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Title: A Year in Europe

Author: Walter W. Moore

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A YEAR IN EUROPE.


WESTMINSTER ABBEY—JERUSALEM CHAMBER TO THE RIGHT.

Title Page

A YEAR IN EUROPE.

By

WALTER W. MOORE, D. D., LL. D.

President of Union Theological Seminary in Virginia

THIRD EDITION

Decorative Mark.

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

The Presbyterian Committee of Publication

1905


Copyrighted

BY

WALTER W. MOORE,

1904.


Printed by
Whittet & Shepperson,
Richmond, Va.


TO

My Traveling Companions

This Book is Dedicated

as a Memento

of happy days in the Old World.


[Pg v]

FOREWORD.

The only excuse I have to offer for the publication of these desultory and chatty letters in this more permanent form is that a number of my friends have requested it. Many of the letters have already appeared in the columns of The Children's Friend, for which they were originally written, at the instance of the Presbyterian Committee of Publication; but I have included in the volume several letters which were written for other periodicals, and a considerable number which have not been published anywhere till now. Some of them were written hastily, and, as it were, on the wing, others with more deliberation and care. Some were intended for young readers, others for older people. This will account for the differences of style and subject matter which will strike every one, and which will be particularly noticeable when the letters are read consecutively.

In some cases I have drawn the materials, in part, from other sources besides my own observations, the main object at times being not originality, but accuracy and fullness of information. In such cases I have endeavored to make full acknowledgment of my indebtedness to other writers.

As most of the letters were written for a denominational paper, they naturally contain a good many [Pg vi] references to notable events in the history of the Presbyterian Church, and to some of the differences between that church and others in matters of doctrine, polity and forms of worship. But I trust that in no case have I felt or expressed a spirit of uncharitable sectarianism. If any reader should receive the impression that I have done so in one or two instances, I request him to suspend judgment till he has read all the references to such matters contained in the letters. It will then be seen that if I have had occasion to make some strictures upon the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches, I have not hesitated to make them upon my own church also, when I have observed, in her worship or work, things which seemed to argue that she was untrue in any measure to her principles; and that if I have criticised the Anglo-Catholic and Roman Catholic systems as erroneous, I have recognized thankfully the great evangelical truths embedded in the heart of Anglican, and even Romish theology, though so sadly overlaid, and have rejoiced to pay my tribute of praise to the saintly characters that have been developed within those bodies in spite of their errors.

Richmond, Va., June 1, 1904.


[Pg vii]

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.
A Cold Summer Voyage.
A Pleasant Memory.—A Depressing Start.—Discomforts at Sea.—Life on a German Steamship.—The Unification of the World.—All's Well that Ends Well.—Arrival at Southampton, 9
 
CHAPTER II.
A Visit to the Town of Dr. Isaac Watts.
A Sheltered Harbor with Double Tides.—Historical Interest of Southampton: Canute, William the Conqueror, William Rufus, Richard Lion Heart, the Pilgrim Fathers.—The Chief Distinction of the Town.—Statue of Dr. Watts.—Sketch of the great hymn writer, 16
 
CHAPTER III.
Salisbury, Sarum, and Stonehenge.
A Fascinating Cathedral Town.—Rural Scenery in Southern England.—Impressiveness of Stonehenge.—Other Things of Interest About Salisbury.—What the Bishop Said About the Presbyterian Form of the Early Church, 21
 
CHAPTER IV.
Winchester Worthies: Alfred the Great, Izaak Walton, Thomas Ken.
Memorials of Kings Good and Bad.—Memorial of the Gentle Fisherman.—Wit in Winchester College.—A Lovely Churchman.—Ken's Defiance of James II., 28
 
CHAPTER V. [Pg viii]
The Ugliness and the Charm of London.
A Vast and Dingy Metropolis.—The Æsthetic Value of Soot.—Brick versus Stone.—Scotch Cities' Stately, but Gloomy.—Brightness of Paris.—Immensity and Multitude.—The Body is More than Raiment, 34
 
CHAPTER VI.
The English View of the Fourth of July.
Ambassador Choate's Reception.—Increasing Friendliness Between America and England.—How the English Now View the American Revolution.—A Fair Statement of the Question and the Conflict.—What England Learned from Fighting Against Her Own Principles.—The Monument of Washington in St. Paul's Cathedral.—The Possible Union of Canada and the United States, 41
 
CHAPTER VII.
How the English Regard the Americans.
Former Prejudices Passing Away.—The English Admit that America Holds the Future.—English Candor and English Inconsistency.—A Sectarian Measure in Parliament.—What Scotchmen Think of the Education Bill.—Passive Resistance of the Nonconformists, 49
 
CHAPTER VIII.
The British Republic and the House of Commons.
The Real Ruler of the British Empire.—The House of Parliament.—Getting into the Lower House.—The Debate and the Debaters.—Harcourt, Bryce, Campbell-Bannerman, Lloyd-George, John Dillon, Arthur Balfour.—The Incongruity of a Presbyterian Prime Minister.—English and American Oratory, 55
 
CHAPTER IX. [Pg ix]
Cambridge and her Schools.
The Cathedral Route.—The Two University Towns.—Cambridge More Progressive than Oxford.—The Presbyterian Element.—The Two Most Learned Women in the World.—Westminster College.—The Same Difficulties About Candidates for the Ministry, 63
 
CHAPTER X.
From England to Scotland— The Eastern Route.
The Land of the Mountain and the Flood.—Melrose, Abbotsford, and Dryburgh.—The Wizard of the North.—Edinburgh.—Temporary Residence in Auld Reekie.—Public Worship in Scotland.—Organ, Choir, and Congregation.—Bibles in the Churches, 68
 
CHAPTER XI.
Some English and Scotch Preachers.
Dean Farrar in Westminster Abbey.—Mr. Haweis and Dr. Wace.—Spurgeon, Parker, and Hughes.—Moravian Mission House.—General Booth.—Scottish Mind and Scottish Heart.—Dr. Marcus Dods.—Dr. George Matheson.—Dr. Whyte and Mr. Black.—Interview with Professor Sayce.—The Inevitable Subject, 75
 
CHAPTER XII.
Echoes of a Spicy Book on Scotland.
A Unique Prayer for Prince Charlie.—Church-Going in Edinburgh.—The Bibles, the Sermons, the Prayers, the Music.—Jenny Geddes and her Stool.—The Disruption in 1843.—A Sermon-Taster with a Nippy Tongue.—Scottish and American Repartee, 87
 
CHAPTER XIII.
Is the Scottish Character Degenerating?
"Mine Own Romantic Town."—The Seamy Side of Edinburgh.—The Cause of Her Wretchedness.—Not Lack of [Pg x] Native Ability, nor Disregard of the Sabbath, but the Curse of Strong Drink.—Appalling Statistics.—A Lesser Menace, 100
 
CHAPTER XIV.
Stirling, the Lakes, and Glasgow.
The Wallace Monument.—Memorials of the Martyrs.—Margaret Wilson.—The Covenanters.—The Author of "The Men of the Moss Hags."—Aberfoyle, The Trossachs, Loch Katrine, Loch Lomond.—Lord Overtoun's Garden Party.—Rev. John McNeill.—Scotch Humor.—Glasgow.—The Cathedral.—Lord Kelvin, 107
 
CHAPTER XV.
Oban, Iona, and Staffa.
Rude Seas off the West Coast.—A Difficult Landing.—The Presbyter Abbot, Columba.—The Evangelization of Scotland from Iona.—The Burial Place of the Scottish Kings.—The Basaltic Columns of Staffa.—Fingal's Cave.—Nature's Cathedral.—The Caledonian Canal, 119
 
CHAPTER XVI.
Inverness and Memories of Flora Macdonald.
A Clean and Comely City.—The Statue of Flora Macdonald.—The Career of a Royal Adventurer.—A Fugitive in the Hebrides.—A Woman to the Rescue.—Feminine Courage and Resource.—Flora Macdonald as Prisoner.—Her Marriage.—She Entertains Dr. Johnson and Boswell.—Moves to North Carolina.—Misfortunes in the New World.—Her Return to Scotland and her Last Days, 124
 
CHAPTER XVII.
From Scotland to England— Western Route.
In and Around Perth.—Quhele, Shoe Heel and Maxton.—Crieff and Drumtochty.—Loch Leven.—Ayr and Robert [Pg xi] Burns.—Dumfries, Keswick, Skiddaw.—The English Lakes.—Chester.—Lichfield and Dr. Samuel Johnson.—The Shakespeare Country.—The American Window at Stratford.—The English Language as Spoken in the Birthplace of Shakespeare and Elsewhere, 133
 
CHAPTER XVIII.
A Visit to Rugby and a Tramp to the White Horse Hill.
Tom Brown's School Days at Rugby.—The Rugby of To-day.—Our Expedition to Tom Brown's Birthplace.—The Highest Horse we Ever Mounted.—The Roman Camp.—King Alfred's Defeat of the Danes.—The Manger and the Dragon's Hill.—The Blowing Stone.—The effect upon our Appetites.—The Tea we did not Drink.—Return to Oxford.—London Once More, 142
 
CHAPTER XIX.
The Most Interesting Building in the World.
The Birthplace of the Shorter Catechism.—The Coronation Postponed.—Westminster Abbey Still Closed.—The Assembly of Divines.—The Two Places of Meeting.—The Two Types of Worship.—Interior of the Jerusalem Chamber.—Exterior of the Jerusalem Chamber.—Connection of Henry IV., Sir Thomas More, Joseph Addison, and Sir Isaac Newton with the Jerusalem Chamber.—Architectural Glory of Westminster Abbey.—Its Historical Interest.—Coronations.—The Stone of Scone.—Burials.— Monuments.—Pagan Sculptures in a Christian Church, 151
 
CHAPTER XX.
The Royal Chapels in Westminster Abbey.
A Hard-Hearted Verger.—A Courteous Sub-Dean.—The Wax Effigies.—Mutilated Monuments.—Monuments Denied to Notable Persons.—The Objection to Milton.—General Meigs and President Davis.—The Vindication of Cromwell.—Treatment of his Dead Body.—History of his Head.—His Statue at Westminster, 168
 
CHAPTER XXI. [Pg xii]
The Cathedrals versus The Gospel.
Original Significance of the Cathedrals.—Their Æsthetic Influence.—Their Romanizing Tendency.—Their Charm for the Greatest of the Puritans.—A Half-Reformed Church.—Relics of Romanism.—Effect of Cathedrals on Presbyterian Worship.—Superior Impressiveness of Protestant Simplicity, 177
 
CHAPTER XXII.
Some Things for High Churchmen to Think About.
The Use of Written Prayers.—The Huguenot Presbyterians in Canterbury Cathedral.—Scuffle Between the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.—The Concomitants of Anglican Worship.—The Intoning.—Canon Henson at St. Margaret's.—His Remarks on Anglican Narrowness.—What he Could See in Virginia.—Decreasing Attendance in the Anglican Churches in London.—An Episcopalian Estimate of Presbyterian Preaching, 186
 
CHAPTER XXIII.
Paris and Memories of the Huguenots.
The English Channel as a Health Resort.—The External Beauty of the French Capital.—What we Did Not Like About Paris.—The Louvre and its Treasures.—The Boer Generals.—The Huguenot Name and the Huguenot Character.—Palissy the Potter.—Other Huguenot Heroes and Heroines.—A Roman Catholic's Condemnation of Roman Catholic Persecutions.—France's Loss the World's Gain.—What we Owe to the Huguenots.—The Huguenot Strain in Virginia.—The Present Huguenot Revival in France.—Brussels and Waterloo, 199
 
CHAPTER XXIV.
The Making of Holland.
Unique Interest of Holland.—A Land Below Sea-Level.—Water as an Enemy.—Dykes as Protectors.—How Dykes [Pg xiii] are Made.—Sand Dunes.—Canals.—Wind-Mills.—Polders.—Entering Holland.—The Scenery and the Scenes.—Rotterdam and Erasmus.—Delft and William the Silent.—The Hague.—Rembrandt's "School of Anatomy."—A Presbyterian Queen.—A Presbyterian Preacher as Prime Minister.—Unpresbyterian Church Buildings.—Would the Destruction of all the Cathedrals have been a Loss or a Gain? 212
 
CHAPTER XXV.
Leyden's University, Haarlem's Flowers, and Amsterdam's Commerce.
The Great Siege.—A University as a Reward of Valor.—John Robinson and the Pilgrim Fathers.—Horse Flesh as Food.—Haarlem and the Flower Boom.—Amsterdam's Islands and Canals.—A City Built on Stakes.—Business of Amsterdam.—President Kruger at Utrecht.—Queer Customs in Holland.—The Dutch Mania for Cleanliness.—Mr. Edward Bok on "The Mother of America," 222
 
CHAPTER XXVI.
Up the Rhine and Over the Alps.
Cologne and Coblentz.—The Vintage of the Rhine Valley.—Wiesbaden and the German Woods.—The Luther Monument at Worms.—Wintry Weather at Heidelberg.—Strasburg's Cathedral and Clock.—Switzerland in Winter-time.—The Lion of Lucerne.—A Cold Day on the Lake.—Over the Alps.—Snow in Italy.—Milan, 238
 
CHAPTER XXVII.
Venice, Bologna, Florence, and Pisa.
The Queen of the Adriatic.—The Fallen Campanile.—Fra Paolo Sarpi, the Greatest of the Venetians.—Busy Bologna.—The Leaning Towers.—The Colonnades.—The Oldest University.—Galvani and his Frog.—The Flower of Fair Cities.—Art Treasures of Florence.—The Reformer Before the Reformation.—Martyrdom of Savonarola.—Pisa's Four Monuments, 245
 
CHAPTER XXVIII. [Pg xiv]
Some Little Adventures by the Way.
Letter-Writing Under Difficulties.—An Exemplary Traveller.—A Mild Sensation in Leyden.—A German Baby-Cart out of its Element.—Something New in Venice.—No Place for Wheels.—Gondolas and Gondoliers.—Wonderful Dexterity with a Single Oar.—A Scattering of Baggage on the Streets of Cologne.—Disastrous Descent of a Baby-Cart from the Top of an Omnibus.—Extortion and Fraud in Sacred Places, 254
 
CHAPTER XXIX.
Relics in General and the Iron Crown of Lombardy in Particular.
Mark Twain's Animadversions.—The Palladium of Venice.—The Gift of Leo XIII. to London.—The Blood of St. Januarius.—The House of the Virgin at Loretto.—The Wonder-Working Bones of St. Anne in Canada.—The Iron Crown of Lombardy.—A Winter Trip to Monza.—The Treasury of the Cathedral.—The Chapel of the Great Relic.—Why the Crown is so Sacred.—How it was used by Charlemagne and Napoleon.—Rome Caps the Climax.—Do American Roman Catholics Believe in the Relics? 259
 
CHAPTER XXX.
Roman Catholic Relics at Rome.
The Miraculous Snow in Summertime.—The Holy Cradle.—The Little Doll that Owns a Large Carriage.—The Wealth and Power of the Miraculous Bambino.—The Communion Table Used by Christ.—The Holy Stairs from Pilate's Palace.—The Man who Crawled Up and Walked Down.—The Miraculous Portrait and the Shoes of Christ.—The Inscription on the Cross and the Finger of Thomas.—A Bottle of the Blood of Christ.—Exclusion of Women from Holy Places.—The Hardness of St. Peter's Knees.—The Hardness of St. Peter's Head.— [Pg xv]What the Head of St. Paul Did.—St. Paul's Use of Plautilla's Veil.—The Footprints of Christ in Stone.—The Chains of St. Peter.—The Column Against which Christ Leaned in the Temple.—The Chair of St. Peter.—The Lance that Pierced the Saviour's Side.—The Napkin of St. Veronica with the Miraculous Impression of our Lord's Face.—The Head of the Apostle Andrew, 273
 
CHAPTER XXXI.
The Legends, The Popes, and the Pasquinades.
The Manufacture of St. Philomena.—The Canonization of Buddha.—The Courteous Spaniard.—The Miracles of St. Dominic.—Miracles Wrought by Other Saints and Images.—How the Papal Treasury was Filled, and How it was Emptied.—Some Ugly Passages in Papal History.—Pasquino's View of the Pope.—What the Italians Now Think About it.—Few Men and Many Women at the Confessional.—Lord Macaulay, Charles Dickens, Mr. Gladstone, Mr. McCarthy and Nathaniel Hawthorne on the Influence of Romanism.—The New Pope a Good Man, 293
 
CHAPTER XXXII.
The Old Forces and the New in the Eternal City.
An Audience with the Pope.—"Long Live the Pope-King!" The Pope's Last Jubilee in St. Peter's.—Our Quarters on the Pincian Hill.—The Sweep of History Seen from the Janiculum.—The Colosseum and the Baths of Caracalla.—The Papal Passion for Terrestrial Immortality.—The Building Boom Under the New Government.—Can the New Government Maintain Itself Against the Priests? 315
 
CHAPTER XXXIII.
The Two Types of Religion in Rome.
The Cappucin Cemetery.—Some Differences Between America and Italy.—The Playful Inquisition.—The Relative Rank of the Deities Worshipped in Rome.—The Fee of the [Pg xvi] Visitor More Important than the Soul of the Worshipper.—Sensuality versus Spirituality in Art.—The Kind of Character Produced.—The Other Type.—An Apostolic Preacher in Rome.—A Wise and Loving Pastor, 328
 
CHAPTER XXXIV.
The Inexhaustibleness of Rome.
The Most Interesting City in the World.—The Embarrassment of Riches.—Boundless Wealth of Materials.—The Appian Way, the Catacombs, the Ecclesiastical Statues.—The Remains of Classical Rome: The Arches, the Columns, the Tombs, the Statues.—The Masterpieces of Sculpture and the Masterpieces of Painting in Rome.—The Best Books About Rome.—Lord Mahon and Professor Lanciani on the Last of the Stuarts.—Ave Roma Immortalis, 341
 
CHAPTER XXXV.
Naples, Capri, Vesuvius, Amalfi, and Pompeii.
Beauty and Filth.—Danger and Indifference.—Street Scenes in Naples.—The Blue Grotto of Capri.—The Ascent of Vesuvius.—A Stream of Liquid Fire.—Hard Climbing Through Cinders.—Driven Back from the Crater by Sulphur Fumes.—The Most Beautiful Drive in the World.—The Loveliness of Amalfi.—The Ruins of Pompeii.—Story of the Catastrophe.—The Work of Exhumation.—The Return Voyage by Gibraltar and the Azores.—There is no Place Like Home, 346

[Pg xvii]

ILLUSTRATIONS.

Westminster Abbey and Jerusalem Chamber, Frontispiece.
The House of Parliament, London, 56
Clare College and King's Chapel, Cambridge, 62
Sir Walter Scott's Seat in Melrose Abbey, 69
Drill of Highlanders, Edinburgh Castle, 88
Princes Street, Edinburgh, 101
Monument to Margaret Wilson, Stirling, 108
Statue of Flora Macdonald, Inverness, 124
Magdalen College, Oxford, 150
Poets Corner, Westminster Abbey, 164
A Stranger in Leyden, 223
The Lion of Lucerne, 242
The Doge's Palace, Venice, 247
The Bambino, 276
Scala Santa, Rome, 279
Kings of England and Italy in Rome, 319
Panorama of Naples, 346
A Windy Day on Mount Vesuvius, 350
On the Road to Amalfi, 352
Colonnade of Hotel Cappuccini, 354
Pompeii, 356

[Pg 9]

A YEAR IN EUROPE.


CHAPTER I.

A Cold Summer Voyage.

Southampton, England, June 28, 1902.

A Pleasant Memory.

An American traveller says that a sea voyage, compared with land travel, is a good deal like matrimony compared with single blessedness: either decidedly better or decidedly worse. With me, on my first voyage to Europe a few years ago, it was, like my own venture in matrimony, decidedly better. We sailed from New York on a brilliant day, and nearly all the way over the weather was bright, bracing, buoyant, with blue sky above, blue sea beneath, and just enough motion of the water to give it all the fascination of changing beauty. Only once or twice did even our least seasoned passengers need "some visible means of support," on account of the rolling of the ship, and when we struck the Gulf Stream, deep blue and warm, it was pleasant on deck even without wraps, and I remember the captain's telling me he had seen the temperature of the water change thirty-one degrees in two minutes, when he would pass from the Gulf Stream into a colder current, though we ourselves had no such experience then. Day after day we lounged on deck restfully, or walked about comfortably, taking deep and leisurely inhalations of the pure ocean air, and having frequent opportunity to learn the meaning of "Cat's Paw" as applied to winds, when, under the gentle dips of air, the placid ocean took on a pitted [Pg 10] appearance exactly like the tracks made by cats' feet in soft snow.

A Depressing Start.

Our present voyage has been very different, and I fear that some of the young people with me, who are familiar with my impressions of the former passage, have felt some disappointment with the ocean. The circumstances of our start were depressing, notwithstanding the animation of the scene at the North German Lloyd Pier, with its throng of carriages, baggage wagons, trucks, trunks, tourists' agents, passengers, and friends who had come to see them off, and who waved their handkerchiefs and shouted farewells and sang German songs, while the band on the Bremen played inspiring airs, and her own hoarse whistles capped the climax of the din, as the tugs pulled the great ship out into the river, and turned her prow towards the ocean, and her ponderous engines began to throb. It was all in vain. Nothing could make it seem cheerful. The rain was pouring steadily and heavily from leaden skies, and just outside the harbor we ran into an opaque fog that shrouded all the beauty of the sea, and made it necessary for the fog horn to sound its prolonged, mournful, ominous, and nerve-racking blast every minute through the rest of the day and night, to avoid collision with other vessels groping through the deep. It was a comfort to recall the hymn we had used in the family circle the morning we started from home—

"Let the sweet hope that thou art mine
My life and death attend,
Thy presence through my journey shine
And crown my journey's end"—

and to commit ourselves to the care of him who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and to [Pg 11] whom the darkness and the light are both alike, and to whom the night shineth as the day.

Discomforts at Sea.

For several days the sea was "a gray and melancholy waste," and, when at length the weather cleared, a cold wind—very cold and cutting and persistent—blew hard from the northwest, making our side of the deck intolerable, even with our heaviest winter clothing and a great profusion of wraps, so that it was hardly a surprise to us, when about half way over, to see in the distance what we took to be an iceberg glistening cold against the horizon—very interesting, of course, as compared with the steamships, sailing vessels, and schools of porpoises, which are the usual variations of the monotony of the waterscape—but also very uncomfortable. Moreover, the wind made the sea so rough at times that the tables in the dining saloon were more than once quite "sparsely settled," not a few people "wanted the earth," and longed for terra firma—less terror and more firmer, as a friend of mine once put it. One or two even of our own party, who, though good "tar heels," are not equally good "tars," paid reluctant tribute to Neptune. Reluctant, did I say? Yet it was done eagerly, as though the persons in question "could not contain themselves" for joy, or novelty, or some other emotion. I find it difficult to write of this curious little malady, which baffles the skill of all physicians, with sufficient plainness, and, at the same time, with sufficient reserve. The most delicate reference to it on record was that of a Frenchman, who, pale and miserable, was greeted by a blooming Englishman with "Good morning, monsieur, have you breakfasted?" and replied, "No, monsieur, I have not breakfasted. On the contrary." Three or four of our immediate party, however, did not miss a meal on the whole voyage, but "held their own" throughout, and were [Pg 12] able to "navigate" every day. Moreover, while the rude seas robbed us of the exhilaration which I had always heretofore associated with an ocean voyage, we had on board many bright and attractive things which went far to counterbalance the effect of the chilly and depressing weather.

Life on a German Steamship.

The Bremen is a staunch and comfortable ship; not one of the Atlantic greyhounds, which are built slender and comparatively light in order to great speed—but all the better for that, as her vast bulk and heavy cargo give her a degree of steadiness unknown to the express steamers, and her appointments are in every way equal to those of the fastest ships afloat. She takes nine days for the trip from New York to Southampton, and in ordinary weather that is none too long for the average passenger. It was no fault of hers that our journey was not a comfortable one throughout. It could not have been so in any ship with such weather as we had the misfortune to encounter. Of course, everything on board is German. The stewards can speak enough English for all necessary purposes, though one of them, when asked a question by a member of our party, made the naive reply, "I do not hear well in English." One is soon initiated into the mysteries of marks and pfennigs, and begins to pick up sundry guttural German words and phrases. Being German, of course the ship has plenty of music, a cornet band discoursing lively airs on deck about the middle of every forenoon, and a string band playing during the dinner hour in the saloon, while the passengers munch in unison. The catering department is organized on the assumption that the chief occupation of people on shipboard is eating, sandwiches and hot beef tea being served on deck in the forenoon, and tea and biscuits of various kinds in the afternoon, in addition to the three [Pg 13] very elaborate set meals in the saloon, the lavish abundance of which is provoking to the squeamish passenger. A Teutonic bugler, with fully developed lungs, gives the signals for the meals. On Sunday morning the passengers are wakened by the strains of Luther's "Ein feste burg ist unser Gott." The management of the ship throughout is characterized by German thoroughness, and the organization and discipline are perfect.

Shuffle board, ring pitching, and other deck games, and letter-writing, chess, and other amusements indoors, more or less innocent, serve to while away part of the time. Ordinarily, reading is my main resource in this way, but the cold weather and searching draughts, making it impossible to find a reasonably comfortable spot to sit down in with a book, reduced my reading on this trip to a minimum.

The Unification of the World.

Various nationalities were represented in our ship's company, the Anglo-Saxon predominating. This reminds me of the fact that the ocean has played no small part in the unification of the world as thus far accomplished. Nothing, perhaps, distinguishes the modern world more sharply from the ancient than its views of the ocean. To the ancients the sea was a mystery and a terror; it was a barrier, it separated men. To the moderns the sea is a highway, a means of communication, it unites men. The nearest approach to a unification of the race in ancient times was effected by the law of the Roman and the language of the Greek. The unifying force to-day is the Anglo-Saxon, who to the genius of the Roman for conquest and government, and to the genius of the Greek for letters and art, has added the genius of the Phœnician for commerce and the genius of the Hebrew for religion. Here we touch the secret of his ascendancy. The Anglo-Saxon civilization is Christian. His [Pg 14] language is becoming the universal language. His institutions are becoming the universal institutions. His ships carry the passengers and produce of the world. His capital dominates commerce. London is the clearing-house of the world. Will this unification continue? Will it endure? It will if the religion to which the Anglo-Saxon owes his preëminence remains preëminent in his civilization. The brotherhood of man—how else shall it ever be fully and permanently brought about, except through men's knowledge of the Fatherhood of God? And how can the Fatherhood of God ever be known except through him who taught us to say, "Our Father," and of whom the Father said, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him?" It is no accident that the nations which have most reverently heeded this divine command, the nations which are most truly Christian, are the nations which have hitherto stood in the forefront of the foremost civilizations of mankind, and are the nations which now hold the future.

"Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
Does his successive journeys run,
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore
Till moons shall wax and wane no more."

The force which will bind all men in a real and permanent union is no mere knowledge of navigation, nor is it Anglo-Saxon commerce, laws, or language; it is the Christian religion.

All's Well That Ends Well.

The latter part of our voyage was less trying than the earlier, and the days were generally brighter, though still cold. Yet all were glad when one night, about nine o'clock, the intermittent gleam of the lighthouse on the Scilly Islands came into view, assuring us that the voyage would soon be ended. Next morning [Pg 15] we were steaming along the picturesque south coast of England, with the white chalk cliffs and velvety green downs in plain view through the tender blue haze, the water was quieter and the weather warmer, and in a few hours more we entered The Solent, passing on our right, almost within a stone's throw, "The Needles," three white, pointed rocks of chalk, at the western extremity of the Isle of Wight, which rest on dark colored bases and spring abruptly from the sea to a height of a hundred feet, and which are in striking contrast with the vertically striped cliffs of red, yellow, green, and grey sandstone behind them.

At last the great engines cease their throbbing for the first time in nine days, the tender comes alongside for the passengers bound for Great Britain, and in another half hour we set foot on the soil of England, in the ancient city of Southampton.


[Pg 16]

CHAPTER II.

A Visit to the Town of Dr. Isaac Watts.

Southampton, England, June 28, 1902.

Southampton, the ancient seaport at which travellers to Europe by the steamships of the North German Lloyd line first set foot on British soil, is a place of considerable interest at any time, but was especially attractive to us after a cold and uncomfortable voyage across the Atlantic. The day of our arrival was fine, with blue sky and genial sunshine, the water of the Solent, between the Isle of Wight and the mainland, was free from the ocean swell, and Southampton Water was quieter still, so we landed with thankful hearts and rising spirits. The city, which is a place of some 70,000 inhabitants, owes its importance to its sheltered harbor and to the phenomenon of double tides, which prolong high water for two hours.

Historical Interest of Southampton.

This mention of the tides reminds me to say that Southampton is the place where Canute the Dane is said to have given his famous rebuke to his flattering courtiers. All the children who have read any English history will recall the story.

They are familiar, too, with the hard-hearted action of William the Conqueror in laying waste an area of one hundred and forty square miles in this neighborhood for the purpose of making a hunting ground, which has ever since been known as the New Forest, and which still stretches westward from Southampton Water. It will be remembered that the Conqueror's son and successor, William Rufus, met his death here, being found one day in these woods with an arrow through his heart. That [Pg 17] arrow may have been shot by one of the many peasants who had been driven from their homes when the New Forest was made, though most writers attribute the deed, without sufficient proof, to a gentleman named Walter Tyrrell. At any rate, here William Rufus was killed, and at Winchester, thirteen miles from Southampton, he was buried under the floor of the cathedral, "many looking on and few grieving," as the old chronicler says.

Of still more interest to young readers, especially boys, who are familiar with Sir Walter Scott's stories, The Talisman and Ivanhoe, is the fact that the Crusaders under Richard the Lion Hearted, sailed from Southampton for the Holy Land. That was in 1189.

In the summer of 1620, however, a far more important expedition, though far less spectacular, was fitted out at Southampton by the hiring of a ship here called the Mayflower, in which shortly afterwards the Pilgrim Fathers sailed for the New World.

It will be seen, then, that Southampton is a place of no small historical interest, to say nothing of its associations with Edward III., Henry V., and Charles I., or its being the birthplace of Sir John E. Millais, the artist, or of its having fine statues of Lord Palmerston and "Chinese" Gordon.

Chief Distinction of the Town.

But it was not on account of any of these things that we determined to give to this place the first few hours we were to spend in England. The special reason for our interest in Southampton is that it was the birthplace and residence of the greatest hymn writer that ever lived, a man of totally different physique, character, gifts, and influence from the able, but bloody kings with whose names the earlier history of the place is associated, a small, delicate, scholarly, Christian man, of lovely spirit, who, by exactly antipodal methods, has [Pg 18] established a wider, more real, more beneficent, and more lasting reign over human hearts than William or Richard were able to achieve—the Rev. Isaac Watts, D. D., whose simpler pieces for children have become household words throughout the English-speaking world, such as, "Hush, my dear, lie still and slumber," "Let dogs delight to bark and bite," "How doth the little busy bee improve each shining hour," etc., and who, as even a supercilious and grudging critic like Matthew Arnold admitted, wrote the finest hymn in the English language, "When I survey the wondrous cross," and very many others of scarcely inferior merit.

He was the author of various able treatises on philosophy and theology, but it was the thought of what he had done for the world by his hymns that caused us to stop at Southampton. So, mounting the winding stairway to the top of the "double-decker" electric tram car, much better adapted to sightseeing than our single-story street cars in America, we were carried smoothly and quickly up the bright and busy High Street, gaily decorated for the Coronation, and in a few minutes passed under the great stone arch of the Bar Gate, the most interesting portion of the ancient city wall. The modern city, of course, stretches far beyond the walls, street after street of clean and attractive houses, with a profusion of brilliant flowers and neatly trimmed greenery, shut in from the street, in many cases, by high stone walls, over which, however, we can easily see from our elevated position.

Sketch of the Great Hymn-Writer.

Presently, in the centre of a small park, which opens on the left with velvety grass and fine trees, we see the object of our search, a marble statue of a very small and wizened man, of benevolent face and venerable appearance, with a Bible in his hand, and on the pedestal in bold [Pg 19] letters the name, "Rev. Isaac Watts, D.D." He was born in 1674, was devoted to books from his infancy, and began to learn Latin when four years old. Afterwards, as a youth he became so proficient at school that friends proposed to provide for his support at the university (he was the eldest of nine children, and the family, while not indigent, was not rich), but he declined the offer because he could not conscientiously belong to the Church of England. He cast in his lot with the Dissenters, and became one of the promoters of that mighty and beneficent force in English religious and political life known as "the Nonconformist Conscience." That his education did not suffer from the choice he then made is clear from his later work. Dr. Samuel Johnson, who was a stiff Churchman, with no love for Dissenters in general, is constrained, in his work on English Poets, to pay a warm tribute to Dr. Watts' remarkable attainments, and says it was with great propriety that in 1728 he received from Edinburgh and Aberdeen an unsolicited diploma, by which he became a doctor of divinity. Dr. Johnson adds a remark, which is commended to the earnest attention of American colleges, which have done so much to bring honorary degrees into contempt by their promiscuous bestowment, "Academical honors would have more value, if they were always bestowed with equal judgment." He says further that Dr. Watts was one of the first authors that taught the Dissenters to court attention by the graces of language. "Whatever they had among them before, whether of learning or acuteness, was commonly obscured and blunted by coarseness and inelegance of style. He showed them that zeal and purity might be expressed and enforced by polished diction."

Of his talents in general the same discriminating [Pg 20] writer says that "perhaps there was nothing in which he would not have excelled if he had not divided his powers to different pursuits," and of his character, that he admired Dr. Watts' meekness of opposition and mildness of censure in theological discussion (qualities which no one could attribute to Dr. Johnson himself), and that it was not only in his book, but in his mind, that orthodoxy was united with charity. Dr. Johnson concludes his appreciation of him with this remark, "Happy will be that reader whose mind is disposed, by his verses or his prose, to imitate him in all but his nonconformity," which shows both his exalted estimate of the man and his amusing dislike of the Dissenter. But in nothing was the greatness of Dr. Watts' character more clearly shown than in his nonconformity; and his countrymen have continued to take his view of that matter in ever-increasing numbers, so that now more than half of the English people are nonconformists. But of that I shall have something to say at another time.


[Pg 21]

CHAPTER III.

Salisbury, Sarum, and Stonehenge.

Salisbury, June 30, 1902.

For one who visits England as a student of history there is hardly a better starting point than Southampton, as the most impressive of the Druidical and Roman remains in Great Britain are less than forty miles away, the capital city of Alfred the Great is only twelve miles distant, the whole surrounding region is closely associated with the Saxon, Danish, Norman and Plantagenet kings, and two of the most interesting cathedrals in England are within easy reach by rail. One of these cathedral towns, Salisbury, we selected as a suitable place in which to spend quietly our first Sunday in the Old World, having landed at Southampton Saturday afternoon. So, after we had given a few hours to the principal sights of Southampton, we took a train for Salisbury, twenty-nine miles distant, and, after a short and delightful journey through the tranquil rural scenery, which is characteristic of Southern England, reached our destination refreshed rather than wearied by our experiences since leaving the ship.

A Fascinating Cathedral Town.

We recognized the place, even before our train stopped, by the cathedral spire, which is 406 feet high, the loftiest in England, and which dominates all views of the town. This richly adorned spire is one of three things which entitles this cathedral to special attention, the other two being, first, its lovely close, unsurpassed in size and beauty, a glorious expanse of velvety sward, shaded by lofty trees; and [Pg 22] secondly, the uniformity and harmony of its architecture, making it the most symmetrical and graceful of all English cathedrals. The interior is less interesting, having no wealth of monuments like Winchester, Westminster, and St. Paul's, and no profusion of stained glass windows like York.

On Sunday we attended service in the cathedral, and found it formal, cold and unsatisfying. I yield to no man in my admiration of the beauty of these vast and venerable cathedrals, but they have been in some respects a hindrance to vital religion, as I shall endeavor to show in a later letter. This one at Salisbury was erected in the middle of the thirteenth century, so that for six hundred and fifty years it has been used continuously as a place of Christian worship, first Romish and now Anglican.

But on Monday we made an excursion which took us back to a still more remote antiquity. One mile to the north of Salisbury at Old Sarum (a name well known to students of English politics as that of the "rotten borough," which till 1832 had the privilege of sending two members to Parliament, though without a single inhabitant), crowning a great hill which commands the surrounding country for miles, stands the vast, grass-clad earthworks of an ancient Roman fortress, the largest entrenched camp in the kingdom. That is old, but we are bound for something older still, and so we continue our drive northwards.

One great charm of the summer in Great Britain is the cool weather. The English people never have to endure the withering heats to which we are subjected in America. This year it has been much cooler even than usual. So, as we drive on through the June day, although the sun is shining brightly, the air is bracing and exhilarating.

[Pg 23]

Rural Scenery in Southern England.

Another marked difference between this country and most parts of ours is the extraordinary finish of the landscape, due to scantiness of forests, absence of undergrowth, thoroughness of tillage, and especially the luxuriance and smoothness of the turf. The quiet beauty of rural England has a perpetual charm. When I was here some years ago it was May, the hawthorn hedges were in bloom, and the whole country was robed in tender green. Before landing this time I felt some regret that we should not see it in the same lovely attire, thinking of the difference between early May and late June in America. But I find it even more beautiful than when I first saw it. The farmers were cutting the lush grass in some places, impregnating the air with the delicious fragrance of new-mown hay. In other fields the wheat was standing thick, with here and there a blaze of scarlet poppies, sometimes an acre or two in extent, a solid mass of brilliant red, no green or other color visible at all. Still prettier, if possible, are the scattered poppy blooms in a field of half ripe grain, looking like ruby bubbles on a gently moving, sunlit sea.

The youngsters in our party are interested to see horses hitched tandem to the wide hay wains in the fields, and to observe that when we meet a double team in the road, instead of being harnessed as two horses are with us, on each side of a tongue, here each of the two horses is in his own pair of shafts. Nor are they slow to observe that teams always turn to the left in passing each other, instead of to the right as with us, and the same rule is observed in the running of trains on a double track railway.

No frame houses are to be seen in town or country. We have not seen a wooden house since we landed. All are of brick or stone, though many of them in the country [Pg 24] are covered with thatch, sometimes with clay tiles. But slate is more and more superseding these old-fashioned materials. This does not promote the cottager's comfort. Slate roofs are hotter in summer and colder in winter than those of straw, and, of course, too, they are far less picturesque. I observe that many farmers thatch even their stone and brick fences to prevent the water from coming in and freezing, to the injury of the masonry. No wooden fences are seen, and few of wire. They are either living hedges of thorn or privet or the like, or they are walls of stone or brick. In short, the improvements look more substantial than ours, the agricultural methods more thorough, the country more finished, and, I should think, more comfortable to live in, in the material sense. Very striking is the universal love of flowers. Every little village yard, if but three or four feet wide, and every cottage window, however humble, has its rows of brilliant geraniums, and other ornamental plants.

Impressiveness of Stonehenge.

And now, after a drive of nine miles, we reach Salisbury Plain, a name familiar to me from early boyhood from the title of a little book that used to be read in many homes, The Shepherd of Salisbury Plain. As we came up, sure enough, there was a shepherd on one of the green slopes, with his flock and his shepherd dog. We give them but a glance, however, for our attention is instantly claimed by the object which we have come so far to see, Stonehenge, "the most imposing megalolithic monument in Britain," a group of great stones which seem originally to have been arranged in two concentric circles enclosing two ellipses, but some are now fallen. Of the outer circle, which was one hundred feet in diameter, seventeen stones are still standing, with six of the great cap-stones over them. The largest uprights of the whole group, those near the centre of the [Pg 25] circle, were twenty-two and a half feet high, and the transverse blocks were three and a half feet thick. These are, therefore, quite large stones, but it is not their size that gives them their interest. The ancient Egyptians handled much larger stones than these. It is their antiquity, and the mystery, still unsolved, as to the purpose for which they were erected. Were they placed here by the Druids? If so, for what purpose? The name does not help us, Stonehenge being but a corruption of the Saxon name, meaning "hanging stones." Were they intended for a temple of the sun, or a calendar in stone for the measurement of the solar year, or a huge gallows on which defeated enemies were hung in honor of Woden, or a sepulchral circle connected with the burial of the dead? No positive answer can be given, but the last mentioned view is now regarded as the most probable, and is confirmed by the existence in the immediate vicinity of great turf-covered barrows, or burial places. These barrows are of the Bronze Age, and to this same remote period Stonehenge itself is referred by the best authorities.

The present owner of Salisbury Plain has recently enclosed Stonehenge with a wire fence and charges an admission fee of a shilling. The public resents this in the case of a unique and world-renowned monument, which for ages has stood in the open, freely accessible to all, and there was not a little satisfaction at finding that, as a sort of road ran along within a few feet of it, and as the closing or moving of this thoroughfare could not be permitted by the county authorities, the fence in question had to run so close to the famous cromlech, after all, that the proposed exclusion of the public without payment of a fee has amounted to very little. Visitors can come so near, and can get so good a view of all that is to [Pg 26] be seen that but few pay the fee and go inside the enclosure.

Other Things of Interest about Salisbury.

We return to Salisbury by a different road, which takes us for miles through the meadows of one of those "sweet and fishful rivers," which add so much to the quiet charm of the scenery, placid and clear, flowing softly not only between grassy banks but over grassy beds, the grass growing luxuriantly from the bottom, and being cut from the stream by the hay harvesters, as though it were on the open meadow.

On reaching the town, I went to the Market Square to see the bronze statue of a man for whom I had always felt respect and admiration since studying his work on Political Economy when I was a student in college, Mr. Fawcett, a talented native of this place, who, though he had the misfortune to lose his sight early in life, by the accidental discharge of a gun in the hands of his own father, nevertheless became a student, a professor, an author, a man of affairs, a member of Parliament, and Postmaster-General of Great Britain—a fine example of the triumph of character and will over grievous limitations.

It added to the interest of our visit to Salisbury, and especially of our walk through the lovely grounds of the Bishop's Palace, to see this dignitary of the Church of England in his clerical garb, with apron, knee breeches, and all, except that he was bareheaded, romping delightedly on the lawn with a little girl, probably his granddaughter, and to recollect that the Bishop of Salisbury, after bringing the wealth of his undoubted scholarship to his recent book, The Ministry of Grace, had declared, like Dean Stanley, Bishop Lightfoot and Dean Milman, that "throughout the early church, even at Rome, [Pg 27] and Alexandria, down to the third century, the government of the church was Presbyterian," thus going even farther than Stanley, who says that "nothing like modern Episcopacy existed before the beginning of the second century."

It interested us also to recall that Addison, Fielding, and Bishop Burnet had resided here. So, considering these things, and those above mentioned, we all left Salisbury reluctantly, declaring with one accord that it was an exceedingly interesting place, and wondering whether even Winchester could equal it.


[Pg 28]

CHAPTER IV.

Winchester Worthies: Alfred the Great, Izaak Walton, and Thomas Ken.

Winchester, July 2, 1902.

Memorials of Kings, Good and Bad.

Unquestionably the most interesting town in the south of England to a student of history is Winchester. It was the ancient capital of the kingdom, and teems with memories of Alfred the Great, Canute, William the Conqueror, and many of their successors. Thorneycroft's fine bronze statue of Alfred stands in the middle of the High Street, and instantly catches the eye of any one looking up or down this central thoroughfare. As we paused in front of it for a few moments, I had the pleasure of hearing two little boys from America, who are travelling with me, recall Alfred's diligence as a student, and his winning of the book offered by his mother as a prize; his invention of a candle chronometer, and of the lanthorn, as well as the familiar incident of the scolding given him by the neatherd's wife for his negligence in allowing her cakes to burn. The purity of his character, his self-sacrificing labors for his people, and the righteousness and prosperity of his reign have caused him to shine like a star in the long succession of English kings, who have too often been selfish, grasping, licentious or tyrannical.

For example, in Winchester Cathedral, close at hand, lie the remains of Hardicanute, the last Danish monarch, who died of excessive drinking. The fact that a man is buried in a cathedral argues nothing here as to his piety. If he wore the crown, or won battles, or wrote poems, he [Pg 29] is given a place in God's house, regardless of his character.

But, besides men like Hardicanute or William Rufus, Winchester Cathedral boasts the possession of mortuary chests containing the bones of Canute, Egbert, Ethelwulf, and other kings. There is a monumental brass on the wall in memory of Jane Austen the novelist, who is buried under the pavement.

Memorial of the Gentle Fisherman.

But by far the most interesting thing of this kind in the cathedral, is the floor slab which marks the resting place of Izaak Walton, the Prince of Fishermen (1593-1683), and the author of The Compleat Angler, concerning which it has been truthfully said that Walton "hooked a much bigger fish that he angled for" when he offered his quaint treatise to the public. There is hardly a name in our literature, even of the first rank, whose immortality is more secure, or whose personality is the subject of a more devoted cult. Not only is he the sacer vates of a considerable sect in the religion of recreation, but multitudes who have never put a worm on a hook—even on a fly-hook—have been caught and securely held by his picture of the delights of the gentle craft and his easy, leisurely transcript of his own simple, peaceable, loving, and amusing character." When, on the outbreak of the civil war, he retired from business as milliner for men in London, he went to a place in the country which he had bought, but we are told that he spent most of his time "in the families of the eminent clergymen of England, of whom he was much beloved." He married twice, both wives being of distinguished clerical connection, the second, Anne Ken, sister of Thomas Ken, afterwards Bishop of Bath and Wells. Of Thomas Ken we shall have something in particular to say presently. As we strolled, after supper, along the banks [Pg 30] of the Itchen, from whose clear and grassy waters Walton himself had drawn so many fish, it was interesting to come upon anglers plying his beloved vocation. By the way, long before the time of Walton, there were people at Winchester who were fond of fish, and oysters, too. We read that, before the Reformation, the monks of Netley Abbey, twelve miles distant, were wont to keep their brethren at Winchester supplied during Lent with oysters from Southampton Water, they in return receiving forty-two flagons of ale weekly.

Enough has been said above to show that no church in Great Britain, outside of London, is richer in monuments than Winchester Cathedral. It has also the distinction of great size, being 556 feet long, the longest nave in England. But the exterior is heavy, without a suggestion of the symmetry and grace of Salisbury.

Wit in Winchester College.

The other "lion" of Winchester, also, has a very uninviting and even forbidding exterior. This is the ancient College, a school for boys, where Alfred himself is said to have been educated, though William of Wykeham refounded it in 1382. The front of it looks like a prison, but within the quadrangles, and stretching far back to the river, are lovely grounds covered with grass as green and smooth as a velvet carpet. The best thing I saw here was the following inscription on the walls of a school-room, accompanied by the painted emblems which I mention below in brackets:

Aut disce. [A mitre and crosier, as the expected rewards of learning.]

Aut discede. [An inkhorn and sword, the emblems of the civil and military professions.]

Manet sors tertia caedi. [A rod.]

Which may be freely translated, "Either learn, or depart hence, or remain and be chastised," though the pithy, alliterative [Pg 31] rendering in vogue among the boys is better, "Work, or walk, or be whopped" (h silent in the last word). American boys would probably have rendered it, "Learn, or leave, or be licked."

The school has revenues of nearly $100,000 per annum. There are 420 pupils. A number of them were having their supper as we passed through the dining-hall, eating from square beech-wood trenchers instead of plates, talking in shrill tones, and nudging and pushing each other just like American boys, unimpressed by the fact that the heavy, narrow tables from which they were eating were five hundred years old. How like boys it was to call the water pipe in the quadrangle, at which they wash their hands and faces, "Moab," and the place where they blacked their shoes, "Edom," because in Psalm lx. 8, it is said, "Moab is my wash-pot, I will cast my shoe over Edom."

A Lovely Churchman.

As we walked through the ancient cloisters we came upon another characteristically boyish thing, a name cut on one of the stone pillars in clear, strong letters—"Tho Ken 1665"—and hardly anything in Winchester interested me so much as this, for the boy who cut it there, nearly two hundred and fifty years ago, became afterwards the author of what we call "the long metre doxology," four lines which have been sung more frequently than any other four lines in the English language, and which for generations to come will express the praise of increasing millions. This doxology was written by Ken as a concluding stanza to his famous Morning, Evening and Midnight Hymns, the best known of which, perhaps, is his evening hymn, "Glory to thee, my God, this night."

But there are other reasons why it was a pleasure to be vividly reminded of Ken at Winchester. He was a [Pg 32] man of singularly modest, sweet, and lovable disposition. Macaulay says that his character approached, "as near as human infirmity permits, to the ideal perfection of Christian virtue." Yet he was no weakling, and on two notable occasions he showed that, mild and gentle as he was, he was also firm and fearless.

When the profligate Charles II. was at Winchester, waiting for the completion of his palace there, he requested Ken, then prebendary at Winchester, to lend his house temporarily to the notorious Nell Gwynn, the King's mistress. Ken refused to let such a person have his house. Charles does not seem to have resented the affront, for he afterwards made Ken Bishop of Bath and Wells. It is one of the abominations of the English union of Church and State, that a thoroughly depraved man like Charles II., if he succeeds to the throne, becomes ipso facto the head of the Church of England. By the way, the altar books in black letter in Winchester Cathedral were presented to the church by this same graceless Charles II. Things get badly mixed under such a system as that of the Church of England.

Ken's Defiance of James II.

The second occasion on which Ken showed that, notwithstanding the infelicities of the national church, she does have men who will stand for God against the King when necessity arises, was when James II., without calling Parliament, issued what he called a declaration for liberty of conscience, the real aim of which was to put England again under the yoke of Romanism, and ordered that this declaration should be read in every cathedral and church in the kingdom. Ken and six other bishops refused, and they were arrested, and committed to the Tower of London. Instantly a blaze of popular indignation burst forth. Enormous crowds assembled to see the seven bishops embark, the shore was [Pg 33] covered with crowds of prostrate spectators, who asked their benediction, as did also the very soldiers sent to arrest them. The bishops bore themselves well throughout, and, a few days after, when they were tried in Westminster Hall, and the verdict "Not guilty" was brought in, there was a tumultuous outburst of joy. Thus Ken bore his bold and manly part in the revolution, which finally swept the Stuarts from the throne, and delivered England, for the time, from the menace of Romish domination.

Winchester, then, with her ancient cathedral and her ancient school, with her Alfred the Great, her Izaak Walton, and her Thomas Ken, with her wealth of heroic, and gentle and saintly memories, has given us two of the most profitable days of our sojourn in Southern England.


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CHAPTER V.

The Ugliness and the Charm of London.

London, July 3, 1902.

Vastness and dinginess are the two features of London which make the deepest impression upon the visitor from America. Byron's description is exact—

"A mighty mass of brick, and smoke, and shipping,
Dirty and dusky, but as wide as eye
Could reach, with here and there a sail just skipping
In sight, then lost amid the forestry
Of masts; a wilderness of steeples peeping
On tip-toe through their sea-coal canopy;
A huge, dun cupola, like a foolscap crown
On a fool's head—and there is London town."

Up to the time of Sir Richard Whittington, in the sixteenth century, the burning of coal in London was considered such a nuisance that it was punished by death. A dispensation to burn coal was first made in favor of Whittington, and this innovation on his part has affected the great city, of which he was four times Lord Mayor, infinitely more than the success of his celebrated venture in bringing up and selling a cat, which enabled him to lay the foundation of other investments. Yet the story of the cat is known to boys and girls the world over, while the story of the coal is known to comparatively few, even of their elders.

Coal serves the same purposes in London that it does elsewhere, of course. But, while elsewhere it warms only thousands of people, and makes steam for only thousands of factories, locomotives, and steamboats, here it warms [Pg 35] and works for more than five millions. The output of smoke from this unparalleled consumption of coal is, of course, something enormous, and when we consider that the weather itself is frequently, perhaps I may say generally, dull, heavy and thick, with an amount of clouds and rain unknown to our brilliant American climate, it is not strange that the fogs of London are the thickest and most dangerous in the world, sometimes producing complete darkness at midday, and necessitating the lighting of the gas, as though it were midnight, and at other times producing a peculiar gloom, which is so impervious to light itself that the traffic of the streets has to be stopped for hours. Nor is it strange that the city is begrimed to an extraordinary degree from one end to the other.

The Æsthetic Value of Soot.

I have a friend in America, whom I sometimes jestingly call an "Anglomaniac," because he admires Great Britain and her belongings so much. I once accused him of trying to convince me that the sky was bluer and the grass greener in Canada than in the United States—and who speaks of the blackness of the London buildings as "richness." It is interesting to find that he is supported in this view by some of the best writers on London. Hare, for instance, in speaking of St. Paul's Cathedral, emphasizes this point, "Sublimely impressive in its general outlines, it has a peculiar sooty dignity all its own, which, externally, raises it immeasureably above the fresh, modern-looking St. Peter's at Rome. G. A. Sala says, in one of his capital papers, that it is really the better for 'all the incense which all the chimneys since the time of Wren have offered at its shrine, and are still flinging up every day from their foul and grimy censers.' Here and there only is the original grey of the stone seen through the overlaying blackness." Nathaniel Hawthorne, too, says, "It is much better than staring [Pg 36] white; the edifice would not be nearly so grand without this drapery of black." By the way, the whole cost of St. Paul's, which was nearly four million dollars, was paid by a tax on every chaldron of coal brought into the port of London, "on which account it is said that the cathedral has a special claim of its own to its smoky exterior."

Whatever one may think of these views, as to the æsthetic value of soot on great stone buildings like St. Paul's, it must be admitted by all that London, as a whole, is intensely ugly. Henry James, speaking of one of the fashionable quarters of the city, says, "As you walk along the streets, you look up at the brown brick house-walls, corroded with soot and fog, pierced with their straight, stiff window-slits, and finished, by way of cornice, with a little black line resembling a slice of curbstone. There is not an accessory, not a touch of architectural fancy, not the narrowest concession to beauty." In the indictment thus brought against one quarter of the city, it will be observed that there are other counts besides the soot, such as the monotony and plainness of the architecture and the character of the building materials, and in both particulars London does compare very unfavorably with some other cities.

Brick vs. Stone.

There are, of course, some very handsome stone buildings, such as the British Museum, the new Parliament Buildings, many of the churches, and some of the government offices and private residences, but most of the houses are constructed of ugly brownish yellow brick, and capped with rigid rows of chimney pots. The same thing is true of English towns in general, and is one of the most obvious points of inferiority on their part to the cities and towns of Scotland. Of Glasgow as it was in the eighteenth century, then, of [Pg 37] course, but a small place in comparison with its present size, Sir Walter Scott wrote, in Rob Roy, "The principal street was broad and important, decorated with public buildings of an architecture, rather striking than correct in point of taste, and running between rows of tall houses, built of stone; the fronts of which were occasionally richly ornamented with mason-work—a circumstance which gave the street an imposing air of dignity and grandeur, of which most English towns are in some measure deprived, by the slight, unsubstantial, and perishable quality and appearance of the bricks with which they are constructed." Of the later Glasgow of his time, Hawthorne said, "It is the stateliest city in the kingdom." The adjective was well chosen. Those solid, strong, stone-built Scotch cities, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and others, are stately, as no English cities of brick are or can be; though there is also a suggestion of sombreness or severity about them, which seems to belong to that dour, grey land of the North; so that, after all, the Scottish cities do not afford the strongest contrast to London's dingy masses of brick. To find that, we must look to some of the cities of the Continent, especially Paris, the cleanest, brightest, and most beautiful of all the great capitals of the world. The Parisian climate is clearer, there is less fog and smoke, the houses are built of a white stone that gives the city a singular fairness to the eye, quite different from the rather gloomy greyness of the Scottish cities, and, of course, antipodal to the brick and grime of London. Moreover, the streets of Paris, driven this way and that through squalid tenement districts by Baron Hausmann, in his renovation of the city thirty or forty years ago, are broad and splendid thoroughfares, abounding in pure air, bright sunlight and green trees, all as different as possible from the cramped and tortuous [Pg 38] streets and alleys of the British metropolis. "London has had no aedile like Hausmann." Few things add so much to the attractiveness of great cities as handsome streets along the water fronts. In Paris, on both sides of the Seine throughout its entire course in the city, are broad, well-paved, and well-shaded Quais, flanked by noble rows of stone buildings, while in London the Victoria Embankment is almost the only worthy improvement along the Thames. This Embankment is unquestionably a fine work, but as one walks along the broad stone pavement of it, the view he gets on the other side of the river is made up principally of dirty wharves and hideous warehouses.

In many respects, also, London is untidy. Orange peel, paper and trash are much in evidence. Why should there not be street scavengers like those who keep even the small towns in France and Germany quite free from that kind of litter?

Immensity and Multitude.

Strictly speaking, London is not a city, but, as Madame de Stael called it, "a province of brick," and it looks as though it might become a continent, for, though there are already more people in it than in the whole of Scotland, and more than twice as many as in the whole of Norway, it is still growing rapidly. It has more than three thousand miles of streets. In spreading thus, the great city has reached out to, and absorbed, many towns that once stood around it. By the way, this accounts, to some extent for the fact that so many streets in London have the same name. I venture to think that the most preposterous and vexatious system of nomenclature ever in vogue is that which has been employed for the streets of London. Until quite recently there were 166 different streets in this city bearing the name of New, 151 Church, 129 Union, 127 York, 119 John, 109 George, [Pg 39] and so on. Of late some part of this infuriating ambiguity has been removed by certain changes, but enough of it still remains to baffle and puzzle the visitor, and to cause him the loss of much valuable time and some temper.

The Body is More than Raiment.

I have not flattered London. The picture drawn above is repulsive. Perhaps some of my readers are ready to ask whether such a place can be attractive. Yes. Bulwer says of it, in Ernest Maltravers, "The public buildings are few, and, for the most part, mean; the monuments of antiquity not comparable to those which the pettiest town in Italy can boast of; the palaces are sad rubbish; the houses of our peers and princes are shabby and shapeless heaps of bricks. But what of all this? The spirit of London is in her thoroughfares—her population! What wealth—what cleanliness—what order—what animation! How majestic, and yet how vivid, is the life that runs through her myriad veins!" Externally, Paris is incomparably more beautiful than London, but the fundamental characteristics of the French people are not to be named with those of the British. The charm of London is deeper than that of Paris; it wears better; it lasts longer.

"Sir," said Dr. Johnson to Boswell, as they sat in the Mitre Tavern, in the centre of the city, "the happiness of London is not to be conceived, but by those who have been in it. I will venture to say there is more learning and science within the circumference of ten miles from where we sit than in all the rest of the kingdom." And again, "He who is tired of London is tired of existence."

It is the history of the city and the character of the people, rather than the shape and color of their houses, that give London her abiding charm. And, with her vast treasures of literature, science, and art, what a paradise the great smoky city is to all readers and students, in [Pg 40] spite of her wretched climate, and her oppressively dingy tout ensemble!

It is only fair to add that the famous French sculptor, M. Rodin, has recently been expressing his admiration for the smoky British metropolis, declaring that "nothing could be more beautiful than the rich, dark, and ruddy tones of London buildings, in the grey and golden haze of the afternoon."


[Pg 41]

CHAPTER VI.

The English View of the Fourth of July.

London, July 4, 1902.

It is the custom of the American Ambassador to England to give a reception every year, on the Fourth of July, to any of his countrymen who may be sojourning in the British metropolis. Being in London on the recurrence of that memorable date in 1902, we made it our special business to attend this reception. It did not differ from the conventional affair of this kind. Mr. and Mrs. Choate and their daughter received their guests with gracious cordiality. The house is a large one, well furnished, and worthy to be the home of the representative of the greatest nation in the world. All the great halls, wide stairways, and spacious parlors were thrown open as well as the large dining-room, on the first floor, where refreshments were served, and a wide spreading marquee on the terrace in the rear, where lively music was discoursed and these were all filled with people, well dressed, and, for the most part, well-bred ladies and gentlemen, the ladies predominating a company so numerous as to give one a very strong impression of the number of Americans visiting London in the summer. This season may, indeed, have been exceptional, as the coronation of the King had been expected to take place in the latter part of June. But apart altogether from that, it would have been a large crowd, and it is certain that, under ordinary conditions, the number of our people visiting London steadily increases year by year, and that they [Pg 42] feel at home there, as among their own kith and kin, to a degree unknown in any other of the European capitals.

Increasing Friendliness between America and England.

Speaking by and large, I believe that we like and trust the British people, and that they like and trust us. A marked change has come over the feelings of both peoples within the last quarter of a century. I remember well that when I was a boy, the school histories of the United States had the effect of making all the American boys hate the English. They were not informed that many of the English people, including some of their greatest statesmen, deprecated earnestly the oppressive acts of the British government which led to the American Revolution, and that now the people of Great Britain are practically unanimous in the opinion that their government was wrong, and the Americans right in that great conflict. If any reader doubts this, I beg leave to call his attention to some statements found in a pamphlet called "Pictures from England's Story," which I bought at a London news stand. It belongs to a series of such works called "Books for the Bairns," which are written by English authors for the instruction of English children, and which, though well printed, in clear, bold type, and copiously illustrated, are sold at the almost incredibly small price of one penny apiece.

How the English now View the American Revolution.

"Most of the pictures which you will find in this book are pictures of English victories, but there is one picture, and that one of the most significant of all, of an English defeat. This is the picture of the battle of Bunker's Hill, that was fought in America. I want you to take particular notice of that picture, because, although the English were defeated, it was much better for them to be defeated than it would have been [Pg 43] for them to have been victorious. You will often be told that you must always be glad when your country is victorious, but that is not true, for justice and right are greater than your country. When your country fights against justice, and against right, and against liberty, it is fighting against God, and even if it succeeds for the time being, it will always suffer in the long run. In the war which began with the battle of Bunker's Hill, England was in the wrong. Every one admits that now, but at the time when it was fought, the King and his ministers, and most of the people of England, believed that they were in the right, because it was the cause of England, and England was the home of liberty, and it seemed to them quite absurd to think that the American farmers could have right on their side. But the American farmers were in the right. They were few, they were poor, they had no army, they had no king, and they had no parliament, and it seemed quite impossible to our forefathers of those days to think that such a small people could possibly stand up against the armies and the navies of Great Britain. But Great Britain was in the wrong. The Americans were the English people who had gone across the sea to make new homes for themselves in another country, where they could be free to govern themselves in their own way, without interference from the British government. They were good people, honest, hard-working, pious folk, who had carried with them across the sea the English love of liberty and self-government.

A Fair Statement of the Question and the Conflict.

"The English in England had been victorious in their war against France. They were governed by a German king, who was much less in sympathy with English ideas than were the Americans, and he believed, and the majority of the English in England [Pg 44] agreed with him at the time that the Americans ought to be content to be governed by governors sent out from England, and should be willing to pay the taxes, which the English Parliament ordered them to pay. Now the English have always maintained that no king or government has a right to compel the people to pay any money for the support of the government unless the people consent to pay it. Taxation without representation is tyranny, and the Americans said, that as they had no voice in the election of the English Parliament, which made the taxes, they were not bound to pay them. The English said, that whether they liked it or not, the Americans must pay them. The Americans said they would not. The English said they would make them, and they sent an army to America to compel the Americans to pay the taxes, and to obey the King and Parliament. In doing this they were sinning against the first principle of English liberty, and the Americans took up arms to defend their liberty against the English soldiers. They met at Bunker's Hill, and, to the astonishment of every one, the undrilled farmers, who knew how to shoot, met and defeated the disciplined troops of England. England sent thousands upon thousands of men across the Atlantic; they defeated the Americans again and again; they burned their houses; they ravaged their country; they captured all their cities; but still the Americans went on fighting, because they were of the true English breed, and they would rather lose their lives than give up the independence of their country. They were not independent at first, they were British colonists; but when they found themselves attacked by the British, they declared their independence, and formed themselves into a republic, without a king, or a House of Lords, or an Established Church.

[Pg 45]

What England Learned from Fighting against her own Principles.

"The war went on for long years; it cost England a hundred millions of money, and thousands upon thousands of brave soldiers; but the English were fighting against their own English principles, which were defended by George Washington and the Americans with such bravery and heroism that at last the English, notwithstanding all their pride, and their wealth, and their power, had to give in, and own themselves beaten.... Fortunately, we were defeated, and from our defeat we learned a great lesson, which we did not forget for nearly a hundred years. That lesson is that it is impossible to govern a white, freedom-loving people except by their own consent. We took that lesson to heart so much that for nearly a hundred years we never again attempted to compel our colonists to do anything they did not want to do. We gave them freedom, and let them govern themselves upon the true English principles which George Washington fought for, and which George III. fought against. The British Empire, of which we are so proud to-day, exists because the principles of George III. were knocked on the head at the battle of Bunker's Hill, and in the long war which followed it.... The United States of America are now a great nation, which is more numerous and more powerful than Great Britain."

This candid and manly statement, made by an English author and published broadcast for the instruction of English children, is one of the most interesting things I have encountered in England, and I have thought it worth while to quote it here in the interests of a still better understanding between the two great nations of the same stock, and the same speech, and the same political ideals.

[Pg 46]

A slighter indication of the same English breadth of view in regard to this question was given by the good ladies who have charge of the pleasant boarding house, on Torrington Square, which we have made our home on all our visits to London, and who, on the morning of the Fourth of July, thought of it themselves, and had a tiny firecracker lying by the plate of each young American in our party when we came down to breakfast, besides other indications later in the day of their readiness, though themselves staunchly British, to enter sympathetically into the enthusiasm with which Americans celebrate the natal day of our nation.

A movement has been started in London to erect a statue of George Washington. It was decided that the subscriptions should be confined to British subjects. Archdeacon Sinclair, in submitting the plan to the (Puritan) Society, said:

"Englishmen have at last fully recognized the great qualities of Washington. I feel assured that nothing will be more popular in this country than such a tribute to that great man of English birth, who has done so much for the world's history, not only for the young nation across the sea, but for Great Britain as well."

Archdeacon Sinclair announced that he was authorized to offer a place for the statue in St. Paul's Cathedral.

But now I find that I have become so much interested in the statement of this reversal of British sentiment concerning the American struggle for independence, that I have left myself no space to speak of the burning question in England just now, in regard to which the government has taken a position, extraordinary as this may seem, which violates the same principles of liberty for which the Americans fought, and so I must reserve that for another letter.

[Pg 47]

P. S.—Since my return to America I have seen an interesting statement by the Rev. R. J. Campbell, of London, in regard to the steady increase of the pro-British feeling in the United States. He says that a book has just been published by an American barrister named Dos Passos, called The Anglo-Saxon Century and the Unification of the English-Speaking People. This gentleman, although of Spanish origin, is of American birth, and his interest in the future of his own country had led him to examine that of ours. He believes that the twentieth century is to be the Anglo-Saxon century, even more than the nineteenth, and the conditions of an alliance, as advocated by him, are as follows:

1. The Dominion of Canada voluntarily to divide itself into such different States, geographically arranged, as its citizens desire, in proportion to population, and each State to be admitted as a full member of the American Union, in accordance with the conditions of the Constitution of the United States.

2. To establish common citizenship between all citizens of the United States and the British Empire.

3. To establish absolute freedom of commercial intercourse and relations between the countries involved, to the same extent as that which exists between the different States constituting the United States of America.

4. Great Britain and the United States to coin gold, silver, nickel, and copper money, not necessarily displaying the same devices or mottoes, but possessing the same money value, and interchangeable everywhere within the limits covered by the treaty, and to establish a uniform standard of weights and measures.

5. To provide for a proper and satisfactory arbitration tribunal to decide all questions which may arise under the treaty.

[Pg 48]

Much of this may seem chimerical and unsound, but there is certainly a feeling in this country which is influencing things in the direction of a better understanding, and a consciousness of a common destiny between the British Empire and the United States. In private one is constantly meeting with expressions of it, and I may as well add that nothing has caused me more surprise than this one fact. One frequently hears the hope expressed that a common citizenship may one day be possible without any interference with the constitution of either country. This is a new idea to me, and may be a fruitful one some day.


[Pg 49]

CHAPTER VII.

How the English Regard the Americans.

London, July 10, 1902.

There are many indications of a better understanding, and an increasing confidence and regard between the two great English-speaking nations on either side of the Atlantic. One such indication is the marked change of tone on the part of English writers in their references to their American cousins. The time was when, in British books and newspapers, Americans were uniformly represented as coarse and loud. There are still too many Americans, at home and abroad, who deserve to be so described, but the old contemptuous tone towards Americans in general is found only in an occasional writer who lives chiefly in the past. For instance, Mr. Hare, the author of some of the best guide books for reading people that have ever appeared, such as his Walks in London, and his Walks in Rome, seems still to regard the average American as the embodiment of bad taste and crass ignorance. In his book on Florence, after speaking of various other hotels, and their picturesque locations, he says, "Americans may possibly like the Savoy Hotel in the horrible Piazza Vittorio Emanuele"; and in his book on Rome he says it is depressing to hear Americans, when asked their opinion of the Venus de Medici, say, "they guess they are not particularly gone on stone gals." But Americans only smile as they read these things, remembering that Hare is the same man who bewails the downfall of the papacy as a temporal power, and who believes that the emancipation and unification of Italy by [Pg 50] Victor Immanuel was a calamity, notwithstanding the steadily increasing prosperity of the people, and the steadily rising financial credit of the nation, and notwithstanding the fact that every unprejudiced observer acknowledges that the chief hindrance to still more rapid progress is the swarm of fat priests and monks who still infest Italy, and in the interest of the papacy oppose the new and enlightened government at every turn.

The English Admit that America Holds the Future.

In short, Hare's view of the average American is now such an anachronism as to entitle him fairly to be called a freak. He certainly does not represent his countrymen of to-day in their view of the spirit and culture of the American people. The usual tone of English reference to them is not only not contemptuous, but respectful and friendly, and in the case of the industrial and commercial enterprise of the Americans there is even a tinge of fear in the tone in which the English refer to them. For example, a very able and candid English editor, in speaking of Mr. Andrew Carnegie's address as Rector of St. Andrews University, last October, which he pronounces one of the most remarkable addresses ever delivered in Great Britain, practically admits that America has outstripped the mother country in this respect at least. He says, "Mr. Carnegie is a personage. A man who has risen from nothing to the summit of American finance is a man to be reckoned with. Mr. Carnegie is also a Scotchman, and a devout lover of his country. It is no pleasure to him to contemplate the decadence of Great Britain. He is anxious to say the best he can for our country, and yet the one thing to be noted in his address is his immense, overpowering faith in America.... She has such resources, and is increasing so rapidly that nothing can stand against her. [Pg 51] Britain's employers are wanting in energy and enterprise, and the employed think too much of how little they need do, and too little of how much they can do. Britain may maintain her present trade, but America will in the lifetime of many people have a population equal to that of Europe to-day, excluding Russia. America is not an armed camp, as Europe is. It is one united whole at peace with itself, and enjoys immunity from attack, while in machinery its position is far ahead of others.... That a man so shrewd, successful and experienced as Mr. Carnegie, and so well disposed towards Britain, should have come reluctantly to the conclusion that for Britain there is no future, and for America there is the future of the world, is a fact of first-rate significance, and we should like to see how he is to be answered." This is a remarkably candid statement.

English Candor and English Inconsistency.

In my last letter I said that the English people now frankly acknowledge that their forefathers were wrong in the war they waged against the American colonies, and openly rejoice in the victory achieved by Washington and his associates on behalf of the principle of no taxation without representation, and I referred in closing to what seems to be a strange inconsistency on the part of many of the English people in upholding a policy at the present time, which involves a violation of the same principle. The thing referred to was the new Education Bill, perfidiously introduced into Parliament by the Tory party, at the instigation of certain leaders of the Anglican Church, at a time when that party had an overwhelming majority in the House of Commons, a majority given it by the country for the specific purpose of bringing the war in South Africa to a speedy and successful close, and when the electors never dreamed of that majority being used to [Pg 52] promote sectarianism, and to oppress the consciences of a great body of the people. The object of the bill is to tax the whole population of England for the support of schools which are controlled, not by the people, but by the ritualistic clergy of the Anglican Church, or, as an evangelical clergyman of that church himself puts it, the intention of the measure is "to hand the education of the coming generations over to the Romanizing priesthood of the Anglican Church." The mere suggestion of public support without public control ought to rouse the indignation of a free people. But the bill proposes a worse thing even than this, so far as the Nonconformists are concerned, for they are not only to be asked to pay for the support of a religion they do not believe in, but also to hand over their children to its teachers, in order that they may be perverted. In other words, they are to be asked to pay for the destruction of their own religion.

However apathetic some Englishmen may be in the face of such proposals, that is the sort of thing that never fails to rouse liberty-loving Scotland, and so, along with the earnest denunciations of the bill by various organizations of English Free Churchmen, it has been heartily condemned by all the great religious bodies of Scotland.

Scotchmen and the Education Bill.

Saint Andrew, as the weekly organ of the Church of Scotland is called, says as to the origin, spirit and purpose of the measure, "There is no real meaning in calling the party in the English Church, which is at present the most indefatigable, the 'High Church' party. The party is Romanist, pure and simple; and it is devoting itself to the uprooting of the Protestantism of the young people of England.... Can we wonder at the intelligent Nonconformist revolting against his children being brought under the fatally sinister [Pg 53] influence here referred to, and knowing the close connection between church and school, resolving that he will resist, with all his might, the perpetuation of a system in which general control of the public schools shall be in the hands of men who openly inculcate the doctrine of the corporeal presence, baptismal regeneration, prayers for the dead, the duty of confession, adoration of the cross; and who beguile the children of their schools to attend 'the sacrifice of the mass,' with the incense and candles, and all the other paraphernalia under which they have disguised the Lord's Supper?"

The folly of the Anglicans in this matter will hasten the fall of the Established Church of England. And in any case the Nonconformists will not have long to wait, for they are steadily and rapidly gaining ground. In 1700 Dissenters were, in comparison with Churchmen, one to twenty-two, in 1800, one to eight, and in 1900, one to one. That shows that the day is not distant when real religious liberty shall be established in England, and all such bigoted legislation as this present Education Bill shall be swept from her statute books. Meantime, it is certain that it will go on the books, notwithstanding its glaring injustice. There is not a doubt that Mr. Balfour's government will push the measure through, by means of the votes of its great war majority. The consequence will be that thousands of Nonconformists will refuse to pay the rates, then the King's officers will seize and sell some of their property, and perhaps numbers of them will see the inside of prison walls before all is over. But they will make history in England. For, when men are sold out and imprisoned for the sake of conscience and religious liberty and a historic English principle, viz., that of public control of public funds—when these things occur, [Pg 54] an idea will begin to penetrate to the average English mind, the English sense of fair play will be roused, and the English zeal for liberty kindled anew, to say nothing of the English instinct of self-preservation—and then the day of reckoning will have come.


[Pg 55]

CHAPTER VIII.

The British Republic and the House of Commons.

London, July 15, 1902.

The nominal ruler of the British Empire is His Majesty, Edward VII. The real ruler is the House of Commons. Though I was in Great Britain at the time of the coronation, and saw something of the pomp with which it was celebrated, I have not thought it worth while to occupy the time of my readers with descriptions of it, since it is only one of those glittering fictions which the English people see fit to preserve, notwithstanding their general good sense—a somewhat childish observance of outworn mediæval ceremonies, a foolish and expensive form. But certainly I ought not to quit the subject of the political ideas suggested by a sojourn in London, and especially by repeated visits to that most interesting portion of it, Westminster, without some reference to the part it has played in developing the model of all the free governments of the world. For, as a British writer has truly said, Westminster is historically the centre of politics, not for London and Great Britain only, but for the civilized world. "All civilized nations, both in Europe and America, as well as all the British colonies, have now adopted the constitution which was here founded and developed, with a single head of the State and two chambers; though, with regard to the headship of the State and the upper chamber, the elective has, in the most advanced politics, been substituted for the hereditary principle, while in the cases of the United States and Switzerland there is a federal as well as a national element. [Pg 56] The Roman imposed his institutions with arms upon a conquered world; a willing world has adopted the institutions which had their original seat at Westminster. But the British Constitution now means little more than the omnipotence of the House of Commons. The immense edifice is still styled the palace; but the King who now dwells in the palace is the sovereign people."

The Houses of Parliament.

For this reason it is more common now to speak of the Palace of Westminster as the Houses of Parliament. It is a vast and costly pile, one of the largest Gothic buildings in the world, erected about fifty years ago, in the Tudor style, at an outlay of fifteen million dollars. The extremely florid exterior is constructed of a limestone so perishable that already it costs ten thousand dollars a year to keep it in repair. Tastes differ as to the merit of the architecture. Some pronounce the building majestic and imposing. Others say that at a little distance the river front looks like a large modern cotton mill. All agree that there is too much elaborate ornamentation.

This is true of the interior, as well as the exterior, and, as some one has said, it is interesting to observe the attempt made to preserve a constitutional fiction by decorating with special gorgeousness that Chamber of the House which has been stripped of all its power, viz., the House of Lords. It is resplendent in the vivid red leather which covers the seats and backs of the straight benches, rising in tiers on the opposite sides, and in the sumptuous frescoes of the walls, the rich stained glass of the windows, and the excessive gilding of the ceiling. The leather on the benches in the House of Commons is black, and there is less of magnificence in general than in the Chamber of the Peers, though it also is a rich interior.

THE HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT, LONDON.

Yet neither of them makes an impression of spaciousness [Pg 57] and grandeur, and, to one who has seen the noble halls in which our Senate and House of Representatives sit at Washington, both of these legislative chambers of Britain seem small and cramped. They are also mean and uncomfortable in their arrangements as compared with those of our Congress. At Washington each member has his own chair, and a desk for his books and papers. But here there are no desks, only rigid benches, upon which the members sit or loll, facing each other across the narrow chamber, the supporters of the government on the Speaker's right, and the opposition on his left. Worst of all is the fact that, though the combined science of the country was employed in the construction of these halls of session and debate, they are both wretched failures as to ventilation and acoustics, the House of Lords being so bad in the latter particular that it used to be said that members went out to buy an evening paper in order to learn what the debate was about.

Getting into the Lower House.

As the House of Commons is King, we looked forward with eager interest to a visit to that potent body. At the instance of our good friend, Dr. Kerr, Sir James Campbell, a Presbyterian member of the House from Scotland, wrote us an invitation to visit the Commons in session, but, when we reached the door, at the appointed hour, and sent in our cards through the line of policemen and doorkeepers, there was no reply. When we had waited some time, a gentleman in the crowd at the entrance accosted us, and asked if we were not Americans, and if we did not wish to get into the House, both of which polite inquiries we answered with an eager affirmative. He said he thought he could arrange it for us, and, handing us his card, from which we learned that he was the London correspondent of a great American newspaper, he left us for a minute, and soon [Pg 58] returned, accompanied by a friend of his, one of the Irish members of the House, to whom we were introduced, and who promptly procured us permission to enter the visitors' gallery. At Washington, any one who chooses can go into the visitors' gallery, and listen to the debates, but here there is a good deal of red tape. You must even register your name and address, besides being introduced by a member, before you can pass the turnstile and go in.

The Debate and the Debaters.

We soon discovered that we were very fortunate in gaining admission just when we did, as the greatest question of the whole year, and, indeed, the greatest question that has been before the House for many years, was up, viz., the Education Bill, the object of which is to put the schools of England, for the support of which the whole population is taxed, under the control, not of the representatives of the public, but of the ritualistic clergy of the Church of England; and in the course of this very afternoon nearly every prominent man in both of the great political parties was drawn into the discussion. When we entered, Sir William Vernon Harcourt, the veteran Liberal statesman, had the floor. Among others who followed him on the same side of the House were Mr. James Bryce, the well-known author of The Holy Roman Empire and The American Commonwealth, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, the leader of the Liberal party in the House, and Mr. Lloyd George, who has made the most active and brilliant opposition to this treacherous, sectarian measure. The Irish Roman Catholics, who, of course, have voted steadily and solidly with the Anglican High Churchmen for this iniquitous bill, which strikes at the root of the fundamental republican principle of public control of public funds, were represented in the debate by John Dillon. Of the others who spoke in support of the bill, the two who interested me [Pg 59] most were Lord Hugh Cecil, the special patron of the measure, and his gifted cousin, Mr. Arthur J. Balfour, the government leader of the House. The former, who, I believe, is the son of the veteran Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, is a slender, pale, nervous young man, who advocates very narrow views in very good language, nervously pressing or wringing his slim fingers the while, and who is the special champion of the ritualists and reactionaries. Far more able and far more interesting in every way is his accomplished kinsman, Mr. Balfour, who, a few days later, was appointed Prime Minister. He is a tall, ruddy, handsome Scotchman, with a rare grace and charm of manner, and an exceptional air of high breeding, who speaks in a manly, straightforward way, with no trace of the bitterness, or even the heat so common in political discussions. When one notes the clearness of his mind, and the attractiveness of his address, it gives a keener edge to the regret that such a man should be on the wrong side of a great question like this. Mr. Balfour is well known to the sporting world as a golf player, and to the reading world as the author of a thoughtful book on The Foundations of Religious Belief.

It will interest the readers of this paper to know that he is a Presbyterian, as Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, the leader of the Opposition, also is. So that the leaders of both the great parties in the House of Commons are Scotchmen and Presbyterians.

One of the interesting consequences of Great Britain's having a Presbyterian Prime Minister is, that under their system of the union of church and state, a Presbyterian will appoint the bishops and archbishops of the Church of England to the vacancies of those offices which occur during his premiership. This must be a very bitter pill for the extreme High Churchmen.

[Pg 60]

English and American Oratory.

The failure of our arrangement with Sir James Campbell turned out to be the result of a misunderstanding, so he courteously renewed it for the following day, when his friend and fellow-member, Mr. Maxwell, who is also a Scotch Presbyterian, met us at the door, in the absence of Sir James, and, after showing us again everything of interest about the Houses, including the restaurant, and the wide and spacious terrace, running nearly the whole length of the building alongside the Thames, where the members come, on fine afternoons, to drink their tea, ushered us into seats "under the gallery" of the House, which are regarded as the most desirable for visitors, since there the spectator is on a level with the speakers.

The Education Bill was still under discussion, and we heard some good speaking, but not so good as I have heard at Washington, and in the Constitutional Convention at Richmond. The matter was generally good, but the manner was in most cases constrained, if not hesitating, and nearly all the members, including Mr. Balfour himself, have a habit of grasping the lapels of their coats, "taking themselves in hand," as some one has described it. In short, the speaking itself lacks the ease, freedom, fluency and force of our better American oratory.

However, it is only fair to give, before closing, the estimate of a Canadian writer, who is familiar with both London and Washington, and who says:

"The average of speaking is not so high in the House of Commons as in Congress; but the level of the best speakers is higher. American oratory almost always savors somewhat of the school of elocution, and has the fatal drawback of being felt to aim at effect. The greatest of English speakers, such as John Bright, the greatest of all, or Gladstone, create no such impression; you feel that their only aim is to produce conviction."

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One of the most striking things about the House of Commons to the view of an American visitor is the well-groomed appearance of the members. They are invariably attired in faultless Prince Albert coats, often with a boutonniere on the lapel, and they all wear silk hats, which, by the way, they are not expected to take off during the sittings, except when addressing the House. It is said to be the best-dressed assembly in the world, and is in sharp contrast with the more democratic and unconventional, not to say slovenly, mode of dressing which obtains in our House of Representatives, where the ordinary costume is a long, loose frock coat—sometimes even a sack—and a derby or felt hat.


[Pg 62]

CHAPTER IX.

Cambridge and Her Schools.

Cambridge, July 21, 1902.

The Cathedral route from London to Edinburgh takes one through an interesting stretch of eastern England, part of which is as flat as Holland, with fens and canals and windmills, yielding, however, in the north to a more rolling country, vestibule, as it were, to the hills of Scotland. As its name indicates, this route affords the opportunity of seeing in rapid succession the great cathedrals at Ely, Lincoln, York, and Durham, not to speak of others. But nothing on this side of England equals in interest the university town of Cambridge, with its twenty colleges and three thousand students, its venerable collegiate buildings, its far-famed "backs" (that is, the lovely lawns and stately avenues behind the colleges), its clear and placid little river, and its memories of great men and great causes. It is an exceptionally clean town, of some forty-five thousand inhabitants.

CLARE COLLEGE AND KING'S CHAPEL, CAMBRIDGE.
The Two University Towns.

Oxford, farther west, is a somewhat larger city (about fifty-three thousand), with twenty-three colleges and about three thousand students, contains an unparalleled collection of picturesque academic buildings, and has some single features which are not surpassed anywhere, such as Magdalen (pronounced Maudlen) College, "the loveliest of all the homes of learning," Addison's Walk, The Broad Walk, and the "streamlike windings of that glorious street," to which Wordsworth devoted a sonnet. But Cambridge, too, has some features which cannot be paralleled, even in Oxford. For [Pg 63] instance, Cambridge has, in Trinity, the largest college in England. It has, in the chapel of King's College, a building of marvellous beauty; Oxford cannot match it, nor can it be matched anywhere in England save by that "miracle of the world," the Chapel of Henry VII., in Westminster Abbey. The roll of Cambridge's alumni is illustrious to a degree, having such names as Bacon, Erasmus, Newton, Milton, Cromwell, Macaulay, Byron, Thackeray, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Harvey (discoverer of the circulation of the blood), Darwin, and many, many others equally well known.

Cambridge more Progressive than Oxford.

But the chief difference between Cambridge and Oxford is in the spirit and influence of the two upon the nation and the world, and here the glory of Cambridge excelleth. It used to be said in the fourteenth century, "What Oxford thinks to-day, England thinks to-morrow." But, as a matter of fact, it is Cambridge which has represented the true progress of England and her modern political and intellectual development, in such men as Milton and Cromwell, Isaac Newton and William Pitt, Darwin and Tennyson. Oxford has stood chiefly for the reactionary ideas of the High Church Anglicans.

The difference was sharply marked in the great testing time of the seventeenth century, when the East supported the Parliament, and the West supported the king. London and Cambridge were the centres of the Puritan strength, Oxford was the capital of Charles I. Cromwell's home was but a short distance from Cambridge, and he was a student at Sidney-Sussex College, where we had the pleasure of seeing his rooms, and the celebrated crayon portrait of him in the college hall. Roughly, we might say, Cambridge has stood for the Parliament and the people, Oxford for the king and the priests. At least, [Pg 64] there has been more of the spirit of freedom, democracy and progress at the eastern university town than at the western.

The Presbyterian Element.

That the same difference still exists was indicated to us by a simple fact. When we inquired at Oxford for a Presbyterian church, the maid-servant said, "That is Protestant, isn't it?" She was evidently a Romanist, but it is likely that most of the Church of England people resident in Oxford never heard of Presbyterians, though our denomination is so much larger than theirs. Oxford is the head centre of Anglicanism, and there is no Presbyterian church there, though the Congregationalists and Wesleyans are represented. But at Cambridge we found a flourishing, though not yet a very large, church of our faith and order, under the pastoral care of a gifted and earnest man, the Rev. G. Johnston Ross, whose addresses at the Winona Conference, in Indiana, this summer, gave so much satisfaction. We had the pleasure of meeting him, and many of his people, at a pleasant garden party, to which all the Presbyterians of Cambridge were invited.

By the way, we saw a thing in that church which we had never seen before. When the minister read the Scripture lesson from the Old Testament, in the English Version, the two ladies in whose pew we were sitting opened the Hebrew Bible, and followed the reading in that, and, in like manner, when the New Testament lesson was read, they followed in the Greek text. To these two ladies whose learning has been recognized by the Universities of St. Andrews and Heidelberg, in the bestowment upon them of the degree of LL. D., and whose services to the cause of biblical learning, in the discovery and editing of the old Sinaitic Syriac manuscripts of the New Testament, have made them famous throughout the world of [Pg 65] scholars, [1] we had a letter of introduction from a relative of theirs in Virginia, who is a kind friend of ours. And thus we had the pleasure of meeting at their table some of the choice spirits of the University, including the professors in Westminster College, which is the theological seminary of the Presbyterian Church in England.

Westminster College.

It was largely through the munificence of Mrs. Lewis and Mrs. Gibson, the two elect ladies referred to above, that this institution was transplanted from its former undesirable location, and established in the city of Cambridge, thus bringing the Puritan theology back to its original home in England. The financial agent who canvassed the English Presbyterian Churches for the supplementing of the donation of these two large-minded and large-hearted ladies was the Rev. Dr. John Watson, of Liverpool, better known to the general reader as "Ian Maclaren," author of Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush, and other popular works; and for special reasons it was with no ordinary interest that I examined the result of his toils in the outfit with which the institution has been provided. It is admirable. The location, indeed, is not so good or so beautiful as that of Union Seminary, in Richmond, with its breezy sweeps of green campus, and the building, which is of red brick like ours, is not nearly so imposing as the handsome group at Richmond. Everything, in fact, is on a much smaller scale, naturally so, as the English Presbyterian Church is a much smaller body than our Southern Church. But, on the other hand, there are some features that are superior, e. g., the stairways are of stone, not of wood as with us.

[Pg 66]

The dining-hall is spacious, comely, cool, inviting, with ornamental windows, and walls hung with portraits of Presbyterian worthies, and the tables are heavy and handsome, of hard wood. No seminary in our Southern Church, or in the Northern, has a sufficiently attractive refectory. The one at Union Seminary is better than most of them, but it, too, is below the mark. Some benevolent person can do a great work for our future ministry by presenting that institution with a properly equipped refectory building.

The rooms occupied by the students at Westminster are much smaller than ours at Union, and seem in some cases cramped, but there is a bath-room for every four students. I fear this will seem almost a sinful degree of cleanliness to those brethren who a few years ago were so much opposed to the introduction of any bath-rooms and other modern conveniences into our seminary.

There are three professors at Westminster College, Cambridge: Principal Dykes, Dr. Gibb, and Professor Skinner; and twenty-three students, a slightly smaller number than last year.

The same Difficulties about Candidates.

The churches here are facing the same problem that confronts those in America as to an adequate supply of ministers. The number of candidates is decreasing rapidly in Scotland. Some attribute this decline to the stagnant spiritual condition of the churches throughout Europe and America, and connect it with the spread of devitalizing critical theories concerning the Scriptures. But the zeal and activity of the churches do not seem to be deficient in other particulars. It is not a question to discuss here, but it is one for Christian people to think about and pray over.

The identity of our difficulties in America and Britain may be seen again in the fact that here also the theological [Pg 67] schools are complaining that the universities are graduating men with the degree of A. B. who have never studied Greek. How can a man without Greek master the New Testament in the original? Is it not clear that no man can be a thoroughly furnished minister who has not studied Greek? Yet some of our own colleges in America, conducted under Presbyterian auspices, are encouraging this crippling omission by offering an A. B. course without Greek.

FOOTNOTE:

[1] Of the value of this find Prof. Adolf Harnack says: "As the text is almost completely preserved, this Syrus Sinaiticus is one of the most important witnesses; nay, it is extremely probable that it is the most important witness, for our gospels."


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CHAPTER X.

From England to Scotland—Eastern Route.

Edinburgh, August 23, 1902.

The Land of the Mountain and the Flood.

Soon after leaving Newcastle-on-Tyne, the marked change in the scenery of the country through which we were passing apprised us of the fact that we had crossed the border, and were now in Scotland. Instead of the level or gently undulating fields tilled like gardens, and the fine oaks and other trees here and there, giving the country a park-like aspect, there were bold hills on every hand, intensely green, without a tree as far as the eye could reach, and dotted only with white sheep. And, instead of the tame rivers, winding lazily through wide meadows, such as we had seen everywhere in England, there were brawling brooks dashing down the ravines with an energy that made them fit symbols of the strenuous activity of the race whose land we were entering. Nothing in a Scottish landscape is more striking to the American eye than the uniform absence of trees on the hills and mountains. There are some forest-clad mountains and ravines, The Trossachs, for instance, as readers of Scott will remember, but in most cases there are only grass, ferns, and heather. This has the effect of throwing the shape of the mountains into much sharper outline to the eye than is the case with our American mountains, with their dense forests.

If we had had the choosing of the conditions under which we should enter Scotland, we would not have [Pg 69] changed them in any particular. The afternoon sun was pouring golden light over the hills. The sky was as blue as that of Italy, save occasional masses of snow-white clouds towards the horizon—what one of our party calls "Williams' shaving soap clouds"—and the air, with its abundance of ozone, had an exhilarating and tonic effect such as I have never known anywhere else in midsummer.

The Wizard of the North.

When we left the train at Melrose, and took up our quarters in the Abbey Hotel, we found that our good fortune continued, as our rooms looked right down upon the lovely ruins, and, as we sat watching them, the moon rose slowly over the Tweed, so that we had the opportunity to obey literally the poet's counsel in the Lay of the Last Minstrel

"If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright,
Go visit it by the pale moonlight."

To one who, like myself, regards Sir Walter Scott as the greatest novelist that ever lived, the opportunity to visit his home at Abbotsford, and his grave at Dryburgh a second time, and to drink in the exquisite beauty of the Tweed Valley at this point, is one to be thankful for indeed.

SIR WALTER SCOTT'S SEAT IN MELROSE ABBEY.

Scott was a reactionary and a royalist, a Tory politically, and a toady socially. He had an unreasoning reverence for kings and courts. He never was in sympathy with his countrymen in their long and bloody, but finally successful, struggle against the tyranny of the church and the state. In Old Mortality, and elsewhere, he slandered the heroic Covenanters, who won the freedom of Scotland. In Woodstock and elsewhere, he caricatured Cromwell and the heroic Puritans, who won the freedom of England. But, with all this, he never wrote anything dirty or degrading, like so much of our latter day fiction. [Pg 70] He uniformly exalted bravery, and purity, and honor. Nor should it ever be forgotten that towards the close of his life, when he was overwhelmed by the disaster that befell the publishing house with which he was connected, and when he was thus plunged from independence and affluence into poverty and debt, he gave the world a splendid object lesson of personal honesty, by setting to work, in his old age, to discharge his obligations by continuous, laborious, exhausting work with his pen. He succeeded, but the effort cost him his life. He has given a larger amount of innocent and wholesome pleasure to the reading world than any other writer that ever lived. The unceasing stream of pilgrims to his home at Abbotsford is but one of many indications of his unwaning popularity.

Temporary Residence in Auld Reekie.

Edinburgh at last! No. 4 Atholl Crescent. It was delightful to settle down here, in our rented apartments, after long toil at home and long travel abroad, for a real rest, with just enough walking and hill-climbing daily in and around the city to give us a keen appetite for our meals. Round the bowl of yellow Scotch earthenware, in which our oatmeal porridge was served every morning, ran these lines from Burns:

"Some hae meat that canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it.
But we hae meat an' we can eat,
So let the Lord be thankit."

And, as our appetites sharpened more and more, with the snell air of the German Ocean, and the abundant exercise on the heath-clad hills, and the exemption from wearing responsibilities, we entered more and more fully into the sentiment.

By the way, the famous definition given by Dr. Samuel Johnson, in his Dictionary, runs thus, "Oats: A grain, [Pg 71] which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people." "Aye," said a Scotchman, when he heard it, "and see what horses they have in England, and what men we have in Scotland." Dr. Johnson, who, by the way, owes his immortal fame to a Scotchman, affected a dislike for Scotland, and said, among other uncomplimentary things, that the only good road in Scotland was the road that led to England.

Our feeling is exactly contrary to that, and we are so charmed with what a good friend of mine calls "God's country north of the Tweed," its wonderful beauty, its matchless romance, its heroic history, the thronging memories of its unsurpassed services to the causes of religion, liberty, and letters, that we shall find it difficult to tear ourselves away, and take the road to England at all.

But before undertaking to say anything of the vast and fascinating themes just mentioned, let me set down, in the remaining space of this letter, my impressions of certain features of the present-day customs of the Scottish people in their public worship.

Public Worship in Scotland.

In a number of particulars the church usages among Presbyterians in England and Scotland differ from ours in America. It is the universal custom, when entering a pew at the beginning of the service, to bow for a moment or so in silent prayer. Likewise, at the close of the service, when the minister pronounces the benediction upon the standing congregation, all the people bow again in silent prayer before leaving the church. They then rise, and withdraw in a quieter and more reverential manner than is usual with us. In America it is not infrequently the case that the moment the minister says "Amen," at the close of the benediction, the organist pulls out all the stops of his instrument, sweeps the keyboard with might and main, [Pg 72] and fills the building with a crashing tempest of sound, apparently a very lively march, not to say a waltz, to the jubilant strains of which the people move down the aisles, while, instead of the subdued greetings that seem more suitable to the sanctuary, they are straining their voices to make themselves heard over the uproar of the music.

Organ, Choir and Congregation.

Even in Scotland, however, the custom of a rather lively postlude from the organ as the people are retiring is growing, as in Free St. Georges, Edinburgh, which has the best organist I have heard in Great Britain, Mr. Hollins. He is blind, but I have never heard a man pour such melody from an organ, or lead a singing congregation more judiciously and effectively with an instrument. At times he leaves the organ quite silent in the midst of the hymn, beating time with his hand, and throwing out the voices of the people themselves. The organ, as he uses it, is not a crutch for a lame congregation to lean on, but a vaulting pole for an active one to spring with. And the singing is magnificent. Happy the church with two ministers such as Dr. Alexander Whyte and the Rev. Hugh Black, and an organist such as Mr. Hollins! Little wonder that the great building is crowded to the doors at every service, and that if one wishes to be sure of a seat he must come a half hour before the time for the service to begin. This is quite easy for us to do, as the apartments which we have occupied for a month are but a few doors above the church. The church music in Scotland is generally far superior to ours in America. Solos and quartettes are almost unknown. The choirs are large, and sit in front of the congregation, just under the pulpit, and regard it as their business, not so much to display their talents in rendering difficult choir pieces as to lead the congregation in this important part of the worship of God. And the people sing, generally [Pg 73] and heartily, rolling up to heaven a great volume of praise. I am struck with the fact that the Scotch Presbyterians have continued to use some of the most majestic and uplifting of the ancient hymns, such as the Te Deum, which we in America have in many places ceased to use, substituting for these great hymns of the ages the ephemeral jingles which make up too large a part of our so-called "Gospel Hymns." There is more both of dignity and variety of the right sort in the Scottish church music, secured by the free use of close metrical versions of the Psalms, paraphrases of other parts of Scripture, and anthems of the best type—all sung, mark you, by the whole congregation, and not by the choir only.

Bibles in The Churches.

There is another thing about the Scotch churches that I would like to see introduced into every church in America, and that is the use of the Bible by the people. A book-board is affixed to the back of every pew, running the whole length of it, and on this are laid a sufficient number of hymn-books and Bibles for all the people in the pew behind. When the preacher is about to read his Scripture lesson (there are always two at the morning service, one from the Old Testament, and one from the New), he announces the book and chapter, then pauses a minute while the people turn to the place, and, as he reads, they follow. So, too, when he announces his text. It is an excellent custom. It would be difficult to overstate the value of it. It is not unconnected with the fact that the Scotch people, as a whole, know more about the Bible than any other people in the world.

The International System of Sunday-school Lessons has done more to promote knowledge of the Bible than any other system ever generally used since the modern Sunday-school came into existence, notwithstanding the [Pg 74] sweeping and indiscriminating strictures made upon it by some good brethren of late. But that system is certainly capable of improvement. One of the unfortunate results charged to the use of the lesson sheets of the International series is the neglect of the Bible itself. The children, it is said, do not bring their Bibles with them, and do not become familiar with them, as a whole, in the Sunday-school. It is too true in many cases. But are not their seniors equally indifferent about having Bibles in the regular service? How can ministers expect to bring about the desired revival of expository preaching unless they can get Bibles into the hands of the people during the service? Suppose that, like the Scotch, we had an adequate supply of Bibles as a regular part of the equipment of our churches and Sunday-schools, would not this difficulty about the neglect of the Bible, which so many charge to the use of the lesson leaves, be effectually met? Why should there not be at least as good a supply of Bibles in a church as of hymn-books? Never were Bibles so cheap as now.


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CHAPTER XI.

Some English and Scotch Preachers.

Edinburgh, August 25, 1902.

London Preachers.

I once received a letter from the late Rev. Dr. William S. Lacy, saying that he had been trying to make use of a certain work in one of the departments of theological study, and asking if I could suggest something "less fearfully jejune," an expression which I have ever since regarded as a masterpiece of characterization. The first sermon I heard in Europe, preached in a cathedral, in 1896, by a clergyman of the English Church, reminded me of it, for it gave me an intense craving for something "less fearfully jejune." One of my ministerial companions remarked that it was about such a discourse as one would expect from a member of the junior class in Union Seminary, which I thought was rather hard on the juniors. The other five sermons that I heard from ministers of the Church of England that year, preached respectively by Canon Holland, Dean Farrar, Dr. Wace, Rev. H. R. Haweis, and Mr. Gray, of Heidelberg, were certainly not jejune, whatever else may be said of them. At Heidelberg we had the good fortune to meet Prof. Gildersleeve, of Baltimore, who is quite at home in the German university towns, and who was very kind to us in every way. He took us to the English Church there. Mr. Gray is a quiet, thoughtful, and edifying preacher—the right kind of man, I should say, for a community of that sort. Canon Holland—a man of far more freshness and vigor—preached in St. Paul's, and, though powerfully built, and with a resonant [Pg 76] and well-managed voice, could be heard by only a small portion of the large congregation. It is said that the late Canon Liddon, the foremost preacher of the English Church in his time, broke himself down prematurely by the extraordinary exertions he made to project his voice to the limits of the great crowds which gathered in that vast building to hear him. I have an eccentric friend in New England who calls the cathedrals "Gothic devils," because they hinder the preaching of the gospel. St. Paul's is not Gothic, of course, but it is worse, perhaps, in point of acoustics than any Gothic church whatsoever.

Dean Farrar.

We had the singular good fortune, in 1896, to hear Dean Farrar one evening in Westminster Abbey in a discourse which displayed, to the best possible advantage, the exceeding opulence of his rhetoric. He was trying to raise money for the restoration of Canterbury Cathedral in a manner worthy of its approaching thirteen hundredth anniversary, and his discourse was a review of the work of the English Church and the English nation during these thirteen centuries. What a combination of man and subject and place that was! The most rhetorical eminent preacher of the day, discussing with all the exuberance of his splendid diction such a subject as "England," ecclesiastical and civil, for the last thirteen hundred years, in such a place as Westminster Abbey, surrounded by the tombs and statues of England's mighty dead, the wearers of her crown, and the possessors of her genius, her soldiers, and sailors, and statesmen, her painters, and poets, and philosophers, and preachers—

"Those dead but sceptered sovereigns
Whose spirits still rule us from their urns."

The rich music, the soft light, the dim arches, the white statues, the stirring theme, the sympathetic voice, [Pg 77] the luxuriant rhetoric—as the preacher referred, for instance, to "the sea which England has turned from an estranging barrier into an azure marriage ring for the union of the nations"—all conspired to make a unique impression. Dean Farrar's ornate style cloys on the taste sometimes when one reads his books, but when listening to his sermons it was not so. He was a very effective preacher, and, in the notable discourse to which I have just referred, he did not once overlay his thought too thickly with glittering verbiage. As for the other parts of the service I have only to say again that it is an unspeakable pity that a noble service like that of the Church of England (in which, as to its essence, all evangelical people can heartily unite) should be so commonly made a mere matter of mechanical routine, and artificial and absurd recitation.

Mr. Haweis and Dr. Wace.

Mr. Haweis looked like a small edition of the late Henry Ward Beecher—long hair, smooth face, large mouth, but with a peculiar, penetrating voice, and an abrupt, jerky manner. He was unconventional and racy to the last degree, and cut a good many "monkey shines" in the pulpit, which were all the more startling because of his elaborate white clerical vestments—such as resting his elbow on the desk, with his chin in his hand, for the space of five minutes, talking all the time as fast as Phillips Brooks, except for the peculiar "ah! ah!" which he interjected between sentences from time to time, as if unable to find the word he wanted—then letting himself down, and hanging over the pulpit on his armpits, with his arms in front and his body behind. His sermon didn't have anything to do with his text, so far as I could see. He was a Broad Churchman, as broad as Dean Stanley. In fact, he was like the dog of which the train man said, in answer to an inquiry as to the dog's [Pg 78] destination, "I don't know, an' 'ee don't know, an' nobody don't know. 'Ee's et his tag."

Dr. Wace, in whom I was interested as one of the stoutest knights who have recently measured lances with the agnostics, preached a well written sermon, in a dull and lifeless way, to a handful of people at Lincoln's Inn Chapel. But we should not forget that there are many Presbyterian ministers who, as one of our secretaries of foreign missions once said, "carry a load of dogmatic theology into the pulpit, and dump it on the people, laboring all the time under the delusion that in so doing they are preaching the gospel."

Spurgeon, Parker and Hughes.

Some years ago a child was asked, "Who is the Prime Minister of England?" and replied, not unnaturally, "Mr. Spurgeon." That Spurgeon has been called up still higher, but in the great Metropolitan Tabernacle, which he built in London, thousands of people still gather Sunday after Sunday to hear the gospel preached by his son and successor, the Rev. Thomas Spurgeon. Of course, he cannot bend the bow of Ulysses. But, for that matter, there is no preacher living who can. Still he is a clear, earnest, effective preacher. We were at the opposite end of the church from him, but heard every word distinctly.

Another dissenting minister, who continues to draw great crowds in London, is Dr. Joseph Parker, and he is probably the ablest preacher in the city, though on the day I first heard him, in 1896, he was so indistinct in his utterances at times that I found it almost impossible to follow him. There was an air of self-importance about him which I trust was only apparent. We heard him again the other day, when he occupied his pulpit for the first time after a long illness. He was quite feeble, and there were only occasional brief flashes of the volcanic [Pg 79] fires which used to flame and thunder through his preaching.

I heard the Rev. Hugh Price Hughes also, the leading Methodist preacher of London, in a faithful and striking exposition of Haggai, an excellent expository sermon, just what I did not expect from him, as he has at times been charged with sensationalism.

The Moravians, as is well known, lead the whole Christian world in zeal and liberality in the cause of Foreign Missions. At the Moravian chapel in Fetter Lane we heard a clear and helpful sermon from Mr. Waugh, the minister in charge. After the service he kindly showed us all through the Mission House, the centre of that unique propaganda which, with comparatively small resources, has given the pure gospel to so many remote and needy portions of the globe, and set the pace for all the churches in the work of carrying out the Great Commission. This chapel has some associations with John Wesley; and, remembering the obligations under which he lay to these earnest, evangelical Christians of the Unitas Fratrum, and the part since played by the great Methodist Church in the evangelization of the world, we felt that the Moravian Mission House was an appropriate place in which to recall the character and services of that rightly venerated epoch-maker and man of God who said, "My parish is the world."

I heard a number of rich sermons from Dr. John Hunter, Gipsy Smith, Dr. Thornton, Rev. R. J. Campbell, and Mr. Connell. But the strongest, most spiritual and most comforting sermon I heard in London was preached by the Rev. J. Monro Gibson, D. D., pastor of St. John's Wood Presbyterian Church. That also was an expository sermon, as the best preaching so often is.

[Pg 80]

General Booth.

The only other man of mark whom I heard in the metropolis was General Booth, organizer, leader, and absolute monarch of the Salvation Army, an old man of spare frame, with shaggy, grisled hair and beard. His voice is not a good one, but he commands perfect attention, and his sermon, which was evidently well thought out, and which, if I remember aright, had but one undignified remark in it, showed the true nature of sin, and laid hold of the conscience with power. When we entered Exeter Hall, which was already nearly full of people, we saw on the platform a band of sixty musicians, in scarlet uniforms, leading the multitude with violins, cornets and drums, in a hymn sung lustily to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne." When the General came on the platform a few minutes later, they received him with a cheer. His sermon was followed by the usual uproarious proceedings. With these, of course, I have no sympathy, nor with the absolute despotism of General Booth, but the Salvation Army has done a vast deal of good among "the submerged tenth." The census taken this year by the London News shows, however, that the Salvation Army is on the decline in that city, and the reason assigned for it is the lack of a body of trained preachers.

But Scotland is the land of preachers. The greatest Scotchman that ever lived was a preacher, and to him, John Knox, Scotland is more indebted for what she is to-day than to any other man.

What Sir Walter Said.

"The Scotch, it is well known, are more remarkable for the exercise of their intellectual powers than for the keenness of their feelings; they are, therefore, more moved by logic than by rhetoric, and more attracted by acute and argumentative reasoning on doctrinal points than influenced by the enthusiastic appeals to the heart and to the passions, by which the popular [Pg 81] preachers in other countries win the favor of their hearers." So wrote Sir Walter Scott, and no doubt there is truth in it; but we must not underestimate the quickness and depth of their feelings. It was an apparently hard-natured Scotchman of our own day who wrote the following more balanced estimate, "It's a God's mercy I was born a Scotchman, for I do not see how I could ever have been contented to be anything else. The little, plucky, dour nation, set in her own ways, and getting them, too, level-headed and shrewd, and yet so lovingly weak, so fond, so led away by song or story, so easily touched to fine issues, so real, so true." Carlyle said Burns was the æolian harp of nature against which the rude winds of adversity blew, only to be transmuted in their passage into heavenly music. But no people without tender and strong feelings could have produced or appreciated such a poet as Burns. (By the way, I was astonished to discover, in 1896, that there were more than thirty thousand visitors annually to the birthplace of Burns, as against only twenty thousand to the birthplace of Shakespeare.) Moreover, no people without the right kind of feeling, and plenty of it—aye, and of enthusiasm, too—could have accomplished what Scotland has done. With a rigorous climate and a small country, much of it wild and untillable mountain and moor, and with fewer people in the whole country than in the city of London, Scotland—

"On with toil of heart and knees and hand,
Through the long gorge to the far light hath won
Her path upward and prevailed,"

and to-day she wields an influence in the world out of all proportion to her population and resources. In fact, the Scotch are in many respects the greatest people of modern times.

[Pg 82]

Dr. Marcus Dods.

But I have wandered from my subject, which was Scotch preaching and preachers. I heard four eminent men in Edinburgh, on my first visit there six years ago—Prof. A. B. Davidson, Prof. Marcus Dods, Dr. Alexander Whyte, and Dr. George Matheson. Prof. Davidson's voice, manner and style were much better adapted to a small class-room, with its detailed linguistic and exegetical methods, than to popular preaching in a large church. But if there was some disappointment in regard to the preaching of the learned and famous author of the Hebrew grammars, and the father of the whole liberal, not to say radical, movement in Biblical Criticism, which has swept all Scotland into its vortex, there was none in regard to that of his brilliant colleague, Dr. Dods. Many of my readers are familiar with the late Dr. Henry C. Alexander's high estimate of Dr. Dods' work on New Testament Introduction, which he used as a textbook in Union Seminary, and with the general excellence of his luminous and suggestive commentaries, though some of them are unfortunately marred by the obtrusion of views which are not altogether satisfactory. But probably few readers, even of his best books, would have expected from him a sermon so sane, and sound, and spiritual as that which I heard from him. It was fully written, and very quietly read, with absolutely no action, and with a modest and even diffident manner, but before he had uttered half a dozen sentences, the originality and power of the thought, and the freshness and vigor of the language, laid the hearer under the spell of a master, and, as he proceeded, first with keen analysis and irrefutable argument, and then with those considerations which can never be adduced save by a man who has had experience, who knows sin, and struggle, and salvation, your sense of [Pg 83] the preacher's power was succeeded, or rather accompanied, by a sense of his sympathy, and you were ready to accompany him to his high practical conclusion, and left the church assured that he had, under God, given you a real and abiding spiritual uplift.

Dr. George Matheson.

The only other man who impressed me deeply, on my former visit to Edinburgh, was Dr. Matheson. He is antipodal to Prof. Dods in his style of preaching. He is blind, as you know, and was led in from the vestry to the pulpit, a large man, with gray hair and beard, and a ruddy and radiant face, despite his sightless eyes, as though he walked continually in the white vision of the Invisible. His short, fervent, pointed prayers seemed to put every earnest hearer into sensible communion with the Father of our spirits, and his sermon on the great disappointments and mysteries of life was most satisfying and comforting, and was delivered with rare animation and unction, the rich fancy and glowing language justifying the remark made to me afterwards by an eminent Scotchman, that Matheson was a poet as well as a preacher. I must add that some of my friends who went to hear him afterwards, on the ground of my enthusiastic recommendation, were disappointed, saying that his exegesis was illegitimate, and that he treated his text after the manner of Origen and the Allegorizers. But we must remember that even Spurgeon was often guilty of that. This does not excuse it, of course. It only shows that a man may sometimes do it, and yet be a great preacher.

Dr. Whyte and Mr. Black.

Dr. Whyte, of Free St. George's, is reckoned by many the ablest preacher in Edinburgh. I was in his church on my former visit to Scotland, when he preached a deeply moving sermon in connection [Pg 84] with a communion service. Unfortunately for us, he was absent from the city during the whole of our stay this time. But his brilliant young associate, the Rev. Hugh Black, leaves one no ground for complaint as to the quality of the preaching in Edinburgh in the summer. He is a very highly cultivated man, and an original and suggestive preacher, but with no special advantages of manner. He is slender, pallid, nervous, with a rather pleasing voice in its lower tones, but of limited range, breaking if he attempts to raise it. This shuts him out from some of the best oratorical effects. But what he lacks in voice and manner he makes up in richness of matter, and finish of style. He is well known as the author of Friendship and Culture and Restraint, two books which have had a wide circulation in America. We have made his church our regular place of worship, and have been drawn away from it only occasionally by the desire to hear such well-known veterans as Dr. McGregor, of St. Cuthbert's Established Church, and Dr. Hood Wilson, the retiring pastor of Barclay Free Church. This last, by the way, is a curious, but rather striking stone building, with the most hideous interior I have ever seen. It is a night-mare of bad taste.

We have heard at other times Prof. Orr, author of various works of value in the department of Dogmatic Theology, the Rev. P. Carnegie Simpson, of Glasgow, author of The Fact of Christ, and the Rev. Thomas Burns, F. R. S. E., author of a unique and sumptuous work on Old Scottish Communion Plate.

The Inevitable Subject.

To Mr. Burns I am indebted for an introduction to Prof. Sayce, of Oxford, and for a delightful hour at tea with the famous archæologist and author in his house at Edinburgh, where he spends most [Pg 85] of the summer. He generally lives on a houseboat on the Nile in winter, and the weather in Edinburgh this summer has been such as to make him long for that houseboat, and that soft Egyptian climate more than ever. When we reached the city a month ago, we found much the same kind of weather that greeted Mary Queen of Scots on her return from France, and of which John Knox wrote as follows, "The very face of heaven did manifestlie speak what comfort was brought to this country with hir—to wit, sorrow, dolour, darkness and all impiety—for in the memorie of man never was seen more dolorous face of the heavens than was at her arryvall ... the myst was so thick that skairse micht onie man espy another; and the sun was not seyn to shyne two days befoir nor two days after." We had mists a plenty, but it was the cold weather and the rain that interfered most with our plans. It actually did rain nearly every day, and often four or five times a day, not mere showers, but drenching rains. In fact, the kind of weather we had nearly all the time, not only in Edinburgh, but throughout Scotland and England, gave us a keen appreciation of the following story of the London weather which we find in the Manchester Guardian:

"The scene was a Strand omnibus. A leaden sky was overhead, the rain poured down uncompromisingly, mud was underfoot. A red-capped Parsee, who had been sitting near the dripping driver, got down as the conductor came up. 'What sort o' chap is that,' asked the driver. 'Don't yer know that,' answered the conductor. 'Why, that's one o' them Indians that worship the sun!' 'Worships the sun?' said the shivering driver. 'I suppose 'e's come over 'ere to 'ave a rest!'

"This recalls the reply given on one occasion by an Eastern potentate to Queen Victoria, who asked him [Pg 86] whether his people did not worship the sun. 'Yes, your Majesty,' said the Oriental, 'and if you saw him you would worship him also.'"

However, if I begin to write about Scotch weather, I shall never get back to my proper subject, which is Scotch preaching.


[Pg 87]

CHAPTER XII.

Echoes of a Spicy Book on Scotland.

Edinburgh, August 26, 1902.

Unique Prayer for Prince Charlie.

The mention of St. Cuthbert's, where we heard an excellent coronation sermon by Dr. McGregor, reminds me of the prayer offered in St. Cuthbert's by the Rev. Neill McVicar, in 1745, just after the Young Pretender had won the battle of Prestonpans. A message was sent to the Edinburgh ministers, in the name of "Charles Prince Regent," desiring them to open their churches next day as usual. McVicar preached to a large congregation, many of whom were armed Highlanders, and prayed for George II., the reigning monarch, and also for Charles Edward, the Young Pretender, in the following terms, "Bless the king! Thou knowest what king I mean. May the crown sit long upon his head! As for that young man who has come among us to seek an earthly crown, we beseech thee to take him to thyself, and give him a crown of glory!"

One of our pleasant excursions, of which we have made many since coming to Edinburgh, was to the field of Prestonpans, where the Young Pretender won his delusive victory, a field made familiar to many by the vivid description in Waverley. An aged tree, now supported and braced by iron rods and wires, is pointed out as that under which the Pretender stood during part of the engagement. Under this tree, in the tall wheat, overlooking the peaceful fields and the shining sea, our photographers insisted that a picture should be taken of some of the party, weary and dusty, and I fear untidy as we were. [Pg 88] Half a mile away, and within a few feet of the railway, stands the monument to Col. Gardiner, who was killed in this battle, and of whom Scott gives such a striking account in the first of his immortal romances.

Church-going in Edinburgh.

But there I go again, instead of finishing the subject of church services. In Kate Douglas Wiggin's sparkling volume, entitled Penelope's Progress, there is an amusing description of the perplexity of a young woman from America, on noticing from her window the great crowds of people on the streets of Edinburgh on Sunday morning, her speculations as to the cause—"Do you suppose it is a fire?"—and her amazement at discovering that they were all going to church. And truly the Scotch people are great church-goers. Nothing like it is ever seen on our side of the ocean, except in the predominantly Scotch cities of Canada.

"I have never seen such attention, such concentration, as in these great congregations of the Edinburgh churches. As nearly as I can judge, it is intellectual rather than emotional; but it is not a tribute paid to eloquence alone, it is habitual and universal, and is yielded loyally to insufferable dullness when occasion demands.

The Bibles.

"When the text is announced, there is an indescribable rhythmic movement forward, followed by a concerted rustle of Bible leaves; not the rustle of a few Bibles in a few pious pews, but the rustle of all of them in all the pews—and there are more Bibles in an Edinburgh Presbyterian Church than one ever sees anywhere else, unless it be in the warehouses of the Bible Societies.

DRILL OF HIGHLANDERS, EDINBURGH CASTLE.

"The text is read twice clearly, and another rhythmical movement follows, when the books are replaced on the shelves. Then there is a delightful settling back of the [Pg 89] entire congregation, a snuggling comfortably into corners, and a fitting of shoulders to the pews—not to sleep, however; an older generation may have done that under the strain of a two-hour 'wearifu' dreich' sermon, but these church-goers are not to be caught napping. They wear, on the contrary, a keen, expectant, critical look, which must be inexpressibly encouraging to the minister, if he has anything to say. If he has not (and this is a possibility in Edinburgh, as it is everywhere else), then I am sure it is wisdom for the beadle to lock him in (the pulpit) lest he flee when he meets those searching eyes.

The Sermon.

"The Edinburgh sermon, though doubtless softened in outline in these later years, is still a more carefully built discourse than one ordinarily hears outside of Scotland, being constructed on conventional lines of doctrine, exposition, logical inference, and practical application. Though modern preachers do not announce the division of their subject into heads and subheads, firstlies and secondlies and finallies my brethren, there seems to be the old framework underneath the sermon, and every one recognizes it as moving silently below the surface; at least, I always fancy that as the minister finishes one point and attacks another the younger folk fix their eagle eyes on him afresh, and the whole congregation sits up straighter and listens more intently, as if making mental notes. They do not listen so much as if they were enthralled, though they often are, and have good reason to be, but as if they were to pass an examination on the subject afterwards; and I have no doubt that this is the fact.

The Prayers.

"The prayers are many, and are divided, apparently, like those of the liturgies, into petitions, confessions, and aspirations, not forgetting the all-embracing one with which we are perfectly familiar [Pg 90] in our native land, in which the preacher commends to the Fatherly care every animate and inanimate thing not mentioned specifically in the foregoing supplications. It was in the middle of this compendious petition, 'the lang prayer,' that rheumatic old Scotch dames used to make a practice of 'cheengin' the fit,' as they stood devoutly through it. 'When the meenister comes to the "ingatherin' o' the Gentiles," I ken weel it's time to change legs, for then the prayer is jist half dune,' said a good sermon-taster of Fife.

The Music.

"The organ is finding its way rapidly into the Scottish kirks (how can the shade of John Knox endure a 'kist o' whistles' in good St. Giles?), but it is not used yet in some of those we attend most frequently. There is a certain quaint solemnity, a beautiful austerity, in the unaccompanied singing of hymns, that touches me profoundly. I am often carried very high on the waves of splendid church music, when the organ's thunder rolls 'through vaulted aisles,' and the angelic voices of a trained choir chant the aspirations of my soul for me; but when an Edinburgh congregation stands, and the precentor leads in that noble paraphrase—

"God of our fathers, be the God
Of their succeeding race,"

there is a certain ascetic fervor in it that seems to me the perfection of worship. It may be that my Puritan ancestors are mainly responsible for this feeling, or perhaps my recently adopted Jenny Geddes is a factor in it; of course, if she were in the habit of flinging fauldstules at Deans, she was probably the friend of truth and the foe of beauty, so far as it was in her power to separate them."

Jenny Geddes and her Stool.

Ah! yes. Jenny Geddes. Of course, we made a point of attending service frequently [Pg 91] in St. Giles, where that redoubtable assailant of "the papists and their apists" hurled her memorable missile. I trust the story is well known to many of my readers, especially our young people, but perhaps all are not familiar with the extremely racy version of it written by the late Professor Stuart Blackie, one of the most brilliant and versatile men of the age, and given to me by a kinswoman of his, whose charming hospitality I once had the privilege of enjoying for two weeks; so I will embody that version of it in my letter.

The Song of Mistress Jenny Geddes.

Tune: "The British Grenadiers."

Some praise the fair Queen Mary, and some the good Queen Bess,
And some the wise Aspasia beloved by Pericles;
But o'er all the world's brave women, there's one that bears the rule,
The valiant Jenny Geddes that flung the three-legged stool.
 
Chorus: With a row dow, at them now—
Jenny, fling the stool!
'Twas the 23rd of July in the 1637,
On Sabbath morn, from high St. Giles the solemn peal was given;
King Charles had sworn that Scottish men should pray by printed rule,
He sent a book, but never dreamt of danger from a stool.
 
Chorus: With a row dow, yes I trow,
There's danger in a stool.
The Council and the Judges, with ermined pomp elate,
The Provost and the Bailies, in gold and crimson state,
Fair silken vested ladies, grave Doctors of the School,
Were there to please the king and learn the virtue of a stool.
 
Chorus: With a row dow, yes I trow,
There's virtue in a stool.
The Bishop and the Dean cam' in, wi' mickle gravity, [Pg 92]
Right smooth and sleek, but lordly pride was lurking in their e'e,
Their full lawn sleeves were blown and big like seals in briny pool,
They bare a book, but little thought they soon would feel a stool.
 
Chorus: With a row dow, yes I trow,
They'll feel a three-legged stool.
The Dean, he to the Altar went, and with a solemn look,
He cast his eyes to heaven and read the curious printed book;
In Jenny's heart the blood upwelled, with bitter anguish full,
Sudden she started to her legs, and stoutly grasped the stool.
 
Chorus: With a row dow, at them now—
Firmly grasp the stool!
As when a mountain wildcat springs on a rabbit small,
So Jenny on the Dean springs with gush of holy gall—
"Wilt thou say mass at my lug, ye popish-puling fool?
Ho! no!" she said, and at his head she flung the three-legged stool.
 
Chorus: With a row dow, at them now—
Jenny, fling the stool!
A bump! a thump! a smash! a crash! Now, gentlefolks beware!
Stool after stool, like rattling hail, came tirling thro' the air,
With "Well done, Jenny! Bravo, Jenny! That's the proper tool!
When the Deil will out and shows his snout, just meet him with a stool."
 
Chorus: With a row dow, at them now—
There's nothing like a stool.
The Council and the Judges were smitten with strange fear,
The ladies and the Bailies their seats did deftly clear,
The Bishop and the Dean went in sorrow and in dool,
And all the popish flummery fled when Jenny showed the stool.
 
Chorus: With a row dow, at them now—
Jenny, fling the stool!
And thus a radiant deed was done by Jenny's valiant hand, [Pg 93]
Black prelacy and popery she drove from Scottish land,
King Charles, he was a shuffling knave, Priest Laud a meddling fool,
But Jenny was a woman wise, who beat them with a stool.
 
Chorus: With a row dow, yes I trow,
She beat them with a stool.
The Disruption in 1843.

Of course, too, we visited St. Andrew's Church, in the newer part of the city, on the other side of the great, picturesque ravine which divides the old town from the new, because it was the scene of another epoch-making event in the ecclesiastical history of Scotland, viz., the Disruption of 1843. Unable to abolish the patronage of livings, by which certain heritors or patrons could appoint any minister they wished to a vacant pastorate, without the consent of the congregation, Dr. Chalmers and his party decided to take a very bold step in order to preserve the freedom of the church. When the Assembly met in St. Andrew's Church, in the presence of a great body of spectators, while a vast throng outside awaited the result with almost breathless interest, though not really believing that any large number of the ministers would relinquish their homes and salaries for the sake of a "fantastic principle," all expectations were surpassed when the Moderator, after reading a formal protest signed by one hundred and twenty ministers and seventy-two elders, left his place, and was followed first by Dr. Chalmers, and then by four hundred and seventy men, who marched in a body to Tanfield Hall, and there organized the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland. When Lord Jeffrey was told of it an hour later, he exclaimed, "Thank God for Scotland! There is not another country on earth where such a deed could be [Pg 94] done!" Well might the Scottish minister remind his American visitor of Lord Macaulay's remark that the Scots had made sacrifices for the sake of religious opinion for which there was no parallel in the annals of England. Many of my readers are familiar with the exceedingly impressive appearance of this Disruption Assembly, from the well-known engraving, a copy of which hangs in the Reading Room of the Spence Library, at Union Theological Seminary, Richmond.

A Sermon-taster with a Nippy Tongue.

It would never do, when speaking of church matters in Edinburgh, to omit Penelope's account of her landlady's breezy comments on the different preachers.

"It is to Mrs. McCollop that we owe our chief insight into technical church matters, although we seldom agree with her 'opeenions' after we gain our own experience. She never misses hearing one sermon on a Sabbath, and oftener she listens to two or three. Neither does she confine herself to the ministrations of a single preacher, but roves from one sanctuary to another, seeking the bread of life, often, however, according to her own account, getting a particularly indigestible 'stane.'

"She is thus a complete guide to the Edinburgh pulpit, and when she is making a bed in the morning she dispenses criticism in so large and impartial a manner that it would make the flesh of the 'meenistry' creep were it overheard. I used to think Ian Maclaren's sermon-taster a possible exaggeration of an existent type, but I now see that she is truth itself.

"'Ye'll be tryin' anither kirk the morn?' suggested Mrs. McCollop, spreading the clean Sunday sheet over the mattress. 'Wha did he hear the Sawbath that's bye? Dr. A.? Ay, I ken him ower weel; he's been there for fifteen years and mair. Ay, he's a gifted mon—off an' on!' with [Pg 95] an emphasis showing clearly that in her estimation the times when he is 'off' outnumber those when he is 'on.'... 'Ye have na heard auld Dr. B. yet?' (Here she tucks in the upper sheet tidily at the foot.) 'He's a graund strachtforrit mon, is Dr. B., forbye he's growin' maist awfu' dreich in his sermons, though when he's that wearisome a body canna heed him withoot takin' peppermints to the kirk, he's nane the less, at seventy-sax, a better mon than the new asseestant. Div ye ken the new asseestant? He's a wee bit finger-fed mannie, ower sma' maist to wear a goon! I canna thole him, wi' his lang-nebbit words, explainin' and expoundin' the gude Book as if it had jist come oot! The auld doctor's nae kirk-filler, but he gi'es us fu' measure, pressed down an' rinnin' over, nae bit pickin's like the haverin' asseestant; it's my opeenion he's no sound, wi' his parleyvoos and his clishmaclavers!... Mr. C.?' (Now comes the shaking and straightening and smoothing of the first blanket.) 'Ay, he's weel eneuch! I mind ance he prayed for our Free Assembly, an' then he turned roun' an' prayed for the Established, maist in the same breath—he's a broad, leeberal mon, is Mr. C.!... Mr. D.? Ay, I ken him fine; he micht be waur, though he's ower fond o' the kittle pairts o' the Old Testament; but he reads his sermon from the paper, an' it's an auld sayin', If a meenister canna mind [remember] his ain discoors, nae mair can the congregation be expectit to mind it.... Mr. E.? He's my ain meenister.' (She has a pillow in her mouth now, but though she is shaking it as a terrier would a rat, and drawing on the linen slip at the same time, she is still intelligible between the jerks.) 'Susanna says his sermon is like claith made o' soond 'oo [wool] wi' a' gude twined thread, an' wairpit an' weftit wi' doctrine. Susanna kens her Bible weel, but she's never gaed forrit.' [Pg 96] (To 'gang forrit' is to take the communion.) 'Dr. F.? I ca' him the greetin' doctor. He's aye dingin' the dust oot o' the poopit cushions, an' greetin' ower the sins o' the human race, an' eespecial'y of his ain congregation. He's waur syne his last wife sickened an' slippit awa'. 'T was a chastenin' he'd put up wi' twice afore, but he grat nane the less. She was a bonnie bit body, was the third Mistress F.! E'nbro could 'a' better spared the greetin' doctor than her, I'm thinkin'.

'The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away according to his good will and pleasure,' I ventured piously, as Mrs. McCollop beat the bolster and laid it in place.

'Ou ay,' responded that good woman, as she spread the counterpane over the pillows in the way I particularly dislike; 'ou ay, but whiles I think it's a peety he couldna be guidit!'"

Scottish and American Repartee.

Finally, I cannot refrain from quoting Francesca's account of the peppery conversation she had with the young Scottish minister with whom she was destined to fall in love. She returned from the dinner, at which she had met him, all out of sorts:

"How did you get on with your delightful minister?" inquired Salemina.... "He was quite the handsomest man in the room; who is he?"

"He is the Reverend Ronald Macdonald, and the most disagreeable, condescending, ill-tempered prig I ever met!"

"Why, Francesca!" I exclaimed. "Lady Baird speaks of him as her favorite nephew, and says he is full of charm."

"He is just as full of charm as he was when I met him," returned the girl nonchalantly; "that is, he parted with none of it this evening. He was incorrigibly stiff [Pg 97] and rude, and oh! so Scotch! I believe if one punctured him with a hat pin, oatmeal would fly into the air!"

"Doubtless you acquainted him, early in the evening, with the immeasurable advantages of our sleeping-car system, the superiority of our fast-running elevators, and the height of our buildings?" observed Salemina.

"I mentioned them," Francesca answered evasively.

"You naturally inveighed against the Scotch climate?"

"Oh! I alluded to it; but only when he had said that our hot summers must be insufferable."

"I suppose you repeated the remark you made at luncheon, that the ladies you had seen in Princes Street were excessively plain?"

"Yes, I did," she replied hotly; "but that was because he said that American girls generally looked bloodless and frail. He asked if it were really true that they ate chalk and slate pencils. Was'n't that unendurable? I answered that those were the chief solid articles of food, but that after their complexions were established, so to speak, their parents often allowed them pickles and native claret to vary the diet."

"What did he say to that?" I asked.

"'Oh!' he said, 'quite so, quite so'; that was his invariable response to all my witticisms. Then, when I told him casually that the shops looked very small and dark and stuffy here, and that there were not as many tartans and plaids in the windows as we had expected, he remarked, that as to the latter point, the American season had not opened yet! Presently, he asserted that no royal city in Europe could boast ten centuries of such glorious and stirring history as Edinburgh. I said it did not appear to be stirring much at present, and that everything in Scotland seemed a little slow to an American; that he could have no idea of push or enterprise until he visited a [Pg 98] city like Chicago. He retorted that, happily, Edinburgh was peculiarly free from the taint of the ledger and the counting-house; that it was Weimar without a Goethe, Boston without its twang!"

"Incredible!" cried Salemina, deeply wounded in her local pride. "He never could have said 'twang' unless you had tried him beyond measure!"

"I dare say I did; he is easily tried," returned Francesca. "I asked him, sarcastically, if he had ever been in Boston. 'No,' he said, 'it is not necessary to go there! And while we are discussing these matters,' he went on, 'how is your American dyspepsia these days—have you decided what is the cause of it?'"

"'Yes, we have,' said I, as quick as a flash; 'we have always taken in more foreigners than we could assimilate!' I wanted to tell him that one Scotsman of his type would upset the national digestion anywhere, but I restrained myself."

"I am glad you did restrain yourself—once," exclaimed Salemina.

And so on, with Francesca's characterization of the Forth Bridge as the national idol, her inability to tell which way to turn a drawing of it so as to make the bridge right side up, his asking her if doughnuts resembled peanuts, and his telling her he had heard that the ministers' salaries in America were sometimes paid in pork and potatoes, his comments on international marriages, and her conclusion, as she retired that night, "I doubt if I can sleep for thinking what a pity it is that such an egotistic, bumptious, pugnacious, prejudiced, insular, bigoted person should be so handsome!"

That is an excellent little volume to give one an idea of the kind of international clashes that are continually occurring in Edinburgh nowadays. But we, being more [Pg 99] intent upon getting into the more ancient atmosphere of Scotland, give most of our evenings to the reading aloud, in the family circle, of Rob Roy, and the like, in preparation for our proposed tour of the Highlands, while the older members of the party acquaint themselves afresh with the Heart of Midlothian, The Monastery, The Abbot, and the other works of the Wizard of the North, whose scenes are laid at or near "Edina, Scotia's darling seat."


[Pg 100]

CHAPTER XIII.

Is the Scottish Character Degenerating?

Edinburgh, August 27, 1902.

"Mine Own Romantic Town."

Our stay in Edinburgh has come to an end. It has been a delightful month in spite of the weather. Claudius Clear says, "Edinburgh is so beautiful that, for love of her face, she is forgiven her bitter east winds," adding that "there is a keenness, a rawness, a chilliness in the air, which you do not find in South Britain." So there is, and yet we have been out of doors a great deal, and have threaded her streets and closes, and climbed her heights in every direction—Arthur's Seat, Salisbury Crags, Calton Hill, The Castle, Corstorphine, The Braid Hills, The Pentlands—and made excursions to the Forth Bridge, Hawthornden, Rosslyn, Duddingston (where the minister most kindly showed us, between showers, everything of interest in and around the little church in which Sir Walter Scott was once an elder), Craigmillar Castle, Musselburgh, North Berwick, Bass Rock (the dungeons of which were once filled with Covenanters, whose only offence was adhering to the form of religion which the king had bound himself by his coronation oath to maintain), Tantallon Castle, with its memories of Marmion, and Rullion Green, with its memories of the Martyrs, and, of course, within the city, Greyfriars Churchyard, The Grassmarket, Holyrood and the rest. What a wealth of beauty and history and romance!

The Seamy Side of Edinburgh.

Yet there are some very criticizable things about Edinburgh, such as the unseemly billing and cooing of lovers of the servant class in public [Pg 101] places, for instance the Princes Street Gardens, where they may be seen at almost any hour of the day embracing each other in the most unblushing manner, apparently oblivious of the passing multitude. There may be just as much of this going on in the parks of other cities, but the peculiar position of these lovely gardens in the great, green hollow in the very centre of the city, in plain view of the most crowded streets, and the most popular hotels, makes this impropriety more obtrusive here than it is anywhere else.

PRINCES STREET, EDINBURGH.

But worse than this are the ever-present proofs of the poverty, wretchedness and degradation of great numbers of the people. The slums of Edinburgh are more constantly in evidence than those of any other city in the world. The reason for this is not that the slums are more populous or worse than those of other cities, but that the parts of Edinburgh which are of the greatest interest to visitors, viz., the High Street, from the Castle to Holyrood, and the adjacent districts, where the great families once lived, and where the most memorable events of the city's history occurred, the parts made familiar to all readers by the writings of Sir Walter Scott and the historians of Scotland, have long since been abandoned by the better classes, and are now occupied by the poorest and most degraded. So that every reading person who visits Edinburgh is brought face to face, day after day, with all this squalor and misery; and it is so different from what one naturally expects to find in Scotland, and especially in this ancient and wealthy seat of learning, that it makes a very strong impression upon the imagination—an impression so strong that it is scarcely counterbalanced, even by long sojourn in the scrupulously clean residential sections, on either side of this filthy and festering centre.

[Pg 102]

Cause of her Wretchedness.

Why should there be such a plague spot in the heart of Edinburgh? The explanation cannot be found in any lack of native ability on the part of Scotchmen to overcome the conditions that bring about abject poverty. It is universally conceded that in the qualities which make for success in life the Scots are well-nigh unrivalled. Mr. Andrew Carnegie is a pre-eminent example, but the thrift of Scotchmen in general is a proverb. [2]

Nor can the explanation of the dire poverty and wretchedness seen in Scotch cities be found in their disregard of the Sabbath rest and the Sabbath worship, as in the case of some other European peoples, though there seems to be of late some relaxation of their rigid sabbatarianism. Their strictness in this matter has been the subject of many a good story. One is told of a little girl in Aberdeen, who brought a basket of strawberries to the minister's, very early Monday morning.

"Thank you, my little girl, they are very nice,", said the minister; "but I hope you did not pick them yesterday, for it was Sunday, you know."

"No, sir," replied the child, "but," she added, with some dismay, "they were growing all day yesterday."

A devout Scottish minister once stopped at a country inn, in the northern part of his native land, to pass the Sunday. The day was rainy and close, and toward night, as he sat in the little parlor of the inn, he suggested to his landlady that it would be desirable to have one of the windows raised, so that they might have some fresh air in the room.

[Pg 103]

"Mon," said the old woman, with stern disapproval written plainly on her rugged face, "dinna ye ken that ye can hae no fresh air in this hoose on the Sawbath?"

Another is related by Dr. Thomas Guthrie, in his autobiography. It was Sunday morning, and Guthrie was preaching, away from home. After breakfast, he asked his host for a cup of hot water to shave with. "Whist, whist," was the response; "if ye wanted hot water for your toddy, 'twould be all right; but if this congregation kenned that ye called for water to shave with, there wad nae be a soul in the kirk to hear ye."

The Curse of Strong Drink.

This last incident brings us in sight of the true explanation of Edinburgh's misery. The great curse of Scotland is drunkenness. The real cause of the deplorable change that seems to be taking place in the character of her people is intemperance. Mr. Charles E. Price, of the well-known firm of McVittie & Price, who is the prospective Liberal candidate for the Central Division of Edinburgh, in a recent address, made after a visit to our country, says he was struck with the general sobriety of the American people. He did not see eight persons drunk on the streets during his three months' tour, and he contrasts this showing with the gross drunkenness seen on the streets of Edinburgh. He quotes the startling figures in the letter of Lord Balfour of Burleigh, to the Lord Provost of Glasgow, taken from the annual report of the Commissioners of Prisons, according to which the number of commitments during the twelve months, 1900-1901, was, for England, 571 per hundred thousand of the population, and for Ireland, 793, and for Scotland, 1,402! That is, nearly twice as many for Scotland as for Ireland, and nearly three times as many for Scotland as for England. "Ah!" I said to myself sorrowfully, "whiskey again." Such [Pg 104] was the comment of Mr. John A. Steuart, the Scottish author and social reformer, when this shocking official statement appeared in the newspapers; and, referring to Lord Balfour of Burleigh's declaration, that the time has come when it is necessary to consider whether a large new prison should not be erected, he adds, "That is the commentary of your Secretary of State on the morality of the countrymen of John Knox." Mr. Steuart goes on to show that the national drink bill, direct and indirect, amounts to the enormous sum of £300,000,000. "Three hundred millions sterling and one hundred thousand human lives, that is the yearly expense of maintaining the publican. The South African war cost us altogether 20,000 lives; during the period it lasted the drink traffic cost us upwards of 250,000, that is to say, for every soldier who died in South Africa, from wounds or disease, twelve men and women in Britain perished miserably from strong drink. Let Christian people think of it.... Nothing is more certain than this, that religion and the drink traffic cannot flourish together, and one of them is flourishing terribly now.... If the church does not gird herself promptly and vigorously to dispose of the drink traffic, the drink traffic will assuredly dispose of the church." In an American journal I find the statement that, in writing to Dr. T. L. Cuyler recently, sending him a generous contribution to the National Temperance Society, Mr. Andrew Carnegie, after expressing his deep interest in the temperance cause, added, "The best temperance lecture I have delivered lately was my offer of ten per cent. premium on their wages to all employees on my Scottish estates who will abstain from intoxicating liquors."

What Mr. Carnegie Thinks.

Speaking still more recently, at an entertainment at Govan, Scotland, Mr. Carnegie said "he wished his countrymen [Pg 105] would take to their hearts that the one blot upon the people of Scotland was that they often fell from true manhood through the use of intoxicating liquor. There was a saying in America that a totally abstaining Scotsman could not be beaten, and wherever a Scot has fallen, it was, in ninety-nine cases out of the hundred, the result of intemperance. Every Scotsman at home or abroad had in his keeping part of the honor of Scotland, and Scotland having so much more honor per man than other lands, it followed that every Scot carried a greater load of honor than the man of other lands. He wished that every word of his to workmen in Scotland would cause them to reflect upon that, and to resolve that henceforth they would never disgrace either themselves or the land that gave them birth. The only defect of the Scot, compared with the man of other lands, was that of intemperance, which, however, he rejoiced to know, was steadily decreasing."

A Lesser Menace.

One other ominous feature of present day conditions in Scotland I find referred to in the following clipping from a British journal:

"In Edinburgh of late the Jesuits have been showing unwonted activity. Owing partly to the unsettling effect of Biblical criticism upon the average mind, and partly to some utterances by some of the leading ministers in the Scottish churches, the Society has evidently deemed the moment opportune for pressing the claims of Rome upon the Scottish people. In their spokesman, Father Power, who addresses a great gathering every Sabbath evening in the open, they have an instrument well fitted for their purpose. Of fine presence, manifest learning, and no mean orator, he is bound to make an impression on some minds. Here is one sentence from his last lecture. After referring to the utterance of a noted Scottish divine in [Pg 106] the General Assembly, reflecting on some passage in the Confession of Faith, he said, 'So that fundamental basis being removed (the Confession), the Presbyterian Church collapsed like a house of cards. And hence I say that the Catholic Church has an opportunity, let us hope a God-given one, for entering the field once occupied by our late lamented sister.'"

But he would be a sanguine man, indeed, who could believe that the people of Scotland generally would ever become Roman Catholics. For one thing, there is too much printing there. For the Vicar of Croyden was a true prophet when he said, in the early days of the Reformation, "We must root out printing, or printing will root out us."

FOOTNOTE:

[2] December, 1903.—The Prime Minister of the British Empire is a Scotchman. The leaders of both parties in the House of Commons are Scotchmen. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York, the two heads of the Church of England, are Scotchmen. These are specimen facts.


[Pg 107]

CHAPTER XIV.

Stirling, the Lakes, and Glasgow.

Glasgow, September 1, 1902.

From Stirling Castle we revelled in the view which many consider the finest in Scotland, embracing, as it does, both Lowland and Highland scenery. We drove to the towering, but rather top-heavy Wallace Monument, on Abbey Crag, and climbed its winding stone stairway, for the sake of another look at that smiling landscape, and a nearer view of the scene of Wallace's victory over Surrey at Stirling Bridge, in 1297. In one of the rooms of this great monument we gazed reverently on the hero's sword with a thrill of our boyhood enthusiasm over Scottish Chiefs, remembering that "the sword which looked heavy for an archangel to wield was light in his terrible hand." The statue of Wallace in front of the building looked like an old friend, because of our familiarity with the replica of it in Druid Hill Park, presented to the city of Baltimore by Mr. William Wallace Spence. Of course, we drove, too, to "Cambuskenneth's fane," and the field of Bannockburn, where the "bore stone" may still be seen.

Memorials of the Martyrs.

But the place that interested us most at Stirling was the Old Greyfriars Churchyard, adjoining the Castle, with its monuments of John Knox, Alexander Henderson, Andrew Melville, and especially James Renwick and Margaret Wilson. During our stay in Edinburgh we had read and talked much of the martyrs of Scotland, those glorious men and women who had died for Christ's crown and covenant in "the killing time,"—those heroic ministers, nobles, and peasants, male and [Pg 108] female, who to the number of eighteen thousand had laid down their lives rather than submit to the tyranny and popery of the Stuarts. We had visited repeatedly Greyfriars Churchyard at Edinburgh, where the Covenant was signed, and where many of the martyrs who were beheaded in the adjoining Grassmarket are buried. The last of those who "kissed the Red Maiden" here was the youthful and gifted James Renwick. His statue at Stirling represents a mere stripling indeed. Not far from Renwick's statue stands the most beautiful of all the monuments of the Covenanters, the snow white group of Margaret and Agnes Wilson, and the figure of an angel standing by them. The inscription is as follows:

MARGARET,

Virgin Martyr of the ocean wave, with her
likeminded sister,

AGNES.

Love many waters cannot quench.
God saves His chaste impearled one in Covenant true.
O Scotia's daughters! earnest scan the page,
And prize this flower of grace—blood-bought for you.

Psalm ix: 19.

Through faith Margaret Wilson, a youthful maiden, chose rather to depart and be with Christ than to disown His holy Cause and Covenant, to own Erastian usurpation, and conform to prelacy enforced by cruel laws. Bound to a stake within flood mark of the Solway tide, she died a martyr's death on 11th May, 1685.

MONUMENT TO MARGARET WILSON, STIRLING.

I had had the satisfaction, on my former visit to Scotland, of seeing many of the places around which the heroism of the Covenanters has thrown imperishable renown, [Pg 109] Bothwell Bridge, Drumclog, Ayrsmoss, Wigtown (where a noble monument to Margaret Wilson and Margaret McLachlan crowns the highest hill and overlooks the sad sands of Wigtown, which all readers of The Men of the Moss Hags will remember), also the little Duchrae (where, by the way, Mr. S. R. Crockett was born), and Earlstoun Castle on Ken Water, and Sanquhar. At Dumfries one morning, I had eaten my breakfast in the room where Charles Edward, the Pretender, the last of the Stuarts to curse and trouble the united kingdom, had dined with his staff, the night before his final withdrawal northward; and at Sanquhar, in the afternoon of the same day, I had eaten my dinner close to the granite shaft which marks the spot where Richard Cameron and the other twenty heroes sat their horses on that memorable day, when they unfurled the blue silken banner, with its inscription in letters of gold "For Christ's Crown and Covenant," and flashed their swords in the sunlit air, and declared themselves independent of the tyrannical and perjured house of Stuart—one of the sublimest actions in the history of human freedom—and the twenty men won, though they themselves perished in the conflict. As I thought of it all, and how much it meant for the civil and religious liberty of our own country, I had taken off my hat, and, standing there in the street, had silently thanked God for the gift to Scotland and the world of such men as Richard Cameron and William Gordon and James Renwick.

I had a very pleasant note the other day from Mr. S. R. Crockett, the novelist, in which he was kind enough to say, "If you are in Galloway, I shall be glad indeed to see you," and in which he expressed a lively interest in the work of the "Covenanters" in our church. In speaking of The Men of the Moss Hags, he says, "I put a great [Pg 110] deal of faithful work into it, but that very quality somewhat marred the dramatic element. I think of trying again with a book on Peden—a red-hot one this time—not trying to hold the balance, but going straight for all persecutors and sitters-at-ease in the Covenant Zion."

The Lake Scenery of Scotland.

Those who go to The Trossachs by way of Callander, as most tourists do, and as I did on my former visit, miss the finest scenery of this region. Readers of The Lady of the Lake naturally wish to go by Coilantogle Ford, Clan-Alpine's out-most bound, but by doing so they miss not only the finest mountain views of the district, but also the scenes of Rob Roy, on the upper waters of the Forth. So this time we went by rail from Stirling to Aberfoyle, spent the night at the delightful Bailie Nicol Jarvie Hotel, antipodal in every respect to the wretched inn of the clachan described by Sir Walter, and took the coach over the mountains next morning for the Trossachs and Loch Katrine. The beauty of the mountains, seen in this way, with their rocks and ferns and heather all around us, and the glittering lakes far below us, was a revelation even to one who had been through the district on the other route. At the Loch Katrine pier we took the little steamer Sir Walter Scott, and passing Ellen's Isle, were soon favored with another memorable view. Surely Ben Venue was never lovelier than it was that day, with the sunlight and shadow alternating on its rugged sides. The Stronachlachar Hotel, at the foot of the lake, is another excellent place of entertainment. We could not tear ourselves away at once, so after luncheon we rowed on the lake, and climbed on the rocks, and gathered the heather till late in the afternoon. Then we took coach for Inversnaid. We thought we had seen it rain in Scotland. We had not. Those downpours which had so often drenched us in and around Edinburgh [Pg 111] were mere showers compared to the floods which fell upon us on that drive to Inversnaid. The best opportunity I ever had to observe, in perfect comfort, the effect of a heavy rain on Highland scenery was on a steamboat ride up Loch Tay some years ago. From the windows of the saloon we could see everything on both sides. All the trickling burns, swollen by the rain, had become full and foaming streams, and, dashing down the mossy mountains, gave them the appearance of immense slopes of green velvet, striped from top to bottom with ribbons of silver. But on this drive from Stronachlachar to Inversnaid we were too busy trying to keep ourselves dry to take account of the effect of the rain on the scenery. We were much more concerned about its effect upon ourselves. But on reaching the hotel we hung up our dripping wraps, and were quite comfortable again in a few minutes. Next morning was fine. We walked to Rob Roy's cave in the tumbled rocks overlooking the water. We climbed the hills above Inversnaid Falls. Some of the party rowed across the lake to the Arrochar mountains. From every point of view we were enchanted with the loveliness of Loch Lomond. It is the largest and most beautiful of the Scottish lakes. We left Inversnaid reluctantly, after a too brief stay of a day and a half, and steamed down to Balloch. Taking the cars there for Glasgow, we soon came in sight of the gray stone mansion of Lord Overtoun, standing high and clear to the view on our left. The sight of it rendered the senior member of the party reminiscent again, and he told the others of the garden party given there to the Pan-Presbyterian Council in 1896.

About 850 people had come by rail from Glasgow to Dumbarton on a specially chartered train, and were conveyed the two or three miles from there to Overtoun in [Pg 112] breaks, thirty-five in number. Over the door of the mansion ran the chiselled words, "Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord." The host and Lady Overtoun received the delegates in the hall. After passing through the elegant apartments on the first floor, they dispersed over the beautiful grounds where ices were served at various places, and ten pipers of the celebrated Black Watch, in their picturesque Highland costume, marched up and down the lawn, playing their national instrument, one which, with its "tangled squeaking," as Hawthorne calls it, has always seemed to me more picturesque than musical. At four o'clock the guests, to the number of nearly one thousand, all assembled in the great marquee which had been erected on the lawn, and were seated at tables for refreshments, after which they were welcomed by Lord Overtoun in a most cordial speech, to which responses were made by Dr. Roberts, Dr. Blaikie, Dr. Hoge, Rev. John McNeill and others, and at about six o'clock we all went back to Glasgow, fully agreed that this was far and away the most elaborate and elegant entertainment we had ever seen.

One of the raciest men I met at Glasgow, on that occasion, was the Rev. John McNeill. I had the good fortune, with some other friends, to travel in the same compartment with him the day we went to Lord Overtoun's Garden Party. Noticing the river through the car window, he began to speak of the filth of the Clyde below Glasgow, and then naturally enough of the Chicago river, which is probably the filthiest ditch on this planet, and quoted the remark he had made while there, that Peter could have walked on the Chicago river without faith. This led him to speak of exaggerations in general, one especially in which a local Scotch orator indulged when offering the congratulations of his community to the [Pg 113] owner of three or four small coasting vessels when he was about launching another one. After "disporting himself in the empyrean," as Dr. Alexander used to say of such sky-scrapers, this bailie wound up with the statement that "the sails of your ships whiten the universal seas." The local minister was the next speaker, but after such a burst of eloquence as the foregoing, his remarks were, of course, very tame, so much so that the bailie who had covered himself with glory turned to another bailie sitting next to him, and said, "Bailie, mon, some o' them that have never been to college can make a better speech than them that have been through the hale corrycolium!"

Another example of unconscious Scotch humor, related, I think, in Lockhart's Life of Scott, was that of the pastor of the small islands of Cumbrae, near the mouth of the Clyde, who was accustomed to pray that the Lord would "bless Great Cumbrae and Little Cumbrae and the adjacent islands of Great Britain and Ireland." Still another was that of the simple Highlanders on the estates of the great Presbyterian nobleman, the Duke of Argyll, who when the Duke's son, the Marquis of Lorne, married the daughter of Queen Victoria, said, "The Queen must be a great woman if her daughter could marry the son of McCallum More."

The City of Glasgow.

"Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the word." From time immemorial that has been the motto of this stately city, now the second in size in Great Britain, numbering some nine hundred thousand souls. It should, therefore, be no surprise that there are two hundred and seventy-five Presbyterian churches here. "Glasgow is the largest Presbyterian city in the world, whether it be measured by the number of churches, of communicants, or of aggressive work done in the cause of Christ." It was in Glasgow that the first missionary [Pg 114] society, to send the gospel to the heathen world, was formed in Scotland. Glasgow was also the principal scene of the great home mission enterprise of Dr. Chalmers. Thus, as Prof. Lindsay says, Glasgow has taken the lead in the two greatest characteristics of modern evangelical Presbyterianism—missions to the heathen, and to the lapsed and drifting population at home. Besides what is raised by the churches of the city, Glasgow spends annually more than seven hundred thousand dollars in the support of various charitable institutions. For instance, over nine hundred orphan children are cared for in the "homes," all the money for buildings and daily bread being sent in, in answer to prayer. Eighty-eight services are held on Sabbath forenoons for non-churchgoing lads and girls, superintended by two thousand monitors and workers. The Boys' Brigade took its rise in Glasgow. There are ten thousand young men enrolled as members of the Young Men's Christian Association. These bare statements will give some idea of the religious activities of this great Presbyterian city, and of its suitableness as a rallying centre, in 1896, for the three hundred representatives of that vast army of more than twenty million people of God, who, in every nation under heaven, march under the blue banner, constituting the largest Protestant Church in the world.

Glasgow is, moreover, an ancient seat of learning, and a great centre of commerce. For five hundred years its University has shed light over Scotland, and other countries as well. As for primary education, the official report says, "it is a rare thing now to find a child in the city, over ten or eleven years of age, who cannot read and write. Its art galleries, museums, music, lectures, its magnificent municipal buildings erected at a cost of two million six hundred thousand [Pg 115] dollars, its sanitary arrangements, under the influence of which the rate of mortality is steadily decreasing, its water system, which, at a cost of seventeen million five hundred dollars, has brought an abundant supply of pure water from Loch Katrine through thirty-five miles of mountainous country—all are worthy of the second city of the kingdom. And, as everybody knows, Glasgow is the place where "the stately ocean greyhounds" are built. Fifty-five million dollars have been expended in "turning what was once a little salmon stream into one of the greatest navigable highways of the world." In 1768, the Clyde, at low water, was one foot deep, where now it is twenty-four feet. What is it that has given this venerable Presbyterian city this proud position, next to London? "Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the word."

The Old Cathedral.

It is said that the word "Glasgow" comes from "Glescu," gray mist. It deserved its name when we arrived there on the 30th of August, 1902, and it continued to deserve it throughout our stay. The fog was so heavy and dense that one felt almost as if it could be sawn into slabs.

I can testify further that the city deserved its name also on the 17th of June, 1896, when the delegates to the Sixth General Council of the Reformed Churches Throughout the World Holding the Presbyterian System, gathered in the Barony Church, and marched through a cold rain, across the wide paved square, to the ancient cathedral, where the opening sermon was to be preached. This majestic building, now more than seven hundred years old, is thus described by Sir Walter Scott in the nineteenth chapter of Rob Roy, "The pile is of a gloomy and massive, rather than of an elegant, style of Gothic architecture; but its peculiar character is so strongly preserved, and so well suited with the accompaniments [Pg 116] which surround it, that the impression of the first view was solemn and awful in the extreme." As Andrew Fairservice said to the hero of that stirring story, whom Scott represents as addressed by Rob Roy from behind one of the pillars in the crypt, "It's a brave kirk—nane o' yer whigmalieries and curliewurlies and opensteek hems about it—a solid, weel-jointed mason-wark, that will stand as long as the world, keep hands and gunpowder aff it." And, indeed, it looks as if it would. On the crest of the hill, in the adjacent necropolis, stands a splendid Doric column surmounted by a statue of John Knox.

The Most Eminent Citizen of Glasgow.

The Preëminence of Scotland in Theology, Philosophy, and Medicine has long been recognized the world over. But it may not be known to all of my readers that the most eminent scientist now living is also a resident of this country, a citizen of Glasgow—Lord Kelvin.

In the Regalia Room of Edinburgh Castle, on my way to Glasgow in 1896, I had the pleasure of meeting, for the first time, one of the most intellectual young men that the South has produced since the war, Professor Woodrow Wilson, of Princeton University, a former fellow student at Davidson College of one of my fellow-travellers at that time. He told us he was on his way to Glasgow, too, for the purpose of representing Princeton in the celebration of Lord Kelvin's jubilee. This veteran professor, who thus completed fifty years of service as a teacher in the University of Glasgow, and who, by the way, like so many other epoch-makers, is a Scotch-Irishman, has long been recognized as one of the most eminent scientists of modern times, and the greatest of all electricians. As Professor William Thomson, he first won renown by the wonder which he wrought in annihilating space by enabling us to telegraph across the Atlantic ocean, for it was [Pg 117] he who solved the difficulty which, in 1856, threatened to defeat all the plans of the late Cyrus W. Field just as he seemed about to realize his gigantic dream of uniting two continents. The signals passing through a long submarine cable were found to "drag" so much as to make it practically useless. Thomson discovered the law governing the retardation, and invented the "mirror instrument," by which all the delicate fluctuations of the varying current could be interpreted. "So sensitive is the arrangement that on one occasion a signal was sent to America and back through two Atlantic cables with the current from a toy battery, made in a silver thimble with a drop of acidulated water and a grain of zinc." By means of Thomson's magical apparatus, on August 17, 1858, this message was flashed from shore to shore, "Europe and America are united by telegraph: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." For this success he was knighted. In 1892, after many other successes, he was raised to the peerage. The submarine telegraph is not the only invention which connects his name with the sea. By substituting piano-forte wire for the old-fashioned rope, he made it possible to measure quickly and accurately the depth of water at any spot under a moving ship. When Dr. Toule was visiting Prof. Thomson, he noticed a bundle of this piano-forte wire, and, inquiring what it was for, was informed by Thomson that he intended using it for "sounding purposes." "What note?" innocently inquired Toule, to which Thomson promptly replied, "The deep C." But Lord Kelvin's most valuable aid to navigation is the adjustable compass, which bears his name, and which is now used on every first-class ship in the world.

So numerous and useful are his inventions that there is an establishment at Glasgow devoted solely to the manufacture [Pg 118] of his patents, and employing nearly two hundred highly skilled workmen, and a staff of electricians. His home, in the precincts of Glasgow University, was the first house in the world to be lighted with electricity. It is not strange, then, that we found the whole city doing him honor on our arrival in 1896, and scores of scholars convened to offer the congratulations of other institutions in every part of the world.

Yesterday we had the pleasure of hearing a very thoughtful and striking sermon from the Rev. P. Carnegie Simpson, author of The Fact of Christ, a book which in a very short time has gained a deservedly wide circulation. I am constrained to believe that, generally speaking, Scottish ministers have more intellectual ability and better theological furnishing than those in America.


[Pg 119]

CHAPTER XV.

Oban, Iona, and Staffa.

"For Oban is a dainty place;
In distant lands or nigh lands,
No town delights the tourist race
Like Oban in the Highlands."

Caledonian Canal, September 3, 1902.

The fog was so thick the morning we steamed down the ill-smelling Clyde, and out through the Kyles of Bute, that we could see nothing whatever, and had to content ourselves as best we could with the tantalizing recollections of one member of the party, who on a former occasion had made an excursion with some five hundred other persons, delegates to the Glasgow Council and their friends, on the elegant steamer, Duchess of Hamilton, up Loch Long, Loch Goil, and the Kyles of Bute, with alternating showers and sunshine, getting charming views of the lovely scenery that abounds about the Firth of Clyde. But the atmosphere lightened somewhat as we steamed through the Crinan Canal, and as we approached Oban it cleared completely, and gave us full opportunity to enjoy the glorious scenery on every hand.

Situated near the southern terminus of the Caledonian Canal, and also not far from the western isles, and being the starting point of all excursions through this, the wildest and most romantic region of Scotland, Oban is called "the Charing Cross of the Highlands."

Rude Seas off the West Coast.

The first excursion undertaken by our party from Oban was the famous one to Staffa and Iona, and in this we were so fortunate [Pg 120] that we almost forgot our disappointment at the Kyles of Bute. Frequently the sea is so rough in this windy region that passengers cannot be landed on the islands. It was so on the day before our trip, and also on the day after it. It seemed to us rough enough on the day we made the trip, and the captain was doubtful about landing us until the very last. But the boats from shore put out and came alongside, swinging on the waves five or six feet up, and then quickly down again, so that it was necessary for us to step in promptly, one by one, just at the moment when they rose to the highest point. It looked dangerous, but nobody backed out. It looked still more dangerous after we were in the tossing boats, with the great green waves running high all around us. I think several of the party had doubts whether they would ever again set foot on land, and there were thankful hearts and deep sighs of relief when, after the visit to Staffa, we all got safe back on the steamer. The danger, however, was more apparent than real. The boats were staunch, strongly manned, and handled with consummate skill.

Iona and Columba.

We visited Iona first, a small island and homely, but sacred and memorable forever as the place where the presbyter abbot, Columba, the Apostle of Caledonia, and his twelve companions from Ireland, landed in A. D. 563, to begin that series of toilsome, but marvellously successful campaigns, which resulted in the evangelization of a large part of Scotland. The tomb of Columba is still shown in the ancient cathedral. For centuries Iona was a part of the domain of the Duke of Argyll, but three or four years ago the late Duke, the author of The Reign of Law, presented the property to the Church of Scotland. Since that time the cathedral has been re-roofed and otherwise restored, so that now it [Pg 121] presents a less desolate appearance than it did on my first visit a few years ago. Iona was the burial place of the ancient Scottish kings. More than fifty of them lie in the cemetery, hard by the cathedral, in graves marked, for the most part, by ancient tombstones, with interesting inscriptions. The last of these kings to be laid here was Duncan I., who was murdered by Macbeth about the middle of the eleventh century. Not far away stands Maclean's Cross, supposed to be the oldest in Scotland. It is one of three hundred and sixty Iona crosses which are said to have once stood on the island.

Staffa and Fingal's Cave.

Half an hour from Iona by the steamer is Staffa. Staffa means the "isle of columns." It is of the same columnar basaltic formation as the Giant's Causeway in the north of Ireland, and was produced by the same outpouring of lava that formed the Irish Causeway. We climbed along the irregular floor of perfectly formed polygonal columns, which fit each other with absolute exactness, though no two are alike. We stopped for a moment to sit down in Fingal's Wishing Chair, and then pushed on to see the most impressive of all these natural wonders—Fingal's Cave—which penetrates the volcanic columns for a distance of two hundred and twenty-seven feet.

This stupendous basaltic grotto in the lonely Isle of Staffa remained, singularly enough, unknown to the outer world until visited by Sir Joseph Banks in 1772. As the visitors' boat glides under its vast portal, the mighty octagonal columns of lava, which form the sides of the cavern—the depth and strength of the tide which rolls its deep and heavy swell into the extremity of the vault unseen amid its vague uncertainty—the variety of tints formed by the white, crimson, and yellow stalactites which occupy the base of the broken pillars that form the roof, [Pg 122] and intersect them with a rich and variegated chasing—the corresponding variety of tint below water, where the ocean rolls over a dark red or violet-colored rock, from which the basaltic columns rise—the tremendous noise of the swelling tide mingling with the deep-toned echoes of the vault that stretches far into the bowels of the isle—form a combination of effects without a parallel in the world!

Sir Walter Scott's lines express the sentiment most proper to the place:

"The shores of Mull on the eastward lay,
And Ulva dark, and Colonsay,
And all the group of islets gay
That guard famed Staffa round.
Then all unknown its columns rose,
Where dark and undisturbed repose
The cormorant had found,
And the shy seal had quiet home,
And welter'd in that wondrous dome,
Where, as to shame the temples deck'd
By skill of earthly architect,
Nature herself, it seem'd, would raise
A minster to her Maker's praise!
Not for a meaner use ascend
Her columns, or her arches bend;
Nor of a theme less solemn tells
That mighty surge that ebbs and swells,
And still, between each awful pause,
From the high vault an answer draws,
In varied tone, prolong'd and high,
That mocks the organ's melody.
Nor doth its entrance front in vain
To old Iona's holy fane,
That Nature's voice might seem to say,
'Well hast thou done, frail child of clay;
Thy humble powers that stately shrine
Task'd high and hard—but witness mine!'"

[Pg 123]

The Great Canal.

The trip from Oban to Inverness, through the Caledonian Canal, with its alternating locks and lochs, and its mountain walls on either side, is one of the finest in the world in point of scenery. It was something of a surprise to us to find at Fort Augustus, half way up the canal, the Benedictine Order established in a magnificent group of buildings, which had been erected at a cost of four hundred thousand dollars, but we presently remembered that there had always been a Roman Catholic element in the Highlands, that this element had ardently supported the pretensions of Charles Edward Stuart to the British crown, and that Lord Lovat, the leading Roman Catholic nobleman of the region, had been executed for the treasonable part he took in that affair. In the Tower of London we had seen the block on which he was beheaded, with the print of the axe showing plainly in the wood. In 1876 the Lord Lovat of that time presented this splendid property to the Benedictines. Of Prince Charlie's career in this part of Scotland we shall have more to say in our next letter.


[Pg 124]

CHAPTER XVI.

Inverness and Memories of Flora Macdonald.

Perth, September 6, 1902.

Our farthest north on our European tour was Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, which we reached from Oban by way of the magnificent route through the Caledonian Canal, and which we left by way of the railroad that runs southwards through the battlefield of Culloden, where the Young Pretender was defeated, and the cause of the Stuarts finally overthrown in 1746. The town has twenty thousand people, is well built of substantial materials, a fresh-looking pink stone predominating, and is the cleanest city we have seen in Great Britain. It has a fine situation, its business portion occupying the more level ground on both sides of its broad, clear river, while handsome villas stretch along the terrace which rises above the valley. At a short distance from the town there rises, from the level plain on the riverside, a strikingly beautiful wooded hill, on the summit and sides of which the people of Inverness have made their cemetery, one of the loveliest of all the lovely cities of the dead.

STATUE OF FLORA MACDONALD—INVERNESS.

From elevated points, and especially from the Castle Hill in the midst of the town, one gets a very fine view of richly diversified scenery, comprising, besides river and firth and valley, a wealth of hills, some wooded and others gay with purple heather and green ferns. This central hill, on which the handsome castellated county buildings now stand, was the site of Macbeth's Castle, concerning which Shakespeare represents King Duncan as saying, [Pg 125] "This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air nimbly and sweetly recommends itself unto our gentle senses." Just in front of the buildings which now occupy this celebrated site stands a graceful statue of Flora Macdonald. She is represented as a comely young woman, with her left hand lightly holding her dress skirt, and her right raised as though shading her eyes, while she gazes intently across the water. A very finely executed Scotch collie at her side looks up into her face. [3]

The Career of a Royal Adventurer.

Being a native of North Carolina, and having most pleasant memories of the Highland Scotch communities of the Cape Fear country, and the fine old town of Fayetteville, where Flora Macdonald lived during a portion of her maturer life, I was delighted to be thus reminded that I was now so near the scenes connected with the romantic incidents of her younger days, when, at the peril of her own life, she saved the worthless life of Prince Charles Stuart, the Young Pretender to the British throne.

Students of that period of English history, or readers of Waverly, that immortal romance, which, as the first venture of its then unknown author in this line of literature, gave its name to the whole series of those unrivalled historical romances which were put forth thereafter in rapid succession by Sir Walter Scott, and which have given a greater amount of wholesome pleasure to the world of readers in general than any other series of books that were ever written—students of history and readers of Waverly, I say, will remember, that after the Pretender's delusive victory at Prestonpans, near Edinburgh, [Pg 126] and his disappointment at the failure of the Roman Catholic population of western England to rise in support of his cause, he fell back to the northern part of Scotland, and there, on the desolate moor of Culloden, four miles from Inverness, he was overwhelmingly defeated by the Duke of Cumberland, and his army of devoted Highlanders cut to pieces. Over that bloody field the star of the Stuarts, a race which had so long been a curse to Great Britain, sank to rise no more, and the Protestant succession has never since been seriously called in question.

A Fugitive in the Hebrides.

The Pretender, with a few faithful friends, fled through the wild country to the southwest, and, after many hardships and hairbreadth escapes, reached the Outer Hebrides, and was concealed in a cave there, on the wet and windy island of Benbecula. But the fact that he was on this island soon became known to the government, and then his position became perilous in the extreme. By sea and land every precaution was taken to prevent his escape, every road, pass and landing place being guarded, and the whole coast being patrolled by government vessels in such numbers that no craft, however small, could approach or leave the island unobserved, except perhaps under cover of darkness by special good fortune, while some two thousand soldiers made diligent search on shore; in addition to which a prize of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars was offered for his capture. In this crisis of his affairs it was agreed that a final attempt for his rescue should be made through the agency of a young lady of the neighborhood, Miss Flora Macdonald, then twenty-four years of age, two years younger than the Prince himself, but whose selection for his perilous office argues a prudence and strength of character far beyond her years.

[Pg 127]

A woman to the Rescue.

This remarkable young woman was well born, being the granddaughter of the Rev. Angus Macdonald, known throughout the Isles as "the strong minister," on account of his extraordinary physical strength. She was also well bred, and well educated, having enjoyed not only the advantages of her own home, and of the other respectable families of her native island, but also the benefit of long residence in the home of her kinsman, Sir Alexander Macdonald, of Monkstadt, in the Island of Skye, and of three years in the Ladies' Seminary of Miss Henderson, at Edinburgh. Sir Alexander was loyal to the house of Hanover, and had refused to take any part in supporting the pretensions of Prince Charles. Flora also was indifferent to the claim of the Stuarts, and saved the Pretender's life out of pure compassion. Indeed, afterwards, when she had been released from her imprisonment at London on the charge of treason, and the Prince of Wales called on her and asked her, half jocularly, how she dared to assist a rebel against his father's throne, she answered with characteristic simplicity and firmness that she would have done the same thing for him had she found him in like distress.

Feminine Courage and Resource.

The plan adopted, and successfully carried out, for the escape of the Pretender from Benbecula to Skye was this: Our heroine, having expressed a strong desire to visit her mother, then living in Skye, procured a passport for herself and two servants from her stepfather, Captain Hugh Macdonald, who, though in command of a body of the King's militia on Benbecula, shared the general compassion for the beaten Prince, and the general desire that he might escape with his life. One of these servants was Neil Macdonald, a faithful, intelligent, and pretty well educated youth, who had spent several years in Paris, and, therefore, spoke [Pg 128] French fluently, and who, after the adventures with which we are here concerned, followed the Pretender to France, and became the father of the celebrated Marshal Macdonald, Duke of Tarentum, one of Napoleon's great generals. The other, ostensibly an awkward and overgrown Irish girl, was in reality Prince Charles himself. With the principal member of the party thus disguised, and armed with the passport for use in case of need, these three, with a picked boat crew of six, set out on a dark night when the rain was falling in torrents, and, after an exceedingly tempestuous and perilous voyage, arrived safely in Skye, where the coolness, courage and resourcefulness of Flora Macdonald baffled the King's officers, overcame all difficulties, and eventually accomplished the desired end of getting the Pretender to the mainland, whence, after three months more of severe hardships, he got aboard of a French vessel, and so reached the continent. That he was utterly unworthy of the great service rendered him, is clearly shown by the fact, that though he lived for more than forty-two years after he parted with her on the beach of Portree, he never acknowledged, by letter or otherwise, the dangers to which she exposed herself in order to save his life. At his death his body was appropriately laid in St. Peter's Cathedral at Rome with the rest of his Romish kindred.

Flora Macdonald as Prisoner.

Flora Macdonald's part in the escape of the young Pretender could not long be concealed. As soon as it became known she was arrested, and taken on board one of the King's vessels, and by General Campbell sent to Dunstaffnage Castle, on Loch Etive, his note to the governor of the castle referring to her as "a very pretty young rebel." After ten days of imprisonment there, she was taken to Leith, the port of Edinburgh, and placed on board the Bridgewater, where [Pg 129] she was detained for nearly three months, being lionized the while by the aristocracy and professional men of the Scottish metropolis in a way that would have turned a weaker head. An Episcopal clergyman of the place wrote of her as follows:

"Although she was easy and cheerful, yet she had a certain mixture of gravity in all her behavior, which became her situation exceedingly well, and set her off to great advantage. She is of a low stature, of a fair complexion, and well enough shaped. One would not discern by her conversation that she had spent all her former days in the Highlands, for she talks English easily, and not at all through the Erse tone. She has a sweet voice, and sings well; and no lady, Edinburgh-bred, can acquit herself better at the tea-table, than what she did when in Leith Roads. Her wise conduct, in one of the most perplexing scenes that can happen in life—her fortitude and good sense—are memorable instances of the strength of a female mind, even in those years that are tender and inexperienced."

In November, 1746, the Bridgewater sailed, with our heroine and others, to London, where they were to stand trial on charges of treason. Her popularity, however, was so great, and public sentiment so strongly opposed to the infliction of any stern penalty upon a young and attractive woman for the performance of a self-sacrificing act of humanity, that, after a short confinement in the gloomy Tower of London, whose walls have enclosed so many heavy hearts in the course of the centuries, she was turned over to friends, who became responsible to the government for her appearance when demanded, and, after remaining a state prisoner in this mitigated manner for some twelve months, she was set at liberty, under the Act of Indemnity of 1747. The first use she made of her freedom [Pg 130] was to solicit as a special favor that her fellow-prisoners from the Isles should be given the same liberty as herself, and the request was granted, one of those thus released being her future father-in-law, Macdonald of Kingsburgh.

Her Marriage.

Some three years after her return to her native islands, she was married, in 1750, to Allan Macdonald. Boswell, in his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, thus describes the man to whom our heroine yielded her heart and hand:

"He was completely the figure of a gallant Highlander, exhibiting the graceful mien and manly looks which our popular Scotch song has justly attributed to that character. He had his tartan plaid thrown around him, a large blue bonnet with a knot of black ribbon like a cockade, a brown short coat, a tartan waistcoat with gold buttons, a bluish philibeg, and tartan hose. He had jet-black hair, tied behind, and was a large, stately man, with a steady, sensible countenance."

She Entertains Dr. Johnson and Boswell.

It was in 1773 that Boswell and Dr. Samuel Johnson were entertained at the hospitable home of Allan Macdonald and his famous wife. The great lexicographer and moralist was delighted with his hostess and describes her as "a woman of middle stature, soft features, gentle manners, and elegant presence." He asked her, as a special favor, to let him sleep in the bed which had been occupied by the unfortunate Prince, a request which she readily granted, adding, to his immense gratification, that she would also furnish him with the identical sheets on which the Prince had lain, and which, by the way, she kept till the end of her days, taking them with her to North Carolina and back, and in which, at her own request, her body was wrapped after her death. Before leaving the house next morning, Dr. Johnson laid on his toilet table a slip of paper containing [Pg 131] the pencilled words, Quantum cedat virtutibus aurum, which Boswell renders, "With virtue weighed, what worthless trash is gold."

She Moves to North Carolina.

Through no mismanagement or extravagance of his own, but in consequence of losses incurred by his father, by the part he had taken in the Pretender's cause, Allan Macdonald had become seriously embarrassed, and so, in the hope of mending his fortune, he determined to emigrate to North Carolina, where many other families from Skye had already settled. Accordingly, in 1774, with his wife and their nine children, he sailed for Wilmington, and, after receiving various attentions there, whither the fame of his wife had preceded them, they went up the Cape Fear River to Cross Creek, now called Fayetteville, and after some months in Cumberland county, where they were regular worshippers in the Presbyterian Church, purchased a place on the borders of Richmond and Montgomery counties, which they named Killiegray.

Misfortunes in the New World.

Their life in America was a sad one. Two of their children died, a bereavement made the more trying to the mother because of the absence of her husband, whose duties as a military officer required his presence elsewhere. The Revolutionary War was on the point of breaking out, and Governor Martin, seeing the honor paid to Allan Macdonald by the Highlanders, made him brigadier-general of a command of his countrymen, which became a part of the ill-fated army that was defeated by the American patriots at the battle of Moore's Creek. He was captured and committed to Halifax jail, Virginia, as a prisoner of war. With misfortunes thickening around her, her husband in prison, her five sons away from home in the service of the King, her youngest daughter enfeebled by a dangerous [Pg 132] attack of typhus fever, and her adopted country in the throes of war, Flora Macdonald resolved, on the recommendation of her imprisoned husband, to return to Scotland, and, having obtained a passport through the kind offices of Captain Ingram, of the American army, she went to Wilmington, and later to Charleston, whence she sailed in 1779.

Her Return to Scotland and her Last Days.

During this voyage she had the last of her notable adventures, in a sharp action between the vessel on which she sailed and a French privateer. She characteristically refused to take shelter below during the engagement, but appeared on deck, and encouraged the sailors, assuring them of success. She had an arm broken in this battle, and was accustomed to say afterwards that she had fought both for the house of Stuart and the house of Hanover, but had been worsted in the service of both.

When peace was restored between Britain and America, her husband was released from his long imprisonment, and returned as speedily as possible to Skye, where they continued to live comfortably and happily for eight or nine years. She died on the 5th of March, 1790, and was buried in the churchyard of Kilmuir, in the north end of Skye, her funeral being more numerously attended than any other that has ever taken place in the Western Isles.

FOOTNOTE:

[3] Three or four months after our visit to Inverness, I had the pleasure of meeting the sculptor of this striking statue, Mr. Alexander Davidson, of Rome, and of talking with him at large about the heroine of the Highlands.


[Pg 133]

CHAPTER XVII.

From Scotland to England—Western Route.

Stratford-on-Avon, September 13, 1902.

The finest expanses of heather that we saw in Scotland were on the great moors through which our train ran southwards from Inverness, a rolling sea of pinkish purple bloom, stretching for miles and miles on every hand. Farther down we enjoyed the picturesqueness of the Pass of Killiecrankie, but it was the history here rather than the scenery which interested us, for it was here that Claverhouse, the stony-hearted persecutor of the Covenanters, fought and won his last battle, but lost his own life. Still farther south, at Dunkeld, we were reminded of the heroic and successful resistance made by the staunch men of Galloway to the hitherto victorious Highlanders, well described in Mr. Crockett's Lochinvar, which, as many of my young readers know, is a sort of sequel to The Men of the Moss Hags.

In and around Perth.

The Tay at Perth is a noble stream. It is said that when the Romans came in sight of it, they exclaimed, "Ecce Tiber! Ecce campus Martius!" The scornful resentment which Scotchmen feel at this comparison of their beautiful river to the more famous Italian stream, which Hawthorne somewhere describes as "a mud puddle in strenuous motion," is expressed in the lines which Sir Walter Scott has placed at the head of the first chapter of his Fair Maid of Perth:

"'Behold the Tiber!' the vain Roman cried,
Viewing the ample Tay from Baiglie's side;
But where's the Scot that would the vaunt repay,
And hail the puny Tiber for the Tay?"

[Pg 134]

It has been whimsically said that Perth is the smallest city in the world, because it is situated between two inches. Inch was the old Scottish word denoting an island or meadow. We were most interested, of course, in the North Inch, where the judicial combat took place between the two clans, and in which Henry Wynd and Conachar were engaged. The name of one of these clans, the Clan Quhele, reminded me of the thrifty little town built up by the Highland Scotch element in eastern North Carolina. They called the town "Quhele." But the other native elements of the population, not appreciating Scotch tradition and what seemed to them an outlandish name, changed it in common use to "Shoe Heel," and this undignified designation of their town so completely ousted the other that the people by act of legislature had the name changed to "Maxton," that is, Mac's Town, for nine-tenths of the people in that region are Macs, and mighty good people they are, too. We visited the Fair Maid's House, and in the evening read the Magician's romance about her. Through the great kindness of relatives and boyhood companions of friends of ours in Richmond, who had the good fortune to be born and brought up in Perth, we were given every opportunity to see the interesting old city from every point of view, and both those of us who climbed to the top of Kinnoul Hill, which an old traveller once called "the glory of Scotland," and those of us who drove with the kind friends above mentioned to Scone Palace, whence the ancient crowning stone now in Westminster Abbey was taken, were fully agreed that the place richly deserved its affectionate name of "The Fair City." One member of our party made an excursion one day from Perth to Kirriemuir, the "Thrums" of Mr. Barrie's stories, while two others devoted the day to an excursion in the other direction to the [Pg 135] beautifully situated town of Crieff, world renowned as a health resort. Here we were most pleasantly entertained by the kind friends in whose delightful home I was a guest at Glasgow in 1896. Any one of the drives about Crieff on a perfect day, such as we had, will give one a new impression of the loveliness of Perthshire, the district of Scotland to which Sir Walter awards the palm for beauty.

On my former visit, I had made a detour from Perth, in this same direction, for the purpose of seeing Logiealmond, the "Drumtochty" of Ian Maclaren, which is only a few miles from Crieff, and had visited the Free Church, in which the young pastor of the Bonnie Brier Bush stories preached "his mother's sermon," and "spoke a gude word for Jesus Christ"; and the Established Church, where, under a big elm, the nippy tongue of Jamie Soutar was wont to wag on Sunday mornings; and the farm of Burnbrae, and other places in the glen which has now become so famous. I am sorry to say that Dr. John Watson's later development, both theological and literary, has not been so satisfactory as was once expected.

Southwest Scotland and the English Lakes.

On our way down to Edinburgh we had a glimpse from the car windows of Loch Leven, and the island castle in which Mary Queen of Scots was confined to keep her out of mischief, and in connection therewith recalled what we could of The Monastery and The Abbot, the former one of the least successful, and the latter one of the most successful of Scott's romances. We had a glimpse also of Dunfermline, the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie, to say nothing of its ancient renown, crossed the Forth Bridge once more, made a brief stay in Edinburgh, and pushed on to Ayr, passing the battlefield of Ayrsmoss and other points of interest in connection with the Covenanters. [Pg 136] We could give only two days to Ayr, but saw the birthplace of Burns, Auld Alloway Kirk, Bonnie Doon, and the various memorials of the poet; then went to Dumfries principally to see the Burns monuments there, passing reluctantly through the Covenanter country without stopping. From Dumfries we crossed the border, passing the original Gretna Green, where for more than a hundred years the runaway couples from England were married, and went direct to Keswick, at the head of Derwentwater, for the purpose of seeing something of the English Lake District. Skiddaw is a noble and satisfying mountain. We were interested also in the memorials of Southey at Crossthwaite Church. But Southey is responsible for the severest disappointment that comes to travellers in the Lake District. By his artificial and jingling lines on "How the water comes down at Lodore," he has raised expectations which the poor little falls at the foot of Derwentwater cannot realize. The American who came there and sat down on a rock and watched the falls for a while, and then declared that there was at least a gill of water coming down, was hardly guilty of a greater exaggeration in one direction than Southey in the other. But there is no other disappointment about the scenery of the English Lakes. It is lovely. It is said that a famous classical scholar, preaching to a small congregation of rustics in the Lake District, said to them, "In this beautiful country, my brethren, you have an apotheosis of nature and an apodeikneusis of theocratic omnipotence!" We trust that the sentiment which he tried to express was all right, notwithstanding the insufferably pedantic form of it. Of course we took the coach from Keswick to Windermere, stopping for the night at Ambleside, and visiting the grave of Wordsworth hard by the clear and placid stream, an ideal resting-place for the poet of nature.

[Pg 137]

Chester and Lichfield.

Chester, with its quaint Rows, and red sandstone cathedral, and its high promenade on top of the walls encircling the old part of the town, and especially its Roman remains—for Chester is fundamentally a Roman town, as its name indicates (it was the Castra of the Twentieth Legion)—interested us, as did also Eaton Hall, the magnificent seat of the Duke of Westminster, three miles distant; but we had rain, rain, rain, and besides, we had lingered so long in the fascinating "land of the mountain and the flood" that we were anxious to push on to places of still more interest to us. So we did not tarry there long. We treated Coventry, Kenilworth, Leamington, and even Lichfield, in the same touch-and-go fashion. We could not bring ourselves to omit Lichfield altogether, partly because of its lovely cathedral, but chiefly because it was the town of Dr. Samuel Johnson, the greatest man of books that ever lived. Therefore, we stopped there long enough to go through the rich collection of Johnson relics in the house where he was brought up, to study the monument to him in the marketplace in front, and to inspect the cathedral. Boswell's Life of Johnson is the best biography in the English language. The careful reading of it is a pretty thorough education in literature. I fear it is not read as much as it used to be. People are too much occupied with the ephemeral effusions of contemporary mediocrities to read the great books.

Our visit to this town reminded me of a story that I had read years ago of a certain bishop of Lichfield who had a reputation for repartee and ready replies to difficult questions. In a crowded room one evening, when it was not known that the bishop was present, the conversation turned to this aptness of his, and a man said, "I should [Pg 138] like to meet that bishop of Lichfield; I'd put a question to him that would puzzle him."

"Very well," said a voice from another corner, "now is your time, for I am the bishop."

The first speaker was somewhat taken aback, but recovered himself sufficiently to say, "Well, my lord, can you tell me the way to heaven?"

"Nothing easier," answered the bishop, "you have only to turn to the right and go straight ahead."

The Shakespeare Country.

And now we are off for the Shakespeare country, not far away. Very different from the bold scenery of Scotland is that of this part of England. Here one sees—

"The ground's most gentle dimplement
(As if God's finger touched, but did not press,
In making England)—such an up and down
Of verdure; nothing too much up and down,
A ripple of land, such little hills the sky
Can stoop to tenderly and the wheat fields climb."

The most striking feature of an English landscape to an American eye is the extraordinary finish—lawns, fields, fences, houses, roads, are all such as can belong only to an old and prosperous country. An Oxford man, when asked how they managed to get such perfect sward in the college lawns, replied: "It is the simplest thing in the world; you have only to mow and roll regularly for about four hundred years."

At Stratford-on-Avon we stayed at the Red Horse Inn, Washington Irving's hotel when here. We visited Anne Hathaway's cottage, the school of the poet's boyhood, the ugly and staring Shakespeare memorial, and the other points of interest. It is familiar ground to most readers, and I shall refer to only two things.

[Pg 139]

The American Window at Stratford.

In the church where Shakespeare is buried there is an American window, not yet finished when I first saw it, and there was a box hard by to receive the donations of American visitors. The rich stained glass represents the infant Christ in his mother's arms, and on either side English and American worthies in attitudes of adoration. On one side are Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher Columbus and William Penn, representative pious Americans, and on the other Bishop Egwin of Worcester, "King Charles the Martyr and Archbishop Laud!" The fact that more than two thousand dollars have been contributed for this window is conclusive proof of the humiliating fact that a large number of the Americans who visit Stratford are ninnies. I venture the assertion that their admiration for Shakespeare is humbug, that they have not sufficient intelligence to appreciate his real worth, and that they could stand about as good an examination on the immortal plays as that King George who, after vain attempts to read Shakespeare, gave it up with the remark that it was very dull stuff. He was "clever just like a donkey," as one of our European guides said when we asked him about the intellectual grade of certain monks, and these citizens of a free country who give money for a monument to Charles I. and Archbishop Laud are equally clever. I was speaking of this window to one of the most interesting men I met in Scotland, my host, the learned and distinguished Dr. W. G. Blackie, and he put the whole thing into "the husk o' a hazel" with the remark that "Charles the First was one of the most incorrigible liars that ever lived." He was, and he was moreover the inveterate foe of every principle represented by the American Government. And yet Americans are contributing to a memorial window of him and Laud!

[Pg 140]

English in England.

As one wanders about the streets of the quaint English town he is beset from time to time by groups of children, who in a kind of humming or chanting chorus recite the leading facts in the life of Shakespeare, for which they expect, of course, to receive a small fee. The substance and sound of this curious monotone have been represented approximately as follows: "William Shykespeare, the gryte poet, was born in Stratford-on-Avon in 1564—the 'ouse in which he dwelt may still be seen—'is father in the gryte poet's boyhood was 'igh bailiff of the plyce—one who shykes a spear is the meaning of 'is nyme," and so on. In like manner the London newsboys say, "Pipers, sir?" As a friend of mine puts it, they do not "label your trunks" here, but "libel your boxes," and they call the Tate Gallery "Tight." That reminds me of the queer pronunciation of many proper names in Great Britain. Of course you know that Thames is pronounced Temz, and Greenwich Grinij, and Beauchamp Beecham, and Gloucester Gloster, and Brougham Broom. But did you know that Kirkcudbright was pronounced Kirk-coó-bree, that at Cambridge they call Caius College Keys College, and that at Oxford they call Magdalen College Maudlen College? The Cockburn Hotel at which we stopped in Edinburgh is called Coburn. So Colquhoun is Cohoon, Wemyss is Weems, Glamis is Glams, Charteris is Charters, Methuen is Methven, Cholmondeley is Chumley, Marjoribanks is Marchbanks, Ruthven is Riven, DeBelvoir is De Beever and Menzies is Mingis. Worse yet, Bethune is Beeten, Levison-Gower is Luson-Gore, Colclough is Coatley, St. John is Sinjun, St. Leger is Silleger, and Uttoxeter is Uxeter. But, then, we have in Virginia the name Enroughty pronounced Darby. High Holborn in London is 'I 'Obun. Some of their contractions are remarkable. [Pg 141] The name of Bunhill Fields, the great Nonconformist burying-ground, is short for Bone Hill. The famous charity school, where the boys wear blue coats, is called "The Blukkit School," instead of the Blue Coat School. Rotten Row, the fashionable track for horseback riders in Hyde Park, is an ugly contraction of the French words route de roi, the king's road, because there was a time when only the king was allowed to use it. I cannot leave this subject without telling you that the name of Dugald Dalgetty of Drumthwacket, who afforded you so much amusement when you were reading The Legend of Montrose, is called in Scotland Diggety instead of Dalgetty.

Other things of interest in this connection are that shoes are not shoes in England, they are boots. If you ask for shoes they will give you slippers. There are no overshoes, only galoches. No shirtwaists, nothing but blouses. You can't get a spool of thread, but a reel of cotton. Locomotive engineers are called "drivers," and conductors are called "guards." In Scotland all the church notices are "intimations."


[Pg 142]

CHAPTER XVIII.

A Visit to Rugby and a Tramp to the White Horse Hill.

London, September 20, 1902.

Tom Brown's School-days at Rugby.

One would think at first view that it would be as easy to write a good book for boys about school life as to write a good story about any other subject. But it does not seem to be so. At any rate, many gifted and practised authors have attempted it, with only moderate success. Archdeacon Farrar, one of the most versatile writers of our time, has given us a pretty good story of school life in his St. Winifred's, but the work is marred by its too constant appeal to morbid emotion. Mr. Rudyard Kipling, too, has tried his hand on a book for boys, and has only given us what Dr. Robertson Nicoll justly calls "that detestable thing," Stalky & Co. The less boys have to do with that kind of books the better. High hopes were raised by the announcement that the Rev. John Watson, D. D., of Liverpool, better known as "Ian Maclaren," author of Beside the Bonny Brier Bush, and many other exceedingly popular volumes, was to publish a book on school-boy life. It was known that he had the requisite talent, sympathy and humor, that he was a scholarly and high-minded man, and that he had sons of his own. Surely these are just the qualifications that a man ought to have in order to write an ideal book for boys. But Dr. Watson's book, Young Barbarians, was a disappointment. It has many true and bright and laughable things in it, and it glorifies manliness and pluck, but it often ridicules [Pg 143] the good boys of the school, the boys who give the teacher no trouble and perform their tasks faithfully, and it makes the most mischievous and lawless boy in school its hero. Besides, it is not one continuous story, but a group of sketches.

In short, I know only one book of this class having the first order of merit, and that is Tom Brown's School Days at Rugby. In my judgment, that is the best book for boys that has yet been written, the most natural, the most interesting, the most wholesome. It has an abiding charm. I read it as a boy, and I have read it again and again since I was grown. It is one of the books whose scenes I have always wished to visit. The opportunity came a few days ago while I was travelling through Central England with several youngsters, ranging from eleven years to fifteen, to whom I had read Tom Brown, and who wished to visit Rugby.

The Rugby of to-day.

The place is now an important railway junction, with a wilderness of tracks, and trains flying in and out in every direction. What a change in the mode of travel since the days of the Pig and Whistle which brought Tom down to Rugby! The school itself, however, is much the same—the venerable buildings and quadrangles; the doctor's house, with its wealth of vines; the wide sweep of green playground, where Tom had his memorable first experience at football, and "the island," as the mound on one side was called. On the bulletin board was an announcement about "hare and hounds," so that this splendid game, so finely described in the book, is evidently still a favorite. One marked innovation since Tom's time is the introduction of the military feature into the school. The boys are now regularly drilled, and in passing through the buildings one sees the rows of rifles neatly ranged along the [Pg 144] walls. It is one of many indications of England's effort to keep up a full stream of recruits for her army.

In the library we are shown the long gilt hand from the old clock in the school tower, the very hand on which Tom and East scratched their names as a suitable conclusion to a certain series of exploits; and, looking closely, we see the name "Thomas Hughes." He was the original of Tom Brown, and to him we are indebted for this unrivalled story of life at school. Just in front of the library building stands a singularly fit and vital bronze statue of Judge Hughes, represented as wearing a sack coat, informal, manly, keenly intelligent, kind and true—the very thing to appeal to boys.

I spoke above of the generally unchanged appearance of the buildings. But the library just mentioned is an exception, being new; and another exception is the very large and handsome new chapel of variegated brick, so that we no longer see it just as it was when Tom, on revisiting Rugby, knelt before Dr. Arnold's tomb, and lifted a subdued and thankful heart to God. But the remains of the great head-master still lie there, and on one side of the chapel is a good recumbent statue of Arnold, and just below it a similar one of his favorite pupil, Stanley, afterwards the celebrated dean of Westminster.

Our Expedition to Tom Brown's Birthplace.

We left Rugby regretfully, but we were not through with the scenes connected with Tom Brown, by any means, for, a few days later, while sojourning at Oxford, I proposed one evening to our young people that we should make an expedition to the White Horse Vale, where Tom was born, and where, moreover, we could see that most ancient, most striking, and most durable of Saxon monuments, the huge figure of a galloping horse, three hundred [Pg 145] and seventy feet long, cut in the hillside by removing the turf to the depth of a foot or two and exposing the white chalk beneath, made by King Alfred's soldiers to commemorate his great victory over the Danes at this place—to say nothing of a great fortified Roman camp on top of the same hill. The suggestion was agreed to with alacrity, and next morning, after an early breakfast, we took a train from Oxford down the Thames Valley, but at Didcot turned westward, and soon came to Wantage, the birthplace of Alfred the Great, of whom there is a statue in the marketplace, the native town also of Bishop Butler, the author of the immortal Analogy, and the residence at present of the notorious leader of Tammany Hall, New York, Richard Croker, who has his racing stables here.

The country through which we are passing is as flat as a Western prairie, but since leaving Didcot we have come in sight of a range of chalk hills covered with the greenest of grass, running parallel with the railway on our left, and distant some two or three miles. The highest point in this range is the White Horse Hill—our destination.

At Uffington Station we leave the train and begin our tramp, first of two miles to Uffington village, where, as we pass the parish school, we have the good fortune to see the children all out at play, as in the time when Harry Winburn taught Tom Brown that valuable trick in wrestling, and when Tom and Jacob Doodlecalf were caught by the wheelwright while performing in the porch in a manner not conducive to the gravity and order of the school.

The Highest Horse we ever Mounted.

The ground has been level thus far, but for the next mile or so it rises gently, the great white figure on the hill before us becoming [Pg 146] more distinct as we come around in front of it somewhat, and then when we come to the foot of the hill itself we find a sharp climb before us, and are presently going almost straight up. Up, up we go. Let us pause for a rest. Up again. Another pause. Now look back. What a lovely view! One more pull for the top, and here we are at last, standing on the broad tail of the White Horse, mopping our brows with our handkerchiefs, and panting with the exertion, while the wind blows a stiff gale from the west. But we yield the floor for a few moments to the man who first told us about this place:

What a hill is the White Horse Hill! There it stands right up above all the rest, nine hundred feet above the sea, the boldest, bravest shape for a chalk hill that you ever saw. Let us go up to the top of him, and see what is to be found there. Ay, you may well wonder and think it odd you never heard of this before....

The Roman Camp.

Yes, it's a magnificent Roman camp, and no mistake, with gates and ditch and mounds, all as complete as it was twenty years after the strong old rogues had left it. Here, right up on the highest point, from which they say you can see eleven counties, they trenched round all the tableland, some twelve or fourteen acres, as was their custom, for they couldn't bear anybody to overlook them, and made their eyrie. The ground falls away rapidly on all sides. Was there ever such turf in the whole world? You sink up to your ankles at every step, and yet the spring of it is delicious. There is always a breeze in the "camp," as it is called; and here it lies, just as the Romans left it.... It is altogether a place that you won't forget,—a place to open a man's soul and make him prophesy, as he looks down on that great vale spread out as the garden of the Lord before him, and [Pg 147] wave on wave of the mysterious downs behind; and to the right and left the chalk hills running away into the distance, along which he can trace for miles the old Roman road, "the Ridgeway" ("the Rudge," as the country folk call it), keeping straight along the highest back of the hills;—such a place as Balak brought Balaam to and told him to prophesy against the people in the valley beneath. And he could not, neither shall you, for they are a people of the Lord who abide there.

King Alfred's Defeat of the Danes.

And now we leave the camp, and descend towards the west and are on the Ash-down. We are treading on heroes. For this is the actual place where our Alfred won his great battle, the battle of Ash-down, which broke the Danish power, and made England a Christian land. The Danes held the camp and the slope where we are standing—the whole crown of the hill, in fact. "The heathen had beforehand seized the higher ground," as old Asser says, having wasted everything behind them from London, and being just ready to burst down on the fair Vale, Alfred's own birthplace and heritage. And up the heights came the Saxons, "and there the battle was joined with a mighty shout, and the pagans were defeated with great slaughter." After which crowning mercy the pious king, that there might never be wanting a sign and a memorial to the countryside, carved out on the northern side of the chalk hill, under the camp, where it is almost precipitous, the great Saxon white horse, which he who will may see from the railway, and which gives its name to the vale, over which it has looked these thousand years and more.

The Manger and the Dragon's Hill.

Right down below the White Horse is a curious deep and broad gully, called "the manger" [because it is right under the mouth of the White Horse], into one side of which the [Pg 148] hills fall with a series of the most lovely sweeping curves, known as "the Giant's Stairs"; they are not a bit like stairs, but I never saw anything like them anywhere else, with their short, green turf, and tender bluebells, and gossamer and thistle-down gleaming in the sun, and the sheep paths running along their sides like ruled lines.

The other side of the Manger is formed by the Dragon's Hill, a curious little round self-confident fellow, thrown forward from the range, utterly unlike everything round him. On this hill some deliverer of mankind—St. George, the country folk used to tell me—killed a dragon. Whether it were St. George I cannot say; but surely a dragon was killed there, for you may see the marks yet where his blood ran down, and more by token the place where it ran down is the easiest way up the hillside. So far Thomas Hughes.

As a truthful chronicler, I must record that some of our party, tempted by the precipitous slope covered with luxuriant grass, slid down the hill from the White Horse into the Manger, sitting down on the turf and letting themselves go, with the result of wrecking a pair of trousers or so, and carrying away some portion of the fertile soil of Berks to Oxford.

The Blowing Stone.

Passing along the ridgeway to the west for about a mile, we may come to Wayland Smith's forge, a cave familiar to readers of Kenilworth, but we content ourselves with a distant view, and, descending the hill, turn to the east, and, after a brisk walk of three or four miles, we halt under a fine old tree in front of a cottage door, to see another object described in Tom Brown's School Days at Rugby, the celebrated Blowing Stone, "a square lump of stone, some three feet and a half high, perforated with two or three queer holes, like petrified antediluvian rat holes." It is chained to the [Pg 149] tree and secured with a padlock. Instead of the innkeeper, for whom Mr. Hughes was so fearful lest he should burst or have apoplexy when he blew the stone, a very comely matron came out of the cottage and blew it for us—then we all blew it in turn. The sound is described exactly in the book: "a grewsome sound, between a moan and a roar, spreads itself away over the valley, and up the hillside, and into the woods at the back of the house, a ghost-like, awful voice." This stone is said to have been used in old times to give warning and summons in time of war.

In his other book, on The Scouring of the White Horse, that is, the scraping away of the accumulated sand and grass, which is the occasion every year for the gathering of the whole countryside for games and festivities, Judge Hughes gives the following ballad in the country dialect, which contains a reference to this use of the stone:

"The owed White Horse wants zettin to rights,
And the 'Squire hev promised good cheer,
Zo we'll gee un a scrape to kip un in zhape,
An a'll last for many a year.
"A was made a lang, lang time ago,
Wi a good dale o' labor and pains,
By King Alfred the Great when he spwiled their consate
And caddled [4] they wosbirds, [5] the Danes.
"The Bleawin' Stwun in days gone by
Wur King Alfred's bugle harn,
And the tharnin' tree you med plainly zee
As is called King Alfred's tharn."
The Effect upon our Appetite.

But the sun is now sinking westward, and we have still a long walk before us to the railroad, and in order to catch our train it [Pg 150] must be a rapid walk as well. We have been so much interested that we did not think of anything to eat until now, but the vigorous exercise has given us keen appetites, and we begin to inquire for food. None to be had. So we set out hungry on our forced march to the station, and by steady toil reach it a few minutes before the arrival of our train, having tramped thirteen long miles up hill and down dale since leaving the train there that morning. In the compartment which we entered were a couple of English ladies, who presently opened a small case of tea things, lighted a spirit lamp, and brewed their tea. Then they drank it. That was the best tea I ever—smelled. The delicious aroma of it tantalized and tormented our weary and hungry pedestrians for miles, and put an edge on our appetites that made obedience to the tenth commandment an utter impossibility.

It may seem incredible, but it is a fact that our friend, Mr. Bird, and two of the youngsters in the party, did four miles more on foot at Wantage later on in the same day. You may be sure there was hearty eating and sound sleeping when we all got back to our quarters at Oxford that night, well satisfied with our memorable visit to the White Horse and the Blowing Stone.

Our sojourn at Oxford, with her wealth of mellow architecture and her inspiring historical and literary associations,—our visits to Windsor Castle, Eton College, and Stoke Pogis, where Gray wrote his immortal "Elegy,"—and our excursions to Hampton Court, with its wonderful grape vine and its crowding memories of Wolsey, Cromwell, and William III., and to Kingston, Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens, Kensington and the Crystal Palace,—were all full of interest, but must be passed over here, as there are subjects of greater importance connected with London which will occupy all the remaining space that we can give to England.

MAGDALEN COLLEGE, OXFORD.

FOOTNOTES:

[4] Caddled, worried.

[5] Wosbird, bird of woe, of evil omen.


[Pg 151]

CHAPTER XIX.

The Most Interesting Building in the World.

London, October 2, 1902.

The Birthplace of the Shorter Catechism.

Some months ago, when the kind urgency of my friends made it plain to me that I should go abroad for a while, and when it was decided that certain young students of the Shorter Catechism in my family should go with me, I promised them a visit to the birthplace of that marvellous compendium of biblical doctrine, which for two hundred and fifty years has been such a weariness to the flesh of Presbyterian children throughout the English-speaking world, especially on Sunday afternoons, and which is such a priceless possession of their adult years when once thoroughly acquired in youth; but I told them that the condition on which alone I could take them with a clear conscience to the spot where that matchless little book was written, was that they should memorize it perfectly beforehand, and I had the satisfaction before leaving home of hearing them all recite it without a mistake; and, in order to retain with ease what was thus acquired with toil, they have continued to recite it regularly from beginning to end every Sunday afternoon. This is, of course, nothing more than hundreds of other children have done, and I do not mention it as anything remarkable, but only as suggesting one reason for the eager interest with which we were looking forward to our visit to a certain part of Westminster Abbey. And so, on the very first morning after our first arrival in London, as soon as we had finished [Pg 152] breakfast, we hurried down to the gray old minster, where, in the midst of the roaring city, so many of the restless makers of the world's history, literature and art are now quietly sleeping; for we intended, after seeing where the Westminster Assembly sat, to give a full morning to the other historical memorials of the Abbey.

The Coronation Postponed.

Imagine, then, our disappointment, on reaching the place, to find the Abbey closed, and to learn from the policeman at the door that no one knew when it would be opened again, certainly not for several weeks. You see, the building had been elaborately decorated for the coronation of King Edward VII., for this is where all the Kings of England have been crowned, from the time of William the Conqueror down; and while we were crossing the ocean King Edward became very ill and had to undergo a surgical operation, as we learned on landing at Southampton, and so the great ceremonies planned for June 26th had to be postponed. But the costly draperies used in the decorations were still in position, and had to remain till it should be seen whether the King would be well enough in a few weeks to receive the crown; and of course the public could not be admitted to the Abbey till these sumptuous fabrics had either served their original purpose or been removed. Happily the King did recover in a few weeks, to the great joy of his subjects, who, chastened and subdued by their sovereign's sickness at a time so critical, came to the coronation on the second date appointed, August 9th, in a more thankful, if less jubilant, temper.

The Abbey still Closed.

Meantime, however, we had gone on to Scotland, after three weeks in London, feeling sure that on our return there would be nothing to prevent our seeing the great Abbey to our hearts' content. But no; after two full months in Edinburgh and the [Pg 153] Scottish Highlands and the west of England, we found the Abbey still closed. The work of removing the temporary structures and hangings used at the coronation was still going on, a fact which suggests forcibly the extent of these preparations, and, perhaps, also the leisureliness of English workmen, who are probably not accustomed to doing things as rapidly as Americans. But we had no idea of being deprived altogether of a sight of the interior of the Abbey by their slowness. London is a place of endless interest to visitors; and so, though we had already given three weeks to the principal sights of the city, we contentedly settled down for two weeks more there, till the work in the Abbey should be finished. At last it was all done, and on October 1st the building was again opened. We were among the first on the ground, and gave two full days to as thorough an examination of the building and its unparalleled contents as was practicable within that time.

The Assembly of Divines.

Of this inspection of the Abbey and its monuments in general we shall have something to say after a while, but for the present let us turn our attention to those parts of the building which are associated with the work of the famous Assembly of ministers and other scholars who met here in 1643 by ordinance of Parliament "to establish a new platform of worship and discipline to this nation for all time to come," and to whose pious and learned labors, extending through more than five years and a half, and occupying one thousand one hundred and sixty-three sessions, the world is indebted for the Larger and Shorter Catechisms and that great Confession of Faith "which, alone within these islands, was imposed by law on the whole kingdom," and which, by its fidelity to Scripture, its logical coherence, and the majesty and fervor of its style, still commands [Pg 154] the adherence of a multitude of the clearest and strongest minds in Christendom.

The Two Places of Meeting.

The two parts of the Abbey especially connected with the work of the Assembly are at the two opposite ends of the building: the Chapel of Henry VII. at the eastern end, and the Jerusalem Chamber at the western; the one the most beautiful chapel in the world, the other a plain but comfortable rectangular room. Immediately after the service with which the Assembly was opened, and in which both houses of Parliament took part, and which was probably held in the choir of the Abbey, where the regular daily services now take place, the members appointed to the Assembly ascended the steps to the Chapel of Henry VII., and there the enrollment was made and the earlier sessions held. That was in summer, but when the weather became colder the Assembly gladly forsook the architectural magnificence of this chapel, called by Leland "the miracle of the world," for the comfortable warmth of the homely room at the other end of the Abbey; for, as Robert Baillie, "the Boswell of the Assembly," says in his delightful account of the proceedings, the Jerusalem Chamber "has a good fyre, which is some dainties at London."

The Two Types of Worship.

In this removal of the historic Assembly from the cold splendor of the finest perpendicular building in England to the plain comfort and common-sense arrangements of the little rectangular room where they were to reason together through so many months concerning the teachings of Scripture, one may see a parable of the Assembly's action in rejecting the ritualistic type of worship, with its predominating appeal to the æsthetic sensibilities through elaborate ceremonies, and its adoption of the New Testament type, with its predominating appeal to the mind through the oral teaching [Pg 155] of truth. They were convinced that the spiritual life can be really nourished and developed only by the intelligent apprehension of the truth. Their own statement of the matter, drawn up in this very room, is that "the Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the Word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith unto salvation." And so those churches which have adopted the standards then framed by the Westminster divines have steadily magnified the didactic element of public worship, accentuating the teaching function of the minister to the extinction of the priestly.

Interior of the Jerusalem Chamber.

We pass from the nave of the Abbey through a door on the south side into the ancient cloisters, and, turning to the right, ring at the door of the janitor. A cherry-cheeked woman appears, and, when we state that we wish to see the Jerusalem Chamber, she brings a key, turns with us again to the right, which brings us to the southwest corner of the Abbey, and ushers us through an ante-room into the celebrated meeting-place of the great Assembly, a rectangular room, running north and south, about forty feet in length by twenty in breadth, with a large double window in the western side opposite the spacious fireplace referred to by Baillie, and another fine window in the northern end, which, by the way, contains the finest stained glass in the whole Abbey.

A long table, covered with a plain green cloth, occupies the centre of the room, with chairs around it ready for convocation; for the room is still regularly used for the meetings of ecclesiastical functionaries, occasionally also for special gatherings of wider interest, the most notable of which, since the Westminster Assembly, was the series [Pg 156] of sessions held here by the company of scholars who had been appointed to revise the common English version of the Scriptures, and who, in 1885, brought that immensely difficult and important work to a successful conclusion by their publication of the Revised Version of the Old Testament.

This room has been the scene of many other memorable events, as we shall presently see, but none of them, nor all of them, can equal in interest and importance the work of that great Assembly which two hundred and fifty years ago formulated that lofty ideal of human life so familiar to us in the answer to the first question of the Shorter Catechism: What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever—a statement which has probably had a deeper and wider influence for good in the Anglo-Saxon world than any other twelve words ever written by uninspired men.

Exterior of the Jerusalem Chamber.

The Jerusalem Chamber, in which the Westminster Assembly of divines held its long sessions and did its immortal work, is a low building which runs along the southern half of the front of the Abbey, and is easily seen to the right of the main door in any picture of the great western facade. It strikes one at first as an architectural blunder, except as a foil to the lofty front of the main structure, but it has served many great practical uses. It was built about five hundred years ago, in the old days of monastery, as a guest chamber for the Abbot's house. I may pause here a moment to remind my younger readers of the fact that the word "minster," as in "Westminster," is equivalent to monastery, from the Latin monasterium, and the still more curious fact that the word has been preserved more nearly in its Latin form in the Monster Tavern and the Monster Omnibuses, well known in the immediate neighborhood [Pg 157] of the Abbey, which derive their name from the same ancient monastery now known as Westminster.

Origin of its Name.

The name, Jerusalem Chamber, seems to have been derived from the tapestries with which the walls were originally hung, and which portrayed different scenes in the history of Jerusalem. Before the meeting of the Westminster Assembly, however, these had been replaced by another series of pictures representing the planets, and it is to these that Baillie refers when he tells us that the room was "well hung." To the same keen observer, whom nothing escaped, we are indebted for the information that the light from the great window was softened by "curtains of pale thread with red roses." But the curtains and tapestries that Baillie saw have in turn given place to those which the visitor now sees on the walls, and which do not call for special notice here.

Death of Henry IV.

The first tapestries, however, those which gave the room its name, are connected with one of the most memorable events that ever occurred in this historic apartment, the death of Henry IV., in fulfillment, as the King thought, of the prophecy that he should die in Jerusalem. In his old age Henry projected a visit to the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, by way of penance for his usurpation, and when the galleys were already in port to bear him on his journey, he came to pay his parting devotions at the shrine of Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey. There he was seized with a chill, and, as the old chronicler says, "became so sick that such as were about him feared that he would have died right there; wherefore they, for his comfort, bare him into the Abbot's place, and lodged him in a chamber, and there upon a pallet laid him before the fire, where he lay in great agony a certain time." When borne to the bed, which had meantime been prepared for [Pg 158] him in another room, the scene occurred which is so graphically described by Shakespeare:

"King Henry. —Doth any name particular belong
Unto the lodging where I first did swoon?
Warwick. —'Tis call'd Jerusalem, my noble lord.
King Henry. —Laud be to God!—even there my life must end,
It hath been prophesied to me many years
I should not die but in Jerusalem;
Which vainly I supposed the Holy Land:
But bear me to that chamber; there I'll lie;
In that Jerusalem shall Harry die."
Imprisonment of Sir Thomas More.

But Henry IV. was not the only man who looked death in the face in this room. Many years later, when Henry VIII. was just beginning that infamous career of divorcing and beheading wives, and burning Protestants as heretics, and hanging Romanists as traitors for saying that the Pope was superior to the King in matters of religion—a career which has made his name one of the most detestable in history—Sir Thomas More, the noblest Englishman of his time, was arrested for his refusal to swear that Henry's marriage with Anne Boleyn was lawful, and on his way to the Tower of London was confined for four days in the Jerusalem Chamber. Shortly afterwards, under the act of Parliament which directed that every one who refused to give the King a title belonging to him was to be put to death as a traitor, Sir Thomas More was executed on Tower Hill because he could not honestly give Henry the title of Supreme Head of the Church of England.

Other dead bodies, too, besides that of Henry IV. have lain in this room. The body of Dr. South, the witty and eloquent court preacher, lay in state here. It was South who, when reading from the seventeenth chapter of the Acts the accusation of the Thessalonian mob against Paul [Pg 159] and Silas—"These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also"—remarked that it was well for the apostles to turn the world upside down, because the devil had turned it downside up.

Funeral of Joseph Addison.

From the Jerusalem Chamber the body of the illustrious essayist, Joseph Addison, after lying in state for four days, was carried forth in that memorable funeral procession at dead of night which was led by torchlight round the shrine of St. Edward and the graves of the Plantagenets to the chapel of Henry VII., the body being finally laid to rest opposite the Poet's Corner in the South Transept. "Such a mark of national respect was due to the unsullied statesman, to the accomplished scholar, to the master of pure English eloquence, to the consummate painter of life and manners. It was due, above all, to the great satirist, who alone knew how to use ridicule without abusing it; who, without inflicting a wound, effected a great social reform, and who reconciled wit and virtue, after a long and disastrous separation, during which wit had been led astray by profligacy, and virtue by fanaticism." So wrote Lord Macaulay of Addison, reminding us, at the same time, how Addison "was accustomed to walk by himself in Westminster Abbey, and meditate on the condition of those who lay in it"; and now Macaulay himself lies there close to the grave of Addison.

Sir Isaac Newton.

But the most illustrious man whose body has ever lain in state in the Jerusalem Chamber is Sir Isaac Newton, the great philosopher, whom his friends called "the whitest soul they had ever known," and of whom Pope wrote the celebrated couplet:

"Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night;
God said, Let Newton be, and all was light."

[Pg 160]

Such are some of the great names associated with the Jerusalem Chamber—Henry IV., Thomas More, Robert South, Joseph Addison, Isaac Newton—and to some of them the whole world is indebted, as to Sir Thomas More for his calm refusal to purchase his life at the cost of his convictions, and to Joseph Addison for all that he was as an author, a man, and a Christian, and to Sir Isaac Newton for his lofty character and his unparalleled services to the cause of human knowledge; but, after all, it may be doubted whether the world is more deeply indebted to any of them than to that body of thoroughgoing scholars and profound thinkers who in this room two centuries and a half ago formulated the statement that "effectual calling is the work of God's Spirit, whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel"—and one hundred and six other propositions concerning the most momentous interests of human existence, which for luminous condensation of truth have never been surpassed in all the history of the human expression of the doctrines of Scripture.

An Architectural Triumph.

Westminster Abbey is not wanting in architectural interest. Indeed, it is pronounced by Mr. Freeman the most glorious of English churches, and is said to be the one great church of England which retains its beautiful ancient coloring undestroyed by so-called "restoration." The exterior is singularly impressive, whether viewed from the east, where the exquisite lacework of Henry VII.'s Chapel, with its richly decorated buttresses, rivets the attention at the first glance; or from the north, where we face the north transept, the front of which, with its niches, its rose-window, and its great [Pg 161] triple entrance, is pronounced by Mr. Hare the richest part of the building externally; or even from the west, where, in spite of the two comparatively late and feeble towers, we have a noble front, the loftiness of which is well brought out by "the low line of grey wall which indicates the Jerusalem Chamber." The interior is still more beautiful, and, as we have already seen, this beauty culminates in Henry VII.'s Chapel, the loveliness of which is absolutely unrivalled in the whole world. In his very sympathetic essay on Westminster Abbey in The Sketch Book, Washington Irving says of this wonderful chapel: "On entering, the eye is astonished by the pomp of architecture and the elaborate beauty of sculptured detail. The very walls are wrought into universal ornament, incrusted with tracery, and scooped into niches, crowded with the statues of saints and martyrs. Stone seems, by the cunning labor of the chisel, to have been robbed of its weight and density, suspended aloft, as if by magic, and the fretted roof achieved with the wonderful minuteness and airy security of a cobweb."

Coronations and Burials.

But the intrinsic beauty of the building is only a small part of the explanation of the unique place which it holds in the interest of mankind. The two real reasons are suggested by Waller's lines:

"That antique pile behold,
Where royal heads receive the sacred gold:
It gives them crowns, and does their ashes keep;
There made like gods, like mortals there they sleep,
Making the circle of their reign complete,
Those suns of empire, where they rise they set."

Coronation and burial! Here the nominal kings are crowned. Here they and the real kings—those who by their genius and character really rule the race—are buried.

[Pg 162]

The Stone of Scone.

In the chapel of Edward the Confessor stands a scratched and battered wooden chair, six hundred years old, beneath the seat of which is inserted a thick, flat block of reddish sandstone. This is the celebrated Stone of Destiny, about the adventures and travels of which so many incredible stories have been told, from the time of its alleged use by the patriarch Jacob as a pillar at Bethel, till the time of its arrival at Scone, near Perth, in Scotland. It is certain that from the middle of the twelfth century all the Scottish kings were crowned on this stone, till it was captured and carried to London by Edward I., and that in the oak chair beneath which the stone was then enclosed all the kings of England since the time of Edward I. have been crowned, the last being Edward VII., on the 9th of last August. It has never been carried out of the church but once. That was when it was taken to Westminster Hall, across the street, that in it Oliver Cromwell might be installed Lord Protector. Thus it was that "the greatest prince that ever ruled England," as Lord Macaulay rightly calls him, the man who refused to wear the crown, but who wielded so much more of real power than any of those who did wear it that he placed England in the forefront of European nations and made her mistress of the seas, was not inducted into his office in the Abbey, where all the other sovereigns have been crowned since William I., but in Westminster Hall, which is also a place of extraordinary historical interest. The chair which holds the Stone of Scone, and the mate to it, made later and used for the queen consort, are, of course, covered with rich upholstering at the coronations, and much of the defacement of them is the result of driving nails into the wood for this purpose.

[Pg 163]

Whither the Paths of Glory Lead.

But the main attraction of Westminster Abbey is neither its architectural glory nor its connection with the crowning of the nation's sovereigns, but the fact that it is the chief sepulchre of Britain's great men. Not only is the building "paved with princes and a royal race," their memory a mingling of grandeur and of shame, but the uncrowned glories of the nation, the true and pure and gifted, lie there as well under our feet, or are commemorated in stone before our eyes. Some English sovereigns are buried elsewhere, as Charles I. at Windsor, and Victoria at Frogmore; some preëminent men of action also, as Nelson and Wellington at St. Paul's Cathedral; some authors, too, of the first order of genius, as Shakespeare at Stratford, Milton at St. Giles, and Goldsmith in the Temple yard at London; and so on, but nowhere else on earth have the ashes of so many great men been brought together as in Westminster Abbey. Moreover, to many who are buried elsewhere monuments have been erected in the Abbey; for instance, to the three poets who have just been mentioned. That of Shakespeare is a marble figure holding a scroll on which are inscribed these lines from the Tempest, peculiarly appropriate in the building where so much greatness is buried:

"The Cloud capt Towers,
The Gorgeous Palaces,
The Solemn Temples,
The Great Globe itself,
Yea all which it Inherit,
Shall Dissolve,
And like the baseless Fabrick of a Vision
Leave not a rack behind."

In St. Margaret's Church, hard by the Abbey on the north side, lies the decapitated body of another great [Pg 164] Englishman of the Elizabethan era, Sir Walter Raleigh, whose History of the World contains a passage which expresses, as no other within my knowledge has done, the feeling that comes to a thoughtful man as he walks through this solemn burial place of genius and power: "O eloquent, just, and mighty Death! whom none could advise, thou hast persuaded; what none hath dared, thou hast done; and whom all the world hath flattered, thou only hast cast out of the world and despised; thou hast drawn together all the far-stretched greatness, all the pride, cruelty, and ambition of man, and covered it all over with these two words, Hic jacet."

A sober autumn day, with the leaves changing and the atmosphere touched with melancholy suggestive of the passing of worldly glory, prepared us to feel the full force of Raleigh's sentiment, and, as we stepped through the doorway into the subdued light of the minster, and saw the multitude of white marble statues and tombs stretching through dim aisles and clustering in gloomy chapels, we were "hushed into noiseless reverence," and understood what Edmund Burke meant when he said, "The moment I entered Westminster Abbey, I felt a kind of awe pervade my mind which I cannot describe; the very silence seemed sacred."

POET'S CORNER, WESTMINSTER.
The Monuments of the Nave and Transepts.

Remembering that "too many tombs will produce the same satiety as too many pictures," and determined not to fill our minds with "a hopeless jumble in which kings and statesmen, warriors, ecclesiastics and poets are tossing about together," we began at the Poet's Corner, as every one should do on his first visit, and, merely glancing at the monuments of subordinate interest, gave our time to those of the men with whose lives and works we had some acquaintance from our former reading, thus spending a [Pg 165] whole morning in the two transepts and the nave. What a list of glorious names is afforded by even this meagre selection! Chaucer, Spencer, Browning, Tennyson, Shakespeare, Milton, Gray, Burns, Scott, Goldsmith, Coleridge, Southey (the last eight named being represented by monuments, but buried elsewhere); Thackeray, Addison, Macaulay, Garrick, Samuel Johnson (with his degree of LL. D. chiselled after his name in the unscholarly form of "L. L. D."—a thing which would have mortified him, and which one would not expect to find in Westminster Abbey), Charles Dickens; Dr. Busby (for fifty-five years head-master of Westminster School, celebrated for his extremely free use of the rod and for having persistently kept his hat on when Charles II. visited his school, saying that it would never do for the boys to think any one superior to himself);—all these and many more in or near the south transept; then in the nave, Major André (hanged by Washington as a spy), Lord Lawrence ("who feared man so little because he feared God so much"), David Livingstone, Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, Matthew Arnold, Charles Kingsley, Wordsworth, William Pitt, Charles James Fox, "Rare Ben Jonson"; then, in the north transept, Lord Mansfield, Warren Hastings, and others, among them the monument of the "Loyall Duke of Newcastle" (1676) and his literary wife, a most voluminous writer, who was in the habit of calling up her servants at all hours of the night to take down her thoughts, much to the disgust of her husband. When complimented on her learning, he said, "Sir, a very wise woman is a very foolish thing."

Pagan Sculptures in a Christian Church.

A great deal of bad taste has been displayed in the monuments of this transept. There is a colossal tomb by Nollekens, the worst but one in the Abbey, commemorating three [Pg 166] sea captains. It represents Neptune reclining on the back of a sea-horse, and directing the attention of Britannia to the medallions of the dead, which hang from a rostral column surmounted by a figure of Victory. "Is that Christianity?" asked a visitor, pointing to Neptune and the trident. "Yes," wittily answered Dean Milman, "it is Tridentine Christianity"—a remark which has an exceedingly keen edge, though it may not be appreciated except by those who have some knowledge of the relation sustained by the Council of Trent to the beliefs and practices of the Romish Church. The sculptors were for a time "weighed down by the pagan mania for Neptunes, Britannias, and Victorys." Goldwin Smith says, "Some of the monuments might with advantage be removed from a Christian Church to a heathen Pantheon, while some might be better for being macadamized."

The Nightingale Monuments.

The most striking monument in the Abbey, though Walpole calls it "more theatrical than sepulchral," is that of Lady Elizabeth Nightingale. In the lower part of the sculpture a skeleton figure, Death, has broken through the iron doors of the grave, and, grasping the ledge above him with one bony hand, is in the act of hurling his dart with the other at the lady, who with her husband occupies the upper part of the sculpture, and who is represented as falling back into the arms of her horror-stricken husband, while he makes frantic but futile efforts to shield her from the stroke. Wesley said Mrs. Nightingale's tomb was the finest in the Abbey, as showing "common sense among heaps of unmeaning stone and marble"; but Washington Irving, while granting that the whole group is executed with terrible truth and spirit, says it appears to him horrible rather than sublime, and asks, "Why should we thus seek to clothe death with unnecessary terrors, and to spread horrors [Pg 167] round the tomb of those we love? The grave should be surrounded by everything that might inspire tenderness and veneration for the dead; or that might win the living to virtue. It is the place, not of disgust and dismay, but of sorrow and meditation."


[Pg 168]

CHAPTER XX.

The Royal Chapels in Westminster Abbey.

London, October 2, 1902.

A Hard-hearted Verger.

We had reserved our last day in London for a visit to the eastern part of the great Abbey, where nearly all the kings and queens of England are buried. There is a charge of sixpence for admission to this part of the building. When we had paid our fees a black robed, bullet-headed, hard-voiced verger led us rapidly, along with a big crowd of other sightseers, from one chapel to another, pointing out one or two objects of special interest in each, and speaking a few words of explanation. Thus we were "railroaded" through the Royal Chapels in the most tantalizing manner. When we were all turned out of the iron gate at the end of this rapid round, with our heads full of a jumble of kings and queens, and other notables, our little party lingered to parley with our burly conductor, in the hope of getting more time in this fascinating part of the Abbey; but, though a shilling is a wonder-worker in England, and though we offered to pay another fee each for the privilege of remaining a while longer, our guide was for some reason obdurate. It should be added, in justice to him, that this was only the second day that the Abbey had been opened to visitors, after being closed throughout the greater part of the summer on account of the coronation, and consequently there was a much larger number of visitors for the vergers to handle than usual.

[Pg 169]

A Courteous Sub-Dean.

We were not yet beaten, however. After a brief "council of war," two of us walked out through the cloisters, rang at the door of the sub-Dean's residence, and, learning that he was not in, left a note for him, explaining our disappointment at having waited so long for the Abbey to open, only to find that we could get but a hasty glance at some of its most interesting parts, and asking him to give us permission to visit those parts at our leisure. On his return home, the sub-Dean, Canon Duckworth, very courteously wrote the desired authorization that we should visit the chapels "without a guide," and this permission was of use to some members of the party that afternoon.

Meantime it occurred to us that all vergers might not be equally ungracious, so, pending the Canon's answer to our note, we approached that one of the vergers who seemed to have the most benevolent face, informed him that we had just been through the chapels, but that our guide had given us very little time, and had not shown us the wax effigies at all, which we were very anxious to see, and asked him if he could not afford us a better opportunity. Unlike him of the stony heart into whose hands we had fallen at first, this one promptly and kindly granted our request, though doubtless expecting a fee, which, by the way, he deserved and received, and not only came with us himself to show us the wax effigies, but then gave us liberty to roam among the chapels at our pleasure. It was now dinner-time, but we gladly did without dinner in order to improve the opportunity thus secured, and set about a leisurely and thorough examination of the contents of the chapels and adjoining rooms in the eastern half of the building.

The Wax Effigies.

The wax work figures in a chamber over one of the chapels are very interesting, and [Pg 170] should not be missed by visitors to Westminster, and yet I went through the Abbey some years ago without even knowing that they were there. We had a good look at them this time. They are effigies of notable personages, dressed exactly as they were in life. These effigies were carried at the public funerals of those whom they represent. The earlier custom was to carry the embalmed bodies of the kings and queens, with faces uncovered, at their funerals, but from the time of Henry V. these life-like representations were carried instead. Here is Queen Elizabeth, ugly and overdressed, as usual, with the diadem on her head, the huge ruff round her neck, the long stomacher covered with jewels, the velvet robe embroidered with gold and supported on panniers, and the pointed high-heeled shoes with rosettes—"gotten up," perhaps, pretty much as she was when, just a year before her death, she had allowed the Scottish ambassador, as if by accident, to see her "dancing high and disposedly," that he might disappoint the hopes of his master, King James, by his report of her health and spirits; she was then an old woman. There are few subjects more perilous for a man to write about than a woman's dress, and I may as well tell my readers that in the foregoing description of Elizabeth's finery I have closely followed good authorities.

Another of the effigies shows us the swarthy and sensual face of Charles II. He is dressed in red velvet, with lace collar and ruffles. Here, too, is the strong face and slight figure of William III., represented as very much shorter than Mary, his wife, who stands nearly six feet in height beside him. The fat figure of Queen Anne, and the very small one of Lord Nelson, with the empty sleeve of course, are among the most interesting. There are eleven in all still existing. A good many have disappeared.

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Mutilated Monuments.

The shrine of Edward the Confessor is raised upon a kind of platform mound, said to have been made of several shiploads of earth brought from the Holy Land, and is surrounded by the tombs of Edward I., the good Queen Eleanor, Richard II., Henry V., and others. Above the grand tomb of Henry V. are hung his shield, saddle and helmet. Upon it lies the headless effigy of the great king, which was cut from English oak and plated with silver-gilt. The head, which was of solid silver, with teeth of gold, was stolen from the Abbey centuries ago. Other tombs have suffered in the same way. The coffin of Edward the Confessor has been robbed of its funeral ornaments. The sceptre has been stolen from the hand of Queen Elizabeth. One of the beautifully modelled fingers of the recumbent marble statue of Mary, Queen of Scots, has been broken off, carried away as a souvenir, perhaps, by some conscienceless vandal.

In the two aisles on the opposite side of Henry VII.'s Chapel lie the remains of these two rival queens, Elizabeth and Mary, the one beheaded by the other,—a striking instance of the equality of the grave, and reminding us of Macaulay's description of the Abbey as "the great temple of silence and reconciliation, where the enmities of twenty generations lie buried."

I have only touched in the briefest manner a few of the many interesting monuments which throng the royal chapels. But there is one thing that I must write to you about before leaving the subject of Westminster Abbey finally, and that is the vacant space in the Central Eastern Chapel, where the body of the greatest man that ever ruled England once lay, and the story of why his body is not there now.

We have seen that Lord Macaulay speaks of Westminster [Pg 172] Abbey as "the great temple of silence and reconciliation, where the enmities of twenty generations lie buried." In the same strain, Sir Walter Scott writes:

"Here, where the end of earthly things
Lays heroes, patriots, bards, and kings;
Where stiff the hand and still the tongue
Of those who fought, and spoke, and sung;
Here, where the fretted aisles prolong
The distant notes of holy song,
As if some angel spoke again,
'All peace on earth, good will to men';
If ever from an English heart,
Oh! here let prejudice depart."

These are fine sentiments, and certainly the policy of the authorities of the Abbey has been broad enough in some respects, far too broad indeed, as many think, in the matter of admitting the bodies of men of skeptical views and evil lives to lie here alongside of the great and good in God's house.

Monuments Denied to Notable Persons.

But in some other respects the policy has been a narrow one. The erection of a monument here to Louis Napoleon, the late Prince Imperial of France, who fell in Zululand while fighting in the cause of England, was prevented by what has been called "the illiberal clamor of an ignorant faction." By the way, within the precincts of the Roman Catholic Oratory of Brompton, in West London, stands a statue of Cardinal Newman, the most distinguished of modern apostates, who forsook the English Church for the Romish; it was intended for Oxford, but was refused by the University, and not allowed a place in the streets of London. These two are not very good examples of the kind of narrowness to which I refer,—one can hardly blame the English churchmen for the [Pg 173] treatment accorded to Newman's statue,—they are simply instances which naturally come to mind in connection with the general subject. I will give an example presently of the complete triumph of prejudice in the exclusion from the Abbey of the greatest man of action that England ever produced.

The Objection to Milton.

Meantime, as leading up to that, let us note the remark of Dr. Gregory to Dr. Johnson when, in 1737, the monument of Milton was placed in the Abbey: "I have seen erected in the church a bust of that man whose name I once knew considered a pollution of its walls." He was referring to the action of Dean Sprat in cutting away a part of the fulsome epitaph on the tomb of John Philips which compared him to Milton, of whom he was a feeble imitator. "The line, 'Uni Miltono secundus, primoque paene par,' was effaced under Dean Sprat, not because of its almost profane arrogance, but because the royalist dean would not allow even the name of the regicide Milton to appear within the Abbey—it was 'too detestable to be read on the wall of a building dedicated to devotion.' The line was restored under Dean Atterbury," and, as already noted, a bust of the great Puritan genius was installed in the Abbey a few decades later, so that the triumph of prejudice in this case was short-lived.

General Meigs and President Davis.

The story reminds one of the action of General Meigs in removing the name of President Davis from the record-stone of the Cabin John Bridge near Washington. This magnificent aqueduct bridge, one of the largest and most beautiful single stone arches in the world, was erected by Jefferson Davis while Secretary of War for the United States, and of course his name, with those of the then President and other high officials of the government, [Pg 174] was placed on the completed structure. When the Civil War came on, and Mr. Davis was elected President of the Confederate States, General Meigs had the misfortune to lose a son in battle in Virginia. One can feel profound sympathy with him in such a bereavement, but does it not seem a small and childish thing that he should then have had Mr. Davis' name chiselled off the bridge in revenge? And has not his action, like Dean Sprat's, defeated itself? The blank made in the inscription excited curiosity and gave rise to questions, which brought out the whole story, and thus reminded many people who might otherwise have forgotten it, what eminent services Jefferson Davis had rendered to the united country before the unhappy division which made him the President of that portion of it with which his greater fame is now associated.

The Vindication of Cromwell.

To but few men in her long history is England so deeply indebted as to Oliver Cromwell. Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, written by a bitterly hostile and prejudiced contemporary, effectually blackened Cromwell's character for some two hundred years, the misrepresentation being continued by other royalist writers, such as Sir Walter Scott in Woodstock. Carlyle's publication of Cromwell's own letters proved that he had been grossly slandered, and put it beyond question that the Protector was a sincere and godly man and a true patriot, as well as the greatest man of action that had ever lived in England. This is the view taken of Cromwell by the more recent biographies of him, which have been coming from the press in significantly rapid succession, such as Hood's, Gardiner's, John Morley's and President Roosevelt's. So that in several senses Cromwell is coming to his own again, though his work seemed at one time to have failed utterly, and to have [Pg 175] been swept clean away by the restoration of Charles II. to the throne.

Treatment of his Dead Body.

It is of the indignities visited upon Cromwell's remains at the time of this Restoration that I wish to tell you. The great men of the Commonwealth and several members of Cromwell's family were buried in the extreme eastern end of the Abbey. After the Restoration they were disinterred from this honorable place of sepulture, and the only member of the Protector's family who was allowed to remain in the Abbey was his second daughter, Elizabeth Claypole, "as being both a royalist and a member of the Church of England."

The bodies of Cromwell, his son-in-law, General Ireton, and Bradshaw, the judge who had condemned Charles I., were dragged through London on sledges and hanged at Tyburn, and their heads were set up on the high roof-gable of Westminster Hall, the very building in which Cromwell had been made Lord Protector of the Commonwealth. It is safer to kick a dead lion than a living one. Fancy these valiant royalists treating Cromwell that way in his lifetime!

History of Cromwell's Head.

Cromwell's head having been embalmed before his burial, "remained exposed to the atmosphere for twenty-five years, and then one stormy night it was blown down, and picked up by the sentry, who, hiding it under his cloak, took it home and secreted it in the chimney corner; and, as inquiries were constantly being made about it by the government, it was only on his death-bed that he revealed where he had hidden it. His family sold the head to one of the Cambridgeshire Russells, and in the same box in which it still is, it descended to a certain Samuel Russell," who, being in need, sold it to James Cox, the keeper of a [Pg 176] famous museum. Cox in turn sold it, about the time of the French Revolution, for $1,150, to three men, who made a business of exhibiting it at half a crown per head in Bond Street, London. At the death of the last of these three men, it came into the possession of his three nieces. These young ladies, being nervous at keeping it in the house, asked Mr. Horace Wilkinson, their physician, to take charge of it for them, and finally sold it to him; and in his house at Sevenoaks, Kent, the head of Oliver Cromwell remains to this day.

It is a ghastly story, though I have been careful to leave out the most gruesome details.

To-day, immediately in front of Westminster Hall, where his head was first exposed in dishonor, stands a bronze statue of the Great Protector, with a Bible in one hand and a sword in the other,—erected within the last five years,—and doubtless the day will come when a monument of "the greatest prince that ever ruled England" will be given its rightful place in Westminster Abbey.


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CHAPTER XXI.

The Cathedrals vs. The Gospel.

London, October 2, 1902.

Original Significance of the Cathedrals.

Before saying what I had in mind when I remarked, in a former letter, that in some respects the English cathedrals had proved to be hindrances to vital religion, I wish to cite what Goldwin Smith says of the significance and beauty of these glorious monuments of mediæval piety: "Nothing so wonderful or beautiful has ever been built by man as these fanes of mediæval religion which still, surviving the faith and the civilization which reared them, rise above the din and smoke of modern life into purity and stillness. In religious impressiveness they far excel all the works of heathen art, and all the classical temples of the Renaissance. Even in point of architectural skill they stand unrivalled, though they are the creations of an age before mechanical science. Their groined roofs appear still to baffle imitation. But we do not fully comprehend the marvel, unless we imagine the cathedrals rising, as they did, out of towns which were then little better than collections of hovels, with but small accumulation of wealth, and without what we now deem the appliances of civilized life. Never did man's spiritual aspirations soar so high above the realities of his worldly lot as when he built the cathedrals." The last proposition is not true. What Professor Smith wished to say was that never did an outward, material expression of man's religion so far surpass all his other outward conditions. But even when thus stated, it must be remembered that these great structures [Pg 178] were not erected by those who inhabited the "hovels" referred to, but by kings, or nobles, or prelates who lived in palaces and rolled in wealth. Still, the cathedrals were built as an expression of religion. Religion in the Middle Ages expressed itself chiefly in the erection of these costly and splendid buildings, as it now expresses itself chiefly in missionary activity.

Their Æsthetic Influence.

Passing by, for the present, Westminster Abbey, Canterbury and Winchester, which excel all others in historical interest, and St. Paul's, which, though the largest of all, is modern, we may agree fully with Smith's estimate of the relative merits of the different cathedrals and the effect produced by them: that "Salisbury is the most perfect monument of mediæval Christianity in England"; that in height and grandeur the palm is borne off by York; in beauty and poetry, by Lincoln; that Norman Durham, "half church of God, half castle 'gainst the Scot," is profoundly imposing from its massiveness, which seems enduring as the foundations of the earth, as well as from its commanding situation; that Ely also is a glorious pile, on its unique mound among the fens; and that Wells and Salisbury are "the two best specimens of the cathedral close, that haven of religious calm amidst this bustling world, in which a man tired of business and contentious life might delight, especially if he has a taste for books, to find tranquillity, with quiet companionship, in his old age. Take your stand on the close of Salisbury or Wells on a summer afternoon when the congregation is filing leisurely out from the service and the sounds are still heard from the cathedral, and you will experience a sensation not to be experienced in the New World."

Having shown by these citations that Goldwin Smith is not indifferent to the æsthetic influence of the cathedrals, [Pg 179] I wish now to quote from him a final paragraph which states very well the practical point to which I referred in the outset:

Their Romanizing Tendency.

"The cathedral and the parish church belong to the present as well as to the past. Indeed, they have been recently exerting a peculiar influence over the present, for there can be no doubt that the spell of their beauty and their adaptation, as places of [Roman] Catholic devotion, to the Ritualistic rather than to the Protestant form of worship have had a great effect in producing the Neo-Catholic reaction of the last half century. Creations of the religious genius of the Middle Ages, they have been potent missionaries of the mediæval faith."

I wish to call special attention to this ominous feature of the influence of English cathedrals upon the forms, and thus eventually upon the spirit, of Christian worship. I am not unsusceptible, I think, to the glorious beauty of these stately buildings, or the spell of their exquisite music, or the fascination of their spectacular forms of worship. I shall never forget the solemn impression made upon my mind the first time I ever entered a great cathedral, when, at Chester, I stepped from the broad glare of outer sunshine into the cool, dim light of the minster, and heard the choir of white-robed, sweet-voiced boys responding with a prolonged, musical "A-men," accompanied by the great organ, as the priest intoned the English service. But I am clear, nevertheless, that Goldwin Smith is right in saying that by their adaptation to the ritualistic rather than the Protestant form of worship the cathedrals have been potent missionaries of the mediæval faith.

The Roman Catholic ideal of Christian worship is very different from that of Protestants. Its functionary [Pg 180] is a priest, who offers sacrifice, and performs the ceremonies of an elaborate ritual. Its appeal is chiefly to the senses and the æsthetic sensibilities. Protestants, on the other hand, hold that the minister is not a priest, but a teacher; his function is not the performance of ceremonies, but the inculcation of truth. The truly Protestant churches appeal chiefly to the mind rather than to the senses, they rely upon ideas rather than ceremonies, because they know that only by the intelligent apprehension of truth can the spiritual life be really nourished and developed. In a Romish church the central thing is the altar. In a Protestant church the central thing is the pulpit. In short, Romish churches are built for ceremonies, and Protestant churches for preaching. The cathedrals were erected as Romish churches. There was little or no thought of their being used for preaching. They were erected as expressions in stone of religious aspiration; they are "frozen music"; they are places for processions, and incense, and altars, and pictures, and vestments, and chants, but they are not adapted to preaching. They are too large, for one thing. No man could make himself heard throughout some of them. Nor was it intended that he should.

Their Charm for the Greatest of the Puritans.

It is an extraordinary paradox that the finest expression in any language of the idea which lay in the minds of those who built the cathedrals was given by a Puritan writer:

"But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloisters pale;
And love the high embowe'd roof
With antique pillars massy proof:
And storied windows, richly dight,
Casting a dim, religious light.
There let the pealing organ blow
To the full-voic'd choir below,
In service high and anthems clear, [Pg 181]
As may, with sweetness through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstasies,
And bring all heaven before mine eyes."

Thus Milton in Il Penseroso, the interpretation of which I must leave to the students of that exquisite poem. Only let it not be forgotten that in his Eikonoclastes, Milton ridicules the organs and the singing men in the King's chapel, as well as the "English mass-book" of the "old Ephesian goddess called the Church of England." I am sorry to say, Milton is at times vituperative in his prose writings.

A Half-reformed Church.

Let us be more respectful in our references to the Church of England. It contains many good people and has done much good work. Still, it is an indisputable fact that it never has been a thoroughly reformed church. Its origin as a separate church was different from that of the Reformed churches. Not through the protracted struggles of people and ministers did it win out clear from Romanism, with generally diffused and clear convictions of truth, as was the case with the really Reformed churches, but by the act of Henry VIII. detaching a certain portion of the Catholic Church from the papacy, for interesting domestic reasons, and making himself the head of the church. That was the origin of the Church of England as entirely distinct from the Church of Rome. Henry did not wish to become a Protestant at all, nor did he wish the people to change their religion, and, as a matter of fact, he had people burned alive for being Protestants. Of course, Protestantism did make progress afterwards under Edward VI. and Elizabeth, but there never was a sufficiently decisive break with Romish doctrine and Romish forms of worship. And, the architecture of the cathedrals and parish [Pg 182] churches being what it is, there has been a constant tendency to relapse to the Romish model outright.

If we seem to attribute too much influence to mere architecture, let it be remembered that the structure and arrangements of the college buildings at Oxford, which did not admit of family life, but were designed for the mediæval clerical students who were celibates, have had a tendency to revive the monk, and that, as a matter of fact, these Oxford colleges produced Newman and the other leaders of the Anglo-Catholic reaction in our day, to say nothing of Laud and his reaction two centuries ago.

Relics of Romanism.

How easily the cathedrals may aid Roman Catholicism, and how strong is the lingering influence of what Macaulay calls "that august and fascinating superstition," may be seen not only in the general character of the services, but also in certain details. Each cathedral has what is still called a Lady Chapel, that is, a chapel dedicated to Our Lady, the Virgin Mary. In the Lady Chapel of Winchester Cathedral is a series of highly prized wall paintings, of whose edifying character the reader may judge when he learns that one of them represents "the Virgin commanding the burial of a clerk of irreligious life in consecrated ground, because he had been her votary"; while another depicts a miracle by an image of the Virgin, which is bending its finger, so as to prevent a young man from taking off a ring, given him by his lady love, which he had placed on the image that it might not be lost or injured while he played at ball. "By this the young man was won to monastic life." Does this mean that he jilted the girl, or that she discarded him for losing her ring?

Again, the inscription on the tomb of the builder of that cathedral, William of Wykeham, the same who built the round tower at Windsor Castle, records his work as [Pg 183] bishop, politician, and founder of colleges, and concludes with this injunction:

"You who behold this tomb cease not to pray
That, for such great merits, he may enjoy everlasting life."

Finally, the most striking effigy on any tomb in Winchester Cathedral is that of a great dignitary of the Romish Church, Cardinal Beaufort, represented here by a very fine recumbent figure in scarlet cloak and hat. He was enormously wealthy, was four times Lord Chancellor of England, was present at the burning of Joan of Arc at Rouen, and is said to have burst into tears and to have left the horrible scene; but he persecuted the Lollards and gave a half million pounds to put down the Hussites in Bohemia, in which crusade he was general and legate. Yet here he lies, one of the most honored figures, in what is generally regarded as a Protestant church.

These points are sufficient to indicate what I mean by saying that the cathedrals have in some respects had an unfavorable influence upon the doctrine and worship of the Church of England.

Presbyterians also have Felt the Effect of them.

If at the Reformation every cathedral in Great Britain had been pounded to pieces by the iconoclasts, it would have been an immeasurable calamity to art, but it might have been a real gain for religion. At any rate, it is ritualism rather than religion that is now promoted by the cathedrals. Nor is the English Church the only one that has inherited these splendid but baleful monuments of mediæval Romanism. The Presbyterian Church has come into the possession of a few. The people of Scotland at the time of the Reformation, remembering their oppression and impoverishment by the great church establishments, and disregarding the more moderate counsels [Pg 184] of their leaders, smashed most of these buildings which fell to them, witness Melrose Abbey and many others—John Knox speaks of "the rascal multitude" that destroyed the buildings at Perth—but one or two they spared, for example, the Cathedral at Glasgow. It is maintained by some that the same tendency to ritualism manifests itself in these Presbyterian cathedrals as in others, though, of course, not to the same extent. Certainly our simple and scriptural forms of worship, with the prominence which they give to the preaching of the Word, suit a warm, home-like church, where everything can be heard, much better than they do a cold and vast cathedral of stone which is too large for any congregation that ever assembles in it, and where the voice of the preacher is lost among the lofty arches.

While the Presbyterians have in some cases not freed themselves completely from the Romish associations, and in the great buildings which were erected for Romish worship show something of the same tendency to undue ritualism, still I think it will be generally conceded that they severed the connection with Rome more effectually, on the whole, than any other church.

Protestant Simplicity more Impressive.

Nor did their worship lose in real religious impressiveness. Even Sir Walter Scott (who, though a Presbyterian elder, had a strong leaning to the ritualistic churches), in the twentieth chapter of Rob Roy, puts into the mouth of his hero this description of the Presbyterian service in the crypt of Glasgow Cathedral:

"I had heard the service of high mass in France, celebrated with all the éclat which the choicest music, the richest dresses, the most imposing ceremonies, could confer on it; yet it fell short in effect of the simplicity of the Presbyterian worship. The devotion, in which every [Pg 185] one took a share, seemed so superior to that which was recited by musicians as a lesson which they had learned by rote, that it gave the Scottish worship all the advantage of reality over acting."

The more I see of the high church "service" the more incomprehensible it seems to me that any thoughtful man can take any other view than the one thus expressed by Scott. The service he describes was indeed conducted in a cathedral, but it was in the crypt, the part best adapted to intelligent Protestant worship, on account of its smaller dimensions and better acoustics.


[Pg 186]

CHAPTER XXII.

Some Things for High Churchmen to Think About.

London, October 3, 1902.

It does not follow, from what I said in my former letter about the different forms of service in use among Episcopalians and Presbyterians, respectively, that the latter necessarily disapprove of the use of written prayers. So far is this from being the case that Calvin and Knox themselves wrote liturgies, though neither they nor their successors believed in the rigid prescription of fixed forms, but insisted upon ample freedom for the use of such original prayers as occasion demanded. The Book of Common Prayer itself, which is the product of every Christian age and Christian people, including Reformers, Presbyterians, Puritans and Lutherans, as well as Romanists and Anglicans, and which is used constantly by the Episcopal churches throughout the English-speaking world, owes no little to the influence of men of our faith and polity, and especially to that of the illustrious Genevan reformer, John Calvin. The General Thanksgiving, called "the chiefest treasure of the Prayer-Book," is said to have been composed by the Rev. Dr. Edward Reynolds, a distinguished Presbyterian member of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, and afterwards Bishop of Norwich. These prayers, as well as other parts of the Book of Common Prayer, are constantly used, in whole or in part, by many Presbyterian ministers when leading the public devotions of their people, and the more such models of prayer are studied by Presbyterian ministers in general [Pg 187] the sooner will they cease to deserve the reproach that their manner of conducting this important part of public worship is sometimes rambling, slovenly and unedifying. No minister of our time of any denomination was more acceptable and helpful in the conduct of this part of the service than the late Rev. Dr. Moses D. Hoge, of Richmond. His prayers were characterized in a preëminent degree by good taste and propriety of expression, as well as by unction. He was a diligent student of the best liturgies, such as those of Calvin, Knox and Cranmer. His biographer, speaking of "the elaborate and laborious preparation that he made for this service, as evinced by his papers," says: "Dr. Hoge's peculiar power in prayer was not merely the result of what is called the 'gift of prayer.' Not only his celebrated prayers on great public occasions were carefully written out, but from his early ministry he wrote prayers for every variety of occasion and service, and formulated petitions on every variety of topic."

The Huguenot Presbyterians in Canterbury Cathedral.

When we visited Canterbury Cathedral, the other day, we were reminded of another striking proof of the liberty of Presbyterian usage in this matter. The place is, of course, one that brings to mind innumerable events of interest, ranging all the way from the tragedy of Thomas a Becket's death to the comedy of the struggle that took place in St. Catherine's Chapel, Westminster, in 1176, between the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, a scuffle which led to the question of their precedence being decided by a papal edict, giving to one the title of Primate of all England, to the other that of Primate of England. One cannot help thinking, in connection with it, of the official titles of the two great Presbyterian bodies in our country, the technical title of the Northern Church being [Pg 188] the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, and the technical title of the Southern Church being the Presbyterian Church in the United States. Fuller's Church History gives a racy account of the scene referred to: "A synod was called at Westminster, the Pope's legate being present thereat; on whose right hand sat Richard, Archbishop of Canterbury, as in his proper place. When in springs Roger of York, and finding Canterbury so seated, fairly sits him down on Canterbury's lap (a baby too big to be danced thereon); yea, Canterbury's servants dandled this lap-child with a witness, who plucked him thence, and buffeted him to purpose." But far more interesting to us than the story of this undignified behavior on the part of these two dignitaries, and even more interesting than the thrilling story of Becket's murder, was the chapel in the crypt, where for three hundred and fifty years the Huguenots, who were welcomed by Queen Elizabeth and given the use of this part of the cathedral, have continued to use the ancient Presbyterian forms of worship which they brought with them when driven from France by Roman Catholic persecution. And it is a very interesting fact that the liturgy (in French) which they use is almost the same as the Book of Common Prayer, but immensely significant that the congregation continues to observe the Lord's Supper seated, after the Presbyterian form. The communion plates and cups, which we had the pleasure of taking up in our hands, were brought by the refugees to England three hundred and fifty years ago, but are still in use.

The Concomitants and the Intoning.

From what has now been said, it is clear that it is not altogether the use of the Prayer-Book which gives to the American Protestant worshipping in an Anglican church that curious feeling of strangeness and formalism. It is rather the [Pg 189] Romish-looking arrangements about the "altar," the crosses and candles and cloths, the vestments and processions, the turning of the people towards the east when they pray, the "vain repetitions" of certain parts of the liturgy, such as the Lord's Prayer, which sometimes occurs four or five times in one service, and the "intoning" of the service, that is, the literally monotonous recitation of the prayers, without any rising or falling inflection, every word being uttered in precisely the same tone, without the slightest variation. I do not mean that all these features always occur in every service. Sometimes one or more of them will be omitted, such as turning to the east in prayer, or intoning. For instance, Canon Hensley Henson, whom we heard a short time ago at St. Margaret's, Westminster, where the late Canon Farrar preached so long and so brilliantly, and who, though quite radical in some of his views, is the most thoughtful preacher among the ministers of the Anglican Church in London at the present time, did not intone the prayers which he offered, though his assistant did. I do not know whether Canon Henson's usage is from necessity or choice—whether it is because he cannot intone or because he does not care to do so, preferring to address the Almighty in the same natural and expressive tones which he uses in communications with his fellow-men.

Canon Hensley Henson at St. Margaret's.

Canon Henson does not look the least like the typical Englishman. His appearance is antipodal to that of the beefy, bluff, full-blooded John Bull. He is slender, clean-shaven, boyish, white, his face "sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought." His body may be delicate, but there is no lack of vigor about his mind. The strength and charm of his preaching, due chiefly to the freshness of the thought and the purity and clearness of the language—for he has [Pg 190] no marked advantages of presence or voice or manner—draw great crowds to St. Margaret's. We had to wait at the door for some time to let the pewholders have a chance, but when the word was given the crowd at the door poured in and quickly overflowed all the vacant seating space. Shortly after he began his sermon, which was read throughout, three ladies rose to leave the church, and I was not a little astonished to hear him stop and say, with what I thought was a touch of irritation, "I will wait till those ladies get out." No doubt it is vexatious to have people leave the church during the sermon, but no minister has a right to pillory anybody in that fashion, unless it is somebody who is known to be in the habit of interrupting the service in that way. The minister has no right to assume that people are doing a deliberately discourteous or culpably thoughtless thing. The probability is that one of the ladies in the group referred to was sick or faint and had to withdraw. This kind of rudeness may be naturally expected from some of the men who in our country have done so much to degrade the fine name of "Evangelist," but surely one does not expect it from a gentleman like Canon Henson.

Canon Henson on Anglican Narrowness.

While bound to criticise Canon Henson for this breach of good manners, I hasten to express my cordial admiration of his courtesy, courage, and Christliness in general, and especially of the power of his statement of the claims of Christian love against the Anglican custom of refusing to commune with Nonconformists. The most remarkable sermon preached by any clergyman of the Established Church during our sojourn in England was a sermon preached by him before the University of Cambridge on the text, "There shall be one fold and one Shepherd," in which he advocated the admission of Nonconformists to the sacrament. Hear him:

[Pg 191]

"The primary need of the hour is more religious honesty. In the classic phrase of Dr. Johnson, Churchmen beyond all others need 'to clear their minds of cant.' 'Let love be without hypocrisy' is the kindred protest of St. Paul. Bear with me while I bring these considerations to a very simple, indeed an obvious application. On all hands there is talk of Christian unity. Not a Conference or a Congress of Churchmen meets without effusive welcome from Nonconformists. A few weeks ago I sat in the Congress Hall at Brighton and listened to a series of speeches by prominent Nonconformists, all expressing the warmest sentiments of Christian fraternity. I reflected that by the existing law and current practice of our church all those excellent orators and their fellow-believers were spiritual outcasts; that, if they presented themselves for the Sacrament of Unity, they would be decisively rejected; that, in no consecrated building, might their voices be heard from the pulpit, though all men—as in the case of Dr. Dale, of Birmingham—owned their conspicuous power and goodness. The contradiction came home to my conscience as an intolerable outrage, and I determined to say here to-day in this famous pulpit, to which your kindness has bidden me, what I had long been thinking, that the time has come for Churchmen to remove barriers for which they can no longer plead political utility, and which have behind them no sanctions in the best conscience and worthiest reason of our time. I remembered that in my study, at work in preparation of the sermons which expressed my obligation as a Christian teacher, I drew no invidious distinctions. Baxter and Jeremy Taylor, Dale and Gore, Ramsay and Lightfoot, Döllinger and Hort, George Adam Smith and Driver, Ritschl and Moberley, Fairbairn and Westcott, Bruce and Sanday, Liddon and Lacordaire, [Pg 192] these and many others of all Christian churches united without difficulty in the fellowship of sacred science; it was not otherwise in my devotions. Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Nonconformist were reconciled easily enough in the privacy of prayer and meditation. The two persons whom I venerated as the best Christians I knew, and to whom spiritually I owed most, were not Anglicans. Only in the sanctuary itself was the hideous discovery vouchsafed that they were outcasts from my fellowship. I might feed my mind with their wisdom, and kindle my devotion with their piety, and stir my conscience with their example, but I might not break bread with them at the table of our common Lord, nor bear their presence as teachers in the churches dedicated to his worship. It seemed to me that the love so lavishly expressed in that Congress Hall must, at least on our side, be a strangely hollow thing. It is true that the presiding bishop reminded the Nonconformists that there were doctrinal differences which could not be forgotten or minimized, but this obstacle was effectively demolished by the debates of the Congress—debates which revealed the widest possible doctrinal divergence between men who, none the less, communicated at the same altars and owned allegiance to the same church."

What Canon Henson could see in Virginia.

Such a discourse from such a man in such a place naturally created a sensation in England. It would not have done so, as to its main point, in Virginia. Why? Well, the fundamental reason is that the average Virginia Episcopalian represents a much higher type of Christianity than the average English churchman, broader, sweeter, truer. Indeed, if there are in any church anywhere people of lovelier character, truer charity, and more genuine devotion to our [Pg 193] Lord than the evangelical Episcopalians of Virginia, many of whom it has been my good fortune to know long and intimately, I have never heard of them. I only wish the type was more common in some other parts of the country. Now, the things so trenchantly stated by Canon Henson in the foregoing excerpt are mere matters of course to the mind of your evangelical Low Churchman in Virginia. To him it is no uncommon thing to break bread with Christians of other denominations at the table of our common Lord or to hear the gospel preached by ministers of other churches from the pulpits of his own. I have heard it said that this fraternal attitude is deprecated by some of the younger clergy in Virginia of late, and that through their opposition this open recognition of other Christian people and their ministers is less common than it used to be. I should be sorry to believe it, and I know some facts which seem to disprove it. Four or five years ago I myself was invited to deliver the Reinicke Lecture to the students of the Episcopal Seminary at Alexandria, Va., and did so with a feeling of as cordial welcome as I had ever received anywhere in my whole life. I have been repeatedly invited to preach in Episcopal pulpits. When the General Assembly of our church meets in Lexington, Va., next May, you may rely upon it Presbyterian ministers will be invited by the rector of the Episcopal church there to supply his pulpit on Sunday, just as they are by the pastors of the other churches. More than that, I have a friend in the Presbyterian ministry, now a pastor in Baltimore, who not long ago, by invitation of the vestry of an Episcopal church in a Virginia town, not only occupied the pulpit and preached, but also wore the surplice and administered the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

[Pg 194]

Are Virginia Episcopalians Becoming Less Liberal?

It may be true that there is a reaction going on even in Virginia against this spirit of Christian fellowship, and that things of this kind are less frequent than formerly; but, if so, I am satisfied that it is a reaction with which the Virginia laymen have nothing to do, and which they will oppose as soon as they become aware of it, [6] and I am sure, too, that clergymen will not be lacking who will make a strong stand against it.

Decreasing Attendance in the Anglican Churches in London.

One or two other facts which may well be pondered by High Churchmen have been brought to light by the census of church attendance in London, recently taken by the Daily News of that city. The census shows that, while more than one-half of the five millions of people in London are Christian worshippers, there has been a decrease in church attendance of over one hundred [Pg 195] thousand since 1886, that this decrease has been almost entirely in the congregations of the Church of England, and that the attendance in the Established and Nonconformist churches is now about equal.

The census shows further that in wealthy districts the Established Church, as we might expect, has the majority. As was also expected, Nonconformists have a majority in middle-class districts. But, contrary to all expectations, Nonconformists are a majority in the working-class districts and among the very poor. It was often said that only the ritualists were getting hold of the poor, and many supposed the Salvation Army was doing great things amongst the lowest people. It is one of the surprises of the census that ritualism fails to attract the non-churchgoing classes.

In the proportion of the sexes present, in almost all cases the Episcopal churches showed two women to one man; in nonconformist churches the proportion of men was greater, being two men to three women. Does not this preponderance of men in the nonconformist congregations indicate clearly that if the Church of England is to retain her hold upon men she must lay less stress upon the appeal to the æsthetic sensibilities and more upon the appeal to the mind; that she must make less of the ornamental features of public worship and more of the didactic; less of millinery, music and marching, and more of the preaching of the gospel? As the British Weekly puts it:

"The great means of attracting the people is Christian preaching. Whenever a preacher appears, no matter what his denomination is, he has a great audience. Nothing makes up for a failure in preaching. The churches of all denominations, if they are wise, will give themselves with increased zeal and devotion to the training of the Christian [Pg 196] ministry. I have no doubt that it is for lack of a trained order of preachers that the Salvation Army has failed in London. Nor will any magnificence of ritual or any musical attractions, or any lectures on secular subjects, permanently attract worshippers. It can be done only by Christian preaching."

An Episcopalian Estimate of Presbyterian Preaching.

In this connection the following clipping from The Evangelist is not without interest, as showing that both the disease and the remedy are at least partially recognized by some observers within the English Church:

"A recent writer in The Guardian, one of the leading Church of England papers, laments the decay of preaching within his own communion, and is forced to contrast the conditions obtaining in Presbyterian churches with those which prevail in Episcopalian ones, to the obvious disadvantage of the latter. While it is true that the Church of England has some great preachers, as it always has had, the ordinary village vicar is scarcely mediocre. Such is not the case among the Presbyterians—in Scotland, with which the writer is familiar—or in America, Canada, Australia, or in missionary lands, where the same standards and ideals are in effect. Here are the characteristics of Presbyterian preaching as described by a Church of England critic:

"'Their ministry lays itself out for the cultivation of prophetical power, and not without success. In general, they are students of Hebrew, which the English clergy are not. The consequence is that for a good Old Testament sermon you must go north of the Tweed. In England we confine ourselves almost exclusively to the New Testament, not merely because of its transcendent importance, but because it is ground with which we are more familiar. But the loss to our people is great.

[Pg 197]

"'Then, again, the Scottish ministers are students of German theology. More or less they are at home in the writings of the great German thinkers, both orthodox and liberal. We, as a rule, are not....

"'One more point. In travelling through Palestine some years ago, with a view to the study of biblical geography, I was greatly struck with the preponderance of Scottish ministers who were there on the same purpose intent. I think it no exaggeration to say that they were in numbers to the English clergy as five to one. Evidently they regard it as a necessary part of that same biblical equipment they are so careful about, that they should with their own eyes realize the scenes of the sacred narrative. A pilgrimage to the Holy Land is now so easy, and is, moreover, to any thoughtful Christian teacher so fruitful in results, that it is a marvel it should not be made an ordinary addition to a university or theological college course. To any one who will go with a reverent mind and open eyes, and with his Bible as his Baedeker, it is an unparalleled experience for life. If it is objected to on the score of expense, I ask, How do the Presbyterian ministers, and a large proportion of Nonconformist ministers also, manage to accomplish it?'"

The Guardian itself, in an editorial comment on the decreasing attendance of men in the Anglican churches, says frankly that a large number of men are "repelled by the extremely low standard of preaching which prevails, and the comparative success of Nonconformity may be due in part to the attention which is devoted to the preparation of the sermon." "Another source of offence is the over-elaboration of musical services, and the practical exclusion of the congregation from any real share in prayer and praise. It is a fatal policy which drives the devout but unmusical away from our churches to [Pg 198] chapels in which they can find greater simplicity and greater heartiness. One of the surprises of the census has been that the Nonconformists have been found to be strong not only in middle-class districts, but in the regions where poverty abounds. The poor, we believe, are attracted by greater simplicity, and it must be acknowledged that the services of our Prayer-Book are difficult for the uninstructed to follow and to appreciate. There is a stage at which a greater elasticity of worship is needed, and for this we make no adequate provision."

According to the latest statistics, the relative strength of the Established Church and the free evangelical churches is as follows:

  Sittings. Communicants.
Established (estimated), 7,127,834 2,050,718
Free, 8,171,666 2,010,530
     
  S. S. Teachers. S. S. Scholars.
Established, 206,203 2,919,413
Free, 391,690 3,389,848

FOOTNOTE:

[6] December, 1903.— It was an immense satisfaction to me to learn, on my return to America, that in the matter of the proposed change in the name of the Protestant Episcopal Church, the laity had saved the day and decisively defeated the clerical delegates who represented the pro-Catholic sentiment, and wished to call their denomination the American Catholic Church, and thus make it appear that there was closer sympathy between Episcopacy and Romanism than between Episcopacy and Protestantism. In one diocese in particular, in which I have always felt a peculiar interest, although the Bishop in his opening address made a strong plea for the change, and although he carried the clergy with him, he and they were overwhelmingly defeated by the lay delegates. Would it not be a singular situation if the clergy, the official leaders of the people in spiritual things, should come to stand as a class for all that is reactionary or bigoted or trivial, while the people themselves represented the real spirit of Christ? There may be such a tendency on the part of the clergy in other dioceses, but I can hardly believe that it is true of those in Virginia.


[Pg 199]

CHAPTER XXIII.

Paris and Memories of the Huguenots.

The Hague, October 21, 1902.

The English Channel is one of the oldest ferries in the world. For two thousand years and more, men have been crossing it in all sorts of craft, but they have never yet found a way to do it comfortably when the water is rough, as it generally is. Our experience made us doubt whether the modern steamers that ply between New Haven and Dieppe are a whit more comfortable than the galleys of Julius Cæsar. Our boat was mercilessly buffeted by the winds. She rolled and plunged in every direction. It seemed to us that her propeller was out of the water half the time. If seasickness really is good for people, this Channel should be called a health resort. All the members of our party were violently sick except myself. We felt sure we had discovered one of the reasons why the shore to which we looked so wistfully is called "the pleasant land of France." Any land would seem pleasant after that dreadful Channel. At last we reached it, pale and wretched. As we entered the mouth of the river at Dieppe the huge crucifix overhanging the harbor reminded us that we were now in a Roman Catholic country. And a "pleasant land" it is in many respects. Our railroad journey to Paris through the fair and fertile Valley of the Seine made that quite evident.

The External Beauty of the French Capital.

We secured quiet and comfortable quarters close to the lovely Madeleine Church and only two blocks from the Place de la Concorde, the finest square in Europe, with the [Pg 200] Seine on one side, the Tuileries Gardens on another, the Champs Élysées leading from it in one direction, and the Rue de Rivoli in the other. London, as we have seen, is a dingy congeries of dingy towns built mostly of dingy bricks. Paris is sunny and bright, the streets are wide and clean, and the houses are uniformly handsome, being built of a light stone that gives the whole city an air of elegance. No doubt it is the most beautiful city in the world, it has a glitter and sparkle unmatched elsewhere,—but, gay as it seems, it has more suicides than any other city.

What we did not like about Paris.

We submitted to it, but could not enjoy the French custom of taking our morning rolls and coffee in bed. There are many other French customs constantly in evidence in Paris, but not to be described here, to which I trust our English and American people will never become accustomed. Modesty is not prominent among the virtues of the French, though of course there must be many good people among them. Vice flaunts itself more in Paris than in any city I have ever seen. There is a certain brazen shamelessness even in French art that one does not see in New York or London. But the collection in the Louvre is one of the richest aggregations of antiquarian and artistic objects in the world, and surely no museum was ever so splendidly housed. The Moabite Stone, the oldest extant Hebrew inscription, was one of the things that we made a point of seeing. As we passed to another part of the great building, we had the pleasure of seeing the celebrated DeWet and the other Boer generals who were visiting Paris at that time.

In the rear of the Louvre stands the church of St. Germain l'Auxerrois. It was from the bell-tower of this church that the signal was given for the Massacre of [Pg 201] St. Bartholomew. On the other side of the Rue de Rivoli, and in plain view of this fateful tower, stands the pure white marble statue of Admiral Coligni, the most illustrious victim of that fearful massacre. What France needs to-day is the influence of that Huguenot element which she slaughtered and expelled at that time.

The Huguenot Name and the Huguenot Character.

Several names which are now among the most illustrious in the history of the world were originally used as terms of reproach. When Abram left his home in Chaldea and crossed the great boundary stream between the East and the West and settled in Palestine, the Canaanites dubbed him "the Hebrew," that is, the man who crossed over the Euphrates—intruder, interloper. But for ages "Hebrew" has been the honored designation of one of the most gifted and enterprising of the races of mankind. It is not unlikely that the name "Christian" was first applied in a contemptuous sense to the disciples of our Lord at Antioch. It is well known that the name of "Methodist," which is now the honored designation of a large, active and devoted body of the people of God, was at first given to the followers of Wesley in a spirit of ridicule and derision. In like manner, the name "Huguenot," according to its most probable derivation from a French word meaning a kind of hobgoblin of darkness, a night-wanderer, was given to the Protestants of that country, because there were times in their early history when, for fear of persecution, they dared not meet except under cover of darkness. But this term of reproach has gathered about itself all the glory that belongs to genius and skill in the useful arts, to industry, thrift and purity in the home, to patriotic valor on the field of battle, and to unpurchasable and unconquerable devotion to principle, and is now a name that is venerated by [Pg 202] every clear-headed and sound-hearted and well-informed and unprejudiced person in the world. It is a name which will wear forever the red halo of martyrdom. By the Massacre of St. Bartholomew alone thirty-five thousand names were added to the church's crimson roll of martyrs, with that of the great Admiral Coligni leading the list. By the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and the refusal of Louis XIV. to tolerate any exercise of the Protestant religion in France, while at the same time punishing inexorably all who attempted to escape from France, nearly half a million Huguenots were driven into exile, sacrificing their homes, their property and their country rather than renounce their religion; and Sismondi estimates that some four hundred thousand others perished in prison, on the scaffold, at the galleys, and in their attempts to escape.

Palissy, the Potter.

On our visit to the celebrated Porcelain Works at Sevres, a few miles below Paris on the Seine, our interest centered less in any of the works of art shown inside than in the fine bronze figure in front of the building which represents Bernard Palissy, natural philosopher, chemist, geologist, artist, political economist, Christian hero and author, of whom Lamartine himself said, "This potter was one of the greatest writers of the French tongue. Montaigne does not excel him in freedom, Rousseau in vigor, La Fontaine in grace, Bossuet in lyric energy." He was the inventor of enamelled pottery. For fifteen years he pursued his search for the secret of his art, scorned as a visionary, suspected of being a counterfeiter, reproached by his wife for the scanty living he provided for his family, sitting by his fire for six successive days and nights without changing his clothes, and, in his last desperate experiment, when [Pg 203] fuel began to run short and still the enamel did not melt, rushing into the house, breaking up his furniture and hurling that into the furnace to keep up the heat—his long and furious search being rewarded at last by the appearance of the beautiful white glaze which has made him famous. His transcendant merits as an artist were then fully recognized, and the Duke of Montmorency and Catherine de Medici became his patrons, the latter appointing him to decorate the gardens of the palace of the Tuileries. But in the meantime he had founded the Reformed Church at Saintes, and had revolutionized the morals of the community. He was seized, dragged from his home, and hurried off by night to be punished as a heretic. And the most brilliant genius of France would certainly have been burnt, as hundreds of others were, but for the accidental circumstance that the Duke of Montmorency was in urgent need of enamelled tiles for his castle floor, and Palissy was the only man in the world capable of executing them.

Few scenes in history can match that in the Bastile when this aged and gifted man lay chained to the floor, and Henry III., standing over him, and referring to the forty-five years of faithful and splendid service which Palissy had rendered, said, "I am now compelled to leave you to your enemies, and to-morrow you will be burnt unless you become a Roman Catholic." Then the fearless answer: "Sire, you have often said you pity me. I now pity you. 'Compelled!' It is not spoken like a king. These girls, my companions, and I, who have a portion in the kingdom of heaven, will teach you royal language. I cannot be compelled to do wrong. Neither you nor the Guises will know how to compel a potter to bow the knee to images."

[Pg 204]

Other Huguenot Heroes and Heroines.

French Protestantism is rich also in memories of heroic women. There is the record, for example, of Charlotte de Laval, sitting by her husband, Admiral Coligni, on the balcony of their castle, and asking, "Husband, why do you not openly avow your faith, as your brother Andelot has done?" "Sound your own soul," was his reply; "are you prepared to be chased into exile with your children, and to see your husband hunted to the death? I will give you three weeks to consider, and then I will take your advice." She looked at him a moment through her tears, and said, "Husband, the three weeks are ended; do your duty, and leave us to God." The world knows well the sequel.

Surely no right-minded person can refuse to honor such sacrifices for principle, such loyalty to conscience, such devotion to Christ. The Huguenots could have remained peaceful and prosperous in their own country had they but been willing to conform to the Romish religion.

The views I am expressing are not determined merely by my Protestant birth and training. In proof of this, let me quote to you the words of the Duke of Saint Simon, himself a Roman Catholic and a courtier of Louis XIV.: "The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes ... as well as the various proscriptions that followed, were the fruits of that horrible conspiracy which depopulated a fourth part of the kingdom, ruined its trade, weakened it throughout, surrendered it for so long a time to open and avowed pillage by the dragoons, and authorized the torments and sufferings by means of which they procured the death of so many persons of both sexes and by thousands together.... A plot that caused our manufactures to pass over into the hands of foreigners, made their states to flourish and grow populous at the expense [Pg 205] of our own, and enabled them to build new cities. A plot that presented to the nations the spectacle of so vast a multitude of people, who had committed no crime, proscribed, denuded, fleeing, wandering, seeking an asylum afar from their country. A plot that consigned the noble, the wealthy, the aged, those highly esteemed for their piety, their learning, their virtue, those accustomed to a life of ease, frail, delicate, to hard labor in the galleys, under the driver's lash, and for no reason save that of their religion."

Such are the blistering words of this eminent Roman Catholic nobleman in regard to the policy of the church of which he was a member. If a fair-minded member of that communion can thus condemn these horrible iniquities and thus extol the persecuted Huguenots as the best people in France, surely no Protestant should ever hesitate about recognizing clearly the world's debt to this pure and heroic people. And no well-informed Protestant ever does. The Rev. Dr. Croly, of the Church of England, late rector of St. Stephens, in London, expresses the opinion of all who know the facts when he says: "The Protestant Church of France was for half a century unquestionably one of the most illustrious churches in Europe. It held the gospel in singular purity. Its preachers were apostolic. Its people the purest, most intellectual and most illustrious of France."

France's Loss the World's Gain.

Now that is the church which was all but stamped out of existence by the fierce persecutions of the papacy two hundred years ago. And it is the remnant of that glorious church which now calls on all Christians to help it to give once more the pure gospel to priest-ridden, infidel France, and to deliver the nation from that fearful succession of bloody revolutions and Panama scandals and Dreyfus outrages [Pg 206] and shameless immoralities which have so largely constituted the history of that unhappy land since it butchered and banished the only class of its people who would have effectually kept its conscience true, its morality pure, and its institutions stable and sound.

Do we owe the Huguenots anything? Yes, the whole world is indebted to them. What France lost the other nations gained. The emigration of the Huguenots gave a death-blow to several great branches of French industry. The population of Nantes was reduced from eighty thousand to forty thousand, a blow to its prosperity from which it has not recovered to this day. Of twelve thousand artisans engaged in the manufacture of silk at Lyons, nine thousand went to Switzerland. The most skilled artisans, the wealthiest merchants, the bravest sailors and soldiers, the most eminent scholars and scientists went by thousands to Germany, Holland, England, enriching those lands in money and morals beyond computation.

The cause of civil and religious liberty is deeply indebted to the Huguenots. It was Oliver Cromwell, "the greatest prince that ever ruled England," who raised Britain to her present position of power and gave her the dominion of the seas. But it was William of Orange who completed Cromwell's work after the temporary reaction in favor of Rome and the Stuarts. It was the battle of the Boyne which finally decided that Great Britain and America were to be Protestant countries and not Romish. And do you know who it was that won the day for William on the banks of the Boyne? It was the three regiments of Huguenot infantry and the squadron of Huguenot cavalry hurled upon the Papists at the critical moment by the Huguenot, Marshal Schomberg. That is a part of your debt to the Huguenots for the civil and religious liberty which you enjoy to-day.

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In the Franco-German War of 1870, many of the officers of the victorious army of invasion were descendants of the Huguenots whom Louis XIV. expatriated.

"Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience he stands waiting, with exactness grinds he all."

The King of England himself is of Huguenot blood, George I. having married Dorothea, granddaughter of the Marquis d'Olbreuse, who was one of the Huguenot refugees to Brandenburg after the Revocation. Time would fail me to tell of all the scholars, scientists and noblemen of England who have sprung from the same great stock, such as Grote, the historian of Greece, Sydney Smith, the Martineaus, Garrick the actor, and a great number of gifted clergymen of the Church of England.

Many of the French churches established in London and other parts of England by the exiles have contributed for centuries to the vigorous religious life of Britain. For three hundred and fifty years the Presbyterian Huguenots and the Episcopal Englishmen have worshipped in different portions of Canterbury Cathedral, and to this day the Huguenot Church at Canterbury continues to conduct its worship in the cathedral in French, singing the psalms to the old Huguenot tunes. But for the most part, the exiles have become merged with the English, and their names have been Anglicised. In every way Britain has been enriched and blessed by the infusion of Huguenot blood and genius.

Huguenot Strain in America.

What America owes to Huguenot immigration you know. Had the Huguenots given us only Hugh Swinton Legare, John Jay, Francis Marion, [Pg 208] and Commodore Maury, "the pathfinder of the seas," we should have owed them an everlasting debt of gratitude. But when we remember what they have been in Virginia itself—the Maurys, Maryes, Michauxs, Flournoys, Dupuys, Fontaines, Moncures, Fauntleroys, Latanes, Mauzys, Lacys, Venables, Dabneys, and many others—we cannot fail to see that we are under great and lasting obligation to that heroic race, whose banishment, while it resulted in the moral ruin of France, resulted in the moral enrichment of America. And we should count it a privilege to do what we can to retrieve the religious ruin of misguided France by giving her once more the pure Huguenot gospel. From a statement published by the Rev. J. E. Knatz, B. D., Delegate of the Huguenot Churches of France to America, I take the following facts:

The Huguenot Revival in France.

The population of France is composed of six hundred thousand Protestants and nearly thirty-nine million Catholics. The former are mostly descendants of the Huguenots. In spite of centuries of persecution, which reduced them to a mere handful, they have not only kept their ground, but made important advance. They are the strongest bulwark of republican institutions. In the Dreyfus trial, they were foremost in forming a better public opinion, fighting the hardest for the triumph of truth and justice. Lately a Catholic paper had to admit, reluctantly, that for the last twenty-five years the war waged against intemperance, immorality and other social evils, had been the work of the Protestants.

Outside of France the Huguenots carry on a great missionary work in the French colonies, which are many and extensive. The religious reorganization of Madagascar alone cost them two hundred thousand dollars.

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In France they have to care for the spiritual welfare of an ever-increasing number of non-Protestant communities. The movement toward Protestantism is making great progress in the rural districts, the population of which, all Catholics, had been hitherto indifferent or bigoted. New Huguenot churches are springing up on all sides, often in places where Protestant worship had been abolished for over two hundred years.

The tears and blood our fathers shed, the torments they suffered on scaffolds and stakes, are bringing forth fruit after many years, and "the harvest is truly plenteous." In two departments of Central France alone, forty-five villages have, within a single year, besought our societies for regular Protestant services. To this church extension work alone the French Protestants contribute one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars annually.

Congregations of two hundred members (not one of whom was brought up in the evangelical faith), Sunday-schools of fifty children (none of whom a year before had ever heard of the Bible), are common results of our work.

Other missionary enterprises have to devise means of attracting audiences. With us there is no such difficulty, crowds gather wherever we are able to send ministers.

Where in the whole world could be found so promising a mission field—one ready to yield such rich returns? Where could be found people so eager to listen to the preaching of the gospel, and to have their children taught its lessons?

As well as a most promising, France is a most important mission field. The conversion, within the next few years, of some thousands of French people, would be of incalculable value to the religious and moral welfare [Pg 210] of the world, for France exerts a mighty influence throughout the world. Moreover, the outlay would be comparatively small.

There are men willing to bring the Bread of Life to the hungering crowds for a mere pittance, prompted, not by any worldly motive, but by the Spirit of God.

The salary of a minister is only four hundred dollars. This amount will send one more to some of the many localities from which urgent appeals have come; it will open a new district to the permanent influence of the gospel.

No movement of such size and promise has been witnessed in France since the time of the Reformation. It is the old light, the eternal light from above, dawning again on France, illuminating the approach of a new century and bringing hope for the future.

Let the Christians of America help the Huguenot Church of France in this great work of hers.


At the American Church in Paris, whose pastor, the Rev. Dr. Thurber, showed us many courtesies, we had the pleasure, a few days ago, of hearing a very striking address by the Rev. Merle D'Aubigné, son of the well-known historian of the Reformation, which abounded with equally awakening facts as to the present religious condition of France.

Paris is not only one of the most brilliant, but one of the most interesting cities in the world, from almost every point of view, and we revelled in its museums and monuments; but its memories of the Huguenots had more interest for us than anything else, and we have thought it best to devote our space to that subject rather than to the Louvre, the tomb of Napoleon, Notre Dame, Versailles, Fontainebleau, and the scores of other fascinating [Pg 211] places and subjects that appeal to one's interest in this ancient, gay, and terrible city.

We had a rainy day at Brussels and a cold one on the battlefield of Waterloo, but were not deterred from seeing them by these conditions of the weather. Then, with a comfortable feeling, almost like the feeling one has on coming home after journeying in strange lands, we crossed from Roman Catholic France and Belgium into Protestant Holland.


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CHAPTER XXIV.

The Making of Holland.

The Hague, October 22, 1902.

There is an endless variety of interest in the different countries of the Old World. Each has its own fascination for travellers. But, after all, the strangest, quaintest, cleanest and most picturesque country in Europe is Holland—little, wet, flat, energetic, heroic Holland. By calling it picturesque I do not mean that nature has made it so. There are no bold cliffs overlooking the sea, no heathery hills reflecting themselves in placid lakes, no soaring mountains, forest-clad or snow-capped, no waterfalls foaming and thundering among the rocks. It is not what nature has done, but what man has done, that makes Holland so picturesque. There is no country on the globe for which nature has done so little and man has done so much. By an energy and industry unsurpassed in the annals of the world, the Dutchman has wrested his land from the ocean itself, walling out its wild waves with huge dykes, and has converted this swamp into a blooming paradise, studded all over with prosperous farms and opulent cities.

A Land below Sea Level.

As the two most common names of this country themselves suggest, Holland meaning Hollow Land, and Netherlands meaning Lowlands, the greater part of it is from twenty to thirty feet below the level of the ocean; that is to say, the sea actually rolls some ten yards higher than the ground on which the people live. Hence the common remark, in which, however, there is some exaggeration, that the frog, croaking [Pg 213] among the bulrushes, looks down upon the swallow on the housetops, and that the ships float high above the chimneys of the houses.

Water as an Enemy.

Of course, then, there is the ever-present danger that the ocean will break in and again overspread all this fair territory where its waters once rolled, and only by the most remarkable ingenuity, the most incessant vigilance, and the most untiring industry can it be prevented from doing so. Water is the immemorial enemy of the Dutch. They are trained at college to fight against water, as in other lands soldiers are trained to fight against the human foes of their country. They are compelled to wage a perpetual battle for their very existence, for, as some one has expressed it, as soon as they cease to pump they begin to drown. It costs the Dutch people about six million dollars a year to keep their country above water, or, to speak more accurately, to keep the water above it. If one wishes to appreciate the imminence of this danger, he has only to stand for a few minutes at the foot of one of the great dykes on the coast, at high tide, and listen to the waves dashing against the outer side of the barrier, twenty feet above his head.

Dykes as Protectors.

Of course, the explanation of all this lies in the fact that Holland is of alluvial formation. Like Lower Egypt and some other regions at the mouths of great rivers, it is a delta land, the soil of which has been carried down from the interior by the Rhine and deposited here, little by little, in the course of the ages; so that Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have laid claim to the country on the whimsical plea that it was land robbed from other countries which were his by right of conquest. Moreover this particular delta lies farther below sea level than any other, Holland, as a whole, being the lowest country in the world. These vast and costly [Pg 214] embankments are therefore absolutely necessary to shut the ocean out and keep it out. The Dutch proverb says, "God made the sea, we made the shore."

But that is not all. In many places the dykes are no less necessary to prevent the country from being overflowed by the rivers, the beds of which have been gradually raised by alluvial deposits, so that now the surface of the water is considerably above the level of the surrounding country, as is the case in our own land with the Mississippi river at New Orleans.

How Dykes are made.

These huge ramparts, by which the sea has been made to obey the command of Canute, sometimes rise to a height of not less than thirty-six feet, and rest upon massive foundations a hundred and fifty feet wide. They are made of earth, sand and mud thoroughly consolidated so as to be impervious to water, and the surface is covered with interwoven willow twigs, the interstices being filled with clay, and the whole thus bound into a solid mass. Many of the dykes are planted with trees, the roots of which help to bind the materials of the structure more firmly together. Others are protected by bulwarks of masonry or by stakes driven along the sides, the surface being covered with turf.

Sand Dunes.

In addition to the directly aggressive action of the water, the sea has made trouble for the Hollanders in another way. Along the coast, low sand hills, from thirty to a hundred and fifty feet high, have been thrown up by the action of the wind and the waves, and, as these dunes, if left to themselves, are continually changing their shape, shifting their position, and scattering their loose sand over the fertile land adjacent, the people, in order to prevent this, sow them annually with reed-grass and other plants which will sprout in such poor soil, and the roots, spreading and intertwining [Pg 215] in every direction, gradually consolidate the sand, form a substratum of vegetable soil, and convert the arid sand dunes into stable and productive agricultural regions.

Canals.

Having thus made his land by walling out the sea and the rivers, and by anchoring those portions of it which were too much disposed to travel about, the Dutchman's next task was to provide drains for removing the superfluous water from the cultivated land, fences for enclosing the portion belonging to each individual farmer and separating it from that of his neighbor, and highways for communication and traffic between the different parts of the country. By means of canals he made the conquered water serve all three of these purposes. The whole country is a network of canals, which stretch their shining lengths in every direction, and which are of all sizes, from the main thoroughfares, sixty feet wide and six feet deep, along which glide the great barges laden with merchandise and drawn by sedate horses, down to the ditches of five or six feet which mark the boundaries of separate farms or divide the fields of each farmer from one another, canals being used in this way as uniformly as hedges and fences are in other lands.

Windmills.

Remembering, as already stated, that not only the surface of the water, but the beds of the larger canals are often considerably above the level of the surrounding country, it will be seen that the problem of drainage was not an easy one. The Dutch solved it by making the wind work for them. On every hand are seen windmills, larger and stronger here than in any other country, swinging their huge arms, and pumping up the superfluous water from the low lying ground to the canals, which carry it to the sea. These mills are used also for grinding grain, cutting tobacco, [Pg 216] sawing timber, manufacturing paper, and many other things for which we use water mills or steam mills.

Polders.

Of late, however, windmills have been to a large extent superseded by steam engines for purposes of drainage, especially in the making of polders, as they call the marshes or lakes, the beds of which have been reclaimed by draining. In this process, which is still actively carried on by speculators, the morass or lake to be drained is first enclosed with a dyke to prevent the entrance of any water from without. Then the water within is removed by means of peculiarly constructed water-wheels, driven by steam engines. Sometimes the lake is so deep that the water cannot be lifted directly to the main canal, and thus be carried off, and when this is the case a series of dykes and canals at different levels has to be made, and the water transferred successively from one to another. The land thus reclaimed is wonderfully fertile, since in wet seasons superfluous water can always be quickly removed, and in dry seasons thorough irrigation can be effected still more easily and quickly.

If these polders could be looked down upon from a balloon, they would have a very artificial appearance, something like gigantic checker-boards, as they have been mapped out with mathematical precision, divided into rectangular plots by straight canals and straight rows of trees, and furnished with houses all built on exactly the same pattern.

The most stupendous work of this kind ever projected is the proposed construction of an embankment which would convert the Zuider Zee into a vast lagoon, with an area of 1,400 square miles, two-thirds of which could be made into a polder. It is estimated that the work would cost $75,000,000.

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It is evident, therefore, that this little nation, which has accomplished such wonders in making its own land and in keeping it from being swallowed up by the sea after it was made, and which has in the past done such great things for liberty and learning, for manufactures and commerce, is still capable of great enterprises.

Entering Holland.

No boy or girl who has read Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates can ever think of Holland with indifference. No man or woman who has read Motley's stirring history of the heroic little republic in the Rhine delta can ever enter the Netherlands without a feeling of the liveliest interest. No lover of liberty who recalls the sufferings and services of the Dutch Calvinists in the cause of freedom, and the glorious victory they achieved against tremendous odds, can set foot on that sacred soil without a thrill of reverent gratitude.

The Scenery and the Scenes.

Such were some of the memories with which our hearts were warmed as our train from Brussels began to cross the bridges over the broad estuaries that make in from the sea through the low, flat country, in the neighborhood of Dordrecht and Rotterdam, and to run through an unmistakably Dutch landscape, with bright green fields divided into rectangular sections by hundreds of shining canals, and occupied by innumerable herds of black and white Holstein cattle, not a few of them actually wearing jackets, apparently made of burlaps or bagging, to protect them from the dampness; with level roads running along the tops of the dykes several yards above the surrounding country, and sedate looking horses drawing old-fashioned wagons, and brisk looking dogs drawing clattering milk carts, with their cargo of burnished cans; with innumerable rows of willow trees, the twigs of which the people use to make the covering of the dykes, and the wood of which they [Pg 218] use to make their heavy, pointed shoes, or sabots; with picturesque houses roofed with red tiles, and broad-built peasants working in the fields, wearing those same wooden sabots, and clean looking market women trudging into the towns in their exceedingly picturesque head-dress of gold helmets covered with lace caps; with stiff, symmetrical gardens, and trees clipped into fantastic shapes; with quaint old church steeples and gilded weather-cocks; and ever and anon a weather-beaten windmill swinging its great arms between us and the low horizon. This was Holland, beyond a doubt.

Rotterdam.

An interesting indication of the important part played by the dykes in the development of Holland is the number of towns which have been named from the dyke or dam originally built on a site, such as Rotterdam, Schiedam, Amsterdam, and so on. The first important place we passed was Rotterdam, the most active seaport of Holland, with a population of three hundred and twenty thousand, and from the high railway bridge on which we crossed the Maas we had a good view of the boompjes, as they call the magnificent quays, which, with their graceful fringe of trees and their tangled forest of shipping, line the banks of the river for a mile and a half. We caught a glimpse also of the bronze statue of Erasmus, the Dutch scholar, who, as some say, "laid the egg which Luther hatched." On a former visit to Rotterdam I had seen the birthplace of this illustrious man, bearing on its front the inscription, "Haec est parva domus, magnus qua natus Erasmus" (this is the little house in which great Erasmus was born.)

The Hague.

Leaving Rotterdam, we pass on our left Delftshaven, from which a party of the Pilgrim Fathers sailed to America in 1620; then Schiedam, noted for its "schnapps," of which there are more than [Pg 219] two hundred distilleries; then Delft, where William the Silent, the immortal founder of Dutch independence, was assassinated by a Jesuit whom the Roman Catholic persecutors of the Netherlands had hired to rid them of their great foeman, but which, I fear, is better known to some of my readers as the place where a certain blue-glazed earthenware used to be made in imitation of Chinese porcelain; and then, fifteen miles from Rotterdam, The Hague, one of the handsomest towns in Holland, with the Royal Palace, and in a lovely park outside the city the royal villa, called The House in the Wood, and two miles away on the sea the fashionable watering-place of Scheveningen, and in the city itself scrupulously clean and bright houses on every hand, where its two hundred thousand people live, and, above all, the picture gallery, with its two world-renowned paintings by Rembrandt and Potter, to say nothing of others scarcely inferior, if at all so, such as Vermeer's "View of Delft," with its red and blue roofs partly lit up with yellow sunlight, a simple view which "is perhaps unmatched by any other landscape in the world for the truthfulness of its atmospheric and light effects and for the vigor and brilliance of its coloring." Paul Potter's "Young Bull" is a marvellous picture, but the one which demands and repays the longest study is Rembrandt's "School of Anatomy," which shows us the celebrated Nicolaas Tulp, in black coat, lace collar and broad-brimmed soft hat, explaining the anatomy of the arm of a corpse to a body of surgeons, who listen to the lecture with the most life-like expressions, and which has been happily characterized as the truest and most life-like representation of the "working of intellect" ever produced.

A Presbyterian Government.

As we had reminded ourselves when visiting the royal residences that the young and [Pg 220] beloved Queen Wilhelmina is the only Presbyterian Queen in the world, so we reminded ourselves when visiting the Chambers of the States General that Holland is the only country in the world which has the good fortune to have a Presbyterian preacher for its Prime Minister. Of course, other countries have Presbyterian laymen for prime ministers, Mr. Balfour of Great Britain, for example, but Holland is the only one that has placed the helm of the state in the hands of a preacher. His name is the Rev. Dr. Abraham Kuyper, and he is one of the ablest and most versatile men in the world. His recent book on The Holy Spirit is the greatest monograph on that subject that has appeared since the work of John Owen. He has rendered a great service to the cause of vital religion in checking the rationalistic views of such men as Professor Kuenen, and strongly reasserting the evangelical doctrines to which Holland has been so deeply indebted in the past for the heroic character of her people, and the glorious position she holds in the history of human freedom. Though the Chambers were not in session when we visited the Binnenhof, we took special pleasure in having even the chair of Dr. Kuyper pointed out to us.

Unpresbyterian Church Buildings.

By the way, the cathedrals and other great churches of Holland erected before the Reformation strikingly illustrate how unfit such structures are for Christian worship, according to the simple New Testament model, especially for preaching the gospel. They are adapted only to the spectacular ceremonies of the Roman Catholics and other ritualists. Therefore, any Protestant community which has had the misfortune to inherit a cathedral from the unreformed period has an elephant on its hands. The Dutch people, being mostly Presbyterians, have had this experience, and, finding themselves unable to make the most effective use [Pg 221] of these great buildings erected for Romish rites, have allowed them to assume a very unattractive, dreary and barn-like appearance on the inside.

The question may shock our æsthetic friends, but, notwithstanding the incalculable loss to art, would it not have been better for the world if the Protestant countries at the time of the Reformation had macadamized all their cathedrals? And if any one hesitates to answer in the affirmative, let him consider carefully the connection between the modes of worship, and the character of the worshipper, and let him explain to himself clearly why it is that the countries which have adopted the Protestant model, with its steady appeal to the reason, and its earnest insistence upon intelligent apprehension of the truth, are the cleanest, safest, thriftiest and strongest countries in the world, while those which have adopted the Romish model, with its constant appeal to the æsthetic sensibilities, and its millinery, music, processions, incense, and "vain repetitions," are precisely the countries which have suffered the greatest material and moral deterioration, and which were not long ago contemptuously characterized by Lord Salisbury, the late Premier of Great Britain, as "decaying nations."


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CHAPTER XXV.

Leyden's University, Haarlem's Flowers, and Amsterdam's Commerce.

Utrecht, October 25, 1902.

We gave only one day to Leyden, ten miles from The Hague, but it was one of the most interesting days we have had in Europe. Taking a guide at the railway station, we traversed the quaint streets and crossed and recrossed the multitudinous canals, and climbed to the top of the great fortified circular mound of earth in the centre of the city, called the Burg, the foundations of which date from the tenth century, and from the top of which we had a unique view of the heroic old town and the peaceful homes of its fifty-four thousand people.

The Great Siege.

But one does not go far in Leyden without being reminded of the terrible siege to which it was subjected by the Spaniards in 1574. One such reminder is the bronze statue of the gallant Mayor Van der Werf, who defended the city in that siege and would listen to no suggestion of surrender. Another is an inscription on the front of the Stadhuis, which, translated, reads: "When the black famine had brought to the death nearly six thousand persons, then God the Lord repented and gave us bread again as much as we could wish"; and which in the original Dutch is an ingenious chronogram, the capital letters as Roman numerals giving the date, and the one hundred and thirty-one letters used in the original indicating the number of days during which the siege lasted. But, after a short and partial relief, the siege was continued in the form of a blockade [Pg 223] for many dreadful months. William of Orange finally cut the dykes and flooded the country, and relieved the famished city by ships.

A STRANGER IN LEYDEN.
A Unique Reward of Valor.

The story of Leyden which made the deepest impression upon me as a boy was that of William's offering to reward the citizens for this gallant defence either by exempting them from taxes for a certain number of years or by the establishment of a university in their city. To their everlasting honor they chose the latter, even in that time of distress and poverty, and the University was founded in 1575. Of course we wished to see the University which had such a history as that, to say nothing of the fact that we had heard of Leyden jars ever since we began the study of electricity at college, and that we knew something of a few of the men whose genius has at different periods since made the faculty one of the most illustrious in Europe, such as "the learned Scaliger," the famous physician Boerhaave, Arminius and Gomar, champions, respectively, of the two theological schools known as Arminians or Remonstrants and Calvinists, which in 1618 brought their differences to debate in the famous Synod of Dort; and, as is always the case when an opportunity for thorough discussion on the basis of Scripture is given, the result was a victory for the Calvinists. We remembered also with pleasure that Oliver Goldsmith, author of the immortal Vicar of Wakefield, was for a time a student at the University of Leyden; and we recalled with less pleasure that in our own day the faculty of the institution had furnished one of the boldest advocates of the destructive criticism of the Old Testament, Professor Abraham Kuenen.

Plain College Buildings Abroad.

It was a satisfaction to see it, though there is little to see; this University, like most of those on the continent, having very indifferent [Pg 224] buildings and appointments. The men who sometimes "kick" in American colleges and seminaries because the class-rooms and dormitories do not suit them, to say nothing of their board, would get a superabundance of that sort of exercise if they had to attend the average Dutch or German university. In fact, it has been intimated at times that there are men in American colleges and seminaries who belong to that class of people of whom it was suggested that they would grumble even after getting to heaven on the ground that their haloes didn't fit. Fortunately, however, these are very few, the great majority of our American students being not spoiled and fussy children, but manly, sensible, hard working, plain living, high thinking men.

John Robinson and the Pilgrim Fathers.

Before leaving Leyden we made a point of visiting the house in which the Rev. John Robinson lived. He was the leader of the first Puritans who were banished from England, and who, like the adherents of every other persecuted faith, found toleration and liberty in Calvinistic Holland. A bronze tablet affixed to the wall of the church on the opposite side of the street contains a bas-relief of the Mayflower, and states that it was at Mr. Robinson's prompting that the Pilgrim Fathers went forth to settle New England in 1620.

Horse Flesh as Food.

As we passed with our guide through what looked like an open-air beef market, he surprised us not a little by telling us that what the people were buying there was not beef, but horse flesh, which is much cheaper, adding that the worn-out dray horses and car horses of the English cities were regularly bought and shipped to Holland to be sold to the poor instead of beef. No doubt the people of Leyden became accustomed to much worse fare than that when, during the great siege [Pg 225] of 1574, the Spaniards were trying to starve them into resubmission to Roman Catholicism. But those conditions no longer exist, and the idea of eating horse flesh as a regular thing is not one which commends itself to our feelings.

Haarlem.

This place, seventeen miles from Leyden, also had experience of the tender mercies of the papal soldiery when, in 1573, after a gallant defence of seven months, it fell into the hands of the Spaniards, and the entire garrison, the Protestant ministers of the gospel, and two thousand of the townspeople were executed. Haarlem is now, and has been for two hundred and fifty years, famous for its horticulture. It supplies bulbs to every part of the world, and in the spring the nurseries around the city are ablaze with the brilliant blooms of the tulips, hyacinths, crocuses and lilies, whole fields of them in every variety of color, like vast natural flags of the brightest hues, lying on the flat surface of the country, and the whole atmosphere is impregnated with their delicious fragrance.

A Flower Boom.

Two centuries and a half ago, at the time of the "Tulip Mania," there was as wild speculation in bulbs as there has ever been in our day in stocks. Enormous prices were paid for the rarer bulbs. For instance, a single bulb of the species called "Semper Augustus" was sold for five thousand two hundred dollars. This statement will not seem incredible to any of my readers who have had bitter experience with the fictitious values created by the "booms" which cursed and crippled so many of our Southern communities a few years ago. The tulip craze in Holland had the same history: the mania subsided, the prices fell, many of the speculators were ruined, and before long a "Semper Augustus" could be bought for twenty dollars. Even that [Pg 226] will seem to most people a pretty high price for a single tulip bulb.

A Small Country.

We did not stop at Haarlem, as it was not the right season for the gorgeous display of flowers above referred to, that is, the latter part of April and the beginning of May, but pushed on to Amsterdam, which is only ten miles away. If the reader has taken account of the distances between these populous cities as they have been successively mentioned, and has observed how short they are, he will have received a very strong impression of the smallness of the country.

Amsterdam.

Amsterdam, the largest city in Holland, with a population of more than half a million, is built upon nearly a hundred islands, separated from one another by a network of canals and connected by means of some three hundred bridges, and is, therefore, sometimes spoken of as "a vulgar Venice," but, with its prodigious vitality, its crowded streets, its busy waters, and its financial eminence, it must be far more like the Venice which was Queen of the Adriatic some centuries ago than the stagnant and melancholy town which bears that name to-day.

Odoriferous Canals.

The water in the canals is about three feet deep, and below this is a layer of mud of the same thickness. It is said that, in order to prevent malarial exhalations, the water is constantly renewed from an arm of the North Sea Canal and the mud removed by dredging. I hope this process is effective, but there were unmistakable exhalations from the canals when we were there. Whether they were malarial or not I cannot say, but certainly they were unfragrant to a degree. Still, the evil smells of Amsterdam are not to be named in number and vigor with those of Venice.

[Pg 227]

A City Built on Stakes.

As in Venice, so here, all the houses are built on piles which are driven fifteen or twenty feet through the loose sand near the surface into the firmer layers below. Hence the jest of Erasmus, that he knew a city whose inhabitants dwelt on the tops of trees like rooks. They are not so secure on their perch, however, as the rooks. For, although the preparations underground are often more costly than the buildings afterwards erected above, yet, such is the difficulty of securing a firm foundation, and such the ravages of the wood worm among the fir-tree piles after they are driven into the sand and built upon, that many of the brick houses which were once erect are now considerably out of the perpendicular, and lean backwards or forwards or sideways, according as the piles have given way at one place or another. In 1822 thirty-four hundred tons of grain were stored in a grain magazine originally built for the East India Company, and, the piles being unable to sustain the weight, the building literally sank down into the mud.

The Business of Amsterdam.

Besides its importance as a mart for the tobacco, sugar, rice, spices, and other produce of the Dutch colonies in the East Indies, West Indies and South America (which, by the way, have a population of thirty-five million, that is, seven times as many as the little mother country), Amsterdam has a number of important industrial establishments, such as ship-yards, sugar and camphor refineries, cobalt-blue and candle factories, machine shops, breweries, and especially diamond-polishing mills, of which last there are no less than seventy, employing in all about ten thousand men. We visited one of these mills and watched the process for a few minutes.

The Jewish Quarter.

The art of polishing diamonds was introduced here in the sixteenth century by Portuguese [Pg 228] Jews, who, driven from their former homes by papal persecution, found in Protestant Holland an asylum, and, like the oppressed adherents of other creeds, secured the full religious toleration which they craved. They have ever since constituted an important part of the population of Amsterdam, and now number about thirty-five thousand. One of the interesting episodes of our visit was a drive through the poorer Jewish Quarter, with its swarms of untidy men, women and children. In this quarter and of this stock Spinoza, the philosopher, was born; and in this quarter, though not of this stock, Rembrandt, the painter, lived for fifteen years, in a house marked by a tablet, which those who are specially interested in art always wish to see.

Home of President Kruger.

Utrecht, twenty-two miles from Amsterdam, is an attractive city of one hundred thousand inhabitants. It interested us chiefly as the centre of the Jansenists, the redoubtable Roman Catholic adversaries of the Jesuits, and as the peaceful home of ex-President Kruger since his withdrawal from the stormy experiences of his life in South Africa. This venerable man, so remarkable on account of his public career, is of special interest to any one connected with Union Seminary in Virginia, because it was under the ministry of a former student of our Seminary, the late Dr. Daniel Lindley, who went as a missionary to South Africa more than sixty years ago, that Mr. Kruger was brought into the church. He lives in great comfort on the famous Malieban, which, with its triple row of lime trees, is one of the loveliest residential districts in Europe.

Queer Customs in Holland.

It seems odd that in a country where there is so much water, there should be so little that is fit to drink, and that in a country where land is so valuable the people should use any part of it for fuel, [Pg 229] and yet, not only does one constantly see dog-carts containing barrels of fresh water and loads of peat passing hither and thither in the towns, but at cellar doors in the side streets sign-boards are seen announcing "water and fire to sell," and at these places the poorer classes buy the boiling water or red-hot turf that they need to make their tea or coffee. Foot-warmers are very generally used by the Dutch women, and in some of the churches we saw immense numbers of these little fireboxes.

The Comfort of a Hot Water Bottle.

This reminds me to say, for the benefit of any of my readers who may be planning a trip to Europe, that two things are more conducive to comfort and health than a good hot-water bottle when one is travelling in Northern or Central Europe, for these lands are much colder than ours in spring, summer and autumn, and arrangements for heating the hotels either do not exist or are utterly ineffective. American tourists who do not observe this precaution are likely to need physic, and, by the way, the universal sign for drug stores in Holland is not the mortar and pestle, but "the gaper," that is, a painted Turk's head showing his tongue.

Domestic Store-rooms in the Top Stories.

In Amsterdam and other Dutch cities many of the houses, which are made of brick with light colored painting and have a very substantial and neat appearance, are narrow and high, standing with ornamented gable ends to the street, and have beams projecting from the gables with fixtures for hoisting goods to the top stories, which are used for store-rooms. These are not business houses, but dwelling houses of people well to do, and the windows and woodwork from top to bottom are scrupulously clean and bright.

[Pg 230]

The Original "Spotless Town."

Broeck, in the north of Holland, is said to be the original Spotless Town. We did not visit this place, but it is thus described by a writer in Public Opinion who has done so:

"The palings of the fences of Broeck are sky-blue. The streets are paved with shining bricks of many colors. The houses are rose-colored, black, gray, purple, light blue or pale green. The doors are painted and gilded. For hours you may not see a soul in the streets or at the windows. The streets and houses, bridges, windows and barns show a neatness and a brilliancy that are absolutely painful.

"At every step a new effect is disclosed, a new scene is beheld, as if painted upon the drop-curtain of a stage. Everything is minute, compact, painted, spotless and clean. In the houses of Broeck for cleaning purposes you will find big brooms, little brooms, tooth-brushes, aqua fortis, whiting for the window panes, rouge for the forks and spoons, coal dust for the copper, emery for the iron utensils, brick powder for the floors, and even small splinters of wood with which to pick out the tiny bits of straw in the cracks between the bricks. Here are some of the rules of this wonderful town:

"Citizens must leave their shoes at the door when entering a house.

"Before or after sunset no one is allowed to smoke excepting with a pipe having a cover, so that the ashes will not be scattered upon the street.

"Any one crossing the village on horseback must get out of the saddle and lead the horse.

"A cuspidor shall be kept by the front door of each house.

"It is forbidden to cross the village in a carriage, or to drive animals through the streets."

[Pg 231]

Thus, it appears that "Spotless Town" is not merely an ideal existing in the imagination of the man who writes the very clever verses placarded in our street-cars and elsewhere in praise of the cleansing properties of Sapolio, but a reality; and there are numerous places in Holland which in point of cleanliness would put to shame any of our American towns.

A Pardonable Mania.

Some one has said that the Dutch love of cleanliness amounts almost to a monomania, and that the washing, scrubbing and polishing to which every house is subjected once every week is rather subversive of comfort. And it would appear from the regulations above cited that the matter is sometimes pushed to extremes. But my experience as a traveller in some parts of my own country, as well as in some parts of other lands, has made me very tolerant of such a mania as that, and, when amid the filth of Venice or Naples, for instance, my mind has reverted to these clean Dutch towns, it has caused me to sigh—"O si sic omnes!"

Mr. Edward Bok on the "Mother of America."

I cannot resist the temptation to append to these letters about little, quaint, clean, energetic, heroic, learned, unpretentious Holland some extracts from an article of Mr. Edward Bok's which I have read since my return to America. He refers to the fact that twenty thousand more American travellers are said to have visited the Netherlands during the past summer than in any previous year, and to the fact that there is a rapidly increasing demand for books on the history of the Dutch people, as shown by the reports of the librarians in American towns, and he regards these as specimens of a group of facts which, taken together, indicate clearly that the reading world of America is beginning to appreciate the real extent of the strong Dutch influences which underlie American institutions [Pg 232] and have shaped American life. He says that for years we have written in our histories and taught in our schools that this nation is a transplanted England; that the institutions which have made this country distinctively great were derived from England. But he denies that England is entitled to this honor, and declares that the true mother land of America is not England, but Holland:

"Take, for instance, what may be truly designated as the four vital institutions upon which America not only rests, but which have caused it to be regarded as the most distinctive nation in the world. I mean our public-school system of free education; our freedom of religious worship; our freedom of the press; and our freedom of suffrage as represented by the secret ballot. Not one of these came from England, since not one of them existed there when they were established in America; in fact, only one of them existed in England earlier than fifty years after they existed in America, and the other three did not exist in England until nearly one hundred years after their establishment in America. Each and all of these four institutions came to America directly from Holland. Take the two documents upon which the whole fabric of the establishment and maintenance of America rests—the Declaration of Independence and the Federal Constitution of the United States—and one, the Declaration, is based almost entirely upon the Declaration of Independence of the United Republic of the Netherlands; while all through the Constitution its salient points are based upon, and some literally copied from, the Dutch Constitution. So strong is this Netherland influence upon our American form of government that the Senate of the United States, as a body, derives most of the peculiarities of its organization from the Netherlands States [Pg 233] General, a similar body, and its predecessor by nearly a century of years, while even in the American flag we find the colors and the five-pointed star chosen from the Dutch.

"The common modern practice of the State allowing a prisoner the free services of a lawyer for his defence, and the office of a district attorney for each county, are so familiar to us that we regard them as American inventions. Both institutions have been credited to England, whereas, as a matter of fact, it is impossible to find in England even to-day any official corresponding to our district attorney. Both of these institutions existed in Holland three centuries before they were brought to America.

"The equal distribution of property among the children of a person dying intestate—that is, without a will—was brought to America direct from Holland by the Puritans. It never existed in England.

"The record of all deeds and mortgages in a public office, a custom which affects every man and woman who owns or buys property, came to America direct from Holland. It never came from England, since it does not exist there even at the present day.

"The township system, by which each town has local self-government, with its natural sequence of local self-government in county and State, came from Holland.

"The practice of making prisoners work, and turning prisons into workhouses, and, in fact, our whole modern American management of free prisons which has caused the admiration of the entire world, was brought from Holland to America by William Penn.

"Group these astonishing facts together, if you will, and see their tremendous import: The Federal Constitution; the Declaration of Independence; the whole organization of the Senate; our State Constitutions; our freedom [Pg 234] of religion; our free schools; our free press; our written ballot; our town, county and State systems of self-government; the system of recording deeds and mortgages; the giving of every criminal a just chance for his life; a public prosecutor of crime in every county; our free prison workhouse system—to say nothing of kindred important and vital elements in our national life. When each and all of these can be traced directly to one nation, or to the influence of that nation, and that nation not England, is it any wonder, asks one enlightened historian, that some modern scholars, who, looking beneath the mere surface resemblance of language, seek an explanation of the manifest difference between the people of England and the people of the United States assumed by them to be of the same blood, and influenced by the same (?) institutions?

"Nor is it strange that so strong a Dutch influence should have entered into the establishment and making of America, when one considers the immense debt which the world owes to Holland. For it may be said without fear of contradiction that in nearly every art which uplifts and adorns human life, in nearly every aspect of human endeavor, Holland has not only added to the moral resources of mankind and contributed more to the fabric of civilization, but has also actually led the way. It was the first nation to master the soil and teach agriculture to the world. It has taught the world the art of gardening. It taught commerce and merchandise to the entire world when it ranked as the only great commercial nation on the globe. It taught the broadest lines of finance to the world by the establishment, in 1609, of its great Bank of Amsterdam, with one hundred and eighty millions of dollars deposits, preceding the establishment of the Bank of England by nearly one hundred years. The founding [Pg 235] of its great University of Leyden, in 1575, marked an epoch in the world's history of education, and made the Netherlands the centre of learning of Europe. Here was founded international law through Grotius, one of Holland's greatest sons. Here Boerhaave, a Dutchman, revolutionized medicine by his wonderful discoveries until Holland's medical school became the seat of authority for all Europe. From this centre, too, came that great lesson in the publishing of books in the shape of the famous Elzevir books. It was the first nation to place the reader and the spelling-book in the hands of the child, irrespective of station or means. As musicians, for nearly two hundred years the Netherlands stood supreme, and furnished all the courts of Europe with vocal and instrumental music. It was the Dutch who founded, in Naples, the first musical conservatory in the world, and another in Venice, and it was to their influence and example that the renowned school of Rome owed its existence.

"The starting of all these masterful influences would alone make a nation great. But these were only a part of Holland's wonderful contributions to the world's enlightenment. It went on and introduced to the world the manufacture of woollen cloth that marked an epoch in history, and followed this up by developing the manufacture of silk, linen, tapestry and lace until it made its city of Flanders the manufacturing centre of the world. It devised and presented through the Van Eyck brothers the wonderful discovery of oil painting, and revolutionized the world of art, and gave, in the person of one of these brothers, Jan Van Eyck, the originator of the painted portrait. Then came the invention of wood-engraving by a Dutchman, followed quickly by the printing of books from blocks; the substitution of movable type for the solid block of wood, and we have the printing-press—the [Pg 236] invention of which Germany may never concede to Holland, and yet the germ of which lay in the block books to which Holland lays unquestioned claim. But Holland need never squabble over a single invention. A nation that, in addition to what has been cited above, has likewise invented the telescope, the microscope, the thermometer, the method of measuring degrees of latitude and longitude, the pendulum clock, thereby putting before the world the beginning of anything which we can call accuracy in time, and discovered the capillary circulation of the blood, need not stop to split straws.

There is a wonderful charm in reading the history of a people who have done so much toward the enlightenment of the world, and not alone in one field of thought or activity, but in every field of human endeavor. The people of no nation make so bold and strong an impression on the mind as one after another of their achievements pass before one, and especially when it is considered that all these contributions to humankind were done with one hand while the other was busy in saving every foot of land from the rushing waters. But the people always remained cool, balanced and solid. That same patient but deep, perfervid spirit which built the dykes and saved the land with one hand, and opened those same dykes, built by the very life-blood of the people, with the other, and flooded the land against encroaching enemies—that same spirit built up a nation unrivalled in history as a financial, commercial, maritime, art, learning, medical and political centre, from which have radiated the strongest influences for the upbuilding of great empires—not only in the new Western world of America, but also in the far East of the Indies, and in the strong colonial establishment of South Africa. Her glory may be of the past, but he is indeed a rash prophet who would predict the [Pg 237] future of any nation, however small, on the face of the globe of to-day. Of some things the American traveller is to-day constantly convinced: that there is less intellectual veneer in Holland than in any other country in Europe; that there is more solid and abiding culture of the very highest kind, and that the modern Dutch family represents a repose of mind, a simplicity of living, and a contented happiness with life in general that we, as a nation, might well envy."


[Pg 238]

CHAPTER XXVI.

Up the Rhine and Over the Alps.

The Cologne Cathedral is the finest Gothic structure in the world. We had a perfect view of the majestic exterior from the windows of our hotel, but, of course, devoted most of our time to the still more impressive interior. It is no part of my purpose to descant upon these things which are described in all the books of travel. The city possesses other objects of interest besides its matchless cathedral, and some of them we visited, in spite of the weather. It was cold and wet, and we did not prolong our stay. But no conditions of weather could have deterred us from taking the steamer for our trip up the Rhine, rather than the railroad. It was late in the season. The summer tourists had long since returned to their homes in England and America. We had the boat pretty much to ourselves. We could hardly have fallen upon a worse day for the first half of our trip. It was not only cold, but foggy, and we could get only tantalizing glimpses of the shores now and then when the mist thinned a little. So it continued nearly all the way to Coblentz, where we landed and spent the night. We comforted ourselves, however, with the reflection that the finest scenery was farther up, and with the hope that we should have a better day for that part of the trip. And we had. The mist was rolling away rapidly when we rose next morning, and it soon disappeared, leaving us a fine autumn day. After listening to the exhilarating music of a military band which was serenading a young general near our hotel and after taking a look at the [Pg 239] noble statue of William I., and at the massive fortifications of Ehrenbreitstein, the German Gibraltar, on the other side of the river, we took the boat in better spirits, addressed ourselves with more zest than before to the volume of Legends of the Rhine, and thus began a delightful and memorable day.

The chief advantage of making this celebrated trip at this season is that one thus gets the opportunity to see the vintage of the Rhine Valley as it can be seen at no other season.

"Purple and red, to left, to right,
For miles the gorgeous vintage blazed."

Though, as a matter of fact, I believe that most of the Rhine grapes that we saw were white. The steep slopes of the hills among which the great river winds are covered with vineyards, the vines in rows as regular as ranks of Indian corn, and laden with millions of luscious bunches. The vintagers, men, women and children, in picturesque costumes and with huge baskets on their backs, were busy everywhere stripping the fruit from the yellow vines. The soil is kept in place by stone terraces. Above the line of the vineyards jut out the huge rocks of the mountains, their gray bastions alternating with forests robed in green, brown, red and yellow, and standing out boldly against the pure blue sky.

It is only by strong self-restraint that I can pass without special notice such a rock as Rhinestein, such a town as Bingen, and such a monument as that to "Germania" on the Niederwald, but it must be done.

November 15, 1902.

Wiesbaden and the German Woods.

Wiesbaden, the most charming of German watering-places, is a clean and handsome city, with broad and well paved streets, [Pg 240] many attractive shops and pleasant residences, excellent hotels, extensive and lovely parks, a sumptuous opera house, a less costly but very spacious music hall (where, by the way, we had the pleasure of hearing Frau Shuman-Heink sing), and a few large and costly churches, but with no adequate arrangements, so far as I could see, for the churching of its large population. The place owes its importance primarily to the Boiling Salt Springs, which here gush from the earth, and which have made this the great resort for rheumatics and the victims of various other ailments. It is also the home of one of the most celebrated oculists in Europe, whose patients come to him from every part of the world. The chief attraction for those who are fond of outdoor life is the glorious forests which stretch from Wiesbaden back through the valleys and over the Taunus Mountains. One of our young people has just been writing to the folks at home about an eighteen-mile walk through these woods, guided only by the blazed trees, and speaks with pardonable enthusiasm of "the blue-gray trunks outlined against the terra cotta carpet of fallen leaves, the sunlight glancing through the trees, and the gently waving branches against the azure sky. There is no undergrowth as in our forests at home, but there are here and there gray rocks, large and small, covered with fresh green moss, or with gray, pink and yellow lichen. There were rustic benches all along, but the forest was quite deserted except for an occasional woodman with a fire and piles of neatly chopped wood, or some little boys drawing carts filled with bundles of sticks for winter use."

November 20, 1902.

Worms, Heidelberg and Strasburg.

We spent three weeks at wholesome Wiesbaden, counting a day that we gave to Mayence, on the other side of the Rhine, [Pg 241] for the purpose of seeing the memorials of Gutenberg, the inventor of printing. Then we took the train for Worms. The chief "lion" here is, of course, the magnificent Luther monument, a thing which no visitor to this part of the world should fail to see. Recrossing the Rhine, we ran up to Heidelberg, and devoted a day to the fine old castle and the famous university—a stinging cold day it was, too. Nor did winter relax his grip at Strasburg, for there we had snow. One of the youngsters celebrated his birthday there by watching the noon performances of the world-renowned clock in the old Cathedral, our whole party going with him, the adults watching the wonderful mechanism with scarcely less interest than the children. The striking of that clock and the movements of its various figures and fixtures at twelve o'clock every day invariably draws a large crowd of people. We saw the storks' nests on the chimneys, too, but of course the storks themselves were down in the warm sunshine of Africa at that season.

November 23, 1902.

Switzerland in Winter-time.

Switzerland caps the climax of scenic interest in Europe—lakes, waterfalls, mountains, glaciers—language and pictures are alike unavailing to convey an adequate impression of this sublime scenery. My first views of it were in midsummer. On the 31st of July, 1896, at the top of the Wengern Alp, seven thousand feet above the sea, reached by rail all the way, my travelling companions and I had coasted on sleds over the snow like boys, wearing our heavy overcoats the while. Above us rose the Jungfrau, six thousand feet higher, piercing the clouds. As we watched, the clouds parted, and the white Jungfrau, wearing the dazzling Silberhorn on her bosom, burst upon our view. Never shall we see anything more beautiful till our eyes [Pg 242] rest upon the pinnacles of the celestial city. We were standing at the time on the Eiger Glacier, an immense mass of pale green ice covered with a snowy crust. Longfellow somewhere (in "Hyperion," I think) likens the shape of one of the glaciers to a glove, lying with the palm downwards. "It is a gauntlet of ice, which centuries ago Winter, the king of these mountains, threw down in defiance to the Sun, and year by year the Sun strives in vain to lift it from the ground on the point of his glittering spear." Aye, in vain. Winter is king. But the Sun now and then wrenches somewhat from his grasp. And even while we gazed speechless at the unearthly splendor of the Jungfrau and the Silberhorn we heard an avalanche fall with a crash like the end of the world. That night we sat before a roaring fire and wrote home about it.

THE LION OF LUCERNE.

That was my experience in midsummer. Now we were to see not only the great mountain tops, but the whole country, in the undisputed grasp of Winter. When we reached Lucerne, not only the high Alps, but all the mountains and hills, far as the eye could reach, were covered with snow. When we visited Thorwaldsen's celebrated Lion of Lucerne we found workmen with scaffolding and ladders against the cliff, carefully boxing it in with boards to prevent it from being injured by the freezing of water trickling down upon it during the winter now at hand. But we were in time, just in time, to see it, and we all agreed that few monuments in Europe are so impressive. The great figure, twenty-eight feet in length, I believe, carved in the living rock, represents the king of beasts lying slain, pierced by an arrow, with broken spear and shield beneath, and over that shield, which bears the lilies of France, the huge paws are thrown, as if guarding it still in death. It commemorates [Pg 243] the devotion of the Swiss guard who, in 1792, were appointed to keep the palace at Versailles, and receiving no orders to retire, preferred to die at their post rather than betray their trust. The glacier gardens near by, with their ingenious and realistic illustration of the action of the falling water in grinding the boulders in the glacier pots, interested us greatly. We paid some attention to the shops also, and the old cathedral, and the quaint old bridges. But we did not tarry long at Lucerne. It was too cold. We took the steamer down the lake, though, cold as it was, for we had no idea of missing entirely the magnificent scenery which gives this body of water easy preëminence among the Swiss lakes. We spent the night, bitter cold, at Fluelen, then took the fastest train we could get for Milan, only to meet there another disappointment in the matter of the weather.

November 26, 1902.

Italy Gives us Little Relief.

We had seen the ice floating in great blocks down the Neckar at Heidelberg, and had felt the stinging winds on the hills above the old castle; we had stamped our feet on the stone floors of the cathedral at Strasburg to renew the circulation in our benumbed extremities while waiting for the crowing of the rooster and the marching of the puppets, and the striking of the bells on the famous clock; we had seen vast fields of snow covering the Alps in every direction as we passed through Switzerland, and had shivered in the searching cold as we steamed down Lake Lucerne, unable to tear ourselves from the glorious beauty that lay open to our view on every hand from the steamer's decks; we had caught the wintry glitter of gigantic icicles against the cliffs on either side as our train climbed the wild St. Gothard pass—and, in short, we had had a [Pg 244] surfeit of cold weather, and for days and weeks we had been sighing for Sunny Italy. Imagine our disappointment, then, when we emerged from the Alps and entered the land of balmy climate and blue skies (as most of us had always ignorantly thought it to be even in winter) to find the whole world still white around us, to run along the side of Lake Lugano and Lake Como in a whirling snow-storm, and to arrive at Milan in a fog so thick that it looked like it could be cut into blocks, so opaque that at times we could not see the mighty Cathedral from our hotel, though but little more than a block away, and so persistent that it did not lift during the whole of our stay. Add to these conditions the slush in the streets and the penetrating quality of the damp, cold air, and our desire to push on at once to the farther south in search of more genial skies will not seem unnatural. And we might have done so, notwithstanding the attraction of the Cathedral and of Leonardo's picture of the "Last Supper" (which, however, we expected to see on our return to Northern Italy in the spring), had it not been for our anxiety to get a sight of the Iron Crown of Lombardy at Monza, a few miles north of Milan. And see it we did, in spite of the weather, as I shall tell you more fully in a later letter. We ate our Thanksgiving dinner at Milan, visited again and again the white marble Cathedral, whose delicate stone lace work was touched into marvellous and weird beauty by the snow clinging to its pinnacles and projections and statues, saw Leonardo's picture, and the other principal sights, and then took the train for Venice.


[Pg 245]

CHAPTER XXVII.

Venice, Bologna, Florence and Pisa.

December 8, 1902.

Though still cool, the weather was milder in Venice, so we remained a week or so, yielding ourselves to the pensive charm of that—

"White phantom city, whose untrodden streets
Are rivers, and whose pavements are the shifting
Shadows of palaces and strips of sky."
The Queen of the Adriatic.

Of the palaces that we visited, the one in which the poet Browning lived, and in which his son now lives, is the best preserved, and illustrates better than any other the almost regal state in which the wealthy Venetians lived in the day of their commercial supremacy. One of these old palaces on the Grand Canal is now used as a bank. Some are used as warehouses, and others are put to still meaner uses. The Doge's Palace is, of course, the largest and finest, but it is more like a public building than a residence. Next to this stands the chief architectural glory of Venice, the gorgeous Cathedral of St. Mark, with its unequalled profusion of costly materials, and its ominously uneven stone floor, suggesting the painful possibility that it, too, may some day share the fate of the great Campanile, which till last summer lifted its head three hundred and seventy-five feet in the air from the pavement of the square in front. We found the ruins of this graceful structure, up the winding incline of which Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have ridden his horse to the belfry, lying in a heap [Pg 246] on the square surrounded by a temporary unpainted board fence. Workmen within were making preparations for the erection of the new bell tower which is to take the place of the old one. On the first Sunday after our arrival we heard the Rev. Dr. Robertson, at the Presbyterian Church, make felicitous use of the fate of the old Campanile in a sermon on the text, "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." Nowhere are foundations of more importance than in Venice. The whole city is built upon piles. The Rialto Bridge, a great marble arch of a single span, rests upon twelve thousand of these piles, which are driven deep into the mud.

The interior of the Church of the Jesuits made more impression upon us than any other Venetian church except St. Marks. It looks at first view like it was lined throughout with chintz, through which runs a green pattern; but on closer inspection you find that it is all white marble—the pulpit and its heavy curtains, the altar steps, the walls from floor to ceiling, are all of white marble, and the green pattern is nothing less than verd antique.

Some of our young people, who had already wearied of the miles of picture galleries in Europe, manifested but little interest in the rich collection of art at Venice, but I think that all brought away an indelible impression of Titian's splendid "Assumption of the Virgin." They felt a much keener interest in the marvellous skill of the Venetian glass-makers at Murano. But their special delight was the gondolas. They soon had their favorites among the gondoliers, and, with Marco and Pedro propelling them, threaded the innumerable canals in every direction, visited the outlying islands, drifted hither and thither on the broad lagoons, and enjoyed the distant views of this strangely beautiful city, sometimes looming [Pg 247] through the mist, at other times standing out sharp and clear against the red sky of a flaming sunset.

DOGE'S PALACE, VENICE.
The Greatest of the Venetians.

Nothing in all the strange history of Venice interested us so much as the career of Fra Paolo Sarpi, "the greatest of the Venetians," as Dr. Alexander Robertson well calls him in his striking biography of that illustrious thinker and man of action. An ecclesiastic whom Gibbon calls "the incomparable historian of the Council of Trent"; a mathematician of whom Galileo said, "No man in Europe surpasses Master Paolo Sarpi in his knowledge of the science of mathematics"; an anatomist whom Acquapendente, the famous surgeon of Padua, calls "the oracle of this century"; a metaphysician who, as Lord Macaulay says, anticipated "Locke on the Human Understanding"; and a statesman who saved Venice from the domination of the papacy—it is no wonder that Dr. Bedell, chaplain of the English Ambassador to Venice, should have said that he was "holden for a miracle in all manner of knowledge, divine and human." "As a statesman, the great Republic of Venice committed all its interests to his guidance, and he made its history, while he lived, an unbroken series of triumphs; in an age when the papacy lifted high its head, and rode roughshod over the rights of kings and peoples, he forced Pope Paul V., one of the haughtiest of Rome's Pontiffs, to his knees, and so shattered in his hands the weapon of interdict and excommunication that never again has it served the interest of a wearer of the tiara. Constitutional government everywhere owes something to Fra Paolo; and modern Italian history is the outcome and embodiment of the principles he laid down in his voluminous State papers. He was stronger than the papacy, for, in spite of the hatred, persecution and protest of Pope and Curia, he lived and died within the pale of the church, enjoying [Pg 248] the esteem and affection of its clergy, performing all his priestly duties, and receiving, as the Senate wrote in its circular announcing his death to the courts of Europe, 'Li santissimi sagramenti con ogni maggior pieta.' And he was stronger than the Republic, for immediately after his death it began to succumb to papal domination, and to totter to its fall."

We visited the Servite Monastery, where he lived, the bridge where he was set upon and stabbed by the Pope's hired assassins, and where his statue now stands, and the grave in the island cemetery of Venice where his body rests at last after all the strange adventures and removals made necessary by the ghoulish malice of his foes.

December 10, 1902.

Bologna, the Fat.

The business activity of Bologna is in sharp contrast with the stagnation and decay of Venice. It is a brisk and handsome city, with well-paved streets, flanked by arcades like those along the Rue de Rivoli in Paris. Bologna has an unequalled number of these colonnades. They are so continuous, indeed, and afford such perfect protection from the sun in summer and the rain in winter, that it is more nearly possible to dispense with umbrellas here than in any other city in the world. The greatest of these covered ways is the portico which winds up the mountain just outside the city, by an easy gradation, to the costly church of the Madonna di S. Lucca, which, as its name indicates, possesses an image of the Virgin said to have been the work of Saint Luke. There are no fewer than six hundred and thirty-five arches in this colonnade, and they command lovely views on either side, as one ascends; but the view from the church, at the top of the mountain, caps the climax, combining, as it does, Alps, Appennines, Adriatic, plains [Pg 249] and cities. It is from the arches of this long colonnade up the mountain that one gets the best impression of Bologna's towers. They are very numerous, and many of them are out of the perpendicular. In fact, there are more leaning towers here than in any other city in the world. But, unlike "Pisa's leaning miracle," these are not beautiful. They are imposing only in the grouping of a distant view, being nothing but quadrangular masses of ugly brown brick, with no ornaments, no windows, and indeed no known uses, the object for which they were erected being now an insoluble mystery.

Bologna has important manufactures of silk goods, velvet, crape, chemicals, paper, musical instruments, soap and sausages. We made full trial of the last two mentioned commodities, and found them excellent. But Bologna, while vital and modern, is not lacking in the matter of antiquity and literary and historical interest. It boasts the oldest university in the world, founded in 425 A. D. In the thirteenth century it had ten thousand students, and it still has over a thousand. In front of the University stands a statue of Galvani, holding a tablet on which he is exhibiting the famous frog legs. But it is said that "his wife was the real discoverer of galvanism, having laid some frogs, which she was preparing for soup, beside a charged electrical machine; and it was she who observed the convulsion in the frogs which she touched with the scalpel, and communicated the discovery to her husband, who repeated the experiment at the University."

December 15, 1902.

The Flower of Fair Cities.

Florence! "City of fair flowers, and flower of fair cities!" Second only to Rome itself in variety and wealth of historical, artistic and literary interest, home of Dante and Boccacio, Machiavelli and [Pg 250] the Medici, Galileo and Amerigo Vespucci, Savonarola and Fra Angelico, Cimabue, Giotto, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, Donatello, Michelangelo and Benvenuto Cellini—what can one do in a letter like this but merely name them and pass on, hoping for a time of larger leisure to say at least a word concerning the most illustrious of them?

In the Uffizi Gallery, which is "a complete exemplification of the progress and development of art," there is an octagonal room, called the Tribune, which contains perhaps the richest aggregation of masterpieces in the world. Sculpture is represented by the Venus de Medici, the Young Apollo, The Wrestlers, The Grinder, and The Dancing Faun; and painting by no less remarkable pictures. In addition to these, the things that stand out in one's memory in connection with Florence are Cellini's "Perseus," Ghiberti's "Doors," Michael Angelo's "David" and his "Lorenzo de Medici," Brunelleschi's "Dome," and last, but not least, Giotto's "Tower," "the model and mirror of perfect architecture," of which John Ruskin says: "The characteristics of Power and Beauty occur more or less in different buildings—some in one and some in another. But all together, all in their highest possible relative degrees, they exist, as far as I know, only in one building in the world—the Campanile of Giotto at Florence." For the proper appreciation of almost any other great production of art some education in art is necessary, but any one can see the transcendant beauty of Giotto's "Tower." Untutored as we are in these matters, we never wearied of looking at it.

In the freshness of its undimmed splendor, there is nothing in Florence to compare with the Medici Chapel. It is still unfinished, but has cost up to the present time three million five hundred thousand dollars. It is probably the most magnificent mausoleum in the world. "The walls [Pg 251] are covered with costly marbles, inlaid with precious stones—a gorgeous mosaic of the richest material."

The Reformer before the Reformation.

But, after all, the thing that lays deepest hold of us in Florence is the story of Savonarola, Harbinger of the Reformation and Martyr for the Truth. That little cell in the Monastery of San Marco, where he once lived, and where his manuscript sermons, his annotated books and his wooden crucifix are still shown; those fearful dungeons in the Palazzo Vecchio, where the greatest man of his age endured his forty days' imprisonment, and lay during the intervals of torture, and spent his last hours on earth; and the bustling Piazza Della Signoria, which witnessed the triumphant tragedy of May 23, 1498—Florence has nothing else so impressive as these. We visit them with subdued hearts and reverent spirits. "On the 22nd of May, 1498, it was announced to Savonarola and his friends, Domenico and Maruffi, that they were to be executed by five the next morning; our heroic preacher was thoroughly resigned to his share of the doom, saying to Domenico, 'Knowest thou not it is not permitted to a man to choose the mode of his own death?' The three friends partook of the sacrament of the Holy Supper, administered by Savonarola. He said, 'We shall soon be there, where we can sing with David, "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"' They were then taken to the tribunal, where they were divested of all their priestly decorations, during which the bishop took Savonarola by the hand, saying, 'Thus I exclude thee from the church militant and triumphant.' 'From the church militant thou mayest,' exclaimed Savonarola, 'but from the church triumphant thou canst not; that does not belong to thee.'... The last that was beheld of him was his hand uplifted [Pg 252] as if to bless the people; the last that was heard of him, 'My Saviour, though innocent, willingly died for my sins, and should I not willingly give up this poor body out of love to him?' The cinders of the bodies of the martyred friars were carted away, and thrown into the river Arno." But—

"The Avon to the Severn runs,
The Severn to the sea;
And Wycliffe's dust shall spread abroad,
Wide as the waters be."

What the principles of Wycliffe have done for England, the principles of Savonarola may yet do for Italy. At any rate, his work for Italy is not done yet.

December 19, 1902.

Pisa's Four Monuments.

The four chief objects of interest at Pisa are all in a group at the northern end of the town, and a wonderfully effective group it is: the cloistered cemetery, or Camp Santo, with its fifty-five shiploads of earth from the Holy Land; the Baptistery, with its remarkable echo; the Cathedral, with the pendent lamp in the nave which suggested to Galileo the idea of the pendulum; and that wonder of the world, the white marble Tower, which leans thirteen feet out of the perpendicular. We all tried in vain to stand with heels and back to the inside of the north wall on the ground floor—it cannot be done; one falls forward at once. From the top there is a magnificent view of the city and the surrounding plain, of the mountains on the east and the sea on the west, of the city of Leghorn and the island of Elba.

From the windows of our hotel at Pisa we saw for the first time the red gold of ripe oranges shining amid their dark green leaves in the gardens, and rejoiced to [Pg 253] think that at last we had reached a somewhat milder climate, and were now leaving rigorous winter behind us.

The journey from Pisa to Rome is a long one, and the schedule was such that we did not arrive till late at night. From the car windows we had some impressive views of the Mediterranean by moonlight, and of the solemn campagna, and, thus prepared, we crossed the Tiber at midnight, and passed through the breach in the walls which has been made for the railway, feeling, perhaps even more deeply than is usual, the thrill with which all travellers except those who are utterly devoid of imagination first enter the Eternal City.


[Pg 254]

CHAPTER XXVIII.

Some Little Adventures by the Way.

December 21, 1902.

Conditions Unfavorable to Letter-writing Abroad.

The margin of leisure left to a traveller in Europe for the writing of letters is, after all, a very narrow one, as those of my readers who have been abroad will readily remember. One generally moves from place to place in such rapid succession that the feeling of being settled, which is essential to the most satisfactory writing, is almost unknown. Then, when one does stop for a few days in a historic city, each day is so full of interest, and the golden opportunity to see its sights seems so fleeting, that one hesitates to take any part of such time for writing, to say nothing of the weariness and drowsiness of an evening that follows a day of sightseeing.

Add to this the amount of time required of one who acts as general director of the tour, and has to take account of all manner of business details, and the number of questions to be answered when there are three or four young people in the party who have read just enough general history to make their minds bristle with interrogations at every interesting place, and who have to be read to daily en masse on the spot in order to improve the psychological moment of excited curiosity; add also the physician's injunction to take abundance of exercise in the open air, in order to the full recovery of health and the laying up of strength for future work, and his earnest counsel not to linger much at a writing desk or a study [Pg 255] table—and it will be seen that if the continuity of this series of letters suffers an occasional break, it is but the natural result of the conditions of tourist life.

An American Baby in Europe.

It may interest some of my younger readers to know that the member of our party who receives the most attention is a little blue-eyed girl, just two years old to-day, who is the most extraordinary traveller of her age that I ever saw or ever heard of, accepting all the irregularities, inconveniences and discomforts of this migratory mode of life with the serene indifference of a veteran. We naturally supposed that, being so young, she would give us more or less trouble on so long a journey, and this proved to be true on the cold and rough sea voyage, but, from the day that we landed on this side of the ocean, she has been a delight to our whole party, a maker of friends wherever we have gone, and an immensely interesting object to the populace of the cities through which we have passed. At Leyden, in Holland, as we passed along the streets, we were followed all over town by an admiring throng of Dutch children, just out of school, to whom our baby's bright red coat and cap were no less interesting than their wooden shoes were to us; and so we found out how the elephants and monkeys and musicians and other people who make up the street parade of a circus may be supposed to feel when they pass through a town followed by the motley gang of school boys, ragamuffins, and general miscellanies of humanity.

Something New in Venice.

At Wiesbaden, in Germany, we bought one of those odd little German baby carts with two wheels and two handles, like plow handles, between which the person who pushes it walks, the baby really riding backwards, instead of forwards, as in our American baby carriages. You will see from this [Pg 256] description that German baby carriages are like the German language—all turned the wrong way, though it must be said for this arrangement that the baby is not so likely to be lonesome as when riding face forward, since she always has some one to look at. Well, at Venice, which is almost a dead town now, so far as business is concerned, and which has perhaps as large a leisure class—that is, street loafers—as any city of equal size on this terraqueous planet, a lady of our party essayed to take the baby out for an airing in her German cart. It would appear that it was the first time since the foundation of that pile-driven city in the sea that a pair of wheels was ever seen on her streets. At any rate, from the moment that the lady and the baby and the cart emerged from the hotel door they were attended by an ever-increasing throng of unwashed Venetians, whose interest could not have been keener had Santos Dumont's air-ship or a Japanese jinriksha suddenly appeared in their gondola-ridden town, and who commented in shrill Italian on this wheeled apparition. The lady is not easily beaten when she decides to do anything, but, after standing that for half a block or so, she made a hasty retreat to the hotel, and wheels disappeared, probably forever, from the streets of Venice.

Gondolas and Gondoliers.

Although Venice, with its population of one hundred and sixty-three thousand, is seven miles in circumference, and is divided by one hundred and forty-six canals into one hundred and seventeen islands, yet these are so joined together by means of four hundred bridges that it is possible to walk all over the city. But the bridges are built in steps, and cannot be used by wheeled vehicles. There are no horses or carriages of any kind. The funereal-looking gondola, always painted black, is the only conveyance upon these streets of water, and does duty for cab, omnibus, wagon, cart, [Pg 257] wheelbarrow and hearse. It is used for pleasure riding, shopping, church-going, theatre-going, visiting, carrying prisoners to jail, carrying the dead to the cemetery—in short, for everything.

In propelling this black but graceful and easy-going boat, the gondolier does not sit. He stands, on a sort of deck platform towards the stern, and to balance his weight there is affixed to the prow a heavy piece of shining steel, which rears itself at the front almost like a figure-head, only this is always of the same pattern, simply a broad, upright blade of steel, notched deeply on the front edge. The gondolier does not pull the oar, he pushes it—there is only one oar—and he does not change it from side to side, as in paddling a canoe, but makes all the strokes on one side, a thing that looks very easy, but is in fact extremely difficult. The dexterity of these men with their long single oar is wonderful. They glide in and out among scores of gondolas on the crowded canals without collision or jerking, and they turn a corner within an inch.

Baggage Smashing in Europe.

These remarks upon the skill of the gondoliers, and the ease and safety of the gondolas, remind me, by contrast, of the destructive bungling of a porter in Cologne, who undertook to cart a load of trunks and handbags and shawl-straps down from our hotel to the Rhine steamer, and who, in turning a corner on a down grade, made the turn too short, and hurled the whole lot of our belongings into the muddy street with such violence that many of them were defaced, some permanently damaged, and one valise broken to pieces and utterly ruined.

That German baby carriage had an exciting adventure also on the night of our arrival in Rome. As usual, it was made the apex of the pyramid of trunks and grip-sacks [Pg 258] which constitute our sign manual, so to speak, on the top of every omnibus that takes us from the station to the hotel; but in this instance it was carelessly left untied, so that as we went steeply down one of the seven hills of Rome, the cart tumbled from its high perch to the stone-paved street, snapping off one of the handles, and suffering sundry other shattering experiences. A few days after we had the pleasure of paying a fraudulent cabinetmaker more for repairing it than it cost in the first instance. The Italian workmen and shopkeepers uniformly charge you more than their work and goods are worth. I think I have had more counterfeit money passed on me in the short time I have been in Italy than I have had in all the rest of my life before, and the very first swindle of this kind to which I was subjected was in a church, when the sacristan gave me a counterfeit two-franc piece in change as I paid the admission fees to see certain paintings and sculptures behind the high altar.

However, I am wandering from my subject; I may conclude my eulogy on the baby above mentioned by saying that, young as she is, she sits through the seventy or eighty minutes of the customary tedious European dinner almost as circumspectly as a graven image might, but reminding us of one of Raphael's cherubs in her blue-eyed combination of sweetness, archness and dignity.

Next time we will resume our account of matters of more general interest.


[Pg 259]

CHAPTER XXIX.

Relics in General, and the Iron Crown of Lombardy in Particular.

Rome, December 23, 1902.

I had heard of relics before. Years ago I had read Mark Twain's account of the large piece of the true cross which he had seen in a church in the Azores; and of another piece which he had seen in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, besides some nails of the true cross and a part of the crown of thorns; and of the marble chest in the Cathedral of San Lorenzo at Genoa, which he was told contained the ashes of St. John, and was wound about with the chain that had confined St. John when he was in prison; and of the interesting collection shown him in the Cathedral of Milan, including two of St. Paul's fingers and one of St. Peter's, a bone of Judas Iscariot (black, not white), and also bones of all the other disciples (presumably of the normal color), a handkerchief in which the Saviour had left the impression of his face, part of the crown of thorns, a fragment of the purple robe worn by Christ, a picture of the Virgin and Child painted by St. Luke, and a nail from the cross—adding in another place that he thought he had seen in all not less than a keg of these nails.

But I had hardly taken Mark Twain seriously in these statements, not knowing at the time that his Innocents Abroad was, notwithstanding its broad humor, really one of the best guide-books to Europe that was ever written.

[Pg 260]

The Palladium of Venice.

I had read repeatedly the story of the bringing of St. Mark's bones from Alexandria, in Egypt, to their present resting-place in St. Mark's Cathedral at Venice—a story which is related as follows in that same lively volume:

"St. Mark died at Alexandria, in Egypt. He was martyred, I think. However, that has nothing to do with my legend. About the founding of the city of Venice—say four hundred and fifty years after Christ—(for Venice is much younger than any other Italian city), a priest dreamed that an angel told him that until the remains of St. Mark were brought to Venice, the city could never rise to high distinction among the nations; that the body must be captured, brought to the city, and a magnificent church built over it; and that if ever the Venetians allowed the Saint to be removed from his new resting-place, in that day Venice would perish from off the face of the earth. The priest proclaimed his dream, and forthwith Venice set about procuring the corpse of St. Mark. One expedition after another tried and failed, but the project was never abandoned during four hundred years. At last it was secured by stratagem, in the year eight hundred and something. The commander of the Venetian expedition disguised himself, stole the bones, separated them, and packed them in vessels filled with lard. The religion of Mahomet causes its devotees to abhor anything in the nature of pork, and so when the Christian was stopped at the gate of the city, they only glanced once into the precious baskets, then turned up their noses at the unholy lard, and let him go. The bones were buried in the vaults of the grand cathedral, which had been waiting long years to receive them, and thus the safety and the greatness of Venice were secured. And to this day there be those in Venice who believe that if [Pg 261] those holy ashes were stolen away, the ancient city would vanish like a dream, and its foundation be buried forever in the unremembering sea."

The Gift of Leo XIII. to London.

More recently I had read of what has been well called the burlesque enacted at Arundel Castle no longer ago than in July, 1902, in which the Duke of Norfolk, Cardinal Vaughan, and many lesser ornaments and dignitaries of the Romish Church, took part.

"Pope Leo XIII., in order to show his 'good-will to England,' sent from Rome the remains of St. Edmund to garnish the new Roman Catholic cathedral at Westminster. It was an appropriate gift, for such buildings are usually garnished with 'dead men's bones and all uncleanness.' But as the cathedral is not yet finished, as a further token of good-will, the relics were committed to the care of no less a personage than the Earl Marshal of England. They arrived at Arundel on the evening of July 25th, and were placed for the night in Fitzalen Chapel. The next morning the whole castle was astir betimes, for the great event of the day, the transference of the bones to the castle chapel, was to take place. This was accomplished in a solemn and befitting manner. A procession was formed, and, to the measured tread of the Earl Marshal of England, Cardinal Vaughan, several archbishops and bishops, and a mixed company of priests and acolytes and a numerous train of household servants and dependents, carrying banners, crosses, crucifixes, censers, lamps, candles, torches, and other ecclesiastical stage paraphernalia, the remains of St. Edmund were borne to their resting-place. All went off well, and at last the curtain fell on the finished play, to the satisfaction of every one. Unfortunately, however, the Pope and all concerned had to reckon with English common-sense and [Pg 262] with English love of truth, and it was not very long before it was proved to the world that the bones, like most relics of the kind, were counterfeit—whoever else's bones they were, they were not those of St. Edmund." [7]

The Blood of St. Januarius.

I had read with cordial approval Mark Twain's animadversions upon the fraud which is regularly practiced on the people of Naples by the priests in the Cathedral:

"In this city of Naples they believe in and support one of the wretchedest of all religious impostures one can find in Italy—the miraculous liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius. Twice a year the priests assemble all the people at the Cathedral, and get out this phial of clotted blood, and let them see it slowly dissolve and become liquid; and every day for eight days this dismal farce is repeated, while the priests go among the crowd and collect money for the exhibition. The first day the blood liquefies in forty-seven minutes—the church is full then, and time must be allowed the collectors to get around; after a while it liquefies a little quicker and a little quicker every day, as the houses grow smaller, till on the eighth day, with only a few dozen present to see the miracle, it liquefies in four minutes. [8]

"And here, also, they used to have a grand procession [Pg 263] of priests, citizens, soldiers, sailors, and the high dignitaries of the city government, once a year, to shave the head of a made-up Madonna—a stuffed and painted image, like the milliner's dummy—whose hair miraculously grew and restored itself every twelve months. They still kept up this shaving procession as late as four or five years ago. It was a source of great profit to the church that possessed the remarkable effigy, and the public barbering of her was always carried out with the greatest éclat and display—the more the better, because the more excitement there was about it the larger the crowds it drew and the heavier the revenues it produced—but at last the day came when the Pope and his servants were unpopular in Naples, and the city government stopped the Madonna's annual show.

"There we have two specimens of these Neapolitans—two of the silliest possible frauds, which half the population religiously and faithfully believed, and the other half either believed or else said nothing about, and thus lent themselves to the support of the imposture."

The House of the Virgin at Loretto.

I had read the story of the Casa Santa, or Holy House, the little stone building, thirteen and one-half feet high and twenty-eight feet long, in which the Virgin Mary had lived at Nazareth. In 336 the Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, made a pilgrimage to Nazareth and built a church over the Holy House. This church fell into decay when the Saracens again got the upper hand in Palestine, and when the Christians lost Ptolemais the Holy House was carried by angels through the air from Nazareth to the coast of Dalmatia. This miraculous transportation took place in 1291. A few years later it was again removed by angels during the night, and set down in the Province of Ancona, near the eastern coast of Italy, on the ground [Pg 264] of a widow named Laureta. Hence the name, Loretto, given to the town which sprang up around it for the accommodation of the thousands of pilgrims who flocked thither, and which is now a place of some six thousand inhabitants, whose principal business is begging and the sale of rosaries, medals and images. In a niche inside the Casa Santa is a small black image of the Virgin and Child, of cedar, attributed, of course, to St. Luke. We did not visit Loretto, but at Bologna we had the satisfaction of seeing a fac-simile of the Casa Santa, with its little window and fireplace, and the replica of St. Luke's handi-work in the niche above. A large number of women, some of them handsomely dressed, were saying their prayers and counting their beads before the altar that had been erected in front of these images and the Holy House, and a few were kneeling in the narrow space behind the altar, close to the fireplace of the house. As we passed, one of these women, in plainer garb, interrupted her devotions long enough to hold out her hand to us, begging for pennies, but without rising from her knees. There was nothing unusual about this, except that this beggar made her appeal to us while actually on her knees to the image of the Virgin, for nothing is more common in Italy than for visitors to a Roman Catholic church to pass through such "an avenue of palms" when leaving it.

The Wonder-working Bones of St. Anne in Canada.

I had even seen a few relics, not mere reproductions like that of the Casa Santa at Bologna, but the relics themselves. For instance, three summers ago, when in Quebec, I had made a special trip to the Church of St. Anne Beaupre, some twenty miles below the city, for the purpose of seeing the wonder-working relics of St. Anne, the alleged mother of the Virgin Mary—a bit of her finger bone and a bit of her wrist bone—which are devoutly [Pg 265] kissed and adored by thousands of pilgrims to this magnificent church from all the French and Irish portions of Canada, and which are said to have wrought miraculous cures of all manner of maladies, cures which are attested by two immense stacks of canes, crutches, wooden legs, and the like, which rise from the floor almost to the roof on either side of the entrance. In the store in another part of the church I had got a clue to it all by seeing the poor pilgrims buying all sorts of cheap, tawdry, worthless little images and pictures, and especially little vials of oil of remarkable curative virtue because it had stood for a while before the image of St. Anne, and for which they paid probably five times as much as the oil had cost the priests who were selling it.

The Iron Crown of Lombardy.

These, then, are potent bones and images and oils, but by far the most interesting relic I had seen before reaching Rome itself was the Iron Crown of Lombardy, at Monza, a little town in Northern Italy. This is the place where the good King Humbert was assassinated on the 29th of July, 1900, and it is not without interest for other reasons. For instance, it has a cathedral built of black and white marble in horizontal stripes, and containing, besides the tomb of Queen Theodolinda and other interesting objects in the nave and its chapels, a great number of costly articles of gold and silver, set with precious stones, in the treasury, as well as various relics, such as some of the baskets carried by the apostles, a piece of the Virgin Mary's veil, and one of John the Baptist's teeth. But we should never have made a special trip to Monza in such weather as we were having at the time of our visit, last November, had it not been for our intense desire to see its chief treasure, the Iron Crown, the most sacred and most celebrated diadem in the world, a relic possessing real historical interest, [Pg 266] not because of any probability whatever in the story of its origin, but because of the extraordinary uses and associations of it within the last thousand years.

A Winter Trip to Monza.

So, regardless of the wet, cold, foggy weather that we found in Milan, and the rivers of mud and slush that were then doing duty for streets, and the splotches of snow that lay here and there in the forlorn-looking olive orchards, we took the electric tram, which was comfortably heated, and ran out to Monza, a distance of some ten miles. When we stepped into the chilly cathedral and looked about us, we could not at first see anybody to show us around, though there were a good many poor people saying their prayers there. Evidently the custodians were not expecting tourists at such a season and in such weather. But presently, in an apartment to the left, we found a number of the priests warming their hands over a dish of twig coals covered with a light layer of white ashes, which they kindly stirred a little to make them give forth more heat as they saw us stretch our cold hands also towards the grateful warmth.

The Treasury of the Cathedral.

When we asked if we could see the Iron Crown, they said we could; but instead of going at once to the chapel in which it is kept, they got a great bag of keys, large keys, thirty-seven in number, as the observant statistician of our party ascertained, and led us into the treasury and unlocked a great number of doors (one of which had seven locks), and showed us the costly objects and precious relics above mentioned. We were only mildly interested in these—even in the apostolic baskets, the Virgin's veil, and John the Baptist's tooth—partly because we were so cold and partly because of our greater interest in the more famous relic which we had come especially to see.

[Pg 267]

The Chapel of the Great Relic.

At last one of the priests, attended by an acolyte, took up a censer, placed a little incense on the coals with a teaspoon, and, swinging it in his hand by the chain, led us back into the cathedral, turned to a chapel on the left, unlocked an iron gate in a tall railing which separated this chapel from the body of the building, closed the gate again when our party had come inside, and, while a dozen or so of the people who had been at their devotions crowded up to the railing and peered curiously through, he and his attendant began to kneel repeatedly before the altar and to swing the smoking censer on every side. Above the altar was a strong, square steel box, over which, in plain view, was suspended a fac-simile of the Iron Crown, made of cheaper materials, while the real crown was still concealed within the steel safe.

The Great Relic itself.

Handing the censer to his attendant, that it might be kept swinging without intermission, the priest produced another series of keys and proceeded to unlock a succession of small doors in the side of the metal safe, which proved to be a "nest" of caskets, one within another, the last of which was a glass case. Drawing this out, he brought into full view the venerated crown of the Lombard kings, and told us to step up on the stool by the altar so as to see it better. It is made of six plates of gold, joined end to end, richly chased, and set with splendid jewels. But one would see at a glance that neither the material, nor the workmanship, nor the gems, could account for the unique reverence with which it has been regarded for centuries, and an indication of which we had just seen in the service conducted by the priest. Among the regalia in the Tower of London, and at several other places in Europe, we had seen crowns which far surpassed this one in costliness [Pg 268] and beauty, but none of which, nor all of which combined, had ever excited a thousandth part of the interest attaching to this old crown in Monza.

Why the Crown is so Sacred.

The explanation is this: within that ring of jointed plates of gold runs a thin band of iron, which priestly tradition says was made of one of the spikes that fastened the feet of our Lord Jesus Christ to the cross. It was this band of iron that we tiptoed to see, hardly noticing the bejewelled rim of gold around it. It was on account of this band of iron that the priest and his attendant swung their censer and performed their ceremony as we entered. It was this band of iron that gave to the crown its sacred place above the altar. It was for the safe keeping of this band of iron that the steel case, with its numerous locks, was made. It was from this band of iron that the diadem received its name, the Iron Crown of Lombardy.

How it was Used by Charlemagne and Napoleon.

And what were the historical uses of it, referred to above, which made it so much more interesting to us than the many other so-called nails of the true cross elsewhere? Well, this among others: on the last Christmas day of the eighth century, while Charlemagne was kneeling with uncovered head before the high altar of St. Peter's in Rome, the Pope approached him from behind, and, placing the Iron Crown of Lombardy on his head, hailed him as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

A thousand years later on the 26th of May, 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte, "watched by an apparently invincible army which adored him and a world which feared him," standing in the vast marble cathedral at Milan, with fifteen thousand of his soldiers around him, lifted this same Iron Crown of Lombardy into their view, and [Pg 269] placed it upon his brow, saying, "God has given it to me, let him touch it who dares!"

High Reflections and Hard Cash.

That men who, like Charlemagne and Napoleon, had reached the highest pinnacle of human power, should seek to enhance their influence by crowning their heads with one of the nails which, as their followers believed, had pierced the Galilean's foot, is a richly suggestive fact. But we must keep our tempted thoughts to another and less edifying line at present.

When we had examined all the parts of the famous crown to our satisfaction, we stepped to the desk in the ante-room and paid our five francs (one dollar), the regular price for the exhibition of the Iron Crown, then left the cathedral, bought one or two post-card pictures of the crown, and took the tram through the dreary weather back to Milan, well pleased with the results of our first pilgrimage to the shrine of a real Roman Catholic relic in Italy.

Rome Caps the Climax.

But on our arrival at Rome, a month later, we found that, interesting as were the relics which we had seen or read of elsewhere, they were nothing to those in the Eternal City itself. In this, as in everything else except such little matters as cleanliness and morality and truthfulness and honesty, Rome outvies all her rivals. It is only fair to add, however, that, since the overthrow of the papal sovereignty and the establishment of a capable government, Rome has improved immensely in the matter of cleanliness, and even her immorality is not so flaunting as it was. This is attested by the Hon. Guiseppe Zanardelli, the present Premier of Italy, who says:

"The church appears better than it once was. I no longer see in Rome what I used often to see in my young [Pg 270] days, ladies driving about its streets with their coachmen and footmen in the liveries of their respective cardinals. Has this improvement come about because the church is really growing better? Nothing of the kind. It is because the strong arm of the law checks the villainy of the priests." That is the testimony of the Prime Minister of Italy.


Do American Roman Catholics Believe in the Relics?

A few weeks after my return from Italy, while driving one afternoon with a friend of mine, a lawyer of high intelligence and wide information, our conversation turned to the subject of the recent death of Pope Leo XIII., and from that drifted to the alleged liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius, and from that to relics in general. I mentioned some of the facts above stated concerning the numerous pieces of the true cross and the miracle-working bones and oils to be seen in Roman Catholic churches in Europe. "But," he said, "surely the Roman Catholics in America do not believe in such mediæval superstitions." I happened to have in hand a couple of copies of a daily newspaper, published in one of our Southern towns, dated August 9, 1903, and August 17, 1903, respectively, containing extracts from the letters of a Roman Catholic bishop, the highest dignitary of his church in that State; and, for answer to my friend's remark, I cited the following passage from the bishop's letter of July 10th, written from Munich, concerning the abbey church of Scheyern:

"The chapel of the Holy Cross is specially sacred, as within is preserved a very large piece of the true cross upon which Christ was crucified, brought to Scheyern in 1156 by Count Conrad, the Crusader, who afterwards [Pg 271] entered the monastery as lay-brother, and lies buried near the altar upon which the sacred relic is preserved."

Also the following passage from his letter of July 12th, written from Eichstadt:

"I remained the guest of Prince Ahrenberg for the night, and early in the morning, accompanied by some Benedictine students, I made a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Walburg. Above the altar is the large silver receptacle into which flows the miraculous oil from her sacred relics, which is known the world over."

What America Needs is Some Relics.

Writing from Vienna, July 20, 1903, concerning the imperial palaces, he says, "They are awfully big and grand, and cost a lot of good people's money," but adds that "the pride and glory of Vienna" is the Cathedral, and then exclaims: "How often have I wished we could have some such church in ——, so that our good people who cannot visit the achievements of Catholic life in Europe could form some idea of the greatness of the religion of their fathers!"

One hesitates to differ from so good an authority on such matters as this bishop, but really would he not agree, on reflection, that what this benighted and decaying country of ours needs to bring it up to a level with Italy and Austria and Spain is not a big church, but some relics? Would not some miraculous oil, or some wonder-working bones, or a piece of the true cross, or one of the nails, if placed on exhibition here attract far more attention than a big church, and enable "our good people who cannot visit the achievements of Catholic life in Europe" to form a much better "idea of the greatness of the religion of their fathers"? Does it not seem strange that so many hundreds of these relics should be kept in those enlightened and happy countries like Italy, [Pg 272] where "the achievements of Catholic life" are so well known, and where Mother Church has for centuries had full sway, and that none of them should be brought to these benighted Protestant regions, where they could effect such a salutary change in the faith of the people? But, seriously, as I added to my friend in the conversation referred to, I have a better opinion of the intelligence of our good Roman Catholic people in America than to believe that they put the slightest credence in these childish superstitions. Whatever the bishop above quoted may believe, I am confident that the intelligent Roman Catholic people of our country have no more faith in many of these alleged relics than we have.

FOOTNOTES:

[7] The Roman Catholic Church in Italy, Alexander Robertson, pp. 203, 204.

[8] In July of this year, 1903, while the Roman Catholic world was greatly exercised over the grave illness of the late Pope, Leo XIII., the Associated Press dispatches from Naples reported that the blood of St. Januarius had miraculously liquefied at that unusual time in token that the prayers offered for the Pope's recovery had been answered. The Archbishop of Naples has up to the present time vouchsafed no explanation of the fact that the Pope died a few days later, notwithstanding this miraculous assurance that he would recover.


[Pg 273]

CHAPTER XXX.

Roman Catholic Relics at Rome.

We reached Rome at a good time for seeing relics, as the special services of the Christmas season were just beginning. One of the most splendid of these ceremonies is the procession in honor of the Santa Culla; that is, the cradle in which the priestly tradition says the infant Jesus was carried into Egypt. This is the great relic and chief distinction of the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, though it contains a number of others, such as the bodies of St. Matthew and St. Jerome, and two little bags of the brains of Thomas á Becket, and "one of the pictures attributed to St. Luke (and announced to be such in a papal bull attached to the walls!), much revered for the belief that it stayed the plague which decimated the city during the reign of Pelagius II., and that (after its intercession had been sought by a procession by order of Innocent VIII.) it brought about the overthrow of the Moorish dominion in Spain."

The Miraculous Snow in Summertime.

Moreover, this church of Santa Maria Maggiore is by no means lacking in legendary and architectural interest. It was founded A. D. 352, by Pope Liberius and John, a Roman patrician, to commemorate an alleged miraculous fall of snow, which covered this spot of ground and no other, on the 5th of August, and an alleged appearance of the Virgin Mary, in a vision, at the same time, showing them that she had thus appropriated the site of a new temple, all of which is duly represented in a fine painting on the wall [Pg 274] of the church, and in two of Murillo's most beautiful pictures in the Academy at Madrid, and commemorated every year on the 5th of August by a solemn high mass, and by showers of white rose leaves thrown down constantly through two holes in the ceiling, "like a leafy mist between the priests and the worshippers."

A Splendid Church.

The worshippers of the Virgin have not been lacking in their efforts to erect a suitably sumptuous building on the site of this "miracle." The magnificent nave, with its avenue of forty-two columns of Greek marble, surmounted by a frieze of mosaic pictures; the glorious pavement of opus Alexandrinum, whose "crimson and violet hues temper the white and gold of the walls"; the grand baldacchino, with its four porphyry columns wreathed with gilt leaves; and the splendid tomb chamber of Pius IX. (predecessor of the late Pope Leo XIII.), with its riot of rich marbles and alabaster, in front of the high altar—to say nothing of the almost incredibly costly chapels opening into the nave—combine to give S. Maria Maggiore a proud place among the very finest of the fine basilicas of Rome.

A Dazzling Scene.

But not all the splendors of the building, nor all the fascination of its "miracles" and legends, nor all the spell of its other relics, can equal the interest attaching to the "Santa Culla," the holy cradle. On the afternoon of Christmas Day, we walked through the wet streets to the front of the church, pushed back the heavy, dirty screen of padded canvas, such as hangs at the door of every great church in Italy, however fine, and, stepping within, found ourselves in the midst of a scene of the most dazzling splendor. The building was brilliantly illuminated with hundreds of electric lights and huge candles, which were sharply reflected by the glistening marbles on every hand; the air was heavy with clouds [Pg 275] of incense, through the blue smoke of which the lofty ceiling looked higher than ever, and the organ and choir were pouring forth the richest music, while a dense crowd of people, many thousands, all standing, watched with eager interest a small, crate-like object, made of slats of dark wood, which rested on the high altar, enclosed in a glass case, with a gold baby on top and gold ornaments round about.

The Holy Cradle.

We pushed our way through the crowd, so as to get a satisfactory view of it while the service was in progress—the genuflections, the robing and disrobing of the archbishop, the chanting, and the rest—after which six men, dressed in pure white from head to foot (white gloves included), except for a red circle and cross on the breast, knelt before the cradle, then lifted it from the altar, with its gold and glass setting, and placing it on a kind of litter on their shoulders, under a gilt and white canopy borne by other attendants, marched with it thus, in procession around the church, along with a large crucifix under another canopy, and followed by a long line of cardinals, bishops, priests and acolytes, carrying it back finally to its place in the sacristy, where it will remain till next Christmas Day.

The Christ of Rome a Babe or a Corpse.

We squeezed our way through the great crowd at the door, and walked back to our hotel, wondering to what extent the usual Roman Catholic conception of Christ had deprived that organization of real spiritual energy; for, almost invariably, Roman Catholic art represents him either as a dead Christ on the cross, or a babe in his mother's arms, and hardly ever as the risen and glorified Lord, the Conqueror of death, the Leader of his people, to whom all power is given in heaven and on earth—the more usual Protestant conception. And we asked ourselves [Pg 276] whether this difference did not help to explain the greater hopefulness, vigor and growth of Protestant Christianity in these strenuous latter days.

The Little Doll that Owns a Large Carriage.

But we were soon to learn that the Roman Catholics did not think of the infant Christ as lacking in power of a certain sort; on the contrary they ascribe miraculous agency even to an image of the divine babe. On the afternoon of December 29th, as two of our party were returning to our hotel, they passed at the foot of the Capitoline Hill a carriage, out of the window of which hung a ribbon or sash of cloth of gold, and they were not a little astonished to observe that, as this carriage rolled along, people knelt reverently before it on the street. Inside they saw two bareheaded men holding a child on a pillow with a wealth of lace about it. They thought perhaps it was the royal carriage with the baby princess, but they could not imagine why men should be nursing the baby, as that is usually the employment of women, nor why the people should kneel so reverently before the young princess, a thing which they never did even for the king himself. The fact is that, as they learned on the following afternoon when visiting the Church of Ara Coeli, on the Capitoline Hill, the carriage in question belonged to a far more important personage in Rome than any princess, though that personage was not even a living baby, but only a doll. It was the coach of the famous Bambino—Il Santissimo Bambino—which with its dress of gold and silver tissue and its magnificent diamonds, emeralds and rubies, is the chief attraction of this church.

THE BAMBINO.
The Wealth and Power of the Miraculous Bambino.

Dr. Alexander Robertson, in his book on The Roman Catholic Church in Italy, says: "The Bambino is a doll about three feet high, and it stands on a cushion in a glass [Pg 277] case. It is clad in rich robes with a crown on its head, a regal order across its breast, and embroidered slippers on its feet. From head to foot it is one mass of dazzling jewelry, gold chains, strings of pearls, and diamond bracelets and rings, which not only cover the neck, arms and fingers, but are suspended, intermixed with crosses, stars, hearts, monograms, and every kind of precious stone, to all parts of its body. The only part unweighted with gems is its round, priest-like, wax face. But all this display of wealth, great in itself, is really only suggestive of that untold quantity which it has brought, and is still daily bringing, into the coffers of the church. People are continually kneeling before this dumb idol, offering petitions and leaving gifts, whilst letters containing requests, accompanied with post-office orders and checks to pay for the granting of the same, arrive by post for it from various parts of the globe."

Hare's Walks in Rome gives the following account of the Bambino and one of its most remarkable experiences:

"It has servants of its own, and a carriage in which it drives out with its attendants, and goes to visit the sick; for, though an infant, it is the oldest medical practitioner in Rome. Devout peasants always kneel as the blessed infant passes. Formerly it was taken to sick persons and left on their beds for some hours, in the hope that it would work a miracle. Now it is never left alone. In explanation of this, it is said that an audacious woman formed the design of appropriating to herself the holy image and its benefits. She had another doll prepared of the same size and appearance as the Santissimo, and having feigned sickness and obtained permission to have it left with her, she dressed the false image in its clothes, and sent it back to Ara Coeli. The fraud was not discovered till night, when the Franciscan monks were awakened by [Pg 278] the most furious ringing of bells and by thundering knocks at the west door of the church, and hastening thither, could see nothing but a wee naked pink foot peeping in from under the door; but when they opened the door, without stood the little naked figure of the true Bambino of Ara Coeli, shivering in the wind and rain—so the false baby was sent back in disgrace, and the real baby restored to its home, never to be trusted away alone any more."

The Communion Table Used by Christ.

But if I dwell on all these interesting relics and images as I have done on the Holy Cradle and the miraculous Bambino, I shall never finish even the brief list of them which I had in mind when I began. I must hasten on, contenting myself with a bare mention of a few of the more notable relics at the other churches.

On the 8th of January we paid our first visit to the great Church of St. John Lateran, [9] and here also the relics interested us more than anything else. Under the canopy in the centre the skulls of St. Peter and St. Paul are preserved. Beneath the altar we saw the wooden table on which the Apostle Peter is said to have "celebrated mass" in the house of Pudens. The interest of this relic, however, is completely eclipsed by that of another relic over an altar at a little distance in the same church, viz: the cedar table used by our Lord and his disciples in the Last Supper. This table is concealed behind a bronze relief representing that solemn scene in the Upper Room at Jerusalem.

Other Relics at St. John Lateran.

"The Basilica claims to possess many valuable relics. Amongst these are some portions of the manger in which Christ was cradled, the shirt and seamless coat made for him by the [Pg 279] Virgin; some of the barley loaves and small fishes miraculously multiplied to feed the five thousand; the linen cloth with which he dried the feet of his apostles; also Aaron's rod, the rod with which Moses smote the Red Sea," etc., etc. (Cook's Southern Italy, p. 114.) We did not see these, but in the cloister behind this church we were shown a marble slab on pillars which was once an altar, "at which the officiating priest doubted of the Real Presence, when the wafer fell from his hand through the stone, leaving a round hole, which still remains." Here, too, we were shown a larger slab resting on pillars, more than six feet from the ground, which marks the height of our Saviour; also a porphyry slab, upon which the soldiers cast lots for his seamless robe; and some columns from Pilate's house in Jerusalem, which were rent by the earthquake of the crucifixion.

THE SCALA SANTA, ROME.
The Holy Stairs from Pilate's Palace.

But the great relic of Pilate's House, and one of the most interesting of all the relics in Rome, is across the street from St. John Lateran, viz., the world-renowned Scala Santa, or Holy Stairway, a flight of twenty-eight marble steps, once ascended by our Saviour in the palace of Pilate, and brought from Jerusalem to Rome in 326 by the Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. They are covered with a wooden casing, but holes have been left through which the marble steps can be seen. Two of them are stained with the Saviour's blood. These spots are covered with glass. The light was rather dim, and as we entered a gentleman struck a match and held it over one of these glass-covered stains to show it to his little girl, so that, passing just at that moment, we also had a good view.

The Man who Crawled Up and Walked Down.

No foot is allowed to touch the Scala Santa; it must be ascended on the knees. A number of people were going up in this way when we entered, pausing on each step to [Pg 280] repeat a prayer, for which indulgences are granted by the Pope. There are stairways on each side, by which those who have thus crawled up may walk down. The only man I know of that ever walked down the Holy Stairs themselves, and the most illustrious man that ever crawled up them on his knees, was Martin Luther. When he had mounted slowly half way up, step by step on his knees, he seemed to hear a voice saying, "The just shall live by faith." Martin Luther rose from his knees, walked down the staircase, and left the place a free man so far as this superstition was concerned, and shortly afterwards became the most formidable foe that ever assailed the falsehood and corruption of the Romish Church.

The Miraculous Portrait and the Shoes of Christ.

At the top of the Scala Santa we saw through a grating the beautiful silver tabernacle containing the great relic which has given to this chapel the name of Sancta Sanctorum, viz.: the portrait of Christ, held by the Romish Church to be authentic, having been drawn in outline by St. Luke and finished by an angel, whence its name "Acheiropoëton," i. e., the picture made without hands. The relic chamber here contains fragments of the true cross, the sandals of Christ, and "the iron bar of Hades which he brought away with him from that doleful region," [10] but we did not see these.

The Inscription on the Cross, and the Finger of Thomas.

A short walk beyond the Scala Santa and the Lateran brings us to the Church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme, which is specially rich in relics. Here our party was shown a piece of the true cross of Christ and the original plank bearing the inscription, "Jesus, Nazarene King," in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, which was [Pg 281] placed over his head; also one of the nails used in his crucifixion, and two of the thorns of his crown; besides a large piece of the cross of the penitent thief who was executed with him; and, most interesting of all in some respects, the finger used by Thomas to resolve his doubts as to the resurrection of Christ (John xx. 24-28).

A Bottle of The Blood of Christ.

In Percy's Romanism it is said that "the list of relics on the right of the apsis of S. Croce includes the finger of S. Thomas, apostle, with which he touched the most holy side of our Lord Jesus Christ; one of the pieces of money with which the Jews paid the treachery of Judas; great part of the veil and of the hair of the most blessed Virgin; a mass of cinders and charcoal united in the form of a loaf, with the fat of S. Lawrence, martyr; one bottle of the most precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; another of the milk of the most blessed Virgin; a little piece of the stone where Christ was born; a little piece of the stone where our Lord sat when he pardoned Mary Magdalene; of the stone where our Lord wrote the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai; of the stone where reposed SS. Peter and Paul; of the cotton which collected the blood of Christ; of the manna which fed the Israelites; of the rod of Aaron which flourished in the desert; of the relics of the eleven prophets!" [11]

But our party saw none of these except the finger of Thomas. It is to be hoped that the others have been withdrawn from exhibition, for surely superstition and vulgarity can no further go. I fear, however, that those who are willing to pay enough can still see "one bottle of the most precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ," and "another of the milk of the most blessed Virgin"! There is also "una ampulla lactis Beatae Mariae Virginis" among [Pg 282] the many relics to be seen in the Church of SS. Cosmo and Damiano, near the Forum.

No Women Admitted.

It is a curious illustration of Romish wrong-headedness that women are never allowed to enter the Chapel of St. Helena, in the Church of S. Croce, except on the festival of the Saint, August 18th, notwithstanding the fact that St. Helena herself was a woman, and that the church owes its existence to her and is also indebted to her for the piece of the true cross which it boasts, and which has given it its name. So while men are permitted to go inside the chapel of St. Helena, women are stopped at the entrance and only allowed to peer through the railing. The same degrading discrimination is made in the Church of S. Prassede (who also was a woman) as to entering the splendid chapel, Orto del Paradiso, which contains the column of blood jasper to which Christ was bound, and which was "given by the Saracens to Giovanni Colonna, cardinal of this church, and legate of the Crusade, because when he had fallen into their hands and was about to be put to death, he was rescued by a marvellous intervention of celestial light." Females are never allowed to enter this chapel except upon Sundays in Lent, but are permitted to look at the relic through a grating. [12]

Four Other Stones of Great Interest.

The mention of this column reminds me of the two columns in the Church of S. Maria Transpontina, on the other side of the Tiber, near St. Peter's, which bear inscriptions stating that they were the pillars to which St. Peter and St. Paul were fastened, respectively, when they suffered flagellation by order of Nero. A little farther on towards St. Peter's is the Piazza Scossa Cavalli, with a pretty fountain. [Pg 283] "Its name bears witness to a curious legend, which tells how when S. Helena returned from Palestine, bringing with her the stone on which Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac, and that on which the Virgin Mary sat down at the time of the presentation of the Saviour in the temple, the horses drawing these precious relics stood still at this spot, and refused every effort to make them move. Then Christian people, 'recognizing the finger of God,' erected a church on this spot—S. Giacomo Scossa Cavalli—where the stones are still to be seen."

The Hardness of St. Peter's Knees.

While speaking of interesting stones, I must not omit to mention those in the Church of S. Francesca Romana, near the Forum, containing the marks of the knees of St. Peter—(which show, by the way, that this apostle was a giant in size)—when he knelt to pray that Simon Magus might be dropped by the demons he had invoked to support him in the air in fulfilment of his promise to fly. One of these stones used to lie in the Via Sacra, and the water which collected in the two holes or knee prints was looked upon as so potent a remedy of disease that groups of infirm people used to gather around them on the approach of a shower. According to the legend, the place where Peter knelt when he thus effected the discomfiture of Simon Magus and brought him to the ground with such force that his thigh was fractured, never to be healed, was the ancient Via Sacra. But, after the priests had removed the stone from the roadway into the church, the inconsiderate and iconoclastic explorers of our day, who have made so many discoveries in their excavations about the Forum, proved that the roadway from which this relic was taken was not the ancient Via Sacra at all, but a more modern roadway which had been mistaken for it!

[Pg 284]

The Hardness of St. Peter's Head.

In the Mamertine Prisons, which are also quite close to the Forum, a depression on the stone wall by which we descend to the lower dungeon is shown as the spot against which St. Peter's head rested, though our guide had just told us that these stairs were not in existence then and prisoners were let down into the dungeon through the hole in the middle of the stone floor. Such trifling discrepancies do not seem to trouble the average Italian mind.

St. Peter and St. Paul are said to have been bound in this prison for nine months to a pillar, which is shown here. "A fountain of excellent water beneath the floor of the prison is attributed to the prayers of St. Peter, that he might have wherewith to baptize his gaolers, Processus and Martinianus; but, unfortunately for this ecclesiastical tradition, the fountain is described by Plutarch as having existed at the time of Jugurtha's imprisonment" here, long before the time of St. Peter.

Another miraculous spring, still flowing, is shown in the Church of SS. Cosmo and Damiano as that which burst forth in answer to the prayers of Felix IV., that he might have water to baptize his disciples.

What the Head of St. Paul Did.

But the most interesting of all the miraculous springs in or around Rome are the three fountains, about two miles from the city, where the Apostle Paul was executed. When his head was severed from his body it bounded from the earth three times, crying out thrice, "Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!" A fountain burst from the ground at each of the three spots where the severed head struck. It is asserted, in proof of this origin of the fountains, that the water of the first is still warm, of the second tepid, and of the third cold, but we drank of them one after another without being able to detect any difference in temperature. The apostle's [Pg 285] head is shown in bas relief upon the three altars above the fountains. In the church which has been built over them we were shown the pillar to which he was bound, and the block of marble upon which he was decapitated, and, in the vault of another church hard by, the prison in which he was placed just before his execution.

We could not help asking the priest who was our escort whether this extraordinary story was still believed. His answer was: "Certainly! There is no reason whatever to doubt it. The facts have been handed down in an unbroken succession from eye-witnesses," a position which he proceeded to defend at length and with great warmth when one of our party in particular manifested much slowness to believe.

St. Paul's Use of Plautilla's Veil.

Furthermore, the opening of these three fountains was not the only miracle wrought by the apostle after his death. Mrs. Jameson says: "The legend of his death relates that a certain Roman matron named Plautilla, one of the converts of S. Peter, placed herself on the road by which S. Paul passed to his martyrdom, to behold him for the last time; and when she saw him she wept greatly and besought his blessing. The apostle then, seeing her faith, turned to her, and begged that she would give him her veil to blind his eyes when he should be beheaded, promising to return it to her after his death. The attendants mocked at such a promise; but Plautilla, with a woman's faith and charity, taking off her veil, presented it to him. After his martyrdom, S. Paul appeared to her and restored the veil, stained with his blood. In the ancient representations of the martyrdom of S. Paul, the legend of Plautilla is seldom omitted. In the picture by Giotto in the Sacristy of S. Peter's, Plautilla is seen on an eminence in the background, receiving the veil from the hands of S. Paul, [Pg 286] who appears in the clouds above; the same representation, but little varied, is executed in bas-relief on the bronze doors of St. Peter's."

The Footprints of Christ in Stone.

About two miles northeast of the Three Fountains, and the same distance from the city, on the Appian Way, stands the Church of St. Sebastian. Over an altar on the right, as you enter, the attendant priest, drawing aside a curtain, shows you a slab of dark red stone with two enormous footprints on it. These, we are told, were made by the feet of Christ during an interview with Peter which took place near here, on the site of the small Church of Domine Quo Vadis. The story is as follows: After the burning of Rome, Nero charged the Christians with having fired the city. Straightway the first persecution broke forth, and many of the Christians were put to death with dreadful torture. The survivors besought Peter not to expose his life. As he fled along the Appian Way, Christ appeared to him travelling towards the city. The fleeing apostle exclaimed in amazement, "Domine, quo vadis?" (Lord, whither goest thou?), to which, with a look of mild sadness, the Saviour replied, "Venio iterum crucifigi" (I come to be crucified a second time), then vanished, whereupon the apostle, ashamed of his weakness, returned to Rome, and shortly afterwards was crucified there himself.

The Chains of St. Peter.

Another relic of great interest connected with the same apostle is shown in the Church of S. Pietro in Vincoli, in Rome, and indeed gives the church its name. The church is not without interest for other reasons. For instance, it possesses portions of the crosses of St. Peter and St. Andrew, and we are told that the high altar covers the remains of the seven Maccabean brothers. But the basilica is specially [Pg 287] famous for the possession of the greatest masterpiece of sculpture since the time of the Greeks—the majestic "Moses" of Michelangelo, which draws thousands of sightseers who might otherwise never set foot in the building. Nevertheless, its chief attraction, to the devout Roman Catholic mind, is neither the bones of the Maccabees nor the statue of Moses, but the chains referred to in the following familiar passage of Scripture: "Peter therefore was kept in prison; but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers bound with two chains; and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison; and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands." (Acts xii. 5-7.) These two chains were presented by Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, to the Empress Eudoxia, wife of Theodosius the younger, who placed one of them in the Basilica of the apostles in Constantinople and sent the other to Rome, where this church was erected as its special shrine. This was about the middle of the fifth century. "But the Romans could not rest satisfied with the possession of half the relic; and within the walls of this very basilica, Leo I. beheld in a vision the miraculous and mystical uniting of the two chains, since which they have both been exhibited here, and the day of their being soldered together by invisible power, August 1st, has been kept sacred in the Latin church!" "They are of unequal size, owing to many fragments of one of them (first whole links, then only filings) having been removed in the course of centuries by various popes and sent to Christian princes who have been esteemed worthy of the favor! The longest [Pg 288] is about five feet in length. At the end of one of them is a collar, which is said to have encircled the neck of St. Peter. They are exposed on the day of the 'station' (the first Monday in Lent) in a reliquary presented by Pius IX., adorned with statuettes of St. Peter and the Angel—to whom he is represented as saying, 'Ecce nunc scio vere' (Acts xii. II). On the following day a priest gives the chains to be kissed by the pilgrims, and touches their foreheads with them, saying, 'By the intercession of the blessed Apostle Peter, may God preserve you from evil. Amen.'" [13]

The Benefits of Buying a Fac-simile of the Chains.

In the sacristy we found a young priest doing a thriving business in copies of the relic. We bought from him "an iron fac-simile of the chains (about the size of an ordinary watch-chain), authenticated by a certificate testifying to its having touched the original chains. On the back of this certificate was printed an extract from the Rules of the Confraternity of the chains of St. Peter, from which we learned that all associates in this brotherhood must wear such a fac-simile as we had just bought, that the objects of the Confraternity are "The propagation of the veneration of the chains of St. Peter, an increase of devotion to the Holy See, prayers for the Pope's intention, for the needs of Holy Church, the conversion of infidels and sinners, and the extirpation of heresy and blasphemy," and that Pius IX. had granted to the members of the Confraternity various indulgences, one of which is "A plenary indulgence and remission of all sins [14] if one visits the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli on January 18th [15] and June 29th, [16] between the first vespers of the [Pg 289] feast and sunset of the said days, or on August 1st, or any one of the seven days following it. The usual prayers for the Holy Father's intention," etc., are comprised in these visits. We are told also that "the foregoing indulgences are applicable to the souls in purgatory."

The Relics in St. Peter's Cathedral.

We may close this running account of the relics at Rome with a brief mention of those that are to be seen in St. Peter's itself, the largest and costliest church in the world. The construction of it extended over one hundred and seventy-six years. The cost of the main building alone was fifty million dollars. The annual outlay for repairs is thirty-one thousand five hundred dollars. But it cost the Romish Church far more than money—it cost her the loss of all the leading nations of the world, which had been under her dominion till that time. For the expense of the vast structure, with its "insolent opulence of marbles," was so great that Julius II. and Leo X. were obliged to meet the enormous outlay by the sale of indulgences, and that, as is well known, precipitated the Reformation. So that Protestants may well feel a peculiar interest in this mighty cathedral.

The Column against which Christ Leaned in the Temple.

It goes without saying that the popes would not allow the chief church of Roman Catholicism to go begging in the matter of relics. And, sure enough, we have no sooner pushed aside the heavy padded screen and stepped within than we find on our right the Chapel of the Holy Column, so called because it contains a pillar which is declared to have been that against which our Lord leaned when he prayed and taught in the temple at Jerusalem. The pillar contains this inscription: "Haec est illa columna in qua DNS Nr Jesus XPS appodiatus dum populo prædicabat et Deo pno preces in templo effundebat adhaerendo, [Pg 290] stabatque una cum aliis undecim hic circumstantibus. De Salomonis templo in triumphum hujus Basilicæ hic locata fuit: demones expellit et immundis spiritibus vexatos liberos reddit et multa miracula cotidie facit. P. reverendissimum prem et Dominum Dominum Card. de Ursinis. A. D. MDCCCXXVIII."

The Chair of St. Peter.

At the other end of the church we are shown an ancient wooden chair, encrusted with ivory, which we are told was the Cathedra Petri, the episcopal throne of St. Peter and his immediate successors. A magnificent festival in honor of this chair has been annually celebrated here for hundreds of years.

My party seems to be made up of very determined Protestants. At any rate, the sight of this relic leads an inquisitive person in the party to ask whether the Bible does not say that "Peter's wife's mother lay sick of a fever."

"Yes," replies the unfortunate gentleman to whose lot it falls to answer all questions of all kinds.

"Then," continues the Inquisitive Person, "Peter was married?"

Unfortunate Gentleman: "Yes."

I. P.: "Do the Popes still marry?"

U. G.: "No."

I. P.: "If 'the first Pope' was married, why should not his successors be married, and why should they insist upon a celibate clergy in every age, in every country, and under all circumstances?"

The Bones of St. Peter.

U. G.: "These questions are becoming too hard for me. Come, let me show you the tomb which contains the bones of St. Peter and St. Paul. Only half of their bodies are preserved here, the other portion of St. Peter's being in the Church of St. John [Pg 291] Lateran and the other portion of St. Paul's at the magnificent basilica of St. Paul's without the walls."

"A circle of eighty-six gold lamps is always burning around the tomb of the poor fisherman of Galilee.... Hence one can gaze up into the dome, with its huge letters in purple-blue mosaic upon a gold ground (each six feet long)—Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram ædificabo ecclesiam meam, et tibi dabo claves regni coelorum.' Above this are four colossal mosaics of the Evangelists.... The pen of St. Luke is seven feet in length."

But we must not permit ourselves to be diverted from our proper subject by the vastness and splendor of the building, natural as it is to do so when standing under this matchless dome. The four huge piers which support the dome are used as shrines for the four great relics of the church, viz.: 1. The lance of St. Longinus, the soldier who pierced the Saviour's side; 2. A portion of the true cross; 3. The napkin of St. Veronica, containing the miraculous impression of our Lord's face; and 4. The head of the apostle Andrew.

I did not see these relics myself, as I was in the East when they were exhibited, but on April 11th, the day before Easter, other members of my party did, that is, they saw all of them but Andrew's head, and from a letter written me by the youngest of my correspondents in my own family, giving not only description, but drawings of the spear head, the cross and the handkerchief in their several frames, I infer that, notwithstanding the great height of the Veronica balcony from which they are exhibited, my young correspondent and his companions fared better in the matter of a good view than Fritz in Chronicles of the Schönberg Cotta Family, who says: "To-day we gazed on the Veronica—the holy impression [Pg 292] left by our Saviour's face on the cloth S. Veronica presented to him to wipe his brow, bowed under the weight of the cross. We had looked forward to this sight for days, for seven thousand years of indulgence from penance are attached to it. But when the moment came we could see nothing but a black board hung with a cloth, before which another white cloth was held. In a few minutes this was withdrawn, and the great moment was over, the glimpse of the sacred thing on which hung the fate of seven thousand years."

FOOTNOTES:

[9] Later.—This is the church in which the late Pope Leo XIII. is to be buried.

[10] The Roman Catholic Church in Italy, Alexander Robertson, p. 113.

[11] Hare, II., 93.

[12] Hare's Walks in Rome, II., pp. 166, 167.

[13] Hare, II., 45.

[14] Italics not mine, but so printed in the extract.

[15] Feast of St. Peter's Chair.

[16] Feast of St. Peter.


[Pg 293]

CHAPTER XXXI.

The Legends, the Popes, and the Pasquinades.

The Manufacture of St. Philomena.

Before quitting the subject of the relics at Rome, I must give my readers what Hare calls "the extraordinary history of the manufacture of S. Filomena, now one of the most popular saints in Italy, and one towards whom idolatry is carried out with frantic enthusiasm both at Domo d'Ossola and in some of the Neapolitan States."

"In the year 1802, while some excavations were going forward in the Catacombs of Priscilla, a sepulchre was discovered containing the skeleton of a young female; on the exterior were rudely painted some of the symbols constantly recurring in these chambers of the dead—an anchor, an olive branch (emblems of Hope and Peace), a scourge, two arrows, and a javelin; above them the following inscription, of which the beginning and end were destroyed:

—"Lumena Pax Te Cum Fi"—

The remains, reasonably supposed to be those of one of the early martyrs for the faith, were sealed up and deposited in the treasury of relics in the Lateran; here they remained for some years unthought of. On the return of Pius VII. from France, a Neapolitan prelate was sent to congratulate him. One of the priests in his train, who wished to create a sensation in his district, where the long residence of the French had probably caused some decay of piety, begged for a few relics to carry home, and these recently discovered remains were bestowed on him; the [Pg 294] inscription was translated somewhat freely to signify Santa Philomena, rest in peace. Another priest, whose name is suppressed, because of his great humility, was favored by a vision in the broad noonday, in which he beheld the glorious virgin Filomena, who was pleased to reveal to him that she had suffered death for preferring the Christian faith and her vow of chastity to the addresses of the emperor, who wished to make her his wife. This vision leaving much of her history obscure, a certain young artist, whose name is also suppressed, perhaps because of his great humility, was informed in a vision that the emperor alluded to was Diocletian, and at the same time the torments and persecutions suffered by the Christian virgin Filomena, as well as her wonderful constancy, were also revealed to him. There were some difficulties in the way of the Emperor Diocletian, which incline the writer of the historical account to incline to the opinion that the young artist in his wisdom may have made a mistake, and that the emperor may have been not Diocletian, but Maximian. The facts, however, now admitted of no doubt; the relics were carried by the priest Francesco da Lucia to Naples; they were enclosed in a case of wood resembling in form the human body; this figure was habited in a petticoat of white satin, and over it a crimson tunic after the Greek fashion; the face was painted to represent nature, a garland of flowers was placed on the head, and in the hands a lily and a javelin with the point reversed, to express her purity and her martyrdom; then she was laid in a half-sitting posture in a sarcophagus, of which the sides were glass, and, after lying for some time in state in the chapel of the Torres family in the Church of Sant' Angiolo, she was carried in grand procession to Mugnano, a little town about twenty miles from Naples, amid the acclamations of the people, [Pg 295] working many and surprising miracles by the way.... Such is the legend of S. Filomena, and such the authority on which she has become within the last twenty years one of the most popular saints in Italy."—Mrs. Jameson's Sacred and Legendary Art, p. 671.

But, after all, the most extraordinary case of saint-manufacture is not that of Philomena, but that of Buddha! I have not room for the story here, but if any one wishes to know how the papacy made Buddha a Christian saint, he will find the whole story, with the proofs, in A History of the Warfare of Science and Theology, by Andrew D. White, LL. D., late President and Professor of History at Cornell University, and until recently United States Ambassador to Germany.

"The Courteous Spaniard."

A few days ago we visited the Church of St. Laurence Without the Walls, where in a silver shrine under the high altar, the remains of St. Laurence and St. Stephen are said to rest. The walls of the portico of the church are covered with a series of frescoes, lately repainted. One series represents the story of St. Stephen and that of the translation of his relics to this church. "The relics of St. Stephen were preserved at Constantinople, whither they had been transported from Jerusalem by the Empress Eudoxia, wife of Theodosius II. Hearing that her daughter, Eudoxia, wife of Valentinian II., Emperor of the West, was afflicted with a devil, she begged her to come to Constantinople, that her demon might be driven out by the touch of the relics. The younger Eudoxia wished to comply, but the devil refused to leave her unless St. Stephen was brought to Rome. An agreement was therefore made that the relics of St. Stephen should be exchanged for those of St. Laurence. St. Stephen arrived, and the Empress was immediately relieved of her devil; but when the persons [Pg 296] who had brought the relics of St. Stephen from Constantinople were about to take those of St. Laurence back with them, they all fell down dead! Pope Pelagius prayed for their restoration to life, which was granted for a short time, to prove the efficacy of prayer, but they all died again ten days later! Thus the Romans knew that it would be criminal to fulfil their promise, and part with the relics of St. Laurence, and the bodies of the two martyrs were laid in the same sarcophagus." And thus we know how much more the Romans think of relics than of honor and truth. "It is related that when they opened the sarcophagus, and lowered into it the body of St. Stephen, St. Laurence moved on one side, giving the place of honor on the right hand to St. Stephen; hence, the common people of Rome have conferred on St. Laurence the title of 'Il cortese Spagnuolo'—the courteous Spaniard."

Another series of these pictures in the portico represents the story of a sacristan who, coming to pray in this church before day, found it filled with worshippers, and was told by St. Laurence himself that they were the Apostle Peter, the first martyr, Stephen, and other apostles, martyrs and virgins from paradise, and was ordered to go and tell the Pope what he had seen, and bid him come and celebrate a solemn mass. The sacristan objected that the Pope would not believe him, and asked for some visible sign. Then St. Laurence ungirt his robe and gave him his girdle. When the Pope was accompanying him back to the basilica they met a funeral procession. To test the powers of the girdle, the Pope laid it on the bier, and at once the dead arose and walked.

The Miracles of St. Dominic.

That is not the only miracle of resurrection offered to our credulity by these ecclesiastical legends. The three principal frescoes in the chapter [Pg 297] house of the church of St. Sisto, recently painted by the Padre Besson, represent three miracles of St. Dominic—in each case of raising from the dead—the subjects being a mason who had fallen from a scaffold when building this monastery, a child, and the young Lord Napoleone Orsini, who had been thrown from his horse and instantly killed, and who was brought to life by St. Dominic on this spot, as is further commemorated by an inscription on the wall. But miracles were nothing uncommon in the history of the founder of the powerful Dominican Order. In the refectory of St. Marco, at Florence, we had seen the fine fresco which represents the miraculous provision made for him and his forty friars at a time of scarcity by two angels. The refectory in which this miracle took place is at the Church of St. Sabina, on the Aventine, in Rome; but there are three other things at this church which interested us hardly less than the scene of that miracle. One of them is the huge, pumpkin-shaped, black stone, two or three times as big as a man's head, which the devil is said to have hurled at St. Dominic one day when he found him lying prostrate in prayer. This stone is the most conspicuous object in the church, being set up on a pillar about three feet high, right in the middle of the nave. Not far away is the marble slab on which the saint was lying at the time that the formidable missile was thrown. The adversary's aim was not good, and the saint was not harmed. The second thing of chief interest here is the Chapel of the Rosary, at the other end of the same aisle in which the marble slab lies, built on the very spot where St. Dominic had the vision in which he received the rosary from the hands of the Virgin. The supernatural gift is commemorated in a beautiful painting by Sassoferato. It is hardly necessary to explain to any of my readers that a rosary is a string [Pg 298] of beads used by Roman Catholics to keep the count of the number of Pater-nosters and Ave-Marias which they repeat, and that this manner of "vain repetitions" was first used by the Dominicans among Roman Catholics, though the custom was really borrowed from the Mohammedans and Brahmins, who still use rosaries. The third object is the famous orange tree, now six hundred and seventy years old, which is said to have been brought from Spain and planted in the court here by St. Dominic himself, orange trees having been unknown in Rome before that time, and "which still lives, and is firmly believed to flourish or fail with the fortunes of the Dominican Order." Ladies are not allowed to approach this tree, so, as there were ladies in our party, we all contented ourselves with a look at it through a window. Hard by, of course, there is a room where things are sold to pilgrims and visitors. There we bought a rosary, the beads of which are made of the fruit of the plant called the Thorn of Christ, with the exception of the bead next to the cross, which is a tiny dried orange from St. Dominic's tree. Enclosed in the cross are a little piece of the wood of the tree, and some earth from the catacombs where the bodies of Sts. Peter and Paul, and of the holy virgin martyrs, Sts. Agnes and Cecilia, reposed for some time. The printed leaflet which accompanies our purchase tells us that "these rosaries, when sold or ordered, are blessed and enriched with the indulgences of the Rosary Confraternity and the papal blessing. When blessed they may be distributed; but if resold they lose all the indulgences." (Italics ours.)

Still another relic of great interest in this convent of St. Sabina is the crucifix of Michele Ghislieri (afterwards Pope Pius V.). "One day, as Ghislieri was about to kiss his crucifix, in the eagerness of prayer, the image of [Pg 299] Christ, says the legend, retired of its own accord from his touch, for it had been poisoned by an enemy, and a kiss would have been death."

Sundry Miracles by Other Saints, and Images.

In the Church of St. Gregory, on the Cœlian Hill, the thing that interested us most was the picture by Badalocchi, "commemorating a miracle on this spot, when, at the moment of elevation, the Host is said to have bled in the hands of St. Gregory, to convince an unbeliever of the truth of transubstantiation." This is the same Gregory who presented certain foreign ambassadors with a handful of earth from the arena of the Coliseum as a relic for their sovereigns, so many martyrs having suffered death there, and "upon their receiving the gift with disrespect, he pressed it, when blood flowed from the soil."

Not far from the Church of St. Gregory we were shown the hermitage where St. Giovanni de Matha lived. "Before he came to reside here he had been miraculously brought from Tunis (whither he had gone on a mission) to Ostia, in a boat without helm or sail, in which he knelt without ceasing before the crucifix throughout the whole of his voyage!"

Time would fail me to tell of the miraculous surgical operation performed by Sts. Cosmo and Damian upon a man who was praying in the church dedicated to them, and who had a diseased leg amputated without pain by the good saints while he slept; and not only so, but had a sound leg, which they had taken from the body of a man just buried, substituted for the diseased one. Nor can I dwell on the miraculous blindness with which the guard sent to seize Pope St. Martin I. was stricken the moment he caught sight of the pontiff in St. Maria Maggiore, or the miraculous tears shed by an image of the [Pg 300] Virgin attached to a neighboring wall when she saw a cruel murder committed in the street below, or the madonnas and crucifixes that spoke to saints on various occasions. One of these, however, is too significant to be omitted altogether. There is in the Church of St. Agostino a sculptured image of the Madonna and child. "It is not long since the report was spread that one day a poor woman called upon this image of the Madonna for help; it began to speak, and replied, 'If I had only something, then I could help thee, but I myself am so poor!' This story was circulated, and very soon throngs of credulous people hastened hither to kiss the foot of the Madonna, and to present her with all kinds of gifts." (Italics mine.)

How the Papal Treasury was Filled, and how it was Emptied.

The evil methods employed at various times to replenish the papal treasury are known to all readers of history. The best known, perhaps, is the shameless traffic in indulgences by Tetzel, which helped to precipitate the Reformation. Hare closes his account of the execution of Beatrice Cenci for complicity in the murder of her father with the statement that "sympathy will always follow one who sinned under the most terrible of provocations, and whose cruel death was due to the avarice of Clement VIII. for the riches which the church acquired by the confiscation of the Cenci property," and cites the petition of Gaspare Guizza (1601), in which he claims a reward from the Pope for his service in apprehending one of the assassins of Francesco Cenci, on the ground that thus "the other accomplices and their confessions were secured, and so many thousands of crowns brought into the papal treasury." The venality of Pope Alexander VI., Rodrigo Borgia (1492-1503), "the wicked and avaricious father of Cæsar and Lucretia, who is believed [Pg 301] to have died of the poison which he intended for one of his cardinals," is thus hit off by Pasquino:

"Vendit Alexander claves, altaria, Christum;
Emerat ille prius, vendere jure potest."

Of Innocent X. (1644-'55), Pasquino says, "Magis amat Olympiam quam Olympium," referring to the shameful relations existing between this Pope and his avaricious sister-in-law, Olympia Maidalchini, who made it her business to secure the profits of the papacy in hard cash. Trollope, in his Life of Olympia, says: "No appointment to office of any kind was made except in consideration of a proportionable sum paid down into her own coffers. This often amounted to three or four years' revenue of the place to be granted. Bishoprics and benefices were sold as fast as they became vacant. One story is told of an unlucky disciple of Simon, who in treating with the Pope for a valuable see, just fallen vacant, and hearing from her a price at which it might be his, far exceeding all he could command, persuaded the members of his family to sell all they had for the purpose of making this profitable investment. The price was paid, and the bishopric was given him, but, with a fearful resemblance to the case of Ananias, he died within the year, and his ruined family saw the see a second time sold by the insatiable and incorrigible Olympia.... During the last year of Innocent's life, Olympia literally hardly ever quitted him. Once a week, we read, she left the Vatican, secretly by night, accompanied by several porters carrying sacks of coins, the proceeds of the week's extortions and sales, to her own palace. And during these short absences she used to lock the Pope into his chamber, and take the key with her!" She finally "deserted him on his death-bed, making off with the accumulated spoils of his ten [Pg 302] years' papacy, which enabled her son, Don Camillo, to build the Palazzo Doria Pamfili, in the Corso, and the beautiful Villa Doria Pamfili," west of the Janiculan Hill. This villa, with its casino, garden, lake, fountain, pine-shaded lawns and woods, and its fine view of St. Peter's standing out against the green Campagna beyond, and the blue Sabine mountains in the distance, is to this day one of the loveliest villas in Italy, and the favorite resort of the latter-day Romans and visitors to their city on the two afternoons of the week on which it is open to pedestrians and two-horse carriages.

The notorious Simony practiced by the popes, in which, as we have just seen, Olympia became such an adept, gave rise to the biting Latin couplet—

"An Petrus Romæ fuerit, sub judice lis est;
Simonem Romæ nemo fuisse negat."

Some of the modern methods of making use of the Pope for purposes of gain are less objectionable than those of Olympia. Dr. Alexander Robertson, in his Roman Catholic Church in Italy, just published, says: "One of the very latest novelties of the 'Pope's Shop' is a penny-in-the-slot blessing machine. Specimens of this were lately to be seen in the Corso, Rome, about half way between the Piazza Colonna and the Piazza del Popolo. A penny is dropped into it. The cinematograph, or wheel of life, goes round, when, lo! there appears a long procession of richly clothed cardinals and monsignori, and then the Pope in a sedan chair, accompanied by his Swiss Guards. As he is carried past the spectator, he turns towards the window of his chair, a smile overspreads his face, he raises his hands, and gives his blessing. On these machines there is an inscription to the effect that the blessing thus given and received is equivalent to that given by the Pope [Pg 303] in person in St. Peter's. Truly a novel way of turning an honest penny!" We hear that a rash churchman, not liking the facts just stated, undertook to deny them in the public prints, when up spoke some English gentlemen, who had been in Rome recently, and bowled the churchman over with the statement that they had themselves seen this blessing machine on the Corso.

One never touches this subject of the vast wealth of the papacy without calling to mind the well-known rejoinder of the great theologian, Thomas Aquinas, when the Pope was showing him all his money and riches, and said, "You see, Thomas, the church cannot now say what it said in early times, 'Silver and gold have I none.'" "No," answered Aquinas, "nor can it say, 'Rise up and walk'" (Acts iii. 6). This loss of spiritual power, this loss of ability to minister salvation to others, is one of the most melancholy results of the corruption of the papacy.

Some Ugly Things in the Lives of the Popes.

Dr. Alexander Robertson, in his recent book on The Roman Catholic Church in Italy, which has received the hearty approval of the King of Italy and his Prime Minister, says: "There are few, I daresay, who have looked into the history of the popes, no matter what their religious faith may be, who will not agree with me when I say that it does not afford pleasant reading. One's intellect rebels against their preposterous claims and pretensions, and one's moral sense against their character and lives. Amongst them there were some good men, some learned men, and some really able men; but, taking them all in all, they were, beyond doubt, amongst the lowest class of men to be found on the pages of history. To wade through their lives is to cross a pestiferous moral swamp of worldliness, simony, nepotism, concubinage, personal [Pg 304] animosities, sanguinary feuds, forged decretals, plunderings, poisonings, assassinations, massacres, death." [17]

One may smile at such papal peccadilloes as the vanity of Paul II., who was chiefly remarkable for his personal beauty, and was so vain of his appearance that, when he was elected Pope, he wished to take the name of Formosus. One may be amused at the intense self-esteem of Urban VIII., of whose spoliation of ancient Rome Pasquino says, "Quod non fecerunt barbari, fecerunt Barberini," and who, in the Barberini palace, had the Virgin and angels represented as bringing in the ornaments of the papacy at his coronation, and in another room a number of the Barberini bees (the family crest) flocking against the sun, and eclipsing it—to symbolize the splendor of the family. But our feeling changes when we read that "he issued a bull by which the name, estates and privileges of his house might pass to any living male descendant, legitimate or illegitimate, whether child of prince or priest," lest the family of Barberini might become absorbed in that of Colonna. And we do not go far in our reading about such popes before the feeling of amusement yields to one of sadness, indignation and horror. We need not insist upon the story of the female Pope Joan, who is said to have secured her election to the papal throne disguised as a man, and to have reigned two years as John VIII., and then to have died a shameful [Pg 305] death; for, notwithstanding the indisputable fact that till 1600 her head was included among the terra cotta representations of the other popes in the Cathedral of Sienna, and was inscribed "Johannes VIII., Femina de Anglia," and that it was then changed into a head of Pope Zacharias by the Grand Duke, at the request of Pope Clement VIII., the story is now generally discredited. But there are many other facts, established beyond controversy, which explain fully the feeling of the great majority of the Italian people and the verdict of the accredited historians of the world. When the penitential Pope, Adrian VI. (1522-'23), died of drinking too much beer, "the house of his physician was hung with garlands by midnight revellers, and decorated with the inscription, Liberatori Patriæ, S. P. Q. R.'" The nepotism of the learned, brilliant and witty Paul III. "induced him to form Parma into a duchy for his natural son Pierluigui, to build the Farnese Palace, and to marry his grandson Ottavio to Marguerite, natural daughter of Charles V." John XII., the first Pope who took a new name, "scandalized Christendom by a life of murder, robbery, adultery and incest." Of the tombs of the eighty-seven popes who were buried in the old basilica of St. Peter's, only two were replaced when the present building was erected, those of the two popes who lived in the time and excited the indignation of Savonarola—"Sixtus IV., with whose cordial concurrence the assassination of Lorenzo de' Medici was attempted, and Innocent VIII., the main object of whose policy was to secure place and power for his illegitimate children," sixteen in number, and who is represented on his tomb as holding in his hand the spear of "St. Longinus," which had pierced the side of Christ. This spear was sent to Innocent VIII. by the Sultan Bajazet, nearly fifteen hundred years after the [Pg 306] crucifixion, and, as we have already seen, is now preserved in St. Peter's as one of its four chief relics. Guicciardini says of the death of Alexander VI.: "All Rome ran with indescribable gladness to visit the corpse. Men could not satiate their eyes with feeding on the carcase of the serpent who, by his unbounded ambition and pestiferous perfidy, by every demonstration of horrible cruelty, monstrous lust and unheard-of avarice, selling without distinction things sacred and profane, had filled the world with venom."

"Pope Paul V. granted dispensations and pensions to any persons who would assassinate Fra Paolo Sarpi; Pope Pius V. offered, as Mr. Froude tells us, 'remission of sin to them and their heirs, with annuities, honors and promotions, to any cook, brewer, baker, vintner, physician, grocer, surgeon, or others,' who would make away with Queen Elizabeth; and Pope Gregory XIII. offered a high place in heaven to any one who would murder the Prince of Orange; and the poor wretch, Balthazar Gerard, who did the infamous deed, actually told his judges 'that he would soon be a saint in heaven, and would have the first place there next to God,' whilst his family received a patent of nobility, and entered into the possession of the estate of the Prince in the Franche Comté—rewards promised for the commission of the crime by Cardinal Granvelle." (Dr. Alexander Robertson's Roman Catholic Church in Italy, p. 94.)

These are some of the things that help to explain not only the tone of the pasquinades, not only the indictments of the world's leading historians, which are to be presently cited, but also the present attitude of something like twenty millions of the thirty-odd millions of Italy's inhabitants, who have forsaken the church altogether.

What idea the people have of the Jesuits in particular [Pg 307] is well shown by the legend connected with the Piazza del Gesu, the great open space in front of the Jesuit church, which is considered the windiest place in Rome. The story is that the devil and the wind were one day taking a walk together. "When they came to this square, the devil, who seemed to be very devout, said to the wind, 'Just wait a minute, mio caro, while I go into this church.' So the wind promised, and the devil went into the Gesu, and has never come out again—and the wind is blowing about in the Piazza del Gesu to this day."

Pasquino's View of the Pope.

One of the interesting objects in Rome is a mutilated statue called Pasquino, which stands at the corner of the Orsini Palace, one of the most central and public places in the city. The reason for the interest attaching to this almost shapeless piece of marble is that for centuries it was used for placarding those satires upon the popes which, by their exceeding cleverness and biting truth, have made the name of pasquinade famous the world over. No squib that was ever affixed to that column had a keener edge than the one known as "The Antithesis of Christ," which appeared at the beginning of the sixteenth century, and runs as follows:

Christ said, "My kingdom is not of this world."
The Pope conquers cities by force.

Christ had a crown of thorns:
The Pope wears a triple diadem.

Christ washed the feet of his disciples:
The Pope has his kissed by kings.

Christ paid tribute:
The Pope takes it.

Christ fed the sheep:
The Pope wishes to be master of the world.

Christ carried on his shoulders the cross: [Pg 308]
The Pope is carried on the shoulders of his servants in liveries of gold.

Christ despised riches:
The Pope has no other passion than for gold.

Christ drove out the merchants from the temple:
The Pope welcomes them.

Christ preached peace:
The Pope is the torch of war.

Christ was meekness:
The Pope is pride personified.

Christ promulgated the laws that the Pope tramples under foot.

What the Italians now Think about it.

"But," some one may say, "the pasquinades were written long ago, and, while they are doubtless true descriptions of the papacy of the past, surely no one would take the same view now." For answer I may quote the statement of Dr. Raffaelle Mariano, Professor of Philosophy in the University of Naples, who is not a Protestant, but, as he tells us, was "born in the Roman Catholic Church," and was "a fervent Catholic from infancy." Speaking of the vast difference which he found between the teachings of the church and those of the New Testament as to what is necessary to salvation, he says, "Therefore, Roman Catholicism is not only not Christianity, but it is the very antithesis of Christianity," a statement every whit as strong as Pasquino's. Some American Protestants, especially those who have personal friends in the Roman Catholic Church whom they honor and love—and there are many people in that church who are richly worthy of honor and love, and who do not approve of the evils we have been describing any more than we do—are sometimes disposed to think that Protestant writers [Pg 309] are too severe in their condemnation of the Romish Church as a system. A visit to Italy, the centre of Romanism, would quickly disabuse these overcharitable Protestants of that impression. We have all read of such things as are described above in connection with the relics and legends, but they seem far away and unreal, and almost impossible, until we come to the home of Romanism and find them all around us. Then it ceases to surprise us that so large a proportion of the most intelligent men in Italy occupy a position of indifference and unbelief, or hostility and scorn, towards the Christian religion, for Romanism is the only Christianity that most of them know. Let it be remembered, too, that the King, able, conscientious, patriotic, devoted to the welfare of his people, and the Prime Minister, Zanardelli, like his predecessor, Crispi, and the members of Parliament, and the army and navy, and the whole government which has given Italy such wonderful stability and prosperity since the overthrow of the papal dominion and opened before the nation a future of so much promise, are all standing aloof from the Pope. Let any one see one of the great pilgrimages from every part of the country to the tomb of Victor Emmanuel, who freed Italy, as we saw it the other day, and observe the immense popularity of the great liberator and his successors of the house of Savoy, and let him note the firm opposition of Italy's leading men to the papacy, and he will see that the view of the Pope which the secular newspapers so persistently seek to force upon the people of the English-speaking world simply cannot be that of the thoughtful men of Italy.

By the way, I see plenty of women confessing to the priests, but very, very few men. The textbook used in the training of priests as father-confessors, and the [Pg 310] standard work of the church on that subject, approved by Pope Leo XIII., is Liguori's Moral Philosophy. "On July 14, 1901, the Asino, a daily newspaper published in Rome, printed in its columns, and also in the form of large bills, which it caused to be posted up in public places in the chief cities of Italy, a challenge offering one thousand francs to any Roman Catholic newspaper which would have the courage to print the Latin text, with an Italian translation, of two passages in Liguori's book, which it specified. The challenge was never taken up, and it never will be, for any one daring to publish the passages named would certainly be prosecuted for outraging public decency" (Dr. Alexander Robertson, Roman Catholic Church in Italy, p. 149). Hare says, "It was a curious characteristic of the laxity of morals in the time of Julius II. (1503-'13), that her friends did not hesitate to bury the famous Aspasia of that age in this church (St. Gregorio), and to inscribe upon her tomb: 'Imperia, cortisana Romana, quæ digna tanto nomine, raræ inter homines formæ specimen dedit.'... But this monument has now been removed." [18]

Most of the facts above cited, especially those concerning the legends and the Popes, except where specific acknowledgment is made to other writers, have been drawn from Hare's invaluable Walks in Rome. Let us [Pg 311] conclude the list with the testimonies of a few eminent men of unimpeachable competence and veracity as to the character and influence of the Roman Catholic Church as a system.

Macaulay, Dickens and Gladstone on the Influence of Romanism.

In the first chapter of his History of England, Lord Macaulay says: "From the time when the barbarians overran the Western Empire to the time of the revival of letters, the influence of the Church of Rome had been generally favorable to science, to civilization, to good government. But during the last three centuries, to stunt the growth of the human mind has been her chief object. Throughout Christendom, whatever advance has been made in knowledge, in freedom, in wealth, and in the arts of life, has been made in spite of her, and has everywhere been in inverse proportion to her power. The loveliest and most fertile provinces of Europe have, under her rule, been sunk in poverty, in political servitude, and in intellectual torpor, while Protestant countries, once proverbial for sterility and barbarism, have been turned by skill and industry into gardens, and can boast of a long list of heroes and statesmen, philosophers and poets. Whoever, knowing what Italy and Scotland naturally are, and what, four hundred years ago, they actually were, shall now compare the country round Rome with the country round Edinburgh, will be able to form some judgment as to the tendency of papal domination. The descent of Spain, once the first among the monarchies, to the lowest depths of degradation, the elevation of Holland, in spite of many natural disadvantages, to a position such as no commonwealth so small has ever reached, teach the same lesson. Whoever passes in Germany from a Roman Catholic to a Protestant principality, in Switzerland from a Roman Catholic to a Protestant canton, in Ireland from a Roman [Pg 312] Catholic to a Protestant county, finds that he has passed from a lower to a higher grade of civilization. On the other side of the Atlantic the same law prevails. The Protestants of the United States have left far behind them the Roman Catholics of Mexico, Peru and Brazil. The Roman Catholics of Lower Canada remain inert, while the whole continent round them is in a ferment with Protestant activity and enterprise. The French have doubtless shown an energy and intelligence which, even when misdirected, have justly entitled them to be called a great people. But this apparent exception, when examined, will be found to confirm the rule, for in no country that is called Roman Catholic has the Roman Catholic Church, during several generations, possessed so little authority as in France."

Charles Dickens, in a letter written from Switzerland, in 1845, to his friend and biographer, Forster, says: "In the Simplon, hard by here, where (at the bridge of St. Maurice over the Rhone) the Protestant canton ends and a Catholic canton begins, you might separate two perfectly distinct and different conditions of humanity by drawing a line with your stick in the dust on the ground. On the Protestant side—neatness, cheerfulness, industry, education, continued aspiration, at least, after better things. On the Catholic side—dirt, disease, ignorance, squalor and misery. I have so constantly observed the like of this since I came abroad that I have a sad misgiving that the religion of Ireland lies at the root of all its sorrows." Writing from Genoa, in 1846, Dickens says, "If I were a Swiss, with a hundred thousand pounds, I would be as steady against the Catholic canons and the propagation of Jesuitism as any Radical among them; believing the dissemination of Catholicity to be the most horrible means of political and social degradation left in the world."

[Pg 313]

In connection with Dickens' remark about Ireland, we may quote the remarkable statement of Mr. Michael McCarthy, himself a Roman Catholic, in his book, Five Years in Ireland, pp. 65 and 66, where, after describing the welcome of the Belfast Corporation to Lord Cadogan on his first visit, in 1895, to the Protestant North of Ireland, and their glowing statements about the peaceful and prosperous condition of their city and district, he contrasts this happy condition with the unhappy state of the "rest of Ireland," meaning by that the Roman Catholic parts. "In the rest of Ireland there is no social or industrial progress to record. The man who would say of it that it was 'progressing and prospering,' or that 'its work people were fully employed,' or that there existed 'a continued development of its industries,' or that its towns 'had increased in value and population,' would be set down as a madman. It is in this seven-eighths of Ireland that the growing and great organization of the Catholic Church has taken root."

Mr. Gladstone, in an article on "Italy and her Church," in the Church Quarterly Review for October, 1875, says: "Profligacy, corruption and ambition, continued for ages, unitedly and severally, their destructive work upon the country, through the Curia and the papal chair; and in doing it they of course have heavily tainted the faith of which that chair was the guardian." Elsewhere he says, "There has never been any more cunning blade devised against the freedom, the virtue and the happiness of a people than Romanism."

Nathaniel Hawthorne, in his Marble Faun, which, by the way, contains the most charming of all the descriptive writing about Rome, put the case none too strongly when he spoke of being "disgusted with the pretense of holiness and the reality of nastiness, each equally omnipresent" [Pg 314] in the city of the popes. The new government has wrought a great change in this respect, and Rome is in many parts of it now quite a clean city.

There, then, are the facts as to the influence of the Roman Catholic Church. I am, of course, very far from saying that there are no good people in that church. As I have already stated, I believe that there are many good people in it, but my own observation has satisfied me that the verdict of history as to the baleful influence of the system is absolutely correct.

"What, then," some one may ask, "do the good people in that church think of all the immoralities and frauds that it has condoned and fostered?" The answer is that the really good people in that church must grieve over them and deplore them just as the good people in other churches do.


P. S.—It is generally believed, and apparently with good reason, that the new Pope, Pius X., is a better man than many of his predecessors, and that he cannot be charged with the immoralities or the ambition and avarice which characterized them. Let us hope that he will have the courage to attempt some real reform in the lives of many of his clergy.

FOOTNOTES:

[17] It was a bad day for the cause of truth when Foxe's Book of Martyrs was allowed to go out of general circulation. When I was a boy it was no uncommon thing to see copies of it in American homes. Now it is rarely seen. A new and corrected edition of it ought to be brought out and given wide circulation. There have been not a few indications this year that our people are forgetting some of the most instructive history of all the past, and those who seem to be most oblivious of it are the editors of some of the secular newspapers.

[18] There are other indications of some improvement in this matter, but an Anglican resident in Italy, quoted by the Review of Reviews as "a painstaking and fair-minded" witness, says, "People are not shocked by clerical immorality, but regard it as natural and inevitable." To an Anglican friend a Roman prelate lamented that a certain cardinal was not elected at the late conclave. But the Anglican replied, "He is a man of conspicuous immorality." "No doubt," was the answer, "but you Americans seem to think there is no virtue but chastity. The Cardinal has not that, but he is an honest man."


[Pg 315]

CHAPTER XXXII.

The Old Forces and the New in the Eternal City.

An Audience with the Pope.

Well, we have seen the Pope. Hearing that a body of Italian pilgrims were to be received by the pontiff at the Vatican, and having assured ourselves that the function was one which would involve no official recognition of the Pope on our part, and that we should be merely Protestant spectators, we gladly accepted the offer of tickets for the audience, and, supposing in our simplicity that, as the reception was set for noon, we should be sufficiently early if we went at eleven o'clock, we drove up to the main entrance of the Vatican at that hour. There was a great throng of people about the door, but our tickets obtained for us immediate entrance along with a stream of other ladies and gentlemen. The regulation attire for these functions is full evening dress for gentlemen, while ladies wear black, with no hat, but with a lace mantilla on the head. We first passed through a double line of the famous Swiss Guards, in their extraordinary uniform of crimson, yellow and black, designed by no less a person than Michael Angelo. Then we were shown up the great stairway, and passing through a couple of large rooms, one of which was adorned with Raphael's frescoes, we found ourselves at the entrance of a long and spacious hall, already densely crowded, as it seemed to us, but with a space kept open down the centre between the rows of seats on either side. Looking down this open space, we could see at the other end, on a slightly raised platform, the pontifical throne, upholstered in red velvet, with [Pg 316] golden back and arms, effectively set in the midst of crimson hangings, which swept in rich masses from the lofty ceiling to the floor. Preceded by guards, we travelled the whole length of the hall, and found, to our great gratification, that our seats were quite close to the throne, so that we had an excellent position for seeing and hearing all that was going on. We soon noticed that many of the hundreds of people present, like some of us, had not observed the regulations as to dress. Many others had. Mingled with the soberer attire of the spectators, pilgrims and priests, we saw now and then a violet cassock, as one bishop after another drifted in. Apart from these vestments, there was no semblance of a religious gathering. It was more like a social function, and the people were chatting gaily, the jolliest and noisiest crowd being a group of young seminarians, prospective priests, who occupied the same bench with us and the two or three nearest to it. After we had been there an hour the great clock of St. Peter's struck twelve. Instantly all the noisy young seminarians rose to their feet and began to recite, in a lower, humming tone, their Ave-Marias and Pater-Nosters. As soon as the reciting and counting of beads was over, as it was in a minute, they struck in again with their gay conversation. We had plenty of time to take it all in. The Pope is always late, and it was an hour after the time fixed for the audience when he appeared; but at last he did, and instantly everybody, men and women, sprang up on the benches and chairs, frantically waving their handkerchiefs and shouting at the top of their voices, "Evviva il Papa-Re! Evviva il Papa-Re!"—"Long live the Pope-King! Long live the Pope-King!"—the ablest performer in this part of the ceremony being a leather-lunged young priest at my elbow, with a voice as powerful and persistent as that of a hungry calf, and [Pg 317] who made known his desire for the restoration of the temporal power to the Pope with such energy that the perspiration rolled down his fat face in shining rivulets. I never heard anything like it except in a political convention or a stock exchange. Accompanied by the Noble Guard, a body of picked men renowned for their superb physique and clad in resplendent uniform, the Holy Father was borne in on an arm-chair, carried by twelve men, also in uniform. Occasionally he would rise to his feet with evident effort, leaning on, or rather grasping, one arm of his chair, and bless the people he was passing, with two fingers outstretched in the familiar attitude that we have seen in the pictures. At such times the furious acclamations, and waving of handkerchiefs, and clapping of hands, would be redoubled. He passed within arm's length of us, a little knot of Protestants, silent amid the uproar. It was a pitiful spectacle. A pallid, feeble, tottering old man, with slender, shrunken neck, and excessively sharp and prominent features, nose and chin almost meeting—we now understood Zola's description: "The simious ugliness of his face, the largeness of his nose, the long slit of his mouth, the hugeness of his ears, the conflicting jumble of his withered features." But out of this waxen face peered a pair of brilliant dark eyes, the only sign of real vitality about him. When he had been carefully lowered by the chair-bearers, and had taken his throne on the platform, with his attendants ranged round him, the spokesman of the pilgrims came forward and read an address, to which the Pope's amanuensis, standing by his side, read a brief reply. Then the Pope pronounced the benediction in a surprisingly clear voice, after which the pilgrims were introduced individually, not all of them, but a certain number of representative persons among them. These all knelt and kissed his hand. When [Pg 318] this ceremony was over the audience closed, and the Pontiff was borne out as he came in, amid wild applause.

The Pope's Last Jubilee in St. Peter's.

On the third of March, while I was in Egypt, our party in Rome saw a much more imposing ceremony than the one I have just described. Every one has noticed how numerous the papal jubilees have been during the last quarter of a century, every year or so seeing the celebration of some jubilee of the Pope's official life. In twenty-one years he has had no less than fourteen of them. Their frequency should not surprise us when we remember that each of them turns a vast stream of gifts and money into the papal treasury from every part of the world. One of my correspondents writes me that for the celebration of March 3rd both sides of the nave of St. Peter's were lined with pens or boxes, all free except those near the high altar, and in the middle of the nave a passage about fifteen feet wide was railed off for the procession. "We drove to St. Peter's through a pouring rain about 7:45 A. M. The building was already packed with people. It is estimated that there were fifty thousand of us by eleven o'clock. We walked down the left aisle and took our position at the base of a pillar, where we could see the Pope as he entered from the right aisle. There we waited from eight o'clock till after eleven. He was an hour late. Finally, we heard the silver trumpets sounding from the gallery in the dome. His guards preceded him, and other attendants bearing swords, maces and a cross. The caps indicating the offices he filled before he became Pope were carried on cushions by three cardinals. He was himself carried on the shoulders of twelve men, dressed in rich red costumes. The Pope sat in his red and gold chair, richly robed in white satin embroidered with gold. He wore a crown of the same materials, white [Pg 319] silk mits, and a large ring. When he entered the nave he stood and blessed the people, holding up two fingers. The music was fine. We heard the singing as it came nearer and nearer, but as soon as the Pope appeared the people broke into shouts, waving handkerchiefs, and making so much noise that we could no longer hear the music. We left after five hours."

EDWARD VII. OF ENGLAND, AND VICTOR EMMANUEL III. OF ITALY, IN ROME.

Later in the season those members of our party who remained in Rome while we were travelling through Egypt and Palestine, had very satisfactory views of King Edward VII. of England and William II., the Emperor of Germany, on their visits to Rome. As they had seen the Prince of Wales in London, and young Prince Edward, who will also be King of England some day if he lives, and the other royal children at Marlborough House, and as they have repeatedly seen King Victor Emmanuel and Queen Helena, they have had unusual opportunities for seeing for themselves whether the royalties are made of common clay. I must say for them that they are stauncher than ever in their devotion to the republican ideals of our own country. Their opportunities for seeing these royalties were better than those enjoyed by most visitors to Rome, because their rooms overlooked the palace and grounds of the Queen mother, Marguerita, and King Edward and the Kaiser, like other royal visitors to Rome, made it their first business to call on her. She is still the most beloved woman in Italy.

Our Quarters on the Pincian Hill.

The location of our rooms was advantageous in many other respects. They were high up in the southwestern corner of a tall building on the Pincian Hill, so high that we could look clear across the city to the Sabine Mountains. As soon as the sun rose over the eastern hills he looked [Pg 320] cheerily into our windows, and continued his genial companionship with us till he sank into the Mediterranean at night. We had selected the rooms with a view to this particularly, remembering the Italian proverb that "When the sun goes out of the window, the doctor comes in at the door." A room on the north side of a building should never be taken. The Roman winter is short but sharp. We could see snow on the mountains during nearly the whole of our stay, which in the case of the majority of us was five months. Then, too, we were close to the city wall, and to the gate which led out into the lovely Borghese Gardens, "whose wooded and flowery lawns are more beautiful than the finest English park scenery," where "the stone pines lift their dense clumps of branches upon a slender length of stem, so high that they look like green islands in the air, flinging down a shadow upon the turf so far off that you scarcely know which tree made it"; where there are "avenues of cypress, resembling dark flames of huge funeral candles, which spread dusk and twilight round about them, instead of cheerful radiance"; and where ancient and majestic ilex trees "lean over the green turf in ponderous grace.... Never was there a more venerable quietude than that which sleeps among their sheltering boughs; never a sweeter sunshine than that which gladdens the gentle gloom which these leafy patriarchs strive to diffuse over the swelling and subsiding lawns." Moreover, our quarters were within so short a walk of the park on the Pincio (where the band plays every afternoon, and where all Rome drives round and round the little circle at the top), and of the terrace of the Villa Medici, that we were drawn thither day after day to watch the picturesque groups of models lounging in the wintry sun on the great flight of steps that lead from the Church of Trinita de' [Pg 321] Monti down to the Piazza di Spagna, to muse over the Eternal City spread out below us, with the dome of St. Peter's, in the distance, standing out against a sky of gold, and, above all, to watch "the light that broods over the fallen sun." Nowhere in the world, at least so far as my observation of it extends, is this wonderful glow which suffuses all the western sky with crimson, orange and violet lights after the sun goes down—nowhere else is this afterglow at once so rich and so delicate as at Rome.

The Sweep of History Seen from the Janiculan.

But it is from the Janiculan Hill, on the other side of the Tiber, that one gets the most comprehensive view of the city. Among other things that take the eye from that commanding point there are three hills which may be said to epitomize the history of Rome: on the east the Palatine, where, as its name intimates, the palaces of the Cæsar's stood, representing the culmination of the glory of pagan Rome; on the west, the Vatican, where, as its name suggests, a prophet ought to dwell, though I fear he does not, and where St. Peter's, with its "insolent opulence of marble" and its colossal apotheosis of the popedom, represents the culmination of the glory of papal Rome; and, immediately in front, in the centre of the city, the Quirinal, where Victor Emmanuel's royal house stands, representing the new government of free and united Italy. From his windows in the Quirinal Palace, the King can look across the intervening city to the windows of that other palace where the relentless foe of his government lives, that vast, luxurious "prison" of the Vatican, with its eleven thousand rooms, the largest palace in the world, with its museums and libraries filled with priceless treasures, and with its extensive gardens and grounds.

[Pg 322]

Zola has pointed out how persistent, through all these three periods of Rome's history, has been that passion for cyclopean building, the "blossoming of that ancient sap, peculiar to the soil of Rome, which in all ages has thrown up preposterous edifices, of exaggerated hugeness and dazzling and ruinous luxury." First, the pagan emperors set the pace, and of their work we may take the Colosseum and the Baths of Caracalla as specimens.

The Colosseum and the Baths of Caracalla.

"The Colosseum. Ah! that colossus, only one-half or so of which has been destroyed by time as with the stroke of a mighty scythe, it rises in its enormity and majesty like a stone lacework, with hundreds of empty bays agape against the blue of heaven! There is a world of halls, stairs, landings and passages, a world where one loses one's self amid the death-like silence and solitude. The furrowed tiers of seats, eaten into by the atmosphere, are like shapeless steps leading down into some old extinct crater, some natural circus excavated by the force of the elements in indestructible rock. The hot suns of eighteen hundred years have baked and scorched this ruin, which has reverted to a state of nature, bare and golden-brown like a mountain side, since it has been stripped of its vegetation, the flora which once made it like a virgin forest. And what an evocation when the mind sets flesh and blood and life again on all that dead osseous framework, fills the circus with the ninety thousand spectators which it could hold, marshals the games and the combats of the arena, gathers a whole civilization together, from the emperor and the dignitaries to the surging plebeian sea, all aglow with the agitation and brilliancy of an impassioned people, assembled under the ruddy reflection of the giant purple velum. And then, yet further on the horizon, were other cyclopean ruins, the Baths of Caracalla, [Pg 323] standing there like relics of a race of giants long since vanished from the world: halls extravagantly and inexplicably spacious and lofty; vestibules large enough for an entire population; a frigidarium, where five hundred people could swim together; a tepidarium and a calidarium on the same proportions, born of a wild craving for the huge; and then the terrific massiveness of the structures, the thickness of the piles of brick-work, such as no feudal castle ever knew; and, in addition, the general immensity which makes passing visitors look like lost ants; one wonders for what men, for what multitudes, this monstrous edifice was reared. To-day you would say a mass of rocks in the rough thrown from some height for building the abode of Titans."

The Papal Passion for Terrestrial Immortality.

Then the Popes, when they came to power, followed this pagan example, moved by the same spirit of conquest, the same human vanity, the same passionate desire to set their names on imperishable walls, and, after dominating the world, to leave behind them indestructible traces, tangible proofs of their passing glory, eternal edifices of bronze and marble, to attest that glory till the end of time. "Among the illustrious popes there has not been one that did not seek to build, did not revert to the traditions of the Cæsars, eternizing their reigns in stone and raising temples for resting-places, so as to rank among the gods. Ever the same passion for terrestrial immortality has burst forth: it has been a battle as to who should leave the highest, most substantial, most gorgeous monument; and so acute has been the disease that those who, for lack of means and opportunity, have been unable to build, and have been forced to content themselves with repairing, have, nevertheless, desired to bequeath the memory of their modest achievements to subsequent [Pg 324] generations by commemorative marble slabs engraved with pompous inscriptions. These slabs are to be seen on every side; not a wall has ever been strengthened but some pope has stamped it with his arms, not a ruin has been restored, not a palace repaired, not a fountain cleaned, but the reigning pope has signed the work with his Roman and pagan title of 'Pontifex Maximus.' [19] It is a haunting passion, a form of involuntary debauchery, the fated florescence of that compost of ruins, that dust of edifices whence new edifices are ever arising. And given the perversion with which the old Roman soil almost immediately tarnished the doctrines of Jesus, that resolute passion for domination, and that desire for terrestrial glory which wrought the triumph of Catholicism in scorn of the humble and pure, the fraternal and simple ones of the primitive church, one may well ask whether Rome has ever been Christian at all."

The Building Boom under the New Government.

And, finally, the new government of Victor Emmanuel, for a time at least, was caught in the same current, infected with the same mania for building that seems to exhale from the very soil of the Eternal City. As the popes had not become masters of Rome without feeling impelled to rebuild it in their passion to rule over the world, so young Italy, "yielding to the hereditary madness of universal domination, had in its turn sought to make the city larger than any other, erecting whole districts for people who never came." But, fortunately for Italy, the old idea was not unmixed with newer and better ones. Their first delirious outburst of huge building operations has been explained as "a legitimate explosion of the delight [Pg 325] and the hopes of a young nation anxious to show its power. The question was to make Rome a modern capital worthy of a great kingdom, and before aught else there were sanitary requirements to be dealt with; the city needed to be cleansed of all the filth which disgraced it. One cannot nowadays imagine in what abominable putrescence the City of the Popes, the Roma sporca which artists regret, was then steeped: the vast majority of the houses lacked even the most primitive arrangements, the public thoroughfares were used for all purposes, noble ruins served as store-places for sewage, the princely palaces were surrounded by filth, and the streets were perfect manure beds, which fostered frequent epidemics. Thus, vast municipal works were absolutely necessary; the question was one of health and life itself. And in much the same way it was only right to think of building houses for the new comers who would assuredly flock into the city. There had been a precedent at Berlin, whose population, after the establishment of the German Empire, had suddenly increased by some hundreds of thousands. In the same way the population of Rome would certainly be doubled, tripled, quadrupled, for, as the new centre of national life, the city would necessarily attract all the vis viva of the provinces. And at this thought pride stepped in; the fallen government of the Vatican must be shown what Italy was capable of achieving, what splendor she would bestow on the new and third Rome, which, by the magnificence of its thoroughfares and the multitude of its people, would far excel either the imperial or the papal city." We need not follow the melancholy story of this delusion. The boom had a disastrous collapse, and the city was left full of vast, pretentious, flimsy, deserted palaces. The best thing about them is that they are perishable. The lesson, happily, [Pg 326] was not lost on the men of the new order in Italy, and they seem at last to have extricated themselves from the toils of that miasmatic megalo-mania. The government is sane, sound, conservative, proceeding with care and deliberation in its upbuilding of the country, understanding the meaning of the proverb that "Rome was not built in a day," and it has already given the country more security and prosperity than it has enjoyed for many, many centuries. If it can continue to maintain itself against the priests, there is undoubtedly a bright future before Italy.

But can it maintain itself against the priests? I think so. Yet a man would be blind indeed who could not see their number, power and activity. Rome swarms with them. Speaking of the incredible number of cassocks that one encounters in the streets, Zola says: "Ah! that ebb and flow; that ceaseless tide of black gowns and frocks of every hue! With their processions of students ever walking abroad, the seminaries of the different nations would alone suffice to drape and decorate the streets, for there are the French and the English all in black, the South Americans in black with blue sashes, the North Americans in black with red sashes, the Poles in black with green sashes, the Greeks in blue, the Germans in red, the Scots in violet, the Romans in black or violet or purple, the Bohemians with chocolate sashes, the Irish with red lappets, the Spaniards with blue cords, to say nothing of all the others with broidery and bindings and buttons in a hundred different styles. And, in addition, there are the confraternities, the penitents, white, black, blue and gray, with sleeveless frocks and capes of different hue, gray, blue, black or white. And thus, even nowadays, papal Rome at times seems to resuscitate, and one can realize how tenaciously and vigorously [Pg 327] she struggles on in order that she may not disappear in the cosmopolitan Rome of the new era." Yes, Italy will escape from the clutches of the papacy, but she will have to work. There must be no relaxation of vigilance or energy on her part—or on ours. For this multitude of young priests from every part of the world spells menace for other lands besides Italy.

FOOTNOTE:

[19] On the Appian Way, beyond the tomb of Cecilia Metella, a marble tablet has been placed, informing all men that here Pius IX. once ate his lunch.


[Pg 328]

CHAPTER XXXIII.

The Two Types of Religion in Rome.

The Cappuccini Cemetery.

Only three or four blocks from our hotel stands the Church of the Cappuccini, which contains one of the most gruesome sights in Rome, the celebrated cemetery of the Cappuccini monks, the soil of which was brought from Jerusalem. All Roman Catholic cemeteries have a peculiarly melancholy aspect. They have none of that gentle beauty which is so characteristic of our cemeteries, where the grass grows green under the open sky or great trees cast their peaceful shade over "God's acre." But this is the most weird and ghastly of them all. There are four recesses or chapels underneath the church, the pillars and pilasters of which are made of thigh-bones and skulls, the architectural ornaments being represented by the joints of the spine, and the more delicate tracery by the smaller bones of the human frame. "The summits of the arches are adorned with entire skeletons, looking as if they were wrought most skillfully in bas-relief. There is no possibility of describing how ugly and grotesque is the effect.... On some of the skulls there are inscriptions, purporting that such a monk, who formerly made use of that particular head-piece, died on such a day and year; but vastly the greater number are piled up undistinguishably into the architectural design.... In the side walls of the vaults are niches where skeleton monks sit or stand, clad in the brown habits that they wore in life.... Yet let us give the cemetery the praise that it deserves. There is no disagreeable scent, such as might [Pg 329] have been expected from the decay of so many holy persons, in whatever odor of sanctity they may have taken their departure. The same number of living monks would not smell half so unexceptionably." So Hawthorne says, and I have spared my readers the most disagreeable parts of his description.

The allusion in his last sentence is one which is justified by the olfactory organs of every visitor to Rome. The vices which were encouraged in the magnificent baths of the emperors, and which have given the word bagnio an evil signification the world over, "found their reaction in the impression of the early Christians that uncleanliness was a virtue, an impression which is retained by several of the monastic orders to the present day." We sometimes weary of the superabundant advertisements of the different kinds of soap in the advertising pages of our monthly magazines. But what a wholesome sign it is! And what a difference it marks between us and the average Italian! And what a field for their business would be opened to Mr. Pears and the rest if only the monks would adopt the view that "cleanliness is next to godliness," and that, therefore, soap might be regarded as a sort of means of grace!

Some Differences between America and Italy.

Mark Twain once described what he would say, if he were a native of Italy, and had been on a visit to the United States, and had come back to the Campagna for the purpose of telling his Italian countrymen what he had seen in America: "One hardly ever sees a minister of the gospel going around there in his bare feet, with a basket, begging for subsistence. In that country the preachers are not like our mendicant orders of friars—they have two or three suits of clothing, and they wash sometimes."... "I saw common men and common [Pg 330] women who could read; I even saw small children of common country people reading from books; if I dared think you would believe it, I would say they could write, also.... I saw real glass windows in the houses of even the commonest people. Some of the houses are not of stone, nor yet of bricks; I solemnly swear they are made of wood. Houses there will take fire and burn, sometimes—actually burn entirely down, and not leave a single vestige behind. I could state that for a truth upon my death-bed. And, as a proof that the circumstance is not rare, I aver that they have a thing which they call a fire-engine, which vomits forth great streams of water, and is kept always in readiness, by night and by day, to rush to houses that are burning. You would think one engine would be sufficient, but some great cities have a hundred; they keep men hired, and pay them by the month to do nothing but put out fires. [20]... In that singular country if a rich man dies a sinner, he is damned; he cannot buy salvation with money for masses. There is really not much use in being rich there. Not much use as far as the other world is concerned, but much, very much, use as concerns this; because there, if a man be rich, he is very greatly honored, and can become a legislator, a governor, a general, a senator, no matter how ignorant an ass he is—just as in our beloved Italy the nobles hold all the great places, even though sometimes they are born noble idiots. There, if a man be rich, they give him costly presents, they ask him to feasts, they invite him to drink complicated beverages; [Pg 331] but if he be poor and in debt, they require him to do that which they term to 'settle.'... In that country you might fall from a third-story window three several times and not mash either a soldier or a priest.... Jews there are treated just like human beings, instead of dogs.... They never have had to run races naked through the public streets against jackasses to please the people in carnival time; there they never have been driven by the soldiers into a church every Sunday for hundreds of years to hear themselves and their religion especially and particularly cursed." [21]

The Playful Inquisition.

While I have Mark Twain in hand, I will make two more quotations from him, and then dismiss him for good. Looking from the dome of St. Peter's upon the building which was once the Inquisition, he says: "How times are changed, between the older ages and the new! Some seventeen or eighteen centuries ago, the ignorant men of Rome were wont to put Christians in the arena of the Coliseum yonder, and turn the wild beasts in upon them for a show. It was for a lesson as well. It was to teach the people to abhor and fear the new doctrine the followers of Christ were teaching. The beasts tore the victims limb from limb, and made poor mangled corpses of them in the twinkling of an eye. But when the Christians came into power, when the holy Mother Church became mistress of the barbarians, she taught them the error of their ways by no such means. No, she put them in this pleasant Inquisition, and pointed to the blessed Redeemer, who was so gentle and so merciful toward all men, and they urged the barbarians to love him; and they did all they could [Pg 332] to persuade them to love and honor him—first by twisting their thumbs out of joint with a screw; then by nipping their flesh with pincers—red-hot ones, because they are the most comfortable in cold weather; then by skinning them alive a little, and finally by roasting them in public. They always convinced those barbarians. The true religion, properly administered, as the good Mother Church used to administer it, is very, very soothing. It is wonderfully persuasive, also. There is a great difference between feeding parties to wild beasts and stirring up their finer feelings in an Inquisition. One is the system of degraded barbarians, the other of enlightened, civilized people. It is a great pity the playful Inquisition is no more."

The Relative Rank of the Deities Worshipped in Rome.

Speaking of a mosaic group at the side of the Scala Santa which represents the Saviour, St. Peter, Pope Leo, St. Silvester, Constantine and Charlemagne, he says: "Peter is giving the pallium to the Pope, and a standard to Charlemagne. The Saviour is giving the keys to St. Silvester, and a standard to Constantine. No prayer is offered to the Saviour, who seems to be of little importance anywhere in Rome; but an inscription below says, 'Blessed Peter, give life to Pope Leo and victory to King Charles.' It does not say, 'Intercede for us, through the Saviour, with the Father, for this boon,' but 'Blessed Peter, give it us.'

"In all seriousness—without meaning to be frivolous, without meaning to be irreverent, and, more than all, without meaning to be blasphemous—I state, as my simple deduction from the things I have seen and the things I have heard, that the Holy Personages rank thus in Rome:

"First. 'The Mother of God'—otherwise the Virgin Mary.

[Pg 333]

"Second. The Deity.

"Third. Peter.

"Fourth. Some twelve or fifteen canonized popes and martyrs.

"Fifth. Jesus Christ the Saviour (but always an infant in arms).

"I may be wrong in this—my judgment errs often, just as is the case with other men's—but it is my judgment, be it good or bad.

"Just here I will mention something that seems curious to me. There are no 'Christ's Churches' in Rome, and no 'Churches of the Holy Ghost,' that I can discover. There are some four hundred churches, but about a fourth of them seem to be named for the Madonna and St. Peter. There are so many named for Mary that they have to be distinguished by all sorts of affixes, if I understand the matter rightly. Then we have churches of St. Louis, St. Augustine, St. Agnes, St. Calixtus, St. Lorenzo in Lucina, St. Lorenzo in Damaso, St. Cecilia, St. Athanasius, St. Philip Neri, St. Catherine, St. Dominico, and a multitude of lesser saints whose names are not familiar in the world—and away down, clear out of the list of the churches, comes a couple of hospitals; one of them is named for the Saviour and the other for the Holy Ghost!"

The Fee of the Visitor more Important than the Soul of the Worshipper.

But we have allowed this clean, shrewd, racy American with his biting satire and his outspoken common sense, to lead us far away from our subject. Let us come back to the Church of the Cappuccini. For, besides its horrible cemetery, it contains another object of great interest, though of a very different character, viz., Guido's great picture of the Archangel Michael trampling upon the devil. The devil's face is [Pg 334] said to be a portrait of Pope Innocent X., against whom the painter had a spite. It is not for the purpose of describing the picture that I refer to it, for I am not competent to do that, but for the purpose of quoting the animadversions of another American writer upon the custom of concealing this picture and others of special interest in Romish churches with closely drawn curtains, requiring the presence of an attendant to unveil them and the bestowment of a fee by the visitor. "The churchmen of Italy make no scruple of sacrificing the very purpose for which a work of sacred art has been created, that of opening the way for religious sentiment through the quick medium of sight, by bringing angels, saints and martyrs down visibly upon earth—of sacrificing this high purpose, and, for aught they know, the welfare of many souls along with it, to the hope of a paltry fee. Every work by an artist of celebrity is hidden behind a veil, and seldom revealed, except to Protestants, who scorn it as an object of devotion, and value it only for its artistic merit."

Sensuality versus Spirituality in Art.

The same author (Hawthorne), speaking of the terrible lack of variety in the subjects of the great Italian masters, says a quarter part, probably, of any large collection of pictures consists of Virgins and infant Christs.... Half of the other pictures are Magdalens, Flights into Egypt, Crucifixions, etc. "The remainder of the gallery comprises mythological subjects, such as nude Venuses, Ledas, Graces, and, in short, a general apotheosis of nudity.... These impure pictures are from the same illustrious and impious hands that adventured to call before us the august forms of apostles and saints, the Blessed Mother of the Redeemer, and her Son, at his death, and in his glory, and even the awfulness of him [Pg 335] to whom the martyrs, dead a thousand years ago, have not dared to raise their eyes. They seem to take up one task or the other—the disrobed woman whom they call Venus, or the type of highest and tenderest womanhood in the mother of the Saviour—with equal readiness, but to achieve the former with far more satisfactory success. If an artist sometimes produced a picture of the Virgin possessing warmth enough to excite devotional feelings, it was probably the object of his earthly love, to whom he thus paid the stupendous and fearful homage of setting up her portrait to be worshipped, not figuratively as a mortal, but by religious souls in their earnest aspirations towards divinity. And who can trust the religious sentiment of Raphael, or receive any of his Virgins as heaven-descended likenesses, after seeing, for example, the "Fornarina" of the Barberini Palace, and feeling how sensual the artist must have been to paint such a brazen trollop of his own accord, and lovingly? Would the Blessed Mary reveal herself to his spiritual vision, and favor him with sittings alternately with that type of glowing earthliness, the Fornarina?"

The Kind of Character Produced.

True, Hawthorne proceeds at once to weaken the force of this criticism somewhat by referring to the throng of spiritual faces, innocent cherubs, serene angels, pure-eyed madonnas, and "that divinest countenance in the Transfiguration"—all of which we owe to Raphael's marvellous brush. But the criticism above quoted is sound. And that Hawthorne himself saw how little such "sacred art" had availed to lift the representatives of this kind of worship out of gross sensualism, let the following passage witness: "Here was a priesthood, pampered, sensual, with red and bloated cheeks, and carnal eyes. With apparently a grosser development of animal life than most men, they [Pg 336] were placed in an unnatural relation with woman, and thereby lost the healthy, human conscience that pertains to other human beings, who own the sweet household ties connecting them with wife and daughter. And here was an indolent nobility, with no high aims or opportunities, but cultivating a vicious way of life, as if it were an art, and the only one which they cared to learn. Here was a population, high and low, that had no genuine belief in virtue; and if they recognized any act as criminal, they might throw off all care, remorse and memory of it, by kneeling a little while at the confessional, and rising unburdened, active, elastic and incited by fresh appetite for the next ensuing sin."

Of course all the priests are not such as above described, as Eugene Sue has endeavored to show in the character of Gabriel in The Wandering Jew, and Victor Hugo in the character of the good bishop in Les Miserables, and Marie Corelli in the character of the good Cardinal Bonpre in The Master Christian. Hawthorne simply describes the prevailing type. Let it be observed, too, that he is speaking of the priests in Italy, not of those in America, among whom we are glad to believe there is a much larger proportion of good men. Moreover, it should not be forgotten that the present Premier of Italy has himself stated publicly, in a passage which I have quoted in Chapter XXIX., that there has been some improvement, at least in the outward conduct of the clergy, since the overthrow of the papal government, and that the immorality of the priests and cardinals is not so shamelessly flaunted in Rome as it used to be under the popes.

The Other Type.

On the 20th of September, 1870, the Italian army entered Rome, after a slight resistance. This event, which marked the downfall of the temporal power of the papacy, the unification of Italy, [Pg 337] and the establishment of religious liberty under the enlightened and progressive government of Victor Emmanuel, is properly commemorated in the name of a handsome street, Via Venti Settembre, which extends from the Porta Pia, where the army entered, to the Quirinal Palace, where the King resides. Appropriately placed on a street which thus commemorates the establishment of civil and religious freedom in Italy, are several of the Protestant churches, which for the last thirty years have caused a pure river of water of life to flow once more through Rome as in the days when the great Apostle of the Gentiles preached there the kingdom of God, and taught the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness, none forbidding him.

At No. 7 on this high and pleasant street we find a tall, clean, handsome building, standing well back from the street, with a spacious, green yard in front, the whole occupying a portion of what were once the gardens of the Barberini Palace. A neat notice-board on the high iron picket fence informs us that this attractive building is the Presbyterian Church, and that the pastor is the Rev. J. Gordon Gray, D. D.

An Apostolic Preacher in Rome.

When you enter the church on Sunday morning, a few minutes before eleven o'clock, you find it filled with a congregation of exceptionally intelligent people, mostly English-speaking residents in Rome and English-speaking visitors from every part of the world, including many Christians of other denominations besides our own—for it does not take visitors in Rome long to find out how strong and wholesome is the spiritual nourishment here furnished, how broad-minded and large-hearted the minister is, and how surely he declares the whole counsel of God, without ever a syllable that can offend any of those who love [Pg 338] our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. If you return in the afternoon, as you will do if you are wise, and as everybody does, in fact, after hearing him once, you will find the house full again, and, while you will see no splendid pageant, no rows of bishops and archbishops in purple and lace and furs, no robing and disrobing, no intoned service in Latin, no choral responses from high and gilded choir loft, no clouds of incense filling the air—you will hear the old sweet gospel in all its pristine purity—you will see the great apostle and his friends before you, instinct with life and love and zeal, as the minister lectures, with astonishing fullness and accuracy of information and sympathetic understanding, on Roman Sites which can be identified with St. Paul's Sojourn Here, The Saints of Cæsar's Household in the light of the Columbaria, The Site and probable incidents of Paul's Roman Trial, The First Martyrdoms and the probable Site of Nero's Circus, Paul's Two Years in his Hired House, Paul's Travels and Labors between his First and Second Roman Imprisonments, The Closing Years of Paul's Ministry, The Jews in Rome in Paul's Time—and you will hear things that make for the peace of your soul and for your upbuilding on your most holy faith as he expounds The Chief Elements of Paul's Teaching; Christ in Early Christian Art as found in the Roman Catacombs; The State after Death, Prayers to the Dead, and Prayers for the Dead, in the light of the testimony of the Roman Catacombs; The Place and Efficacy of the Sacraments in the light of the testimony of the Roman Catacombs; and The Ministry in the Early Church of the Catacombs.

A Wise and Loving Pastor.

Surely never was Christian workman better adapted to his work than Dr. Gray. The sturdy frame, the massive head, the clear eye, the kindly voice, the genial manner, the transparent sincerity, and [Pg 339] the ready sympathy of the man, invite one's confidence from the first, and the longer you know him the more you value him for his rare combination of strength and tenderness, and for his wisdom, piety and learning. We had the good fortune to hear his sermon on the eighteenth anniversary of the formation of his pastorate in Rome, in which he reviewed the history of his church during those eighteen years, and the years immediately preceding, and the growth of Protestantism in Rome since the downfall of the papacy—and a deeply interesting discourse it was. It lifted one's hopes for the future of Italy. Undoubtedly the day is breaking over the darkness which has so long lain like a pall over this lovely land.

A good man is known by his prayers. There is a fullness, propriety and fervor about Dr. Gray's public prayers that are seldom equalled. The homesick stranger, with the wide ocean between him and his native land—the professional man wavering in health and doubtful as to the future—the stricken widow, who has lost her husband by the sudden stroke of death—as well as those who bear the usual burdens of the human heart, find themselves strangely comforted and cheered, strangely relieved of their toils and cares and anxieties and fears, strangely upborne and strengthened, as this man of God pours from a sympathetic heart the needs of his people into the ear of him who careth for us. Among the usual petitions on Sunday morning there is invariably one for the King of England and the royal family, the President of the United States, and the King and Queen of Italy. We had two reminders on the 22nd of February that it was Washington's birthday: one was the flags hanging out at the American Embassy, and the other was Dr. Gray's prayer of thanksgiving for the character and services of Washington. He never forgets anything.

[Pg 340]

Yet his activities are multifarious. His resourcefulness, adequacy and strength have long since made him the real dean of the fine force of Protestant ministers in Rome. His advice is sought by them, and by all manner of visitors to Rome, on all manner of subjects. He is deeply interested in the matter of excavating the house of Priscilla and Aquila, the Apostle Paul's friends, on the Aventine, and hopes to raise the necessary funds and have that done—a valuable service to archæological and biblical learning. He ought by all means to be allowed to find time to publish a volume on The Apostle Paul in Rome. Dr. Gray is another of the many good gifts of Scotland to the world, and, like Dr. Alexander Whyte, of Edinburgh, and other eminent Scotchmen, is an Aberdeen man. They are some of the Aberdonians who almost tempt us at times to agree with the Aberdeen man of whom our good Scotch physician in Rome told me the other day, who said, "Tak' awa' Aberdeen and sax miles around it, and what would you have left?"

FOOTNOTES:

[20] Few things struck our boys so much as the non-occurrence of fires in Rome, and the absence of all apparatus for extinguishing them, and on our return to America few things seemed so strange to us at first as the frame houses in the New Jersey towns along the Pennsylvania railroad.

[21] This custom of compelling Jews to listen to Christian sermons was only abolished in 1848, under Pius IX., through influence of Michelangelo Caëtani, Duke of Sermoneta.


[Pg 341]

CHAPTER XXXIV.

The Inexhaustibleness of Rome.

Rome is easily the most interesting city in the world. The subject is simply inexhaustible. Ampere said that by diligence one could obtain a superficial knowledge of it in ten years. Just what terms should be used to characterize the seventy pages or so that I have written, from the basis of the desultory reading and observation of only a few months, I must leave to the decision of the reader. "Presumptuous sciolism," perhaps. And, yet, though I have filled these seventy pages with what I regarded as pertinent descriptions, salient facts and suggestive quotations from the best authorities, all subjected to as much compression as was consistent with a fair statement of the particular points which I wished to make, I have restricted myself almost exclusively to one phase of the subject, viz., Ecclesiastical Rome, and have had almost nothing to say of Classical Rome and Artistic Rome.

Even when confining myself to this one line, I have found no opportunity to give you any description of the Appian Way, over the paving-stones of which the Apostle Paul entered Rome in 56 A. D. (Acts xxviii. 14-16); or of the Pyramid of Cestius, still standing beside the road, just outside the gate which now bears the apostle's name—a sepulchral monument upon which his eyes must have rested for a moment as he passed out to his own execution—"Among the works of man, that pyramid is the only surviving witness of the martyrdom of St. Paul"; or of the Catacombs, those vast labyrinths of subterranean [Pg 342] galleries, the aggregate length of which is estimated at nearly six hundred miles, so that if placed end to end they would extend the whole length of Italy—where the bodies of thousands of the early Christians were laid in full hope of the resurrection; or of the bronze statue of St. Peter in the great cathedral, the extended foot of which has been largely worn away by the kisses of Roman Catholic devotees—the figure which, on the occasion of Pope Leo's Jubilee, our party saw dressed up in a mitre and pontifical robes; or of Houdon's marvellous statue of St. Bruno in the Church of St. Maria degli Angeli, of which Clement XIV., the Pope who is supposed to have died of poison administered by the Jesuits, in 1774, used to say, "He would speak, if the rule of his order did not forbid it"; or of the statue of that other Bruno who now stands in the Campo de' Fiori, on the spot where he was burnt as a heretic in 1600 for his advocacy of the Copernican system.

I have been able to say nothing of the remains of Classical Rome, such as the palaces of the Cæsars, the Arch of Titus—with its bas-reliefs of the golden candle-stick and other treasures from the Temple at Jerusalem, which were borne among the spoils of that Emperor's triumph—the monuments of the Forum, the Column of Trajan, the tomb of Hadrian, the much lauded equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius on the Capitoline Hill, the immensely impressive Pantheon, and the majestic statue of Pompey, at the foot of which Julius Cæsar was assassinated.

I have not been able even to mention such masterpieces of sculpture as the Dancing Faun, the Dying Gaul—"butchered to make a Roman holiday"—the Laocoon, the Apollo Belvedere, the Young Augustus, and scores of others, or such paintings as Guido's "Aurora," Michelangelo's [Pg 343] "Last Judgment," and the scarcely less wonderful creations of Botticelli, Titian and Domenichino.

I have had to pass unnoticed such tempting details as the Tarpeian Rock, the site of the bridge which Horatius kept in the brave days of old, the walls of the Paedagogium under the Palatine cliff, where a school boy had drawn, for the encouragement of his successors, a sketch of an ass turning a corn-mill, with the superscription in Latin, "Work, little donkey, as I have worked, and it will profit thee"; the famous Keyhole View of St. Peter's from the Aventine, and many others, for which I must refer you to other books.

The Best Books about Rome.

Besides the books on Rome, such as Hare's Walks, and Hawthorne's Marble Faun, to which I have tried to introduce my readers by appetizing quotations from time to time in former letters, I must mention also Dennie's Pagan Rome, Story's Roba di Roma, Mrs. Ward's Eleanor (which contains the best descriptions of the wonderful scenery around Lake Nemi), and the standard works of Professor Lanciani. These are much better for home reading, and even for reading on the spot, than the guide books. In a sumptuously bound and profusely illustrated copy of Lanciani's New Tales of Old Rome, which was presented to me by a friend last Christmas, I find a criticism of the well-known passage in which Lord Mahon refers to the fact that the last of the Stuarts, the Old Pretender, his wife, and his two sons, are buried in St. Peter's, and where, Lord Mahon says, "a stately monument from the chisel of Canova has since risen to the memory of James III., Charles III., and Henry IX., kings of England, names which an Englishman can scarcely read without a smile or a sigh." Lanciani says, "Lord Mahon could have saved both his smiles and his sighs if he had simply [Pg 344] read with care the epitaph engraved on the monument, which says: 'To James III., son of James II., King of Great Britain, to Charles Edward, and Henry, Dean of the Sacred College, Sons of James III., the last of the Royal House of Stuart.'" This is the only statement, so far as I have observed, in Professor Lanciani's writings which is not scrupulously fair. That the criticism is not perfectly fair is clear from the very inscription which he cites, where the Old Pretender is twice called James III.; from the inscription on the tomb of his wife, close at hand, where she is called "Queen of Great Britain, France and Ireland"; from the fact that the canopy under which the body of the Old Pretender lay in state at Rome for five days, crowned, sceptred, and in royal robes, was inscribed, "Jacobus, Magnæ Britanniæ Rex, Anno MDCCLXVI."; and from the fact, stated by Lanciani himself in the same volume, that when Charles Edward, the Young Pretender, died, Cardinal York, his brother, proclaimed himself the legitimate sovereign of Great Britain and Ireland, under the name of Henry IX. Lord Mahon was substantially correct.

St. Peter's is a peculiarly appropriate place of sepulture for the line of tyrannical kings who tried so hard to fasten the yoke of Romanism upon Great Britain. They went to their own place. England and Scotland will do well to remember that the same forces which the Stuarts represented, and which endangered their liberties then, still constitute the gravest menace to the true freedom of their island empire.

One other book I must mention before finishing what I have to say about the literature of this vast subject: the volume entitled Ave Roma Immortalis, by Francis Marion Crawford, son of the sculptor to whom we are indebted for the superb equestrian statue of Washington [Pg 345] at Richmond, with its circle of illustrious Virginians in bronze. Let no one be deterred by the Latin title. The book itself is written in the most delightful English. It is not to be commended without qualification, for this prolific author who bears the name of the immortal Huguenot partisan of South Carolina, and ought by every consideration, so far as we know, to be a sturdy Protestant, has suffered somewhat in his religious faith by his Italian birth and rearing. But his book is full of good things culled from wide and discriminating reading, the feature that is really of most value in a book of travel.

But I must not forget that, while there is no limit to such a subject as Rome, there is a limit to the patience of my readers. So we will now take leave of Rome abruptly, and pass at once to Naples and its environs, where we spent the concluding days of our sojourn in Italy.


[Pg 346]

CHAPTER XXXV.

Naples, Capri, Vesuvius, Amalfi and Pompeii.

Naples is the largest, dirtiest and most beautiful city in Italy. From the balconies of our hotel, which stands high on the thickly-built hillside, we have a matchless view—the cream-colored city at our feet, with its red roofs and blue domes, rising from the water's edge and climbing the embayed mountain like half of a vast amphitheatre; the volcano of Vesuvius beyond, lifting its white plume of warning smoke by day, and sometimes glaring red at night; the brown ruins of overwhelmed but disentombed Pompeii a little to the right; then the cliffs of Sorrento; and, stretching between us and them, the bay itself, with its incomparable crescent of contiguous cities running like a fringe of snow round its blue waters. There—

"The bridegroom Sea is toying with the shore,
His wedded bride; and in the fullness of his marriage joy
He decorates her tawny brow with shells,
Retires a space to see how fair she looks,
Then proud runs up to kiss her."
PANORAMA OF NAPLES.
Street Scenes in Naples.

The contrast between the heavenly scenery of this bay and that awful volcano, which stands over it like an ever-present threat of destruction, reminds one of the cherubim which stood at the gate of Eden to guarantee the restoration of redeemed and glorified humanity to communion with God, along with the self-revolving sword which symbolized the certainty and terribleness of divine vengeance upon sin. But neither by the promises of his grace nor by the threat of his vengeance do these people seem to [Pg 347] be restrained from sin. Many of them are sunk in vice. The contrast between splendor and squalor, superfluous wealth and abject poverty, which characterizes all large cities, is sharper, if possible, here than anywhere else. But it is the latter, the picturesque misery of Naples, that makes most impression upon the visitor. Some of the narrow streets, often not more than ten or twenty feet wide, are indescribably filthy, and they swarm with bareheaded, untidy women and half-naked children, yelling hucksters and pertinacious beggars, dirty monks and gowned priests. All this, and more which cannot here be set down, in one of the loveliest places on this beautiful earth.

An observant and witty friend of mine says: "The people live outdoors, and for the best of reason—they would die indoors.... Into most of the living rooms on their narrowest streets the sun never shines.... At the best, the ordinary buildings feel sepulchral, and an overcoat is to be worn here in the house, and not on the streets! Lining the sides of many, if not most of the streets, are shops or booths. They are, as far as one can see, single rooms, furnished about the door with vegetables, or meats, or maccaroni, or wine bottles, or charcoal, or bread, the rest of the room filled with beds and tables and dressers, with dishes and food, and shrines and highly-colored chromos of the saints and apostles. The children are washed and dressed in the doorways, and their heads constantly watched and investigated, much after the friendly fashion of monkeys. By the way, peddlers are forever thrusting small boxes of combs into our faces, insisting upon our buying. We have not purchased any yet—but who can tell? The people do much of their cooking in small braziers outside the doors, on the sidewalk, burning charcoal and fanning the fires with [Pg 348] hats or aprons. They have no hesitancy about eating out of the same dish and in the public eye. Cows and goats are driven along the street and milked at the doors into glasses or bottles, which seems a fair guarantee for the milk being fresh. The calves and kids come to town, too, and take in the ways of the city, along with what they get of their mothers' milk. Women wash clothes at the public fountains, some bringing wash-boards or flat stones, some treading the clothes in tubs with their feet. From windows and balconies, on lines stretched along the streets and on cane poles that almost touch the opposite houses, the wet things drip and dry. Squads of soldiers in various uniforms pass and repass at all times of day; old women knit and rest in the doorways; vegetable and fish venders proclaim their wares in high, hard voices. At their cries baskets are let down from upper windows, and the sharpest bargains in the shrillest accents are driven in midair. If the goods are not satisfactory, down go the baskets to the sidewalk."

Of course we visited the aquarium, said to be the finest in the world, and the museum, with its two thousand mural paintings brought from Pompeii, and its collection of ancient bronzes—also the finest in the world.

But the things that interested us most were not in Naples, but around it—such as Puteoli, where, many centuries ago, on a balmy spring day like this, when the south wind was blowing softly over the sea, the Apostle Paul landed, with Luke and Aristarchus, on his way to Rome; and where the ruins of the Temple of Jupiter Serapis, bearing sea-marks at various levels and having its columns perforated by lithodomites and containing imbedded shells, shows how the building, by gradual subsidence of the land, was first let down into the water, [Pg 349] and then by volcanic upheaval lifted again to the higher level.

The Blue Grotto at Capri.

Directly in front of us as we look from our windows, but far out over the expanse of sunlit water, twenty-two miles away, we can see Capri, lying like a turquoise gem on the bosom of the bay. Our party returned from their visit to this enchanting island with quite new conceptions of the color effects that may be produced by the combination of sunlight and sea water. When the steamer stops at Capri, a short distance beyond the town of Capri, the passengers get into small boats and are rowed up to a lofty cliff, in the base of which, at the water level, there is a small hole, four feet high and four feet wide, so small, indeed, that it cannot be entered at all when the tide is up or the water is rough. Even under favorable conditions, passengers have to sit on the bottom of the boat and duck their heads. This is the entrance to the wonderful Blue Grotto. "Once within, you find yourself in an arched cavern about one hundred and sixty feet long, one hundred and twenty wide, and about seventy high. How deep it is no man knows. It goes down to the bottom of the ocean. The waters of this placid subterranean lake are the brightest, loveliest blue that can be imagined. They are as transparent as plate glass, and their coloring would shame the richest sky that ever bent over Italy. No tint could be more ravishing, no lustre more superb. Throw a stone into the water, and the myriad of tiny bubbles that are created flash out a brilliant glare like blue theatrical fires. Dip an oar, and its blade turns to frosted silver, tinted with blue. Let a man jump in, and instantly he is cased in an armor more gorgeous than ever kingly crusader wore." Two boys, in the scantiest possible attire, who were standing on a ledge when we entered, clothed themselves [Pg 350] repeatedly in this celestial armor for our delectation and their profit, by diving for the pennies flung into the water by the passengers.

The Ascent of Vesuvius.

When you visit Vesuvius, make an early start and give yourself plenty of time. It took our party four hours and a half, with a good team, to drive from Naples to the foot of the steep cone at the top. The journey takes you through some of the disagreeable parts of the city and gives you a new impression of its extent. When at last you do turn from the squalid streets and begin the ascent of the mountain, your enjoyment begins. The fresh breeze, laden with the fragrance of orange blossoms, tempers the heat, and at every turn of the winding, climbing road you have the most entrancing views of the city and the bay. The mountain itself is partly covered with the luxuriant greenery of orchards and villas, and partly by the gloomy beds of lava thrown out by successive eruptions—"a black ocean, which was tumbled into a thousand fantastic shapes—a wild chaos of ruin, desolation and barrenness—a wilderness of billowy upheavals, of furious whirlpools, of miniature mountains rent asunder—of gnarled and knotted, wrinkled and twisted masses of blackness that mimicked branching roots, great vines, trunks of trees all interlaced and mingled together; and all these weird shapes, all this turbulent panorama, all this stormy, far stretching waste of blackness, with its thrilling suggestiveness of life, of action, of boiling, surging, furious motion, was petrified!—all stricken dead and cold in the instant of its maddest rioting!—fettered, paralyzed and left to glower at heaven in impotent rage for evermore!"

A WINDY DAY ON MOUNT VESUVIUS.

I had had the good fortune on a former visit to see the process of its formation. At that time the lava was [Pg 351] actually flowing from a breach in the side of the mountain, a little below the cone which surrounds the great crater, and a party of us walked over a half mile or so among the wild rocks and congealed lava to get a sight of it. The rocks over which we walked were too hot to touch with the naked hand, and scorched the bottoms of our shoes. The fumes of sulphur escaping through the crevices made the air almost suffocating. These conditions became more aggravated the nearer we came to the object of our search, so that one or two of the party became quite unnerved, gave up the expedition, and returned. We felt like we were walking in a furnace. Then the guide made a turn round some great boulders, and there it was—a slowly moving stream of liquid fire, issuing from under a great rock, and flowing down the side of the mountain. Every one threw his hands before his face to protect it from the blistering heat. The guide, standing behind a big rock, reached over with a long pole into this fearful red river and lifted out a glob of the molten lava on the end of it, as you would dip up a bit of hot molasses candy on the end of a fork, then, withdrawing a little way, he disengaged the lava from the end of the pole with a smaller stick, and, asking me for a penny, he laid the coin on the lump of lava and pressed it well down into the mass which rose round the edges of the coin, holding it firmly in its place—and thus made for me a paper weight, which is my best souvenir of Vesuvius.

The ascent of the cone to the crater is next thing to trying to climb a church steeple. Thanks to the enterprise of Thomas Cook & Sons, there is an inclined railway which takes you from the foot of the cone up the steep breast of the mountain nearly to the top—a dizzy ride, one that makes you shut your eyes and grip the arms of [Pg 352] your seat. Then comes the worst of it—the final climb through warm cinders ankle deep, which furnish very bad footing and come over your shoe tops at every step. There are rude sedan chairs on poles, and chair-bearers who will gladly carry you up for an additional fee—and there are often ludicrous scenes when timid ladies essay this mode of ascent. The distance is very short, so the ladies of our party determined to climb it themselves, but, when about half way up, they were glad enough to take hold of the looped ends of ropes while men at the other end pulled, and so at last they stood on the very top of the great volcano. Not for long, however, for, after they had walked round the edge of the great crater and gotten a view of the new crater, formed within, and looking like the heaped hole of a gigantic "doodle bug," with its slopes made of cinders instead of sand, and sprinkled with orange-colored sulphur, the wind veered suddenly and swept the stifling sulphur fumes right into their faces. They ran, coughing, back over the cinders and down again to the upper station of the railway, fully convinced that Vesuvius, though not perhaps so impressive, was decidedly more pleasant at a distance than at such close range.

ON THE ROAD FROM CASTELLAMARE TO AMALFI.
The Loveliness of Amalfi.

Perhaps the most beautiful drive in the world is the drive from Castellamare to Amalfi. Castellamare is about an hour and a half by rail from Naples, and not far from Pompeii. It was here, indeed, that the elder Pliny lost his life in the eruption of 79 A. D., which destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. Taking a wagonette there about the middle of the day, we followed this magnificent road nearly all the afternoon, as it wound in and out along the mountainside, with the towering cliffs on one hand and the intensely blue bay on the other, seen ever and anon through openings [Pg 353] between the silvery olive trees which clothed all the slopes, the view backwards being terminated by the majestic uplift of Vesuvius, wearing a soft plum-colored tinge that we had never seen it have before. The soil here is wonderfully fertile, and every hillside is terraced and cultivated with the utmost care. The orange and lemon groves, with the trees trained over trellises and protected from too intense heat by straw, laid on frames above, were still blooming, though the trees were heavily laden with green and golden fruit. Every now and then little boys and girls from the villages which are perched on the rocks or cling to the hillsides would run after us, throwing nosegays into the carriage and expecting "soldi" in return. After a while the scenery became more rugged, not unlike Switzerland, with little waterfalls trickling down the cliffs, and Scotch broom and other wild plants taking the place of the vineyards and orchards on the towering rocks. And now we begin to drive through tunnels cut through the cliffs and to pass over solid stone bridges, spanning glorious ravines at a dizzy height, with the transparent sea making in far below us, and the mountains of gray rock towering skyward above us. And at last, in the soft evening light, we reached the culmination of all this wonderful beauty at Amalfi. When we stopped at the foot of the cliff on which the Cappuccini Hotel stands, overlooking the town and the sea, we found the uniformed portiere and other attendants in a little lodge or office at the bottom of a long, zigzag flight of stone steps, which leads up to the high perched hotel. But there were sedan chairs and chair-bearers to spare the ladies and the youngest of the children the long, lung-taxing climb, and we were soon comfortably installed in the most romantically situated hotel I have ever seen. It was a Cappucin monastery once, and the cloisters are [Pg 354] still there, but the cells are now used as bed-rooms. From the windows and balconies, and from the long and lovely arcade, covered with grape vines and lined with the most beautiful marguerites, lilies, roses and geraniums, the guests look down upon the picturesque little city, the boats drawn up on the beach, the burnished Mediterranean, and the opaline islands in the offing. And how we Protestants did sleep in the comfortably furnished cells of those ousted monks! Amalfi is the place I wish to come to if I am ever again in Italy.

The Ruins of Pompeii.

When we tore ourselves away from Amalfi, we drove on around by Salerno, another feast of beauty, and took the train at La Cava for Pompeii. For days we had been reading, or re-reading, Bulwer's Last Days of Pompeii with breathless interest, or plodding through the dryer, but hardly more accurate, details of the guide book—we had been to the museum at Naples, where the mural paintings and other disentombed relics of the city are shown, and we had stood on the crater of the volcano that wrought its destruction—so that we came to the exhumed ruins with as thorough preparation as we had found it possible to make. But what description can prepare one for the impression of that appalling catastrophe which one receives when he stands in the midst of the ruins themselves, and sees how sudden and terrible the overthrow was?

COLONNADE OF THE HOTEL CAPPUCCINI, AMALFI.

Pompeii had been shattered by an earthquake sixteen years before the final catastrophe, but the warning had been disregarded. The place was rebuilt with lavish outlay, and embellished with all the resources of contemporary art, so that it was a new and splendid city which was buried by the eruption of 79 A. D. On the 23rd of August in that year, about two o'clock in the afternoon, terrible detonations were heard in the mountain, and [Pg 355] shortly afterwards an enormous column of watery vapor issued from the top of it, remained suspended for a time in the air, then condensed and fell in boiling rain on the mountain sides, creating an irresistible torrent of mud, which quickly engulfed the city of Herculaneum. Following this, later in the evening, apparently about dark, came a roaring eruption of red hot pumice stones and volcanic dust, succeeded quickly by other showers of the same material, which covered Pompeii to the depth of fifteen or twenty feet. Thus was the brilliant city, in all the exuberance of its gay life, plunged into death in a single night. And all the inhabitants of that part of Italy believed that they were about to share the same dreadful fate. The air was so thick that for many miles from the volcano it was almost stifling. It is said to have extended as far as Africa. It certainly reached as far as Rome, and covered that city with a pall of darkness so deep that the people took it for a sign of impending doom. They said to each other, "The end of the world is come! the sun is going to fall to the earth, or the earth mount up and be set on fire by the heavens."

The most graphic account of the horrors of that awful night at Pompeii is to be found in the two letters of the younger Pliny to Tacitus. Speaking of his efforts to remove his mother out of reach of harm, while she was begging him to leave her to perish and save himself, he says: "By this time the murky darkness had so increased that one might have believed himself abroad in a black and moonless night, or in a chamber where all the lights had been extinguished. On every hand were heard the complaints of women, the wailing of children, and the cries of men. One called his father, another his son, another his wife, and only by their voices could they know each other. Many in their despair begged that death [Pg 356] would come and end their distress. Some implored the gods to succor them, and some believed that this night was the last, the eternal night which should engulf the universe! Even so it seemed to me—and I consoled myself for the coming death with the reflection, Behold the world is passing away!"

No one saw the sun rise on the morrow. The clouds of volcanic matter, still pouring their pitiless rain upon the ruins, so darkened the sky that people could not tell when the day came.

And there, under the superincumbent mass of stones and dust, the city slept undisturbed till a few years ago, with everything as it was in the days of Titus. "It was like a clock that stopped when the householder died. Meats were on the table and bread was in the oven; sentries were in their boxes and dogs on guard at house doors." Most of the inhabitants escaped, but it is estimated, from the skeletons found in the ruins, that not less than two thousand lost their lives. In the museum by the entrance at the Marine Gate we are shown the blackened loaves of bread, recovered from the bakeries, the beans and eggs, the chickens and dogs, or their shapes from the moulds they left—and, most distressing of all, human figures. "Plaster of Paris had been poured into the hollows where bones were found, and in all the contortion of suffocation or convulsion appeared the forms of men and women. How little the ones whose brawny or whose delicate outlines we gazed upon dreamt that they would be their own monuments to-day, and be seen by the eyes of other races and ages, eyes curious, but not unsympathetic! It was good to be in the warm sunshine again. A cloud of smoke floated like a gray scarf—how gracefully and innocently!—from Vesuvius."

POMPEII.

We walked up the narrow streets, paved with blocks [Pg 357] of hard lava, deeply rutted by chariot wheels, passing the Basilica, the Forum, the Triumphal Arch, the temples, the theatres, the baths, the bakeries, and the houses of Pansa, Diomedes, and the Tragic Poet—all laid bare and clean to the view. We had the good fortune to see the process of excavation itself—for while most of the city has been disentombed, some of it still remains under the layers of small grayish white pumice stones and brown dust. Three or four men were shovelling these away as we passed. From most of the houses the furniture and wall paintings have been taken away to the museums. But in the last large residence exhumed, one which has only recently been brought to light, nearly everything has been left as it was, except for a new roof of mica or some such substance, which has been built over it for its protection. Nearly all the frescoes are as fresh as on the day when they were painted, and the fountain in the peristyle and its connecting pipes are so perfectly preserved that, when the water was turned into them by the excavators, the fountains began to play as they did on that fateful day eighteen hundred years ago. "For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away," so it was with the careless dwellers in this opulent city—and so it is with the careless dwellers in many an opulent city to-day.


From Naples we turned our faces homeward, taking passage on the König Albert, and coming by way of Gibraltar and the Azores. We had a delightful ship's company, including Dr. Andrew D. White, the accomplished ex-president of Cornell University and our late Ambassador to Berlin, whom we found full of illuminating [Pg 358] talk about Fra Paolo Sarpi and other great men and great subjects. After a quiet and restful voyage, affording a pleasant contrast with our experience of the preceding summer when outward bound, we arrived at New York on the 10th of June, 1903, deeply thankful for all the pleasure and benefit the year had brought us, and fully convinced that, after all, ours is the best country in the world.


[Pg 359]

INDEX.


[Pg 361]

INDEX.


Transcriber's Note:






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