it has its orators. Let Puritanism shut up its criminals and cause them to enter into themselves by the reading of the[117] Bible; it has for that the education which it gives." And again, page 573, "Missionaries, special brotherhoods, the enthusiastic propagandists of Bible societies, and prison visitors are certainly worthy of the most respectful sympathy; but they belong to a different order of ideas."

In reading the article on "Religion in Prisons," by the Corresponding Secretary of the Association, Mr. E. C. Wines, we were much struck by the following words, page 390: "The benefit to convicts is obvious and incalculable of frequent conversation with an earnest, kind, godly, sympathizing, and judicious chaplain, when the prisoner can express his feelings and the pastor can give his counsels and admonitions, with no one by to check the free outpourings of the heart on either side. One special reason for such visits and conversations is, that the chaplain is thereby enabled the better to direct his inquiries and instructions to each prisoner's particular case."

Here the gentleman has, perhaps without knowing it, clearly depicted a Catholic confession. Catholic prisoners will thus open their hearts to a Catholic priest and to a Catholic priest only; and from his lips words of counsel and of kindness will have vastly more weight than when they come from any other source whatsoever.

Of Mettray, in France,[28] a Catholic institution, and the model reformatory of the world, we read, page 258, that "the church doors stand always open, and whoever seeks an opportunity for private prayer is free to enter," and, page 259, "the founders of the institution have laid great stress on the influence of religion as affording the only solid foundation for the reformation of criminals; and the words, 'Maison de Dieu,' are inscribed in front of the church as an acknowledgment that, unless the Lord build the house, their labor is but lost that build it. The proportion of communicants is considerable, and it is noticeable that on the approach of the great festivals, there is always a marked diminution in the number of infractions."

The necessity of bringing Catholic religious influences to bear on Catholic prisoners has been acknowledged in the Irish prison system, which is considered of all prison systems the most perfect; for we are told, page 336, that, besides the Protestant, there are Catholic chaplains who "say mass daily, and hold religious services twice on Sunday."

In the most friendly spirit, we respectfully recommend the consideration of these facts and suggestions to the Prison Association of New York, and to all, throughout the country, who take an interest in our prison system and desire the reformation and welfare of our unfortunate criminals. They are generally the victims of ignorance and wretchedness. Had they been willing to exchange faith for falsehood, and to barter their birthright for a mess of pottage, they might now be prosperous in their native land. Thus is a certain glory found even in their shame. For the sake of principle they have embraced poverty and exile. They are poor; and the poor sin publicly and are punished. Surrounded by countless temptations, when they fall they are more to be pitied than blamed. We could not disown them if we would, and we would not if we could. The church never disowned them. On the contrary, she has performed miracles of mercy in their favor. The Saviour never disowned them, for we read that he ate with publicans and sinners.


Much has been done toward reforming this unfortunate class. Much more may yet be done. Their souls are not dead but sleeping! Let the Prison Association of New York see that the influences of their own religion are brought to bear upon them. Wherever there is a considerable number of Catholics confined in any prison, penitentiary, reform-school, or school-ship, let a Catholic priest be invited to administer to their spiritual wants and to perform the religious service of their church. Let the association see that in the selection of books for prison libraries, a fair share are Catholic books; not dry theological treatises, nor dull books of piety, but books such as are calculated to divert, to instruct, to elevate; to make better men, better citizens, and better members of society; to strengthen conscience and loyalty to the great principles of divine religion and eternal right.

We entirely agree with the association as to the end to be attained, and we have endeavored, in a few words, to point out the means best calculated for the attainment of that end with a very large part of our criminals. We trust that our ideas will receive a trial, and that narrow-minded and bigoted intolerance will not be allowed to put obstacles in the way.

Catholic criminals can be permanently reformed only by Catholic religious influences.



The result of our preceding article was a supreme duality—the infinite and the finite. The one absolutely distinct in nature from the other. The first self-existing, necessary, eternal, immutable, infinitely perfect, and absolutely complete and blessed in his interior life; the other, created, contingent, mutable, imperfect, and on the way to development. How can this duality, so marked and so distinct, the terms of which are so infinitely apart, be harmonized and brought together into unity?

Such is the fifth problem which pantheism raises, and which it undertakes to solve.

Let us investigate more deeply the nature of the problem.

We do not now inquire whether there be any kind of union between the infinite and the finite, because they are already united by means of the creative act.

The infinite creates the finite, sustains and directs it, three moments which constitute the finite and cause it to act. This is the first and fundamental union between the infinite and the finite. After what union, then, do we seek when the problem is raised, Is there a union between the infinite and the finite already perfect as to being, or, in other words, between the infinite and the finite already united by the creative act?

We inquire after a union which may mark and express the highest possible[119] elevation of perfection which the cosmos, or the assemblage of all finite beings, may attain; and as the finite, as we shall see, cannot acquire its highest possible perfection except by a union with infinite perfection, it follows that the problem inquires after the highest possible union between the infinite and the finite.

We shall, according to our wont, give the pantheistic solution of the problem, and then subjoin the answer of Catholicity. The pantheistic solution is as follows: The infinite is the highest possible indetermination and indefiniteness in the way to development. It becomes definite and concrete in the finite, and this by a gradual process.

First, it assumes the lowest possible form of existence in the mineral kingdom. Then it begins to show life in the vegetable kingdom. It acquires sensation and perception in the animal, and shoots up into intelligence and consciousness in humanity. Yet is this intelligence and consciousness essentially progressive, and begins from the minimum degree to rise to the highest. This principle explains all the stages of more or less civilization of which history makes mention. At first the infinite acquires those faculties in humanity which border on and are more akin to the senses, such as the imagination and the fancy; hence the primitive state of nations is marked with very imperfect development of the reasoning faculties, and with a superabundance of imagination; consequently, this primitive state abounds in national bards, who discharge all those offices which, in nations more civilized, are fulfilled by others, such as historians, orators, etc. It is also the age of myths, when people with young and robust fancy are apt to give flesh and blood and personality to any striking legend in vogue, until the legend, so dressed up and personified, is misunderstood for a historical fact and real person. Then, in proportion as the development advances, the infinite acquires a better explication of the reasoning faculties, and hence the ages of philosophy. Of course the development is gradual and slow, and is perfected by time and continued development, until the infinite arrives not only to the fullest explication of the reasoning faculties, but also to the full consciousness of its infinity, and of its eternal duration.

The infinite, arrived at the fullest explication of its intelligence, and to the full consciousness of its infinity, is humanity, or the cosmos arrived to the highest possible perfection. This humanity, dressed up by the imagination of the people, with individuality and personal traits, is the Christ, or the myth which Christians adore.

"The subject of the attributes," says Strauss, "which the church predicates of Christ, is not an individual, but a certain idea, though real, and not void of reality, like the Kantian ideas. The properties and perfections attributed to Christ by the church, if considered as united in one individual, the God-man, contradict each other, but may be reconciled in the idea of the species. Humanity is the collection of two natures, or God made man; that is, the infinite spirit transformed into a finite nature who is conscious of his eternal duration. This humanity is begotten from a visible mother and an invisible father, that is, spirit and nature. It is that which performs miracles, enjoys impeccability, dies, and rises again, and goes up to heaven. Man, believing in this Christ, and especially in his death and resurrection, may acquire justification before God."[29]

According to pantheism, then, the [120] infinite, acquiring the full consciousness of his infinite perfections in humanity, is the highest possible perfection of the cosmos, and the union, therefore, between the two is the union of identity.

We are dispensed from attempting any refutation of this theory, seeing that it rests on premises which we have already demonstrated to be false and absurd. We only beg the reader to observe how utterly futile and useless is this theory for the solution of the problem which has called it forth. The problem is, how to raise the cosmos to the highest possible perfection, or, in other words, how to establish the highest possible union of the finite and the infinite, from which the highest possible perfection of the finite may result.

Pantheism answers by proclaiming the absolute identity of the infinite and the finite, by marking the highest possible perfection on the cosmos, when the infinite in its finite form of development acquires a consciousness of its infinity. Now, it is evident in this answer that one term of the problem is swept away, that no real cosmos exists, that it is but a phenomenon of the infinite, and that, consequently, in the pantheistic solution the problem of the highest possible union of the infinite and the finite cannot exist, because the second term of the union does not really exist.

In the preceding article we raised the question, Is there a means by which to raise the cosmos to the highest possible perfection, a perfection almost absolute and beyond which we cannot go? And we answered that the problem cannot be solved by human reason, being altogether super-intelligible, and that the solution of it must be left to the Catholic Church, the repository of divine revelation.

Now, the church answers the problem by laying down the first moment of the external action of God, the hypostatic moment. By it the human nature, and through it the cosmos, is elevated to the highest possible perfection—a perfection beyond which we could not go; and thus the problem is resolved, and the aspiration of the finite to the highest possible union with the infinite is satisfied. That the reader may fully understand the doctrine of Catholicity in answer to the problem, we shall beg leave to recall a few principles which will pave the way to the very heart of the answer.

1st. Every work of God, before it exists in itself, has an objective existence in God's Word.

We remarked, in the sixth article, that every contingent being must have a twofold state of existence, one objective, the other subjective. The objective is the ideal and intelligible state of every being residing eternally in the mind of God. Now, all God's ideality or intelligibility is centred in the Word, whose constituent is to be the very ideality or intelligibility of God. Consequently, the cosmos, before it exists in itself, has an objective and intelligible state of existence in the Word. In other terms, the Word is the subsisting and eternal intelligible expression of every thing that God is, and every thing that resides within God. He is, therefore, essentially the expression of all divine ideas. Now, all the works of God are a divine idea. Therefore, the Word by his personal constituent is the representation, the type of the general system of God's external works.

2d. All the works of God, inasmuch as they reside in the Word in a typical state, are infinite.

For whatever is within God is identified with his essence, which is absolute simplicity. Therefore, the cosmos, in its typical state residing in the Word, resides in God, and is thus identified with the essence of God,[121] and is consequently infinite. St. John, with the sublimest expression ever uttered by man, renders this idea when he says, "All that was made in him (the Word) was life,"[30] indicating that the Word, consisting of all the intelligibility of God and that which was made belonging to the ideality and intelligibility of God, was the very life of the Word, and consequently infinite.

3d. The Word is not only the type but the efficient cause of the cosmos. The truth of this follows from the essential relation of the Word to the Father.

The Father, knowing himself, knows also whatever is possible. But whatever he knows he utters and expresses by his Word. Therefore, the Father, through his only Word, utters himself and things outside himself. But his utterance of creatures is also the cause of their subjective existence, since God is pure and undivided act. Consequently, through his single Word he affirms himself and his exterior works, and consequently he is also their efficient cause.

4th. The external action of God tends to express, exteriorly, the divine idea of the cosmos, as perfectly as it is uttered interiorly.

We have shown in the preceding article that, although it was not necessary that God should effect the best possible cosmos, for the reasons which we have therein given, yet it was most agreeable to the end of creation that God should effect the best possible cosmos. Now, the best possible cosmos is evidently that which draws as near as possible to its intelligible and typical state. Consequently, the external action of God has a tendency to express, exteriorly, the divine ideas as perfectly as he utters them interiorly. St. Thomas proves the same truth with a somewhat similar argument. Every agent, he says, intends to express his own similitude (the interior idea) on the effect he produces, and the more perfect is the agent, the better and stronger will be the similitude between him and his effect. Now, God is most perfect agent. It was, therefore, most agreeable to him to stamp his own similitude on his external works as perfectly as possible; that is, it was most agreeable to him to render his external works as like their typical state as possible.

5th. This supreme or best possible expression of the typical state of God's external works could not be substantial or ontological.

We have seen that the typical state of the cosmos, residing eternally in the Word of God, is identified with him, and is therefore infinite. It follows, therefore, that if we suppose a supreme, substantial, and ontological expression of this typical state, we must suppose a supreme, substantial, and ontological expression of the infinite. Now, this is absurd; because a supreme and ontological expression of the infinite would be the very substance of God. On the other hand, the expression, requiring necessarily to be created, would be essentially finite. Consequently, on the supposition, we should have a finite infinite substantial expression of God, which is a contradiction in terms.

6th. The supreme expression cannot be effected except by an incorporation of the infinite into the finite.

Having excluded the identity between the finite and infinite natures, an identity which would be a necessary consequence if the expression were substantial and ontological, if a supreme expression of the infinite is to be effected, if the cosmos, in its subjective state, is to be elevated and made as like as possible to its typical[122] state, there are no other means of effecting this than by an incorporation of the infinite into the finite. For let it be remembered that the finite, in force of its nature, is indefinitely progressive. You can add perfection to perfection, but unless you transform it into the infinite, it will never change its nature, and will continue to be finite. Thus, the only possible way of elevating it to the highest possible perfection, is to raise it to a union with the infinite greater than which you cannot conceive.

7th. This union or incorporation must be effected by the Word.

Because, first, the Word is the natural organ between the Father and his exterior work, since, with the same utterance, the Father speaks himself and his external works. Secondly, this union is required in order that the external works may draw as near to their typical state as possible. Now, the Word is the living and personal typical state of the cosmos, the intelligible life of the external works; it is necessary, therefore, that he should enter into the finite, and bring into harmony the interior infinite type of the cosmos, with its finite external expression; unite together the ideal intelligible state with the real subjective state of the cosmos.

From all we have said, it follows that all the external works reside in the Word; that inasmuch as they reside in the Word in their typical state, they are his very life, and consequently infinite; that the Word is not only the typical but efficient cause of the cosmos; that the external act tends to express exteriorly the typical state of the cosmos as perfectly as it is uttered interiorly; that this supreme expression could not be substantial and ontological; and that, consequently, the only means of effecting it was an incorporation of the infinite into the finite, to be executed by the Word as the natural organ between God and his external works.

Now, this is the answer which Catholicity affords to the problem, What is the union by which the finite attains its highest possible perfection?

It answers in the sublime expressions of the Eagle among the Evangelists, and which resume, in a few words, all we have hitherto said.

"In the beginning (the Father) was the Word.

"And the Word was with God.

"And the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was made nothing.

"That which was made in him was life.

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."[31]

The Word of God, the subsisting ideality of the Father, the living type of his external works, united himself to human nature, the micro-cosmos, or abridgment of the cosmos, in such a close and intimate union as to be himself the subsistence of human nature, and thus exalted the cosmos to its highest possible perfection. This union of the Word with human nature is called hypostatic or personal union.

We must now study its nature and properties, draw the consequences which flow from it, and point out how well it answers all the requisites and conditions of the problem.

And in the first place, we remark that the subsistence of finite beings is also contingent and variable. We have before given an idea of subsistence and personality; but we beg leave to recall a few ideas about these most important notions of ideology, that the reader may better perceive in what the nature of the hypostatic union really consists. We shall explain [123] the following notions: possibility, actuality, nature, substance, subsistence, and personality.

Possibility is the non-repugnance of a being. It is intrinsic or exterior. When the essential elements which constitute the idea of a being do not clash together or contradict each other, the being is intrinsically possible. When, besides the intrinsic possibility, there exists a principle which may give the being actual existence, the possibility is external.

The intrinsic possibility of a being in the mind of the cause or principle of this being is called intelligible actuality. Actuality or existence, properly speaking—that is, subjective actuality—is the existence of the being outside of the intelligent cause which perceives it; or, in other words, the external expression of the intelligible actuality.

Nature is the radical, interior principle of action in every existing being.

Substance is the existing of the being in itself, or the permanence and duration of a being in itself. Now, a being which is a substance may be united with another substance, and the union may be so close that one of them may become the natural, inseparable, intrinsic organ of the other. In this case the being which is thus united with the other and has become the organ of the other, although not ceasing to be a substance, possesses no subsistence of its own. What, then, is the subsistence of a being? It is not merely the existing in itself; it is the exclusive possession of the existing in itself and whatever flows from this exclusive possession. A being is possessed of existence in itself and of its operations, when the union of which we have spoken does not exist. But whenever such union exists, though the being continues to be substance or to exist in itself, it has yet no exclusive possession of itself.

Hence, subsistence is defined the last complement of a substance which makes it an independent whole, separate or distinct from all others; makes it own and possess itself, and renders it responsible for its operations. Personality adds to this the element of intelligence; so that a person is that supreme and intelligent principle in a being which knows itself to be a whole, independent of all others; which enjoys the possession of itself, and is responsible for its actions. Consequently, every substance which is complete—that is, detached from and independent of all other substances in such a manner as to constitute a whole by itself, and alone to bear the attribution of its properties, modifications, and functions—is a subsistence.

The subsistence or personality of a contingent being is also contingent, and may be separable from it so as to give rise to a twofold supposition, either that the contingent being never had a subsistence of its own, or, if it had, it may be deprived of it, and its own subsistence may be substituted by another.

In the first place, we remark, in vindication of this statement, that it is impossible that any substance could really exist without a subsistence. Because, as we have said, subsistence is the last complement of substance, and consequently without it the substance could not be actual, but would be a mere abstraction. That for which we contend in the proposition just laid down is, that it is not necessary that a substance should have a subsistence of its own, but that it may subsist of the subsistence of another.

For it is evident that every being comprised within the sphere of the contingent and the finite may cease[124] to be a whole by itself, and may contract with a nature foreign to itself a union so intimate and so strong as to depend on this foreign nature in all its functions and its states, and no longer to bear the attribution and solidarity of its actions and modifications. If, for instance, a hand detached from the whole body were to trace characters, this action would be attributed to it exclusively; it would be a subsistence, a whole by itself, and we should say, That hand writes. But if it should become a part of, and we should consider is as dependent on, a human nature and will, it would then lose the solidary attribution of the function of which it is the organ; and then we could no longer say, That hand writes; but, That man writes.

A contingent substance may be deprived of the possession of its subsistence by a union with a substance even inferior in nature to itself. Because its superiority over this nature would not prevent its being dependent on it in its functions and in its states, as is the case with the human soul, which presides over the body, which produces in it continual changes, and which, in spite of the excellence which distinguishes it from the mass of matter which it animates, yet depends on the body in its most intimate situations, and finds itself bowed down by the continual evil which it suffers thereby.

Hence is it that in man the possession of subsistence belongs neither to the soul nor to the body, and there is no other subsistence in him but the sum of the two natures of which he is composed, but the whole of the two extremes united together, and which is at the same time spirit and body, incorruptible and corruptible, the intelligent and the brute.

Hence, neither the soul nor the body are denominated separately by their respective functions; but it is the whole man who receives the attribution and the different appellations of the actions and states of either nature, and we say, man thinks, man walks, man wills, man grows. Consequently that axiom, Actiones et denominationes sunt suppositorum, Actions are to be attributed to the subsistence. We remark, in the second place, that in the infinite alone the subsistence and personality is necessary, and consequently can never be separated from him or be dependent on any other. Because in this order personality affects a nature essentially complete, total, and of its own intrinsic nature absolutely independent in its action and in its eternal and immutable state, of all external substance.

It follows, therefore, that if a divine personality enters into a finite nature, it must necessarily preserve its own subsistence, since it is evident that, if a divine person is united to a created nature in a manner so close and intimate as to form one single individuality, the created nature, in force of the principles above stated, would have no individuality of its own, and the divine personality would, in such case, necessarily be the supreme and independent principle constituting the new individual, the infinite term and completion of the two natures. Now, such is the hypostatic union. The infinite person of the Word united to himself human nature in a manner so close and intimate as to form one single individuality, Christ Jesus, the Theanthropos; so that the human nature of Christ had no subsistence of its own, but subsisted of the personality of the Word. Hence, in Christ the Word of God was the only supreme and independent principle, who knew himself to be a whole apart, composed of the human and divine natures, who bore alone[125] the attribution and solidarity of the actions springing from either nature, and who was, consequently, the only person in Christ.

But to make the nature of the hypostatic union more intelligible to the reader, we shall dwell upon it a little longer.

We may reduce all the unions between the infinite and the finite to three. The first is the action of God creating finite substances, maintaining them in existence and directing all their movements, permitting, however, their defects and shortcomings.

This is the first and fundamental union between the infinite and the finite. It begins the moment the finite is created, and continues in existence by preservation and concurrence. All this in the natural order. In the supernatural order there is also a first and fundamental union, as we shall see, by which the action of God effects, as it were, a new and superior term, preserves and directs it in its development. Thus, the first union between the finite and the infinite is the action of God effecting a finite term, maintaining it in existence and directing it in its development, both in the substantial and in the sublimative moments. However, this union not only leaves whole and entire the individuality and subsistence of the two terms united, but is not even so close and intimate as to prevent the finite term of the union from occasionally failing in its action, and of falling short of the aim to which it naturally tends. Hence a second and more excellent species of union. By it the infinite is so closely united with the finite as not only to preserve it, and to direct it in all its actions, but also to prevent it from falling into defects and errors.

This second kind of union, though, as it is evident, far exceeding the former in intimacy and perfection, since it implies an extraordinary employment of activity on the part of the infinite, and a special elevation of the finite, is yet not so close as to deprive the finite term of its own subsistence and individuality.[32] We may, therefore, conceive a third kind of union, whereby an infinite personality may be united to a finite nature so closely and so intimately as not only to move and direct it in all its actions, as not only to prevent it from falling into failings and imperfections, but as to make it the intrinsic instrument, the intimate organ of his own infinite action in such a manner as to form of the finite nature and of the infinite personality a new and single individuality.

This supposition is eminently possible. For, on the one hand, the infinite personality being possessed of infinite energy, and, on the other, the finite nature being endowed with an indefinite capacity of sublimation, nothing can detain the first from communicating itself to the second with such energy, power, and intensity of communication as to render it its own most intimate and dependent organ of action. In fact, let the communication of an infinite person to a finite nature be carried to its highest possible degree of union short of absorbing and destroying the real existence of the finite, its substantiality, so to speak; let this finite nature be, accordingly, raised to the highest possible intimacy with the infinite person; let the latter take such intense possession of the former as to make it its own intrinsic organ, the immediate and sole instrument of his own infinite operation, and what will the result be? Why, that the finite nature will no longer possess [126] itself, no longer form a whole by itself separated from and independent of any other; no longer bear the attribution of the actions springing from its nature; in short, it will no longer be a subsistence and an individuality by itself, but will form one single individuality with the divine person, or rather the infinite person will be the only single subsistence of the two natures united, the infinite and the finite. The finite nature in this supposition would stand, with regard to the infinite person, in the same relation in which our body stands with regard to our soul. For the union of body and soul, which constitutes the individual called man, takes place according to this kind of union. The soul is united to the body in a manner so close and so intimate as to render the body its own most intrinsic, dependent instrument, the organ of its operations in such a manner that, in force of this operation, the body does not possess itself, does not form a whole apart, nor is it accountable for the actions which immediately flow from its nature. In other words, it has no subsistence of its own, but subsists of the subsistence of the soul and the whole individual man. The result of this union is possessed of the subsistence and forms one person.

The Incarnation of the Word is like to this union, hence called hypostatic or personal union. The second person of the Trinity united himself to the entire human nature, constituted of body and soul, in a manner so close and intimate as to be himself the subsistence of the human nature; the latter never enjoying a subsistence of its own, because, contemporaneously to the very first instant of its existence, it became the internal, the immediate, and the most intimate organ of the Word of God, and subsisted of the subsistence of the Word, so that it never bore the attribution and solidarity of those actions which have an immediate origin in human nature, but the attribution and solidarity, and, consequently, the moral worth, of those actions belonged to the personality of the Word, according to the axiom that Actiones sunt suppositorum.

Hence the union between the Word of God and his human nature was not a moral union, which always implies the distinct individuality and personality of the two terms united, as Nestorius thought, and many would-be Christians of the present day seem to hold.

Nestorius was ready to grant that the union between the Word and human nature was as high and intimate as possible, so far as moral union can permit; but never would he concede that it was any higher than simple moral union, which kept whole and entire the two individualities united. Consequently, he admitted two persons and two individualities in Christ—the Word of God, and the man called Christ. From which theory it follows that our Lord was a mere man—a saint, if you will, the highest of all saints, yet simply a man.

Catholic doctrine, on the contrary, teaching that the union of the Word and the human nature was personal, inasmuch as the divine person of the Word was the subsistence in which his human nature subsisted, teaches consequently, at the same time, that in Christ there is one person, one individuality—the divine personality of the Word; that therefore Christ, the new individual, is God, being the second divine person, in which both his divine and human nature subsist. Nor was the human nature of this new individual so absorbed by the divine personality as to cease to be a substance, as Eutyches affirmed, who upheld, it would seem, a fusion and a[127] mixture of the two natures altogether inconceivable and absurd.

From all we have said we may form quite an accurate idea of what the hypostatic union really means. It is the union, or the meeting, so to speak, of the human and divine natures in the one single point of contact, the infinite personality of the Word of God; the human nature having no personality of its own, but subsisting of the identical personality of the Word.

The new individual possessed of the divine and human nature in the unity of the single personality of the Word is Jesus Christ.

To complete now the idea of the hypostatic union, we shall point out some consequences which evidently flow from that union:

1. We should consider that nature being transmitted through generation, and Christ being possessed of two natures, the human and the divine, it is necessary to admit in him a twofold generation: one eternal, according to which he received the divine nature from the Father; the second temporal, by which he received his human nature from the Virgin Mother.

2. As nature is the radical principle and source of operation in every being, it follows that, as Christ is possessed of two natures, we must predicate of him a double operation—one human, the other divine.

3. In force of the same principle, we must predicate of him whatever necessarily belongs to the two distinct natures. Hence, as intelligence and will, together with their respective perfections, belong both to the human and to the divine nature, it is clear that we must attribute to Christ, first, a divine intelligence and a divine will with their perfections, such as infinite wisdom and knowledge, infinite holiness, goodness, justice, etc.; second, a human intelligence and a human will, together with the perfections of these faculties, as knowledge, wisdom, holiness, etc.

4. As actions, though immediately proceeding from nature, are to be attributed to the subsistence and personality, because nature could not act without being possessed of subsistence, and as the subsistence and personality of both natures of Christ is one—the personality of the Word of God; and as this personality is infinite, it follows that the actions of Christ, whether immediately springing from his human nature, or proceeding from his divine nature, have all an infinite worth and excellence, on the ground of the infinite worth of the person to whom they must be attributed. This principle, so evident, and grounded on the axiom of ideology to which we have alluded—Actiones sunt suppositorum—has been denied by some, especially Unitarians. But happily the most abstract principles of ideology have such a bearing upon human dignity that it is easy to refute such would-be philosophers on the strong ground of the dignity of the human species. Let us give an instance. How are the actions immediately proceeding from the corporal nature of man, such, for instance, as those of locomotion, distinguished from the actions of locomotion in the brutes? And why is it that the actions of locomotion of the first may attain the highest and most heroic moral worth, while the same actions in the brute may never have a moral dignity? Ontologically they are the same. An animal may move its foot; I may do the same; both movements may save the life of a man. In me, the stirring of my foot may have the dignity of a moral and heroic action. In the brute, it can never have it. What causes the difference? The difference lies in[128] the fact that I am a person, the brute is not. I, being a person, the supreme, first, and independent principle of action of both my natures, corporal and spiritual, it follows that all actions radically flowing from either of my natures are to be attributed to me as person, as the supreme and independent principle of them; and as I, as a person, am capable of moral dignity, all the actions, whether proceeding from my corporal or my spiritual nature, become capable of moral worth and dignity.

In Christ, the personality or the supreme and independent principle of action of both his natures, human and divine, being one, it is evident that whether his actions radically proceed from his human nature, or spring from his divine nature, they must all be attributed to his one and single person; and as the person is infinite, the worth and dignity of all his actions is simply infinite. As in man the personality of both corporal and spiritual natures being capable of morality, the action springing from either nature may have a moral dignity and worth. We shall conclude this article by answering a few objections raised by Unitarians against the hypostatic union. We shall take them verbatim from Dr. Channing's lecture on Unitarian Christianity:

"According to this doctrine, (the doctrine of those who hold the hypostatic union,) Jesus Christ, instead of being one mind, one conscious intelligent principle, whom we can understand, consists of two souls, two minds: the one divine, the other human; the one weak, the other almighty; the one ignorant, the other omniscient. Now, we maintain that this is to make Christ two beings. To denominate him one person, one being, and yet to suppose him made up of two minds infinitely different from each other, is to abuse and confound language, and to throw darkness over all our conceptions of intelligent natures. According to the common doctrine, each of those two minds in Christ has its own consciousness, its own will, its own perceptions. They have, in fact, no common properties. The divine mind feels none of the wants and sorrows of the human, and the human is infinitely removed from the perfections and happiness of the divine. Can you conceive of two beings in the universe more distinct? We have always thought that one person was constituted and distinguished by one consciousness. The doctrine that one and the same person should have two consciousnesses, two wills, two souls infinitely different from each other, this we think an enormous tax on human credulity."[33]

We are not, of course, aware from what source or teachers Dr. Channing learned the doctrine of the hypostatic union. Of one thing we are fully assured, that the Catholic Church never taught, first, that in Christ there are two souls. He is endowed with a human soul, belonging to the human nature of which he is possessed. The infinite and divine nature of the Word, of which Christ is also preserved, has never, in theological language, been called a soul, nor can we denominate it by that name except in loose and metaphorical language, unworthy of a philosopher and theologian who is stating points of doctrine.

Again, the Catholic Church never taught that the human soul of Christ was ignorant. This may have been the opinion of those from whom Dr. Channing may have drawn the theory of the hypostatic union; but in stating a doctrine in which all Christendom concurs, Protestant as well as Catholic, we should have thought it more honest if Dr. Channing, not satisfied with his own teachers, would have taken the pains to ascertain what two hundred and fifty millions of Christians hold about it.

The first real objection of Dr. Channing is as follows:

"We maintain that this (to attribute to Christ two natures in one person) is to make Christ two beings."


The same looseness and want of accuracy of philosophical language. What does Dr. Channing mean by being? If by being is meant nature, of course we do all attribute to Christ two natures, the human and the divine.

If by being is meant person, we deny flatly that to attribute to Christ two natures is to make him two persons.

Let the reverend doctor prove the intrinsic impossibility of two distinct natures being united in one single subsistence and person, and then we shall grant him that Christ, being possessed of two natures, is two persons also. But such impossibility can never be demonstrated; for the fact of the union between soul and body in man, in the unity of one single personality, is a contradiction to all such pretended impossibility. We have, moreover, shown in the course of this article the intrinsic possibility of such supposition.

Dr. Channing continues:

"To denominate him one person, one being, and yet to suppose him made up of two minds infinitely different from each other, is to abuse and confound language, and to throw darkness over all our conceptions of intelligent natures."

If our reverend opponent chooses to look with contempt and slight on all distinct and accurate notions of ideology, which he calls, in another place, vain philosophy; if he prefers to form crude and undigested ideas; if he will not sound to the very depth the nature, the faculties of intelligent beings, their acts, the genesis of their acts, their distinctions from other faculties and their acts; but loves rather to argue from ideas common to men who have never thought and thought deeply on these subjects, and distinguished them carefully, and classified them, is it any fault of ours if, when we propound the true philosophical doctrines about these subjects, Dr. Channing's ideas should become confused, and that darkness should spread over that which was never clear?

"According to the common doctrine, each of these two minds in Christ has its own consciousness, its own will, its own perceptions. They have, in fact, no common properties. Can you conceive of two beings in the universe more distinct?"

If by being the doctor meant natures, we cannot conceive any thing in the universe more distinct, for which reason Catholicity teaches that there are two distinct natures in Christ.

If by being the doctor means that those two natures must make two persons, we cannot grant the assertion, and ask again for proofs.

"We have always thought that one person was constituted and distinguished by one consciousness."

This is the only show of reason we can find in the whole passage we have been refuting; and we have no hesitation in affirming that, if our opponent thought that one person is constituted by one consciousness, in the sense that when an intelligent nature is endowed with consciousness it must necessarily possess a personality of its own, so that consciousness and personality may be said to be identical, as the doctor supposes, he was wrong in thinking so, and should study more deeply into the distinctive essence of consciousness and personality. We may make the following suppositions, according to true ideology:

1st. An intelligent nature, having consciousness of itself, may have a personality of its own, as is the common case in human nature.

2d. An intelligent nature, having the consciousness of itself, may be deprived of its own personality and subsist of the personality of another, simply because consciousness and[130] personality are two distinct things, and may either go together or be separated, without one being affected by the other.

Personality is the last complement of an intelligent nature, by which it forms a whole apart from all others, possessing itself, and being solidary of its actions.

Consciousness, or the me, is nothing more than the notion of an intelligent activity which perceives the identity of itself, thinking and reasoning with the act which perceives such identity. It rises in man in that first moment on which he becomes aware that the act which perceives the reasoning activity is not something different from itself, but something identical with the reasoning activity. In that first instant in which he perceives himself, man may pronounce, I.

He that says I, in uttering that monosyllable testifies of being conscious that there is an activity, that this activity is the same which reflects, speaks, and announces itself, perceiving this activity.

Now, it is evident that the two notions of personality and consciousness are absolutely distinct, and as such they may be separated; and that the one can exist without the other in the sense already explained. Consequently, supposing an individual composed of two natures, one divine, the other human, both brought together in the unity of one divine person, it follows that the divine nature has consciousness of itself; in other words, is conscious that there is an infinite activity which perceives itself, and is conscious of the identity between the activity and the perception of that activity. It follows, in the second place, that the human mind of the human nature has also a consciousness of itself; that is, that in itself there is a finite activity, and that activity perceives itself, and is conscious of the identity between the activity and the act of perception.

The divine nature in this one divine person would be conscious of being that supreme and independent principle of action of the natures; whereas the human nature would not be conscious of being such a supreme and independent principle of action, but dependent and subject.


We found, in a leading daily paper of New York the other day, an editorial remark which illustrates so well the propensity of Protestant journalists toward inconsistency whenever they deal with the relations between civil government and the Catholic Church, that we here cite it in full:

"Spain," said The Tribune, "is going to have a trial of the seven bishops. There will be some difference, however, between the question at issue in the Spanish trial and that in the famous English cause which Macaulay describes as the most important recorded in the history of England. In the Spanish case, the cause of freedom will be represented rather by the government, who prosecutes seven bishops for resistance of the secular authority, than by the prelates who are to be placed on their defence. It seems to us a good omen when they venture to put bishops on trial for any thing in Spain."

Now, The Tribune has always been a foremost advocate for complete[131] separation of church and state. When the new government of Spain decreed freedom of religious worship, The Tribune, in common with other American journals, hailed the measure with delight, as a great step toward the mutual independence of the two orders. But here, in this Spanish affair, there is a more absolute and oppressive assertion of their union than even Henry VIII. ever ventured upon in the creation of the Anglican establishment. Only, since the union is effected by a tyrannical assertion of the supremacy of the secular over ecclesiastical authority, Protestant writers see in it an evidence of progress and liberality. It makes so much difference whether it is my bull that is gored, or your ox.

The parallel, however, between the seven bishops under James II., and the seven bishops under Serrano, (their number has been increased to ten since that paragraph was written, and before our readers see these pages may be raised still higher,) is such a fortunate one that we purpose looking at it a little more closely. It will be found, we think, to tell strongly for our side, and to teach some lessons which the Spanish regency can ill afford to disregard.

In 1687, King James II. published his celebrated Declaration of Indulgence, by which, after expressing his conviction that consciences could not be forced, and religious persecution always failed of its object, he proceeded to suspend the execution of all penal laws against the Catholics and Dissenters alike, to authorize all religious bodies to hold public worship after their own fashion, and to dispense with all religious tests as qualifications for any civil or military office. Whatever may be said of the constitutionality of this declaration, it was unquestionably in accordance with the principles of freedom and justice which have since been recognized completely in this country, and are gradually becoming established in Great Britain and all other constitutional states. The Declaration of Indulgence might to-day be accepted in every particular as the platform of the English liberals or The New York Tribune. The Protestant party in James's day, however, was any thing but the party of religious freedom or liberal ideas. Church and state, in their minds, must be one—and that one the Protestant church. The declaration was violently resisted. A year later (April 27th, 1688,) James issued a second declaration, repeating the points of the former one, and proclaiming his unalterable resolution to carry it into effect. By an order in council he subsequently commanded that this paper should be read on two successive Sundays at the time of divine service by the officiating ministers of all the churches and chapels of the kingdom. "The clergy of the Established Church," says Macaulay, "with scarcely an exception, regarded the indulgence as a violation of the laws of the realm, as a breach of the plighted faith of the king, and as a fatal blow levelled at the interest and dignity of their own profession." The order was generally disobeyed. The Archbishop of Canterbury and six of his suffragans presented a petition to the king, recounting their objections to the declaration and their reasons for refusing to order its publication in church. For this they were committed to the tower, and tried before the court of king's bench on a charge of seditious libel. In the midst of the most intense popular excitement they were acquitted, and that day, the 30th of June, 1688, is often referred to as the crisis of the English revolution. So far as it was a political movement, this affair of the bishops[132] represents a victory of the people over the arbitrary authority of the crown. So far as it was a religious movement, it represents a triumph of the secular power over what are called the great Protestant principles of liberty of conscience and freedom of worship. Though the bishops may have been political martyrs, they stand nevertheless as the representatives of religious intolerance, proscription, and persecution.

And what is the case of the bishops in Spain? Since the overthrow of Isabella, the country has been in a state little better than anarchy. The regency of Serrano, though it probably commands the adhesion of a majority of the people, has never been generally acquiesced in. Republicans, Carlists, Isabellistas are strong enough to cause the regency grave apprehension, and are only kept down by military power. The Carlists especially display a vitality which proves them to possess a strong hold of some kind upon the country, and to be much more than the little band of miserable conspirators which Madrid despatches represent them. It is difficult to know the truth about them; for we get little news from Spain, except such as filters through the offices of the regency at Madrid. It is said, however, that the clergy in general are favorable to the Carlists, which, considering the manner in which the churches and convents have been plundered by the existing authorities at the capital, is not at all unlikely. To put the clergy entirely at the mercy of the civil power, the regent issued, on the 5th of August, the following extraordinary decree:


"At the proposal of the minister of grace and justice, and with the approbation of the council of ministers, I ordain as follows:

"Article 1st. That an exhortation shall be made, and I hereby make it to the most reverend archbishops and the right reverend bishops to send immediately to the government, as is their bounden duty, a circumstantial account of all those ecclesiastics of their respective dioceses who have abandoned the churches to which they were appointed, in order to combat the political situation established by the Constitutional Cortes.

"Article 2d. The most reverend archbishops and right reverend bishops are charged to send to the government, immediately after their acquaintance with this decree, and without delays or excuses being listened to, a statement of the canonical and public measures they may have adopted, during the separation and abandonment of the rebel priests, with a view not only to correct and restrain them, but also to repair the most grievous scandal produced among the faithful by such disloyal and reckless conduct; and the government reserves to itself, after examining the reports which the prelates may transmit to the ministry of grace and justice, the adoption of such other measures as it may consider expedient.

"Article 3d. It being notorious that many ecclesiastics excite the innocent minds of some people against the laws and decisions voted by the Cortes, and also against the order which I have issued for their fulfilment, let the most reverend archbishops, right reverend bishops, and ecclesiastical administrators send round their dioceses for circulation, within the precise term of eight days, a short pastoral edict, exhorting their flocks to obedience to the constituted authorities; and the said prelates shall, without loss of time, transmit a copy of the said edict to the secretary of the said ministry.

"Article 4th. The most reverend archbishops and the right reverend bishops are likewise charged to withdraw the faculties of confessing and preaching from those priests who are notoriously displeased with, who have not hesitated to make an ostensible display of opposition to the constitutional regimen.

"Article 5th. The government will render account of this decree to the Cortes.

"Francisco Serrano.

"Manuel Ruiz Zorrilla,
"Minister of Grace and Justice."

It is difficult to imagine a bolder usurpation of authority. If priests are found guilty of political offences, the regent has the power (we do not speak of the right) to proceed against them just as he would against lay citizens. Not satisfied with that, he wishes[133] to impose ecclesiastical penalties also for political heterodoxy, to constitute himself the hierarchical superior of all the bishops and archbishops in Spain, to dictate the terms of their pastoral addresses, and to make the church a mere instrument of oppression in the hands of the civil power. He orders the prelates to turn informers. He instructs them to lay punishments upon the parochial clergy in plain violation of canon law. Worse than all, in the 4th article of his decree, he commands the bishops to take away the faculties of hearing confessions and preaching from all priests who are even "displeased with the constitutional regimen." Comment upon such an order is entirely superfluous. If it were obeyed, probably three fourths of the parishes in Spain would be without pastors. As a matter of course, the bishops have tacitly refused to comply with this decree, and Serrano threatens to proceed against the most obnoxious of them for disobedience.

Now, let any impartial person compare the cases of the English and the Spanish bishops, and tell us which represents the more perfectly the cause of just government and enlightened principles. Both refused obedience to an order of the chief civil authority of the realm because they held it to be an unwarrantable intrusion upon the dignity and independence of their order, and a violation of the laws. Herein the cases are parallel. The difference between them is just this, that the order of James, though it was unconstitutional, was a good and liberal measure in itself, while the order of Serrano is not only illegal but tyrannous. How can The Tribune say that "in the Spanish case, the cause of freedom will be represented rather by the government who prosecutes seven bishops for resistance of the secular authority, than by the prelates who are to be placed on their defence"? To our view, Serrano appears as the champion of civil and ecclesiastical despotism, and the bishops are martyrs in the cause of political freedom and religious independence.

James II. calculated that the power of the throne would be sufficient in any case to insure the conviction of his seven bishops; but the prosecution failed; the dissenting sects, which would have benefited from his indulgence equally with the Catholics, united with the Anglican Church to withstand him; the people fell on their knees before the bishops in the streets; and in six months the king was a fugitive. Will Spain pursue the parallel to this point? No government can afford to be unjust. No government, especially which bases its authority upon the consent of the people can last long after it has become arbitrary and oppressive. Men love equity instinctively, and the decree of the Spanish regent will be worth more to the Carlists than an army of soldiers.



O high exalted instinct of the soul!
That evermore doth find
A grace and hidden splendor not their own
In things of curious kind;
Casket, or signet-ring, or coat of mail,
Or ermined robe of state,
That once belonged to history's champions,
The good, the wise, the great!
This relic fair, which love most Catholic
Devoutly treasures here,
To me, beholding it, than rubied crown
More glorious doth appear.
For cinctured round with spiry wheaten ears
And clustering grapes of gold,
Types of the pure oblation offered now
For bloody rites of old,
Here, (by no freak of fancy,) underneath
Its rim of mystic red,
It shaded from a Roman summer's sun
The sacred snow-white head
Of our dear Pius; as from church to church,
Amidst the kneeling throng,
Serene he passed—a vision of delight,
The ancient ways along!
Angels of Rome! oh! shield that head beloved
From danger and all fears;
Watch o'er the pontiff brave, the sovereign good,
The priest of fifty years!
And when his hour arrives, so long postponed
By Christendom's fond prayer,
May he in heaven's own hierarchy throned,
Be still our glory there!

E. Caswall.

Oratory, Birmingham.



In his latest historical work, (Isabelle de Castille. Grandeur et Décadence de l'Espagne,) the distinguished historian, M. Capefigue, says that, besides other debts to Isabella of Castile, Spaniards also owe an association that saved Spain from disorder and anarchy—La Santa Hermandad, the holy brotherhood, whose law was that of absolute solidarity. Cervantes, in Don Quixote, never lets an occasion pass of praising the brotherhood, with which Isabella also introduced the holy office—the Inquisition. It is our habit, says M. Capefigue, in matters historical, to avoid the adoption of ready-made opinions, and more especially declamations. We must examine with judgment the customs, the institutions, of a period—the necessities of an epoch. Then, frequently, every thing is justified and explained. Power is not inflexible through pleasure or caprice, but through necessity. Ogres only exist in fairy tales. In political history there are no men who from mere caprice eat human flesh. There are two periods in the history of the Inquisition. In the first, it rendered immense services. Ferdinand and Isabella had just delivered Spain. But the Moors still covered the land, and had to be watched. In constant communication with the Arabs in Africa, they ceased not to invoke the aid of their brethren across the strait. Together they conspired to reconquer Andalusia, the promised land of the Arabs, who never ceased longing for the lovely countries watered by the Guadalquivir. Theirs it was to hope and to plot. Spain's it was to detect and punish them. In times of peril for a state, exceptional powers are given, extraordinary tribunals created. At a period exclusively religious, the sign of Spanish nationality was Catholicity. Christian was the synonym of citizen, and the holy office was charged with the police of the state against those who accepted not the law of the land. Not only France but other countries have had their committees of public safety and their revolutionary tribunals. In the second period, the Inquisition—no longer useful to the state—became a tribunal of theology. It pursued heresy, which in societies based on religious principles is always a danger. Most remarkable is it that even in its decline the Inquisition preserved its popularity so largely among the great men of Spain. Lope de Vega was the chief of familiars of the holy office. Calderon was one of its most ardent members, bearing its banners at autos da fe. Velasquez gloried in the title. Murillo paints the flowers—the saints that ornament the san benito—and Zurbaran takes his grandest heads from the Dominican fathers of the santa fide. Without the guard and protection of the Inquisition, Spain would not have effected the great things in her history. Torn by interior dissensions, she would not have had the Americas; the reign of Charles V. would not have been so glorious, nor would she have gained the battle of Lepanto and saved Christian Europe.

The French publisher, V. Palmé, announces as in press the celebrated work of Cardinal Jacobatius, De Concilio, forming the introduction to the grand collection of councils.

The 14th, 15th, and 16th volumes of the Bullarum, diplomatum et privilegiorum sanctorum Romanorum pontificum Taurinensi editio have just been published at Turin. The 14th volume includes the years from the sixth to the sixteenth of the pontificate of Urban VIII. (1628-39;) the 15th terminates that pontificate and contains that of Innocent X. (1639-54;) and the 16th embraces the first seven years of Alexander VII. (1655-62.) The bulls and constitutions are published in chronological order. Some idea of their number may be formed from the fact that of Urban VIII. there are 829, of Innocent X. 199, of Alexander VII. 385.[136] Each volume has index nominum et rerum præcipuarum, index initialis, index rubricarum.

Late French papers announce the death of the Baron de Croze, formerly deputy from the department of Charente Inférieure, father-in-law of Count Anatole Lemercier, and for some years Cameriere of his holiness Pius IX. The holy father was much attached to Baron de Croze, and frequently held with him long and familiar conversations on politics and history. Some ten years ago, the Baron addressed a memorial to Pius IX., strongly urging his holiness to restore the Coliseum and to appeal to the entire world for the immense sums necessary for so great a work as the restoration of the noblest monument of the antique grandeur of the Romans. "My dear son," replied Pius IX., "I have seen your memorial, and thank you for it; but do you not know that there are two kinds of vandalism, the one of destruction, the other of restoration? Never has the Coliseum been more beautiful than in the moving contrast of the splendor of its past and the magnificence of its ruins. To restore them would, it seems to me, be an artistic sacrilege, and would annihilate the work of ages only to produce a poor and colorless counterfeit. Think no more of it, caro mio." And the baron thought no more of it.

The Parisian publishing circulars announce in press and soon to appear the celebrated Theology of Salamanca, Collegii Salamanticensis Cursus Theologicus.

In a late German bibliographical catalogue we remark the name of a saint we now see for the first time, and concerning whom we acknowledge ourselves utterly ignorant. It occurs in the title of a work thus announced: Sainct Velociped. Eine Moderne Reiselegende—Saint Velocipede. A Legend of Modern Travel.

Saint Agobard, Archevêque de Lyon, sa Vie et ses Ecrits, par M. l'Abbé P. Chevallard, is the title of a handsome octavo volume just published at Lyons. Saint Agobard's life covered the period from 779 to 840, and, with his writings, forms an important page of the history of the church in France during the ninth century. His episcopal career was active, and his influence on the religious questions and discipline of his time considerable. The history of this holy man is necessarily attached to that of the reign of Louis le Débonnaire. St. Agobard's reputation for talent and learning has never been contested, and historians and critics unite in the opinion that he was the first mind of his period in France. It is not exclusively within the church, nor by Catholics alone, that St. Agobard is thus highly appreciated. MM. Guizot and Ampère have spoken with great admiration of him; Ampère particularly mentions his intelligent efforts in combating a widely spread and deeply rooted belief that a disastrous epidemic which carried off thousands of cattle was caused by the emissaries of the Duke of Benevento, who—said popular report—scattered powders over the fields and in the fountains, thus producing sudden death of the animals. Something similar is recounted by Manzoni in his Promessi Sposi, where he describes the Untori and the pretended cholera poisoners. Besides the essays of St. Agobard on theology, liturgy, and ecclesiastical discipline, his writings on the superstitions of his period, and on the pernicious influence of the Jews in Lyons, are remarkable and of high value in an historical point of view.

Much indignation has been expressed in several European and English papers concerning an imaginary prohibition of the pope to the physicians of Rome from attending any person who, after three days' medical attendance, should refuse the sacraments. The paragraphs containing the indignation have been widely copied in the United States, and we therefore notice the silly statement. The existence and validity of an old brief of Sixtus V. is probably the origin of the singular blunder. The brief in question orders doctors, under pain of excommunication, to warn the[137] parish priest of the patient's danger, if, after three days, he appears in peril of life; but beyond that the doctor cannot act, and continues his attendance to the last, irrespective of the patient's religious state or dispositions. And the provision is evidently wise and humane. In very many cases it is dangerous for the patient to know that his physician considers him in peril of death. To advise his family is much the same as to tell the patient; and the obvious prudence of the matter is to notify the parish priest, who can act according to the necessities of the case. So much for one of the many falsehoods of the day. Like many others, it has travelled fast and far. Will this refutation overtake it? Doubtful.

A new history of Pope Pius IX. is announced as almost ready for publication: Histoire de Pie IX. et de son Pontificat, par M. Alexandre de Saint Albin.

The distinguished Father Theiner, of Rome, has lately given his friends occasion to regret that he had not remained known to the literary world by his Monumenta alone. No words but those of praise and admiration could then have been found for him. Our occasion for this remark is his late controversy—or series of controversies—with M. Crétineau-Joly, concerning the Cardinals Consalvi and Caprara, and Bishop Bernier, touching their connection with the concordat of 1801. The matter has culminated in an octavo volume lately out, Bonaparte, le Concordat de 1801 et le Cardinal Consalvi, suivi des deux Lettres au Père Theiner sur le Pape Clement XIV., par J. Crétineau-Joly; and of which we made mention in our August number. M. Crétineau-Joly is a terrible adversary, and wields a trenchant blade. Such a rapid shower of cut, thrust, back, forward, and circular strokes is rarely seen. It is to be regretted, however, that M. Joly, in the abundance of his power of replication and retort, should not have been content with telling Father Theiner, as he does, "You have been given a bad cause to sustain, and you defend it with bad arguments." But blood becomes as hot in literary quarrels as in physical combats, and M. Joly goes entirely too far when he talks about surprising his adversary, "Vingt fois, trente fois, en flagrant débit de mensonge." Those who know Father Theiner are satisfied that he is in this case the victim of his imagination and of his simplicity, and that, moreover, he has been badly advised.

Dr. F. W. Kampschulte, Professor of History at the University of Bonn, has hitherto been known as an author only by a few works of secondary importance, such as his History of the Ancient University of Erfurt. He has, however, just taken rank quite suddenly among the best historians of Germany by his lately published Johann Calvin, seine Kirche und sein Staat in Genf, (John Calvin, his Church and his State at Geneva.) The first volume alone is as yet published. But this one is quite enough to display remarkable erudition, and an amount of literary labor nothing less than enormous. Dr. Kampschulte asserts on good grounds that, without the assistance of Berne, Genevan Protestantism would never have succeeded as it did, and he has, accordingly, thoroughly and successfully searched the archives of Berne for new and valuable documents. Finally, the author has not, like too many of his predecessors in the same field, been content to take for Calvin's correspondence Beza's edition of the Epistolæ et Responsa Calvini, which really contains but a small portion of Calvin's correspondence, but has with wonderful labor and perseverance collected a large amount of Calvin's letters hitherto unknown, and which were dispersed throughout Europe.

A second edition of the Bibliotheque des écrivains de la Compagnie de Jésus, par le P. Augustin de Backer, is announced as soon to be published. It will be in three volumes in folio, each volume to contain about three thousand columns, and will be placed at the very low price of forty-five francs. It will not be for sale in the usual manner[138] by booksellers, and we therefore make special mention of it. Persons desiring to obtain it may address the author, (College Saint Servais, Liège, Belgique,) or the publisher of the Etudes Religieuses, Historiques et Littéraires, (No. 18 Rue Lhomond, à Paris.) The first edition, commenced by Fathers Augustin and Alois de Backer, appeared in 1855, in seven vols. 8vo. The new edition, besides being in a single alphabetical series, will contain numerous corrections and additions. It also contains articles on controversies of special interest, such as the publication of the Acta Sanctorum, the origin of the order of Carmel, etc.


Lectures and Essays on Irish and other Subjects. By Henry Giles. New York: D. & J. Sadlier & Co.

Besides biographical lectures on O'Connell, Curran, Dr. Doyle, Oliver Goldsmith, and Gerald Griffin, this volume contains other lectures on the spirit of Irish history, Irish social character, etc., which many of our readers have, doubtless, heard delivered by the author in his pleasant and effective style.

Mr. Giles is of Irish birth, and for many years officiated and preached as a Unitarian minister. There can be no doubt that his Irish patriotism is sincere and enthusiastic, and yet, as we read, we feel as though something were wanting. For reasons that can be perfectly well understood without detailed explanation, Irish patriotic character always appears incomplete without Catholicity. Oliver Goldsmith and the Duke of Wellington are as much of Irish birth as Dr. Doyle and Daniel O'Connell; but how much more essentially Irish to every one are the two latter than the two former. The Catholic reader of these lectures sadly misses what he feels to be most essential. Take, for instance, the lectures on O'Connell, Gerald Griffin, and Dr. Doyle, which are among the best, and he perceives the absence of an element of appreciation that nothing but Catholic sympathy could supply. These papers have high merit as oral lectures, and precisely because of this merit they fall short of their reputation when read. The effective lecture is not necessarily an effective essay. There are certain elements nowadays almost indispensable to the success of a lecture, and they happen to be precisely those which detract from its literary merit. The redundancy of anecdote is one of these elements, and Mr. Giles was strongly given to it.

The book is, nevertheless, pleasant reading, although such essays as "The Christian Idea in Catholic Art and in Protestant Culture" afford additional proof—if any were needed—of the barrenness of Protestantism in art.

Order and Chaos: A Lecture, delivered at Loyola College, Baltimore, in July, 1869. By T. W. M. Marshall, Esq. Baltimore: John Murphy & Co. 1869.

Mr. Marshall, who is both one of the most solid and altogether the wittiest of English writers, delivered this lecture in Baltimore before a select audience, on the eve of his return to England. It is a well-reasoned argument, clothed in the author's usual choice and happy style, and spiced with a seasonable amount of his humor. Its topic is the order prevailing in the Catholic Church contrasted with the disorder which rules among the sects, as a proof[139] that the former is of God, while the latter are of man. We quote the following extract, which contains a well-delivered blow at the disunionists:

"You are asked to believe, by those who prefer the temple of chaos to the sanctuary of God, this monstrous proposition: that although disorder is inexorably banished, as we have seen, from every other part of his dominions, as a thing abhorrent to the Divine Architect, it finds its true home and congenial refuge precisely in that spiritual kingdom of which he is at once the lawgiver and the life. Brute matter knows nothing of it; earth, and sea, and sky refuse to give it a place; the very beasts of the field obey a law which regulates all the conditions of their existence; but confusion and chaos, which can find a home nowhere else, reign, and ought to reign, in the Christian church, and in the kingdom of souls! That is the proposition which is deliberately maintained, at this hour and in this land, by men whose profession it is to teach others eternal truth. They gravely assert that religion—which, when it is divine, is a bond of union stronger than adamant, and when it is human, is the most active dissolvent, the most powerful disintegrating agent which divides and devastates modern society—gains by ceasing to be one, and that Christianity derives its chief vitality from the very divisions which make it contemptible in the sight of unbelievers, and had often provoked the scorn and derision even of the pagan world. As this statement may seem to you impossible, even in this nineteenth century, which is tolerant of all absurdities in the sphere of religion, I will quote to you the very words of one of the most conspicuous preachers of this land, who holds a high position in the hierarchy of chaos. I take them from one of your own local journals, of the second of this month, (June.) You know that of late years many Protestants, weary of their ceaseless conflicts and ashamed of their unending divisions, have begun at last to sigh for the unity which they have lost, and that in England they have even formed a society with the express object of bringing together what they ignorantly call 'the different branches of the church.' We are told, however, by the journal to which I allude, that the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, vehemently rejecting every such project, lately 'preached against the schemes of church union, whether planned by pope, protestant, or pagan'—pray understand that these are not my words—and added this characteristic dissuasive from unity. 'The strength of the Christian religion lies,' he said—in what do you suppose? in its truth, its holiness, or its peace? no, but—'in the number of the existing denominations.' The hands fall down in reading such words. 'I pray,' said He who will judge the world, 'that they may all be one as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee.' I sincerely trust, replies Mr. Beecher, that they never will be one. 'Be perfect,' said St. Paul, 'in the same mind and the same judgment.' It is much more important, rejoins Mr. Beecher, that you should maintain your divisions and perpetuate your differences, for in them lies the strength of Christianity. 'Sects,' observed the same apostle, 'are the work of the flesh.' Mr. Beecher judges them more leniently, and warns his hearers, as you see, against the mistake of St. Paul. Yes, these human teachers have come at last to this. They know so well that supernatural unity is beyond their reach, that they have come to hate it, and to call it an evil! Yet even they will not deny that it was the unity of the first Christians which conquered the heathen world; and when the victory was accomplished, and the surviving pagans had only strength enough left to beat themselves against the ground where they had fallen, they also cried out in their impotent rage, 'Execranda est ista consensio'—cursed be this unity of the Christians. They had found it to be invincible, but did not know that it was divine. Mr. Beecher dares not say openly, 'Cursed be the unity for which Christ prayed,' for even his disciples, though they can bear a good deal, could not bear that; but he is not afraid to say, 'Blessed be chaos!' 'Confusion, thou art my choice!' 'Disorder, be thou mine inheritance!' Let us wish him a happier lot, both in this world and the next."

In Heaven we know Our Own; or, Solace for the Suffering. From the French of the Rev. Father Blot, S.J. New York: The Catholic Publication Society. 1869.

We would call special attention to this delightful little book. The lady translator has conferred a very great service on English-speaking Catholics; nor on Catholics alone, but also on all professing Christians "of good-will," who,

"Here in the feeble twilight of this world


in order to satisfy one of their deepest and holiest cravings, and not having known the Catholic Church, nor therefore "the communion of saints," have turned—and most naturally—into paths which only lead to deception and despair.

The book before us supplies to "the afflicted" who mourn the loss of friends a consolation as solid as it is abundant: a proof on unshakable grounds of truths which seem to be forgotten even by some among Catholics; that human ties do survive the grave; that

"There the cherished heart is fond,
The eye the same, except in tears;"

and that the knowledge and love of creatures must necessarily form an integral part of the happiness of heaven. The reader will be astonished to see what Catholic saints and doctors have said on this subject; and what a stress they have laid on it as a part of their own hopes and anticipations. To those, too, in particular, who are tempted to despair of the departed, an antidote is here offered for this poison of their rest; an antidote which, we are sure, has long been needed by many an anxious heart.

In commending this book, then, to Catholics, we would urge them to put it as much as possible in the hands of non-Catholic friends. The success of a recent work, entitled The Gates Ajar, is evidence enough of the hunger that exists in all souls for food of this kind. And why should any be left to pick up crumbs, when a full table invites them? A perusal of In Heaven We Know Our Own may open the eyes of many to the glorious fact it is our privilege to know—that the Catholic religion embraces all truth, and alone can satisfy all the soul's cravings:

"An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink."

Mopsa the Fairy. By Jean Ingelow. With illustrations. Boston: Roberts Brothers. 1869.

If the children wish to visit fairy-land, they could have no better guide than Jean Ingelow; yet even she fails to make the fairy-world half so fair or interesting as our own every-day world. However, Jack learns some good lessons in his visit to fairy-land; for he found a whole nation of fairies turned into stone for being unkind and selfish. Let the little ones take care lest the fate of the fairies befall them. The book is beautifully illustrated, and is altogether a very pleasant book for children.

Two Years before the Mast. A Personal Narrative by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. New edition. Boston: Fields, Osgood & Co. 1869.

Twelve years ago we determined upon a voyage similar to that the author describes, and from a similar motive.

This recital of his two years' experience before the mast was put into our hands to deter us from going. We recollect reading it with the greatest interest, and being afterward more anxious to go than ever. After three years' experience, during which we shared all the sailor's toils and pleasures "fore and aft," we returned to a student's life. It was therefore with some curiosity we reopened this book to see what our judgment would be of this sailor's yarn as compared with our own experience.

Before, it had the charm of adventure untried; now it gave the pleasure of again, in imagination, riding the topsail yard-arm amid the wild storm, hauling out the "weather earing," and "sending her" off the Cape with all hands lashed to the rigging. We have never read so vivid yet truthful a description of a sailor's life. It is refreshing to see for once nautical terms correctly and naturally used. We suspect that the author's estimate of the character and religion of the people he visited has changed since he wrote. The condition of the Mexicans now, as compared with their peace and prosperity under the paternal care of the Catholic missionaries, would surely warrant it.

We heartily sympathize with the author in his desire to better the condition of seamen. They are a noble, large-hearted class of men. We never expect[141] to meet more courageous, generous, faithful men than our comrades at sea. Yet their life, which must be full of toil and danger, is made unnecessarily hard and laborious by unjust treatment. They are over-worked and half-fed at sea, and swindled on shore. If among the various protective societies, one were organized to protect seamen from shipping masters, brutal officers, and "boarding-house runners," it would be a praiseworthy act.

The author's account of his later visit to the Pacific coast is very acceptably added to this new edition, and shows the great change that has taken place in the condition of our commerce and of our country.

Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence of Henry Crabb Robinson. Selected and edited by Thomas Sadler, Ph.D. 2 vols. 12mo. Pp. 496, 555. Boston: Fields, Osgood & Co.

In the United States, it is only the readers of the literary biography of the last generation that know Henry Crabb Robinson even by name; for although he was intimately acquainted with some scores of distinguished men, and moved in the best literary society of England, he left little or nothing to recall his memory after he was dead, except the immense piles of manuscript from which these two volumes have been selected. These, we venture to predict, will enjoy a permanent place in literature, not much below the Diary of Pepys and Boswell's Life of Johnson. Mr. Robinson, however, had nothing of the Pepys or the Boswell in his character. He was a man of sharp natural faculties, excellent scholarship, abundant wit, eminent social accomplishments, and strong character. In his youth he was a foreign correspondent and sub-editor of The Times. Afterward he practised at the bar. But for the most important part of his life, covering a period of some thirty years before his death, he had no profession, and passed his time in the society of literary and other celebrities, with whom, for his extraordinary conversational powers and more sterling qualities, he was always a welcome guest. It is to his anecdotes and recollections of such men—Lamb, Wordsworth, Southey, Byron, Coleridge, Moore, Rogers, Goethe, Lady Morgan, Lady Blessington, Landor, and others—told with spirit and discretion, that the Diary and Reminiscences owe their value. The work of selection and arrangement has been performed with excellent judgment, and no one who takes up the volumes will readily lay them aside.

The Elements of Theoretical and Descriptive Astronomy; for the use of Colleges and Academies. By Charles J. White, A.M., Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Navigation in the United States Naval Academy. 16mo, 272 pp. Philadelphia: Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger, 819 and 821 Market street. 1869.

Most writers of text-books, probably, are impelled to their task by an impression that a void exists which only can be filled by a work answering to a conception which they have formed in the course of their studies. This arises from the fact that few subjects of study can be thoroughly mastered by merely imbibing the ideas of another person, and that consequently every one who spends much time in acquiring, or particularly in teaching, any science, is obliged to think a good deal upon the subject, and hence to arrange it almost necessarily in his own mind in a different shape, and probably one better adapted to himself, than that in which it was presented to him. Finding nothing just like this among existing text-books, he naturally concludes that the really systematic arrangement has yet to be given, and by himself.

This every teacher perhaps is tempted to do; but unfortunately, the best teachers, who perceive what difficulties are met with by the mass of students, sometimes deny themselves the pleasure, or are perhaps unable to indulge[142] in it, while others supply books suited only to a few. Sometimes, also, no void remains, having been already filled. But in this subject of astronomy there certainly was a need of a new work sufficiently precise and condensed to present salient points to the mind of the student, and form matter for a recitation, without being unnecessarily technical and uninteresting. Herschel's Outlines, though an interesting and thoroughly scientific work, and clear in its explanations, is rather fit to be read than to be studied or recited from; yet this was undoubtedly the best book for those not wishing to pursue astronomy professionally, but merely to acquire a sufficient knowledge of it for a liberal education, or to understand navigation and other branches of knowledge in which it is involved.

Mr. White's book is exactly what was wanted for this purpose, supplying all Herschel's defects for the student, being nearly or quite as clear, and much more concise. It also contains other matters which would not usually be found except in works on what is called practical astronomy, but which are necessary for any one who desires to make use of his knowledge; which end is also secured throughout by the precise and definite form in which every thing is treated. One often fancies he understands a subject, but finds that his knowledge is unavailable from not being sufficiently in detail.

The author has a thorough acquaintance with his science, and remarkable natural ability as a teacher, developed by long experience. It will be a decided waste of time for any one to undertake a similar book till the progress of science renders large additions to this absolutely necessary; and this is brought up to the actual date of publication, containing the latest results of the spectroscope, and the most recent determinations of the astronomical constants.

Diomede. From the Iliad of Homer. By William R. Smith. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

This version of the Fifth Book of the Iliad is as successful, perhaps, as any similar attempt yet made. If not as smooth and polished as Pope's, it is at least more accurate. But we venture to think that the author has mistaken the true metre for translating Homer. We believe the blank-verse of Tennyson the only one capable of rendering it adequately. Much as we appreciate the version before us, we have not yet seen any thing to equal Tennyson's "specimen translation" of the celebrated moonlight scene, (Iliad, Book viii.)

Patty Gray's Journey from Boston to Baltimore. By Caroline H. Dall. Boston: Lee & Shepard. 1869.

A pleasant and interesting story of Patty's journey to and stay in Baltimore. Though Patty was a little girl, she was nevertheless a true Yankee, and thought "that people must talk and act as they did in Boston, or they could not possibly talk and act right." She thought, too, "she could never love a 'Secesh;'" still, like a dear little girl as she was, she soon learned to love her uncle Tom and other relatives dearly. If the preface had been left out, the book might be a good one for children; it certainly cannot be good for them to have all the abuses of slavery served up again and again. That evil has been done away with, and, at least as far as the children are concerned, "let us have peace."

Ecclesiastical Map of the United States of America. Arranged by Rev. E. H. Reiter, S.J., of Boston, Mass. For sale by Fr. Pustet, Bookseller and Publisher, 52 Barclay St., New York; 204 Vine St., Cincinnati, Ohio.

On this large and excellent map of the United States the seven Ecclesiastical Provinces into which the country is divided are distinguished by different ground colors, and the boundaries of the several dioceses in each province and of the vicariates apostolic are indicated[143] by red lines. All the episcopal sees are marked by a line, either red or blue; while the archiepiscopal sees are shown by a combination of these two colors. We regard this map as a very useful publication.

Autobiography of a Shaker, and Revelation of the Apocalypse. With an Appendix. F. W. Evans, Mount Lebanon, Columbia County, N. Y. June, 1869.

No man in our day should attempt to solve the religious question without a competent knowledge of the basis of the claims of the Catholic Church to being the church of God and her faith the true Christian faith. Her claim is prior to all others as an historical fact, and must be fairly set aside before another can be allowed to come into court. The author of the above autobiography is, as is usual with the opponents of the Catholic Church, sadly lacking in this knowledge. Among other absurdities, he tells us gravely that "the Roman Catholic Church was founded by Leo the Great"! Well, after all, that is an improvement on Rev. Justin D. Fulton, of Boston, who affirms, "Romanism is the masterpiece of Satan."

The author appears to possess a smattering knowledge of several things, and an exact and thorough knowledge of none. His book is a jumble of materialism and spiritualism, of infidelity, Protestantism, and credulity.

The language attributed, on page 80, to the late Archbishop Hughes, we venture to say was drawn from the writer's imagination.

Hospital Sketches, and Camp and Fireside Stories. By Louisa M. Alcott. With illustrations. Boston: Roberts Brothers. 1869. Pp. 379.

Hospital Sketches originally appeared in the columns of the Boston Commonwealth, over the signature of Tribulation Periwinkle, and are "simply a brief record of one person's experience," as an army hospital nurse. They are written in a pleasant, gossipy, natural style; the incidents, a judicious admixture of the "grave and gay," the humorous and the pathetic, being alike removed from the extremes of levity and gloom.

Camp and Fireside Stories, though more pretentious in style and elaborate in plot, are not, in our opinion, of equal merit.

Bible History; containing the most remarkable events of the Old and New Testament. Prepared for the use of Catholic Schools in the United States. By Rev. Richard Gilmour. With the approbation of the Most Reverend J. B. Purcell, D.D., Archbishop of Cincinnati. Cincinnati and New York: Benziger Bros. 1869. Pp. 336.

We can heartily recommend this as an excellent "intermediate" text-book in sacred history. Nor must we omit a special commendation of the publishers, who, as far as the paper and typography are concerned, are deserving of all praise. The illustrations are numerous, always pertinent to the text, and, generally speaking, satisfactory. An appendix contains "Maxims from the Sacred Scriptures," "The Christian Doctrine as seen in the Narrations of the Bible," and "A Bird's-Eye View of the Holy Land," the key to which last, strange to say, omits the city of Jerusalem.

The Letters of Placidus on Education. London: Richardson & Son. For sale by The Catholic Publication Society, New York.

We commend these Letters of Placidus to the careful consideration of educators. They are from the pen of a sound Catholic, an accomplished scholar, and one who evidently speaks from a thorough experience. Some, indeed, may think them bold in places; but all[144] will find them to contain suggestions worthy of their deepest attention.

The Emerald. An Illustrated Literary Journal. Vol. III. New York: The Emerald Publishing Company. 1869. Pp. 412.

This volume, in many respects superior to its predecessors, comprises an immense amount of interesting and entertaining reading matter, and is profusely illustrated.

The Office of Vespers; Containing the Order of the Vesper Service, the Gregorian Psalm Tones harmonized, with the Psalms for all Vespers during the year pointed for chanting. By Rev. Alfred Young. New York: The Catholic Publication House. 1869.

Father Young has given us, we are glad to see, strictly Gregorian melodies, both in the ritual of the vesper service and in the psalm tones, such as are to be found in authorized editions of the Antiphonale Romanum. This is something we commend with all our heart. The melodies commonly found in our "choir books," "vesperals," and "services," are for the most part so garbled, both in the inflections and arrangements, as to leave very little of the original Gregorian tone standing. The chief merit of the book, however, consists in a new division of the tones, and of the psalms, by which but one pointing of the psalms is needed for chanting any one of the tones with their varied concluding cadences. Father Maugin attempted something of this kind in his Roman Vesperal, but succeeded only in reducing the different pointings to four. The simplicity of Father Young's arrangement cannot fail to be appreciated by organists as well as by the singers. With his book in our choirs we need not be condemned to hear the tiresome repetition of the same five psalms sung to the same five tones on every Sunday and festival in the year. We hope the author will find sufficient success with the present publication to give us, as he proposes, the Hymnal and Antiphonal. With these we can have our vespers chanted as they should be, in their truly effective style and religious spirit, in comparison to which our so-called "musical vespers" are tame, unmeaning, and, spiritually, unprofitable.

The Two Women: A Ballad. By Delta. Milwaukee: The Wisconsin News Company. 1868.

This somewhat curious effusion gave us much pleasure as we read it. The smoothness and grace of the verse, and sometimes the diction, too, remind us strongly of Tennyson.

The Life of Henry Dorie, Martyr. By the Abbé Ferdinand Baudry. Translated by Lady Herbert. London: Burns, Oates & Co. For sale by The Catholic Publication Society, New York.

This neat little book is full of interest, as giving not only an admirable sketch of its noble hero, but also a view of the Corea and its inhabitants, for which the reader will be grateful who is eager to know more of that strange region, and the wondrous work that is doing there.

The Catholic Publication Society has just published a new and complete classified catalogue of all the American and English Catholic books now in print. To be had free on application at 126 Nassau Street.

The Catholic Publication Society has in press and will publish in a few weeks: The Writings of Madame Swetchine, 1 vol. 12mo, $1.50, uniform with Life of Madame Swetchine. Hymns and Songs for Catholic Children, containing the most popular Catholic hymns for every season of the Christian year, together with May songs, Christmas and Easter carols, and for the use of Sunday-schools, sodalities, etc.


VOL. X., No. 56.—NOVEMBER, 1869.


In the life of Father Faber there was no sudden and violent change from the excitement of worldly affairs to the quiet of the cloister, no striking intervention of divine Providence, such as that which in a single day converted Ignatius from a courtier to a saint. He suffered, it is true, from spiritual conflicts and that rupture of natural ties which for so many converts to the faith is little short of a species of martyrdom; but the tender piety which beams from all his maturer devotional works seems to have filled his heart from boyhood, and his progress from heresy to faith was like the gradual development of a seed planted in his breast in early youth. Yet it is hardly in the Faber family that we should have looked for a phenomenon like this. They were of Huguenot origin, and proud of their religious ancestry; and their exiled forefathers, who settled in England after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, we may fairly presume were honored in the family as confessors of the faith. The grandfather of the subject of these pages was the Reverend Thomas Faber, vicar of Calverley, in Yorkshire. Frederick William was born at the vicarage, on the 28th of June, 1814. His father, Mr. Thomas Henry Faber, was soon afterward appointed secretary to the Bishop of Durham, and removed with his family to the episcopal domain of Bishop Auckland. Durham had not yet lost its dignity as a County Palatine, and in the glories of the ancient city, where the bishop held his court with all the pomp and something of the power of royalty, there was much to impress a warm poetical imagination, like that of young Faber. The poetical faculty was afterward fostered by the beautiful scenery of the Lake country, when he was sent to school at Kirkby Stephen, in Westmoreland. There it was his chief delight to ramble alone among the hills and meres, and fancy the chases filled again with deer, the forests resounding with the hunter's horn, the ruined halls and castles resonant with feast and song, and the deserted abbeys vocal with prayer and chant. He shows his familiarity with this region in some of his published verses. Subsequently, he studied at Harrow, under Doctor Longley, afterward Archbishop of Canterbury, by whose kindness and influence[146] he was reclaimed at a time when he had adopted infidel views. He gave himself with all his heart to the study of English literature; but the classics got rather less attention from him than they deserved, and his career at Oxford, where he was matriculated at Baliol College, in 1832, cannot be called a brilliant one. He was a man of scholarly tastes and of scholarly attainments as well, yet in certain of the highest requirements of the university he seems to have fallen short; for we hear of his failing once or twice, not indeed in his examinations, but in competition for a distinguished place. The fact probably was, that he applied himself with undue partiality to favorite studies, such as poetry and divinity. He was remarkable even at this time for graces of person and manner, fine conversational powers, and a rare faculty of attracting friends, notwithstanding a certain dangerous keenness in his perceptions of the ludicrous, coupled with great frankness in the expression of his feelings. "I cannot tell why it is," said one of his schoolmates at Harrow, "but that Faber fascinates every body." This remark was repeated to him afterward, and filled him with a sense of obligation to use the gift in promoting God's glory.

The temporary eclipse of faith to which we have alluded was of very short duration; and when he came to Oxford, he was keenly alive to religious impressions, with a strong Calvinistic tendency. The tractarian movement, however, was just beginning, and Faber became an enthusiastic admirer—"an acolyth," as he expressed it—of John Henry Newman, who was then preaching at St. Mary's, Oxford. He did not make Mr. Newman's acquaintance till several years later; but under his influence he forgot his evangelicalism, and threw himself eagerly into the great movement for the revival of church principles as expounded in the Tracts for the Times. "Transubstantiation has been bothering me," he wrote to a friend; "not that I lean to it, but I have seen no refutation of it. How can it be absurd and contradictory to the evidence of our senses, when they cannot by any means take cognizance of the unknown being, substance, which alone is held up as the subject of this conversion?"

This tendency toward Catholic truth was but slight, however, and evanescent. There came a reaction in the course of a little while, and Mr. Faber wrote to one of his friends:

"I have been thinking a great deal on the merits and tendency of Newmanism, and I have become more than ever convinced of its falsehood.... What makes me fear most is, that I have seen Newman himself growing in his opinions; I have seen indistinct visions become distinct embodiments; I have seen the conclusion of one proposition become the premiss of a next, through a long series: all this is still going on—to my eyes more like the blind march of error than the steady uniformity of truth—and I know not when it will stop."

How thoroughly his mind and heart were taken up with religious problems we can see in almost every letter. One of the correspondents to whom he seems to have expressed himself with the fullest freedom was Mr. John Brande Morris, and to him he writes, in 1834:

"When, after writing to you, and one or two other relations and friends, I turn to pen a letter to my literary intellectual friends, you cannot conceive how weak and uninteresting the topics of discussion become. It is like one of Tom Moore's melodies after an Handelian chorus, at once ludicrous and disgusting from its inferiority."

He read a great deal of religious biography, and when he saw "the maturity of faith and the religious perfection to which many good men[147] arrive so early," he felt disheartened at his own condition. "It is true," he said, "I have often had hours of ecstatic, enthusiastic devotion; but the fever has soon subsided, and my feelings have flowed on calmly and soberly in their accustomed channels." He looked for the fruits of his faith and found none. Yet in his ignorance of what constitutes the true spiritual life, Faber, in his earnest search after perfection, was doubtless much nearer to God than the evangelical saints whose condition he so envied. He was soon surrounded at Oxford by a little circle of admirers, who made him, in some sort, the exemplar and guide of their religious life. He was about twenty or twenty-one years of age when he began a systematic effort to improve the opportunities for doing good which he believed had thus been providentially opened to him. "I proceeded," he wrote soon afterward, "to dictate, to organize, so to speak, a system of aggressive efforts in favor of religion; and under my guidance a number of prayer-meetings was speedily established; and by God's grace I was enabled to do it with little noise or ostentation." In another letter he describes the perplexity which he suffered during a vacation visit to one of his disciples, who had "declined from his Christian profession," and manifested an unregenerate fondness for the pleasures of life, balls, theatres, etc., which are generally so attractive to the young. Mr. Faber had little difficulty in reasserting his influence; but his friend's father had "a violent prejudice against what he called 'the humbug of evangelicals,'" and strongly disapproved of the enthusiastic views of the little Oxford coterie. Mr. Faber could not hold his tongue and let the son alone; he trembled at the thought of breeding domestic dissension; and he could not break off his visit without giving offence. It would be interesting to know how he got out of the difficulty, but he does not tell us.

There soon came a time when he discovered that, however Calvinism might answer for seasons of religious excitement and spiritual exaltation, it was not fit for the daily food of the soul. He could not always be at a prayer-meeting or an exhortation. Secular studies exacted most of his time, and he felt then that there was nothing for him to lean upon. Another change in his religious views was the inevitable consequence. He had been for some time an admiring student of the works of George Herbert; Herbert led him on to Bishop Andrewes; the necessity of sacraments, the prerogatives of the church, the "penitential system of the primitive church," and "the girdle of celibacy and the lamp of watching" became subjects of frequent recurrence in his letters; he confessed that "the evangelical system feeds the heart at the expense of the head," and "makes religion a series of frames of feeling;" and before long we find him quoting with approbation the writings of Dr. Wiseman. He was indeed steadily advancing toward the Catholic Church, though he was far enough from suspecting it. In June, 1836, he writes:

"Newman is delivering lectures against the Church of Rome. I have just come from a magnificent one on Peter's prerogative. He admits the text in its full literal completeness, and shows that it makes not one iota for the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome."

It was well that he was getting even by these slow degrees to a more comfortable faith; for in his university career he was destined to suffer, just at this time, several severe trials. He had carried off, in 1836, the[148] prize for a poem on The Knights of St. John; but in the examination for his degree he made a comparative failure, his name appearing only in the second class, and, as a consequence of this misfortune, he was also defeated in a contest for a fellowship in his own college. To divert his mind from this double mortification and recruit his exhausted strength, he made a short visit to Germany with his brother, the Reverend Francis A. Faber. Soon after his return, he secured a fellowship at University College, and also carried off the Johnson divinity scholarship, for which there was a strong competition. His position being now secure, he began to prepare himself zealously for orders. He made the acquaintance of Doctor Newman, and joined in his scheme for compiling the Library of the Fathers, undertaking, as his share of the work, to translate the Books of St. Optatus against the Donatists. He obtained a few pupils, and during the vacation accompanied a small reading party to Ambleside, near the head of Windermere. There he was fortunate enough to form a friendship with Wordsworth, and used to spend long days rambling with the poet over the neighboring mountains—Wordsworth muttering verses in the intervals of conversation. His correspondence is full of admiring allusions to Wordsworth's poetry, "Well or sick," he says, "cheerful or sad, I can almost always get happiness and quiet and good resolves out of the old poet—God bless him! One may hang on one sonnet of his by the hour, like a bee in a fox-glove, and still get sweetness." His opinions of some other famous poets would be declared unquestionably heterodox. He wrote to his brother from Italy in 1843:

"I spent a delicious evening at Fiesole, yesterday, and not being, as I had feared, tormented by a single thought of the execrable rebel and heretic, Milton, I had nothing to disturb the beautiful tranquillity of the sunset, and the rosy mists of the garden-like Valdarno.... England has no 'need' of Milton: how can a country have need of any thing, policy, courage, talent, or any thing else, which is unblessed of God; and how can any talent in any subject-matter be blessed by the Eternal Father for one who, in prose and verse, denied, ridiculed, blasphemed the Godhead of the Eternal Son? Milton (accursed be his blasphemous memory) spent a great part of his life in writing down my Lord's divinity—my sole trust, my sole love; and that thought poisons Comus."

For Byron, "the beast who thrust Christ into company with Jove and Mohammed"—Byron, "trampling under foot his duties to his country, and scorning the natural pieties," his antipathy amounted to loathing. "I must say that I cannot comprehend the anomaly which strikes me both in guide-books and conversation of quoting and praising men like Milton and Byron, when a man professes to love Christ and to put all his hopes of salvation in him."

Mr. Faber's old master at Harrow, Doctor Longley, now Bishop of Ripon, ordained him deacon in 1837, and Bishop Bagot promoted him to the priesthood at Oxford in 1839. Meanwhile, he had spent the long vacations at Ambleside, assisting there in parochial work, and preaching twice a week, and the rest of the year he had passed among his books at Oxford. A devoted Anglican at this time, and full of hope that the movement guided by Pusey, Newman, and their associates would revolutionize the whole English establishment, he had gone so far toward Catholicism that when, just after his ordination as priest, he made a second visit to the continent, he wrote to the Rev. J. B. Morris the following curious letter from Cologne:


"I fear you will think me a sad Protestant. I determined, and so did M——, to conform to the Catholic ritual here. We both of us got Mechlin breviaries at Mechlin, and go to church pretty regularly every day to say the hours, and we say the rest of the hours as the priests do, in carriages, or inns, or anywhere. Also, I have been tutorized in the breviary by a very nice priest, a simple-hearted, pious fellow with little knowledge of theology. But it all will not do. The careless irreverence, the noise, the going in and out, the spitting of the priests on the altar-steps, the distressing representations of our Blessed Lord—I cannot get over them. The censing of the priests, the ringing of bells, the constant carrying of the blessed sacrament from one altar to another—this I can manage; because I can say psalms meanwhile. But at best, when I can get away into a side chapel with no wax virgins in it, and no hideous pictures of the Father, I cannot manage well."

The idea that Anglicans were excommunicate from Western Christendom was a terrible distress to him. "Would you not like," he writes to the same friend, "to spend six months among the Munich disciples of Möhler, Döllinger, etc., etc.? Of course I shall know more of all this when I have travelled. I shall strive to realize all such little ways of impeded communion as are unstopped. It will surely do me good, if no one else."

He soon had the coveted opportunity for more extended travel; for in 1841, he went abroad as tutor to a young gentleman from Ambleside, and spent six months journeying through the countries bordering on the Mediterranean and the Danube, Styria, the Tyrol, and Northern Germany. Memorials of this interesting tour are found in some of his published poems and in a volume called Sights and Thoughts in Foreign Churches and among Foreign Peoples, which appeared in 1842, dedicated to Wordsworth. Into this book the author introduced many reflections upon religious matters, chiefly in the form of conversations with an imaginary representative of mediæval Christianity, as well as of Mr. Faber's own Catholic feelings, whom he calls "the Stranger." The volume closes with a dream, in which the author conducts the stranger through English cathedrals, with their bare altars and empty niches. "The stranger regarded them with indignation, but did not speak. When we came out of the church, he turned to me, and said in a solemn voice, somewhat tremulous from deep emotion, 'You have led me through a land of closed churches and hushed bells, of unlighted altars and unstoled priests. Is England beneath an interdict?'"

The private journal of Mr. Faber's journey abounds with evidences of the deep impressions which Catholic customs made upon him, and his secret dissatisfaction with his own cold church—a dissatisfaction of which probably he was still himself unconscious. He is at Genoa on the Feast of the Annunciation, "and not to be utterly without sympathy with the Genoese around us, we decorated our room with a bunch of crimson tulips, apparently the favorite flower, that we might not be without somewhat to remind us of her

'Who so above
All mothers shone;
The Mother of
The Blessed One.'"

In Constantinople he is impressed with the folly of patching up the Anglican succession by an alliance with the Greek Church. "Depend upon it," he writes, "cast about as we will, if we want foreign Catholic sympathies, we must find them as they will let us in our Latin mother." He witnesses a procession of pilgrims from Vienna to the shrine of the Blessed Virgin at Mariazell. "It was a bewildering sight. I thought how faith ran in my own country in thin and scattered rivulets, and I looked[150] with envious surprise at this huge wave which the Austrian capital had flung upon this green platform of Styrian highland—a wave of pure, hearty, earnest faith." He is indignant at the desecration of Sunday by the Lutheran population of Dresden, and exclaims, "Yet year after year are we assured in England of the connection between popery and whatever is disagreeable in the foreign way of keeping Sunday. No person who has not been abroad, and heard and seen and investigated for himself, would credit the extensive system of lying pursued by English travel-writers, religious-tract compilers, and Exeter Hall speech-makers, respecting the Roman Church abroad; and whether the lies be those of wilfulness or of prejudice, ignorance, and indolence, I do not see much to distinguish in the guilt. These dirt-seekers scrape the sewers of Europe to rough-cast the Church of Rome with the plentiful defilements."

Soon after his return home, he was offered the college living of Elton, in Huntingdonshire, and at first declined it, but afterward, for a reason which curiously illustrates his conscientiousness, he determined to accept. "My chief rock of offence," said he, "is the subduing the poet to the priest." He would have given up poetry altogether, but Keble convinced him that he had no right to bury his chief talent in a napkin. To cultivate it in moderation was more difficult, and here he thought the uncongenial duties of the pastoral office would be a great help in correcting his inordinate love of literature, and keeping him within the bounds of usefulness. "I do not say you are wrong," was Wordsworth's remark on hearing his determination; "but England loses a poet."

If his reason for accepting the rectory was a strange one, his first step on taking possession was still stranger and still wiser. He determined to visit Rome and study the method pursued by the church in dealing with the souls committed to her care. "I want to go to Italy," said he, "not as a poet, or a tourist, or a pleased dreamer, but as a pilgrim who regards it as a second Palestine, the Holy Land of the West." Dr. Wiseman, then coadjutor bishop of the central district of England, gave him letters of introduction to Cardinal Acton and Dr. Grant at Rome, so that he was enabled to see much more of the charitable and religious institutions of the Christian capital than falls to the lot of the ordinary visitor. He studied Italian, in order that he might understand the numerous lives of saints in that language, and singularly enough, or providentially we should rather say, he conceived a particular devotion to St. Philip Neri, his future father. Of his visit to the room in which the saint used to say Mass he writes, "How little did I, a Protestant stranger in that room years ago, dream that I should ever be of the saint's family, or that the Oratorian father who showed it me should in a few years be appointed by the pope the novice-master of the English Oratorians. I remember how, when he kissed the glass of the case in which St. Philip's little bed is kept as a relic, he apologized to me as a Protestant, lest I should be scandalized, and told me with a smile how tenderly St. Philip's children loved their father. I was not scandalized with their relic-worship then, but I can understand better now what he said about the love, the child-like love, wherewith St. Philip inspired his sons. If any one had told me that in seven short years I should wear the same habit, and the same white collar in the streets of London, and be preaching[151] a triduo in honor of Rome's apostle, I should have wondered how any one could dream so wild a dream."

Sensibly as he was affected by the pious practices and associations of Rome, his attachment to the Church of England was as yet unshaken. He still cherished the delusion that some way could be found of connecting the Anglican establishment with this venerable apostolic church. Controversy on such points of doctrine as indulgences, etc., he put aside. "The one thing necessary to prove," said he, "is that adherence to the holy see is essential to the being of a church: to the well-being of all churches I admit it essential." He visited the church of the Lateran on St. John's day, and knelt bare-headed in the piazza to receive the holy father's blessing. "I do not think," he writes, "I ever returned from any service so thoroughly christianized in every joint and limb, or so right of heart, as I did from the Lateran on Thursday." Afterward Cardinal Acton obtained for him the favor of a private audience with Pope Gregory XVI., the story of which he tells in the following words:

"The Rector of the English College accompanied me, and told me that, as Protestants did not like kissing the pope's foot, I should not be required to do it. We waited in the lobby of the Vatican library for half an hour, when the pope arrived, and a prelate opened the door, remaining outside. The pope was perfectly alone, without a courtier or prelate, standing in the middle of the library, in a plain white cassock, and a white silk skull-cap, (white is the papal color.) On entering, I knelt down, and again when a few yards from him, and lastly before him; he held out his hand, but I kissed his foot; there seemed to be a mean puerility in refusing the customary homage. With Dr. Baggs for interpreter, we had a long conversation; he spoke of Dr. Pusey's suspension for defending the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist with amazement and disgust; he said to me, 'You must not mislead yourself in wishing for unity, yet waiting for your church to move. Think of the salvation of your own soul.' I said I feared self-will and individual judging. He said, 'You are all individuals in the English church; you have only external communion and the accident of being all under the queen. You know this; you know all doctrines are taught amongst you, any how. You have good wishes; may God strengthen them! You must think for yourself and for your soul.' He then laid his hands on my shoulders, and I immediately knelt down; upon which he laid them on my head, and said, 'May the grace of God correspond to your good wishes and deliver you from the nets (insidie) of Anglicanism, and bring you to the true holy church!' I left him almost in tears, affected as much by the earnest, affectionate demeanor of the old man as by his blessing and his prayer. I shall remember St. Alban's day in 1843 to my life's end."

That he did not immediately embrace the truth seems to have been not the effect of cowardice, but of a genuine scruple such as he expressed to Pope Gregory. The Anglican party at this time were sanguine of their ability to bring their members, as a body, into communion with the Roman see, and Mr. Faber was doubtless conscientious in his delay, though he suffered terribly from distress of mind. "I grow more Roman every day," he writes. "I hardly dare read the Articles; their weight grows heavier on me daily. I hope our Blessed Lady's intercession may not cease for any of us because we do not seek it, since we desist for obedience' sake." He prayed at the shrine of St. Aloysius on the feast of that saint, and left the church as if speechless and not knowing where he was going. After he became a Catholic, he told Dr. Grant that on the 21st of June St. Aloysius "had always knocked very hard at his heart." Twice he took his hat to go to the English College and make his abjuration, but on each occasion some trifling circumstance interfered to prevent[152] the execution of his purpose. He wore a miraculous medal, and he obtained some rosaries blessed by the pope. At last he went home to Elton, having suffered during his visit a degree of mental anguish which actually resulted in physical injuries that affected him all the rest of his life.

Dr. Newman's state of mind was very much like Mr. Faber's at this time. The two friends wrote to each other, and agreed to delay their final decision for a little while longer; and in the mean time Mr. Faber threw all his energy into his parochial duties, endeavoring to copy the methods of pastoral labor which he had gone to Rome to study. His parish was disorderly in consequence of long neglect, and what religious vitality there was in the place was found principally at the dissenting chapel. Mr. Faber relied for reformation upon preaching, and what he considered the sacraments. He cared very little for ceremonies and vestments, and compared those who would now be called ritualists to "grown-up children playing at mass, putting ornament before truth, suffocating the inward by the outward." "This is not the way to become Catholic again; it is only a profaner kind of Protestantism than any we have seen hitherto." When the surplice controversy was agitating the Established Church, he told his congregation that he usually preached in a surplice because he preferred it, but he "would preach in his shirt-sleeves if it would be any satisfaction to them." He tried to establish the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; he published three tracts on examination of conscience; he introduced confessions, and out of the most promising of his young male penitents he formed a confraternity which used to meet at the rectory every night about twelve o'clock and spend an hour in prayer. On the vigils of great festivals, their devotions lasted two or three hours. On these nights, and also on Fridays and every night in Lent, the whole party used the discipline, each in turn receiving it from the others.

These devotional practices seem to have excited the powers of darkness; for it is related that many times while the brotherhood were assembled, mysterious disturbances were heard, often apparently just outside the door of the oratory. The house was searched with lights, but nothing was ever discovered which could account for the noises.

On Sunday afternoons, the rectory grounds were thrown open to the parish, and the clergyman mingled freely with his flock, while games of foot-ball and cricket were introduced to make the gatherings more attractive. Of course the Sabbatarians were frightfully scandalized at such proceedings; but no one could deny that a great moral improvement was soon perceptible in the parish, and the dissenters began to forsake their chapel to crowd around Mr. Faber's pulpit. His own austerities were fearful. He fasted rigorously, often eating for his dinner nothing more than a few potatoes and a herring, and in fact never taking a genuine meal except on Sunday. He wore a thick horsehair cord tied in knots about his waist. Want of food often brought upon him severe attacks of sickness, and sometimes he fainted in the church while reading prayers. In such matters as these he seems to have been his own director; but in other religious practices he governed himself a great deal by the advice of Dr. Newman. "I have a request to make," he writes to Newman in November, 1844, "which I cannot any longer refrain from making; but I shall submit at once to a[153] No, if you will say it. I want you to revoke your prohibition, laid on me last October year, of invoking our Blessed Lady, the saints and angels. I do feel somehow weakened for the want of it, and fancy I should get strength if I did it."

It was some relief, perhaps, in this suffering of mind to give utterance to his Catholic yearnings with his pen, since he durst not pour out his whole soul in prayer. He had entered into a scheme for publishing a series of lives of the English saints, and written for it a Life of St. Wilfrid. All the volumes had caused more or less irritation; but in the Life of St. Wilfrid the Catholic tendencies of the tractarian school were developed with the utmost freedom—with so much freedom that we can hardly understand how they could have come from the pen of any man who was even nominally an Anglican. His difficulties, however, were now almost over. In the autumn of 1845, many of his friends were received into the church. Among them was Dr. Newman; and then Mr. Faber hesitated no longer. He put himself at once into communication with Dr. Wareing, the vicar apostolic of the eastern district, not to be instructed in Catholic doctrine, for that he knew and believed already; but to inquire about various minor points connected with a formal reception into the church. To abandon his work at Elton he knew would involve spiritual injury to many; and about that he felt at first some scruples. He asked advice of one whose counsel he had always followed in times of perplexity—we presume Dr. Newman. "Your own soul," he was told, "is the only consideration, and you must save that, because—"

"No," interrupted he, "I have obeyed you as a Protestant and without the 'because,' and I don't want to hear it now."

Another obstacle in his way was the state of his pecuniary affairs. He had borrowed a large sum of money for charitable and other works in his parish; and if he gave up his living, he could pay neither principal nor interest. Was it not his duty to remain rector of Elton until the debt was paid? He consulted an Anglican dignitary of his own party. "Depend upon it," was the answer, "if God means you to be a Catholic, he will not let that stand in the way." Confident, therefore, that God would provide, he wrote to acquaint his friends of his purpose, and had no sooner dispatched the letters than he received from a generous anti-Catholic gentleman, who had heard of his perplexity, a check for the full amount of the debt.

He officiated at Elton for the last time on the 16th of November. At the evening service he told his people that the doctrines he had preached to them, though true, were not those of the Church of England; he could not, therefore, remain in her communion, but must go where truth was to be found. Then he hastily descended the pulpit stairs, threw off his surplice, which he left upon the ground, and made his way as quickly as possible through the vestry to the house. For a few minutes the congregation remained in blank astonishment. The church-wardens and some others followed him to the rectory, and begged him to remain; he might preach what he pleased, and they would never question it. It was a sorrowful interview, for he loved his flock with all his heart; but he was firm in his resolve. The next morning he started early for Northampton, hoping to escape observation; but the people were on the watch at their windows;[154] and as he passed through, they waved their handkerchiefs and cried, "God bless you, wherever you go." Mr. Faber was accompanied by Mr. T. F. Knox, a scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge, and seven of his parishioners. They were all admitted into the church the same evening by Bishop Wareing, and the next day received their first communion and the sacrament of confirmation. "A new light," wrote Mr. Faber next day, "seems to be shed on every thing, and more especially on my past position—a light so clear as to surprise me; and though I am homeless and unsettled, and as to worldly prospects considerably bewildered, yet there is such a repose of conscience as more than compensates for the intense and fiery struggle which began on the Tuesday and only ended on the Monday morning following."

Owing to various circumstances, a good many recent converts had settled at Birmingham, where the church of St. Chad, under the charge of the Rev. Mr. Moore, had become a great centre of Catholic life. Mr. Faber and his companions went there, Faber accepting the hospitality of Mr. Moore, and the others disposing of themselves in various ways. They continued, however, to look up to their former pastor for direction, and he soon conceived the idea of forming them into a sort of community. With the approval of Mr. Moore and Dr. Wiseman, they took possession of a small house in Caroline street, Mr. Faber of course joining them. No definite rule was drawn up at first, but their general purpose was to assist the parochial clergy in visiting the sick, giving instruction, and similar duties. Mr. Hutchinson, who afterward became a member of the little band, has given an amusing account of a visit he paid them a few days after their establishment. Mr. Faber, terribly scorched, was standing over the fire stirring a kettle of pea-soup. There was hardly any furniture except a long deal table, a chair, knife, fork, and mug for each man, some pewter spoons with the temperance pledge stamped on them, and a three-legged table, split across the middle, at which, when he could be spared from the pea-soup, Mr. Faber was engaged writing a pamphlet on the reasons for his conversion. Up-stairs there were four small rooms, one used as a chapel, the others as dormitories. There were no bed-steads; they all slept on the floor. Such was the beginning of the Wilfridian Community, or Brothers of the Will of God, though they took no distinguishing name until some time later. At the commencement of the new year, the generosity of a friend enabled Mr. Faber to visit Italy, where he had reason to think he could obtain money for the support of the new community. During his absence, the brethren found employment with some of the Catholic tradesmen in the town, returning to Caroline street every night. The distinguished convert was of course received in Rome with great affection, especially by the ecclesiastics who had known him on his former visit. Cardinal Acton fell upon his neck and kissed him. The pope gave him a gracious interview. The English College offered him a home. The superior of the Camaldolese at Florence expressed a great desire to see him. "He was ill in bed," says Mr. Faber, "and his bed full of snuff; he seized my head, buried it in the snuffy clothes, and kissed me most unmercifully." There is, in fact, a good deal of fun now and then in Mr. Faber's letters. He tells, for instance, how "the dear old pope" refused to be angry with the Anglican Bishop of Gibraltar, who came to[155] Rome to give confirmation, his holiness saying with a chuckle that "he really had not been aware hitherto that Rome was in the diocese of Gibraltar;" and how, in "a fit of unholy mirth," the holy father mimicked the way the English Protestants did homage, "a familiar nod with their chin, as if they had swallowed pokers." He was disappointed in the pecuniary aid which he had come abroad to seek, but the journey was productive of much spiritual comfort and improvement; and as money was soon forthcoming from another quarter, he was enabled to go back to Birmingham with a light heart, and to set about the more complete organization of the community according to a rule which he had devised during his absence. Meanwhile, arrangements had been completed for removal to more commodious quarters in Birmingham; and in the course of the year 1846 the brethren moved a second time to a fine estate at Cheadle, generously given them by Lord Shrewsbury. They named it St. Wilfrid's. Their first work here was to open a school for boys. Pupils came in rapidly; but the bigotry of the neighborhood was aroused, and the most amazing reports were circulated about the new institution. A relative of Mr. Hutchinson (who had joined the community under the name of Brother Anthony, Mr. Faber being styled Brother Wilfrid of the Humanity of Jesus) sent a Scotch physician to examine the establishment, and we suppose to report upon the sanity of the inmates. The same relative described Mr. Faber as "an ambitious villain and a hellish ruler," and declared that wherever he went in London "the finger of scorn was pointed at him." "I am said to have strangled one of my monks," wrote the "hellish ruler;" "the story is all over the land, and is believed. Mrs. R—— came to see me at St. Wilfrid's, 'to see the man;' and glaring at me in silence like a tigress, she told Lady Shrewsbury and Lady Arundel that I was quite capable of all she heard, and that her faith in it was established."

Humility had led Mr. Faber to defer ordination to the priesthood, and up to this time he had received only minor orders; but in the Advent season of 1846 he was raised to the subdeaconship, and at the end of the following Lent he was ordained deacon and priest by Dr. Wiseman at Oscott. The brothers could now engage much more effectively in missionary work; and as, besides having a priest among them, they received several valuable converts from time to time, they were enabled to map out a wide extent of neglected country into districts, and devote their days to a systematic visitation of every house within their limits. The crowds who came on Sundays to St. Wilfrid's soon overflowed the little chapel, and Father Faber used to preach to them in a yard near the house, or under the beech-trees in the garden. It was not unusual for him also to preach in the streets, wearing his habit or cassock and holding a crucifix in his hand.

In a few months there remained but one Protestant family in the parish, and the Protestant church was almost entirely abandoned! Brother Anthony Hutchinson wrote, "We have converted the pew-opener, leaving the parson only his clerk and two drunken men." The poor people became extravagantly fond of "Father Fable," as they used to call him; but he was not held in particular affection by the Protestant clergy, and sometimes was unwillingly involved in what he used to call "fighting and squabbling with parsons." On one occasion he was followed into the[156] room of a sick man by a minister of the Primitive Methodists, who insisted on remaining there to hear what was said in confession, and was with great difficulty persuaded by the invalid to leave the house.

It was not only from Protestants, however, that Father Faber had to suffer annoyance; his worst troubles came from those of his own faith. About the time of his ordination he had made arrangements for the publication of a series of lives of the saints, translated from the Italian and other foreign languages, and afterward so widely known as the Oratorian Lives. A part of the literary work he did himself, but the most of it he committed to other hands, having at one time between sixty and seventy translators at work under his direction. The series began with a Life of St. Philip Neri. It reached a large sale; but so little familiar were English readers with the supernatural manifestations which abound in biographies of the chosen servants of God that exception was taken to the work in various quarters, and when the Life of St. Rose of Lima appeared, the opposition became extremely violent. It was objected that the lives of foreign saints, however edifying in their respective countries, were unsuited to England and unfit for Protestant eyes. Under the advice of Dr. Newman, who nevertheless approved of the work very cordially, the series was finally suspended. But then a reaction set in; it was discovered how much practical good the publications had done; some of those who had criticised them most severely retracted and apologized; and the translations were resumed under the auspices of the Oratorians, with whom Father Faber's community had meanwhile been consolidated.

Mr. Faber and Mr. Hutchinson, the only priests in the community at St. Wilfrid's, were on the eve of taking their vows when news arrived that Dr. Newman was coming over from Rome to establish in England the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. Father Faber was at prayer when he felt suddenly an interior call to join the new congregation. His final decision was reached only after a long interior struggle and a free conference with Bishop Wiseman. Humanly speaking, it was a great sacrifice—perhaps the greatest Father Faber ever made. Besides giving up the infant community to which he had devoted so much care, and descending at one step from the position of superior to that of novice, he had to tear himself away from a congregation which was quite as warmly attached to him as his old flock had been at Elton, to give up St. Wilfrid's, and to face the vehement opposition of his brethren in the community and the generous friends to whom he had been indebted for his foundation at Cheadle. "Giving St. Wilfrid's up," he wrote, "seems to unroot one altogether from the earth, and the future is such a complete blank that one feels as if one was going to die." "It is Elton over again," only, "in my first spoliation I kept my books and my Elton children; now I lose these two." To his surprise, however, when once his mind had been made up, the opposition of the community of St. Wilfrid's suddenly ceased. They all professed their willingness to follow him; and the result was, that the Oratorians took possession of the whole establishment. Dr. Newman came to St. Wilfrid's in February, 1848, and admitted the entire community to his congregation. "Father Superior has now left us," wrote Faber, "all in our Philippine habits with turndown collars, like so many good boys brought in after dinner. Since my admission[157] I seem to have lost all attachment to every thing but obedience; I could dance and sing all day because I am so joyous; I hardly know what to do with myself for very happiness."

It was not thought necessary to exact from him the full period of three years' noviceship, so at the end of six months he was dispensed from the remainder and appointed master of novices. In October of the same year, the whole congregation removed from Birmingham to St. Wilfrid's; but Father Faber was not allowed to remain long in this favorite home; for in the spring he was sent with five other fathers, namely Dalgairns, Stanton, Hutchinson, Knox, and Wells, and two novices, Messrs. Gordon and Bowden, to found a new house in London. At the head of this he remained until his death, and he never saw St. Wilfrid's again but once.

The introduction of a new order or a new congregation is so common an event now that we can hardly understand how bitter was the ill-feeling aroused by the opening of the London Oratory in a hired house in King William street in May, 1849. It was the first public church which had been served by a religious community in that diocese since the old faith was put under the feet of the English schism. Bishop Wiseman was a warm supporter of the Oratorians, but many of the secular clergy looked upon them with suspicion, doubted the discretion of a community composed entirely of converts, disapproved of the public wearing of their habit, and complained that their peculiar services, with new prayers, hymns in the vernacular, and a new style of preaching, were Methodistical, and ought to be suppressed. Experience, however, in time showed the doubters their mistake, and the diocesan clergy became not only friends but imitators of the Oratorians. A great deal of popular animosity continued to be manifested, especially during the excitement which followed the reëstablishment of the English hierarchy. The walls of London were placarded, "Down with the Oratorians," "Don't go to the Oratory," "Banishment to the Oratorians," etc.; the fathers were cursed in the streets, and even gentlemen used to shout at them from their carriage-windows. The government finally issued a proclamation reviving an old statute which forbade Roman Catholic ecclesiastics to wear the habit of their order, and thenceforth the Oratorians always appeared in the streets in secular garb.

Father Faber was doing an immense amount of labor at this time, preaching, visiting the sick, giving retreats and missions, and conducting special devotions, besides employing some time in literary occupations; yet he was almost constantly a sufferer from disease, and was often obliged to cease for a while from all work whatsoever. He had long been subject to very severe and prostrating headaches, connected with which is the following remarkable incident which we shall give in his own words, written to the Countess of Arundel and Surrey on the 2d of December, 1850:

"And now I have so many things to tell you that I hardly know where to begin. Some time ago, a lady at prayer in our church thought it was revealed to her that St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi wished to confer some grazia on me in connection with my headache. Her director gave her permission to act upon this; whereupon she wrote to me, begging me when my headache came on to apply a relic of the saint to my forehead. Some days elapsed; I asked Father Francis, my director, for his leave to do this; as it was a merely temporal thing, he took some time to consider. I became ill, and had a night of great pain. I thought he had forgotten all about it, and[158] that it would be a blameworthy imperfection in me to remind him of it. The morning after, he came to confession, and found me ill in bed; he was going away, but I knew he was going to say Mass, and so I made him kneel down by my bedside, while I put on my stole, and with considerable pain heard his confession; when he rose, I gave him the stole, and asked him to hear my confession, which he did. Afterward he said, 'Well, now, I think it would be well to try this relic.' I answered, 'Just as you please.' I was in great suffering, and very sick besides. He gave it me, and walked away to the door to say Mass. I applied the relic, a piece of her linen, to my forehead; a sort of fire went into my head, through every limb down to my feet, causing me to tremble; before Father Francis could even reach the door, I sprang up, crying, 'I am cured, I am quite well!' He said I looked as white as a sheet; I was filled with a kind of sacred fear, and an intense desire to consecrate myself utterly to God. I got up and dressed, without any difficulty, or pain, or sickness. This was on the Wednesday. On the Saturday I had another headache, but I had not asked Father Francis's leave about the relic, and felt I ought to take no steps to get rid of my cross. In the afternoon he told me I might apply it. Fathers Philip and Edward were in the room. I was on my bed; I took the relic and applied it; there was the same fire in a less degree, but no cure. I then said to the saint, 'I only ask it to go to the novena and benediction.' The cure was instantaneous; while Father Philip had such an impression that the saint was in the room, that he was irresistibly drawn to bow to her. Well, I said my office; then in an hour or so came the novena and benediction; and as soon as I returned to my room, I was taken so ill again I was obliged to go to bed. Meanwhile I had totally forgotten what the others reminded me of afterward, that two years ago Michael Watts Russell wrote to me from Florence, and said, 'The children send their love, and desire me to say they have just come from the tomb of St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi, whom they have been asking to cure Father Wilfrid's headache.'

"After all this, I am sure I shall lose my soul if I do not serve God less lukewarmly; so please pray for me."

God had not given him, however, the favor of a permanent restoration to health. He was never well in London. "I have two vocations," he wrote to Father Bowden, "one for my body and one for my soul; and they happen to be incompatible, so the body must do the best it can, and the soul must rough-ride it for another sixty years, which is supposed to be the term of incessant headache still left me. When you and I sit toothless together, shaking our palsied heads at recreation, we shall look down upon the junior fathers who have been only thirty or forty years in the congregation with an ineffable contempt; and when my dotage comes on, I shall fancy myself still novice-master and you a refractory novice, and I shall trip you up on your crutches for mortification." For the sake of his health he was persuaded to start on a journey to Palestine; but he fell very sick on the way, and went no further than Italy. He reached Naples on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, (1851,) and entered the Oratorian church just as benediction was about to be given, "which," he says, "was jolly." In the same letter (to Father Hutchinson) he writes, "If I can get one, I will bring one of the rum things they put on the altar in Advent and Lent, when flowers are forbidden; they take my fancy hugely." He came home far from well enough to resume his work; but there was a great deal to be done, and he never had any mercy on himself. There was a country house for the congregation to be built at Sydenham Hill, and the fine new Oratory at Brompton to be erected in place of the little establishment in King William street, which the community had long ago outgrown. They took possession of the Brompton house in March, 1854. The vast cost of this great institution had been defrayed principally from the private means of the individual members, but there[159] had been several donations—£10,000 toward the purchase of the site from a lady who wished her gift to be anonymous; £4000 from the Earl of Arundel and Surrey; and £700 collected by a committee for the erection of the church. The current expenses of the house were also defrayed from the pockets of the fathers, it being a rule of the congregation that the receipts from their churches should not contribute in any way to the support of the house, and indeed at Brompton the income of the church did not equal its expenditure.

It was while the Brompton building was under way that Father Faber began with his All for Jesus, or the Easy Ways of Divine Love, that remarkable series of spiritual works which made his name so widely known and loved throughout Europe and America. All for Jesus appeared in 1853; Bethlehem, the eighth and last of the series, was published in 1860. In the mean time, he had collected a volume of his earlier and later poems; completed his poem of Prince Amadis; published a collection of his hymns, many of which have become exceedingly popular, and finished a great deal of minor literary work. He made preparations for other books, on Calvary, The Holy Ghost, The Fear of God, and The Immaculate Heart of Mary, fragments of which appeared after his death under the title, Notes on Doctrinal and Spiritual Subjects. These various writings are too well known and too fondly esteemed, especially in the United States, for any criticism to be called for here, and we can do nothing better than copy the just eulogy which Father Bowden cites from The Dublin Review:

"We know of no one man who has done more to make the men of his day love God and aspire to a higher path of the interior life; and we know no man who so nearly represents to us the mind and the preaching of St. Bernard and St. Bernardine of Siena in the tenderness and beauty with which he has surrounded the names of Jesus and Mary."

All these exquisite works were written in the midst of the most awful physical suffering. "It is plain," he writes in 1858, "that life can't be lived at this rate. But my mind is now like a locomotive that has started with neither driver nor stoker. I can think of nothing but being seized, put on board one of her majesty's ships of war as compulsory chaplain, and carried round the world for two years. If I was on land, I should jib and come home." Bright's disease of the kidneys, gout, neuralgia—a complication, in fact, of numerous disorders, left him hardly an hour of ease, hardly a night of rest. Soon after Easter, in the year 1863, the hope of checking his disease or even notably relieving his sufferings was finally given up. He seems to have been conscious of his condition even before the physicians had pronounced their opinion. During the month of April he made one or two short journeys, but without experiencing any relief. By the middle of June he was so much worse that the last sacraments were administered. On the 28th—his forty-ninth birthday—he saw all the members of the community, one by one, recommending himself to their prayers, and leaving with each some parting gift. He rallied a little after this, and was even well enough to take one or two short drives, and to enjoy farewell visits from Cardinal Wiseman, and Dr. Newman, and many of his other friends. His mind continued perfectly clear and calm until some time in September, when attacks of delirium became frequent, and the sedatives which had been used to produce[160] sleep lost their soothing effect. He received holy communion daily up to and including the 24th of that month. The next day his attendants were able to put him into bed, which had not been done since June; he had passed day and night in his chair, propped up with pillows. He now lay quite still, gazing at a large crucifix, and moving his eyes from one to another of the five wounds. When told that his death was near, he only repeated his favorite exclamation, "God be praised!" On the morning of the 26th, Father Rowe told him that he was going to say Mass for him. He showed by his face that he understood what was said; and just as the Mass must have ended, he turned his head a little and opened his eyes with a touching expression, half of sweetness and half of surprise. So his spirit passed away, as if in the act of realizing the picture which he had drawn in All for Jesus: "Only serve Jesus out of love, and while your eyes are yet unclosed what an unspeakable surprise will you have had at the judgment-seat of your dearest Love, while the songs of heaven are breaking on your ears and the glory of God is dawning on your eyes, to fade away no more for ever!"

We have already alluded in the first part of this article to Father Faber's elegance of appearance and manner, and from a portrait prefixed to the biography it seems that he retained his advantages of person to a late period of his life. He was remarkable for his habits of order and neatness, and once, when a father remarked upon the tidiness of his room, he replied, "The napkin in the sepulchre was found folded at the resurrection." As might be imagined from the narrative of his life, he was always distinguished for gentleness; and Father Bowden remarks that he never was severe in the manner of correcting the faults of his spiritual subjects, except possibly in matters connected with the ceremonial of divine worship. Any defect of demeanor during service, or inattention to the requirements of the rubric, he rebuked with marked severity. In the church he would have every thing of the best, whether it could be seen by the congregation or not. When the new high altar of marble was put up in the Oratory, he was much dissatisfied because the back was not finished like the front, and he found fault with the altar rails for the same reason, complaining that "the side next our Lord" was not ornamented. He was very fond of children, and his correspondence contains some striking evidences of his tenderness to them. We have already spoken of his love of humor—a sense which seems naturally to accompany the poetic instinct. His room was at all hours the frequent resort of his brethren who looked upon it as a renewal of St. Philip's "School of Christian Mirth." Father Bowden quotes the language of an old friend, who wrote at the time of Father Faber's death of "the indescribable charm of his private intercourse, of that wonderful brilliancy of conversation in which he excelled all those whose social powers have made them the idols of London society as far as they have excelled ordinary men, of the magic play of his countenance and of his voice, of the unprecedented combination of tenderness in affection, unearthliness of aim, and worldly wisdom, which characterized his private intercourse, and of his power of attracting little children and learned men, one as much as the other."

Father Bowden has told the story of this beautiful life with appreciation and affection, and with no mean literary ability. His style is direct and[161] unaffected, and he is not given to the superfluity of pious reflection with which the biographers of religious men are so apt to retard their narratives. The volume contains a very copious selection from Father Faber's private correspondence, so that it may be considered in many portions virtually an autobiography.




When Frank returned from the walk, he found a visitor at Frankenhöhe.

The visitor was an elegantly-dressed young man with a free, self-important air about him.

He spoke fluently, and his words sounded as decisive as though they came from the lips of infallibility. At times this self-importance was of such a boastful and arrogant character as to affect the observer disagreeably.

"It is now vacation, and I do not know how to enjoy it better than by a visit to you," said he.

"Very flattering to me," answered Frank. "I hope you will be pleased with Frankenhöhe."

"Pleased?" returned the visitor as he looked through the open window at the beautiful landscape. "I would like to dream away here the whole of May and June. How charming it is! An empire of flowers and vernal delights."

"I am surprised, Carl, that you have preserved such a love for nature. I thought you considered the professor's chair the culminating point of attraction."

Carl bowed his head proudly and stood with folded arms before the smiling Frank.

"That is evidently intended for flattery," said he. "The professor's chair is my vocation. He who does not hold his vocation as the acme of all attraction is indeed a perfect man. Besides, it will appear to you, who consider every thing in the world—not excepting even the fair sex—with blank stoicism; it will appear even to you that the rostrum is destined to accomplish great things. Ripe knowledge in mighty pulsations goes forth from the rostrum and permeates society. The rostrum governs and educates the rising young men who are destined to assume leading positions in the state. The rostrum overthrows antiquated forms of religious delusion, ennobles rational thought, exact science, and deep investigation. The rostrum governs even the throne; for we have princes in Germany who esteem liberty of thought and progress of knowledge more than the art of governing their people in a spirit of stupidity."

Frank smiled.

"The glory of the rostrum I leave undisputed," said he. "But I beg[162] of you to conceal from the doctor your scientific rule of faith. You may get into trouble with the doctor."

"I am very desirous of becoming acquainted with this paragon of learning—you have told me so much about him; and I confess it was partly to see him that I made this visit. Get into trouble? I do not fear the old syllogism-chopper in the least. A good disputation with him is even desirable."

"Well, you are forewarned. If you go home with a lacerated back, it will not be my fault."

"A lacerated back?" said the professor quietly. "Does the doctor like to use striking arguments?"

"Oh! no. But his sarcasm is as cutting as the slash of a sword, and his logical vehemence is like the stroke of a club."

"We will fight him with the same weapons," answered Carl, throwing back his head. "Shall I pay him my respects immediately?"

"The doctor admits no one. In his studio he is as inaccessible as a Turkish sultan in his harem. I will introduce you in the dining-room, as it is now just dinner-time."

They betook themselves to the dining-room, and soon after they heard the sound of a bell.

"He is just now called to table," said Richard. "He does not allow the servant to enter his room, and for that reason a bell has been hung there."

"How particular he is!" said the professor.

A door of the ante-room was opened, quick steps were heard, and Klingenberg hastily entered and placed himself at the table, as at a work that must be done quickly, and then observed the stranger.

"Doctor Lutz, professor of history in our university," said Frank, introducing him.

"Doctor Lutz—professor of history," said Klingenberg musingly. "Your name is familiar to me, if I am not mistaken; are you not a collaborator on Sybel's historical publication?"

"I have that honor," answered the professor with much dignity.

They began to eat.

"You read Sybel's periodical?" asked the professor.

"We must not remain entirely ignorant of literary productions, particularly the more excellent."

Lutz felt much flattered by this declaration.

"Sybel's periodical is an unavoidable necessity at present," said the professor. "Historical research was in a bad way; it threatened to succumb entirely to the ultramontane cause and the clerical party."

"Now Sybel and his co-laborers will avert that danger," said the doctor. "These men will do honor to historical research. The ultramontanists have a great respect for Sybel. When he taught in Munich, they did not rest till he turned his back on Isar-Athen. In my opinion, Sybel should not have gone to Munich. The stupid Bavarians will not allow themselves to be enlightened. So let them sit in darkness, the stupid barbarians who have no appreciation for the progress of science."

The professor looked astonished. He could not understand how an admirer of Sybel's could be so prejudiced. Frank was alarmed lest the professor might perceive the doctor's keen sarcasm—which he delivered with a serious countenance—and feel offended. He changed the conversation to another subject, in which Klingenberg did not take part.

"You have represented the doctor[163] incorrectly," said the professor, after the meal. "He understands Sybel and praises his efforts—the best sign of a clear mind."

"Klingenberg is always just," returned Frank.

On the following afternoon, Lutz joined in the accustomed walk. As they were passing through the chestnut grove, a servant of Siegwart's came up breathless, with a letter in his hand, which he gave to Frank.

"Gentlemen," said Frank after reading the letter, "I am urgently requested to visit Herr Siegwart immediately. With your permission I will go."

"Of course, go," said Klingenberg. "I know," he added with a roguish expression, "that you would as lief visit that excellent man as walk with us."

Richard went off in such haste that the question occurred to him why he fulfilled with such zeal the wishes of a man with whom he had been so short a time acquainted; but with the question Angela came before his mind as an answer. He rejected this answer, even against his feelings, and declared to himself that Siegwart's honorable character and neighborly feeling made his haste natural and even obligatory. The proprietor may have been waiting his arrival, for he came out to meet him. Frank observed a dark cloud over the countenance of the man and great anxiety in his features.

"I beg your forgiveness a thousand times, Herr Frank. I know you go walking with Herr Klingenberg at this hour, and I have deprived you of that pleasure."

"No excuse, neighbor. It is a question which would give me greater pleasure, to serve you or to walk with Klingenberg."

Richard smiled while saying these words; but the smile died away, for he saw how pale and suddenly anxious Siegwart had become. They had entered a room, and he desired to know the cause of Siegwart's changed manner.

"A great and afflicting misfortune threatens us," began the proprietor. "My Eliza has been suddenly taken ill, and I have great fears for her young life. Oh! if you knew how that child has grown into my heart." He paused for a moment and suppressed his grief, but he could not hide from Frank the tears that filled his eyes. Richard saw these tears, and this paternal grief increased his respect for Siegwart.

"The delicate life of a young child does not allow of protracted medical treatment, of consultation or investigation into the disease or the best remedies. The disease must be known immediately and efficient remedies applied. There are physicians at my command, but I do not dare to trust Eliza to them."

"I presume, Herr Siegwart, that you wish for Klingenberg."

"Yes—and through your mediation. You know that he only treats the sick poor; but resolutely refuses his services to the wealthy."

"Do not be uneasy about that. I hope to be able to induce Klingenberg to correspond with your wishes. But is Eliza really so sick, or does your apprehension increase your anxiety?"

"I will show you the child, and then you can judge for yourself." They went up-stairs and quietly entered the sick-room. Angela sat on the little bed of the child, reading. The child was asleep, but the noise of their entrance awoke her. She reached out her little round arms to her father, and said in a scarcely audible whisper,


This whispered "papa" seemed to[164] pierce the soul of Siegwart like a knife. He drew near and leant over the child.

"You will be well to-morrow, my sweet pet. Do you see, Herr Frank has come to see you?"

"Mamma!" whispered the child.

"Your mother will come to-morrow, my Eliza. She will bring you something pretty. My wife has been for the last two weeks at her sister's, who lives a few miles from here," said Siegwart, turning to Frank. "I sent a messenger for her early this morning."

While the father sat on the bed and held Eliza's hand in his, Frank observed Angela, who scarcely turned her eyes from the sick child. Her whole soul seemed taken up with her suffering sister. Only once had she looked inquiringly at Frank, to read in his face his opinion of the condition of Eliza. She stood immovable at the foot of the bed, as mild, as pure, and as beautiful as the guardian angel of the child.

Both men left the room.

"I will immediately seek the doctor, who is now on his walk," said Frank.

"Shall I send my servant for him?"

"That is unnecessary," returned Frank. "And even if your servant should find the doctor, he would probably not be inclined to shorten his walk. Our gardener, who works in the chestnut grove, will show me the way the doctor took. In an hour and a half at furthest I will be back."

The young man pressed the outstretched hand of Siegwart, and hastened away.

In the mean time the doctor and the professor had reached a narrow, wooded ravine, on both sides of which the rocks rose almost perpendicularly. The path on which they walked passed near a little brook, that flowed rippling over the pebbles in its bed. The branches of the young beeches formed a green roof over the path, and only here and there were a few openings through which the sun shot its sloping beams across the cool, dusky way, and in the sunbeams floated and danced dust-colored insects and buzzing flies.

The learned saunterers continued their amusement without altercation until the professor's presumption offended the doctor and led to a vehement dispute.

Klingenberg did not appear on the stage of publicity. He left boasting and self-praise to others, far inferior to him in knowledge. He despised that tendency which pursues knowledge only to command, which cries down any inquiry that clashes with their theories. The doctor published no learned work, nor did he write for the periodicals, to defend his views. But if he happened to meet a scientific opponent, he fought him with sharp, cutting weapons.

"I do not doubt of the final victory of true science over the falsifying party spirit of the ultramontanes," said the professor. "Sybel's periodical destroys, year by year, more and more the crumbling edifice which the clerical zealots build on the untenable foundation of falsified facts."

Klingenberg tore his cap from his head and swung it about vehemently, and made such long strides that the other with difficulty kept up with him. Suddenly he stopped, turned about, and looked the professor sharply in the eyes.

"You praise Sybel's publication unjustly," said he excitedly. "It is true Sybel has founded a historical school, and has won many imitators; but his is a school destructive of morality and of history—a school of scientific radicalism, a school of[165] falsehood and deceitfulness. Sybel and his followers undertake to mould and distort history to their purposes. They slur over every thing that contradicts their theories. To them the ultramontanes are partial, prejudiced men—or perhaps asses and dunces; you are unfortunately right when you say Sybel's school wins ground; for Sybel and his fellows have brought lying and falsification to perfection. They have in Germany perplexed minds, and have brought their historical falsifications to market as true ware."

The professor could scarcely believe his own ears.

"I have given you freely and openly my judgment, which need not offend you, as it refers to principles, not persons."

"Not in the least," answered Lutz derisively. "I admit with pleasure that Sybel's school is anti-church, and even anti-Christian, if you will. There is no honor in denying this. The denial would be of no use; for this spirit speaks too loudly and clearly in that school. Sybel and his associates keep up with the enlightenment and liberalism of our times. But I must contradict you when you say this free tendency is injurious to society; the seed of free inquiry and human enlightenment can bring forth only good fruits."

"Oh! we know this fruit of the new heathenism," cried the doctor. "There is no deed so dark, no crime so great, that it may not be defended according to the anti-Christian principles of vicious enlightenment and corrupt civilization. Sybel's school proves this with striking clearness. Tyrants are praised and honored. Noble men are defamed and covered with dirt."

"This you assert, doctor; it is impossible to prove such a declaration."

"Impossible! Not at all. Sybel's periodical exalts to the seventh heaven the tyrant Henry VIII. of England. You extol him as a conscientious man who was compelled by scruples of conscience to separate from his wife. You commend him for having but one mistress. You say that the sensualities of princes are only of 'anecdotal interest.' Naturally," added the doctor contemptuously, "a school that cuts loose from Christian principles cannot consistently condemn adultery. Fie! fie! Debauchees and men of gross sensuality might sit in Sybel's enlightened school. Progress overthrows the cross, and erects the crescent. We may yet live to see every wealthy man of the new enlightenment have his harem. Whether society can withstand the detestable consequences of this teaching of licentiousness and contempt for Christian morality, is a consideration on which these progressive gentlemen do not reflect."

"I admit, doctor," said Lutz, "that the clear light of free, impartial science must needs hurt the eyes of a pious believer. According to the opinions of the ultramontanes, Henry VIII. was a terrible tyrant and blood-hound. Sybel's periodical deserves the credit of having done justice to that great king."

"Do you say so?" cried the doctor, with flaming eyes. "You, a professor of history in the university! You, who are appointed to teach our young men the truth! Shame on you! What you say is nothing but stark hypocrisy. I appeal to the heathen. You may consider religion from the stand-point of an ape, for what I care; your cynicism, which is not ashamed to equalize itself with the brute, may also pass. But this hypocrisy, this fallacious representation of historical facts and persons, this hypocrisy before[166] my eyes—this I cannot stand; this must be corrected."

The doctor actually doubled up his fists. Lutz saw it and saw also the wild fire in the eyes of his opponent, and was filled with apprehension and anxiety.

Erect and silent, fiery indignation in his flushed countenance, stood Klingenberg before the frightened professor. As Lutz still held his tongue, the doctor continued,

"You call Henry VIII. a 'great king,' you extol and defend this 'great king' in Sybel's periodical. I say Henry VIII. was a great scoundrel, a blackguard without a conscience, and a bloodthirsty tyrant. I prove my assertion. Henry VIII. caused to be executed two queens who were his wives—two cardinals, twelve dukes and marquises, eighteen barons and knights, seventy-seven abbots and priors, and over sixty thousand Catholics. Why did he have them executed? Because they were criminals? No; because they remained true to their consciences and to the religion of their fathers. All these fell victims to the cruelty of Henry VIII., whom you style a 'great king.' You glorify a man who for blood-thirstiness and cruelty can be placed by the side of Nero and Diocletian. That is my retort to your hypocrisy and historical mendacity."

The stern doctor having emptied his vials of wrath, now walked on quietly; Lutz with drooping head followed in silence.

"Sybel does not even stop with Henry VIII.," again began the doctor. "These enlightened gentlemen undertake to glorify even Tiberius, that inhuman monster. They might as well have the impudence to glorify cruelty itself. On the other hand, truly great men, such as Tilly, are abandoned to the hatred of the ignorant."

"This is unjust," said the professor hastily. "Sybel's periodical in the second volume says that Tilly was often calumniated by party spirit; that the destruction of Magdeburg belongs to the class of unproved and improbable events. The periodical proves that Tilly's conduct in North Germany was mild and humane, that he signalized himself by his simplicity, unselfishness, and conscientiousness."

"Does Sybel's periodical say all this?"

"Word for word, and much more in praise of that magnanimous man," said Lutz. "From this you may know that science is just even to pious heroes."

Klingenberg smiled characteristically, and in his smile was an expression of ineffable contempt.

He stopped before the professor.

"You have just quoted what impartial historical research informs us of Tilly, in the second and third volumes. It is so. I remember perfectly having read that favorable account. Now let me quote what the same periodical says of the same Tilly in the seventeenth volume. There we read that Tilly was a hypocrite and a blood-hound, whose name cannot be mentioned without a shudder; furthermore, we are told that Tilly burned Magdeburg, that he waged a ravaging war against men, women, children, and property. You see, then, in the second and third volumes that Tilly was a conscientious, mild man and pious hero; in the seventeenth volume, that he was a tyrant and blood-hound. It appears from this with striking clearness that the enlightened progressionists do not stick at contradiction, mendacity, and defamation."


The professor lowered his eyes and stood embarrassed.

"I leave you, 'Herr Professor,' to give a name to such a procedure. Besides, I must also observe that the strictly scientific method, as it labels itself at present, does not stop at personal defamation. As every holy delusion and religious superstition must be destroyed in the hearts of the students, this lying and defamation extends to the historical truths of faith. It is taught from the professors' chairs, and confirmed by the scientific journals, that confession is an invention of the middle ages; while you must know from thorough research that confession has existed up to the time of the apostles. You teach and write that Innocent III. introduced the doctrine of transubstantiation in the thirteenth century; while every one having the least knowledge of history knows that at the council of 1215 it was only made a duty to receive the holy communion at Easter, that the fathers of the first ages speak of transubstantiation—that it has its foundation in Scripture. You know as well as I do that indulgences were imparted even in the first century: but this does not prevent you from teaching that the popes of the middle ages invented indulgences from love of money, and sold them from avarice. Thus the progressive science lies and defames, yet is not ashamed to raise high the banner of enlightenment; thus you lead people into error, and destroy youth. Fie! fie!"

The doctor turned and was about to proceed when he heard his name called. Frank hastened to him, the perspiration running from his forehead, and his breast heaving from rapid breathing. In a few words he made known Eliza's illness, and Siegwart's request.

"You know," said Klingenberg, "that I treat only the poor, who cannot easily get a physician."

"Make an exception in this case, doctor, I beg of you most earnestly! You respect Siegwart yourself for his integrity, and I also of late have learned to esteem the excellent man, whose heart at present is rent with anxiety and distress. Save this child, doctor; I beg of you save it."

Klingenberg saw the young man's anxiety and goodness, and benevolence beamed on his still angry face.

"I see," said he, "that no refusal is to be thought of. Well, we will go." And he immediately set off with long strides on his way back. Richard cast a glance at the professor, who followed, gloomy and spiteful. He saw the angry look he now and then turned on the hastening doctor, and knew that a sharp contest must have taken place. But his solicitude for Siegwart's child excluded all other sympathy. On the way he exchanged only a few words with Lutz, who moved on morosely, and was glad when Klingenberg and Richard separated from him in the vicinity of Frankenhöhe.

Ten minutes later they entered the house of Siegwart. The doctor stood for a moment observing the child without touching it. The little one opened her eyes, and appeared to be frightened at the strange man with the sharp features. Siegwart and Angela read anxiously in the doctor's immovable countenance. As Eliza said "Papa," in a peculiar, feverish tone, Klingenberg moved away from the bed. He cast a quick glance at the father, went to the window and drummed with his fingers on the glass. Frank read in that quick glance that Eliza must die. Angela must also have guessed the doctor's opinion, for she was very much affected; her head sank on her breast and tears burst from her eyes.


Klingenberg took out his note-book, wrote something on a small slip of paper, and ordered the recipe to be taken immediately to the apothecary. He then took his departure.

"What do you think of the child?" said Siegwart, as they passed over the yard.

"The child is very sick; send for me in the morning if it be necessary."

Frank and the doctor went some distance in silence. The young man thought of the misery the death of Eliza would bring on that happy family, and the pale, suffering Angela in particular stood before him.

"Is recovery not possible?"

"No. The child will surely die to-night. I prescribed only a soothing remedy. I am sorry for Siegwart; he is one of the few fathers who hang with boundless love on their children—particularly when they are young. The man must call forth all his strength to bear up against it."

When Frank entered his room, he found Lutz in a very bad humor.

"You have judged that old bear much too leniently," began the professor. "The man is a model of coarseness and intolerable bigotry."

"I thought so," said Frank. "I know you and I know the doctor; and I knew two such rugged antitheses must affect each other unpleasantly. What occasioned your dispute?"

"What! A thousand things," answered his friend ill-humoredly. "The old rhinoceros has not the least appreciation of true knowledge. He carries haughtily the long wig of antiquated stupidity, and does not see the shallowness of the swamp in which he wallows. The genius of Christianity is to him the sublime. Where this stops, pernicious enlightenment—which corrupts the people, turns churches into ball-rooms, and the Bible into a book of fables—begins."

"The doctor is not wrong there," said Frank earnestly. "Are they not endeavoring with all their strength to deprive the Bible of its divine character? Does not one Schenkel in Heidelberg deny the divinity of Christ? Is not this Schenkel the director of a theological faculty? Do not some Catholic professors even begin to dogmatize and dispute the authority of the holy see?"

"We rejoice at the consoling fact that Catholic savants themselves break the fetters with which Rome's infallibility has bound in adamantine chains the human mind!" cried Lutz with enthusiasm.

"It appears strange to me when young men—scarcely escaped from the school, and boasting of all modern knowledge—cast aside as old, worthless rubbish what great minds of past ages have deeply pondered. The see of Rome and its dogmas have ruled the world for eighteen hundred years. Rome's dogmas overthrew the old world and created a new one. They have withstood and survived storms that have engulfed all else besides. Such strength excites wonder and admiration, but not contempt."

"I let your eulogy on Rome pass," said the professor. "But as Rome and her dogmas have overthrown heathenism, so will the irresistible progress of science overthrow Christianity. Coming generations will smile as complacently at the God of Christendom as we consider with astonishment the great and small gods of the heathen."

"I do not desire the realization of your prophecy," said Frank gloomily; "for it must be accompanied by convulsions that will transform the whole world, and therefore[169] I do not like to see an anti-Christian tendency pervading science."

"Tendency, tendency!" said Lutz, hesitating. "In science there is no tendency; there is but truth."

"Easy, friend, easy! Be candid and just. You will not deny that the tendency of Sybel's school is to war against the church?"

"Certainly, in so far as the church contends against truth and thorough investigation."

"Good; and the friends of the church will contend against you in so far as you are inimical to the spirit of the church. And so, tendency on one side, tendency on the other. But it is you who make the more noise. As soon as a book opposed to you appears,—'Partial!' you say with contemptuous mien; 'Odious!' 'Ecclesiastical!' 'Unreadable!' and it is forthwith condemned. But it appears to me natural that a man should labor and write in a cause which is to him the noblest cause."

"I am astonished, Richard! You did not think formerly as you now do. But I should not be surprised if your intercourse with the doctor is not without its effects." This the professor said in a cutting tone. Frank turned about and walked the room. The observation of his friend annoyed him, and he reflected whether his views had actually undergone any change.

"You deceive yourself. I am still the same," said he. "You cannot mistrust me because I do not take part with you against the doctor."

Carl sat for a time thinking.

"Is my presence at the table necessary?" said he. "I do not wish to meet the doctor again."

"That would be little in you. You must not avoid the doctor. You must convince yourself that he does not bear any ill-will on account of that scientific dispute. With all his rough bluntness, Klingenberg is a noble man. Your non-appearance at table must offend him, and at the same time betray your annoyance."

"I obey," answered Lutz. "To-morrow I will go for a few days to the mountains. On my return I will remain another day with you."

Frank's assurance was confirmed. The doctor met the guest as if nothing unpleasant had happened. In the cool of the evening he went with the young men into the garden, and spoke with such familiarity of Tacitus, Livy, and other historians of antiquity that the professor admired his erudition.

Frank wrote in his diary:

"May 20th.—After mature reflection, I find that the views which I believed to be strongly founded begin to totter. What would the professor say if he knew that not the doctor, but a country family, and that, too, ultramontane, begin to shake the foundation of my views? Would he not call me weak?"

He laid down the pen and sat sullenly reflecting.

"All my impressions of the ultramontane family be herewith effaced," he wrote further. "The only fact I admit is, that even ultramontanes also can be good people. But this fact shall in no wise destroy my former convictions."





The Council of Trent was the eighteenth general council, and terminated its sessions in the year 1562. None had preceded it for upward of a century, and during the three hundred years which have since elapsed the church has failed to witness one of these august assemblies.

Hence it has been objected that, since the sixteenth century, the safeguards of truth and liberty have been diminished, and that the absence, in modern times, of those councils, which were so frequent during the first ages, manifests an intention on the part of the popes to exercise their authority with the utmost rigor, and to govern alone, without the assistance of those lights to which their predecessors did not deem it humiliating to appeal.

This imputation is, however, contrary to the truth. During the first three centuries there was no general council. Since then, as all admit, the sovereign pontiffs have had the sole right to summon these assemblies, and have been the sole judges as to when this should be done. This power was conferred upon them with the especial design that they might use it without incurring any blame from those who never were made their judges. In the exercise of it they are influenced by reasons which we cannot estimate. They know better than any one else the wants of the church, the condition of the world, the inconveniences, the obstacles, and the dangers which oppose such an assemblage. Possibly, also, they perceive in history certain reasons[171] which modify their action. In modern times the secular power loves to meddle with the affairs of the church. It desires to make religion a handmaid of politics, and, thoroughly enamored of its own independence, it would sink to the lowest limit the freedom of the church. Its manifest impiety, its sceptical principles, which, under the names of toleration and liberty of conscience, have penetrated its governments, have rendered its interference far more disastrous in modern times than at any former period in history. The kings of the middle ages did indeed wish to make the church serve their own ends, but they, at least, were in their turn faithful to her. They held fast to her dogmas, and submitted humbly to her discipline. Their combination was to rule, not to overthrow and destroy. But such is not the temper of these modern governments, all or nearly all of which seek to hold religion itself in subjection. For this purpose they establish national churches, which are attached to the universal church by a tie which may easily at any time be broken. They exalt the authority of bishops, that thereby they may diminish that of popes. They exhibit a desire to lodge the government of the church in councils, and to use these assemblies for the introduction of extensive modifications into ecclesiastical law. The councils of Basle and Constance showed indications of these projects, and it was through no fault of the secular power that the Council of Trent did not realize them.

Thus also is explained the laudable design of the sovereign pontiffs in contending against these disastrous tendencies, and in showing to the world, by long experience, that the fundamental power in the church rests with them. They have wished to remove from princes the means upon which they had so often relied for the overthrow of ecclesiastical authority. This is the reason why the popes, during the last three centuries, have convoked no council, but have sought from different institutions such assistance as they have required.

It is for the purpose of affording this assistance that the Roman congregations have been established. Their origin may be found in those consistories of cardinals which, from the ninth to the sixteenth centuries, constituted the permanent senate of the pontiff, and assembled twice or thrice a week in his palace, to consider measures for the reformation of both clergy and people, to receive the complaints of all classes of the faithful, and to decide the controversies and disputes of the entire world. These consistories were themselves the offspring of those Roman councils which were so frequent during the first ten ages of the church; for it may be well remarked that the church, though based upon the supreme authority of the popes, has never neglected those human institutions which could increase its influence or lighten the labors of its head. Its principles have always been the same, but it has suited the method of their application to the necessities of each succeeding age.

Like the councils, the consistories were composed of men renowned for their faith, their learning, and their sanctity. The sovereign pontiffs continually added to the college of cardinals the most illustrious of the clergy, and called to Rome, from all quarters of the globe, those religious, those ecclesiastics, and those prelates whose assistance they deemed most useful in the government of the church. These men were absolutely independent of the secular power, and totally secluded from its influence. Living in constant intercourse with[172] the pontiff himself, they enjoyed all necessary liberty; they exercised for life the powers confided to them; they had no worldly care or fear, and they enjoyed a rank from which they could not be deposed. They spent their time in prayer, in charitable works, in the study of sacred literature, and in the discharge of their duties. Where could be found more intelligence, greater learning, or more ample guarantees for the preservation of truth?

The principle of the church, that her power, though essentially resident in the person of one, should be disseminated through the instrumentality of many, is applicable to all degrees of the ecclesiastical hierarchy.

Thus, the bishop and his chapter are considered as forming but one body, while yet the decretal novit of Alexander III. secures to bishops the management of their own churches without the consent or co-operation of their brethren. Thus, also, the popes have near them a body of cardinals, an illustrious senate, composed of the most learned and holy men of the whole world, who assist them in the direction of the church. This senate, collected in one assemblage under the presidency of the pontiff, forms the consistory, at whose sessions the most important causes are frequently determined.

The extension of the faith, the multiplicity of appeals to the holy see, the more complicated developments of modern life, and the increased entanglements of the church with the world have, however, rendered necessary a more frequent intervention of authority, and added vastly to the number of those causes on which the holy see has been obliged to pronounce judgment.

The government of the church is by far the most extensive of the governments of the earth. It is not bounded by the limits of any particular kingdom, but reaches throughout the globe, as well to those countries whose heathen populations demand its constant care, as to those Catholic states which are directly subject to the jurisdiction of the apostolic see. From all these places innumerable cases constantly arrive at Rome, each of which demands, for its proper determination, a profound examination. These are not like cases which are submitted to the civil tribunals, in which material interests only are at stake, and for which a temporary solution is sufficient. They are questions of doctrine, which demand an answer rigorously exact, since these answers determine faith. They are questions of administration, which interest secular institutions, great personages, often entire provinces and kingdoms. They are questions of conscience, upon which depend the peace and salvation of souls. These decisions, whatever they may be, will always be received with an unqualified respect and a perfect docility, which impose upon their authors an obligation to exercise the utmost care. And yet it is also necessary to judge quickly, for the affairs are often of a vital importance which will not brook delay.

It would be, of course, impossible for the sovereign pontiff to examine personally all these various matters, and to decide upon them in a single assembly. Hence the college of cardinals has been divided into a certain number of sections, to each of which pertains the examination of some particular class of cases. This division did not take place all at once. It grew into existence by the successive erection of different congregations instituted as fast and in such proportions as necessity seemed to require.


That which is especially remarkable about these institutions is the protection which they give to private interests, since the submission of each affair to the scrutiny of many persons is a security for knowledge, independence, and impartiality in its decision. Moreover, these institutions preserve the customs and the character of an ecclesiastical government. We have mentioned the relationship of bishops and their chapters. Every chapter was subdivided into commissions, to each of which a separate part in the administration of the diocese was assigned. One had the spiritual and scholastic direction of the episcopal seminaries; another, that of the temporalities; and still another, the examination and reception of the candidates for the priesthood. These commissions bear a certain resemblance to the Roman congregations. The latter were established by the voluntary action of the sovereign pontiffs. The Council of Trent was not occupied with them. It regulated diocesan administration as it believed useful, but it left the administration of the universal church to the wisdom of the popes; so that precisely at the time when its enemies think they can detect tendencies on the part of the holy see to absolutism, the pontiffs without constraint, but of their own accord, organize those institutions which are the best safeguards against the dangers of absolute power.

In reckoning up the number of those who, under different titles, take part in these labors, we discover that the Roman congregations form an entire assemblage of five hundred persons, all illustrious for their piety and learning. Many councils have been less numerous. These constitute a sort of permanent council, which is in daily communication with all the churches of the world, and which, not being limited in duration, can bring to the questions which are submitted to it all desirable deliberation. Perfect order presides over its labors. Like the councils, it is divided into sections, to which the members are assigned according to their peculiar aptitudes. These sections, which are the congregations properly so called, are permanent also, and consequently are enabled to devote themselves to the study of all the branches of ecclesiastical administration for the purpose of determining its principles. Finally, like the councils themselves, they draw their authority from the sovereign pontiff, and their decisions are subject to his approval.

The attributes of these congregations are manifold and various. They may be arranged under three principal heads: administrative, deliberative, and judicial.

The Roman congregations are the supreme directors of ecclesiastical administration. The sovereign pontiff adopts no measures which affect the government of dioceses, the communities of religious, the missions, or the ceremonies of the ritual; he grants no faculties or dispensations; he fills no important position in the church, until the congregation to whose sphere the case belongs has been summoned to consider it. Often, indeed, the congregation itself first perceives the necessity to be provided for. If it be a matter of small moment, the president or secretary of the congregation, either by virtue of his office or by special concession, will render a decision. If the matter is of higher consequence, it is previously submitted to the pope, and a decision rendered, as it is called, ex audentia summi pontificis. If it is of the highest character, it will receive special care and be considered in a full congregation. In every[174] case these acts derive their administrative power from the authority given to the sovereign pontiff over the church. They use this power, manifesting itself in council, with the assistance of renowned and holy men and in a manner worthy of him who made the world with number, weight, and measure.

These congregations have also to resolve the doubts which arise upon different points of canon law. Sometimes propositions in the abstract are submitted to them for the determination of discipline or ceremonies; sometimes they consult upon the application of a general law to some particular case which does not seem to come entirely within its provisions. They occupy in the church the place of a central light to which every one, prelate or layman, king or simple citizen, may come for illumination. They are not only the adviser of the sovereign, but of all his subjects. No institution of the secular power can be compared to them. He who has doubts upon the interpretation of civil law is able to consult its doctors and professors only in detail. The council of state has no power to respond to individuals who interrogate it; its advice is given only when the government demands it. The courts can render only concrete, particular decisions upon stated cases. More liberal than the state, the church holds its wisdom at the disposal of every conscience. It responds to all, and, without regard to the dignity of persons, it investigates with the same care the questions they propound; for it always acts for the salvation of souls, and considers every soul redeemed by the blood of Christ as of infinite price.

The method of procedure in these deliberations shows the care which the church exercises over every matter of this nature. The question is first examined and discussed in a "consultation;" which document is referred to all or a portion of the members, according to the nature of the affair and the usages of the congregation. The consultors are advised with. The question is submitted to the judgment of eminent cardinals united in full congregation. The decision is laid before the pope, whose approval must be obtained before its promulgation. Then this decision becomes an authentic interpretation of law, not merely on account of the official authority of the congregation, but on account of the approbation of the sovereign pontiff. It possesses legislative authority and has the force of law. Further on we shall see that although these congregations, being officially invested by the holy see with the right of interpreting law, render definitive decisions which are indisputable and cannot be raised by any other authority, yet they are not thereby to be considered as infallible. Their judgments are obligatory because supreme, not because they are infallible.

Finally, these congregations are the final tribunals for the determination of ecclesiastical causes. Sometimes these causes are brought by way of appeal from the decrees and sentences of the ordinaries of different places. Sometimes the parties submit directly to their decision questions never before raised at an inferior tribunal. All these congregations possess judicial powers, and are able to resolve contested cases. The chief of those to which appeals are taken are, however, the Congregation of the Council and the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars. The causes thus submitted are both civil and criminal. The Congregation of the Holy Office is the supreme tribunal for the crimes and misdemeanors[175] which concern faith, such as heresy, polygamy, detention of prohibited books, infraction of fasts, the celebration of mass, and the administration of the sacraments by men who are not priests, the public veneration of unbeatified dead, and the superstitions of astrology and false revelations. The Congregation of Bishops and Regulars is the ordinary judge of appeals in those criminal causes which do not come under the jurisdiction of the Holy Office. The Congregation of the Council determines those cases which are specified by the Council of Trent.

These congregations, fifteen in number, are as follows:

1. The Congregation of the Holy Office, established by Paul III.

2. The Congregation of the Council, established by Pius IV.

3. The Congregation of the Index, established by Leo X.

4 and 5. The Congregation of Bishops and Regulars, established by Gregory XIII. and Sixtus V.

6. The Congregation of Rites, established by Sixtus V.

7. The Congregation of Schools, established by Sixtus V.

8. The Congregation of the Consistory, established by Sixtus V.

9. The Congregation of the Examination of Bishops, established by Clement VIII.

10. The Congregation of the Propaganda, established by Gregory XV.

11. The Congregation of Ecclesiastical Immunities, established by Urban VIII.

12. The Congregation of the Residence of Bishops, established by Clement VIII. and Benedict XIV.

13. The Congregation of Indulgences, established by Clement IX.

14. The Congregation of Extraordinary Affairs, established by Pius VII.

15. The Congregation of Oriental Rites, established by Pius IX.

The first of these congregations, as well in the order of their importance as of their origin, is that of the Holy Office. The principle upon which it is based, although violently attacked in our day, is certainly incontestable. Man has no right to propagate error; for error is an evil which causes public disturbance and disorder, and is especially dangerous to the ignorant and feeble, of whom the greater part of mankind is composed. Civil tribunals and temporal governments never hesitate to use this right as one necessary to their self-preservation. It is not, therefore, surprising that the church claims it, since it is a perfect society, and owes to itself the duty of self-protection. Rather should it exercise this right with the most unquestioned authority, being itself infallible, and able to discriminate with absolute exactness between truth and error.

Twenty years before the conclusion of the Council of Trent, by a bull dated July 2d, 1542, Pope Paul III. established the Congregation of the Holy Office, composed of six cardinals, for the increase and defence of the Catholic faith. The successors of Paul III. confirmed this congregation and increased the number of its members. Sixtus V. solemnly recognized its existence in 1588, in his bull Immensa Æterni. This congregation is usually presided over by the pope himself.

The Congregation of the Council was established by Pius IV., in order to carry into effect the decrees of the Council of Trent, and received from Sixtus V. the faculty of interpreting, with apostolic authority, all the disciplinary canons of that august assembly. The Council of Trent was bound by no precedents in regulating particular points of discipline. It reviewed the whole body of canons, confirming whatever in the former law ought to be preserved, completing what was lacking, and publishing a full code of ecclesiastical discipline. In spite of the care with which all these new dispositions had been made, difficulties soon began to arise as to their interpretation and application.[176] The council had foreseen this, and left it to the sovereign pontiff to provide for the necessity. On this account, the pope instituted a permanent tribunal, composed, at the outset, of those cardinals who had assisted at the council, who understood its spirit, and knew how best to preserve and transmit its traditions. This was the Congregation of the Council. The religious orders already possessed an analogous institution. That of Citeaux had always had some one power charged with the duty of interpreting the rule. A similar tribunal is indispensable in every well-ordered state. It guards the law from the deviations of custom, and the abuse of private interpretation. It affords to it unity and fixedness. Every modern government has its supreme court of appeals, which exists almost solely for this object. But the institution of these latter is comparatively recent, while the church has possessed hers for many ages, and, in fact, gave to those of the state the first impulse and example.

The Congregation of the Index was established by St. Pius V. Its powers were afterward extended and confirmed by Gregory XIII. in 1572, by Sixtus V. in 1588, by Clement VIII. in 1595, and by other sovereign pontiffs. The principle upon which its authority reposes is indisputable. In every age the church has restrained the propagation of false doctrines and prohibited the perusal of such books as were dangerous to faith and morals. The invention of printing, in 1450, constrained it to watch with increased solicitude for the accomplishment of this duty. In 1513, the fifth Council of Lateran forbade the publication of any book without its previous examination by the ordinary of the place. The efforts put forth for the spread of Protestantism called for efforts still more vigorous in defence of the church. The Council of Trent reënacted the laws concerning the Index. It published the ten rules which are now regarded as the germ of all modern legislation concerning the press. The establishment of this congregation was but the organization and practical realization of those principles which the church has always recognized, and of which all states to-day admit the necessity.

The Congregation of the Index examines books and forbids those which are false and immoral. Christians have need of some learned and impartial authority to designate for them such books as they ought not to read, and all sincere men admit the usefulness of this warning; for many books are certainly unprofitable and injurious to every one. Even though civil governments have criticised the rules of the Index, they have not hesitated to adopt and use them as the nucleus of their legislation concerning the press. The oath imposed upon printers and booksellers, the deposit of a copy of each work before it is offered for sale, the obligation of placing upon the title-page the name of the printer, and of the signature of the writers to articles in newspapers, are all embodied in the rules of Clement VII. The prescriptions of the Index forbid the distribution of manuscript and printed books which have not been duly approved, in the same manner as the state prohibits those which have not been duly stamped; except that the church has not invented stamps, nor does a revenue result from its prescriptions. Moreover, the state demands an approbation, or, in other words, exercises a censorship, which, though now very greatly decried, is still enforced in regard to plays, and, when occasion demands, to other[177] publications also. There is merely this difference, that the church causes its books to be examined by bishops, by cardinals, by men who are at once learned and impartial, while civil governments confide this responsibility to men who are often more ignorant and less careful of morality than the authors whom they control. The state has indeed adopted the institution of the church, but it has greatly perverted it.

The decisions of this congregation are binding in all places; not because the tribunal is infallible, but because it is supreme, and because the popes have extended its authority over the whole church. Some, like the Gallicans, have claimed the validity of their contrary usages; but no custom can avail against law, especially when it is universally acknowledged that the power of the lawgiver extends over the whole world, and that no person, whatever his rank, or titles, or privileges, is exempt from its decrees.

The Congregation of Bishops was established by Gregory XIII. The Congregation of Regulars, which was afterward established by Sixtus V., was, at a still later day, united to that of Bishops. This congregation, which is one of the most busy of them all, occupies in the church a sphere analogous to that of a council of state. It possesses administrative faculties. It deputes visitors apostolic to different provinces, appoints vicars in dioceses whose bishops become incapacitated, and sends forth religious to visit the houses of their several orders. It is the natural protectress of charitable institutions. It approves of the sales, exchanges, and pledges of the property pertaining to churches and monasteries. It has also deliberative attributes, and decides upon questions submitted to it by bishops, religious houses, and institutions; except such as may involve the interpretation of the canons of the Council of Trent. It has prepared the greater part of the bulls which have been issued during the past three hundred years. In short, it exercises an administrative jurisdiction over, and decides disputes which arise between, different churches, bishops, chapters, orders, and religious, and whatever other matters of controversy directly concern the clergy. Its prompt method of procedure causes even lay people, who voluntarily submit their cases to Rome, to prefer its jurisdiction. It does not adjudge according to the vigorous strictness of the law, but endeavors, as far as possible, to appease the parties and reconcile their disagreements. Appeals in criminal cases, except where the offence is within the peculiar cognizance of the Holy Office, are also brought before this congregation.

We are not able to examine each of these congregations in detail. All possess the same characteristics of wisdom and prudence which distinguish every institution established by the popes. The Congregation of Rites was organized for the preservation of traditional vestments, liturgies, and worship, and to prevent that incessant change which degrades state ceremonial, and often rashly increases its expenses. The Congregation of Schools corresponds to our boards of public education; though the latter are of extremely recent origin, while the former has subsisted since the age of Sixtus V. The Congregation for the Examination of Bishops receives testimonials concerning the doctrine and habits of candidates for the episcopate. It fills the place of a court of inquiry, from which proceed nominations of public officers, even of the highest rank; where influences of every kind antagonize each other; where titles are forgotten; and where the aptitude of[178] every candidate, intellectual and moral, is carefully scrutinized.

These various congregations become, however, safeguards of truth and freedom, not only by the variety of their faculties, but also by their internal structure and their methods of procedure. Each of them is composed of a cardinal-prefect, of a certain number of cardinals, and a secretary. To this the Congregation of the Holy Office, which is presided over by the pope himself, forms an exception.

The prefect is charged with the arrangement of the business of the congregation. He manages the preparation of causes prior to their discussion. He submits them to the examination of his colleagues, and presides at their deliberations. After the debate has terminated, he receives their suffrages and announces their decision. He also examines into those matters which are settled at a private audience with the pope, without being brought before the whole congregation, and his words give publicity to the decisions which he receives from the living voice of the pontiff himself. Finally, he determines alone certain matters of minor importance, which, on that account, are neither brought before the congregation nor the pope. He receives his appointment from the sovereign pontiff, and holds his office during life. When he is absent, his place is supplied by the oldest cardinal of the congregation, and, at his death, the cardinal-secretary of state places his signature to the nomination of the new prefect.

The secretary assists at the meetings of the congregations, and is charged with the duty of recording its resolutions and acts, of transcribing its registers, and of delivering its processes. He also summons the cardinals, presents to them at each session a brief of the causes they are to treat, and gives them, for each of these, a succinct statement of the principal arguments of the parties, with a summary of the documents pertaining to them. This statement is printed upon loose sheets and distributed to the cardinals several days in advance, in order that each may have time to fully investigate the affair. Sometimes this statement is prepared by the cardinal-reporter, hence called the cardinal ponent. The secretary also submits to the pope the sentences of which he is to approve; and, for this purpose, those of the different congregations have a day of special audience before the pontiff. The faculty of giving licenses for various purposes, such as reading prohibited books, etc., etc., is confided to the secretary; also the power to distribute copies of the decrees of the congregation, authenticated by the signatures of the prefect and the secretary, and sealed with the seal of the congregation, which thus become of valid force before all tribunals, and even elsewhere, if they treat of extra-judicial matters.

The secretaries are appointed by the pope himself. They must be bishops, with the title of a church in partibus infidelium, or, at least, prelates of the Roman court. In the Congregation of the Holy Office the secretary is a cardinal.

The secretary has under him a number of inferior officials—a vice-secretary, who supplies his place when vacant; a protocol, who takes care of those records in which are registered current matters of business, with the state of their examination; a master of rolls, who preserves the various documents; and copyists, who prepare duplicates and exemplifications. All these are under his control, and for them all he is responsible. They are chosen at a[179] general session and hold office for life. They rank in the order of their seniority. Their remuneration is moderate, but they enjoy it during life, even when sickness or old age prevents the fulfilment of their duties.

To these congregations, moreover, are attached a number of theologians and canonists, who act as counsellors in the investigation of different questions, and assist with their advice those cardinals whose place it is to determine causes. These also are appointed for life by the pope, and, as they are generally taken from the religious orders, they are never absent or obliged to leave Rome without the permission of the congregation.

These counsellors prefer their opinions in various forms, according to the character of the congregation. Sometimes one of them is requested to present a written solution of some especial question; sometimes they are all summoned to hold a united deliberation and give their collective vote before the cardinals.

The parties who appear before these congregations are represented in their presence by proctors and advocates. The proctors act in the same capacity as our attorneys. They are the true defenders of their cause by law and in fact. They compose the petitions, digest the informations, and direct the whole proceedings. Their profession is very honorable, but not open to every one.

Advocates are employed only in matters of higher importance, and seldom except in those of abstract law. They disengage, as far as possible, every question from the circumstances of fact which surround it, and examine it doctrinally from the most elevated point of view. Their profession is free; but in order to exercise it one must be a doctor of civil and canon law, and consequently must have spent four years in study at the Sapienza, or three years at the Apollinaria. They are not limited in number, and are permitted to appear before any of the congregations. There are also special advocates belonging to the consistory, who deal only with the process of canonization. All of these are men well versed in theological learning, canons, councils, ecclesiastical history, civil and canon law, and by their own erudition contribute vastly to the advancement of jurisprudence.

Besides proctors and advocates, there are also solicitors who take charge of various transactions and proceedings, hasten on investigations, and are employed in extra-judicial affairs.

The method of procedure before these congregations differs according to the congregation, the nature of the business, and even the will of the parties themselves. It may likewise be distinguished into the ordinary, the summary, the inquisitorial, etc., etc., and is regulated by positive rules or by custom. They are well known to all, and, in practice, never give rise to any confusion.

We do not desire here to enter into details concerning these different modes of procedure. We can only go so far as to make known their general character, and to compare it with our own civil proceedings, which are sometimes, we think groundlessly, supposed to be a model for all others.

We select, as a type of the whole, the usages of the Congregation of the Council. This congregation receives appeals from the sentences of ordinaries, and also causes submitted to it by the consent of the parties; the latter being equally proper with the former, provided the rules are equally observed. These causes are usually commenced by the sending of a summons to the opposite party through a[180] public official, in the same manner as in civil processes. At the outset, however, a particular formality, called the settlement of the question, is observed. The object of this is to determine the precise point upon which the decision of the congregation is desired. For this purpose it is necessary that an issue be joined between the adverse parties, upon some definite proposition.... This is done either by the parties themselves or their proctors, in presence of the secretary of the congregation, and, in their default, the secretary himself explains it in writing, or, when requisite, the congregation is called to determine it.

This summons for the settlement of the question is served fifteen days before the date of the proceeding itself. At the same time, the original and authenticated writings which the parties have employed, as well as a statement of the facts, signed by the proctor, must be deposited at the office of the secretary. If judicial inquests and the deposition of witnesses are necessary, they are taken by the ordinary in the capacity of judge-delegate, the congregation not being able to act at a distance. The procès-verbal authenticated and duly legalized, are transmitted to it; but as the causes generally come before it by appeal, all these investigations of fact are previously concluded, and the ordinary sends forward the entire papers of the case.

The defences of parties are presented in written memorials in the Latin tongue, signed by an advocate or by a proctor approved by the Roman court. These memorials are deposited with the secretary and communicated to the complainants, as are also copies of all documents that are produced, in nearly the same manner as in the highest civil tribunals. These memorials are in turn succeeded by written replications, signed and filed in the same way. Unless by special permission, the memorials are limited to five printed sheets, and the replications to two. In case of negligence, the proctor is liable to a penalty. No supplementary writings are admissible.

From these papers the secretary makes memoranda, briefly setting forth the whole affair and the principal arguments, the facts and the law, as claimed by the parties, all of which, together with the defences and replications, are printed and distributed in duplicate to the cardinals. These, then, receive separately the parties with their advocates and listen to their explanations, if they judge any to be useful to their cause. These interviews are not, however, secret. Both adversaries have their audiences, and they contribute very much to elucidate doubtful matters.

The day of decision is fixed by the secretary. There is never any delay except for the greatest reasons. The production of the defences must take place at least thirty days before that of final judgment. The printed memoranda are distributed at least six days before it. The circulation of the papers and supplemental documents is finished in the same interval. The audiences to parties are granted within the last four or five days which precede. The distribution of replications is made at latest the day before the session. After this, no notice is taken of any testimony or document produced by one of the parties, unless with the consent of the other.

There are no contradictory pleadings, no public audiences. Every thing is done in writing. The cardinals, well instructed in the cause from the defences, replications, documents, memoranda of the secretaries, and the previous verbal explanations of the advocates, assemble on the appointed[181] day and deliberate out of the hearing of the parties. This deliberation is secret, and sometimes takes place between two audiences.

After judgment is rendered, the losing party has ten days in which to petition for a new trial for the revision of the sentence by the same congregation. The prefect grants this petition; the new hearing takes place at the end of three months; and the party who demands it, if defeated, defrays the expenses.

When sentence has been rendered, and has become of full force as a judgment, an exemplification of it is transmitted to the winning party, who presents it at the executive office of letters-apostolic and of decrees of congregations, in order that it may be couched in the requisite formularies.

The proceedings before the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars closely resemble those before the Congregation of the Council. The delays are somewhat shorter, but the ordinary procedure is the same. Before both of them there is also a species of process more swift and summary, to be employed when the parties desire it, or the nature of the business demands it. Moreover, in the latter congregation it is the secretary who renders its decision.

We have seen that appeals in criminal cases are taken from the diocesan courts to the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars, except when the nature of the offence brings it within the cognizance of the Congregation of the Holy Office. This appeal must be entered within ten days after the promulgation of the judgment. After the appeal is perfected, the diocesan court transmits to the congregation a budget which includes: 1, the process which was instituted in the first instance; 2, the brief of this process and the note of that which followed; 3, the defence of the accused; 4, the sentence. At the same time the court signifies to the accused and his advocate that they are now to prosecute their appeal.

If the appellant does not pursue the matter, a reasonable delay, ordinarily of twenty days, is accorded, after which he is judged to have renounced his appeal and the sentence is executed. If he does pursue it, he makes choice of an advocate at Rome. The budget is then sent to a judge-reporter, from whose hands the advocate receives a memorandum of the case, and upon that bases his defence. This defence is communicated to the first judge, that he may sustain his sentence. All the papers are printed and distributed to the cardinals. The cause is examined on an appointed day in presence of the assembled congregation. The judge-reporter states the case. The proctor-general defends the sentence of the court below. The cardinals render their decision, which affirms, vacates, or revises the sentence of the diocesan tribunal, and is immediately transmitted thereto for execution. This decision is final; and, after it is rendered, the pope alone can grant a review of the proceedings, and that only before the same congregation, and for the gravest reasons.

It will be remarked that there is no public hearing of witnesses; but if this should seem objectionable to any, it will be sufficient to remind them that civil courts, which revise the judgments of courts of correction, decide upon the papers of the case and not upon the testimony of living witnesses at their bar; while, as for criminal proceedings, it is well known that from the courts which try issues of fact there is usually no appeal.

When, instead of an ordinary offence,[182] the crime alleged is one against the faith, the rules of procedure are inquisitorial in their character, and differ somewhat from the preceding; but on account of the weight of the penalty, they offer still greater safeguards to the accused.

Moreover, it is not requisite that all the witnesses should have been present during the whole transaction in question; the deposition of a single one is admissible, though it is necessary that there be more than two, and even three form but a sort of half-proof. All interrogatories, skilfully directed to extort the truth from the defendant or the witnesses by surprise, are strictly forbidden, as are also any suggestions of the answer desired, and every effort is made that the truth may flow naturally from the lips of the witness and without the influence of fear. In order to avoid hatred and terrorism, the names of the witnesses are not made known to the accused, but their motives of hostility to him are examined with the greatest care. False witnesses are punished with the utmost severity, and, when it becomes necessary, the accused and accusers are confronted with each other.

If from poverty, or any other reason, the accused is found without an advocate or proctor, one is furnished for him.

Finally, the appeal is a matter of right. It is taken directly to Rome, before the Congregation of the Holy Office, without passing through any intermediate metropolitan tribunal, and, during its pendency there, execution is usually stayed. Judgment is never rendered against any one upon mere presumptions; but only after full and unmistakable proof.

We come now to notice the written regulations which may be called the skeleton of procedure. Save some variations in detail, they differ little from those of all contested cases before the different congregations. But in order fully to understand their advantages and disadvantages, the reader should understand not only the text of the law but the usages of its practices. For everywhere, at Rome as at Paris, unwritten traditions and judicial customs modify and temper the law, complete its deficiencies, and cause the inconveniences which, at first sight, it would seem to occasion, wholly to disappear. It is also impossible to base a serious comparison between the procedure of two countries upon a mere reading of their rules. Not only ought the two methods to vary according to the manners of the parties, the character of the tribunals, and the nature of their causes, but even two modes which are identical will often, under different circumstances, produce entirely different results. They accommodate themselves to the hand that wields them, and their value can be really appreciated only after long usage of them; so that the skilled practitioner alone is able to speak authoritatively of their value, of their endurance, and of the guarantees which they offer for the discovery of truth.

By these remarks we desire to show that the procedure of the Roman congregations, without sacrificing any of the essential safeguards of justice, is generally simple, brief, economical, informal to a degree beyond that of any civil procedure; and, far from needing to learn any thing from them, it is able in many points to become their instructor.

There is, however, one great difference upon which we especially insist, because it has formed the pretext for unjust attacks from narrow minds, who are unable to comprehend that any thing can be well done that is[183] done in a way different from their own, or that any difference between their customs and those of others is not a signal mark of the inferiority of the latter. The Roman congregations admit of no oral pleadings.[36] All discussion is in writing, though it is necessarily completed by the verbal explanations which the advocates give to the judges; but there is no public and passionate debate, such as is common in all civil jurisdictions. We do not believe that the absence of this is any evil. The Roman legislative body has always endeavored to shun surprises in its hearings. Pleading, as it is practised among us, is nothing but the conflict of two opposing debaters, often unequally matched, and of whom the more powerful is seldom on the side of the oppressed. We believe, indeed, that the doors of the influential advocate, whose name and authority are themselves a powerful argument, are rarely closed against the poor who seek to enter them; but the poor do not always dare to stop and knock, and so content themselves with men of more ordinary abilities. If, then, one of these contesting advocates is more skilful than the other; if he knows how to win favor for his client by an insinuating speech and to cast ridicule upon his adversary; if he has the faculty of grouping figures, of coloring facts, of flattering his auditors during the progress of the controversy; if he is passionate and violent, his emotion will affect the judge, whose heart beats under his robe and is not, perhaps, to any extraordinary degree unimpressible; all these circumstances, extrinsic to the real merits of the cause, will exercise great influence upon its determination, and may be able to wring from the tribunal a decision which, in moments of reflection and coolness, it would never render.

Oral pleading resembles, to some extent, those ancient judicial combats upon which the issue of causes was sometimes made to depend. It is a duel of words, in which justice does not always have the advantage. Our imagination represents an advocate as one whose work it is to wrest the innocent from the clutches of powerful and cruel persecutors; who summons eloquence to aid him in resisting the fierce passions which menace the welfare of his client. This was well enough for those primitive ages when a legal process was the outburst of violent wrath, which dragged the alleged offender before a single judge, or perhaps before a mob erected into a tribunal and swayed by passion. But this conception is not correct for our day, even in criminal matters, where the public prosecutor, as far as possible, excludes mere feeling and makes his appeal to calm and solid reason alone; and it is especially false in civil causes, in which the advocate interprets the text of the law, discusses contracts, examines and compares evidence, all of which labors are difficult, and demand, above all things, reflection, good sense, and coolness.

For attaining, therefore, the ends of justice, a mode of written procedure is particularly adapted. It assures to the contending parties all the time necessary for a careful reply to the reasonings on either side, and establishes an equality between the talents of their respective advocates; it also removes the decision of the cause from the bias of personal influences, and leaves it to be determined by argument only. Moreover, the judge[184] is able to reflect at his ease upon the merits of the case, and is secure against the seductions of artful declamation. Even before those supreme civil tribunals where written and oral pleadings are both permitted, the latter are usually regarded in the solution of the question, and this is what gives to the advocates of those illustrious courts their influence and renown. The Roman congregations are also supreme tribunals; but there passion has no echo and needs no interpreter; there causes stand upon their own merits, stripped of all attendant circumstances; there the gravest questions of dogma, of morals, and of right are decided by reason alone, but by reason illuminated both by science and by faith.

The procedure of the Roman congregations is much less expensive than that before ordinary civil jurisdictions. Originally it was entirely gratuitous, and many of the congregations—as, for instance, those of the Propaganda, the Index, and the Holy Office—still retain this rule in reference to all the causes which are submitted to them. But the great increase of expense, consequent upon the increase of causes, has necessitated the establishment, by other congregations, of certain light taxes, although even these bear small proportion to the actual disbursements. Thus, all the proceedings are upon ordinary paper, which, not being liable to stamp-duty, makes one important saving in expense. Again, while civil proceedings are registered upon payment of a certain fee, which is another notable method of taxation, those at Rome are registered without charge; and, while masters of rolls elsewhere enjoy incomes sometimes reaching the sum of many thousands, those at Rome are paid by the treasurer, and are forbidden to receive any emolument, although perfectly gratuitous, from any party, even for the most extraordinary labors—an obligation imposed on them by oath upon their admission to office.

They are also obliged to exhibit, without charge, to any person the various documents of their several bureaus, and are allowed but a moderate recompense for the copies and exemplifications which they may prepare. Even the expense of printing is borne, at least in part, by the congregation. The congregations do not sell justice; they give it. The pontifical treasury does not look to them as a source of revenue. On the contrary, the taxes they collect are far less than their expenses, and, in fact, so much so that their services may be considered as gratuitous. For example, a matrimonial cause submitted to the Congregation of the Council, and requiring minute examinations, consultations, researches, and a large collection of documents, will cost the winning party several crowns, the precise amount depending upon the number of questions to be resolved. The same case tried in civil courts would cost two or three thousand francs.

The fees of advocates and attorneys correspond to the expenses. Among us they continue constantly to increase. At Rome they are very meagre. They are legally fixed at a uniform rate, according to the importance of the cause and the result of the investigation. Even these the advocates cannot demand as a right, and receive them only as a spontaneous gift.

The French magistracy with good reason congratulates itself on the establishment of an association designed to secure to the poor the gratuitous defence of their just rights. Rome has long since possessed a similar institution. This is the Society of Advocates, which assembles on fête days[185] to receive and reply to the inquiries of the indigent. Among the obligations of the consistorial advocates is that of defending the causes of the poor before their respective tribunals. In criminal cases there are especial advocates for the poor. Among the proctors there are certain ones appointed for the poor, one by the pope, the others by the different societies. Finally, the Society of St. Ives is particularly charged with the protection of the indigent; and such are the customs among the members of the Roman bar that none ever refuses his services to the unfortunate who seeks them.

The Roman congregations are not mere tribunals instituted by the holy see with a delegation of powers, which leaves the supreme authority still in the hands of the sovereign pontiff, and allows a right of appeal from their judgment to his. They are the holy see itself, rendering its decisions by the mouths of its cardinals. Canon law recognizes their jurisdiction as ordinary and not delegated. Delegated jurisdiction is a mandate which confers upon the mandatary certain special favors distinct from and inferior to the powers of the mandator. Ordinary jurisdiction is an actual communication, which unites the mandator and mandatary in one single tribunal, and makes the one the simple organ of the other. Numerous passages of canon law justify this conception of these congregations and render it incontestable as a legal conclusion.

The nature of the decisions which they render makes the point still more certain. They issue general decrees promulgated by order of the sovereign pontiff, which consequently obtain the force of law in all places in the same manner as the pontifical constitutions, from which they do not essentially differ. Such are the decrees of the Holy Office, of the Index, and certain of those of the Congregation of Rites, of that of the Council, and of that of Bishops and Regulars. They also render interpretations of existing laws, and these enjoy a supreme and universal authority, as if they emanated directly from the sovereign pontiff, since they are both submitted to and approved by him. In fine, the sentences which they render in private controversies are, equally with the rest, submitted to the pope; though without this sanction, and from the ordinary powers of the congregations, they would be obligatory upon all, and would become the rule of other tribunals, since for this purpose especially were these congregations instituted as courts of final judicature.

The decisions rendered by these different congregations, and preserved in their archives from the very day of their institution to the present, form the most magnificent body of jurisprudence which has ever existed. One canonist of eminence reckons that upward of sixty thousand decisions have been delivered by the Congregation of the Council alone; a living, practical commentary on the Council of Trent. The Congregation of Bishops and Regulars publishes nearly three volumes of decrees every year, and the volumes which contain its judgments are over eight hundred in number. When we remember that nearly all these decisions are upon questions of law, disengaged from mere accessories of fact, we are amazed at the treasures of science, erudition, and reasoning which are thus accumulating from age to age in these archives, and forming an inexhaustible reservoir, in which tradition stores itself and whence justice and truth flow out upon the world.



This most golden of all the bright October days, why are we not, as we fain would be, on a brown hill-side, yielding care to whispered persuasions of the wind, or afloat on waters that reflected our sky, when—if it was not always without clouds—its clouds were tinged with glory, or lying upon a shore where we built sand castles in play—alas! for castles we built in earnest, to hold treasures of hope—and laughed to see them dissolve in the laughing waves.

We have no wish to pluck the hill-side flowers; we shall never build castles again, never chase back the encroaching waves, which, while they seemed to recede, rose till they buried our castles and swept away our treasures.

But it will be something to share the repose of nature; to lie on her lap lulled by the requiem of the past, chanted by the voice that sang the anthem of the future. For we—her deluded children—are weary, and only ask of her a foretaste of the rest we hope to find by and by in her bosom.

How weary we are! Of strivings from which we have no power to cease! Of reachings, from which we cannot withhold our hands, toward objects that elude us or turn worthless in our grasp! Weary of our own and others' weakness and meanness! Of lying lives; of suspicions, envyings, and covetings! How tired of homely work; oppressed by narrow rooms, vexed by noises of neighbors separated from us only by the legal number of inches in brick and mortar—a loud-talking, stamping family on one side, and on the other the household of Widow Smith, who keeps boarders and a piano!

By sounds that come up through the open window, I know that the widow is in her kitchen helping to get the dinner. I seem to see her, hot and worried. She is always worried. Her face would be a sad one if she had time to let it settle into its proper expression. As she never has time, it is anxious and fretful, and older than her years. In the parlor, so near that the jangling of untuned wires sets my whole being on edge, her daughter is playing the piano as she sings, I dreamt that I dwelt in Marble Halls. Poor child! Yet dream on. Who could undeceive thee, knowing that there is woven into thy dream the pious resolve to win out of that discordant instrument money wherewith to buy thy mother ease? Heaven help thee and bring to naught the spite of the bachelor boarder in the room above, who, instead of employing his grizzly brain with the plan gossips have devised, by which he might brighten her life and thine, and his own most of all, paces up and down, cursing the noise, and consigning "that old tin pan" to a place his imagination keeps in a blaze with fuel of whatsoever offends him. He hates "that eternal thrumming," hates "genteel daughters of working mothers. Teach music! Better dismiss Nora and make Miss Julia help in the kitchen!"

It might be as well, but it is no affair of his.

Moreover, the mother has her dream. In it she sees her daughter less hard-worked than she has been,[187] and higher in the social scale than she ever hopes to rise; except, perhaps, when that daughter shall have exchanged Smith for Smythe.

But of all the vexations of our life here, the most persistent is the row of houses across the way. Beset by so many things that offend the other senses, we think it hard that our sight should be so meanly thwarted. I grow angry whenever I look out, and wish that I could push those houses down. I pine to see beyond them the curve of a bay bounded by hills, a stretch of river with steamboats and sails, and of shore with a village and farms on its slope, distant mountains blending with sky, or outlined against piled thunder-caps. Or a harbor with ships; some at anchor, some bound outward, and some coming in from strange countries.

I keep fancying that the houses hide these sights, though I know there is nothing behind them but row on row, more brown, stony, and dull. These are low, and shut out less of the sky. The veneering, which is of plaster instead of stone, is falling off, here and there, to save it from monotony. The uniform dwellings, with their line of connecting porches, remind one of the inside of a fort, and of careless, gossiping, uncertain sojourn in quarters.

Widow Smith does not mind the wall that offends us. She told me her story the other day; all she had gone through. What grieves her most, as nearly as I could make it out, is living in a house that is not high. "For," said she, as with a little tearful burst of eloquence she ended her tale, "I hev lived in a three-story and basement, all to ourselves, and always kept a girl, and the folks next door didn't let out ther floors. Though," (wiping her eyes,) "I've nothin' aginst them Browns. They behave themselves as well as some" (Mrs. Green, over the way, who keeps two servants, and does not visit Mrs. Smith and me) "thet's hed more advantages."

I answered, "These houses might do while rents are so high, if the partitions were thicker, and if that row opposite did not hide the view;" meaning the view in my mind. Mrs. Smith could not have seen it; for she replied that "We mustn't be notional; real troubles come fast enough without borrowin'. Since Smith died," she had "hed her share, the Lord knew." If she "let sech things" make her "mis'rable," she should think that she was "goin' contrary to Scripter, wich speaks aginst the sight of the eyes." Then, "of all things, a place not built up was the forlornist." Besides, she liked "neighbors." Good soul! so she does; loves them, too. I have known her to do "them Browns" more than one kind turn; and to us, when we came, poor, discouraged, and unused to city ways, she was guide, philosopher, and guardian angel, in the guise of a lugubrious little woman in a rusty mourning gown and yarn hood. She taught us to market, urged upon us the importance of asking the price before buying, and of counting our change afterward; encouraged us to resist the aggressions of "the girl," enlightening us at the same time as to the amount of service we might require of that personage; stood up for us with the milk-man, ice-man, and man that peddles every thing, and made them give us weight and measure.

But notwithstanding that Mrs. Smith is so sympathizing, it would not have been worth while to return her confidence by telling her of our former affairs—pleasant places where our lot was cast; the old house beautiful we were born in; the hills, and and the river that bathes their feet;[188] purple ridges that lie eastward, blue mountains that hide the west—scenes so changeless in form that memory does not err in always showing them the same; so changeful in aspect that they never wearied even our accustomed eyes.

We cannot talk of these things to one whose world is the city. Yet there are in that world many who will understand us—living in high houses and low ones; on floors, in garrets and dens; walking in rich attire, shrinking in garments worn and unseemly; mingling with others in the mart, lying on sick-beds, shut up in prisons—men for whom fame blows glorious bubbles, but hollow and frail, as none know better than themselves.

Devotees of science whose Eurekas sound more faintly at every step as they mount her endless ladders; not because they fall from such altitudes, but because they become discouraged as the conviction dawns on them that all they have gained amounts to little.

The trader whose vessels dot the seas, who is not so elate with fortune that he never sends a sigh after earlier ventures—ships of bark with freight of sand, on waters the width of a boy's stride.

The gambler in the bread of the poor, not so callous that he never feels a twinge of the old wound, the stab conscience gave the first time he played "pitch and toss" on the blind side of the school-house and won foolish Richard's penny. He remembers that Richard went crying to his father for redress, and his mother came and told the master, who would not believe foolish Richard's story against "the smartest boy and the best at cypherin' in his school." He escaped, but Richard was whipped by his father for losing his money and telling a lie. He distrusts conscience. Why smite so then, why touch so lightly now, if she can find the difference between that childish sin and this wringing hard-earned pence from thousands of simple ones?

And the Father to whom the wretches clamor so does not seem to be a credulous father to them. Perhaps, after all, he does not hear; or is, like the master, on the side of those who can help themselves. At any rate, his mills grind so slowly that it would hardly pay to compute the time one's turn would take to come. It may be that the wheels stand still, waiting for all his floods to gather.

The politician, not so lost in tortuous ways that the man depicted in his first piece to speak, (it was chosen by his good mother, and often said over to her for fear of "missing" on the momentous Friday,)

"The man whose utmost skill was simple truth;
Whose life was free from servile bands
Of hope to rise or fear to fall,"

does not still stand on the old pedestal in his secret heart.

Absent-eyed women, automatic figures in collections of cabinet-work, upholstery, pictures, and marbles, to which no memories of theirs have grown, lending attention to formal visitors while their thoughts stray to the play-house under a tree, where they used to receive little friends in calico sun-bonnets. The house of which they themselves laid the moss carpet and chose and placed the ornaments, deserted bird's-nests filled with speckled Solomon's Seal, curiosities from the wood, and pretty stones from the brook. For paintings, they had green vistas and glimpses of village, water, and sky. The service, of acorn cups and bits of colored glass and "chaney," was daily polished and set out by their own hands on the flat rock they "made believe" was a table.

Women shawled with fabric of[189] Cashmere, borne above the envious street, but heeding neither its shifting crowd nor its shows. They are thinking of chances enjoyed the more for their unexpectedness, and paid in "kerchies" and "thank'ee, sirs" they used to "catch," when they went to the district school wrapped in homespun shoulder blankets that took caressing softness from fingers—cold alas! now—that pinned them on. Of balmy, luxurious rides on the heaped hay-rigging. Slow, never to be forgotten cart rides in back-woods, where wintergreen and princess-pine send up aromatic odors from beneath the oxen's feet; with wheels now sinking in moss, now craunching the pebbles of the stream, now swept by ferns, and anon pressing down saplings that, released, spring back with a jerk and an impatient protest of leaves. Onward, through sun-glorified arcades, listening to comments of birds that are all about, though each one seems solitary, startled by the beat of a partridge, or catching a sight of her nest. Bending low to escape unbending arms of patriarchs of the wood that fend the way. Peering anxiously into the gathering night; coming out upon the clearing, where skeletons of forest trees, martyrs to progress, that perished by her axe or her flames, lie dimly outlined amid shadows, or stand gaunt against the sky, with charred arms outstretched in motionless appeal.

Or of rides in the lumber-wagon, when grandfather—whom we cannot describe from lack of words sufficiently expressive of venerableness and benignity—held the "lines," and "Tom and Jerry," in sympathy with childish impatience and delight, sped up hill and down, till, amid clatter and rattle, and excited barkings, and joyful exclamations, and a peremptory "whoa!" and "stand there, you Jerry!" (Jerry never would stand there, nor anywhere, he was such a horse to go,) followed by a volley of juvenile "whoas!" and "stand, Jerrys," the wagon drew up before the house, and a young aunt ran to lift the children out, while grandmother stood in the door beaming on them a smile whereof the warmth has passed down through the folds of years, and glows still on hearts from which time has shut out the light of ardent fires.

Did I say that crowd and shows were unheeded? That elegant leader and lawgiver of society, Mrs. Augustus Jonesnob, who glides along in an emblazed carriage, behind those splendid ponies, would not pass, if she knew that she and her "turnout" elicited only a vague, half pitying recollection of a "they say" that gives her the keeper of a junk-shop for grandfather, making it likely that she has no heirloom of tapestry, in fadeless azure, and green, and gold, wherewith to hang the halls she always dreamed of, without dreaming how bare she would find them.

Young Augustus—"Point-Lace Jonesnob," the girls call him—rides beside his mother's carriage, well-dressed, well-mounted, smiling complacently, for he knows that he looks about the thing; and the day being neither too cold nor too warm, nor muddy, dusty, windy, nor too early in the season, he thinks it will do to show himself. Does any one suppose his smile to be the emanation from some reminiscence of "taking the horses to water" in boyhood? The riding-master's hand, and not the proud father's, held him on the first time he was mounted. He has no breezy remembrances of free gallops whither he would; no pensive memories of solemn rides across lonesome barrens,[190] where heavenward-pointing pines worship God with ceaseless harmonies and unfailing incense.

Men whose life, sold for a salary, is the property of others; who spend the hours they ought to have for recreation in street-cars, while ill-used brutes drag them from and to homes in comfortless suburbs, where faded wives, worn with housework that never ends, busy over piles of mending that never diminish, wait, uncheerfully ruminating devices and economies by which they are for ever trying to make ends approach that are fated never to meet.

Broken-spirited gentlemen in threadbare black, worn and brushed till the seams, notwithstanding the times they have been inked, are gray, walking, walking, in search of employment; asking it deprecatingly, for they are honorable, and are beginning to realize—others have long seen it—their incapacity. Returning faint—the bite at the baker's counter is beyond their means—to pale wives, who meet them with smiles that are more sad than tears, and talk, while their hearts belie their tongues, of better luck to-morrow. Perhaps children, too, with eyes that ask—they are too well trained by their mother to demand with their lips.

Women that have seen better days, paying their last dollar—it will bring no return—for the ambiguous announcement that makes known their willingness to accept any position not menial.

Elderly women, delicately bred, once sheltered and inclosed by refined prejudices and conventionalisms, obliged, who knows by what stress, to step out of the sacred (to them; they are old-fashioned ladies) retirement of home. If we must refuse to buy the petty stationery, print, or book they so courteously proffer, let it be seen that we do it with pain; let us not shut the door against these timid sparrows till they have flitted from the steps. They are not of those to whom compassionate hesitation suggests importunity.

Women narrow-chested and grim-visaged, in whom there is no beauty or charm left—pupils of virtue, to whom she gives neither holiday nor reward—toiling up steep flights with bundles of shop-work.

Bedraggled women, that lug heavy baskets down wet area steps into sunless abodes, where they wash all day, while the babes they have not time to fondle want care and comforting, and must want these or bread.

Sinful women, at whom, since Christ is dead in the souls of men, all may cast stones. For them there is but little help or hope in a righteous world.

Those who, by hallowed memories of purer scenes, have been kept from evil.

Those who, though fallen and fouled, still guard, fair and apart, pictures that fill their eyes with tears and their hearts with yearnings—visions of morning stepping down the cliffs into valleys where they dwelt; of sunsets in mountain countries; tropical lands planted with palms that incline exile-ward; snowy regions where blazing hearths and true hearts keep the place of the wanderer warm.

Home dwells pictured in their soul. It is an unpainted road-side house. Sweet-pinks, marigolds, and holly-hocks grow in the front-yard; morning-glories creep up the clap-boards, festoon the windows, and peep into the wren's nest under the eve-trough. In the maple by the doorstep a pair of robins have made their habitation, and amid the green of the elm that roofs the spring and wash-block—the stump of a former mighty tree—is seen the glint of a fire-bird's wing.


Or a farm-house, with gardens and rows of hives, and barns with their swallows, fields of corn and stubble, and upland pasture where cattle are feeding. In "the new piece," between the pasture and higher woodland, buckwheat blossoms for the bees, as it climbs perseveringly up the ridge to overtake the poke, that, bending to its weight of berries, mingles dawning crimson with changing hues of blackberry-vines which hide the rocks. Along stone fences, golden-rod and wild-aster still mingle their blooms untouched, though autumn has reached stained fingers forth to trifle with the leaves of his favorite sumach. In the swamp below, the scarlet lobelia burns amid clumps of green and brown sedge. Beyond the swamp and meadow, and wind-whitened willows by the creek, hills rise and bound the view.

Or it is a homestead, with venerable trees shading a lawn that slopes to a lake in which house and trees lie mirrored. They are playing with their brothers on the lawn, while their mother watches them from her window; or gliding on the lake with companions and loves of youth, steering their boat for a distant headland.

These are living pictures. Their woods sing Eolian measures; their brooks talk of childhood and innocence; their clouds and seasons are always changing; their swallows ever flying homeward, whither the trees beckon. Miraculous pictures! their sun always shines on our brides; their skies rain constant tears on our dead. Yea, in them the dead are risen, and eyes long sealed look down on us with love.

But beyond the headland the lake has its outlet into a stream that winds and tarries, all the while widening, till it empties into the harbor, where ships, laden with costly merchandise, are spreading sails for havens of uncertain promise. They fade along the fading coast; glide across the dim belt that separates land's end from sky; like phantoms disappear. And watchers turn, with a foreboding chill, from windy piers, to confront dirty waterside stores, and pick their way amid trucks and bales that obstruct broken side-walks, between tall warehouses that glower at each other across lanes, to meet odors of fish and oils, and spices and drugs, and countless other fœtid smells; to enter dull, ledger-lined offices, or seek, through jostling ways, ticketed dwellings that are as alike as prison-cells.

Along the track that divides the farm, and cuts the hill in two, shrieks a train, grudging its passengers the glimpse of beautiful places of the rich; slackening its pace to prolong the dreariness of the ugly outskirts, and, lo! dead rows of houses; long thoroughfares; mean streets, with vile shops and squalid swarms; the clash of vehicles; confusion of cries; rush of multitudes—the city.

From the small house the by-road leads to a turnpike that speeds dustily on to a cobble-paved town by the river. The river flows down to the city; where all night long, hungrily lapping slimy piers, with dark hints of oblivion, with winks and gleams that the wretched interpret, with noiseless, snaky undulations, and the fascinating glitter of its thousand eyes, it charms the lost to loathsome death.

Would we, if cares did not bind us, go back to the scenes of those pictures? If our mother's face had not gone from the window? If the farm had not been sold? If alien hands had not cut down the maple and the elm, and strange faces and the burr of unknown voices had not scared the wrens from their nest? If we had money or time for the journey?[192] If we did not feel too much ashamed or disgraced—we have been so unsuccessful, or false to early promises—to meet the pitying or contemptuous looks of our acquaintance? For did they not know how it would be? Did not they too, in youth, scent from afar the battle they knew better than to enter without the certainty of winning?

If we have, or seem to have won it, is there not something in ourselves that holds us back? We have now no desire for sports of childhood. We are not sorry that our mother faded from her window before we got hurts that her kisses could not make well. The halo that surrounds venerated figures would pale in the broad light of mid-life. We are not so forbearing with the old who are with us that we could trust ourselves to have the departed back.

Do we recognize the boys and girls who lived in the small house by the road, who used to get up early and run laughing to the spring to take turns washing in the tin basin that hung against the elm? And the faces mirrors now show us—are they the same that rose radiant from that bath? Could we sleep soundly in a garret, and wake delighted to see snow sifting through the roof? Or relish the food we thought it neither shame nor labor to carry when, bare-footed in summer and shod in calf-skin in winter, we walked a mile to the red school-house down by the 'pike? Would we feel honored if the madam were now to visit us in the modest dress that we once thought the perfection of taste?

When it was our week to conduct her home, we neither hunted bird's-nests, nor swung upon low branches of the "mill-pines," nor dipped our feet in mud-puddles to get "wedding-shoes" on, nor sought berries along the fences, unless it was to string them on timothy-rods and present them shyly for her acceptance.

Have we strength or inclination for harvest work? Then to leaden hearts and sluggish blood what pleasure in moonlight sail, or midnight sleigh-ride, or mad gallop over lift and level!

Let us guard our sacred pictures. To their scenes we will not return. For if, instead of patches of sky, the circle of the firmament were ours, with changing glory of dawn, and noon, and sundown, and deeps gleaming with stars, yet our spirits would not soar with their swallows. Their mountains would not draw our feet as they did when we believed that every summit reached was a height gained, knew not that the peaks which pierced the clouds hid higher ranges, yet no nearer the heaven of hope than those which limited our sight.

Is there no spot, dear friend, that you and I would revisit?

Behold a worn foot-path in which we may walk and gather immortelles! It leads to a city whereof the houses are low and hide none of the sky; narrower than these, but straitness does not inconvenience dwellers who have no call to go to and fro; not uniform—the occupants' names are cut into fronts of marble and granite and mossy red sand-stone. Some are marked by columns, others by crosses. Around many plants are set. But here are others. The tenants were poor or friendless folk, or strangers; they have only clay walls and roofs of sod, upon which every blade, green or sere, all day long and all night, bending lightly to airs of summer or swept low by winter winds, keeps sighing, "May he rest in peace."

Old neighbors are here; but no[193] looks of theirs question us as to what we have done in the world, or in what failed.

Did the sight of these at last turn inward? and did lips that were so ready with the Pharisee's prayer close with the cry of the publican?

Old friends! But their hands are cold and will never clasp ours again. Enemies! Between them and us may judgment be the offspring of Christian kindness!

And here, hedged with arbor-vitæ, is the place of our kin. Those of them who passed hither before our time we could never realize. Others are dim remembrances; like the baby sister that came one wild winter night, to our great wonder, and, to our equal sorrow, left us in spring for this small habitation.

These were not long separated. Dear old folks! one roof and one tablet for two who had but one mind and one heart. Here lies the little cousin we quarrelled with at evening, to shed over her in the morning our first remorseful tears. Look through the break in the hedge, on that square slab—

Evelyn Grant.
Aged 35.

Our first school-mistress. We hated her with the impotent bitterness of childish hearts outraged. For did she not show partiality to the dullest scholar she had?—because his father was rich, the big boys said; and thus we repeated it to our fond if not judicious friend, old Diana, when we complained to her of Miss Evelyn's injustice in sending Alf Whitfield up head every Monday.

"He is the oldest," she would say. "As if oldness is any reason why a great fellow like that should have a better chance than the rest," we would think. If we had understood how much of Miss Evelyn's support depended upon the favor of rich Squire Whitfield, we might have felt differently. They say that Alf's mother used to beg of the mistress to encourage and make much of the bashful half-wit, who often wept because he could not learn like the others.

We will pull the old weeds from her grave. They shall not choke flowers planted by the orphan nephews she worked so hard to bring up respectably—worked without a complaint long after the cough we mocked behind our primers had hacked into her vitals.

Let us follow this road, beyond the pines—a little higher—here. The spot we have thought and dreamed about but never before seen.

If any one should ask why we came, hardly pausing, by so many mounds of soldiers who died in the same cause, as may be read on their tablets, we would answer that, with the soul of this one, all glory for us passed out of our marvellous sunsets, warmth from the color of our autumns, charm from our ice-bound winters, sweetness from the breath of our springs.

Down there, bordering this field consecrated to Catholic dead, is the "colored folks' ground."

How tidy it looks. Formerly it was a huddle of neglected hillocks; many of them sunken as if they who, deprecating scorn, had crept through the world in the shadow of the wall, shrank even here from obtruding.

How many of us Catholics, of the thousands that crowd that church of which we see the cross above the hill-top, or lie here with hands crossed to God, ever offered a prayer for those neglected souls, living or dead?

Before that church was built there came from the West Indies, following the fortunes of an exiled family, a gray-haired negro. He did not persevere in hearing Mass because the[194] children insulted him on the street—waited for him with stones in their hands at the corners of the church. He died, and, to fulfil his last wish, some of his people planted a cross upon his unsodded grave.

I used to know every mound, from that Egyptian-faced vault,

"Against whose portal I had thrown,
In childhood, many an echoing stone;
And shrank to think, poor heart of sin,
It was the dead that groaned within;"

to the cheerful nook where the nurseryman's children sleep under their coverlet of flowers. From the hero's pillar by the highway, with the record,

"He lived as mothers wish their sons to live,
He died as fathers wish their sons to die,"

to the monument of the beloved woman whose husband and daughters came every year from distant homes to add a tribute of plants and garlands to the granite offering they had raised to her memory.

Here, broken and half buried, is the old slab with death's-head and bones, and the verse exhorting all Christians to pray for the soul of Peter Curran.

Under this willow—she that planted it, in the belief that it would shade her rest, lies far away—our patriarch is buried: a father to orphans; to the poor a brother. That memorial in the stranger's ground—the only one—he caused to be placed above the remains of the decayed gentleman he entertained so many years and laid to rest at his own cost. Another, to whom he gave shelter, lies beside "the chevalier." The droll Swede, the whaleman, is buried behind them both. In our village foreigners were not looked upon with favor in those ante-emigration times; and this one was so blundering that no one would give him work after his honesty was proved. They were going to send him to jail as a vagrant, when Uncle Allan made up his mind that he needed just such a man for odd jobs. Bastian never learned enough English to thank him, but the tears that wet his parchment cheeks the day they brought his benefactor here were expressive.

Figures homely yet gracious, how they rise in memory!

Some fell asleep in hope; others drew back in doubt, or struggled with doom. Some, having done their best, lay down, offering it and that wherein they had failed to God, beside others who had nothing to offer but remorse.

All these yet speak to us, with more significance on this October afternoon in the October of our life than they did in past autumns; while to every one, according to his need, they teach a lesson.

They say to the covetous, "Not one of your things shall pass through the gate of this city."

To the envious, "Behold the state of him you wished to change places with yesterday."

They promise those who are kept awake by care "a blessed sleep."

They speak of rest to the world-weary; to the good, of beatitude; to the bad, of judgment; to all, of the end that is hastening on swift wings.



This Free Religious Association appears to be composed of men and women who, some thirty years ago, were, or would have been, called come-outers in Boston and its vicinity, but who are now generally called radicals, a name which they seem quite willing to accept. They are universal agitators, and see or imagine grievances everywhere, and make it a point wherever they see or can invent a grievance, to hit it; at least, to strike at it. They were conspicuous in the late abolition movement, are strenuous advocates for negro equality—or, rather, negro superiority—stanch women's rights men, in a word, reformers in general. They claim to have a pure and universal religion; and though some of them are downright atheists, they profess to be more Christian than Christianity itself, and their aim would seem to be to get rid of all special religion, so as to have only religion in general. They say, in the first article of their constitution:

"This association shall be called the Free Religious Association—its objects being to promote the interests of pure religion, to encourage the scientific study of theology, and to increase fellowship in the spirit; and to this end all persons interested in these objects are cordially invited to its membership."

Nothing can be fairer or broader, so far as words go. Ordinary mortals, however, may be puzzled to make out what this religion in general, and no religion in particular, really is; and also to understand how there can be pure religion and scientific theology without God. Our radical friends are not puzzled at all. They have only to call man God, and the scientific study of the physiological and psychological laws of human nature the scientific study of theology, and every difficulty vanishes. Whoever believes in himself believes in God, and whoever can stand poised on himself has in himself the very essence of religion. According to them, the great error of the past has been in supposing that religion consists in the recognition, the love, and the service of a superior power; but the merit of free religion is, that it emancipates mankind from this mother error, discards the notion that they owe obedience to any power above humanity, and teaches that man is subject only to himself. Hence the Emersonian maxim, Obey thyself, which, translated into plain English, is, Live as thou listest.

The aim of the association, the president—whom we remember as a handsome, fair-complexioned, bright-eyed school-boy—tells us in his opening address is Unity. He says:

"Our aim, let it be understood, is unity; not division, discord, conflict—but unity. We are not controversialists. We carry no sword in our hands. We wear no weapons concealed about our person. Our one word is peace—the word which is always most heartily responded to by earnest men. Religion means unity; the very definition of it signifies the power that binds men together; that binds all souls to the divine. The communion of saints—that is the religious phrase; and yet you will pardon me if I say that religion at present is the one word that means division. As interpreted by the religious world, it means war and discord. Subjects are debated on other platforms—social questions, political questions; they are debated and dismissed. In the religious world the discussion goes on more[196] persistently, more bitterly than on any other field; but the issues are always the same, the venue is never changed, conclusions are never reached, and we lack the benefit that comes from the reconciliation of perpetual discussion.

"Religion as organized is organized division. The communion is a communion-table, the Christ is a symbol of the sects, the unity is a unity made up of separate departments and families. The ancient religions of the world still hold their own. Buddhism, Brahminism, the religion of Zoroaster, the religion of Confucius, Judaism, fetichism, Sabaism—all stand where they did. All gather in their population; all have their organized activities, as they ever had. No one of them has materially changed its front; not one of them has been disorganized; not one of them has retreated from the ground that from time immemorial it has occupied. They have stormed at each other, they have been mortal enemies; but still they stand where they stood. There is no superstition, however degrading, that does not exist to-day; and Christian missionaries, Catholic and Protestant, have gone out with hearts of flame and tongues of fire, and souls that were all one solid single piece of consecration, and have dashed themselves in hosts with the utmost heroism against those ancient lines of faith; and their weapons have dropped harmless at the foot. Here and there a few hundred, or a few thousand, or a few tens or hundreds of thousands, may have shifted from one faith to the other; but the solid substance of these great religions still endures. The vast aggregates of millions and tens of millions are unaffected. Christianity holds its own, and no more. Buddhism and Brahminism hold their own, and as much. What shall we say to this? Does religion mean unity? The world cannot be all of one form of religion. Religion is deeper than all its several forms. One religion cannot dislodge another; one faith cannot supplant another faith. Put Christianity in the place of Brahminism and Buddhism, and people would not be Christians. They might change their name—they would not change their nature. The inhabitants of countries that have been under the sway of those great faiths do not become Christian men by becoming Christian peoples. The Turks in European Turkey are better men than the Greek Christians in European Turkey. The religions, as such, must hold their places essentially undisturbed. Harmony is not possible at present on that ground—on any sectarian ground.

"Christianity itself is a bundle of religions. There is the vast Greek Church, with its patriarchs; there is the enormous Catholic Church, with its pope; here are all the families of the Protestant Church, with their clergy. They hold the same relative position. Protestantism does not subdue Romanism; Romanism will never subdue Protestantism. The Protestant Church and Roman Church have stood face to face for centuries; and thus they will continue to stand, as long as the populations have the genius that God gave them. What is Christendom but an army divided against itself? What is Protestantism but a mingling of warring sects?—each sect falling in pieces the moment it becomes organized for work. Unitarianism does not gain on Orthodoxy; Orthodoxy does not gain on Unitarianism. Each sect takes up the little portion that belongs to it, and must rest contented; and all the power of propagandism, of sectarian zeal, of fire and earnestness, does but cause the little flame to burn up more brightly for an instant on the local altar; and, when it dies down, the ashes remain on that altar still.

"Our word, then, is Unity. But how shall we get it? Not by becoming Catholics; not by making another order of Protestants; not by instituting another sect; but by going down below all the sects—going down to faith. For faith, hope, aspiration, charity, love, worship, we believe, are inherent, profound, indestructible elements of human nature." (Pp. 7-9.)

The rhetoric is not bad; but in what does the unity aimed at consist, and how is it to be obtained? Religion, by the speakers who addressed the association, is assumed to be a sentiment, and faith and hope and charity are, we are told, indestructible elements of human nature; then since human nature is one, what unity can the free religionists aspire to that they and all men have not already, or have not always had? Pass over this; whence and by what means is the unity, whatever it consists in, to be obtained? The answer to this question is not very definite, but it would seem the association expect it from below, not from above; for the president says, we are to obtain it only by "going down below[197] all sects—going down to faith." A Catholic would have said, We attain to unity only by rising above all sects, to a faith which is one and universal, and which the sects rend and divide among themselves. But the radicals have outgrown Catholicity, outgrown Christianity, and very properly look for faith and unity from below. But when they get down, down to the lowest deep, will they find them? What faith or unity will they find in the lowest depths of humanity in addition to what all men have always had? If, notwithstanding the unity of nature, sects and divisions prevail, and always have prevailed, how, with nothing above nature or in addition to it, do you expect to get rid of them, and establish practical unity, or to obtain the charity that springs from unity?

The radicals deny that they are destructives, that they have only negations, or that they make war on any existing church, religion, sect, or denomination; they will pardon us, then, if we are unable to conceive what they mean by unity, or what unity, except the physical unity of nature, there is or can be among those who divide on every subject in which they feel any interest. Does the association propose to get rid of diversity by indifference, and of divisions simply by bringing all men to agree to differ? We certainly find only unity in denying among the individuals associated, who agree in nothing except that each one holds himself or herself alone responsible for his or her own personal views and utterances. Some of them would retain the Christian name, and others would reject it. Mr. Francis Ellingwood Abbott argues that it is not honest to hold on to the name after having rejected the thing. By professing to be a Christian a man binds himself to accept Christianity; and whoso accepts Christianity, binds himself to accept the Catholic Church, which embodies and expresses it. We make an extract from his address:

"As I look abroad in the community, I see two extreme types of religious faith. One is represented in the Roman Church, the great principle of authority. That church has been, and, I think, will always be, the grandest and the greatest embodiment of Christianity in social life. It is worthy of profound respect; and I, for one, yield it profound respect. It took an infidel, Auguste Comte, to portray fairly the service done to the world by the Christian Church—the great Catholic Church—of the middle ages; and we radicals are false to our principles, if we do not do homage to every thing that is great and good and serviceable in its season, even although we think its day of usefulness may have passed. The fundamental principle of the Roman Church is authority, pure and simple. The theology of Rome carries that principle out to the extremest degree. Its hierarchy embodies it in an institution; and, from beginning to end, from centre to periphery, the Roman Catholic Church is consistent with itself in the development of that one idea in spiritual and social and ecclesiastical life.

"At the other pole of human thought and experience, I see a very few persons—indeed, so few that I might, perhaps, almost count them on the fingers of one hand—who plant themselves on the principle of liberty alone; who want nothing else; who stand without dogma, without creed, without priesthood, without Bible, without Christ, without any thing but the Almighty God working in their hearts. These two principles of authority and freedom have thus worked out for themselves, at last, consistent expression. Here are the two extremes—Romish Christianity and free religion; and between these two extremes we see a compromise, Protestant Christianity—the compromise between Catholicism and free religion. Every compromise is weak, because it contains conflicting elements. Protestant Christianity is like the image with head of gold and feet of clay. It cannot stand for ever. Either Christianity, as embodied in the Roman Church, is right, or else free religion is right. Have we not learned yet to give up these combinations of opposites, contraries, and incompatibles? Has the war taught us nothing? Are we still trying to make some chimerical mixture, some impossible union of freedom[198] and slavery? I trust not. For my own part, I stand pledged to liberty, pure and simple; and I have come to view all compromises alike, and to cast them utterly away, whether they clothe themselves in the garments of Geneva, or in the last expression of Dr. Bellows and the Unitarian Church." (Pp. 32-33.)

Mr. Abbott is not quite exact in his phraseology, and does not state the Catholic principle correctly. The principle on which the church rests, and out of which grow all her doctrines and precepts, is not authority, but the mystery of the Incarnation, or the assumption of human nature by the Word. Nor is he himself quite honest according to his own test of honesty. To be consistent with himself, he must reject not only the term Christian, but also the term religion, and put the alternative, Either Catholicity or no religion. The word religion—from religare—means either intensively to bind more firmly, or iteratively, to bind again, to bind man morally to God as his last end, in addition to his being physically bound to God as his first cause. Free religion is a contradiction in terms, as much so as free bondage. Religion is always a bond, a law that binds.

Ralph Waldo Emerson differs from Mr. Abbott, and would retain the name Christian, though without the reality. We quote a long passage from his not very remarkable speech, out of deference to his rank as one of the originators of the movement:

"We have had, not long since, presented to us by Max Müller a valuable paragraph from St. Augustine, not at all extraordinary in itself, but only as coming from that eminent father in the church, and at that age in which St. Augustine writes: 'That which is now called the Christian religion existed among the ancients, and never did not exist from the planting of the human race until Christ came in the flesh, at which time the true religion, which already subsisted, began to be called Christianity.' I believe that not only Christianity is as old as the creation—not only every sentiment and precept of Christianity can be paralleled in other religious writings—but more, that a man of religious susceptibility, and one at the same time conversant with many men—say a much travelled man—can find the same idea in numberless conversations. The religious find religion wherever they associate. When I find in people narrow religion, I find also in them narrow reading.

"I object, of course, to the claim of miraculous dispensation—certainly not to the doctrine of Christianity. This claim impairs, to my mind, the soundness of him who makes it, and indisposes us to his communion. This comes the wrong way; it comes from without, not within. This positive, historical, authoritative scheme is not consistent with our experience or our expectations. It is something not in nature, it is contrary to that law of nature which all wise men recognized, namely, never to require a larger cause than is necessary to the effect. George Fox, the Quaker, said that, though he read of Christ and God, he knew them only from the like spirit in his own soul. We want all the aids to our moral training. We cannot spare the vision nor the virtue of the saints; but let it be by pure sympathy, not with any personal or official claim. If you are childish and exhibit your saint as a worker of wonders, a thaumaturgist, I am repelled. That claim takes his teachings out of logic and out of nature, and permits official and arbitrary senses to be grafted on the teachings. It is the praise of our New Testament that its teachings go to the honor and benefit of humanity—that no better lesson has been taught or incarnated. Let it stand, beautiful and wholesome, with whatever is most like it in the teaching and practice of men; but do not attempt to elevate it out of humanity by saying, 'This was not a man,' for then you confound it with the fables of every popular religion; and my distrust of the story makes me distrust the doctrine as soon as it differs from my own belief. Whoever thinks a story gains by the prodigious, by adding something out of nature, robs it more than he adds. It is no longer an example, a model; no longer a heart-stirring hero, but an exhibition, a wonder, an anomaly, removed out of the range of influence with thoughtful men." (Pp. 42-44.)

Mr. Emerson cannot be very deeply read in patristic literature, if he[199] is obliged to go to Max Müller for a quotation from St. Augustine, and he proves by his deductions from the language of this great doctor and father that he knows little of the Catholic Church. St. Augustine was a Catholic, and taught that, though times vary, faith does not vary, and that as believed the patriarchs so believe we, only they believed in the Christ who was to come, and we in the Christ who has come; and the church teaches through her doctors that there has been only one revelation, that this was made, in substance, to our first parents in the garden. She teaches us that Christianity is not only as old, but even older than creation; for creation with all it contains was created in reference to Christ the Incarnate Word, and consequently Christianity, founded in the Incarnation, is really the supreme law according to which the universe was created and exists. It precedes all other religions, and the various heathen or pagan religions and mythologies are only traditions, corruptions, perversions, or travesties of it. To the question, "How is the church catholic?" the very child's catechism answers, "Because she subsists in all ages, teaches all nations, and maintains all truth." How otherwise could she be Catholic?

That "every sentiment [doctrine?] and precept of Christianity can be paralleled in other religious writings" (religions, for Christianity is not a writing) may be true in part, if taken separately and in an unchristian sense; but certainly not as a connected and self-consistent system, in its unity and integrity. But suppose it, what then? It would only prove that all religions have retained more or less of the primitive revelation, which all men held in common before the Gentile apostasy and the dispersion of the race consequent on the attempt to build the Tower of Babel; not that all religions have had a common origin in human nature. What we actually find in pagan religions and mythologies that is like Christianity, is no more than we should expect on the supposition of a primitive revelation held out of unity, and interpreted by pride, folly, and ignorance, the characteristics of every pagan people. But Mr. Emerson is true to the old doctrine which he chanted years ago in The Dial:

"Out from the heart of nature rolled
The burdens of the Bible old;
The litanies of nations came
Like the volcano's tongue of flame,
Up from the burning core below—
The canticles of love and woe."

Nothing can roll out of the heart of nature but nature itself; and hence, in order to derive Christianity from within, Mr. Emerson eliminates whatever is supernatural and external and reduces it to simple nature, which every man from the beginning to the end of the world carries within him, and of which he cannot divest himself. He unchristianizes Christianity, makes it an element of human nature, confounds it with the natural laws of the physicists, and then tells us it is as old as creation, which is about as much as telling us man is as old as—man, or nature is as old as—nature. Well may Mr. Emerson be called the Sage of Concord, and be listened to as an oracle.

All the speakers, with three exceptions, seemed anxious to have it understood that the Free Religious Association has some great affirmative truth which is destined to redeem and save the world. Colonel Higginson, the successor of Theodore Parker, tells us with great earnestness:

"If this movement of ours means any thing, it means not a little petty denial, not a little criticism, not a textual discussion, not a sum in addition or subtraction, like Bishop Colenso's books, not a bit of historical analysis, like Strauss or Renan.[200] These are trivial things; these do not touch people; these do not reach the universal heart. The universe needs an affirmation, not a denial; and the religious movement that has not for its centre the assertion of something, would be condemned already to degenerate into a sect by the time it had the misfortune to get fairly born." (P. 58.)

And again:

"Affirmation! There is no affirmation except the belief in universal natural religion; all else is narrowness and sectarianism, though it call itself by the grandest name, compared with that. It impoverishes a man; it keeps his sympathy in one line of religious communication; it takes all the spiritual life of the race, and says, 'All of this that was not an effluence from Jesus you must set aside;' and so it makes you a member in full standing of some little sect, all of whose ideas, all of whose thoughts, revolved in the mind of some one narrow-minded theologian who founded it. It shuts you up there, and you die, suffocated for want of God's free air outside." (P. 59.)

But the reverend colonel here affirms nothing not affirmed by Christianity, nor any thing more than belongs to all men. Natural religion is simply the natural law, the moral law, prescribed to every man through his reason by the end for which he is created, and is included in the Christian religion as essential to the Christian character. What the free religionist does is not to affirm any thing not universally insisted on by the Catholic Church, but to deny all religion but universal natural religion; that is, he simply denies supernatural revelation, and the supernatural order, or that there is any reality broader than nature or above it. Free religion, as such, is, then, not affirmative, but purely negative; the negation of all religions in so far as they assert the supernatural. The real thought and design of the men and women composing the association is to get rid of every thing in every religion that transcends or professes to transcend nature. They make no direct war on the church or even on the sects, we concede; for they take it for granted that when people are once fully persuaded that nature is all, and that only natural religion is or can be true, all else will gradually die out of itself.

Mrs. Lucy Stone agrees in this with the others, and does not disguise her thought. She says:

"We come into the world, I believe, every one of us, with all that is needful in ourselves, if we will only trust it—all that is needful to help us on and up to the very highest heights to which a human being can ever climb; but we have covered it over by dogma and creed and sectarian theory, and by our own misdeeds, until these angel voices that are in us cease to be heard; not totally cease—I do not believe they ever totally cease—but they become less and less audible to us. But if we learn to heed their faintest whisper, reverently and obediently, I believe that there is no path where the soul asks you to go that you may not safely tread. It may carry you to the burning, fiery furnace, but you will come out, and the smell of fire even will not be on your garments. It may compel you into the lion's den, but the wild beast's mouth will be shut. You may walk where scorpions are in the way of duty, and you will not be hurt. It is this 'inner light;' it is not a text, it is not a creed, but it is this in ourselves which, if trusted, will lead us into all truth.

"I said I did not believe this voice was ever lost in the human soul. I do not forget that men grow very wicked, and women too, for that matter; I do not forget that men and women sometimes appear to us so lost and fallen that it seems as if no power in themselves, or any human power, could help them up; and yet to these worst, men and women, in some hallowed moment, is the word given, 'This is the way: walk ye in it.' And if, at the side of this man or woman, at that very moment, is some helping hand, some voice wise enough to counsel, he or she may be started to walk in that way." (P. 100.)

If Mr. Abbott is the logician of the association, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe is decidedly the wit. In the essay she read to the meeting she, with her keen woman's wit and her hard[201] common sense, shows up in admirable style the ridiculousness and absurdity of the whole movement. She is not herself indeed free from all taint of radicalism, and much she says may be due to her facility in detecting and satirizing the follies and absurdities of her friends rather than those of her foes; but her essay proves that she has a soul, and knows that it has aspirations that go beyond nature, and wants which only a supernatural religion can satisfy. She evidently has glimpses of a truth higher, deeper, broader, than any recognized by any other radical who spoke. She disposes of free religion in a single sentence, "He is not religious who does not recognize the obligations of religion." We have space only for the concluding paragraph of her not very logical, self-consistent, but witty, shrewd, and satirical essay on Freedom and Restraint in Religion:

"But, friends, a sudden reaction comes over me. I determine to profess and practise the new religion. I have learned at the free religious club that I possess the first requisite for this, having never studied any theology at all. The ex-divines whom I have met there have so bewailed the artificial ignorance which they acquired in their divinity-school training, that I presume my natural knowledge to be its proper and desired antithesis. I have read the Bhavadgheeta and Mr. Emerson's poems, the psalms and gospel of the new faith. To be no Christian is the next important desideratum; and I believe that I shall find this, as most people do, easier than not. My first rule will be, 'Brahmins, beware of intercourse with Pariahs!' The three hundred incarnations of Vishnu, far more imposing in number than the single excarnation of which the old theology has made so much, shall be preached by me both as precept and example. The Confucian moralities, as illustrated by Californian experience, shall replace the Decalogue. Mr. Emerson's crowning sentence, that he who commits a crime hurts himself, will, of course, suffice to convert a whole society of criminals and reprobates. I will introduce the Joss into prisons, and give the myth of the Celestial Empire a literal interpretation. Our railroad and steamboat system will greatly facilitate the offering of children to the river, with the further advantage of offering the parents too. The strangling of female infants will relieve the present excess of female population in New England, and postpone the pressure of woman suffrage. The burning of widows alone will save the country no small outlay in pensions. Lastly, since the Turkish ethics are coming so much into favor, I should advise a more than Mormon application of them in our midst. Coöperative housekeeping could then be begun on the most immediate and harmonious footing. And so we will reconvert and transreform, and true progress shall consist in regress.

"But, as Archimedes asked to get out of the world in order to move it, we shall be forced to go outside of Christendom in order to accomplish this revolution. And if I may believe my friends of the Free Religious Association, the surest way to do this will be to keep closely in their midst. For, elsewhere, between steamboats and missionaries, we cannot be sure of meeting people who shall be sure of not being Christians.

"Perish the jest, and let the jester perish, if in aught but saddest earnest she exchanged the serious for the comic mask. Laughter is sometimes made to convey pathos that lies too deep for tears. I have but faintly sketched the scene-painting that would have to be done to-day, if religion could slip back and miss the sacred and indispensable mediation of Christianity. Take back the English language beyond the noble building of Shakespeare and Milton; take back philosophy beyond the labor of the Germans and the intuition of the Greeks; take back mathematics beyond Laplace and Newton; take back politics from the enlargement of republican experience—you will have yet a harder task when you shall carry religion back to its ante-Christian status and interpretation.

"Lastly, and to sum up. The freedom of religion is the satisfaction of obeying the innermost and highest impulses of the human soul, to the disregard of all secondary powers and considerations. I find this freedom inseparable from the constraint which obliges the man toward this highest effort, as the laws of the tidal flow force the wave to high-water mark. Our human dignity consists in the assertion of this freedom, the acknowledgment of this obligation. Intellectual freedom is found in study and the progress of thought, which is[202] ever substituting enlarged and improved for rude and narrow processes. But the liberal heart precedes the liberal mind, and conditions it. To be careless as to authority and rash in conclusions, is not to be free; to be strict in logic and scrupulous in derivation, is not to be unfree. Let me end my discursive remarks with one phrase from a dear, melancholy, Calvinistic poet, who passed his life in damning himself and blessing others, repenting of a thousand sins he was never able to commit:

'He is the freeman whom the truth makes free,
And all are slaves beside.'"

(Pp. 53-57.)

A stranger, who gave his name as Gustave Watson, made a brief, modest, sensible speech, which fully refuted the radical pretensions. He told them that he had listened in vain to hear pronounced the great affirmative truth the speakers professed to have. An evangelical minister, a Rev. Jesse H. Jones, took up the defence of Christianity, but was too ignorant of the Christian faith, and too far gone himself in radicalism, to be able to effect much. He took up the weakest line of defence possible, and labored chiefly to show the novelty of Christianity against St. Augustine, and its identity, under one of its aspects, with carnal Judaism or modern socialism. An orthodox Jew sent an essay and a liberal Jew spoke. A professor of spiritism made a speech, and several radicals spoke whose speeches we are obliged to pass over, though as good as those we have noticed.

We have refrained as far as possible from ridiculing the proceedings of the association, which is no association at all, since it is founded on the principle of free individualism; for we wish to treat all men and women with the respect due to ourselves, if not to themselves. The chief actors in the movement we have formerly known, and some of them intimately. We have no doubt of their sincerity and earnestness; but we must be permitted to say that we have found nothing new or striking in their speeches, and we cannot remember the time when we were not perfectly familiar with all their doctrines and pretensions. Their views and aims were set forth in the New England metropolis nearly forty years ago, if with less mental refinement and polish, with an originality and freshness, a force and energy, which they can hardly hope to rival. They were embodied in 1836, and attempted to be realized in the Society for Christian Union and Progress, which its founder abandoned because he would not suffer it to grow into a sect, because he saw his movement was leading no whither, and could accomplish nothing for the glory of God or the good of mankind here or hereafter, and because, through the grace and mercy of God, he became convinced of the truth and sanctity of the Catholic Church against which the Protestant reformers in the sixteenth century rebelled. He may not now be very proud of these radicals, but they are, to a great extent, the product of a movement of which he and Ralph Waldo Emerson were the earliest and principal leaders in Boston.

We readily acknowledge that the pretensions of these radical men and women are very great, but they show no great intellectual ability, and are painfully narrow and superficial. The ministers and ex-ministers who figured on the occasion exhibited neither depth nor breadth of view, neither strength nor energy of mind. They proved themselves passable rhetoricians, but deplorably ignorant of the past and the present, of the religions they believed themselves to have outgrown, and especially of human nature and the wants of the human soul. They appeared to know only their own theories projected[203] from themselves, and which are as frail and as attenuated as any spider's web ever rendered visible by the morning dew. They pretend to have studied, mastered, and exhausted all the past systems, religions, and mythologies; they pride themselves on the universality of their knowledge, and their having lost all bigotry, intolerance, or severity toward any sect or denomination. They speak even patronizingly of the church, and are quite ready to concede that she was good and useful to humanity in her day, in barbarous times, and in the infancy of the race; but humanity, having attained its majority, has outgrown her, and demands now a more manly and robust, a purer and broader and a more living and life-giving religion—a religion, in a word, more Christian than Christianity, more Catholic than Catholicity. Ignorant or worse than ignorant of the lowest elements of Catholic teaching, they fancy they have outgrown it, as the adult man has outgrown the garments of his childhood. Their self-conceit is sublime. Why, they are not large enough to wear the fig-leaf aprons fabricated by the reformers of the sixteenth century with which to cover their nakedness. The tallest and stoutest among them is a dwarf by the side of a Luther or a Calvin, or even of the stern old Puritan founders of New England; nay, they cannot bear an intellectual comparison even with the originators of New England Unitarianism.

Take the Reverend Colonel Higginson, a man of good blood and rich natural gifts, one who, if he had been trained in a Christian school, and had had his mind elevated and expanded by the study of Christian dogmata, could hardly have failed to be one of the great men, if not the greatest man of his age. He has naturally true nobility of soul, rare intellectual power, and genius of a high order; yet he is so blinded, and so dwarfed in mind by his radicalism, that he can seriously say, "There is no affirmation except the belief in universal natural religion; all else is narrowness and sectarianism." He has, then, no views broader than nature, no aspirations that rise higher than nature, and labors under the delusion that men, reduced to nature alone, would really be elevated and ennobled. He has never learned that nature is not self-sufficing—is dependent; that it has both its origin and end as well as its medium in the supernatural, and could not act or subsist a moment without it—a truth which the Catholic child has learned before a dozen years old, and which is a simple commonplace with the Christian; so much so, that he rarely thinks it necessary to assert it, far less to prove it.

This utterance of the reverend colonel is accepted by all the radicals. None of them get above second causes; for them all God and nature appear to be identical and indistinguishable; and this appears to be their grand and all-reconciling doctrine. Hence the religion which they propose has no higher origin than man, and no higher end than the natural development and well-being of man, individual and social, in this earthly life. It is the religion of humanity, not the religion of God, and man, not God, is obeyed and worshipped in it; yet it seems never to occur to these wise men and women that nature either separated from or identified with God vanishes into nothing, and their religion with it. But is a religion that is simply evolved from humanity, that has no element above the human, and is necessarily restricted to man in this life, and that contemplates neither fore nor after, higher, deeper, and more universal than[204] Christianity which asserts for us the nature and essence of God, teaches us the origin and end of all things, the real relations of man to his Maker and to universal nature through all the degrees and stages of his existence? No; it is your naturism that is "narrowness and sectarianism."

Radicalism has heard of the mystery of the Incarnation, and interprets it to mean not the union of two for ever distinct natures, the divine and human, in one divine person, but one divine nature in all human persons. Hence, while the person is human, circumscribed, and transitory, nature in all men is divine, is God himself, permanent, universal, infinite, immortal. This is what the Christian mystery, according to them, really means, though the ignorant, narrow-minded, and blundering apostles never knew it, never understood its profound significance. The church took the narrow and shallow view of the apostles; and hence our radicals have outgrown the church, and instead of looking back or without, above or beyond themselves, they look only within, down into their own divine nature, whence emanates the universe, and in which is all virtue, all good, all truth, all force, all reality. The aim of all moral and religious discipline must be to get rid of all personal distinction, all circumscription, and to sink all individuality in the divine nature, which is the real man, the "one man," the "over-soul" of which Mr. Emerson in his silvery tones formerly discoursed so eloquently and captivated so many charming Boston girls, who understood him by sympathy with their hearts, not their heads, though what he said seemed little better than transcendental nonsense to the elder, graver, and less susceptible of both sexes. Impersonal nature is divine; hence the less of persons we are the more divine we are, and the more we act from the promptings of impersonal nature the more god-like our acts. Hence instinct, which is impersonal, is a safer guide than reason, which is personal; the logic of the heart is preferable to the logic of the head, and fools and madmen superior to the wise and the sane. Hence, are fools and madmen profoundly reverenced by Turks and Arabs.

But impersonal nature is one and identical in all men, and identical, too, with the divine nature. There are no distinct, specific, or individual natures; there is only one nature in all men and things; for all individuality, all difference or distinction, is in the personality. Hence when you get rid of personality, which, after all, has no real subsistence, and sink back into impersonal nature, you attain at once to absolute unity, always and ever present under all the diversity of beliefs, views, or persons. Men and women are mere bubbles floating on the face of the ocean, and nothing distinguishes them from the ocean underlying them but their bubbleosity. Destroy that, and they are the ocean itself. Get rid of personality, sink back into impersonal nature, and all men and women become one, and identical in the one universal nature. Vulgar radicals and reformers seek to reform society by laboring to ameliorate the condition of men and women as persons, and are less profitably employed than the boy blowing soap-bubbles; for the reality is in the ocean on the face of which the bubble floats, not in the bubbleosity. The true radicals, who radicalize in satin slippers and kid gloves, seek not to ameliorate the bubbleosity which is unreal, an unveracity, a mere apparition, a sense-show, but to ameliorate man and society by sinking it, and all differences with it, in universal impersonal nature.


Yet what amelioration is possible except personal? If you get rid of men and women as persons, you annihilate them in every sense in which they are distinguishable from the one universal nature; and suppose you to succeed in doing it, your reform, your amelioration would be the annihilation of man and society; for you can have neither without men and women as individuals—that is, as persons. To reform or ameliorate them in their impersonal nature is both impossible and unnecessary; for in their impersonal nature they are identical with universal nature, and universal nature is God, infinite, immutable, immortal, incapable of being augmented or diminished. Nothing can be done for or against impersonal nature. We see, then, nothing that these refined and accomplished radicals can propose as the object of their labors but the making of all men and women, as far as possible, talk and act like fools and madmen. This would seem to be their grand discovery, and the proof of their having outgrown the church.

But we should be ourselves the fool and madman if we attempted to reason with them. They discard logic, reject reason, and count the understanding as one of the poorest of our faculties; as mean, narrow, personal. Reason and understanding are personal; and all truth, all knowledge, all wisdom, all that is real is impersonal. Is not the impersonality of God, that is, of nature, a primary article of their creed? How, then, reason with them or expect them to listen to the voice of reason? Reason is too strait for them, and they have outgrown it, as they have outgrown the church! They do not even pretend to be logically consistent with themselves. No one holds himself bound by his own utterances, any more than he does by the utterances of another. They are free religionists, and scorn to be bound even by the truth.

But suppose they wish to retain men and women—or women and men, for with them woman is the superior—as persons, how do they expect by restricting, as they do, their knowledge to this life, and making their happiness consist in the goods of this world alone, to effect their individual amelioration? Socialism secures always its own defeat. The happiness of this life is attainable only by living for another. Restricted to this life and this world, man has play for only his animal instincts, propensities, and powers. There is no object on which his higher or peculiarly human affections and faculties can be exerted, and his moral, religious, rational nature must stagnate and rot, or render him unspeakably miserable by his hungering and thirsting after a spiritual good which he has not, and which is nowhere to be had. The happiness of this life comes from living for a supernatural end, the true end of man, in obedience to the law it prescribes. When we make this life or this world our end, or assume, with Mr. Emerson, that we have it within, in our own impersonal nature, we deny the very condition of either individual or social happiness, take falsehood for truth; and no good ever does or can come from falsehood.

It will be observed by our readers, from the extracts we have made, that the radicals not only confine their views to humanity and to this life, but proceed on the assumption of the sufficiency of man's nature for itself. They appear to have, with the exception of Mrs. Howe, no sense of the need of any supernatural help. They have no sense of the incompleteness and insufficiency of nature, as they have no compassion for its weakness. They never stumble, never fall, never[206] sin, are never baffled, are never in need of assistance. It is not so with ordinary mortals. We find nature insufficient for us, our own strength inadequate; and, voyaging over the stormy ocean of life, we are often wrecked, and compelled to cry out in agony of soul, "Lord, save or we perish." Whosoever has received any religious instruction knows that it is not in ourselves but in God that we live and move and have our being, and that not without supernatural assistance can we attain true beatitude.

In conclusion, we may say, these radical men and women set forth nothing not familiar to us before the late Theodore Parker was an unfledged student of the Divinity School, Cambridge, and even before most of them were born. We know their views and aims better than they themselves know them, and we have lived long enough to learn that they are narrow and superficial, false and vain. We have in the church the freedom we sighed for but found not, and which is not to be found, in radicalism. God is more than man, more than nature, and never faileth; Christ the God-man, at once perfect God and perfect man, two distinct natures in one divine person, is the way, the truth, and the life; and out of him there is no salvation, no true life, no beatitude. We do not expect these radicals to believe us; they are worshippers of man and nature, and joined to their idols. Esteeming themselves wise, they become fools; ever learning, they are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, any more than the child is able to grasp the rainbow.


"Come and see how a Christian can die."—Addison to his step-son.

We read that the celebrated Montaigne wished to make a compilation of remarkable death-bed scenes; for, as he said, "he who should teach men how to die would teach them how to live." It may not be unprofitable for us to recall the last moments of some who have died in the Catholic Church. It may give us some new idea of the power of faith to sustain the soul in that supreme moment, and show us in what a super-eminent degree the spirit of the church fits one for the last great change, and fortifies him to meet it hopefully if not triumphantly. Let us, then, in this month, consecrated by so many pious Catholic hearts to the memory of the dead, draw around the death-beds of some who are remarkable in various ways, and see if we would not have our last end like theirs. There is a horrid curiosity, if no higher feeling, which attracts us to the side of the dying, "to observe their words, their actions, and what sort of countenance they put upon it." It is as if we would read the final conflict of the soul, obtain some new insight into the great mystery of death, and perhaps catch some glimpse of what awaits us beyond its shadows. Even the unbeliever at such a moment, forced to reflect on the destiny of the soul, exclaims, "Soul, what art thou? Flame that[207] devourest me, wilt thou live after me? Must thou suffer still? Mysterious guest, what wilt thou become? Seekest thou to reunite thyself to the great flame of day? Perhaps from this fire thou art only a spark, only a wandering ray which that star recalls. Perhaps, ceasing to exist when man dies, thou art only a moisture more pure than the animated dust the earth has produced." The mind thus excited to doubt and question is already on the road to conviction. To see how a good man meets his fate, is a lesson of heavenly love which fastens itself in the memory; the words that consoled him and that he uttered sink into the heart, perhaps to diffuse light when our own time comes.

If Addison found nothing more imposing, nothing more affecting, than accounts of the last moments of the dying; if the great Montaigne loved the most minute details respecting them, we need not turn with repugnance from what we have a vital interest in, and what may give us some new idea of the blessing of dying in the arms of our Holy Mother the Church, fortified by her sacraments and sustained by her spirit. The French historian Anquetil, in giving an account of the death of Montmorenci, says, "It is instructive for persons of all conditions in life to witness the death of a great man who unites noble sentiments with Christian humility." It is true Dr. Johnson says, "It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives;" but a holy death is generally the crown of a good life, though "there are dark, dark deaths which even the saints have died, the aspect of whose brightness was all turned heavenward, so we could not see it."[38]

I do not believe that "there is more or less of affectation in every death-bed scene." Young, rather, is right:

"A death-bed's a detector of the heart.
Here tired dissimulation drops her mask
Through life's grimace, that mistress of the scene!"

Father Faber says:

"Every Christian death-bed is a world—a complete world—of graces, interferences, compensations, lights, struggles, victories, supernatural gestures, and the action of grand spiritual laws. Each death-bed, explained to us as God could explain it, would be in itself an entire science of God—a summa of the most delicate theology. The varieties of grace in the individual soul are so many infinities of the one infinite life of God. No two deaths are quite alike. The most delicate shades of difference between one death and another would probably disclose to us more of the ways of God, and more of the capabilities of the soul than philosophy has ever taught. Some deaths are so beautiful that they can hardly be recognizable for punishments. Such was the death of St. Joseph, with his head pillowed on the lap of Jesus. The twilight bosom of Abraham was but a dull place compared with the house of Nazareth which the eyes of Jesus lighted. Such was Mary's death, the penalty of which was rather in its delay. It was a soft extinction, through the noiseless flooding of her heart with divine love. As nightingales are said to have sung themselves to death, so Simeon died, not of the sweet weariness of his long watching, but of the fulness of his contentment, of the satisfaction of his desires, of the very new youth of soul which the touch of the Eternal Child had infused into his age, and, breaking forth into music which heaven itself might envy and could not surpass, he died with his world-soothing song upon his lips—a song so sunset-like that one might believe all the beauty of all earth's beautiful evenings since creation had gone into it to fill it full of peaceful spells. Age after age shall take up the strain. All the poetry of Christian weariness is in it. It gives a voice to the heavenly detachment and unworldliness of countless saints. It is the heart's evening light after the working hours of the day to millions and millions of believers. The very last compline that the church shall sing, before the midnight when the doom begins and the Lord breaks out upon the darkness from the refulgent east, shall overflow with the melodious sweetness of Simeon's pathetic song."

Thus do our words—even dying words—go on vibrating for ever.


How many have died like St. Oswald, Archbishop of York, and the Venerable Bede, repeating the Gloria Patri—that act of praise which St. Jerome found in constant use among the oriental monks, and was the means of introducing it into the western church, where it is now daily repeated by countless tongues.

St. Ignatius Loyola died with the holy name of Jesus on his lips, that watchword of his glorious order so full of sweetness to the heart. So did that angelic youth, St. Aloysius. St. Hubert died repeating the Lord's Prayer; St. Stephen of Grandmont while saying, "Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit." So did St. John of the Cross, St. Catharine of Genoa, and hundreds of others.

St. Arsenius, after more than fifty years spent in the desert, regarded death with fear. His brethren, seeing him weep in his agony, asked him if, like other men, he feared to die. "I am seized with great fear," he answered, "nor has this dread ever left me since I first came into the desert." Nevertheless, he expired, in peace and humble confidence, in his ninety-fifth year.

St. John Chrysostom, when dying, had all his clothes changed, even to his shoes, putting on his best garments, which were white, as for his heavenly nuptials; for "to one who loves," says Novalis, "death is a mystery of sweet mysteries—it is a bridal night." He then received the blessed sacrament and prayed, ending according to his custom, with, "Glory be to God for all things." Then making the sign of the cross, he gave up his soul.[39]

We read of the poet-monk Cædmon, "That tongue, which had composed so many holy words in praise of the Creator, uttered its last words while he was in the act of signing himself with the cross, and thus he fell into a slumber to awaken in paradise and join in the hymns of the holy angels whom he had imitated in this world, both in his life and in his songs."[40]

The account of the death of the Venerable Bede is well known, but it is one that can always be read again and again with renewed profit, and never without emotion.

"About a fortnight before the feast of Easter," says his disciple Cuthbert, "he was reduced to a state of great debility, with difficulty of breathing, but without much pain, and in that condition he lasted till the day of the Lord's Ascension. This time he passed cheerfully and joyfully, giving thanks to Almighty God both by day and night, or rather at all hours of the day and night. He continued to give lessons to us daily, spending the rest of his time in psalmody, and the night also in joy and thanksgiving, unless he were interrupted by a short sleep; and yet, even then, the moment he awaked he began again, and never ceased, with outstretched hands, to return thanks to God. I can declare with truth that I never saw with my eyes, nor heard with my ears, of any man who was so indefatigable in giving thanks to the living God.

"O truly happy man! He chanted the passage from the blessed Apostle Paul, 'It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God,' and several other passages from Holy Writ, warning us to throw off all torpor of soul, in consideration of our last hour. And being conversant with Anglo-Saxon poetry, he repeated several passages and composed the following lines in our tongue:

'Before the need-fare
None becometh
Of thought more wise
Than is his need.
To search out
Ere his going hence,
What his spirit
For good or evil
After his death-day
Doomed may be.'

He also chanted the antiphons according to his and our custom. One of these is, 'O King of glory, Lord of hosts, who on this day didst ascend in triumph above all the heavens, leave us not orphans, but send [209] upon us the Spirit of truth, the promised of the Father. Alleluia.' When he came to the words 'leave us not orphans,' he burst into tears and wept much; and after a while he resumed where he had broken off, and we who heard him wept with him. We wept and studied by turns; or rather wept all the time that we studied.

"Thus we passed in joy the quinquagesimal days till the aforesaid festival, and he rejoiced greatly, and gave thanks to God for the infirmities under which he suffered, often repeating, 'God scourgeth every son whom he receiveth,' with other passages of Scripture, and the saying of St. Ambrose, 'I have not lived so as to be ashamed to live among you; nor do I fear to die, for we have a gracious God.'

"During these days, beside the lessons which he gave us, and the chant of the psalms, he undertook the composition of two memorable works; that is, he translated into our language the Gospel of St. John as far as 'But what are those among so many?' [St. John vi. 9,] and made a collection of extracts from the notes of Isidore the bishop, saying, 'I will not suffer my pupils to read falsehoods, and labor without profit in that book, after my death.' But on the Tuesday before the Ascension his difficulty of breathing began to distress him exceedingly, and a slight tumor appeared in his feet. He spent the whole day and dictated to us with cheerfulness, saying occasionally, 'Lose no time; I know not how long I may last. Perhaps in a very short time my Maker may take me.' In fact, it seemed to us that he knew the time of his death. He lay awake the whole night praising God, and at dawn on the Wednesday morning ordered us to write quickly, which we did till the hour of tierce. At that hour we walked in procession with the relics, as the rubric for the day prescribed; but one of us remained to wait on him, and said to him, 'Dearest master, there still remains one chapter unwritten; will it fatigue you if I ask more questions?' 'No,' said Bede; 'take your pen and mend it, and write quickly.' This he did.

"At noon he said to me, 'I have some valuables in my little chest—pepper, handkerchiefs, and incense. Run quickly and bring the priests of the monastery to me, that I may make to them such presents as God hath given to me. The rich of this world give gold and silver and other things of value; I will give to my brethren what God hath given to me, and will give it with love and pleasure.' I shuddered, but did as he had bidden. He spoke to each one in his turn, reminding and entreating them to celebrate masses, and to pray diligently for him, which all readily promised to do.

"When they heard him say that they would see him no more in this world, all burst into tears; but their tears were tempered with joy when he said, 'It is time that I return to Him who made me out of nothing I have lived long, and kindly hath my merciful Judge forecast the course of my life for me. The time of my dissolution is at hand. I wish to be released and to be with Christ.' In this way he continued to speak cheerfully till sunset, when the fore-mentioned youth said, 'Beloved master, there is still one sentence unwritten.' 'Then write quickly,' said Bede. In a few minutes the youth said, 'It is finished.' 'Thou hast spoken truly,' replied Bede; 'take my head between thy hands, for it is my delight to sit opposite to that holy place in which I used to pray; let me sit and invoke my Father.' Sitting thus on the pavement of the cell, and repeating, 'Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,' as he finished the word 'Ghost,' he breathed his last and took his departure for heaven."[41]

We read that St. Dunstan had Mass celebrated in his room on the day of his death; and after communicating, he broke forth into the following prayer, "Glory be to thee, Almighty Father, who hast given the bread of life from heaven to those that fear thee, that we may be mindful of thy wonderful mercy to man in the incarnation of thine only-begotten Son, born of the Virgin. To thee, Holy Father, for that when we were not, thou didst give to us a being, and when we were sinners, didst grant to us a Redeemer, we give due thanks through the same thy Son, our Lord and God, who with thee and the Holy Ghost maketh all things, governeth all things, and liveth through ages and ages without end." Shortly afterward he died in the sixty-fourth year of his age.

The Cistercian abbot Aelred of Yorkshire died in wonderful peace after eight years of monastic life, repeating with his last breath, "I will [210] sing eternally, O Lord, thy mercy, thy mercy, thy mercy!"

While St. Wilfrid of York lay dying in the fair town of Oundle, the monks did not cease chanting night and day around his bed, though with much ado, so bitterly they wept. When they came to the one hundred and third psalm, and were sweetly and solemnly singing the words, "Emittes spiritum tuum, et creabuntur, et renovabis faciem terræ," "Thou shalt send forth thy spirit, and they shall be created; and thou shalt renew the face of the earth," the words stirred the soul of the careworn abbot, by whose pillow lay the Lord's body and blood; he turned his head gently, and without a sigh gave back his soul to God.[42]

St. Gilbert, when he was more than a century old, used to exclaim, "How long, O Lord, wilt thou forget me for ever? Woe is me, for the time of my sojourning is prolonged!" His soul was at last released one morning at the hour of dawn, while the monks were repeating the verse of the office, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand."

Twenty abbots assembled to witness the death of St. Stephen Harding at Citeaux. Hearing them whisper that he had nothing to fear after so holy and austere a life, he said to them trembling, "I assure you I go to God in fear and trembling. If my baseness should be found to have ever done any good, even in this I fear lest I should not have preserved that grace with the humility and care I ought."

St. Francis of Assisi, when he found he was dying, wished to be laid on the bare ground. When this was done, he crossed his arms and said, "Farewell, my children. I leave you in the fear of God. Abide therein. The time of trial and tribulation cometh. Happy are they who persevere in well-doing. For me, I go to God joyfully, recommending you all to his grace." He had the passion according to the Gospel of St. John read to him, and then repeated in a feeble voice the one hundred and forty-first psalm. Having said the final verse, "Bring my soul out of prison," he breathed his last.

St. Thomas Aquinas died lying on ashes sprinkled on the floor. When he saw the holy viaticum in the priest's hands, he said, "I firmly believe that Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is present in this august sacrament. I adore thee, my God and my Redeemer. I receive thee, the price of my redemption, the viaticum of my pilgrimage, for whose honor I have studied, labored, preached, and taught. I hope I have never advanced any tenet as thy word which I had not learned from thee. If through ignorance I have done otherwise, I revoke it all and submit my writings to the judgment of the holy Roman Church." Thus lying in peace and joy, he received the last sacraments, and was heard to murmur, "Soon, soon will the God of all consolation crown his mercy to me and satisfy all my desires. I shall shortly be satiated in him, and drink of the torrent of my delights; be inebriated from the abundance of his house; and in him, the source of life, I shall behold the true light."

When the viaticum was brought to St. Theresa, she rose up in her bed and exclaimed, "My Lord and my Spouse! the desired hour has at length come. It is time for me to depart hence." Her confessor asked her if she wished to be buried in her own convent at Avila. She replied, "Have I any thing of my own in this world? Will they not give me a little earth here?" She died with the crucifix in her hands, repeating, as[211] long as she could speak, the verse of the Miserere, "A contrite and humble heart, O God, thou wilt not despise!"

There is a touching account of a renowned and pious knight who, in the ages of faith, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Following lovingly the traces of our Saviour's steps, his heart became so broken with sorrow and love that his life flowed out through the wound. He visited with tender devotion Nazareth, whose hills leaped for joy when the Divine Word became incarnate in the womb of a Virgin; Mount Tabor, whose summit was lit up by God glorifying his only Son; the river Jordan, consecrated by the baptism our Lord received at the hands of St. John the Baptist; Bethlehem, where in a poor manger were heard the first cries of the Infant Word; the Garden of Gethsemane, which Jesus bedewed with a bloody sweat; Golgotha, where by his blood the Redeemer reconciled earth with heaven; and the glorious tomb whence the God-man issued triumphant over death. Finally, he came to the Mount of Olives. Here contemplating the sacred foot-prints left on the rock by the ascending Saviour, he pressed his lips upon them with loving gratitude; then gathering together all the strength of his love, raising his eyes and hands toward heaven, and longing to ascend by the way taken by our Saviour, "O Lord Jesus!" he cried in all the ardor of his love, "I can no longer find thee or follow thee in this land of exile; grant that my heart may ascend to thee on high!" And, as he uttered these ardent words, his soul fled to God like an arrow direct to its aim.

I find in an old book the following affecting account of the death of Friar Benedict, who died at La Trappe on the twentieth of August, 1674:

"Brother Benedict, of the diocese of Rouen, died five years and a half after his profession, the day of the fête of our father St. Bernard, aged thirty-two years. And as God visited him peculiarly with his grace in the progress of his disease, and at the time of his death, it has been thought desirable, in order both to recognize the mercy of Christ and for the edification of his community, to record the principal circumstances of his life and death.

"He fell sick nearly four years before his death of a disease upon his chest, and although, after that time, he was almost continually oppressed with a violent cough, with extreme pain, and with an intermitting fever, he never manifested even the slightest impatience of his suffering or the least desire to be cured. About Christmas of the year 1673, which preceded his death a few months, his disease increased. But he did not cease to discharge the peculiar offices prescribed to penitents in the monastery. The fever which seized him about the middle of Christmas did not prevent his following the same course of life he had long pursued. Five days after Easter, his disease having considerably advanced, the reverend father abbot ordered him to be conducted to the infirmary. There his fever immediately increased, his limbs inflamed, his cough became more violent, and the struggles in which he passed his nights quite exhausted him. Notwithstanding this, he continued to lie on a hard bed of straw till the moment when they removed him to the ashes, five hours before his death. He rose at four in the morning; he dined at the table of the infirmary, though his weakness was such that he was evidently unable to sustain the weight of his own head. During this time nothing was to be discovered upon his countenance which did not evidence the most complete tranquillity. He had been remarkably ingenious, and had nothing about him which he had not both invented and executed. Three weeks before his death, he said to the father abbot that, as he had been in the habit of constructing many things for the convenience of the monastery, and as it might be troublesome to the abbot to find and introduce workmen into the house after his death, he would on this account, if agreeable to the abbot, instruct one of the brothers in his various arts. The abbot having consented, he instructed a monk in less than a fortnight in the different arts in which he had been accustomed to be employed. And notwithstanding his weakness and pain, he did all this with so much patience and collectedness that he[212] seemed to have lost all remembrance of his sufferings. The father abbot, knowing the grace which God had given to him, and the degree in which God had detached him from the world, thought it his duty to follow up what he believed to be the designs of Providence in regard to him. This led him in the various ordinances of religion to maintain all the rigor which charity and prudence would permit; though in all private communications with him he treated him with the tenderness of a father. One day, when so overcome with pain that he could take nothing, he described his state to the father abbot, accompanying his description with certain expressions of countenance which it is almost impossible to restrain in such circumstances. The father abbot, however, said with severity, (as though he had no compassion for those sufferings in which he sympathized so truly,) that 'he spoke like a man of the world, and that a monk ought to manifest under the worst circumstances the constancy of his soul.' Benedict in an instant assumed that air of severity that never afterward quitted him. The fear lest the great exertions which he made by day and by night, combined with his extreme debility, might suddenly remove him, led them to give him the holy sacrament and extreme unction. He received both with every demonstration of piety. Such, however, was his weakness that he immediately fainted away. The father abbot having asked, before they brought him the extreme unction, if he desired that the whole community should be present at the ceremony, he answered that, 'exterior ceremonies were not of vital importance; that his brethren would derive little edification from him; and that he had more need of their prayers than their presence.' All his conversation during his malady was on the necessity of separation from worldly things, of the joy which he anticipated in death, and of the mercy which God had shown him in suffering him to end his days in the society of the father abbot.

"Some days before his death, the father abbot inquired minutely into the state of his mind; he answered in these very words, 'I consider the day of my death as a festival; I have no desire for any thing here, and I cannot better express my total separation from things below than by comparing myself to a leaf which the wind has lifted from the earth. All that I have read in the sacred Scriptures comes home to me and fills me with joy. Nevertheless, I can in no action of my life see any thing which can sustain the judgment of God, and which is not worthy of punishment; but the confidence which I have in his goodness gives me hope and consolation.' He added, 'How can it be that God should show such compassion to a man who has so miserably served him? I desire death alone; what can a man be thinking of, not always to desire it? What joy, my father, when I remember that I am about to refresh myself in the waters of life.'

"His ordinary reading, for many years of his life, had been the sacred Scriptures, which were so familiar to him that he spoke of little else. He mentioned to the father abbot so many passages, and repeated them in a manner so touching, so animated, and so devotional, that his hearers were at once edified and astonished. Those passages which were uppermost in his mind respected chiefly the majesty of God; but as he had a most humble opinion of his own life, which had however been, in the main, faithful and pure, he always reverted to the subject of the divine compassion. It was in that he found peace and repose.

"On the day of the Assumption, he felt himself so weak that he was unable to leave the infirmary. The father abbot carried him our Lord, whom he received upon his knees, leaning on two of his brethren. Two days afterward, he fell into strong convulsions, and imagined that the hour of his deliverance was come. The father abbot asked, 'Is it with joy that you depart?' 'Yes,' said he, 'from my very heart.' He then added, 'Into thy hands I commend my spirit.'

"The customary prayers were then offered up for the dying; but the convulsions having left him, the father abbot said that the hour of God was not arrived; and having given orders to remove him from the ashes to his bed, he turned to the father abbot with a serene countenance, and said, 'The will of God be done.' He lived three days waiting with anxiety the time when God would have mercy upon him. And such was his desire of death that the father abbot was obliged more than once to say to him that it was not for him to anticipate the designs of Providence. His pangs lasted till within an hour of his death, but he endured them with his accustomed patience and serenity. He said three days before his death that the most dangerous moments were the last, and that he did not doubt the great enemy of man would seek to disquiet him, and therefore requested the prayers of the community. The father abbot, having asked, after some other general discourse, if he knew the guilt of sin, he answered sighing, and, as it were, looking into the recesses of his own soul,[213] and in language expressive of the intensity of his feelings, 'Alas! once I knew it not; but now I see in the Scripture that God claims, as one of his chief attributes, the power of pardoning sin; "I am he who blotteth out your iniquities." I am therefore convinced that sin is a tremendous offence. I am far, indeed, from being like those who are always overwhelmed with a consciousness of their offences, but yet I believe, upon the testimony of faith and Scripture, that sin is a fathomless gulf of ruin.' These words were accompanied with a manner so extraordinary that they touched the very hearts of those who surrounded him.

"His bones having pierced his skin, and his shirt of serge sticking to his wounds, he begged them to move him a little; but at the end of the day, when the person who had the care of him wished again to ease his body, he said, 'My brother, you give me too much ease.' The father abbot having ordered some milk to be brought him, which was the only nourishment he took, he said, 'You wish then, my father, to prolong my life, and are unwilling I should die on the day of St. Bernard.' The father abbot having quitted him, he begged, perceiving that his death approached, that he might be called back. As soon as he saw him, he said, 'Father, my eyes fail me—it is finished.' The father having asked him in what state he found himself, and if he was about to approach Christ, 'Yes, father,' said he, 'by the grace of God, I am. I am not indeed sensible of any extraordinary elevation of my mind to God; but through his mercy I am in perfect peace. God be thanked!' This he repeated three times. The father abbot having asked him if he wished to die upon the cross and upon the ashes, 'Yes,' said he, 'from my heart.' With these words he lost his speech, or, at all events, it was impossible to hear any thing intelligible from him except the name of Jesus, which he pronounced repeatedly. They carried him to the straw spread out in his chamber. He was nearly four hours in a dying state, and preserved his recollection during the whole time. His eyes indicating a wandering state of mind, the father arose, took some holy water, and, having scattered it around him, repeated these words, 'Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered.' His face at this moment resumed its serenity. He kissed the cross several times, and, wanting strength to lay hold of it, they observed that he advanced his head to reverence it every time that it was presented to him. At length all his disquietudes ceased; they beheld him calm, peaceful, serene; and he breathed his last sigh with so much tranquillity that those who watched him scarcely perceived his death."

When William the Conqueror was on his death-bed, he confessed all the sins of his life, from his youth up, aloud and before a large number of priests and nobles from England and Normandy. We read that, after a long agony, on Thursday, the ninth of September, as the sun rose in glorious splendor, William awoke, and presently heard the great bell of the metropolitan church. He asked why it was ringing. "Seigneur," replied his servants, "it is ringing for prime at the church of our Lady St. Mary." Then the king raised his eyes to heaven and, lifting up his hands, said, "I recommend myself to holy Mary, Mother of God, that by her holy prayers she may reconcile me to her dear and beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ." With these words he expired.[43]

Peter, King of Aragon, at the approach of death, devoutly confessed all his sins and received the sacraments. After bidding his family farewell, he took a cross in his hands, lifted his streaming eyes to heaven, crossed himself three times, kissed the cross, and then said, "O Lord our Father, Jesus Christ our true God! into thy hands I commend my spirit. Deign by thy holy passion to receive my soul into paradise with the blessed St. Martin, whose festival Christians this day celebrate." And with his eyes still raised heavenward, he departed.[44]

When James, an unlearned lay brother of the order of St. Francis, came to die, he begged pardon of all his brethren, took a wooden cross from the head of his bed, kissed it, put it to his eyes, and then said, with tenderness, "Dulce lignum, dulces clavos, dulcia ferens pondera, quæ [214] sola fuisti digna sustinere Regem cœlorum et Dominum," "O sweet wood, sweet nails, supporting a sweet burden! Thou alone wast worthy to sustain the King and Lord of the heavens." All around him were greatly astonished, for he was unlearned, and they had never heard him speak in Latin.[45]

We read in the life of St. Gertrude of the death of a young person, who from her infancy upward had always shown a real spirit of detachment from the world. When she found herself in the agony of death, she bade farewell to all who were present, promising to be mindful of them before God. Then turning in her sufferings toward the Heavenly Bridegroom, she earnestly said, "O Lord, who knowest the most secret thoughts of my heart, thou hast known how eagerly I have longed to spend all the powers of my being, even unto old age, in thy service; now that I feel thou desirest to recall me to thyself, all my desire of serving thee in this world is changed to such an ardent longing to behold thee, and be united to thee, that death, however bitter it may be to others, only seems sweet to me." She wished the sisters to read to her the account of the sufferings of our Saviour in the Gospel of St. John, and when they came to the words, "He bowed his head and gave up the ghost," she asked for a crucifix. She lovingly kissed the feet of the image of our Saviour, thanked him for his graces, commended her soul to his care, and then slept peacefully in our Lord.

Our own Mother Seton, though she saw the intense grief of all the community, and heard the sobs of her daughter, who fainted at her side, died with the most profound composure. Her whole appearance indicated peace and resignation. Lifting her hands and eyes to heaven, she said, "May the most just, the most high, and the most amiable will of God be accomplished for ever." Her last words were the sacred names of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

The poet Tasso, when informed that his last hour was at hand, not only received the warning without alarm, but, embracing the physician, thanked him for tidings so agreeable, and, raising his eyes to heaven, returned tender and devout thanks to his Creator that, after so tempestuous a life, he now brought him to a calm haven. From this time he did not speak willingly on terrestrial subjects, not even of that fame after death of which through life he had been most solicitous; but resigned himself wholly and with the liveliest devotion to the last solemn offices prescribed by his religion. After confessing with great contrition, and receiving twice the sacrament with a reverence and humility that affected all the beholders, he received the papal benediction humbly and gratefully, saying this was the chariot upon which he hoped to go crowned, not with laurel as a poet into the capital, but with glory as a saint to heaven. When he had arranged all his earthly affairs, he begged to be left alone with his crucifix and one or two spiritual advisers, who by turns sung psalms, in which he sometimes joined. When his voice failed, his eyes still remained fixed upon the image of the crucified Redeemer. His last act was to embrace it closely. His last words, "Into thy hands, O Lord."

I quote the following account of the death of the great Raphael, in the form of a letter from Cardinal Bibbiena:

"As I entered, he held in his hand a few spring flowers, which he let fall as I handed him the rosary. He pressed the cross to his lips and whispered, 'Maria.' His voice[215] had a peculiar sound, clear but so low as to be scarcely audible. In the sick-room I found Count Castiglione, the good fathers Antonio and Domenico, the painter Giulio, and others. They had moved his couch to the window which stood wide open. Was it the effect of the softening light or of the approaching triumph? Raphael had never appeared more beautiful. His complexion was more roseate, and his thoughtful, brown artist-eyes larger and more luminous than usual. I told him what his holiness had requested me to say.

"'And so, dear Raphael,' I concluded, 'may the sympathy which the highest as well as the lowest feels for you, have the power to keep you long with us!'

"He smiled sadly.

"'You will, you must!' broke in Castiglione. 'Think what a longing for art your attainments have awakened within us. Think of your favorite plan to rebuild classical Rome, with its marble palaces and temples, its triumphal arches and picture galleries!'

"'Yes, I desired it,' replied he; 'and if God had granted me longer life, I should have succeeded.'

"'Do you still speak,' said I reproachfully, 'as if you would never recover?'

"'O father!' said he, 'the separation is not easy for me. If I could describe to you the longing which I have to retain the departing day! How my heart cherished the last ray of the sun that lingered on the hill! How beautiful is the world, how beautiful the faces of men! And now to take leave of them for ever—to sleep without hope of seeing the morrow!'

"'Beloved,' said I, 'do not forget that to-day the Saviour died, that we might throw off this mortal life and put on immortality.'

"'How should I forget Him from whom I have received every thing?' he answered softly. 'But even this mortal life was beautiful.'

"There was a moment's silence. Castiglione had taken Raphael's hand. The latter was looking through the open window at the distant hills that were lit up with the soft glow of the setting sun. Then his glance wandered, evidently in the direction of his thoughts, to the blue heavens, where the evening star looked down quietly like a messenger from the other world.

"'I shall see Dante,' said he suddenly.

"At this moment one of those present took the cover from Raphael's last picture, which hung on the wall opposite the couch. It is, as you know, an altar-piece—the Transfiguration. The sight of the immortal work, the dying master, the subject of the picture, and all remembrances associated therewith, overpowered us, and we wept aloud.

"His features began to change quickly, he spoke still, but wearily and without connection, though in significant phrases. Twice we heard those words of Plato, 'Great is the hope, and beautiful the prize!' He mentioned your name, too, and begged that you would lay your hand on his head.... The painter Giulio threw himself on the couch and wept in agony. I asked the others to kneel with me and pray for the dying.

"Once more Raphael revived, and, supported by two friends, arose and looked around with wide-open eyes.

"'Whence comes the sunshine?' murmured he.

"'Raphael!' cried I, and extended both hands toward him, 'do you recognize me?' For a moment it seemed as if he had not heard me, then he spoke again, and the holy calm of his expression, in spite of the death-struggle, bore testimony to his words, 'Happy.'... He did not speak again; but it was full night when a voice broke through the long stillness, 'Raphael is dead!'"

He died on Good-Friday, 1520, aged thirty-seven.

Besides these holy and edifying deaths, which might be continued indefinitely, we all have treasured up in our heart of hearts the sacred memory of some dear ones whose last words will go on vibrating in our hearts for ever.

"Oh! soothe us, haunt us, night and day,
Ye gentle spirits far away,
With whom ye shared the cup of grace,
Then parted; ye to Christ's embrace,
We to the lonesome world again;
Yet mindful of the unearthly strain
Practised with you at Eden's door,
To be sung on, where angels soar
With blended voices evermore."



"To Pius IX., Bishop of Rome:

"In your encyclical letter, dated Sept. 13th, 1868, you invite 'all Protestants' to 'embrace the opportunity' presented by the council summoned to meet in the city of Rome during the month of December of the current year, to 'return to the only one fold,' intending thereby, as the connection implies, the Roman Catholic Church. That letter has been brought to the notice of the two General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. Those assemblies represent nearly five thousand ministers of the gospel, and a still larger number of Christian congregations.

"Believing, as we do, that it is the will of Christ that his church on earth should be one; and recognizing the duty of doing all we consistently can to promote Christian charity and fellowship, we deem it right to say in few words why we cannot comply with your invitation, or participate in the deliberations of the approaching council.

"It is not because we reject any article of the Catholic faith. We are not heretics; we receive all the doctrines contained in the ancient symbol known as the Apostles' Creed; we regard as consistent with Scripture the doctrinal decisions of the first six œcumenical councils; and because of that consistency we receive those decisions as expressing our own faith. We believe the doctrines of the Trinity and Person of Christ as those doctrines are set forth by the Council of Nice, A.D. 325; by that of Chalcedon, A.D. 451; and by that of Constantinople, A.D. 680.

"With the whole Catholic Church, therefore, we believe that there are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and that these three are one God, the same in substance, and equal in power and glory.

"We believe that the Eternal Son of God became man by taking to himself a true body and a reasonable soul; and so was, and continues to be, both God and man, in two distinct natures and one person for ever. We believe that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the Prophet of God, whose teachings we are bound to receive, and in whose promises we confide. He is the high-priest of our profession, whose infinitely meritorious satisfaction to divine justice, and whose ever-prevalent intercession is the only ground of our justification and acceptance before God. He is our King, to whom our allegiance is due, not only as his creatures, but as the purchase of his blood. To his authority we submit; in his care we trust; and to his service we and all creatures in heaven and earth should be devoted.

"We believe, moreover, all those doctrines concerning sin, grace, and predestination, known in history as Augustinian. Those doctrines were sanctioned by the Council of Carthage, A.D. 416; by a more general council in the same place, A.D. 418; by Zosimus, Bishop of Rome, A.D. 418; and by the third Œcumenical Council at Ephesus, A.D. 481. It is impossible, therefore, that we should be pronounced heretical without including the whole ancient church in the same condemnation. We not only 'glory in the name of Christians, but profess the true faith of Christ, and follow the communion of the Catholic Church.' Still further to quote your own words, 'Truth must continue ever stable and not subject to any change.'

"Neither are we schismatics. We believe in true 'Catholic unity.' We cordially recognize as members of Christ's visible church on earth all who profess the true religion, together with their children. We are not only willing, but earnestly desire, to maintain Christian communion with them, provided they do not prescribe as a condition of such communion that we should profess what the word of God condemns, or do what that word forbids. If any church prescribes unscriptural conditions of fellowship, the error and the fault are with such church, and not with us.

"But, although neither heretics nor schismatics, we cannot accept your invitation, because we still hold the principles which prompted our 'ancestors,' in the name of primitive Christianity, and in defence of the 'true faith,' bravely to protest against the errors and abuses which had been foisted upon the church—principles for which our fathers were, by the Council of Trent, representing the church over which you preside,[217] excommunicated and pronounced accursed. The most important of those principles are the following:

"First. That the word of God, as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, is the only infallible rule of faith and practice. The Council of Trent, however, demands that we receive, pari pietatis affectu, the teachings of tradition as supplementing and interpreting the written word of God. This we cannot do without incurring the condemnation which our Lord pronounced on the Pharisees when he said, 'Ye make void the word of God by your traditions.'

"Second. The right of private judgment. When we open the Scriptures, we find them addressed to the people. They speak to us; they command us to search their sacred pages; they require us to believe what they teach, and to do what they enjoin; they hold us personally responsible for our faith and conduct. The promise of the inward teaching of the Spirit to guide men into the knowledge of the truth, is made to the people of God; not to the clergy exclusively; much less to any special order of the clergy alone. The Apostle John says to believers, 'Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and know all things; and the anointing which ye have received of him abideth with you, and ye have not need that any man teach you.' (1 John ii. 20 and 27.) The Apostle Paul commands us (the people) to pronounce accursed an apostle, or an angel from heaven, who teaches any thing contrary to the divinely authenticated word of God. (Gal. i. 8.) He makes the people the judges of truth and error as accountable to God only; he places the rule of judgment in their hands, and holds them responsible for their decisions. Private judgment, therefore, is not only a right, but a duty, from which no man can exonerate himself or be exonerated by others.

"Third. We believe in the universal priesthood of believers; that is, that all men have, through Christ, access by one Spirit unto the Father. (Eph. ii. 18.) They need no human priest to secure their access to God. Every man for himself may come with boldness to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. iv. 16.) 'Having, therefore, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, ... and having a High-Priest over the house of God, we may all draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.' (Heb. x. 19-22.) To admit, therefore, the priesthood of the clergy, whose intervention is necessary to secure for the people the remission of sins and other benefits of redeeming grace, we regard as involving either the rejection of the priesthood of Christ, or a denial of its sufficiency.

"Fourth. We deny the perpetuity of the apostleship. As no man can be a prophet without the spirit of prophecy, so no man can be an apostle without the gifts of an apostle. Those gifts, as we learn from Scripture, are plenary knowledge of the gospel, derived by immediate revelation from Christ, (Gal. i. 12,) and personal infallibility in teaching and ruling. What are the seals of the apostleship, we learn from what St. Paul says to the Corinthians, 'Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, in wonders, in mighty deeds.' (2 Cor. xii. 12.) Modern prelates, although they claim apostolic authority, do not pretend to possess the gifts on which that authority was founded; nor do they venture to exhibit the 'signs' by which the commission of the messengers of Christ was authenticated. We cannot, therefore, recognize them, either individually or collectively, as the infallible teachers and rulers of the church.

"Much less can we acknowledge the Bishop of Rome to be Christ's vicar upon earth, possessing 'supreme rule.' We acknowledge our adorable Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to be the only head of the church, which is his body. We believe that although now enthroned at the right hand of the Majesty on high, he is still present with his people on earth, whom he governs by his word, providence, and spirit. We cannot, therefore, put any creature in his place, or render to a man the obedience which is due to Christ alone.

"As the Church of Rome excommunicates all those who profess the principles above enumerated; as we regard these principles to be of vital importance, and intend to assert them more earnestly than ever; as God appears to have given his seal and sanction to these principles by making the countries where they are held the leaders in civilization—the most eminent for liberty, order, intelligence, and all forms of private and social prosperity—it is evident that the barrier between us and you is, at present, insurmountable.

"Although this letter is not intended to be either objurgatory or controversial, it is known to all the world that there are doctrines and usages of the church over which you preside which Protestants believe to be[218] not only unscriptural, but contrary to the faith and practice of the early church. Some of those doctrines and usages are the following, namely, The doctrine of transubstantiation and the sacrifice of the mass; the adoration of the host; the power of judicial absolution, (which places the salvation of the people in the hands of the priests;) the doctrine of the grace of orders, that is, that supernatural power and influence are conferred in ordination by the imposition of hands; the doctrine of purgatory; the worship of the Virgin Mary; the invocation of saints; the worship of images; the doctrine of reserve and of implicit faith, and the consequent withholding the Scriptures from the people, etc.

"So long as the profession of such doctrines and submission to such usages are required, it is obvious that there is an impassable gulf between us and the church by which such demands are made.

"While loyalty to Christ, obedience to the holy Scriptures, consistent respect for the early councils of the church, and the firm belief that pure 'religion is the foundation of all human society,' compel us to withdraw from fellowship with the Church of Rome, we, nevertheless, desire to live in charity with all men. We love all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. We cordially recognize as Christian brethren all who worship, trust, and serve him as their God and Saviour according to the inspired word. And we hope to be united in heaven with all those who unite with us on earth in saying, 'Unto him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God—to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.' (Rev. i. 6.)

"Signed in behalf of the two General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.

"M. W. Jacobus, Ph. H. Fowler,

We will preface our remarks upon the foregoing document by a few words of explanation to our European readers respecting the bodies whose joint manifesto it is.

The Presbyterians of the United States are quite distinct from the Congregationalists of New England, the descendants of the English Puritans, although the two fraternize together to a great extent. The Presbyterian Church is the daughter of the Kirk of Scotland, having its home in the Middle States, whence it has spread through the country, especially toward the West. Its government is more vigorous than that of any other church except the Methodist, and its doctrinal strictness surpasses that of all other large societies. Its clergy number about five thousand, having, we believe, somewhere near a half a million of communicants, and three or four times as many members in a looser sense. It is, on the whole, the first denomination as regards respectability, taking the country generally, and in all its periods of history; and, if we reckon its allies, the Dutch Reformed and Congregationalist societies, with it, as representing the Calvinistic phase of Protestantism, this is the system which has possessed the same vantage-ground in the British colonies of the United States that the Episcopal Church has taken in England.[46] Some thirty years ago, the Presbyterian body split into two great divisions by means of a dispute about rigid and moderate Calvinism, and rigid or lax enforcement of the Presbyterian polity. The two General Assemblies which recently met in this city adopted a plan of reunion which will probably receive general acceptance, and fuse the Old and New School Presbyterians together again in one body. The letter to the pope proceeds from the two assemblies, acting through their respective moderators in virtue of a resolution which passed both houses, which explains the fact that it is signed by two distinct presiding officers. With these few prefatory remarks, we pass to the consideration of the document itself.

We are very glad that the Presbyterian [219] Assemblies have replied to the pontifical letter. We are sure that all calmly-reflecting persons will agree that in doing so they have fulfilled an obligation of bienséance required by a sense both of the dignity of the Roman see and of their own respectability. They have shown, therefore, more courtesy and more self-respect than either the Eastern patriarchs or the Protestant Episcopal bishops, and, so to speak, have taken the water of their haughty rival, the General Convention. The tone of the document is remarkably dignified and courteous, and it will undoubtedly be so considered by the prelates of the council and the Holy Father. We would suggest to the gentlemen whose signatures are appended the propriety of making an authentic translation of the document into the Latin language, and of sending this, with the original, in an official manner, properly certified, to Rome. The editor of the Evangelist seems to apprehend that the addressing of this letter to the pope might be deemed officious or impertinent. We can assure him, however, and all other persons concerned, that this is by no means the case. The address of the pope to all Christians not in his communion was no mere formality, but perfectly sincere and in earnest. The Nestorian and Eutychian, as well as the Greek bishops, were invited to present themselves at the council, although these are far less orthodox on the fundamental doctrines of the Trinity and Incarnation than the Presbyterian Assemblies have proved themselves to be, by their full confession of agreement with the faith of the Roman Church on these articles. It is true that the above-mentioned bishops were invited on a different footing—not merely as Christians, but as bishops. The reason of this is, that their episcopal character is recognized and does not need to be proved. Therefore, all they have to do is to purge themselves of heresy and schism in order to be entitled, ipso facto, to take their places as constituent members of the council, with the right of voting, which will most certainly not be otherwise conceded to them. The Protestant bishops could not be invited as bishops, because their episcopal character is not recognized. If some of them should appear to put in their claim, we have no doubt, from the tenor of letters published in the English Catholic papers, that they would be received with great respect and consideration, and be allowed to argue their cause either before the council or a special congregation. It is not yet too late for some of them, who have sufficient courage and confidence in their cause, to do it, and we hope they will. Presbyterian Protestants make no claim to episcopal succession or ordination. Consequently they, by their own admission, must be regarded by the council, and by all who adhere to the hierarchical principle on which the first six councils were constituted, as destitute of any right to a position above that of laymen. Nevertheless, they are the heads and teachers of large and respectable societies, equal in point of fact, in our judgment, to those who call themselves bishops or presbyters in episcopally-governed Protestant societies, and therefore entitled to respect and consideration. No doubt they would receive all this were they to present themselves at the council as representatives of their religious societies. Of course, a council cannot consent to treat as open questions any matters already defined by previous councils, or enter into a controversial discussion of doctrines with men who, like Dr. Cumming, would wish to go there as champions of Protestantism.[220] The only attitude in which it would be proper to appear at a council would be that of persons asking for an explanation of the Catholic doctrines, and of the motives on which they are based, which implies a disposition to reconsider anew the grounds of the original separation. That this disposition does not exist at present very extensively we are well aware, and cannot, therefore, expect that there will be at the approaching council any thing like a conference of the heads of Protestantism with the Catholic prelates. There may be other councils, however, at no very distant period, where this may take place with very great advantage, and with the happiest results in reuniting all Christians within the one fold of Christ's church. It is something, however, to get from a great religious society like the Presbyterian body of the United States a formal statement of the reasons why they remain separated from the Catholic Church, in the shape of a letter to the pope. Such a statement has very great interest and great weight, and the document before us is certainly far superior to the encyclical of the Pan-Anglican Synod, or the other manifestoes of a similar kind which have been issued from various Protestant assemblies. The amiable editor of the Evangelist compares it to "a hand of iron under a velvet glove." We will venture, however, until some stronger and more authoritative hand shall be stretched out to measure strength with it, to submit our own, though a small one, to its grasp, wearing a glove of the same material. We do this without fear and without ill-will, though our remarks are only those of a private individual, having no force beyond the reason that is in them. We do it the more readily, and with greater interest, as the writer of this article is the son of a former moderator of one of these assemblies, and is indebted to that respectable body for some special prayers which it charitably offered for his spiritual welfare.

The first and most striking feature noticeable in the letter is the exculpation from heresy and schism which it puts forward. Nothing could show more clearly that the compilers feel that there is a prima-facie case against them. They are in the attitude of men who have broken off from the body of Christendom, separated from the communion which once included all Christians, and put forth a doctrine special to themselves, thus "condemned by their own judgment,"[47] as St. Paul says is characteristic of those who turn aside from sound doctrine. We do not judge any one individual among the Presbyterians to be a formal heretic or schismatic. The authors of the separation lived centuries ago, and men of this generation have been placed in their state of separation by the act of their ancestors. We speak, therefore, only of material heresy and schism, not in an offensive sense, but from the necessity of being distinct and adhering to the phraseology which the document before us itself uses. We are obliged to say, therefore, that the very exculpation it presents is a proof of the existence of that state of heresy and schism which is denied. The fact of having departed from the doctrine and communion in which the authors of Presbyterianism were educated, and which is that of the great body of Christians descending in unbroken continuity from the past, is acknowledged. The excuse given is, that the church had erred, added to the faith, changed the law, and was therefore herself responsible. The very justification which is made establishes the truth of the charge. It establishes the fact [221] that particular members of the church set up a private doctrine and a private organization against the Catholic doctrine and communion, which is precisely what is meant by heresy and schism.

It is thus that a person who refuses to submit to the judgment of the church judges himself. So long as he professes to submit to the church, and disputes not the binding authority of her doctrines, but their proper sense and meaning, his case is one for adjudication, like that of Pelagius; but as soon as he rejects the acknowledged doctrine of the church, defined by a competent tribunal, as erroneous, he at once pronounces himself an alien from the commonwealth, and by his own sentence forfeits all the rights of his citizenship in it. The Presbyterian judicatories act on this principle. The test of heresy with them is denial of the doctrines defined in their confession of faith. The individual, or even the congregation, is not the final authority. The presbytery, the synod, the general assembly, are all legislative and judicial courts, deciding questions of doctrine and discipline with authority, and exacting submission from each individual clergyman and layman as a condition of church fellowship. They avow, therefore, and act on the principle, that the revolt of the individual against church discipline is, ipso facto, schism, and his revolt against church doctrine, ipso facto heresy; so that by his very declaration, that he is in the right and the church in the wrong, he judges himself as a schismatic or heretic. Yet they themselves in judging their own refractory members have given a far more signal example of that self-judgment which St. Paul speaks of. For they have acted in the same manner toward the church universal as their own condemned members have acted toward them, and have thus sentenced themselves in pronouncing upon these their ecclesiastical censure.

This principle is capable of a more amplified statement and application. Heresy consists essentially in the denial of a part of the Catholic faith, coupled with the profession of the remaining parts. It is an affirmation and negation, in the same breath, of the same principles. It is, therefore, self-judged, because the affirmation which it makes in general terms of the truth of the Catholic faith, and of a greater or lesser number of the distinct dogmas of the faith, condemns and contradicts the denial which it makes of some one or more particular doctrines of the same faith. Moreover, every sect condemns all the other errors condemned by the church, except its own; so that, taking all heresies in the aggregate, they condemn and destroy each other; according to the declaration of holy Scripture, mentita est iniquitas sibi—unrighteousness has proved false to itself.

We find, therefore, that the spokesmen of the Presbyterian assemblies admit the obligation of Catholic unity, profess their belief in the Catholic church and the Catholic faith, and yet do not venture to assert that the Presbyterian family is the Catholic Church, its doctrine the Catholic faith; that it possesses unity in itself, and that all those Christians who are separated from it are bound to seek admission into its fold. They take what they implicitly admit to be an exceptional, abnormal position; they profess themselves to be only a fragmentary portion of Christendom, and excuse themselves for their isolation on the plea that there is a chasm separating them from the great mass of Christians which they cannot pass. When we examine the special points made in this plea more closely, we[222] find that all the positive affirmations of doctrine are affirmations of truths held in common with the Catholic Church, and that all the statements peculiar to the authors of the document are protests or negations. The Trinity, Incarnation, Redemption, etc., are palpably Catholic doctrines. The Augustinian doctrines of sin, grace, and predestination, so far as they are the statements or definitions of Catholic faith in opposition to the heresy of Pelagius, are dogmas, and so far as they are the opinions of a school, are sound opinions, though open to discussion. No Catholic writer ever dreamed of censuring them as heretical. The inspiration and infallibility of the holy Scriptures, the priesthood of all Christians, the right and duty of private judgment, the illumination and inward guidance of individual believers by the Holy Spirit, are all sound Catholic doctrines, when properly explained and harmonized with other doctrines. These are the principal positive statements of the document, and they add nothing whatever in the shape of new, living, constructive principle of belief or organization to that sum of truth which the Presbyterians have received from the old tradition. Although some of the negations of Catholic doctrine are put in a positive form, yet it is only the mode of expression which is positive, while the substance of the proposition is a negation. For instance, the proposition that Scripture is the sole authority, so far as it enunciates a truth which is positive, declares the inspiration and infallibility of the Scripture; but so far as it goes beyond that declaration, is really a negation of the authority of the unwritten word, expressed in the form of an affirmation that the Scripture is the sole authority. So, also, the whole of what is peculiar to the Presbyterian doctrine as distinguished from the Catholic, in the affirmation of the universal priesthood, the rights of individual reason, the inward light of the Holy Spirit, is derived from a negation of the hierarchical and sacerdotal orders, the authority of the church, and her infallibility. Then follows a long list of Catholic doctrines which are denied, and which the Roman Church is accused of having added to the ancient creed. We cannot be expected to go into the details of these doctrines singly, for the purpose of proving that the church has defined and proposed them on sufficient motives.

There are plenty of books in which the reverend gentlemen of the Presbyterian Church, and the intelligent laymen who adhere to that communion, can find the full and complete statement, with the proofs, of every portion of Catholic doctrine and discipline. For certain portions of it, they need not look beyond the bounds of Protestantism. The divines of the Church of England, and the controversial writers of the High-Church party in the United States, have proved the hierarchical principle, the episcopal succession, the grace of the sacraments, the real presence, and other doctrines akin to these, with solid arguments from Scripture and history which the advocates of Presbyterianism have never been able to refute. A section of the clergy of another Presbyterian communion, to wit, the German Reformed, have been led by their study of Scripture and the ancient authors to adopt and advocate similar principles totally contrary to those of the reverend moderators. They certainly cannot put forth their statements, therefore, as certain and evident facts or truths, admitted by all who have studied the Scriptures and ancient authors, even among Protestants. Their reiteration of them consequently establishes[223] nothing, proves nothing; in no wise can be alleged as a justification of their position. It is a mere defining of their position, which gives no new information whatever to any person, and therefore the discussion may justly be relegated to the arena of regular polemics.

So far as the reverend doctors have made use of arguments, however, it is proper that we should pay some attention to these, and this they have done in regard to a few points, although with the brevity to which the nature of their document restricted them.

(1.) Their first argument is against the authority of tradition. It is that, by receiving the teachings of tradition as of equal authority with the teachings of Scripture, we incur the condemnation pronounced by our Lord against the Pharisees when he said, "Ye make void the word of God by your traditions." The answer to this is obvious. The traditions of the Pharisees were private, human, recent traditions, not derived from the oral teaching of Moses or other inspired prophets, but from the unauthorized glosses or interpretations of the text of the law, made by the rabbis and scribes exercising their own private judgment. They were contrary to the true sense of the law, subversive of it, and maintained in opposition to the authority of Jesus Christ, the divinely commissioned interpreter and judge of doctrine. What has this to do with a tradition descending from the oral teaching of Jesus Christ and the apostles, agreeing with, explaining, and supplementing the teaching of the Scripture? The canon of the New Testament is such a tradition, and the Presbyterians have, consequently, if their opinion is a true one, incurred the condemnation of the Lord by receiving it. That traditions which are derived from the pure, original source of revelation are to be received, is proved by the commandment of St. Paul to the Thessalonians to "Stand firm: and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word or our epistle."[48] This is precisely what Catholics do. We hold all that has been delivered to us by the apostles, whether transmitted through the Scriptures or through tradition. Presbyterians reject apostolic and Catholic tradition, but make void the word of God; that is, they pervert or deny a great portion of the doctrine revealed by Jesus Christ through the apostles, by their own human, unauthorized traditions. Thus, they reject a number of the books of the Old Testament declared canonical by the same apostolic tradition which fixes the canon of the New Testament, by following the tradition of the Jews. They follow, in respect to divers other essential points of doctrine as well as discipline, the traditions of Luther and Calvin. Practically, they are entirely under the control of this human, modern tradition, which is designated by the reverend moderators as "the principles which prompted our 'ancestors,' in the name of primitive Christianity, and in defence of the 'true faith,' bravely to protest against the errors and abuses which had been foisted upon the church;" that is to say, against Catholic and apostolic tradition.

(2.) Their second argument is in favor of the right of private judgment—that is, according to their way of understanding this right—against the authority of the teaching church as the final, supreme judge of doctrine. The argument in brief is, that the Scriptures address the individual mind and conscience of every reader in an authoritative manner, commanding him to search their pages, promising [224] him the divine illumination to understand their meaning, holding him responsible to God for the belief and practice of their teachings, and forbidding him to listen to any teacher who shall present to him any doctrine differing from that which they contain. Suppose we grant all this. What then? Presbyterianism gains nothing. It cannot defend itself against other forms of Protestantism. It cannot establish its system either of doctrine or discipline. Moreover, an able, profound, biblical scholar, such as is Dr. Pusey, for example, will be able to prove from the Scripture the greater number of all those Catholic doctrines against which these divines protest as errors of the Roman Church. Among these doctrines thus contained in Scripture, and ascertainable even by one who begins his search properly qualified and disposed, but without any other authority except private judgment to direct him, are the authority of tradition and of the church. What now is the individual to do? The Scripture, as he supposed when he began to search it, teaches the right and duty of private judgment upon its own contents, as the exclusive method of learning the truths revealed from heaven to men. He has followed this method conscientiously, relying on the promise of divine illumination made to all sincere seekers after truth, and he now finds himself referred to another authority, that of the church. What is he to do now? Reject the Scriptures and the whole system of positive Christianity as inconsistent and self-contradictory? The Presbyterian divines cannot sanction this conclusion. Then he must conclude that he had imperfectly apprehended what the Scriptures teach respecting the right and duty of the individual to judge of their true sense and meaning, and must harmonize in some way their teaching on this point with their teaching on the other point, namely, the authority of the church. This is the way in which many have reached the church by the road of private judgment. They have opened and searched the Scriptures, assuming at the outset that they are the inspired word of God, addressed to them as individuals and intelligible to their own private reason, assisted by grace, without any extrinsic aid or interpreter. The fact that they have been able to reach the same knowledge of their true sense which the Catholic Church imparts to her children in a shorter way, is no proof, however, that this is the ordinary way in which the Lord intended that men should gain this knowledge. We deny totally that it is. It is very easy to assume the Scriptures in arguing with Catholics who affirm their authority. We deny, however, that the assumption is justifiable on Protestant principles. When the reverend doctors quietly say, "We open the Scriptures," we meet them at once with a denial of their logical right to assert that there are any Scriptures to be opened. If the word of God is manifested to each individual directly through a book, without human media, that book must be a miraculous work of God created by him immediately, and authenticated by some manifest sign from heaven. The Bible is not such a book. It is not a book at all, in the strict sense of the word. It is a collection of writings made by the church, authenticated as divine by her authority, and therefore always presupposing her existence and the existence of that faith and those laws by which she is constituted the church. To say that the exhortations of the sacred books of Scripture are addressed to each individual singly, without reference to the church[225] of which he is a member or of the doctrine which she teaches, is about as sensible as to say that St. Paul's direction to "salute Andronicus and Junias" was directed to the moderators of the two assemblies.

If all explicit teaching of the revealed truths were contained in the Scripture, exclusively, and sufficiently for the immediate instruction of all the faithful, the Scripture would clearly and distinctly affirm this, and furnish us with a description of itself or canon specifying the books which are inspired, duly authenticated by St. John, the last of the apostles. It does nothing of the kind, and the moderators are forced to allude to certain indirect references which are made to the authority of the Scripture in some of the sacred books. These indirect statements are not without their value as proofs of the Catholic doctrine of inspiration, but they by no means support the position of the moderators. Our Lord directs the unbelieving Jews to search the Scriptures of the Old Testament, because they testify of him, the living teacher, as the Vicar of Christ now points to the pages of the New Testament, where Protestants may find the proofs of his divine commission and authority. St. Timothy is commended as having studied the same Scriptures of the old law, which made him "wise unto salvation" by preparing him to receive the oral teaching of St. Paul. St. Peter incidentally informs us that the epistles of St. Paul are a portion of the inspired Scripture, when he gives the caution to all who read them that in them "are some things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as also the other Scriptures, to their own perdition."[49] All this is in perfect harmony with the teachings of the Catholic Church, as any one may see without our taking the trouble to develop the matter any further.

The promise of the Holy Spirit to the faithful generally is not in the least contrary to the doctrine of the infallibility of the teaching church, and the duty of obeying its decisions. It is a necessary condition to the participation in this light of the Holy Spirit that an individual should be a member of the body of Christ—the church—in which the Spirit resides. He must be instructed and baptized in the faith, the true doctrine must be given to him, the key to the sense of the sacred writings must be furnished him, the criterion of discernment between true and false interpretations of the revelation of Christ must exist in his mind, in order that he may exercise his judgment rightly. Under these conditions, the private Christian can possess the faith in himself in such a way that he needs no man to tell him what the true doctrine of Christ is, and detects at once the heresy of any false teacher, even though he be a priest or bishop, who attempts to preach his own new and private opinions contrary to the Catholic faith. This is that supernatural, Catholic instinct pervading the church and keeping the faithful loyal to their religion, under the longest and bloodiest persecutions, like those which the Irish and the Poles have endured with such martyr-like constancy. This "unction from the Holy One" was in the fathers of the first six councils, by the confession of the reverend doctors themselves, and in the universal church which adhered to the true faith attacked by the Arian, Nestorian, and Monophysite heretics. And if so, this same unction must have enabled them to understand the true doctrine of the apostles on all other points of the Christian faith, as well as on the Trinity and Incarnation. If this unction is in all[226] true Christians, then they must all believe alike, in all ages and all places. Why, then, do the Presbyterian divines reject the doctrines of the fathers of the first six centuries, and the doctrines of all Christendom during these and subsequent centuries, until the revolution of the sixteenth century, concerning the sacraments, the priesthood, and other matters of the most essential character?

(3.) The third argument is, that the doctrine of a human priesthood implies a denial of the priesthood of Jesus Christ, or of its sufficiency. We are surprised to see such manifestly inconsequent reasoning in a document coming from a body of such high repute for ability and learning as the Presbyterian clergy. The affirmation that the Bible is the word of God implies, then, a rejection of Jesus Christ as the Word of God, or a denial of his sufficiency. The recognition of human teachers and pastors implies, then, the rejection of Jesus Christ as the teacher and pastor, or the denial of his sufficiency. What, then, are the five thousand Presbyterian pastors but so many usurpers of the titles and offices of Jesus Christ? Christ and the Holy Spirit are sufficient for each man without any human intervention. Away, then, with your church, your sacraments, your assemblies, your ministers, your confession of faith, your bibles. Every man is enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and has unrestricted access to God through Jesus Christ, as the fanatics said in the time of Luther, who had no argument by which he could refute them, and was forced to call on the princes to use the more efficacious weapon of the sword, and to sweep away the too consequent but most unfortunate imitators of his own example by a deluge of blood.

(4.) The fourth argument is, that there can be no apostolic succession in the church, because bishops do not possess the gifts and perform the miracles of the apostles. This argument merely proves that the apostles can have no successors in that which was peculiar to themselves as founders of the church, or fathers in the spiritual order of the line of succession. They alone received immediately from Jesus Christ the revelation of Christian faith and Christian law. Their successors received this deposit from their hands without any power to add to it or take from it. There is no necessity that the successors of the apostles should receive by a new revelation that which they have received from the apostles themselves by tradition. They need not the gifts necessary to originate, but only those necessary to preserve and continue the work of Christ, committed to the apostles. It is, therefore, no argument against the infallibility of the episcopate in preserving, proclaiming, explaining, or protecting against contrary errors the deposit of faith received from the apostles, to say that it lacks the immediate inspiration necessary to an infallible proclamation of revealed truths at first hand. The miracles wrought by the apostles as signs of their apostleship authenticate this revelation as taught by their successors to the end of time, and seal the credentials of the episcopal line which they founded throughout its entire length without any new miracles. As to the fact of the establishment of the hierarchy containing the three distinct grades of bishop, priest, and deacon, deriving its power through episcopal ordination from the apostles, it is enough to refer to the learned works of Protestant authors who have fully proved it. Catholic authors do not teach that bishops succeed to the extraordinary apostolic office of the apostles, but only to their episcopal office. We hold that St. Peter alone[227] has successors to the plenitude of his apostolic power, with the reservation of so much as only the founder of the line could or need exercise. To this supremacy of the successor of St. Peter the divines object still more strongly than to the power of the episcopate, that it substitutes the pope in the place of Jesus Christ. It is very hard to find by what logical process this conclusion is reached. The divines admit that St. Peter and the apostles were the infallible teachers and rulers of the church. If their argument is sound, they cannot admit this without substituting the apostles in the place of Jesus Christ. If the church could be governed by a human, infallible authority for half a century, without prejudice to the supreme authority of Jesus Christ, it could be governed for an indefinite number of centuries in the same way, without any such prejudice. It is quite irrelevant to this side of the question whether this authority is exercised by one or by several, over local churches or over the church of the whole world, Christ is the head of all particular churches as well as of the church universal. If it is compatible with this headship of Christ that a man should be the pastor of a single congregation, it is quite as much so that he should be a pastor over a diocese, over a province, over a nation, over a collection of nations, or over the whole world. The reverend doctors have therefore confused the issue. It is simply a question of fact as to what constitution Jesus Christ actually gave the church, and what powers he delegated to his ministers. The Presbyterians, on their own principles, are bound to prove from the New Testament alone that our Lord did not give the church an episcopal and papal constitution, but did give it a Presbyterian polity. When they made their case out against the Episcopalian divines on the one side, and against such Catholic authors as Archbishop Kenrick, Mr. Allies, F. Bottalla, and F. Weninger, on the other, it will be time to listen to them, but not sooner.

We have done with the arguments of the reverend doctors, but we cannot withhold an expression of surprise at the signs of the divine sanction to their principles which they appeal to, apparently in lieu of the miracles which are wanting, or of the four marks by which the church used to be known in the old times. That men believing in total depravity and election should appeal to the temporal prosperity of nations—the mass of whom, on their principles, are hopelessly doomed to everlasting fire, there to be tormented for ever, even for those actions which the world calls virtuous and brilliant—as a proof of the divine favor, is somewhat strange. We wonder they did not add, "Behold we are rich and increased in goods; in this great capital where we are assembled, our churches are principally in the upper portion of the city, handsomely carpeted, richly cushioned, and principally frequented by the wealthier classes. Indeed, we are the church both of the élite and of the elect."

We have done with the arguments by which the reverend doctors sustain their protest against the Roman Church, and will devote the rest of our space to a consideration of those by which they sustain their claim to be recognized as orthodox, Catholic Christians. Their line of argument is certainly remarkable, and must strike many of their readers with surprise. It is an attempt to take the position held by the Catholic Church during the first five or six centuries, to identify their cause with that of the early fathers and councils, to shelter themselves under the ægis of a Catholic creed, to use Catholic language,[228] appropriate the Catholic name, and make profession of adhering to Catholic unity and the communion of the Catholic Church. There must be a wonderful charm and power about this word when even Presbyterians are compelled to bow before its majesty, and to acknowledge that their cause is lost if they cannot indicate their right to inherit and blazon on their escutcheon this glorious, world-subduing title. "The name itself of Catholic keeps me," says St. Augustine, the favorite doctor of the Presbyterians. The divines of the assemblies are, therefore, compelled by the very attitude they have taken, in justifying themselves as orthodox believers before the holy see, to claim that appellation which was the distinctive mark and sign of that ancient body whose faith is acknowledged by both sides as the standard and criterion of orthodoxy. This language is, however, evidently only adopted for the occasion. It is not the natural, ordinary phraseology of Presbyterians, who are not accustomed to teach and preach to their own adherents the necessity of Catholic unity, communion in the Catholic Church, agreement with the first six councils, or to call their doctrine the Catholic faith. These words must have a definite meaning. They are not mere phrases or pure synonyms of other words equally significant of the same ideas. Catholic is not merely another name for true, or scriptural, or apostolic. It will not do for one to give out a system of doctrine which he has constructed by his own private judgment upon the Scripture, or learned by a private illumination, or taken from the writings of a particular set of religious teachers, and call it Catholic because he thinks it is proved to be true, and ought to be universally received. The term Catholic includes in its signification completeness and integrity of truth; but its specific sense is concrete, visible universality of outward profession, the quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus, of Vincent of Lerins. This universality in time and space is the mark and outward manifestation of the integral, divine truth, and those who accept it and proclaim it as such must necessarily hold that the indefectibility of the visible church is guaranteed by Almighty God. It is unmeaning for those who hold that the body of the visible church, as organized under its legitimate pastors, can apostatize from the pure faith of the gospel, and the line of true believers be continued invisibly, or in a small, separated section of professed Christians, to make use of the word Catholic, or pretend to agree with the fathers of the first six centuries in their profession of Catholicity as opposed to heresy. The marks of the church, unity, sanctity, catholicity, and apostolicity, if they are really marks, as declared by all who profess to be Catholics in the genuine, natural, commonly accepted sense of the word, must be so burnt into the object they are intended to mark that they are ineffaceable and easily read and known by all men. The young Mohican hero Uncas was recognized by the aged Indian chief and prophet Tamenund as the legitimate heir of the noblest and most royal line of the northern sachems, by the figure of its sacred emblem, the tortoise, tattooed upon his breast. The name Catholic is, as it were, the totem which marks a peculiar ecclesiastical race, descended from the ancient fathers, indelibly stamped upon its breast as the sure sign of its legitimacy. It is in vain, therefore, that the Presbyterian doctors vaunt their acceptance of the Catholic symbol, the Apostles' Creed, including as one of its essential articles, "I believe the holy, Catholic Church." They do not believe this[229] article in the Catholic sense, as understood by the whole ancient church, namely, as designating a well-known, specific, visible body, and implying a full belief of all the doctrines authoritatively proclaimed by that body. Among a thousand others we take one text of St. Augustine, which we have hit upon at random, expressing this sense: "Catholica fides est autem hæc—constitutam ab illo matrem ecclesiam, quæ Catholica dicitur, ex eo quia universaliter perfecta est, et in nullo claudicat, et per totum orbem diffusa est." "The Catholic faith is this—that the mother church was constituted by him, which is called Catholic, because it is universally perfect, and is diffused through the whole world."[50] Moreover, the profession in general terms of holding the Catholic faith, or the avowal even of a creed completely orthodox, avails nothing to those who are outside the Catholic communion, and make their orthodox profession a pretext for keeping up a separate organization in opposition to the legitimate pastors. All the ancient separatists made a loud outcry that they were true, genuine Catholics. The modern ones, from the Greeks to the Presbyterians, imitate their example. There is a power residing in that name which all acknowledge. They feel that their claim to be truly apostolic, orthodox churches, holding the pure doctrine and order established by the apostles and apostolic men, will be utterly demolished if they yield the title to Catholicity. Hence they have tried to arrogate it to themselves, and to affix nicknames to the Catholic Church. But their efforts have always been in vain. When they are divested of the disguises and borrowed raiment which they throw around their own proper form, the sign on their breast is wanting, and none of the black paint with which they strive to smear it over can mar or cancel the indelible imprint which the numberless lancets of persecution have cut and graven into the very flesh of the majestic figure of the true body of the Son of God. Hear once more St. Augustine: "The Christian religion must be held by us, and the communion of that church which is Catholic, and is called Catholic, not only by its own members, but also by all its enemies. For, whether they will or no, the very heretics themselves and the offspring of schisms, when they talk not with their own friends, but with people outside, call the Catholic Church nothing else but Catholic. For they cannot be understood unless they designate her by that name by which she is denominated by the whole world."[51]

The profession of agreement with the first six councils is equally fallacious. Why the first six and not the last twelve? The Catholic Church receives all the eighteen councils with equal veneration, and is now preparing herself to celebrate the nineteenth, which will have equal authority with the first, because the fathers will be equally congregated together in the Holy Ghost, with the presence of Christ in the midst of them, and the inexhaustible virtue of his promise, Lo! I am with you always, even to the consummation of the world. The separated bodies of Christians are ranged in an ascending series of protesters against these councils, who reject a greater or lesser number according to the date or reason of the judgment pronounced in them against their several errors. The Greeks reject all but the first seven, the orthodox Protestants all but six; the Monothelites rejected the sixth, the Eutychians the fourth, the Nestorians the [230] third, the Macedonians the second, the Arians the first, in which they are followed by the modern Unitarians. It is evident enough that there is a principle of consanguinity binding together all these families, from those who reject the Council of Nice to those who repudiate the Council of the Vatican. The Catholic Church is marked by the unbroken continuity of œcumenical councils. The other churches reject as many of these councils as seems good in their eyes, and accept the decisions of the others because they are in accordance with their own opinions. They do not submit to the councils; they judge them, and ratify such of them as they approve. The profession made by the Presbyterian doctors of receiving six councils amounts, therefore, to nothing as a plea in defence of their orthodoxy. Upon their own principle, they might just as rightfully reject these six councils as the seventh. They really reject and deny their authority as councils, they repudiate the very principle on which they were constituted, and affirm their own supreme right to judge. They acknowledge the truth of the doctrines which they defined; but it is purely on the ground that these doctrines agree with their own private opinions respecting the sense of the New Testament. The whole of this portion of the letter, in which the Presbyterian doctors attempt to use Catholic phraseology, is evidently nothing but a piece of special pleading. They do not venture the assertion that the church of the period of the six councils—that is, the three centuries and a half between the years 325 and 680—was identical in doctrine or discipline with the Presbyterian Church of the United States, which they represent. Nevertheless, they seem to wish to leave the impression on the minds of their readers that the fathers, the councils, the common belief and practice of those ages sustain their cause. The editorial comment in the Evangelist boldly asserts that such is the case. The small number of scholars well read in patristic theology who are found among the Presbyterian clergy will probably not risk their reputation for learning or put at hazard the success of their cause by any such rash statement. As a general rule, however, the Presbyterian clergy and theological students, though well-educated scholars in the college curriculum and certain special professional branches taught at the seminaries, have not turned their attention to ancient Christian history and literature. They know much more about Turretin than they do about St. Augustine. It is quite probable, therefore, that a very general impression prevails among them, that they are really on the whole in conformity with the doctrine of the great fathers of the ancient church. This is a delusion which a little study of the original works of the fathers themselves would soon dissipate. We could not desire any thing more efficacious for this purpose than the study of St. Augustine, called by Luther the greatest teacher whom God had given to the church since the days of the apostles, and revered in a most remarkable way by all those who follow the Lutheran and Calvinistic confessions.[52] The deeply learned men and independent thinkers among Protestants understand this well, and the notion of the half-learned sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that Protestantism can take its stand on the era of the first six councils is a mere remnant of mist that hangs for a while over portions of the landscape, but is destined soon [231] to disappear before advancing light. St. Augustine is diametrically opposed to the first principle of Presbyterianism and all Protestantism, that principle which is the dominant idea of the Presbyterian reply to the Pope.

He says, "Non crederem Evangelio nisi me commoveret Ecclesiæ Catholicæ auctoritas," "I would not believe the gospel unless the authority of the Catholic Church moved me to do it."[53] Prof. Reuss, of the Protestant theological faculty in the University of Strasburg, says that "St. Augustine's principles come to their result in this famous saying, diametrically opposed to the fundamental principle of all Protestant theology."[54] Julius Müller, another professor in the same faculty, says of all the fathers: "This must be openly admitted by every unprejudiced historical investigation, that not merely the ecclesiastical theology of the middle ages, but even the patristic theology of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries, are, upon every point that is a matter of dispute between Catholicism and Protestantism, more on the side of the former than of the latter."[55]

Presbyterians cannot make any thing by an appeal from the Council of Trent to the first six councils. They have no connection either by continuity of thought or succession with historical Christianity, and their only resource is to maintain that the true interpretation of the gospel, which was lost before the Council of Nice assembled under the auspices of Constantine, has been restored by Calvin, Luther, and Knox. How they can account for the fact that the church which, on their theory, had subverted the apostolic church, was unerring in its definitions of the great dogmas of the Trinity, Incarnation, Original Sin, and Grace, is only known to themselves. It is only by a happy inconsistency that orthodox Protestants have preserved that portion of the Catholic faith which they have received by tradition from their ancestors. The true Protestant principle of individualism necessarily tends to master the contrary principle of faith in the minds of Protestants, and to produce the doubt, the denial, the hostility to all positive dogmas which marks the most advanced rationalism. All this was working in Luther himself, whose brain contained the seeds of the bitter fruit which has ripened in the minds of his followers in our day. He himself was the prey of doubt, and gave utterance to the strongest expression concerning the absurdity of the principal doctrines of his own system.[56] Thrown upon the discussion of what the Scripture is, and what it means, with nothing to appeal to but private judgment, Presbyterianism, or any other form of Protestantism, has nothing to look forward to but an endless shock and collision of conflicting opinions, which can have no other effect than the resolution of the whole mass into its component atoms.

We have concluded our remarks upon the reply of the Presbyterian moderators to the pope's letter. While we have been forced to point out distinctly that the principle of its protest against the doctrine and authority of the Roman Church is totally subversive of all faith, yet we willingly acknowledge that some of the most sacred and fundamental dogmas of faith are held and professed by the respectable bodies in whose name it was written. Their doctrine is like a superb ancient torso to which plaster limbs and head have been added. Although their principle is equally [232] destructive of all faith with that of the Arians, yet we by no means regard them in the same light. The authors of heresies who mutilate the faith are very different from those who receive and hold with reverence this mutilated faith. Their intellectual and moral worth, their philanthropy and zeal for God, the value of many most excellent works which they have written in defence of the divine revelation, we fully appreciate. That great numbers have been and are in the spiritual communion of the Catholic Church we sincerely hope. We desire that the schism which has separated them from our visible communion may be healed, not only for their own spiritual good, but also that the Catholic Church in the United States may be strengthened by the accession of that intellectual and religious vigor which such a great mass of baptized Christians contains in itself. Above all things, we desire that all who acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Sovereign should be united in mind, and heart, and effort, in order that his universal kingdom over the nations of the earth may be established as speedily and as completely as possible.



"You say he is handsome?"

"No; I said he was nice-looking, and gentlemanly, as of course Philip's cousin would be. But you know I judge only from a photograph."

"How vain you are of your lover, Jessie! You would be just as proud of him if he had not his handsome face, of course?"

"Of course I would."

"I will not marry a handsome man! However, tell me some more about the cousin. Why should he bury himself at Shellbeach? I should think a man of any aspiration could not endure such a contracted life. I suppose he is as gossiping and weak-minded as a country minister."

"My dear Margaret!"

"I know you think me uncharitable. The truth is, men exasperate me; and then remember I am twenty-five and not engaged."

"You have no one to blame except yourself."

"I don't know about that. Is it my fault that young men are all alike, and inexpressibly wearisome? Seriously, I am tired of being Miss Lester, and mean to change my condition. Why do you look at me in that peculiar manner?"

"I was wondering how you would suit the doctor."

"Does he want to be suited?"

"I should think so, from his letter."

"Jessie, give it to me this moment. I must see it."

"I will not give it to you. I will read you something he says. No, you are not to look over my shoulder; sit down peaceably, or else I shall put the letter in my pocket."

"Why Jessie, what is the matter with you? I never saw you so dignified in all my life. I suppose the[233] letter is all about Philip, and that is why you choose to keep it to yourself. Well, here I am, meek as a lamb, actually submitting to you. It is too absurd!"

With these words, Margaret, who had seated herself on a sofa near her friend, jumped up, seized the letter and tore it open, while Jessie held out her hands imploringly, but did not offer to resist her impetuous companion. Margaret glanced at the first two pages.

"Philip, Philip. Don't be alarmed; I would not be hired to read it. Let me see; what is this? 'Why was not I fortunate enough to have you myself?' Aha! you have two irons in the fire, you artful little creature?"

"Don't be silly, Margaret, but read on."

"I don't know about this; I shall not scruple to warn Philip, if you are getting yourself into trouble. What comes next? 'But since so charming a companion is beyond my reach, cannot you undertake to find me some one as much like you as possible, or at least just as nice, who would not be afraid of a quiet, hard-working life with a poor doctor, in the dullest of country towns? A sweet temper is, of course, the first requirement; moderate personal attractions; some sense and experience, and a little money for herself. Of course I want a great many more things, but these will do for the present. So if you know of a young woman, strong and healthy—to think that a doctor should have almost forgotten those important items!—send her down here, will you? and I will marry her on the spot.' Well, I will not read any more of your letter, unless there are any more of this modest man's requirements. But seriously, Jessie, I think I would do very well for him, and you may write and tell him I am coming."

"Margaret, of course you are in fun? How can you look so sober? You would not surely mean any thing so improper."

"I am in very earnest, and really it is quite refreshing to be so. I am tired out with my third season of balls, operas, Germans, and all that kind of nonsense, and I would like to see a little of real life. I have not quite made up my mind what I will do; but I will go up-stairs for an hour, and then I will tell you what to write to the doctor. My good old aunty shall be favored with a long visit from her niece, whom she has not seen for five years; and in the mean time, you are not to say one word to your mother or to any one else. Do you hear, Jessie? Come, promise me."

The promise was given, and Jessie was left in great perplexity for nearly two hours, when a message was brought her that Miss Lester would be glad to see her up-stairs. She found her friend at a little writing-table, in a sort of boudoir between their rooms, where the girls used to work and read in the mornings, and receive calls from their intimate friends.

"There!" said Margaret, rising as she entered; "sit down there, Jessie, and read what I have written; you are to copy it in your answer to the doctor's letter. Read it aloud to me; I want to hear how it sounds."

Jessie read as follows:

"I highly approve of your wish to marry, and think I can help you in the matter. I have some one in my mind that comes pretty well up to your different requirements—at least those you have specified; for of course I cannot pretend to answer for the 'great many more things' which you want, but have not mentioned. Moreover, this young woman is a dear friend of mine, and is willing to marry, if she can be satisfied. She says she will go to Shellbeach and stay with a relation, in order to see and to be[234] seen, on condition that you will be at her disposal to a reasonable degree during her visit, which she will limit to six months, and that, at the end of that time, you will write her a true statement of how you stand affected toward her. On her part, she will promise to marry you, if by that time you both desire it. I may as well tell you that her name is Margaret Lester, and that she will stay with old Miss Spelman, with whom you are on such friendly terms. This whole matter, you will understand, is to rest between you, Miss Lester, and myself."

Jessie was too much accustomed to her friend's eccentricities to be very much astonished by this unexpected termination to their morning's conversation. She disapproved, however, of the whole affair, and remonstrated as strongly as she dared; but she had grown to defer to Margaret's stronger will, and now felt it impossible to oppose her. "Besides," as Margaret said, "what could be more natural than that she should go to stay with old Aunt Selina? It was only what she ought to have done before." And, to crown all, Jessie was informed that a letter had been already written and sent to Miss Spelman, and Margaret intended to go, at any rate.

The discussion lasted some time, and ended by Jessie's unwillingly placing herself at the desk and writing a letter, which, though it contained the exact words of the copy given above, also enlarged, in Jessie's own affectionate language, on her friend's good qualities, attractions, and popularity, and had nearly alluded to the very handsome income, which would so far exceed the doctor's not unreasonable demand. But that Margaret cut short; it was enough, she said, that he should believe her to have a little pin-money; for of course he would expect to support the family, if he had any spirit, and if he had not, she would have nothing to do with him. Poor Jessie groaned over Margaret's downright speeches, but did not attempt to change her decision. The letter was at last sealed and sent, and Jessie could only wonder at Margaret's high spirits for the rest of the day. She had never looked handsomer, or been more amusing, or played more finely than on that evening, when Mrs. Edgar gave a little party. She was so kind to the young men, that they all were charmed with her and with themselves, and quite expanded under the warmth of her bright smiles.

Jessie, on the contrary, was preoccupied and distressed. She felt uncomfortable at what she had done, at the thought of the secret she was keeping from her mother, and troubled when she remembered the approaching separation from her friend. How she wished Margaret were not so hard to please! Why could she not like that pleasant Mr. Lothrop, who was so handsome, so rich, and who would so gladly have availed himself of the smallest encouragement to make her an offer? How kindly she smiled on him to-night! Why couldn't she be satisfied with pleasing him? And then what was the chance that this fastidious girl would take a fancy to Dr. James, whom, though she had never seen, she believed to be plain and unattractive? What could come of it, except trouble for the poor man? Of course he would fall in love with Margaret, while she would think of nothing but amusing herself. "And I shall have been the instrument of bringing disappointment and unhappiness to Philip's cousin and dearest friend."

All these thoughts kept Jessie in a very unenviable state of mind during the evening, and she was thankful when she could escape to her own room, and write a long letter, before going to bed, to her absent lover; of[235] course not disclosing Margaret's secret, but disburdening her mind of many anxieties on her friend's account.

While the answers to the letters written in so impulsive a manner are being expected with some impatience, a few words should be said on the history and circumstances of Margaret Lester, about whom a good deal is to be written in these pages.


Margaret's mother died when she was about fourteen years old, and her father, unwilling to take the direction of his daughter's education, placed her at an excellent boarding-school, where no expense was spared to give her every advantage, and where, being perfectly happy, she remained until she was nineteen. It was at this school that she formed the friendship with Jessie Edgar which was afterward to be so great a benefit to her. Jessie was the second daughter of a wealthy New York family, and it was at her home that Margaret passed her first Christmas vacation, and all her succeeding holidays.

Jessie's gentle, yielding nature found great enjoyment in Margaret's boldness and self-reliance, and Margaret, who began by protecting and supporting the other's timidity and shyness, ended by heartily admiring and loving her sweet and unselfish room-mate. They became "inseparables," in school-girl phrase, and when school-days were over, and Mr. Lester thought that the best completion to his daughter's education would be a little travelling, Jessie's mother consented to her accompanying her dear friend. For two years they visited beautiful places together, and felt their friendship drawn more closely, as their sympathies became enlarged.

But this happy experience came to a sudden and sorrowful end. Mr. Lester had a dreadful fall while they were coming down a mountain, and, after lingering a few weeks in extreme suffering, died, leaving the two girls quite alone in a foreign land. They had a sad journey home; he had been the life and soul of their expedition, and, having travelled a good deal before, had been able to be the pleasantest kind of guide for them. It had been hard to prevail on Margaret to leave the Swiss town where he lay buried in the little graveyard; but Jessie's love prevailed, and they came safely back together to Mrs. Edgar's hospitable house. Once there, the kind friends would not let Margaret think of leaving them, and she had grown to consider the pleasant house almost as her own home.

It was long before she recovered her high spirits, but at twenty-three she was induced to go into society with Jessie, who had waited for her. She was, from every point of view, a desirable match—young, rich, and fine-looking; gay and good-humored. Pleased with herself and her surroundings, she thoroughly enjoyed her first season, and was unmistakably a belle. The next year, however, was a disappointment; there was a sameness in her life and amusements that became irritating to her. Jessie was engaged to be married, and Margaret found herself jealous of her friend's divided confidence. But, though she said to Jessie that she would like to follow her example, "to be able to sympathize with lovers' rhapsodies," like the princess in the fairy-tale, she found fault with all her admirers; criticised them, nicknamed them, and discouraged their attentions as soon as these became[236] exclusive. A very gay summer at a fashionable watering-place followed this wearisome winter, and Margaret entered upon her third season disposed for any thing but enjoyment. No one who saw her in society would have guessed her real character. High-spirited, gay, liking to astonish and slightly shock her friends by her behavior, a little of what is termed "a trainer," there lay underneath this careless exterior a depth of real sentiment that only one or two people whom she truly loved were aware of. To be loved for herself, and to love, were her aspirations.

First, she was perfectly aware of her own attractions, and believed she could have almost any man of her acquaintance, if she should choose to make herself agreeable to him; but she could not believe in any one's disinterested attachment to her.

"They all know I am rich," she would say to Jessie; "they would not take me and poverty. Now, I would be glad, if I were poor, to marry a poor man; then I could believe in his love, and we could have some trials to bear together."

Secondly, she earnestly wished to love; but this, with her, meant a great deal. She wanted to look up to some one, to honor and believe in him; she thought of this much more than of the sentiment; for she knew she should find that with the rest. She was tired of taking the lead, and of having her own way. How gladly would she submit herself to a noble guide! She imagined herself almost as a queen stepping down from her throne, resigning sceptre and authority, and saying, with Miss Procter,

"Love trusts; and for ever he gives, and gives all."

"But these young men," she said to Jessie, "are so intensely matter-of-fact! They would think my brain softening, if they knew what I wanted and expected to find." At another time she said, "If I could only find something a little different! I think I will go to Australia, marry a squatter, and see all the queer animals. My money would be worth while out there."

It has been said that Margaret had a maiden aunt living at Shellbeach, her mother's only sister. This lady she had seen but once since her return from abroad, when Miss Spelman came to New York on purpose to take her niece home with her. Margaret, however, was not willing to leave the Edgars, and so her aunt returned to Shellbeach, a little offended by her niece's preferring strangers to her own flesh and blood, but, on the whole, perhaps relieved that her quiet home was not to be invaded by a person of so startling a character as she conceived Margaret to be. A visit had been agreed upon between them; but this had been declined and deferred so many times that the old lady, again offended, had given up proposing it. If it had not been for Margaret's curiosity about Jessie's friend, Doctor James, she certainly would not have remembered her duty to her mother's only sister; while it is equally true that, if it had not been for that convenient relative, she could not for a moment have entertained the idea of taking the lion (that is, the doctor) by storm in his den. For of any likelihood of being captivated herself in this adventure, it must be acknowledged, she had no thought. Her curiosity, her strongest weak point, was thoroughly excited about this doctor. That a man with a fine education, a profession, and enough money to live respectably, (all which information she had obtained from her friend,) should isolate himself in a stupid little sea-side town, because he liked to do so and enjoyed it, was to[237] her a mystery which demanded to be cleared up at once. How she should like to astonish this hermit! How she would dress! How she would shock his ideas of propriety, if he had any! He would be surprised and overpowered, of course, and then—well, then she would beat a graceful retreat, and come back to Jessie's wedding in the best of spirits.

"I shall take Cécile and the Marchioness and Jimmy, and you will see that we shall have an exciting time. I shall make myself so delightful to dear Aunt Selina that she will not hear of my staying less than six months; and I shall study housekeeping, economy, and medicine, and experiment on Cécile when she is sick."

"Why do you take the Marchioness?"

"How can you ask? I must have exercise; and who knows but I may make myself useful by visiting the distant patients when the doctor's horse is tired?"

"But why not take Lady Jane? She is much handsomer."

"She is too fine for my purpose. I don't want to seem wealthy, you know; and the Marchioness goes mousing along, her head level with her tail, in true Morgan style, and looks any thing but extravagant. Then Jimmy will keep us awake, and bark at Aunt Selina's cats when other excitement fails."

"How do you know she has any cats?"

"Of course she has cats! Half a dozen, I have no doubt. Who ever heard of an ancient maiden living alone without cats? How I wish the answers would come!"

They did come, in due time; Miss Spelman's first, cordially welcoming her niece to Shellbeach for any length of time, or for good and all. Margaret felt rather ashamed, as she saw how her aunt had fallen into the trap, and how completely her own good faith had been taken for granted. She mentally resolved that, if it depended on her, Miss Spelman should not repent her generosity; she would make herself as delightful as she could, cheerfully give up her own convenience, if necessary, and make up for her long neglect of so disinterested a relation.

This letter arrived on the third day of expectation; the doctor's, not until a full week had elapsed. "A doctor's time is not his own, and the number of invalids at Shellbeach has been greater than usual." It would be well to give the letter in full, at least so much of it as relates to Margaret and her proposition.

"If it were the first of April," wrote the doctor, "I should find no difficulty in comprehending your letter; as it is not, I am inclined to believe that I am being 'sold;' but I do not believe practical jokes are in your line, and you write apparently in good earnest. Therefore, if your original friend seriously recommends such an experiment as this, I can but acquiesce, of course. Miss Spelman also informs me that her niece 'is coming;' so I feel that any opinion I may express on the subject is superfluous. However, it seems to me that there should be an equality of position in this matter, and I will say that I agree to Miss Lester's terms, provided she agrees to mine. I have but one condition, and it is her own: that at the end of the time she appoints she will, simultaneously with me, that is, at a given hour, write me 'a true statement of how she stands affected toward me'—which means, of course, tell me honestly if she loves me. I have a right to say that I think this plan doubtful in its purpose, its practicability, and its probable results."

Not a word more was given to the subject; the letter spoke briefly of Philip, of Jessie, and terminated.

Margaret of course saw this letter in the same forcible way that she saw the other. Jessie thought she would be offended, and so she was, but that did not have the result Jessie secretly hoped for.

"He is not well-bred, and evidently[238] thinks a great deal of himself. How I shall enjoy snubbing him!"

"You are going?"

"I should think so! Do you suppose I shall disappoint Aunt Selina for such rudeness as this? But I will have no more second-hand dealings." And so saying, she seized pen and paper, and wrote as follows:

"Dr. James: I accept your condition. Six months from next Monday, which will be July 18th, at eleven o'clock in the evening, we will write our letters.

"Margaret Lester."

Jessie was not allowed to see this note, which was at once dispatched to Shellbeach.

"And now," Margaret said, "comes the fun of arrangements. We will go up-stairs and consult about my clothes, and all that I shall take with me."


Dr. James's letter had been received on Tuesday; the following Monday, at about three o'clock on a bleak and gray January afternoon, Margaret, accompanied by her maid and terrier dog, arrived at the little way-station of Shellbeach, and ascertaining that Miss Spelman's carriage had not arrived, walked into the little waiting-room and to the airtight stove, which was, however, barely warm. Her teeth chattered, and she stamped her feet and rubbed her hands; the French maid followed, bearing bag and shawls, shivering and casting forlorn glances around her. The little dog alone seemed in good spirits, and ran about, inquiring into every thing, and snuffled suspiciously at a man who sat wrapped in a shawl, reading a book, and at two small boys, who were partaking of frost which they scraped off the windows.

"Well, we're all frozen, so it's no use saying it's cold," said Margaret, walking about the room; "but I'm famished, and as cross as a bear."

"O mademoiselle! it is terrible," cried Cécile, with a sort of little shriek.

"It is a forlorn place, certainly; let me see if my provisions are exhausted," Margaret said, taking the bag. The little boys at the window became deeply interested, and paused in their unsatisfactory repast.

"One seed-cake! How exciting! What! you want it, do you? Well, take it," she said to the little dog, who jumped upon her, and while he devoured it she watched him, saying reflectively, "Little pig! if I were dying of starvation, and it were my last crumb, he would eat it. How do I look, Cécile? I am all covered with cinders."

"Yes, mademoiselle; you look like a fright."

Margaret smiled, and returned to the platform, where she made inquiries of a man who was looking helplessly at her trunks how they were to be got to Miss Spelman's. Having arranged that matter, she asked,

"Can't I have that buggy to drive up in? Does it belong to the man inside there?"

"It belongs to him," said the driver, with a grin, and Margaret turned away in despair.

"The train was early," said a boy standing by, "and perhaps the young lady's team will be along soon."

Margaret, who had her purse in her hand, at once presented the boy with twenty-five cents, as an acknowledgment for the ray of encouragement he had volunteered. He bore it philosophically, and she returned to the room.


"Cécile, it's only two miles to Miss Spelman's; suppose we walk; it will be warmer than waiting here. Give me the bag, and you take the shawls, and we will inquire the way."

She accompanied these words with a look of indignation at the man who was fortunate enough to have a buggy at his command; but to her great surprise, he rose, and, approaching her, said:

"The train was early, and I expected Miss Spelman's carryall; but it is evidently not coming, and you must manage with my buggy."

"You are Doctor James?" said Margaret with an inquisitive look.

"You are right; and you are Miss Lester," he replied. "I am sorry you have had to wait in the cold; but when I saw you had a companion, I thought it would be wiser to wait for the carryall. Miss Spelman said she should probably send; but asked me, at any rate, to meet you. I will drive you home and come back for your maid."

"But it's so cold here, and Cécile feels the cold more than I. Could we not possibly go three in the buggy? Would it be too much for the horse?"

The doctor smiled for the first time; he was pleased by her thought for her maid.

"You and I are good-sized people, but she is small. I think Rosanna can stand the weight; but it will not do to start cold. I propose we go over to the store and get thoroughly warmed."

"Oh! delightful," cried Margaret, "the thought of being warm again is almost too much for me."

The doctor led the way across the railroad track to a kind of variety store, where there was certainly no reason to complain of the cold. The air was stifling, and conveyed to Margaret's sense of smell the impressions of soap, molasses, peppermint drops, brown paper, and onions, at one breath; but she was too grateful to be warm even to make a face, which under other circumstances she would doubtless have done. Seated in chairs before the energetic little stove, she and Cécile toasted hands and feet while the doctor went for the horse. When he returned, they were quite ready to start, and the bag being stowed away in the box, they put on all their wrappings, by the doctor's advice, and packed themselves into the buggy. Jimmy curled himself under his mistress's feet, the buffalo robe was well tucked in, and the sturdy-looking mare started with her load with a willingness which showed she too was glad to have her face toward home. It was cold enough in spite of their comfortable start, and, to make matters worse, Margaret's veil blew away; but she would not have alluded to it for the world. The doctor seemed absorbed in his driving, and Cécile occupied with her aching toes; and allowing it to escape seemed to her so feminine and weak-minded a proceeding that she bore the cutting wind in silence rather than expose her carelessness. Her gratitude to the doctor for rescuing her from her uncomfortable situation, and the genial feelings produced by her warming at the stove, now gave way to reflections on this man's previous behavior, as he sat wrapped in his shawl, in the cold little waiting-room. What a hard-hearted, outrageous monster he must be! Why did he not speak at once, and be sympathetic and kind? Of course he was studying her, and no doubt criticising her, at that unfavorable moment. It chafed her to think to what an inspection she had been exposed, and how utterly she had been at a disadvantage. At last[240] she broke the silence by saying abruptly,

"Does not extreme hunger add to one's capacity for being cold?"

She intended to embarrass him by reminding him of his profession, but she was disappointed; for he answered at once, with a slight movement of his mouth, not however a smile,

"Extreme hunger? Yes; especially such as the poor feel, who may have tasted nothing for two or three days, nor meat for as many months. How long is it since you breakfasted?"

"At eight," she replied shortly.

The doctor, remembering with a little compunction that he had both breakfasted and dined, hastened to say,

"That is a long time for a person accustomed to regular meals. I am quite sure you will find a better reception in the matter of dinner than you experienced at the station."

"I do not understand why my aunt did not send for me."

"Nor I; she said to me, 'I shall send the carryall, if possible; but you will oblige me by meeting my niece, and if any thing should happen to prevent my man's being there, you will bring her home.' I am sure only you and the dog were expected."

"Yes, I said my maid would probably come in a day or two; but she was able to get ready to accompany me."

Then there was silence once more, till Dr. James drew up his horse before a well-clipped, flourishing hedge, and, getting out, opened a small brown gate, and carried the bag and shawls up the neat gravelled path. The short afternoon had come to a close, though it was scarcely four o'clock, and the firelight shone pleasantly out from the windows, where the curtains were drawn aside. The doctor deposited the wrappings on the steps, said hastily, "Good-by, Miss Lester, I shall call on you as soon as possible," and was in his buggy and driving quickly away before she had time to utter a word. She had stood for a moment, expecting the door to be thrown open at once; she even wondered that her aunt was not awaiting her on the threshold; but as no one appeared, she gave the bell a rather decided pull. Instantly the door was opened by the neatest of maids, in a white apron, who beamed upon the guests while she took the bag and shawls. Margaret walked at once toward the bright fire, which shone out of an open door, and there in the middle of the room stood a little lady, who met and embraced her, saying in an agitated voice,

"Welcome, my dearest niece, a thousand times!"

"Thank you, aunt; I am almost perished! How pleasant the fire looks!"

Miss Spelman was trembling in every limb, but Margaret's decided tones, quite free from emotion of any kind, composed her. She drew an easy-chair to the fire, and then turned to Cécile, who stood hesitating in the hall.

"You brought your maid, did you not, dear Margaret? That is good; it will make you more at home. Ann, I hope you will make Miss Lester's maid quite comfortable. Her name, my dear? Oh! yes, Cecilia." And as the woman disappeared, she continued, "I am glad you have so respectable and steady an attendant, my dear; when I heard she was French, I feared she might be very dressy and flippant, and get restless in our quiet little household."

She gently helped Margaret to lay aside her things; then, as she seated herself in the comfortable chair and held out hands and feet to the grateful[241] flame, the little lady once more placed her hand on her shoulder, and kissed her forehead.

"For all the world like your poor father," she said softly. As Margaret was silent, she continued, "But I must tell you why I did not send for you. I beg your pardon, my dear child, for such apparent neglect. The fact is, I have a new man, and dare not trust him alone with the horses, and I have a cold and was afraid to go out this raw day. If it had been milder, nothing should have kept me at home; but as I had asked our good doctor to meet you, I knew you would really be provided for. Then, I thought it would seem so uncourteous to let him give his valuable time to going to the station for you, and then disappoint him of the pleasure of bringing you home. You see, I did not look for your maid. O dear! how very rude you must think me." And the poor lady stopped short, quite appalled at her own conduct, the impropriety of which for the first time impressed her.

"No matter now, aunt, I'm safely here."

"And thankful I am to have you, dear; but to think that I should have allowed you to drive home alone with a strange young man!"

"I was not alone with him."

"But I did not know that; and, O dear me! how did you all get here?"

"Why, sandwiched, three in the buggy, of course; Cécile in the middle; it was the shortest way. He wanted to bring first me and then Cécile, but I would not let him. However, don't worry about it now, aunty. I would like to go to my room, I think, and make myself presentable; I am covered with cinders."

"Certainly. You will find a fire there, and, I hope, every thing you want. If not, you must let me know." So saying, Miss Spelman led the way up-stairs to a good-sized room, where a little wood fire was burning and candles were lighted. The trunks were already there, and Cécile was unpacking and laying out what her mistress would want.

"We have tea, generally, at six; but I have ordered it to-day at five, for I know you need both dinner and tea. Cecilia will find me down-stairs if you want any thing." With these words, Miss Spelman withdrew and closed the door.

"I have arrived at that period of starvation," remarked Margaret, "when I am resigned to wait indefinitely for my food, provided it comes at last." At that moment a knock announced Ann, who brought in a waiter with cup and saucer and tea-things. "Miss Spelman thought a cup of tea would be warming."

Very soon Margaret was sitting in her wrapper and slippers, in a little rocking-chair, sipping her hot tea, while Cécile brushed and arranged her hair. She began to feel fatigued; but that was rather a delightful sensation, now that she had nothing to do but rest and be comfortable. Before five, she went down to the parlor, where her aunt once more received her with a little speech, and then came the looked-for tea-dinner. It appeared that Miss Spelman knew what was good as well as Mrs. Edgar, and Margaret, as she surveyed the well-spread table, the spotless linen, the shining glass and silver, the temptingly brown chicken before her, the spongy biscuit and delicate cake, was glad to find that, at least, she would not starve.

"I begin to feel a sea-air appetite already," she exclaimed; "and O aunty! how good every thing tastes."

Miss Selina was pleased, for she was a hospitable hostess; and when[242] she and Margaret were established before the fire, curtains drawn, and the lamp shining brightly, there was a mutual good feeling between them, which, from that time, nothing disturbed. Margaret, as she leaned back in her chair, holding a little screen before her face, had now time to examine her aunt more closely, and she studied her with considerable curiosity. She was decidedly petite, and so very neat and trim about her dress that she made Margaret think of a fairy godmother. Her hair was white, although she was not yet sixty; she wore a cap, and soft lace round her throat; her eyes were dark and bright, and her smile very sweet and cheerful. She must have been pretty, Margaret thought, and like that dear mother so well remembered.

After answering a good many questions about her life in New York, Mrs. Edgar, Jessie, and her lover, Margaret said rather abruptly,

"You see a good deal of Doctor James, don't you, aunt?"

"Oh! almost every day, my dear. He has to drive very often over to Sealing, and my house is right on his way. He feels quite attached to me, because, once when his sister was staying with him, she was sick, and I used to go and sit with her; and at last, when she was getting well, and was able to be moved, I got her to come and make me a visit; for I thought it must be dull for her, with her brother away so much. So he used to come every day to see about her, and he got into the way of dropping in as if he belonged here, and he has kept it up ever since."

"What sort of a girl was the sister?"

"Oh! she was a charming creature—pretty and picturesque; young, too, and very clever for her age; and the doctor thought every thing of her, though he used to find fault with her and try to improve her, and was always bringing some hard book for Lucy to read, or asking me to tell her this, or remind her of that, and not let her forget the other, till I used to think the poor child would have been vexed with both him and me; but she used to laugh and shake her pretty brown curls, and make the best of it all. I grew to love that child, Margaret, and I confess to you, if you had not come to me, I would very probably have offered to adopt her, and do for her as if she were my own. I did not suppose you needed any money, my dear," she added in an apologetic tone.

"Don't mention your money, please," cried Margaret. "Dear aunty, I can't manage what I've got now; why should I want any more? By all means make the pretty Lucy an heiress, and let her come and live here, near her brother."

Miss Spelman shook her head, and Margaret continued,

"But where does Lucy live, and where does the family come from originally?"

"They have had a country-seat in Maine for years, and are very nice people, I would think; the doctor, at least, is a perfect gentleman. He has been in the war, was wounded two or three times; and when it was all over, came here because the old doctor was about to move away. They knew each other, and so Dr. James just quietly took the other's place, and has a great deal more than filled it ever since."

"But why does he choose to live in a little place like this? Jessie told me something of his benevolence; but that doesn't seem reason enough to keep him here."

"That is the only reason, I am sure—that, and attachment to the place and people. He does an immense amount of good, my dear;[243] why, he attends all the poor people, for miles around, for nothing!"

"But then what does he live on?"

"Certainly not on his fees. He has a little money of his own—enough for such a place as this—and that leaves him free, as he says, to have no hard money feelings between him and his patients. The consequence is, he is worshipped by the poor, and, in fact, by almost every one both here and at Sealing; they give him no peace, and he has to work like a horse all the time."

"I hope he enjoys it."

"He says he does; but I think the life is too hard for him."

"And does he intend to live here indefinitely?"

"He never alludes to living anywhere else; but I hope he may marry some day, and then, no doubt, he would go where his wife wished."

"Don't you think his wishes ought to be hers?"

"Certainly, my dear Margaret, I think so; but then, I believe I'm old-fashioned." Miss Spelman was pleased, that was evident; and then she said she knew her niece was a fine musician, but she was perhaps "too tired to touch the instrument?"

Margaret smiled, and though she was tired certainly, and sleepy besides, she went with a very good grace to "the instrument," which she found to be an old piano, excellent in its day, but now out of tune and jingling; the keys were yellow, and one pedal was broken, but no speck of dust was to be seen inside or out, or on any thing else in Miss Selina's house. Margaret, without thinking much about it, played some very modern music, such as she generally played in the evenings at Mrs. Edgar's, deep and difficult music, playing well and carefully, without notes; till she began to realize how impossible any execution would be on such a piano. When she paused, Miss Spelman said rather plaintively,

"That is very fine, my dear; but my taste is not up to the present standard. And—do you play from note, dear Margaret?"

On receiving an affirmative reply, she went into an adjoining closet, and brought out one or two old music-books, marked on the covers, "M. and S. Spelman," and with Margaret and Selina alternately written on the music within. Margaret had never seen such a collection of curious, old, simple music. She smiled as she played, to see her aunt's hands beating time, and watched the absorbed expression of her face, varying from a smile of content to a look of sadness and regret. As she at last closed the piano, she said,

"I will play these pieces over when I am by myself, and then I shall do them more justice when I play them for you again. Forgive my many blunders."

Then came cake, fruit, and wine, at nine o'clock, and then Margaret was glad to say "good-night" and go to her pleasant room, where she found, to her great satisfaction, that she was soothed to sleep by the breaking of the waves on Shellbeach.


My Dearest Jessie: I have received your most welcome letter, and only wish I could tell you how good it was to hear from you. It made me long to see you, dear; but as I am resolved I will not be so weak as to give up and go back to you yet, I will not sentimentalize now, nor dwell on my feelings, which, I assure you, are unusually tender for me.

I have now been here three whole[244] days, and they seem as many months; the snow-storm which began the night after my arrival, lasted perseveringly till this morning, when there was a beautiful clear-away, and my spirits, which were rather drooping, rose at once. It was very cold, and Aunt Selina was afraid to go out, and I was lazy, and passed the morning in the house. After dinner, however, I became desperate, put on my shortest dress and rubber boots, and went forth with Jimmy on an exploring expedition. The snow was very deep; but I needed exercise, and enjoyed immensely plunging about in the fresh drifts, and getting rid, at the same time, if I must confess it, of a fair amount of wrath and resentment, of which your paragon of a doctor was the cause. Only think, my dear, of his allowing me to be three days here without calling! In such weather, too, when he must have known I was penned up in the house with nothing to amuse me, (not that I didn't amuse myself very well, but he could not have known that.) How did he know that I mightn't have caught a severe cold in that horrid waiting-room at the station, or driving with him in his freezing chaise? And after leaving me in that abrupt way, waiting on the steps here, without a single polite word to me or Aunt Selina, as if he said, "I have been dreadfully bored by having to bring you here; now let me get away as fast as I can!" Well, I was provoked with him, and with myself for caring; but I grew pleasanter every step I took; and when I at last found myself on a high bank right over the sea, and the pretty little beach with the dear, blue waves breaking and foaming below me, I was in a state of exhilaration and delight that I can't describe. I could hardly have torn myself away, except that I was very cold; and the sunset light had almost faded when I got home. Then, my dear, what do you think? Aunt Selina greeted me with, "O Margaret! what a pity you went out; here Doctor James has been waiting nearly an hour for you, and he wanted so much to see you, and was so sorry that he couldn't come before! But, my dear, he has been away, and only got home this morning." That was funny, was it not? "He looked so nice," Aunt Selina said. "I wish you could once see him nicely dressed; he doesn't take enough pains with himself generally." Now, I know that aunty was as much surprised as I that this call had not been made before, and a great deal more disturbed. She praises the doctor on every occasion, and I am sure she wanted him to make a favorable impression on me. She has been very curious about our drive from the station; but I have said very little about it, except that I thought we were all of us cold and cross.

Well, I was nicely wet from my snowy walk; but after I had changed my dress and had my tea, I felt splendidly. At eight o'clock the bell rang—a wonderful circumstance, so far—and after a little delay in the hall, in walked the doctor. I suppose he could not bear that his get-up should be thrown away, and he really looked very nice indeed. I am sure he prides himself on his feet and hands, which are small—not in themselves, but for his size—and well shaped. His clothes were any thing but fashionable; but they fitted him well, and looked as if he were at home in them, and something in his general appearance made me feel that he had intended to do me honor, and I was quite mollified toward him. Aunt Selina was enraptured. I was—can you imagine it?—a little embarrassed, having been wholly taken by[245] surprise at his making his appearance; he was calm and at his ease. He explained his apparent neglect of me, expressed regret at finding me out this afternoon, and asked about my walk, etc. He is provoking in many ways, Jessie, but in one especially: he is so stingy of his smiles; I can express it in no other way. He is the most serious person I ever saw; even when it would be polite to smile, he will not; but moves the muscles round his mouth in a peculiar way that makes me want to say to him, "Well, why don't you do it? It won't hurt you!" His eyes are not particularly large, but gray, and look as if they saw as much as mine, only he does not stare as I do, but seems to take in every thing with one glance. I did not find him difficult to talk to, as I imagined I should, but am surprised to find how much he knows. He asked me to play, but did not like the piece; and when I tried him with a little of Aunt Selina's music—which I described to you in my first letter, you remember—he asked for Beethoven. That he enjoyed, I believe, and a few of my little French airs, one of which he recognized, and I discovered, to my astonishment, that he had been abroad. He spoke of organ music, and when I told him about my desire to learn to play on the organ, said he thought I could do so here, as there were both a good organ and organist at Sealing. And, if he arranges it so, I am to take lessons once or twice a week, and practise in the little church here. Well, dear Jessie, this letter must come to a close, as I am sleepy. Give my best love to your dear mother; write soon and tell me all about your own affairs and Philip.

Always your loving


Shellbeach, Dec. 21.


On the morning after Margaret had written the letter to her friend, given above, she was finishing her breakfast at about nine o'clock, while little Miss Spelman bustled about in her china-closet, and around the room, when a jingle of bells was heard, and in a moment more, Dr. James appeared at the dining-room door.

"Miss Lester, do you feel in the mood for a sleigh-ride? I have to go over to Sealing, and shall be glad to take you."

"Oh! yes," cried Margaret, jumping up from the table, "of all things what I would like best; but I must change my dress, I am afraid. I will not be ten minutes, if you can wait."

"I have a call to make near here, and will come back for you."

In a short time Margaret appeared, dressed in a dark blue suit with black dog-skin furs, and a very jaunty round cap to match on her head.

"Will you be warm enough?" asked the doctor, surveying her.

"I have my cloak besides," said Margaret, displaying a very thick and heavy mantle, of every color of the rainbow.

As they drove off, Doctor James remarked,

"You will set this quiet little place on fire, with your bright colors; we don't see such brilliant things here very often."

"Gay colors are the fashion," said Margaret, "and I almost always wear them. I get very tired of them, however, and wish my style were not prononcé. I quite long sometimes to wear neutral tints, and cool, delicate colors."

"Miss Edgar wears such shades,[246] does she not? She is so perfectly refined and lady-like."

Margaret glanced at him quickly and answered,

"She does, when she is willing to take the trouble; but I generally have to insist upon her dressing becomingly. When we were in Paris, we were both told about our different styles, and how we should dress; and I think it is worth while to consider the subject, and Jessie does not; that is all."

"Does not Miss Edgar care for dress?"

"I think she does; but for dress without any reference to herself. She is very fond of pretty things, and would be quite contented to wear a rose-colored bonnet, or a bird-of-paradise evening dress, if I did not prevent it. You admire Miss Edgar very much, do you not, Dr. James?"

"As much as I can admire a lady I have never seen. But why should you think that I admire her?"

"And if she were not already engaged, you would like to marry her yourself, would you not?"

Margaret spoke impulsively; and before she had uttered the last words would gladly have swallowed the sentence whole, but it was too late. The doctor's face flushed, and he said very slowly,

"Did Miss Edgar show you that letter?"

"Yes—I mean no; that is, I mean, Dr. James, that I took it away from her and read it myself. She did not want me to see it; it was all my fault. Jessie is gentle, and I am rough, and I tyrannize over her very often."

Margaret's voice sounded remorseful, and the doctor softened.

"There was no reason why you should not have seen that letter, any more than any other. I would not have Miss Edgar other than Philip's wife for any thing in the world; and my saying I would have liked her myself, was meant only as a joke, and I am sure she understood it so. Indeed, I was far from being in earnest when I wrote that letter."

It was now Margaret's turn to change color, and her face burned; an unusual and painful thing for her. She felt at that moment as if she would like to find herself on the opposite side of the world. What an absurd position she was in! This man must regard her as a fool, or worse. What business had she to be at Shellbeach at all, or here in this sleigh, beside one on whom she had not the smallest claim, and who had no reason to think her any thing but a forward, unlady-like girl, as she was? These, and many equally disagreeable thoughts rushed through her mind, before Dr. James said pleasantly,

"Is it possible you keep up your city hours here, and breakfast at nine o'clock? How luxurious your life must be!"

"Does nine seem late to you?" asked Margaret, making an effort to speak carelessly; "it is early to me. When we used to come home from parties at three or four in the morning, we breakfasted at eleven or even twelve. But there is no excuse for sleeping late here, I know; I might go to bed at eight o'clock in the evening, except when we have a visitor, as we did last night. But you see there are no bells; my room is dark, and Cécile never comes in till I ring for her. Then, Aunt Selina says she does not mind."

"Miss Spelman is not a very early riser herself. But, Miss Lester, I think a poor man's household ought to be up with the dawn." He smiled at her in a friendly way as he spoke, and Margaret laughed.

"And the mistress of a poor man's[247] household ought to call all the members of the family, ought she not?"

"I think so; that is a very important matter. Yet I know few things in our daily life which require more heroism than getting up in the morning at the right time. Though I ought to be accustomed to being called at any and every hour, I never find it grows easy to forsake my pillow; and whenever it is not imperatively necessary for me to get up, I prolong my morning nap in the most cowardly way."

"Were you in earnest when you said getting up early was heroism?"

"It is a grand name for a small matter, certainly; but I was in earnest when I said it."

"I should so like to be a heroine! It is almost worth while to try the experiment."

They now drove into the main street of the town of Sealing, and there Dr. James showed Margaret a bookstore, the circulating library, and pointed out one or two more shops, and asked her if she thought she could occupy herself for half an hour, while he visited a few patients.

"I may be gone even longer than that," he said, "and it would be very cold for you to sit in the sleigh and wait."

"I should like to explore the town very well," she answered; "and I will meet you in an hour's time wherever you say. O Dr. James! I want a sled very much; I delight in coasting. Could I get a good one here?"

"There are no toy-shops, properly speaking, but there is an excellent carpenter across the street, and he would make you a satisfactory sled, I have no doubt."

"There is coasting about here, I hope?"

"Yes, there are one or two capital hills. If you like, we will go to the carpenter's now, before I leave you; perhaps my advice on the subject would be acceptable."

They ordered the sled, and Margaret added, with a sideway glance at Dr. James, that the word "Enterprise" was to be printed in red letters on one side, and "1867" on the other. The apothecary's shop was appointed as the place of rendezvous, and the doctor drove away.

He was back again first; but after waiting and wondering a few minutes, she came round the corner, looking at her watch, with a bright color, and her dress white with snow.

"I am on time," she cried; "just an hour, Dr. James; and I have had such a splendid time! But I have a few things at the different shops; will you stop for them?"

From a small shop, combining the establishments of a small watch-maker, a locksmith, and a bell-hanger, a man came out with a parcel which Margaret insisted on holding in her own hands all the way home.

"What do you think it is?" she asked.

"I can't imagine what you should want from that shop, but the shape is very much like a clock."

"You are right; it is an alarm-clock."

Dr. James smiled, but made no comment; and as they drove home, she gave him an account of the hour she had spent alone.

"I got one or two books from the library; pretty trashy, I should think, but it was entertaining to read the names of the well-worn volumes on the shelves. I visited the dry-goods store, and then determined to explore; and pretty soon I found a little street which was one steep hill, down which some small boys were coasting. They seemed harmless and meek, and after bestowing upon them a paper of sugar-plums I had just bought, I requested the loan of a sled. You[248] should have seen the astonishment depicted on their faces, and heard the giggles and rapture when, taking the largest sled from the unresisting hand of its owner, I asked for instruction as to establishing myself upon it and starting, and then went full speed down the hill, regardless of the houses on either side and the shouts of my friends above me. It was splendid, Dr. James! I don't know when I have enjoyed any thing so much! Well, I dragged my sled up again, and asked for six more coasts, hinting at more candy to be forthcoming; but I found all offers of compensation quite unnecessary, as the little fellows were as enraptured as I at the performance, and each begged me pathetically to try his sled. But I held to my first choice; and though on the third coast I upset and rolled in the snow, I persevered till I found my hour was almost up, and then abandoned my sled to its owner."

Dr. James seemed much entertained by this description, and Margaret added,

"But for the credit of human nature, and especially of boy nature, which I have always considered to be remorseless to the last degree, I must tell you that when I fell off my sled into the snow the boys did not laugh at and deride me, but came running down the hill to see if I were hurt—a circumstance which pleased me very much."

The drive back to Shellbeach seemed all too short for Margaret; she was left, as before, on the doorstep with her several bundles; but this time she entered as a member of the family, glowing with the exercise and almost as noisy as Jimmy, who came barking and leaping to welcome his mistress. She gave a detailed account of her drive to her aunt, ending with the exclamation, "And Dr. James both smiled and laughed! I feel that I have achieved a triumph!"


The following is a letter which Dr. James wrote to his friend Philip:

"You ask me to tell you about Jessie's friend, who has come to stay with my old crony, Miss Spelman, and I see that you are curious to know my sentiments regarding her. I also suspect, from the tone of your remarks, that you think it would be a very good thing for a poor doctor like me, etc., etc. That this coincides with Miss Selina's course of reasoning on this matter, I am pretty certain; for before Miss Lester came she was continually praising her to me, and now I can see that every opportunity is improved to bring us together. Would you believe it, Philip?—when the young lady arrived, Miss Spelman manœuvred so as to give me a tête-à-tête drive with her from the station to the house! She was disappointed in her plans, as there were both a maid and a dog to be packed into my chaise besides Miss Lester. But what seems so plain to other people's eyes, I cannot say is so to mine. You want a description of her, and add a hope that I have found the ideal of our college days. I laugh as I recall that ideal, and think of the reality before my mind's eye. Picture to yourself, then, a tall young woman—five feet eight inches, I should say—large in proportion, and a decided brunette. She is called handsome, as you know, but I do not agree to this; though if the adjective were showy, I should have no objection to make. Her style is rather loud, or, as she herself says, 'prononcé.' She has a pair of very brown, inquisitive eyes, which see, I am sure, much more than they have any right to see. She has a good deal of color, but not the changing blush we used to talk of. Her dress? Of course I cannot give you a correct description of that; but the first time I saw her in the house, she wore very deep purple with ornaments of gold, a gold band on her hair, and long, barbarous eardrops. The next time, in the morning, she was dressed (I am not joking) in bright scarlet, worked all over with black; and she went to drive with me in a round fur cap that would have been appropriate to a young swell in New York, but hardly to a lady. But all these objections are, after all, minor,[249] when I come to the great one; my dear fellow, she is an heiress! Now, you know very well my mind on this subject; and I know you will think of my favorite verse,

'Where I want of riches find,
Think what with them I would do,
That without them dare to woo.'

"But in this case I feel sure that I should not be a disinterested lover. I could never forget her money. By the way, I suspect that she did not intend me to know she was wealthy; Jessie's note gave the impression that she had, as I wished, enough to secure her own comfort; but Miss Spelman took care to let me understand how very well her niece was provided with 'earthly goods.'

"I see I am allowing myself to find fault with Miss Lester and criticise her, a thing I have resolved I will not do. I will therefore suppress a good deal more of disapproval I was going to write, and see what I can tell you in her praise. In the first place, I think she is good-tempered; I have seen her thoughtful of her maid, and good-natured when she was both cold and hungry. She is entertaining, intelligent, and companionable. I enjoyed her society when I drove her over to Sealing, and she is wonderfully fresh and simple in her tastes for a blase New Yorker, surfeited with gayeties as she has been. She is a good musician, though she does not sing. Her hands are her best feature: large and shapely and well kept; they are also warm, smooth, and womanly.

"Where is my dream, Philip? Would not your gentle Jessie more nearly fulfil it? You will say that dreams 'go by contraries;' true perhaps of those we frame at night, unconsciously; but does that wise maxim hold good of day-dreams and castles in the air also? Now, you have chosen well and wisely for yourself, and my best wish is that you and your loving helpmate may live to enjoy all the bliss you hope for; but I must wait until my wife manifests herself, as I am sure she will, unmistakably, and for that I am content to wait until I am an old man."

It will be seen from this letter that Dr. James had not disclosed, even to his old friend, the secret of Margaret's visit to Shellbeach; neither was Jessie more communicative on the subject; for they were both rather ashamed of the affair. Margaret herself, to tell the truth, was not free from a like embarrassment; there was something manly and unassuming about the doctor, a freedom from all pretension and assertion, that made her feel, when with him, quiet and almost diffident. This, however, she did not acknowledge to herself; and her high spirits determined her to carry out her plan, and brave all the obstacles which her appreciation of the circumstances suggested to her. From one point of view, her coming was a success; Miss Spelman was charmed with her, and spoke of her remaining indefinitely. She made much of and petted her in a way Margaret was not accustomed to, and which was very pleasant to her. She could almost imagine, now, what it would be to have a mother's love and care during these years of her youthful womanhood. True, her aunt was no support, and her advice was not always wise; but Margaret was both by nature and habit self-reliant, and the person was not come, she thought, to whom she could abandon the reins of government, and in whose favor she might abdicate.


After a week had passed in her aunt's well-ordered household, Margaret received a few ceremonious calls from the ladies of Shellbeach and Sealing, which, in the course of another week, she returned with due formality with her aunt. The visiting acquaintance of Miss Spelman at Shellbeach consisted of a few elderly ladies, of whom Margaret saw but little during her visit, though they were kind and cordial, and always gave her a pleasant welcome to their houses.

There was one caller, however, of whom Margaret was destined to see a good deal, and who deserves a more particular description. She was[250] a lady who might have been between forty and fifty, who came walking into the house without ringing, one windy evening, in rubber boots, with which she had been making herself a path in the newly fallen snow. She was tall and thin, with heavy eye-brows, and rather masculine bearing and manners, but a very genial smile beamed on her lips and in her eyes. Her voice was loud but cheerful, and she gave Margaret a warm squeeze of the hand and a good, steady look in the eye, that seemed to show she was disposed for friendliness.

"Well now, Martha," said Miss Spelman, helping her guest off with hood and cloak, and wheeling up a comfortable chair for her to the fire, "where have you been all this long time? And how are you and your poor old father? How does the house stand this cold winter, and how are you getting along altogether?"

The visitor seated herself in the chair, tucked up her plain brown gown over her knees, and clasped her rough, strong-looking hands, seeming to enjoy the cheery blaze; then she answered rather slowly,

"We are very well off, thank you, Miss Spelman. Father's about the same as usual; he misses the garden now the snow has come. The house is pretty tight, and I keep the fires going with Norah's help. You know Dr. James got Norah for us, and a more willing, good-natured creature I never wish to see. She really seems to have brought sunshine into the house, and says, 'May the queen of heaven send you good health, sir!' and, 'May the blessed saints look out for you, Miss Martha!' quite in the old-country fashion."

"I don't know about Irish help," said Miss Spelman; "I never can get along with them. I haven't had one these ten years, since my poor old Bridget died; and then they're always so set about getting to church, and dreadfully put out if they are prevented now and then."

"Do you think so? Well, Norah says to me, 'I dearly love to go to holy Mass, and to pay my respects on the saints' days; but the priest tells me to mind my duty in the house first, and I wouldn't feel easy to go and leave that poor lamb (one of her names for my father) with none to look after his dinner.'"

"Well, long may she prove a treasure, that's all," and the old lady shook her head doubtfully.

"You've come to a pretty place, Miss Lester," said Martha Burney; "it's pretty enough now, with its fresh white dress of snow; but I don't know what you'll say to it when the young green comes out, and the birds begin to sing. But what do you find to do with yourself?"

"Nothing very useful yet. I have given my attention principally to coasting; I have got a new sled, and have found some charming coasts about here. I go out before breakfast."

"Bless me! how many ages is it, I wonder, since I did that?" cried Miss Burney. "Then you do not keep late hours in the morning?"

"I did at first, through force of habit; but now I have an alarm-clock, and try getting up at six, and dressing without a fire."

"Very well, very well indeed, for a New Yorker! Ah! I see you will do for the country. You must never go away, but make up your mind to settle down here."

"That's what I mean to have her do," said Miss Spelman; "and Margaret said she would consider the subject."

Miss Burney's call lasted a full hour; then she enveloped herself in cloak and hood, and shaking Margaret[251] once more warmly by the hand took her departure.

"Who is she, aunt? I think she must be a character, and mean to cultivate her acquaintance."

"Yes, she has a story. Her father—lamb, indeed!" cried Miss Spelman, interrupting herself; "that Norah had better call him 'poor wolf;' to be sure he is reaping the fruits of his misdeeds, but he has richly deserved his troubles. Well, he was a swindler; that is all. His poor wife died of the shame when the biggest of his robberies came to light, and he went steadily down-hill, with this brave daughter trying to keep him straight. He spent one or two poor little legacies she had left her, and at last became the broken-down, imbecile old man he is now. When he was too feeble to prevent her, Martha took him out of the great city where he lived, and they somehow found their way here; and then she went to work and has supported him ever since. She teaches in the public school over in Sealing; she is the head lady teacher now, and with that, and a little she has had left her within a few years, she supports herself and him."

"Is it not a hard life for her?"

"Very, but she prefers obscurity; and that is the best employment she can get here. She is a fine woman, independent and brave, owing no one any thing and taking care of herself. She had a lover once, they say," continued Miss Selina, dropping her voice; "but when it all came to light about her father's transactions, of course she released him."

"And he accepted it?"

"Why, certainly he did, dear Margaret; no man would wish to marry a woman with such a father."

Margaret drummed with her foot on the fender, but made no reply.

"I like Martha Burney's company, and I try to make her come here often; but it is hard to induce her to leave her father. She says she has to be away from him so much of each day, that it is not right to let him pass any more time alone."

"Well, I suppose she would not object to my going to see her."

"She would be delighted to see you. She has all her evenings, and Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. She is very fond of young people."

The Sealing callers do not demand a particular description. There were a few young ladies, none of whom Margaret much liked; she thought them assuming and silly. One of them crowned her other offences by replying to a question of Margaret's about Miss Burney, "Oh! yes, very estimable person, I believe; I do not know her. Were you aware that she teaches in the public school?"




For a century and a half, the attention of the scientific world has been repeatedly called to theories purporting to prove the evolution of the species. Before the last dozen years, they elicited nothing but deserved contempt from those conversant with the phenomena of which they treat. Their absurdity was transparent, alike in their conclusion and in the processes by which that conclusion was held to have been reached. They were in succession fully refuted. But there arose a class of men, somewhat superior in intellect and ingenuity to the propounders of these speculations, who were imbued with similar atheistic principles. They directed all their efforts toward the conception of a theory more capable than the others of attaining a respectable scientific status. It would have been matter of great surprise, then, if this concentration of intellectual energy had not resulted in something sufficiently plausible to startle the world.

In the year 1859, Mr. Charles Darwin, one of the first naturalists of England, propounded his theory of development, in a work termed The Origin of Species. This purported to be a full and conclusive confirmation of the hypothesis of evolution. The theory was elaborate and ingenious, and on its appearance was immediately advocated by many men to whom it was not wholly unexpected. Its congruity with their atheistic views can alone furnish an adequate explanation of the haste with which they declared themselves its advocates. This harmony with preconceived ideas was confessedly the chief inducement urging them to accept the theory. Hear Mr. Herbert Spencer's conception of the spirit in which a person should approach the subject: "Before it can be ascertained how organized beings have been gradually evolved, there must be reached the conviction that they have been gradually evolved." The italics are his own. Mr. George Henry Lewes, in an article in the Fortnightly Review for April 1st, 1868, says:

"There can be little doubt that the acceptance or rejection of Darwinism has, in the vast majority of cases, been wholly determined by the monistic or dualistic attitude of the mind. And this explains, what would otherwise be inexplicable, the surprising fervor and facility with which men, wholly incompetent to appreciate the evidence for or against natural selection, have adopted or 'refuted' it."

That Mr. Lewes and other really able men have been so influenced, we entertain not the slightest doubt. But their failure to discover and appreciate the evidence against the theory, we ascribe not to incompetency, but to the bias of a foregone conclusion. We hail with delight the efforts of these men to sustain the theory, confident that, the greater the light thrown upon it, the more glaringly palpable will become its absurdity.

We purpose to show, in this and[253] other articles, that the facts which are seemingly so congruous with the conception of evolution are in reality grossly at variance with it, and strictly in accordance with the doctrine of special creations. We will proceed at once to their consideration.

Variations form the data of Darwin's theory. These, as facts, cannot be disputed. Variation is everywhere seen. Scarcely any species, either animal or vegetable, has escaped this tendency. While some species have not presented differences among their individuals sufficiently marked for the formation of varieties, a multitude of other species display modifications which form the characteristics of dozens of widely distinct breeds. Not less than one hundred and fifty distinct strains and varieties have descended from the original wild pigeon, columba livia. All these varieties result from man's careful selection, and his judicious pairing of those individuals which possess the required modifications. This he does in sure reliance on the law of heredity, which transmits to the offspring the most minute peculiarities of the parents, saving, of course, when they are brought into conflict with opposite characters. These variations are both in the direction of increase and in the direction of decrease. Here we find a variety formed by the appearance of a modification not observable in the species under nature, and there a variety formed by the total or partial suppression of one or more characters. Now, few portions of the organization are incapable of modification. Darwin has conclusively shown that even the bones and internal organs have been greatly modified. To realize fully the extent and scope of variation, it is necessary to consult Darwin's late work, Animals and Plants under Domestication. Many of the modifications—especially those most widely divergent—constitute differences greater than those which distinguish species from species, and, in some few cases, genus from genus.

It may here be thought that we have made too great concessions; that the logical and inevitable conclusion from the facts, as we state them, is the evolution of the species. Not so. For the more numerous and the more widely divergent the modifications are shown to be, the more easily will we be able to prove to demonstration the fixity of the species.

As these varieties (or incipient species, as Darwin conceives them to be) were formed through the selection by man of slight successive modifications, Darwin affects to believe that variations arose in the wild state; that they were accumulated and preserved by nature by a process analogous to man's selection; and that by the long continued accumulation and conservation, through countless ages, of these modifications, the species have evolved from one another. This selective power of nature he infers from the struggle for existence constantly carried on in the wild state, wherein the weak succumb, and the fittest, strongest, and most vigorous survive, and, according to the theory, attain to a higher development.

Many objections have been urged against Darwin's theory. Some have questioned the efficiency of natural selection; and others have contended that selection necessarily implies a selecter. Some have considered Darwinism sufficiently disproved by the absence of the transitional links between the different species. Others have asserted the inconceivableness of the primordial differentiation of parts in organisms when they all presented the simplest structure. Another argument has been adduced[254] from the tendency of domesticated animals and plants, when neglected, to recur to the ancestral form under nature. Some assume a limit to variation; while others have contended that domestication of itself has introduced something plastic into organisms, enabling them to vary, and that, therefore, the analogy drawn between animals and plants under domestication and those under nature is inadmissible. Others assert that domestic animals and plants have been rendered in an especial manner subservient to the uses and purposes of man. In conformity with this view, they also affirm that the conception of species is, for that reason, not applicable to the creatures under domestication. For ourselves, we concede that the analogy between domesticated and natural animals and plants is a just one, in the light in which the phenomena of variation are generally regarded. For we wholly dissent from the opinion of the introduction by domestication of any thing plastic into organisms, and firmly believe in the operation of secondary causes in the formation of varieties.

These arguments, in the form in which they are adduced, are inconclusive. Their weakness springs from an error into which those who have urged them have fallen, which vitiates at the start all their reasoning. To this error we shall presently advert. But while we cannot concur in their premises, we have something more than an intuition of the truth of their common conclusion.

The facts, of which the Animals and Plants under Domestication is a vast repertory, admit of a theory more conformable than that of Darwin to the phenomena of variation; a theory which fully accounts for the appearance of the profitable modifications under domestication, (confessedly inexplicable on Darwin's theory,) and for the formation of races under nature; a theory admitting of still further variation; and which is at the same time strictly in accordance with the doctrines of special creations and of the immutability of the species. This teleological explanation, of which we conceive the phenomena of variation to be susceptible, we will render amenable to all the canons of scientific research. And in doing so, we will rely for our proofs upon no evidence but that furnished us by noted evolutionists.

The seeming concurrence of all the evidence in favor of Darwinism results from a misconception by all of the true nature of its data. In all the arguments adduced by the advocates of special creation in disproof of Darwin's hypotheses, these variations have been tacitly admitted to arise by evolution. That they have thus arisen seems to be taken for granted. In this admission lies their error. Upon this current conception of varietal evolution rests the whole evolution hypothesis. Upon the validity of this assumption we join issue with Darwin, as we conceive that upon this point the whole question hinges. For it is not a little illogical to concede the evolution of varieties, and to deny the evolution of species. If we can show that this assumption is invalid, the whole evolution fabric will fall.

Darwin tacitly assumes that the existing state of nature is the normal or primordial condition of animals and plants. The difficulty hitherto experienced in confuting his errors springs from acquiescence in this assumption. True it is that Darwin does not believe in the validity of this assumption, but merely makes it to show the inconceivableness of the negation of evolution. With him a[255] species is not fixed but fluctuating, and is merely a subjective conception, having no objective reality. Believing in the converse assumption, we advance the following theory: That animals and plants have degenerated under nature, and that the favorable modifications arising under domestication are due to reversion to the perfect type.

Darwin, in treating of variations, refers them indiscriminately to reversion and to evolution. This he does according to no law, rule, method, or formula. The mere circumstance that he has one subject under consideration, suffices to induce him to ascribe to reversion a modification which, in another portion of his work, he, with strange inconsistency, attributes to "spontaneous variability." He affects to deem it a sufficient answer to the ascription of characters to reversion, to appeal to the absence of such characters in the species under nature. If the assumption of degeneration and subsequent favorable reversion can lay even the least claim to tenability, this answer is in no wise satisfactory. If it can be conclusively shown that most, if not all, creatures in a state of nature, are in a degenerated condition, then the irresistible inference will be, in the absence of any other rational explanation, that favorable variations are ascribable to reversion.

While, as Herbert Spencer says, "a comparison of ancient and modern members of the types which have existed from paleozoic and mesozoic times down to the present day shows that the total amount of change (in animals) is not relatively great, and that it is not manifestly toward a higher organization," paleontology furnishes us with many facts showing the great size of ancient mammals, and marked degeneracy in their descendants. Thus, Darwin concurs with Bell, Cuvier, Nilsson, and others in the belief that European cattle—the Continental and Pembroke breeds, and the Chillingham cattle—are the degenerate descendants of the great urus, (bos primigenius,) with which they cannot now sustain a comparison, so greatly have they degenerated. Cæsar describes the urus as being not much inferior in size to the elephant. An entire skull of one, found in Perthshire, measures one yard in length, while the span of the horn cores is three feet and six inches, the breadth of the forehead between the horns is ten and a half inches, and from the middle of the occipital ridge to the back of the orbit it is thirteen inches, (Owen's British Fossil Mammals, pp. 500, 501, 502.) The common red deer have so greatly undergone degeneration that the fossil remains of their progenitors have been held to be those of a distinct species, (strongylocerus spelæus.) An advocate of Darwinism—a writer in the Edinburgh Review for October, 1868—differs with Owen on this point, and holds that the common red deer are their descendants, greatly degenerated. From their antlers it is inferred that they equalled in height the megaceros, whose height to summit of antlers was ten feet four inches, (Owen's British Foss. Mam.) So marked is the difference in the size of the antlers, says the Edinburgh reviewer, that it would be possible to ascertain approximately the antiquity of a deposit in which they might be found from that fact alone. The horse and the elephas antiquus have also been shown to have decreased in size.

Changes similar to these have been adduced by the advocates of evolution, to show the manner in which species have been formed under nature. But these, we apprehend, imply[256] devolution rather than evolution. They also serve, contend they, as illustrations of the harmony subsisting between the organism and its environment. If by this is meant that the organism responds to every marked change in the environment, we admit the harmony. But if congruity between a perfect physiological state and the changed conditions is implied, we demur. Certain conditions are absolutely essential to the growth of characters and to general perfection. When they are so modified as to entail the diminution or loss of any positive feature, this tells upon the organism. Darwin, noting that the appearance of certain characters was invariably consequent upon the presence of certain conditions, says (in order to avoid any thing like a teleological implication) that we must not thence infer that those or any conditions are absolutely necessary to the growth of any organs or characters. That Darwin errs, and that full physiological perfection cannot exist except where there is full general growth, and full growth of all parts or organs, we shall clearly demonstrate when, in a future article, we treat of the laws of compensation or balancement of growth, of correlation, of crossing, and of close interbreeding. But whether there exists harmony between the organism or not, there is none the less deterioration. And when reversion to the type from which the organism has degenerated takes place under domestication, it is termed evolution.

But those proofs of degeneration and subsequent favorable reversion upon which we chiefly rely are those afforded by Darwin himself. On page 8, Vol. I. of his late work, he says, "Members of a high group might even become, and this apparently has occurred, fitted for simpler conditions of life; and in this case, natural selection would tend to simplify or degrade the organism; for complicated mechanism for simple actions would be useless or even disadvantageous." The efficiency of natural selection in this respect we fully concede.

And again, on page 12, "During the many changes to which, in the course of time, all organic beings have been subjected, certain organs or parts have occasionally become of little use, and ultimately superfluous, and the retention of such parts in a rudimentary and utterly useless condition can, on the descent theory, be simply understood." We heartily concur in this explanation furnished by the descent theory, as we fully believe all that is attributed to the law of hereditary transmission, the particularities of the hypothesis of pangenesis excepted.

Treating of a symmetrical growth, he cites the cases of "wrong fishes," gasteropods or shell-fish, of certain species of bulimus, and many achitinellæ, verucca, and orchids, and infers, from their being as liable to be unequally developed on the one as on the other side, that the capacity for development is present, and that it is due to reversion. "And as a reversal of development occasionally occurs in animals of many kinds, this latent capacity is probably very common." (P. 53, vol. ii.)

On pages 58, 59, and 60 are given cases of "the re-development of wholly or partially aborted organs." The corydalis tuberosa properly has one of its two nectaries colorless, destitute of nectar, and only one half the size of the other. Its pistil is curved toward the perfect nectary, and the hood, formed of the inner petals, slips off the pistil and stamens in one direction alone, so that when a bee sucks the perfect nectary, the stigma and stamens are exposed and[257] rubbed against the insect's body. "Now," says Darwin, "I have examined several flowers of the corydalis tuberosa, in which both nectaries were equally developed, and contained nectar; in this we see only the re-development of a partially aborted organ; but with this re-development the pistil becomes straight and the hood slips off in either direction; so that the flowers have acquired the perfect structure, so well adapted for insect agency, of dielytra and its allies. We cannot attribute these coadapted modifications to chance, or to correlated variability; we must attribute them to reversion to a primordial condition of the species." Upon Darwin's hypothesis, all the beautiful, delicate, involved, and harmonious adjustments, coadaptations, relations, and dependencies in organic nature must, at some time, have arisen by evolution. But here he apparently assigns their coadaptation as a reason for not ascribing these modifications to chance, or to correlated variability; as if their evolution were inconceivable. Does this consist with his theory? What difficulty exists against their evolution now, which is not susceptible of being urged with equal if not greater force against their evolution ages ago? Why push the question further back in time? Was the evolution of these modifications less inconceivable then than now? If so, why? In default of an answer, we have no alternative but to conclude that all favorable modifications arise by reversion.

Having given several cases of the "reappearance of organs of which not a vestige could be detected," he declares it "difficult to believe that they would have come to full perfection in color, structure, and function unless those organs had, at some former period, passed through a similar course of growth." We surmise that at the moment in which Darwin conceived such a difficulty, his singularly powerful imagination was impaired by over-exercise. We trust that, on the recurrence of such a mental state, he will cease to marvel at us for experiencing a like difficulty in conceiving the evolution of any favorable characters.

After giving the opinion of several naturalists—in which he concurs—"that the common bond of connection between the several foregoing cases is an actual though partial return to the ancient progenitor of the group," he says, "If this view be correct, we must believe that a vast number of characters capable of evolution (!) lie hidden in every organic being." Here Darwin, as if he had demonstrated the tendency to revert too clearly for the tenableness of his theory, asserts that the appearance of these characters, which have been by him attributed to reversion, is attributable to evolution. The inconsistency is manifest. But this may be taken as a type of the whole of Darwinism. For the author, after acquainting us, without the slightest apparent hesitation, with facts showing degeneration to have been little short of universal, declares that he is forced to believe that favorable modifications are due to "spontaneous variability," as they are otherwise inexplicable; seeming to be wholly oblivious of ever having mentioned previous degeneration. This reminds us of another inconsistency of which evolutionists are guilty. They never tire of inveighing against the reference of phenomena to what they term "metaphysical entities," such as "vital power," "inherent tendency," "intrinsic aptitude," etc. But this by no means precludes their use of the same phrases when treating of phenomena which refuse to be moulded into even seeming conformity[258] to their hypotheses. Again, these characters cannot be due to evolution if they are a return to the ancient progenitor of the group; for that implies the possession of a larger number of characters in the progenitor than in its descendants; which directly militates against evolution, which is an advance from the simpler to the more complex. But Darwinism is in part but an ingeniously disguised and elaborate revival of the idea of Geoffroy St. Hilaire. He conceived "that what we call species are various degenerations of the same type." Races under nature are, upon our theory, caused by degeneration; they are various degenerations of a specific type. Observing that races were thus caused, Geoffroy St. Hilaire, we apprehend, instituted an analogy between races and species, and inferred from the former being various degenerations of a specific type, that the latter were the various degenerations of a generic (or a still higher) type. He was also induced thus to conclude by the fact that characters, which were held in common by all the species of a genus, were in some species in a rudimentary state. But the sterility of hybrids precludes the possibility of this common origin of the species. In so far as this hypothesis relates to species, Darwin adopts it. The fact that races have been similarly caused, he ignores, as that is grossly at variance with his hypothesis of evolution, which lays claim to plausibility only in the absence of any rational explanation of the appearance of favorable modifications under domestication. Were races confessed to be the degenerations of a specific type, then it would be apparent to the capacity of a boy that the appearance of characters under domestication was due to reversion. Had not Darwin accepted the idea of St. Hilaire, his theory would be devoid of its present semblance of unity and coherency. Having started out to prove the common origin of the species by evolution, he preserves the appearance of consistency in his illustrations by assuming an identical conclusion, but one arrived at, as he unwittingly shows, by postulating degeneration. This furnishes him with a seeming confirmation of his theory; but as these hypotheses of degeneration and evolution are wholly incongruous, the vain endeavor to blend them harmoniously involves him in many inconsistencies and absurdities. Thus, in endeavoring to prove community of origin of the species, he, in conformity with the conception of degeneration, accounts for the appearance of characters by reversion, and then, apprehensive that this attribution would be wholly subversive of his theory of development, ends by inconsistently and gratuitously terming them instances of evolution. The expressions quoted above illustrate this. He has shown that the modifications are due to a return to the ancient progenitor of the group, and then says, "If this view be correct, we must believe that a vast number of characters capable of evolution (!) lie hidden in every organic being." Many other instances of this inconsistency could be given, but the following will, we trust, suffice. After adducing cases of bud variation, he says, "When we reflect on these facts, we become deeply impressed with the conviction that, in such cases, the nature of the variation depends but little on the conditions to which the plant has been exposed, and not in any especial manner on its individual character, but much more on the general nature or condition, inherited from some remote progenitor of the whole group of allied beings to which[259] the plant belongs." Mark the consistency. The appearance of nectarines on peach-trees by bud variation is here ascribed to reversion, while in numerous other places it is adduced as one of the most striking instances of evolution. He has cited the cases of bud variation as instances of evolution, to prove community of origin of the species, and then assumes the community of origin of the species to account by reversion for the appearance of nectarines and all bud variations. But Darwin may go on involving himself in a succession of absurdities, in the just confidence that, however gross they may be, they will not be observable so long as his opponents admit the evolution of varieties.

On page 265, he declares it "impossible in most cases to distinguish between the reappearance of ancient, and the first appearance of new characters." This of course implies that some characters arise by evolution. Now, how are we to discriminate between those arising by reversion and those arising by evolution? What is the distinguishing characteristic of the latter? Darwin has failed to inform us. We deny evolution in any case—"sport," strain, race, variety, or species. Darwin takes it for granted in the cases of "sport," strain, and variety, after having shown degeneration to have been almost universal. He professes to believe that these are due to evolution. What is evolution? Is it not "a name for a hypothetical property which as much needs explanation as that which it is used to explain"? Whence results this belief in evolution? From intuition? This knowledge of the existence of such a potent factor is doubtless very enviable, especially when it is possessed by able scientists. But—to follow a train of thought pursued in another connection—it needs some guarantee of its genuineness. For the first impulse of a scientific scepticism is to inquire by what means these scientists have acquired such a knowledge of the cause of variations. If it was gained from a study of nature, then it must be amenable to all the canons of scientific research; and these assure us that the appearance of favorable modifications is wholly inexplicable except upon the hypothesis of reversion, and that evolution is merely a name for a cause of which we are presumed to be ignorant. In science an explanation is the reduction of phenomena to a series of known conditions, thus bringing what was unknown within the circle of the known. Does the hypothesis of evolution fulfil this requirement? Has it not been confessed that "spontaneous variability," or evolution, stands in the place of ignorance? Is not the ascription of characters to evolution a "shaping of ignorance into the semblance of knowledge"? Has not Darwin shown that such it is, when he frankly acknowledges his ignorance of the cause of the appearance of favorable modifications, and when he attributes them to "an innate spontaneous tendency"? Of what validity, then, can an hypothesis be, when the assumption upon which it is grounded is, confessedly, wholly gratuitous? Before it can be entitled to a hearing in a scientific court of inquiry, it is necessary that it furnish some warrant for assuming evolution. We rely with the most implicit confidence upon Mr. G. H. Lewes concurring with us in deeming this requisite.

On page 350, Darwin says, "Many sub-varieties of the pigeon have reversed and somewhat lengthened feathers on the back of their heads, and this is certainly not due to the species under nature, which shows no[260] trace of such a structure; but when we remember that sub-varieties of the fowl, the turkey, the canary-bird, duck, and goose all have top-knots or reversed feathers on their heads, and when we remember that scarcely a single natural group of birds can be named in which some members have not a tuft of feathers on their heads, we may suspect that reversion to some extremely remote form has come into action." A high development of the "extremely remote form," together with degeneration under nature and subsequent favorable reversion, is here manifestly implied.

On page 247, the tendency to prolification is ascribed to reversion to a former condition.

"With domesticated animals," says Darwin, on page 353, "the reduction of a part from disuse is never carried so far that a mere rudiment is left, but we have good reason to believe that this has often occurred under nature."

Speaking of the gradual increase in size of our domesticated animals, he says, "This fact is all the more striking, as certain wild or half-wild animals, such as red deer, aurochs, park-cattle, and boars, have, within nearly the same period, decreased in size." (P. 427.)

On page 61, Vol. II., he says, "It is probable that hardly a change of any kind affects either parent without some mark being left on the germ. But on the doctrine of reversion, as given in this chapter, the germ becomes a far more marvellous object; for besides the visible changes to which it is subjected, we must believe that it is crowded with invisible characters, proper to both sexes, to both the right and left side of the body, and to a long line of male and female ancestors, separated by hundreds or even thousands of generations from the present time; and these characters, like those written on paper with invisible ink, all lie ready to be evolved (!!!) under certain known or unknown conditions." If this is the case, is not the scope of reversion sufficiently wide to cover every favorable modification which has arisen, or may arise, under domestication?

But these extracts from Darwin's Animals and Plants under Domestication, strongly confirmatory as they are of our hypothesis, ill sustain a comparison with the last we shall adduce. Fuller concession no one could reasonably desire.

"With species in a state of nature," says Darwin, on page 317, "rudimentary organs are so extremely common that scarcely one can be mentioned which is wholly free from a blemish of this nature." Stronger confirmation of our hypothesis, short of a full and unequivocal confession of its validity, we are utterly unable to conceive. Are we not, after this, justified in ascribing to reversion every favorable modification which has arisen or may arise?

Having thus furnished full warrant for assuming degeneration and subsequent favorable reversion, and for alleging the complete gratuitousness of the converse assumption of evolution, let us turn our attention to the grand principle of natural selection.

It is scarcely possible to read Darwin's graphic description of the struggle for existence among animals and plants, and not marvel at their survival. Creatures under nature are subjected to the greatest vicissitudes of climate. Thousands are born into the world with delicate constitutions, inherited from their progenitors. These enter into competition with their fellows for the means of subsistence; and although they eventually succumb, they have, during their short lives, by this competition, induced[261] the deterioration of their stronger companions. All without exception have to struggle, from the hour of their birth to the hour of their death, for existence. Natural extinction carries off those whose impaired constitutions are inconsistent with prolonged existence. Consequent upon natural extinction is the survival of the fittest and strongest. Darwin avers that the weaker portion of the species having been carried off by natural extinction, the next generation, having been derived only from the stronger portion of the race, will be of a still stronger constitution. This is not the case. Natural extinction does not arbitrarily carry off the weak, but merely those whose extremely impaired constitutions are incompatible with life. Many survive between which and the conditions there is little compatibility. And even the offspring of those which are the strongest are subjected in their turn to the same if not worse conditions, and to the same if not severer competition; for the probability is, that the increase in the number of animals and plants has been great. Thus degeneration is ever active. If the climate fails to entail deterioration, and becomes favorable, the same result is produced by the severe competition consequent upon "an astonishingly rapid increase in numbers."

Darwin implies that natural selection is something more than the correlative of natural extinction. That it is, he has not shown. All the facts show that the one is merely the correlative of the other. The semblance of the converse being the case is given, we conceive, by the constant use, when speaking of those preserved by natural selection, of the superlative, as strongest, fittest, most vigorous. Under nature, unfavorable modifications are ever arising, and those animals and plants which possess them in a marked degree are carried off by natural extinction. Natural selection, in its turn, operates merely by the preservation of those organisms which have undergone little or no modification. The two factors are only different aspects of the same process. One necessitates the other. More than this, natural selection is not. That it acts by the preservation of successive favorable modifications, Darwin has signally failed to adduce a single instance to prove. Instances of adaptation he has adduced, but they are invariably, except where man has intervened, those of degeneration. A description of the process of natural selection is always accompanied with an account of the incessant war waging throughout nature, resulting in natural extinction. Following this is natural selection, preserving the fitter, stronger, and more vigorous. Now, a tolerably clear conception of our view may be gained by considering that, although those preserved may be the fitter, stronger, and more vigorous, in comparison with their brothers or contemporaries, they may be—and the vast majority of the instances adduced by Darwin show this to be the case—less fit, less strong, and less vigorous than their progenitors. Those instances adduced which do not imply this, show no advance on the progenitors, but merely a struggle against degeneration and a continuance in the same state. For animals and plants under nature can scarcely hold their own. Many of them are reduced to the lowest condition compatible with life. If they do not remain stationary, their movement is in the direction of degeneration. Does not Darwin's assertion, before adverted to, that rudimentary organs are so extremely common that scarcely a single species can be mentioned which does not possess such a blemish,[262] imply the preëxistence of conditions sufficiently adverse to entail unfavorable changes in almost every point or character in an organism? It is not a little amusing to see that, in numbers of the exemplifications of the process of natural selection given by Darwin, the animals and plants are subjected to extreme vicissitudes of climate, the severest competition, and other unfavorably modifying influences, and although deterioration is acknowledged to result, and it is manifest that all are unfavorably modified, he invariably concludes with the assertion that the strongest and most vigorous survive. This assertion is true in one sense, but is false when viewed with reference to the inference intended to be drawn. It will be seen that the more correct assertion would be, those survive which have undergone less modification or none.

But independently of these considerations; even upon the supposition that natural selection was equally powerful with man's selection in the formation of varieties or races, that as strongly pronounced and as widely divergent modifications as those observable under domestication had arisen under nature, the efficiency of natural selection is a matter of no moment. For the argument therefrom begs the whole question. It takes for granted the whole point really in controversy. It assumes that those modifications which may arise, or which have arisen, are due to evolution. It is not in the least inconsistent with our views that favorable varieties or races should arise under nature. As a matter of fact, we deny their ever having arisen. But we are not by this denial estopped from believing it possible for them to arise in the future. For were the conditions to change, and to become as favorable as those to which animals and plants are subjected under domestication, races would then arise. They would probably be fewer in number, but a nearer approach to perfection could be attained, the conditions admitting; for man's improvement of the animals and plants under his care is retarded, owing to his not being as yet perfectly conversant with the conditions requisite for their full development. But the modifications which may arise under nature will be due to reversion. The improvement of natural species will imply their previous degeneration. Darwin conceives variations to arise by evolution, and concession of this is essential to the validity of his argument. The question then recurs, Are the favorable modifications which have arisen, or which may arise, due to evolution or to reversion? Until this point is settled in favor of the ascription to evolution, Darwin's argument from natural selection is wholly irrelevant.

An illustration may perhaps conduce to a clearer conception of the relation in which the theories of evolution and reversion stand to each other. The following will, we believe, fully serve this purpose.

Conceive a glass tube, bent into the shape of the letter V, of which the left leg alone is clearly visible. In this, water is seen slowly ascending by a succession of apparently spontaneous impulses. "Now," argue a certain class of philosophers, "this is a peculiar case. The water here manifestly does not acknowledge the law of gravitation. It must, then, conform to a law sui generis; a law of which we are wholly ignorant; a law which transcends the scope of our intelligence. This law, be it what it may, we will term evolution. Now, as this name, given arbitrarily, is the only explanation of which the singular ascent of the water will admit, we are forced to conclude that the water[263] will, if similarly confined above as here below, continue to rise for ever. Any theory other than this is inconceivable. The assumption of a limit to the ascent of the water is manifestly wholly gratuitous. What evidence is there to induce the belief that there exists such a limit?" But would not the calculations of these philosophers be signally confounded by the removal of the covering of the right leg of the tube, disclosing the downward course of the water from a certain height? The analogy, we presume, is clear to all. The ascent of the water in the left leg answers to the appearance of the profitable modifications under domestication, the apex of the tube to the existing state of nature, and the descent of the water in the right leg answers to degeneration under nature; while the height from which the water has descended in the right leg, and to which in the left leg it is ascending in conformity to the rule that water always seeks its own level, in like manner answers to the perfect type of the species from which the animal or plant has degenerated, and to which it is reverting.

But, even assuming that the argument from the gratuitousness of the assumption of varietal evolution, together with that from the explanation afforded by the theory of reversion, is inconclusive, there is yet another which may be adduced.

Darwin's theory is condemned by its advocates. For it is one of a class of theories which, they contend, are not entitled to any consideration or hearing in a scientific court of inquiry. Doubtless many of our readers, at least those conversant with science, have spent many a pleasant hour perusing numerous well-written pages filled with protests against the ascription of phenomena to such entities as "plastic force," "vital power," "intrinsic aptitude," "inherent tendency," etc. This attribution is one of the stock objections against every thing which does not tally with the ideas current among positivists. The advocates of Darwin, of whom most, if not all, are followers of Comte, wax eloquent and enthusiastic while on this theme. Here they disport themselves after the manner of men conscious of having alighted on a subject highly calculated to call forth their most happy thoughts. Here their rhetoric is consummate, and their turns of expression singularly felicitous. Their affected indignation at the assumed absurdity of thus accounting for phenomena knows no bounds. So thrilling is this tirade, and so perfect the simulation of honest indignation, that we, though of a somewhat cold temperament, have, through sympathy, often caught and retained for a moment the infection of enthusiasm. When our feelings ceased to have full sway, and when our reason returned, we were in a fit state to appreciate fully the great power of eloquence.

After animadverting thus severely on this ascription of phenomena, it was not to be expected that these positivists would be guilty of the inconsistency of advocating a theory the basis of which was one of these "metaphysical entities." Very little credence, we are sure, would be given to the assertion that the foundation of Darwin's theory was an occult quality. For that theory has again and again been held up to the world as a shining sample of what can be effected in science by conformity to the positive process of discovery. Yet such is the case. Darwin, on page 2, Vol. I. of his late work, says, "If organic beings had not possessed an inherent tendency to vary, man could have done nothing." In numerous other portions of his work may be found the reference of variations[264] to "an innate spontaneous tendency," (p. 362, Vol. I.,) to "spontaneous or accidental variability," (p. 248. Vol. II.,) to the "nature or constitution of the being which varies," (p. 289, Vol. II.,) and to "other metaphysical entities." So frequent is the recurrence of these expressions that it is scarcely possible to open any portion of his work and not alight on one. The whole of Darwin's theory is deduced from this occult quality in animals and plants. And this is a theory advocated by G. H. Lewes, and a number of others who have given in their adhesion to positivism! If this explanation is, as they claim, unphilosophical, are they not bound to withdraw their support from such a theory? Does not their present position argue a total want of consistency? Which is the more entitled to support, even from their own professed stand-point, a theory which refers favorable variations to an innate tendency in organisms, or that which ascribes variations to reversion? No; as any other view would be incompatible with the success of their darling theory, they are perfectly content to consider variation as an ultimate law, even though such a consideration involves a gross inconsistency. Regardless of this, they advance the theory, and, when engaged on a collateral point, marvel at their opponents for doing that which they have done at the start, and complacently extol the clearness of their own views, which have been arrived at by the aid of an hypothesis based upon the same occult quality against which they are now exhausting all their eloquence.

The truth is, that these "metaphysical entities" are in almost as frequent use among positivists as among their adversaries. They are, perhaps, more ingeniously disguised. But a close examination of their speculations will elicit the fact that they are guilty of the same (alleged) absurdity, and on a point, as in the present instance, most materially affecting their whole theory. But these explanations are denounced as metaphysical merely to facilitate the reception of their finely spun theories. The dawn of science in any department of knowledge is invariably preceded by a mist. This acts as a false medium, through which the subjects of science are dimly seen, presenting a most monstrous aspect. This is rendered still more distorted by the ingenious but absurd theories of men bent upon tracing a want of harmony between science and religion. Their hypotheses, at first sight, apparently preclude the need of these phrases, but they are at last necessitated to use them in accounting for phenomena of which the ascription to known factors would be grossly at variance with their views. The use of these entities is in some cases only provisional with us, to be abandoned on the advent of true knowledge; for religion does not shun the light of true science. In this transitional period between complete ignorance and full knowledge, these speculative theories are propounded. They purport to furnish an explanation of all phenomena, and to dispense with the necessity of using "metaphysical entities." Their adoption is necessitated, contend their propounders, if the converse theories are conceded to be unscientific. This we deny, and appeal to the existing low condition of scientific knowledge, which precludes for a time the possibility of the formation of any well-founded theory. This theory of evolution, for instance, is confessedly founded on ignorance—ignorance of the law to which its data conform. But when science advances, and when facts are exposed to the clear sunlight of precise[265] and impartial investigation, perfect harmony is observable between science and religion; and the absurdity of the theories which were urged for our adoption becomes manifest. Past experience justifies our belief that such will ever be the case. For it is only those departments of knowledge which are abandoned to speculation which present facts seemingly at variance with religion. We refuse to accept the alternatives which they offer, confident that, as they are at variance with religion, they are not the legitimate products of true science.

Races under nature have been formed exclusively by degeneration. By this we do not wish to imply any innate tendency in organisms to degenerate. The degeneration of which we speak is solely induced by the direct and indirect action of the conditions of life. Upon assuming certain conditions necessary to full growth, the formation of natural races becomes deductively explicable. It is with regret that we observe a disposition on the part of some of the advocates of special creation to believe growth independent of the conditions. The dependence of growth upon the conditions cannot be disputed. Nor do we wish to dispute it; for it is, to our mind, strong confirmation of the doctrine of final causes. The supporters of the evolution hypothesis maintain that an organism has the capacity for adapting itself to any conditions, so that they are not so marked and sudden as to entail extinction. We acquiesce in this thus far—where the conditions are favorable, improvement ensues. But with us improvement implies previous degeneration. And when the conditions are adverse, a change for the worse results in proportion to the change in the conditions. Such adaptation as this we admit. But we fancy Darwin would consider this too teleological to be a concession. Adaptation, with him, implies harmony. This harmony we will not gainsay. But if the conditions induce the total or partial suppression of any part or character, we contend that this adaptation of the organism to the conditions is not consistent with complete physiological integrity. The departure from a state of integrity is directly proportioned to the retardation of growth of either the organism as a whole, or of only one or more of its organs or characters. This repression is the criterion by which to judge of the adverseness of the conditions. For our belief in this incompatibility between full integrity and conditions which entail the loss or diminution of any part, character, feature, or organ, we will, in a future article, furnish full warrant.

Starting out, then, with perfect specific types, we will be able to account for the formation of races without the aid of an equivocal process, without postulating any occult quality, and by means in every way analogous to those which, as Darwin has shown, play an important part in inducing modification.

From the instances of degeneration adduced by Darwin, we may infer that the conditions of life were at one time extremely adverse. And surely, if they were sufficiently unfavorable to involve the reduction of most important organs to a rudimentary condition, they must also have caused the suppression of many minor characters. The climate in most countries has been adequately rigorous to act upon the organization as a whole, and thus entail deterioration in size; and as these unfavorable conditions ranged from those but little unfavorable to those barely compatible with life, the retention of the[266] organism in each or several of these stages would create diversity of size; for climate acts with different degrees of force in different countries. Then in a single country the animals or plants would be subjected to closely similar conditions, and long continued subjection to these would produce uniformity of size, and indigenous races.

In addition to these modifications consequent upon the direct action of the climate on the whole organization, there would result minor changes. The conditions of life would in different districts or countries be unfavorable to different parts or characters. The reduction of these parts would follow, and this would, through correlation of growth, involve modifications in other portions of the organization. For, says Darwin, "all the parts of the organization are to a certain extent connected or correlated together."

Owing to these causes there would be disproportionate deterioration of the characters. When an organ of which the function is activity would be little exercised, it would become atrophied. Different situations would occasion more or less disuse of organs, and these would consequently be differently modified. Then their modification would call for the modification of other characters. Thus, the legs in some animals are made more or less short by disuse, and by correlation the head is reduced in size, and changed in shape. Loss of characters, such as the crest of feathers on the head, and wattle, conjoined with changes in other parts of the organism, would, through correlation, produce more or less diminution in size of the skull. General decrease in size, and loss of tail or tail-feathers, would lessen the number of the vertebræ, which result would induce other changes. When the hair is affected by humidity of climate or other causes, the tusks, horns, skull, and feet become modified. There is also correlation of degeneration between the skin and its various appendages of hair, feathers, hoofs, horns, and teeth; between wing-feathers and tail-feathers; between the various features of head and skull.

With animals, a small supply of food would cause decrease in size; and with plants, an insufficient quantity of the necessary chemical elements, together with the starvation consequent upon the close contiguity of other plants, would produce the same result. Diseases peculiar to certain localities, heights, and climates have also played their part in the modification of animals and plants.

Given, then, a perfect type, the unfavorable action of these elements—heat and cold, dampness and dryness, light and electricity, disuse, disease, absence of some of the necessary chemical elements, and insufficient supplies of food—together with that of their countless modifications, acting separately and conjointly, directly and indirectly through correlation, is amply adequate to the production of the modifications by which, as we conceive, races have been formed.

That it is possible for characters to appear after having been lost for a great length of time, is amply shown by Darwin in his chapters on reversion. Individuals of breeds of cattle that have been hornless for the last one hundred or one hundred and fifty years occasionally give birth to horned calves. Characters, he assures us, may recur after an almost indefinite number of generations. "From what we see of the power of reversion, both in pure races and when varieties or species are crossed, we may infer that characters of almost any kind are capable[267] of reappearance after having been lost for a great length of time." Speaking of the transmission of color during centuries, he says, "Nevertheless, there is no more inherent improbability in this being the case than in a useless and rudimentary organ, or even in only a tendency to the production of a rudimentary organ, being inherent during millions of generations, as is well known to occur with a multitude of organic beings. There is no more inherent impossibility in each domestic pig, during a thousand generations, retaining the capacity to develop great tusks under fitting conditions, than in the young calf having retained for an indefinite number of generations rudimentary incisor teeth which never protrude through the gums." The power of reversion is further shown in the cases of pelorism before given. And again, he urges that, "It should also be remembered that many characters lie latent in organisms ready to be evolved (?) under fitting conditions." But it is scarcely necessary to adduce proofs of the possibility of reversion; for, if characters arise in species which have confessedly degenerated, it is the height of absurdity to attribute them to evolution, rather than to reversion.

Many objections, we are sure, will suggest themselves, and many doubts will be expressed whether the theory here enunciated will cover all the facts. We feel confident of succeeding in obviating every difficulty, and in dissipating all such doubts. In this article we have shown upon what an infirm basis the evolution hypothesis rests, and have suggested a legitimate alternative. In our forthcoming articles, we shall show still further weakness of the views of Darwin and Spencer, and point out facts which, while grossly at variance with the development doctrines, afford conclusive proof of the objective reality of the species.



The Hungarians, like the Austrians and Bohemians, have great love for music. "Three fiddles and a dulcimer for two houses," says the proverb; and it is a true one. It is not unusual, therefore, for some out of the poorer classes, when their regular business fails to bring them in sufficient for their wants, to take to the fiddle, the dulcimer, or the harp, playing on holidays on the highway or in taverns. This employment is generally lucrative enough, if they are not spendthrifts, to enable them not only to live, but to lay by something for future necessities.

An honest wheelwright, called "merry Jobst," on account of his stories and jokes, lived with Elschen his wife, in a cottage in the hamlet Rohrau, on the borders of Hungary and Austria. They were accustomed to sit by the wayside near the inn on holidays; Jobst fiddling, and Elschen playing the harp and singing with her sweet, clear voice. Almost every traveller stopped to listen, well pleased, and on resuming his journey[268] threw often a silver twopence into the lap of the pretty young woman. Jobst and his wife, on returning home in the evening, found their day's work a good one.

The old cantor of the neighboring town of Haimburg passed along the road one afternoon, and in the arbor, opposite the tavern, sat merry Jobst fiddling, and beside him pretty Elschen, playing the harp and singing. Between them, on the ground, sat a little chubby-faced boy about three years old, who had a small board shaped like a violin hung about his neck, on which he played with a willow twig as with a genuine fiddle-bow. The most comical and surprising thing of all was, that the little man kept perfect time, pausing when his father paused and his mother had a solo, then falling in with his father again, and demeaning himself exactly like him. Often, too, he would lift up his clear voice, and join distinctly in the refrain of the song.

"Is that your boy, fiddler?" asked the music-teacher.

"Yes, sir, that is my little Seperl."[58]

"The little fellow seems to have a taste for music."

"Why not? I shall take him as soon as I can to one who can teach him."

The cantor came from this time twice a week to the house of merry Jobst to talk with him about his little son, and the youngster himself was soon the best of friends with the good-natured old man. So matters went on for two years, at the end of which time the cantor said to Jobst, "If you will trust your boy with me, I will take him, and teach him what he must learn to become a brave lad and skilful musician."

Jobst did not hesitate long, for he saw clearly how great an advantage the instruction of Master Wolferl would be to his son. And though it went harder with pretty Elschen to part with Joseph, who was her only child, yet she gave up at last. She packed up the boy's scanty wardrobe in a bundle, gave him a slice of bread and salt and a cup of milk, embraced and blessed him, and accompanied him to the door of the cottage, where she signed him with the sign of the cross three times, and then returned to her chamber. Jobst went with them half way to Haimburg, and then returned, while Wolferl and Joseph pursued their way till they reached Wolferl's house, the end of their journey.

Wolferl was an old bachelor, but one whose heart, despite his gray hairs, was still youthful and warm. He gave daily lessons to the little Joseph, and taught him good principles, as well as how to sing and to play on the horn and kettle-drum; and Joseph profited thereby, as well as by the other instructions he received in music.

Years passed, and Joseph was a well-instructed boy; he had a voice as clear and fine as his mother's, and played the violin as well as his father; he likewise blew the horn, and beat the kettle-drum, in the sacred music prepared by Wolferl for church festivals. Better than all, Joseph had a true and honest heart; had the fear of God continually before his eyes, and was ever contented, and wished well to all.

The more Wolferl perceived the lad's wonderful talent for art, the more earnestly he sought to find a patron for him, for he felt that his own strength could reach little further, when he saw the zeal and ability with which his pupil devoted himself to his studies. Providence so ordered it at length that Master von Reuter, chapel-master and musical[269] director in St. Stephen's Church, Vienna, came to visit the deacon at Haimburg. The deacon told Master von Reuter of the extraordinary boy, the son of the wheelwright Jobst Haydn, the pupil of old Wolferl, and created in the chapel-master much desire to become acquainted with him. The next morning, accordingly, Von Reuter went to Wolferl's house, which he entered quietly and unannounced. Joseph was sitting alone at the organ, playing a simple but sublime piece of sacred music from an old German master. Reuter, astonished and delighted, stood at the door and listened attentively. The boy was so deep in his music that he did not perceive the intruder till the piece was concluded, when, accidentally turning round, he fixed upon the stranger his large dark eyes, expressive of astonishment indeed, but sparkling a friendly welcome.

"Very well played, my son!" said Von Reuter at last. "Where is your foster-father?"

"In the garden," said the boy; "shall I call him?"

"Call him, and say to him that the chapel-master Von Reuter wishes to speak to him. Stop a moment! You are Joseph Haydn, are you not?"

"Yes, I am Seperl."

"Well, then, go."

Joseph went and brought his old master, Wolferl, who with uncovered head and low obeisance welcomed the chapel-master and music director at St. Stephen's to his humble abode. Von Reuter, on his part, praised the musical skill of his protégé, inquired particularly concerning the lad's attainments, and examined him formally himself. Joseph passed the examination in such a manner that Reuter's satisfaction increased with every answer. After this he spent some time in close conference with old Wolferl; and it was near noon before he took his departure. Joseph was invited to accompany him and spend the rest of the day at the deacon's.

Eight days after, old Wolferl, Jobst, and pretty Elschen, the younger son, little Michael, on her lap, sat very dejectedly together, and talked of the good Joseph, who had gone that morning with Master von Reuter to Vienna, to take his place as chorister in St. Stephen's church.


Wenzel Puderlein, a noted hair-dresser in the Leopoldstadt of Vienna, was one day dressing the hair of the Baron von Swieten, first physician to the empress, when he heard the great man's son ask permission to present to him a wonderful young musician, whose talents were beginning to attract public attention. Puderlein was happy to say he knew all about him, having long been hair-dresser to the chapel-master Von Reuter, in whose house young Haydn had lived ten or eleven years. He had been chorister at St. Stephen's, but had been obliged to relinquish the position two years before, having lost his fine, clear soprano voice after a severe illness.

"And what does young Haydn now?" asked the baron.

"Ah! your honor, the poor fellow must find it hard to live by giving lessons, playing, and thus picking up what he can; he sometimes also composes, or what do they call it? He lives in the house with Metastasio; not in the first story, like the court poet, but in the fifth; and when it is winter, he has to lie in bed and work, to keep himself from freezing; he has a fireplace in his chamber, but no money to buy wood to burn therein."

"This must not be; this shall not[270] be!" cried the Baron von Swieten, as he rose from his seat. "Am I ready?"

"One moment, your honor—only the string around the hair-bag."

"It is very good as it is. Now begone!"

Puderlein vanished.

"And you, help me on with my coat, give me my stick and hat, and bring me your young teacher this afternoon." Therewith he departed; and young Von Swieten, full of joy, went to the writing-table to indite an invitation to Haydn to come to his father's house.

Meanwhile Joseph Haydn sat sorrowful, and almost despairing, in his chamber. He had passed the morning, contrary to his usual custom, in idle brooding over his condition. Now it appeared quite hopeless, and his cheerfulness seemed about to take leave of him for ever, like his only friend and protectress, Mademoiselle de Martinez. That young lady had left the city a few hours before. Haydn had instructed her in singing, and in playing the harpsichord; and by way of recompense, he enjoyed the privilege of boarding and lodging in the fifth story in the house of Metastasio. All this now ceased with the lady's departure, and Joseph was poorer than before; for all that he had saved he had sent conscientiously to his parents, only keeping so much as sufficed to furnish him with decent though plain clothing.

"But where now?" thought he; and asked himself, sobbing aloud, "Where shall I go, without money?"

Just then, without any previous knocking, the door of his chamber was opened, and, with bold carriage and sparkling eyes, entered Master Wenzel Puderlein.

"Come to me!" cried the hair-dresser, while he stretched his curling-irons like a sceptre toward Joseph, and pressed his powder-bag with an air of feeling to his heart. "To me! I will be your father; I will foster and protect you; for I have feeling for the grand and the sublime, and have discerned your genius. I will lead you to art—I myself; and if, before long, you be not in full chase, and have not captured her, why, you must be a fool, and I will give you up!"

"Ah! worthy Master Puderlein," cried Haydn, surprised, "you would not receive me when I know not where to go nor what to do?"

"Now, sit you down on that stool," said Puderlein, "and do not stir till I give you leave. I will show the world what a man of genius can make of an indifferent head."

"Are you determined, then, to do me the honor of dressing my hair, Master von Puderlein?"

"Ask no questions; but sit still."

Joseph obediently seated himself, and Wenzel began to dress his hair according to the latest mode.

When he had done, he said with much self-congratulation, "Really, Haydn, when I look at you and think what you were before I set your head right, and what you are now, I may, without presumption, call you a being of my own creation. Now pay attention: you are to dress yourself as quickly as possible, and collect your movables together, that I may send to fetch them this evening. Then betake yourself to the Leopoldstadt, to my house on the Danube, No. 7; go up the steps, knock at the door, present my compliments to the young lady my daughter, and tell her you are so and so, and that Master von Puderlein sent you; and if you are hungry and thirsty, call for something to eat and a glass of Ofener or Klosteruenburger; after which you may remain quiet till I come home, and tell you further what I design for you. Adieu!"


Therewith Master Wenzel Puderlein rolled himself out of the door, and Joseph stood awhile with his hair admirably well dressed, but a little disconcerted, in the middle of his chamber. When he had collected his thoughts at length, he gave thanks with tears to God, who had inclined the heart of his generous protector toward him, and put an end to his bitter necessity; then he gathered, as Puderlein had told him, his few clothes and many musical notes together, dressed himself carefully in his best, shut up his chamber, and after he had taken leave, not without emotion, of the rich Metastasio, walked away cheerfully and confidently, his heart full of joy and his head full of new melodies, toward the Leopoldstadt and the house of his patron.


When young Von Swieten came half an hour later to ask for the young composer, Signor Metastasio could not inform him where "Giuseppe" had gone. How many hours of despondency did this forgetfulness on the part of the renowned poet prepare for the poor, unknown, yet incomparably greater artist, Haydn!

When Joseph, after a long walk, stood at length before Puderlein's house, he experienced some novel sensations, which may have been consequent on the thought that he was to introduce himself to a young lady and converse with her; an idea which, from his constitutional bashfulness and his ignorance of the world, was rather formidable to him. But the step must be taken, nevertheless. He summoned all his courage and knocked at the door. It was opened, and a handsome damsel of eighteen or nineteen presented herself before the trembling young man.

In great embarrassment he faltered forth his compliments and his message from Master Wenzel. The pretty Nanny listened to him with an expression of pleasure, and of sympathy for the forlorn condition of her visitor. When he had ended, she took him by the hand, to his no small terror, without the least embarrassment, and led him into the parlor, saying in insinuating tones, "Come in, Master Haydn; it is all right. I am sure my papa means well with you; for he concerns himself for every dunce he meets, and would take a poor wretch in for having only good hair on his head! But you must give in to his humors a little; for he is sometimes a trifle peculiar. Now tell me, what will you have? Do not be bashful; it is a good while since noon, and you must be hungry from your long walk."

Joseph could not deny that such was the case, and modestly asked for a piece of bread and a glass of water. Nanny, laughing, tripped out of the room. Ere long she returned, followed by an apprentice whom she had loaded with cold meats, a flask of wine, tumblers, etc. She arranged the table, filled Joseph's glass, and invited him to help himself to the cold pastry and whatever else awaited his choice. The youth fell to, timidly at first, then with more courage, till, after he had, at Nanny's persuasion, emptied a couple of glasses, he took heart to attack the cold meats more vigorously than he had done for a long time before; making the observation mentally that if Mademoiselle Nanny Puderlein was not quite as distingué and accomplished as his departed patroness, the honored Mademoiselle de Martinez, still, as far as youth, beauty, and polite manners were concerned, she would not suffer by a comparison with the most distinguished dames in Vienna. When Master Wenzel Puderlein came home an hour or two later, he[272] found Joseph in high spirits, with sparkling eyes and cheeks like the rose, already more than half in love with the pretty Nanny.

Joseph Haydn lived thus many months in the house of Wenzel Puderlein, burgher and renowned friseur in the Leopoldstadt of Vienna, and not a man in the imperial city knew where the poor but gifted and well-educated artist and composer was gone. In vain he was sought by his few friends; in vain by young Von Swieten; in vain, at last, by Metastasio himself. Joseph had disappeared from Vienna without leaving a trace. Wenzel Puderlein kept his abode carefully concealed, and wondered and lamented, like the rest, over his loss, when his aristocratic customers, believing he knew every thing, asked him if he could give them any information as to what had become of Joseph. He thought he had good reason and undoubted right to exercise now the hitherto unpractised virtue of silence; because, as he said to himself, he only aimed at making Joseph the happiest man in the world!

Joseph cheerfully resigned himself to the purposes of his friend, and was only too happy to be able undisturbed to study Sebastian Bach's works, to try his skill in composing quartettos, to eat as much as he wanted, and, day after day, to see and chat with the fair Nanny. It never occurred to him to notice that he lived, in a manner, as a prisoner in Puderlein's house; that all day he was banished to the garden behind the dwelling or to his own snug chamber, and only permitted to go out in the evening with Wenzel and his daughter. It never occurred to him to wish for other acquaintances than their nearest neighbors, among whom he was known simply as "Master Joseph;" and he cheerfully delivered every Saturday to Master Wenzel the stipulated number of minuets, waltzes, etc., which he was ordered to compose. Puderlein carried the pieces regularly to a music-dealer in the Leopoldstadt, who paid him two convention-guilders for every full-toned minuet, and for other pieces in proportion. This money the hair-dresser conscientiously locked up in a chest, to use it, when the time should come, for Joseph's advantage. With this view, he inquired earnestly about Joseph's greater works, and whether he would not soon be prepared to produce something which would do him credit in the eyes of the more distinguished part of the public.

"Ah! yes, indeed," replied the young man. "This quartetto, when I shall have finished it, might be ventured before the public; for I hope to make something good of it. Yet what can I do? No publisher would take it, because I have no distinguished patron to whom I could dedicate it!"

"That will all come in time," said Puderlein, smiling. "Do you get the thing ready, yet without neglecting the dances."

Joseph went to work; yet every day he appeared more deeply in love with the pretty Nanny; and the damsel herself looked with very evident favor on the dark though handsome youth. Wenzel saw the progress of things with satisfaction; the lovers behaved with great propriety, and he suffered matters to go on in their own way, only interfering, with a little assumed surliness, if Joseph at any time forgot his tasks in idle talk, or Nanny her housekeeping.

But not with such eyes saw Mosjo Ignatz, Puderlein's journeyman and factotum hitherto; for he thought himself possessed of a prior claim to the love of Nanny. It was gall and[273] wormwood to Ignatz to see Joseph and the fair girl together. He would often fain have interposed his powder-bag and curling-irons between them when he heard them singing tender duets; for Nanny had really a charming voice, was very fond of music, and was Joseph's zealous pupil in singing.

At length Ignatz could no longer endure the torments of jealousy. One morning he sought out the master of the house, to discover to him the secret of the lovers. How great was his astonishment when Master Wenzel, instead of falling into a violent passion and turning Joseph out of doors without further ado, replied, with a smile, that he was well pleased to have it so. In vain Ignatz urged his own prior claims to Nanny's favor, and the encouragement he had received from father and daughter. His pretensions were treated with the utmost scorn.

The journeyman declared he would instantly quit the hair-dresser's treacherous roof, and him and his periwig stock. He hastened to pack up his goods, demanded and received his wages, and left the house vowing vengeance against its inmates. Puderlein was incensed; Nanny laughed; Joseph sat in the garden, troubling himself about nothing but his quartetto, at which he was working.

Wenzel Puderlein saw the hour approaching when the attention of the imperial city, and of the world, would be directed to him as the protector and benefactor of a great musical genius. The dances Joseph had composed for the music-dealer in the Leopoldstadt were played again and again in the halls of the nobility. All praised the lightness, the sprightliness and grace that distinguished them; but all inquiries were vain, at the music-dealer's, respecting the name of the composer. None knew him, and Joseph himself had no idea what a sensation the pieces he had thrown off so easily created in the world. Master Wenzel, however, was well aware of it, and waited with impatience the completion of the first quartetto. At length the manuscript was ready. Puderlein received it, took it to the music publisher, and had it sent to press immediately, which the sums he had from time to time laid by for Joseph enabled him to do. Haydn, who was confident his protector would do every thing for his advantage, committed all to his hands; he commenced a new quartetto, and the old one was soon nearly forgotten.

They were not forgotten, however, by Mosjo Ignatz Schuppenpelz, who was continually on the watch to play Master Puderlein some ill trick. The opportunity soon offered; his new principal sent him one morning to dress the hair of the Baron von Fürnberg. Young Von Swieten chanced to be at the baron's house, and in the course of conversation mentioned the balls frequently given by Prince Esterhazy, and the delightful new dances by the unknown composer. In the warmth of his description the youth stepped up to the piano and began a piece which caused Ignatz to prick up his ears, for he recognized it too well; it was Nanny's favorite waltz, which Joseph had executed expressly for her.

"I would give fifty ducats," cried the baron, when Von Swiete