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Title: The Catholic World; Vol. IV.; October, 1866, to March, 1867.
       A Monthly Magazine of General Literature and Science

Author: E. Rameur

Release Date: June 25, 2013 [EBook #43032]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK CATHOLIC WORLD, OCT 1866-MARCH 1867 ***




Produced by Don Kostuch





[Transcriber's notes]

Page numbers in this book are indicated by numbers enclosed in curly braces, e.g. {99}. They have been located where page breaks occurred in the original book.

[End transcriber's note.]


THE CATHOLIC WORLD.

A Monthly Magazine

of

GENERAL LITERATURE AND SCIENCE.



VOL. IV.

OCTOBER, 1866, TO MARCH, 1867.





NEW YORK:

LAWRENCE KEHOE, PUBLISHER.

145 Nassau Street.

1867.



CONTENTS


  Aërolites, 536.
  Andorra, The Republic of,  561.

  Books, Rise and Progress of, 104.
  Books and Hymns, Mediaeval, 804.

  Cervantes y Saavedra, Miguel de, 14.
  Connecticut, Divorce Legislation in, 101.
  Cowardice and Courage, 160.
  Count Julian and His Family, Legend of, 211.
  Celtic Anthology and Poetic Remains, 389.
  Charity and Philanthropy, 434.
  Christmas with the Baron, 446.
  Conversion, The Philosophy of, 459.
  Christ is Born, 496.
  Christmas Story, Little Sunbeam's, 515.
  Christmas Day, The Little Birds on, 584.
  Christmas Eve, What Came of a Laugh on, 542.
  Christmas, Catholic, 565.
  Catholic Church, How my Aunt Pilcher found the, 667.
  Christine, 681.
  Catholic Ceremonial, The, 721.

  De Vere, Aubrey, 73.
  Divorce Legislation in Connecticut, 101.
  Doubt, Victims of, 550.

  European Events, Recent, 217.

  French Unity, Founders of, 197.
  French Watering-Place, A Month at a, 405.
  Flowers, Sea-Side, 621.
  Fra Angelico, A Portrait of, 671.

  Godfrey Family, The, 30, 174, 320, 473, 598, 750.
  Holy Land, The, 500.
  Heart of Man, What Most Rejoices the, 559.

  Lake Dwellings, 398.
  Labor, The Source of, 593.
  Limerick, The First Siege of, 708.

  Miscellany, 138, 281, 424, 570, 853.
  Montpensier, Mademoiselle de, 360.
  Monarchy, The Church and, 627.
  Mediaeval Books and Hymns, 804.

  Nationalities, Development of, 245.

  Old Owl, The, 264.
  Origen at Caesarea, 772.

  Problems of the Age, 1, 145, 289, 519, 652.
  Paris, The Musée Retrospectif in, 275.
  Painting, Missal, 303.
  Proselytism, Protestant, in Eastern Lands, 342.
  Pope and the Revolution, The, 577.
  Parisian Attic, Genius in, 685.

  Robert; or, The Influence of a Good Mother, 641, 824.
  Rossetti, Christina G., 839.
  Ritualism, What I Heard About, in a City Car, 850.

  Saint Catharine at Florence, 129,
  Science, Physical and Christian Revelation, 253, 372.
  Syracuse and AEtna, 701.
  Swetchine, Madame, 736.

  The Age, Problems of, 1, 145, 289, 519, 652.
  The Church, Independence of, 51,
  The Thatched House, The Mystery of, 65.
  Traveler's Tales, 111.
  Tombstone, The Tale of a, 792.

  Unconvicted; or, Old Thorneley's Heirs, 87, 223.

  Woman, 417.



POETRY


  A Summer Sorrow, 103.
  Anniversary, 128.
  Autumn, 341.
  Ave Maria Sine Labe Concepts, 415.

  Barabas and I, 535.
  Bartimeus, On the Cure of, 771.

  Christmas Song, A, 433.
  Christmas Bells, 471.
  Charity, Christian, 518.
  Christmas Tree, My, 533.
  Christmas Dream, A, 549.

  Delia, 359.
  Dying Year, The, 499.
  Deliverance, 541.
  Deo Opt. Max., 640.

  Epigram, 457.

  Home at Last, 263.
  Herodias, Request of the Daughter of, 626.

  I Am the Way, 680.
  "Inconsolabile," 838.

  Lucifer Matutinus, 110.
  Light, 803.

  My Soldier, 100.
  My Fears, 210.
  My Two Mites, 423.

  Our Lord, Apparition of, to His Disciples, 514.
  One Moment, 651.

  Pea-Blossom, 404.
  Poem, 597.
  Pardon, 620.

  "Quare Tristis es Anima Mea et Quare Conturbas Me?" 397.

  Resurrection, The, 72.

  Silent Grief, 29.
  Song, 159.
  Saint Lucy, 172.
  Summer Days are Gone, 227.
  Sonnet, 274.
  St. Peter's Denial, On, 499.

  The Fairest Fair, 818.
  The Virgin's Cradle Hymn, 388.
  The Christmas Tree, 458.
  The Cry, 748.
  The Answer, 749.
  The Test, 846.
  The Barren Fig-Tree and the Cross, 852.

  Work-Box, My Aunt's, 666.



NEW PUBLICATIONS


  Allie's See of St. Peter, 139.
  Alphonso, 144.

  Church History, Darras, 575.
  Curious Questions, 428.

  England, History of, for the Young, 144.

  First Principles, 288.
  Frederick the Great and His Court, 575.

  Holt, Felix, 141.
  Harkness' Latin Book, 143.

  International Law, Wheaton's Elements of, 282.
  King René's Daughter, 859.

  Jesus, Sufferings of, 576.
  Jesus Crucified. The School of, 858.

  Laurentia, a Tale of Japan, 287.
  Letters, Beethoven's, 574.
  Lydia, 719.

  Mormon Prophet and his Harem, The, 144.
  Moral Evil, Origin of, 432.
  Men, Light and Life of, 576.
  Mouthful of Bread, History of a, 720.
  McAuley, Catherine, Life of, 854.
  Manual, The French, 858.

  Philip Earnescliffe, 143.
  Pastoral Letter of Second Plenary Council, 425.
  Poems, Alice Carey's, 572.
  Poems, Buchanan's, 574.
  Paulists, Sermons of the, 718.
  Pictorial Histories, Goodrich's, 720.
  Physiology of Man, The, 859.

  Rise and Fall, The, 431.

  See of St. Peter, Allie's, 139.
  Six Months at White House, Carpenter's, 142,
  Sunday-school Class-Book, Improved Catholic, 143.
  Saint Cecilia, Life of, 286.
  Spanish Papers, Irving's, 286.
  Shakespeare, Authorship of the Works of, 429.
  Scientific Subjects, Herschel's Lectures on, 430.
  Saint Vincent de Paul, Life of, 576.
  Severne, Robert, 857.

  The Sham Squire, 288.
  The Conditioned, Philosophy of, 432.
  Town, Out of, 860.

  Vignettes, Miss Parke's, 287.

  Woman's Work, Essays on, 142.
  Women, Higher Education of, 575.
  Welte, Alte und Neue, 576.



{1}

THE CATHOLIC WORLD.


VOL. IV., NO. 19.—OCTOBER, 1866.



ORIGINAL.

PROBLEMS OF THE AGE.


VII.

THE DOGMA OF CREATION—THE PRINCIPLE, ARCHETYPE, AND END OF THE CREATIVE ACT.


The next article of the creed is, "Creatorem coeli et terrae:" Creator of heaven and earth.

The mystery of the Trinity exhausts the idea of the activity of God within his own interior being, or ad intra. The dogma of creation expresses the idea of the activity of God without his own interior being, or ad extra. It is an explication of the primitive idea of reason which presents simultaneously to intelligence the absolute and the contingent in their necessary relation of the dependence of the contingent upon the absolute. Being an explication of the rational idea, it is rationally demonstrable, and does not, therefore, belong to the super-intelligible part of the revelation, or that which is believed simply on the veracity of God. That portion of the dogma of creation which is super-intelligible, or revealed truth in the highest sense, relates to the supernatural end to which the creation is determined by the decree of God. Nevertheless, although the idea of creation, once proposed, is demonstrable on purely rational principles, it is fairly and fully proposed to reason under an adequate and explicit conception adequately expressed, only by divine revelation. Wherever this adequate formula of revelation has been lost, the conception has been lost with it, and not even the highest philosophy has restored it. Plato's conception of the formation of the universe went no higher than the impression of divine ideas upon matter eternally self existent. In all philosophy which is not regulated by the principles of revelation, the ideas of necessary being and contingent existence and of the relation between them are more or less confused, and the dogma of creation is corrupted.

The pure, theistic conception gives at once the pure conception of creation.

Not that the idea of creation can be immediately perceived in the idea of God, which has been shown to be impossible; but that it can be perceived in the idea of God by the medium of the knowledge of finite existences given to the intellect together with the knowledge of infinite being, in the {2} primitive intuition. When the idea of infinite being is fully explicated and demonstrated in the perfect conception of God, the existence of real entities which are not God, and therefore not included in necessary being, being known, the relation of these things extrinsic to the being of God, to the being of God itself, becomes evident in the idea of God. It is evident that they have no necessary self-existence either out of the divine being or in the divine being, and therefore have been brought out of nonentity into entity by the act of God.

This creative act of God is that by which he reduces possibility to actuality. It is evident that this possibility of creation, or creability of finite existences extrinsic to the divine essence, is necessary and eternal. For God could not think of doing that which he does not think as possible, and his thoughts are eternal. The thought or idea of creation is therefore eternal in the divine mind. It is a divine and eternal archetype or ideal, which the externised, concrete reality copies and represents. The divine essence is the complete and adequate object of the divine contemplation.

It is, therefore, in his own essence that God must have beheld the eternal possibility of creation and the ground or reason of creability. It is the divine essence itself, therefore, which contains the archetype or ideal of a possible creation. As an archetype, it must contain that which is equivalent to finite essences, capable of being brought into concrete, actual existence by the divine power, and multiplied to an indefinite extent God's eternal knowledge of the possibility of creation is, therefore, his knowledge of his own essence, as an archetype of existences which he is capable of enduing with reality extrinsic to the reality of his own being, by his omnipotent power. The eternal possibility of creation, therefore, exists necessarily in the being and omnipotence of God. It is the imitability of the divine essence as archetype by finite essences, which are its real and extrinsic similitudes, and which are extrinsecated by an act of the divine will. The ideal or archetype of creation is evidently as necessary, as eternal, as unchangeable, as God himself. God cannot create except according to this archetype, and in creating must necessarily copy himself, to give extrinsic existence to something which is a concrete expression of the divine ideal in his own intelligence. This ideal which creation copies being, therefore, eternal in the divine intelligence, and the interior activity of the divine intelligence, or its interior ideal life, being inexplicable except in the relation of the three persons in God, creation is likewise inexplicable, except in relation to the distinct persons of the Trinity.

The Son, or Word, proceeds from the contemplation of his own divine essence by the Father, who thus reproduces the perfect and coequal image of himself. In this act of contemplation, the knowledge of the archetype of creation, or of the creability of essences resembling the divine essence, is necessarily included. The expressed ideal or archetype of all possible existences is therefore in the Word, as the personal image of the Father, and he contains in himself, in an eminent and equivalent manner, infinite similitudes or images capable of being reduced to act, and made to reflect himself in a countless variety of ways. The Son thus communicates with the Father in creative omnipotence. The spiration of the Holy Spirit, from the Father and the Son, consummating the act of contemplation by which the Son is generated in love, and thus completing the interior, intelligent, or spiritual life of God within himself, is perfectly correlated to the eternal generation of the Son. The complete essence of God is communicated by the Father and the Son to the Holy Spirit, and with it creative omnipotence as necessarily included in it. The object of volition in God is identical with the object of intelligence. The essence of God as being the archetype of a possible creation, {3} that is, the ideal of creation, or the idea which creation copies, being included in the term of the divine intelligence, or in the Word, is also included in the term of the divine love, or the Holy Spirit. The ideal of creation is therefore included in the object of the eternal, intelligent, living contemplation in which the three persons of the blessed Trinity are united. The power of illimitable creation according to the divine archetype is a necessary and eternal predicate of his divine being, which he contemplates with complacency. The idea of creation is therefore as eternal as God; it is coeval with him, and the object of the ineffable communications of the divine persons with each other from eternity. God has always been pleased with this idea, as the artist delights himself in the ideal of beauty, to which he feels himself capable of giving outward form and expression in sculpture, painting, or architecture.

The decree of God to reduce this possibility of creation to act, or the creative purpose, is likewise eternal; since all divine acts are in eternity, and there is no process of deliberation or progress from equilibrium to determination possible in the unchangeable God. God is actus purissimus, most pure act, and there is in him nothing potential or reducible to act which is not in act from eternity; since in him there is no past or future, and no succession, but tota, simul ac perfecta possessio vitae interminabilss, a complete, simultaneous, and perfect possession of interminable life.

The necessity of his own self-existent being does not determine him to the creative act, but merely to the exercise of supreme omnipotence in choosing freely between the contemplation of creation in its ideal archetype alone, and of creation in its ideal archetype determined to outward actual expression. The inward life of God is necessary, and the interior act of beatific contemplation is of the essence of the divine being. Nothing beyond this, or outside of the interior essence of God, can be necessary, and the creation cannot therefore be necessary, or it would be included in the idea of God, and be identical with the essence of God. God does not create, therefore, by necessity of nature, but by voluntary choice. It is the only exercise of voluntary choice possible to him. It is a choice, however, which though free is determined from eternity. He might have eternally chosen the contrary, that is, to leave the possible creation unactualized in its ideal archetype. He did eternally choose, however, to create.

The learned expositor of St. Thomas, F. Billuart, says that the purpose to create is communicated by the Father to the Word, concomitantly with the intelligence of the divine essence by which he is generated. [Footnote 1] Creation is no afterthought, no capricious or sportive play of omnipotence, like the jeu d'esprit which a poet throws off from a sudden impulse of fancy. The creative purpose has been the theme of the mysterious communications of the three persons of the blessed Trinity, from all eternity. In God, purpose and act, consultation and decree, are one. The decree of creation and the creative act are identical. The creative act, therefore, a parte Dei, is eternal. It is an illusion of the imagination to conceive of time as having existed before creation. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." That beginning was the first moment of time, which St. Thomas says God created when he created the universe. Time is a mere relation of finite entities to each other and to infinite being, arising from their limitation. The procession of created existences is necessarily in time, and could not have begun ab aeterno without a series actually infinite, which is impossible. Nevertheless, the first instant of created time had no created time behind it, and no series of instants behind it, intervening between it and eternity, but touched immediately on eternity.

[Footnote 1: Tract. De Trin. Diss. V. Art III. ]


{4}

The procession of created existences from God is a finite similitude of the procession of the Son and Holy Spirit from the Father. Creation is an expression of that archetype in finite form which is expressed in the infinite image of the Word. He is "the splendor of the glory, and the express image of the substance" [Footnote 2] of the Father; and creation is a reflection of this splendor, a reduplication in miniature of this image. It is an act of the same infinite intelligence by which the infinite Word is generated. For although finite itself, it is the similitude of an infinite archetype which only infinite intelligence can possess within itself. It is also an act of the same infinite love whose spiration is the Holy Spirit. The sanctity of the divine nature consists in the perfect conformity of intelligence and volition. Volition is love, a complacency in good. Love must therefore concur with intelligence in every divine act, that it may be holy. The Holy Spirit, or impersonated love, must concur with the Father and the Son, as principle and medium, to consummate or bring to its final end the creative act. Creation is therefore essentially an act of love; proceeding from intelligence and ordained for beatitude; proceeding from God as first cause, and returning to him as final cause. [Footnote 3]

[Footnote 2: Heb. i. 3.]

[Footnote 3: Final cause is the same as ultimate end. It is the cause or reason of the determination of God to create.]

The final cause of creation must be God, just as necessarily as its first cause must be God. The creative decree being eternal, all that constitutes its perfection, including its end and consummation, must be eternal, and must therefore be in God. He is the principle and consummation of his own act ad intra, and of his act ad extra, which imitates it perfectly. God creates, because he freely chooses to please himself by conferring the good of existence through the creative act on subjects distinct from himself. The adequate object of this volition of God is himself as the author of created good, or the term of the relation which created existences have to him as their creator. The possession of good by the creature is inseparable in the volition of God from the complacency which he has in the exercise of the power of bestowing good by creation. Although he is necessarily his own final end in creating, yet this does not prevent creation from being an act of pure and free love, but on the contrary makes it to be so; because it is as infinite love that God is the end of his creative act. A charitable man, who confers good upon another, is moved by a principle of love in himself, which causes him to take delight in the happiness of his fellow-creatures. This movement originates in himself, and returns back to himself, being consummated in the pure happiness which the exercise of love produces. Yet the possession of good by another is the real object which elicits the act of love, and it is therefore pure, disinterested charity. Love makes the good as given, and the good as received, one identical object, and unites the giver and receiver in one good. Selfishness is inordinate self-love, or a love of others merely so far as they serve as instruments of our own pleasure and advantage, and not as themselves subjects of happiness. But the just love of self and of others is identical in principle, proceeding from the amor entis, or love of being. The benignant father, prelate, or sovereign, the generous benefactor of his fellow-men, is not less disinterested in his acts on account of the pure happiness which comes back to himself, filling his heart with the purest happiness of which it is capable. Thus in God; his complacency in his creative act, or sovereign pleasure in creating, is the purest and most perfect love to the creature. That which he delights in as creator is the bestowal of existence, which participates in the infinite good of his own being.

{5}

The mode and degree in which existences participate in this infinite good which God distributes from the plenitude of his own being, specificates and determines their relation to him as final cause, and constitutes the ultimate term to which their creation is directed. This ultimate term or final end of creation as a whole, includes the ends for which each part taken singly is intended, and the common end to which these minor and less principal ends are all subordinated in the universal creative design. The end of a particular portion of the creation, taken singly, is attained, when it makes the final and complete explication of that similitude to the divine perfections which constitutes it in its own particular grade of existence. The end of the universe of existences is attained, when they collectively reach the maximum of excellence which God proposed to himself in creating. That is, when the similitude of the perfections of God is expressed in the universe in that variety of distinct grades, and raised to that altitude in the series of possible states of existence, which God prefixed in the beginning as the ultimate term of the creative act. Whatever the maximum of created good may be, whatever may be the predetermined limits of the universe of existence, whatever may be the highest point of elevation to which it is destined, it is evident that the accomplishment of the creative act brings the creation back to God as final cause. It has its final end in God, wherever that finality may have been fixed by the eternal will of God. This is very plain and obvious. But it leads into one of the most abstruse and, at the same time, one of the most unavoidable questions of philosophy, that which relates to the end of creation metaphysically final. What is the end of creation, or the relation of the universe of created existences to the final cause, which is metaphysically final? How far ought the actual end of created existences to coincide, or does it really coincide with the end metaphysically final?


VIII.

THE END OF CREATION METAPHYSICALLY FINAL—THE ASCENDING SERIES OF GRADES IN EXISTENCE—THE SUMMIT OF THIS SERIES IS A NATURE HYPOSTATICALLY UNITED TO THE DIVINE NATURE OF THE WORD—THE INCARNATION, THE CREATIVE ACT CARRIED TO THE APEX OF POSSIBILITY—THE SUPERNATURAL END TO WHICH THE UNIVERSE IS DESTINED COMPLETED IN THE INCARNATION.


By the end of creation metaphysically final, is meant a relation of the universe to God as final cause which is final in the divine idea, or the one which God beholds in his own infinite intelligence as the ultimatum to which his omnipotence can carry the creative act. It is a relation which brings the creature to the closest union and similitude to the creator in the good of being which the nature of the infinite and of the finite will admit.

We have already established the doctrine that God is by nature free to create or not to create, and eternally determines himself to creation by his own sovereign will to confer the pure boon of existence. We have also established, that since God determines himself from eternity to create, he necessarily creates in accordance with his own nature or essence, in accordance with the eternal archetype and idea reflected in the person of the Word; and for his own glory, or for an end in himself to which the creature is related, and which he must attain if he accomplishes his destiny. But we must inquire further, whether in determining himself to create according to the archetype contained in his own essence, he necessarily carries out this idea to the most perfect and complete actualization in the real universe? That is, does he necessarily create for an end metaphysically final, and carry the creative act to its apex, or the summit of possibility? Or is there any degree of existence or {6} grade of resemblance and relation to God as archetype which must be supposed in order to conceive of an end accomplished by creation which is worthy of the divine wisdom and goodness? Or, on the contrary, is it just as free to God to determine any limit, however low, as the term of creation, as it is to abstain from creating? For instance, can we suppose it consistent with the divine wisdom to create only a grain of sand? On the one hand, it may be said that creation being a free act, the creation of a grain of sand does not take away the liberty of the divine will to abstain from creating anything else. On the other hand, God, as being in his very essence the infinite wisdom, must have an adequate end in view, even in creating a grain of sand. It may be said that the creation of a grain of sand is truly an infinite act, and that a grain of sand represents the omnipotence of God as truly as the universe itself. Yet, it is difficult to see any reason why Almighty God should make such a representation merely for his own contemplation. For the same reason, it is equally difficult to suppose any adequate motive for the creation of a merely material universe, however extensive. The wisdom and power of God are manifested, but manifested to himself alone. The very end of such a manifestation appears to be to manifest the attributes of God to intelligent minds capable of apprehending it. Suppose the material universe filled with sentient creatures, and, although its end is thus partially fulfilled, by the enjoyment which they are capable of receiving from it, its adaptation to the manifestation of the divine attributes to intelligence is still apparently without an object. The sentient creation itself manifests the wisdom and goodness of God in such a way that it seems to require an intelligent nature to apprehend it, in order that God may be glorified in his works, and that the love which is the essential consummating principle of the creative act may be reflected back from the creation to the creator, and thus furnish an adequate term of the divine complacency. This complacency of God in himself as creator, as we have seen, is complacency in the communication of good, or pure, disinterested love delighting in the distribution of its own infinite plenitude. The material creation can only be the recipient of this love in transitu or as the instrument and means of conveying it to a subject capable of apprehending it. The sentient creation can only be the recipient of it as its most imperfect term, and as an end most inadequate to the means employed. The wisdom and goodness of God in the creative act cannot therefore be made intelligible to us, except as we consider it as including the creation of intelligent natures, capable of sharing in the intelligent life of God. As soon as the mind makes this point, it is able to perceive an adequate motive for the creation, for it apprehends a good in the finite order resembling the infinite good which is necessary and uncreated. It is approaching to a finality, for it apprehends that the rational nature is that nature in which the finality must be situated, or in which the ultimate relation of the universe to the final cause must exist. In other words, it apprehends that God has created a universe, including all generic grades of existence explicated into a vast extent and variety of subordinate genera and species multiplied in a countless number of individuals, all subordinate to a common order, and culminating in intelligent life. It apprehends the correspondence of the actual creation to its ideal archetype, or the realization in act of the highest possible nature which omnipotence can create after the resemblance of his own essence impersonated in the Word, and of every inferior nature necessary to the constitution of a universe, or a world of composite order and harmony comprising all the essential forms of existence whose infinite equivalent is in the divine idea.

{7}

It is evidently befitting the wisdom and grandeur of Almighty God, that the created universe should represent to created intelligence an adequate and universal similitude of his being and perfections; that its vast extent and variety, the multiplicity of distinct existences which it contains, its complicated relations and harmonies, the sublimity and beauty of its forms, the superabundance of its sentient life and enjoyment, the excellence and perfection of its intelligent creatures, should be adapted to overwhelm the mind with admiration of the might and majesty, the wisdom and glory, the goodness and love of the Creator; that, as far as possible, the procession of the divine persons within the essence of God should be copied in the procession of created existences; that the ineffable object of the divine contemplation, or the Word going forth from the infinite intelligence of the Father and returning to him in the Holy Spirit, should be represented in created similitudes by the communication of being, life, and intelligence, in every possible grade, and the completion of these in the most sublime manner of union to God of which finite nature is capable. This consummation of the creative act is worthy of the wisdom of God; for it is the most perfect act of the divine intelligence ad extra, or extrinsic to the actus purissimus by which the Word is generated in the unity of his eternal being, which is possible. It is worthy of the goodness of God; for it is the most perfect act of love ad extra, or extrinsic to the actus purissimus of the spiration of the Holy Spirit, consummating the interior life of God in eternal, self-sufficing beatitude, which omnipotence can produce.

Let us now analyse the composite order of the universe, and examine its component parts singly, in reference to the final end to which this order is determined. We will then proceed to examine more closely the mode by which the end of the universe is attained in the rational nature, and the relation of this rational nature to the end metaphysically final.

Theologians distinguish in the divine nature esse, vivere, and intelligere, or being, life, and intelligence, as constituting the archetype of the inanimate, animated, and rational orders of creation respectively.

The inanimate order, composed of the aggregate of material substances, imitates the divine esse, considered as concrete and real imply; prescinding the idea of vital movement. It imitates the divine being in the lowest and most imperfect manner. The good that is in it can only be apprehended and made to contribute to the happiness of conscious existence when a higher order of existence is created. God loves it only as an artist loves an aqueduct, a building, or a statue, as the medium of contributing to the well-being or pleasure of his creatures. Its hidden essence is impervious to our intelligence. The utmost that we can distinctly conceive of its nature is that it is a vis activa, an active force, producing sensible effects or phenomena. This appears to be the opinion which is more common and gaining ground both among physical and metaphysical philosophers. [Footnote 4] By active force is meant a simple, indivisible substance, which exists in perpetual activity. It is material substance, because its activity is blind, unconscious, and wholly mechanical, producing by physical necessity sensible effects, such as extension, resistance, etc. Though not manifest to intelligence in its hidden nature and operation, it is apprehensible by the intelligence through the effects which it operates, as something intelligible. Its sensible {8} phenomena are not illusions, or mere subjective forms of the sensibility, but are objectively real. Nevertheless, our conception of them must be corrected and sublimated by pure reason, in order to correspond to the reality or substance which stands under them. Our imaginary conceptions [Footnote 5] represent only the complex of phenomena presented to the senses. They represent matter as composite, because it is only through composition, or the interaction of distinct material substances upon each other, that the effects and phenomena are produced which the senses present to the imagination. The substance, or active force which stands under them, is concluded by a judgment of the reason. Reason cannot arrest itself at the composite as something ultimate. The common, crude conception of extended bulk as the ultimate material reality, is like the child's conception of the surface of the earth as the floor of the universe having nothing below it, and of the sky as its roof; or like the Indian conception of an elephant supporting the world, who stands himself on the back of a tortoise, who is on the absolute mud lying at the bottom of all things. It is the essential operation of reason to penetrate to the altissima causa, or deepest cause of things, and not to stop at anything as its term which implies something else as the reason or principle of its existence. It cannot therefore stop at anything short of the altissima causa, in the order of material second causes, any more than it can stop short of the cause of all causes, or the absolute first cause. That which is ultimate in the composite must be simple and indivisible in itself, and divided from everything else, or it cannot be an original and primary component. For, however far the analysis of a composite may be carried, it may be carried further, unless it has been analysed to its simple constituent parts which are not themselves composite, and therefore simple. It is of no avail to take refuge in the notion of the infinite divisibility of matter. For, apart from the absurdity of the infinite series contained in this notion, one of these infinitesimal entities could certainly be divided from all others by the power of God and made intelligible to the human understanding. And the very question under discussion is, What is the intelligible essence of this ultimate entity?

[Footnote 4: The philosophical works of Leibnitz may be consulted for a thorough exposition of this doctrine. Also the Philosophical Manuals of F. Rothenflue, S.J., and the Abbé Branchereau of the Society of St. Sulpice. The philosophical articles of Dr. Brownson in his Review contain some incidental arguments of great value on the same topic. P. Dalgairns of the London Oratory, also treats, with the ability and clearness which characterize all his writings, of this subject, at considerable length, in his work on the Holy Communion.]

[Footnote 5: By "imaginary conceptions" is not meant fanciful, unreal conceptions, but conceptions of the imaginative as and intellectual facility which reflects the real.]

Another proof that material substance is something intelligible and not something sensible, is, that it has a relation to spiritual substance, and therefore something cognate to spirit in its essence. The Abbé Branchereau defines relation: "Proprietatem qua duo aut plura entia ita se habeat ad invicem, ut unius conceptus conceptum alterius includat aut supponat." "A property by which two or more entities are so constituted in reference to one another, that the conception of one includes or suppose the conception of the other." [Footnote 6]

[Footnote 6: Praelect. Philos. De Relat. Entis. Num. 108, 8.]

The conception of spirit must contain the equivalent of the conception of matter, and the conception of matter must contain something the equivalent of which is contained in spirit. Else, they must be related as total opposites, which leads to the absurd conclusion that in the essence of God, which is the equivalent of all finite essences, total opposites and contradictions are contained. The same is affirmed by F. Billuart after the scholastic principles of the Thomists. "Supremum autem naturae inferioris attingitur a natura superiori." "The summit of the inferior nature is touched by the superior nature." [Footnote 7] Everything copies the essence of God and exists by its participation in his being. There is no reason therefore for any other distinction in creatures except the distinction of gradation in a series, or the distinction of a more or less intense grade of participation in being. God cannot create anything totally {9} dissimilar to himself, because the sole archetype imitable in the creative act, whose similitude is externised in creation, is himself. All things therefore being similar to his essence are similar to the essence of one another, each to each, each grade in the ascending series containing the equivalent of all below it.

[Footnote 7: De Augelis. Diss. II. Art. I.]

The material creation represents the real being of God, as distinguishable in thought from his life and intelligence, in an express and distinct manner. The being of God is the archetype of the material creation, and contains a reason why the material order was necessary to perfect the universe. All geometrical principles are intuitively seen by the reason to be eternal truths. As eternal and necessary they are included in the object of the divine contemplation. The complete and adequate object of the divine contemplation is the divine essence. It is therefore in his own essence that God sees these necessary geometrical truths, not as we see them, but as identical with the truth of his own being in some way above our human understanding. These eternal geometrical principles are the principles which lie at the basis of the structure of the material universe, which therefore represents something in the divine essence not immediately and distinctly represented by the spiritual world.

Without pretending to define precisely what the material universe represents as equivalently and eminently contained in the divine essence, we are only uttering a truism when we affirm that what man in his present state principally apprehends through it, is the idea of the immensity of the divine being. The material universe, which has a quasi infinitude to our feeble and limited imagination, is an image of God as possessing boundless infinitude, and including an immeasurable ocean of perfections. It is only when the mind becomes so overwhelmed with the magnitude of the creation as to forget its relation to the creator, that its judgment is erroneous. And the error of judgment does not consist in appreciating the material universe too highly, but in appreciating it too little, that is, in not appreciating its highest relation to the spiritual order, with which it is cognate in its essence. The physical, visible world is not to be despised. It is no illusion, no temporary phase of reality, no perishable substance, but real, indestructible, and of endless duration. Its essence and its relation to the final cause are incomprehensible. Its essence is, however, so far intelligible that we can understand it to be a real entity, bearing a similitude to the divine nature, endued with active force as a physical second cause, through which wonderful phenomena are produced in which the divine perfections are manifested. Its end is also intelligible as subordinated to the higher grades of existence and to the grand composite order of the universe.

The next grade of existence is that which represents the vivere of the divine essence, or presents an animated and living similitude of the life of God. The distinct type of this grade is in the animal world, but it is connected with the inanimate creation by an intermediate link, namely, that which is constituted by the world of vegetative life. This world of vegetative life represents the principle of life in an inchoate form, and ministers to the higher life of sentient existences, by furnishing them with the sustenance and food of their physical life, and contributing to their enjoyment by the beauty of its forms.

Thus far, the creation is merely good as means to an end, or as the substratum of that order of existence which is capable of apprehending and enjoying good. In the sentient creation, existence becomes a good in itself, or a good capable of terminating the divine will. The countless multitudes of sentient creatures are created that they may enjoy life, and attain their particular end in this enjoyment. Nevertheless this {10} particular end is a minor and less principal end in reference to the general end of the created universe. To this more general end the sentient order contributes, by increasing the beauty and perfection of the whole, and ministering to the happiness of the higher, intelligent order.

This third and highest grade of existence represents the divine intelligere. It includes all rational natures, or intelligent spirits, created after the similitude of that in the divine essence which is the highest archetype imitable in finite existences. According to the regular series of gradation, man comes next in order above the animal world, and should be first considered. There is a particular reason, however, which will appear hereafter, for considering the angels first.

The angels represent most perfectly the order of pure intelligence as distinct from the irrational creation. By their nature they are at the summit of existence, and participate in the most immediate and elevated mode which can be connatural to any created essence, in the divine perfections. The perfection of the universe requires that it should contain a grade of existence imitating that which is highest in the essence of God so far as it is an archetype of a possible creation. There is nothing conceivable in the divine essence higher than its intelligence or pure spirituality. The divine life is consummated in the most pure act of intelligent spirit, which is the procession of the Word and Holy Spirit from the Father. This divine procession within the divine essence being the archetype of the procession of created existences without it, the latter ought to imitate the former by producing that which represents the intelligent act of God as closely as possible. This intelligent act of God being consummated in love, or complacency in that infinite good which is the object of intelligence, creation, which imitates and represents it, ought to contain existences which are the recipients of love and are capable of its exercise in the highest possible manner which can be essential to a created nature. The creative act would therefore be most imperfect and incomplete if it stopped short with the material or even the sentient creation. Supposing that God determines to carry out his creative act by creating a universe or a world in which the potential is actualized in a universal manner by representing the esse, vivere, and intelligere of the divine essence in every generic mode, this universe must evidently contain intelligent spirits. Intelligent spirit alone can apprehend the image of God in creation, apprehend itself as made in the image of God, apprehend the infinite attributes of God by the intuition of reason, and become fully conscious of the good of existence, capable of enjoying it, and of returning to the creator an act of love, worship, and glorification, for his great boon of goodness conferred in creation. Creation is an overflow of the plenitude of good in the divine being proceeding from the complacency of God in the communication of this good. This communication can be made in a manner which appears to our reason in any way adequate to terminate the divine complacency, only by the communication of intelligence.

The type of intelligent nature is most perfectly actualized in the angels, whose essence and operation are purely spiritual, so far as created, finite nature and operation can be purely spiritual. Whatever is intelligible or conceivable of finite, intellectual activity as connatural, or intrinsically included in the essence of created spirit, is to be attributed to them.

The notion of any composition of nature in the angels, or hypostatic union of their pure, spiritual substance with another material substance distinct from it, is wholly gratuitous. It destroys the distinctive type of the angelic nature and the specific difference between it and human nature. It has no foundation in reason except the baseless supposition that a distinct {11} corporeal organization is necessary to the exercise of created intelligence. Nor has it any solid support from tradition or extrinsic authority.

Some of the fathers are cited as maintaining it. Their language is, however, for the most part explained by the best theologians as indicating not the union of the angelic spirit to a distinct subtle corporeity, but the existence of something analogous to matter in the angelic spirit itself. The angels are called corporeal existences, because their essence is extrinsic to the divine essence, and extrinsecation attains its extreme limit in matter; also because their potentiality is not completely reduced to act, and their operation is limited by time and space. This appears to be also the notion advocated by Leibnitz, and the exposition of the nature of material substance given above, in accordance with his philosophy, removes all difficulty from the subject.

The conception of the angelic essence as completely free from all composition with a distinct material substance, is also at least more evidently in harmony with the decree Firmiter of the Fourth Council of Lateran, than any other. "Firmiter credimus et simpliciter confitemur, quod unus est solus verus Deus aeternus. . . . . qui sua omnipotenti virtute simul ab initio temporis, utramque de nihilo condidit creaturam, spiritualem et corporalem, angelicam videlicet et mundanam; ac deinde humanam quasi communem ex spiritu et corpore constitutam."

"We firmly believe and confess with simplicity, that there is one only true eternal God . . . . who by his own almighty power simultaneously from the beginning of time made out of nothing both parts of the creation, the spiritual and the corporeal, that is, the angelical and the mundane: and afterwards the human creature, as it were of a nature in common with both, constituted from spirit and body."

Nevertheless, by the principle of the Thomist philosophy above cited, that the lowest point of any nature touches the highest of the nature beneath it, there may be something even in the spiritual operation of the angels cognate to material operation, and coming within the sphere of the sensible. We will venture to give a little sample of scholastic theology on this head from Billuart.

"It may be said with reason that the angels operate two things in the celestial empyrean. The first is the illumination by which the intrinsic splendor of the empyrean is perfected, according to St. Thomas and various testimonies of Holy Scripture in which certain places are said to have been sensibly illuminated by the angels. For although an angel cannot immediately produce alterative qualities, as heat or cold, he can produce light, because light is a celestial quality and the highest of corporeal qualities, and the summit of the inferior nature is touched by the superior nature.

"In the second place, the angels operate on the empyrean heaven, so that it may more perfectly and efficaciously communicate a suitable perpetuity and stability to all inferior things. For as the supreme angels who are permanently stationed there have an influence over the intermediate and lowest angels who are sent forth, although they themselves are not sent forth, so the empyrean heaven, although it is itself motionless, communicates to those things which are in motion the requisite stability and permanence in their being. And that this may be done more efficaciously and permanently the angels aid by their operation in it. For, the whole universe is one in unity of order; and this unity of order consists in that by a certain arrangement corporeal things are regulated by those which are spiritual, and inferior bodies by the superior; therefore, as this order demands that the empyrean spheres influence the inferior ones, it demands also that the angels influence the empyrean sphere." [Footnote 8]

[Footnote 8: De Angelis. Diss. IL Art. I.]

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Whatever may be thought of this as philosophy, it is certainly brilliantly poetical, as is the whole treatise of the learned Dominican from which it is extracted. The physical theory of the universe maintained by the scholastics was a magnificent conception, although it has been supplanted by a sounder scientific hypothesis. There appears to be no reason, however, for rejecting the notion of angelic influence over the movement of the universe. The modern hypothesis of a central point of revolution for the universe being substituted for the ancient one of the empyrean, the entire scholastic theory of the influence of the angels upon the exterior order of the universe may remain untouched in its intrinsic probability.

The consideration of man has been reserved, because, although he is inferior to the angels in intelligence, he sums up in himself the three grades of existence, and therefore the consideration of the three as distinct ought to precede the consideration of their composition in the complex human nature. The human nature includes in itself the material, vegetative, animal, and intelligent natures, which represent respectively the divine esse, vivere, and intelligere. For this reason man is called a microcosm or universe in miniature. In certain special perfections of the material, sentient, and intelligent natures, he is inferior to each; but the combination of all gives him a peculiar excellence and completeness, and qualifies him to stand in the most immediate relation to the final cause of the universe, or to the consummation of its end.

What this end is, we must now more closely examine. It is plain at first sight that this end must be attained by creation through its intelligent portion, or through the angelic and human natures. As God is final cause as well as first cause; of necessity, these intelligent natures in themselves, and all inferior natures through them, must, in some way, terminate on God as their ultimate end. God is final cause as the supreme good participated in and attained to by the creation, through the overflow of the plenitude of the divine being. The divine complacency in this voluntary overflow of the fount of being and good was the ultimate and determining motive to the creative act. The good of being thus given is a similitude of the divine esse, vivere, and intelligere. As it is real, or existence in act, it must copy, as far as its grade of existence permits, the most pure act of God in the blessed Trinity. That is, the creature must reflect from its own essence an image of the divine essence, or a created similitude of the uncreated Word, in which its existence is completed and its act consummated. In the material world this is a mere dead image, like the representation of a living form made by a statue or picture. In the sentient world, so far as we can understand this most inscrutable and baffling of all parts of the creation, there is an apprehension by the sensitive soul of a kind of shadow of the intelligible object in sensible forms, and the imperfect resemblance of the life and felicity of an intelligent nature which corresponds to this imperfect apprehension. In the intelligent creature, its spiritual essence, by virtue of the rationality in which it is created, and is its constitutive principle, reflects an image of the divine Word in the contemplation of which its intelligent life is completed. So far as intelligent nature is merely potential, it is potential to this act of intelligent life; and when its potentiality is reduced to act, so as to produce the nearest similitude to the divine intelligence in act, which God has determined to create, intelligent nature, and in it all nature, has attained its finality. Intelligent nature has attained the highest good attainable; and, the different intelligent species and individuals existing together in due order and harmony in the participation of the common good, with all inferior grades of existence subordinated to them, the universe has unity and is determined to a common final end.

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Thus, creation returns back to the principle from which it proceeded by the consummation of the creative act. As the Father is united to the Word in the Holy Spirit, or in love and complacency, so the creation is united to God by the possession of good and the complacency of God in this good. It is actualized in the intelligent nature capable of knowing and loving God, and therefore having a similitude to the Son or Word. When it is ascertained what the highest union to the Father, or that approaching nearest to the union of the Son to him of which created nature is capable, is, it will be ascertained what is the end metaphysically final to which created nature can attain, if God wills to bring it to the summit of possibility. When it is ascertained what this summit of possibility is, it is ascertained what the end of creation is which is metaphysically final; and when it is ascertained how far toward this summit God has actually determined to elevate his creation, it is ascertained what is the end of creation actually final, and how far it coincides with the end metaphysically final.

This knowledge cannot be deduced from any first principle given to reason. It is communicated by revelation, and by this revelation we learn that God has determined to bring the creation to the end metaphysically final in the incarnation of the Word.

The revelation of the mystery of the Incarnation is concomitant with the revelation of the mystery of the Trinity; therefore, in the creed, the same terms which propose the dogma that the Word is of God and is God, propose the dogma that the Word is incarnate in human nature. The name given to the Second Person in the Trinity, in the creed, Jesus Christ, is the name which he assumed with his human nature. "Et in unum Dominum nostrum, Jesum Christum Filium Dei unigenitum, Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero, genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri, per quern omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de coelis, et incarnatus est etiam pro nobis de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est."

"And in one Jesus Christ our Lord, the only begotten Son of God, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who, for us men, and for our salvation, descended from heaven, and was incarnate also for us by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man."

The mystery of the incarnation presents to us the idea, that the Word has assumed human nature, not by assuming all the individuals of the race, but by assuming humanity individuated in one perfect soul and body into a union with his divine nature, in which it terminates upon his divine person as the final complement of its existence, without any confusion of its distinct essence with the divine essence to which it is united. By this union, the Word is a theandric person, or one divine person in two natures, divine and human, really distinct from each other in essence and existence, but with one common principle of imputability to which their attributes and operation are to be ascribed. This is the union, called in theological language hypostatic, of the creature to the Creator, which is metaphysically final, or final to the divine intelligence and power; beyond which there is no idea in God of a possible act ad extra, and which is next in order to the procession of the divine persons ad intra. Through this hypostatic union, created nature participates with the uncreated nature impersonated in the Son in the relation to the Father as principle, and the Holy Spirit as consummation, of intelligence and love; that is, in the divine life and beatitude. The incarnation having been in the view and purpose of Almighty God from eternity, {14} as the ultimatum of his wisdom and omnipotence, is the apex of the creative act, or the terminus at which the creative act reaches the summit of possibility. In it the creation returns to God as final cause, from whom it proceeds as first cause, in a mode which is metaphysically final. It is therefore certain that God, in his eternal, creative purpose, determined the universe to an end metaphysically final; and that this end is attained in the incarnation, or the union of created with uncreated nature in the person of the Word.





From The Dublin University Magazine.

MIGUEL DE CERVANTES Y SAAVEDRA.


Notwithstanding the value of the precious metals extracted from the American mines, the Spanish exchequer had not been in a satisfactory condition for a long time. War had scourged the kingdom since the conquest by the Moors. Ferdinand and Isabella had indeed dislodged them and their unlucky King Boabdil from their little paradise in Granada and Andaluçia, about a century before the poor Don made his first sally; but it was at a dread sacrifice of money and men's lives. Charles V. was engaged in ruinous wars during the greater part of his reign, and Philip II., his successor (unwillingly indeed), was put to trouble and expense while uniting with other Christian powers to prevent the ferocious sultan from bringing all Europe under the Mussulman yoke. The victory of Lepanto, gained by his half-brother, Don John, somewhat crippled the Sublime Porte and the terrible renegade Uchali, but did not prevent the Algerine and other African pirates from doing infinite mischief to all the Christian states bordering the Mediterranean. Ceaselessly they intercepted their merchant vessels, made booty of the freight and slaves of the crew, and obliged all in the rank of merchants or gentlemen to find heavy ransoms. Now what should have prevented Spain and France and the Italian kingdoms from collecting a large fleet and army at any one time, and battering down the strongholds of these ruthless plunderers, and effectually putting it out of their power to annoy their Christian neighbors? Philip was often urged to co-operate in such a good work, but he preferred to expend time and money, and his subjects' blood and property, on other projects.

An extract from the work mentioned below, [Footnote 9] in reference to the state of Spain toward the latter years of Philip II., is well worth transcribing. The author is speaking of Cervantes in prison, some time between 1598 and 1603:

[Footnote 9: Michel de Cervantes, sa Vie, son Temps, son OEuvre Politique et Littéraire. Par Émile Chasles. Paris: Didier et Cie.]

"He distinctly perceived, through the splendor and apparent unity of the Spanish monarchy, a muttering and stormy confusion, a thousand strange and opposed groupings;—politicians who in fact were mere favorites, austere gentlemen mixed with galant writers,—grave inquisitors condemning errant Bohemians, applying a barbarous law to barbarous hordes, and cauterizing but not curing wounds. Through this assemblage of contrasts he could see a wide separation between the social classes. Two distinct groups existed united by any common idea or sympathy, extra-social world of Gitanos (gipsies), rogues, and mystics, whose lives were independent, and that of the alcaids and corregidors.

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"Between these two camps hovered a mixed population so frequently treated of in Spanish letters,—the alguazil, the sacristan, the deserter, the refugee, a hybrid people attached to the law or the church, but affiliated to the hampa (illegal bond of union) by character, by nature, by origin, or by interest.

"In a country where poverty was every day increasing, necessity threw thousands every day on a career of adventure. It depopulated Spain in exiling to the Indies her best soldiers. It flung away innumerable renegades to the coast of Africa. It decimated that nobility erewhile so valiant, so full of pride and patriotism. Impoverished gentlemen soon formed a large class of honorable paupers. They endured, with a stoicism purely Spanish, the exigencies of honor and poverty, along with the necessity of living and dying useless to their country."

Let pity be awarded to the poor gentlemen who took his promenade toothpick in hand, to impress on his world that he had dined. Cervantes had no need to go beyond his family recollections for materials for this sketch:

"Behold the hidalgo coming out of his house with unquiet eye. His suspicious humor inclines him to believe that every one knows his shoes are pieced, that perspiration has left marks on his hat, that his cloak is threadbare, and that his stomach is empty. He has taken a draught of water within closed doors, and just come forth displaying his hypocritical toothpick,—dolorous and deceptive exhibition, which has grown into a fashion."

Political principles and social institutions prevalent during the long wars between the Christians and the Moors were still in vigor at the end of the sixteenth century, when the circumstances of the country had undergone a thorough change.

"During the the centuries when Spain was struggling against the Arabs, the she condition of the nationality was the purity of blood and the Christian faith. The Old Christian (Christiano Viejo), the irreproachable Castilian alone, could be intrusted with the defense of the soil or the government of the country. And now when the enemy was expelled the usage remained. The alcaid (magistrate) did not know the law, perhaps he could not read, but 'he had,' as he said, 'four inches of the fat of an Old Christian on his ribs, and that was sufficient.'"

In the interlude of the Election of the Alcaids of Daganzo, Cervantes specifies the personal gifts sufficient to qualify for the post. An elector proposing Juan Verrouil, thus dwells on his good qualities:

"At all events Juan Verrouil possesses the most delicate discernment. The other day, taking a cup of wine with me, he observed that it smacked of wood, of leather, and of iron. Well, when we got to the bottom of the pitcher, what did we discover but a key fastened by a strap of leather to a piece of wood!

"Secretary.—Wonderful ability, rare genius. Such a man might rule Alanis, Cazalla, ay even Esquivias."

Francis de Humillos is considered fit for the magistracy because of his nearness in soling a shoe. Michael Jarret is voted worthy, as he shoots an arrow like any eagle. Peter the Frog knows every word of the ballad of the "Dog of Alva" without missing one, but Humillos stands the examination with rather more credit than the rest; he knows the four prayers, and says them four or five times per week.

The number of wandering gipsies and brigands and thieves of all description was out of all rational proportion with the honest and respectable population. These were united under the hampa, and it was a matter of extreme difficulty to obtain information against any delinquent from a brother of the order.

Little is said about the mercantile or manufacturing classes in books connected with the time of Cervantes. Enough is told of the pride, and luxury, and generally perverted tastes of the great, and hints are given of the kind and considerate demeanor of the nobility residing on their estates to their dependents.

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DON QUIXOTE'S PREDECESSORS.

Spain is not the only country which for a time has set an extravagant estimate on some books or class of books. Even in our own days and in those of the last generation, have not literary furors prevailed for picturesque banditti, and feudal castles, and caverns, and awful noises in vast and dimly lighted bedchambers, for poetry beckoning its victims to despair and suicide, for novels stamped with the silver fork of high life, and lastly, for those which enlarge on the physiology of forbidden fruit? M. Chasles will pleasantly explain the literary penchants of the peninsula two hundred and sixty odd years since:

"We have seen the France of the seventeenth century enthusiastic for the Astrea and the Clelia, [Footnote 10] and the England of the eighteenth assume shield and spear for Clarissa Harlowe, [Footnote 11] but in 1598 and in Spain, the extraordinary popularity of the Amadises resembled a brain fever at which no one dared laugh. One day a certain nobleman coming home found his wife in tears. 'What is the matter? What bad news have you heard?' 'My dear, Amadis is dead.' They could not suffer the writers to put their heroes to death. The infant Don Alonzo personally interceded with the author of the Portuguese Amadis to rewrite the chapter in which the Signora Briolana was sacrificed. These creatures of the imagination assumed a personal reality among the people of that era in the mind of every one. Every one was convinced that Arthur of Britain would one day return among men. Julian of Castile, who wrote in 1587, affirmed (could we believe him) that when Philip II. espoused Mary of England, he was obliged to reserve the claims of King Arthur, and engage to yield him the throne when he returned. Chivalric fictions became an article of faith. A certain gentleman, Simon de Silveyra, swore one day on the Holy Gospel that he held the history of Amadis de Gaul [Footnote 12] for true and certain."

[Footnote 10: For information concerning these slow romances and their contemporaries, and the great Honore d'Urfy. see University Magazine for February, 1844.]

[Footnote 11: A school of simple and warm-hearted working-class folk nightly assembled at a forge in Windsor to hear the perilous trials of Pamela read out to them. They watched with unflagging interest her progress through her ticklish trials, and showed their joy in her final triumph by running in a body to the church and ringing the bells.]

[Footnote 12: This first and best of the chivalric romances was composed by Vasco de Lobeira of Oporto, who died in 1406. It was written between 1342 and 1367, and first printed between 1492 and 1500. There is some uncertainty concerning the given dates.]

Such were a few characteristics of Spanish life when Cervantes thought of writing his Don Quixote. In his numerous works he had it in purpose to improve the state of things in his native country, and to correct this or that abuse, but he obtained no striking success till the publication of this his greatest work. Alas! while it established his character as master in literature, it excited enmities and troubles in abundance.


YOUTH OF CERVANTES.

Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra was born in 1547 at Alcala de Hénarès. His parents, both of gentle birth, were Rodrigo de Cervantes and Leonor de Cortinas. Their other children born before Michael were Rodrigo, Andrea, and Luisa. His family belonged to the class of impoverished gentlefolk, poor but intensely proud of their descent from one of those hardy mountaineers the Saavedras, who, five centuries before, so heroically defended the northern portion of Spain against the Moors. While the hereditary possessions were growing less and less, the heads of the family would endeavor to compensate for present privations, by relating to their children the noble deeds and the great estates of their ancestors.

Cervantes' paternal roof was probably surrounded by some of the paternal fields, and it is likely that the domestic economy was similar to that described in the first chapter of Don Quixote, where translators have still left us at a loss as to the Saturday's fare, duelos y quebrantos (griefs and groans), some, guessing it to be eggs and bacon; others, a dish of lentils; others, brains fried in oil; others, the giblets of fowl.

Alcala de Hénarès [Footnote 13] was worthy to be the birthplace of Spain's best writer. The archbishops of Toledo owned a palace there, and there the great Cardinal Ximenes, an ex-student of its {17} college, returned when somewhat under a cloud, and prepared his world-famous polyglot Bible in Hebrew, Syriac, Greek, and Latin. From the date when the great scholar and statesman made the town his permanent residence it aimed to become, and did eventually become, the intellectual Metropolis of the native country of Cervantes. It possessed a University, nineteen colleges, thirty-eight churches, and works of art in profusion.

[Footnote 13: "From the Arabic At-Cala-d'el-Nahr, the chateau by the river."]

Whether debarred by poverty or negligence, the last an unlikely supposition, Cervantes did not graduate in the University of Alcala or in any other, a circumstance that occasioned him much fortification in his manhood and advanced age. Émile Chasles thus expresses himself on this subject:

"The graduated took their revenge. When Cervantes acquired celebrity they recollected that he had taken no degree. When he thought an employ they applied to him by way of iron brand the epithet, Ingenio Lego, 'He is not of ours,' said they; 'he is not a cleric.' The day when he attracted the attention of all Europe their anger was excessive towards the writer who possessed talent without permission, and genius without a diploma. Cervantes gaily replied, that he admired their pedantic learning, their books bristling with quotations, the complements they paid each other in Greek, their erudition, their marginal notes, their doctors' degrees, but that he himself was naturally lazy, and did not care to search in authors for what he was able to say without them; and finally, that when there is a dull or foolish thing to be expressed, it will do in Spanish as well in Latin."

He was smarting under the contempt of the learned asses of his day when writing the preface to his Don Quixote:

"Alas, the story of Don Quixote is as bare has a rush! Ah, if the author could do as others,—cite at the head of the book a litany of authorities in alphabetic order, commencing with Aristotle and ending with Xenophon or Zoilus! But the poor Cervantes can find nothing of all this. There he sits, paper before him, the pen behind his ear, his elbow on the table, his cheek in his hand, and himself all unable to discover pertinent sentences or ingenious trifles to adorn his subject. Happily a humorous and intelligent friend enters and brings relief. 'Quote,' said he, 'and continue to quote; the first sentence that comes to hand will answer. "Pallida mors aequo pede" is as good as another. Horace will come in well anywhere, and you can even make use of the Holy Scriptures. The giant Golias or Goliath was a Philistine, whom David the shepherd slew with a stone from a sling in the valley of Terebinthus, as is related in the Book of Kings in the chapter where it is to be found.'"


THE FIRST PLAYS AT WHICH HE ASSISTED.

The earliest instructors of our brave romancer and poet were the excellent clergyman Juan Lopez de Hoyos, who took pride and pleasure in expanding the intellects of clear-headed pupils, and the talented strolling actor, Lope de Rueda, who at a time (middle of sixteenth century) when neither Alcala nor even Madrid could boast a suitably appointed theatre, went from town to town, and amused the inhabitants from his rudely contrived stage. This consisted of a platform of loose planks supported by trestles, and a curtain as respectable as could be afforded, doing duty as permanent scene, and affording a hiding-place behind it to the actors when not performing, and to the few musicians who occasionally chanted some romantic ballad.

Rueda had been in his youth a gold-beater at Seville, whence, finding in himself a strong vocation for the mimetic art, he made his escape, carrying some of the popular satiric stories in his head, and moulding them into farces. His troupe consisted of three or four male actors, one or two occasionally presenting female characters, and these were found sufficient to present a simple story in action, the manager himself being an actor of rare ability. These open air performances took a very strong hold on Cervantes' imagination. An outline is given of one of these acted fables, the precursors of the voluminous repertory furnished some years later by Lope de Vega.

Rueda himself, presenting an old laborer, tired and wet, and carrying a fagot, appears before his door, and calls on his wife, who should have his supper ready. His daughter (represented by {18} a beardless youth) acquaints him that she is helping a neighbor at her skeins of silk. She is called, and a fierce scolding match ensues, he demanding his supper and vaunting the severity of his labor, she vilifying the fagot he has brought home. By-and-by the discourse falls on a little plantation of olive trees which he has just put down, and the Signora Aguéda de Toruegano forgets her anger in the anticipation of the large profits to accrue from her seedlings:

"Wife.—Do you know, my dear, what I've been just thinking? In six or seven years our little plantation will produce four or five fanèques (about fifteen barrels) of olives, and putting down a plant now and again, we shall have a noble field all in full bearing in twenty-five or thirty years.

"Husband.—Nothing more likely; it will be a wonder in the neighborhood.

"Wife.—I'll gather the fruit, you'll take them to market on the ass, and Menciguela (the daughter) will sell them; but mind what I tell you, girl! you must not sell them a maravedi less than two reals of Castile the celemin (bushel).

"Husband.—Two reals of Castile! O conscience! a real and a half [Footnote 14] will be a fair price.

[Footnote 14: This has been substituted for fifteen deniers, about three farthings, the amount in M. Chasles' version.]

"Wife—Ah, hold your tongue! They are the very best kind—olives of Cordova.

"Husband.—Even so, a real and a half is quite enough.

"Wife.—Ah, don't bother my head! Daughter, you have heard me; two reals of Castile, no less.

"Husband.—Come here, child. What will you ask—the bushel?

"Daughter.—Whatever you please, father.

"Husband.—Just a real and a half.

"Daughter.—Yes, father.

"Mother.—Yes, father! Come here to me. How will you sell them the bushel?

"Daughter.—Whatever you say, mother.

"Father.—I promise you, my lass, two hundred stripes of the stirrup leathers, if you don't mind my directions. Now what'll be the price?

"Daughter.—Whatever you like, father.

"Mother.—How! Ah, here's for your 'whatever you like.' (She beats her.) Take that, and maybe it'll teach you to disobey me.

"Father.—Let the child alone.

"Daughter.—Ah, mother, mother, don't kill me! (Cries out; a neighbor enters.)

"Neighbor.—What's this, what's this? Why do you beat the little girl?

"Wife.—Ah, sir, it's this wasteall that wants to give away all we have for nothing. He'll put us out of house and home. Olives as large as walnuts!

"Husband.—I swear by the bones of my ancestors that they are no bigger than grains of millet.

"Wife.—I say they are.

"Husband.—I say they're not.

"Neighbor.—Will you please, ma'am, to go inside? I undertake to make all right (She enters the house.) Now, my friend, explain this matter. Let us see your olives. If you have twenty fanèques, I will purchase all.

"Father.—You don't exactly comprehend. The fact is—do you see?—and to tell the honest truth, the olives are not just in the house, though they are ours.

"Neighbor.—No matter. Sure it's easy to get them brought here. I'll buy them at a fair price.

"Daughter.—My mother says she must get two reals [Footnote 15] the bushel.

[Footnote 15: The Spaniards keep their accounts in piastres, reals, and marvedis, the first-named being worth about 8s. 6d. of our money. Thirty-four marvedis make a real, eight reals a piastre. The real mentioned in the text was probably a piece of eight or piastre.]

"Neighbor.—That's rather dear.

"Father.—Now isn't it, sir?

"Daughter.—My father only asks a real and a half.

"Neighbor.—Let us see a sample.

"Husband.—Ah, don't ask to talk about it farther. I have to-day put down a small plot of olives. My wife says that within seven or eight years we'll be able to gather four or five fanèques of fruit from them. She is to collect them, I to take them on the ass to market, and our daughter to sell them, and she must not take less than two reals. She says yes, I say no, and that's the whole of it.

"Neighbor.—A nice a fair, by my faith! The olives are hardly planted, and yet your daughter has been made to cry and roar about them.

"Daughter.—Very true indeed, sir, what you say.

"Father.—Don't cry any more, Menciguela. Neighbor, this little body is worth her weight in gold. Go, lay the table, child. You must have an apron out of the very first money I get for the olives.

"Neighbor.—Good-by, my friend; go in and be agreeable with your wife.

"Father.—Good-by, sir. (He and his daughter go in.)

"Neighbor, alone.—It must be owned that some things happen here below beyond belief. Ouf! quarrel about olives before they're in existence!"

{19}

The reader will easily recognize the "Maid with the milking pail" at the bottom of this illustration. Before the production of any of the regular pieces of De Vega, or Calderon, or Alarcon, or Tirso de Molina, the easily pleased folk of country or town were thoroughly satisfied with Rueda's repertory. When the talented stroller died in 1567, he was honored with a costly funeral, and solemnly interred in the cathedral of Cordova. Strange contrast between his posthumous fortune and that of Molière!

The impression made on Cervantes by the performances on Rueda's platform was strong and lasting. He ever retained a high respect for the talent of observation, the native genius and the good sense of Lope de Rueda.

In the preface to his own plays, Cervantes left an inventory of the theatrical properties of the strolling establishments in his youth:

"All the materials of representation were contained in a sack. They were made up of four jackets of sheepskin, laced with gilt leather, four beards, as many wigs, four shepherd's crooks. The comedies consisted of eclogues or colloquies between two or three shepherds and one shepherdess. They prolonged the entertainments by means of interludes, such as that of the Negress, the Ruffian, the Fool, or that of the Biscayan,—four personages played by Lope as well as many others, and all with the greatest perfection and the happiest natural ability that can be imagined."

One evening in the old age of Cervantes, the company around him were discussing the living actors and the present condition of the theatre. Among other things they treated of the infancy of the Spanish stage, and the artist who first essayed to make it something better than a platform for tumbling. Cervantes at once brought forward the claims of his early master:

"I remember having seen play the great comedian Lope de Rueda, a man distinguished for his intelligence and his style of acting. He excelled in pastoral poetry. In that department no one then or since has shown himself his superior. Though then a child, and unable to appreciate the merit of his verses, nevertheless when I occasionally repeat some couplets that have remained in my memory, I find that my impression of his ability is correct."


HIS FIRST STEP IN LIFE.

The young admirer of Lope de Rueda exhibited in his temperament and appearance more of the soldier than the poet. With his high forehead, his arched eyebrows, his hair flung behind, his firm-set mouth, he seemed to present little of the imaginative dreamer. However, there was that in the delicate contours of the countenance, in the searching look, in the fire of the large dark eyes, which betrayed the ironical powers of the observant man of genius. No doubt he had the literary instincts somewhat developed by the practical lessons of Rueda, but military aspirations had the ascendant for the time. Though his brother Rodrigo had departed for the war in Flanders, and it seemed as if he was destined to remain at home with his family, fate and inclination were against this arrangement. However, the first step he took in life was not in the direction of the battle-field. An Italian cardinal took him to Rome in quality of secretary. The brave Don John, half-brother of Philip II., was appointed general of the league arming against the Grand Turk at the same time, and the young and ardent Miguel eagerly took arms under him, and was present at the memorable naval engagement of Lepanto. Philip did not enter with much good-will into this strife, and prevented any advantages that might result from the glorious victory by shortly withdrawing his brother from the command of the allied forces of Christendom. The enthusiastic young soldier received three wounds as well as a broken arm in the fight. This was in the year 1571, and until 1575 we find Cervantes attending Don John in his contentions with the Mohammedan powers on the coast of Africa, in which the chivalric commander was hampered by the ill-will of his brother, Philip II. He went into the Low Countries much against his will, and after several victories met a premature death there in 1578, when only thirty-two years old.

{20}

CAPTIVE IN ALGIERS.

Cervantes received from his great-souled commander written testimonials of his valiant conduct and moral worth, and sailed for Spain from Naples in the year 1578. On the voyage the vessel was attacked by three Turkish galliots; those who fell not in the engagement were made prisoners, and our hero became the slave of a lame renegade called the "Cripple," in Arabic, Dali Mami.

The Algerians, rigid Mussulmans as they were, killed as few Christians in these attacks as they could. Slaves and ransoms were the cherished objects of their quests, and as soon as could be after the landing in Algiers, the classification was made of "gentles and commons." The captors were cunning in their generation, and this was the process adapted for the enhancement of their live property.

The captive's owner proceeded with wonderful skill to raise the value of his goods. While the slave declared his poverty, and lowered his station in order to lower the terms of his ransom, the master affected to treat his victim with the greatest respect. He gave him almost enough of nourishment, and professed he was ruining himself for the other's advantage through pure deference and good-will; and slipped in a word as to his hopes of being repaid for his outlay. The prisoner might undervalue himself as much as he chose, "he was merely a private soldier." Ah, his master knew better; the man of the ranks was a general, the man before the mast a caballero, the simple priest an archbishop.

"As for me,' said the captive Dr. Sosa, 'who am but a poor clerk, the need me bishop by their own proper authority, and in plenitudine potestatis. Afterward they appointed me the private and confidential secretary of the Pope. They assured me that I had been for eight days closeted with His holiness in a chamber, where we discussed in the most profound secrecy the entire affairs of Christendom. Then they created me cardinal, afterwards governor of Castel Nuovo at Naples; and at this present moment I am confessor to Her Majesty the Queen of Spain.' In vain Dr. Sosa renounced these honors. They produced witnesses, both Christian and Turks, who swore to having seen him officiating as cardinal governor."

The letters of of Don John of Austria having been found on Cervantes, the poor soldier of Lepanto became at once a great lord, from whom a large ransom might be expected. They began with genuflexions, and frequently ended with the scourge, not in his case, however. Many poor wretches, to save themselves from the horrible treatment they endured, or expected to endure, became Mohammedans, on which they immediately obtained their liberty, were set on horseback, with fifty Janissaries on foot, serving as cortège, the king defraying the expense of the ceremony, bestowing wives on the hopeful converts, and offering them places among his Janissaries.

Cervantes became the centre, round which the hopes of many poor captives were grouped. He made several attempts at evasion, and, strange to say, was not in any instance punished by his otherwise cruel master.

Several Christians enjoying the benefit of safe conduct were free to come and go among these Algerines, and the Redemptorist Fathers enjoyed thorough freedom, as through them the ransoms were chiefly effected. A Spanish gentleman being set at liberty, carried a letter from our hero home to his family, and in consequence the brave old hidalgo, his father, mortgaged his little estate, took the dowries of his two daughters, and forwarded all to his son for the liberation of himself and his brother, who was also in captivity. When he presented himself to Dali Mami with his sum in his hands the renegade cripple only laughed at him. He and Rodrigo were men of too much importance to be ransomed for so trifling a sum.

{21}

The cruel viceroy of Algiers having spent his allotted time in charge of that nest of vultures, was replaced by a governor still more cruel, under whom Cervantes made a desperate effort to escape, and carry off forty or fifty fellow-captives with him. He paid his brother's ransom, and he, when set at liberty, managed to send a vessel near the spot where Miguel had his companions in safety in a grotto of a certain garden. Through some mismanagement the descent failed, and the hiding-place was revealed by the treachery of a trusted individual. All were brought before the new Viceroy Hassan, and Cervantes avowed himself the chief and only plotter among them. Hassan used flattery, promises, and threats to induce the intrepid Spaniard to criminate a certain brother Redemptorist as privy to the plot, in order that he might come at a much coveted sum of money which he knew to be in his possession. All was in vain. Cervantes was not to be turned from the path of loyalty, and when every one expected sentence of death to be pronounced on him at the moment, Hassan became suddenly cool, and merely ordered him to be removed.

The bagnio of Hassan was a sufficiently wretched place, but while our hero sojourned there, he made it as cheerful as he could by composing poetical pieces and reciting them, and getting up a Spanish comedy. There were forty priests in it at the time, and these performed their clerical duties as if at liberty. They celebrated mass, administered holy communion, and preached every Sunday. When Christmas approached, he arranged a mystery, such as he had seen performed in his native Alcala under the direction of the ingenious Lope de Rueda. All were prepared,—the shepherds' dresses, the crib, the stable, etc.; the guardian admitting outsiders at a small charge, and a shepherd reciting the opening verses of the entertainment, when a Moor entered in hot haste, and shouted out to all to look to their safety, as the Janissaries were rushing through the streets, and killing the Christians. Some clouds on the northern horizon had been taken for the Christian fleet under Don John, and the terrible guards determined to put it out of the Christian captives' power to aid the attack. The massacre ceased on the clearing away of the vapors.

About that time, Philip II. was collecting a large naval force in the Mediterranean for the ostensible purpose of storming Algiers, though in reality his intent was merely to seize on the kingdom of Portugal. Its romantic sovereign, Don Sebastian, the hero of one of Miss Porter's romances, had just been slain in Morocco, and his successor Henry, whose days were numbered, was unable to cross his projects. The report of Philip's meditated descent inspired Cervantes with a project of a general rising of the slaves. He even addressed to the sombre king, through his secretary Mateo Vasquez, a remonstrance and encouragement, of which we present a few extracts:

"High and powerful lord, let the wrath of thy soul be enkindled. Here the garrison is numerous, but without strength, without ramparts, without shelter. Every Christian is on the alert; every Mussulman is watching for the appearance of the fleet as the signal for flight. Twenty thousand Christians are in this prison, the key of which is in your hands. We all, with clasped hands, on bended knees, and with stifled sobs, and under severe tortures, beseech thee, puissant lord, to turn your pitying looks towards us, your born subjects, who lie groaning here. Let the work courageously begun by your much loved father be achieved by your hand."

Hassan employed the slaves in building fortifications for his garrison, but he kept Cervantes strictly guarded. "When my disabled Spaniard," said he, "is under guard, I am sure of the city, the prisoners, and the port." But though well watched, the restless captive made three other attempts at escape, for each of which he was to receive, but did not, two thousand bastinadoes. In the fourth attempt, two merchants who were compromised, and feared he might betray them under the torture, offered to pay his ransom, and thus secure his departure, but he did not accept the terms. He braved the examination, and would {22} not reveal the names of any accomplices except four who were already out of danger. Strange to say, even this time he escaped without punishment. A renegade, Maltrapillo, high in Hassan's confidence, and who seems to have entertained great esteem for the fearless and generous character of Cervantes, probably saved his back sundry stripes on these different occasions. On this subject we quote some lines from M. Chasles:

"Either through the interference of Maltrapillo or the influence exercised by the noble character of Cervantes on all around him, this time again he was spared by Hassan. How was he enabled to many times to escape his master's rage? In following his fortunes through these years of trial, I am struck by the mysterious influence of his noble character on the events and the persons by whom he was surrounded. In the mixed of a diverse population incessantly changing, among a crowd of soldiers and captive doctors, he occupied an exceptional station. Brothers of Mercy, Christian merchants, renegades, all recognize in him a moral superiority. 'Every one,' says the eye-witness Pedrosa, 'admired his courage and his disposition.'"

The acts of kindness done by the renegades to the captives were not small nor few. Nearly all of them had conformed through the immediate prospect of promotion, or fear of punishment, and there was scarcely a conscientious Mussulman among every hundred of them. In general they were anxious to obtain from the captives about to be ransomed certificates of their own good offices towards them. These were intended to be available for some possible future contingencies.

The poor sorrowful father continued to make unavailing efforts for his ransom. He even disturbed the court officials with representations of his son's services and sufferings; but "circumlocution" was a word understood even in Madrid and in the days of Philip II. The afflicted and impoverished gentleman died in dragging his suit through the lazy and unpatriotic officials, and if ever a death resulted from heartbreak his was one. Still his mother, his brother Rodrigo and his sister Andrea exerted themselves, and dispatched to Algiers 300 crowns. A strong representations at the court insured in addition the amount of a cargo then consigned to Algiers, which produced only 60 ducats, say £30. These sums were not sufficient, and the heart sick captive would have been carried by Hassan to Constantinople, his viceroyalty having expired, only for the deficiency being made up by the Brothers of Mercy, Christian merchants, etc., who were "tightly targed" for that purpose by the good-hearted and zealous brother superior, Gil. This providential redemption occurred in 1580.

Before he quitted his abode of little ease he had the forethought to demand a public scrutiny of his conduct by the Christian authorities. Witnesses in great number came forward to testify to his worth. The following facts were irrevocably established. He had rescued one man from slavery only for the treachery of Blanco. The pure morality of his life was attested by a gentleman of high standing. Others proved his many acts of charity to the unfortunate and to children, all done as secretly as possible. He had contrived the escape of five captives. A gentleman, Don Diego (James) de Benavides, furnished this testimony:

"On coming here from Constantinople, I asked if there were in the city any gentlemen by birth, I was told there was one in particular—a man of honor, noble, virtuous, well-born, the friend of caballeroes, to wit, Michael de Cervantes. I paid him a visit. He shared with me his chamber, his clothes, his money. In him I have found a father and a mother."

The declarations of Brother Gil and of Rev. Dr. Sosa solemnly confirmed the facts brought forward by numerous captives. Sosa wrote his declaration while still in irons, and avowed with a mixture of dignity and feeling that his principles would have prevented him from allowing himself such {23} intimacy with Cervantes, had he not considered him in the light of an earnest Christian, liable to martyrdom at any moment.

A scrutiny was also made in Spain at the request of the elder Cervantes, in 1578, and both the justifying documents, signed by notaries, are still in existence.

"Ah!" says Haedo (himself an eye-witness of the sufferings of the Christians in that vulture's nest), "it had been a fortunate thing for the Christians if Michael Cervantes had not been betrayed by his own companions. He kept up the courage and hopes of the captives at the risk of his own life, which he imperilled four times. He was threatened with death by impaling, by hanging, and by burning alive; and dared all to restore his fellow-sufferers to liberty. If his courage, his ability, his plans, had been seconded by fortune, Algiers at this day would belong to us, for he aimed at nothing less."

Cervantes did not put his own adventures in writing. The captive in Don Quixote said with reference to them, "I might indeed tell you some strange things done by a soldier named Saavedra. They would interest and surprise you, but to return to my own story." The disinterested hero had more at heart the downfall of Islamism than his own glorification.


HIS RESTITUTION TO HIS NATIVE LAND.

Cervantes touched his native land again with no very brilliant prospect before him. His father was dead; his mother could barely support herself, his brother was with the army, and his friends dispersed. Still the first step on his beloved Spain gave him great joy, afterwards expressed through the mouth of the captive in Don Quixote:

"We went down on our knees and kissed our native soil, and then with eyes bathed in tears of sweet emotion we gave thanks to God. The sight of our Spanish land made us forget all our troubles and sufferings. It seemed as if they had been endured by others than ourselves, so sweet it is to recover lost liberty."

At the time of his arrival king and court were at Badajos, watching the progress of the annexation of Portugal. He joined the army, and during the years 1581, '2, '3, shared in the battles between Philip and the Prior Antonio de Ocrato, the latter being assisted by the French and English. In one of these fights the Spanish admiral ordered the brave Strozzi, wounded and a prisoner, to be flung into the sea. At the engagement of the Azores, Rodrigo Cervantes and another captain flung themselves into the sea, and were the first to scale the fortifications, thus giving their soldiers a noble example.


MARRIAGE AND SUBSEQUENT TROUBLES.

He lived in Lisbon a short time and composed his Galatea there. Next year he returned to Madrid, and married the lady Dona Catalina de Palacios y Salazar y Vomediano. She was of a noble family, but her dowry consisted of a few acres of land. In the marriage contract, signed in presence of Master Alonzo de Aguilera, and still in existence, mention is made of half a dozen fowl forming part of the fortune brought by her to the soldier and poet. The marriage was celebrated 12th December, 1584, at the bride's residence, Esquivias, a little town in the neighborhood of the capital.

He now betook himself seriously to literature, published the Galatea, and began to write for the theater. At first he was very successful, but on a sudden Lope de Vega came on the scene, and exhibited such dramatic aptitude and genius and mental fertility, that managers and actors and audience had no ears for any other aspirant to dramatic reputation, and poor Cervantes found his prospect of fame and independence all at once clouded. The pride of the Spanish hidalgo and "Old Christian" [Footnote 16] had been much {24} modified by his life in the army and bagnio, and his good common sense told him that it was his duty to seek to support his family by some civil occupation rather than indulge his family pride, and suffer them and himself to starve.

[Footnote 16: One unsuspected of having Moorish or Jewish blood in his veins.]

But oh, Apollo and his nine blue stockings! what was the occupation dropped over our soldier-poet's head, and doing all in its power to extinguish his imaginative and poetic faculties? Nothing more nor less than the anti-romantic duties of a commissary. Well, well, Spain was no more prosaic than other countries, and Cervantes had brothers in his mechanical occupations. Charles Lamb's days were spent in adding up columns of "long tots." Burns gauged whiskey casks and kept an eye on private stills; Shakespeare adjusted the contentions of actors, and saw that their exits and entrances did not occur at the wrong sides; perhaps the life of the mill-slave Plautus furnished as much happiness as any of the others. The mill-stones got an occasional rest, and he was in enjoyment for the time, when reading comic scenes from his tablets or scrolls, and listening to the outbursts of laughter that came from the open throats of his sister and brother drudges.

The Invincible Armada, while preparing to make a hearty meal on England, had need meantime of provender while crossing the rough Biscayan sea, and four commissaries were appointed to collect provisions for that great monster, and for the behoof of the Indian fleets. Cervantes was one of the four, Seville appointed his headquarters, and his time most unpoetically employed collecting imposts in kind from all tax-paying folk.

The regular clergy (houses of friars and monks) were at the time at deadly feud with his Most Catholic Majesty, Philip II., and refused to pay him tribute. They founded their refusal on a papal bull; and on the other aide, the alcaids produced the royal warrant. Between the contending powers the author of Galatea found himself sufficiently embarrassed.

For some years Cervantes endured a troubled and wretched existence in such employment as the above, in purchasing corn for the use of the galleys, and in making trips to Morocco on public business. He solicited the government for an office in the Indies, and was on the point of obtaining it when some influence now unknown frustrated his hopes. He describes his condition and that of many other footballs of fortune in the Jealous Estremaduran:

"In the great city of Seville he found opportunities of spending the little he had left. Finding himself destitute of money, and not better provided with friends, he tried the means adopted by all the idle hangers-on in that city, namely, a passage to the Indies, the refuge of the outcasts of Europe, the sanctuary of bankrupts, the inviolable asylum of homicides, paradise of gamblers who are there sure to gain, resort of women of loose lives, where the many have a prospect, and the few a subsistence."

Our poet not being born with an instinct for regular accounts and being charged to collect arrears of tax in Granada to the amount of two millions of maravedis, say £1,500, found his task difficult among people who were slow in committing to memory the rights of the crown. His greatest mistake was the intrusting of a considerable sum to a merchant named Simon Freire de Luna in order to be deposited in the treasury at Madrid. Simon became bankrupt, and Cervantes was cast into prison for the deficiency in his accounts. He was soon set at liberty, but the different appearances he was obliged to make before the courts of Seville, Madrid, and Valladolid were sufficient to turn his hair grey before its time. The judges reproached him for his deficit, the people gave him no praise. The alcaids of Argamasilla in La Mancha gave him particularly bad treatment. Perhaps he recollected it when writing his romance.

{25}

Subjected to the interrogatories of the royal councillors, judges, and even alcaids, a servant to all merely for means to live, and always moving about, poor Cervantes appears at last to have given way. From 1594, when sent to collect arrears in Granada, to 1598, little can be gathered concerning him, but from this last date till 1603 nothing whatever is known of his fortunes. The probability is that he spent part of the time in a prison of Andaluçia or La Mancha, and there meditated on the vanity of human expectations, and wrote the first part of Don Quixote.


HIS LITERARY LIFE.

Wherever he spent this interval his brain had not been idle—he had passed in review the defects of the Spanish government and of the Spanish character. He had been unable to rouse the king to crush the power of the Algerine pirates, either by the memorials he had consigned to his friend the secretary, or by the vigorous pictures he had presented on the stage (after his return from captivity) of the cruelties inflicted by them on their unhappy captives. He had failed in his great and cherished object, but there remained one reformation yet to be made, namely, of taste among those Spaniards, ladies and gentlemen, to whom reading was a pleasure, and who could afford to purchase books. To substitute a relish for healthier studies was a darling object of our much worried poet for years. It was cherished in prisons, and the first part of his great work written, or nearly so, at the time when we find him again mixing with society in Valladolid, where Philip II. held his court. This was in the year 1603. The following extract concerning his residence and his mode of life in that city, is taken from the work of M. Chasles:

"There is at Valladolid a poor looking house, narrow and low, hemmed in among the taverns of a suburb, and near the deep and empty bed of a torrent called Esguéva. There Cervantes came to live in 1603, in the fifty-seventh year of his age. With an emotion which I cannot express I hare visited this dwelling, which stands outside the city, and which remains unmarked by stone or inscription. A well-used staircase conducts to the two modest chambers used by Cervantes. One, in which he slept, no doubt, is a square room with a low ceiling supported by beams. The other, a sort of ill-lighted kitchen looking on to the neighboring roofs, still holds his cantarelo or stone with three round hollows to hold water jars. Here lived with him his wife, Dona Catalina, his daughter Isabelle, now twenty years old, his sister Dona Andrea, his niece Constanza, and a relation named Dona Magdalena. A housekeeper increased the family. Where did all sleep? However that was arranged, they all did their work together. The ladies earned money by embroidering the court-dresses. Valladolid, adopted for abode by the new king and by the Duke of Lerma, was then incumbered, as was Versailles afterwards, with gentlemen, with the grandees, and with generals. Our impoverished family was supported by this affluence. The Marquis of Villafranca, returning from Algiers to the court, got his gala-suit made by the family of the soldier-poet, with whom he had erewhile been acquainted. Cervantes was occupied either with keeping the books of people in business, or regulating the accounts of some people of quality, or striving to bring his long lawsuit with the government lo a close.

"In the evening, while the needles of the women flew through the stuffs, he held the pen, and on the corner of the table he put his thoughts in writing. There it was he composed the prologue of that work which had been a labor of love in the composition, and in which he employed all the force of his genius. In bringing it with him to Valladolid, he experienced alternations of hope and fear, being fully sensible that it was his masterpiece. 'Idle reader,' said he in the first page, 'you may credit my word, for I have no need to take oath, that I wish this book, child of my brain, were the most beautiful, the most brilliant, and the most witty that any one could imagine.' He had published nothing since the Galatea, which had appeared twenty years before and was an amiable apology for the taste of the times. The book about to be printed was a flagrant attack on the same literature."

Those who despise the old books of chivalry, and have probably never opened one, are too ready to undervalue Cervantes' apprehension about bringing out his book, and the service it eventually rendered to society and literature. We recommend an indifferent individual of this way of thinking to peruse about the eighth of the contents of one of the condemned {26} volumes of Don Quixote's library, and work himself into the conviction that the body of the Spanish readers of 1603, ladies and gentlemen, not only admired such compositions more than living readers admire the most popular writings of our times, but in many instances believed the contents to be true.

Let us hope that there is some mistake about the non-accommodation afforded to the seven individuals of Cervantes' family, six of whom were of gentle blood. It is easy to imagine what delightful evenings they would have enjoyed if tolerably comfortable with regard to furniture and space, the soldier-poet reading out some passages from the Don, or the Exemplary Novels, or one of his plays, and the well-bred women plying their needles, listening with interest, and occasionally breaking out into silvery laughs at the comic misfortunes of the knight, or the naive pieces of roguery of the squire.

We can readily imagine the desolation of Cervantes' spirit during the troubled years of his official wanderings, his superiors urging him to grind the faces of his countrymen and fellow-subjects, and these entertaining most unfriendly feelings toward himself. The ladies of his family—where were they during this nomadic life of his, and how were they situated? Separation from their society and anxiety about their privations must have added much to the present suffering, and forebodings of things still worse, the companions of his lonely hours.

A pleasant interruption to the monotony and privations of the family life must have been the appearance of the first part of the Don in 1604, and the popularity it soon attained.


HIS LABORERS AND THEIR REQUITAL.

Some who merely neglected the author till found by fame, were soon ready to do him disservice by passing censure on the execution of the great work, and even searching for subjects of blame in his past career. Lope de Vega, as we have seen, had put it out of his power to turn his dramatic talents to account. Further, he did not act in a kind manner towards him in private, though outwardly friendly. But Lope's friends and admirers so deeply resented an honest and judicious criticism on the works of the prolific dramatist by Cervantes, that they ceased not during the remaining dozen years of his life to do him every unfriendly act in their power. One was so full of malice and so unprincipled, that towards the end of Cervantes' life he wrote a second part of the Adventures of Don Quixote, distinguished by coarseness, dullness, and inability to make the personages of the first part of the story act and speak in character. The impudent and talentless writer called himself Don Avellaneda of some town in La Mancha, but one of De Vega's admirers was supposed to be the real culprit. Suspicions fell on several, but the greater number centered in Pere Luis de Aliaga, a favorite of the Duke of Lerma, and the confessor of Philip III. He was call, meagre, and dark-complexioned, and had got the sobriquet of Sancho Panza, by antithesis.


The wretched attack, for it was no better, was published in 1614, two years before the death of Cervantes, Though suffering from illness, and overshadowed by the expectation of approaching death, the appearance of the impudent and worthless production acted on him as the bugle on the nerves of the old battle-steed. In the order of Providence good is extracted from mere human evil, and to the false Avellaneda the world is indirectly indebted for the second part of Don Quixote, the wedding of Gamacho, the wise though unsuccessful government of Barataria by Sancho, the disenchantment of Dulcinea, and all the delightful adventures and conferences that had place at the ducal chateau, province unknown.

{27}

But between the publishing of the first part of Don Quixote in 1605, and the second in 1614, how had the great heart and head been occupied? Probably with little pleasure to himself. On his return from the wars of Portugal in 1584, he had the pleasure and profit of seeing several of his plays acted, some expressly written to direct public spirit towards a crusade on the Algerines. [Footnote 17] Of these he thus speaks in the prologue to his dramatic works, published 1613:

[Footnote 17: Between the days of Lope de Rueda and those of Cervantes' debut, Naharra of Toledo had made considerable improvement in the mechanics of the art. The sack was rejected, and chests and trunks held the properties. The musicians came from behind their blanket, and faced their customers. He rejected the beards except in the case of disguisements, and invented or adopted thunder, lightning, clouds, challenges, and fights. He himself was a capital personator of cowardly bullies.]

"In all the playhouses of Madrid were acted some plays of my composing, such as the Humors of Algiers, the Destruction of Numantia, and the Naval Battle, wherein I took the liberty of reducing plays to three acts which before consisted of five. I showed, or, to speak better, I was the first that represented the imaginations and secret thoughts of the soul, exhibiting moral characters to public view to the entire satisfaction of the audience. I composed at that time thirty plays at least, all of which were acted without anybody's interrupting the players by flinging cucumbers or any other trash at them. They ran their race without any hissing, cat-calling, or any other disorder. But happening to be taken up with other things, I laid aside play-writing, and then came on that prodigy of nature, that marvellous man, the great Lope de Vega, who raised himself to be supreme monarch of the stage. He subdued all the players, and made them obedient to his will. He filled the world with theatrical pieces, finely and happily devised, and full of good sense, and so numerous that they take up above ten thousand sheets of paper all of his own writing, and, which is a most wonderful thing to relate, he saw them all acted or at least had the satisfaction to hear they were all acted."

Good-hearted, generous Cervantes, who could so dwell on that success in a rival which condemned himself to the wretched life of an inland revenue officer, to the hatred of non-payers of tax, to prosecutions, and to the discomforts of an Andaluçian or Manchegan dungeon, and separation from his niece, sister, daughter, and wife, whom, in absence of data to the contrary, we take to be amiable and affectionate women.

When the court returned to Madrid he and his family followed it, but we find no employment given by him to the printing presses of that city from 1604 to 1613, when he got published the collection of plays and interludes before mentioned. In the same year he published his twelve Exemplary Novels, [Footnote 18] dedicating them to his patron, Don Pedro Fernandez de Castro, count of Lemos. This nobleman, in conjunction with Archbishop Sandoval, and the actor, Pedro de Morales, had succeeded (let us hope) in cheering the poet's latter years. In the preface he gives a portrait of himself in his sixty-sixth year, distinguished by his own charming style, always redolent of resignation, good-will, and good-nature. He pretends that a friend was to have got his portrait engraved to serve as frontispiece, but, owing to his negligence, he himself is obliged to supply one in pen and ink:

[Footnote 18: The Lady Cornelia, Rinconete and Cortadillo, Doctor Glass-case, the Deceitful Marriage, the Dialogue of the Dogs Scipio and Berganza, the Little Gipsy Girl, the Generous Lover, the Spanish-English Lady, the Force of Blood, the Jealous Estremaduran, the Illustrious Scullery-Maid, and the Two Damsels.]

"My friend might have written under the portrait—This person whom you see here, with an oval visage, chestnut hair, smooth open forehead, lively eyes, a hooked but well-proportioned nose, a silvery beard that, twenty years ago, was golden, large moustaches, a small mouth, teeth not much to speak of, for he has but six, all in bad condition and worse placed, no two of them corresponding to each other; a figure between the two extremes, neither tall nor short, a vivid complexion, rather fair than dark, somewhat stooped in the shoulders, and not very light-footed: this I say is the author of Galatea, Don Quixote de la Mancha, . . . commonly called Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. He was for many years a soldier, and for five years and a half in captivity, where he learned to have patience in adversity. He lost his left hand by a musket-shot in the battle of Lepanto, and ugly as this wound may appear, he regards it as beautiful, having received it {28} on the most memorable and sublime occasion which passed times have ever scene, or future times can hope to equal, fighting under the victorious banners of the son of that thunderbolt of war, Charles V. of blessed memory. Should the friend of whom I complain have no more to say of me than this, I would myself have composed a couple of dozen of eulogiums, and communicated them to him in secret," etc.


THE CLOSING SCENE.

Cervantes' Voyage to Parnassus, in which he complains to Apollo for not being furnished even with a stool in that poets' elysium, was published in 1614, the second part of Don Quixote in 1615, and that was the last book whose proofs he had the pleasure to correct. He was employed on his Troubles of Persiles and Sigismunda, [Footnote 19] and wrote its preface, and the dedication to his patron the Count of Lemos, while suffering under his final complaint, the dropsy, and having only a few day to live. From the preface to the Persiles he appears to have received extreme unction before the last word of it was written. From the forgiving, and patient, and tranquil spirit of his writing, even when annoyed by much unkindness and injustice on the part of the Madrid coteries, from the spirit of religion and morality that pervades his writings, and the care he appears to have taken to meet his summons as a sincere Christian, we may reasonably hope that his sorrows and troubles for time and eternity ended on 23d April, 1616 the day on which a kindred spirit breathed his last at Stratford-on-Avon.

[Footnote 19: It was published by his widow, Dona Catalina, la 1617.]

And indeed in our meditations on the characteristics of the author and man in Cervantes, we have always mentally associated him with Shakespeare and Sir Walter Scott. We find in all the same versatility of genius, the same grasp and breadth of intellect, the same gifts of genial humor and the same largeness of sympathy. The life of Cervantes will be always an interesting and edifying study in connexion with the literature and the great events of his time. We find him conscientiously doing his duty in every phase of his diversified existence, and effecting all the good in his power. When he feels the need of filling a very disagreeable office in order to afford necessary support to his family, he bends the stubborn pride of the hidalgo to his irksome duties—and it is not easy for us to realize the rigidity of that quality which he inherited by birth, and which became a second nature in every gentleman of his nation. In advanced years he still vigorously exerts his faculties, and endures privations and disappointments in a resigned and patient spirit; and when complaints are wrung from him they are neither bitter nor ill-natured. Even his harmless vanity has something amiable and cordial about it. When he has just reached his sixtieth year he effects a salutary revolution in the corrupt literary taste of his countrymen and countrywomen, and save a few coarse expressions separable from the literature of his day, a deathbed examination would have found few passages in his numerous writings which it would be desirous to find omitted. He closed an anxious and industrious life by a Christian death.


NOTE.

Towards the end of Cervantes' life he belonged to the third order of Trinitarian monks, and was buried in their church with his face uncovered. These brothers having quitted their convent in 1633, the site of the interment could not be discovered when a search was afterwards made. The house he occupied in Madrid being pulled down about twenty years since, his bust has been placed in a niche in front of the new building.




{29}

SILENT GRIEF.


  You bid me raise my voice,
             And pray
  For tears; but yet this choice
  Resteth not with me. Too much grief
  Taketh the tears and words that give relief
             Away:
  Though I weep not, silent and apart,
        Weeps and prays my heart

  You like not this dead, calm,
            Cold face.
  So still, unmoved, I am.
  You think that dark despair begins
  To brood upon me for my many sins'
            Disgrace:
  Not so; within, silent and apart,
       Hopes and trusts my heart.

  Down underneath the waves
          Concealed
  Lie in unfathomed graves
  A thousand wrecks, storm never yet—
  That did the upper surface madly fret—
            Revealed.
  Wreck'd loves lie deep; tears, with all their art,
       Ne'er could show my heart.

  Complaint I utter not.
            I know
  That He who cast my lot,
  In silence also bore His cross.
  Nor counted lack of words or tears a loss
            In woe.
  Alone with Him, silent and apart,
        Weeps and prays my heart.



{30}

Original.

THE GODFREY FAMILY;
OR, QUESTIONS OF THE DAY.


CHAPTER I.

MR. GODFREY AND HIS FAMILY.


About the time the events of the era 1792 were creating a panic throughout the European world, an English gentleman sat at breakfast with his wife and children in a noble mansion on the south eastern coast of his native island. The newspaper was unfolded with more than usual interest, for the Honorable Mr. Godfrey's sister had married a French nobleman, and the daily accounts from France struck every day new terror to the heart of this gentleman. Until now, he had been what is termed a liberal in his politics, and, alas! an unbeliever in his religion, and had prided himself on bringing up his family free from all bigotry and superstition; he had kept up correspondence with men of science all over the world, and fondly hoped that the reign of intellect "would emancipate the world from evil." His children had been brought up under all these influences, and thus far with success to his scheme. Accustomed from infancy to refinement, elegance, domestic happiness, and intellectual culture, these young people felt that in their case goodness and happiness were synonymous. All that was beautiful they loved, for they had cultivated tastes; all that was noble in sentiment they admired, for their father prided himself, and taught them to pride themselves, on their noble ancestry, whose deeds of daring and renown he was never weary of recounting. Fame, honor, and glory were their idols. Brought up among such genial influences as foster agreeable manners and bring out the most lovable of earth's dispositions, together with an intellectual expression of beauty, and a poetic appreciation of nature's charms, it was little wonder that they mistook strong impulses for principle, thought themselves firm in integrity of purpose, and were disposed fearlessly to launch their vessel on the ocean of life, secure that intelligence and high aims would guard them for ever against shipwreck. But now a change seemed pending. The fear engendered by the French Revolution had somewhat revolutionized Mr. Godfrey's mind, he was becoming more cautious in his theories, and more morose in his temper than he had ever been before. His wife hesitated ere she asked: "Any news of the countess to-day?"

"No; though affairs are getting more desperate every hour. Would she and the count were safe in England."

"But, in that case, their estates, would be confiscated, would they not?"

Mr. Godfrey rose uneasily and paced the room. "What is the world coming to?" he said.

A loud ring at the outer gate prevented reply; it was early for visitors at the front entrance. They paused, and listened; soon a servant announced "M. de Villeneuve."

"M. de Villeneuve! why, what can bring him here? Where have you shown him to?"

"He is in the library, sir."

Mr. Godfrey hastened to receive his visitor. "I thought you were in America," he said, after the first greetings were over.

"I went back to France to finish arranging some affairs for my father; {31} and well for me that they were settled before these scenes of blood had crazed the populace, or we should have lost everything."

"And now———"

"Now, everything of ours has been favorably disposed of, and my father and his family are settled in America without loss of property; my father is delighted at the prospects of the new world, where every man is to be EQUAL before the laws; you know he is an enthusiast."

"Yes, but it is an untried experiment yet, and France is presenting a very fearful spectacle at this moment in endeavoring to follow in the track."

"It is of that I came to speak to you. You have relations there?"

"My sister—do you know anything about her?"

"I and some other friends brought her and her husband's daughter across the Channel last night."

"Last night! across the Channel! And her husband——"

"Has perished by the guillotine!"

"Great God!" Mr. Godfrey hid his face in his hands. "My poor sister! how did she bear it? where is she? how did you come?"

"We came over in an open fishing boat—the Countess de Meglior, Euphrasie, the priest of the old chateau, and myself; it was all we could do to escape detection. I, of course, passed unnoticed, as an American citizen; but the Countess of Euphrasie and M. Bertolot had to disguise themselves and to suffer many hardships. The countess now lies ill in the little inn at New Haven; she sent me on to tell you of her situation."

"My poor sister! My poor sister! Has she lost all?"

"Nearly so. The estate is confiscated, and save a little money and a few jewels she was able to save nothing; indeed she was too much terrified to think. Mademoiselle de Meglior had been sent for on the first alarm from the south of France, where she had been educated; she arrived in time to throw herself into her father's arms as the officers were taking him from his house; and in less than a week he was no more. Secret intimation was sent to the countess that she and her daughter were both denounced, and they fled, as I have told you."

To hasten to his sister's aid was, of course, the first thing to be thought of. It was some days before the countess was sufficiently recovered to be able to be removed to her brother's house; and even after removal she was for a long time confined to her room.

Euphrasie, her step-daughter, tended her most assiduously, but the poor lady could scarcely be comforted. To have, lost everything at once—husband, estate, wealth, power, and position, and to be reduced to depend upon a brother's bounty—it was not wonderful that she should feel her situation acutely. She had lived exclusively for this world's honors; every duty of domestic life had given place to her love of the court and its pleasures. Euphrasie, brought up at the convent and under the guardianship of her paternal grandmother, was almost as much a stranger to her as the nieces to whom she was now newly introduced.

. . . . . .

It was a long time ere the Countess de Meglior rallied sufficiently to appear in the drawing-room of the mansion, and meantime her step-daughter, Euphrasie, was simply her slave. Madame never considered her welfare, or seemed to think she was in any way concerned in the misfortune that bad overtaken them; yet never, perhaps, was a child more fondly attached to a father than had been our heroine. Although since the death of her own mother she had for the most part resided away from him, yet her father's frequent visits to his ancestral chateau, and the still more frequent correspondence with his mother and daughter, had kept up a warm interest. At the death of her grandmother she had received her education at a neighboring convent, for her step-mother {32} declined taking charge of her. She was summoned home at last in consequence of the troubles of the times; arrived in time to be torn by force from the arms of her father, into which she had thrown herself; passed days of agonizing suspense, which were terminated only by hearing of his death.

Paris was no longer safe; advertised of her own proscription, Madame de Meglior, almost in a state of frenzy, excepted the kind offices of M. de Villeneuve, and, with the old family chaplain, had fled the country, taking with her Euphrasie, with whom she so suddenly became aware she was connected, though a stranger alike to her character and disposition.

Euphrasie, though overwhelmed by the blow, was constrained to hide her own emotions, the better to console one who seemed so inconsolable as the countess, her step-mother. Truly, the poor girl did feel she was as a stranger in a strange land. Until the storm broke forth which drove the nuns from the convent, and let infidelity and irreligion like "the dogs of war" loose over the fated kingdom, Euphrasie had dwelt in happy ignorance of all grosser evil, and with light and merry heart, chastened by earnest piety, pursued her innocent way; but suddenly awakened by such horrors to the knowledge of crime, vice, and their concomitant miseries, she shrank from entering into a world which contrasted with the abode she had left, seemed to her over-excited imagination filled with mysterious terrors, and fraught with indescribable dangers.

She met, then, the advances of her entertainers with constraint; kept the young people absolutely at a distance, and would more willingly shut herself up in the apartment of her peevish, unloving stet-mother, to whom she manifested the affection and paid the respect of a daughter, than join with Adelaide or Annie either in study or amusement.

Adelaide, the eldest daughter of Mr. Godfrey's family, was within two months of her eighteenth year—Eugene, the only son and heir, was then sixteen—while her sister Annie was but a year younger; and the merry, laughing Hester had scarcely counted thirteen years. With the compassionate eagerness of youth they crowded round Euphrasie, whom they persisted in saluting as "cousin," and were not a little chagrined to find their advances met in so chilling a manner; they spared no pains to distract her from her moodiness, or hauteur, or ill-temper, or whatever it might be, that made her so different from themselves. Yet moodiness it scarcely could be, for the young French girl was cheerful in society, so far as the expression of her countenance went; and when surprised in solitude, a calm serenity sat on her youthful brow, and she bore the ill-temper of the countess with wonderful sweetness; her mother's impatience, indeed, seemed but to increase her patience, and the harshness she underwent served but to make her more gentle. She was a mystery to her animated young friends, who, loving a life of excitement and intellectual progress, could not understand how Euphrasie could exist in so stupid and monotonous a course.

Yet was the young French girl far from being deficient in those branches of accomplishments which are especially feminine. She played and sang with taste and feeling, but I the airs were generally of a solemn character. She loved, also, to exercise her pencil, but it was to delineate the head of the thorn-crowned Saviour, of the penitent Magdalene, or of, "Mary, highly favored among women." Earthly subjects and earthly thoughts had no attraction for her, yet there were moments when, as if unconsciously, she gave utterance to fancies which startled her young companions. She would walk with them by the sounding shore, and while they were busy gathering and classifying shells and sea-weed and geological specimens, she, too, would seem to study' and listen and learn a lesson, but a far {33} different lesson from the one they sought. The young ladies Godfrey were scientific, though in a playful way; there was aim, object, utility, in short, in all their seekings. "Knowledge is power," was the axiom of the family; and the members of it might fairly challenge the world for the consistency with which they sought to carry that axiom into practice. But Euphrasie would wonder and ponder, and philosophize unconsciously. She did not decompose the fragments of the mighty rocks with acids as her young friends did; she did not classify and dissect the lovely flower; but she stood in mute wonderment at the base of the rocks, and heard their disquisitions on its strata having been once liquid and gradually consolidating, and said: "What a wondrous history! what a sight for the angels to behold the atomic attraction forming the worlds grand order! A true theory of geology would be like a chapter of the life of God—a true revelation of his spirit to man."

"Yes," said Adelaide; "science will yet and if superstition from the earth."

"Superstition!" said Euphrasie. "Yes! if superstition means false views of God's relation to the human soul. True science is mystic, and must reveal God interiorly; but true science can scarcely be attained by guesses or dissection. You destroy a beauteous flower by pulling it to pieces, but I do not see how its separate petals and crushed leaves can speak so plainly to the soul as the living plant on the stem, or how your anatomy is a revelation."

"Nay, we discern the uses of the different parts thereby, and admire the structure, seeing how each organ fulfils its office duly, in minuteness as in grandeur."

"But your long words," said Euphrasie; "do they too reveal God? To me they hide him in a cloud of dust. I feel the order, I love the beauty, I am elevated by the grandeur of creation, because nature is a metaphor in which God hides himself and reveals himself at once, but I distrust a mere human key. How can we be sure of systems, unless we spend a life in verification? Did not Pythagoras teach astronomy in the Copernican fashion? and yet the world did not receive the teaching till centuries after. The world receives the theory of Copernicus now on trust; would it be wise to spend a life in verifying it?"

"Have you any other key?" asked Annie.

"There is a key to the lesson which nature teaches," said Euphrasie, in a low tone; "but not so much as to its formation as to its being a manifestation of God. We must not speak of these things; they are too high for us."

"Nay," said Eugene; "they are the very things to speak about, especially if, as you say, they lead to higher things; my idea of science is utility. The old Magian astrologers, the Chaldean sages and Eastern sophists, studied cloudy myths and wrapped up their theories in a veil of obscurity; but the modern idea is usefulness; an abridgment of man's toil, and promotion of his comfort. Do you reject all human research?"

"I reject nothing that God has given," said Euphrasie; "but truth is one, error is many. The science first to be taught, is how to discover truth—the next, how to apply it. You say the ancients applied science to other purposes than we; if they applied it to learn the qualities of their own souls, and we apply it to the comfort of our bodies merely, which is the highest object?"

"What, then, would you do?" said Adelaide, a little impatiently; "shut up our books, and sit and dream on the sea-shore on matters beyond all practical use?"

Euphrasie answered very gently, as she rose to walk to the seaside, "I am not a teacher, ma cher cousine, but I think mind has its laws as well as matter, and as on the government of our minds so much depends, even in {34} our researches after material knowledge, it is likely that the science of mind is more important than that of matter, and necessary for the truth-seeker to study first. But I am getting quite out of my depth; let us go and throw pebbles into the sea."

. . . . . .

Mrs. Godfrey was a kind-hearted and very reasonable woman, in the way in which she understood reasoning. She was bent on rousing her young inmate to energy and action. She was but a girl, she said—a girl of seventeen could not have been so spoiled by the insipidities of a convent as to be beyond reclaiming for the tangible world surrounding her; or was it that her thoughts were with the dead, and that the deep sorrow she had undergone had penetrated to the depths of her being? Whatever the cause, Mrs. Godfrey was dissatisfied with the result, and her motherly warmth of heart yearned to comfort the young orphan in her desolation. She let a few weeks pass away in hopes of witnessing a change, but when none came, or seemed likely to come, she thought it her duty to remonstrate with Euphrasie, the more so as the countess being now recovered sufficiently to join the family circle, Euphrasie had no plausible excuse for passing hours together in the solitude of her own chamber.

"It is not good for you, my dear, to be so much alone," said Mrs. Godfrey to her, as one day she intruded on the young girl's privacy. "Rouse your energies to some good purpose, and employ your mind in some definite pursuit; it is very injurious, I assure you, to let your faculties lie dormant so long."

Euphrasie laid aside the embroidery on which she had been employed, and answered meekly, "What shall I do to please you, my dear madam?"

"Why, exercise your mental faculties—study."

"I am most willing to do so, madam; but what shall I begin?"

"Why, languages if you will; but you know enough of these, perhaps; your own language and that of this country may content you. Or will you study German and Italian?"

"I will, if you wish it, though I confess I have no great inclination. It seems to me as if to learn different names for the same thing were not very profitable; and unless I had occasion to visit the countries in which these languages are spoken, I think it would be time thrown away."

"How time thrown away? Could you not read the literature of the languages? That will expand your mind."

"Literature? Do you mean poetry and fiction—such as your daughters read? I do not care for them. I want to study truth."

"Truth? Yes, but fiction may be covert truth. Tales show us mankind as they are. Literature has a refining tendency, and gives us elegance of taste."

"I should defer to your opinion, madam," replied Euphrasie, with a resigned air; "and when you wish, I will begin."

"Yes," said Mrs. Godfrey, "but not as a punishment; it is as a source of attraction, of interest, that I wish you to cultivate literary tastes."

"I cannot feel interest, madam, in that which will unfit me for my duty."

"Unfit you for your duty! what do you mean?"

"Pray, madam, pardon me; I, of course, defer to you."

"I want no deference, child, save what your reason gives. Explain your meaning."

"I only mean, dear madam, that too much refinement and elegance might make us forget our inherent weakness; teach us to set too high a value on exterior accomplishments, and to forget the tendency to sin ever abiding within us."

"The girl is raving! Now, Euphrasie, do you honestly believe in the corruption of your heart?"

{35}

"I know I am prone to evil in many ways, and that I must keep a constant watch over all my dispositions. I suppose I do not know the extent of evil in my own heart—that were a rare grace, vouchsafed to few—but I see nothing in myself to lead me to suppose that I am naturally better than the men who murdered my father."

"Do you feel disposed to murder, then?"

"No; but the very indignation I often feel at their crimes teaches me not to trust myself. Did we give way to our passions, and had we power, who can tell what we should do? Nero showed good dispositions when he began his reign. Alfred the Great was a licentious youth till Almighty God chastened him by adversity, and humbled him through life by inflicting him with an incurable disease, which kept him ever mindful of his former delinquencies."

"Do yon think that disease was a good to Alfred?"

"Decidedly; it helped to keep him mindful of the ever-present Deity whom his former life had offended, and probably prevented his relapsing into sin."

"You foolish child! his disease was probably occasioned by the hardships he had undergone during his campaign; it was the natural consequence to damp and wet and bad living. You must study science, Euphrasie; that will rid you of all these foolish notions."

"I will study what you please, madam," replied Euphrasie.

But Mrs. Godfrey's endeavors to make her young protégé comprehend results as inevitable signally failed, to her own great astonishment. The girl pursued easily and willingly the course of study marked out for her; was somewhat amused by chemical and other experiments, but could never be brought to declare them necessary results in the absolute sense. "The action of the same spirit that established these relationships" said she "might at will disturb them; even as the chemical relationship between two substances is disturbed by the presence of a third substance more potent in its affinities."

"What, then, is a natural law?" demanded Mrs. Godfrey.

"A natural law," replied Euphrasie, "is the ordinary mode in which Divine Providence causes one portion of insentient matter to act on another portion of insentient matter."

Her instructor would object to this. "Nay, but there are natural laws affecting mind also."

"Doubtless," said Euphrasie, "there are ordinary modes of acting upon mind, both by the action of matter and by the action of other minds; but as the special object of this life is to reunite, to re-bind man to his Creator, supernatural means are ever at work to effect this object, and of these we can predicate nothing certain."

"Supernatural nonsense, child—who put this precious style of reasoning into your head?"

"Does not religion mean re-binding, madam? Was not man severed from God by disobedience? Was not the whole spirit of religion, both before and since our Lord's advent, founded on the fact that the mercy of God wished to provide a remedy for that fatal act of Adam and Eve? And has not insentient nature ever been made to depart from her ordinary rules, when such departure could forward the cause for which Christ died?"

Mrs. Godfrey was silenced. She did not wish to avow her scepticism and infidelity, but in secret she rejoiced that her own children were free from such a bar to improvement.

The arrival of a box of books as a present to Euphrasie from M. de Villeneuve, who, in a note addressed to the countess, asked her permission "to be allowed to present to the daughter of his departed friend a few works which, he believed, would suit her taste, and which she would be scarcely likely to find in Mr. Godfrey's library, valuable as that library was in many respects," came to help the enemy's {36} cause in Mrs. Godfrey's view of the case, for among the works were selections from St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, from Bede, St. Thomas Aquinas, and others of the fathers of the church. "I did not know you read Latin, cousin," said the girls in surprise. "Nor do I, except church Latin," said Euphrasie. "I learnt church Latin on purpose to study these books, which my father had promised me as soon as I could read them. M. de Villeneuve must have heard of this promise from M. Bertolot. It was very kind in him to send them to me."

"I wonder you did not say 'it was a special providence'," bantered Annie; but Eugene looked at her beseechingly and reprovingly, so she said no more.

In spite of the new attraction, Euphrasie continued to study the course appointed by Mrs. Godfrey, but in learning thus there was so evidently a want of appreciation of the importance of the study—science seemed to her so very little higher than a game of ball with a little child—that her instructors were fairly discomfited, and inclined to turn her over to the musty old fathers she had the bad taste to prefer to their intelligent elucidations.

The young people, too, were annoyed, for they could not attribute to stupidity the indifference she manifested, and that indifference seemed felt as a tacit reproach of their own eagerness.

"She is not only not stupid,"' said Adelaide, the oldest of the girls; "she is absolutely clever; she intuitively comprehends what it takes me hours to make out. I began to explain algebra to her, and before a month was up, she knew more of it than I did myself; and when I spoke to her of this new discovery of locomotive power, which has taken us so long fully to comprehend, she gave me what she calls the course of the ordinary sequences of matter, in proof that the invention must succeed, if this course of sequences be properly applied; and that then we may travel without horses as fast as we can reasonably wish; 'but,' she added, 'it will be worth no one's while to perfect such an invention, for, travel as fast as we may, we cannot run away from ourselves by any material means.'"

"She is a monomaniac," said Mr. Godfrey; "sensible on all points but one."

"Unless," urged Eugene, "it be true, as she once said, that there is higher science than the science of matter, and that that science is the necessary one for us to study."

"Et tu, Brute," shouted the father indignantly. "Now, children, let us have no such trash in my own family. Pity your young friend, and withhold your censure. Remember, she was brought up in superstition and ignorance. It cannot be expected that her mind should awaken at once to the beauty of the physical law. But for yourselves, after the pains that have been taken to keep your minds unfettered by the trammels of superstition, it were a disgrace indeed to see you yield to any such worn-out fancies. The close of the eighteenth century must witness higher thoughts."

"The close of the eighteenth century has witnessed terrific doings over the water," said Eugene.

"Yes, and see there the effects of superstition," answered his father. "Had those poor wretches been taught an enlightened philosophy instead of an abject superstition, the reaction would not have produced such awful results."

"Do you then believe, father, that when Euphrasie throws off her religion, she will become such as these men are?"

"No; Euphrasie is better educated already, even from her intercourse with us; besides, she is refined and elegant."

"But so they say is Robespierre. A Frenchman, and one not friendly to him, said to me the other day that his house is the very picture of simple elegance. Besides, the Roman emperors were excessive in their luxurious magnificence at the very time they {37} were murdering by wholesale. Nero sang to his lyre the Siege of Troy while Rome was burning. What if it were true that he set the city on fire merely to revel in the luxury of a new sensation, and to realize the emotion he deemed he ought to feel at such a catastrophe?"

"Why, Eugene," said Hester, laughing, "you, too, are growing metaphysical. What will come next?"

"Why, next we will inquire how far metaphysics are true when they teach that mental sensation and moral power are distinct from each other, and that a man may be consequently imaginatively great—capable of every grand mental sensation—and be morally weak; nay, the very slave of his lowest propensities. We have many examples of this."

"So says Euphrasie; and therefore she insists that what we call mental culture is at best but of secondary value, well enough as an assistant agent, but not to be considered as a principal means in attaining the ultimatum of life."

"Euphrasie is a simpleton," said Mr. Godfrey.

Eugene rose to quit the room. He was considering within himself whether Euphrasie were not in the right.


CHAPTER II.

THE EARTHLY UTOPIA, AND THE LOST EMPIRE.


In a little country town where society is scarce, it often happens that people associate together whose rank is dissimilar, for the mere sake of relieving ennui of solitude. Thus in Estcourt a half-pay captain, his wife, the clergyman and his family, the lawyer, the doctor, and their incumbrances, were occasionally admitted as visitors to Estcourt Hall, as Mr. Godfrey's residence was called; and here, though somewhat restrained by being found in such aristocratic society, opinions were sometimes broached which plainly manifested that "the spirit of the time" was working even in that remote district.

St. Simon, Fourrier, Owen, had not then developed the social system which is now endeavoring to sap the foundations of all that antiquity held in solemn reverence; but the principles of socialism to which these men afterwards gave a "shape" were even then fermenting in the minds of many. Disturbed spirits were questioning the rights of landed proprietors, while the sudden introduction of machinery was raising a faction among the displaced artisans. Ominous signs were visible on the political horizon, and perhaps an English "reign of terror," that would have vied in horror with that of France, would have been inaugurated, had not the threatened invasion of the island by Napoleon united all classes anew to repel the foreign foe.

Certain it is that, early in the nineteenth century, it was found necessary to have government agents in many a petty country town in England to watch the progress of disaffection, and five or six shopkeepers could hardly assemble together without the fact being recorded, and inquiries set on foot respecting the purport of their meeting. Rebellious spirits were mysteriously pressed to man the royal navy, and the magistrates not only connived at such kidnapping, but frequently designated the individuals whom it was desirable to remove.

This process, comparatively easy when it concerned apprentices, journeymen, or those belonging to the laboring population, could not be brought to bear upon obnoxious members of the gentry with equal facility. Now, Alfred Brookbank was one of these. His father was rector of Estcourt, and, independently of his living, was proprietor of a pretty landed estate, the whole of which by right of primogeniture was to fall to the eldest eon, a careless, unprincipled prodigal, who had already involved his family in pecuniary embarrassment {38} by his reckless expenditure, and brought disgrace on his father's cloth by his loose morality.

His brother Alfred was the reverse of this—astute, aspiring, ambitious, he was smitten with the prevailing mania, and at times talked loudly of the folly and injustice of sacrificing the interests of a whole family to one selfish fool. The girls, too, whose fortunes had been injured by the elder brother's extravagance, lent no unwilling ear to the doctrine of equal participation of property.

Alfred Brookbank was gifted with an eloquent tongue, an insinuating manner, and a gentlemanly deportment. His figure was good, and his features, without being handsome, were agreeable from their animated expression. He was a general favorite; and being prudent enough to avoid the expression of his opinions before the elder branches of the family, it was seldom that he was suspected of spreading sedition and disaffection among the young.

Of Mr. Godfrey's three daughters, the second one, Annie, was, at this period of our tale, by far the most susceptible of these novel ideas. She professed that she would follow truth wherever it should lead her, even though it involved the relinquishment of her own superior rank in society. Mr. Godfrey only laughed at such protestations from a girl of seventeen, well knowing they would not stand the test of experience; but however harmless might be her sallies, he had not calculated on one result of freedom of opinion; Annie began to take pleasure in Alfred Brookbank's attentions, and to feel flattered when he expatiated to her on the beauty of such a system of co-operative industry as would banish vice and misery from the globe and renew the golden era.

"Is it to be wondered at," said Alfred, "that revolutions take place in blood, when property is so unequally divided? nay, when oftentimes the property is in the possession of the fool, while the wise man has to get his living by hard labor? Look at the rationale of the thing! One man holds wealth, as it is called, and on the strength of it he must compel fifty men to work for him, while be fives at his ease—the roasted pigeons flying into his mouth, crying, 'come eat me!'"

"But some one must work," argued Annie.

"You mean to say," replied Alfred, "that food most be raised and clothing furnished. True. But how many are employed in really useful labor, compared with those whose occupations might be dispensed with without loss to society, and those who are mere appendages of wealth—mere creatures of idleness—men who, by forestalling their master's wants, make him dependent on themselves; who, by surrounding him with luxuries, effeminate him; and who, by pandering to his pleasures, surfeit him, at the same time that by doing these things they degrade themselves; for why should one man be a mere appendage to another?"

"But if all must work," said Annie, "all cannot work in the same way. We most have hewers of wood and drawers of water, as well as poets and philosophers. A community needs a head, as well as hands and feet. Suppose you were elected head of a community, you would need servants to do the manual labor?"

"True, but I would not badge them for it," answered Alfred, glancing at the liveried servants, who were then bringing in refreshments. "All men must work for the common weal; therefore, all labor is honorable; and no man need lord it over another, as if himself were made of porcelain, and the other of earthenware. An American philosopher has lately calculated that in order to supply the world with necessaries, if each grown individual were to work four hours a day, the whole population of the world might be far better provided for than it is now."

"And what would they do with their spare time?" asked Annie.

{39}

"What but improve their minds, and employ their energies in loftier labors—what but grow out of the drudge into the man! Oh! we have yet to learn the wonders that are to be achieved by a well-regulated community. Men are scarcely men yet. Half of them are slaves to the mere bread-winning to support their bodies, and the other half are seeking phantoms—they are trying to find pleasure in lording it over their fellows, or they are driven to excess by the mere necessity of passing away time. It is an unfair position to place a man in, to set him above that reciprocal dependence which binds man to man as equals. It is a practical injustice to individuals to sever them thus from their kind, and prevent their feeling their brotherhood." Alfred continued, warming with his subject:

  "There are, deep seated in the human heart,
  A thousand thrilling, yearning sympathies—
  A thousand ties that bind us to our kind—
  A thousand pleasures only there enjoyed
  In cheering intercourse with fellow-man.
  'Tis thus the voice of nature speaks aloud,
  Proclaims from pole to pole the heav'n-born truth:
  'Ye are the children of one only God.
  Learn to acknowledge your fraternity.'

I think you have not seen my poem on Human Brotherhood, Miss Annie?"

"I have not, but to judge from the specimen you have just quoted, I should like very much to read it. These truths seem so evident now, it is wonderful they have not been discovered before."

"They have been discovered, though not acted on. The fact is that men's minds have been so trammelled with superstition, they have been afraid to tread out of the beaten track. They have been afraid to reason, I scarce know why, even on their own grounds. Yet matters are mending in this respect. I was present the other day when an indignant orator thus addressed his audience:

Shall he, the Author of life and light, who has given to man, as the reward of the use of reason, the power of traversing the trackless deep, and of drawing down the lightning innocuous from the skies—shall he deny to his creature the privilege of using his own gift on themes that more immediately concern man's happiness? Oh no! believe it not! Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of light, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.' The audience he was addressing shouted applause; so you see the people's cause is progressing, and even Scripture is called in to aid this desirable change."

"I wish Euphrasie could hear you speak," said Annie; "she might begin to believe that there is some good in human learning, and that it can promote true happiness. I must introduce you to her more particular acquaintance."

"No; if she is a votary of ignorance, pray don't. I dislike silly unideaed girls—they are the pest of society."

"But Euphrasie is neither; she is only original and opinionated. Ideas seem to grow with her indigenously; for no one can tell how she gets them; but they are very crude, and directly contrary to the spirit of progression. I wish you would convert her."

"I doubt it would be difficult, and, to say the truth, I do not wish to attempt it. She is not my taste at all. I prefer animation, zeal, sympathy. She looks like a marble statue of Contemplation; well enough in its way, but possessing no interest for me, who am all for practical life."

"Euphrasie is a great thinker, and thought aids practice. You had better enlist her on your side; for there is no saying how much she might assist you, if once she could be brought to see how happy a paradise you have planned for the human race."

But Alfred was by no means anxious for this. He evidently felt that Euphrasie would not listen to him. Perhaps he feared that she would set Annie against himself, and mar his own schemes in her regard; {40} for different as was their rank in life, and improbable as it was that Mr. Godfrey should condescend to ally himself with aught save the high aristocracy, this young man intended, if possible, to secure an interest in Annie's affections. Not that he loved her; his self-love was so absorbing that it was almost impossible for him to love any one save himself; but he thought such an alliance would forward his ambitious projects, and enable him to begin life under favorable auspices.

Annie had no idea whatever beyond the amusement of the passing hour, and was more intent just now on making a convert of the young refugee than in paying regard to the homage tendered her by Alfred. Euphrasie was a difficult subject to deal with; but there are some minds to whom difficulty is an incentive.

She was one day sitting in the library with Eugene, intent in depicting on canvas the glories of the "Golden Era." Euphrasie entered, and sat down to some work. Annie called to her:

"Now, my dear Euphrasie, come to me. You are a judge of painting; tell me what you think of my picture."

Euphrasie drew near. "It is very pretty," she said, "but what does it represent? Those peasants resting under the fig-trees, those vine-dressers plucking the beautiful grapes, have very graceful figures, and most happy and intelligent faces; but what do they belong to?"

"To the new Utopia," said Annie, "where all are intelligent and beautiful, and where discord enters not."

Euphrasie looked dreamily in Annie's face, and said doubtingly: "Heaven? This is no picture of heaven."

"No; it is an earthly paradise, ma chère amie. One need not die in order to enjoy it," laughingly rejoined Annie.

"Oh! a fancy piece," said Euphrasie; "well, it is very pretty, but I am no judge of fiction;" and she sat down.

"Fiction or not, I cannot let you off so," said Annie; "do you not think it would be very pleasant to dwell with a goodly number of intelligent people, each taking his own share of work, and aiding in making life happy—all good, all instructed and accomplished?"

"Pleasant? Yes, very pleasant I have lived with such," said Euphrasie; "but their happiness was of a very different kind to that which is delineated here."

"You have lived with such! Where, in the name of wonder?" asked Annie.

"In France," said Euphrasie.

"And what sort of happiness was theirs?" asked Eugene, now thoroughly roused.

"I cannot tell you—that is, I could not make you understand. Excuse me," said Euphrasie, evidently sorry she had said so much.

"And why not? why could we not understand?" asked brother and sister, both in a breath.

"Because your principles are so different."

"Nay, then, explain the principles, ma chère. You have excited our curiosity; you must gratify it now."

"Nay, I know not how. The principles belong to the interior life, and on that I cannot speak."

"Why not? are you sworn to secrecy?" asked Annie. Eugene looked his request for information, but spoke not.

"Not so," said Euphrasie; "but, in the first place, I am no teacher; and, in the second, there are some subjects which can only be approached with reverence, and I am afraid—" she hesitated.

"You are right, mademoiselle," said Eugene; "we have too little reverence."

Euphrasie looked distressed. But Annie broke in with—"But we can be reverent, and we will be reverent when the case demands it. Tell us your principles, dear Euphrasie."

{41}

The young girl, with evident reluctance, said:

"My friends held that the soul had been originally endowed with power over the mental faculties, as also over the senses and the appetites of the body, and all inferior nature; and that that empire had been lost through man's fault. They believe that no lasting, no high enjoyment can be procured until that empire has been regained."

"What kind of empire do you mean?" said Annie.

"As thus," replied Euphrasie. "We will our foot to tread here or there, and it obeys us. We will our hands to grasp or to work, and it is done. But when we will our feelings to be calm, or our appetites to keep within certain limits, they do not always obey. We resolve, and find that our resolutions fail. We determine, and do not act. When children, nay, when grown people, are taxed with doing wrong, they reply, 'I could not help it.' This is a confession of failure in self-government, or, as might be said, a proof of empire lost."

"That is, supposing it admitted such empire once existed. But do you seriously think that perfect self-government may be acquired, or, as you say, regained?"

"At least a near approach to it may, if the proper means are used."

"And those means?"

"Are too serious for me to mention; besides, they are paradoxical in appearance; for, though impossible to mere humanity, they are nevertheless possible. But you must carry your inquiry to a better teacher than I am;" and Euphrasie rose to depart.

"No; we have no other teacher near us, and I shall not let you go until you have told me what I want to know;" and Annie laid her hand somewhat forcibly on the young stranger's arm, and compelled her to reseat herself.

"Well, then," faltered out the poor girl, "when the soul was in possession of its pristine empire, it had also the power of communion with high spiritual intelligences—nay, with the highest—even with the creative intelligence. The same fault that lost man the high empire over all inferior natures, and over his own appetites and passions, by disturbing the equilibrium which primarily existed in the higher part of his soul, also severed the bond of that high spiritual communion; and that bond must be reunited ere the empire be restored to him. Man of himself cannot reunite that severed bond, nor can he be happy without such reunion; because the higher part of man's soul was created for such high spiritual communion, and can no more be content without it than could our inferior senses without the gratification they require. But what he cannot do will be done for him, if he prepare himself duly. He must build the altar of sacrifice, lay on the wood, prepare the victim. Fire from heaven will then descend for his enlightenment, for his purification, and more than he had lost may be regained."

"You speak oracularly, ma belle amie, but I want something more tangible yet. Tell me some of the practical rules observed by your friends; may be I shall better understand your sybilline wisdom then."

Euphrasie shook her head. "They are too minute," she said. "You might even think them childish." But Annie had not yet relaxed her grasp, and appeared determined to be satisfied; so Euphrasie continued: "Nevertheless, if you will promise to let me go immediately after, I will give you one of their rules of action."

"One, only one?"

"One will be enough at a time. When you have solved one rule, it will be the time to ask for more."

"Solved one rule? What do you mean by that?"

"There is a body and a soul to every religious rule—the letter and the spirit. Observance must be yielded to both. I can only give you the body. God only can teach you to understand the spirit of it."

{42}

"Well; proceed with your enigma."

"You promise to let me go, whether you understand it or not."

"Yes, provided the rule is practical," said Annie.

"Well, then," said Euphrasie, "one reason that my friends were so happy together—that though there were fifty of them, there was no quarrelling, no ill will, no envy—was, that they constantly endeavored, each one of them, to choose for herself the poorest things; in her diet, the poorest fare; in her clothes, the coarsest habit; in her employment, the most humbling functions."

"Impossible!" said Annie. "Stay, cousin!" But Euphrasie had already made her escape, and her reluctance to dwell on these subjects in that presence was so evident that Annie did not choose to pursue her, and she was left to conjecture whether the young French girl had been playing on her credulity or not. The mere fact that fifty ladies had been guided practically by such a principle as that given, was clearly beyond her belief. Not so, however, did Eugene decide. His interest in their young and mysterious inmate was ever on the increase. Each word she uttered was gathered up as food for thought. The ideas were new to him, and, not only so, they were contrary to those in which he had been educated, and he had but a faint glimmering of their meaning. Yet they worked strangely within him, and fain would he have sought explanation from that pale sybil, but that for to-day she had forbidden it.

When Annie also had left the apartment, he walked up and down in deep thought repeating to himself:

"Man has lost the empire over himself and over inferior nature."

"Man has lost the power of high spiritual communion."

"But these may be regained."

"If this be true, any privation or sacrifice may be undergone for their repossession; too small the price, whatever the cost. But then, how can contentment with the meanest things, or filling the humblest offices, assist this conclusion? And this is but one rule; are the others of a like fashion?" The young man was fairly mystified; that the oracle had emitted truth, he doubted not; but a clue to the meaning of that truth was wanting, and where should he find that clue?


CHAPTER III.

THE "MARIAGE DE CONVENANCE."


There was a visible excitement in the house; even Mr. Godfrey, ever so solemn, and latterly so inclined to severity, put on a cheerful appearance; people outside the family were guessing at the cause. For a long time, guessing was the only thing they could do; even Madame de Meglior was not in the secret until one morning she received a letter from M. de Villeneuve, which appeared to contain some news, for she said to Mr. Godfrey, who happened to be the only one present: "Brother, can this be true?"

"Can what be true, my good sister?" was the question returned.

"That the Duke of Durimond is coming here to marry Adelaide?"

"Why should it not be true?"

"Why, the duke is an old man!"

"Not at all; he was quite young when he made proposals for Adelaide; surely you remember them."

"Remember them! Do you mean the agreement you made at the dinner-table, when Adelaide was two years old."

"The agreement was made before, between his father and me; it was ratified, then, by himself; he had just come of age."

"And that is sixteen years ago. Will you give Adelaide to a man of seven-and-thirty?'

"Why not, if she makes no objection?"

"Has she ever seen him?"

{43}

"Yes, she saw him in town last winter; 'twas there he renewed his offer; but, in fact, we have always corresponded. The duke is fond of the arts; 'twas he sent those fine pictures you admire so much."

"He can't know whether he likes Adelaide or not, and she never struck me as being in love all this time."

"Pshaw! The duke has proposed; Adelaide is satisfied. The marriage was agreed upon years ago; what would you have? I thought you' knew the world by this time."

This was taking madame by her foible, so she said no more. Mrs. Godfrey was simply quiescent: she was not accustomed to oppose her husband's will, and, incredible as it may seem, the young girl herself offered no objection to the marriage announced to her. To deck her brow with a coronet had charms enough for the deeply fostered pride of that young heart to induce her to forego the prospect of love, sympathy, and domestic happiness; she simply coveted rank and power. The duke had immense revenues; he offered ample settlements: what mattered it that he was thirty-seven, and she but sweet eighteen? Marriages occurred every day in which the disparity was more glaring. What mattered it that she had scarcely seen the noble duke; that she knew little of his private life, or of his tastes and feelings? He was a nobleman of high birth; he paid her courtly compliments, presented her with a magnificent casket of jewels; pleaded his long absence on the Continent in excuse for his apparent want of attention to herself; and urged his long friendship and unbroken correspondence with her father as a plea for hurrying on his happiness; and thus, almost unwooed, the fair Adelaide was won. Poor girl, the chief idea in her head was that she should like to be a duchess; and thus both she and her father contrived to overlook the fact that but little allusion had been made to the proposed alliance in the sixteen years' correspondence on art and science that had been maintained between the gentlemen. The matter had been settled years ago. There was little occasion for the world to interfere, if the parties concerned were satisfied. The father's scientific friend was necessarily a fitting husband for the daughter. And so the preparations went forward. The house was filled for a time with dress-makers and bandboxes, and when these were dismissed, there came guests to witness the bridal. Among these was the Comte de Villeneuve, whom we have already introduced to our readers; a friend of both families was the comte, and had been a friend too of the late Comte de Meglior. This made him welcome also to Madame de Meglior and Euphrasie; indeed he treated the latter with distinguished attention, and she seemed more at her ease with him than with any person at the Hall. M. de Villeneuve was thirty-five years of age, but good-looking and animated, and Madame de Meglior was in some slight degree uneasy at first at the evident friendship he evinced for Euphrasie, for she did not approve of disproportionate marriages, and she thought Adelaide's example a bad one. Gradually, however, she became so absorbed in the duties imposed upon her by Mrs. Godfrey of directing the embellishments, that she forgot to look after the object of her solicitude in the subject which suited her better. Living as she had been wont to do in the gay circles of Parisian exclusives, she was regarded as a very oracle of fashion and elegance, and consequently she willingly took the lead in planning the arrangements for the bridal day.

The young people were in a puzzle, Annie especially. It was the first act of unblushing worldliness she had ever witnessed. She felt as if she did not know the world she lived in. She looked at her mother; there was no joy on her face; she looked at Adelaide; already the young girl had {44} assumed her rank; the calm hauteur, the majestic politeness, with which she received her guests, astonished every one. Adelaide was born to command, every one felt it; none more so than Annie, who had been so fondly attached to that sister from whom she felt already severed.

"O Euphrasie!" she said to her cousin, as they were walking together in the grounds that surrounded the house, "you must be my sister when Adelaide is gone; it will be so dreary to have no one of my own age to love and talk to; will you not try to love me?"

"I love you already, dear; you must not talk in that way—how can I do other than love you?"

"I was afraid you thought me a reprobate whom it was a sin to love." This was said half playfully, but the tears started to Euphrasie's eyes.

"You a reprobate! a sin to love you who have been so kind to the poor orphan girl! O Annie! have I really been so ungrateful as to give you this idea?"

"No, dear, no! not so; but I seriously thought you deemed all human nature utterly depraved, and did not wish to form strong attachments with those not of your creed."

"If human nature were utterly depraved, how could it hear the voice of God in the soul? and if you here were utterly depraved, would you have opened your house and your heart to the wandering outcast?"

"Then you do not think religion essential to goodness? How is that, then?"

"Man was made in the image of God, my dear Annie, and even his natural qualities bear witness to this, unless, indeed, he become utterly depraved."

"You do not, then, exclude us from your heaven," said Annie, embracing her. "I am so glad; you will be my friend and sister, Euphrasie."

Euphrasie warmly returned the embrace, and said: "I have no heaven to exclude you from, dear Annie, but if you wish for eternal bliss, you must offer your natural qualities to him who alone can stamp eternity upon them."

"And how shall I do that, dear?"

"Pray to God, and he will teach you."

"I would rather have your teaching just now; tell me, if you believe human nature to be good, what is meant by 'original sin,' as it affects us. I know the story of Adam and Eve, but not what it means."

"Adam was created with certain natural qualities, even as the inferior animals were, adapted to the part he was to perform as lord of earth; these qualities were good, nay, in Adam perfect. They are transmitted to us, shorn of their brightness by the fall, but still they are good, though imperfect now. Natures differ in individuals, but some have very high qualities, very lofty aspirations. Have you not noticed this?"

"Well, I used to think so, but—"

"But what?"

"No matter what; tell me, what are we to do with our high qualities more than cultivate them, and act upon them?"

"Bring them under supernatural action, that they may be purified, refined, and stamped with the seal of immortal truth."

"Is this your religion?"

"I know no other."

The approach of M. de Villeneuve, who was gathering flowers for Hester to make into bouquets, prevented further conversation. The merry girl was making garlands, and flung them round Euphrasie and Annie as they approached. "Now sit down here," she said, "and I will crown you both as victims to the sacrifice. M. de Villeneuve shall be the priest. What deity will you offer these victims to, monsieur? They are ready bound."

{45}

"That is a serious question; we must take time to consider, and luckily here comes Eugene to solve the question for us. What divinity rules here, young man? your sister wants to offer up these two victims to the genius of the place."

"Indeed, it were difficult to say; ours is a pantheistic worship just now, and we will defer the rite until we know what star is in the ascendant. What beautiful ceremonies those old worshippers used to have! We might raise an altar to Flora, I think, just to use to advantage Hester's flowers."

"Mademoiselle Euphrasie would find a use for your flowers, without going to a heathen goddess," said M. de Villeneuve. "All beauty symbolizes good with her, and all nature reveals some truth."

"What a splendid idea, monsieur!" said Annie. "How did you know that it was Euphrasie's? did she tell you so?"

"Not in words, but I know her of old; to her there was a spirit in every flower, a mystic word in every form. Matter was the expression of mind, its language in a certain sense; and she was ever inquiring its meaning."

"You are laughing at me, monsieur," said Euphrasie; "but those were pleasant days at the old chateau, when you used to scold me because I would not reason, but only enjoy."

"Nay," said Annie, "by monsieur's account you did reason, and very beautifully too. Some people want hard words and long-drawn deductions for apprehension of what to others is inspiration. I like the inspiration best."

"It is the easiest, at any rate," said Eugene.

"To those to whom it comes," said the Frenchman; "the materialism of our day stifles inspiration; men see only in rocks and stones a moneyed value. Niagara is valued less than a mill-turning stream. Inspiration is no longer believed in."

. . . . . .

The wedding-day approached, and all were busy trying to make a show of gladness, which, however, they but imperfectly succeeded in effecting; but what was wanting in hilarity was more than compensated for in dignity and magnificence. M. de Villeneuve acted as groomsman, Annie and Hester as bridesmaids, Euphrasie excused herself on account of her mourning habit, which she declined to remove; she was not visible during the whole day and one or two subsequent ones. And now the hour was come which was to place a coronet on that fair brow; but could the courtly bridegroom have seen how little he entered into the thoughts of his young bride, perchance he had been but half pleased, even though she was as stately and as fair as his great pride demanded. But love, esteem, or mutual respect entered into the thoughts of neither during the time that the Bishop of Chichester was marrying them by special license, in the drawing-room at Estcourt Hall.

This same arrangement was a great disappointment to the townspeople. They had been desirous of witnessing the ceremony, and were not well-pleased that the duke had not honored the church with his presence. The duke, however, liked not to be gazed at, and the sight-seers had no opportunity of gratifying their curiosity till the bridal party left the house.

The public entrance was besieged by expectant congratulators, who waited to shower bouquets over the blooming bride. But here again they were doomed to disappointment; for, to avoid this publicity, which was distasteful to them, the bridal party walked through that portion of the splendid grounds which had been specially decorated for the occasion, and entered their carriages at the opposite side of the park. They were, however, obliged to pass through part of the town, and shouts of "they come—they come!" resounded as the carriages made their appearance. The road lay down a deep hollow, on the turn leading to which stood a small inn. The road was so steep that the drivers necessarily checked the horses, in order to pass safely down the declivity. At the cry raised of "they come {46}—they come!" a woman elegantly dressed ran out of the inn, and gazed wildly at the carriages. At that moment the duke put his head out of the window to see what occasioned the delay, caught the eye of the woman, turned pale, and hastily bade the coachman drive on.

The woman shrieked, rather than said, "Tis he! O my God!" and fell to the ground in a fainting fit.

The bystanders raised her—the carriage passed; but the spirit of the crowd seemed changed, they scarcely knew why; they crowded round the woman; they questioned her; and each seemed eager to afford her help. But, as soon as her strength permitted, she withdrew without gratifying their evident curiosity, merely apologizing for her passing weakness, and deliberately saying she would recover best when alone. The style, the manner, the elegance of the stranger interested them all, and with difficulty did they persuade themselves to abandon their inquiries. The groups which had collected to congratulate the bride were now occupied in discussing the appearance of the stranger, and many surmises were hazarded as to her connection with the newly wedded pair.

Meantime that lady ordered a post-chaise to be got ready, and, ere half recovered, entered it, to the great discomfiture of the gaping crowd, whom she thus left to their conjectures.

The landlord was now besieged with questions, but he could tell nothing of importance. The lady came the previous evening; gave her name as Mrs. Ellwood; made many inquiries concerning the family at Estcourt Hall, and had the duke's person described to her; seemed restless, agitated; went out, and hovered round Mr. Godfrey's residence till nightfall; then returned and locked herself immediately in her bed-chamber. In the morning she rose late, ate little or nothing, but sat watching and listening intently, till she issued forth to enact the scene described. The townspeople shook their heads, and wished Miss Godfrey, now the Duchess of Durimond, might not be the worse for it. Adelaide had been very popular among them, and the public festivities on the occasion of her wedding were not so mirthful as, but for this incident, they would you have been.

The inmates of the hall, however, were as yet in happy ignorance of the ominous conjectures raised respecting the fate of the fairest and cleverest daughter of their house. The incident we have related came to their knowledge as an accidental circumstance, altogether unconnected with the wedding. Mr. and Mrs. Godfrey were well pleased at their daughter's accession to rank and power, and the merry Hester laughed delightedly at the anticipation of shortly visiting the ancient castle of which her sister was now mistress, promising herself much interest and delight in rambling amid the ancient chambers, which had been the scene of famed historic deeds. Annie was pondering whether her sister's rank could consist with the newfangled ideas of liberty and equality that the times were teaching. She was wondering whether high rank were a fetter or a privilege—a relic of man's ignorance or a help to man's advancement, Eugene hoped that the "old man" would use his sister well. He had not been pleased with his new brother-in-law; he was too courtly, too stately for friendliness, and altogether the whole affair had looked too much like bartering youth, beauty, and intelligence for rank and wealth. He had entertained high ideas of woman's purity, of woman's devotedness, of woman's disinterestedness, and what was he to think? His beautiful, his gifted, his cultivated sister had sold herself for a ducal coronet! Was it true, then, as Shelley sings, "that all things are venal, and that even a woman's heart may be put up in an auction mart?"

Soon after the wedding, the young man sought but did not obtain permission to go abroad. In default of this he went to Cambridge, and said to himself he intended to find out TRUTH.

{47}

The society of an English University is very various. Almost any disposition may suit itself there. The boisterous, the idle, the reckless, the gay, the meditative, and the sober, with the refined and the sentimental, alike are there, and it is of no small importance to a young man to be well introduced on the outset. Mr. Godfrey, himself a Cambridge man, could not fail to procure every advantage for his son, and that son felt himself entitled to stand proudly on his father's position, not only as a country gentleman, but as a scientific man, for, as we have already hinted, the Honorable Mr. Godfrey was an exception to the ordinary stamp of the English country gentlemen of that day. He cared more for his library than he did for his hounds and horses, and though he himself was far from being a profound searcher into nature's secrets, he was a great patron of science and of scientific men. Eugene had then little to fear from friendlessness; he was well cared for, and his friends were sober, well-conducted men.

But accompanying him to college was one whose society he would not willingly have sought.

Frederic Morley, son of the lawyer at Estcourt, had early given evidence of a studious disposition, and his father wished to bring him up to the church, as, by means of Mr. Godfrey's patronage, he hoped to push him into some church preferment. The young man, however, was in fact a sentimentalist, a transcendentalist, too refined, too sensitive, for this world of stern reality. Petted at home as a poet, he held himself superior to common influences, prided himself on having a fine mind, on possessing elegant and cultivated tastes, and affected disgust at the coarse, homespun ideas of ordinary people. He wrote pathetic tales of unrealities; touching verses of despairing affection, with which it was his delight to draw forth tears of sympathy from young lady audiences.

A more uninteresting companion Eugene Godfrey could scarcely have met; yet as his disposition was naturally kind and urbane, and as Morley was without friends or acquaintances in the university, he continued his friendship to him, and endeavored to direct his attention to earnest themes and loftier subjects. This, however, was unwelcome to so clever a person as Morley believed himself to be. He wanted no direction even from the cleverest. All he sought for was appreciation, sympathy. He could think for himself, and guide himself. The study of Aristotle's Ethics was in his case soon supplanted by Paine's Age of Reason and Volney's Ruins of Empires. The coarseness of the former author he termed "wit" and the sophistry of the latter passed with him for "wisdom." Eugene felt sorry for these freaks, for in indulging them Frederic Morley was throwing away his livelihood; he endeavored to reason with him, and then he became vexed that he had so few efficient arguments to bring forward, and none but interested motives to present. Was he to tell Frederic to be a hypocrite, and to study theology for a "living?" He felt rather than knew the foolish boy was pursuing a phantom, and was urged forward by very selfish motives, yet he could not explain his own ideas, vague, mysterious, and undefined as they were.

             "There is a fire
  And motion in the soul, which will not dwell
  In its own narrow being; but aspire
  Beyond the fitting medium of desire,
  And but once kindled, quenchless evermore."

This Eugene felt, but why he felt it, or how to satisfy it, he knew not. The words of Euphrasie, "that perhaps there is a science of mind, more worth than all the science of matter," recurred continually, for in that science must lie the solution of every difficulty that beset him. How could he learn this science? how investigate this truth, if truth it were? And he wandered hour after hour on the banks of the Cam, in profound meditation burying himself in the thickets near to avoid observation.

{48}

"O truth!" exclaimed he aloud one day, in the intense excitement of his feelings—"O truth! if ever thou deignest to visit mortals, reveal thyself to me; teach me the way, and by all that is holy or dear to me, I swear to follow thee!"

He was leaning against a tree; the drops stood on his forehead, caused by the depth of his emotion, and suddenly the answer came: "PRAY, child of aspirations, bow in prayer."

Eugene started; looked around; no form was visible, but again the words were repeated: "Pray, seeker for truth, pray! it will come to thee."


CHAPTER IV.

MAGNETIC INFLUENCES.

"Behold he prayeth."

"Pray, pray!" repeated Eugene; "what is prayer? Is it to hold communion with a higher being? To be raised above the mists of this murky earth? If so, how glad I should be to pray!" and involuntarily he exclaimed: "O mighty Being, who rulest all, if indeed thou wiliest to communicate with man, instruct me how to approach thee; my mind is dark and sad. Oh! teach me truth." Eugene Godfrey was sincere; he wished for truth; but educated in scornful intellectual supremacy, educated to tolerate religion as a means of keeping in order the lower classes, it was difficult for him to comprehend how "faith" could exist otherwise than as a beautiful poetic fancy, to be classed with the imagery of the Iliad or the Odyssey.

The real, the sentient, had been his study, and till the horrors of the French Revolution turned his mind to consider how man could influence man by higher motives than merely getting "good things for one's self," he had been satisfied to leave these themes unthought of. But now they were forced upon him. Events unprecedented in the annals of the world bade him lay aside physical science and tun to study mental and moral influences. He had heard enough in the little town to which he belonged to feel sure that the multitude must be cared for, most be looked to. He saw his father uneasy at every commotion, lest the English aristocracy should likewise be sent on their travels. He saw Alfred Brookbank hating his own brother, because that brother stood between him and a property; and his sister—his fearless sister, accomplished, beautiful, the very epitome of a refined lady—he dared not think of her! Oh! for a motive to raise these groveling aims! Oh! for purity, heroism, good. But for the vision of Euphrasie, all would have been darkness then. Such were Eugene's thoughts as he bent his steps to his chambers and sat down in his easy chair to indulge in this absorbing reverie.

How long he sat he scarcely knew, but at length he became conscious that he was not alone. He had forgotten to "sport his oak" (as closing the outer door was called by the students) in token that he wished to be alone, and Frederic Morley had entered, and, perceiving him so engrossed, had quietly seated himself without speaking, till Eugene gave signs of life.

"Ah, Morley, is that you? how long have you been there?"

"I scarcely know, Mr. Eugene; I have been watching your absent thoughts. You were so still, I might have supposed you magnetized, but I suppose the great wizard would not take so great a liberty with you."

"What wizard?" asked Eugene.

"Have you not heard, then? There is a man here who can throw a person into a trance, and make him reveal all kinds of secrets," answered Frederic.

"Pshaw!" said Eugene.

"Nay," answered Frederic, "I will tell you what I saw. I was at Mrs. Moreton's yesterday evening, singing duets with Isabel, and young Moreton came in with a tall, dark-haired, mustachioed, whiskered fellow, with eyes {49} like lighted coals, they were so large and piercing. Where Moreton picked him up, I could not find out, but he was evidently fascinated with him. He introduced him laughingly to his mother as a great wizard, and they interrupted the music to hear him talk. He was grandiloquent enough, told tales of spirits and influences that haunt me still; but more than this, he insisted that mind can influence mind irrespective of matter; that the old tales of magic were true, and the deeds wrought by men of wondrous power, who had found the key to nature's nighty secrets—only nature with him does not mean inert matter as we mean by it, but matter and intelligences who act upon matter. The universe, he says, is peopled by wondrous forms, and these forms can be communicated with by a privileged soul. Oh, he is a mighty man!" and Frederic shuddered.

"And you have no more sense than to believe such a cock-and-bull story as that? Fie, Morley, I am ashamed of you!"

"But let me tell you what I saw with my own eyes. He first threw Isabel into a trance, from which neither Mrs. Morley, nor her brother, nor i could awaken her. Then when Mrs. Morley grew frightened, he assured her there was no danger, that she was only bewitched by his art, and that he would make her talk as he pleased. Then he put her brother's hand in hers, and bade him think of the walk he had taken that afternoon, of the people he had met and spoken to; he did so, and the wizard bade the girl speak, and she recounted the events of the walk from his leaving college to his meeting with the wizard, and their entering the room in which we were—all, as her brother declared, correctly. The wizard then disenchanted her, and she slowly roused herself, pale and listless, but quite unconscious of what had passed."

"I have heard of animal magnetism before, quietly responded Eugene.

"Have you? But do you know its power? It is absolutely frightful. He lifted my arm before I knew what he was about, passed his hand two or three times above and below it, and there it remained fixed horizontally from the shoulder, without my having power to move it up or down. Young Moreton tried to put it down for me, but he could not; and there I stood fixed till it pleased the wizard to unloose the spell he had cast around me."

"Yours was not an agreeable position, truly," said Eugene, "but he did not hurt you; you are safe and sound now."

"Yes, but the most wonderful is yet to come. Little Helen Moreton came into the room to bid her mamma good-night. Seeing the stranger, she was shy, and went to the window-curtains to hide. Mrs. Moreton called her, but she looked out for a minute, seemed to take a greater dislike to the stranger than before, and hid again. Mrs. Moreton was annoyed, and the wizard said: 'Do you want her, madam? If so, I will bring her to you.' But Mrs. Moreton replied, 'Oh no! if you go near her she will shriek and cry; she is so shy.' 'Nay,' said the man, 'I will stand here, and here she shall come without a shriek, and lie down at my feet.' What he did we could not find out, for he seemed perfectly still. The window-curtain unfolded, and apparently against her will the child came forward. She caught at a chair, as if determined to resist the influence, but that seemed to urge her forward; she let it go, and then grasped the table with both hands, as if determined to resist. She pouted, she frowned, she strove to keep her place, but keep it she could not. Step by step she came and laid herself quietly down at the wizard's feet. Mrs. Moreton almost shrieked, but the child lay as if she dared not leave until the magician gave permission."

"Well, and what do you infer from all this?" asked Eugene.

{50}

"I hardly know; I am terrified; what if it is true, as this man says, that weak minds must obey the strong; that resistance is useless? I should not like to become the slave of a spirit such as his."

"You believe him to be a wicked man?"

"I do, yet I know not why; I should not like to meet him when unprotected."

"Why, Morley, you astonish me; I could not conceive you so weak. These fears are unworthy a noble mind."

"But what are we to do if such theories be true?"

"They are not true—at least not in the way you state them. There are protecting, counteracting influences for the weakest. I cannot explain all this to-night; but all history, all experience go to prove that the 'race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong' —that bad power is often overcome by weak means. I will repeat to you a piece of advice I received myself to-day, and which I intend to take. It is one you must often have received, for your father intends you for the church. Pray, Morley, to the highest of all intelligences, to the greatest of all powers. The strongest will then be invoked to your aid."

"Pray? Are you serious, Mr. Eugene?"

"I am serious; why doubt it?"

"An advice so contrary to the spirit of the age! why, it is the last to be expected."

"Perhaps so; but listen: That mind is not matter, your experience proves, as does that of most people. What mind is, perhaps we do not know; but that mind acts upon mind, irrespective of space and obstacles, we feel. Listen! you know my family; a family less superstitious scarcely exists. We are too much wedded to cause and effect lightly to believe. My grandfather was as little credulous as my father. Now hear what happened to him. He had a brother to whom he was fondly attached, and by whom he was as fondly loved. Their correspondence was constant. That brother went to India, as an officer. One night about twelve o'clock, as my grandfather was going to sleep, having sat up later than usual, the curtains at the foot of the bed were with drawn, and his brother, pale, but in full regimentals, appeared and said, 'Good-by, Frank.' My grandfather related the circumstance at breakfast next morning, and noted it down in writing, being confident that he was not asleep. After due time the Indian mail arrived, giving an account of the brother's death on the field of battle at the exact hour and day specified. Ere his spirit winged its flight, we know not whither, it had communicated with the being it loved best on earth."

Frederic turned pale. "What do you infer from this?" he asked.

"Simply this," returned Eugene; "that 'there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,' and this influence of mind on mind is one of them. If the Supreme Ruler have made a law that man, to be assisted by him, must pray to him, must put himself in communication with him, who are we that we should refuse the means? If you fear the evil spirit in a man, try if there be no good spirit capable of protecting you. The universal testimony of mankind is in favor of supernatural agencies. We should ponder well ere we throw from us such aid."

Frederic smiled, and rose to take his leave. Advice so different from what he had expected was scarcely likely to be well received. He had no answer ready, so he left the narrow-minded religionist to his own crude fancies.

And Eugene closed the oaken door, and returned, and for the first time of his life knelt down to beseech light from the Author of light—light to guide him through these wearisome shoals of doubt and darkness—light to show him something more than how to render matter subservient to animal comfort—light to enlighten the {51} inward feeling. Good and evil, what are they? Mind and matter—which is the true reality? What are we to live for—the animal life, or the spiritual? And is the purely spiritual distinct from the purely intellectual as well as from the animal? Is there a soul, the functions of which are different, distinct, from those of the body, and to the knowledge of which mere intellect cannot arrive? What is nature? What is revelation? How do they act upon each other? What is the office, what the aim of each? Revolving these themes, it was deep in the night ere the young man sought his couch.


TO BE CONTINUED.




ORIGINAL.

INDEPENDENCE OF THE CHURCH.


Our age is more sentimental than intellectual, more philanthropic than Christian, more material than spiritual. It may and no doubt does cherish and seek to realize, with such wisdom as it has, many humane and just sentiments, but it retains less Christian thought than it pretends, and has hardly any conception of catholic principles. It studies chiefly phenomena, physical or psychical, and as these are all individual, particular, manifold, variable, and transitory, it fails to recognize any reality that is universal, invariable, and permanent, superior to the vicissitudes of time and place, always and everywhere one and the same. It is so intent on the sensible that it denies or forgets the spiritual, and so engrossed with the creature that it loses sight of the creator.

Indeed, there are not wanting men in this nineteenth century who deny that there is any creator at all, or that anything has been made, and maintain that all has been produced by self-development or growth. These men, who pass for the great scientific lights of the age, tell us that all things are in a continual process of self-formation, which they call by the general name of progress; and so taken up are they with their doctrine of progress, that they gravely assert that God himself, if God there be, is progressive, perfectible, ever proceeding from the imperfect towards the perfect, and seeking by unremitting action to perfect, fill out, or complete his own being. They seem not to be aware that if the perfect does not already really exist, or is wanting, there is and can be no progress; for progress is motion towards the perfect, and, if the perfect does not exist there can be no motion towards it, and in the nature of the case the motion can be only towards nothing, and therefore, as St. Thomas has well demonstrated, in proving the impossibility of progress without end, no motion at all. Nor do they seem any more to be aware that the imperfect, the incomplete, is not and cannot be self-active, or capable of acting in and from itself alone, and therefore has not the power in itself alone to develop and complete itself, or perfect its own being. Creatures may be and are progressive, because they live, and move, and have their being in their Creator, and are aided and sustained by him whose being is eternally complete who is in himself infinitely perfect. They forget also the important fact {52} that where there is nothing universal, there can be nothing particular, that where there is nothing invariable there can be nothing variable, that where there is nothing permanent there can be nothing transitory, and that where there is no real being there can be no phenomena, any more than there can be creation without a creator, action without an actor, appearance without anything that appears, or a sign that signifies nothing.

Now the age, regarded in its dominant tendency, neglects or denies this universal, invariable, persistent, real, or spiritual order, and its highest and most catholic principles are mere classifications or generalizations of visible phenomena, and therefore abstractions, without reality, without life or efficiency. It understands not that throughout the universe the visible is symbolical of the invisible, and that to the prepared mind there is an invisible but living reality signified by the observable phenomena of nature, as in the Christian economy an invisible grace is signified by the visible sacramental sign. All nature is in some sense sacramental, but the age takes it only as an empty sign signifying nothing. Hence the embarrassment of the Christian theologian in addressing it; the symbols he uses and must use have for it no meaning. He deals and must deal with an order of thought of which it has little or no conception. He is as one speaking to a man who has no hearing, or exhibiting colors to a man who has no sight, He speaks of the transcendental to those who recognize nothing above the sensible—of the spiritual to men who are of the earth earthy, and have lost the faculty of rising above the material, and piercing beyond the visible. The age has fallen, even intellectually, far below the Christian order of thought, and is apparently unable to rise even in conception to the great catholic principles in accordance with which the universe is created, sustained, and governed.

Nobody in his senses denies that man is progressive, or that modern society has made marvellous progress in the material order, in the application of science to the productive arts. I am no laudator temporis acti; I understand and appreciate the advantages of the present, and do not doubt that steam navigation railroads, and lightning telegraphs, which bid defiance to the winds and waves, and as it were annihilate space and time, will one day be made to subserve higher than mere material interests; but I cannot shut my eyes to the fact that in many and very important respects, the modern world has deteriorated instead of improving, and been more successful in losing than in gaining. The modern nations commonly regarded, at least by themselves, as the more advanced nations, have fallen in moral and religious thought below the ancient Greeks and Romans. They may have more sound dogmas, but they have less conception of principles, of the invisible or spiritual order, excepting always the followers of Leucippus, Democritus, and Epicurus, whose absurd materialism is revived with hardly any disguise by the most approved thinkers of our own age. The Gentiles generally held catholic principles, but misapprehended and misapplied them, and thus fell into gross idolatry and degrading and besotting superstition; but the moderns while retaining many Catholic dogmas have lost the meaning of the word principle. The Catholic can detect, no doubt, phases of truth in all the doctrines of those outside the church, but the Christianity they profess has no universal, immutable, and imperishable principle, and degenerates in practice into a blind and fierce fanaticism, a watery sentimentality, a baseless humanitarianism, or a collection of unrelated and unmeaning dogmas, which are retained only because they are never examined, and which can impart no light to the understanding, infuse no life into the hearty and impose no restraint on the appetites and passions.

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Having fallen below the conception of a order above the visible and phenomenal, and sunk to complete Sadduceeism, which believes in neither angel nor spirit, the age makes war on the church because she asserts such order, and remains fast anchored in it; because she is immovable and invariable, or as her enemies say, stationary, unprogressive, and therefore hostile to progress. She has, it is said, the insolence to attempt to teach and govern men and nations, instead of gracefully submitting to their views and wishes, and bestowing her blessing on their exertions for the liberty and progress of society. The age denies her to be the church of God, because she fails to prove herself to be the church of man, holding simply from a human authorities. It denies her divine origin, constitution, and authority, because she is stable, cannot be carried away by every wind of doctrine, does not yield to every popular impulse, and from time to time resists individuals, civil rulers, the people even, and opposes their favorite theories, plans, and measures, whenever she finds them at war with her mission and her law. It applauds her, indeed, to the echo, when she appears to be on the side of what happens to be popular, but condemns her without mercy when she opposes popular error, popular folly, popular injustice, and asserts the unpopular truth, defends the unpopular cause, or uses her power and influence in behalf of neglected justice, and please with her divine eloquence for the poor, the wronged, the downtrodden. Yet this is precisely what she should do, if the church of God, and what it would be contrary to her nature and office on that supposition not to do.

The age concedes nothing to the unseen and eternal. In its view religion itself is human, and ought to be subject to man, and determinable by society, dictated by the people, who in the modern mind usurp the place of God. It should not govern, but be governed, and governed from below, not from above; or rather, in its subversion of old ideas, it holds that being governed from below is being governed from above. It forgets that religion, objectively considered, is, if anything, the revelation and assertion of the divine order, or the universal and eternal law of God, the introduction and maintenance in the practical affairs of men and nations of the divine element, without which there would and could be nothing in human society invariable, permanent, or stable—persistent, independent, supreme, or authoritative. The church is simply the divine constitution and organ of religion in society, and must, like religion itself, be universal, invariable, independent, supreme, and authoritative for all men and nations. Man does not originate the church. She does not depend on man, or hold from him either individually or collectively; for she is instituted to govern him, to administer for him the universal and eternal law, and to direct and assist him in conducting himself in the way of his duty, to his supreme good, which she could not do if she held from and depended on him.

The point here insisted on, and which is so far removed from the thought of this age, is, that this order transcending the phenomenal and the whole material or sensible universe, and which in the strictly philosophical language of Scripture is called "the Law of the Lord," is eminently real, not imaginary, not factitious, not an abstraction, not a classification or generalization of particulars, nor something that depends for its reality on human belief or disbelief. Religion which asserts this divine order, this transcendental order, is objectively "the Law of the Lord," which, proceeding from the eternal reason and will of God, is the principle and reason of things. The church, as the divinely constituted organ of that law, is not an arbitrary institution, is not an accident, is not an afterthought, is not a superinduction upon the original plan of the Creator, but enters integrally into that plan, and is therefore founded in the {54} principle, the reason, and the constitution of things, and is that in reference to which all things are created, sustained, and governed, and hence our Lord is called "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

But this our age does not conceive. For it the divine, the invariable, the universal, and the eternal are simply abstractions or generalizations, not real being. Its only conception of immensity, is space unlimited—of eternity, is time without end—of the infinite, the undefined, and of the universal, totality or sum total. Catholic, in its understanding, means accepting or ranking together as equally respectable the doctrines, opinions, views, and sentiments of all sects and denominations. Christian, Jewish, Mahometan, and Pagan. He, in the sense of modern philosophers, has a catholic disposition who respects all convictions, and has no decided conviction of his own. Catholicity is held to be something made up by the addition of particulars. The age does not understand that there is no catholicity without unity, and therefore that catholicity is not predicable of the material order, since nothing material or visible is or can be strictly one and universal. The church is catholic, not because as a visible body she is universal and includes all men and nations in her communion; she was as strictly catholic when her visible communion was restricted to the Blessed Virgin and the Apostles as she is now, or would be if all the members of the race were recipients of her sacraments. She is catholic because she is the organ of the whole spiritual order, truth, or reality, and that order in its own intrinsic nature is one and universal. All truth is catholic, because all truth is one and invariable; all the dogmas of the church are catholic, because universal principles, always and everywhere true. The law of the Lord is catholic, because universally, always and every where law, equally law for all men and nations in every age of the world, on earth and is heaven, in time and eternity. The church is catholic, because she holds under this law, and because God promulgates and administers it through her, because he lives and reigns in her, and hence she is called his kingdom, the kingdom of God on earth, a kingdom fulfilled and completed in heaven. It is this order of ideas that the age loses sight of and is so generally disposed to deny. Yet without it there were no visible order, and nothing would or could exist.

The principal, reason, nature, or constitution of things is in this order, and men must conform to it or live no true, no real life. They who recede from it advance towards nothing, and, as far as possible, become nothing. The church is independent, superior to all human control, and persistent, unaltered, and unalterable through all the vicissitudes of time and place, because the order in which she is founded is independent and persistent. She cannot be moved or harmed, because she rests on the principle, truth, and constitution of things, and is founded neither on the individual man, the state, nor the people, but on God himself, the Rock of Ages, against which anything created must rage and beat in vain. "On this rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The church is therefore, by her own divine constitution, by the very principle and law of her existence, indefectible. No weapon forged against her shall prosper. The wicked may conspire for her destruction, but in vain, because they conspire to destroy reality, and all reality is always invincible and indestructible. They cannot efface or overthrow her, because she is founded in the truth and reality of things, or what is the same thing, in the unalterable reason and will of God, in whom all creatures have their principle—live, move, and have their being.

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They who oppose the church in the name of humanity or human progress, cannot succeed, because she is indivisible, and they would utterly defeat themselves if they could. They would deprive the human race of the law of God, which makes wise the simple and strengthens the weak, and deprive men and nations of the truth and reality of things, the very principle of all life, and of the very means and conditions of all progress. Man no doubt is progressive, but not in and by himself alone. Archimedes demanded a pou sto, a whereon to rest his fulcrum outside the earth, in order to move it, and there is no conceivable way by which a man can raise himself by a lever supported on himself. How is it that our philosophers fail to see the universal application of the laws which they themselves assert? All progress is by assimilation, by accretion, as that hierophant of progress, Pierre Leroux, has amply demonstrated, and if there is no reality outside of man or above him, what is there for him to assimilate, and how is he to become more than at any given time he already is? Swift ridiculed the philosophers of Laputa, who labored to extract sunbeams from cucumbers, but even more ridiculous are they who pretend that something may be assimilated from nothing, or that a thing can in and of itself make itself more than it is. Where there is nothing above man with which he does or may commune, there is for him no possibility of progress, and men and nations can never advance beyond what they are. This is so in the nature of things, and it is only what is implied in the maxim, Ex nihilo nihil fit.

An institution, no matter by what sacred name called, founded by savages, embodying only what they are, and worked by them, would have no power to elevate them above their savage state, and could only serve to perpetuate their savagery. The age speaks of the applications of science to the productive arts, of the marvels of the steam-engine, steamboats, the locomotive, and the magnetic telegraph, and boasts that it renders mind omnipotent over matter. Vain boast, poor philosophy. We have in those things gained no triumph over matter, no control over the forces of nature, which are as independent of our reason and will as ever they were, as the first steamboat explosion will suffice to convince the most skeptical. We have subjected none of the forces of nature; we have only learned in some few instances to construct our machinery so as to be propelled by them, as did the first man who built a mill, constructed a boat, or spread his sails to catch the breeze. We alter not, we control not by our machinery the forces of nature, and all the advantage we have obtained is in conforming to them, and in suffering them, according to their own laws, or laws which we have not imposed on them, to operate for us. The principle is universal, catholic, and as true in the moral or spiritual as in the mechanical or physical world.

Man does not create, generate, or control the great moral and spiritual forces on which he depends to propel his moral and spiritual machinery. They exist and operate independently alike of his reason and his will, and the advantages he derives from them are obtained by his placing himself within the sphere of their influence, or, to be strictly correct, by interposing voluntarily no obstacle to their inflowing, for they are always present and operative unless resisted. Withdraw him from their influence, or induce him obstinately to resist them, which he may do, for he is a free moral agent, and he can make no more progress than a sailing ship at sea in a dead calm. These forces are divine, are embodied in the church as her living and constitutive force—are in one sense the church herself, and hence men and nations separated from her communion and influence are thrown back on nature alone, and necessarily cease to be progressive. We may war against this as much as we please, but we cannot alter it, for the principle on which it rests is a universal and indestructible law.

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Individuals and nations separated by schism or heresy from the visible communion of the church do not become at once absolutely and in all respects unprogressive, for they are carried on for a time by the momentum she baa given them, and besides, they are not, as she continues to exist, absolutely beyond or outside of the sphere of her influence, though indirect and reflected. But from the moment of the separation their progress begins to slacken, their spiritual life becomes sickly and attenuated, and gradually they lose all that they had received from the church, and lapse into helpless and unassisted nature. This, which is demonstrable à priori, is proved by the experience of those nations that separated from the church in the sixteenth century. These nations at first retained a large portion of their old Catholic culture, and many of the habits acquired under the discipline and training of the church. But they have been gradually losing them ever since, and the more advanced portions of them have got pretty clear of them, and thrown off, as they express it, the last rag of Popery. Indeed this is their boast.

In throwing off the authority of the church, they came in religious matters under the authority of the state, or the temporal sovereign or ruler—a purely human authority, without competency in spirituals—and thus lost at once their entire religious freedom, or liberty of conscience. In Catholic nations the civil authority has always, or almost always, been prone to encroach on the authority of the church, and to attempt to control her external discipline or ecclesiastical administration; but, in the nations that were carried away by the so-called reformation, the civil authority assumed in every instance complete control over the national church, and prescribed its constitution, its creed, its liturgy, and its discipline. This for them completely humanized religion, and made it a department of state. It is true these nations professed to recognize the Bible as containing a divine revelation, and to be governed by it; and this would have been something, even much, had they not remitted its interpretation to the civil magistrate, the king, the parliament, the public judgment of the people, or the private judgment of the individual, which made its meeting, as practically received, vary from nation to nation, and even from individual to individual.

This sacrificed, in principle, the sovereignty of God and the entire spiritual order, departed to a fearful distance from the truth and reality of things, and if it retained some of the precepts of the Christian law, it retained them as precepts not of the law of God but as precepts of the law of man, enjoined, explained, and applied by a purely human authority. In process of time, the authority of the state in religious matters was found to be usurped, tyrannical, and oppressive, and the thinking part of the separated nations asserted the right of private judgment, or of each believer to interpret the Holy Scriptures for himself. Having gone thus far, they went still farther, and assert for everyone the right to judge for himself not only of the meaning, but of the inspiration, authenticity, and authority of the Scriptures, though the civil government in none of these nations, except the United States, not in existence at the time of the separation, has disavowed its authority in spirituals. Practically, the doctrine that each individual judges for himself is now generally adopted.

The authority of the Scriptures has followed the authority of the church, and is practically, when not theoretically, rejected. It was perhaps asserted by the reformers at first for the purpose of presenting some authority not precisely human, which no Catholic would deny, as offset against that of the church, rather than from any deep reverence for it, or profound conviction of it« reality. But, be this as it may, it counts for little now. The authors of Essays and Reviews, and the Anglican bishop of Natal, take hardly less liberty with the {57} Scriptures than Luther and Calvin did with the church. The more advanced thinkers, if thinkers they are, of the age go further still, and maintain not only that a man may be a very religious man, and a true follower of Jesus Christ, without accepting either the authority of the church or that of the Bible, but without even believing either in the existence of God or the immortality of the soul. Schleiermacher, the great Berlin preacher, went thus far in his Discourses on Religion, addressed to the Cultivated among its Despisers; and equally far, if not farther, in the same direction, go the rising school or sect called Positivists. Religion is reduced to a spontaneous development—perhaps I should say, to a secretion of human nature, implying no reality above or distinguishable from human nature itself.

It is not pretended that all persons in these nations have as yet reached this result; but as there is a certain logic in error as well as in truth, all are tending and must tend to it. What is called progress of religious ideas or religious enlightenment is not held to consist in any accession to our stock of known truth, in penetrating farther into the world of reality, and attaining a firmer grasp of its principles, nor in a better understanding of our moral relations and the duties growing out of them, but in simply casting off or getting rid of so-called Popery—of everything that has been retained in the nations, and the sects into which they divide and subdivide, furnished by the Catholic Church in which the reformers had been reared, and in reducing men and nations to the nakedness and feebleness of nature. The more advanced portion are already seen sporting in puris naturalibus, heedless alike of shame and winter's cold. The others are following more or less rapidly in the same direction; for there is no halting-place between Catholicity and naked naturalism, and men must either ascend to the one or descend to the other. But those who choose to descend can find no resting-place even in naturalism, for nature, severed from Catholicity, is severed from its principle, is severed from God, from the reality and truth of things, and is therefore unreal, nothing, Hence the descent is endless. Falsehood has no bottom, is unreal, purely negative, and can furnish no standing. Men can stand only on the true, the real, and that is Catholicity, the order represented in society by the church. Those who forsake the church, Catholicity, God, forsake therefore the real order, have nothing to stand on, and in the nature of the case can only drop into what the Scripture calls "the bottomless pit."

We hear much of the ignorance, superstition, and even of idolatry of Catholics, nothing of which is true; but this much is certain, that those who abandon the church, and succeed in humanizing religion, making it hold from man and subject to his control, do as really worship gods of their fashioning as did the old worshippers of gods made of wood and stone, because their religion is really only what they make it, and fall into as gross an idolatry and into as besotted and besotting a superstition as can be found among any heathen people, ancient or modern.

It is easy therefore to understand why the church sets her face so resolutely against modern reformers, liberals, revolutionists, in a word, the whole so-called movement party, professing to labor for the diffusion of intelligence and the promotion of science, liberty, and human progress. It is not science, liberty, or progress that she opposes, but false theories substituted for science, and the wrong and destructive means and methods of promoting liberty and progress adopted and insisted on by liberals and revolutionists. There is only one right way of effecting the progress they profess to have at heart, and that is by conforming to truth and reality, for falsehood is impotent, and nothing can be gained by it. She opposes the movement party, not as a movement party, not as a party of light, liberty, {58} and progress, but as a party moving in the wrong direction, putting forth unscientific theories, theories which amuse the imagination without enlightening the understanding, which if they dazzle it is only to blind with their false glitter, which embraced as truth to-day, must be rejected as falsehood to-morrow, and which in fact tend only to destroy liberty, and render all real progress impossible. As the party, collectively or individually, neither is nor pretends to be infallible, the church, at the worst, is as likely to be right as they are, and the considerations presented prove that she is right, and that they are wrong. There is no science but in knowing the truth, that which really is or exists, and there is no real progress, individual or social, with nature alone, because nature alone has no existence, and can exist and become more than it is only by the gracious, the supernatural assistance of God, in whom all things live, move, and have their being.

A great clamor has been raised by the whole movement party throughout the world against the encyclical of the Holy Father, dated at Rome, December 8, 1864, and even some Catholics, not fully aware of the sense and reach of the opinions censured, were at first partially disturbed by it; but the Holy Father has given in it only a proof of his pastoral vigilance, the fidelity of the church to her divine mission, and the continuous presence in her and supernatural assistance of the Holy Ghost. The errors condemned are all aimed at the reality and invariability, universality and persistency, of truth, the reality of things, the supremacy of the spiritual order, and the independence and authority of the divine law, at real science, and the means and conditions of both liberty and progress. In it we see the great value of the independence of the church,—of a church holding from God instead of holding from man. If the church had been human or under human control she would never have condemned those errors, because nearly all of them are popular, and hailed as truth by the age. Man condemns only what man dislikes, and the popular judgment condemns only what is unpopular. It is only the divine that judges according to truth, and without being influenced by the spirit of the age, or by what is popular or unpopular. If the church had been human, she would have been carried away by those errors, and proved herself the enemy instead of the friend, the protector, and the benefactor of society.

These remarks on the divine character and independence of the church are not inappropriate to the present times, and may serve to calm, comfort, and console Catholics amidst the national convulsions and changes which, without the reflections they suggest, might deeply afflict the Catholic heart. The successes of Italy and Prussia in the recent unjustifiable war against Austria, and the humiliation of the Austrian empire, the last of the great powers on which the church could rely for the protection of her material interests, have apparently given over the temporal government of this world to her enemies. There is at this moment not a single great power in the world that is officially Catholic, or that officially recognizes the Catholic Church as the church of God. The majority of Frenchmen are or profess to be Catholics, but the French state professes no religion, and if it pays a salary to the Catholic clergy, Protestant ministers, and Jewish rabbis, it is not as ministers of religion, but as servants of the state. The Russian state is schismatic, and officially anti-papal; the British state, as a state, is Protestant, and officially hostile to the church; Italy follows France; and Prussia, which at the moment means Germany, is officially Protestant and anti-Catholic; and so are Holland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. Belgium and our own great Republic profess officially no religion, but give freedom and protection to all religions not held to be contra bonos mores. Spain and Portugal, no longer great powers, and {59} most of the Central and South American states, officially profess the Catholic faith, but they count for next to nothing in the array of nations. Hellas and the Principalities, like Russia, are schismatic, and the rest of the world, including the greater part of Asia and all of Africa, is Mahometan or pagan, and of course hostile to the church.

I have not enumerated Austria, for what is to be her fate no one can now say; but as a portion of her population belong to the Greek schismatic church, and a larger portion still are Protestants, the most that can be expected of her is that she will, in regard to religion, assume the attitude of France and Italy. There is then really no power on which the church can now rely for the support of her external and material interests. I will not say that the triumph of Prussia is the triumph of Protestantism, for that would not be true; but it is, at least for the moment, the success of the party that denounced the papal encyclical, and would seem to be a complete victory, perhaps a final victory, over that system of mixed civil and ecclesiastical government which grew up on the downfall of the Roman empire and the conversion of the barbarian nations that seated themselves on its ruins. It is the total and final destruction of the Christian empire founded, with the aid of the Pope and bishops, by Charlemagne and his nobles, and not unlikely will end in the complete severance of all official union of church and state—alike the official union between the state and the heretical and schismatic churches, and between the state and the Catholic Church; so that throughout the civilized world the people will be politically free to be of any religion they choose, and the state of no religion.

This result is already reached in nearly all the nations hitherto called Catholic nations, but not in the officially Protestant and schismatic nations; and for a long time to come the anti-Catholic or anti-papal religions, schismatical, heretical, Mahometan, and pagan religions, will be retained as official or state religions, with more or less of civil tolerance for Catholics. For the moment, the anti-papal party appears to be victorious, and no doubt believes that it is all over with the Catholic Church. That party had persuaded itself that the church, as a ruling body, was of imperial origin—that the papal power had been created by the edicts of Roman emperors, and that it depends entirely on the civil authority for its continuance. Hence they concluded that, if the church could be deprived of all civil support, it must fall. They said, the church depends on the papacy, and the papacy depends on the empire; hence, detach the empire—that is, the civil power—from the papacy, and the whole fabric tumbles at once into complete ruin. It is not improbable that, to confound them, to bring to naught the wisdom of the wise, and to take the crafty in their own craftiness, Providence has suffered them to succeed. He has permitted them to detach the empire, that they may see their error.

The successful party have reckoned without their host. They have reasoned from false premises, and come necessarily to false conclusions. The church is, undoubtedly, essentially papal as well as episcopal, and the destruction of the papacy would certainly be her destruction as the visible church; but it is false to assume that the papacy was created by imperial edicts and depends on the empire, for it is an indisputable historical fact that it existed prior to any imperial edict in its favor, and while the empire was as yet officially pagan, and hostile to the church. Hence it does not follow that detaching the empire from the papacy will prove its destruction. The church was as papal in its constitution when the whole force of the empire was turned against it, when it sought refuge in the catacombs, as it is now, or was in the time of Gregory VII. or Innocent III., and is as papal in this country, where it has no civil {60} support or recognition, as in Spain, or the Papal States themselves. The very principal, idea, and nature of the church, as we have set them forth in asserting the independence and supremacy of the spiritual order, of which she is the organ, contradict in the moat positive manner the dependency of the papacy on the empire.

The church as a visible body has, no doubt, temporal relations, and therefore temporal interests susceptible of being affected by the changes which take place in states and empires, and it is not impossible, nor improbable, that the recent changes in Europe may more or less deeply affect those interests. The papacy has itself so judged, and has resisted them with all the means placed at its disposal. These changes, if carried out, if completed, will affect in a very serious manner the relations of the papacy with temporal sovereigns, or, to use the consecrated term, with the empire, and many of its regulations and provisions for the administration of ecclesiastical affairs will certainly need to be changed or modified, and much inconvenience during the transition to the new state of things will no doubt be experienced. All changes from an old established order, though in themselves changes for the better, are for a time attended with many inconveniences. The Israelite's escaping from Egyptian bondage had to suffer weariness, hunger, and thirst in the wilderness before reaching the promised land. But whatever temporal changes or inconveniences of this sort the church in her external relations may have to endure, they are accidental, and by no means involve her destruction, or impair her power or integrity as the church of God, or divinely instituted organ of the spiritual order.

There is no question that the party that regards itself as having triumphed in the success of Italy and Prussia is bitterly hostile not only to what it calls the papal politics, but to the Catholic Church herself, and will not be satisfied with simply detaching the empire from her support, but will insist on its using all its power and influence against her. That party, indeed, demands religious liberty, but religious liberty, in its sense of the term, is full freedom for all religions except the Catholic, the only true, religion. Error, they hold, is harmless when reason is free, but truth they instinctively feel is dangerous to their views and wishes, and must for their safety be bound hand and foot. But suppose the worst; suppose the civil power becomes actively hostile to the church, prohibits by law the profession and practice of the Catholic religion, punishes Catholics with fines and imprisonment, fire and sword, the dungeon and the stake, the church will be no worse off than she was under the pagan emperors, hardly worse off than she was under even the Arians. The empire under the Jew and the Gentile exerted its utmost fury against her, and exerted it in vain. It found her irrepressible. The more she was opposed and persecuted, the more she flourished, and the blood of the martyrs fattened the soil for a rich growth of Catholics. Individuals and nations may be, as they have been, detached from her communion, and many souls for whom Christ died perish everlastingly, which is a fearful loss to them, and society may suffer the gains acquired to civilization during eighteen centuries to be lost, and moral and intellectual darkness gather anew for a time over the land, once enlightened by the Sun of righteousness, for God governs men as free moral agents, not as machines or slaves; but the church will survive her persecutors, and reconquer the empire for God and his Christ. Is she not founded on the Rock of Ages, and is it not said by him who is truth itself, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against her?

It would be impossible to subject the church to a severer ordeal than she has time and again passed through, and it is not likely that her children will be exposed to greater trials than {61} those to which they were subjected in the fifth and sixth centuries by the subversion of the Roman empire by the pagan and Arian barbarians, or to suffer heavier calamities than were inflicted on them by the so-called reformation in the sixteenth century. The Protestants of today cannot be fiercer, more intolerant or fanatical than they were in the age of Luther and Calvin; and the infidels of to-day cannot be more envenomed against the church, or more bloodthirsty and brutal, than were the infidels in the French revolution; and all these the church has survived.

The well-being of society, its orderly, peaceful, and continuous progress, requires, as the Holy See has constantly maintained, the co-operation and harmonious action of the church and the empire or republic, but the church has seldom found the empire ready and willing to co-operate with her, and the record of the struggles between her and it fills more than a brief chapter in ecclesiastical and civil history. In point of fact, the church has usually found herself embarrassed and oppressed by officially Catholic states, and most of the popular prejudices that still exist against her owe their origin neither to her doctrines nor to her practices, but to the action of secular governments officially Catholic. In the last century, her bitterest enemies were the sovereigns of officially Catholic states; the most generous friends of the Holy See were states officially heretical or schismatic, as Russia, Great Britain, Sweden, and Prussia. Austria is humiliated and suffering now for being in the way of the anti-papal aggression, and every generous-hearted man sympathizes with her noble-minded and well-disposed if not able emperor, and it is no time to speak of her past shortcomings; but this much may be said, she has seldom been a generous supporter of the Holy See, and sometimes has been its oppressor.

Governments, like individuals, seldom profit by any experience but their own; yet experience has proved, over and over again, that governments the most powerful cannot, however determined on doing so, extirpate Catholicity by force from their dominions. Pagan Rome, once the haughty mistress of the world, tried it, made the profession of the Christian faith punishable with death, and death in the most frightful and excruciating forms, but failed. England, with all her power, with all her Protestant zeal, aided by her intense national prejudices, though she emulated the cruelties of the Caesars and even surpassed the Caesars in her craft and treachery, has never been able to extinguish the Catholic faith and love of the Irish people, the great majority of whom have never ceased to adhere to the Catholic religion. The church thrives under persecution, for to suffer for Christ's sake is a signal honor, and martyrdom is a crown of glory. The government can reach no farther than to the bodies and goods of Catholics, and he who counts it an honor to suffer, a crown to die, for his faith, fears nothing that can be done to those, and is mightier than king or kaiser, parliament or congress. The Christians, as Lactantius well says, conquered the world not by slaying but by being slain. Woe to him who slays the Catholic for his religion, but immortal honor and glory to him who is slain! Men are so constituted that they rarely love that which costs them nothing, no sacrifice. It is having suffered for our native land that hallows it in our affections, and the more we suffer for the church, the more and the more tenderly do we love her. St. Hilary accuses the Arian Constantius of being a worse enemy to the church then Nero, Decius, or Diocletian, for he seduced her prelates by favors, instead of enabling them to acquire glory in openly dying for the faith.

The civil power can never uproot Catholicity by slaying Catholics, or robbing the church of her temporalities. Impoverish the church as you will, you cannot make her poorer than she was {62} in our Lord himself, who had not where to lay his head, nor than she was in the twelve apostles when they went forth from that "upper room" in Jerusalem to conquer the world. She has never depended upon the goods of this world as the means of accomplishing her mission, and her possessions have often been an embarrassment, and exposed her to the envy, cupidity, and rapacity of secular princes. If deprived by the revolution of the temporalities of her churches, and left destitute, so to apeak, of house or home, she can still offer up "the clean oblation," as she has often done, in private houses, barns, groves, catacombs, caverns in the earth, or clefts in the rocks.

The church has frequently been deprived of her temporal possessions and of all temporal power, but the poor have suffered by it more than she. She is really stronger in France today than she was in the age of Louis XIV., and French society is, upon the whole, less corrupt than in the time of Francis I. Religion revives in Spain in proportion as the church losers her wealth. There are no countries where the church has been poorer than in Ireland and the United Slates, and none where her prosperity has been greater. Let matters, then, take the worst turn possible, Catholics have little to fear, the church nothing to apprehend, except the injury her enemies are sure to do themselves, which cannot fail to afflict her loving heart.

Yet, whatever may be the extent of the changes effected or going on in the states and empires of Europe, I apprehend no severe or prolonged persecution of Catholics. The church in this world is and always will be the church militant, because she is not of this world, and acts on principles not only above but opposed to those on which kings and kaisers and the men of this world act. She therefore necessarily comes in conflict with them, and could render them no service if she did not. Conflicts there will be, annoyances and vexations must be expected; but in all the European states as well as our own, if we except Sweden and Denmark, there is too large a Catholic population to be either massacred, exiled, or deprived of the rights of person and property common to all citizens or subjects. The British government has been forced to concede Catholic emancipation, and all appearances indicate that she will be forced ere long to place Catholics in all respects on a footing of perfect equality with Protestants before the state. Prussia, should she, as is possible, absorb all Germany, will have nearly as many Catholic as Protestant subjects, and though she may insist on remaining officially Protestant and anti-Catholic, she will find it necessary to her own peace and security to allow her Catholic subjects to enjoy liberty of religion and equal civil rights. The mass of the Italian people are Catholic, and will remain Catholics; and these are not times when even absolute, much less constitutional, sovereigns can afford to is the it's and convictions of any considerable portion of their people.

The anti-papal party may prove strong enough to deprive the Holy Father of his temporal sovereignty and make Rome the capital of the new kingdom of Italy; that is undoubtedly laid down in the programme, and is only a natural, a logical result of Napoleon's campaign of 1859 against Austria and Napoleon holds that the logic of events must be submitted to. He said in 1859 that there were two questions to be settled, the Italian question and the Roman question. As the former has been settled by expelling the Austrians from Italy, so the latter is likely to be settled by the deprivation of the Pope as temporal sovereign—the plan of settlement being evidently to secure to the anti-papal party all it demands. Austria humiliated cannot interpose in behalf of the temporal sovereignty, and is reported to have abandoned it; Napoleon will not do it, unless compelled, for he has been the determined but politic enemy of that sovereignty ever {63} since, with his elder brother, he engaged in a conspiracy, in 1831, to destroy the papal government; and Russia, Great Britain, and Prussia, all anti-Catholic states, will abandon the papal throne to the logic of events. Under the providence of God, it depends on the Italian people whether the Holy Father shall retain his temporal sovereignty or not, and what they will do nobody can say. They are capable of doing anything hostile to the Pope one moment, and next falling on their knees before him, and, with tears in their eyes, begging his absolution.

But beyond the rights of the Supreme Pontiff as sovereign of the Roman state, I cannot apprehend any serious attacks on the papacy; or after the first fury has passed, even on ecclesiastical property. Much hostility for a time will be displayed, no doubt, against the monastic orders, and where they have any property remaining in their possession. It, not unlikely, will be confiscated, and the right of the church to be a proprietor legally denied or not recognized, yet property dedicated to religious uses still will be passably secure under the general law protecting citizens and their rights of property, to make gifts inter vivos, and testamenary bequests. The law will gradually become throughout Europe what it is with us. The civil law in the United States knows nothing of the canons of the Church establishing religious orders, or of the vows taken by the religious; it takes no cognizance of the church herself, it recognizes in her no proprietary rights, and gives her no standing in the courts, and yet nowhere is ecclesiastical property better protected or more secure, and nowhere are religious orders more free in person or more secure in property. This proceeds from the right of property secured to the citizens, and the right of the church, and of religious orders, not as proprietors, but, if I may so speak, as recipiendaries, or their right to receive enjoy eleemosynary gifts, grants, and bequests in whatever form made, which the courts protect according to the will of the donors or testators. There may be great inconveniences resulting from the inevitable changes taking place, great wrong is pretty sure to be done. The church has a valid right to be a proprietor, and it is a great crime and a great sin to rob her of any of her possessions; but she can carry on, and in most countries long has carried on, her mission without the law recognizing any proprietary rights.

Present appearances indicate that the church throughout the world will be thrown back, as she was in the beginning, on her internal resources as a spiritual kingdom; that she will cease to be the official church any nation—at least for a time, if not for ever; and that she will not henceforth govern or protect her children as civil life communities, states, or empires through their civil rulers, but simply as Catholics, individual members of her communion, through her own spiritual ministry, her bishops and prelates alone, without any official relation with the state. She can then exercise her full spiritual authority over her own members, as the independent kingdom of God on earth, free from all entangling alliances with the shifting policies of nations.

It is not assumed that the changes recent events have produced, or are producing, were desirable, are not evil, or are not brought about by evil passions, and from motives which every lover of truth and right does and must condemn; all that is argued is, that the church can survive them, and with less detriment to her material interests than her enemies have contemplated. Nothing that has taken place is defended, or defensible; but who can say that God in his gracious providence will not overrule all to the glory of his church and the good of them that love him? Who knows but he has given the victory to his enemies for the very purpose of confounding them, and showing them how vain are all their strivings against him and the order he has established? That is very victory, seemingly so {64} adverse and so afflicting to the Catholic heart, may prove to be the means of emancipating the church from her thraldom to the secular powers officially Catholic, but really anti-Catholic in spirit, and of preparing the way for her to labor more effectually than ever for the advancement of truth, the progress of civilization, and the salvation of souls! It is the prerogative of God to overrule evil for good, and the church, though immovable in her foundation, inflexible in her principles, and unchanging in her doctrines, has a wonderful capacity of adapting herself to all stages of civilization, and to all the changes in states and empires that may take place; she is confined within no national boundaries, and wedded to no particular form of civil government—she can subsist and carry on her work under Russian autocracy or American democracy, with the untutored savage and the most highly cultivated European, and is equally at her ease with the high and the low, the learned and the unlearned, the rich and the poor, the bond and the free. The events which, to all human judgment, seem adverse often turn out to be altogether in our favor. "All those things are against me," said the patriarch Jacob, when required to send his son Benjamin down to Egypt, and yet the event proved that they were all for him. When the Jews with wicked hands took our Lord and slew him, crucified him between two thieves, they, no doubt, thought that they had succeeded, and that it was all over with him and his work; but what they did was a means to the end he sought, for it was only in dying that he could accomplish the work he came to do.

The detachment of the empire from the church, which has been effected for purposes hostile to her, and with the hope of causing her destruction, perhaps will prove to her enemies that she does not rest on the state, that the state is far more in need of her than she of it, and show in a clear and unmistakable light her independence of all civil support, her inexhaustible internal resources, her supernatural energy and divine persistence. The empire detached from her and abandoning her to herself, or turning its force against her, will cease to incumber her with its official help, will no longer stand as an opaque substance between her and the people, intercepting her light, and preventing them from beholding her in her spiritual beauty and splendor. The change will allay much political hostility, remove most of the political prejudices against her, and permit the hearts of the people to turn once more towards her as their true mother and best friend. It may in fact tend to revive faith, and prepare the nations to reunite under her divine banner. Be this as it may, every Catholic knows that she is in herself independent of all the revolutions of states and empires, of all the changes of this world, and feels sure that she is imperishable, and that in some way the victories of her enemies will turn out to be their defeat, and the occasion of new triumphs for her.




{65}

From The Month


THE MYSTERY OF THE THATCHED HOUSE.


It was a clean, bright, wholesome, thoroughly lovable house. The first time I saw it, I fell in love with it, and wanted to live in it at once. It fascinated me. When I crossed its threshold, I felt as if I had opened a book whose perusal promised enchantment. I felt a passionate longing to have been born here, to have been expected by the brown old watchful walls for years before it had been my turn to exist in the world. I felt despoiled of my rights; because there was here a hoard of wealth which I might not touch, placed just beyond the reach of my hand. I was tantilized; because the secrets of a sweetly odorous past hung about the shady corners, and the sunny window-frames, and the grotesque hearth-places; and their breath was no more to me than the scent of dried rose-leaves.

It was my fault that we bought the Thatched House. We wanted a country home; and, hearing that this was for sale, we drove many miles one showery April morning to view the place, and judge if it might suit our need. Aunt Featherstone objected to it from the first, and often boasted of her own sagacity in doing so, after the Thatched House had proved itself an incubus—a dreadful Old Man of the Mountains, not to be shaken from our necks. I once was bold enough to tell her that temper, and not sagacity, was the cause of her dislike that April morning. We drove in an open phaeton, and Aunt Featherstone got some drops of rain on her new silk dress. Consequently she was out of humor with everything, and vehemently pronounced her veto upon the purchase of the Thatched House.

I was a spoiled girl, however; and I thought it hard that I might not have my own way in this matter as in everything else. As we drove along a lonely road, across a wild, open country, I had worshipped the broken, gold-edged rain-clouds, and the hills, with their waving lines of light and their soft trailing shadows. I had caught the shower in my face, and laughed; and dried my limp curls with my pocket-handkerchief. I was disposed to love everything I saw, and clapped my hands when we stopped before the sad-looking old gates, with their mossy brick pillars, and their iron arms folded across, as if mournfully forbidding inquiry into some long hushed-up and forgotten mystery. When we swept along the silent avenue my heart leaped up in greeting to the grand old trees, that rose towering freshly at every curve, spreading their masses of green foliage right and left, and flinging showers of diamond drops to the ground whenever the breeze lifted the tresses of a drowsy bough, or a bird poised its slender weight upon a twig, and then shot off sudden into the blue.

Aunt Featherstone exclaimed against the house the very moment we came in sight of it. It was not the sort of thing we wanted at all, she said. It had not got a modern porch, and it was all nooks and angles on the outside. The lower windows were too long and narrow, and the upper ones too small, and pointing up above the eaves in that old-fashioned, inconvenient manner. To crown its {66} absurdities, the roof was thatched. No, no, Aunt Featherstone said, it was necessary for such old houses to exist for the sake of pictures and romances; but as for people of common sense going to live in them, that was out of the question.

I left her still outside with her eyeglass levelled at the chimneys, and darted into the house to explore. An old woman preceded me with a jingling bunch of keys, unlocking all the doors, throwing open the shutters and letting the long levels of sunshine fall over the uncarpeted floors. It was all delicious, I thought; the long dining-room with its tall windows opening like doors upon the broad gravel, the circular drawing-room with its stained-glass roofing, the double flights of winding stairs, the roomy passages, the numerous chambers of all shapes and sizes opening one out of another, and chasing each other from end to end of the house; and above all, the charming old rustic balcony, running round the waist of the building like a belt, and carrying one, almost quick as a bird could fly, from one of those dear old pointed windows under the eaves down amongst the flower-beds below.

I said to myself in my own wilful way, "This Thatched House must be my home!" and then I set about coaxing Aunt Featherstone into my way of thinking. It was not at all against her will that she completed the purchase at last. Afterwards, however, she liked to think it was so.

In May it was all settled. The house was filled with painters and paper-hangers, and all through the long summer months they kept on making a mess within the walls, and forbidding us to enter and enjoy the place in the full glorious luxuriance of its summer beauty. At last, on driving there one bright evening, I found to my joy that the workmen had decamped, leaving the Thatched House clean and fresh and gay, ready for the reception of us, and our good's and chattels. I sprang in through one of the open dining-room windows, and began waltzing round the floor from sheer delight. Pausing at last for breath, I saw that the old woman who took care of the place, she who had on my first visit opened the shutters for me and jingled her keys, had entered the room while I danced, and was standing watching me from the doorway with a queer expression on her wrinkled face.

"Ah, ha! Nelly," I cried triumphantly, "what do you think of the old house now?"

Nelly shook her gray head, and shot me a weird look out of her small black eyes. Then she folded her arms slowly, and gazed all round the room musingly, while she said:

"Ay, Miss Lucy! wealth can do a deal, but there's things it can't do. All that the band of man may do to make this place wholesome to live in has been done. Dance and see now, pretty lady—now, while you have the heart and courage. The day'll come when you'd as soon think of sleepin' all night on a tombstone as of standin' on this floor alone after sunset."

"Good gracious, Nelly!" I cried, "what do you mean? Is it possible that there is anything—have you heard or seen—"

"I have heard and seen plenty," was Nelly's curt reply.

Just then, a van arriving with the first instalment of our household goods, the old woman vanished; and not another word could I wring that evening from her puckered lips. Her words haunted me, and I went home with my mirth considerably sobered; and dreamed all night of wandering up and down that long dining-room in the dark, and seeing dimly horrible faces grinning at me from the walls. This was only the first shadow of the trouble that came upon us in the Thatched House.

It came by degrees in nods and whispers, and stories told in lowered tones by the fireside at night. The servants got possession of a rumor, and the rumor reached me. I shuddered in silence, and contrived for the {67} first few months to keep it a jealous secret from my unsuspecting aunt. For the house was ours, and Aunt Featherstone was timorous; and the rumor, very horrible, was this—the Thatched House was haunted.

Haunted, it was said, by a footstep, which every night, at a certain hour, went down the principal corridor, distinctly audible as it passed the doors, descended the staircase, traversed the hall, and ceased suddenly at the dining-room door. It was a heavy, unshod foot, and walked rather slowly. All the servants could describe it minutely, though none could avow that they had positively heard it. New editions of this story were constantly coming out, and found immediate circulation. To each of these was added some fresh harrowing sequel, illustrative of the manners and customs of a certain shadowy inhabitant, who was said to have occupied the Thatched House all through the dark days of its past emptiness and desolation, and who resented fiercely the unwelcome advent of us flesh-and-blood intruders. The tradition of this lonely shade was as follows: The builder and first owner of the Thatched House was an elderly man, wealthy, wicked, and feared. He had married a gentle young wife, whose heart had been broken before she consented to give him her hand. He was cruel to her, using her harshly, and leaving her solitary in the lonely house for long winter weeks and months together, till she went mad with brooding over her sorrows, and died a maniac. Goaded with remorse, he had shut up the house and fled the country. Since then different people had fancied the beautiful, romantic old dwelling, and made an attempt to live in it; but they said that the sorrowful lady would not yield up her right to any new-comer. It had been her habit, when alive, to steal down stairs at night, when she could not sleep for weeping, and to walk up and down the dining-room, wringing her hands, till the morning dawned; and now, though her coffin was nailed, and her grave green, and though her tears ought to have been long since blown from her eyes like rain on the wind, still the unhappy spirit would not quit the scene of her former wretchedness, but paced the passage, and trod the stairs, and traversed the hall night after night, as of old. At the dining-room door the step was said to pause; and up and down the dreary chamber a wailing ghost was believed to flit, wringing her hands, till the morning dawned.

It was not till the summer had departed that I learned this story.

As long as the sun shone, and the roses bloomed, and the nightingales sang about the windows till midnight, I tried hard to shut my ears to the memory of old Nelly's hint, and took good care not to mention it to my aunt. If the servants looked mysterious, I would not see them; if they whispered together, it was nothing to me. There was so short a time for the stars to shine between the slow darkening of the blue sky at night and the early quickening of flowers and birds and rosy beams at dawn, that there was literally no space for the accommodation of ghosts. So long as the summer lasted, the Thatched House was a dwelling of sunshine and sweet odors and bright fancies for me. It was different, however, when a wintry sky closed in around us, when solitary leaves dangled upon shivering boughs, and when the winds began to shudder at the windows all through the long dark nights. Then I took fear to my heart, and wished that I had never seen the Thatched House.

Then it was that my ears became gradually open to the dreadful murmurs that were rife in the house; then it was that I learned the story of the weeping lady, and of her footstep on the stairs. Of course I would not believe, though the thumping of my heart, if I chanced to cross a landing, even by twilight, belied the courage of which I boasted. I forbade the servants to hint at such folly as the existence of ghosts, and warned them {68} at their peril not to let a whisper of the kind disturb my aunt. On the latter point I believe they did their best to obey me.

Aunt Featherstone was a dear old, cross, good-natured, crotchety, kind-hearted lady, who was always needing to be coaxed. She considered herself an exceedingly strong-minded person, whereas she was in reality one of the most nervous women I have ever known. I verily believe that, if she had known that story of the footstep, she would have made up her mind to hear it distinctly every night, and would have been found some morning stone-dead in her bed with fear. Therefore, as long as it was possible, I kept the dreadful secret from her ears. This was in reality, however, a much shorter space of time than I had imagined it to be.

About the middle of November Aunt Featherstone noticed that I was beginning to look very pale, to lose my appetite, and to start and tremble at the most commonplace sounds. The truth was that the long nights of terror which passed over my head, in my pretty sleeping-room off the ghost's corridor, were wearing out my health and spirits, and threatening to throw me into a fever; and yet neither sight nor sound of the supernatural had ever disturbed my rest—none worth recording, that is; for of course, in my paroxysms of wakeful fear, I fancied a thousand horrible revelations. Night after night I lay in agony, with my ears distended for the sound of the footstep. Morning after morning I awakened, weary and jaded, after a short, unsatisfying sleep, and resolved that I would confess to my aunt, and implore her to fly from the place at once. But, when seated at the breakfast-table, my heart invariably failed me. I accounted, by the mention of a headache, for my pale cheeks, and kept my secret.

Some weeks passed, and then I in my turn began to observe that Aunt Featherstone had grown exceedingly dull in spirits. "Can any one have told her the secret of the House?" was the question I quickly asked myself. But the servants denied having broken their promise; and I had reason to think that there had been of late much less gossip on the subject than formerly. I was afraid to risk questioning the dear old lady, and so I could only hope and surmise. But I was dull, and Aunt Featherstone was dull, and the Thatched House was dreary. Things went on in this way for some time, and at last a dreadful night arrived. I had been for a long walk during the day; and had gone to bed rather earlier than usual, and fallen asleep quickly. For about two hours I slept, and then I was roused suddenly by a slight sound, like the creaking of a board, just outside my door. With the instinct of fear I started up, and listened intently. A watery moon was shining into my room, revealing the pretty blue-and-white furniture, the pale statuette and the various little dainty ornaments with which I had been pleased to surround myself in this my chosen sanctuary. I sat up shuddering and listened. I pressed my hands tightly over my heart, to try and keep its throbbing from killing me; for distinctly, in the merciless stillness of the winter night, I heard the tread of a stealthy footstep on the passage outside my room. Along the corridor it crept, down the staircase it went, and was lost in the hall below.

I shall never forget the anguish of fear in which I passed the remainder of that wretched night. While cowering into my pillow, I made up my mind to leave the Thatched House as soon as the morning broke, and never to enter it again. I had heard people whose hair had grown gray a single night, of grief or terror. When I glanced in the looking-glass at dawn, I almost expected to see a white head upon my own shoulders.

During the next day I, as usual, failed of courage to speak to my aunt. I desired one of the maids to sleep on the couch in my room, keeping this {69} arrangement a secret. The following night I felt some little comfort from the presence of a second person near me; but the girl soon fell asleep. Lying awake in fearful expectation, I was visited by a repetition of the previous night's horror. I heard the footstep a second time.

I suffered secretly in this way for about a week. I had become so pale and nervous, that I was only like a shadow of my former self. Time hung wretchedly upon my hands. I only prized the day inasmuch as it was a respite from the night; the appearance of twilight coming on at evening, invariably threw me into an ague-fit of shivering. I trembled at a shadow; I screamed at a sudden noise. My aunt groaned over me, and sent for the doctor.

I said to him, "Doctor, I am only a little moped. I have got a bright idea for curing myself. You must prescribe me a schoolfellow."

Hereupon Aunt Featherstone began to ride off on her old hobby about the loneliness, the unhealthiness and total objectionableness of the Thatched House, bewailing her own weakness in having allowed herself to be forced into buying it. She never mentioned the word "haunted," though I afterward knew that at the very time, and for some weeks previously, she had been in full possession of the story of the nightly footstep. The doctor recommended me a complete change of scene; but instead of taking advantage of this, I asked for a companion at the Thatched House.

The prescription I had begged for was written in the shape of a note to Ada Rivers, imploring her to come to me at once. "Do come now," I wrote; "I have a mystery for you to explore. I will tell you about it when we meet." Having said so much, I knew that I should not be disappointed.

Ada Rivers was a tall, robust girl, with the whitest teeth, the purest complexion, and the clearest laugh I have ever met with in the world. To be near her made one fed healthier both in body and mind. She was one of those lively, fearless people who love to meet a morbid horror face to face, and put it to rout. When I wrote to her, "Do come, for I am sick," I was pretty sure she would obey the summons; but when I added, "I have a mystery for you to explore," I was convinced of her compliance beyond the possibility of a doubt.

It wanted just one fortnight of Christmas Day when Ada arrived at the Thatched House. For some little time beforehand, I had busied myself so pleasantly in making preparations, that I had almost forgotten the weeping lady, and had not heard the footstep for two nights. And when, on the first evening of her arrival, Ada stepped into the haunted dining-room in her trim flowing robe of crimson cashmere, with her dark hair bound closely round her comely head, and her bright eyes clear with that frank unwavering light of theirs, I felt as if her wholesome presence had banished dread at once, and that ghosts could surely never harbor in the same house with her free step and genial laugh.

"What is the matter with you?" said Ada, putting her hands on my shoulders, and looking in my face. "You look like a changeling, you little white thing! When shall I get leave to explore your mystery?"

"To-night," I whispered, and, looking round me quickly, shuddered. We were standing on the hearth before the blazing fire, on the very spot where that awful footstep would pass and repass through the long, dark, unhappy hours after our lights had been extinguished, and our heads, laid upon our pillows.

Ada laughed at me and called me a little goose; but I could see that she was wild with curiosity, and eager for bedtime to arrive. I had arranged that we should both occupy my room, in order that, if there was anything to be heard, Ada might hear it. "And now what is all this that I have to learn?" said she, after our door had been fastened for the night, and we sat looking at one another with our dressing-gowns upon our shoulders.

{70}

As I had expected, a long ringing laugh greeted the recital of my doleful tale. "My dear Lucy!" cried Ada, "my poor sick little moped Lucy, you surely don't mean to say that you believe in such vulgar things as ghosts?"

"But I cannot help it," I said. "I have heard the footstep no less than seven times, and the proof of it is that I am ill. If you were to sleep alone in this room every night for a month, you would get sick too."

"Not a bit of it!" said Ada, stoutly; and she sprang up and walked about the chamber, "To think of getting discontented with this pretty room, this exquisite little nest! No, I engage to sleep here every night for a month—alone, if you please—and at the end of that time, I shall not only be still in perfect health, my unromantic self, but I promise to have cured you, you little, absurd, imaginative thing! And now let us get to bed without another word on the subject. 'Talking it over,' in cases of this kind, always does a vast amount of mischief."

Ada always meant what she said. In half an hour we were both in bed, without a further word being spoken on the matter. So strengthened and reassured was I by her strong, happy presence that, wearied out by the excitement of the day, I was quickly fast asleep. It was early next morning when I wakened again, and the red, frosty sun was rising above the trees. When I opened my eyes, the first object they met was Ada, sitting in the window, with her forehead against the pane, and her hands locked in her lap. She was very pale, and her brows were knit in perplexed thought. I had never seen her look so strangely before.

A swift thought struck me. I started up, and cried, "O Ada! forgive me for going to sleep so soon. I know you have heard it."

She unknit her brows, rose from her seat, and came and sat down on the bed beside me. "I cannot deny it." she said gravely; "I have heard it. Now tell me, Lucy, does your aunt know anything of all this?"

"I am not sure," I said; "I cannot be, because I am afraid to ask her. rather think that she has heard some of the stories, and is anxiously trying to hide them from me, little thinking of what I have suffered here. She has been very dull lately, and repines constantly about the purchase of the house."

"Well," said Ada, "we must tell her nothing till we have sifted this matter to the bottom."

"Why, what are you going to do?" I asked, beginning to tremble.

"Nothing very dreadful, little coward!" she said, laughing; "only to follow the ghost if it passes our door to-night; I want to see what stuff it is made of. If it be a genuine spirit, it is time the Thatched House were vacated for its more complete accommodation. If it be flesh and blood, it is time the trick were found out."

I gazed at Ada with feelings of mingled reverence and admiration. It was in vain that I tried to dissuade her from her wild purpose. She bade me hold my tongue, get up and dress and think no more about ghosts till bedtime. I tried to be obedient; and all that day we kept strict silence on the dreadful subject, while our tongues and hands and (seemingly) our heads were kept busily occupied in helping to carry out Aunt Featherstone's thousand-and-one pleasant arrangements for the coming Christmas festivities.

During the morning, it happened that I often caught Ada with her eyes fixed keenly on Aunt Featherstone's face, especially when once or twice the dear old lady sighed profoundly, and the shadow of an unaccountable cloud settled down upon her troubled brows. Ada pondered deeply in the interval of our conversation, though her merry comment and apt suggestion were always ready as usual when occasion seemed to call for them. {71} I noticed also that she made excuses to explore rooms and passages, and found means to observe and exchange words with the servants. Ada's bright eyes were unusually wide open that day. For me, I hung about her like a mute, and dreaded the coming of the night.

Bedtime arrived too quickly; and when we were shut in together in our room, I implored Ada earnestly to give up the wild idea she had spoken of in the morning, and to lock fast the door, and let us try to go to sleep. Such praying, however, was useless. Ada had resolved upon a certain thing to do, and this being the case, Ada was the girl to do it.

We said our prayers, we set the door ajar, we extinguished our light, and we went to bed. An hour we lay awake, and heard nothing to alarm us. Another silent hour went past, and still the sleeping house was undisturbed. I had begun to hope that the night was going to pass by without accident, and had just commenced to doze a little and to wander into a confused dream, when a sudden squeezing of my hand, which lay in Ada's, startled me quickly into consciousness.

I opened my eyes; Ada was sitting erect in the bed, with her face set forward, listening, and her eyes fastened on the door. Half smothered with fear, I raised myself upon my elbow and listened too. Yes, O horror! there it was—the soft, heavy, unshod footstep going down the corridor outside the door. It paused at the top of the staircase, and began slowly descending to the bottom. "Ada!" I whispered, with a gasp. Her hand was damp with fear, and my face was drenched in a cold dew. "In God's name!" she sighed, with a long-drawn breath; and then she crept softly from the bed, threw on her dressing-gown, and went swiftly away out of the already open door.

What I suffered in the next few minutes I could never describe, if I spent the remainder of my life in endeavoring to do so. I remember an interval of stupid horror; while leaning on my elbow in the bed, I gazed with a fearful, fascinated stare at the half-open door beside me. Then, through the silence of the night there came a cry.

It seemed to come struggling up through the flooring from the dining-room underneath. It sounded wild, suppressed, smothered, and was quickly hushed away into stillness again; but a horrible stillness, broken by fitful, confused murmurs. Unable to endure the suspense any longer, I sprang out of bed, rushed down the stairs, and found myself standing in the gray darkness of the winter's night, with rattling teeth, at the door of the haunted dining-room.

"Ada! Ada!" I sobbed out, in my shivering terror, and thrust my hand against the heavy panel. The door opened with me, I staggered in, and saw——a stout white figure sitting bolt upright in an arm-chair, and Ada standing quivering in convulsions of laughter by its side. I fell forward on the floor; but before I fainted quite, I heard a merry voice ringing through the darkness,

"O Lucy! your Aunt Featherstone is the ghost!"

When I recovered my senses, I was lying in bed, with Ada and my aunt both watching by my side. The poor dear old lady had so brooded over the ghost-stories of the house, and so unselfishly denied herself the relief of talking them over with me, that, pressing heavily on her thoughts, they had unsettled her mind in sleep. Constantly ruminating on the terror of that ghostly walk, she had unconsciously risen night after night, and most cleverly accomplished it herself. Comparing dates, I found that she had learned the story of the spirit only a few days before the night on which I had first been terrified by the footstep.

The news of Aunt Featherstone's escapade flew quickly through the house. It caused so many laughs, that the genuine ghosts soon fell into ill repute. The legend of the weeping lady's rambles became divested of its dignity, and grew therefore to be quite harmless. Ada and I laughed over our adventure every night during the rest of her stay, and entered upon our Christmas festivities with right goodwill. I have never forgotten to be grateful to Ada for that good service which she rendered me; and as for Aunt Featherstone, I must own that she never again said one word in disparagement of the Thatched House.




{72}

From the German.

THE RESURRECTION.


  Rise? Yes, with the myriads of the just,
  After short sleep, my dust!
  Life of immortal fire
  Thine from the Almighty Sire!
            Alleluia!

  Sown, to upspring, O joy! in richer bloom,
  The Lord of harvest's tomb
  Gives forth his sheaves within——
  Us, even us, who died in him!
            Alleluia!

  O victory! O dayspring's kindling ray!
  God's everlasting day!
  In the grave's solemn night.
  Slumbering, soon shall thy light
            Wake me to sight.

  As if of visionary dream the end——
  With Jesus to ascend
  Through joy's celestial door——
  Pilgrims of earth no more——
            Our sorrows o'er.

  My Saviour, to the Holiest leading on;
  That we may at the throne,
  In sanctuary free.
  Worship eternally!
            Alleluia!

F. W. P.



{73}

Original


AUBREY DE VERE.

[Footnote 20]


[Footnote 20: Search after Proserpine, and other Poems. London, 1843.

Poems. by Aubrey de Vere. London, 1855.

The Sisters, Inisfail, and other Poems. London, 1861

May Carols. New York: Lawrence Kehoe, 1866.]


Out of the greater breadth and catholicity, so to speak, of our present literary taste, it results that one class of poets is arising among as which has been very rare before our day: those in whom the soul is the predominant force—men who care nothing for popularity, and barely enough for recognition by their peers to make them publish at all—men by nature high-strung and shy, yet tranquil, balanced, and strong; who write, in short, from the spiritual side of things. These could not, in ordinary times, hope for a wide, general favor, and they sailed the nautiluses of literature; dropping from the surface of themselves, equally native to the cooler, deeper waters below. But so strong have been the gales of awakening love of reading, that even these stranger ships, not bound for the ports of popularity, find wind enough to waft them wherever refinement and scholarship care to deal in their rare and choice cargoes.

An extreme of this class is Aubrey de Vere. Naturally not a poet of the people, and still further isolated by holding and eloquently celebrating a faith which incurs certain ostracism from the literature of sectarian bigotry, he is almost unknown in America. Fresh from his works, we are almost at a loss to understand how, in a country not only of so many Catholic leaders, but where there is so much pretension to literary taste, he can be such a stranger. All the usual and more accessible sources are so barren of his biography that we cannot trust ourselves to attempt any sketch of his life. From materials so meagre and of such indifferent authenticity, nothing satisfactory—nothing vivified—can be gathered; and biography that fails in personality is a body without a soul. So we content ourselves with the poet as we see him in his works.

In attempting an analysis of the qualities displayed in these volumes, we find, to begin with, none of the inequalities of those writers who begin quite young, and whose works go comet-like through after years, the youthful nebulosity tailing off from the maturer nucleus, in a long string of promising but not much performing versicles. There is none of the crudeness of journey work, but everywhere thought and gravity. The latter quality indeed is conspicuous. De Vere can be too sarcastic for us to deny him wit, but humor seems to be unknown to him. There is not the ghost of a joke in all his pages. We call this remarkable, because he treats of so very many things. In Thomson's Seasons (even waiving Thomson's nationality) or Paradise Lost—in any one poem—we may not expect humor; but in a miscellany, where every side of a man's mind usually displays itself, it seems odd not to find a trace of sense of the ludicrous. Certainly there is variety enough for it. The range of subjects is perhaps not very great, but the individual poems exhibit almost every shade of style, beginning on the hither side of quaintness and bringing up on the boundaries of the colloquial. {74} An artificial style like that of the Idyls of the King, or the Emersonian dialect ("virtute ac vitiis sapientia crescat"), our author never attempts; his thoughts, as a rule, seem to choose their own channel. He is willing enough to spend pains in making a thought clear, but such grave, antique costuming of ideas he takes no time for. The manner is always kept well in subordination to the matter of what he has to say.

There is a strange versatility in these books in unconsciously adopting peculiarities of other writers. The author himself, in his notes, acknowledged this, or rather detects himself after the fact, in a few instances; but though acute so far, he does not see half. More honest and unconscious imitation there never was, and just as the impression of the archetype rarely rose to a fact of consciousness, so the consequent resemblance seldom amounts to a traceable parallelism. There is no reproduction of passages, but of characteristics. A shade, a turn of phrase, a suggestion, a soupçon, as we read, recalls at once some great writer. The sonnets are full of subtle odors and flavors of Shakespeare, evanescent, intangible, and charming. There are also what the French would call "coincidences of style" with Coleridge, and often, especially in the May Carols, with Tennyson. Both are easily accounted for; the one by kindred tendencies to philosophy, the other by the strong likeness in plan to In Memoriam. But perhaps the most singular of all occurs in the very forcible poem called The Bard Etheil, which bears a curious resemblance to the poet of all poets the very opposite of De Vere—Robert Browning. There is nothing at all like this poem in all our author's works. It stands as saliently alone as a meteoric boulder in a meadow. The subject is an Irish bard, a relic of the bardic days, but a zealous convert to a Christianity of his own, tinged with a wild, ineradicable barbarism, whose outcroppings make the interest of the character. There is all Browning's sharp outline sketching, all his power of handling contradictions of character, yet none of the topsy-turvy words and sentences without which the Great Inversionist would not be himself;—in short, it is Browning with the constitutional gnarl in the grain left out.

Another—a closer parallelism than usual—we find in The Year of Sorrow:

  "The weaver wove till all was dark.
  And long ere morning bent and bowed
  Above his work with fingers stark.
  And made, nor knew he made, a shroud."

The terrible parallel passage in the Song of the Shirt is too familiar to need more than an allusion.

Yet through all these coincidences runs an abundant individuality that proves De Vere to be anything but a wilful or even permissive plagiarist. He is, in simple truth, a great reader, with a mind in such true tune with all things high and refined, that it responds as the accordant string of some delicate instrument echoes a musical note. There needs no better test than this, that mere imitators invariably copy faults, while Mr. De Vere always reproduces excellences.

In point of language, our author inherits an Irishman's full measure of vocabulary. Through a most varied series of metres, his verse is full of ease, fluency, and grace. In rhythm he rises to the rank of an artist. He has passed the first degree—that baccalaureateship of verse-making whose diploma is perfect smoothness and melody; where Tom Moore took a double first, and beyond which so few ever attain. He is one of the maestri, like Tennyson and Swinburne, who know the uses of a discord, and can handle diminished sevenths. His lines are full of subtle shadings, and curious subfelicities of diction, that not every one feels, and few save the devotee to metre (such as we own ourselves to be) pause to analyze and admire. His taste, too, is fastidiously unerring; there is never a swerve beyond the cobweb boundaries of the line of beauty. {75} Sometimes he misses the exact word he wants, but he never halts for want of a good one. The only deficiency arises from his temperament. Where spirit demands to be heard in sound as felt in sense, he uniformly fails. He cannot often make his lines bound and ring like Moore's. In the face of the fiery episodes of Irish history which he deals with in Inisfail, he is too often like one of his own bards on a modern battle-field.

So much for the mere style; the man himself remains. Pre-eminently he is a philosopher—too much of one to be a great poet. Not that any man can be a poet at all without being also a philosopher. Only his philosophy should be to his poetry as a woman's brain to her heart—a suggesting, subordinate element—the "refused" wing of his progress. With him it is just the reverse. Philosophy is the primary fact of his inner life, out of which blossom incidentally his poetry and his patriotism, but whose legitimate and beautiful fruit is his religion. The consequence is, everything is too much a development of high principle, instead of an impulse of deep feeling. He is too right, too reasonable, too well-considered. He has not enough abandon. This one, but final and fatal fault to the highest poetical success, ramifies curiously through everything he writes. The first result is occasionally too much abstractness. There are fetters of thought poetry cannot be graceful in. Her vocation is to lead us among the fostered flowers and whispering groves of the beautiful land, not to go botanizing far up the cold heights, among the snow-growths, whose classification is caviare to the general. There let science climb with her savans. On rare occasions, indeed, the poet may tellingly deal with the naked truths of nature, but it demands the inspiration of a Lysimachus and the glorious contours of a Phryne. Tennyson, in his In Memoriam, has touched with the rarest felicity on the most pregnant problems of natural divinity, without even rippling the smoothness of his verse; De Vere has done the same, with excellent success, in his May Carols; but he tries too often not to fail oftener than we could wish. It must be owned an honorable failure; not of strength, but of grace. His lines lift the weight they grapple with, but he does not interest us in the labor. At the risk of trespassing on time-honored critical demesnes, we differ with that tacit consensus doctorum which suffers sonnets, and some other things, to be as abstract as the author pleases.

Another effect of this over-philosophic temperament, while equally hurtful to his popularity, greatly endears him to the few. It is the pure and elevated tone of all he writes. In this quality he is eminent. He is a mountaineer on the steeps of Parnassus, whose game by instinct never flies to the plains. He lifts ordinary subjects into a seeming of unreality. Things seem to lose outline and glide away from the grasp; as clouds that have form enough when seen from the earth, are shapeless vapor to the aeronaut among them. So, again, the interest fails in comparison with a lower grade of thought. People will buy very indifferent sketches, but care very little for the most accurate bird's-eye view. There is a singular charm in this unlabored, if not unconscious loftiness; but the mass of readers weary, as they do of a lecture on astronomy, from over-tension of unused faculties. What is the difference to a reader whether an author passes beyond his reach by going apart into abstruseness or soaring away into idealism?

We have shown before how the versification suffers. Everywhere reason clogs the wings of rhyme. Our author is for ever putting his Pegasus in harness to the car of some truth or other. A warm human sympathizer, a deep and poetical worshipper, a burning and noble protestant against the woes and wrongs of Ireland, with scholarship, reading, talent, every auspicious omen, he has never fulfilled, and may never fulfil, the promise that is in him. {76} His reason is for ever making clear to his better angels of fancy and feeling the exact boundaries of just thought, which they may not overstep. It robs his philanthropy of human tenderness, his religion of ardor, his patriotism of enthusiasm. His is the calm, trained strength of perfect mental soundness; the fiery contractile thrills, that make of the impassioned man a giant for one grand effort, he seems to do battle with and slay before they can grow into acts. What a combination of qualities goes to the making of a great poet!

The poems now before us range themselves mainly into three grand classes—sonnets, religions poems, and lyrics, etc., on Ireland. There are some noteworthy exceptions, however—as, for example, the excellent poems on Shelley and Coleridge, whom he thoroughly appreciates, the widely known stanzas called The AEolian Harp, and the splendid lines on Delphi—one of his very best efforts. But our purpose lies rather with the poet, as revealed through his works, than with the poems themselves. So we must leave a wide, unnoted margin of miscellaneous pieces, where any reader whom we may succeed in interesting in the beauties of our author may range unprejudiced by our expressions of opinion, and confine ourselves to our true subject—the poet himself, viewed successively in the three great pathways he has opened for himself. We only pause to advise our reader that we make no pretensions to gathering the harvest, but leave golden swathes behind instead of ordinary gleaning.

Sonnets seem to require a peculiar talent. Almost all our best men have written them, and almost all badly, while the small newspaper and periodical craft strand on them daily. Only our deepest and most refined thinkers have written really good ones, and to succeed in them at all, is to join a very limited coterie, where Shakespeare and Milton have but few compeers. When, then, we say that De Vere is the author of some of the best we have in our literature, we justify high expectation.

He is one of the most voluminous of sonnet writers. There are in the books between one hundred and fifty and two hundred. It seems to be his favorite outlet for those briefer, choicer reflections that lose their charm by being amplified for the vulgar comprehension,

  ". . . . As orient essences, diffuse
  On all the liberal airs of low Cashmere,
  Waft their rich faintness far to stolid hinds,
  To whom the rose is but a thorny weed;"

but which, after all, are the trifles that make up the inner life of a soul, and for whose waste, as our author himself says,

  "Nature, trifled with, not loved,
     Will be at last avenged."

It may well be imagined that this is a path peculiarly adapted to our author's contemplative yet versatile mind. He is singularly fitted for this style of composition, which does not demand the least particle of that kind of spirit and impulsive animation in which he is wanting; and accordingly he has written a number of sonnets which will, we think, compare with the very best for eloquence and just thought. Walter Savage Landor—non sordidus auctor—deliberately pronounced the one on Sunrise the finest in the language.

Two others, by which he is probably best known to American readers, appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, one written March, 1860, the other, June 12, 1861, addressed to Charles Eliot Norton, the editor of the North American Review. Both relate to the national struggle, and indicate a somewhat lively interest in our affairs, but otherwise are not remarkable. Much better than these we find the following. It is a good sample besides of the author's general style:

  "Silence and sleep, and midnight's softest gloom,
  Consoling friends of fast declining years,
  Benign assuagers of unfruitful tears,
  Soft-footed heralds of the wished-four tomb!
  Go to your master, Death—the monarch whom
  Ye serve, whose majesty your grace endears.
  And in the awful hollows of his ears
  Murmur, oh! ever murmur: 'Come, O come!'
  Virginal rights have I observed full long,
  And all observance worthy of a bride.
  Then wherefore, Death, dost thou to me is wrong,
  So long estranged to linger from my side?
  Am I not thine? Oh! breathe upon my eyes
  A gentle answer, Death, from thine elysian skies!"

{77}

It is no easy thing to be publicly and yet gracefully sad. Do not we mentally associate an idea of weakness or effeminacy with melancholic writings? Yet here is—we feel it at once—the true sadness we all respect: the unaffected weariness which does not cry out its grief, but sighs because it suffers and is strong.

It is not often that De Vere leaves the lofty pinnacles of thought or the pleasant hills of fancy for sterner fields, but here for once he swoops from his eyrie into the following scathing lines. They are the last of five very spirited sonnets on Colonization, each of which is worth quoting, did but our space permit:

  "England, magnanimous art thou in name;
  Magnanimous in nature once thou wert;
  But that which ofttimes lags behind desert,
  And crowns the dead, as oft survives it—fame.
  Can she whose hand a merchant's pen makes tame,
  Or sneer of nameless scribe—can she whose heart
  In camp or senate still is at the mart,
  A nation's toils, a nation's honors claim?
  Thy shield of old torn Poland twice and thrice
  Invoked; thy help as vainly Ireland asks,
  Pointing with stark, lean linger from the West—
  Of western cliffs plague-stricken, from the West—
  Gray-haired though young. When heat is sucked from ice,
  Then shall a Firm discharge a national task."

This speaks for itself. It sums up the faults of the English nation better in a dozen lines than a congress of vaporers about British tyranny or essayists on perfide Albion could do in a month of mouthings. There is not a weak line or phrase in it, or one that is not auxiliary to the general effect intended. This, in short, is what we call masterly.

There are a score of other sonnets that we would wish to quote in illustration of the refined thought and elegant delicacy of diction which characterize them all; but we are constrained to content ourselves with one also noticed by Landor for its singular felicity and beauty. It is from his first book, page 268:

  "Flowers I would bring. If flowers could make thee fairer.
  And make, if the muse were dear to thee;
  (For loving these would make thee love the bearer.)
  But sweetest songs forget their melody,
  And loveliest flowers would but conceal the wearer:
  A rose I marked, and might have plucked; but she
  Blushed as she bent, imploring me to spare her,
  Nor spoil her beauty by such rivalry.
  Alas! and with what gifts shall I pursue thee.
  What offerings bring, what treasures lay before thee;
  When earth with all her floral train doth woo thee,
  And all old poets and old books adore thee;
  And love to thee is naught; from passionate mood
  Secured by joy's complacent plenitude?"

This poem is remarkable to us as containing one of the few recognitions we have ever seen of that beauty which rises above the province of passion, and strikes a dim awe into admiration. They are not many who can feel it, and few, indeed, who have expressed it. The same thought occurs in another passage referred to by Landor:

  "Men loved; but hope they deemed to be
   A sweet impossibility."

But we have a further reason for preferring this to several equally fine. It is to note what may be another of De Vere's unconscious adaptations. The well-known scholar, Henry of Huntington, addressed to Queen Adelicia of Louvaine some lines which hinge upon the very same turn of thought. The real excellence of the verses emboldens us to subjoin a few of them, that the reader may observe the resemblance:

  "Anglorum regina, tuos, Adeliza, decores
     Ipsa rcferre parans Musa stupore riget.
  Quid diadema tibi, pulcherrima? quid tibi gemma?
    Pallet gemma tibi, nec diadema nitet.
  Ornamenta cave; nec quicquam luminis inde
    Accipis; illa nitent lumine clara tuo . . . ."

We are not sure but the mediaeval poet, having no further idea beyond mere laudation, has rather the better of the complimenting. But then praise to a queen would be flattery to a subject.

Without trying the rather dubious policy of attempting to prove our taste, we think that upon these sonnets alone we could rest De Vere's claim to be a first-class sonnet writer. If it were not a received impossibility, we should be tempted to call him the equal in this respect of Shakespeare. Of course we admit the impossibility.

{78}

Leaving the sonnets, we come to a far more interesting portion of the works before us—the religious poems. As a Christian, our author is indeed admirable. He evinces not only a deep, strong, real, and realizing faith, but much fruitful thought over the mental details, so to speak, and a wonderful comprehension of the theory, theology, and mysteries of the church.

More properly than religious poems, we should speak of poems on religion; for the man's whole life is a religious poem. Scarcely a scrap is not full of his deep Catholicity. Of verses specially and professedly devotional, these volumes contain few, besides the May Carols, save some Poems on Sacred Subjects, which we find below the author's average. Some of them carry abstractness to the verge of vagary. What color of pretence, for instance, has a man for printing (if he must write it), and deliberately inviting the public to read, a copy of verses on the Unity of Abstract Truth? We internally know we are not Wordsworths, but it is very unpleasant to have it made so plain. In shrewd anticipation of any mental queries, we utterly decline saying whether we have read the lines or not. We cannot determine which would be the more to our credit.

But we pass by unnumbered beauties to reach our author's best and most memorable work—May Carols. This is noble alike in design, tone, and execution. The plan is simple—to produce a series of poems in honor of the Blessed Virgin, graduating poetical expositions of her relations to faith according to the progress of her month of May. It is just the topic for him, and the result is the most beautiful development of the entire subject that can be imagined. We have no words for the subtlety and success with which the individualities of Mary and Jesus are wrought out. The man who, without seeking adventitious aid by startling and shocking the habits of Christian thought and Christian reverence, can so draw a portrait of the Saviour, has in this alone deserved the thanks of the ages as a standard-bearer on the march of the hosts of God. These great delineations form the first and main function of the whole work. We cannot set forth his purpose more lucidly than in his own words, as we find them in the preface:

"The wisdom of the church, which consecrates the fleeting seasons of time to the interests of eternity, has dedicated the month of May (the birth-day festival, as it were, of creation) to her who was ever destined in the divine counsels to become the Mother of her Creator. It belongs to her, of course, as she is the representative of the incarnation, and its practical exponent to a world but too apt to forget what it professes to hold. The following poems, written in her honor, are an attempt to set forth, though but in mere outline, each of them some of the great ideas or essential principles embodied in that all-embracing mystery. On a topic so comprehensive, converse statements, at one time illustrating highest excellence compatible with mere creaturely existence, at another, the infinite distance between the chief of earthly creatures and the Creator, may seem, at first sight, and to some eyes, contradictory, although in reality mutually correlative. On an attentive perusal, however, that harmony which exists among the many portions of a single mastering truth can hardly fail to appear, and with it the scope and aim of this poem."

This certainly is aiming high. Not only does the poet include in his plan the moral delineation of her whom the church holds the highest type of created humanity; he scales the heavens themselves. But our author is impious Enceladus crushed beneath his own presumption, but a Jacob wrestling with the angel of the Lord, and rising to the infinite sky in beatific visions. Perhaps we best realize the boldness of the enterprise when we think for how many centuries the praise of the Mother and Son has exhausted thought and imagination of the greatest souls. He is a daring gleaner who follows the fathers of the church over their chosen fields. Yet the May {79} Carols are a sheaf from the same golden foison where Augustine and Aquinas and Chrysostom led the reapers. How fruitful must be the soil!

We have never seen anything to compare with the picture of the Holy Child here presented, unless it be the picture of the Holy Mother. We cannot, in our allotted space, render all the admirable gradations and delicate shadings, but must cull with difficult choice one or two only. One of the first is the

  MATER CHRISTI

  Daily beneath his mother's eyes
    Her lamb maturity his lowliness:
  'Twas hers the lovely sacrifice
    With fillet and with flower to dress.

  Beside his little cross he knelt,
    With human-heavenly lips he prayed;
  His will with in her will she felt,
      And yet his will her will obeyed. . . .

  He willed to lack; he willed to bear;
    He willed by suffering to be schooled;
  He willed the chains of flesh to wear;
    Yet from her arms the world he ruled.

  As tapers 'mid the noontide glow
      With merged yet separate radiance burn,
  With human taste and touch, even so,
    The things he knew he willed to learn.

  He sat beside the lowly door:
    His homeless eyes appeared to trace
  In evening skies remembered lore,
    And shadows of his Father's face.

  One only knew him. She alone
   Who nightly to his cradle crept.
  And lying like the moonbeam prone
   Worshipped her Maker as he slept.

Whoever can read that without admiring it, is a clod: whoever can read it without having his whole idea of Christ's childhood intensely vivified and expanded, must be a St. John or an angel. How beautiful, and, when we look at it, how bold is the epithet "homeless!" How exactly it embodies the longing of his spirit out of its human prison toward the freedom of the heavens! Yet how daringly true to imagine the omnipresent Deity homeless! Again, how acutely the last scene characterizes the tender timidity of Mary's mother-love, and how natural and intensely human the conscious, sweet self-deception which brought her to worship when only the humanity slept, and she seemed separated from her Son and alone with her Creator! But the simile of the taper is perhaps the best touch of all, as being the masterly expression of one of the most subtle and difficult conceptions of the human mind. It must divide the honors of comparison with the concluding lines of the

  MATER SALVATORIS.

  O heart with his in just accord!
    O soul his echo, tone for tone!
  O spirit that heard, and kept his word!
    O countenance moulded like his own!

  Behold, she seemed on earth to dwell;
    But, hid in light, alone she sat
  Beneath the throne ineffable,
    Chanting her clear magnificat.

  Fed from the boundless heart of God,
    The Joy within her rose more high.
  And all her being overflowed,
    Until the awful hour was nigh.

  Then, then there crept her spirit o'er
    The shadow of that pain world-wide,
  Whereof her Son the substance bore;—
    Him offering, half in him she died.

 Standing like that strange moon, whereon
     The mask of earth lies dim and dead,
   An orb of glory, shadow-strewn,
     Yet girdled with a luminous thread.

For originality, and perfect expression of an idea by an image, we know of nothing better in all our range of poetry than those two similes. That last is especially wonderful for its reconditeness. Who would ever think of an annular eclipse of the moon as an illustration of religion? And yet how marvellously well it does illustrate! The first verse of the poem is very poor and strained in its rhythm, and the second not much better in its mysticism, which is rather adapted to the enthusiasm of the middle ages; but the end counterbalances all.

Having thus digressed to the Blessed Virgin, we go on to note in how many lights these poems display her. The idea of her they present is, to an ordinary idea, as the flashing, many-faceted jewel to the rough gem of the mines. Here, for example, the whole poetry of motherhood is pressed into her service in a few dense lines:

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  O Mother-Maid! to none save thee
    Belongs in full a parent's name:
  So faithful thy virginity,
    Thy motherhood so pure from blame!

  All other parents, what are they?
    Thy types. In them thou stood'st rehearsed,
  (As they in bird, and bud, and spray).
    Thine Antitype? The Eternal First!

  Prime Parent He: and next Him thou!
    Overshadowed by the Father's Might,
  Thy 'Fiat' was thy bridal vow;
    Thine offspring He, the "Light of Light."

  Her Son Thou wert: her Son Thou art,
    O Christ! Her substance fed Thy growth:—
  She shaped Thee in her virgin heart,
    Thy Mother and Thy Father both!

Let us pass on from this, without breaking the continuity, to

CONSERVABAT IN CORDE.

  As every change of April sky
    Is imaged in a placid brook,
  Her meditative memory
    Mirrored His every deed and look.

  As suns through summer ether rolled
     Mature each growth the spring has wrought,
  So Love's strong day-star turned to gold
      Her harvests of quiescent thought.

  Her soul was as a vase, and shone
      Translucent to an inner ray;
   Her Maker's finger wrote thereon
     A mystic Bible new each day.

  Deep Heart! In all His sevenfold might
    The Paraclete with thee abode;
  And, sacramented there in light,
    Bore witness of the things of God.

The last verse has a flaw rare in these volumes—a mixture of metaphors. In the first two lines, "heart" is strongly personified, and clearly represents Mary herself. In the third with no intimation whatever, and without a break in the construction of the sentence, the same heart is become a place, and is indicated by "there." We cannot imagine how the author, with his susceptible taste, read it over in the proof-sheets without feeling the jar of the phrases.

So much for the loving side of Mary's character. In depicting her suffering, the poet has even excelled this. The first broad stroke of his picture is

MATER DOLOROSA

  She stood: she sank not. Slowly fell
    Adown the Cross the atoning blood.
  In agony ineffable
    She offered still His own to God.

  No pang of His her bosom spared;
    She felt in Him its several power.
  But she in heart His Priesthood shared:
    She offered Sacrifice that hour. . . .

Beautifully our author hag named the succeeding poem also Mater Dolorosa. The one is the agony of loss, the other the bitterness of bereavement:

  From her He passed: yet still with her
    The endless thought of Him found rest;
  A sad but sacred branch of myrrh
    For ever folded in her breast.

  A Boreal winter void of light—
    So seemed her widowed days forlorn:
She slept; but in her breast all night
    Her heart lay waking till the morn.

  Sad flowers on Calvary that grew;—
    Sad fruits that ripened from the Cross;—
  These were the only joys she knew:
    Yet all but these she counted loss.

  Love strong as Death! She lived through thee
    That mystic life whose every breath
  From Life's low harp-string amorously
      Draws out the sweetened name of Death.

  Love stronger far than Death or Life!
    Thy martyrdom was o'er at last
  Her eyelids drooped; and without strife
    To Him she loved her spirit passed.

For once we can leave the of a poem to the unaided italics with a good grace. To expound the exquisiteness of these lines would be like botanically dissecting a lily. But there is a deeper underlying excellence that may perhaps not suggest itself so irresistibly—the marvellous intuitive delicacy of the whole conception embodied by this poem. Only a truly profound religious feeling could thus happily have characterized the effect of such a sorrow on such a nature. A mere pietist would have painted a sanctified apathy; a merely smart writer would have imbued her with an eagerness for the end of earthly trouble; a man of talent would have made her resigned to death; the man of genius makes her resigned to life. Here is the effortless exactness of true poet.

Two more views, and we can turn from this picture of the Blessed Virgin of the May Carols—one, her human and inferior relation to God; and the other, her human and superior relation to ourselves. To the first point, perhaps the most explicit of the poems is the following, which, also, is a good example of the author s peculiar, sudden manner of turning his broad philosophy into the channel of some forcible application:

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  Not all thy purity, although
    The whitest moon that ever lit
  The peaks of Lebanonian snow
    Shone dusk and dim compared with it;—

  Not that great love of thine, whose beams
    Transcended in their virtuous heat
  Those suns which melt the ice-bound streams,
    And make earth's pulses newly beat:—

  It was not these that from the sky
    Drew down to thee the Eternal Word:
  He looked on thy humility;
    He knew thee, "Handmaid of thy Lord."

  Let no one claim with thee a part;
    Let no one, Mary, name thy name,
  While, aping God, upon his heart
    Pride sits, a demon robed in flame.

  Proud Vices, die! Where Sin has place
    Be Sin's familiar self-disgust.
  Proud Virtues, doubly die; that Grace
    At last may burgeon from your dust.

But the poem which of all most truly, tenderly, and perfectly develops the whole beautiful spiritual dependence of the true Catholic upon the Mother of his God, is the Mater Divinae Gratis, already published in The Catholic World for May, p. 216.

The beauty of this piece has already attracted wide attention. The wonder is that any Catholic could have passed it by. It is a theological treatise in itself. Could all the repositories of divinity furnish a more complete reputation of those cold and narrow organisms (we hesitate to call them hearts) whose breasts would seem to have room for just so much piety, of a prescribed quality and regulation pattern, and who insist that every one we love is a unit in the divisor which assigns to each his portion of that known and limited store, our affection? These people sincerely cannot see how one can love Mary too without loving God less. It is as if a tree could not strike another root without sapping its trunk. Perish this narrowness! How long before these strait-laced souls—the moral progeny of that unhappiest of men, Calvin—will learn to love God as well as believe in him?

There is something very difficult of analysis about the power of these poems. They have none of that dramatic force which consists in skilfully selecting and emphasizing the striking sonnets of the situation. De Vere's strength does not seem to tend toward the outward personality, but rather lies in the direction of the soul and its sensations. When we lay down the May Carols, we do not conceive a whit the more clearly how the Virgin Mary looked; there is no impression to overlie and mar our memories of the great painters' pictures of her. But we cannot read aright without bearing away an expanded comprehension and near, real, vivid insight into her love, her pain, her humility, her deserving, her glory. We so enter in spirit into the scenes of her life as absolutely to lose sight of the surroundings. This kind of power may not be the most broadly effective, but we must admit that it reaches our admiration through our best faculties. Its secret lies in the fact that the author's own ideas both of Christ and his Mother are so complete and exalted. At what advantage, for example, he stands over the author of Ecce Homo, who, it seems, would have us believe Christ in his childhood to have been a Hebrew boy, much like other Hebrew boys, till ill-explained causes metamorphosed a Galilean peasant youth into the most transcendent genius of history! With this cold casuistic theory compare De Vere's picture of the mother lying worshipping by the moonlit cradle of her Son and God. He accepts in their entirety the received ideas of the church, neither varying nor wishing to vary one jot or tittle of the law, but lovingly investing it with all the developments of thought and all the decorations of fancy. No Catholic can help being struck by the singular doctrinal accuracy which pervades without perturbing the whole of this work. The result is a portraiture of the incarnation and the Blessed Virgin, such as an author who could set all the ruggedness of Calvary before our eyes, and make every waving olive-leaf in Gethsemane musically mournful in our souls, could not hope to rival by all the efforts of graphic genius.

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But scarcely less remarkable is the success in the other grand aim of the May Carols—what he himself calls "an attempt at a Christian rendering of external nature." His attempt has brought forth a series of purely descriptive pieces, interspersed at intervals, intended to present the symbolism which the aspect of May's successive phases might offer to the imagination of faith. To cultivate Christianity in the shifting soil of fancy is of itself a bold endeavor; but when the method proposed is by picturing the delicate and evanescent shades of spring's advance, the difficulty can be realized.

How far the author succeeds in this most subtle undertaking of educing the symbolism of May, we must leave to country criticism for final adjudication. We have our opinion; we can discover many sweet emblems; but we cannot analyze or reason out our thoughts satisfactorily. We recognize portraits in the May-gallery, but are not familiar enough with nature's costumes to judge of the historical order. We can exult with the earth in the gladness of the season; we are permeated in a measure, as are all, with the influences of the bluer skies, the softer breezes, the more confident advance of the flowers. But when it comes to reading the succession of the changing clouds, harmonizing the melody of the gales, deciphering the hieroglyphics that spring's myriad fingers write in verdure on the woods and meadows, we feel that ours is but a city acquaintance with May. We have rested too well content with the beauty to think of its moral suggestiveness or significance.

But this we do know, that the author has struck such a vein of descriptive felicity that, according to Dr. Holmes's witty logic, he can afford to write no more description till he dies. There are touches of this here and there in other places, but nothing to promise such little gems of landscape as stud the May Carols. There is an accession of naturalness and a flow of happy phrases as soon as he reaches one of these themes, that is like swimming out of fresh water into salt. Take for instance, this:

  When April's sudden sunset cold
    Through boughs half-clothed with watery sheen
  Bursts on the high, new-cowslipped wold,
    And bathes a world half gold half green,

  Then shakes the illuminated air
    With din of birds; the vales far down
  Grow phosphorescent here and there;
    Forth flash the turrets of the town;

  Along the sky thin vapors scud;
    Bright zephyrs curl the choral main;
  The wild ebullience of the blood
    Rings joy-bells in the heart and brain:

  Yet in that music discords mix;
    The unbalanced lights like meteors play;
  And, tired of splendors that perplex,
    The dazzled spirit sighs for May.

It is a great disadvantage to these beautiful little poems to be thus taken from their frames, thereby losing their emblematic and retaining only their intrinsic beauty. But even so, there are two more which we fearlessly present on the merit of their own unaided charms. Here is the first:

  Brow-bound with myrtle and with gold,
    Spring, sacred now from blasts and blights,
  Lifts in a firm, untrembling hold
    Her chalice of fulfilled delights.

  Confirmed around her queenly lip
    The smile late wavering, on she moves;
  And seems through deepening tides to step
    Of steadier joys and larger loves.

  The stony Ash itself relents,
     Into the blue embrace of May
  Sinking, like old impenitents
     Heart-touched at last; and, far away,

  The long wave yearns along the coast
    With sob suppressed, like that which thrills
  (While o'er the altar mounts the Host)
    Some chapel on the Irish hills.

We scarcely know which to admire most, the precise, clear-cut elegance of the opening personification, the beauty of the third verse, or the melody (how the first line matches the sense!) and admirable comparison in the last one. Only, if the poet had ever waded among the waves of bloom of our western prairies, he would have found a better expression than the awkward one of "deepening tides," which is out of character with the rest.

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But the last one we give is the finest. We had put it in the first rank ourselves before finding that it had also struck the fine ear of Mr. Landor. It is a Claude Lorraine done into verse:

  Pleasant the swarm about the bough;
    The meadow-whisper round the woods;
  And for their coolness pleasant now
    The murmur of the falling floods.

  Pleasant beneath the thorn to lie,
    And let a summer fancy loose;
  To hear the cuckoo's double cry;
    To make the noon-tide sloth's excuse.

  Panting, but pleased, the cattle stand
    Knee-deep in water-weed and sedge,
  And scarcely crop the greener band
    Of osiers round the river's edge.

  But hark! Far off the south wind sweeps
    The golden-foliaged groves among,
  Renewed or lulled, with rests and leaps—
    Ah! how it makes the spirit long

  To drop its earthly weight, and drift
    Like yon white cloud, on pinions free,
  Beyond that mountain's purple rift,
    And o'er that scintillating sea!

We do not think we can say anything that will add to this.

There are two very noticeable faults of detail in the May Carols. One is the great occasional looseness of rhyme. We are no lover even of the so-called rhymes to the eye—words ending, but not pronounced alike—but when there is no similarity of sound at all, we emphatically demur. Here are some, taken at random, of the numberless false rhymes which disfigure these poems: "Hills—swells;" "height—infinite;" "best—least" (these last two in one short piece of sixteen lines); "buds—multitudes;" "repose—coos;" "flower—more;" "pierce—universe," etc. Now such as these are utterly indefensible. The different sounds of the same vowel are as different among themselves as from any other sounds, and there is no sense in taking advantage of the accident that they are represented by the same letter to cheat the ear and plead the poverty of the alphabet. In a man who labored for words, we could condone a roughness here and there; but in a writer of De Vere's fluency there is no excuse for such gross carelessness.

We observe also at intervals a kind of baldness of expression—a ruggedness and disregard of beauty in uttering ideas—that is unpleasant. We think, with a learned friend who first drew our attention to it, that this comes of the authors anxiety and determination to be clear. The lines seem like men trained down to fighting-weight—all strength and no contour. No doubt the high and difficult ideas to be rendered (for it is never seen in the descriptive interludes) constitute ample cause for this fault; but yet, in noticing the whole, we are constrained to note it as a blemish.

It remains to speak of the author's poems on Ireland. Here it is evident that he feels warmly as the chief organizer himself; and yet nothing can be further from to-day's Fenianism than the tone of his writings. Irish they are to the core—as animated as the best in proclaiming the wrongs of Ireland and the misrule of the invaders—but from the same premises somehow he seems to draw a different conclusion. This is to our author one of those near and dear subjects which are elements in a man's inner life: he has published another volume [Footnote 21] upon it, and a large portion of his poems turn on it. Most of the best among his single poems—The Irish Celt to the Irish Norman, the Ode to Ireland, the beautiful Year of Sorrow, and others—are either too long or too close-woven for quotation. Another able one is The Sisters, which is full of beautiful thoughts, independent of the Irish bearing.

[Footnote 21: English Misrule and Irish Misdeeds. London, 1848.]

But the most prominent and elaborate of these poems is Inisfail, or Ireland in the Olden Time—a chronological series of odes, songs, and all manner of remarks in rhyme, illustrative of Ireland's history and the feeling of her people, through the various epochs of her national and denationalized life. There is more historical research, more talent, and more time buried to waste in this poem, than would make ten ordinary shallow reputations. The author shows a thorough and a vitalized knowledge of Irish history, and he penetrates well and nobly the {84} succession of popular sentiment; nay, he has done a more difficult thing still—he has caught much of the spirit of bardic verse. Only our very decided and deliberate opinion is, that the spirit of bardic verse is extremely like the gorilla—very hard to catch, and not particularly beautiful when caught. We have read, we are fairly sure, the better part of the English-Irish poetry that has attained any note—that class of which Clarence Mangan stands at the head, and are very much grieved and dissatisfied with it. Wherever the Gaelic ode-form is adopted, or the Gaelic symbolism—the Roisin Dhu, Silk of the Kine, etc.—we cannot help wishing it absent. Whatever has pleased us in poems of this sort would have pleased as well or better in another guise; whatever has fatigued or offended, has generally done so on account of its Gaelic form. From weary experience, we have reached the firm conclusion that the Gaelic style is peculiarly adapted to the Erse tongue, and we earnestly hope that future twangings of the harp that hung in Tara's halls may be either in the aforesaid dialect, or else, like Moore's Irish Melodies (and does any one wish for anything more nobly Irish?), consonant in style with the spirit of the language they are written in. The best talent devoted to grafting Gaelic blossoms on English stems has only served to show them essentially uncongenial. Every attempt of this kind reads like a translation from Erse into English, and, like all translations, hints in every turn of the superiority of the original. And, speaking disinterestedly (we are, as it happens, neither Gael nor Sassenach), we scarcely think any translator likely to swim in waters where Clarence Mangan barely floated.

Thus we admire much of Inisfail for the wonderful adaptiveness which revivifies for us the dead feelings of dead generations, while at the same time we cannot thoroughly like nor enjoy it. There is great artistic taste throughout, but the poetical merit, as indeed might be expected, Appears to us to be greatest in the delineations from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century—neither too far nor too near in point of time. The outlawry times elicit some fine lines: in fact, violation of law seems always to bring our author out at his best. Of the earlier poems, perhaps the best are The Malison and The Faithful Norman. These are of the first, or pure Irish period. The next, or Irish-Norman epoch, is full of the best and the worst of our author's verse. Of The Bard Ethell we have spoken before. The Bier that Conquered is a striking poem, as are also the quaint, rambling, suggestive lines called The Wedding of the Clans. Amid several long, fierce, and highly Gaelic exultations over battles, chiefs, and things in general, we find a noble poem. The Bishop of Ross, which we really regret we cannot quote here. Just before it, however, is one of the best which we may have space for:

KING CHARLES'S "GRACES."

A.D. 1626

  "Thus babble the strong ones, 'The chain is slackened!
      Ye can turn half round on your sides to sleep!
  With the thunderbolt still your isle is blackened,
      But it hurls no bolt upon tower or steep.
  We are slaves in name! Old laws proscribed you;
      But the king is kindly, the Queen is fair.
  They are knaves or fools who would goad or bribe you
      A legal freedom to claim. Beware!'

II.

  "We answer and thus: Our country's honor
      To us is dear as our country's life!
  That stigma the bad law casts upon her
      Is the brand on the fame of a blameless wife
  Once more we answer: From honor never
      Can safety long time be found apart;
  The bondsman that vows not his bond to sever,
      Is a slave by right, and a slave in heart!"

There is the true ring about this—strength and spirit both. Close by it is another—the only one of the odes we like—The Suppression of the Faith in Ulster, which is of the same calibre.

The last book (there are three) is full of beauty as the style grows modern. But we have cited so much that is beautiful, that we prefer quoting one of the few but forcible instances where our most Christian poet gives vent to his very considerable powers of sarcasm:

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GOOD-HEARTED.

      "The young lord betrayed an orphan maid—
       The young lord soft-natured and easy:
  The man was 'good-hearted,' the neighbors said;
  Flung meat to his dogs; to the poor flung bread.
  His father stood laughing when Drogheda bled;
      He hated a conscience queasy!

II.

      "A widow met him, dark trees o'erhead,
      Her child and the man just parted—
  When home she walked her knife it was red;
  Swiftly she walked, and muttered, and said,
        'The blood rushed fast from a fount full-fed!
        Ay, the young lord was right "good-hearted!"'

III.

      "When morning wan its first beam shed.
      It fell on a corpse yet wanner;
  The great-hearted dogs the young lord had fed
  Watched, one at the feet and one at the head—
  But their months with a blood-pool hard by were red;
      They loved—in the young lord's manner."

There is something about the fierce bitterness here that strongly reminds one of Tennyson's poem of The Sisters, with its weird line—

"Oh! the Earl was fair to see!"

From several of very nearly the same purport, we select the following, influenced to choose it, as we own, by the wonderful flow of its measure, as well as its truly Irish beauty. There is a kind of peculiar richness of diction that no other nation on earth ever attains. Every reader of Tom Moore will know what we mean, and recognize a kindred spirit in

  SEMPER RADEM

  "The moon, freshly risen from the bosom of ocean,
      Hangs o'er it suspended, all mournful yet bright;
  And a yellow sea-circle with yearning emotion
      Swells up as to meet it, and clings to its light.
  The orb, unabiding, grows whiter, mounts higher;
      The pathos of darkness descends on the brine—
  O Erin! the North drew its light from thy pyre;
      Thy light woke the nations; the embers were thine.

II.

      "'Tis sunrise! The mountains flash forth, and, new-reddened,
      The billows grow lustrous so lately forlorn;
  From the orient with vapors long darkened and deadened.
      The trumpets of Godhead are pealing the morn:
  He rises, the sun, in his might reascending;
      Like an altar beneath him lies blazing the sea!
  O Erin! who proved thee returns to thee, blending
      The future and past in one garland for thee!"

But what we regard as really the finest poem in Inisfail is an apparent, perhaps a real, exception to our rule above stated, that whatever of this poetry pleases us would please as well if divested of its Gaelic form. The charm of this lies in its being so essentially Irish in conception. It is just such an original, bold, wild inspiration as no other body than an Irish clan could without incongruity be made to feel. There is more intense Irishness (what other word will express it?) in it than in all the poems—ay, and half the poets—of this century. We give it with the author's own explanation prefixed:

THE PHANTOM FUNERAL.

"James Fitz-Garret, son of the great Earl of Desmond, had been sent to England, when a child, as a hostage, and was for seventeen years kept a prisoner in the Tower, and educated in the Queen's religion. James Fitz-Thomas, the 'Sugane Earl,' having meantime assumed the title and prerogatives of Earl of Desmond, the Queen sent her captive to Ireland, attended by persons devoted to her, and provided with a conditional patent for his restoration .... As the young earl walked to church, it was with difficulty that a guard of English soldiers could keep a path open for him. From street and window and housetop every voice urged him to fidelity to his ancestral faith. The youth, who did not even understand the language in which he was adjured, went on to the Queen's church, as it was called; and with loud cries his clan rushed away and abandoned his standard for ever. Shortly afterward he returned to England, where, within a few months, he died.

  Strew the bed and strew the bier
      (Who rests upon it was never man)
  With all that a little child holds dear,
      With violets blue and violets wan.

  Strew the bed and strew the bier
      With the berries that redden thy shores, Corann;
  His lip was the berry, his skin was clear
      As the waxen blossom—he ne'er was man.

  Far off he sleeps, yet we mourn him here;
      Their tale was a falsehood; he ne'er was man!
  'Tis a phantom funeral! Strew the bier
      With white lilies brushed by the floating swan.

  They lie who say that the false queen caught him
      A child asleep on the mountains wide;
  A captive reared him, a strange faith taught him;—
      'Twas for no strange faith that his father died!

  They lie who say that the child returned
      A man unmanned to his towers of pride;
  That his people with curses the false Earl spurned:
      Woe, woe, Kilmallock! they lie, and lied!

  The clan was wroth at an ill report.
      But now the thunder-cloud melts in tears.
  The child that was motherless played. "'Twas sport."
      A child must sport in his childish years!

  Ululah! Ululah! Low, sing low!
      The women of Desmond loved well that child!
  Our lamb was lost in the winter snow;
      Long years we sought him in wood and wild.

  How many a babe of Fitzgerald's blood
      In hut was fostered though born in hall!
  The old stock burgeoned the fair new bud,
      The old land welcomed them, each and all!
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  Glynn weeps to-day by the Shannon's tide,
      And Shanid and she that frowns o'er Deal;
  There is woe by the Laune and the Carra's side,
      And where the knight dwells by the woody Feale.

  In Dingle and Beara they chant his dirge:
      Far off he faded—our child—sing low!
  We have made him a bed by the ocean's surge,
      We have made him a bier on the mountain's brow.

  The clan was bereft! the old walls they left;
      With cries they rushed to the mountains drear.
  But now great sorrow their heart has cleft;—
      See, one by one they are drawing near!

  Ululah! Ululah! Low, sing low!
      The flakes fall fast on the little bier;—
  The yew-branch and eagle-plume over them throw!
      The last of the Desmond chiefs lies here."

We close, far from completing our sketch of the poet. We have not exhausted the volumes before us, and they do not exhaust their author. De Vere has written several other books, mostly of early date—from 1843 to 1850—which one must read to know him entirely. But we are very sure that those who will read the books from which we have drawn our illustrations will read all. There are few authors who grow so upon the reader. Somehow the force and beauty of the thoughts do not impress at first. We think the rationale of the process is that we mostly begin by reading three parts of sound to one of sense. After the melody comes the harmony; gradually, on after-reading, the glitter of the words ceases to dazzle, and then, if ever, we commune mind to mind with the author. This is as rare with modern readers as a hand-to hand bayonet fight in modern battles. Now Aubrey de Vere writes a great deal of thought so very quietly, that we miss the cackling which even talent nowadays is apt to indulge in on laying any supposed golden eggs of wisdom. Hence we have some singular opinions about him. One finds him cold and impassible; another votes him a sort of gentlemanly Fenian visionary, while a third devotes a column of one of our best hypercritical periodicals to viewing him as a mere love-poet. These are all windfall opinions, which had been better ripening on the tree. The grace, the rhythm, and, above all, the stern ascendency of truthful exactness over inaccurate felicities of expression, strike one constantly more and more. We have ourselves passed through these phases of opinion, besides several others; but every day fortifies our final conviction. It is, that Aubrey de Vere is one of those true poets whom the few love well; who will always have admirers, never popularity; and who must wait for his full fame until that distant but coming day when blind, deep movements of unity shall thrill the sects of Christendom, and bigotry no longer veil from the gifted and appreciative the merits of the first Catholic poet of to-day.




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From The Lamp.



UNCONVICTED;
OR, OLD THORNELEY'S HEIRS.


CHAPTER X.

UNCONVICTED!


Up to the time when James Ball entered the witness-box, the whole case had been dead against the prisoner. Even the grave doubts which the cross-examination raised about the housekeeper's veracity had passed unsubstantiated by any further evidence or proof; and the cook's story of the footstep on the stairs died out of all reckoning in the modicum of balance left in favor of the accused man when Davis, the chemist, had closed his evidence. But when his luckless assistant got down, after making such astounding admissions, we breathed again, and hopes that had been trampled under foot rose once more with renewed buoyancy. The rigid face of Serjeant Donaldson relaxed into anxious gravity, and the frank, genial countenance of Mr. Forster—Hugh Atherton's contemporary, and at whose side he had fought many a legal battle—shook off its cloud as he sat down and conferred with his senior colleague; whilst I heard a deep sigh of relief burst from Merrivale as he uttered, "Thank God, we have got over that rock!"

Then Donaldson rose. I think I hear and see him still, that grey-headed serjeant, with his rugged Scotch features lighted up by all the earnestness of his will, all the acute intelligence of his mind, as he turned to the jury, and in a voice tremulous with emotion, though it failed not to set forth the firmness of his purpose, and the honest conviction of his soul, opened his defence of Hugh Atherton.

"Though standing at this bar," said Serjeant Donaldson, "with a heavy cloud of accusation overshadowing his hitherto stainless name, though branded by public opinion with the foul epithet of murderer, I can still call Mr. Atherton 'my friend' without a flush of shame; I can yet take him by the hand and feel proud to hail him brother by profession, companion in the same vocation. If," said the Serjeant, raising his voice and looking boldly around him, "the last witness had never been placed before you and made the remarkable revelation which you have all heard, I would still indorse what I have just said, and assert to you, my lords and gentlemen of the jury, my deep and heartfelt conviction of the innocence of the prisoner. But I have other and better grounds upon which to plead before you to-day—the only grounds upon which you can legally and conscientiously find a verdict."

He then proceeded to review the evidence, pulling it to pieces, and cutting right and left into every deposition, showing up the flaws, attacking sans ménagement the character and veracity of the witnesses, dealing blows with no gentle hand on every side, and evidently lashing "his learned friend the Solicitor-General" into a state of suppressed fury; the whole drift and gist of his argument going to prove that, unless the fact of the prisoner's visit to the chemist's shop in Vero street did, to the minds of the jury, involve as a necessary consequence his purchasing the paper of strychnine, that also being satisfactorily established by conclusive {88} evidence, no verdict against the prisoner could be found. On the other hand, the last witness has positively declared that the strychnine had been purchased under false pretences by a female, and that on the following day hush-money had been sent to and received by James Ball not to identify that woman who bought the poison. Further, he should presently call a witness who would corroborate all that had been disclosed by James Ball—one whom he, Ball, had evidently considered as effectually silenced; one who, though but a boy, had given a very steady, consistent, and lucid account of what had transpired on the evening of the 23d and on the following day. After commenting further upon this, and touching pointedly upon the curious coincidence of my rencontre with the woman in Vere street and the visit of the woman to the chemist's shop, he wound up his address: "There has been question today, gentlemen, of one whose name should never have been dragged before your notice, but who, in her agonized wish of doing her feeble part in clearing him, her betrothed husband, from the foul charge laid on him, has besought us, who are engaged in his defence, not to spare her, not to deprive her of taking her share in the testimony we shall bring forward in his favor. Gentlemen, this noble-minded girl. Miss Ada Leslie, will tell you in what terms the prisoner at the bar used to speak of his deceased uncle—the only guardian and father whom he ever remembers—in that intimate communion which exists between a man and the woman whom he is going to make part of himself. I need add no more. Providence has shaken from under your feet the only ground upon which you could condemn Mr. Atherton; Providence has, to my mind, pointed out the road along which further inquiries into this most heinous and wicked murder can be pursued. The same almighty and just God will enlighten your understandings and bring your minds to a righteous conclusion upon the case before you. But, gentlemen, although as I said at first starting, we have better grounds than those of private conviction upon which to urge the prisoner's innocence—viz., those of proof and evidence—still I cannot but think you all feel with me that, as you look at him standing there, as you remember the tones of his voice, so familiar to us in this court, urging upon us the arguments of a powerful mind, thoroughly healthy in its moral tone, and the pleadings dictated by a heart whose impulses were intrinsically generous and humane, whose guileless soul—and I crave his pardon for uttering these words in his presence—shone out of his honest eyes, and whose blameless life was openly known to all and clear as the noonday—I think, if the evidence had been other than it was, or than that which you are going to hear will be, you would still be ready to exclaim, 'That man cannot be guilty of the crime imputed to him; who is innocent if he is proved guilty?"

I had no idea that Ada would be in court, far less give evidence; and I concluded she had not mentioned it to me lest I should object or be distresses on her account. The sensation was tremendous in court when she entered the witness-box, accompanied by her mother. The latter's agitation whether affected or real, seemed very great, and the frequent application of her handkerchief to her eyes betrayed she was crying. How Ada had got her there at all was a wonder; how she remained silent when there, was a greater marvel. Can I ever forget her as she stood there, that tall slender girl, with her pale colorless face of calm and high resolve, the dark shadows beneath those eyes that looked as if now they never slept, but with the steadfast light of deep, devoted affection shining in them as they fell upon Hugh; her whole figure quivering with emotion, and her clasped hands leaning upon the table before her? One look at Hugh, and then she returned to the Lord Chief-Justice. I saw the {89} undisguised rush of sympathy and of interest flash across his countenance as his gaze met hers; and he leaned towards her with the courteous attention of the innate gentleman that he was.

"My lord," she began, in tones that at first were scarcely audible, though peculiarly sweet, but which rose and deepened as she went on, "I have come here because there is something I wish to say to you, although I know you think he is innocent; but still I had best say it. For many months past I have known every thought of his heart; there has been no secret kept back from me. My lord, he loved that poor murdered man very tenderly, even as he would have loved his father had he lived, and he never spoke of him but with kindness and affection. It was only on the very day it happened that he was talking with me of the future. We were to have been man and wife—oh, I trust in God we shall still be!—and that day he, my Hugh, said how he was looking forward to the time when we should have a home of our own, and he could win his uncle away sometimes from his solitary life, and make him come to us. Do you think," she said, turning with passionate suddenness to the jury,—"do you think he could say that to me and an hour afterwards kill the old man? do you think that of him who never bore an unkindly thought even to a dumb animal?"

And then her womanly timidity seemed to come back, or physical excitement overpower her; and when Mr. Frost, a young and rather conceited-looking man, rose with a view doubtless to cross-question her, the Solicitor-General waved him back, for she had sunk on the chair placed for her.

Then I heard, and hearing it my heart seemed like to break, a heavy groan burst from the prisoner's lips—the first sign of deep emotion that had escaped him during those long weary hours of suffering and suspense; and I law him stretch out his arms toward her with a wild movement of unutterable love. Thank God, she neither saw nor heard! Merrivale hastened to her, and with her mother led her out of the court.

Jacob Mullins was then called by Serjeant Donaldson.

He said: "I am sixteen years of age, and have lived two years with Mr. Davis, chemist in Vere street, as errand-boy. I take the medicines home when made up, and make myself generally useful in the shop. I never serve over the counter. I clean the pestles, mortars, and all vessels used, but I never serve out medicines. I quite well remember the evening of the 23d. I was sitting at the far end of the shop behind the counter, polishing a brass mortar. I could see who came into the shop, because where I sat was opposite the flap of the counter, and I looked through each time any one came in. I wasn't very busy that evening. I remember a tall gentleman coming in and asking for some spirits of camphor. Master served him; Mr. Ball was in the shop. I suppose it was about eight o'clock or thereabouts. I never take much count of time, except when I have to hurry. He didn't buy anything else. I am quite sure of it; I could swear it. I was listening all the time. He was a very tall gentleman. I think it was the prisoner at the bar; he was like him, but he had his hat on."

Baron Watson: "Let the prisoner put on a hat."

Witness: "Yes, that is the gentleman. I could swear it is the same."

Serjeant Donaldson: "What happened next?"

Witness: "A few minutes after the gentleman went out, a lady came in. I did not see her face. She had on a thick veil. She asked for a grain of strychnine. My master was out of the shop. Mr. Ball said to her, 'That's poison; I daren't give it you.' 'Oh,' says she, 'it's all right. It's for my husband to try on a dog. He's a doctor.' 'A doctor!' says Mr. Ball; 'where does he live?' {90} 'Just round the corner—Mr. Grainger, at the top of Vere street 'All right,' says, Mr. Ball; and goes to the drawer where the poisons are kept, and unlocks it, and I see him weigh it out and put it up.' 'How much?' say a she; 'A shilling,' says he; 'and I shall come round presently and see if it's all right.' 'Very well,' says she; 'come now if you like.' 'No, by-and-by,' says Mr. Ball, 'when the master's back.' On that she went out. I couldn't swear to her, nor to what she wore. I never notices ladies' togs. She had a veil on—that's all I know. I went home soon after nine that evening. Mr. Ball sleeps in the house. The next day we heard that old Mr. Thorneley of Wimpole street had been poisoned by strychnine; and then, that the poison had been bought at our shop. Everybody was talking of it who came in. I went up to Mr. Ball when we were alone in the shop at dinner-time, and says I, 'It's along of that strychnine that was bought last night here. I guess, as the murder's been done.' 'Hold your confounded tongue.' says he, 'or we shall get into a precious mess.' He jaws awful at me sometimes, and I'm afraid of him; so I said no more and kept aloof from him, for he looked terrible black all the afternoon. At five o'clock the postman brought in a letter for Mr. Ball. He was in the parlor having his tea. I called out there was a letter for him, and he came into the shop. I saw him open the letter and take out a banknote. 'My eyes!' says I, 'you're in luck to-day, Mr. Ball.' He was reading the letter. With that, he turned on me as fierce and red as a turkey-cock. 'You young viper,' says he, 'if you go blabbing about my affairs I'll get you discharged as sure as I am standing here!' I thought he'd have killed me. Why haven't I told this before? Because nobody's asked, and because I have been frightened of him. He's given me money several times lately, and mother's been ill, and—" (Here the witness broke down and began to cry.) It was no use the gentleman (the Solicitor-General, who was cross-questioning him) trying to bully him. He'd told the truth; it was true as gospel. He'd take his oath any day. He could and did swear to it all. Nobody had given him a farthing except Mr. Ball. He'd only told this to a gentleman a few days back who had spoken to him and then served a paper on him to appear to-day. The gentleman had told him afterwards he was a detective officer.

This was the pith of what Jacob Mullins deposed. In vain did the Solicitor-General try to badger and browbeat him; he stuck like a limpet to the same story. Confronted with James Ball, only the same results produced. Serjeant Donaldson, at Merrivale's whispered instigation, tried to bring out of them both a clearer identification of the person who had bought the strychnine, but in vain. Only Mullins, in reply to a query as to whether she spoke like a foreigner, said he couldn't just exactly tell, but she seem to talk rather funny. Confronted at the prisoner's request with Mrs. Haag, became confused, and said he didn't think it was the lady; it might be and it mightn't; was sure he never could point her out for certain. But although the person who did buy the strychnine had not been identified, the fact that Hugh Atherton did not buy it was satisfactorily proved, and that was matter for the deepest thankfulness.

The two detective officers Keene and Jones were next examined. To what is already known the following was added: Ten years ago a man of the name of Bradley had been convicted at the Old Bailey of burglary at Mr. Thorneley's house in the City, and sentenced to fourteen years' penal servitude. Inspector Keene had been employed in the case, and had been helped principally by anonymous letters, giving information which had led to the detection of the burglar. Bradley on being captured had hinted that he knew to whom he was indebted for {91} his apprehension. Thinking to ferret out some accomplice, Inspector Keene had shown him one of the anonymous communications received, and he had immediately identified the handwriting as his wife's. He then confided to Inspector Keene that she was a foreigner, a Belgian by birth; that he had married her at Plymouth, and separated from her two years after; that she was in domestic service—but where and in what capacity he would not divulge. Either fear of or affection for her seemed to be greatly influencing his mind. This same Bradley had made his escape from the penal settlement in Australia during the spring of the present year, and had been seen and recognized by Detective Jones in a small public-house in Blue-Anchor Lane, known as one of the worst haunts of bad characters in the metropolis. But unable with safety to take him into custody on the night in question, the police had lost sight of him since, up to the present time. Putting two and two together, Inspector Keene had last week travelled down to Plymouth, searched the parochial registers, found and obtained the certified copy of marriage between Robert Bradley and Maria Haag which Serjeant Donaldson had handed in to their lordships. Further, Detective Jones stated, as a corroboration of what I had already related in my evidence, that this Bradley, or O'Brian, as he now called himself, was in close communication with a man of the name of De Vos, alias Sullivan, who again was in communication with Mr. Lister Wilmot; this same De Vos, or Sullivan, having formerly been in prison for embezzlement, and was now under suspicion of uttering false coin. The full relation of the conversation between De Vos and O'Brian on the night of our visit to "Noah's Ark" was not without its effect upon judges and jury.

Both the Chief-Justice and Baron Watson put repeated questions to Jones; and the Solicitor-General quite surpassed himself in his endeavors to browbeat both him and Inspector Keene. All to no purpose. Nor could that learned gentleman in his final address, after the case for the defence was closed, at that supreme moment which English law gives to the prosecutor to the crushing of all hopes raised by the evidence and appeal of the prisoner—not then could he remove the impression made on all minds that a mystery hitherto unpenetrated lay beneath the last evidence adduced.

The Lord Chief-Justice summed up. He said that, to convict a man of murder by poison, evidence must be adduced to prove that the poison was administered by the person accused; that the points of the case before them were these: The murdered gentleman, Mr. Thorneley, had on the evening of the 23d of October last received a visit from his two nephews, Mr. Lister Wilmot, and Mr. Philip Hugh Atherton, the prisoner at the bar; that a dispute had occurred between the three, relative to advancing money by the deceased to Mr. Wilmot; that the brunt of Mr. Thorneley's anger had fallen, strange to say, and from some unknown cause, upon the prisoner; that the prisoner had retaliated, and used words of threatening import, implying that the deceased would repent on the morrow what he had said that night; that at nine o'clock the housekeeper brought in the usual refreshment of which Mr. Thorneley partook at that hour—bitter ale and hard biscuits. The prisoner at the bar went to the table, poured out the ale into a glass, and handed it to his uncle. Soon after the nephews, one after the other, took leave of him and went away. Mr. Thorneley retired to rest that night about ten o'clock, without having any further communication with his household. In the morning he was found dead in his bed. On medical evidence he is proved to have been poisoned by strychnine, and strychnine is found in the few drops of bitter ale left in the tumbler out of which the deceased had drunk on the {92} previous evening. In the ale remaining in the bottle no strychnine is found. Now here arises a question and a doubt. Was there, or was there not, any ale poured out in the glass before it was brought up into Mr. Thorneley's study? The prisoner in his statement before the magistrates, and before the coroner, distinctly says there was; the housekeeper swears there was not. Is the housekeeper's evidence to be relied on? Much had been adduced that day which tended to show that at least it was doubtful. The Chief-Justice commented at length upon the evidence of the two detectives, and then said:

"The suspicions, however, of the police were directed to Mr. Hugh Atherton; and the evidence had shown that he was met coming out of a chemist's shop in Vere street on the evening of the murder, and before visiting his uncle; that upon being taken into custody the next day, an empty paper, labelled Strychnine, and bearing the name of Davis, chemist, Vere street, was found in the pocket of the overcoat which he had worn on his visit to Wimpole street. On the other hand, both James Ball, the chemist's assistant, and Jacob Mullins, the errand-boy, had sworn that the grain of strychnine entered as sold on the 23d was purchased by a female on false pretenses. Both likewise swore that the prisoner did not purchase any strychnine, but only the bottle of camphorated spirits found on his table. Then, again, James Ball had owned to receiving a letter containing hush-money, and a caution not to identify the person who had bought the poison. How, then, did the paper labelled 'strychnine' get into the prisoner's pocket? He declares he knows nothing of it; and on that point there is no further evidence. There was another mystery also which in his, the judge's, mind bore very direct influence upon the case in question; and that was the assertion of Mr. John Kavanagh that he had made and executed a will for the deceased gentleman on the night of his death, leaving the bulk of his property to a hitherto unknown and unrecognized son, which son and heir had been found under peculiar and difficult circumstances—a living confirmation of the truth of Mr. Kavanagh's statement. The question of this will was not for the present jury to consider; but simply they were to bear in mind the circumstances under which it was made, the disclosures attendant, and, above all, the fact that whereas this last will, conferring a handsome income on the prisoner at the bar, remained a buried secret from everybody, the prisoner included, save the lawyer who made it under solemn promise of silence, the other will, bequeathing a mere nominal sum to the prisoner, and cutting off with a shilling the rightful heir, namely, Mr. Thorneley's son, was lodged with the deceased's family lawyers, produced, read, and acted upon by them and the sole residuary legatee, Mr. Wilmot. This was to be considered vis-à-vis with the motive by which the prisoner at the bar was implied to have been influenced to the commission of the crime charged against him." The Chief-Justice concluded, after many more comments, by saying that, although every one must have been touched by the appearance and words of the first witness heard in the defence, yet that, as far as evidence went, they must not be allowed to weigh with any value. The one great question, deduced from all that had gone before, which the jury had to consider was, whether the prisoner at the bar had or had not purchased the strychnine in question, had or had not introduced it into the glass of bitter ale handed by him to the deceased, Mr. Thorneley. And he prayed the God of light, and truth, and justice to enlighten their minds and guide them to a right conclusion.

I have but faintly portrayed the clear, lucid manner in which that able judge summed up the evidence, or the deep feeling expressed in every tone of his voice. Cautious and prudent {93} to a degree as he had been in his language, it yet gleamed out from time to time, like a ray of sunshine, that in his own mind he considered Atherton not guilty. The jury after five minutes' deliberation asked to retire.

Do you know what that suspense is,—that hanging on each minute which might bring the issues of life or death? Can you thank what it was to stand there for that hour and a quarter, seventy-five minutes, forty-five hundred seconds, when every minute seemed an hour, and every second a minute; with the dead silence reigning in the court, broken only by casual sounds now and then, that were hushed almost instantly, to so great a pitch had the interest and suspense of the whole crowd collected there risen; your eyes fixed upon that fatal door through which you knew the decision would be borne, with your heart throbbing in dull, heavy thumps against your breast, and your breath almost bushed and dying on your lips? So we stood that evening, the dense November fog stealing into the court, and the gas-lamps flaring garish and yellow in the thick atmosphere, waiting for the verdict. Twice over was a message sent in from the jury-room to the judges, demanding further explanation or elucidation on some point or other. And still we waited. At last the door opened, and they filed back one by one into their box, and took their seats in solemn silence, and were instantly harangued by the clerk of the court, and called upon to declare whether Philip Hugh Atherton was guilty or innocent of wilful murder. Amidst a dead hush, a stillness that was thrilling in its intensity, the foreman stood up and pronounced the verdict, "NOT GUILTY." I saw the prisoner raise his hands for one moment, and then his head drooped on his breast, and he leaned heavily against the railing in front of him. I saw Merrivale rise hastily, and, turning round, lay his hand upon Hugh's shoulder, and his counsel eagerly stretching out their bands towards him in fervent congratulation; and then was heard the Chief-Justice's voice addressing the foreman of the jury:

"The peculiarities and complexity of the case make it needful that we should ask upon what grounds you have given in your verdict."

Foreman: "We find the prisoner not guilty, my lord, on the ground that it is proved he did not buy the strychnine, and that the evidence of the housekeeper is unreliable evidence. But we think that until the mystery of the murder is cleared up, suspicion must still attach itself to Mr. Atherton."

The Chief-Justice to the prisoner: "It is usual to say whether we, before whom a case has been tried, agree in the verdict of the jury. Both myself and my brother Watson do most fully in this instance. We agree that upon the evidence brought forward to-day you could not by the criminal law be convicted; but we also agree in the remark made by the foreman that a degree of suspicion and doubt will rest upon you so long as the real perpetrator of this horrible crime is not forthcoming. As having known you under happier circumstances, I sincerely trust and pray for your sake that time may bring to light this hidden deed of darkness."

The judges rose and left the court. Then arose from all parts a savage yell of disappointment. Once before I told how thirsty the public were for another sight of the hangman and his victim; and now to snatch their prey from under their very eyes, with the stain of crime upon him, with a shadow of the gallows hanging over him, was more than they could bear. Amidst groans and hisses, amidst a deluge of the foulest epithets, he passed out of the court—UNCONVICTED. Unconvicted, but not unsuspected; uncondemned, but not unblemished. With the taint of murder clinging to him, with his fair good name tarnished by the withering breath of imputed crime, and his innocent life robbed of its {94} noblest beauty in the eyes of his fellow-men, Philip Hugh Atherton left that criminal court and became once more a free, and yet a marked man beneath his native sky. His whole position opened out clear before me in that one brief second which succeeded the closing the trial—all its future suffering and sorrow. Oh! if he would but now realize that at least one friend was true to him, that one heart warmed to him with the same affection as ever, who would devote himself to clearing away every cloud that dimmed his future! And dashing away the blinding tears that would force themselves into my eyes, I made my difficult way through the crowd and gained the outer court. A carriage stood opposite the private door, and a double line of policemen guarded a passage to it. I hurried forward. Hugh Atherton and Lister Wilmot passed quickly out, the carriage-door shut, and they drove off.

"Atherton and Wilmot!" I was saying the names aloud to myself, when I heard a mocking laugh. Standing beside me, and looking up into my face, was Mrs. Haag.

"Have you been drinking again, Mr. Kavanagh?" she said in her peculiar hard tones, and was gone in a moment. But she left what she little dreamed of leaving behind her—the indelible impression on my mind of her strong resemblance to Lister Wilmot.


CHAPTER XI.

FOUND!


Yes, most undoubtedly, most undeniably, a strong likeness did exist between Lister Wilmot, old Thorneley's nephew, and Maria Haag, Thorneley's housekeeper,—a likeness that, as I walked home from the Old Bailey and recalled the various points in their features and expressions, grew yet more striking to my mental vision. The housekeeper was fair, with sandy hair; so was Lister Wilmot. The housekeeper's eyes were of that peculiar blue-grey, cold, passionless in their expression; so were Wilmot's. Mrs. Haag's features were cast in a perfectly Flemish mould, unmarked, broad, flat; Wilmot's were better defined, especially the nose, and yet they were of the same stamp, allowing for that difference. But the peculiar resemblance lay in a character of the tightly-drawn lips, in the dark, evil, scintillating light that gleamed from time to time in both his and her eyes; the expression so often alluded to in these pages, full of danger, of defiance; a glance that sent your blood shivering back to your heart; a look that told, as playing as words could speak, of unscrupulousness and utter relentlessness in the pursuit of any selfish purpose. And as this forced itself with distinct clearness upon my mind, I remembered the question put to me in Merrivale's office on the day of the funeral by Inspector Keene,—"Did you ever see a likeness to any one in Mr. Wilmot?" and my answer, "No, not that I know of. We have often said he was like none of his relative living." But how to account for this likeness established so suddenly? I tried to recollect all I had ever heard about Wilmot. Thorneley had acknowledged and treated him in all respects as his nephew; he was thus named in the will made by Smith and Walker, and Hugh Atherton had told me Lister was the son of Gilbert Thorneley's, his own aunt; that the marriage had been an unhappy one; that she died soon after her son's birth; and that of Mr. Wilmot, his uncle-in-law, he knew nothing. How had this strange and striking likeness arisen? Had he been privately married to Mrs. Haag? Surely not; and then I remembered what had come out in court to-day about her connection with Bradley, alias O'Brian. Old Gilbert Thorneley certainly was no fool; he would have been too wide awake to be tricked into a marriage with a woman of whose antecedents {95} he had not made himself perfectly sure. The conjecture of Haag being his wife was dismissed almost as soon as it was entertained. Fairly at a nonplus, and yet feeling that much might come out of this new conviction, I resolved to send for Inspector Keene as soon as possible, and impart to him all the crowd of thoughts and speculations and ideas to which the impression received this evening had given birth. Meanwhile it is necessary I should relate events as they happened after the trial.

Discharged and yet disgraced, Hugh Atherton left the court that day with his future blasted, with a blot on his shield and a stain upon his name. The jury could not convict him, but public opinion hooted him down, and the press wrote him down. His character was not simply "blown upon" by the insidious soft breath of undertoned scandal, but caught up and shivered to pieces in a whirlwind of shame and ignominy. Friends shunned him, acquaintances cut him; society in general tabooed him, and "this taboo is social death." Society set its ban upon him; but Lister Wilmot stuck to him. Stuck to him tight and fast—after this manner: He went about from one person to another, from this house to that, and talked of "his poor cousin Atherton, his unfortunate relative, his much-injured friend." He would ask So-and-so to dinner, and then when the invitation was accepted, he would add, "You won't mind meeting my cousin, poor Atherton; he is very anxious to do away with that unfortunate impression made at the trial; I do assure you that he is innocent."

The consequences are evident. You may damn a man with faint praise; you may doubly damn a man by overstrong patronage. And this was done to perfection by Wilmot. He—a young, agreeable, and not bad-looking man—was a far different person in the eyes of the world from rough old Gilbert Thorneley; and when he stepped into the enormous wealth of his uncle—when, in spite of the existence of the son and heir, no will was forthcoming, no legal grounds could be found on which to dispute his possession, the world made her best bow to him, and society knelt at his feet, offered up her worship and swung her censers before him. And I had to stand aside and see it all—stand aside with the bitter smart of broken friendship, of rejected affection, rankling in my breast. That fatal evening, oh that fatal evening! One word, and he had turned with me, friends for evermore; one word, and all the anguish and misery, the blight and the sorrow, of the past weeks had been saved!

Hugh and I never met after his trial but once. It was on the 3d of December, the day on which Ada Leslie attained her majority, that I saw him for the last and only time. I went to Hyde Park Gardens early in the morning, to offer her my congratulations for her birthday, to relinquish my guardianship, and to settle many matters which were necessary on her coming of age.

I need not say that it cost me something to give up the sweet relationship of guardian and ward; that it was like bidding a farewell to almost the only brightness that had been cast across my path in life. There was much business to settle that day, and perforce I was obliged to detain Ada for a long time in the dining-room. Just before I rose to leave, Hugh came in. He greeted Ada, and then turning to me simply bowed. My blood was up; now or never should he explain the meaning of his past conduct; now or never should the cloud which had intervened between us be cleared away; now or never should the misunderstanding be removed.

"Atherton," I said, "I have a right to demand the cause of this change in you; I have a right to know what or who it is that is murdering our friendship. No, Ada, do not go away. Be my interpreter with him. You know how much cause he has had to doubt me."

{96}

I saw his face working as if powerful emotions were contending for mastery in him; but he answered in very cold, measured tones: "If I have been mistaken, if the heavy load of trouble I have had to go through has warped my judgment, I trust I may be forgiven; but I see no reason at present to wish that our former intimacy should be renewed."

"But why? in heaven's name, why?"

He looked towards Ada, who was standing near him, and then at me.

"If your own heart, Kavanagh, does not supply the reason, I have nothing more to say." And then, as if a sudden impulse had come over him, he stretched out his hand to me, and as I grasped it he said in a voice that shook with agitation: "It is best for us both, John; we can only forgive and forget."

"Hugh!" said Ada, laying her hand upon his arm, "do be friends with him. I cannot imagine what has made you think so ill of your best and truest friend."

But for reply he shook his head and quickly left the room. I took my leave of Ada and went away. And thus we parted—Hugh and I, after more than twenty years passed almost entirely together in the most intimate communion of friendship—a friendship that I for one had never thought could have been broken save by death, and which even then would have risen strengthened, purified, and perfect beyond the grave.

Weeks passed on after this last meeting. I was very much occupied with business that had been accumulating during the past three months, and I was thankful to plunge into it, and drown in the overpress of work bitter thoughts that rose but too constantly for my peace. I seldom if ever went to Hyde Park Gardens. How could I after Hugh Atherton's steady refusal of any explanation? for I knew I should constantly meet him there, and it would prove only a source of pain to us all. Poor young Thorneley remained under my care; Marrivale had then told by Hugh he should not interfere in any way, excepting to make over the 5000l. left him by his uncle to the idiot. Further, I learnt that he had withdrawn his name from the barrister's roll; but nothing more as to his future movements transpired. The housekeeper had suddenly disappeared, and with her had likewise disappeared Inspector Keene. Jones told me he believe he had gone, on his own responsibility, "to keep an eye on her." So December went by, Christmas had gone, and the new year had set in. "I shall hear of their marriage soon," I thought to myself. "Surely they will let me know that." And it was now the end of January, when one day, as I was deep over some papers, the door of my private office opened, and a young clerk who was replacing Hardy, laid up with a fit of gout, looked in. "A lady, sir, wants to see you."

"What is her name? I'm very busy. If it's nothing particular, ask her to call to-morrow."

"She says it's most particular, and she won't give her name. She's very young, and I think she's crying."

"Then show her in."

And in a moment Ada Leslie stood before me.

"Ada! my dear child, what is it?"

She was trembling violently.

"Gone!" she said in her heart-broken accents.

"Gone!" I repeated. "Who?"

"Hugh, Gone to Australia. Look here!" and she thrust a crumpled letter into my hand. It was indeed a farewell from him—a farewell written with all the passionate tenderness of his love for her, but admitting not the shadow of a hope that he would falter in his determination. It was more than he could bear, he said, the disgrace that had been heaped upon him; more than he could stand, to meet the cold averted looks, the sneers, the innuendos which fell so thickly on his path. Nor would he condemn her to share his lot; the shame that had come {97} on him should never be reflected on her. He bade her farewell with many a vow and many a prayer. She had been his first love, she would be his last; and to know she was happy would be all he would ever care to hear from the land he was leaving, even if that happiness were shared with another. Much more he said, and I read it on to the end.

"How could he! Oh, how could he!" she cried, wringing her hands, when I had finished and laid down the letter. "Did he not know my whole heart and soul were bound up in him? Did he not know that he was my very life? And he has gone from me, left me."

I could not answer for a minute. I was thinking deeply.

"Ads" I said at last, "this is not entirely his own doing. It is Lister Wilmot's."

"No, no!" she said, moaning and rocking herself backwards and forwards; "you are mistaken. He is in great distress about it. This letter was inclosed to him last night; he knew nothing of it."

"Ada, I feel convinced that he did and that he does know. Child, let me speak to you once more as your guardian and your dead fathers friend. Take your mind back to that morning before the inquest, and to a conversation which passed between us then. You remember that Wilmot had been at your house before me, and repeated something which poor old Thorneley said the evening of his death—something about you and me. You called it then, Ada, 'worse than foolishness;' so I will call it now. Do you remember?'

"I do," she said faintly, the color rising to her cheeks.

"That has been dragged out several times since, privately and publicly—always by Wilmot himself or at his instigation. Has Hugh never spoken about it with you?"

"Yes," she answered in the same low tones. "He spoke of it once, very lately. I was trying to persuade him to be friends with you. It was the only time he ever said an unkind word to me; but he was angry then." A sob broke from her at the remembrance.

"I don't wish to distress you; but just think if those thoughts and feelings were put into his mind and harped upon, traded with by one professing himself to be so staunch a friend just now,—can we wonder at the results?"

She looked at me as if she hardly understood.

"I mean," I said, speaking as calmly as I could, "that he was led to believe it true. He thought I was attached to you, and desirous of winning you from him."

She was silent for some moments.

"What am I to do?" she said at last.

And I too was silent. One thing presented itself to my mind, if only I had the heart to speak it out, if only the courage. Suddenly she looked up with a happy light in her eyes and almost a smile on her lips. She leaned forward with breathless earnestness. I felt instinctively she had thought on the same thing, and that she had resolved to act upon it.

"I can go after him. That is the right thing for me to do, is it not, guardian?"

For a moment my heart stood still. I knew she would go.

"Can you bear the voyage, Ada?"

"I could bear anything,—all for his sake."

And I felt that her answer was but a faint shadowing of the great truth that filled her heart.

"Then go," I said; "and may God's blessing go with you!"

I rose, turned my face towards the window, and looked out into the desolate square with its leafless trees, its snow-covered walks; looked out into the dull blank future, into the cheerlessness of coming years.

There and then it was settled she should follow Atherton to Australia by the overland route, and thus reach Melbourne before his ship could arrive. I asked her if she would not find great difficulty in persuading her mother to {98} accompany her, and without whom she could not go; but she told me she thought not; Mrs. Leslie would rather enjoy the excitement of travelling. We talked long and earnestly that morning, and I expressed to her my strong convictions that the day would come before long when we should see Atherton cleared from the remotest suspicion of his uncle's murder. All the sweet old confidence of former days seemed to have come back, and she opened her heart fully and freely to me. I learnt from her very much of Wilmot's late conduct, of which I mentally made notes; it was all, though she little thought it then, valuable information to guide me on to the one thing I had set my heart on doing, viz., sifting the mystery of Thorneley's murder and the discovery of the lost will. Before she left me I had exacted a promise that of her intended journey nothing should be said to Wilmot; and finally we fixed on the 4th of February for her to start.

The days flew by with more than usual fleetness, so it seemed to me; and the 1st of February found Ada and her mother with every preparation completed for their long journey. Up to that moment the promise made to me had been rigidly kept, and Lister Wilmot was still in ignorance of their intended movements. His absence from town for a fortnight rendered this a comparatively easy task, and he was not expected to return until after the 6th. On the evening of the 1st I received a note from Miss Leslie.

"I have been greatly taken by surprise and much distressed," she wrote; "this morning's post brought me an offer of marriage from Lister Wilmot. He speaks of Hugh's heartless desertion and his own long attachment. Either he is mad or deliberately insults me. I entreat you to act as if you still were, and what I shall always consider you, my guardian, and answer it for me. A horrible fear of him possesses me, and all I pray is that he may know nothing of this journey until we are well on our road."

"This then," said I to myself, as I sat down to do Ada's bidding, "is the reason why Hugh was got so suddenly and secretly. The secret is out at last, Master Wilmot; but you have overshot your mark. This time you have not a trusting friend, not a confiding girl, to deal with; but with me, a man of law; and I'll be even with you yet. I've a heavy grudge to wipe out against you, and you shall smart with a bitter smart."

But before all it was necessary to be prudent, and I answered his letter to Ada with temperate words and calm politeness in her name. At present, I wrote, she had commissioned me to say she could not entertain the subject of his letter. In a month's time she would be glad to see him. Only let him fall into that trap, and she would be safely on her road to Hugh.

How anxiously I waited for a reply, I need hardly say. It came at last to Ada (I had told her what and why I had thus written). He would wait a month, a year, ten years, if only at last she could learn to love him. The bait had taken; and we breathed again.

The 4th of February came, and they started. I had engaged an experienced and trusty courier to travel with them, and they took an old confidential servant to act as maid. I accompanied them to Dover, and saw them on board the packet. Before it started Ada took me aside.

"John."

For the first time and the last she called me by my Christian name.

"Yes, Ada."

"Will you keep this for my sake, in case we never meet again? and remember, oh remember, that I shall always cherish you as the dearest friend I ever had!"

She took my hand and slipped on my finger a twisted circlet of gold, in which one single stone was set, engraven with the word "Semper." It lies there now, it will lie there when I am in my grave.

"I will keep it for ever and ever, Ada."

{99}

One kiss I took from her uplifted tearful face—that too the first and last; and praying God to bless and guard her, left her. Until far out at sea, till the last faint speck of the departing vessel had disappeared beyond the horizon, till daylight had verged into the grey of approaching night, and shore and sea and sky were all blended in the thickening gloom, I watched from the desolate pier-head, with the winter wind whistling around me, and the dashing spray, the roaring waves, beneath. O Ada, fare you well! I have looked for the last time on your fair loved face, for the last time gazed into your tender eyes, for the last time pressed your kindly hand! Is it "worse than foolishness" now to kiss this little ring, and hold it to my heart to still the dull pain there? See now, as I write these lines my eyes grow dim looking back to the hour when I turned away from that distant view. Not on earth, Ada, shall we meet again, but in the better land, "the land beyond the sea."

. . . . .

Two months had passed away since they had all gone,—Hugh, Mrs. Leslie, Ada. By this time they had reached that distant land for which they were bound; and I sat one evening in April by my solitary hearth, with my books and pipe by my side, and little Dandie, Hugh's dog, lying at my feet. I had begged hard of Ada to leave him with me. Both my clerks had long since gone home, and office hours were past, when a sharp double knock came at the outer door. I went and opened it. A man rushed in, took the door forcibly from me, closed it, and then seizing my hand wrung it till my arm ached. It was Inspector Keene.

"Found it!" he cried, flourishing his hat in the air. "Hurrah! found it."

I thought he had been drinking; and lugging hold of him by the collar of his coat, I drew him into my room, and sat him down in a chair.

"What the deuce is all this about? What have you found? Can't you speak?" I cried, giving him a shake; for he had only flourished his hat again in reply to my first question, and cried "Hurrah!"

"Excuse me, Mr. Kavanagh, but I'm beside myself to-night."

"So it seems," I answered drily. "What have you been drinking for?"

He was sobered in a moment.

"I've touched nothing but a cup of coffee since this morning, sir."

"Then what is the matter with you? What have you found?"

"Mr. Kavanagh, I've found the will!"

"Nonsense! Where?"

"In the house in Wimpole street. Do you recognize this, sir?" he said, drawing a document from his breast-pocket, crumpled and dirtied.

"Merciful heavens! it is the will I drew up!"

"You could swear to it, sir?"

"Yes, ten thousand times yes!" I had it unfolded and laid before me. There was the firm, bold signature of old Gilbert Thorneley; and below the crooked, ill-formed writing of John Barker, footman, and Thomas Spriggs, coachman. In the corner the date, and my own name which I had signed.

"In the name of heaven, where and how did you find this, Keene?"

"In the housekeeper's bedroom in Wimpole street, concealed under a loose plank in the floor. You know, sir, I have had my thoughts and suspicions for long; I have watched and waited. To-day my time came. The house is being done up. The plumber who has the doing of it is a friend of mine. One workman more or less made no difference: I have done odder things before than use the white-washing brush. I have been in that house for the last three days, and to-day I whitewashed the ceiling in Mrs. Haag's bedroom."

"I understand. And searched it besides?"

{100}

"Just so, sir. She had done it cleverly; but I'm her match in cunning. I found the plank that had been disturbed, and I found the will under it and here I am."

A text came to my mind,—"Be sure your sin will find you out;" and I repeated it half aloud.

The inspector heard me. "Yes, sir, yes," he said gravely. "And there's another and a worse crime than stealing her master's will that I'm fearful she's guilty of."

"You mean the murder?"

"I do."


TO BE CONCLUDED IN OUR NEXT.




ORIGINAL.

MY SOLDIER.


  "Dear heart," he said, "I love you so,
    I dare not offer you my love
  Till passion purified in woe
    Shall worthier offering haply prove.

  "Then let us part. Mere absence is
    To love like mine enough of pain,
  As presence is enough of bliss;
    So welcome loss that leads to gain.

  "Yes, let us part. The bugles call,
    For God and you I draw the sword:
  Your tears will bless me if I fall,
    And if I live your kiss reward."

  He said, and parted. Long I staid
    To watch while tears would let me see,
  And longer, when he vanished, prayed
    That God might bring him back to me.

  Ah me! it was a selfish prayer
    To rob him of the nobler part;
  And God hath judged more wisely. Bear
    His judgment humbly, bleeding heart!

  Alas! I know not if I sin;
    In vain I wrestle with my woe.
  In vain I strive from grief to win
    That loftier love he sought to know.

  Mine is a woman's love alone—
    A woman's heart that wildly cries,
  "Oh! give me—give me back my own,
    Or lay me where my soldier lies!"

D. A. C.



{101}

ORIGINAL.



DIVORCE LEGISLATION IN CONNECTICUT.

[Footnote 22]

[Footnote 22: Divorce legislation in Connecticut. By Rev. H. Loomis, Jr., North Manchester, Conn. article in the new England, for July, 1865.]


The deadly and destructive epidemic of divorce legislation has crept through our social system with such stealthy and noiseless advances, and the Catholic community is so completely free from its contagion, that we were startled at the facts displayed in the able article which has suggested our present comments. Connecticut, it appears, stands pre-eminent among the states for the facility and frequency of divorce. Mr. Loomis says "that the name of Connecticut has become a name of reproach among her sister states, with a shameful notoriety surpassed by only one state in the Union." Nevertheless, many, if not most of the other states, are entitled to a fair share in the same reproach, having admitted the same false and ruinous principle into their legislation. We confine our remarks therefore to Connecticut, merely because it is a sample of the state of things generally existing, and because we are furnished with the authentic statements which are our necessary data by the principal periodical published in that state.

These statements are, briefly, that divorces are granted by the Superior Courts, under the statutes of the Legislature, a vinculo matrimonii, leaving both parties free to marry again, for the following causes: 1. Adultery; 2. Desertion; 3. Habitual Intemperance; 4. Intolerable Cruelty; 5. Imprisonment for Life; 6. Infamous Crime; 7. "Any such misconduct as permanently destroys the happiness of the petitioner and defeats the purposes of the marriage relation." Moreover, that within the last fifteen years 4,000 divorces have been granted, of one for every twenty families. To this we add the further statement that, more than one-fifth of the population being Catholics, who never ask for these divorces, the proportion is increased to one married couple out of every sixteen Protestant families.

These are the demonstrated facts in the case. And, in addition, we have the testimony of Mr. Loomis, published with the sanction of the editor of the New Englander, that the courts despatch these divorce cases with the most shameful levity and haste, in many cases without any due notice having been given to the respondent, and without any close examination of witnesses.

Mr. Loomis says:

"It need hardly be matter of surprise, in these circumstances, if a citizen of the state of Connecticut, entitled to the protection of the law in his most sacred rights, should chance to return from a temporary absence on business in another state, and find that in the meanwhile he had been robbed of wife and children, and of all which, for him, constituted home, on evidence which would not be sufficient before any jury in the state to take from a man property to the amount of five dollars, or even the possession of a pig; and to find, moreover, that both wife and children have, by the authority of law, been placed beyond his own control, perhaps in the hands of one who has conspired and paid for his ruin. The case supposed is not wholly imaginary. There is no reason, so far as the administration of the law is concerned, why it should not be frequent! In many cases the absence of the respondent is assured by pecuniary inducements, and in a yet larger number it must be confessed there is no opposition, because there is a common desire to be free from a burdensome restraint.

"It is doubtless true that, in the main, our courts have held themselves bound at least by the letter of the law, though their decisions are often hurried and based upon {102} wholly unsifted evidence. And yet lax as are even the terms of the present law, it is difficult to conceive how some of the decrees of divorce which have been granted during the past five years can be brought within the language of the so-called 'omnibus clause.' What shall we say of such cases as these, for instance, in which, in the western part of the state, a man and woman came into court with the confession that they had entered into the bonds of matrimony at the mature age of threescore and ten, but that now, after three weeks' experience, having become convinced of their folly, they desired relief from the court; or in which, after having failed to prove legal desertion, the counsel simply stated his ability to prove that the husband, from whom divorce was sought had called his wife by an opprobrious epithet, too vile and vulgar to be repeated; or in which the soul plea made was that the parties themselves had agreed through their counsel that a divorce should be had. And yet in each one of these cases, we are credibly informed, a decree of divorce was actually granted. Would not all this tend to show that the administration of no long can be wholly trusted to a court which is private in its proceedings, unwatched in its purity, unguarded in its power, with no barriers against abuse, and in which suits are practically contested only when property or reputation are sufficiently at stake to induce, in one case in eleven, a defence?"

Comment on our part seems hardly necessary. This page in the history of one state which has its counterparts in those of many others, is too black to need or admit of any deepening tints. As Mr. Loomis well remarks, such a complete subversion of the essential nature of the marriage contract by legislation endangers the very institution of marriage itself, and tends to reduce it to legalized concubinage. An ostensible marriage contract, in which both or one of the parties intends to contract for a union which may be dissolved whenever there is ground for complaint or dissatisfaction, is not a marriage. So far, therefore, as the idea on which this infamous legislation is based becomes common, so as to underlie the matrimonial contracts which are entered into, those contracts are invalidated, and the institution of Christian marriage is abrogated. This is sapping the foundations not only of the Christian moral law, but of our civil institutions and social organization. The extent to which this cancer has already spread reveals a moral condition truly alarming. It indicates much more than the discontent of certain married persons with each other, which is only a symptom of moral depravation lying deeper and more widely spread in the community.

We are glad to see that some influential clergymen and laymen in Connecticut are endeavoring to stem and turn back this tide of moral evil, and to effect a reform in the divorce laws. What have they been thinking of during these past years, while this destructive work has been going on? Why have they not preached against these infamous laws, written against them, agitated against them—in a word, shown the zeal and energy in a matter which concerns so nearly the public and private well-being, the very existence of the community in which they live, which they have displayed concerning the reformation and improvement of mankind at large? It is useless to ask the question now, for the mischief is done. The only thing they can do in reparation for their supine neglect, is to work and agitate now for a correction of public sentiment which will produce a reformation in public law. They will have all the influence of the Catholic clergy on their side, and the support of the whole mass of Catholic voters in any political measure which may be necessary for restoring a sounder system of legislation.

The Catholic law, which denies all power to any tribunal, secular or ecclesiastical, to grant a divorce a vinculo matrimonii for any cause whatever, in the case of marriages validly contracted and consummated according to the institution of Christ, is manifestly the most perfect protection possible to the inviolability of marriage. Those who reject the authority of the church have no certain and indubitable basis on which to rest the doctrine that marriage is indissoluble. The author of the article we are noticing does not deny the right of the civil power to {103} dissolve the bond of matrimony in certain cases of grievous criminality. The civil power is consequently the judge of both the law and the fact, and the clergy cannot pretend to exercise any judgment whatever. They are left, therefore, to exert what influence they can on public sentiment, in view of the demoralizing and destructive effects of divorces upon society. If there is enough left of sound moral sentiment in the community to compel legislators to restrict the concession of divorces within the ancient limits, a great good can be effected in checking this gigantic evil. This is all that the Protestant clergy can accomplish, and their only means of doing it. They cannot impose their interpretation of Scripture or their ecclesiastical laws upon the state. Nor can we expect legislatures or judicial courts to take the New Testament as their code of laws, to interpret its meaning, or embody its principles in statutes and decisions. On Protestant principles, the doctrines of Christianity can be applied to legislation only as they are absorbed by public opinion, which sways the minds of those who make and execute the laws. Therefore there is no remedy in this case except the one we have indicated, namely, to form a public opinion on the deleterious effects of the divorce laws upon society, and, as far as this motive is still available, their contrariety to the spirit of Christianity. If a word of advice from a Catholic source can be received, we counsel the Protestant clergy of Connecticut to lose no time before putting all their energies at work to save their state from the moral desolation which threatens it; and the respectable lawyers to do something to wipe out the stigma which attaches to their profession on account of these infamous divorce laws.




From St. James' Magazine.


A SUMMER SORROW.


  She began to droop when the chestnut buds
    Shone like lamps on the pale blue sky;
 She faded while cowslip and hawthorn blew,
   And the blythe month, May, went by.

  I carried her into the sun-bright fields,
    Where the children were making hay;
  And she watch'd their sport as an angel might—
    Then I knew she must pass away.

  With the first white roses I decked her room,
    I laid them upon her bed;
  Alas! while roses still keep their bloom,
    My own sweet flower lies dead!

  I felt that the parting hour was near.
    When I heard her whisper low—
  "Take me once more, my father dear,
    To see my roses grow.
{104}
  "Take me once more to the sunny pool
    Where the dear white lilies sail,
  And below their leaves, through the crystal depth,
    The buds lurk mildly pale.

  "Take me once more to the waterfall,
    That seems blithe as a child at play;
  Where the ivy creeps on the mossy wall,
    And the fern-leaves kiss the spray."

  So I bore her along through the summer air,
    And she looked with a dreamy eye
  At the brook, the pool, and the lilies fair.
    And she bade them all good bye.

  Next day my darling's voice was gone;
    But her yearning spirit-eyes
  Told how she longed for a nameless boon,
    And love made my guessing wise,

  Again I bore her beneath the trees,
    Where their soil green shadows lay;
  But a darker shadow stole o'er my child,
    And at sunset she passed away!



From The Irish Industrial Magazine.


THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF BOOKS.


The manufacture of books has grown from obscure and insignificant beginnings, in a commercial point of view, to what it has become in our day—an industrial resource of great importance—and as such inviting our attention to see and examine its growth. The importance of literature, as the great agent for educating the intellect for good or for evil, is obvious to the most unreflecting; but it is not so generally thought of, in the subordinate or trade aspect, as giving employment to many hands and heads, that might not easily have found the means of subsistence elsewhere.

Let us begin the study with the brain that lays the eggs—golden or leaden, addled or prolific, as the case may be; thence to the publisher, whose province it is to bring them out; onward to the press in all its departments, that feathers the offspring for flight; pass out thence into the paper mill; and end with the poor rag-collector of delicate scraps, for "wearisome sonneteers" and well-woven and worn reviews. When you have ranked your items, and summed them, the total will be found something few imagine. Then we may search a little closer; and, as we pass through the busy department, it may strike us that this peculiar work requires a peculiar class, that might not have been by constitution of mind or body so well fitted for other employments as they are just suited to this. First the author: if we praise his head, he will not be offended if we say little of his hand; indeed, his handwriting is not always of the best. The publisher might {105} succeed in cheese and pickles; but for the publishing trade a corresponding intelligence is required, he must be a man of tact and discernment in intellectual tastes and demands; then compositors, readers, et hoc genus omne, should be men of mind; and the neat and dexterous female can find work for her hands to do,—type-setting, stitching, etc. And thus, while they are ministering to the spread of civilization, civilization repays them by finding a place for them, where they may gain support and comfort in this working world.

Books, like the air which surrounds us, are everywhere, from the palace to the humblest cottage; wherever civilization exists, and people assemble, books are to be seen. But, though all know what books are, all do not know their origin and development, and by what process they have arrived at their present perfection. We therefore venture to present a sketch of their beginning and advancement, and the means by which they have become such a powerful agency to forward thought and accumulate stores of knowledge ever increasing.

Without affectation of any erudite speculative knowledge respecting the origin and progress of language from the first articulate sounds of the human voice to words, symbolic signs, hieroglyphic characters, letters, alphabets, inscriptions, writings, and diversities of tongues, we shall in business-like manner commence with the elementary raw materials of writing and book-making in the order of their use. Stone, wood, metal, in which letters were cut with a Sharp instrument, were the earliest materials. The art of forming letters on lead was known when the Book of Job was written, as appears from the memorable sentence "Oh, that my words were now written that they were printed in a book, that they were graven with a pen and lead in the rocks for ever!" Sheets of lead were used to grave upon; and inscriptions cut in rocks or smooth stones in Arabia, where Lot is supposed to have lived, have been discovered. But even more primitive materials were the barks and leaves [Footnote 23] of trees prepared for the purpose. Shepherds, it is said, wrote their simple songs by means of an awl, or some similar instrument, on straps of leather twisted round their crooks. Even in the days of Mahomet, shoulder-blades of mutton, according to Gibbon's account, were used by the disciples of Mahomet for recording his supposed inspirations. The introduction of papyrus from Egypt into Greece produced great results, in increasing the diffusion of writings, and making books known by many for the first time. Previously, the Greeks had used the materials which we have enumerated. Vellum was brought into use about two centuries later; but not commonly, on account of its brittleness. Its introduction is attributable to a curious incident, remarkably illustrative of the fact that the protectionist system was acted upon at a remote age, when political economy was not understood, and the good effects of free trade were unappreciated. Ptolemy Philadelphus (B.C. 246, to whom the Septuagint version of the Hebrew Testament is due) had prohibited the exportation of papyrus from Egypt, to prevent Eumenes, king of Pergnmos, from obtaining that material, in hopes of preventing him from multiplying MSS.; for Eumenes like Ptolemy, was a patron of learning, and formed libraries. This unworthy jealousy on the part of Ptolemy was deservedly defeated by Eumenes, who ascertained that parchment would be a good substitute for papyrus. This far less abundant material was, however, used before; but Eumenes so improved the process of its preparation, that he may be almost termed the inventor of parchment. Vellum—the prepared skin of a calf—probably was brought into use at the same time; the deep yellow which both materials had was subsequently removed by some process {106} adopted at Rome, which made it white. The introduction of parchment led to the present form of books and it became the general material for writing upon not long afterward, though vellum was employed in all state deeds until the eighth century.

[Footnote 23: The terms library and folio are derived from liber, the inner bark; and folium, a leaf.]

Cotton paper was introduced into Europe from China about the ninth century, and superseded parchment. Documents in cotton, of that period, including diplomas of Italian princes, have been preserved in foreign museums.

The first manufactory of cotton paper was established in Spain in the twelfth century, also almost contemporaneously in France and Germany; but, its durability being questioned, all state and official documents for preservation were written, or at least engrossed, on parchment or vellum. Paper made from linen rags is supposed to have originated in Spain, and to have been introduced into England in the fourteenth century. It has been considered a pre-eminently good material, with which none of the various substances used from the earliest times to the present can victoriously compete.

Dr. Fuller, a noted and quaint writer of the seventeenth century, affected to detect national characteristics from the qualities of the paper produced in the respective countries; e.g., Venetian paper he compared to a courtier of Venice—elegant in style, light, and delicate. French paper corresponds with the light-heartedness and delicacy of the Frenchman. Dutch paper, thick and coarse, sucking up ink like a sponge, is in this respect, he says, a perfect image of the Dutch race, which tries to absorb everything it touches. Durability distinguished English paper, a quality essentially English.

In 1749 the Irish Parliment granted a sum of money to a Mr. Jay, for having introduced the first paper factory into Ireland, which probably had the distinction of anticipating England in this respect. Be this as it may, the first eminent establishment of the kind was not in operation in England until 1770, when a paper-mill was erected at Maidstone, by John Whatman, who had acquired much knowledge in the art by working at Continental factories.

In the British Museum is a book, dated 1772, which contains more than sixty specimens of paper, made of different substances. The paper called foolscap, so common in our use, derives its appellation from the historical circumstances following: When Charles I. of England found difficulties in raising revenue, he granted monopolies, among which was one for making paper, the water-mark of which was the royal arms. When Cromwell succeeded to power, he substituted, with cruel mockery, a fool's cap and bells for the royal arms. Though this mark was removed at the Restoration, all paper of the size of the "Parliamentary Journal" still bears the name of foolscap.

When books first appeared is quite uncertain; for, though the Books of Moses and the Book of Job are the most ancient of existing books, it seems from a reference Moses has made to them that there were earlier ones. Among profane writers Homer is the most ancient; he lived at the period when King Solomon reigned so gloriously. Four hundred years afterward the scattered leaves of Homer were collected and reduced to the order in which we have them; and two hundred years still later they were revised and accented, so as to have become perfect models of the purest Greek—the noblest language in the world. And, Greek words being so remarkably expressive of the meaning of the things or ideas which they are used to signify, they are now used in arts and sciences as descriptive of the subjects or things referred to; and very often in a ludicrously pedantic manner, especially among inventors of patent medicines and mechanical instruments. But it is not within the range of our subjects, or knowledge {107} even, to touch upon languages and literature, authorship and authors, and the gradual development and progress of literary composition, but simply the subject of books, as before intimated, as they have been presented to us, in their material development from age to age.

In a number of the Cornhill Magazine there has appeared an article, "Publishers before the Art of Printing," which presents a very interesting account of bookmaking in Italy during the Augustan age. The brothers Sosii, celebrated by Horace, issued vast supplies of manuscript books; fashionable literature was eagerly bought from Roman booksellers; and, to supply the demand for them, slaves were educated in great numbers to read aloud to indolent ladies and gentlemen as they reclined on couches. The copying of MSS. was done principally by slave scriveners, of whom a great staff was maintained, and, by their penmanship, books and newspapers could be multiplied quickly. From the dictation of one reader to several writers a large edition, comparatively with the number of the reading public, could be soon produced; in some private families readers and transcribers were employed in this way. The demand for school-books was also great. As slave labor was very cheap, bookmaking was then correspondingly inexpensive, yet authors of high reputation were well paid by publishers. They received much larger sums than were given long after the invention of printing. Martial received for his epigrams a vast remuneration—Milton, for his Paradise Lost, only 24.

The number of what may be called books published by the fathers of the church in the first centuries of the Christian era was great. Origen wrote 6,000; many of these were more properly tracts; but his polyglot version of the Bible (most of which has perished), and his great work against Celsus, were laborious works indeed. Of the writings of the fathers generally (apart from the Evangelists) but few have descended to us. The Koran (partly compiled from the Bible) was composed by the imposter Mahomet, in the seventh century. At that epoch there were few books even in Europe, the most enlightened portion of our world, and this literary darkness prevailed three hundred years longer.

A curious episode in the history of early bookmaking occurred in the sixth century, Cornelius Agrippa has related, in his Vanity of Science, that a contrivance had been invented, by which the several parts of speech in any language could be combined by a system of circles worked in an ingenious manner. The component parts—nouns, verbs, etc.—come together so as to form complete sentences—a very convenient contrivance for writers who are deficient in what we consider essentials—intellect, learning, and invention. Sir Walter Scott, in his Life of Swift, says that the dean was indebted for his entertaining and witty satire on pretending philosophers, as displayed in his Flying Island of Laputa, to the above historical fact. The machine of the Professor of Lagado, in Gulliver's Travels, for imparting knowledge and composing books on all subjects without assistance from genius or knowledge, was designed to ridicule the art invented by Raymond Tully, the individual referred to by Cornelius Agrippa. Various improvements on this mechanical mode of composition were tried, but of course with utter failure.

During long periods of barbarism, entire libraries of rolls and books were destroyed by ruthless and ignorant soldiery, as in Caesar's time, when the library of 700,000 volumes which had been amassed by Ptolemy was burnt by Caesar's troops. The great library collected at Constantinople by Constantine and his successors was burnt in the eighth century.

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The number of books written and collected by King Alfred was extensive, when we take into account the extent of ignorance that prevailed in England during the ninth century—an amount which may be estimated from the fact that there was much difficulty in providing a tutor competent to instruct the royal youth when twelve years old. Yet he, like his celebrated contemporary, Charlemagne, became eminent for encouraging literature, and for his high repute in erudition and book-writing, when Anglo-Saxon literature was despicably low. The extreme paucity of books in England in the eleventh century may be inferred from a mandate of Archbishop Lanfranc to librarians of English monasteries, ordering them to deliver one book at the commencement of Lent to the monks in turn, and that any monk who neglected to read it should perform penance. Anciently every great church and monastery had its little library; and, as education was almost entirely limited to ecclesiastics during the middle ages, few books and transcribers were required.

The survey of the lands of England him Doomsday Book, in two volumes, was commenced by command of William the Conqueror, in the year 1080, and completed in six years. The book obtained its name either from a room in the Royal Treasury called Domus Dei, in Winchester, or from Saxon words signifying doom or judgment, no appeal from its record being permitted. The first volume is a folio, the second a quarto, and both are written in abbreviated Latin; the writing being on vellum, strongly bound, studded, and inclosed in a leather cover. A copy of Magna Charta, the great charter of British liberty, granted and confirmed by preceding monarchs, but re-enacted after a struggle between the Barons and that wicked man, King John, in the thirteenth century, is preserved in Lincoln Cathedral. There were twenty-five original sealed copies of it written on vellum; one copy was sent to each English diocese, and to a few special places besides. About twenty-five barons were present when this important document was drawn up, none of room signed it; it was only attested by the Great Seal of England. His majesty could not write; and it may be assumed that his twenty-five nobles were equally illiterate. If any of them were penmen, it was very courtier-like on their part to decline doing what their king was incompetent to do.

Whether Italian or Irish manuscripts were the earliest in which ornamental letters were employed, is an undecided question. The finest specimen of the illuminated is the Book of Kells, of the fifth or sixth century. This beautiful antique is preserved in the library of the King's College, and is thought to surpass in minuteness of finish and splendor of decoration the famous Durham Book, or Gospels of Lindisfarne, which, though probably executed in the north of England, is classed among Anglo-Hibernian books, because Irish literature was more advanced than English in the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries. If this beautiful art of illuminating originated in the East, it reached its perfection in the west of Europe. In the British Museum there is a copy of the Gospels executed at Aix-la-Chapelle in the eighth century, known as the Golden Gospels, the entire text being in gold, on white vellum.

We are now to touch upon the variety and forms of books or booklings —if we may invent a name—after the art of printing was discovered, about the middle of the fifteenth century—a subject too familiar to occupy any space here for details as to invention or progress.

Chaucer expressed in rhyme the inconvenience of being obliged to correct every copy of his works after the scrivener's hands; he did not anticipate the invention of types in a century afterwards, and the employment of readers or correctors of the press.

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Almanacs shall have the precedents, not so much from their high rank in literary importance, but from their antiquity and pioneer character in the march of uninspired literature. The Arabians, who studied astronomy and astrology, noted the signs of the seasons, and regulated their field occupations by the direction of their almanac makers, who were their wise men; they would neither sow nor reap, nor trim their beards and nails, without consulting their almanacs; they introduced their rules of practice into Europe. A German named Müller constructed an almanac in its present form, suited to general writers. An English writer who called himself Poor Robin, published long ago an almanac remarkable for coarseness and eccentricity. The following are specimens of his style (they recently appeared in a public journal); we present but a few:

  "Julius Caesar did the Britons came;
  Conquering will you him into England came;
  Brave Montrose was basely murdered;
  The Rev. Dr. Stewart lost his head;
  The plague raged very sore at London;
  London burnt, whereby many were undone;
  The crown on Anna's head was placed;
  She expired, and George's head it graced."

So much for historical records. There a calendar among his monthly observations:

  "January—The gardens now doing healed no posies,
    And men in cloaks muffle their noses."

  "March—A toast we plunged in March beer,
     Being sugared well, and drunk up clear,
     Revives the spirit, the heart doth cheer;
    And, had for three pence, is not dear."

This old Robin shamefully pecks at the fair sex. In his notes on April he says:

  "Then let young people have a care,
  Nor run their heads in marriage snare;
  A woman's tongue is like the ocean.
  It ebbs and flows in constant motion;
  But yet herein a difference grows—
  Her tongue ne'er ebbs, but always flows."
  ...

No booklings have multiplied more almanacs: we have now clerical, medical, naval, military, aye, horticultural, down to children's almanacs; and amongst these almanacs there is one entitled Almanac des Voleurs. Magazines swarm, ranging from the highest class of religious, literary, and social-scientific, not forgetting industrial, subjects, to the most commonplace and trifling matters. The Gentleman's Magazine is stated to have been the first of the class published in England. Of reviews we have a long array, distinguished by every shade of uniform and badge, and from them a vast amount of useful and pleasurable information is obtainable. This class of books first appeared in the middle of the last century; one entitled the Monthly Review was the first published.

The first newspaper was published in the time of Queen Elizabeth—The English Mercury, of which the earliest number is in the British Museum, and bears the date 1588. In the reign of Queen Anne there was but one daily paper, which made a slow and tedious course of circulation; whereas in these days newspapers are everywhere, and the leading ones convey intelligence of the whole world's transactions, and issue admirable essays, affording information on every subject, and this within a marvellously short space of time.

Books are so common, that it becomes necessary to be careful in the selection of them. Tares and wheat will spring up together; the earth produces noxious weeds with the most excellent fruit. If, then, we do not reject the tainted and imperfect grains, a diseased crop is the result. It cannot be expected in this age of inquiry and the rapid progress of learning, that all books should be of an improving character, but the good greatly overbalance the evil. "This advantage," said Gregory the Great (writing so early as the end of the sixth century), "we owe to a multiplicity of books; one book falls in the way of one man, and another best suits the level or the apprehension of another; it is of service that the same subject should be handled by several persons after different methods, though all on the same principle." A superfluity of good books is beneficial; I would {110} illustrate this proposition thus: The Nile as it flows fertilizes a vast tract of land; but if it were not for the streams and rivulets that are artificially constructed to diverge from it, in order to draw from the main supply of water some portion of the alimentary matter it contains, other tracts would not be fertilized: so the great folios in their wide expanse of text and margin have their important use, while the streams and rills which issue from the parent flood are illustrative of quartos, octavos, duodecimos, 24mos, and 48mos, that refresh and enrich minds innumerable.




ORIGINAL.


LUCIFER MATUTINUS.

  From a heart of infinite longing the youth
      Looks out on the world;
  "Where, spirit of candor—where, spirit of truth,
      Are thy banners unfurled?

  "O chivalrous chastity! lovely as morn.
      The dew on thy helmet, I hail thee afar;
  Like Lucifer, beautiful angel of dawn,
      I wear thy deep azure, I follow thy star.

  "Not mammon, not lucre; though white as sea-gulls
      The broad sails I watch studding ocean's blue deep,
  To droop their gay pennons where dreamily lulls
      The tropical breeze, and the lotus-flower sleeps.

  "But glory! but honor! the joy of a name
      Not written on sand; which for ages will stir
  All hearts that are noble, or kindle the flame
      Of devotion consuming the rapt worshipper."

  Thus from heart of infinite longing the youth.
      Looking out on the world,
  Cries ever, "Woo wisdom, woo beauty, woo truth:"—
  The sordid world, jaded with care, answers: "Ruth
  Waits on thy wild dreamings, O turbulent youth!"
      And with laughter uncouth
  Mocks life's fairest banners in brightness unfurled.

  O heart of the ostrich! above its own graves
  Of innocent hopes the world every day raves,
  And moans, with a pitiful droon of despair,
  O'er candor and honor, once blooming so fair;
  Yet treads, with a wanton, unpitying scorn.
  To earth every sweet aspiration of morn,
  True mark of a soul to infinity born;
  Or leaves, to the chance of the desert, the good
  Which God, at creating, charged angels to brood,
  And martyrs have guarded with rivers of blood.



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Original


TRAVELLERS' TALES.


The world has been so thoroughly explored now, at feast in all but its most savage and inhospitable recesses, that it seems not unnatural to suppose that travelers abroad find it hard to get listeners to their tails of sight-seeing and adventure; and that wanderers into foreign lands should no longer deem it a part of their duty, as soon as their peregrinations are over, to come home and write a book about them. We can't expect any more Marco Polo or Mendez Pintos, unless some adventurous spirits have a mind to travel beyond the regions of the Albert and Victoria Nyanzas, and risk their lives among the dirty tribes of Central Africa, whom even Mr. and Mrs. Baker were unable to reach; and with all its little differences of manners and customs, there is after all so much sameness in the untamed negro life that we doubt whether anybody will think such a journey worth his trouble. Now that the source of Nile has been found and the costly and useless problem of the north-west passage has been solved, there really seems to be nothing very new or startling which can be added to geographical science. But for all that there is, and undoubtedly their long will be, a certain fascination in every well-told narrative of life in a distant country, even though the main features of the story were familiar to us before. We know that a second Columbus can never come home to us from across the ocean sees, with news of unsuspected continents; that old ocean has loosed all the bonds which once shut us in, and disclosed long ago all the new worlds which he wants concealed; but we like to travel again and again over the lands we have already passed, to take a few repeated peeps at the inner life of distant peoples, even though their domestic interiors were long ago laid open to our inquisitive eyes. Now and then, moreover, it does happen that a traveller has something new to tell us, or at least something which has not been told often enough to be familiar to all the world. For example, in the spirited Sketches of Russian Life [Footnote 24] which we have lately received from an anonymous hand in England, there is, if nothing very new or surprising, at least a liveliness and an air of novelty which are almost as good. The writer is an Englishman who spent fifteen years in Russia, engaged in business pursuits of various kinds, which brought him into contact with persons of all ranks and conditions, and led him long journeys back and forth across the empire—now in the lumbering diligence, now in the luxurious railway train, and many a time and for long distances in rude sledges across trackless wastes and through fearful snows. In some parts of Russia there are seasons when the mere act of travelling is a perilous adventure. In March, 1860, our author, in company with a Russian gentleman, made a dangerous journey of two hundred miles in an open sledge, through a snow-storm of memorable severity. They had been struggling for some miles through drifts and hidden pits, when the driver alarmed them with the cry of "Volka! volka!"—"Wolves! wolves!" Six gaunt-looking animals {112} sat staring at them in the road, about one hundred yards in advance of them. The horses huddled themselves together, trembling in every limb, and refused to move. The Russian, who is known in the book only by the name of Fat-Sides, seized a handful of hay from the bottom of the vehicle, rolled it into a ball, and handed it to our author, saying "Match." The Englishman understood the direction, and as soon as the horses, by dint of awful lashing and shouting, were forced near the motionless wolves, he set fire to the ball and threw it among the pack. Instantly the animals separated and skulked away with their tails dragging, but only to meet again behind the sledge, and after a short pause to set out in full pursuit. The tired horses were whipped to their utmost speed, but in forcing their way through a drift they had to come to a walk, and the wolves were soon beside them. The first of the pack fell dead with a ball through his brain from the Englishman's revolver, and another shot broke the leg of a second. At that critical instant the pistol fell into the sledge as, with a sudden jolt the horses floundered up to their bellies in in deep drift: then they came to a dead stop, and there was a wolf at each side of the sledge, trying to get in. The Englishman fortunately had a heavy blackthorn bludgeon, and raising it high he brought it down with the desperate force of a man in mortal extremity, crash through the skull of the animal on his side of the vehicle; while Fat-Sides coolly stuffed the sleeve of his sheepskin coat down the mouth of the savage beast on the other, and with his disengaged hand cut its throat with a large bear knife. The pistol was now recovered just in time to kill a fifth wolf which had fastened upon neck of one of the horses. The sixth, together with the one that had been shot in the leg, ran away.

[Footnote 24: Sketches of Russian Life before and during the Emancipation of the Serfs. Edited by Henry Morley, Professor of English Literature in University College, London. 16mo, pp. 298. London: Chapman and Hall. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott and Co.]

After a day's detention at Jaroslav, where some irritating business about passports had to be transacted, our travellers resumed their journey in a "kibitka," or diligence-sledge—a rather more comfortable conveyance than the one they had left, because it had a canvas cover. There were no more encounters with wolves, but perils enough awaited them in the snow. The first day three of their horses died, and in sixteen hours, with three separate teams, they accomplished only twenty-seven miles. All along the road they passed wrecks of sledges, horses struggling in the drifts and men digging them out, and vehicles overturned and abandoned until spring. Opposite a hut in which they found shelter one night a cottage had been entirely buried, and the family were not rescued until after four days. They were none the worse for their long imprisonment; but the diggers had come upon a sledge with its horse, driver, and two women frozen to death and buried in the drift. Three months after this, when the snows disappeared from two hundred to three hundred corpses were found, all of whom had met their death in this fearful storm upon the Moscow road alone.

The wretchedness of the inns added a great deal to the sufferings of our travellers. A Russian hotel in the interior is the most filthy of all filthy places. As the floors are never washed, the mud and filth accumulate to an inch and a half in thickness; the walls are black and fetid; horrible large brown beetles, called tarakans, crawl in myriads over everything, invading even the dishes out of which the traveller eats and drinks; and the dirty deal tables are further defiled with a dirty linen cloth. The public rooms are constantly filled with the offensive odor of the native tobacco. The waiters are all men, dressed in print trowsers and shirts; the trousers stuffed into long boots, and the shirts hanging outside the trowsers; the particolored band or scarf round the waist completing the costume. Their hair, like that of all the peasants, is worn long, cut straight round the neck, and parted in front like a woman's, while the beard is {113} neither cut nor trimmed. We are not surprised that our author preferred to lodge with the horses and cows in the stable.

The distance from Jaroslav to Moscow out is about 160 miles, and the journey occupied seven days and the better part of seven nights.

Our author made another journey, accompanied by his wife and six children, and an amusing English "handy man", called Harry, who was for ever knocking somebody down and getting the party into all sorts of scrapes with the police. They started from Moscow, and rode about 500 miles into the interior. Their equipment consisted of two vehicles called tarantasses, each drawn by three horses. The baggage, and a good store of bread, tea, sugar, sardines, brandy, and wine, were stowed away in the bottom of the wagons, and over them were spread straw, feather beds, rugs, and other contrivances for breaking the severity of the jolting. The passengers reclined on the top. Many time they had no bed but the tarantass, and no food but what they had brought with them. Harry found plenty of employment for his fists, as well as for his ingenuity in bridge building and other useful arts. Once he detected a waiter, in the end where they stopped at Tula, stealing a bottle of castor-oil from the medicine chest. It was only fit punishment to make the thief swallow a large dose; but when the effects of the drug began to show themselves, the man declared himself poisoned, and was carried to the hospital, while the travelers and their effects were placed under the charge of the police.

"We were prisoners for nearly 2 hours, when a doctor from the hospital, fortunately for us, a jolly Russ, came with a captain of police. While the captain of the police tackled Harry, who, ignorant of the language, answered 'da, da' (yes, yes) to everything. I explained to the doctor of what had really happened. The worthy doctor having gotten hold of the oil bottle cried,

"'Bravo! Poison! The most excellent medicine in pharmacy. Look here, captain. The pig' (meaning the waiter) 'was taken ill with cholera, cramps, spasms, vomiting here—mind you, here in this room—before madame and mademoiselle. They run to the next room, so does my friend here, a great English my-lord. What could they do? But, sir, the case was desperate. This gentleman' (pointing to Harry) 'is a great doctor, accompanying my-lord and his family; there was no time to send for me. What does he do? He opens his great medicine-box—look, there it is—and gives the dying moushick a great dose of apernicocus celantacus heprecaincos masta, the best remedy in the world for cholera. I tell you, "Yea Boch!" there now, that's the truth.'

"'But,' said the captain, 'the moushick, doctor, how is he?'

"'Ah! the pig!' (and here he spat on the ground in contempt), 'I left the beast quite well and sleeping. I will answer for him. Come, captain, let us go. Poison! That is a good joke! Come, captain. Safe journey. Good-bye!'

"The police captain was satisfied, however reluctantly. With two bottles of something better than castor-oil, and a fee, which the doctor might or might not divide with the captain, I paid the cost of Harry's thoughlessness."

Having reached their destination, and purposing to remain in that part of the country for some time, our English friends obtained a house, and went to housekeeping. The torment they suffered from thievish and idle servants is pitiful to read. The lower-class of Russians seem to have no more idea of working without an occasional application of the stick than a sluggish horse; and an honest servant is the rarest thing in the empire. Our author began housekeeping with four—a key-keeper (housekeeper), cook, room-girl (housemaid), and footman. The dishes were put upon the table dirty, just as they had been taken away after the previous meal, because it was nobody's business to wash them; so a dish-washer was added to the retinue. At the end of a week it was found that nobody had time to scrub the floors; so scrubbers had to be hired. Then another was wanted to wash clothes (though nobody could be found who knew what it meant to get up linen, and the authors wife had to do it herself); another to clean boots; a man to cut and fetch wood; and another man to {114} split it and keep up the fires. Thus in one week the establishment increased to thirteen souls. Their wages, it is true, were small, but their pilferings were great. One day the master and mistress resolved to examine the servants' boxes. In the first one opened they found a canvas bag filled with lump-sugar, parcels him and of tea and coffee, needles, pins, buttons, hooks and eyes, tape, laces, soap, candles, children's toy», sealing-wax, pens, note paper, and a keep of small articles, all of which had been stolen. Every box had been opened in turn, and not one contained less than the first, and many of them contained more.

Dishonesty, as may be supposed, is not confined to the lower classes, but infects all ranks. The traders are the greatest cheats in the world; we were going to say the greatest except the government officials; but these are not exactly cheats, because their extortion is open and unblushing. When our author once told a Russian baron that English magistrates were incorruptible, the assertion caused an incredulous laugh, and a remark from the baron that he could buy any country magistrate in Russia for 50 kopecks (about 35 cents). Certainly our friend often found it convenient to prove their venality, especially when Harry of the strong arm had been giving his fists a little more exercise than was strictly according to law. Trade is a system of lying and cheating. The commonest purchase can rarely be made without a tedious and vociferous process of bargaining, very much such as goes on when a veteran jockey sells an old horse at a country fair. Our author had occasion to buy a pair of boots and a portmanteau at Tula. After over an hour's wrangling the price was reduced from 48 roubles to 16, and the letter some afterward proved to be about twice as much an the articles were worth. "How shameful of you," said the buyer to the seller when the transaction was concluded, "to ask three times more then you would take, and then to tell so many lies!" "Oh!" he replied, "words do not rob your pocket. I am no thief. It is all fair bargaining." The larger operations of commerce, if not so noisy, are at least no more honest then the retail dealing. It has been remarked that profitably to understand trading in Russia would require a course of many years training at university teaching the principles and practice of chicanery, bribery, smuggling, and lying. A rich trader of St. Petersburg gave our author of good deal of information about the way business is carried on. Contracts with the government, especially, are managed in a very curious fashion. Some one is appointed by the state to draw up plans and specifications of the work to be done, and to fix and "upset price." The contract is then offered at auction, and the lowest bidder under this upset price takes it. As there is a tacit understanding that the successful competitor shall pay the official who fixes the upset price a commission of 10 per cent on the gross amount of the contract, it follows, as a matter of course, that this price is always ridiculously high.

Smuggling is carried on very extensively, not as commonplace rascals do it, across the frontier, but through the custom-house itself. "Just look," said the merchant, "at this piano-forte—a first-rate 'grand' from Broadwood. Had that instrument come through the 'Tamoshny' a as a 'forte-piano,' it would have cost me 100 rubles, that is 15 pounds of your money. But, sir, I shipped it as a threshing machine—my children have certainly made it one—and it cost me no duty at all; machinery, you know, is the only thing duty-free. I paid my expediter his little commission, and he managed to convince the examining official, by what means I do not stop to inquire, that a threshing machine it was, and as such it passed." Not only is the temptation to dishonesty so strong, but honesty, on the other hand, is fraught with great danger. {115} A tradesmen, who was beginning business in St. Petersburg, imported a quantity of plain glass-ware, the duty on which was two roubles and twenty-five kopecks per pood. He meant to pay the duty in an honest, straightforward way; but this did not suit the custom-house officials, who wanted their little commission. They discovered by some singular optical delusion that the plain glass was all colored and gilded, the duty being thus raised to ten roubles per pood. Nor was this all, for the unfortunate tradesman was moreover fined fifty per cent for a false declaration, and his dear loss by the importation was about $500. This and a few similar transactions with the custom-house, in which he stood out for the payment of just dues and no corruption, ruined him. There is no redress for such outrages in Russia.

We have no space to go into details of the condition of the serfs, which our author represents as miserable in the extreme. The stewards on many of the estates are German adventurers of the worst description, who cheat their employers, oppress the serfs, and do all that man can do to ruin the country. Many of the lower class do not thoroughly understand the czar's ukase of emancipation, and even those who do understand what great things it does for them, show little or no gratitude. That is a virtue of slow growth in a Russian bosom. Some of the wisest land-owners anticipated the time set by the decree for the abolition of serfdom, and immediately began to work their estates with paid labor. The result was perfectly satisfactory. In a few districts, however, the publication of the emancipation ukase was followed by tumults and disorders, and now and then the peasants took a bloody vengeance on their oppressors. Our author witnessed one scene between a villanous steward and his emancipated serfs, which came near being tragical. The steward was roused from his slumbers one morning by a big strong mooshick, or peasant, who acted as his coachman. Entering the room rather unceremoniously, the man bawled out, in a peremptory voice:

"'Come, master, get up quick! You're wanted in the great hall.'

"The steward started at the unusual summons, and stared at the fellow in blank astonishment, unable to understand what he meant.

"'Come, I tell you; rise—you're wanted.'

"'Dog!' roared the steward, almost powerless with rage—'what do you mean by this insolence? Get out!'

"'No,' said the man, 'I won't get out. You get up. They are all waiting.'

"'Pig! I'll make you pay for this. Let me get hold of you, you villain!' and he jumped out of bed; but as he did so he perceived three of his other men-servants at the threshold ready to support the coachman.

"'Oh! this is a conspiracy; but I'll soon settle you. Evan, you devil, where are you? Come here.'

"Evan thus called—he was a lacquey—appeared at the door with a broad grin on his face.

"'Did you call, master?'

"'Yes, villain; don't you see? I am going to be murdered by these pigs. Go instantly for the policemen.'

"'No, no, baron; I have gone too often for the stan's men. We can do without them this morning.'

"'Come, come, master,' again struck in the tall coachman, 'don't you waste our time and keep the company waiting. Put on your halat; never mind the rest of your clothes; you won't need them for a little. You won't come—nay, but you must.' And he laid hold of him by the neck. 'Come along!' and so they dragged their victim into the great dining hall.

"There, sitting round the room on chairs and lolling on the sofas, were all the souls belonging to his domestic establishment, about thirty in all. Pillows were spread on the floor in the middle of the room; to these the steward was dragged, and forcibly stretched on them face down, with two men at his feet and two at his head.

"The coachman, who had been pretty frequently chastised in former times, was ring-leader. He sat down on a large easy-chair, the seat of honor, and ordered a pipe and coffee. This was brought him by one of the female servants. When the long cherry-tree tube began to draw, in imitation of his master's manner he puffed out the smoke, put on a fierce look, stretched out his legs, and said, 'Now then, go on. Give the pig forty blows! creapka (hard)!'

"In an instant the halat was torn up, and two lacqueys, standing at either side, armed with birch-rods, slowly and deliberately commenced the flagellation. The coachman told {116} off the blows as he smoked in dignity, 'one, two, three,' and so on to forty.

"'Now, then,' said coachee, 'stop. Brothers and sisters, have we done right?'

"'Right!' they all said.

"'Is there one here whom he has not beaten?'

"'Are you satisfied?'

"'Then go all of you home, and leave this house. Not one must remain. Release the prisoner.'

"Up jumped their tyrant, little the worse bodily for the beating he had got, but he was livid with rage. His face turned green and purple, he gnashed his teeth, and spat on his rebellious slaves. Speech seemed gone, and they all laughed in his face.

"'Master,' said the coachman, walking leisurely towards the door, 'we have not hurt you, but have given you a small taste of your own treatment of us for many years; how do you like it? We are free now, or will be soon, and will not be beaten any more. Good-bye; don't forget the stick. And listen. It you whimper a breath against any of us for this morning's work, your life is not worth a kopeck two hours after.' Each made a respectful bow as he or she went out, and the tyrant was left alone in the deserted house."

This, however, was not the end. In a short time the peasantry from a long distance began to collect in the courtyard. A mill belonging to the state stopped work, and its thousand hands joined the gathering crowd. The steward appeared among them, and in a terrible rage ordered them to work, They simply shrugged their shoulders and made him no answer. He struck one of them with his open hand, and the peasant in return spat in the steward's face.

"The Russian spit of contempt, the most unpardonable of Russian insults, is unlike any other kind of spitting. The Yankee squirt is a scientific affair; Englishmen who smoke short black pipes in bars, on rails, and elsewhere, expectorate in an uncleanly, clumsy way. But with an intense look of detestation, as he says 'Ah pig!' the Russian, with the suddenness and good aim of a pistol shot, plunges a ball of spittle right into the face or on the clothes of his adversary, making a sound like the stroke of a marble where it hits. It is a weapon always ready, I have frequently seen a duel maintained with it for a considerable time at short range.

"Matt, having thus shown his contempt, coolly leaned himself up against the gate, but the steward, insulted as he had never been before in this characteristic manner, before so many of his cringing slaves, lost any remains of reason his rage might have left him. He used hands and feet on the crowd of passive and hitherto quiet surfs, and seeing the old starost—Matt's father—coming up the road, he ran and colored the old man, dragged him to show where his son stood, and roared out his orders to take the devil into the stan's yard for punishment.

"'Old devil!' he said, 'you are at the bottom of all this rebellion, you and your son. You shall flog him; and then I shall make him flog you. Go, pig, and take him away!'

"The old man, for the first time in his life, openly disobeyed his tyrant's orders. He folded his arms across his sheepskin coat, gave the usual shrug, spat contemptuously on the ground, and said, 'No, steward, that is your work. Now, I will not.'

"'Dog! Devil! do you refuse to obey your master? I will, if it is my work, drag you to punishment myself.'

"With that he sees the starost by his luxuriant white beard, and began pulling him towards the next house, which, I have said, was the magistrate's and the police station. The old man resisted with all his might, and in the struggle he fell leaving a large mass of grey or rather white hair in steward's hands. The steward, finding he could not pull the starost by main force, lifted his foot, shod with heavy leather goloshes, and struck the old man twice on the head. The blood immediately ran down. Up to this moment the crowd of peasants, which had increased enormously, had been quiet spectators of the scene; but the site of the old man's blood gave the finishing touch to their patience. Without a word the crowd began slowly to move and concentrate itself around the steward and his fallen official. There might then have been five or six hundred people, and the numbers were increasing every moment, as the men came in from the stopped works. A rush took place, and the centre space was filled up with the mass. The bleeding starost was passed to the outside. The steward was surrounded, and many hands were laid on him. I do not believe there had been any premeditated designed to hurt the steward, cordially as they all hated him. Had he applied the listen given him that morning, and apprehended the changed feelings and circumstances of the serfs, he might have been passed from among them without further injury. But his passions were ungovernable, and he was slow to believe in the possibility of any resistance on the part of the poor slaves he had so long driven. The crowd swayed heavily from one side to another, tugging and pulling the poor steward about; and now he was in peril of his life. My window was wide open {117} He made a mute appeal to me for help. I signed to him to try the window. By some extraordinary effort he broke loose, and major rush and a spring to catch the sill. He succeeded so far, and two pair of strong arms were trying to drag the fat body through into the room; but we were too late, or rather he was too heavy for us. The crowd tore him down, and held him fast. Then a voice was heard, clear and decided as that of an officer giving the word of command—'to the water!' The voice was Mattvie's. A leader and an object had been wanted, and here there were both. Instantly the order was obeyed. The crowd, dragging the steward, left the front of my house and took the direction of the lake.

"We hurried through the court-yard down to the end of the cotton-mail, and came out on the banks of the lake, just as the raging crowd of serfs were tying a mat with a large stone in it to the stewards neck.

"Around the margin of the lake the ice was to some extent broken, and their evident intention was to throw him in. We ran to meet them, and if possible prevent the horrid act of retribution. But we were too late; they had selected the part of the bank nearest the road, as it was higher than the rest; and just as we came painting up, we saw the body of the steward swaying in the hands of a dozen of the man, and heard the fatal words given out by Matt: 'Ras, dwa, tree' (One, two, three); then a cry of despair, above the yelling of the crowd; than a plunge in the water; no, two plunges. The ragoshkie, or bark mat, containing the heavy stone which was to keep the steward down, had not been a good one; for as the body passed through the air, the stone fell from the mat, splashing a second or two before, and a little beyond the spot where he came down. He disappeared under the water for a moment or two, then made desperate efforts to scrambled to his feet, in which he succeeded, standing up to his shoulders in the shallow water, and with the mat bag, drenched and limp, hanging from his neck. There he stood within twenty feet of the bank, facing a thousand yelling enemies. Outside was plenty of firm ice; but between him and them there might be thirty feet of deep clear water, the bed of the lake dipping many feet immediately beyond where he stood. He seemed to comprehend his position, and was evidently making up his mind to contend with the deep water rather than with the turned worms upon the bank. He had raised one arm, either for entreaty or defiance, and had taken off few steps toward the ice, when one of the many stones thrown at him struck the uplifted arm and it fell powerless to his side. Another, but a softer missile, struck him on the head. He fell down under the water, and again recovered his feet; but the stones were now—like hail about him. The serfs were as boys pelting a toad or frog—and their victim in the water did look like a great overgrown toad.

"Saunderson and I had made several attempts to be heard, or to divert the attention of the people; but it was spending idle breath: 'Go away; it is not your business,' some of the men said; others, more savage, asked how we would like the same treatment."

The contrivance is by which the unfortunate was rescued from his perilous situation was so theatrical that we can hardly help suspecting that the incidents of this story have been arranged with a sharp eye to effect. The man's fate seemed certain when our author espied a sleigh approaching at a considerable distance. No doubt it contained young Count Pomerin, the owner of the estate. If a little delay could be obtained, the steward might be saved. At this juncture are friend Harry interfered. "I'll try," he exclaimed; "blow me if I don't. The buffer's bad lot, but I sha'n't see him killed;" and with that he jumped into the water, and was by the steward's side in a moment. The noise and stoning ceased, for Harry was a prime favorite; but the mob was not to be baulked of its vengeance, and after a vigorous exchange of expostulations, in the course of which Harry made several remarks that were more forcible than polite, the chivalrous Englishman was pulled out of the water, kicking stoutly, and the pelting was about to be renewed.

Just at this moment the sleigh, drawn by three magnificent greys, dashed into the centre of the crowd. Three gentlemen occupied it. Two were in official costume. The third, a tall, well-built man, rose, and threw off Is rich black fox-skin cloak, and the mob beheld, dressed in the uniform of a general, not the young count, but his father, who had been exiled years before, and was thought to be dead. He had now come hack, with an imperial pardon, prepared to resume the management of his estates. The steward was extricated from the water, and immediately called upon to {118} settle his accounts. The old count had visited the estate before in disguise, and knew how it had been mismanaged. He had witnessed and all ready to Convict the steward of peculation, and the result was that the wretched man was compelled to refund on the spot $750,000 of stolen wealth, and then allowed twenty-four hours to leave the place.

The next scene in this pretty little drama was between the count and his serfs. He called them all together, and told them they were free from that moment. He did not intend to wait for the period of emancipation fixed by the ukase. Moreover, he gave to each male peasant three acres of land, free of price—parting thus with one-sixth of his estate. The whole assembled multitude then went down on their knees, and cried, "Thanks, thanks, good count, the illustrious master—God bless you!" And here, according to all dramatic rules, unless there was somebody to be married, the thing ought to have ended. But behold, ten grey-bearded peasants, who evidently had no idea of propriety, stepped forward and wanted to know what they were to do with their cows? Three acres would be enough for garden and green fields, but it would not give them pasture. Would not his excellency add to his gift? and so might God bless him! Well, the count allotted them pasture for ten years; and then the ten grey-beards advanced again, with the cry a Russian always raises when you give him anything—"prebavit" (add to it). Pasture was very good, but how were they to get firewood? "If it please your high-born excellency, add to your gift firewood. Prebavit!" So his high born excellency added firewood; and the incorrigible peasant stepped up again. "Prebavit! How were they to get fish? Would it please his high born excellency to let them fish in the lakes?" There were the usual thanks and the prostrations when this was granted; and then "prebavit" again; they wanted something else; but they did not get it, and the meeting broke up. A little while afterward our author revisited the estate, and found that it had undergone a marvellous change. The village was no longer a collection of mud huts, but a thriving town. The people were not like the same beings; and there was decided evidence of the rise of a middle class—a class once unknown in such places.

Our author gives us an obscure glimpse of a curious religious sect in Russia called the starrie verra, or "old faith," of whose peculiarities be knows little, and of whoso history be confesses that he know a nothing at all. It's members deem the present Russian Church an awful departure from the primitive faith and practice; deny the emperor's claim to be the head of the church; believe to any extent in witches; fast, scourge themselves; meet in secret, generally at night (for they are rigorously proscribed); hate the established religion of the realm has much as the old Scotch Puritans hated prelacy; and, if they had their wish, would probably advance the Czar to the dignity of martyrdom. It is said that many distinguished personages privately adhere to them, and submit to dreadful midnight penances, by way of compounding for the sin of outward subserviency to the modern heresy. People of the old faith are distinguished by a grim gravity and opposition to all dancing or light amusement. Our author had a woman-servant of this sect, who was remarkable for never stealing anything, and for continually smashing crockery which she supposed to have been defiled. There was a community of the old faith near his residence? An old wooden building like a Druid temple, set in the side of a hill among trees and rocks, was pointed out to him as the place of their midnight conventicles. It was said to be presided over by a priestess who never left the temple by night or by day. A roving fanatic, whom the writer sometimes encountered in the village, collecting {119} peasants around him and shouting like a street-ranter, was looked up to by the sectaries as a prophet; though he was certainly not a very reputable one, being often helplessly drunk, and not very decently clad. He wore no covering for head or feet, even in the severest frost. He carried a long pole, and danced some holy dance, to words of high prophetic omen. Our author was rather surprised to find that, thanks to his crockery-smashing cook, he himself was commonly reputed a priest of the starrie verra; the big volumes of the illustrated London News in which he used to read were supposed to be illuminated Lives of the Saints, and the little plays and dramatic scenes which his children used to perform on winter evenings were looked upon with holy awe as religious rites of dreadful power and significance. He bore his honors without complaining, and even when the cook, on the night of a party, broke all his best Wedgwood dinner-set, brought from England at a huge expense, he endured the loss with Christian patience: it was so delightful to have a Russian servant who would not steal.


From Russian servants to Italian brigands the transition is perfectly natural. Both are rogues of the same class, only external circumstances have made a difference in their modes of doing business. An English gentleman named Moens has recently obtained a more intimate acquaintance with the robber bands of Southern Italy than any of our readers need hope to make, and has given us the result of his observations in a very curious and interesting volume. [Footnote 25] Mr. and Mrs. Moens, and the Rev. J. C. Murray Aynsley and his wife, had been visiting the ruins of Paestum, on the Gulf of Salerno, on the 15th of May, 1865, when their carriage was stopped on the way home by a band of about twenty or thirty brigands.

[Footnote 25: English travelers and Italian Brigands. the Narrative of Capture and Captivity. By W. J. C. Moens. With a Map and several illustrations. 12mo. pp. 355. New York: Harper & Brothers.]

The ladies were not molested, but the gentlemen were hurried off across the fields, and through woods and thickets, until nearly daylight the next morning, when they were allowed to lie down to sleep for a short time on the bare earth. As soon as they felt themselves in a place of security the band halted, and their captain, a fine-looking fellow, named Manzo, got out paper and pen and proceeded to business. The two Englishmen were to be well treated, provided they made no attempt to escape, and on the payment of a ransom were to be released without injury. The sum demanded for the two was at first 100,000 ducats, or about $85,000, but this was afterward reduced one-half. It was now agreed that one of the two captives should be allowed to go for the money, and lots were drawn to determine upon whom this agreeable duty should fall. Good fortune inclined to the side of Mr. Aynsley, and the reverend gentleman set off under the care of two guides. He was hardly out of sight when the band was attacked by a party of soldiers, and for a short time there was a sharp skirmishing fire, in the course of which Mr. Moens came very near being killed by his would-be rescuers. He was forced to keep up with the bandits, however, and the whole party finally got away from the troops. Whatever plans he may have had of flight he now saw were futile. The brigands ran down the mountain like goats, while he had to carefully pick his way at every step. The robbers had eyes like cats: darkness and light, night and daytime, made but little difference to them. Their sense of hearing was so acute that the slightest rustle of leaves, the faintest sound, never escaped their notice. Men working in the fields, or mowing the grass, they could distinguish at a distance of miles, and they knew generally who they were, and to what village they belonged.

After four days of dreadful fatigue, during which the captive and his captors all suffered severely from hunger, {120} since the closeness of the pursuit prevented them from getting their usual supplies from the peasants, our party joined the main body of the band.

"On emerging from the trees we saw the captain and about twenty-five of his men reclining on the grass in a lovely glade, surrounded by large beach-trees, whose luxuriant branches swept the lawn. Several sheep and goats were tethered near, cropping the grass. The men, with their guns in their hands, their picturesque costumes and reclining postures, the lovely light and checkered shade of the trees, made a picture for Salvator Rosa. But I do not believe that Salvator Rosa, or any other man, ever paid a second visit to the brigands, however great his love of the picturesque might be, for no one would willingly endure brigand live after one experience of it, or place himself a second time in such a perilous situation.

"The band all arose, and looked very pleased at seeing me, for we had been separated from them since the fight on the 17th, and they were in great fear that I might have escaped, or have been rescued by the troops. I stepped forward and shook hands with the captain, for I considered it my best policy to appear cheerful and friendly with the chief of my captors. He met me cordially in a ready way, and asked me how I was. I said I was very tired and hungry, so he immediately sent one of his men off, who returned in a few minutes with a round loaf of bread, and another loaf with the inside cut out, and packed full of cold mutton cut into small pieces and cooked. I asked for salt, and was told it was salted. When cooked the meat tasted delicious to me, though it was awfully tough, for I and had not had meat since luncheon on Monday, in the temples of Paestum, four days before. I ate a quantity, and then asked for water, which was brought to me in a large leathern flask with a horn around the top, and a hole on one side serving to admit air, as the water was required for drinking. I had observed a large lump of snow suspended by a stick through its center, between two forked sticks; the water dripping from it was collected in flasks, and then drunk. There were two or three of these flasks. The captain asked me if I was satisfied. I answered 'Yes.'

"I was then told that there were two more companions for me. I was taken through a gap in the trees to the rest of the band, about seventeen in number. Here by found those who were destined to be my companions for the next three weeks. A young man about twenty-eight, with a black beard of a month's growth, dressed just like Manzo's band, who was introduced to me has Don Cice alias, Don Francesco Visconti, and one Tomasino, his cousin, a boy of fourteen years old. I shook hands with them, and condoled them on our common fate, which Don Francesco described as fearful. I was told to sit down on one side, which I did and looked around me.

"The spot seemed perfect for concealment. We were at the top of a high mountain, entirely surrounded by high trees, excepting two small gaps serving for entrances, opposite to each other. The surface of the ground was quite level. About twenty yards away, on the side opposite to where I entered, there was a quantity of snow, from which they cut the large pieces for drinking purposes. I saw five or six men bringing a fresh block, which they had just cut, and slung on a pole. It was now a little before mid-day, and they were preparing a cauldron full of pasta (a kind of macaroni), which was ready by twelve o'clock. Some was offered to me, which I accepted. One brigand proposed putting the pasta into a hollow loaf, but another brigand brought forward a deep earthenwere dish of a round shape. I thought milk would be an improvement, so I asked for some. Two men went to the goats and brought some in the few minutes. The pasta was very clean and well cooked. What with the meat and bread, and this pasta, I made an excellent dinner, and felt much better. The pasta was all devoured in a few minutes by the band, who collected round the caldaja, and dipped in spoons and fingers. I had now leisure to examine the men; they were a fine, healthy set of fellows.

"Here the two divisions of the band were united, thirty men under the command of Gaetano Manzo, and twelve under Pepino Cerino. The latter had the two prisoners, who had been taken on the 16th of April near the valley of the Giffoni, at five o'clock in the afternoon, as they were returning from arranging some affairs connected with the death of a relative.

"The smaller band had for women with them, attired like the men, with their hair cut short—at first I took them for boys; and all these displayed a greater love of jewelry then the members of men's Manzo's band. They were decked out to do me honor, and one of them wore no less than twenty-four gold rings, of various sizes and stones, on her hands at the same moment; others twenty, sixteen, ten, according to their wealth. To have but one gold chain attached to a watch was considered paltry and mean. Cerino and Manzo had bunches as thick as and arm suspended across the breasts of their waistcoats, with gorgeous brooches at each fastening. These were sewed on for security; little bunches of charms were also attached in conspicuous positions. I will now describe the uniforms of the two bands. Manzo's band had long jackets of strong brown cloth, the color of withered leaves, with large pockets of a circular shape on the two sides, and others in the breast outside; and a slit on each side gave entrance to a large pocket {121} that could hold anything in the back of the garment. I have seen a pair of trowsers, two shirts, three or four pounds of bread, a bit of dirty bacon, cheese, etc., pulled out one after the other when searching for some article that was missing. The waistcoats buttoned at the side, but had gilt buttons down the center for show and ornament; the larger ones were stamped with dogs' heads, birds, etc. There were two large circular pockets at the lower part of the waistcoats, in which were kept spare cartridges, balls, gunpowder, knives, etc.; and in the two smaller ones higher up, the watch in one side and percussion caps in the other. This garment was of dark blue cloth, like the trowsers, which were cut in the ordinary way.

"The uniform of Cerino's band was very similar, only that the jacket and trowsers were alike of dark blue cloth and the waistcoat of bright green, with small round silver buttons placed close together. When the jackets were new they all had attached to the collars, by buttons, capuces, or hoods, which are drawn over the head at night or when the weather is very cold, but most of them had been lost in the woods. A belt about three inches deep, divided by two partitions, to hold about fifty cartridges, completed the dress, which, when new, was very neat-looking and serviceable. Some of the cartridges were murderous missiles. Tin was soldered round a ball so as to hold the powder, which was kept in by a plug of tow. When used the tow was taken out, and, after the powder was poured down the barrel, the case was reversed, and, a lot of slugs being added, was rammed down with the tow on top. These must be very destructive at close quarters, but they generally blaze at the soldiers, and vice versâ, at such a distance, that little harm is done from the uncertain aim taken. Most of them have revolvers, kept either in the belts or the left-hand pocket of their jackets; they were secured by a silk cord round their necks, and fastened to a ring in the butt of the pistol. Some few had stilettoes, only used for human victims. Many wore ostrich feathers with turned-up wide-awakes, which gave the wearers a theatrical and absurd appearance. Gay silk handkerchiefs around their necks and collars on their cotton shirts made them look quite dandies when these were clean, which was but seldom.

"At last, tired of watching the band, I lay down and fell asleep. I slept for some hours, during which a poor sheep was dragged into the enclosure, killed, cut up, cooked in the pot, and eaten. I must have slept until near sunset, for when I awoke another sheep was being brought forward and I watched the process of killing and cutting up the poor beast. The sheep was taken in hand by two men, Generoso and Antonio generally acting as the butchers of the band. One doubled the fore legs of the sheep across the head; the other held the head back, inserting a knife into the throat and cutting the windpipe and jugular vein. It was then thrown down and left to expire. When dead, a slit was made in one of the hind legs near the feet, and an iron ramrod taken and past down the leg to the body of the animal; it was then withdrawn and the mouth of one of the men placed to the slit in the leg, and the animal was inflated as much as possible and then skinned. When the skin was separated from the legs and sides, the carcass was taken and suspended on a peg on a tree, through the tendon of the hind leg; the skin was then drawn off the back (sometimes the head was the end, but this rarely). The skin was now spread out on the ground to receive the meet, etc., when cut off the body; the inside was taken out, the entrails being drawn out carefully and cleaned; these were wound around the inside fat by two or three who were fond of this luxury—Sentonio, and Andrea the executioner, generally performing this operation. These delicacies, as they were considered, being made about four inches long and about one inch in diameter, are fried in fat or roasted on spits. It was some time before I would bring myself to eat these, but curiosity first, and hunger afterward, often caused me to eat my share, for I soon learned it was unwise to refuse anything.

"While these two men were preparing the inside, the other two were cutting up the carcass. The breast was first cut off, and then the shoulders; the sheep was then cut in half with the axe, and then the bones were laid on a stump and cut through, so that it all could be cut in small pieces. One man would hold the meat, while another would take hold of a piece with his left hand and cut with his right. As it was cut up, the pieces would be put into a large cotton handkerchief, which was spread out on the ground; the liver and lungs were cut up in the same way; the fat was then put in the caldaja, and, when this was melted, the kidneys and heart (if the latter had not been appropriated by some one) were put in, cooked, and eaten, every one helping himself by dipping his fingers in the pot. The pieces of liver were considered the prizes. All the rest of the sheep was then put in the pot at once, and after a short time the pot was taken off the fire and jerked, so as to bring the under pieces to the top.

"They liked the meat well cooked; and when once pronounced done, it was divided into as many equal portions as there were numbers present; the captives being treated as 'companions'—the term they always used in speaking of one another. I soon found that the sooner I picked up my share the better. If there was no doubt about there being plenty for all, the food was never divided. Then they dived with their hands, {122} whoever ate fastest coming off best. I could only eat slowly, having to cut all the meat into shreds, as it was so tough; so I always took as much as they would let me, and retired to my lair, like a dog with his bone. If I finished this before all was gone, I returned for more, it being always necessary to secure as much as possible, as one was never sure when more food would be forthcoming, and it is contrary to brigand etiquette to pocket food when eaten thus. When it was divided, I might of course do as I liked with my share, but even then it was prudent not to allow them to know that I had reserved a stock in my pocket, or I was sure to come off short on the next division taking place. The skin was now taken and stretched out to dry, and then used to sleep on."


There were five women with the band, all dressed just like the men, except that they wore corsets. Their hair was cut short, and two of them carried guns, the others being armed with revolvers. They had no share in the ransom-money, and were often beaten and otherwise ill treated by their lords. Doniella, the partner of Pepino Cerino, one of the subordinate chiefs, was a strapping young woman about nineteen years old, with a very good figure and handsome features, a pretty smile, and splendid teeth. She and her husband were prodigious gluttons, and Pepino was eventually deposed from his rank on account of his lawless appetite. Carmina, the companion of Giuseppe, was a good-natured creature, who was often kind and generous to the English prisoner. Antonina, the wife of a whole-souled rascal named Generoso di Salerno, had a thin, melancholy face, with magnificent great lotus-eyes. She was cheerful and generous, and did a great for Mr. Moens in the way of mending his clothes and sharing her food with him during the many periods when victuals were scarce. Maria and Concetta were both ugly and sulky, hardly ever spoke, and never gave away anything.

It was a terrible life these brigands led, very different from the free and picturesque career with which poetry and romance love to identify them. Hunted by the soldiers and fleeced by their friends the peasants; suffering the extremes of hunger, thirst and fatigue; passing long days and nights of apprehension among the perpetual snows of the mountain summits, where they often durst not light a fire to warm their benumbed limbs or cook their stolen sheep or goat, for fear lest the flame should betray them, and where they would scarcely snatch a few moments for repose, that they might be ready for instant flight; dreading even to take off their clothes to wash themselves, because the pursuit might be upon them at any moment; paying absurd prices for all that they obtained from the country people; wasting in gambling the sums they received for ransoms; and haunted every hour by the Nemesis of past crimes and vain longings for a lawful and quiet life—the most wretched captive in his dungeon seems almost happy in comparison with them. Mr. Moens passed about a hundred days in their company. The ransom, finally reduced to 30,000 ducats, was not raised without some delay, in a country where he had few acquaintances, and even after it was raised the getting it safely to the band was a work of time and difficulty, for the government punishes all intercourse with the brigands with great severity. The robbers meanwhile became impatient. Our author was forced to accustom himself to kicks, cuffs, starvation, and every species of ill-usage, and there was serious talk of cutting off his ears and sending them to his wife as a gentle incentive to haste. The money came at last, however, and he parted from the gang on very friendly terms, receiving from them before he left enough money to enable him to travel to Naples "like a gentleman," besides several interesting keepsakes, such as a number of rings, and a knife which had been the instrument of one or two murders.


There is a sort of relief in turning from these two narratives of rascality to the next hook on our list, though in literary merit it is very far inferior to {123} them. It is the narrative of a lady's travels in Spain. There is not much novelty in the subject, and only a very moderate degree of skill in the execution; but it is something to get into decent company. Mrs. William Pitt Byrne [Footnote 26] travelled from the Pyreneean frontier of Spain, through Valladolid, Segovia, Madrid, Toledo, and Cordova, to Seville. Her book, with all its faults, supplies some lively pictures of modern Spanish life, and the reader who has patience to hunt for them will also find in her pages some valuable bits of information about the condition and prospects of the kingdom. She has a great deal to say about the discomforts of travelling in Spain, and the horrors of the hotels and inns, which are scarcely less abominable than those of Russia. However useful these particulars may be to persons meditating a trip through the Peninsula, they can scarcely be thought very important to the public generally; and we shall therefore content ourselves with extracting from Mrs. Byrne's two handsome volumes an account of a bull-fight at Madrid, which, notwithstanding her sex, she was induced by a sense of public duty to witness. We pass over the description of the arena and the spectators, and the preliminary procession of the actors in the bloody spectacle, and come at once to the moment when the bull is let into the ring:

[Footnote 26: Cosas de España: Illustrative of Spain and the Spaniards as they are. By Mrs. Wm. Pitt Byrne, Author of Flemish Interiors, etc. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 279, 322. London and New York: Alexander Strahan.]

"No sooner was egress offered him than he rushed headlong into the circus, dashing madly round as if he sought an escape; baffled in this, and scared by the fanfare of the trumpets, the glare of the sun on the yellow sand, and the vociferous shouts of the people, he suddenly stopped, raised his head, and stared wildly round. The blood was already streaming from his neck where the devisa, [Footnote 27] in this case a sky-blue ribbon, had been fixed. Meantime the lidiadores, fifteen in number, were scattered about the arena, each with a brightly tinted cloak of different colors twisted about his arm, the picadores being drawn up in a defensive attitude, one behind the other, as far as possible from the centre of the circus. The horses, we observed, were blindfolded, pour cause. Some precautions were taken for the safety of the toreros; thus there were, here and there, slits in the barriers, [Footnote 28] through which an expert fellow could glide, in extreme cases, and there is a step all round, from which the more readily to vault over the paling. For the protection of the public, a tight rope was strained all round the circus, fixed to iron stays, to arrest the progress of the bull, if, in his fury, he should attempt to scamper upwards among the spectators. This frequently occurs, to the great delight of those who are far enough off not to be damaged, and who seem to forget that the next time it may be their turn. Frightful indeed are the accidents, both among actors and spectators, which sometimes happen during these games; and, as they are generally of some unexpected kind, one never knows whether some awful casualty may not be on the point of occurring; it is always on the cards.

[Footnote 27: The devisa differs in color, and indicates the ganaderia whence the bull has come.]

[Footnote 28: At Seville the lidiadores, at least those who are on foot, have an additional chance of safety in the wooden screens placed all around at intervals, about fifteen inches in front of the fenced ring, behind which they can glide, without fear of being followed by the bull.]

"The bull now discovered his adversaries, and seemed instinctively to recognize their treacherous intentions. The people became impatient for an attack, and the trumpets blew; the capeadores hovered about, dazzling, perplexing, attacking and repelling the bewildered brute, according to the different colors of their cloaks, and always gracefully and ingeniously eluding his vengeance. At length one, emboldened by success, continued his provocations beyond the bounds of discretion; the bull abandoned the others, and selecting his persevering tormentor, defied him to single combat. Scattering about the sand with his hoofs, he ploughed the ground with his muzzle, and, putting himself in a butting attitude, he pointed the back of his head and the tips of his horns with a menacing determination towards the object of his just vengeance. The agile torero, however, knew his bull; he never lost presence of mind for a moment, but twisting about the capa till it became inflated, he flung it before the beast's face, and, under cover of its folds, fled nimbly to the barrier. The bull, furiously enraged, tossed the crimson silk, tearing it with his horns, and then, discovering how he had been duped, made for his foe with redoubled rage; but the capeador had just gained the time he needed to vault over into the fenced ring just as the bull came up with him. His eye was dilated, and seemed to glare with fire; he had pursued his foe with such fury that the impetus given to his course served him instead of address, and, never losing sight of his man, he followed him, tumbling rather than leaping over the barrier into the narrow passage, {124} within one short section of which man and beast were now shut up together.

"The approving roars from the amphitheatre were deafening; it was difficult not to be carried away by the general enthusiasm; it was a moment of intense excitement; the life of a fellow-being seemed to hang on a thread, and a moment more must decide his doom. It was a struggle between brute force and intelligent activity:—the man got the better of it. In that instant he made another desperate bound, and leaped over into the next division. The people, true to its character—

'Sequitur fortunam, ut semper, et odit Damnatos,'

and who but now had thundered a unanimous 'Bravo toro!' changed its cry, and it was the lidiador they hailed. But he was not saved yet; the next move—quick as thought—was on the part of the bull, who, making a second and almost supernatural bound, was seen coming up behind him a third time, when the active fellow, by a happy inspiration, leaped back into the arena, and his brethren in arms, rushing to the rescue, threw open the communications to give his provoked and angry foe free course, till, one of the barriers being opened, he spontaneously returned into the circus, when it was neatly closed, and the combatant was saved for this time. Still panting from the desperate chase, the disappointed brute now turned upon the first picador, but received a check from the point of his lance; a broad stream flowed from the widening gash, crimsoning the sand, and, as might be expected, the wounded beast turned again with greater fury on his assailant, who by this time had driven his spurs into his horse, and by a bound had cleared the spot, so that the creature's horns struck violently, and with a fearful crash, into the wooden wall, and the bull, who as yet had gained no advantage, baffled and stung, coursed once more desperately round the ring.

"The men seemed to be taking breath; but the spectators had no intention of being satisfied with this tame dallying, and they vociferously signified their disapprobation. The trumpet sounded once more, and the picador advanced a second time to the bleeding hero of the sport, and provoked him with his 'vara,' at the same time siding up to the fence, so that, in case his horse should fall, he might secure an escape: the sagacious beast, albeit blindfolded, seemed to have an instinctive presentiment of the fate that awaited him; he trembled for a moment in every limb, as the bull, with a thundering roar, rent the air; but, obedient to the spur and to his master's voice, he recovered his pace, and advanced to meet the inevitable attack. The bull, lowering his head, rushed at the picador, and, with all the force of his weight, plunged his horns deep into the poor beast's right flank, turning him completely round as on a pivot, and lifting his hind quarters several times from the ground, the horse kicking violently. It was a ghastly group. The picador kept his seat unmoved while the whole assemblage yelled it's savage delight. The attention of the bull, as soon as the lance had forced him to withdraw his horns, was called off by the chulos, who dazzled him with the evolutions of a yellow cloak, and the gored steed, now released, but frightfully torn, tottered on, a hideous spectacle, endeavoring with his fast-failing strength, to bear his rider out of danger. Arrived near the middle of the arena, however, his broken steps were arrested; his hour was come, and, making one last but futile effort, he fell with his rider heavily to the ground. When a picador falls, and with his horse upon him, it is no easy matter for him to rise; and no sooner had the wretched steed succumbed, than the bull, dashing at the struggling and powerless man, 'in one red ruin blent,' attacked horse and man once more with all the vigor of his horns. The picador was utterly helpless; imbedded in his deep saddle and ponderous stirrups, his lower limbs cased in iron, he had not the shadow of a chance of extricating himself. His lance he had dropped, and all he could do, and all he did, was to urge his dying horse with violent and desperate blows to rise and release him. The cruelly-used beast, willing and intelligent to the last, mangled as he was, and almost swimming in the crimson pool beneath him, made a supreme effort to rise; it was in vain, and all he could now do was to serve as a shield by receiving the attack of the enraged bull, instead of his master. Still the position was eminently critical; the struggles of the dying horse under the horns of the infuriated full complicated the position, and the next moment might decide the helpless man's fate. He looked around, dismayed, when another picador advanced, and, driving his lance into the bull's shoulder, aroused him to the consciousness of a new foe. The toreros and chulos took advantage of the diversion to bear the bruised and wounded picador off the field, and the expiring horse—not deemed worth of thought, because, pecuniarily speaking, he was valueless—was left there, not only to struggle in the agonies of a cruel death, but to form a butt for the frantic bull every time he passed in the fight.

"Meantime, as if to carry their barbarity to the lowest depth, two or three chulos, watching their opportunity, advanced to the moribund horse, and beating him violently with clubs and sticks, tried to force him to rise, but in vain; his feet, once so swift, were destined never to support him again, and, after several attempts to comply, he dropped his head heavily, and with an almost human expression of powerlessness and despair. His savage tormentors were not satisfied even now, and as if determined the noble beast should not even die in peace, forestalled the {125} few moments he had yet to breathe, by dragging off, with frightful violence, the heavy accoutrements with which he was incumbered; and, having possessed themselves of these articles, departed without having even had the grace to put an end to his miserable existence, the bull being engaged in a deadly combat with the second picador on the other side of the circus. The second picador, indeed, came off better than the first. His horse, after the first goring, and when just about to fall, was recalled by a sharp spur-stroke in his already lacerated sides; he started off at a convulsive gala, and for his rider nearly round the ring, a miserable spectacle. His entrails were dragging along till, his feet getting entangled in them, his master, with surprising skill, contrived to dismount before he fell, and abandoned the dying and defenseless creature to the fury of the bull, who again gored and tossed him violently, escaped scot-free.

"But the term of the persecuted toro's own existence was shortening, and the people, fearing lest his end should arrive for they had had all the enjoyment that could possibly be extracted from his struggles, called loudly for the banderillas. The trumpets blew gets approving blast, and to bold banderilleros presented themselves, after the bull had been provoked by the chulos into the right position and attitude for these new tormentors to commence their attack. The banderillero was an accomplished torero, who understood his business, and he took in at a glance the bull he had to deal with. His is a perilous office, but he executed it with intelligence, skill, and grace; he hovered about and around his bewildered victim, turning and twisting his banderillas with provoking perseverance, and gliding aside with surprising muscular accuracy every time the poor bull tried to parry a feint; at last he succeeded in planting his gaudy instruments of torture into the exact spot in which a clever artiste is bound to spike them, unless he can face the execrations of an assemblage of fastidious and disappointed connoisseurs. As it was, they testified their appreciation of the barbarous feat by the thunder of applause as the nimble torero eluded the pursuit of his foe by swift retreat. The bespangled and befringed banderillas drooped over with their own weight, and slapped violently on either side of the poor wretches neck, as with the sudden start and hideous roar at the unlooked-for aggravation, he bounded furiously across the sand, tearing up the ground with his horns and hoofs, and tossing everything in his way, in his frantic efforts to rid himself of the new torment; the blood, which had quite coagulated into a gory texture, hanging like a broad crimson sheet from either side of his neck, completely concealed his hide, now started in a fresh stream from the new wound, and his parched tongue hung from his mouth, eloquently appealing in its mute helplessness for one small drop of water. Strange to say, the pitiful sight touched no responsive chord in the hearts of that countless mass of humanity; on the contrary, like the beast of prey who has once licked up blood, this insatiate crowd seemed to gloat over the scene that had well-nigh sickened us; so far from being moved to compassion, regret, or sympathy, they urged on the remaining banderilleros, eager in their turn to show their skill, and after the usual flourishes, two more pair of fiery banderillas were adding their piercing points to the smarting shoulders of the luckless bull, 'butchered to make a Spanish holiday.' What must the Roman circus have been, if this was so unendurable?—and yet tender, gentle, loving womankind assisted—ay, and applauded at the ghastly human sacrifice.

"It was a relief when the trumpet blew its fatal blast, and the espada came forward, bowed to the president, threw off his cap, and displayed his crimson flag. It was Cuchares—the great Cuchares himself: the theatre rang with applause. The Toledo steel, bright as a mirror, flashed in his practised hand, dexterously he felt his ground; he eyed the bull, and in a moment—a critical moment for him—perceived by tests his experience suggested to him the nature of the animal he had to deal with, and the mode in which he must be treated . . . and . . . despatched. All the other toreros had retired, and he stood alone, as an executioner, face to face with his foredoomed victim. It was a supreme moment, and the attention of the amphitheatre seemed breathlessly concentrated into a single point.

"There is a wonderful power of fascination in perfection of any kind, and, notwithstanding the nature of the act in which it was to be displayed, we felt ourselves insensibly drawn under its influence.

"The matador began his operations by dallying with the bull: possessing all the qualifications of a first-rate espada, the confidence he had in the accuracy of his eye and the steadiness of his hand was apparent in every gesture; the group formed a singular tableau, and the attitudes supplied a series of excitements. Every head was stretched forward with an eagerness which offered each individual character without disguise, to be read like the page of a book. The interest was intensified by a sudden and unexpected plunge on the part of the bull; it was vigorous, but it was his last; the poor beast was received with masterly self-possession on the point of the sword, which entered deep, deep into the shoulder, just above the blade, and with a fearful groan, the huge and bloody form fell, an inert mass, to the ground.

"The crimson tide of life burst like an unstemmed torrent from his wide nostrils and gaping mouth, and with a quiver which seemed to communicate itself to the whole {126} amphitheatre, he was still for ever. The air was rent with shouts of men, screams of women, cries of approbation and roars of applause, which were still at their height, when one of the barriers suddenly opened, and the mules, with their harness glittering, and their grélots tinkling, trotted gaily in; a rope was fastened with great dexterity around the neck of the still palpitating carcase, which was then dragged off with incredible rapidity, leaving a purple furrow in the sand: the dead bodies of the luckless horses, one of which still lingered on, were mercilessly disposed of in a similar manner; the chulos came in, some raked over the large deep stains beneath where the dead had lain, and cleverly masked the tracks they had left, and others sprinkled fresh sand over the spots. All traces of the deadly contest were obliterated, and in the few moments the arena, bright and sunny as ever, was prepared for a new corrida; the toreros appeared again, as smart and dapper as the first, their costumes as fresh, their silk stockings as spotless; not a splash of blood had touched them, and their limbs appeared to retain their original pliability to the last. One corrida is so like another, the routine is so precisely the same—never, apparently, having varied since the first bull-fight that was ever exhibited in the crudest times, and—unless there be an accident—the detail is so slightly varied, that it would be needless to add to the notes we have already recorded, especially as it is not an entertainment we would willingly linger over, even in recollection. We felt we ought to see it once; we saw, were utterly disgusted, and hope never to witness the horrid exposition a second time."


We have another book on Spain, just published in London, and much better written than Mrs. Byrne's, though it does not contain a quarter so much information as that lady's desultory journal. It is by Mr. Henry Blackburn, [Footnote 29] who made a trip through the kingdom, in 1864, with a party of ladies and gentlemen.

[Footnote 29: Travelling in Spain in the Present Day. Henry Blackburn. 8vo. pp.248. London: Sampson, Low, Son & Marston.]

He too went to see a bull-fight at Madrid, and he really seemed to have enjoyed it, his chief regret, when he thinks of the performance, being that the odds were too great against the bull! If the beast had only been allowed a fair chance, he would have liked it a great deal better. He attended another bull-fight at Seville, and did not like it at all. The great attraction on this occasion was a female bill-fighter, who was advertised as the "intrepid señorita" She entered the arena in a kind of Bloomer costume, with a cap and a red spangled tunic, made her bow to the president, and then lo! to the English gentlemen's unspeakable disappointment, a great tub was brought, and she was lifted into it. It reached her arm-pits and there she stood, waving her darts, or banderillas. At a given signal the bull was let in, his horns having been previously cut short and padded at the ends. "As the animal could only toss or do any mischief by lowering its head to the ground, the risk did not seem great, or the performance promising." The bull evidently considered the whole thing a humbug, for at first he would have nothing to do with the tub, and kept walking round and round the ring. At last indignation got the better of him, and turning suddenly upon the ignominious utensil, he sent it rolling half way across the arena, with the intrepid señorita curled up inside. This seemed very much like baiting a hedgehog; but when the bull caught up the tub on his horns and ran bellowing with it round the ring, the sport began to look serious. There was a general rush of banderilleros and chulos to the rescue. The performer was extricated and smuggled shamefully out of the amphitheatre, and the bull was driven buck to his cage. The next act Mr. Blackburn characterizes by the appropriate name of "skittles." Nine grotesquely dressed negroes stood up in a row, and a frisky young bull was let in to bowl them over. They understood their duty, and went down flat at the first charge. Then they sat on chairs, and were knocked over again. This was great fun, and appeared to afford unlimited satisfaction to the bull, the ninepins, the audience, and everybody except Mr. Blackburn. The performance was repeated several times. After that came a burlesque of the picadores. Five ragged beggars, with a grim smile on their dirty faces, rode {127} forward on donkeys, without saddle or bridle. The gates were opened, and the bull charged them at once. They rode so close together that they resisted the first shock, and the bull retired. He had broken a leg of one of the donkeys, but they tied it up with a handkerchief, and continued marching slowly round, still keeping close together. A few more charges, and down they all went. The men ran for their lives and leaped the barriers, and the donkeys were thrown up in the air. So, with many variations and interludes, the sport went on for three hours; and at last, when night came, two or three young bulls were let into the ring, and then all the people! "We left them there," says our author, "rolling and tumbling over one another in the darkness, shouting and screaming, fighting and cursing—sending up sounds that might indeed make angels weep."

The Spaniard does not always figure in Mr. Blackburn's book as the high-bred gentleman we are wont to imagine him. Take, for example, this picture of a señor travelling: "For some mysterious reason, no sooner does a Spaniard find himself in a railway carriage than his native courtesy and high breeding seem to desert him; he is not the man you meet on the Prado, or who is ready to divide his dinner with you on the mountain-side. He is generally, as far as our experience goes, a fat, selfish-looking bundle of cloaks and rugs, taking up more than his share of the seat, not moving to make way for you, and seldom offering any assistance or civility. He is not very clean, and smokes incessantly during the whole twenty-four hours that you may have to sit next to him; occasionally toppling over in a half-sleep, with his head upon your shoulder and his lighted cigar hanging from his mouth. He insists upon keeping the windows tightly closed, and unless your party is a large one you have to give way to the majority and submit to be half suffocated." Nor is it much better at the hotels: "A lady cannot, in the year 1866, sit down to a table d'hôte in Madrid without the chance of having smoke puffed across the table in her face all dinner-time; her next neighbor (if a Spaniard) will think nothing of reaching in front of her for what he requires, and greedily securing the best of everything for himself. That is an educated gentleman opposite, but he has peculiar views about the uses of knives and forks; next to him are two ladies (of some position, we may assume; they have come to Madrid to be presented at the levée to-morrow), but their manners at table are simply atrocious. In his own house, it must be admitted, the Spaniard behaves better; but it is only among the few that one encounters the same degree of refinement and good manners that commonly prevail in England and America. The Spanish gentry read little and are very ignorant; and, as a rule, ignorance and refinement are hardly ever found together."

As a specimen of one of the lower classes take this extract: "Our beds are made by a dirty, good-natured little man, who sits upon them and smokes at intervals during the process. Our fellow-travellers, who have been much in Spain and have been staying here some time, say that he is one of the best and most obliging servants they have met with. He attends to all the families on our étage, and earns 18s. or 20s. a day! Every one has to fee him, or he will not work. We found him active enough until the end of the week, when our 'tip' of 60 or 70 reals, equal to about 2s. a day, was indignantly returned, as insufficient and degrading. The latter was the grievance: his pride was hurt, and we never got on well afterward. He had a knack of leaving behind him the damp, smouldering ends of his cigarettes; and on one occasion, on being suddenly called out of the room, quietly deposited the morsel on the edge of one of our plates on the breakfast table."

{128}

The great feature of Spanish life seems to be its laziness. Crowds of idlers, wrapped in their picturesque cloaks, stand about the plazas from morning till night, doing noting, rarely speaking, and scarcely seeming to have energy enough to light a cigarette. Sometimes they scratch their fusees on the coat of a passer-by, in a contemplative, patronizing fashion, that takes a stranger rather aback. A young Madrileño is content to lounge his life away in this manner; and if he has an income sufficient to provide him with the bare means of subsistence, with his indispensable cigarito and his ticket for the bull-fight, he will do no work. In the morning he lounges on the Puerta del Sol; in the afternoon he lounges (if he can't ride) on the Prado; in the evening he lounges in the cafe or the theatre. This is all he cares for, and about all he is fit for. The middle class—the shop-keepers—have as little energy as their betters. "We went into a confectioner s one day," says Mr. Blackburn, "to purchase some chocolate, and were deliberately told that, if we liked to get it down from a high shelf, we could have it; no assistance was offered, and we had to go empty away." Could we accept Mr. Blackburn's sketch, or Mrs. Byrne's either, as a true picture of Spanish society, we might indeed despair of the ultimate regeneration of the kingdom. But the author of Travelling in Spain at the Present Day has the candor to admit that he is only a superficial observer, and with the following honest and commendable passages from his concluding chapter, we take leave of him and our readers together:

"Spain is not a country to travel in, and there is no nation which is more unfairly estimated by foreigners who pay it only a flying visit. We have no opportunity of appreciating the Spaniards' good points, nor do we become at all aware of their latent fund of humor, their good-heartedness, and their true bonhomie. We jostle with them in crowds, we rub roughly against them in travelling, our patience is sorely tried, and we are apt, as Miss Eyre did, to denounce them as worse than 'barbarians. But we should bear in mind that Spaniards differ from other nations conspicuously in this—that they become sooner 'crystallized;' and crystals, we all no well, are never seen to advantage when in contact with foreign bodies. In short Spaniards are not as other men; and Spain is a dear delightful land of contraries, where nothing ever happens as you expect it, and where 'coming objects never cast their shadow before!'"




ORIGINAL.



ANNIVERSARY.


  The brooding July noon, the still, deep heats
  Upon the full-leaved woods and flowering maize,
  The first wheat harvest, and the torrid blaze
  Which on the sweating reapers fiercely beats
  And drives each songster to its own retreats,—
  Much less the stately lily of the field,
  Gorgeous in scarlet, whose large anthers yield
  The honey-bee meet prison for its sweets,
  A flame amid the meadow-land's rich green—
  With the revolving year is never seen
  But o'er the sunny landscape creeps a shade
  Of solemn recollection. Lilies! lean
  Your brilliant coronals where once was laid
  A boy's brow grand in death, and "Rest in peace" be said.



{129}

From The Month.


ST. CATHARINE AT FLORENCE.


The history of every race, every institution, every community, and even every family, has facts, phenomena, and characteristics of its own, which are the necessary results of the operation of certain elements or influences that belong to the subject of the history, or bear upon it with a peculiar force. It is the province of the philosophical historian to seize upon these characteristic features in each ease, and to give them their due prominence; and an intimate acquaintance with them and a due estimate of them are essentially necessary to any one who understands the work of such a historian. To be deficient in this point is enough to ruin the attempt. Thus, we might have a rationalistic writer on church history free from every prejudice, and endowed with literary powers of the highest kind—candid, impartial, industrious, judicious, full of generous sympathies, and large-minded and clear-sighted enough to take rank by the side of Thucydides or Tacitus—and yet he would fail even ludicrously as a Christian historian, because he did not recognize the ever living supernatural agency which the fortunes of the church are ordinarily guided—the force of prayer, the power of sanctity, the softening and restraining influences of faith, charity, and conscience, even on men or masses of men but imperfectly masters of their own passions, and by no means unstained by vice.

It is our object in these papers to give prominence to some of what may be conceded to be the more characteristic features of Christian history, which may nevertheless be left in the shade by those to whom it is little more than the history of Greece or Rome. Thus, a philosophical historian might see in the return of the Holy See from its long sojourn at Avignon a stroke of profound policy, by which it's emancipation from the straitening influences of nationalism was cheaply purchased, even at the cost of the great scandals which followed, and which a calculating politician might have foreseen. But to such a writer the manner in which the step was brought about would seem to be a riddle; for nothing is clearer than that it was consciously no stroke of policy at all. The wisest heads and the most powerful influences at the pontifical court were united against it; it was the work of an irresistible impulse on the conscience of a gentle and peace-loving Pope, the subject of a secret vow, a design conceived under the personal influence of one saintly woman—of princely race indeed, and reverend age, and large experience—but carried out under that of another in whom these last qualities were wanting; young, poor, the daughter of an artisan, yet who was able to succeed in her mission when success seemed hopeless, and to become the instrument of strengthening the successor of St. Peter in an emergency that might have taxed the courage of the great apostle himself.

Catholic art has sometimes represented St. Catharine of Siena as taking a part in the triumphal procession with which Gregory XI. entered Rome, and so terminated the long exile of the Holy See at Avignon. These representations, although true in idea, are false as to the historical fact; for St. Catharine never entered Rome in the lifetime of Gregory. After having seen him embark from Genoa on his {130} voyage toward the Holy City, she betook herself, with her company of disciples, to her own home at Siena, where she seems to have remained, with occasional excursions into the neighboring country, for nearly a year. She then reappears in public, having been sent once more by the Pope to Florence, in the hope that her presence there might strengthen the hands of the better party in the Republic, and bring it round again to peace with the church. In the interval she resumed her usual occupations, exerting herself in every possible way for the good of souls. Her letters at this time show great anxiety for the peace, which had not yet been obtained in Italy; for the crusade, which was always in her heart; and, perhaps more than all, for the most difficult, yet most necessary of the objects that were so dear to her—the reform of the clergy, and especially of the prelacy. It would be a thankless task to inquire into the many causes which had foster worldliness among churchmen at that time, and so prepared all the elements for the great scandal that was so soon to follow in the "schism" of the West. The best interests of the church had, in reality, more deadly enemies than Barnabo Visconti or the "Eight Saints" at Florence, in men who wore the robes of priests and even the mitre of bishops.

There is every reason to suppose that the corruption was not widely spread; but it had infected many in high station and authority, and even a few bad and ambitious prelates can at any time do incalculable mischief. The illuminated eye of Catharine had become familiar with the evil that was thus gnawing at the very heart of the church, manifesting its presence already by the pride, ambition, and luxury of ecclesiastics, and ready, when the moment came to give it full play, to break out into excesses still more deplorable than these. She saw passion and vice enough to produce the worst of the evils by which the providence of God permits the church to be afflicted, if only the provocation came that would fan into full blaze the fire that was already kindled. The B. Raymond tells us that, so far back as the beginning of the troubles in the Pontifical States, when the news came of the revolt of Perugia, he went to her in the deepest affliction to tell her what had happened. She grieved with him over the loss of souls and the scandal given in the church; but, seeing him almost overwhelmed with sorrow, she bade him not begin his mourning so soon. "You have far too much to weep for: what you see now is as milk and honey to that which is to follow."

"How can any evil be greater than this," he replied, "when we see Christians cast away all devotion and respect to Holy Church, show no fear of her censures, and by their actions publicly deny their validity? Nothing remains for them now to do but to renounce entirely the faith of Christ."

"Father," said Catharine, "all this the laity do: soon you will see how much worse that is which the clergy will do."

Then she told him that there would be rebellion among them also, when the Pope began to reform their bad manners, and that the consequences would be a widespread scandal in the church; "not exactly a heresy, but which would divide it and afflict it much in the same way as if it were." This prophecy was made about two years before the time of which we are now speaking. It is no wonder that, with this clear view of the existing elements of evil before her, Catharine should have urged upon Gregory XI. the apparently impossible project of a reform of the clergy. It was apparently impossible, partly from the circumstances of the time, partly from the character of the pontiff himself. The troubles of Italy still continued: all attempts at pacification failed, and the fortune of the war was by no means favorable to the cause of the church, Moreover, at Rome, the banderesi or bannerets, who had for some {131} time had possession of the chief power in the city, had laid, indeed, their rods of office at the feet of Gregory at his entrance, but they still exercised their authority without regard to his orders for his wishes, and he found himself, therefore, not even master in his own capital. This was not the time to undertake that most difficult of all tasks, which was yet imperatively required for the welfare of the church. Nor was Gregory, with his feeble health, with the hand of death already upon him, and with his gentle and patient disposition, fitted rather for suffering than for action, the natural instrument for a work that called for sternness severity. Nevertheless, Catharine urged it upon him with a firmness that shows fact once the influence she had required, and her burning sense of the necessity of the measure. In one of the three letters to him that belong to this time, she tells him that the supreme truth demands this of him: that he should punish the multitude of iniquities committed by those who feed themselves in the garden of the Holy Church: "Beasts ought not to feed themselves on the food of men. Since this authority has been given to you, and you have accepted it, you ought to use your power: if you will not use it, it were better to renounce it, for the honor of God and the salvation of souls." She insists also upon the necessity of granting peace to the revolting cities on any terms that were consistent with the honor of God and the rights of the church. "If I were in your place, I should fear that the judgment of God might fall on me; and therefore I pray you most tenderly, on the part of Jesus Christ crucified, that you obey the will of God—though I know that you have no other desire than to do his will; so that that hard rebuke may never be made to you, 'Woe to thee, for that thou hast not used the time and the power that were committed to thee'" (Lett. xiii.) These were strong words. Catharine sent Father Raymond about the same time to Rome with a number of practical proposals for the good of the church. It appears from a letter to Raymond himself that Gregory XI. was displeased with her, either for her great liberty of speech, or, as is more probable, for the ill-success that seemed to have followed the step that he had taken at her advice. Nothing can be more beautiful or more touching than her humble apology for herself—she is ready to believe that all the calamities of the church were occasioned by her own sins.

Gregory had in fact continually occupied himself with endeavors for peace with Florence and the other confederated cities; but there had been the usual insincerity on the other side, and besides, the barbarities committed by the Breton troops at Cesena had produced their natural effect of alienating still more his revolted subjects. Negotiations had been recommenced even before the departure of the Pope from Avignon, at least so far that the Florentines had been desired to send ambassadors to meet him at Rome. He did not arrive there by the time appointed, and wrote again from Corneto to fix a later time. The negotiation failed, as we have said, not from any lack of a desire for peace on the part of Gregory, but on account of the bad faith of the rulers of Florence, who really wished the war to continue. Their cause seemed to gain strength with time; for Visconti now took their side, regardless of the treaty that had been made with him, and the English company under Sir John Hawkwood entered their service. A gleam of hope came when one of the revolted leaders, the Lord of Viterbo, made his peace with the church. Gregory immediately despatched two envoys to Florence, but their efforts were in vain; and in the autumn of 1377 the Eight, who still held the supreme power, ventured on a step which gave still greater scandal than any of their former excesses, and seemed to widen still further the breach between the Republic and the Holy See.

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Florence had now been for nearly a year and a half under an interdict, The churches were closed—the sacred offices could not be performed, nor the sacraments administered, except in private. This weighed heavily on the mass of the population. There were probably but few, besides the Eight and their immediate followers, who regarded it with indifference. The Italian character is in many respects unintelligible to those who have not studied it in Italy itself. We can hardly understand how nine-tenths of the population of a city or a duchy can submit quietly to be governed by a handful of usurpers, who proclaim themselves the representatives of the people—the great majority of whom have abstained from the nominal voting that had conferred that character upon them—and let things take their course under the tyranny of their new masters, though that course lead to financial ruin, burdensome taxation, and the spoliation of the best institutions of the country, as well as to open persecution of religion and deliberate attacks on morality. An Anglo-Saxon population would either have brought public opinion and general feeling to bear irresistibly upon the magistrates, or would have taken the matter into its own hands, and sent the "Eight Saints" floating down the Arno if they had not conformed their policy to the all but universal desire for peace. But the Florentines waited and suffered, showing their attachment to the church and to the services from which they were debarred in many touching ways, some of which have been specially recorded by the historians of the time. It was forbidden, for instance, that the divine office—at which, at that time, it was the custom of the laity to assist—should be sung publicly in the churches; but pious persons could not be forbidden from practising such devotions as might occur to them in place of the regular services; and we find that in consequence they organized themselves into confraternities, and went about in processions singing hymns in praise of God. Many of these seem to have been composed by followers or disciples of St. Catharine. There was a movement of popular devotion to make up for the solemn ecclesiastical worship which was suspended. No doubt it was a symptom of an irrepressible feeling in the public mind which frightened the "Eight Saints." At length the feast-day of St. Reparata approached—Oct. 8th. She was the titular saint of the cathedral, [Footnote 30] and her feast was usually celebrated with splendor and popular devotion. Were the people to be shut out of the church again on the day of their patron saint? The Eight had, as we have seen, just concluded their league with the lord of Milan, and strengthen their arms by the accession of Hawkwood, and their envoys had have returned from Rome without terms of peace. They determined to brave the Pope still further, and to plunge the city into still more flagrant rebellion against his authority, by ordering the violation of the interdict. They would indulge the religious wishes of the people, making them, at the same time, partners in a gross insults to religion. They would force the clergy themselves to the alternative of taking part against the church, or of suffering civil penalties and persecution if they refused to do so.

[Footnote 30: the Duomo of Florence, as it is signified by its name—S. Maria del Flore—is dedicated in honor of our Blessed Lady; but it was originally called after St. Reparata, an early martyr in Palestine, in gratitude for the deliverance of the city from a horde of Huns that besieged it in the fifth century; which deliverance took place on the date of the saint—Oct. 8th. The feast was kept as one of the first class, with an octave. The epithet "del Flore," added to our Lady's name in the present title, signifies Florence itself, the emblem of the city being a lily.]

St. Catharine, in one of her letters about this time, blames certain members of the clergy, and some of the mendicant friars, as having either counselled this outrage, or as having been induced by worldly motives to justify and defend it in pulpit. In a numerous clergy, connected by countless ties with every party and {133} every class, it is far more surprising that so few should ordinarily be found to help on tyranny and persecution such as that of the Eight, then that some should be weak enough to yield to its threats or its bribes. But the scandal was very great, and it would seem that the great body of the clergy, notwithstanding heavy fines levied on those who did not obey the order of the government, stood firm. The bishop—a Ricasoli—had already left the city rather than expose himself to the danger of coercion. But there was the greatest danger for the better party both among the people and among the ecclesiastics; and the state of things called for the most vigorous exertions on the part of Pope to provide a remedy before matters screw still worse. It may seem very strange to the ideas of our century to say that the remedy adopted by Gregory was the most fitting that could have been found, and the same of which the Florentines had bethought themselves when they had wished to make their own peace at Avignon. It had failed indeed, then, on account of their bad faith; but it had produced another great result for which Providence had destined it. The odious government that had plagued the Florentine republic into so many excesses was to be overthrown by the better and sounder part among the citizens themselves, who still might have been too timid to exert themselves on the side of peace and order if they had not had a saint among them to encourage and direct them. We should all think ourselves foolish if we were to deny that such results are the natural and lawful consequence of the exertion of personal influence: it is only that we cannot bring ourselves to conceive that the personal influence of great and recognized sanctity may be more powerful than any other.

Father Raymond, the friend and biographer of St. Catharine, tells us that he was then in Rome, governing the great convent of the Minerva. He had had some conversation, before leaving Siena, with Niccolo Soderini, a noble Florentine, who had told him that the great majority of the citizens wished for peace with the Holy See, and that it might easily be brought about if some of the present magistrates were deprived of their offices. He even pointed out the way in which it might be done. One morning the Pope sent for Father Raymond, and told him he had received letters suggesting that peace might be made if Catharine were sent to Florence to use her influence there; and he bade him, accordingly, prepare a paper stating with what powers it would be expedient to invest her. The bulls were at once drawn up, and Catharine received orders to go to Florence as legate of the Holy See. She was joyfully received, and at once set to work to confer with the most influential persons in the state. The first fruit of her exhortations was, that the interdict was again observed, and the first great scandal thus removed. The next step was a more difficult one. How were the obnoxious magistrates to be removed without a revolution? The friends of peace were obliged to have recourse to a curious institution, belonging to that long-established party organization which had been the fruit of the division of the Italian cities, and of each city, more or less, within itself, into the hostile factions of Guelphs and Ghibellines. Florence had always been Guelphs, and it appears that certain elected leaders of the dominant party had obtained a recognized right, in order to maintain the government of the city on their own side, to object to persons of the opposite party, and remove them from any post that they might chance to hold. A power like this was of course liable to great abuse: it has reappeared now and then in history in some of the worst times, and been the instrument of the greatest injustice and wrong. In Florence it seems to have been exercised with more moderation than in many modern instances; still it had sometimes been used {134} unscrupulously, and made the means of satisfying private malice and personal revenge or ambition. It was therefore very unpopular, and seems to have been practically disused at the time of which we speak. Catharine, however, thought that it might now be put in use with advantage, to take the reins of government out of the hands of the Eight, and break down their pernicious influence; and it is certain that a fairer use of such a power could never have been made. The plan seems to have been suggested by her friend Niccolo Soderini, whom we lately mentioned. It was urged on the Guelph officials by Catherine; and one of the Eight was accordingly "admonished," as the phrase was, that he was not to occupy himself with public affairs for the future. He was a man of much influence, but he does not seem to have resisted the admonition.

Unfortunately, the leaders of the Guelph party were willing to make peace with the Holy See, but their dominant idea was to restore themselves to power and ruin their enemies. They began to "admonish"' on all sides, and to use the name and authority of Catharine as vouchers for the purity of their motives and the wisdom of their policy. It is said that in the space of eight months they either removed as many as ninety citizens from posts of authority, or prevented them from acquiring them. It may easily be imagined that this could not be done without exciting furious passions; a storm soon began to gather, which did not wait long to burst. Catharine protested and entreated, and, to some extent, checked the evil. She had already prevailed on the government to entertain seriously the project of peace. It was agreed that a congress should assemble at Sarzano for the settlement of the troubles that agitated Italy. The Pope sent a cardinal and the Bishop of Narbonne as his representatives; France, Naples, Florence, Genoa, and Venice were to send others; and Barnabo Visconti was to be present in person to arbitrate between the Pope and Florence. A strange position for that inveterate plotter against the church; but one which shows, at all events, that Gregory XI. was willing to do a great deal for the sake of peace. Everything seemed to promise well; but while the congress was deliberating, Gregory died, and nothing could therefore be concluded. His death took place in March, 1378. Catharine was still at Florence, and seems to have had good hopes of bringing matters to a favorable issue, notwithstanding the failure of the congress. The new "gonfaloniere" seems to have been elected on the first of May. He bore a name afterward destined to become connected with the later splendors of his country—Salvestro dei Medici—and he was a man of firmness and standing sufficient to enable him to defy and check the extravagances of the Guelph officials. It was agreed between them that there should be no more "admonitions," except in the case of persons really tainted with Ghibelline principles; and that in no case should the "admonition" be valid after the third time. He was, moreover, bent on carrying out the peace with the Pope, and, as it seems at the entreaty of St. Catharine, sent fresh ambassadors to Urban VI., who had now succeeded Gregory on the pontifical throne.

These fair prospects were soon clouded over by the mischievous obstinacy of the Guelph party. The time came on, very soon after the installment of the new "gonfaloniere," for the selection of new "chiefs," into whose hands would pass the obnoxious power of "admonishing." The new men did not consider themselves bound by the promises made by their predecessors; they were not friends of Catherine, as some of the others had been, and they began to use their power in the former reckless manner. They especially threw down the gauntlet to Salvestro and to the other magistrates, by their exclusion of two men of distinction, which showed their determination {135} to carry things to extremities. Here, again, we meet with the historic name of Ricasoli. One of that family was among the captains of the Guelphs, and is said to have forced this exclusion on his less willing colleagues. The strain became at length too great, and Salvestro himself sanctioned a popular outbreak against the Guelph officials; a movement over which he soon lost all control, and which led in a few months to a still more terrible outbreak, known as the affair of the Ciompi. The fury of the people, led by the Ammoniti—those who had been excluded from office by the exercise of the power lately mentioned—and unchecked by any attempt on the part of the legitimate authorities to restraint it, was irresistible. Many lives were sacrificed; the leaders of the Guelphs saved themselves by flight, leaving their houses to be sacked and burnt. Niccolo Soderini and other friends of Catharine were among the fugitives, though they had not taken part in the excesses that provoked the rising. As the tumult gathered strength, and the people became blinder in their fury, ominous voices were heard calling for the death of Catherine herself. Her name had been freely used by the Guelph officials, though she had protested publicly against their violent acts, and had entreated them repeatedly to be guided by justice and prudence. The scene that followed, a kind of turning-point in her life, shall be told in the words of her simple biographer. When the rumor of the intended attack on Catherine spread, "the people of the house in which she dwelt with her companions bade them depart, for they did not wish to have the house burnt down on their account. She meanwhile, conscious of her own innocence, and willingly suffering anything for the cause of the Holy Church, did not lose a jot of her wonted constancy, but smiling and encouraging her followers to emulate her Spouse, she went out to a certain place where there was a garden, and first gave them a short exhortation, and then set herself to pray. At last, while she was thus praying in the garden, after the example of Christ, those satellites of the devil came to the place, a tumultuous mob armed with swords and staves, crying out, 'Where is this cursed woman? Where is she?' Catharine, when she heard this, as if she had been called to to a delightful banquet, made herself ready at once for the martyrdom which for a long time she had desired, and placing herself in the way of one who had his sword drawn, and was crying louder than the rest, 'Where is Catharine?' she cast herself with a joyous countenance on her knees, and said, 'I am Catharine; do therefore with me all that which our Lord permits you to do; but I command you, on the part of Almighty God, not to hurt any of my companions.' When she said these words, the wretch was so terrified and deprived of all strength, that he did not dare either to strike her or to remain in in her presence. Though he had so boldly and eagerly sought for her, when he found her he drove her away, saying, 'Depart from me.' But Catharine, wishing for martyrdom, answered, 'I am well here, and where should I go? I am ready to suffer for Christ and for his church, because this it is that I have long desired and sought with all my prayers. Ought I to fly now that I have found what I have longed for? I offer myself a living victim to my dearest Spouse. If thou art destined to be my sacrificer, do at once whatever thou wiliest, for I will never fly from this spot; only do no harm to any of mine.' What more? God did not permit the man to carry his cruelty any further against her, but he went away in confusion with all his companions." And then Fr. Raymond goes on to tell us how, when all her spiritual children gathered round her full of joy at her escape, she alone was overwhelmed with sorrow, and lamented that she had lost through her sins the crown of martyrdom.

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She was reserved for further labors, and for a martyrdom of another kind in the same cause; and she had soon the consolation of seeing that her mission to Florence had not been fruitless. The death of Gregory XI. dispersed the congress of Sarzona; but the Florentines remained, amid all their intestine troubles, firm in their resolution to make peace with the Holy See. Before the outbreak of which we have just spoken, they had arranged terms with Catharine, and ambassadors had been chosen to go to Rome to treat with the new Pope. Catharine, who had known Urban VI. when she was at Avignon, now wrote to him earnestly entreating him to accept the terms; she was afraid lest the scenes of violence and bloodshed that had lately taken place might make him less inclined to peace. Her entreaties were successful. The terms of peace were honorable to the Holy See. Everything was to return to the state in which it had been before the war; the Florentines were to pay 150,000 florins—a very moderate indemnity for the mischief they had caused in the Papal States; and two legates were to be sent to absolve the city from the censures it had incurred. Catherine, full of joy, returned to Siena. She had refused to leave the Florentine territory after the outbreak in which her life was threatened, saying that she was there by order of the Pope; but she had withdrawn for a while to the monastery of Vallombrosa.

The peace with Florence was of immense importance to the church at that moment. The great storm which Catharine had predicted was already gathering; she herself was to be called on for still greater exertions in the cause of the papacy, and within a year and a half to be in a true sense the victim of the struggle. After leaving Florence, she spent a few months in repose at Siena, during which she dictated to her disciples her only formal work, known by the name of the Dialogue. It has always been a great treasure of spiritual doctrine, though never so widely popular as the collection of her marvellous Letters. It is in the course of these few months that an author as fitted as any other to decide the question of time places a remarkable anecdote of the saint, to which we have already alluded, and which shall form the subject of the conclusion of this paper. [Footnote 31]

[Footnote 31: M. Cartier, who had paid great attention to the chronology of the life of St. Catherine, is our authority for placing the execution of Niccolo Tuldo at this time. As our acquaintance with the facts comes entirely from one of St. Catherine's own letters, which, like the rest, is without date, and which contains no internal notes by which to fix its time, it must be more or less than matter of conjecture. Fr. Capecclatro puts it much earlier—indeed, as it would seem, at a date when the letter, which is addressed to Fr. Raymond, who did not become her confessor until 1373, could not have been written. M. Cartier quotes the Venice copy of the Process of Canonization to support the date he assigns, in having access to which he has been more fortunate than the Bollandists themselves.]

As is so frequently the case in times of political instability, the various governments that so rapidly succeeded one another in the rule of the small Italian republics, seem to have been in the habit of attempting to secure themselves in power by measures of the most extravagant severity against any one who might seem to be disaffected to them. We have already seen the issue of the odious powers of "admonishing" possessed by the Guelph party in Florence; and at the very time of which we are speaking, that republic was suffering under a fresh tyranny of the lowest orders of her populace, who proscribed and excluded from all civil authority anyone more worthy of power than themselves. In Siena also the democratic party, so to call it, held sway; the chief power was in the hands of a set of magistrates called "Riformatori," who governed by fear, and by the exercise of the most jealous watchfulness over the rest of the citizens, particularly the nobles. We are told by the historians of Siena that it was made a capital crime to strike, however lightly, one of these officials, and that a certain citizen was severely punished because he had given a banquet to which none of them had been invited. In such a state of things, the anecdote of St. Catharine of which we are {137} speaking finds a very natural place. A stranger in the town, a young noble of Perugia, by name Niccolo Tuldo, had allowed himself to speak disrespectfully and slightingly of the government. His words were carried to the magistrates; he was seized, tried, and condemned to death. We do not know what sort of life he had led before; but he was young, careless, and had never, at all events, been to communion in his life. He was not a subject of Siena, yet he found himself of a sudden doomed to be legally murdered for a few light words. No wonder that his spirit revolted against the injustice, and that he was tempted to spend his last few hours of life in a fury of indignation and despair. Here was a case for Catharine—a soul to be won to penance, peace, and resignation, with the burning sense of flagrant injustice fresh upon it, from which it could not hope to escape. Word was brought to her, and she hastened to the prison. No one had been able to induce the poor youth to think of preparing for death; he turned away at once, either from comfort or from exhortation.

Catharine went to the prison, and he soon fell under the spell of that heavenly fascination which is rarely imparted save to souls of the highest sanctity. She won him to peace, and forgiveness of the injury he had received. She led him to make his confession with care and contrition, and to resign his will entirely into the hands of God. He made her promise that she would be with him at the place of execution, or, as it is still called in Italy, the place of justice. In the morning she went to him early, led him to mass and communion, which he had never before received, and found him afterward in a state of perfect resignation, only with some fear left lest his courage might fail him at the last moment. He turned to her as his support, bowed his head on her breast, and implored her not to leave him, and then all would be well. She bade him be of good courage, he would soon be admitted to the marriage-feast in heaven, the blood of his Redeemer would wash him, and the name of Jesus, which he was to keep always in his heart, would strengthen him—she herself would await him at the place of justice. All his fears and sadness gave place to a transport of joy; he said he should now go with courage and delight, looking forward to meeting her at that holy place. "See," says she, in her letter to Fr. Raymond, "how great a light had been given to him, that he spoke of the place of justice as a holy spot!" She went there before the time, and set herself to pray for him; in her ardor, she laid her head on the block, and begged Our Lady earnestly to obtain for him a great peace and light of conscience, and for her the grace to see him gain the happy end for which God had made him. Then she had an assurance that her prayer was granted, and so great a joy spread over her soul that she could take no notice of the crowd of people gathering round to witness the execution. The young Perugian came at last, gentle as a lamb, welcoming the sight of her with smiles, and begging her to bless him. She made the sign of the cross over him. "Sweet brother, go to the heavenly nuptials; soon wilt thou be in the life that never ends!" He laid himself down, and she prepared his neck for the stake, leaning down last of all, and reminding him of the precious blood of the Lamb that had been shed for him. He murmured her name, and called on Jesus. The blow was given, and his head fell into her bands.

Catharine tells her confessor, in the letter from which our account is drawn, that she had the greatest reward granted to her that charity such as hers could receive. At the moment of execution, she raised her heart to heaven in one intense act of prayer; and then she became conscious that she was allowed to see how the soul that had just fled was received in the other world. The Incarnate Son, who had {138} died to save it, took it into the arms of his love, and placed it in the wound of his side. "It was shown to me," she says, "by the Very Truth of Truths, that out of mercy and grace alone he so received it and for nothing else." She saw it blessed by each person of the Divine Trinity. The Son of God, moreover, gave it a share of that crucified love with which he had borne his own painful and shameful death, out of obedience to his Father, for the salvation of mankind. And then, that all might be complete, the blessed soul itself seemed to turn and look upon her. "It made a gesture," she says, "sweet enough to win a thousand parts: what wonder? for it already tasted the divine sweetness. It turned as the bride turns when she has come to the door of the home of her bridegroom; looks round on the friends that have accompanied her to her new home, and bows her head to them, as a sign that she thanks them for their kindness."




MISCELLANY.


The Population of Balloons.—A very curious apparatus for the above purpose has been devised by Mr. Butler, one of the members of the Aeronautical Society, which has been lately established. It consists of a pair of wings, to operate from the car of the balloon, and whose downward blow is calculated to strike with a force exceeding forty pounds, a power equivalent to an ascensive force of one thousand cubic feet of carburetted hydrogen. The action required is somewhat similar to that of rowing, and would be exactly so if at the end of the stroke the oars sprang backward out of the hands of the rower; but, in this case, the body is stretched forward as if toward the stern of the boat, to grasp the handle and repeat the process, during which an action equivalent to "feathering" is obtained. It is anticipated that these wings, acting from a pendulous fulcrum, will produce, in addition to the object for which they are designed, two effects, which may possibly be hereafter modified, but which will be unpleasant accompaniments to a balloon ascent, namely, the oscillation of the car and a succession of jerks upward, first communicated to the car from below, and repeated immediately by an answering jerk from the balloon.—London Popular Science Review.


The Poisonous Principle of Mushrooms.—This, which is called amanitine, has been separated and experimented on by M. Letellier, who has quite lately presented a paper recording his investigations to the French Academy of Medicine. He experimented with the alkaloid upon animals, and found the same results as those stated by Bernard and others to follow the action of narceine. He thinks amanitine might be used in cases where opium is indicated; and states that the best antidotes in cases of poisoning by this principle are the preparations of tannin. The general treatment in such cases consists in the administration of the oily purgatives.


The Conditions of Irish Vegetation.—The inquiries of Dr. David Moore have shown that whilst Ireland is better suited than any other European country to the growth of green crops, it is unsuited to the growth of corn and fruit-trees. This is attributable to the following circumstances; the extreme humidity of the climate, and the slight differences between the winter and summer temperatures—a difference that in Dublin amounts to only seventeen and a half degrees, and on the west coast is only forty-four degrees. The mean temperature of Ireland is as high as though the island were fifteen degrees nearer the equator.


Libraries of Italy.—There are 210 public libraries in Italy, containing in the aggregate 4,149.281 volumes, according to the Revue de l'Instruction Publique. Besides these, there are the libraries of the two Chambers, that of the {139} Council of State, and many large private collections, easily accessible. Then there are 110 provincial libraries, and the collections belonging to 71 scientific bodies. In the year 1863, 988,510 volumes were called for by readers, of which 183,528 related to mathematics and the natural sciences; 122,496 to literature, history, and the linguistics; 70,537 to philosophy and morals; 54,491 to theology; 193,972 to jurisprudence; 261,869 to the fine arts; 101,797 to other subjects.


The Poisonous Effects of Alcohol—Supporters of teetotalism will be pleased to peruse an essay on this subject by M. G. Pennetier, of Rouen. The memoir we refer to is a "doctor's" thesis, and it treats especially of the condition known as alcoholism. The following are some of the author's conclusions: (1) Alcoholism is a special affection, like lead-poisoning; (2) the prolonged presence of alcohol in the stomach produces inflammation of the walls of this organ and other injurious lesions; (3) the gastritis produced by alcohol may be either acute or chronic, and may be complicated by ulcer, or general or partial hypertrophy, or contraction of the opening of the stomach, or purulent sub-mucous infiltration; (4) in certain cases of alcoholic gastritis, the tabular glands of the stomach become inflamed, and pour the pus, which they secrete, into the stomach or into the cellular tissue of this organ.—Popular Science Review.


The Influence of Light on the Twining Organs of Plants.—At a meeting of the French Academy, held on Oct 26th, a valuable paper on this subject was read by M. Duchartre. The memoir deals with the questions already discussed by Mr. Darwin, and in it the French botanist records his own experiments and those of other observers, and concludes that there are two groups of twining plants: 1. Such plants as Dioscorea Batatas and Mandevillea suaveolens, which have the power of attaching themselves to surrounding objects only under the influence of light 2. Species such as Ipomoea purpurea and Phaseolus, which exhibit this power equally well in light and darkness.


Chronicles of Yorkshire.—To the series of works published under the direction of the Master of the Rolls, the first volume of the interesting chronicles of an ancient Yorkshire religious house, the Cistercian Abbey of Meaux, near Beverley, has been added. Its title runs thus: "Chronica Monasterii de Melsa, a Fundatione usque ad Annum 1396, Auctore Thoma de Burton, Abbate, accedit continuatio ad Annum 1406, a Monacho quodam Ipsius Domus. Edited from the autographs of the author, by Edward A. Bond, Assistant-Keeper of Manuscripts and Egerton Librarian in the British Museum." The abbey was founded in 1150, by William le Gros, Earl of Albemarle, and its first abbot and builder was Adam, a monk of Fountains Abbey. Thomas of Burton, who was abbot in 1396, brings the history down to that year. This first volume ends with the year 1247.—Reader.



NEW PUBLICATIONS.


The See of St. Peter, the Rock of The Church, The Source or Jurisdiction, And The Centre or Unity. By Thomas William Allies, M.A., etc. With a Letter to Dr. Pusey. 1 vol. 18mo, pp. 324. Republished by Lawrence Kehoe, 145 Nassau Street, New-York. 1866.

We cannot sufficiently praise and recommend this little work, by far the best on its topic for the ordinary reader, as well as really valuable to the theologian. It was written before the author had been received into the church, and immediately translated into Italian by the order of the Holy Father. Mr. Allies was a noted writer of the Anglican Church, and one of its beneficed clergymen. He held out long, before he became, by the grace of God, a Catholic; and made strenuous and able efforts to clear the Church of England from the charge of schism. In becoming a Catholic he sacrificed a valuable benefice, with the prospect before him of being obliged to struggle for a living, and, we believe, was for a time in very straitened circumstances.

{140}

In this book, the argument for the Papal Supremacy from Scripture and Tradition is presented in a clear and cogent manner, with solid learning, admirable reasoning, and in a lucid and charming style, rendering it perfectly intelligible to any reader of ordinary education. It is impossible for any sophistry or cavilling to escape from the irresistible force of Mr. Allies's reasoning. It is a moral demonstration of the perpetual existence and divine institution of the papacy in the Christian church.

An attempt has been made to detract from its force by representing that the author himself had in a previous work drawn a different conclusion from the same premises. This objection would have force in relation to a matter of metaphysical demonstration; but has none at all in the present case, which is one of moral demonstration arising from the cumulative force of a great number of separate probabilities. The former conclusion which the author drew was not one totally opposite to his later one, but merely a partial, defective conclusion in the same line.

In his first book be admitted the primacy of the Roman See, but not in its full extent, or complete application to the state of bodies not in her communion. Preconceived prejudices, and an imperfect grasp of the logical and theological bearings of the question, hindered him from comprehending fully the nature of the primacy, whose existence he admitted. His second book is, therefore, a legitimate development from the principles of the first, although this very development has led him to quite opposite conclusions respecting certain important facts.

The policy of the enemies of the Roman See is, to accumulate all possible instances of resistance to her authority, disputes to regard to its exercise, ambiguous expressions concerning its nature and origin, intricate questions of law, special pleadings of every kind, gathered from the first eight centuries of Christianity. In this way they file a bill of exceptions against the supremacy of the Holy See. These disconnected, accidental shreds are patched together into a theory, that the supremacy of the Holy See has been established by a gradual usurpation. Starting on this à priori assumption, the advocates of the claims of Rome are required to prove categorically from the monuments of the first, second, third, and other early centuries the full and complete doctrine of the supremacy, with all its consequences, as now held and taught by theologians. Whatever is clearer, stronger, more minutely explicated at a later period than at an earlier, is made out to be a proof of this preconceived usurpation. In this way, these shallow and sophistical writers endeavor to bewilder, and confute the minds of their readers amid a maze of documents, so that they may give up the hope of a clear and plain solution, and stay where they are, because they are there. A book of this kind has just been translated and republished in this country, from the French of M. Guettée, a priest who had left the Catholic Church for the Russian schism, under the auspices of the American Mark of Ephesus, Bishop Coxe. From a cursory examination of the French original, we judge it to be as specious and plausible a resumé of the materials furnished by Jansenists and Orientals—whose skirts the Anglicans are making violent efforts to seize hold of just now—as any that has appeared. Wherefore we trust that it may be soon and effectually refuted.

It is plain to every fair mind and honest heart, that this method of argument is, in the first place, false and unsound, and, in the second place, unsuited for the mass of readers. Greeks and Anglicans use it against the papacy, intending to hold on to the trunk of their headless Catholicism. It can be applied, however, just as well to ecumenical councils, and all of the rest of the hierarchical system. So, also, to the Liturgy, to the canon of Scripture, then to dogma, and finally to the doctrines of natural religion. The real order of both natural and supernatural truth is one in which positive, indestructible, eternal principles are implanted as germs, which explicate successively their living power. With all their sophistry, the enemies of Rome can never banish from Scripture and tradition the evidence of the perpetual existence and living force of the primacy of St. Peter.

{141}

They cannot form a theory which can take in, account for, and totalise all the documents of fathers, councils, history, in the integrity of a complete Catholic idea. They deny, explain away, object, question. They have a separate special pleading for each and every single proof or document. But there still remains the cumulative force of such a vast number of probable evidences, all of which coalesce and integrate themselves in the doctrine of the supremacy. The true way is to interpret and complete the earlier tradition, by that which is later. This is done by our adversaries in regard to the canon, to sacraments, to episcopacy, to the authority of councils. It ought to be the same in regard to the papacy. The grand fact of one Catholic Church, centred in Rome as the See of Peter, stares us in the face. If we can trace it regularly back, without a palpable break of continuity, to its principle and source in the institution of Christ, that is enough. Those who set up another Catholicity are bound to exhibit to the world something more palpable, more universal, more plainly marked by the characteristics of truth, which can be legible to all mankind. They must solve the problem of all the ages, explain all history, assert a mastery over the whole domain of the earth, and prove that their doctrine and church can fill all things like an ocean; or, they must step aside out of the way of the two gigantic combatants, who are now stripping for the fight, Rome and Lawless Reason.

Besides, it is absurd to think that any except scholars can be expected to wade through a discussion like that of a dry law-book, or abstruse treatise on politics, examining the history and decisions of councils, and all kinds of official documents. The essential signs and marks of the truth and the church must be plain, obvious, level to the common capacity. If the Roman Church be the true church, she must be able to show it by plain signs, which will put all doubt at rest, where the heart is sincere. So of the Anglicans, so of the Russians.

Therefore it is that Mr. Allies's book is especially valuable. It brings out the clear, unmistakable evidence of the supremacy given to St. Peter and his successors by Jesus Christ. It shows the great sign of Catholicity to be communion with the Holy Roman Church, the See of Peter. We recommend it to all, but especially to converts or those who are studying, and who wish to instruct themselves fully on this fundamental topic of Catholic doctrine. There cannot be a topic which it is more, important to study at the present time. The cause of the papacy is the cause of revelation and of sound reason, of law and of true liberty, the cause of Christ, the cause of God. Whoever defends it successfully is a benefactor to the human race.


Felix Holt, The Radical. A Novel. By George Eliot, author of Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, Scenes of Clerical Life, Romola, etc. 8vo. pp. 184. New-York: Harper and Brothers. 1866.

Whatever may be thought of the philosophy of this book, there can be no question that, considered simply as a work of art, it is one of the most admirable productions of the day. There are passages in it which deserve to be classed among the gems of English literature, and characters which will live as long as English fiction itself. With Felix Holt, the hero, we are less satisfied than with any of the other personages in the story. Full of generous impulses, and burning with half-formed noble thoughts, he is, after all, when you look at him in cold blood, only an impracticable visionary, who wastes his energy in vain striving after some dimly-seen good, which neither he, nor the reader, nor, we are persuaded, the author herself, fully understands and at the end he drops quietly into a grumbling sort of happy life, no nearer the goal of his indefinite aspirations than he was at the beginning, and having succeeded no further in his schemes for the elevation of the people than persisting in his refusal to brush his own hair, or wear a waistcoat. It is very true that such is generally the end of reformers of his character; the fundamental defect of the book is that the author seems unconscious of the hollowness of Felix's philosophy, and we are not quite sure that she is even conscious of his ultimate failure.

Mrs. Holt, the hero's mother, is an exquisitely humorous conception, who deserves a place by the side of Dickens's Mrs. Nickleby. She never presents her austere "false front," or shows the "bleak north-easterly expression" in her eye, without arousing a smile; and her {142} rambling, inconsequential, dolorous conversation is a spring of never-failing merriment. There is a plenty of humor too in several of the minor characters, and there is delicate and unaffected pathos in the fanatical and somewhat wearisome little preacher, Mr. Lyon, and the proud, suffering Mrs. Transome, whoso youthful sin pursues her like an avenging fury, and whose whole sad life, "like a spoiled pleasure-day," has been such an utter, pitiful disappointment. But the charm of the book is in the heroine, Esther Lyon. Never, we believe, has the conception of refined physical beauty been so perfectly conveyed by words as in the delineation of this exquisite character. We are told nothing of Esther's features; we get no inventory of her charms, no description of her person: a few words suffice for all that the author has to tell us of her appearance; but she floats through the book a vision of unsurpassed loveliness. She never enters a room but we are conscious of the tread of dainty little feet, the fine arching of a graceful neck, the gloss of beautiful hair, the soft play of taper fingers, and a delicate scent like the breath of the violet-laden south. The art with which this exquisite effect is kept up all through the book, without repetition, and without the slightest approach toward sensuality, is so perfect that we are tempted to call it a stroke of genius. And the character of Esther is as fascinating as her beauty. The author has thrown her whole heart into the description of the ripening and development of this girl, and the casting aside of the little foibles of her fine-ladyism under the influence of Felix. The scenes between these two strongly contrasted characters are scenes to be read again and again with never increasing delight.

The pictures of English provincial life; the petty talk of ignorant farmers and shopkeepers; the election scenes, the canvassing, the nominations, the tavern discussions, the speeches, and the riot at the polls, are all admirable, and their naturalness is almost startling. There is no exaggeration in any part of the book, and not even in the richest of the humorous scenes is there a single improbable passage.


Essays on Woman's Work. By Bessie Rayner Parkes. Second Edition. 16mo. pp. 240. London: Alexander Strahan, 1866.

The serious questions discussed in this little book have happily a less pressing significance in this country than in England; but even here the problem of how to find suitable employment for destitute educated women is often one of no slight importance, and as years pass on, it will more and more frequently present itself for solution. Miss Parkes approaches the subject not with the visionary notions of a social "reformer," but in a spirit of practical and experienced benevolence, which entitles her remarks to great weight. She points out how the tendency of modern mechanical improvements is to banish from domestic life a large and consistently increasing class of women, and she pleads with eloquence and eagerness for a better provision toward their moral and intellectual improvement than is made at present. She treats of the various pursuits to which educated women now resort for a livelihood—teaching, literature art, business, and so on, and of others for which they are well fitted and which society ought to lay open to them. She gives a very interesting account of certain excellent associations founded in England for the assistance of working women, with some of which Enterprises Miss Parkes herself has been prominently connected. We advise our friends to read her well-written essays, that they may understand something of the terrible suffering which prevails largely abroad, and to some extent also at home, among a class of poor who have very strong claims upon our commiseration, but seldom or never appeal in person two our beneficence. The evils which she describes, and for which she indicates alleviations, if not remedies, are constantly growing with the growth of population, and we ought to be prepared to meet them.


Six months at the White House with Abraham Lincoln. The Story of a Picture. By F. B. Carpenter, 16mo, pp. 359. New York: Hurd and Houghton. 1866

Mr. Carpenter is a young New York artist, who, in 1863, conceived the purpose of painting a historical picture commemorative of the proclamation of emancipation {143} by President Lincoln. Through the intervention of influential friends, he obtained not only the President's consent to sit for a portrait, but permission to establish his studio in the White House during the progress of the work; or, as Mr. Lincoln expressed it, in his homely way, "We will turn you in loose here, Mr. C—, and try to give you a good chance to work out your idea." During the six months that he spent at the picture, Mr. Carpenter was virtually a member of the President's family. He saw Mr. Lincoln in his most familiar and unguarded moments; he won a great deal of his confidence and regard; and he has now set down in this little book his impressions of the President's personal character, and a great store of anecdotes and incidents, many of which have not before been published. For the work he has done and the manner in which he has done it we have only words of praise. He has given us the best picture of Mr. Lincoln's character as a man that has ever been drawn, and he has done it with care, modesty, and good taste. We believe that no man, however far he may have stood apart from Mr. Lincoln on political questions, can read this admirable little book without feeling a deep respect for our late President's straightforward, honest, manly intellect, and faithfulness to principles, and without loving him for his tenderness of heart, and his many sterling virtues. Mr. Carpenter writes in a tone of ardent admiration, but not of extravagant eulogy. He has the pains-taking fidelity of a Boswell, but without Boswell's pettiness or sycophancy. He has written a book which will not only be perused with eagerness by the reader of the present hour, but will achieve a permanent and honorable place in biographical literature.


An Introductory Latin Book, intended as an Elementary Drill-Book on the Inflections and Principles of the Language, and as an Introduction to the Author's Grammar, Reader, and Latin Composition. By Albert Harkness, Professor in Brown University. 12mo, pp. 162.1 New York: D. Appleton and Co. 1866.

The Latin books which Professor Harkness has published for more advanced pupils have enjoyed a flattering popularity, and in schools which have adopted them the present volume will prove very acceptable for preparatory classes. It is intended, however, to be complete in itself, and comprises an outline of Latin grammar, exercises for double translation, suggestions to the learner, notes, and English-Latin and Latin-English vocabularies. Unnecessary matters seem to have been carefully excluded, and the work has an appearance of great clearness and compactness.


Philip Earnscliffe; or, The Morals of Mayfair. A Novel. By Mrs. Edwards, author of Archie Lovell, Miss Forrester, The Ordeal for Wives, etc., etc. 8vo, pp. 173. New-York: The American News Company.

This is a clever, unartistical, readable, repulsive, and utterly unprofitable story, vulgar in tone and vicious in sentiment. Both hero and heroine are perfectly impossible and inconsistent characters, and nobody will be the better for reading anything about them.


The Catholic Teacher's Improved Sunday-School Class Book. Lawrence Kehoe, New York.

This little book should be in the hand of every Catholic Sunday-school teacher. It provides for the registry of the scholars names, age, residence, attendance, lessons, conduct, and everything necessary for the good order and welfare of the school or class. It is more comprehensive, and more easily kept, than anything yet published.

It also has a column in which to record the number of the book taken by the scholar from the Sunday-school library. A library is necessary to the complete success of every Sunday-school. From the catalogues of our Catholic publishers a list of about four hundred books can be selected, tolerably well adapted for this purpose. This, however, is about one-third as many as an ordinary Sunday-school requires. We must also confess it is not pleasant to be obliged to pay for these about twice as much as Protestant Sunday-schools do for books published in the same style. But it may be replied that they have societies possessing a large capital, whose aim is to publish their {144} books as cheap as possible, in order to spread them far and wide. True. And why cannot the 5,000,000 Catholics in the United States, with 4,000 churches, and 2,500 priests, support a Publication Society, with capital enough to publish Sunday-school requisites as cheap as they! This Class Book is printed on good paper, and is not only more complete than any other, but is furnished much cheaper.


A History of England or the Young. A new edition revised. 12mo, pp. 373. Philadelphia: Peter F. Cunningham. 1866.

This is an American reprint of an English book, and England is spoken of throughout it as "our country"—an expression which will be very apt to lead to misconceptions in the juvenile mind. The unknown compiler seems to have spared no pains to make the book unexceptionable in a religious point of view, for use in Catholic schools; but we cannot commend it for clearness, and we think it might be advantageously weeded of various anecdotes and trivial details, and of a great deal of turgid rhetoric. There is need of a good English history for our schools, but we do not believe this publication is destined to supply it. So far as our examination has gone, it is full of errors. The account of the American Revolution is absurd—the very cause of it being egregiously misstated. The story of the Crimean war is not much better told, and the history of the Sepoy mutiny in India is very careless and inaccurate.


The Mormon Prophet and His Harem; or, An Authentic History of Brigham Young, his numerous Wives and Children. By Mrs. C. V. Waite. 12mo, pp. 280. New York: Hurd and Houghton. 1866.

As Mrs. Waite resided for two years in the midst of the society which she has undertaken to describe, and has also received a great deal of information from persons long in the service of Brigham Young, her account of the Mormon system and its arch-priest may reasonably be assumed as authentic. To anybody who wants to read the disgusting record of human imbecility and wickedness which disfigures the history of Western civilization, Mrs. Waite's volume will, no doubt, be found sufficiently full and interesting.


Mr. Winkfield. A Novel. 8vo. pp. 160 New-York: The American News Company. 1866.

The unknown author of this book, which we can hardly call a story, as apparently endeavored to satirize life and society in New-York. His success has not been equal to his expectations.


Alfonso; or, The Triumph of Religion. A Catholic Tale, P. F. Cunningham, Philadelphia.

This is a very interesting and instructive tale, designed to show "the lamentable effects in your religious system of education will infallibly produce." We hope the talented authoress will give us other stories for our young people equally good. We think, however, she crowds her hero along too fast. The charm of the story would be increased by a more natural and easy concurrence of events.


BOOKS RECEIVED


From Hurd & Houghton, New York. Spanish Papers and other Miscellanies, hitherto unpublished or uncollected. By Washington Irving. 2 vols. 12mo, pp. 487 and 466.


P. Donahoe, Boston. Redmond, Count O'Hanlon, The Irish Rapparee, and Barney Brady's Goose. By William Carleton. 1 vol. 18mo.


Andrew J. Graham, New York. Standard Phonographic Visitor Edited and published by Andrew J. Graham.


We have also received the Seventh Annual Report of the Trustees of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art; and the Twenty-fifth Annual Report of the Mercantile Library Association of the City of New York for 1866.


J. J. O'Connor & Co., Newark, N.J., have in press and will soon published the work entitled "Curious Questions," by the Rev. Dr. Brann.




{145}

THE CATHOLIC WORLD.


VOL. IV., NO. 20.—NOVEMBER, 1866.



ORIGINAL.


PROBLEMS OF THE AGE.


IX.

A FURTHER EXPLANATION OF THE SUPERNATURAL ORDER.


It has been already remarked, that the Incarnation is a more profound and inscrutable mystery than even the Trinity. The reason is that the trinity is a necessary truth, included in the very idea of God as most simple being and most pure act. The incarnation is not a truth necessary in itself, but only necessary on the supposition that it has been decreed by God. The trinity of persons proceeds from a necessity of nature in God, the incarnation from an act of free will. But the acts of the divine free will are more mysterious and inexplicable than those which proceed from necessity of nature.

Without revelation the incarnation would be inconceivable, and even when it is disclosed by revelation, the analogies by which it can be illustrated are faint and imperfect. The union between soul and body in animal nature and between the animal and spiritual nature in man furnish the only analogies of anything like a hypostatic union in the natural world. But these analogies do not illustrate the dark point in the mystery, to wit: the union of two intelligent natures in one subsistence, or one common personal principle of imputability to which the acts of both are referrible. We have but little difficulty in apprehending that acts proceeding from two distinct natures in man, the animal and the spiritual, should be referred to one principle of imputability or one personality. These acts are so very distinct and different from each other, that they evidently have no tendency to become blended or confused, by the absorption of one nature into the other. But if we should try to conceive of a hypostatic union between the angelic and human natures in one person, it would be impossible to avoid imagining that one intelligent nature would be absorbed in the other. If there is but one principle of imputability, how can there be two distinct intelligent voluntary operations? Our opinion is, that a union of this kind between two finite natures is impossible. The {146} possibility of assuming a distinct intelligent nature must then belong to a divine person only, and be included in the infinitude of the divine essence. The difficulty of understanding it lies then in the incomprehensibility of the divine essence. We apprehend nothing in the divine essence distinctly, except that which is apprehensible through the analogy which created essences bear to it. Evidently that in the divine essence which renders it totally dissimilar from all created essences cannot be represented by a similitude in created essences. And as the divine essence subsisting in the second person renders it capable of assuming human nature by an attribute which renders it totally dissimilar from all finite personality, there can be no analogy to it in finite things. In order to understand this it is necessary to recall to mind a principle laid down by St. Thomas, that we cannot affirm anything, whether being, intelligence, will, personality, or whatever other term of thought we may propose, of God and a creature, univocally, that is, in the same identical sense. The essence of God differs as really from the spiritual essence of angels and human souls as it does from the essence of animal souls and of matter. We apprehend what the intelligence and the will of God are only through the analogy of human intelligence and will, in a most imperfect and inadequate manner. In themselves they are incomprehensible to the human understanding. In the very essence of God as incomprehensible, or super-intelligible, is situated that capacity of being the personality of created intelligent nature which constitutes the mystery of the hypostatic union. The only analogy therefore in created things which is appreciable by the human mind, is an analogy derived from the union of natures whose difference is intelligible to us, as the spiritual and animal. This analogy enables us to understand that the divine and human natures, not being intelligent natures in a univocal sense, but being dissimilar not only in degree of intelligence but in the very essence of intelligence, are capable of union in one personality. There is no analogy, however, which enables us to understand what this difference is, because it would be a contradiction in terms to suppose in the creature any analogy to that which is above all analogies and is peculiar to the divine nature as divine. The utmost that reason can do is to apprehend, when the mystery of the incarnation is proposed by revelation, that the incomprehensibility of the divine essence renders it impossible to judge that it cannot be hypostatically united to a created intelligent nature, and that it increases our conception of its infinitude or plenitude of being to suppose that a divine person can terminate a created nature as well as the nature which is self-existing. All that reason can do then is to demonstrate, after the mystery of the incarnation is proposed, that the impossibility of the incarnation cannot be demonstrated on the principles of reason, and that it is therefore credible on the authority of revelation; and, by the illumination of faith, to apprehend a certain degree of probability or verisimilitude in the mystery itself.

Once established, however, as a dogma or fundamental principle in theology, its reason and fitness in reference to the final cause of the universe, the harmony of all other facts and doctrines with it, and the grandeur which it gives to the divine economy, can be conclusively and abundantly proved by rational arguments.

We know that it must be fitting and worthy of the divine majesty to decree the incarnation, because he has done it. But we can also see that it is so, and why. We can see that it befits Almighty God to exhaust his own omnipotence in producing a work which is the masterpiece of his intelligence and the equivalent of the archetype contained in his Word. To show his royal magnificence in bestowing the greatest {147} possible boon on created nature. To pour forth his love in such a manner as to astound the intelligence of his rational creatures, by communicating all that is contained in filiation and the procession of the Spirit, so far as that is in itself possible. To glorify and deify the creature, by raising it as nearly as possible to an equality with himself in knowledge and beatitude.

The reason for selecting the human rather than the angelic nature for the hypostatic union is obvious from all that has preceded. Human nature is a microcosm, in which all grades of existence are summed up and represented. In taking human nature the Word assumes all created nature, from the lowest to the highest. For, although the angelic nature is superior to the human, it is only superior to it in certain respects, and not as a rational essence. Moreover, this superiority is part only temporary, enduring while the human nature is in the process of explication; and as to the rest, the inferiority of the human nature is counterbalanced by the supernatural elevation given to it in the hypostatic union, which raises the natural, human operation of the soul of our Lord Jesus Christ far above that of the angelic nature. Although, therefore, in the series of grades in the natural order of existence, the angelic nature is above the human, it is subordinated to it in the supernatural order, or the order of the incarnation, and in relation to the final cause. For it is through the human nature united to the divine nature in the person of the Word that the angelic nature completes its return to God and union with him.

The elevation of created nature to the hypostatic union with God in the person of the Word introduces an entirely new principle of life into the intelligent universe. Hitherto, we have considered in the creative act a regular gradation in the nature of created existences, from the lowest to the highest. Each grade is determined to a certain participation in being superior in intensity to that of the one below it and to a mode of activity corresponding to its essence. There can be no grade of existence in its essence superior to the rational or intelligent nature, which is created in the similitude of that which is highest in the divine essence. No doubt, the specific and minor grades included under the universal generic grade of rationality might be indefinitely multiplied. As the angels differ from man, and the various orders of the angelic hierarchy differ from each other, so God might continue to create ad infinitum new individuals or new species, each differing from all others, and all arranged in an ascending series, in which each grade should be superior in certain particulars to all below it. It is evidently possible that a created intelligence should be made to progress from the lowest stage of development continuously and for ever. Let us fix our thought upon the most distant and advanced limit in this progression which we are able to conceive. It is evident that God might have created an intelligent spirit in the beginning at that point, as the starting-point of his progression, and might have created at the same time other intelligent spirits at various distances from this point in a descending series. Suppose now that this is the case, and that the lowest in the scale progresses until he reaches the starting-point of the most advanced. The one who began at this advanced point will have progressed meanwhile to another point equally distant, and will preserve his relative superiority. But even at this point, God might have created him at first, with another series of intervening grades at all the intermediate points which he has passed over in his progressive movement. We may carry on this process as long as we please, without ever coming to a limit at which we are obliged to stop. For the creation being of necessity limited, and the creative power of God unlimited, it is impossible to equalize the two terms, or to conceive of a creation which is equal to God as creator. Nevertheless, {148} all possible grades of rationality are like and equal to each other as respects the essential propriety of rationality, and never rise to a grade which is essentially higher than that of rational nature. The only difference possible is a difference in the mode in which the active force of the intellect is exercised, and in the number of objects to which it is applicable, or some other specific quality of the same kind. Whatever may be the increase which rational nature can be supposed to receive, it is only the evolution of the essential principle which constitutes it rational, and is therefore common to all species and individuals of the rational order. Although, therefore, God cannot create a spirit so perfect that it cannot be conceived to be more perfect in certain particulars, yet it is nevertheless true that God cannot create anything which is generically more perfect than spirit or intelligent substance. From this it follows as a necessary consequence, that God cannot create a nature which by its essential principles demands its last complement of being in a divine person, or naturally exists in a hypostatic union with the divine nature. For rational nature, which is the highest created genus, and the nearest possible to the nature of God,—"Ipsius enim et genus sumus," [Footnote 32]—developed to all eternity, would never rise above itself, or elicit an act which would cause it to terminate upon a divine person, and bring it into a hypostatic union with God.

[Footnote 32: "For we are also his offspring." Acts xvii. 28.]

Produce a line, parallel to an infinite straight line, to infinity, and it will never meet it or come any nearer to it. The very essence of created spirit requires that it should be determined to a mode of apprehending God an image reflected in the creation. The activity of the created intelligence must proceed for ever in this line, and has no tendency to coincide with the act of the divine intelligence in which God contemplates immediately his own essence. Increase as much as you will the perfection of the created image, it remains always infinitely distant from the uncreated, personal image of himself which the Father contemplates in the Word, and loves in the Holy Spirit, within the circle of the blessed Trinity. It has been proved in a previous number that infinite intelligence is identical with the infinite intelligible in God. If a being could be created which by its essence should be intelligent by the immediate vision of the divine essence, it would be intelligent in se, and therefore possess within its own essence its immediate, intelligible object, which, by the terms of the supposition, is the divine essence. It would possess in itself sanctity, immutability, and beatitude. It would be, in other words, beatified precisely because existing, that is, incapable of existing in any defective state, and therefore incapable of error, sin, or suffering. And as, by the terms, it is what it is, by its essence, its essence and existence are identical; it is essentially most pure act, essentially existing, therefore self-existent, necessary being, or identical with God. It is therefore impossible for God to create a rational nature which is constituted rational by the immediate intuition of the divine essence. For by the very terms it would be a creature and God at the same time. It would be one of the persons in the unity of the divine nature, and yet have a nature totally distinct. In the natural order, then, it is impossible that a created nature should either at its beginning, or in the progress of its evolution, demand as its due and necessary complement of being a divine personality. Personality is the last complement of rational nature. Divine nature demands divine personality. Finite nature demands finite personality. It is evident, therefore, that there cannot be a finite nature, however exalted, which cannot come to its complete evolution within its own essence, or which can explicate out of the contents of its being an act which necessarily terminates upon a divine person, so as to bring it into a hypostatic union with the divine nature.

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Let us go back a little in the scale of being, in order to develop this principal more fully. Lifeless matter is capable of indefinite increase in its own order, but this increase has no tendency to elevate it to the grade of vegetative life. A new and different principle of organization must be introduced in order to construct from its simple elements a vegetative form, as, for instance, a flower. So, also, the explication of vegetative life has no tendency to generate a sentient principle. The plant may go on producing foliage, flowering, germinating, and reproducing its species for ever, but its vital activity can never produce a sentient soul, or proceed to that degree of perfection that it requires a sentient soul as its last complement or the form of its organic life. Suppose a plant or flower to receive a sentient soul; this soul must be immediately created by God, and it would be the principle or form of a new life, which, in relation to the natural, vegetative life of the flower, would be super-natural, elevating it to an order of life above that which constitutes it a flower.

A sentient creature, as a dog or a bird, has no tendency to explicate from the constitutive principle of its animal soul intelligence, or to attain a state of existence in which an intelligent personality is due to it as its last complement. If the animal soul could have an intelligent personality, it must be by hypostatic union with an intelligent nature distinct from itself, which would then become the suppositum, or principal of imputability to the animal nature. The animal would then be elevated to a state which would be super-natural, relatively to the animal nature, or entirely above the plane of it's natural development.

In like manner, the rational nature has no tendency or power to rise above itself, or to do more than explicate that principle which constitutes it rational. If it is elevated to a higher order, it must be by a direct act of omnipotence, an immediate intervention of the creator, producing in it an act which could never be produced by the explication of its rationality, even though it should progress to all eternity. This act is supernatural in the absolute sense. That is, it lies in an order above created nature as a totality, and above all nature which might be created; supra omnem naturam creatam atque creabilem.

It is beyond the power even of divine omnipotence to create a rational nature which, by its intrinsic, constitutive principle of intelligence, is affiliated to the Father through the Holy Spirit. Such a nature would be equal to the Word, and another Word, and therefore equal to the Father, or, in other words, would be a divine nature although created; which is absurd. The Father can have but one Son, eternally begotten, not made; and the only possible way in which a created nature can be elevated to a strictly filial relation to the Father, is by a hypostatic union with the divine nature of the Son in one person, so that there is a communication of properties between the two natures, and but one principle of imputability to which all the divine and human attributes and acts can be referred. This union can be effected only by a direct intervention of God, or by the Word assuming to himself a created nature. For rational nature finds its last complement of personality, its subsistentia, or principle of imputability, within its own limits, which it never tends to transcend, even by infinite progression. The human nature individuated in the person of Jesus Christ, by its own intrinsic principles was capable of being completed in a finite personality, like every other individual human nature. The fact that the place of the human personality is supplied by a divine person, and the human nature thus completed only in the divine, is due to the direct, divine act of the Word, and is therefore supernatural. In this supernatural relation it becomes the recipient, so to speak, of the divine vital current, and participates in the {150} act in which the divine life is consummated, which is the procession of the Son and Holy Spirit from the Father. This act consists radically and essentially in the immediate contemplation of the divine essence. Created intelligence, therefore, elevated to the hypostatic union, contemplates the essence of God directly, without any intervening medium, by the immediate intuition or beatific vision of God.

Thus, in the incarnation, the creation returns back to God and is united to him in the most perfect manner, by participating in the good of being in a way sublime above all human conception, exhausting even the infinite idea of God. Created intelligence is beatified, glorified, and deified. In Jesus Christ, man, in whose essence is included the equivalent of all creation, and God meet in the unity of one person. The nature of God becomes the nature of man in the second person, who is truly man; and the nature of man becomes the nature of God in the same person, who is truly God. Creation, therefore, attains its final end and returns to God as final cause in the incarnation; which is the most perfect work of God, the crown of the acts of his omnipotence, the summit of the creative act, the completion of all grades of existence, and the full realization of the divine archetype.

In Jesus Christ, the creative act is carried to the apex of possibility. In his human nature, therefore, he is the most pre-eminent of all creatures, and surpasses them all, not only singly but collectively. He has the primogeniture, and the dominion over all things, the entire universe of existences being subordinated to him. Nevertheless, his perfection is not completed merely by that which he possesses within the limits of his individual humanity. He is the summit of creation, the head of the intelligent universe, the link nearest to God in the chain of created existences. The universe, therefore, by virtue of the principle of order and unity which pervades it, ought to communicate with him through a supernatural order, so that the gradation in the works of God may be regular and perfect. The chasm between rational nature in its natural state and the same nature raised to the hypostatic union is too great, and demands to be filled up by some intermediate grades. Having taken created nature, which is by its very constitution adapted to fellowship between individuals of the same kind; and, specifically, human nature, which is constituted in relations of race and family, the Son of God ought, in all congruity, to have brethren and companions capable of sharing with him in beatitude and glory. Being specifically human and of one blood with all mankind, it is fitting that he should elevate his own race to a share in his glory. Being generically of the same intellectual nature with the angels, it is also fitting that he should elevate them to the same glory. This can only be done by granting them a participation in that supernatural order of intelligence and life which he possesses by virtue of the hypostatic union; that is, a participation in the immediate, beatific vision of the divine essence.

This supernatural order is denominated the order of regeneration and grace. It is cognate with the order of the hypostatic union, but not identical with it. The personality of the divine Word is communicated only to the individual human nature of Jesus Christ, who is not only the first-born but the only-begotten Son of God. God is incarnate in Christ alone. The union of his created substance with the divine substance, without any permixture or confusion, in one person, is something inscrutable to reason. The knowledge, sanctity, beatitude, and glory of his human nature are effects of this union, but are not it. These effects, which are due to the humanity of Christ as being the nature of a divine person, and are its rightful and necessary prerogatives, are communicable, as a matter of grace, to other individuals, personally distinct from Christ. {151} That is to say, sanctity, beatitude, and glory do not require as the necessary condition of their community ability the communication of a divine personality, but are compatible with the existence of an indefinite number of distinct, finite personalities. All those rational creatures, however, who are the subjects of this communicated grace, are thereby assimilated to the Son of God, and made partakers of an adopted sonship. This adoptive sonship is an inchoate and imperfect state of co-filiation with the Son of God, which is completed and made perfect in the hypostatic union. The order of grace, therefore, though capable of subsisting without the incarnation, and not depending on it as a physical cause, can only subsist as an imperfect order, and cannot have in itself a metaphysical finality. The incarnation being absent, the universe does not attain an end metaphysically final, or actualise the perfection of the ideal archetype. The highest mode of the communication of the good of being, the most perfect reproduction of the operation of God ad intra, in his operation ad extra, which the Father contemplates in the Word as possible, remains unfulfilled. Those who hold, therefore, that the incarnation was not included in the original creative decree of God must maintain that in that decree God did not contemplate an end in creating metaphysically final. They are obliged to suppose another decree logically subsequent to the first, by virtue of which the universe is brought to an metaphysically final in order to repair the partial failure of the angelic nature and the total failure of human nature to attain the inferior, prefixed end of the first decree. Nevertheless, decrees of God are eternal, God always had in view, even on this hypothesis, the incarnation as the completion of his creative act; and only took the be occasion which the failure of his first plan through sin presented to introduce one more perfect. Billuart, therefore, as the interpreter of the Thomist school, maintains that God revealed the incarnation to Adam before his fall, though not the connection which the fulfilment of the divine purpose had with his sin as its conditio sine qua non. If this latter view is adopted, it cannot be held that the angelic and human natures were created and endowed with supernatural grace in the express view of the incarnation, or that the angels hold, and that man originally held, the title to glorification from Jesus Christ as their head, and the meritorious cause of original grace. Nevertheless, as the incarnation introduces a new and higher order into the universe, elevating it to an end metaphysically final of which it previously fell short, all angels and all creatures of every grade are subordinated to Jesus Christ, who is the head of the creation, reuniting all things to the Father in his person.

This explanation is made in deference to the common opinion, although the author does not hold this opinion, and in order that those who do hold it may not feel themselves bound to reject the whole argument respecting the relation of the creative act to the incarnation.

It is in regard to the doctrine of original grace, or the elevation of the rational nature to that supernatural order whose apex is the hypostatic union, that Catholic theology comes into an irreconcilable conflict with Pelagianism, Calvinism, and Jansenism. These three systems agree in denying the doctrine of original grace. They maintain that rational nature contains in its own constituent principles the germ of development into the state which is the ultimatum of the creature, and the end for which God created it, and was bound to create it, if he created at all. They differ, however, fundamentally as to the principles actually constitutive of rational nature. The Pelagian takes human nature in its present condition as his type. The advocates of the other two systems take an ideal human nature, which has become essentially {152} corrupted by the fall, as their type. Therefore, the Pelagian says that human nature, as it now is, has in itself the principle of perfectibility by the explication and development of its essence. But the Calvinist and Jansenist say that human nature as it was first created, or as it is restored by grace to its primal condition, has the principle of perfectibility; but as it now is in those who have not been restored by grace, is entirely destitute of it. The conception which these opponents of Catholic doctrine have of the entity of that highest ideal state to which rational nature is determined, varies as the ratio of their distance from the Catholic idea. Those who are nearest to it retain the conception of the beatific union with God, which fades away in those who recede farther, until it becomes changed into a mere conception of an idealised earthly felicity.

The Catholic doctrine takes as its point of departure the postulate, that rational nature of itself is incapable of attaining or even initiating a movement towards that final end, which has been actually prefixed to it as its terminus. It needs, therefore, from the beginning, a superadded gift or grace, to place it in the plane of its destiny, which is supernatural, or above all that is possible to mere nature, explicated to any conceivable limit. At this point, however, two great schools of theology diverge from each other, each one of which is further subdivided as they proceed.

The radical conception of one school is, that nature is in itself an incomplete thing, constituted in the order of its genesis in a merely inchoate capacity for receiving regeneration in the supernatural order. Remaining in the order of genesis, it is in a state of merely inchoate, undeveloped, inexplicable existence, and therefore incapable of attaining its destination. There is, therefore, no end for which God could create rational existence, except a supernatural end. The natural demands the supernatural, the order of genesis demands the order of regeneration, and the wisdom and goodness of God require him to bestow on all rational creatures the grace cognate to the beatific vision and enabling them to attain it.

The radical conception of the other school is, that rational nature, per se requires only the explication and perfection of its own constituent principles, and may be left to attain its finality in the purely natural order. The elevation of angels and men to the plane of a supernatural destiny was, therefore, a purely gratuitous concession of the supreme goodness of God, in view, as some would add, of the merit of the incarnate Word.

These different theories are entangled and interlaced with each other, and with many different and intricate questions related to them, in such a way as to make a thicket through which it is not easy to find a sure path. It is necessary, however, to try, or else to avoid the subject altogether.

The obscurity of the whole question is situated in the relation of created intelligence to its object which constitutes it in the intelligent or rational order. It is evident that a created substance is constituted an intelligent principle by receiving potentiality to the act connoted by this relation of the subject to its object, and is explicated by the reduction of this potentiality into act. The end of intelligent spirit is to attain to its intelligent object, by the act of intelligence. In the foresight of this, the exposition of the relation between intelligence and the intelligible has been placed first in this discussion.

It is agreed among all Catholic theologians: 1. That created intelligence can, by the explication of its own constitutive principles, attain to the knowledge of God as causa altissima; or, that God is, per se, the ultimate object of reason. 2. That there is a mode of the relation of intelligence to its ultimate object, or to God, a permanent state of the intuition of {153} God, by a created spirit, called the intuitive, beatific vision of the divine essence, which can be attained only by a supernatural elevation and illumination of the intelligence.

The point of difference among theologians relates to the identity or difference of the relations just noted, Is that relation which intelligence has per se to God, as its ultimate object, the relation which is completed by supernatural elevation, or not? If not, what is the distinction between them? Establish their identity, and you have established the theory which was mentioned in the first place above. Establish their difference, and you have established the second theory.

If the first theory is established, rational creatures are ipso facto in a supernatural order. The natural order is merely the inchoation of the supernatural, cannot be completed without it, and cannot attain its end without a second immediate intervention of God, equal to the act of creation, by which God brings back to himself, as final cause, the creature which proceeded from him as first cause. This second act is regeneration; and creation, therefore, implies and demands regeneration. It follows from this, that reason is incapable of being developed or explicated by the mere concurrence of God with its principle of activity, or his concurrence with second causes acting upon it, that is, by the continuance and consummation of the creative, generative influx which originally gave it and other second causes existence. A regenerative influx is necessary, in order to bring its latent capacity into action, and make it capable of contemplating its proper object, which is God, as seen by an intuitive vision.

One great advantage of this theory is supposed to be, that it leaves the naturalists no ground to stand upon, by demonstrating the absolute necessity of the supernatural, that is, of revelation, grace, the church, etc. This presupposes that the theory can be demonstrated. If it cannot be, the attempt to do too much recoils upon the one who makes it, and injures his cause. Beside this, it may be said that the proposed advantage can be as effectually secured by proving that the natural order is actually subordinated in the scheme of divine Providence, as it really exists, to a supernatural end, without professing to prove that it must be so necessarily.

The great positive argument in favor of this hypothesis is, that rational nature necessarily seeks God as its ultimate object, and therefore longs for that clear, intellectual vision of him called the beatific. If this be true, the question is settled for ever. Those who seek to establish its truth state it under various forms. One way of stating it is, that reason seeks the universal, or the explanation of all particular effects, in the causa altissima, This is the doctrine of St. Thomas. God is the causa altissima, the universal principle, and therefore reason seeks for God.

Again, it is affirmed that there is a certain faculty of super-intelligence, which apprehends the super-intelligible order of being, not positively, but negatively, by apprehending the limitation of everything intelligible. Intelligence is therefore sensible of a want, a vacuum, an aimless, objectless yearning for something unknown and unattainable; showing that God has created it for the purpose of satisfying this want, and filling this void, by bringing intelligence into relation to himself as its immediate object, in a supernatural mode.

In a more popular mode, this same idea is presented under a countless variety of forms and expressions, in sermons, spiritual treatises, and poems, as a dissatisfaction of the soul with every kind of good attainable in this life, vague longing for an infinite and supreme good, a plaintive cry of human nature for the beatitude of the intuitive vision of God. "Irrequietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te"—"Our heart is unrestful until it finds repose in thee," is the language {154} of St. Augustine, which is echoed and reechoed on every side.

These considerations are not without great weight; nevertheless, they do not appear to us sufficient to prove conclusively the hypothesis in support of which they are adduced, or to over-balance other weighty considerations on the opposite side.

Reason seeks for the causa altissima, but it remains to be proved that it seeks for any other knowledge of it but that which is attainable by a mode connatural to the created spirit.

Reason is conscious of its own limitation. But this does not prove that it aspires to transcend this limitation. Beatified spirits are conscious of their own limitation. Those who are in the lowest grade are aware of numerous grades above them, and the highest are aware of their inferiority to the exalted humanity of Jesus Christ, united to the divine nature in his person. All together, including Jesus Christ himself, as man, are aware of an infinite incomprehensibility in the divine nature. In the words of the greatest of all mystic theologians, St. John of the Cross: "They who know him most perfectly, perceived most clearly that he is infinitely incomprehensible. To know God best, is to know he is incomprehensible; for those who have the less clear vision do not perceive so distinctly as the others how greatly he transcends their vision." [Footnote 33]

[Footnote 33: Spiritual Canticle, stanza vii. Oblate Ed. vol. ii. p. 44.]

Beatified spirits do not feel any void within themselves, or any unsatisfied longing for the comprehension of the super-intelligible. Neither do they aspire even to those degrees of clearer vision which are actually conceded to spirits of a higher order than their own. Why then should a rational creature necessarily desire to transcend its own proper and connatural mode of intelligence? The apprehension of the super-intelligible shows that the intellect cannot be satisfied with a limitation of itself to a mere knowledge of second causes and the contingent—that it must think about God, and apprehend in some way without infinite, eternal, necessary being and attributes of the creator and first cause of all things. But it does not show that it must apprehending God in the most perfect way possible, much less in such a way that he does not remain always infinitely beyond its comprehension.

The dissatisfaction of the human heart may proceed in great measure from the fact that God purposely disquiet's it by withholding from it the good it naturally seeks, in order to compel it to seek for supernatural good. Another cause of it is, that most persons have committed so many sins themselves, and are so much involved in the consequences of the sins of others, that they cannot possess the full measure even of that natural enjoyment of which human nature is capable. That the human heart in its misery and unhappiness turns longingly toward the hope of a supreme beatitude in the contemplation of God as he is revealed to the saints in heaven, may be owing to the fact that God, who proposes this beatitude to men, stirs up a longing for it in their souls by a supernatural grace.

The question, therefore, reverts to this, as has been repeatedly said already, What is the principle constitutive of the intelligent life and activity of a created spirit? When this principle is evolved into act, the created spirits fulfils its type, and realises its ideal perfection in its own order. Now, according to the preliminary doctrine we have laid down, this is an active power to apprehend the image of God in the creation, or to contemplate a created image of God which is a finite similitude of the infinite, uncreated image of God, that is to say, the Word. Beatific contemplation is a contemplation of this infinite, uncreated image without any intervening medium. Yet is an intellectual operation of which God is both the object and the medium. It is not therefore the operation which {155} perfects created intelligence in its own proper order, but one which elevates it above that order, giving it a participation in the divine intelligence itself. Created intelligence is perfected in its own proper order by its own natural operation; and although the intervention of God is necessary in order to conduct it to that perfection, so that it is strictly true that a supernatural force is necessary to the initiation, explication, and consummation of the natural order of intelligence, yet this does not elevate it to a supernatural mode and state of activity in the strict and theological sense of the word. Created intelligence is perfected by the contemplation of the Creator through the creating, and has no tendency or aspiration to rise any higher. True, it has an essential capacity to become the subject of a divine operation elevating it to the immediate intuition of God, or it never could be so elevated. This is the really strong argument in favor of the hypothesis that God, if he creates at all, must create an intelligent order determined to the beatific union. It is equally strong in favor of the hypothesis, that he must complete his creative act in the incarnation, because created nature is essentially capable of the hypostatic union. For what purpose is this capacity? Does it not indicate a demand for the order of regeneration, and the completion of this order in the incarnation? It is not our purpose to answer this question definitely, but to leave it open, as it has no practical bearing upon the result we are desirous of obtaining. Presupposing, however, that God determines to adopt the system of absolute optimism in creating, and to bring the universe to an end metaphysically final, as he actually has determined to do, this question, as we have previously stated, must be answered in the affirmative. There is no metaphysical finality short of the hypostatic union of the created with the uncreated nature, which alone is the adequate, objective externisation of the eternal idea in the mind of God. The metaphysical, generic perfection of the universe demands the incarnation, with its appropriate concomitants. But this demand is satisfied by the elevation of one individual nature to the hypostatic union, and the communication of the privileges due to this elevated nature to one or more orders of intelligent creatures containing each an adequate number of individuals. It does not require the elevation of all intelligent orders or all individuals, but admits of a selection from the entire number of created intelligences of a certain privileged class. It is only on the supposition that God cannot give an intelligent nature its due perfection and felicity without conceding to it the beatific vision, that we are compelled to believe that God cannot create intelligent spirits without giving them the opportunity of attaining supernatural beatitude. And it is merely this last supposition against which we have been contending.

The view we have taken, that rational nature precisely as such is not necessarily created merely in order to become the subject of elevating grace, but may be determined to an end which does not require it to transcend its natural condition, comports fully with the Catholic dogma of sanctifying grace. The church teaches that affiliation to God by grace is a pure boon or favor gratuitously conferred by God according to his good pleasure and sovereign will. It is not due to nature, or a necessary consequence of creation. The beginning, progress, and consummation of this adoptive filiation is from the grace of God, both in reference to angels and men. It was by grace that the angels and Adam were placed in the way of attaining the beatific vision, just as much as it is by grace that men are redeemed and saved since the fall. If rational nature cannot be explicated and brought to a term suitable for it, which satisfies all its exigencies, without this grace, it is not easy to see how it can be called a grace at all, since grace signifies gratuitous favor. Rather it would be something due to nature, which the goodness of God bound {156} him to confer when he had created it. It would be the mere complement of creation, and an essential part of the continuity of the creative act as much as the act of conservation, by virtue of which the soul is constituted immortal. In this case, it would be very difficult to reconcile the doctrine of original sin, and the doom of those who die in it before the use of reason, with the justice and goodness of God. It would be difficult also to explain the whole series of doctrinal decisions which have emanated from the Holy See, and have been accepted by the universal church, in relation to the Jansenist errors, all of which easily harmonise with the view we have taken.

Moreover, the plain dogmatic teaching of the church, that man, as he is now born, is "saltem negative aversatus a Deo," "at least negatively averted from God," and absolutely incapable of even the first movement of the will to turn back to him without prevenient grace, cannot be explained on the theory we are opposing without resorting to the notion of a positive depravation of human nature by the fall, a notion completely irreconcilable with rational principles. If rational nature as such is borne by a certain impetus toward God as possessed in the beatific vision, it will spring toward him of itself and by its own intrinsic principles, as soon as he is extrinsically revealed to it, without grace. To say that it does so, is precisely the error of the Semipelagians which is condemned by the church. It is certain that it does not; and therefore we must explain its inability to do so, either with the Calvinists and Jansenists by maintaining that its intrinsic principles are totally perverted and depraved, or by maintaining that rational nature, as such, is determined by its intrinsic impetus to an inferior mode of apprehending and loving God as its last end, which is below the plane of the supernatural.

This view accords fully with the teachings of the great mystic writers, who are the most profound of all philosophers and theologians. They all teach most distinctly, that when God leads a soul into a state of supernatural contemplation it has an almost unconquerable repugnance and reluctance to follow him, and is thrown into an obscure night, in which it undergoes untold struggles and sufferings before it can become fit for even that dim and imperfect light of contemplation which it is capable of receiving in this life. Why is it that the human soul turns toward the supernatural good only when excited, illuminated, and attracted by the grace of God, and even then with so much difficulty? Why does it so easily and of preference turn oh wait from it, unless it is, that it naturally seeks to attain its object by a mode more connatural to its own intrinsic and constitutive principles?

The conclusion we draw is, that rational nature of itself is capable of attaining its proper perfection and felicity, without being elevated above its own order, by the mere explication of its rationality, and aspires no higher, but even prefers to remain where it is. The fact that it is in a state which in comparison with the state of elevation is merely inchoate existence, and is in potentiâ to a state not realised in actu, does not show that its felicity or the good order of the universe requires it to be elevated any higher, unless it is elected as a subject of elevating grace. [Footnote 34]

[Footnote 34: This does not mean that any human being is at liberty to choose to decline proffered grace. The human race en masse is elected to grace, and at least all those to whom the faith is proposed have the proffer of grace, with a precept to accept it. Moreover, God has not provided any order except the supernatural for mankind in which the race can attain its proper perfection and felicity.]

God alone is actus purissimus without any admixture of potentiality. The finite is always inchoate and potential, because finite. Its very nature implies what is called metaphysical evil, or a limitation of the possession of good in act. Every finite nature except that of the incarnate Word is limited, not only in respect to the infinite, but also in respect to some other finite nature superior to itself. It's proper perfection consists in the possession of good, with that limitation {157} which the will of God has prefixed to it as its term. The perfection and order of the universe, as a whole, are constituted by the subordination and harmony of all its parts in reference to the predetermined end. The individual felicity of a rational creature and his due relation to the final cause of the universe, do not require his being elevated to the utmost summit of existence of which he is capable, unless God has predetermined him to that place. The mere inert capacity of receiving an augmentation or elevation of his intellectual and voluntary operation does not give him any tendency to exceed his actual limit, unless that inert capacity begins to be actualized, or unless the principle of a new development is implanted and vitalized. The inert capacity of being united to the divine nature by the hypostatic union, is actualised only in Christ. If, therefore, rational nature could not attain its proper end and completion without the utmost actualization of its passive capacity, Christ alone would attain his final end. We most certainly admit, however, that the blessed in heaven all attain their final end and a perfect beatitude, each one in his own degree. We are not to understand, therefore, that the relation of the creation to God as final cause consists solely and purely in the return of the creature to God in the most sublime manner possible, and that everything which exists is created solely as a means to that end. If this were so, the hypostatic union of the human to the divine nature in the person of Jesus Christ would be the sole terminus of the creative act, the only end proposed by God in creating. Nothing else could or would have been created, except as a means to that end. The rest of creation, however, cannot contribute to that end. The union of the human nature to the divine in Christ and its filiation to God, by which it is beatified, glorified, and deified, is completely fulfilled within itself; and the rest of creation adds nothing to it. If God had no other end in view, in the reproduction of the immanent act within himself by a communication of himself ad extra, except the hypostatic union, he would have created only one perfect nature for that purpose. The beatification and glorification of the adopted brethren of Christ must be therefore included in the end of creation.

This is not all, however, that is included in it. The supernatural order includes in itself a natural order which is not absorbed into it, but which has its own distinct existence. Gratia supponit naturam, grace supposes nature, but does not supersede or extinguish it. The inferior intellectual operations of our Lord are not superseded by his beatific contemplation, nor do they contribute to its clearness of intuition. The operation of his animal soul—that is, of the principle within his rational soul which contains in an eminent mode all the perfection that is in a soul purely animal, and adapts his rational soul to be the form of a body—continues also, together with the activity of the senses and of the active bodily life. This operation does not conduce to the perfection of the act of beatific contemplation, which does not require the mediation of the senses. The same is true of the inferior, natural operations of all beatified angels and men. If supernatural beatitude were the exclusive end of the creation, there would be no reason why these inferior operations should continue, any more than the exercise of faith, hope, patience, fortitude, or works of merit, which, being exclusively ordained as means for attaining beatitude, cease when the end is gained. The beatific act would swallow up the entire activity of the beatified, and all inferior life would cease. For the same reason, all corporeal and material organization would be swept out of the way as a useless scaffolding, and only beatified spirits, exclusively occupied in the immediate contemplation of God, would continue to exist for ever.

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This is not so, however. The body is to rise again and live for ever. The universe is to remain for ever, with all its various grades of existence, including even the lowest, or those which are purely material. There is therefore a natural order coexisting with the supernatural in a subordinate relation to it—a minor and less principal part, but still an integral part of the divine, creative plan. There is a cognitio matutina and a cognitio vespertina, a matutinal and vesperal knowledge, in the blessed; the one being the immediate intuition of the trinity in unity, the other the mediate intuition of the idea or infinite archetype of creation in God, through his creative act. There is a natural intellectual life in the angels, and a natural intellectual and physical life in man, in the beatific state. The natural order is preserved and perfected in the supernatural order, with all its beauty and felicity—with its science, virtue, love, friendship, and society. The material world is everlasting, together with the spiritual. All orders together make up the universe; and it is the whole complex of diverse and multitudinous existences which completely expresses the divine idea and fulfils the divine purpose of the creator. The metaphysical finality or apex of the creative act is in the incarnate Word, but the relation to the final cause exists in everything, and is fulfilled in the universe as a totality, which embraces in one harmonious plan all things that have been created, and culminates in Jesus Christ, through the hypostatic union of the divine and human natures in his person.

In this universe there may be an order of intelligent existences, touching at its lowest point the highest point of irrational existence, and at its highest point the lowest in the grade of the beatified spirits. That inferior order of knowledge and felicity may exist distinctly and separately which exists conjointly with supernatural beatitude in the kingdom of heaven. The perfection of the universe requires that there should be a beatified, glorified order at its summit. It may even the maintained that this consummation of created nature in the highest possible end is the only one which the divine wisdom could propose in creating. Yet this does not exclude the possibility of an inferior order of intelligence, upon which the grace elevating it to a supernatural state is not conferred.

We are prepared, therefore, to proceed to the consideration of the nature and conditions of that grace, as a cure, gratuitous gift of God, conferred upon angels and upon the human race through his free and sovereign goodness. From the point of view to which the previous reasoning has conducted us, the angels and mankind appear to us, not as mere species of rational creatures conducted by their creator along the path of rational development by natural law, but as the elect heirs of an entirely gratuitous inheritance of glory—candidates for a destiny entirely supernatural. The relation which they sustain to God in this supernatural scheme of grace will therefore be our topic next in order.




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Original


SONG.


  What magician pulls the string
  That uncurtains pretty Spring?
  And the swallow with his wing
      Against the sky 1
  Who brings the branch its green,
  And the honey-bee a queen?
      "Is it I?"
      Said April, "I?"
      "Yes, 'tis I."

  What aërial artist limns
  Rock and cloud, with brush that dims
  Titian's oils and Hogarth's whims
       In shape and dye?
  What Florimel embowers
  Lawn and lake with arching flowers?
      "Is it I?"
      Said bright July, "I?"
      "Yes, 'tis I."

  What good genii drop the grains
  Of brown sugar in the canes?
  Who fills up the apple's veins
      With sweetened dew?
  Who hangs the painted air
  With the grape and golden pear?
      Is it you,
      October? You?
      Yes, 'tis you.

  Who careering sweeps the plain,
  Scoffing at the violet's pain.
  Echoing back and back again
      His wild halloo?
  Who makes the Yule-fire foam
  Round the happy hearth of home?
      Is it you,
      December? You?
      Aye, 'tis you.

T. W. K.



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From The Dublin University Magazine.


COWARDICE AND COURAGE.


Shakespeare, the universal teacher, who knew every phase of the heart, and touched every chord of feeling, has declared aphoristically, speaking as Julius Caesar:

  "Cowards die many times before their deaths;
  The valiant only taste of death but once.
  Of all the wonders that I yet have heard.
  It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
  Seeing that death, a necessary end,
  Will come when it will come."

Notwithstanding this, fear is one of the strongest impulses of our nature—fear of discovery, shame, or punishment when we have done wrong: fear of pain, danger, or death. Dr. Johnson said in conversation: "Fear is one of the passions of humanity of which it is impossible to divest it. You all remember that the Emperor Charles V., when he read upon the tomb of a Spanish nobleman, 'Here lies one who never knew fear,' wittily observed, 'Then he never snuffed a candle with his fingers.'" In opposition to this we may quote an anecdote told of Lord Howe, when in command of the Channel Fleet. One night he was suddenly awakened by an officer, who, in great trepidation, told him the ship was on fire close to the powder-room; the admiral coolly replied: "If it is so, sir, we shall very soon know it." Some minutes afterwards the lieutenant returned, and told his lordship he had no occasion to be afraid, for the fire was extinguished. "Afraid!" replied Lord Howe, hastily; "what do you mean by that, sir? I never was afraid in my life."

No emotions of the human frame are more opposite than cowardice and courage, each taken in its simple sense, yet both spring from the same sources—physical temperament early training. We do not make our own nervous system, which is often grievously tampered with or perverted by silly, ill-conditioned nurses, servants, and teachers, who frightened children with tales of bugbears, monsters and hobgoblins, until they scream if left in the dark for a moment, and dare not sleep in a room by themselves. Pillory or flogging at the cart's tail would be too mild a punishment for those moral Thugs, who strangle wholesome feelings in the first dawn of their existence, and supply their place with baneful impressions, which, strongly implanted in early youth, grow and strengthen to a period of life when reason on to subdue them, but frequently fails to do so. Viewed in this light, constitutional timidity is a misfortune rather than a crime, however contemptible it may be considered; while mere animal insensibility to danger, which readily calls for admiration, has no claim to rank as a virtue. We speak not here of the moral courage which may be engrafted on a nature originally pusillanimous, by pride, education or a sense of duty and station. Henry IV., of France, and Frederick the Great, of Prussia, are illustrious examples of this victory of over matter. Both were instinctively afraid of danger, and both are recorded as evincing perfect self-possession and displaying prodigies of valor in many a hotly-contested field. Henry's flesh quivered the first time he found himself in action, although his heart was firm. "Villanous nature, I will make thee ashamed of thyself!" he exclaimed, as he spurred his horse through a {161} breach before which the bravest veterans paused; and ever afterward the white plume was recognized as the rallying point of battle. Frederick turned from the field of Molwitz, and left his marshals to win the day without him; but it was his first and only moment of wavering through a life of hard campaigns.

Some natures are so constant that no surprise can shake them. An instance occurs in the career of Crillon, called by distinction, "The Brave," in an Army where all were valiant. He was stationed with a small detachment in a lone house. Some young officers, in the dead of night, raised a cry that the enemy were upon them, a company by loud shouts and the firing of musketry. Crillon started from his bed, seized his sword, and rushed down-stairs in his shirt, calling on all to follow him and die at their posts like men. A burst of laughter behind arrested his steps, and he at once penetrated the joke. He re-ascendant, and seizing one of the perpetrators roughly by the arm, explained: "Young man, it is well for you that your trick failed. Had you thrown me off my guard, you would have been the first I should have sacrificed to my lost honor. Take warning, and deal in no such folly for the future."

Charles XII. was gifted from infancy with iron nerves. "What is that noise?" he asked, as the balls whistling past him when landing in Denmark—a mere stripling, under a heavy fire. "The sound of the shot the fire at your majesty," replied Marshal Renschild. "Good!" said the king; "henceforth that shall be my music." And so he made it, with little intermission, until the last and fatal bullet, whether fired by traitor or foe, which entered his brain, and finished his wild career at Fredericshall, eighteen years later.

Murat and Lannes were the admitted paladins of the Imperial army; yet both once came to a stand-still before the battery which vomited forth fire and death. "Rascals!" muttered Napoleon, bitterly; "have I made you too rich?" Stung by the taunt, they rushed on, and the victory was gained. No epidemic is so contagious as a panic. When once caught, it expands with the velocity of an ignited train. A celebrated case occurred in Henry the Eighth's time, at the Battle of the Spurs, in 1513, so called because the defeated force fled with such haste that it was impossible for the best mounted cavaliers to overtake them. Thus the killed and wounded made but a poor figure. Then came Falkirk, in 1746, of which Horace Walpole said: "The fighting lay in a small compass, the greater part of both armies running away." Then the memorable "Races of Castlebar," of which the less that is said the better; then the sauve qui peut of Waterloo; and though last, far from least, the pell-mell rout of Bull's Run, which inaugurated the late American war. Livy records, and Sir William Napier quotes the anecdote, that after a drawn battle a god, calling out in the night, declared that the Etruscans had lost one man more than the Romans! whereupon a panic fell on the former, and they abandoned the field to their adversaries, who gathered all the fruits of a real victory.

There are some who think they can face danger and death until the moment of trial arrives, and then their nerves give way. In the biographies of John Graham, Viscount of Dundee, we find it related that, during the civil wars of that period, a friend of his, a loyal and devoted partisan of the house of Stuart, like himself, committed his favorite son to his charge. "I give him to the king's cause," said the father; "take care that he does not dishonor his name and race. I depend on you to look after him." In the first action, the unlucky youth exhibited undoubted symptoms of cowardice. Dundee took him aside and said "The service in which we are engaged is desperate, {162} and requires desperate resolution on the part of all concerned in it. You have mistaken your trade. Go home, before worse happens." The youth shed bitter tears, said it was a momentary weakness, implored for another trial, and promised to behave better the next time. Dundee relented. The next trial soon came, with the same result. Dundee rode up to the recreant, pistol in hand, and exclaiming, "Your father's son shall never die by the hands of the hangman," shot him dead upon the spot.

Experienced military authorities have delivered their opinion that of one hundred rank and file, taken indiscriminately—Alexanders at six-pence per diem, as Voltaire sneeringly designates them—one third are determined daredevils, who will face any danger, and flinch from nothing; the next division are waverers, equally disposed to stand or run, and likely to be led either way by example; while the residue are rank cowards. Dr. Johnson took a more unfavorable view. At a dinner at General Paoli's, in 1778, when fears of an invasion were circulated, Mr. John Spottiswoode, the solicitor, observed that Mr. Fraser, an engineer, who had recently visited Dunkirk, said the French had the same fears of us. "It is thus," remarked Dr. Johnson, "that mutual cowardice keeps us in peace. Were one half mankind brave, and one half cowards, the brave would be always beating the cowards. Were all brave, they would lead a very uneasy life; all would be continually fighting; but being all cowards, we go on tolerably well."

It is difficult to invest with interest a quality so universally held in contempt as cowardice; yet Sir Walter Scott has succeeded in obtaining sympathy for Conachar, or Eachin M'Ian. the young Highland chieftain, in the Fair Maid of Perth. He evidently conceived the character con amore, and has elaborated it with skill and care.

Montaigne observes of fear that it is a surprisal of the heart upon the apprehension of approaching evil; and if it reaches the degree of terror, and the evil seems impendent, the hair is raised on end, and the whole body put into horror and trembling. After this, if the passion continues, the spirits are thrown into confusion, so that they cannot execute their offices; the usual successors of reason fail, judgment is blinded, the powers of voluntary motion become weak, and the heart is insufficient to maintain the circulation of the blood, which, stopping and stagnating in the ventricles, causes painting and swooning, and sometimes sudden death. The quaint old essayist then illustrates by examples. He tells of a jester who had contrived to give his master, a petty prince of Italy, a hearty ducking and a fright to boot, to cure him of an ague. The treatment succeeded; but the autocrat, by way of retaliation, had his audacious physician tried for treason, and condemned to lose his had. The criminal was brought forth, the priest received his confession, and the luckless buffoon knelt to prepare for the blow. Instead of wielding his axe, the executioner, as he had been instructed, threw a pitcher of water on the bare neck of the criminal. Here the jest was to have ended; but the shock was too great for poor Gonella, who was found dead on the block.

Montaigne also says, that fear manifests its utmost power and effect when it throws men into a valiant despair, having before deprived them of all sense both of duty and honor. In the first great battle of the Romans against Hannibal, under the Consul Sempronius, a body of twenty thousand men that had taken flight, seeing no other escape for their cowardice, threw themselves headlong upon the great mass of their pursuing enemies, with wonderful force and fury they charged, and cut a passage through, with a prodigious slaughter of the Carthaginians; thus purchasing an ignominious retreat at the same price which might have won for them glorious victory.

{163}

But if fear is a destructive, it also sometimes acts in an opposite sense. Dr. Thomas Bartoline tells us in his history of anatomy, that fear has been known to cure epilepsy, gout, and ague. He relates that a woman of condition, who was affected with the tertian ague, was so terrified by the explosion of a bomb, which was fired off during her fit, that she fainted away and was thought to be dead. "Having then sent for me to see her," he adds, "and finding her pulse still pretty strong, I prescribed for her some slight cordials, and she soon recovered from her state of weakness without any appearance of fever, which had afterward no return."

Bartoline says again that a young lady who had a quartan ague for several months successively, was invited by some of her acquaintance to take an excursion on the water, with a view to dissipate the melancholy ideas occasioned by her illness; but they had scarcely got into the boat when it began to sink, and all were terribly shocked with the dread of perishing. After escaping this danger, the patient found that the terror had cured her ailment, and she had no return of the ague.

A third instance recorded by Bartoline is even more extraordinary than the two we have already named. A man forty-two years of age, of a hot and moist constitution, subject to a colic, but the fits not violent, was seized one evening, about sunset, with an internal cold, though the weather on that day was unusually warm. Different medicines were administered to him, but without success. He died within eighteen or nineteen hours, without the least agitation or any of the convulsions that frequently accompany the parting agony, so that he seemed to subside into a placid sleep. His friends requested Dr. Bartoline to open his body, and it was found that he had died of a mortification of the punereus. He was a very fat subject, and what was surprising in to huge and corpulent a body, his bones were as small as those of a young girl, and his muscles extremely weak, thin, and membraneous rather than fleshy. While the doctor was making these observations on the dissected corpse, a brother of the deceased, who had been absent for sixteen years, and was of the same size, constitution, and habit of body, entered the room suddenly and unexpectedly. He looked on the remains of his relative, heard the detail of the circumstances of his death, the cause of which he saw confirmed with his own eyes, and reasoned for some time calmly and sensibly on the mournful event. All at once he became stupefied, speechless, and fell into a fainting fit, from which neither balsams nor stimulants, nor any of the remedies resorted to in such cases, could recover him. The opening of a vein was suggested, but this advice was not followed. All present appeared as if paralyzed with horror. The patient seemed to be without pulse or respiration, his limbs began to stiffen, and he was pronounced to be on the point of expiring. A sudden idea struck Bartoline, for which he says he could not account, but he said aloud, "Let us recompose the dead body and sew it up; in the meantime the other will be quite dead, and I will dissect him also." The words were scarcely uttered when the gentleman supposed to be in articulo mortis started up from the sofa on which he had been laid, roared out with the lungs of a bull, snatched up his cloak, took to his heels, as if nothing had happened to him, and lived for many years after in an excellent slate of health.

Fear has been known to turn the hair in a single night from black to grey or white. This happened, amongst others, to Ludovico Sforza. The same is asserted of Queen Marie Antoinette, although not so suddenly, and, as some say, from grief, not fear. The Emperor Louis, of Bavaria, anno 1256, suspected his wife, Mary of Brabant, without just cause, condemned her, unheard, for adultery, and caused her chief lady-in-waiting, who was also {164} innocent, to be cast headlong from a tower, as a confederate in his dishonor. Soon after this horrible cruelty he was visited by a fearful vision one night, and rose in the morning with his dark locks as white as snow.

A young Spaniard of noble family, Don Diego Osorio, being in love with a lady of the court, prevailed on her to grant him an interview by night in the royal gardens. The barking of a little dog betrayed them. The gallant was seized by the guard and conveyed to prison. It was a capital crime to be found in that place without special permission, and therefore he was condemned to die. The reading of the sentence so unmanned him that the next morning he stood in presence of his jailer with a furrowed visage and grey hair. The fact being reported to King Ferdinand as a prodigy, he was moved to compassion, and pardoned the culprit, saying, he had been sufficiently punished in exchanging the bloom of youth for the hoary aspect of age. The same happened to the father of Martin Delrio, who, lying sick in bed, heard the physicians say he would certainly die. He recovered, but the fright gave him a grey head in a few hours, and this instance of the terror he had suffered never afterward left him.

Robert Boyle, in his Philosophical Examples, relates the following incident of the same class: "Being about four or six years since," he says, "in the county of Cork, there was an Irish captain, a man of middle age and stature, who came with some of his followers to surrender himself to the Lord Broghill, who then commanded the English forces in those parts, upon a public offer of pardon to the Irish that would lay down their arms. He was casually met with in a suspicious place by a party of the English, and intercepted, the Lord Broghill being then absent. He was so apprehensive of being put to death before the return of the commander-in-chief, that his anxiety of mind quickly altered the color of his hair in a peculiar manner. It was not uniformly changed, but here and there certain peculiar tufts and locks, whose bases might be about an inch in diameter were suddenly turned white alone; the rest of his hair, whereof the Irish used to wear good store, retained its natural reddish color."

A sudden shock operates on the memory as well as on the hair. In Pliny's Natural History we read of one who, being struck violently and unexpectedly by a stone, forgot his letters, and could never write again; another, he says, through a fall from the roof of a very high house, lost his remembrance of his own mother, his nearest kinsfolks, friends, and neighbors; and a third, in a fit of sickness, ceased to recognize his own servants. Messala Corvinus, the great orator, being startled suddenly, forgot his own name, and was unable to remember it for a considerable time. The same thing happened to Sidney Smith, not from fear, but from absence of mind. He called on a friend, who was not at home, and he happened to have no card to leave. "What name, sir?" said the servant. "That's exactly what I can't tell you," was the reply.

Augustus Caesar was not a valiant man, in the popular acceptation of the word. He shrank in his tent from the onset at Philippi, skulked in the hold of the admiral's galley during the sea-fight with Sextus Pompey in the Straits of Messina, and was a safe spectator on shore at Actium. Antony, and even his own friend and lieutenant, Agrippa, taunted him with his want of courage. He was so terrified at thunder and lightning that he always carried with him the skin of a sea-calf as an antidote. If he suspected the approach of a tempest, he ran to some underground vault until the symptoms passed over. Yet Suetonius says he once, under necessity, showed a bold front to a danger he could not avoid. He was walking abroad with Diomedes, his steward, when a wild boar, which had broken loose, rushed directly toward them. {165} Thus steward in his terror, ran behind the emperor and interposed him as a shield betwixt the assailant and himself. Augustus stood his ground, because flight was barred, and the boar turned tail. But knowing that fear, not malice, had prompted the conduct of his servant, he had the magnanimity to confine his resentment to a perpetual just. Caligula, who affected to contemn the gods, was equally terrified with Augustus at the least indication of thunder and lightning. He covered his head, and if the explosions chanced to be loud and near, leaped from his couch and hid himself under it.

History mentions several sovereigns who loved war, but had no taste for personal participation in its perils. Charles the Fifth, and his son, Philip the second, are amongst the number, The leading characteristic of the latter was cruelty, a disposition generally associated with cowardice. Diocletian, after he became emperor, fought more by his lieutenants than in person. Lactantius said of him that he was timid and spiritless in all situations of danger. Erat in omni tumultu meticulosus et animi dejectus. [Footnote 35]

[Footnote 35: Lactant. De Mortibus Persecutorum, c. ix.]

A commander should be self-collected in a battle, calm under a shower of darts or the whistling of artillery; but to prove his courage, he is not called upon to charge windmills with the chivalric madness of Don Quixote, or to slay eight hundred enemies with his own hand, as recorded of Aurelian and Richard Coeur de Lion. Charles of Sweden and Attila loved fighting for fighting's sake; for the certaminis gaudia, as Cassiodorus writes; "the rapture of the strife," as Lord Byron translates the passage. Yet a brave general is not obliged to be a vulture snuffing blood like the truculent king of the Huns. He can maintain his reputation for personal courage without jumping alone into the midst of an army of foes, as Alexander did from the walls of Oxydrace; or resisting a host of many thousands with three hundred men, as Charles XII. did at Bender; or of placing his foot first on the scaling ladder in emulation of the extreme daring of the Constable Bourbon, under extreme circumstances, at the storming of Rome. Charles the First lacked moral courage, but he was no craven physically. His bravery in the field, and calm dignity on the scaffold, went far in atonement of his political weaknesses and shortcomings.

The mind naturally revolts from sudden or violent death. Yet it has its recommendations. It is never painful. The important consideration is lest it should be unprepared for. We mourn the loss of a friend or relative who is killed in battle more than we do that of one who dies in the course of nature, or of an incidental fever. We lament a soldier's death because it seems untimely. A sufferer who languishes of disease, ends his life with more pain but with less credit. He leaves no example to be quoted, no honor to be cherished as an heirloom by his descendants. We affect to be greatly shocked at the misfortunes or death of a friend or acquaintance, but there is something pharisaical in this exuberance of sympathy, only we are unwilling to confess the truth openly.

Foote, who was a scoffer, and in all respects an irreligious man, said, when very ill, that he was not afraid to die. David Hume, an esprit fort of a more pretentious character, declared that it gave him no more uneasiness to think he should not be after this life, than that he had not been before he began to exist. An ingenious sophistry, like his essay on miracles. We do not believe that any one ever really persuaded himself that he was not a responsible being, and not answerable for his deeds done in the flesh. Sir Henry Halford, in his essays, expresses his surprise that of the great number of patients he had attended, so few appeared reluctant to die. "We may suppose," he adds, "that this willingness to submit to the common and irresistible doom, arises from an {166} impatience of suffering, or from that passive indifference which is sometimes the result of debility and extreme bodily pain."

Themistocles was quite as unwilling to die, although he assigned a better reason for his love of life. Finding his mental and physical powers beginning to decay, in such a manner as to indicate his approaching end, he grieved that he must now depart, when, as he said, he was only beginning to grow wise. As an instance of superstitious terror, Plutarch tells us that Amestis, the wife of the great Xerxes, buried twelve persons alive, offering them as a sacrifice to Pluto for the prolongation of her own days. Mecaenas, the great patron of learning, and favorite of Augustus, had such a horror of death, that he had often in his mouth, "all things are to be endured so long as life is continued." The Emperor Domitian, from innate timidity, caused the walls of the galleries wherein he took daily recreation to be garnished with the stone called phangites, the brightness of which reflected all that was passing behind him. Theophrastus, the philosopher, who lived to be one hundred and seven years of age, was so attached to life that he complained of the partiality of nature in granting longevity to the crow and the stag beyond that accorded to man. Plutarch, in his life of Pericles, names a skilful engineer called Artemon, who was withal so timorous that he was frightened at his own shadow, and seldom stirred out of his house for fear some accident should betide him. Two of his servants always held a brazen target over his head lest anything might fall upon it; and if necessity compelled him to go abroad, he never walked, but was carried in a litter which hung within an inch or two of the ground.

We read, in a more recent author, of a certain Rhodius, who, being sentenced to perpetual imprisonment in a dungeon, by a tyrant, for indulging in unseasonable liberty of speech, was treated in all respects like a caged beast, with great torture and ignominy. His food was scanty and loathsome; his hands were amputated, his face gashed and disfigured with wounds. In this miserable plight, some of his friends suggested to him to put an end to his sufferings by voluntary starvation. "No," he replied; "while life remains all things are to be hoped for." He clung to mere existence when death would have been a relief. How are we to reconcile or account for these strange contradictions? The sum of all appears to be that human nature is a complex mystery, beyond the powers of man to fathom with the limited faculties attached to his transitory condition.

Let us turn now to a more attractive quality, courage and, manly daring as exhibited in life and and death, particularly in the "last scene of all." Finis coranat opus—the end crowns the work. When Epaminondas asked whether Chabrias, Iphicrates or himself deserved the highest place in the esteem of their fellow-beings, he replied, "You must see us die before that question can be answered." His own exit at Mantinea, in the moment of a glorious victory, was singularly brilliant, and his parting sentiments illustrated the purity of his life. The situation finds an exact parallel in the fall of Gustavus Adolphus, under the same circumstances, at Lutzen. The name of the patriot who seals with blood his devotion to his cause, on a winning field, is encircled with and imperishable halo of glory, the thought of which would stir the pulse of an anchorite. Claverhouse, in Old Mortality, describes the feeling with true military enthusiasm. "It is not," he says, "the expiring pang that is worth thinking of in an event that must happen one day, and may befall us at any moment—it is the memory which the soldier leaves behind him, like the long train of light that follows the sunken sun; that is all which is worth caring for, which distinguishes the death of the brave or the ignoble. When I think of death, as a chance of {167} almost hourly occurrence in the course before me, it is in the hope of pressing one day some well-fought and hard-won field of battle, and expiring with the shout of victory in my ear; that would be worth dying for, and more, it would be worth having lived for." And so fell the real Claverhouse on the field of Killiecrankie, and with him vanished the passing gleam of sunshine in the fortunes of the master he served so loyally and well. Had he lived to improve his victory, he would have been in Edinburgh in two or three days, and it is difficult to say what turn the pages of coming history might then have taken. As soon as it was known that he was killed, his army of Highland clans dispersed, and never collected again. They were held together by his single name, and had no faith in any other leader.

A heathen poet, Antiphanes, who lived a century earlier than Socrates or his pupil Plato, and five hundred years before the Christian revelation, has a remarkable passage to this effect, of which the following verbal translation is given by Addison in the Spectator: "Grieve not above measure for deceased friends. They are not dead, but have only finished that journey we are all necessitated to take. We ourselves must go to that great place of reception in which they are all of them assembled, and in this general rendezvous of mankind live together in another state of being."

Men of the most opposite characters have jested on the point of death. Sir Thomas More, a Christian philosopher, said to the executioner, "Good friend, let me put my beard out of the way, for that has committed no offence against the king."

The following instance, recorded by the Abbé Vertot, in his history of the revolutions of Portugal, may claim comparison, for intrepidity and greatness of soul, with anything that we read of in Greek or Roman lore. When Don Sebastian, King of Portugal, invaded the territories of Muley Moloch, Emperor of Morocco to de-throne him and set his crown on the head of his nephew, Moloch was wearing away with a distemper which he himself knew and felt to be incurable. However, he prepared for the reception of the formidable foreign enemy. He was so utterly exhausted by his malady, that he scarcely expected to outlive the day when the decisive battle was fought at Alcazar. But knowing the fatal consequences that would happen to his children and people in case he should die before he put an end to that war, he gave directions to his principal officers that if he died during the engagement they should conceal his death from the army, and should ride up to the litter in which his corpse was carried, under pretence of receiving orders from him as usual. Before the action began he was carried through all the ranks of his host, with the curtains of the litter drawn up, as they stood in battle array, and encouraged them to fight valiantly in defence of their religion and country. Finding the action at one period of the day turning against him, and seeing that the decisive moment had arrived, he, though verging on his last agonies, threw himself out of his litter. The enthusiasm of his spirit for the moment conquered the feebleness of his body; he was lifted upon a horse, rallied his troops, and led them to a renewed charge, which ended in a complete victory on the side of the Moors. The King of Portugal was killed. At least, he disappeared mysteriously, and never was seen again; his body, like that of James the Fourth at Flodden, was not clearly identified, and more than one pretender from time to time came forward to personate him; his entire army was dispersed, slain, or rendered captive. Muley Moloch lived to witness the effect of his charge, when nature gave way; his officers replaced him in his litter; he was unable to speak, but laying his finger on his lips to enjoin secrecy on all who stood around him, died a few moments afterwards in that posture.

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Fortitude and valor are, after all, more derived from constitution and example than from any inherent power of the mind. When Sylla beheld his army on the point of defeat by Archelaus, the general of Mithridates, he alighted from his horse, snatched a standard from the bearer, and rushing with it into the midst of the enemy, cried out, "Here, comrades, I intend to die; but for you, when asked where you left your general, remember it was at Orchomenus." The soldiers, moved by his speech and example, returned to their ranks, renewed the fight, and converted an imminent overthrow into a decisive victory. At Marathon, Cynegirus, an Athenian, having pursued the Persians to their ships, grasped a boat in which some of them were putting off from the shore, with his right hand, holding it until his hand was cut off; he then seized it with the left, which was also immediately severed. After that, he retained it with his teeth, nor did he relinquish that last hold until his fleeting breath failed, and thereby disappointed the resolute intention of his mind.

The exploits of Mutius Seaevola, who thrust his hand into the fire to frighten Porsenna, and of Horatius Cocles, who defended a bridge singly against an army, are familiar to every school-boy. The latter, in the glowing verses of Macaulay, is a favorite subject of selection at school speech-days, and for public readings or recitations. According to the same authority, Plutarch, the heroism of Seaevola had been anticipated by Agesilaus, the brother of Themistocles. When Xerxes arrived with his countless hosts at Cape Artemisium, the bold Athenian, disguised as a Persian, came into the camp of the barbarians, and slew one of the captains of the royal guard, supposing he had been the king himself. He was immediately brought before Xerxes, who was then offering sacrifices upon the altar of the Sun. Agesilaus thrust his hand into the flame, and endured the torture without sigh or groan. Xerxes ordered them to loose him. "All we Athenians," said Agesilaus, "are of the same determination. If thou wilt not believe it, I will also suffer my left hand to be consumed by the fire." The king, awed and impressed with respect for such undaunted constancy, commanded him to be carefully kept and well treated. Did one story suggest the other, or are both real or fabulous?

Valerius Maximus relates the following anecdote: "After the ancient custom of the Macedonians, certain noble youths waited on Alexander the Great when he sacrificed to the gods. One of these, holding a censer in his hand, stood before the king. It chanced that a live coal fell upon his arm, and so burnt it that the smell of the charred flesh affected the bystanders; yet the sufferer suppressed the pain, in silence, and held his arm immovable, lest by shaking the censer he should interrupt the sacrifice, or by his groaning disturb the king. Alexander, that he might still further try his fortitude, purposely continued and protracted the sacrifice; yet the noble-hearted boy persisted in his resolute intention." To this rare instance of fortitude he adds another. "Anaxarchus, a philosopher of Abdera, was remarkable for freedom of speech, which no personal consideration restrained. He was a friend of Alexander, and when the great conqueror was wounded, said bluntly, 'Behold the blood of a man and not of a god.' But Alexander was too noble to be offended at such a home truth. It was otherwise with Nicocreon, tyrant of Cyprus, to whose court Anaxarchus betook himself on the death of Alexander. When the sage openly reproached him with his cruelties, Nicocreon seized and threatened to pound him in a stone mortar with iron hammers. 'Pound the body of Anaxarchus at thy pleasure,' exclaimed he; 'his soul thou canst not pound.' The tyrant, in a paroxysm of rage, ordered his tongue to be cut from his mouth. {169} 'Effeminate wretch,' cried the undaunted monitor, 'neither shall that part of my body be at thy disposal.' So saying, he bit off his own tongue, and spat it in the face of his persecutor."

Bacon, in his History of Life and Death, mentions a certain tradition of a man, who being under the executioner's hands for high treason, after his heart was plucked from his body, was yet heard to murmur several words of prayer. He also instances another strange example in the case of the Burgundian who murdered the Prince of Orange. When the first part of his sentence, which only related to cutting off his curls of hair, was carried out, he absolutely shed shed tears; yet, when scourged with rods of iron, and his flesh torn with red-hot pincers, he uttered neither sigh nor grown. Before his sense of feeling became extinct under reiterated tortures, a part of the scaffold fell on the head of a spectator. The criminal was observed to laugh at the accident.

It is recorded of Caius Marius, seven times Roman consul, and conquer of the Cimbri and Teutones, that a short time before his death, in his seventieth year, a swelling in the leg location the necessity of its being cut off. To this he submitted without a distortion of the face or any visible sign of suffering. The surgeon told him the other leg was as badly affected and peremptorily demanded the same remedy, if he wished his life to be prolonged. "No," said Marius, "the pain is greater than the advantage." Something very similar occurred at the death of General Moreau on the field of Dresden, in 1813. A cannon ball, as he was in conversation with the Emperor of Russia, shattered his right knee, passed through the body of the horse, and left his other leg suspended by a few ligaments. He sat up and coolly smoked a cigar while undergoing the amputation of the left. On being told that he must also lose the right, he shrugged his shoulders, and said to the surgeons, "On with your work, if it must be so; but if I had known at the beginning, I would have kept my legs and spared your trouble." He survived only a few hours.

In 1571 Marc Antonio Bragandino, a noble Venetian, who was governor of Famagusta, in the island of Cyprus, defended that city with indomitable perseverance during a long siege, which cost Mustapha, the general of the Turkish army, many thousands of his bravest soldiers. The promised aid from Venice not arriving in time, Bragandino was compelled to surrender on honorable conditions, which Mustapha violated with consummate treachery. He caused the principal officers to be beheaded in sight of their commander, who was reserved for a more inhuman punishment. Three times the scimetar was drawn across his throat, that he might endure the pain of more than one death, yet the illustrious victim quailed not nor wavered in his intrepid demeanor. His nose and ears were then cut off, and loaded with chains he was compelled to carry earth in a hod to those who were repairing the fortifications. With this heavy burden he was forced to bend and kiss the ground every time he passed before Mustapha. Still his courage supported him, and he kept dignified silence. Finally he was lashed to the yard-arm of one of the Turkish galleys, and flayed alive. He endured all with unshaken firmness, and to the last reproached the infidels with their perfidy and inhumanity. His skin was carried in parade along the coasts of Syria and Egypt, and deposited in the arsenal of Constantinople, whence it was obtained by the children of the illustrious hero, and preserved as the most glorious relic in their family.

We find it written in Baker's Chronicle that King William Rufus, being reconciled to his brother Robert, assisted him to recover Fort St. Michael, in Normandy, forcibly held by Prince Henry, afterwards Henry the First. During the siege, William one day {170} happening to be riding carelessly along the shore, was set upon by three knights, who assaulted him so fiercely that they drew him from his saddle, and the saddle from his horse. But catching up his saddle, and drawing his sword, he defended himself until rescue came. Being afterwards blamed for his obstinacy in risking his life for a trifling part of his equipment, "It would have angered me to the very heart," he replied, "that the knaves should have bragged they had won the saddle from me." The same authority tells us that "Malcolm, king of the Scots, a contemporary of William Rufus, was a most valiant prince, as appears by an act of his of an extraordinary strain. Hearing of a conspiracy and plot to murder him, by one whose name is not recorded, he dissembled all knowledge of it, till being abroad one day hunting in company with the concealed traitor, he took him apart in a wood, and being alone, 'Here now,' said he, 'is fit time and place to do that manfully which you intended to do treacherously; draw your weapon, and if you now kill me, none being present, you can incur no danger.' By this speech of the king's the fellow was so daunted, that presently he fell down at his feet and humbly implored forgiveness; which being granted, he proved himself ever after a loyal and faithful servant. This same Malcolm, son of the Duncan who was murdered by Macbeth, was himself killed at the siege of Alnwick Castle, in 1093. A young English knight rode into the Scottish camp, armed only with a slight spear, whereon hung the keys of the castle, and approaching near the king, lowered his lance, as if presenting the keys in token of surrender. Suddenly he made a home thrust at the monarch's eye, which ran into his brain, and he fell dead on the instant, the bold Englishman saving himself by the swiftness of his horse. From this act of desperate valor came the surname of Piercy, or Percy, ever since borne with so much honor by the noble house of Northumberland."

A Dutch seaman being condemned to death, his punishment was changed, and he was ordered to be left on the island of St. Helena, at that time uninhabited. The horrors of solitude, without the hope of escape, determined him to attempt one of the strangest actions ever recorded. There had been interred that day in the same island an officer of the ship. The seaman took the body out of the coffin, and having made a kind of or of the upper board, ventured to see in it. There was fortunately for him a dead calm, and as he glided along, early the next morning he came near the ship lying immovable within two leagues of the island. When his former companions saw so strange a float upon the waters, they imagined it was a spectral delusion, but when they discovered the reality, were not a little startled at the resolution of the man who durst hazard himself on the sea in three boards slightly nailed together. He had little hope of being received by those who had so lately sentenced him to death. Accordingly it was put to the question whether he should be saved or not. After some debates and much difference of opinion, mercy prevailed. He was taken on board, and came afterwards to Holland, where he lived in the town of Hoorn, and related to many how miraculously God had delivered him.

Raleigh's History of the World abounds in anecdotes of undaunted action. Amongst many others, the following is not the least remarkable: "Henry, Earl of Alsatia, surname Iron, because of his strength, obtained great favor with Edward the Third by reason of his valor, and of course became a mark of envy for the courtiers. One day, in the absence of the king, they counselled the queen that forasmuch as the earl was unduly preferred before all the English peers and knights, she would make trial whether he was so highly descended as he gave out, by causing a lion to be let loose on him unawares, affirming that if Henry were truly noble the lion would {171} refuse to assail him. They obtained leave to the effect that they desired. The earl was accustomed to rise before day, and to walk in the lower court of the castle in which he resided, to enjoy the fresh air of the morning. A lion was brought in during the night, in his cage, the door of which was afterward raised by a mechanical contrivance, so that he had liberty of escape. The earl came down in his night gown, with girdle and sword, when he encountered the lion, bristling his hair and roaring in the middle of the court. Not in the least astonished or thrown off his guard he called out with a stout voice, 'Stand, you dog!' Whereupon the lion crouched at his feet, to the great amazement of the courtiers, who peeped from their hiding-places to see the issue of the trick they had planned. The earl grasped the lion by the mane, shut him up in his cage, and left his night-cap upon his back, and so came forth, without even looking behind him. 'Now,' said he to them that skulked behind the casements, 'let him amongst you that standeth most upon his pedigree go and fetch My night-cap.' But they, one and all, ashamed and terrified, withdrew themselves in silence."

But the most brilliant deeds and daring of warriors on the battle-field, stimulated by all the excitements of pride, ambition, and man's applause, in the estimate of true heroism fall far below the glory of the patient, unpretending martyr, who dies for his faith at the stake, amidst the blaspheming yells of his persecutors.

How impressive is the character drawn by Modestus, deputy of the Emperor Valens, of St. Basil the Great, as he is justly called, whom he sought to draw, with other eminent bishops, into the heresy of Arius. He attempted it at first with caresses and all the sugared phrases that might be expected from one who had words at command. Disappointed in this course, he tried threats of exile, torture, and death. Finding all equally fruitless, he returned to his lord with this character of Basil—"Firmior est quam ut verbis, praestantior quam ut minis, fortior quam ut blanditiis vinci possit." He is so resolute and determined, that neither words, threats, nor allurements have any power to alter him.

A sense of duty, in its high moral definition, ranks far beyond the mere courage of the soldier, the selfish love of fame, the thirst of glory, or the desire of personal pre-eminence. The late Duke of Wellington was duty personified. The following illustrative anecdote has never, we believe, been in print, and came to the present relater through a source which vouches its authenticity. The duke was also reticent, and not given to communicate his arrangements more openly to his officers than was required for their exact comprehension and the fulfilment of their instructions. It is generally supposed that Lord Hill was second in command at Waterloo, and that he would have assumed the direction of affairs had the great duke been killed or wounded during the battle. This is a mistake. Lord Uxbridge, afterwards Marquis of Anglesea, was senior in rank, by the date of his lieutenant-general's commission, to Lord Hill, and on him the command would have devolved in the possible and not improbable contingency alluded to. The duke communicated with him most frankly and cordially on all professional points, but from family incidents there was not that perfect unreserve and friendly intercourse in private which otherwise might have been. On the evening of the 17th of June, Lord Uxbridge said to Sir Hussey Vivian, his old friend and brother officer of the 7th Hussars, "I am very unpleasantly situated. There will be a great battle to-morrow. The duke, as we all know, exposes himself without reserve, and will, in all probability, do so more than ever on this occasion. If an unlucky shot should strike him, and I find myself suddenly in command, I have not the most distant idea of what his intentions are. I would give the world to know, as they {172} must be profoundly calculated, and far beyond any I could hit upon for myself in a sudden crisis. We are not personally intimate enough to allow me to ask or hint the question. What shall I do?" "Consult Alava," replied Vivian. "He is evidently more in the duke's confidence than any one else, and will perhaps undertake to speak to him." Lord Uxbridge followed the suggestion, rode over to head-quarters, and finding General Alava, stated the object of his visit. "I agree with you," said the Spaniard; "the question is serious; but honored as I am by the duke's confidence, I dare not propose it to him. I think, however, that you can and ought to do so. If you like, I will tell him you are here." Lord Uxbridge, not without reluctance, consented, and being introduced to the duke's apartments, with some hesitation stated, as delicately as he could, the matter which disturbed him. The duke listened until Lord Uxbridge ceased to speak; his features indicated no emotion; and when he replied, it was without impatience, surprise, or any alteration of his usual manner. After a short pause he said, "Who do you expect will attack to-morrow, I or Bonaparte?" "Bonaparte, I suppose," answered Lord Uxbridge. "Well, then," rejoined the duke, "he has not told me his plans; how then can I tell you mine, which must depend on his?" Lord Uxbridge said no more; he had nothing more to say. The duke seeing that he looked a little blank, laid his hand gently on his shoulder: "But one thing, Uxbridge," he observed, "is quite certain; come what may, you and I will both do our duty." And so, with a cordial pressure of the hand, they parted.




ORIGINAL.


SAINT LUCY.


      The giving of my eyes
      In loving sacrifice
      Was my appointed way;
  No soft decline from the meridian day
  Through dusky twilight slowly into dark,
  But blackness, bloody, swift, and stark
      From hands unkind.
      And I was blind.

  Thus reads the story, writ on sacred scroll,
  Of Lucy, virgin martyr: that sharp dole
  Won heaven's eternal brightness for her soul;—
  The blotting out of sunshine, the recoil
  From utter blackness, the heart's gasp and spasm
  Before the unseen void, the imagined chasm
  Of untried darkness, was the martyr toil
  Whose moment's agony surpasses years—
  The love, long years of patience and of tears
  Allotted unto others. "All for all;"
  Not doling out with a reluctant hand,
  But in one holocaustal offering grand,
  Will, senses, mind, responding to heaven's call.

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  "Bought at whatever price, heaven is not dear,"
  Sounds like an echoed chorus full of cheer
  From crypts of mangled martyrs, and charred bones,
  And blood-stained phials of the catacombs:
  And that young Roman girl's adoring eyes,
  One moment darkened, opened in surprise
  Upon the face of God. The cruel, taunt
  Of judges obdurate, the accuser's vaunt,
  The mob's wild shout of triumph deep and hoarse,
  Might still be heard around the bloody corse
  When her sweet soul, in peace, at God's own word
  Had tasted its exceeding great reward;
  To "see as she was seen," to know as known;
  The beatific vision all her own.

  Upon the sacred canon's sacred page.
  Invoked by vested priest from age to age,
  Stand five fair names of virgins, martyrs all,
  As if with some peculiar glory crowned
  That thus their names should crystallize; "their sound
  Is gone through all the earth," and great and small
  Upon those five wise virgins sweetly call
  With reverent wish: Saint Lucy! Agatha!
  Agnes! Cecilia! Anastasia!
  And chanted litany chose names enfold
  In reliquary more precious than mute gold.

  With what a tender awe I heard that name—
  A household name, familiar, dear, and kind.
  Of gentlest euphony—such honor claim!
  Thenceforth that name I speak with lifted mind,
  More loved in friend, because revered in saint;
  And daily as to heaven I make complaint
  Of mortal ills, and sickness, sorrows, woes,
  This one petition doth all others close:
  Saint Lucy, virgin martyr, by thine eyes
  Which thou didst give to God in sacrifice,
  His mercy and his solace now implore
  For darkened eyes and sightless, never more
  To gaze on aught created: by that meed
  Of choicest graces in that hour of need,
  Sweetness of patience and a joyful mind,
  And faithful, gentle hands to guide the blind!
  But more than this, Saint Lucy; thou didst gain,
  By loss of thy young eyes with loving pain.
  The vision given to angels; then obtain
  The lifting up of blinded orbs to where
  God sitteth in his beauty, the All-fair;
  Saint Lucy, virgin martyr, aid our prayer!



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THE GODFREY FAMILY;
OR, QUESTIONS OF THE DAY.


CHAPTER V.

IS MERE MATERIAL PROGRESS A REAL BENEFIT, OR A PROGRESS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?


I have already stated that Eugene Godfrey was well introduced on his entrance at Cambridge. Scientific professors found pleasure in bringing forward the son of so eminent a patron of literature and science. But they were disappointed at finding little response in Eugene's mind to the boastful glory of scientific improvement. "Cui Bono?" was ever in his heart, and sometimes on his lips, when any new inventions were proposed to him.

"Supposing we should be able to light our streets and our houses with this wonderful combination of gases," he would say, "will the light within be the greater? Supposing we travel without horses at the speed of thirty miles an hour, can we travel nearer to truth? Improvement! Is it an improvement to multiply bodily wants, or (beyond supplying means of actual existence) is it rational to spend so much time in rendering the body comfortable? Is multiplying luxury a good?"

"It employs hands," would be the reply, "and thus diffuses wealth."

"If that is the only object, riches could be easily scattered without compelling those who own them to become effeminate triflers."

"But simply to give away wealth without exacting an equivalent, would encourage idleness," argued the professor.

"And so to benefit our neighbor's morals we yield our own," said Eugene. "Well, that is new philanthropy, and I am less inclined to assent to it than ever I was. To keep untrammelled, we must, methinks, reduce the number of our physical wants instead of increasing them. Surely there are other modes of benefiting mankind than those which enervate. The education of the hero is frugal, hardy, temperate almost to scantiness. Fancy Sesostris or Cyrus lolling at ease in a spring-patented carriage, propped up luxuriously with velvet cushions! or think of a hero dressed out in gewgaws! Our minds lose the heroic element altogether in the picture."

"A good loss," replied the professor! "methinks these warriors make a great show, but what good do they effect: They destroy the arts of peace and live on the excitement of vain glory. That excitement over, they are as weak as other mortals. Hercules playing the distaff at Queen Omphale's court is a fitting type of a so-called hero's rest."

"Not of all," replied Eugene; "conquerors have been lawgivers, and good ones too. The passion of glory may not be a good in itself, but it is better than sensuality. You would not compare Cyrus with Heliogabalus."

"Not for himself, perhaps, not for his own private dignity; but for the good he did in the world at large. I think the preference questionable. Even allowing that the cruelty of Heliogabalus destroyed whole multitudes, it had not the devastating effect on whole districts which war ever produces; conquest lays waste large fields, destroys produce, and brings famine and played in its wake."

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"I am not arguing in favor of war for its own sake, I am only saying that constant attention to mere bodily comfort must cause the race to degenerate. He who would rise individually in the scale of existence must repress bodily appetites, not encourage them; and this, if true of the individual, must be true of society also: consequently the introduction of luxury on a system, most eventually prove itself to be an evil.

"Pshaw!" said the professor, "these theories are well enough in the closet, but in action they are good for nothing. Why, you destroy incentive to mental activity, when you debar man from applying it to useful purposes."

"Useful, meaning increase of luxury?" asked Eugene.

"Well," somewhat petulantly rejoined the professor, "is not the definition of luxury a good? The rich may please themselves, but the poor need more comfort than they enjoy; among them diffusion of luxury must be a good."

"Does that diffusion take place among the poor, as a matter of fact— at least among the masses? Is not the contrary rather the case? Are they not rather the ones to suffer from the first fruits of improvement. Look at the Manchester riots for the good you do;—awhile ago there was in that town a contented population, sufficiently provided with food, clothing, shelter, fire, and other real necessaries; suddenly one of your clever men invents a machine which makes the rich people's dresses at half the cost, and throws one-third of the hands out of employ. What good have you done? There is in that community as much food as before, as much clothing, as much of every necessary of life! Yet two or three thousand families are suddenly deprived of the means of subsistence, and driven by despair to break the peace and disturb the public security, while you are boasting of the good of physical science. Methinks moral science wants studying too."

"Oh, these things will right themselves, will find their own level; other employment will soon absorb the now displaced hands, and all will be peace again."

"I doubt it: the selfish principle engenders the selfish practice. Teach the laboring class by example to cater only for their private gratification, whether that gratification be in vanity, self-aggrandizement, or luxury; teach them to place all their happiness in physical good, and then show yourself reckless of their requirements by an indiscreet introduction of machinery, and an English edition of the Reign of Terror may ensue."

"But what can be done? You would not stop these new inventions, nor set a limit to improvement?"

"I would seek a higher principle of action altogether; and before setting up new insentient machinery, would provide that the highest sentient machinery, Man, should receive due consideration. It is a manifest injustice, when the interests of the producers of wealth are rashly sacrificed to increase the luxury of the consumers."

"And what is this new principle, most compassionate sir?'* asked the professor.

"I do not know, it is precisely that which troubles me. Men are not the mere money-machines you would turn them to—of that I am well assured; but what they are and what their destiny is, I have yet to learn."

The professor laughed, rose and took his leave.

Eugene remained plunged in a profound reverie, from which he was aroused by the visit of a stranger, who announced himself as the M. Bertolot introduced to our readers in a previous chapter.

He said that although personally a stranger, yet hearing of Eugene's residence at Cambridge, he had taken the liberty of calling to inquire after the welfare of his former friends.

Eugene welcomed him, and assured him that the countess was in good health and spirits.

"And her amiable daughter?" inquired the old man.

{176}

"Is also well, I hope and believe," said Eugene; "but she leads so secluded a life, even in our large family, that it is difficult for those about her to speak with any degree of certainty concerning her."

"Indeed! She is probably scarcely recovered from the shock of her father's terrible death."

"Perhaps not; but I do not think that is the sole cause of her seclusion: she is essentially contemplative, and the things of this world interest her but little. What her ideas are, I do not know, for she seldom speaks of them, but I think they would be worth the knowing."

"Probably so," replied M. Bertolot "She is a pure soul, beautiful and good; of whom we may almost affirm that she scarcely knows what sin is."'

Eugene looked at the speaker in surprise. "What sin is! What is sin!" thought he. "Is it aught beside the consequence of error? and how can we escape error if we cannot light on truth?" His puzzled look was perhaps his best reply.

"You do not credit me," said M. Bertolot; "you think, and justly, that all men are sinners; yes, indeed, all, all are so, I spoke but by comparison: it is rare to find so pure, so simple a soul as is that of Mademosielle de Meglior; though not sinless, as none can be, she is a consistent aspirant alter heavenly lore, ever keeping her heart fixed on the only true source of light and life: at least she was so when I knew her."'

"She is tranquil and contemplative," said Eugene, "and when she does speak, often startles us with the originality of her sentiments; but when you spoke of her as not knowing sin, it was the expression that astonished me. People in polite life do not often speak of themselves, or of their friends, as sinners."

"No!" said M. Bertolot; "excuse me then, the expression came as naturally to my lips as to my thoughts. I intended no offense."

"Nor did you give any: on the contrary, I should be glad to know from you the principle of Euphrasie's mode of action, if without violating confidence, you can tell me what it is. She is actuated by motives not comprehended by those with whom she lives."

"I can give you no other explanation than that I suppose her actuated by the purest principles of religion. As a child she gave promise of this: all her thoughts and ideas tended upward. Does she continue so?"

"I never heard her speak of religion," replied Eugene; "she sometimes speaks very sublimely, though very laconically, of truth being the one thing to be cared for."

"Ah!" said M. Bertolot, "is it thus she veils herself? But with her truth, and the worship of the author of truth, must go together. I know Euphrasie from childhood. I know how she struggled with her naturally vehement spirit, until, even as a child, she obtained the mastery. I remember, too, the explanations she sought for most earnestly, of why our evil tendencies remain to molest us when we become members of Christ. All that the child learned once she pondered over, and oftentimes surprised her teachers with her comments."

"I doubt it not: her remarks are ever original. I have often felt quite anxious to know the basis of her actions."

"Nay, have you not said already, that it was the love of truth? Her every thought tends that way, and she early discovered how liable the practical recognition of metaphysical truth is to be impeded by human passion. Hence, from childhood upwards, she has been accustomed to watch over herself, and to check the indulgence of any emotion that would form a 'blind' between herself, and the object of her adoration. She is young yet, but I venture to say she will pass by the age of passion unscathed.*

"Do you mean that she will love?" asked Eugene.

{177}

"Nay, that I cannot exactly affirm," replied M. Bertolot; "but I think she will never be governed by any passion—be it love, pride, fame, or ambition. I think she has laid the true foundation in obtaining the mastery over her feelings; and though she is naturally affectionate, I am not sure that she would be happy now, if bound by human ties. She has accustomed herself to live an abstracted life; she would scarcely be at home in domestic duties."

"Nay, I hope such is not the case!" exclaimed Eugene, more warmly than he intended, for his latent feelings toward Euphrasie ever and anon betrayed themselves; and while he scarcely confessed it to himself, interest in her style of thought colored the course of his own ideas.

M. Bertolot dexterously turned the conversation by reverting to a former subject. "It were well for mankind," said he, "did they consider how much passion and prejudice warp the mind, even in the consideration of abstract truths. Few, very few, keep their own intellects open for the reception of any such foreign ideas as would contravene their previous conceptions. Fewer still, give their neighbors credit for such power to look at facts impartially. This is an attestation that passion reigns rather than justice. Methinks the old system of Pythagoras, subjecting youth to moral training as a necessary preliminary for bringing the intellectual faculties into harmonious play, were not a bad precedent for this unruly age."

"It would scarcely go down now," urged Eugene.

"Indeed no!"' said M. Bertolot. "The master says it would seem but a ridiculous phrase in this all-disputing age. All faculties, whether of mind or body or soul, seem now confounded. Positiveness usurps the place of reason, and the mere child is allowed to question, instead of being compelled at once to obey. If the world goes on with this principle in action twenty years longer, we shall have little men and women in plenty, but no children left, and then woe to the generation that succeeds: a generation untrained and undisciplined by wholesome restraint, with intellects prematurely developed without the adjunct of self-government, which only moral training can impart. What a world it will make! Methinks its inevitable tendency is to undue animal preponderance. It is frightful to think of!"

"I was just making the same remark to Professor K——," said Eugene; "but though I see the evil, I cannot discern the remedy."

"It is indeed difficult to compass the remedy," said M. Bertolot, "the departure has been so wide. Men have ceased to distinguish between the result of mere human intelligence and that of a loftier lore, and they now use the intellect as the slave of the only good recognizable in their system, i. e. of bodily ease or pleasure. Practically men ignore the soul and its high destiny. Hence the disorder of the times. Animalism is essentially selfish, and animalism is the tendency of modern times—refined, veiled, adorned, with much of intellectual allurement I admit, but nevertheless animalism thorough and entire."

"I have thought of this before," said Eugene, "but my ideas are as yet vague and undefined. I want data to go upon some firm ground on which to plant my feet. The guesses of philosophers content me not."

"Nor should they, my young friend, since, as you say, they are but guesses, without a sure foundation. But have you heard of nothing beyond philosophy? Has it never occurred to you that the creative intelligence has revealed himself to the creature of his formation, and that through that revelation we are informed of that which it interests us to know—of our own soul, of the object of our creation, and of the final destiny of man?"

"I have heard of religion certainly," said Eugene, "but I cannot say I ever studied it or practised it."

{178}

"No? Then no wonder you are dissatisfied. Your mind is evidently seeking for truth. Nothing but the great truth can satisfy it. Study dispassionately the evidences of the truth of the great Mosaic history. Contemplate the grand position of our first father, Adam, receiving instruction from God himself concerning the mighty mysteries of creation, not only of matter and of material forms, but of bright intelligences created to glorify and adorn the court of heaven, and who fell from their sublime position. Study man first, fresh in perfection from the hand of God, living as the friend of God, communing with his Maker in the garden of Eden. Appointed by him to rule o'er all inferior nature, the entitled Lord of the Creation, the master of animal existences, and superior in his own person to much of material influence. Think what it must have been to walk with God, and have divine knowledge infused into his soul, as also all such material science as would befit the founder of a mighty race to transmit to his offspring, over whom he was to reign as prince, father, priest, and teacher; and then consider what it must have been to find suddenly that source of knowledge dried up, the door of communication closed, power weakened, intuitions dimmed, and labor imposed as the price alike of happiness, knowledge, and of that supernatural communication which had been man's best and highest privilege: the solution of these problems will give you the key to many difficulties which perplex you."

"There are modern theories which agree not with these premises," said Eugene. "These trace man from the savage upward."

"Yes,' said M. Bertolot, "the mutum et turpe pecus [Footnote 36] of Horace has found, if not admirers, yet professed believers in this age.

[Footnote 36: Dumb and filthy herd.]

A theory contrary to analogy, to evidence alike of history and tradition, has been assumed, and wondrously has found asserters too. All mere animals are observed to be born complete—their instincts, their organization serve but the individual; and though accident may train an individual to feats beyond his fellows, yet there is no appearance of new organs being formed to be transmitted to its race. Now, these modern progressionists, who go back to the time

'When wild in woods the Noble Savage ran,'

deprive man of his soul, assimilate him to the brutes to make him perform what brute nature never did perform, namely, create faculty. Men have lives to laugh at the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, but methinks the doctrine of the progression to bodily beauty from monkeys without tails; of barbarians to civilized man without aid, is to the full as absurd; to say nothing of that comprehensive power of contemplation which enabled Newton to demonstrate the order of the universe, it would be very difficult to understand how abstract ideas could be latent in the soul of a monkey waiting development. Besides, by the theory of progression, during the time of which we have record, say six thousand years, men should be steadily on the improve—both as to arts, science, moral government, legal government, self-government, and bodily development; but we do not find it so. The ruins of Babylon, of Thebes, and of other great cities built soon after the flood, attest architectural skill among the ancients such as is hardly aimed at no. Callisthenes found astronomical tables reaching as far back as within a few years of the deluge, in the Temple of Belus, when he accompanied Alexander the Great on his expedition to the East. And many arts have been lost altogether that were well known to the ancients. The half-barbarian Copt erecting his hut amid the fallen pillars and statuary of ancient Thebes, the Mameluke riding recklessly and savagely amid the pyramids, that still remain to puzzle the assertor of progression even with the mere mechanical difficulties of the machinery used for {179} raising such immense stones to such a height and in such a plain, so distant from any known quarries. These are hut poor indications of the race advancing, though individual nations, worked on by a regenerative influence, may appear to make, nay do make, great improvements in all respects."

"Do you, then, think that man's tendency is to degenerate?" asked Eugene.

"Not necessarily, by any means," replied M. Bertolot; "but in proportion as he departs from the centre of unity, from the truths once imprinted on the soul of Adam, thence to be transmitted for human guidance, it will, I think, be found so."

"But," said Eugene, "is Adam's religion yours? Surely he was not a Christian."

"If not in name and with the same outward rites, yet in reality he must have been," replied the mentor. "There is but one truth, and the difference between his creed and ours was that he looked for a Redeemer to come. We believe in him as having come."

"But was Adam's religion that of the Jews, then?" asked Eugene.

"In creed and in spirit, yes. In form and observance it differed, because the Jews had typical forms specially given to them, alike to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt, and to typify their delivery through Christ from sin. They were living amid idolatrous nations, and the safeguard of a special ceremonial was needful to them."

"And save in the fulfilment of their expectation, is the Jewish creed Christian?" asked Eugene.

"As far as it goes it is; the Christian revelation is a fuller development of the old tradition, a clearer exposition of God; it destroys nothing of the past revelation, it fulfils and expands. The Jews were the preservers of the great tradition, transmitted through the patriarchs to Noah, and by him, through his sons, to the race it large. The tradition became corrupted by the majority; yet it is found in some form or other mixed up in all mythologies; and what deserves remark is, that the further back we trace mythology the purer it becomes. The early records of all nations tell us of purity, discipline, and sacrifice to secure purity of morals, and teach of justice after death, of good and evil spirits, and of the interference of the deity to check man in his career of evil. Men seem at first not so much to have denied the true God, as to have associated other gods with him, and to have changed their worship from seeking such spiritual union as would render them 'sons of God,' to adoration of the creator and upholder of physical power, physical grandeur, and physical beauty. Atheism, and the lowering of man's nature to that of a mere mortal animal, is an invention of modern times, and has for the most part only been held by men satiated, as it were, by a spurious civilization."

"I am but little versed in the Bible," said Eugene, "but I have heard learned men assert that all the education, so to speak, of the Jewish nation was of a worldly character; and that though there are passages of Scripture containing allusions to the immortality of the soul, yet that doctrine was nowhere definitely asserted, but that, on the contrary, all the rewards and punishments promised, or threatened, were of a temporal nature."

"And yet no one disputes that the Jews did, and do believe the soul to be immortal, as also that they believed, and still believe, in the traditions concerning the fallen angels, the fall of man, the promised redemption, and many others. These doctrines, promulgated to all the world, were kept intact by Abraham and his descendants; and it is a very general belief that they were renewed in their purity in the soul of Moses, during that long communion vouchsafed him on Mount Sinai. The material law for exterior conduct he wrote down; but the spiritual themes which formed the staple of the expositions given by the rulers and doctors of the synagogue {180} and which were only figured by the material types, were probably deemed by the holy lawgiver too sacred to dilate upon in writing. If, after that forty days' sublimation, his spirit was so triumphant that he was fain to veil the glory of his face, we must needs suppose that not the mere written law, or setting forth the ritual of their worship, occupied his whole attention, but that his spirit expanded beneath the graces vouchsafed to him, and that he was, in a sense, made partaker of those spiritual truths which lie concealed from more materialized minds."

"These facts deserve attention, at any rate," said Eugene; "can you refer me to authorities within my reach?"

"Indeed, I know not what your resources are, and my own books I have lost. My memory, too, serves me but treacherously on controversial subjects; but I think if you will turn to Grotius de Verit. Christ, you will find him quoting Philo Judaeus in proof of the similarity of the Christian doctrine with the Jewish."

Eugene handed the book to his friend, who read the passage, of which the following is the translation:

"We have still to answer two accusations with which the doctrines and worship of Christians are attacked by the Jews. The first is, that they say we worship many gods. But this is nothing more than a declaration thrown in hatred at a foreign faith. For what more is asserted by the Christians, than by Philo Judaeus, who frequently represents three in God, and who calls the reason, or word of God, the name of God, the framer of the world, neither uncreate, as is the Father of all, nor so born as are men (whom both Philo and Moses, the son of Nehemanni, calls the angel, the deputy for ruling this world); or what more than the cabalists assert, who distinguished in God three lights, and indeed by somewhat the same names as the Christians do, namely, of the Father, of the Son or Word, and of the Holy Spirit. And I may also assume that which is confessed by all the Jews, that that spirit which moved the prophets, is not created, and yet is distinct from him who sent," etc., etc.

"But," said the old man, starting up and closing the book, "I am forgetting myself; I came not here to deliver a lecture on theology, but to inquire after my former friends. Excuse an old man's garrulity. Adieu!"

"Not yet," said Eugene; "your conversation interests me much; do not go yet."

"Yes, for to-night I leave you; if you permit me, however, I will return on another day. Meantime, I would suggest to you one important reflection. When Almighty God had created all things, and pronounced them good; when he had formed man from the slime of the Earth, and rendered him the most perfect of animals, man was not yet quite complete; and the completion, what was it? No angel had command to fulfil that wondrous office, nor was it by word that that mysterious power was called into being: but God breathed, and man became a living soul. The soul of man is, then, the in-breathing of the divinity —immortal in its essence, God-like in its affinities. Quench not its trembling impulses, when it bids you look upward in love and confidence; but pray—ever pray—fervently, confidently, perseveringly." This he added with a half-smile, which revealed to Eugene who had been his former monitor. He then abruptly quitted the room.


CHAPTER VI.

MODERN PAGANISM


The Duke of Durimond and his fair bride prolonged their tour among the lakes and mountains of the "land o' cakes" until autumn begun to show the fallen leaf. Hester was not a little disappointed at this—she was impatiently expecting a summons to {181} meet her sister at the dacal mansion, and she thought the period unnecessarily delayed.

At length the wished-for invitation came, and father, mother, sisters, brother, aunt, and Euphrasie were called upon to welcome the young duchess to one of the costliest and most elaborately finished palaces in England. Hester shouted in glee as the carriage entered the mile-long avenue of stately trees that formed the approach to the ducal dwelling. The bevy of liveried servants that awaited their approach at the hall-door, the quiet, respectful bearing of the gentlemen servants out of livery who waited within to escort them to the suite of rooms prepared for their reception—all this was charming! delightful! only a look from her parents presented the merry girl from dancing round the house in ecstasy. The entrance-hall itself was sufficient to send her into raptures. The beautiful marble of the floor, the large fires burning on each side, the triple row of balconies, raised one above another, on the three sides within the hall, betokening the communication of the upper stories with the rest of the house by some unseen means, and displaying the full height of the edifice, crowned as it was by a beautifully carved cupola, into which sufficient skylight was artificially admitted to display to advantage the figures of the rosy Aurora accompanied by her nymphs, scattering flowers on her way as she opened the gates of morning, which subject was skilfully portrayed on the ceiling. They passed through this, the outer hall, to another, which contained the magnificent staircase leading to the apartments opening on the balconies described. To Hester's joy the entrance to their suite of rooms opened on the first of these, and she could look up to the painted ceiling and down to the marble floor, and gaze, unrebuked, on the colossal figures of bronze which appeared to uphold the balconies.

How happy Adelaide must be, mistress of so gorgeous a palace! And Adelaide was there at the door of the apartments to greet her mother and her mother's friends. What was there in her manner to damp at once the ardor of Hester's enthusiasm? Grace, kindness, and dignity were there! and yet Hester was not satisfied; a chill came o'er her unawares as she returned her sister's kiss. She mastered herself, however, sufficiently to express her admiration of the splendid hall.

"Oh, that is nothing," said the young duchess, with a faint smile. "His grace will introduce you to his hall of sculpture and to the picture gallery by and by, and then you will be really pleased. I believe royalty itself cannot boost such master-pieces as Durimond Castle."

"So I have heard," said Mrs. Godfrey; "but where is the duke, my dear?"

"He was unexpectedly occupied when you arrived, mamma, but doubtless he will be here to welcome you immediately."

There was a constraint and melancholy about Adelaide's manner that struck the whole party, and their pleasure was more than a little damped as they entered the magnificent apartments prepared for them.

"Here," said the hostess, "you can be as private as in your own house when you wish it; and when you desire society you will generally find some one either in the library, or in the conservatory or drawing-room."

"Have you many guests?" asked the Countess de Meglior.

"Your friend, the Comte de Villeneuve, came with us from town; he is not here to-day, though I think the duke expects him to-morrow. He is absent on some business; there is a strange gentleman closeted with the duke just now, for whom apartments are ordered; he is a foreigner, I think; the duke seems to have business with him. He will be our only visitor today."

{182}

Just then the bell rang to warn the guests it was the dressing hour. Valets and ladies' maids were in attendance, and though only to join a family party, state-dresses were in requisition.

Adelaide retired to make her preparations, and the visitors, amid the luxurious surroundings, felt oppressed with a sadness for which they could scarcely account, and which they cared not to express, even to one another.

The duke met them in the drawing-room before dinner, and his gay manner in some degree dispelled the gloom that had crept over the party. He inquired kindly after Eugene.

"Eugene, from some cause or other," said Mrs. Godfrey, "keeps away from home altogether. He spent his long vacation at the lakes, and has again returned to Cambridge. He has taken a studious fit, I suppose, and must be allowed to gratify if ."

"And does he not, then, intend to honor us with his company?" inquired the duke.

"Oh, he will run down for a day or two ere long, I dare say. He must see Adelaide, of course; but when, he does not exactly say."

Adelaide did not appear displeased to hear this. She turned to her husband and asked what he had done with his visitor.

"He would not stay, he had an appointment to keep, so we must make up for all deficiencies ourselves."

The dinner passed away stiffly enough, and as the season was too late for a walk afterward, the gentlemen, following the then national custom, passed a considerable time over the bottle, discussing the politics of the day. It was late in the evening ere they joined the ladies. They found them in a large conservatory, which was illuminated in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Godfrey's arrival; and in this flowery retreat sundry self-acting musical instruments were hidden, which, from time to time, sent forth, as it were unbidden, melodious sounds and tuneful harmonies, which, vibrating amid the flowering shrubs that formed an artificial spring within the glass enclosure, contrasted pleasingly with the "fall of the leaf" that made all nature desolate without.

"Art conquers nature here," said Mr. Godfrey, as he entered the enchanted scene. "We might fancy ourselves in a fairy palace now. What says my Hester to this?"

"Oh! this is beautiful, indeed! Music, moonlight, love, and flowers are it 'A glorious combination,'" said Hester, pointing to the moon, which shone brightly through the windows; but her voice had lost its usual animation as she made the quotation, for a feeling passed over her heart, as if one ingredient, and that precisely the most important one, was wanting; she could not be satisfied that "love" presided in this abode of beauty and of grace.

The next morning the state rooms of the house were inspected. The duke was the great patron of the fine arts, and taste shone forth in every part of the stately edifice that was exposed to view.

The picture gallery and the hall of sculpture were celebrated far and wide, particularly the latter. Nor were the figures promiscuously arranged that decorated this scene of art; on the contrary, much care had been expended to form one harmonious whole. On the dome which formed the ceiling was painted ancient Saturn devouring his offspring as they rose into being, and beneath this centre-piece were painted the war of the Titans against Satan on the one side, and the war of the giants against Jupiter on the other. Thus far the ceiling. In the midst of the marble floor stood the mighty Jupiter, armed with his thunderbolts, majestic in strength and grand in intellectual sensualism. Beside him, grouped symmetrically and appropriately, were the legion of subordinate divinities—Venus, attended by the graces; Apollo, radiant in beauty; Hercules strangling the serpents while he was yet in the cradle; the Muses in various attitudes, with appropriate symbols of office. Scarcely a god, goddess, or demigod {183} could be named who was not here represented. Types of beauty—sensual, intellectual, and physical; types of grandeur and of tenor; types of mystery, beneath the veiled figure of the Egyptian deity, Isis; types of knowledge and of artistic skill were there. All that man bows before and worships when the sense of the supernatural is shut, and he learns of self to deify his own passions, was here, other delineated on the walls or chiselled out in the sculptural forms. It was ft Pantheon dedicated to all the gods of human sense, refined by beauty and grace, and polished by artistic merit of the highest order. Unbounded and unfeigned was the applause elicited from the party: hardly could they satisfied themselves with gazing on these perfect forms: even the lack of drapery seemed scarcely a drawback. Euphrasie, indeed, retired, but she was so strange habitually that her absence was hardly commented upon; and but for the smile that went round the circle as she left the hall, might have been deemed unobserved.

"The true gods of the earth are these yet." said Mr. Godfrey, when the door had closed behind the young French girl, "and the race has sadly degenerated since their worship was abandoned."

The young duchess and her sisters looked up in mute wonder at the speaker, but the duke cried, "Hear, hear!" and the elder ladies tried to look wise and responsive.

Mr. Godfrey continued: "That is god to a man which his mind worships and reveres, and which to the extent of his power he strives to imitate. Julian, the Roman emperor, understood this well. He felt (what time has proved true) that the human frame must degenerate when its proportionate and due development ceases to be the primary object of the legislator. He saw that when, instead of these glorious physical powers, there is substituted a pale, emaciated figure nailed to a cross for the glorification of an ideal good, that all nature's teachings must become confused, and a fake romance lead to decay the powers that heretofore were so beautiful in their proportions."

"Surely, papa, you do not believe in paganism," said Hester, wonderingly.

"Yes and no, Hester. In the fables of the personal divinity of Jupiter, Venus, and Minerva—No! In paganism as the expression of a grand idea, well suited to man's capabilities, and to his nature—Yes! You must not confound the hidden meaning of the myth with the outward expression. The uninstructed multitude will always look to the outward, and believe the fables as facts, whatever religion they profess, and often times they penetrate no further; but the learned look through the myth to the meaning, and the meaning of the pagan myth is,—Cultivate physical strength, in union with intellectual power, worship beauty, study and contrast nature. Destroy infirmity: it is the most humane way, and the most just way. Do not perpetuate disease. Let all ill-constituted children die. Let the conquered—i.e., the weaker—serve; it belongs to the strong to rule. To develop the physical frame duly, Lycurgus caused even the young women to wrestle publicly, without drapery of any kind. Our more fastidious tastes cramp the form of our women, and distort the figure; and, worse than this, our perverted theology distorts their intellect, and makes it afraid even to look at the human form. Again, I say, Julian was right. The Christianity he forsook has caused not only the degeneration of human power, but has substituted false ideas of good. The real has given place to the ideal, and a sickly, romantic, sentimentalized race has taken the place of the hardy heroes of antiquity."

And Mr. Godfrey bowed profoundly to the deities before him.

{184}

The duke laughed and clapped his hands. "Well said, Mr. Godfrey, well said. I hardly knew till now, how great a benefactor I was to the human race when I collected these statues. Hitherto I have thrown open my house but once a week for the public benefit. Henceforth I will direct my steward to allow instructions oftener in this temple of the true gods of the earth. By the by, I believe there is a very good chance of restoring this gone-by worship, if, as you say, it consists in the exaltation of physical power. Science, in its diffusion, is fixing men's minds on material agencies, very much to the exclusion of superstitious ideality. We have only to throw in a vein of the love of beauty, and much will be effected toward bringing back men's minds to the natural worship, here so beautifully symbolized."

"I believe so," said Mr. Godfrey; "but, meantime, how much evil has been effected by letting in upon the race so many delicate constitutions! How shall we restore the hardy races that peopled the earth, when these mighty types of glory ruled the populations?"

"Indeed, it is difficult to say. Men have accustomed themselves to a false estimate of mere vitality, as if life without enjoyment were worth the having. We shall, I fear, find it difficult to persuade English mothers to destroy their diseased and crippled children for the good of the public, or to train their daughters in the gymnasium."

"Would you seriously wish it, my lord duke?" asked his wife.

"I hardly know. We are all trammelled more or less with the feelings our mothers instilled into us. I think Lycurgus a great man, and perfectly reasonable. Had I been born a Spartan, I think I should have thanked the gods for it, but now—"

"Now," interrupted Mrs. Godfrey, "you are more nearly a Sybarite. I know of no one whom a crumpled rose-leaf disturbs more easily than yourself."

"Nay, Mrs. Godfrey, the argumentum ad hominem is hardly fair; but, after all, I suppose we must admit that character is geographical and chronological, besides being modified by individual circumstance. I think freely, but I am scarcely free to change my character; so in legislating I must legislate on public grounds for others. It does not follow that I can keep the law I deem it fitting to make.

"But if you cannot keep it, how can others?" demanded Annie.

"Well asked, my fair sister—asked not only by you, but by others also, and therefore is it that we must practically legislate not as we think best, abstractedly, but as nearly best as can be carried out. So, as the people are not yet ripe for ancient Spartan laws, we must be content yet a while to diffuse the principle that physical development, physical beauty, and physical power are the legitimate objects of human worship. When we have accustomed the people to adopt these views, the rest may chance to follow. Meantime, I see De Villeneuve coming up the avenue: excuse me for an instant;" and somewhat to the surprise of the party, the duke bolted through the open door that led on to the grounds to meet his friend, who dismounted when he saw him coming. In deep conference they slowly approached the house. There was a cloud on the duke's brow, but he shook it off as he entered and gayly introduced his friend.

"I am afraid De Villeneuve hardly admires these divinities, Mrs. Godfrey; let us adjourn to the drawing-room."

"Nay, defend yourself, M. de Villeneuve; you will not plead guilty to not loving art?" said the lady addressed.

"No, indeed, dear madam, his grace is only avenging himself for my criticisms. I suggested to him the other day that he might get up another temple of modern art as a supplement to this, and he felt piqued, I suppose; yet I have found him many times standing rapt before a Madonna."

{185}

"The gentlemen decided this morning that these were the true gods of the earth, and that Madonnas and Crucifixions were false, unreal types, and to be discouraged."

"Not possible!"

"Nay, it is true, they were voting a return to paganism."

"But you, ladies," said M. de Villeneuve, "you, ladies, were not of that mind, surely?"

"I don't know," said Hester, mischievously, "papa was very eloquent In lauding ancient institutions."

"But," said the comte, turning very earnestly to her, "he did not tell you how woman was treated in the olden time, before Mary's fiat repaired the fault of Eve. Women, intelligent, beautiful women, owe everything to that divine Mother; and if they cast off their religion it is because the misery is hid from them which the sex was subject to formerly."

"There is no necessity just now of making it more clear," said Mr. Godfrey drily.

"No," said the comte; "and yet when I see the tendency of the age, I often feel that it would be safer did our ladies know the truth. Eve's fault should at least bring knowledge when knowledge is necessary to truth. Woman could not help but be fervently religious, did she know from what an abyss of degradation Christianity has raised her."

Mr. Godfrey turned impatiently to the window. "It is splendid weather for riding," said he; "suppose we order the horses."


CHAPTER VII.

MARRIAGE OR NO MARRIAGE.


But why was Adelaide so sad? Why was the young duchess apparently most constrained when with her husband? Why, on the contrary, was he, as usual, gay, cheerful, and animated? These were questions for a mother's heart to ask, and yet, uneasy as she was, Mrs. Godfrey asked them not. She dared not seek the confidence of her daughter, lest aught should be betrayed which it were better she should not know. She knew that the confidence of a married woman is sacred even from a mother, in all that appertains to her husband; and what other secrets could Adelaide have?

Several days passed, and no clue to the enigma was discovered. Parties of pleasure were formed, the grounds were traversed, the library ransacked—literary, scientific, nay political excitement created for the amusement and entertainment of the guests; but no familiar, confidential chit-chat gave occasion to the disclosure of the secret which it was evident was weighing on Adelaide's mind.

One morning, however, Mr. Godfrey shut himself up in the library, in order to search through some volumes for a passage he desired, and his daughter entered, turning the key in the door as she did so. Mr. Godfrey looked up. Adelaide was pale and trembling. He took her hand and led her to a sofa. In a few moments she partly recovered; yet it was in a faltering voice that she asked:

"Father, is a marriage with a Roman Catholic valid?"

"Valid? Yes, I suppose so; why not, my dear?"

Adelaide became still more pale, but did not answer.

Mr. Godfrey was alarmed. "How does this concern you, my child?" he asked.

"Why—why—the duke is then married to another lady," faltered she.

"Impossible!" said the father. "Impossible! he would not—dare not do such a deed. You have been imposed upon, Adelaide. Tell me the story, and the authority for it."

"Did you hear of a woman fainting, almost under the carriage-wheels, on the morning of my marriage, father?"

"I did; what of it, my child!"

{186}

"That woman believes herself to be his wife! She followed us, and confronted the duke in Scotland in a narrow glen. She watched day and night to speak to him; her watching was noticed, pointed out to me, and one day as he was returning home I saw her start up from under a hedge and stand before him. He evidently sought to avoid her, but she would not be avoided; she held him by the skirts of his coat till he consented to speak with her. Unperceived by both I stole near them; I heard her claim him as her husband; I listened in vain for his denial; I heard him urge her to go home; I heard him say that he would satisfy her another time—that it should be all right if she would only quietly depart; and I heard, too, her indignant refusal to depart until he had told her his true name, and where he was to be found. 'To me,' she said, 'you have called yourself Colonel Ellwood, and my boy has borne that name!'"

"'Let him bear it still,' replied the duke.

"'But is it the right one? is it yours!' she shrieked.

"'I am the Duke of Durimond,' answered he. She fell fainting at his feet. Unthinkingly, I pressed forward to succor her, thus revealing that I had overheard the conversation. The duke started, and said, 'This is no scene for your grace; if you will send an attendant from the house yonder to wait on this poor stranger, it will be kind of you.' I did as requested, but the agitation of my feelings caused an illness which detained us a long time in Scotland. I did not like to inform you of my illness then. The duke would have been kind, but I liked not to see him near me. Once or twice he tried to explain to me that the whole was a mistake, but I asked him not to mention it. When we came to London he again tried explanation, but I told him all explanation must be to you. He endeavored in vain to shake my resolution, and at length brought me here and sent for you. A lawyer was with him in London several times, and a Catholic priest was closeted with him the day he arrived. I suspect this unhappy business was the cause of their visits, but I have asked nothing. We have held little communication with each other since that unfortunate recognition in Scotland."

"My poor child!" said the father "and was this your honeymoon?"

Adelaide laid her head on her father's shoulder, and wept.

"But why do you think the woman is a Roman Catholic, Adelaid?"

"He told me so one day, and therefore, he says, the marriage is not valid."

"Perhaps it is so, Adelaide."

"But if it is so, she believes herself his wife, and she is pure, good, innocent; it is written in her face."

"My poor child?" again ejaculated the father.

How long they sat sorrowing silence they heeded not. Each felt that whichever hypothesis were true, married or not married, there was bitterness enough. At length the sound of voices in the hall warned Adelaide to seek her own apartment. Mr. Godfrey went immediately to the duke.

"My daughter has been with me this morning, your grace," said he, in solemn, deliberate tones.

"Ah yes! Well—Mr. Godfrey—well—your daughter is not quite well, I fear."

"She is seriously unhappy, I am sorry to inform you, my lord duke."

"Unhappy!—ah!—well, well; she has taken a youthful in discretion of mine somewhat too sorely to heart; but you, Mr. Godfrey, know that those little affairs are common enough to men of the world."

"My daughter speaks of a previous marriage, your grace."

"Pshaw! some few words she heard have been made to signify too much. Adelaide is my wife, my duchess. Let her be satisfied on that point."

"It is just on that point she is not satisfied—it is just on that point that I now require to be satisfied."

{187}

"How can I satisfy you save by denying any other marriage?"

"Has no ceremony ever passed between your grace and another woman who claims to be your wife?"

"No legal ceremony, upon my honor as a nobleman."

"No legal ceremony; some kind of ceremony has taken place, then?" said Mr. Godfrey.

"If not a legal one, then none which concerns you. Be content, Mr. Godfrey, daughter is indisputably a duchess."

"I am not content, my lord duke; I must see this other claimant to the ducal coronet," said Mr. Godfrey, rising.

"By heaven, you shall not!" answered the duke, rising as suddenly; "you shall not—indeed you shall not. No, my poor Ellen, no: injured you have been, but at least I will save you from insult."

"Methinks your grace's words are strange ones to the father of your ride," said Mr. Godfrey. "Is the peace of your mistress to be preferred to that of your wife?"

"Let us understand each other, Mr. Godfrey," said the duke; "and to do that, I must caution you not to say one word in disrespect of the person you falsely term my mistress. Listen: Fifteen years ago I met a being, lovely, tender, innocent; before one personating a Romish priest I called her wife; she knew not, until now, the title was not legal; for fifteen years I have, as a simple gentleman, sought her society when weary of ambition and of the selfishness of the world; for fifteen years have I, at such intervals as I could steal away from grandeur and false honors, found repose and happiness in the society of that gentle, that unworldly being. Children have been born to me and died, all save one, a noble boy—one whom I would gladly train to deeds of glory, were it that—O Ellen, Ellen!"

"And with such feelings as these, my lord, you dared to lead my daughter to the altar?" indignantly demanded Mr. Godfrey.

"Yes, and why not?" replied the duke. "Your daughter suffered no injury. You sought for her not love, but a coronet, and that she has now. Let her enjoy it. I acted not the hypocrite. I promised what I gave—power, rank, grandeur, and respect; these she has: what cause is there for complaint?"

"But why, if a peerless beauty were already yours, why seek another bride, my lord? Why not have made the lady of your love your duchess?"

"Because—because—I knew not her value at first. At first it was her beauty that attracted me; then her virtue kept me true to her, and I loved her unworldliness, her want of ambition. To have made her a duchess would have spoiled my dream of being loved for myself alone. Besides, Ellen is a Catholic, a sincere one, and never would she consent that a child of hers should be brought up in the paganism of these times."

"But why, I must yet inquire, why, with these feelings, did your grace marry at all?"

"Why? did I not want a duchess in my halls? a pagan heir to my Pantheon, sir? To whom were these gorgeous collections of heathen idols, these entailed estates, these titles, honors, to descend? Ellen's son could not inherit all, even were he legitimate. His Catholic feeling would turn aside in disgust from much, and English law would exclude him from office or dignity in the nation. Had I lived anywhere but in England, perchance my child had risen to compete with the highest."

"He and his mother still hold, evidently, the highest place in your affections. And is my daughter for ever to play second part in your heart, and this incomparable miracle of goodness the first?"

"Your daughter, sir, is to reign supreme, the imperial queen of the Parnassian deities. Juno-like, she treads her path o'er high Olympus; all bow to her, and Jupiter himself shall treat her with reverence, save when she {188} intrudes upon his private moments. She has bargained for wealth, and power, and pomp, and influence; she has them: let her be content. Love was out of the 'bargain;' it is useless now to contend for it, as if it were her due. But for my Ellen, you misjudge her, if you think that, with the knowledge she now has, she would ever admit me to her presence again. I do not even know how I can induce her to accept a maintenance from me—from me, who would have died to save her, yet who have caused her such bitter pangs! Oh! I could stab myself from sheer remorse!"

And the dark shade that passed over the features, now convulsed with mental agony, showed that the words were not ones of mere expression.

Mr. Godfrey paused, yet was his anger not subdued; he had not deemed that the duke had so much of human feeling in his composition. Worldly and courtly as he seemed, who could suspect go strong an undercurrent of deep and passionate emotion?

That this should be there, and not felt for his wife! Mr. Godfrey did feel this an injury; though, as the duke said, love had not been in the bargain.

The long pause was at length broken by Mr. Godfrey's saying: "Your grace must excuse me, but, for my daughter's sake, I must insist on obtaining evidence that this marriage, which you admit did take place, was not legal. If I may not approach the lady myself, who can procure me the evidence I demand?'"

"I know not—unless—stay; I would willingly make one more attempt to secure Ellen's acceptance of a provision for her child. Hitherto she has rejected all mediation: not only the lawyer, but De Villeneuve, and a bishop of her own church, have solicited her in vain to listen to such an idea; a lady—a Catholic might be more successful. You have in your family one seemingly as pure and good as Ellen's self—one holding the same holy faith; if she will consent to undertake the mission, I will confide to her the secret of Ellen's residence. De Villeneuve will escort her, but I doubt if she will gain admittance; none have yet succeeded who went from me."

"You mean Euphrasie, I presume?"

"I do; if you can trust to her report, I shall gladly make her my ambassadress to treat respecting the future provision to be made for mother and child."

"I will see her on the subject."

"Tis well; good morning, Mr. Godfrey."

How little do we know of the inward feelings even of those with whom we fancy ourselves intimate! Here was the cold, heartless man of pleasure, so-called by the world, so thought of by his father-in-law, a prey, when left to himself, to the most violent emotions of grief for the loss of Ellen. Had it been possible at that moment to redeem her affections by the sacrifice of earthly grandeur, there is but little doubt that the sacrifice would have been made, for the loss of that sweet solace had never been contemplated as a necessary accomplishment to this marriage. For fifteen years he had kept his incognito in her society as Colonel Ellwood, and as Colonel Ellwood he meant to visit her still, and to indemnify himself in her sweet society for the heartlessness and cheerlessness of the ducal mansion.

This dream was at an end; he's incognito had been discovered, and at once all intercourse was over. The gay and courtly duke felt as if all interest in life had suddenly vanished from the earth. His outward demeanor appeared, indeed, unchanged, at least to superficial observers, but those who looked beneath the surface could detect a latent disdain for all things; and if the same pursuits still seemed to engage his attention, it was from habit, or from want of occupation, not from any relish for the pursuit itself. {189} Little did the world suspect that his gay and polished manner covered a broken heart, and that the munificent owner of countless rangers, the haughty scion of a long line of ancestors, was pining away beneath the blight which had destroyed is happiness, and was eventually to destroy his life. But we must not anticipate, rather let us return to our theme.

Euphrasie heard with surprise and pain of the position of her young friend Adelaide, but was most unwilling to undertake the negotiation proposed; it was only at M. de Villeneuve's reiterated assurance that it was a great work of charity which she demanded of her, that she at length consented.

On their arrival at the village, some hours' journey distant from London, and further yet from the duke's residence, M. de Villeneuve requested Euphrasie to proceed from the hotel alone to Ellswood cottage, as his presence would be suspicious, and probably prevent her gaining admittance. A dark-haired, bright-eyed boy was playing in the garden before the cottage; he came to the gate on seeing a stranger approach, and as he held the gate in his hand, he said, before Euphrasie addressed him:

"Mamma is very ill, no one can see her today."

"I am very sorry to hear that. Has she been ill long?"

"Yes, ever since she took a long, long journey, and came back so tired. She went to find papa, and did not find him," and the child's voice dropped to a whisper: "I think papa is dead, but I must not tell her so."

"Why do you think so, my dear?"

"Because he would never stay away so long if he were alive; he never did before: and when he did stay away he used to leave mamma lots of money; now she has no money at all, and she is going away from here."

"Where is she going to?"

"I do not know; but she says she must work, and that I must work now for my living; so I know she must be very poor."

"I want to see your mamma. They say she is very kind. Tell her I am a stranger—a French girl; that I seek kindness from her."

"Are you poor, too?" asked the little boy.

"Yes, very poor, indeed," replied Euphrasie.

"Then I will ask mamma if you may come in; mamma loves the poor."

When the boy returned he was accompanied by an elderly woman, bearing the appearance of an upper servant. She addressed Euphrasie respectfully: "Mrs. Ellwood can see no one to-day, miss; can you send in your business by me?"

"Not very well, my business is personal; shall I be able to see her tomorrow?"

"It is impossible to say, but you can call and see; to-morrow you may be able to find some one who will see you in her stead; she sees no one herself, but she expects a friend to-night who manages her business for her."

With this answer she was obliged to be content: she returned to the hotel where M. de Villeneuve awaited her. "This is a bad business," he said; "I have been here twice before with no better result, she will not see strangers."

"You have not seen her, then?"

"No! I have only heard of her, she is almost adored here for her deeds of kindness and charity. I never knew of a case which excited my interest so much; it was on her account, not on the duke's, that I assented to pay this place so many visits. God only can console her!"

* * * * * *

There was a sound of carriages in the night, a very unusual thing in that secluded village; and in the morning early, again there was the sound of wheels. M. de Villeneuve strolled to the end of the street; he shook his head on his return. "We are altogether too late," he said; "the people {190} say that she is gone; and many are weeping, for she was dearly loved."

"Shall we not go to the house?" asked Euphrasie.

"There is no harm in making the inquiry, but she is not there."

It was even so: Mrs. Ellwood had departed, fearing that if she remained there she should be constantly subject to intrusion. In the parlor into which they were shown, Euphrasie found one whom she was little prepared to see: it was M. Bertolot. A general grasping of hands and affectionate recognition took place; and then the old priest inquired their business. "The bishop sent me here," he said, "because he could not come himself, and because the poor lady entreated the utmost secrecy; but what brought you here?"

M. de Villeneuve took up the word: "We came from the duke; his grace thought our young friend here might find admittance, though we were all refused."

"His grace need not dream of any such thing; the wrong he has done is not such as embassies or money can rectify. The lady is a true-hearted, noble woman, a sincere Catholic; the message that she has left for him is simply that 'she forgives him, and will pray for his conversion; but if ever he loved her, she entreats that he will never more pursue her or send to her.'"

"But how is she to be supported?"

"She trusts in God, who is a husband to the widow, and a father to the fatherless. The duke's money she will not touch; it is no use to press the matter, she has a woman's instincts, and that is often better than a man's reasoning."

"You are severe, father, but this is a case to make you so; may we not know where she is gone to?"

"No! you may not even know you saw me here; say only you saw her agent, who gave you her message, and would not tell you her residence. Never let the duke or the Godfrey family know that the bishop sent me here."

"You may depend on us, father. But is this all that we are to say to the duchess? You know the question has been raised respecting the validity of the marriage."

"The bishop examined that himself; he would have been glad to prove it a true one, but the scamp who married them was a disguised young spendthrift, who did not know how to keep out of a debtor s jail in any other way than by taking that wicked fee; if Mr. Godfrey is uneasy on that point, he can apply to the bishop, there is his address."

When M. de Villeneuve and Euphrasie returned to Durimond Castle with the result of this mission, they found Adelaide far less placable than the more deeply injured Ellen had expressed herself by her message. She assented indeed to do the honors of the castle, to reign supreme, but she insisted on a virtual separation as the price of her continuing to wear the title of the Duchess of Durimond.

The duke was in no humor to contend with her; perhaps even he was as well pleased to have it so. He was careful to surround her with all imaginable tokens of deference and respect, and told Mr. Godfrey he would see what time would do to soften his haughty Juno. Soon after he accepted the office of ambassador to a foreign court, and thus left his wife at liberty to queen it o'er her vassals at her pleasure.

Meantime we lay before our readers the sad history which occasioned all this commotion.


CHAPTER VIII.

ELLEN'S HISTORY.


Ellen D'Aubrey was the daughter of an Irish officer, who her mother (Ellen Carpenter) had married against the wishes of her family. Our heroine was their only child. {191} Soon after her birth the mother, Mrs. D'Aubrey, fell into delicate health, and years of pain and suffering ensued, after which she died, leaving Ellen, then ten years old, to condole her husband for her loss. This, however, was not so easy, for Captain D'Aubrey had truly loved his refined and gentle wife, and the illness she had borne with so much sweetness and patience had the more endeared her to him; besides which, during that sickness he had learned many important lessons. Up to that time his wife, though amiable and affectionate, had thought but little on serious subjects, and he, though nominally a Catholic, had neglected his religion. But when sorrow came, and the wife and mother became aware that though she might linger on a while, she could not regain health, and must leave behind her those so dear to her, then an anxiety for future reunion took possession of her. She began to question her husband of religion, and he, recalling for her solace the lessons of his youth, became himself impressed with their importance. Catholic truth and Catholic consolation were poured into the soul of the departing wife, and having procured her every necessary aid, the captain imparted himself a great consolation by promising to watch over the education of their darling child, and endeavor to bring her up in the faithful performance of her duties as a Catholic Christian, without endangering her faith by permitting her to frequent schools or society hostile to her religion.

The noble-hearted captain had scarcely closed the eyes of the being he held so dear, than he began to consider how he might best fulfil his promise. He sold his commission, and living on a small annuity which he possessed, applied himself to develop in his child the powers that lay enfolded in her soul; but above all, he sought to cherish and to strengthen religious principle. Well did the little Ellen repay his care. At that time, in England, there were few exterior aids to religion. Catholic chapels were few and far apart. One priest attended many missions, and these but stealthily; but so much the more sedulously did the captain endeavor to infuse the spirit of religion into the soul of his child, and to animate her with patience, meekness, humility, and universal charity. Loving and beloved, she grew up beneath her father's eye like a beautiful flower, reciprocating his tenderness, and increasing daily in beauty and accomplishments. Suddenly a dark cloud lowered above that happy home. Captain D'Aubrey was seized with a fever, and in three days expired, leaving Ellen, at the age of sixteen, an orphan, almost penniless, cast upon the world's cold charity.

Strangers made out her connexions, for Ellen was stupefied by the blow. Strangers wrote to Mrs. Carpenter, her maternal grandmother, and before Ellen well knew what she was about she was travelling south with an old lady, who endeavored in vain to rouse her from her sorrow.

When the captain's affairs were arranged, but little was found remaining. His annuity ceased at his death. It had just sufficed for their maintenance; and as the sale of the furniture amounted to very little, the poor girl was utterly dependent.

Such was the account given by Mrs. Carpenter to Mrs. Barford, her married daughter, with whom, being herself a widow, she then resided. Mrs. Barford had married a man whose character was the very reverse of that of Ellen's father. He was a thorough business-like, money-making instrument, having no higher idea than to be continually extending his business, no higher ambition than to be mayor of the city in which he resided. Already he was a great man in his own estimation, and he intended that his family should become of importance also. This couple received Ellen but coldly, though she hardly knew or felt it, for she was as yet absorbed in grief. Mrs. Carpenter intended to be kind, and insisted on Ellen's grief being respected. {192} A week or two passed, then it was proposed one Sunday to Ellen to go with the family to church. She excused herself. Another week passed—and the same proposal was repeated. On this she was closely questioned as to the reason why; and when Mr. Barford came at length to understand that Ellen was a Catholic, his anger knew no bounds. A Catholic in his own house! He feed popery! He foster rebellion! He countenance powder-plots! The thing was impossible! the girl must leave the house—she would corrupt the children, contaminate the servants, compromise his respectability, pervert the neighborhood; in short, breed every kind of disorder and endanger his position. Go she must. In vain his wife pleaded that the poor girl had nowhere to go to; she was obliged to summon Mrs. Carpenter to her aid. As the old lady had plenty of money, Mr. Barford held her habitually in respect, especially as she could will it as she pleased; therefore, when she insisted that where she was her grand-daughter should find a home, the great man yielded, and among themselves they arranged a plan which was to counteract the evil influence they dreaded. Mrs. Carpenter undertook to watch Ellen closely, and by degrees to win her from her papistry: and as there was no papist church in the locality, the neighbors need not even know what her religion was.

As for powder-plots, the good old lady argued that a girl of sixteen, without friends, money, or resources, could not effect much against the government, so she was not uneasy on that score. Silenced, but not convinced, Mr. Barford, who dared not disoblige his wife's mother, said no more on the subject to her, but he determined to keep a sharp lookout, and nip in the bud any incipient conspiracy. But under these influences, the poor girl's happiness was sadly compromised. Her grandmother undertook to enlighten her as to the character of these papists, to show her what a terrible set these unfortunate, benighted idolaters are, and so to bring her round to the Protestant establishment. Most horrible tales of conspiracies, plots, martyrdoms, inquisitorial victimizing, and every species of villanous scheming for the overthrow of pure religion, were recounted to her. These failing to make impression, the sin of idolatry was brought home to herself, and on Fridays the crime of not eating meat was by no means accounted a small one. A regular series of petty persecutions were commenced, the children of the family were taught to distrust her; she was not allowed to make acquaintances in the neighborhood, nor to stir out, save at her grandmother's side.

The old lady meant well in the part she took in this; she was not aware of the greater portion of the annoyance Ellen underwent, and she thought time only was wanted to enable her to throw off the prejudices of her education. She really liked Ellen for her refinement and gentleness, and kept her as much as she could about her. She made her read to her, and wait upon her; and though the books were not to Ellen's taste, yet this was by far the most tolerable portion of her existence. But even of this small alleviation, Mrs. Barford grew jealous; she was greatly afraid that her mother would leave too great a portion of her wealth to the poor orphan girl, and her harshness increased in proportion as Mrs. Carpenter's partiality manifested itself. She did not hesitate to impute the most unworthy motives to Ellen for paying such kind and respectful attentions to her grandmother, for Ellen's conduct contrasted too painfully with that of the unruly children of the household; and when by her reproaches Mrs. Barford drew tears from the poor girl's eyes, she would bid her "go and warm herself into her grandmother's favor, by her Jesuitical caresses and her crocodile tears." {193} Poor girl! it was no wonder that she became pale and thin and miserable; but instead of being induced to give up her religion, she clung to it the more, the more she stood in need of consolation. And thus a year, a long and dreary year, had passed away. At length a partial respite came. Mrs. Carpenter was taken sick; Ellen waited on her most assiduously; but although she could scarcely be spared as a nurse, on account of the comfort her presence seemed to afford the sick, yet Mrs. Barford's jealousy, and her husband's ill-treatment, considerably increased. Measures were often spoken of between this amiable pair, and plans devised to effect an estrangement between Ellen and her grandmother. The old lady partially recover, and then Mrs. Barford grew eloquent on the wonderful effects of a change of air. By dint of manoeuvering, she at length made the poor sick woman consent to dispense with Ellen's attendance at the watering-place to which they were bound. Mrs. Barford went herself to take care of her mother, and her children accompanied her.

* * * * * * Ellen was now virtually alone, for Mr. Barford was engaged in his business, and not wish to be troubled with her company, even at his meals. What a relief! Ellen heard the carriage drive from the door with a feeling of release from bitter thraldom. How long it might last she knew not, but certainly for some weeks. She read her own books —her father's books—so long concealed at the bottom of her chest. She opened the piano, and sang the hymns of the church. She took out her sketch-book, and reviewed the seems she had visited with her father.

At once her spirits rose, her eyes sparkled, her animation returned, and at the close of the day she retired to rest, for the first time in that house, with a light and joyous spirit. The next morning she was up with the lark. She opened her window to inhale the balmy air, and a gush of joy came over her as she felt that she was secure from annoyance at least for a time. A hasty breakfast was soon despatched, and the fragrant, breeze driving in at the window, attracted her attention to the flowery meadows. Her spirits were too keen to permit her to sit still, and as the bright sunshine poured in upon her, she asked herself why she should not enjoy it out of doors; she had been imprisoned so long, and now there was no one to rebuke or find fault with what she did. She could not withstand the temptation. "I will go and sketch the ruins of the abbey," she said, "and meditate on the times the good old monks were there." Sketch-book in hand she sallied forth. The streets of the city were soon traversed, and the avenues leading to the ruins more slowly paced. The morning was one of most glorious beauty. The birds sang in the new-leafing groves, the busy bees hummed, and the dew-drops clinging to the tips of the fresh-springing grass, presented a most dazzling appearance as, waving in the sunshine, they reflected hues of every color, and freshened with new life the whole creation. Ellen's spirits were at their height; yet with somewhat of a solemn step she approached the hallowed solitudes. None was there save herself—at least she perceived none. Long she wandered within the precincts trodden by holy feet of old, and at length sat down on a fallen tree to begin her sketch.

The ruin had formerly been surrounded by a moat; even now one side of this remained, and communicated with the river. By the side of this, our heroine took her seat on the fallen tree. How long she sat she knew not. It was a great delight to her once more to handle the pencil so long laid aside. She worked as if inspired, and the main features were at length described with taste and accuracy. In her eagerness she had untied her bonnet, (which was a close one, covering her face, after the fashion of those days,) and pushed it slightly back, {194} thus displaying her animated features, unconscious the while that a stranger was gazing at her, and that for upward of an hour he had been tracing her features in his gratified imagination.

At length she rose to depart, but as she was putting up her sketch, her bonnet fell from her head, and would have rolled into the river had not the stranger caught it, as it reached the brink, and gracefully restored it to her. He was older than herself and wore an officer's uniform. Could there be any harm in thanking him, and in unfolding, at his request, the sketch which had occasioned the accident? Ellen thought not of harm. She was unversed in the world's ways, and had experienced more of its annoyances than its dangers. Insensibly a conversation was entered into. It was prolonged until the shadows proclaimed that the sun was verging to the west. The stranger was evidently pleased and surprised at Ellen's keen sense of natural and artistic beauty, and at the simple yet poetic manner in which she clothed her ideas. The themes dilated on touched exactly his favorite hobby, and it was evidently a gratification to him to find one fresh in feeling, endowed with genius and beauty, who could appreciate his feelings and sympathize with his artistic tastes.

Reluctantly he parted with his companion, and on the morrow he seemed intuitively to know where he should find her, to renew the enjoyment of the previous day. Another day came, and another, until at length it became a matter of course that the two should meet. And still it was only poetry, or music, or painting, that occupied them. Why, then, did Ellen half surmise that the meeting was wrong? One day she did keep away, and thought she would try to do so always, but the hours hung heavily on her hands, and her resolution failed; so the walks continued.

At length the period for her aunt's return arrived, and not only must she expect to be virtually imprisoned as before, but the dread of what her aunt would say when she heard (as surely from some kind, gossiping neighbor she would hear) of her daily interviews with a strange gentleman, broke upon her. Why had she not thought of this before? Why had she yielded to the temptation? All too late those questions now, and those only who know what it is to live amid insult and neglect can appreciate her feelings or estimate the temptations to which she was exposed.

The stranger, who called himself Colonel Ellwood, had travelled much; he spoke to her of Italy, of Spain, of France; he had brought her a rosary which the Pope had blessed, and had described to her in glowing terms many of the ceremonies which he has witnessed. Why should she distrust him? With tears in her eyes she told him that in two days her aunt was expected home, and that these interviews must cease. "Indeed," she added, "I am afraid my aunt will half-kill me when she finds they have ever taken place."

"Then why not forestall her return by your own departure?"

"And to what quarter of the world should I go?' asked Ellen.

"If, sweet lady, you would trust yourself with me," said Colonel Ellwood.

Ellen started and shrank back, but the colonel followed her, saying: "Nay, do me not the injustice to suppose that I would wrong you; the impression you have made upon me is for life; your happiness, your honor, are as dear to me as my own soul. It is marriage I offer you—a bona fide marriage, though a private one. My circumstances at this moment are peculiar. But fly with me, and a Catholic priest shall bless our union; I swear it on my honor."

Ellen hesitated, but her very hesitation encouraged hope. The day passed. Another came. Again Colonel Ellwood urged flight. Again the fear beset her lest her aunt should hear of these clandestine meetings. Love, too, for the stranger, who, although {195} unknown, was evidently refined, cultivated, and well versed in all human learning, grew rapidly since he had declared his love. To lose him was to lose everything; for who save he had shown kindness to the poor, friendless orphan girl? The time passed:—the day was at hand—a restless day—sleepless night—haunted by the sound of carriage wheels bringing back her tyrant to her home. Ellen's resolution gave way: two hours before her aunt's arrival she quitted that dwelling of strife for ever.

Colonel Ellwood appeared to keep his promise. One in the dress of a Catholic priest united them in marriage, and to Ellen's fancy that there was someone of informality in the ceremony, came the ready reply that it was necessitated by the anomalous position of a Catholic priest in England. [Footnote 37]

[Footnote 37: This was before the Catholic emancipation bill had passed.]

She knew little or nothing of the law, and for some time afterward she resided on the Continent with her husband. Here no doubt harassed her; love for him excluded doubt, and that love at times nearly reached the height of adoration. On the other hand, the happiness of geniality, combined with the high mental culture which her husband loved to promote, added so intellectual, nay so ethereal an expression to her naturally handsome features, that his love and reverence increased as time wore on, and he dared not tell the being who thus fondly loved him for himself alone, how foully he had deceived her. In his eyes she was an angel of light; and far from offering impediments to her fulfilling her religious duties, he delighted in her constancy; though there were times when a cloud came over him, and he felt as if he were but he demon of darkness by her side, destined to become the destroyer of her happiness. At such moments, Ellen, who was in mute amazement at the paroxysms which assailed him would strive by every endearing art to charm away his melancholy, and by so doing sometimes nearly drove him to frenzy; and alarmed her for his sanity, without decreasing her affection. But these fitful moments passed away. Continental troubles drove them back to England, and here Colonel Ellwood's difficulty in keeping his incognito increased. Sometimes he took an abode for her in the North of Scotland, sometimes in the mountains of Wales; his restlessness and anxiety distressed and puzzled her, he was not the same man in England he had seemed on the Continent. He was often absent, too, for weeks, nay for months together; but this he accounted for so plausibly on the score of army duties and the like, that Ellen tried to be satisfied, especially as he carried on a constant correspondence with her, and always sent her regular and plentiful remittances. But one circumstance puzzled her even in this—it was that she had to address all her answers to him under cover to his lawyer. This person, who knew nothing of Ellen, believed it was a sort of affair common among the nobility, young and old, and performed the business part of the transaction faithfully as regarded transmitting money and letters, while he gave himself no further trouble about the matter.

The time of discovery arrived but too soon. Ellen's child had been ill, and she had taken him to the seacoast to restore his health. It was the first time that she had ever left the residence appointed for her by her husband without his sanction and permission, and it was the urgency of the case that prompted her to deviate from this settled plan. She thought to be gone only a few days, and his last letter had bidden her not to expect him for a month or two, as pressing business was to be imperatively attended to; so there was little chance of his being displeased at the proceeding, indeed he had never been really displeased with her. She went, then, and on the beach she was recognized by a lady she did not remember, but {196} who chanced to have a better memory than Ellen. The lady appeared to be somewhat of a morose and malignant disposition, and entered into conversation apparently to gratify some ill-natured feeling. Ellen was annoyed and would have avoided her, but the other evidently had an object in view. At last she blurted out:

"So the Duke of Durimond is to be married soon, I hear."

"I do not know," said Ellen, "I have no acquaintance among the great."

"No acquaintance with the Duke of Durimond, madam? Why, surely I saw you at——Hotel in Inverness-shire with him three years ago."

"In Inverness-shire I was with my husband, but I saw no duke there."

"Your husband, ma'am! the gentleman was called Colonel Ellwood, was he not? Well, then, madam, the world believes Colonel Ellwood and the Duke of Durimond to be the same person. But, to be sure, you ought to know best. I can only say I was told so, often, in Inverness-shire, and now the duke is gone to marry Miss Godfrey of Estcourt Hall; is that a secret also to you?"

The woman evidently gloated in the pain she inflicted, and stood gazing at the victim. Ellen replied not—she was thunderstruck. Then she deemed it impossible. She turned back to the house, gave up the lodgings, and returned to her former home. There, making necessary arrangements, she left her child in the care of trustworthy servants, and ordering a post-chaise, was driven, as fast as horses could carry her, to the house of the London lawyer, travelling night and day till she reached her destination.

The lawyer, Mr. Reynolds, would not reply to her questions. He begged the lady to go home, saying that Colonel Ellwood would soon be with her, and that he would be the best person to explain all mysteries. He, Mr. Reynolds, really was not in a position to satisfy her.

What an answer to an anxious heart! mystery upon mystery! Why, since they came to England, did these long absences take place? Why did she not know his address? Why—a long list of whys that sorely oppressed her heart. What was she to do now? Being thus far, she thought at least she would go down to Estcourt Hall and try to catch a glimpse of the Duke of Durimond; she would know then if the report that identified him with her husband was based on truth.

She turned suddenly on the lawyer: "Where is the Duke of Durimond at this instant?" Her manner, so unlike her usual calm demeanor, startled Mr. Reynolds, and put him off his guard.

"I believe, madam, the duke is at the mansion of the Hon. Mr. Godfrey, at Estcourt."

"What is he doing there?"

"The world reports him as about to be married."

Ellen turned in a resolute manner to the door—the lawyer followed her. "Be persuaded, ma'am, go home in peace; all will be right in time, believe me."

Ellen got into the post-chaise, and ordered the driver to proceed to Sussex without delay. That night she was at Estcourt. The next day, as we have seen, she approached the carriage, recognized the duke to be Colonel Ellwood, followed him in his bridal tour, spoke with him, and then returned, as best she might, to her now dreary home.

The duke sent to her—she received not his messages; he wrote—she returned his letters unopened; he called on a Roman Catholic prelate to confess the transaction, and beg of him to take care that Ellen was suitably provided for; but the bishop, after seeing Ellen and becoming interested in the story, would not receive any money from the duke on Ellen's account. He said she refused it, and he could but acquiesce in her decision. The duke was utterly perplexed.

TO BE CONTINUED.




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Translated from La Correspondant


THE FOUNDERS OF FRENCH UNITY.
[Footnote 38]

BY THE COUNT DE CHAMPAGNY.


[Footnote 38: Historical Studies. By the Count L. de Carné.]

Our readers are certainly not ignorant of the name or the book of M. de Carné. The work which he published in 1848, on the eve of the revolution of February, attracted the interest as well as the suffrages of all serious times, and the mass of those who read may know and appreciate it.

The idea of this book is well known. M. de Carné has been struck with what constitutes the peculiar genius of the French nation, its unity. He has wished to ascertain and trace the origin of that unity; and has found it summed up in a few proper names, and has condensed in the history of a small number of statesmen that of the nation.

Nothing could be more proper. We are the republican of any nation that God has made, and we are so because the French nation is more strictly one than any other, and more than any other needs a chief. Abandoned ourselves, and obliged, willingly or unwillingly, to take each a personal part in the common action, we are worth very little; but we are admirable when we are commanded. I do not know if Shakespeare is right when he calls France the Soldier of God, but what appears to me certain is that we are much better soldiers than citizens. In France the citizen is a stupid lout who, three-fourths of the time, lets himself be led, and miserably led, either by a journal or a spouting chief of a club; he abdicates himself and consents to be led blindly by the passions of others. He cries "Harrah for Revolution!" when he thinks he is only crying "Hurrah for Reform!" and makes a revolution without intending it, and makes it to the profit of his enemies. The soldier, on the contrary, finds in obedience the element of his spontaneity, of his intelligence, I had almost said, of his liberty. He was but a peasant, very dull and lubberly when he was free; put upon him the coat of passive obedience, and he acquires abilities which seem to belong only to liberty. He is prompt, he is sagacious, he is intelligent; faithful to his commander when his commander guides him, full of activity and spontaneity, if by chance the commander fails him. Why is this? Why is the English citizen so intelligent in commercial and political life, so hampered under the red coat? Why is the French peasant so stupid when he is taken from his plough, so much at his ease when in uniform? To this I know no answer, unless it be, that God has so made us. In France, the soldier is more himself when under discipline than the citizen in his liberty. It is not, then, surprising that the history of a people, I will not say so royalist, but so monarchical in the etymological sense of the word, should be summed up in the proper names of a few men.

The Abbé Suger, St. Louis, Du Guesclin, Joan of Arc, Louis XI., Henry IV., Richelieu, Mazarin: such are the personages whom M. de Carné has selected, and who he shows have gradually effected the development of French unity. It is in the succession of these names that we can follow with him that development.

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However, it is not necessary to believe, and M. de Carné does not pretend it, that these men made French unity. It has been made by itself. France was really one in fact before being made so by the government and laws. From the tenth century, when all Gaul was parcelled out, when the large provinces all belonged to masters independent in fact, save for the nominal law of vassalage, hardly acknowledged, this divided nation felt herself already one, felt herself already a nation. She has been one ever since, in reacting against the yoke of the Austrasian dynasty of the Carlovingians, she commenced to reject from her midst the Germanic race, language, and institutions. She had her language—we find it distinctly in the oath of 843; she had her capital—that little mud city which began to pass the arm of the Seine and to spread itself from the island over on the right bank, was already the centre of French life. She had her dynasty—that kinglet possessor of a narrow domain, which he disputed with great feudatories more powerful than he, was already and for all the king of France. She was already herself advancing to the time when the grandson of Robert the Strong would make himself obeyed from the Rhine to the Pyrenees, the langue d' Oyl would become the common tongue of Christendom, and all the fiefs from Flanders to the Mediterranean would hold from the great tower of the Louvre.

Thus it seems to me that one of the most important facts in our history, though little remarked, is the first armed manifestation of France under Louis the Fat. At the time the Emperor Henry V. penetrated into Champagne with a German army, the king, who, according to his own expression, had grown old at the siege of Montlhéry, in a few weeks found himself at the head of three hundred thousand men, united as a thick cloud of grasshoppers, who cover the banks of the rivers, the mountains, and plains. A few weeks more, and the great vassals, the Count of Flanders, the Duke of Aquitaine, the Count of Brittany, brought him new reinforcements, and his army, raised to four hundred thousand men, was double that of the emperor, which was itself enormous for the middle ages. The political bond, however, which united those different countries which are to-day called France, was very feeble. These vassals, present at the camp of Louis the Fat, rendered him scarcely a ceremonial homage. What bond could unite so many different populations for the defence of a territory which, at that epoch, had scarcely a name, if it was not community of origin and a common aversion to the Germanic domination? The French nation was then one, even at that epoch, when the king was king of only five of our present departments at most. She made herself one by herself and her blood, before being made so by kings and laws.

In all we have been ourselves, and more ourselves than we think. We are neither Franks nor Visigoths; we are Gallo-Romans. We are Gauls civilized by Rome, and baptized by the church. The influence of the Frank domination has been more superficial than was believed in the last century; the name remains to us, but what else remains? In the language, which is the great symbol of nationality, the Germanic element, whether in words or in forms of speech, has evidently been only secondary; and it has left no traces in the national character. In institutions the Germanic element dominated for a time, for the simple reason that it possessed the political power; but it was the labor of the middle ages, and we can say their glory, to efface it.

In fact, the struggle against feudalism and feudal institutions was, to speak truly, a national struggle. There were traces of German domination during four centuries which it was necessary to efface. The day when France demanded of the house of Robert the Strong a chief, king or not, but a chief to oppose to the Rhenish sovereignty of the Carlovingians, that day she commenced, without knowing it, the struggle against the institutions which grew out of the Germanic {199} conquest. That struggle was continued under St. Louis, the epoch of the great radiation of French power, when the Mediterranean was almost our domain; when we established colonies even on the coasts of Africa; when our missionaries penetrated even to Thibet; when the sons of Genghis Khan were in diplomatic relations with us, and when even in Italy they spoke by preference our language as "the most delightful" and the most generally understood of any in the world.

In this work the church came to our aid. The great struggle of the papacy was also against the pride of the Germanic supremacy. It was against the feudalism planted in the church, against feudatory bishops who bore armor, and carried the falcon on their wrist, who held their dioceses as fiefs, and received their investiture from the German suzerain, and against the kings their patrons, that St. Gregory VII. wielded the papal power. It was against the institutions of Germanic barbarism, against the feudal aristocracy, against tests by fire and water, against private wars and judicial combats, that the church, and especially the papacy, never ceased to struggle. There was, then, during a whole century a perfect accord between the kings of France and the pontiffs of Rome, between the independence of the commons and the franchises of the religious orders, between the authority of the legists and that of the councils.

And for these institutions introduced by the Germanic conquests, and which we in accord with the church combated, what have we in accord with the church substituted? The institutions proper to our race, proper to our traditions as a civilized people, proper to our manners as Christians. For feudalism the idea of direct power such as Rome had taught, and such as Charlemagne comprehended and attempted to revive; in other words, for suzerainty sovereignty; for the jurisdiction of lords was substituted in spirituals that of ecclesiastical judges, in temporals that of royal justices; consequently, for feudal law the canon law of Christian, and the civil law of imperial Rome. For the right of private battle we substituted the possession of arms remitted to the sovereign alone, as in Rome and in all civilized countries. For duels and judicial trials by fire and water we substituted trials by witness, according to the Roman law and the law of the church and of all civilized nations. In a word, we effaced the traces of Germanic paganism and barbarism, to become in our laws once more what we were by blood, Gallo-Romans; what we were by our faith, Christians; what we still are by our reminiscences, civilized men. Such was the work of our race from Robert the Strong to St. Louis, of the popes from Gregory VII. to Gregory IX., of our commons from the first communal revolt to the enfranchisement of the serfs under Louis le Hutin, of the church from the day when she proclaimed the truce of God, and constituted to sustain it a sort of universal Landwehr, to that in which she canonized, in the person of St. Louis, the type, not of the feudal chief, but of the Christian king. Only from this union of all forces in reference to a single end, essentially national, legitimate, and Christian, there was one unhappy exception, that of the nobility, the heir, whether by blood or position, of the Germanic traditions, investitures, and institutions, and who became a sort of common enemy. They were found, in spite of their patriotism, standing apart from the nation, and unpopular in spite of the many ties which bound them to the people. The church, royalty, even the legists had their place in the popular affection, but the nobility had none. They were suspected by the government and abandoned by it to the suspicions of the people. Hence they were so much the further removed from the political tendency of the nation as they were nearer to its political action, and all the less disposed to co-operate in the work of national elaboration as they were more open to the seductions of foreign {200} politics. Hence they could make the war of the Annagnacs in the fourteenth century, the war of the Public Good in the fifteenth, the religious wars of the sixteenth, and of the Fronde in the seventeenth; but it was never theirs to exercise that popular, regular, pacific action, the action of patronage and defence, exercised by the aristocracy of England. They had only the choice, on the one hand, of a selfish, unpopular revolt against the king—a revolt resting on the enemies of France for its support, or on the other, of service to the crown, a service which they gloriously and courageously rendered indeed, but which was a service of perfect obedience, in which there was nothing to be gained for their order, in which indeed they could reap glory, but not power. Never has there been a real aristocracy in France—there has been only an obedient or an insubordinate feudal nobility.

Thus may be given in brief the sum of the first part of M. de Carné s book; and this first part foretells what is to follow. The position of royalty, the nobles, and the commons respectively, was during four centuries developed only on bases furnished by the middle ages. The development effected in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries M. de Carné has personified in Suger, abbot of St. Denis, and St. Louis—an able and intelligent choice. Suger and St. Louis were two rare statesmen in an epoch when statesmanship hardly existed. Suger, formed by the rigid and wise discipline of the church, a full-grown man in the midst of the childish caprices and inconsequences of his age, a real statesman, although the minister of a king who was no statesman at all, was certainly one of the greatest and most intelligent agents in the national work, of which those even who were its instruments rarely had the slightest conception. St. Louis rose still further above his age. He pertained not more to the middle ages by his faith than by his statesmanship he pertains to our own times. No king ever labored harder to evolve from its feudal envelope the civil and political life of France; no king ever studied more diligently to place royalty on the footing of modern sovereignties, and to fashion it, as M. de Carné well observes, after the Biblical royalty, rather than after feudal suzerainty.

M. de Carné is very right, then, in seeking in these two rare men a serious and matured political plan; but he would have found it difficult to discover traces of such a plan in others, and perhaps even the habits of his own mind render him less fitted to judge other heroes of the middle ages. In the very pages he has written, I see, indeed, Suger; I see, indeed St. Louis; but I do not see enough of the middle age itself, of that age of youth with its contradictions and it's inconsistencies; and M. de Carné it seems to me to be too wise, too sensible, too logical, and too much of a modern statesman, to paint it in its true light.

I express here, I confess, a personal impression, not a judgment, and perhaps a profounder study of the monuments of the middle ages would give me a different impression. But I own that when I seek the the middle ages in modern writings, I receive an impression quite different from that which I receive when I attempt to study them in their own monuments. With the moderns, not only with M. de Carné, but with writers who are antiquaries rather than statesman, I find presented as characteristic of the middle ages profound political use, or at least a certain power of foresight and calculation in those who govern; but if I open the smallest chronicle, I discover nothing of the sort. These kings and these statesmen become only warriors, rude captains, capable of any devotion—capable also of any violence and even of any falsehood, rather than of any wise or consistent policy seriously and steadily pursued. Whether it is merely the result of the oldness of the language, and the simplicity, so often apparent, which a still unformed idiom gives to thought, I {201} must say this age has on me the effect of an age of infancy.

It's tongue stammers, and its diction resembles the patois of our provinces and the songs of our nurses. In art it had, not without a simplicity sometimes admirable, that awkwardness and that stiffness which mark the first toddling walk of children. Its public life was mingled with puerile ceremonies, with a fantastic symbolism, sometimes even indecent. Its faith asked for no reason, as asks the mature man; but felt, saw, understood as does the adolescent; it carried into it sometimes a puerile superstition which impaired it, sometimes an admirable simplicity which excludes the wisdom of the doctors, though not the devotedness of martyrs. It instituted the Feast of Fools and of Asses. Yet it made the Crusades. It embraced Christian morality without hesitation and without an objection; it embraced it, forgot to practise it; while professing good, it practised evil with the facility of contradiction surpassing even the ordinary powers of human nature; it was a good Catholic, but scrupled not to pillage the churches. Its submission it refused in principle to nobody—to the pope, the king, or the suzerain; and yet never did the papacy receive more frequent insults, never had royalty such trouble to make itself obeyed, never were quarrels between superior and inferior so frequent, as in the middle ages—those ages of submission and of insubordination, in which the rules of the hierarchy were better established and less observed than in any other. This contradiction, this inconsistency, this easy acceptance of the law while it is asserted only in theory, and this easy forgetfulness of it when it comes to practice, this subordination of the mind, and this revolt of the heart, is it not plainly that of boyhood? Boy seldom refuses to accept the moral truth that is taught him; he does not reject in theory even the obedience which is exacted of him; but, at a given moment, it costs him nothing to contradict that truth in practice, and to fail in that obedience; he denies never the law; he unceasingly breaks it.

It is true, that when we rise to a certain general point of view, nothing appears better regulated than the mediaeval society. Regularity, far from being defective, was in excess. A manifold foresight multiplied the laws. The church and the state, feudality and the commons, sovereignty and suzerainty, had each their codes, complicated and provident as those of a society in which right and interest are complicated and run athwart each other. Decretals, bulls, decisions of councils, feudal assizes, royal charters and commercial charters, laws and regulations of all kinds, embarrass us by their number much more than they sadden us by their absence. And the definitive result of the whole is a grand and admirable effort of Christian wisdom to establish in this world the reign of justice and peace. No right is denied, no interest is sacrificed, no power is without its limit, no liberty without its defense. Relations of the king to the subject, of the suzerain to the vassal, of the master to the serf, all are regulated there on the basis, so often forgotten, of reciprocal rights and duties. Never, perhaps, have the conciliation of order and liberty, hierarchy and the equality, the powers of the chief and the rights of the inferior, been conceived in so happy a manner.

I said conceived, not effected; for if we come to the fact, the rule fails to be translated into reality, or, rather, is so often broken that it may be said not even to exist; all relations become violent; master and serf, suzerain and vassal, king and subject, whose mutual relations were so well settled in law, are in a continual struggle against one another. That magnificent edifice presented us in theory, with the pope and the emperor at its summit, and in which the lowest serf holds his place, is in reality as unsubstantial as the fairy castles seen in our dreams.

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When I speak thus of the middle ages, I speak only of the lay society; I do not speak of the cloister and the church. They judge very improperly the middle ages who identify society in them with the church. The church was then, as now, not of her age. She struggled against it, and was more or less sullied on the points on which she came more directly in contact with the world—that is, in the secular clergy, and even the episcopacy, and more completely herself only when the cloister, the distance of places, and the diversity of origin removed her farthest from the feudal society—that is to say, in the religious orders and the papacy. I regard as a veritable chimera that dream, sometimes entertained, of a Europe gentle and submissive, obedient to the least word of the papacy, and conducted peaceably by the staff of St. Peter—in the ways of ignorance and barbarism, say unbelieving historians—in the ways of happiness and salvation, say Catholic writers. Both delight in this dream; the former because they would ruin the church by throwing upon her the responsibility of the crimes and vices of the middle ages; the latter because they would restore those ages by identifying them with the church. But I ask them to tell me at what time, during what year, what day, or what hour only this general submission existed? I ask them to tell me if there was a single day, a single minute which did not bring to the church her combat, not merely against kings and feudal lords, but against nations, and not only on one point of Europe, but on a thousand?—if once only this temporal jurisdiction of the papacy over the world was exercised otherwise than at the point of the sword—the sword of steel, as well as the sword of speech?

This middle age, this docile child, this innocent lamb, which allows itself to be led gently and blindly by the shepherd's crook, I find nowhere; I see indeed a child, but a hard and rebellious child, who seldom bends, rarely except to threats, and who, however humbly he may and, finds it no fault to straighten himself immediately after. Alas! the infancy of a people is not the infancy of men. The infant man has his physical weakness, which permits him to be controlled, and in restraining protects him. The infant people, for its misfortune, has all the passions and all the material forces of the full-grown man, and by the side of this formidable infant, the papacy to me appears different in everything, different by its supernatural life, which lifts it above the human condition, by the maturity of its intelligence, which elevates it above this youthful world, by the traditions of the Italian civilization which raises it above this world, still sunk in barbarism. It is divine in the midst of men, adult in the midst of children, Italian in the midst of these Teutons, Roman in the midst of these barbarians, civilian in the midst of these soldiers.

And by this, it seems to me, is justified, even if not otherwise, the political part played by the papacy in the middle ages. When it is demanded by what right it pretended to the temporal government of Europe, I answer unhesitatingly, by

  "The right that a spirit vast and firm in its designs
  Has over the gross spirits of vulgar men;"

or, at least, the right which maturity has naturally over youth, science over ignorance, reason over unreason. The mature man, whom chance has placed in the midst of indocile and imprudent children, has over them by his age and reason alone a part, at least, of the rights of a father and a teacher. Only, with the father or teacher physical force supports this right, while to the papacy it was wanting, and could be supplied only by the sanctity of its character, the authority of it's words, and the intrepidity of its government.

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This will be for ever its glory. The glory of the church is far less in having reigned than in having fought. That temporal dominion of the Holy See was never in the state of a peaceable, regular, acknowledged sovereignty. It was only a form of the unrelenting warfare which the church sustained against evil,—one of the phases of her never-ending combat, one of the arms of her ceaseless struggle. The church has fought either without auxiliaries, or with auxiliaries always ready to abandon her; she herself wields not the sword of the flesh, and is never sure that those who do handle it in her name will not turn it against her; sometimes saved by kings and menaced by the people, sometimes aided by the people and crushed by kings, she has fought her fight without having, in reality, any other human power than that of her dangers, the sufferings, the exile, the captivity, the humiliations, the death of her pontiffs. She has never completely triumphed, but she has never fainted. She has never completely teamed the lion she combated, but she has been able to soften him. She has never been a peaceful and happy mother in the midst of submissive children, a pacific queen in the midst of devoted subjects; she has been rather an unwearied combatant, according to his word who said, "I am calm to bring the world not peace, but a sword."

But the moment must come when the child becomes a man. The struggle then changes front. The man is not better than the child; properly speaking, he is not wiser or more reasonable: he has simply more order in his life, and more logical sequence in his conduct. A sort of human respect induces him to study to maintain greater harmony between his principles and his actions; when he has a good theory, he tries oftener than the child to have a good practice; and oftener when his conduct is bad, he concocts a bad theory to justify it. To use a well-known word, he practices his good maxims or he maxims his bad practices, as the grace of God in him and his conscience are stronger or weaker. This accord with himself, which is the characteristic, at least the pretension, of the mature man, makes alike his greatness and his littleness. The church, when society is matured, has to combat doctrines rather than passions, ideas rather than vices. The middle ages were, then, the infancy of Christian nations; should we say the sixteenth century—the age of passion, of effervescence, of revolt, of lapses—was the age of youth? Is the present age the age of maturity or of decrepitude? This, five hundred years hence, our descendants may be able to determine.

It still remains to know whether the childhood of a people, like the childhood of individuals, ought not to be regretted rather than disdained, and whether it does not charm us more by the memory of its joys than it humiliates us by the memory of its weaknesses. If the childhood of the individual is not capable of crimes, it is not any more capable of great deeds; the childhood of a people, on the contrary, although it may have its gentle and simple side, has also its heroic and sublime side. It was so with the child-people who passed the Red Sea, or fought under the walls of Troy. They are child-men for whom the Pentateuch was written, and who inspired the Iliad. They are child-men, our ancestors, who reconquered the tomb of Christ, who carried faith even to the depths of China, and who with Joan of Arc chased the English from France. They were not souls free from all blemish, nor hands never sullied; very often the brutality of their manners repels us, and we are borne, in seeing them, like the tender souls in those iron ages, to seek refuge in the shadow of the cloister, in order to find there, at least, peace, delicacy of heart, dignity of intelligence, and serenity of soul. But they were really of those to whom much is forgiven, for they loved much. Among their contradictions they had this grand and noble contradiction—that of having committed great faults, and yet preserving the love of God; of being soiled with vice, and yet not abandoned to it; of having removed far from the Lord, {204} but having never despaired of his mercy; of being very hard and very cruel, and yet preserving a loving fibre in their hearts, and tears in their eyes. After all, if these men were children, they were the children of whom it is said, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven." If the middle ages had vices, they had also faith: the world in ripening has lost the faith, and retained the vices.

Here is what, as it seems to me, may be said of the middle ages, after what M. de Carné has said, and by the side of what he has said. It may not be without some advantage to place this very different view by the side of the political view, which he has so well developed. I repeat it, that considering only the two types of Suger and St. Louis, he comprehends them, for they come within his sphere; he has, perhaps, not so well comprehended the medium in which they lived, or perhaps he partially forgets it.

We must now follow France and Europe in that more manly, or senile, epoch of their life, which M. de Carné after having given us sketches of Du Guesclin and Joan of Arc, personifies in Louis XI., Henry IV., Cardinal Richelieu, and Mazarin. These are already times which touch very closely our own. The work of Henry IV., of Richelieu, Mazarin, and Louis XIV., has crumbled almost under our own eyes, and in many respects their spirit is still living in our midst. The proof is in the fact that it is still the object of attack, Richelieu especially. Louis XIV. is discussed with all the vehemence of a contemporary controversy. This indeed is not the case with M. de Carné. There is not, perhaps, in his book an appreciation more calm, more dignified, more grave than that of the policy of the great cardinal.

He has justified this policy. He shows with an evidence that seems to me incontestable, that, setting aside the severity of certain acts, setting aside the last months of a premature old age, when weariness of power began to obscure his lofty intellect, Richelieu could have done hardly otherwise than he did. The nobility, it must be said, a little in all times, and very much for a century, had yielded to a deplorable spirit of faction. Whether it dreamed, like the Calvinistic gentlemen of the sixteenth century, of a resurrection of feudalism; whether in its eyes, as in those of the Duke of Rohan, was zoning the plan of an aristocratic republic; or whether, as more frequently happens, all its ambitions were individual, and that the alliances it formed were only the coalitions of dissatisfied pretensions, always is it certain that it was in an eminent degree incapable of a serious and well-defined policy. It could not even be national, and for fourscore years there was not a chief of the party who did not seek his support in England or in Spain, and who did not treat in the beginning of his revolt with foreigners, as he counted at its close on treating with his king. The commonalty, though more national, had not a whit more case for the necessary conditions of regular political action. The parliament incontestably formed the head all the Third Estate: it was the most dignified post, the highest placed, the gravest, and the most capable of affairs; and yet the parliaments interfered in politics only with the littlenesses and caprice of children, the conceit of youngsters, or the timidity of old men; by turns submissive and rebellious, idolaters of absolute power, and rebels to every government; rash and timid, rebelling and begging pardon.

The cardinal has been almost always reproached for having established royalty without a basis; but this basis, where was he to find it? Was it ever in his power to create it? Could he found a political aristocracy, respecting the laws, and protecting the people, where there was only a turbulent, unpopular, and unstatesmanlike nobility? Could he erect on French soil a House of Commons, animated at once with the spirit of legal obedience and of constitutional resistance, {205} at a time when it did not exist even in England, and where there were only citizens ready to revolt, as was proved in the time of the League, and ready to submit, and even to worship power, as was proved under Henry IV., but wholly incapable of resisting without rebelling? At least, it will not be said that at all hazards, and without taking any account of these facts, the cardinal should have inaugurated in France something like the charter of 1814, or that of 1830, which would be very much like reproaching Hannibal for not using gunpowder, and Christopher Columbus for not using steam!

Richelieu felt that all force, that every principle of peace, grandeur, and unity, was at the time in royalty. Royalty was in the sphere of things possible, or imaginary, the only regular, and even the only popular power. Outside of it there were only resistances, or rather attacks, more or less inconsequent and factious. The liberties of the middle ages, such as they had then, could appear only as turbulent and irregular liberties, incompatible with that order and that regularity which were a necessity for the genius of the cardinal and his age. Richelieu rendered absolute that power which alone could be a protection, well the others would be only sources of danger. In doing this he abolished no liberties, for there were then no liberties in the modern sense of the word. He had little else than privileges to suppress, and absolute monarchy conferred more privileges then it destroyed. We had only insubordinations to quell, and misdeeds to punish. That, in this struggle, his untempered severity amounted even to cruelty, sometimes odius, and almost always useless, M. de Carné does not deny, and I concede it even to a greater extent, perhaps, than he would approve; but what had been the triumph of the party, or rather of the contradictory parties? What monarchy—national, constitutional, and legal—could have resulted from the victory of those great lords, leagued together, and constantly intriguing against the government ever since the death of Henry IV.; sometimes open rebels, sometimes submissive; ever uniting, or separating, allying themselves at the the exigency of the moment; enemies to their friends of yesterday, faithful to-day with the factious of the morrow, Protestants with Catholics, Catholics with Huguenots, Frenchmen with Spain! What a magnificent bill of rights the Duchess de Chevereuse would have drawn up for Louis XIII. to sign!

Richelieu did the only thing which in his time was possible, and that is the justification of the political order which he founded. But his work was not complete, and was not completed, I dare add, solely because it was sanguinary. The blood shed, as M. de Carné well says, was not so abundant as is commonly believed; twenty-six men in all perished on the scaffold. How many politicians have the reputation of great benignity, who have put to death a much larger number! But on more than one occasion Richelieu's proceedings were odious, his cruelty refined, his vengeance useless. It belonged to a man of quite another nature to finish the work which he, with less violence, might have accomplished. The cardinal, when he died, left feudal opposition humbled, but living area The blood of Montmorency had implanted still more hate than fear. All the uneasy and restless forces, which, with no purpose, or only that of personal satisfaction, agitated France for nearly a century, crushed by the hand of the cardinal, drew themselves up anew when he was no longer there, and made themselves immediately felt and feared, under the reign of a child, the regency of a Spanish woman, and the ministry of an Italian. The work, then, was not complete, and the last germ of that aristocratic faction had not been extinguished on the scaffold of Cinq-Mars.

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M. de Carné, who overrates Richelieu, greatly underrates Mazarin. Certainly, the man had less grandeur, and was more sullied; there were defects in his genius, and undeniably dark shades in his character; his morality was certainly of a low order, but his intellectual power was something marvellous. I am astonished to see that foreigner, that adventurer, that man who was never popular, that minister with greedy and grasping instincts, triumphing over enemies which the great cardinal had not been able to subdue, surviving the spirit of faction that had survived Richelieu,—to see him accomplish the work which Richelieu had not been able to accomplish by violence; and accomplishing it without having to reproach himself with erecting a single scaffold. This Italian, so furiously decried, who on re-entering Paris, after his victory, had not a word of anger to utter, nor a vengeance to inflict on any one; who re-established in their seats the magistrates of Parliament who had set a price on his head; who, vilified to satiety by the men of letters, tranquilly, and without ostentation, restored to them their pensions; who granted to the grandees of the kingdom—who were his enemies—nearly all they had asked, except their independence; this man, in all this, may indeed have been more able than generous, but I much like that kind of ability, and regard it as worth imitating. And what is curious, is that, from that minister, so many times dishonored, from that peace in which the factious were so well treated, from that struggle in which royalty was often so hard pressed, and in which it was so often forced to give way, royalty itself came forth stronger, more absolute, more venerated, more adored, than it was left by the lofty struggle maintained by Cardinal Richelieu, and in which his victories were ratified by the hangman.

It is in this way that monarchy was established in France; and, be it said in passing, without recurring to the necessity and legitimacy of this work, it has produced, in spite of its many imperfections and excesses, the most normal epoch in our history since that of St. Louis. This epoch had only brief duration, and it is sometimes, said, that what is called the ancient régime, was only a period of transition. I grant it. In this passing world, what century is there that is not a century of transition? When is it that the nations can stop, pitch their tents, and say, "It is good to be here?" I remember still all in my youth, the defunct Saint-Simonian school, which, perhaps, is not so defunct as is supposed, divided the history of the world into critical periods and organic periods; but as for its organic periods, they could not tell where to find them. It is the same with us all. I see, indeed, in history, times of passage, but not the time of sojourn; and I know not any century in which it might not be said with as much truth has in our own, "We are in the moment of transition." But if ever there was really an organic epoch, it was that of which we speak. If any age could really pass for a normal age, not indeed for the perfection of its virtue, but for the plenitude of its principle, it would certainly be the age of Louis XIV. That was essentially, in good and in evil, in greatness and littleness, in its good deeds and in its evil deeds, in its legitimate honor and in its idolatrous apotheosis, the age of royalty.

On many sides, certainly, this age is open to attack: yet neither men nor human institutions are to be judged after an absolute type. The greatest must miserably fail, if so judged. All judgments of human things our relative. When we place a life, in age, a rule, any institution whatever, by the side of the ideal type which are imagination forms to itself, nothing is to be said; that life is stained, that period is wretched, that régime is odious, that institution is detestable; but if we compare it with that which has been before, after, or contemporary with it, or even that which would have been humanly possible to put in its place {207} Our judgment is more indulgent, because less absolute. It is our glory, but also our error, to bear in ourselves a certain passion for the beautiful and the good, which can find no satisfaction in this world; to form to ourselves in everything, an ideal type superior to all human power to realize; to have in us the measure of heaven, which we very clear that Louis XIV. was only a poor knight, Bossuet only a common-place writer. Homer a street-singer, Raphael a dauber by the side of the king, the orator, the poet, the painter, of which we dream in our imagination.

That régime, inaugurated by Richelieu, confirmed by Mazarin, and glorified by Louis XIV., had, doubtless, its baseness as every other, but not more than others. It had its cruelties, and they were often inexcusable; it had a greater and more fundamental wrong still, that of pushing power to excess, and exaggerating its rights, as well as deifying the person of the sovereign. Human powers have all a limit, however absolute they may claim to be; and whether collected in a single hand, or dispersed among many—whether they are vested in the people, in an assembly, or in one man alone, the sphere of their action is no greater. Power has its limit in right, and this limit cannot be passed without guilt; it has its limit in fact, and against that it cannot dash its head without breaking it.

This was its fault, and it was cruelly expiated. We say, however, that the monarchy of Louis XIV. perished less by his fault than by that of his successor. Louis XV. inherited a royalty in its plenitude, surrounded by the profound respect of the nation. Louis XlV. had died unpopular, but he left the throne popular. The public calamities were charged to the man, not to the monarchy. I know not in all history a king more beloved, more venerated, more adored as king and independently of his personal qualities, than was Louis XV. A child at first, then a young man, without other personal merit than that of leaving Cardinal de Fleury to govern, Louis XV., during twenty years, gathered in peace the fruits of royalty. More humane than Louis XIV.; as selfish indeed, but selfish in another manner; not taking like him his royalty in earnest, and instead of accepting it as a dignity almost divine, regarding it as a private estate he had a right to enjoy without being under the slightest obligation to look after its management, Louis XV. took pleasure in squandering the treasures of popular respect and affection which his predecessor had bequeathed him. France persisted in respecting his royalty as long as she could. Neither the scandals of the Regency, less public than they have become for posterity, nor the succession of court influences, not yet sunk to the baseness of the later years, though beginning to approach it; nor the indolence and the corruption of that prince who hardly ever opened a letter on business, hardly ever spoke in council, and hardly ever went to the army; nor that egotism of the man crudely paraded in the place of the egotism of the king professed by Louis XIV. as a religion—nothing of all this disgusted the country, so marvellously had France been imbued with the love and worship of royalty by Richelieu, Mazarin, and Louis XIV.!

The corruption of ideas was slowly effected. The eighteenth century did not begin in 1700 nor in 1715, it was only beginning in 1750. The first irreligious book which gave much scandal was that of Toussaint in 1748. Up to that time Voltaire had restricted himself to some timid allusions against priests mingled with many flatteries of the court; the Pucelle was written but not published. Twenty-eight years after the death of Louis XIV., at the time of the illness of Metz, was still seen a thing unique perhaps—a whole country, not only the nobility and the court, but the citizens, the people, all those who were most disinterested in regard to royal favors, were seen {208} praying with a tenderness truly filial that God would leave to them a king who had reigned for twenty-eight years without having done anything, and wresting from Providence, so to speak, by the force of supplications, a life steeped in debauchery. This great and sincere testimonial of monarchical enthusiasm, which remained so deeply rooted in the memory of our fathers, was given, I say not to the worst, but certainly to the least meritorious of all our monarchs.

It is necessary, then, to render to our country this justice, that, if it came at length to despise power, it was because in spite of itself it was driven to it by power itself. It needed that this so solemn mark of filial devotion should be returned by continued indolence and corruption. It needed more than thirty years of the cynical workings of this royalty to erase from the heart in which it was so deeply rooted, the taste and the worship of royalty. They who, in seeking the semi-metaphysical, semi-political causes for the fall of the monarchy of Louis XIV., think they find the principle of its ruin in the manner of its constitution, may, in certain respects, be right, but they should tell us how it could have been constituted differently. However, they seem to me to count for too little the abuses so flagrant and so prolonged, which were made of it.

Neither am I among those who accuse the France of the old régime of servility. Its love for royalty may have been excessive, but it was, at least, sincere; and if sincere it was not servile. We may be guilty of idolatry towards those we love, but we can be guilty of servility only towards those we love not. Royalty, I admit, was regarded as a demi-god, but they who really worship the false god do it in good faith. Our fathers were, perhaps, fanatics, but they were not slaves. The great English lords who, in the eighteenth century, traversed France in a post chaise, in order to attend the court at Versailles, and to pass several weeks in Parts, doubtless judged the country to be inhabited only by the cowardly slaves of an Asiatic despot;—they found no House of Commons, no speaker nor usher with the black rod. In the same way, Sterne, seeing at a play a man who annoyed his neighbors and whom the guard ordered to leave, was confounded by the arbitrary proceeding, and could not comprehend that the citizen did not maintain by his fists the right to disturb the performance. It was a country judged on the surface by the habits of mind of another country during About the same time, another Englishman, [Footnote 39] who did not journey in a post-chaise, who went on foot from village to village, playing the flute for the peasantry, holding disputations in the monasteries, and thus paying his reckoning, judged France a little differently. He came very near, God forgive him, envying it, and preferring it to his own country! He met here not miserable slaves, but happy men, satisfied with themselves, and satisfied with all the world. The current money in this country, according to him, was not silver; was not the material favors of the government; was not, or, at least, was not only, pension and place; it was a vain money, no doubt, like all human riches, but a money, at least, more delicate and more noble. "Society here finds its life in HONOR. Praise gained by merit, or obtained by an imaginary worth, is the money which passes current from hand to hand, and by a noble commerce passes from the court to the camp and the cottage." France, which for the others was the country of servitude, was for him the country of honor.

[Footnote 39: We need hardly tell our readers the person referred to here was an Irishman—Oliver Goldsmith. (Ed. C.W.)]

In reality it is hardly for us to be ashamed of the servitude of forefathers. It is true, more mature than they, we no longer either worship or respect authority; but we count it no fault to beg its favors. We crowd around the altar, though we no longer believe in the god. Every revolution has shown us the ante-chambers {209} invaded in turn by a cloud of conquerors, revolutionists, or conservatives, monarchists or republicans, all men have profound conviction, of a well-tried self-respect, a liberalism true as steel, and an independence as firm as iron, but who nevertheless came to beg their bit from the budget Since we came into the world, four times, at least, have we seeing this hideous quarry to which (we must render all justice to our equalitarians) all classes, high or low, rich or for, lettered or unlettered, have flocked with a harmony truly democratic. We now no longer conceive of a public service which is not paid for, a state function which is not an income, a position which has not its money value. Have we the right, in good faith, to be ashamed of the times when they said not places but charges, because the public service was considered not a position but duty? Have we the right to attack even that court and that finance of aforetime, stained, I grant, with cupidity and adulation, but not otherwise than in all times, and are still the classes that approach power? Have we the right, above all, to attack the whole of that society much less greedy of the favors of power, much more independent of it than we are ourselves, that bourgeoisie who loved so much its king from whom it had nothing to expect, except the suppression of a fourth of its revenue? Those magistrates who gave their last penny for the right to rise at five o'clock in the morning, and pass the forenoon in the audience, well to-day the lowest deputy finds himself poorly paid by two thousand francs for rising at ten o'clock? That provincial nobility, poor, obscure, disdained, who had all the charges of aristocracy without its benefits, and who esteemed themselves but too happy when, after twenty years of service in order, where they left their patrimony at first, then an arm, a leg, their brothers and cousins, they obtained from the bounty of the king their discharge, and permission to retire to their homes with the cross of St. Louis, and the brevet of Brigadier-General; crippled, impoverished, but endeavoring, if possible, to "preserve a fortune sufficient to enable their children to replace them"? We, citizens and freemen, do we even for much money, what those servile beings did for a little honor?

I have passed here a little beyond the work of M. de Carné, who stops with Mazarin. He will pardon me, even thank me, for not permitting myself to go farther still, and to broach the hackneyed subject of 1789. I have elsewhere had occasion to set forth my views on that subject, by the side of M. de Carné's, happy to agree with him in many respects, though more severe, perhaps, in my judgment of that revolutionary movement than he is. The tendency of minds toward reforms might have been legitimate, but the way taken to effect them was false, and in my eyes infected with evil from the first. In fact, the groundwork of French unity, which M. de Carné represents for us with so much love, what has been its use, if, after the labor of so many centuries, it could be attained only by a national convulsion, the most violent, perhaps, which has figured in history? Civil equality, unity of territory, reform in legislation, were they not already sufficiently prepared by St. Louis, Charles VII., Louis XI., Richelieu, and Louis XIV., and was it necessary that they should be purchased by the revolt of the jeu de paume, by the blood of Versailles, and by the crimes of the reign of Terror? Were our countrymen not criminal, at that epoch, in repulsing a past in which they might, on the contrary, have found a firmer support for the reforms needed?

Be that as it may, I cannot but thank M. de Carné, in the name of all those who still read, for the work which he achieved in 1848, and for the return which he has just made to his former studies. Whoever we may be, and whatever may be the present, it is not necessary that it should absorb us. As the spectacle of the present age serves to explain past ages, so should a return to the past cool and calm in our minds {210} the agitation of the present. Of this freedom from contemporaneous reflection, M. de Carné has given us a noble example. On two or three points, at most, the statesman of our times is a little too perceptible. I much doubt, for instance, if in the sixteenth century, the Balafré could have founded in France a dynasty and a citizen royalty like that of Louis Philippe. Still it might have been had the Balafré been a cadet of the Capetian family, and if the dynasty of the Valois had been for forty years shaken by two revolutions. What strikes me, on the contrary, in the history of the League, and what appears to me one of the greatest proofs of the spirit of nationality and of loyalty which then reigned in the commonalty, is the repugnance which they always manifested to accepting a foreign dynasty, the timid and reluctant manner with which the proposition was made, and the unpopularity with which it was received. At the time of the League, the nation wished two things which then seemed irreconcilable—Catholic royalty and French loyalty; it wished, so to speak, an impossibility, but it willed it with decision and perseverance, and that impossibility it obtained.

But, save these slight traces of the man of the present, M. de Carné has been able, with rare facility, to identify himself with past ages; he has known how to take from erudition what was necessary to enlighten his political point of view, without suffering it absorb him. He has been perfectly able in surveying all these different subjects to identify himself by turns with each of them. Without neglecting details and without losing himself in them, without disdaining to speak to the imagination, and without suffering himself to be carried away by the fascinations of the picturesque, without abandoning himself to political theories, and without dispoiling history of them, he has in turn as fully known his Abbot Suger, his St. Louis, is Du Guesclin, and each one of his heroes, as if he had never studied else. He makes himself master of each one of these subjects in brief time, but with a sagacity worth more than time, and with a quick perception of the dominant idea which often escapes the simple erudite. He has not me what is called a philosophical history, a task become facile and commonplace, and he has not made what is still more easy, purely contemporary politics à propos of the past; he has not made a history, if by history we understand the detailed recital of events; but he has known how to keep constantly at his disposition the philosophical view which illuminates history, the political sense which helps to judge it, and the knowledge of facts which is its foundation. He has not made a history, but he has made a luminous summary, and given us a necessary complement of all the theories of French history.




MY TEARS.

  Ah me! how many precious tears for naught I've wept;
            And thus my soul did cheat.
  Would I, like Magdalene, had treasured them, and kept
            Their wealth for Jesus' feet.



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LEGEND OF COUNT JULIAN AND HIS FAMILY.


BY WASHINGTON IRVING.


Many and various are the accounts given in ancient chronicles of the fortunes of Count Julian and his family, and many are the traditions on the subject extant among the populace of Spain, and perpetuated in those countless ballads sung by peasants and muleteers, which spread a singular charm over the whole of this romantic land.

He who has travelled in Spain in the true way in which the country ought to be travelled—sojourning in its remote provinces, rambling among the rugged defiles and secluded valleys of its mountains, and making himself familiar with the people in their out-of-the-way hamlets and rarely visited neighborhoods—will remember many a group of travellers and muleteers, gathered of an evening around the door or the spacious hearth of a mountain venta, wrapped in their brown cloaks, and listening with grave and profound attention to the long historic ballad of some rustic troubadour, either recited with the true ore rotundo and modulated cadences of Spanish elocution, or chanted to the tinkling of a guitar. In this way he may have heard the doleful end of Count Julian and his family recounted in traditionary rhymes, that have been handed down from generation to generation. The particulars, however, of the following wild legend are chiefly gathered from the writings of the pseudo Moor Basis; how far they may be safely taken as historic facts it is impossible now to ascertain; we must content ourselves, therefore, with their answering to the exactions of poetic justice.

As yet everything had prospered with Count Julian. He had gratified his vengeance; he had been successful in his treason, and had acquired countless riches from the ruin of his country. But it is not outward success that constitutes prosperity. The tree flourishes with fruit and foliage while blasted and withering at the heart. Wherever he went, Count Julian read hatred in every eye. The Christians cursed him as the cause of all their woe; the Moslems despised and distrusted him as a traitor. Men whispered together as he approached, and then turned away in scorn; and mothers snatched away their children with horror if he offered to caress them. He withered under the execration of his fellow-men, and last, and worst of all, he began to loathe himself. He tried in vain to persuade himself that he had but taken a justifiable vengeance; he felt that no personal wrong can justify the crime of treason to one's country.

For a time he sought in luxurious indulgence to soothe or forget the miseries of the mind. He assembled round him every pleasure and gratification that boundless wealth could purchase, but all in vain. He had no relish for the dainties of his board; music had no charm wherewith to lull his soul, and remorse drove slumber from his pillow. He sent to Ceuta for his wife Frandina, his daughter Florinda, and his youthful son Alarbot; hoping in the bosom of his family to find that sympathy and kindness which he could no longer meet with in the world. Their presence, however, brought him no alleviation. Florinda, the daughter of his heart, for whose sake he had undertaken this {212} signal vengeance, was sinking a victim to its effects. Wherever she went, she found herself a byword of shame and reproach. The outrage she had suffered was imputed to her as wantonness, and her calamity was magnified into a crime. The Christians never mentioned her name without a curse, and the Moslems, the gainers by her misfortune, spake of her only by the appellation of Cava, the vilest epithet they could apply to woman.

But the opprobrium of the world was nothing to the upbraiding of her own heart. She chained herself with all the miseries of these disastrous wars—the deaths of so many gallant cavaliers, the conquest and perdition of her country. The anguish of her mind preyed upon the beauty of her person. Her eye, once soft and tender in its expression, became wild and haggard; her cheek lost its bloom and became hollow and pallid, and at times there was desperation in her words. When her father sought to embrace her she withdrew with shuddering from his arms, for she thought of his treason and the ruin it had brought upon Spain. Her wretchedness increased after her return to her native country, until it rose to a degree of frenzy. One day when she was walking with her parents in the garden of their palace, she entered a tower, and, having barred the door, ascended to the battlements. From thence she called to them in piercing accents, expressive of her insupportable anguish and desperate determination. "Let this city," said she, "be henceforth called Malacca, in memorial of the most wretched of women, who therein put an end to her days." So saying, she threw herself headlong from the tower, and was dashed to pieces. The city, adds the ancient chronicler, received the name thus given it, though afterward softened to Malaga, which it still retains in memory of the tragical end of Florinda.

The Countess Frandina abandoned this scene of woe, and returned to Ceuta, accompanied by her infant son. She took with her the remains of her unfortunate daughter, and gave them honorable sepulture in a mausoleum of the chapel belonging to the citadel. Count Julian departed for Carthagena, where he remained plunged in horror at this doleful event.

About this time the cruel Suleiman, having destroyed the the family of Muza, had sent an Arab general, named Alahor, to succeed Abdalasis, as emir or governor of Spain. The new emir was of a cruel and suspicious nature, and commenced his sway with a stern severity that soon made those under his command look back with regret to the easy rule of Abdalasis. He regarded with an eye of distrust the renegade Christians who had aided in the conquest, and who bore arms in the service of the Moslems; but his deepest suspicions fell upon Count Julian. "He has been a traitor to his own countryman," said he; "how can we be sure that he will not prove traitor to us?"

A sudden insurrection of the Christians who had taken refuge in the Asturian mountains, quickened his suspicions, and inspired him with fears of some dangerous conspiracy against his power. In the height of his anxiety, he bethought him of an Arabian sage named Yuza, who had accompanied him from Africa. This son of science was withered in form, and looked as if he had outlived the usual term of mortal life. In the course of his studies and travels in the East, he had collected the knowledge and experience of ages; being skilled in astrology, and, it is said, in necromancy, and possessing the marvellous gift of prophecy or divination. To this expounder of mysteries Alahor applied to learn whether any secret treason menaced his safety.

The astrologer listened with deep attention and overwhelming brow to all the surmises and suspicions of the emir, then shut himself up to consult his books and commune with those supernatural intelligences subservient {213} to his wisdom. At an appointed hour the emir sought him in his cell. It was filled with the smoke of perfumes; squares and circles and various diagrams were described upon the floor, and the astrologer was boring over a scroll of parchment, covered with cabalistic characters. He received Alahor with a gloomy and sinister aspect; pretending to have discovered fearful portents in the heavens, and to have had strange dreams and mystic visions.

"O emir," said he, "be on your guard! treason is around you and in your path; your life is in peril. Beware of Count Julian and his family."

"Enough," said the emir. "They show all die! Parents and children—all shall die!"

He forthwith sent a summons to Count Julian to attend him in Cordova. The messenger found him plunged in affliction for the recent death of his daughter. The count excused himself, on account of this misfortune, from obeying the commands of the emir in person, but sent several of his adherents. His hesitation, and the circumstance of his having sent his family across the straits to Africa, were construed by the jealous mind of the emir into proofs of guilt. He no longer doubted his being concerned in the recent insurrections, and that he had sent his family away, preparatory to an attempt, by force of arms, to subvert the Moslem domination. In is fury he put to death Siseburto and Evan, the nephews of Bishop Oppas and sons of the former king, Witiza, suspecting them of taking part in the treason. Thus did they expiate their treachery to their country in the fatal Battle of Guadalete.

Alahor next hastened to Carthagena to seize upon Count Julian. So rapid were his movements that the count had barely time to escape with fifteen cavaliers, with whom he took refuge in the strong castle of Marcuello, among the mountains of Aragon. The emir, enraged to be disappointed of his prey, embarked at Carthagena and crossed the straits to Ceuta, to make captives of the Countess Frandina and her son.

The old chronicle from which we take this part of our legend, presents a gloomy picture of the countess in the stern fortress to which she had fled for refuge—a picture heightened by supernatural horrors. These latter the sagacious reader will admit or reject according to the measure of his faith and judgment; always remembering that in dark and eventful times, like those in question, involving the destinies of nations, the downfall of kingdoms, and the crimes of rulers and mighty men, the hand of fate is sometimes strangely visible, and confounds the wisdom of the worldly wise, by intimations and portents above the ordinary course of things. With this proviso, we make no scruple to follow the venerable chronicler in his narration.

Now so it happened that the Countess Frandina was seated late at night in her chamber in the citadel of Ceuta, which stands on a lofty rock, overlooking the sea. She was revolving in gloomy thought the late disasters of her family, when she heard a mournful noise like that of the sea-breeze moaning about the castle walls. Raising her eyes, she beheld her brother, the Bishop Oppas, at the entrance of the chamber. She advanced to embrace him, but he forbade her with a motion of his hand, and she observed that he was ghastly pale, and that his eyes glared as with lambent flames.

"Touch me not, sister," said he, with a mournful voice, "lest thou be consumed by the fire which rages within me. Guard well thy son, for blood-hounds are upon his track. His innocence might have secured him the protection of heaven, but our crimes have involved him in our common ruin." He ceased to speak and was no longer to be seen. His coming and going were alike without noise, and the door of the chamber remained fast bolted.

{214}

On the following morning a messenger arrived with tidings that the Bishop Oppas had been made prisoner in battle by the insurgent Christians of the Asturias, and had died in fetters in a tower of the mountains. The same messenger brought word that the Emir Alahor had put to death several of the friends of Count Julian; had obliged him to fly for his life to a castle in Aragon, and was embarking with a formidable force for Ceuta.

The Countess Frandina, as has already been shown, was of courageous heart, and danger made her desperate. There were fifty Moorish solders in the garrison; she feared that they would prove treacherous, and take part with their countrymen. Summoning her officers, therefore, she informed them of their danger, and commanded them to put those Moors to death. The guards sallied forth to obey her orders. Thirty-five of the Moors were in the great square, unsuspicious of any danger, when they were severally singled out by their executioners, and, at a concerted signal, killed on the spot. The remaining fifteen took refuge in a tower. They saw the armada of the emir at a distance, and hoped to be able to hold out until its arrival. The soldiers of the countess saw it also, and made extraordinary efforts to destroy these internal enemies before they should be attacked from without. They made repeated attempts to storm the tower, but were as often repulsed with severe loss. They then undermined it, supporting its foundations by stanchions of wood. To these they set fire and withdrew to a distance, keeping up a constant shower of missiles to prevent the Moors from sallying forth to extinguish the flames. The stanchions were rapidly consumed, and when they gave way the tower fell to the ground. Some of the Moors were crushed among the ruins; others were flung to a distance and dashed among the rocks; those who survived were instantly put to the sword.

The fleet of the emir arrived at Centa about the hour of Vespers. He landed, but found the gates closed against him. The countess herself spoke to him from a tower, and set [illegible] at defiance. The emir immediately laid siege to the city. He consulted the astrologer Yuxa, who told him that for seven days his star would have the ascendant over that of the youth Alarbot, but after that time the youth would be safe from his power, and would effect his ruin.

Alahor immediately ordered the city to be assailed on every side, and at length carried it by storm. The countess took refuge with her forces in the citadel, and made desperate defense; but the walls were sapped and mined, and she saw that all resistance would soon be unavailing. Her only thoughts now were to conceal her child. "Surely," said she, "they will not think of seeking him among the dead." She led him therefore into the dark and dismal chapel. "Thou art not afraid to be alone in this darkness, my child?" said she.

"No, mother," replied the boy; "darkness gives silence and sleep." She conducted him to the Florinda. "Fearest thou the dead. my child?" "No, mother; the dead can do no harm, and what should I fear from my sister?"

The countess opened the sepulcher. "Listen, my son," said she. "There are fierce and cruel people who have come hither to murder thee. Stay here in company with thy sister, and be quiet as thou dost value thy life!" The boy, who was of a courageous nature, did as he was bidden, and remained there all that day, and all the night, and the next day until the third hour.

In the mean time the walls of the citadel were sapped, the troops of the emir poured in at the breach, and a great part of the garrison was put to the sword. The countess was taken prisoner and brought before the emir. She appeared in his presence with a haughty demeanor, as if she had been a queen receiving homage; but when {215} he demanded her son, she faltered and turned pale, and replied, "My son is with the dead."

"Countess," said the emir, "I am not to be deceived; tell me where you have concealed the boy, or tortures shall wring from you the secret."

"Emir," replied the countess, "may the greatest torments be my portion, both here and hereafter, if what I speak be not the truth. My darling child lies buried with the dead."

The emir was confounded by the solemnity of her words; but the withered astrologer Yuza, who stood by his side regarding the countess from beneath his bushed eyebrows, perceived trouble in her countenance and equivocation in her words. "Leave this matter to me," whispered he to Alahor; "I will produce the child."

He ordered strict search to be made by the soldiery, and he obliged the countess to be always present. When they came to the chapel, her cheek turned pale and her lip quivered. "This," said the subtile astrologer, "is the place of concealment!"

The search throughout the chapel, however, was equally vain, and the soldiers were about to depart, when Yuza remarked a slight gleam of joy in the eye of the countess. "We are leaving our prey behind," thought he; "the countess is exulting."

He now called to mind the words of her asseveration, that her child was with the dead. Turning suddenly to the soldiers he ordered them to search the sepulchres, "If you find him not," said he, "drag forth the bones of that wanton Cava, that they may be burnt, and the ashes scattered to the winds."

The soldiers searched among the tombs and found that of Florinda partly open. Within lay the boy in the sound sleep of childhood, and one of the soldiers took him gently in his arms to bear him to the emir.

When the countess beheld that her child was discovered, she rushed into the presence of Alahor, and forgetting all her pride, threw herself upon her knees before him.

"Mercy! mercy!" cried she in piercing accents, "mercy on my son—my only child! O Emir! listen to a mother's prayer and my lips shall kiss thy feet. As thou art merciful to him so may the most high God have mercy upon thee, and heap blessings on thy head."

"Bear that frantic woman hence," said the emir, "but guard her well."

The countess was dragged away by the soldiery, without regard to her struggles and her cries, and confined in a dungeon of the citadel.

The child was now brought to the emir. He had been awakened by the tumult, but gazed fearlessly on the stern countenances of the soldiers. Had the heart of the emir been capable of pity, it would have been touched by the tender youth and innocent beauty of the child; but his heart was as the nether millstone, and he was bent upon the destruction of the whole family of Julian. Calling to him the astrologer, he gave the child into his charge with a secret command. The withered son of the desert took the boy by the hand and led him up the winding staircase of a tower. When they reached the summit, Yuza placed him on the battlements.

"Cling not to me, my child," said he; "there is no danger." "Father, I fear not," said the undaunted boy; "yet it is a wondrous height."

The child looked around with delighted eyes. The breeze blew his curling locks from about his face, and his cheek glowed at the boundless prospect; for the tower was reared upon that lofty promontory on which Hercules founded one of his pillars. The surges of the sea were heard far below, beating upon the rocks, the sea-gull screamed and wheeled about the foundations of the tower, and the sails of lofty caraccas were as mere specks on the bosom of the deep.

"Dost thou know yonder land beyond the blue water?" said Yuza.

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"It is Spain," replied the boy; "it is the land of my father and my mother."

"Then stretch forth thy hands and bless it, my child," said the astrologer.

The boy let go his hold of the wall; and, as he stretched forth his hands, the aged son of Ishmael, exerting all the strength of his withered limbs, suddenly pushed him over the battlements. He fell headlong from the top of that tall tower, and not a bone in his tender frame but was crushed upon the rocks beneath.

Alahor came to the foot of the winding stairs.

"Is the boy safe?" cried he.

"He is safe," replied Yuza; "come and behold the truth with thine own eyes."

The emir ascended the tower and looked over the battlements, and beheld the body of the child, a shapeless mass, on the rocks far below, and the sea-gulls hovering about it; and he gave orders that it should be thrown into the sea, which was done.

On the following morning the countess was led forth from her dungeon into the public square. She knew of the death of her child, and that her own death was at hand, but she neither wept nor supplicated. Her hair was dishevelled, her eyes were haggard with watching, and her cheek was as the monumental stone; but there were the remains of commanding beauty in her countenance, and the majesty of her presence awed even the rabble into respect.

A multitude of Christian prisoners were then brought forth, and Alahor cried out: "Behold the wife of Count Julian! behold one of that traitorous family which has brought ruin upon yourselves and upon your country!" And he ordered that they should stone her to death. But the Christians drew back with horror from the deed, and said, "In the hand of God is vengeance; let not her blood be upon our heads." Upon this the emir swore with horrid imprecations that whoever of the captives refused should himself be stoned to death. So the cruel order was executed, and the Countess Frandina perished by the hands of her countrymen. Having thus accomplished his barbarous errand, the emir embarked for Spain, and ordered the citadel of Ceuta to be set on fire, and crossed the straits at night by the light of its towering flames.

The death of Count Julian, which took place not long after, closed the tragic story of his family. How he died remains involved in doubt. Some assert that the cruel Alahor pursued him to his retreat among the mountains, and, having taken him prisoner, beheaded him; others that the Moors confined him in a dungeon, and put an end to his life with lingering torments; while others affirm that the tower of the castle of Marcuello, near Huesca, in Aragon, in which he took refuge, fell on him and crushed him to pieces. All agree that his later end was miserable in the extreme and his death violent. The curse of heaven, which had thus pursued him to the grave, was extended to the very place which had given him shelter; for we are told that the castle is no longer inhabited on account all the strange and horrible noises that are heard in it; and that visions of armed men are seen above it in the air: which are supposed to be the troubled spirits of the apostate Christians who favored the cause of the traitor.

In after-times a stone sepulcher was shown, outside of the chapel of the castle, as the tomb of Count Julian; but the traveller and the pilgrim avoided it, or bestowed upon it a malediction; and the name of Julian has remained a byword and a scorn in the land for the warning of all generations. Such ever be the lot of him who betrays his country!

Here end the legends of the conquest of Spain.




{217}

ORIGINAL.


RECENT EUROPEAN EVENTS.


When it is said that the church is independent of time and its events, and can subsist and operate under all forms of government, and in all stages of civilization, it is not meant that she is indifferent to the revolution of states and empires, or cares not how the state is constituted, or the government administered. Subsisting and operating society, though not holding from it, she cannot be indifferent to its constitution, either for her sake or its own. It may be constituted more for less in accordance with eternal justice, or absolute and unchanging right, and therefore more or less favorable to her catholic mission, which is to introduce and sustain the reign of truth and right in the state and the administration as well as in the individual reason and will.

Far less does the independence of the church, or her non-dependence on the political order and its variations, imply that politics, as is but too often assumed, are independent of the moral law of God, and therefore that statesman, civil magistrates, and rulers are under no obligation to consult in their acts what is right, just, or conformable to the law of the Lord, but only what seems to them expedient, or for their own interest. All sound politics are based on principles derived from theology, the great catholic or universal and invariable principles which govern man's relation to his Maker and to his neighbor, and of which, while the state is indeed in the temporal order the administrator, the church is the divinely instituted guardian and teacher. No Christian, no man who believes in God, can assert political independence of the divine or spiritual order, for that would be simply political atheism; and if men sometimes do assert it without meaning to deny the existence and authority of God in the spiritual order, it is because men can be and sometimes are illogical, and inconsistent with themselves. Kings, kaisers, magistrates, are as much bound to obey God, to be just, to do right, as are private individuals, and in their official no less than in their private acts.

The first question to be asked in relation to any political measure is. Is it morally right? The second, Are the means chosen for carrying it out just? If not, it must not be adopted. But, and this is important, it is the prerogative of God to overrule the evil men do, and to make it result in good. "Ye meant it for evil, but God meant it for good." Hence when things are done and cannot be recalled, though not before, we may lawfully accept them, and labor to turn them to the best possible account, without acquitting or approving them, or the motives and conduct of the men who have been in the hands of Providence the instruments of doing them. Hence there are two points of view from which political events may be considered: the moral—the motives and conduct of those who have brought them about; and the political—or the bearing of the events themselves, regarded as facts accomplished and irrevocable, on the future welfare of society.

If we judge the recent territorial changes in Italy and Germany from the moral point of view, we cannot acquit them. The means by which the unity of Italy has been effected under the house of Savoy, and those by which {218} that of Germany has been placed in the way of being effected under the house of Hohenzollern, it seems to me are wholly indefensible. The war of France and Sardinia against Austria in 1859, the annexation to Sardinia of the Duchies, and the AEmilian provinces subject to the Holy See, the absorption by force of arms of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and the still more recent war of Italy and Prussia against the same power, resulting in the mutilation and humiliation of the Austrian empire, and possibly in depriving the pope the remainder of his domain, are, I must hold in every sense unjustifiable. They have been done in violation of international law, public right, and are an outrage upon every man's innate sense of justice, excusable only on that most detestable of all maxims—the end sanctifies the means.

But regarded from the political point of view, as facts accomplished and irrevocable, perhaps they are not indefensible, nay, not unlikely under divine Providence to prove of lasting benefit to European society. I cannot defend the coup d'état of Napoleon, December 2, 1851, but I believe that the elevation of Louis Napoleon to the French throne has turned out for the benefit of France and of Europe. I condemned the means adopted to effect both Italian and German unity, but I am not prepared to say that each, in view of the undeniable tendency of modern politics, was not in itself desirable and demanded by the solid and permanent interests of European society. Taken as facts accomplished, as points of departure for the future, they may have, perhaps already have had, an important bearing in putting an end to the uneasiness under which all European society has labored since the treaties of Vienna in 1815, and the socialistic and revolutionary movements which have, ever since the attempted reconstruction of Europe after the fall of Napoleon, kept it in continual turmoil, and rendered all government except by sheer force impracticable.

The tendency of European society for four or five centuries has been, on the one hand, toward civil and political equality, and on the other, toward Roman imperialism. European society has revolted against mediaeval feudalism, alike against the feudal aristocracy and the feudal monarchy, and sought to revive the political system of imperial Rome, to place all citizens on the footing of an equality before the law, with exclusive privileges for none, and to base monarchy on the sovereign will of the nation. It would be incorrect to say, as many both at home and abroad have said, that European society has been or is tending to pure and simple democracy, for such has not been, and is not by any means the fact; but it has been and is tending to the abolition of all political distinctions and privileges founded on birth or property, and to render all persons without reference to caste or class eligible to all the offices of state, and to make all offices charges or trusts, instead of private property or estates. Under feudalism all the great offices of the state and many of the charges at court were hereditary, and could be claimed, held, and exercised as rights, unless forfeited by treason or misprision of treason against the liege lord. It was so in France down to the revolution of 1789, and is still so in England in relation to several charges at court, and to the House of Peers. The feudal crown is an estate, and transmissible in principle, and usually in fact, as any other estate.

Since the fifteenth century this feudal system has been attacked, throughout the greater part of Europe, with more or less success. It received heavy blows from Louis XI. in France, Ferdinand and Isabella in Spain, Henry VII. in England, and Maximilian I. in Germany. The tendency in this direction was resisted by the Protestant princes in Germany, leagued against the emperor, the Huguenot nobles and the Fronde in France, and by the whig nobility in England, because while it {219} strengthened the people as against the crown, it equally strengthened the crown against the nobility. The British reformers to-day, under the lead of John Bright, are following out this European tendency, and if successful, will abolish the House of Peers, establish civil and political equality, but at the same time will increase the power of the crown, and establish Roman imperialism, which the Stuarts failed to do, because they sought to retain and strengthen the feudal monarchy while they crushed the feudal aristocracy.

But for the king or emperor to represent the nation and govern by its sovereign authority, it is necessary that the nation should become a state, or body politic, which it was not under feudalism. Europe under feudalism was divided among independent and subordinate chiefs, but not into sovereign independent nations. There were estates but no states, and the same proprietor might hold, and often did hold, estates in different nations, and in nations even remote from one another, and neither power nor obedience depended on national boundaries or national territory. There was loyalty to the chief, but none to the nation, or to the king or emperor as representing the national majesty or sovereignty. Hence the tendency to Roman imperialism became also a tendency to nationality. Both king and people conspired together to bring into national unity, and under the imperial authority of the crown, all the fiefs, whoever the suzerain or liege lord, and all the small principalities that by territorial position, tradition, language, the common origin, or institutions of the inhabitants, belonged really to one and the same nation.

The first of the continental powers to effect this national unity was France, consisting of the former Gallic provinces of the Roman empire, except a portion of the Gallia Germana now held by Belgium, Holland, and the Germanic governments on the left bank of the Rhine. The natural boundaries of France are those of the ancient Keltica of the Greeks, extending from the Alps to the Atlantic ocean, and from the Mediterranean sea to the English channel and the Rhine. France has not yet recovered and united the whole of her national territory, and probably will never be perfectly contented till she has done it. But after centuries of struggle, from Philip Augustus to Louis XIV., she effected internally national unity which gave her immense advantages over Italy and Germany, which remained divided, and which at times has given her even the hegemony of Europe.

The defeat of the first Napoleon, the restoration of the Bourbons, and the treaties of Vienna in 1815, arrested, and were designed to arrest, this tendency of modern European society under all its aspects, and hence satisfied nobody. They prevented the free development and play of the tendency to national unity and independence, re-established aristocracy, and restrained the tendency to equality, and reasserted monarchy as an estate held by the grace of God and inviolable and indefeasible, instead of the representative monarchy, which holds from the nation, and is responsible to it. Those treaties grouped people together without any regard to their territorial relations, natural affinities, traditions, or interests, without the slightest reference to the welfare of the different populations, and with sole reference to the interests of sovereigns, and the need felt of restricting or guarding against the power of France. A blinder, a less philosophical, or a more ignorant set of statesmen than those who framed these treaties, it is difficult to conceive. The poor men took no note of the changes which had been produced during four or five hundred years of social elaboration, and supposed that they were still in full mediaeval feudalism, when people and territory could be transferred from one suzerain or one liege lord to another, without offending any political principle or any sentiment of {220} nationality. Of all legislators in the world, reactionists suddenly victorious, and not yet wholly recovered from their fright, are the worst, for they act from passion, not reason or judgment.

From the moment these treaties were published a social and political agitation began in nearly all the states of Europe. Conspiracies were everywhere, and the revolutionary spirit threatened every state and empire, and no government could stand save as upheld by armed force. Bold attempts at revolution were early made in Naples and Spain, which were defeated only by foreign intervention. Hardly a state was strong enough in the affections of its people to maintain order without the repressive weight of the Holy Alliance, invented by Madame Krudener, and effected by the Emperor Alexander and Prince Metternich. Austria dominated in the Italian peninsula, France in the Spanish, and Russia in Poland and Germany; Great Britain used all her power and influence to prevent the emancipation of the Christian populations of the East, and to uphold the tottering empire of the Turks. The Holy Father was at once protected and oppressed by the allied powers, especially by Austria; the people everywhere became alienated from both church and state, and serious-minded men, not easily alarmed, trembled with fear that European society might be on the eve of a return to barbarism and oriental despotism.

Matters grew worse and worse till there came the explosions of 1830, driving out of France the elder branch of the Bourbons, detaching Belgium from Holland, and causing the final extinction of the old and once powerful kingdom of Poland, followed by revolutions more or less successful in Spain and Portugal. Force soon triumphed for the moment, but still Europe, to use the figure so hackneyed at the time, was a smouldering volcano, till the fearful eruptions of 1848 struck well-nigh aghast the whole civilized world, and conservatives thought that the day for social order and regular authority had passed away, never to return. Anarchy seemed fixed in France, the imperial family in Austria fled to Innspruck, and the Hungarians in revolt, forming a league with the rebellions citizens of Vienna and the Italian revolution, brought the empire almost to its last gasp; the king of Prussia was imprisoned in his palace by the mob, and nearly every petty German prince was obliged to compromise with the revolutionists. All Italy was in commotion; the Holy Father was forced to seek refuge at Gaeta, and the infamous Mazzinian republic, with the filibuster Garibaldi as its general and hero, was installed in the Eternal City. Such had been the result of the repressive policy of the Holy Alliance, when Louis Napoleon was elected president of the French republic.

It is true, in 1849 the revolution was suppressed, and power reinstated in its rights in Rome, Naples, Tuscany, the Austrian dominions, Prussia, and the several German states; but everybody felt that it was only for a moment, for none of the causes of uneasiness or dissatisfaction were removed. The whole of Europe was covered over with secret societies, working in the dark, beyond the reach of the most powerful and sharp-sighted governments, and there was danger every day of a new outbreak, perhaps still more violent, and equally impotent to settle European society on a solid and permanent foundation, because the revolution was, save on its destructive side, as little in accord with its tendencies and aspirations as the Holy Alliance itself.

The cause of all this uneasiness, of this universal agitation, was not in the tyranny, despotism, or opposition of the governments, or in their disregard of the welfare of the people more hostility to them; for never in the whole history of Europe were the governments of France, Italy, Germany, and {221} Austria less despotic, less arbitrary, less respectful of the rights of person and property, less oppressive, indeed more intelligent, or more disposed to consult the welfare of the people—the French, Prussian, and Austrian systems of universal popular education proves it—than during the period from 1815 to 1848; and never in so brief a period has so much been done for the relief and elevation of the poorer and more numerous classes. The only acts of government that were or could be complained of were acts of repression, preventative or punitive, rendered necessary by the chronic conspiracy, and perfectly justifiable, if the government would protect itself, or preserve its own existence, and which, in fact, were not more arbitrary or oppressive than the acts performed in this country during the late rebellion, by both the general government and the confederate government, or than those practiced for centuries by the British government in Ireland. Nor was it owing entirely or chiefly to the native perversity of the human heart, to the impatience of restraint and subordination of the people, who were said to demand unbounded license, and determined to submit to no regular authority. Individuals may love licence and hate authority, but the people love order, and are naturally disposed to obedience, and are usually far more ready to submit to even grievous wrongs then to make an effort to right them.

The cause in France was not that the Bourbons of either branch were bad or unwise rulers, but that they retained too many feudal traditions, claimant the throne as a personal estate, and, moreover, were forced upon the nation by foreign bayonets, not restored by the free, independent will of the nation itself. Their government, however able, enlightened, and even advantageous to France, was not national; and while submitting to it, the new France that had grown up since 1789 could not feel herself an independent nation. It is probable that there is less freedom for Frenchmen in thought and speech under the present régime than there was under the Restoration or even the King of the Barricades and his parliament; but it is national, accepted by the free will of the nation, and, moreover, obliterates all traces of the old feudal distinctions and privileges of caste or class, and establishes, under the emperor, democratic equality. Individuals may be disaffected, some regretting lost privileges and distinctions, and others wishing the democracy without the emperor; but upon the whole the great body of the people are contented with it, and any attempt at a new revolution would prove a miserable failure. The secret societies may still exist, but they are not sustained by popular sympathy, and are now comparatively powerless. The socialistic theories and movements, Saint Simonism, Fourierism, Cabetism, and the like, fall into disrepute, not because suppressed by the police, but because there is no longer that general dissatisfaction with the social order that exists which originated them, and because the empire is in harmony with the tendencies of modern European society.

In Italy the cause was neither hatred of authority nor hostility to the church or her supreme pontiff, but the craving of the people, or the influential and controlling part of them, for national unity and independence. In feudal times, when France was parcelled out among feudatories, many of whom were more powerful than the king, their nominal suzerain; when Spain was held in great part by the Moors, and the rest of her territory was divided into three or four mutually independent kingdoms; when England was subject to the great vassals of the crown, rather than to the crown itself; when Germany was divided into some three hundred principalities and free cities, loosely united only under an elective emperor, with little effective power, and often a cause of division rather than a bond of union between them; {222} and when the pope, the most Italian of all the Italian sovereigns, was suzerain of a large part of Italy, and of nearly all Europe, except France, Germany, and the Eastern empire, the division of the peninsula into some half a dozen or more mutually independent republics, principalities, or kingdoms, did not deprive Italy of the rank of a great power in Europe, or prevent her from exercising often even a controlling influence in European politics, and therefore was not felt to be an evil. But when France, Spain, Austria, and Great Britain became great centralized states, and when in Switzerland, Holland, the British Isles, Scandinavia, and North Germany the rise of Protestantism had weakened the political influence of the pope, these divisions reduced Italy, which had been the foster-mother of modern civilization, and the leader of the modern nations in the arts of war and peace, in commerce and industry, in national and international law, in literature, science, architecture, music, painting, and sculpture, to a mere geographical expression, or to complete political nullity, and could not but offend the just pride of the nation. The treaties of 1815 had, besides, given over the fairest portion of the territory of the peninsula to Austria, and enabled her, by her weight as a great power, to dominate over the rest. The grand duke of Tuscany was an Austrian archduke, the king of the Two Sicilies, and even the pope as temporal prince, were little less, in fact, than vassals of the house of Hapsburg-Lorraine.

Italy felt that she was not herself, and that she could be herself and belong to herself, own herself, as our slaves used to say before they were emancipated, only by expelling Austria and her agents from Italian territory, and uniting the whole peninsula in a single state, unitarian or federative, under a single supreme national government. For this Italian patriotism everywhere sighed, agitated, conspired, rebelled, struggled, was arrested, shot, hung, imprisoned, exiled, and filled the world with its complaints, the story of its wrongs and sufferings. It was not that Italy was badly governed, but that she was not governed by herself, was governed by foreigners, or at least by governors who would not, or could not, secure her national unity and independence, without which she could not become the great European power that she aspired to be, and felt herself capable of being. The Fenians do not agitate and arm against England so much because her government in Ireland is now—whenever it may have been formerly— tyrannical and oppressive, as because it is not national, is not Irish, and offends the Irish sense of nationality, far stronger now than in the time of Strongbow or that of the confederate chieftains. Through the armed intervention of Napoleon III. in 1859, and the recent alliance with Prussia against Austria, Italy has no got what she agitated for, national unity and independence, though at the expense of great injustice to the dispossessed sovereigns, and is free to become a great European power, if she has it in her, and her chronic conspiracy is ended. She has obtained all that she was conspiring for, and is satisfied: she has gained possession of herself, and is free herself to be all that she is capable of being.

The Germans, also, were uneasy, discontented, and conspiring for the same reason. The Bund was a mockery, formed in the interest of the sovereigns, without regard to the people or the national sentiment, and in practice has tended far more to divide and weaken, than to unite and strength the German nation, both on the side of France and on that of Russia. Germany, in consequence of the changes effected in other nations, was, like Italy, reduced to a geographical expression. Austria in the south was a great power, Prussia counted for something in the north, but Germany was a political nullity. The Germans aspired to national unity, and attempted {223} to obtain it in 1848 by the reconstruction, with many wise modifications, of the old Germanic empire, suppressed by Napoleon I. in 1806, but were defeated by the mutual jealousies of Prussia and Austria, the withdrawal of the Austrian delegates from the Diet, and the refusal of the King of Prussia to accept the imperial crown offered him by the Diet, after the withdrawal of Austria. What failed to be legally and peaceably effected 1848 and 1849, has been virtually effected by Prussia in this year of grace, 1866, after a fortnight's sharp and fierce war, not because of her greatly overrated needle-gun, but because Prussia is more thoroughly German than Austria, and better represents the national sentiment.

The success of Prussia must be regards, I think, not only as breaking up the old confederation, and expelling Austria from Germany, but as really defecting German unity, or the union of all Germany in a single state. The states north of the Main, not as yet formally annexed to Prussia, and those so of that line, as yet free to form a southern confederation, will soon, perhaps, with the seven or eight millions of Germans still under Austrian rule, in all likelihood be absorbed by her, and formed into a single military state with her, and transform her from Prussia into Germany. It is most likely only a question of time, as it is only a logical sequence of what has already been effected. Austria ceases to be a German power, and must seek indemnification by developing, as Hungary rather than as Austria, eastward, and gradually absorbing Roumania, Herzegovina, Bosnia, Servia, and Bulgaria, and placing herself as an impassable barrier to the advance of Russia southward in Europe. This she may do, if wise enough to give up Germany, and to avail herself of the vast resources she still possesses; for in this she would probably be aided by Great Britain, France, and Italy—all deeply interested in preventing Russia from planting herself in Constantinople, and gaining the empire of the world. Turkey must fall, must die, and European equilibrium requires a new and powerful Eastern state, if the whole of Europe is not to become Cossack.

The independence and unity of Italy, and the union of Germany in a single state, had become political necessities, and both must be effected as the means of putting an end to what European writers call "the Revolution," and giving internal peace to European society. No doubt they have not been thus far effected without great violence to vested rights; but necessity knows no law, or is itself law, and nations never have been and never can be arrested in their purposes by vested rights, however sacred religion and morality teach us to hold them. National and popular passions can be controlled by no considerations of right or wrong. They sweep onward and away whatever would stay their progress. If the possessors of vested rights opposed to national union, independence, or development, consent to part with them at a just ransom, the nation is ready to indemnify them liberally; but if they will not consent, it will take them all the same, and without scruple.

I say not that this is right; I pretend not to justify it; I only state what all experience proves that nations do and will continue to do in spite of religion and morality. Ahab was willing to pay a round price for Naboth's vineyard, but when Naboth refused to sell it at any price, Ahab took it for nothing. But these political changes, regarded as accomplished and irrevocable facts, and setting aside the means adopted to effect them, and the vested rights violated in obtaining them, are not morally wrong, and are in no sense threatening to the future peace and progress of European society, but seem to be the only practicable means that were left of preventing it from lapsing into certain barbarism. They seem to me to have been needed to render the {224} European governments henceforth able to sustain themselves by the affections and good sense of the people, without being obliged to keep themselves armed to the teeth against them. International wars will, no doubt, continue as long as the world stands, but wars of the people against authority, or of subjects against their rulers, may now cease for a long time to come, at least in the greater part of Europe. The feudal system is everywhere either swept away, or so weakened as to be no longer able to make a serious struggle for existence; and save Ireland, Poland, and the Christian populations of the East, the European nations are formed, and are in possession of their national unity and independence. The people have reached what for ages they have been tending to, and are in possession of what, in substance, they have so long been agitating for. The new political order is fairly inaugurated, and the people have obtained their legitimate satisfaction. Whether they will be wiser or better, happier or more really prosperous, under the new order than they were under the old, we must leave to time to prove. Old men, like the writer of this, who have lived too long and seen too much to regard every change as a progress, may be permitted to retain their doubts. But changes which in themselves are not for the better, are relatively so when rendered necessary by other and previous changes.

The English and American press very generally assert that the Emperor of the French is much vexed at the turn things have taken in Germany, that he is disappointed in his expectations, and defeated in his European policy. I do not think so. The French policy since the time of Francis I. has been, indeed, to prevent the concentration and growth of any great power on the frontiers of France; as the papal policy ever since the popes were temporal sovereigns, according to Tosti in his Life and Times of Boniface VIII., has been to prevent the establishment of any great power in the immediate neighborhood of Rome. That this French policy and this papal are defeated by the turn things have taken is no doubt true, but what evidence is there that this is a defeat of Napoleon's policy, or is anything else than that he both expected and intended? When he entered on his Italian campaign against Austria in 1859, he showed clearly that he did not intend to sustain the Papal policy, for his purpose was the unity no less than the independence of Italy. He showed, also, no less clearly, that while he retained traditional French policy of humbling the house of Hapsburg, he did not intend in other respects to sustain that policy; for he must have foreseen, as the writer of this, in another place, told him at the time, that the unity of Italy would involve as its logical and necessary sequence the the unity of Germany. We can suppose him disappointed only by supposing he entertained a policy which he appears to have deliberately made up his mind to abandon, or not to adopt.

After the Italian campaign, and perhaps before, the unity of Germany was a foregone conclusion, and if effected it must be either under Austria or under Prussia. Napoleon had only to choose which it should be. And it was manifestly for the interest of France that it should be under Prussia, an almost exclusively German power, rather than under Austria, whose non-Germanic population was three times greater than her Germanic population. If the unity of Germany had been effected under Austria with her non-Germanic provinces, Germany would have constituted in central Europe a power of nearly seventy millions of people, absolutely incompatible with the European equilibrium; but if effected under Prussia, it would constitute a state of only about forty millions, not a power so large as to be dangerous to France or to the peace of Europe. France has nothing to fear from a Prussian Germany, for she is amply able to cope with her, and the first war between the two powers would restore to France her natural {225} boundaries, by giving her all the territory on the left bank of the Rhine, and thus make her commensurate with the ancient Keltica.

France is too strong in her unity, compactness, and extent, as well as in the high spirit and military genius of her people, to think of precautions against Germany. The power for her to guard against is Russia, embracing a rapidly increasing population of upward of seventy millions, and possessing one-seventh of the territory of the globe. She has no other power to fear, since Austria is separated from Germany. Prussia, capable of becoming a great maritime power, and embracing all Germany, not only rescues the smaller German states from Russian influence and intrigue, but becomes an efficient ally of France, in the west, against Russia, and far more efficient and trustworthy an ally than Great Britain, because a continental power, and more exposed to danger from the common enemy. While Prussia becomes a powerful ally in the west, Austria, by being detached from Germany, and too weak to stand without alliances, becomes a French ally in the east; and the more ready to be so, because the majority of her future population is and must be of the Slavic race.

Napoleon's policy, it seems to me, has been first, to drive Austria out of Italy and detach her from Germany, for the security of France; and then to organize pan-Germanism against pan-Slavism in the West, and an Austrian, or rather, Slavic or Hungarian Empire, embracing the Magyars and Roumans, against pan-Slavism in the East. With these two great powers, having as against Russia a common interest with France, the Emperor of the French, the ally and protector of the Latin nations, will be able to settle the terrible Eastern question without suffering Russia to receive an undue accession of territory or power, and also without the scandal of sustaining, in order to please Great Britain and save her Indian possessions, the rotten empire of the Turks, and preventing the Christian nations it holds, through the aid of the western Christian powers, in subjection, from working out their freedom and independence, rising to national dignity and influence.

Such, briefly stated, has been, I think, substantially the policy of Napoleon, since he became Emperor of the French; and the recent events in Italy and Germany so strikingly accord with it, that one cannot help believing that they have been dictated by it. It seems designed to give measurable satisfaction to the principal nationalities of Europe, as it secures undisputed preponderance to no one, and humiliates no one over much. It may, therefore, be said to be a policy of peace. It is a policy, if carried out in all its parts, that would enable France, Prussia, Italy, Austria, to isolate Russia, and at need Great Britain, from Europe; but it robs neither of any of its territory or inherent strength, and is hostile to neither, unless one or the other would encroach on the rights of others.

Will this policy be carried out and consolidated I know not. It is substantially in accordance with the tendencies of modern European society; the most difficult parts of it have already been effected, and we have seen no movement on the part of either Russia or Great Britain to assist Austria to prevent it. Napoleon had succeeded in isolating Austria from Europe, and almost from Germany, before he commenced his Italian campaign in 1859. Should Napoleon die suddenly, should Russia or Great Britain interpose to prevent Austria from expanding eastward before she has recovered from her losses in being expelled from Italy and Germany, and should France, Germany, and Italy refuse to act as her allies, or should she herself look to the recovery of what she has lost, rather than to the development of what she retains or has in prospect, the policy might fail; but these are all improbable contingencies, except the first; yet even Napoleon's death would not seriously {226} affect the unity and independence of Italy, or the unity of Germany, as much as the South Germans dislike the Prussians. This age worships strength and success.

The most doubtful part of this Napoleonic policy is the part assigned to Austria in the future; and the part the most offensive to the Catholic heart, is that which strips the Holy Father of his temporal dominions, annexes them to the kingdom of Italy, and leaves him to the tender mercy of his despoilers. The Holy Father, sustained by the general voice of the episcopacy, has said the maintenance of the temporal sovereignty is necessary to the interests of religion; but he said this when there was still hope that it might be retained, and he, of course, did not mean that it is absolutely necessary at all times and under all circumstances; because that would have made the principal depend on the accessory, and the spiritual on the temporal. Moreover, religion had existed and flourished several centuries before the popes were temporal sovereigns, and what has been may be again. Circumstances have changed since the Holy Father said this, and it is not certain that, as it is not a Catholic dogma, he would insist on it now.

Of course the change is to be deeply deplored, especially for those who have effected it; but is there any possibility, humanly speaking, of re-establishing the Holy Father in his temporal rights? I confess I can see none. It is a great loss, but perhaps some arrangement may be entered into with the new Italian power, which, after all, will enable the Holy Father still to reside at Rome, and exercise independently his functions as the spiritual chief of Christendom. Italy has more need of the pope then the pope has of Italy, and Victor Emmanuel, at worst, cannot be worse than were the Pagan and Arian Caesars. No Catholic can ever despair of the church. At present the temporal, to all human ken, seems to have triumphed over the spiritual, and politics to have carried it over religion. Yet the triumph cannot be lasting, and in some way the victory won will prove to have been a defeat. God will never forsake his church, his beloved, his bride, his beautiful one, and the Lord will not suffer Peter to sink when he walks upon the waters. Peter's bark may be violently tossed on the waves, but the very independence of the church prevents us from fearing that it will be submerged. In what way the future of the papacy will be provided for, it is not for us to determine or to suggest. We cheerfully confide in the wisdom of the Holy Father, assisted as he will be by the Holy Ghost.




{227}

From The Sixpenny Magazine.


THE SUMMER DAYS ARE GONE.


  The flowers that made the summer air
    So fragrant with their rich perfume,
  Alas! are gone, their leaves so fair
    Lie faded in their autumn tomb.

  The branches now are almost bare,
    Where summer song-birds made their homes;
  Where trees are green, where flowers are fair,
    Once more the happy birds have flown.

  To distant lands o'er sunny seas
    The songsters bright have taken wing.
  To warble on that warmer breeze
    The notes they sang to us in spring.

  Her autumn robe of red and brown
    Once more the gliding year puts on,
  And yonder sun looks colder down
    Since the bright summer days are gone.

  The stars, the glory of the night,
    Look on us still with silvery eye—
  Shine on us still as clear and bright.
    But not from out the summer sky.

  The chilly breezes of the north
    Tell us it is no longer spring,
  And winter's hand is reaching forth
    To wither every verdant thing.

  So even like the birds the flowers.
    When dearest things of life have flown.
  Then in the heart's deserted bowers
    The naked branches stand alone.

  Oh, then, alas! no breath of spring
    Can breathe the living verdure on.
  No sun will shine, no birds will sing—
    For ever is the summer gone.

  But when the heart beats high and warm.
    And kindred hearts its throbbing share.
  It heeds not winter's clouds nor storm,
    But summer tarries always there.



{228}

From The Lamp.


UNCONVICTED; OR, OLD THORNELEY'S HEIRS.


CHAPTER XII.

THE BEGINNING OF THE END.


The tidings that Old Thorneley's missing will was found fell like a thunderbolt upon Wilmot and his lawyers, Smith and Walker; and their genuine astonishment was a matter of equal surprise to me. In my own mind I had felt convinced that Lister Wilmot had had a hand in the suppression of that will; and if I hardly dared in my heart to believe him guilty of, although suspecting him at least of complicity in, the death of his uncle, I never doubted but that he knew of the existence of this last testament, and knowing it, had destroyed it. In my own mind I had, during many hours of solitary reflection, of the most scrutinizing study of every fact and circumstance connected with all these past events, arrived at a conclusion that some unknown link united Maria Haag and Lister Wilmot together, and that the double mystery of the murder and the lost will lay buried secret in their hearts. But there was no mistaking the undisguised and overwhelming amazement with which he received the communication of Merrivale and myself. We made it in person to him before Smith and Walker; and I can only say that his manner of receiving it exonerated him at once in my eyes from suspicion of his having had anything to do with the theft or concealment of that will.

Of course on either side legal proceedings were commenced: Merrivale on the part of Hugh Atherton undertaking to prove the genuineness of the recovered document; Smith and Walker for Lister Wilmot endeavoring to repudiate it. In less than a week they were all "hard at it." Meanwhile, the will, as stolen property found by the police, was lodged with them; meanwhile, Inspector Keene had once more disappeared, and this time we all knew that the purport of his absence was the apprehension of Mrs. Haag; meanwhile, the heir to all this mine of disputed wealth played with his childish toys, laughed his crazy laugh, and jabbered his idiot nonsense, without the ray of intelligence crossing his for witless brain; meanwhile, Hugh Atherton roamed far over the broad treacherous ocean—an exile and a wanderer, the victim of a cruel and shameless plot—ignorant of the brave loving heart that was following him so near, all of the tender eyes, the faithful hand, that would bid him welcome on that foreign shore.

Unwilling as I was to leave London just then, where my presence was at any moment necessary, the affairs of one of my best and oldest clients summoned me to Liverpool for a couple of days, and I took a return-ticket thither from the Saturday to the Monday after that last memorable visit from Inspector Keene. Who shall ever dare to doubt the special Providence ordering and overruling every event, every circumstance of our lives, however trivial and unimportant they may seen at the moment of their occurrence? That journey of mine, which outwardly had not the smallest bearing or reference to the story I am telling, was in reality the beginning of the end.

Travelling by an early training, I arrived in Liverpool about three o'clock. After engaging a bed at a hotel near the station, and refreshing my inner man, I set off immediately on the business {229} which had brought me thither. This lay asked some of the great shipping offices in Tower Buildings, close to the docks. Coming out of one, I noticed a man following me. Suddenly my arm was touched, and looking round I saw Inspector Keene.

"God bless me! Who'd have thought of seeing you here?"

"And who'd have thought of seeing you, sir? I don't suppose you ever expected it would be so, Mr. Kavanagh, but you and I have hunted the fox together, and now you and I will be in at the death."

"You mean to say you have traced the housekeeper?"

"That's just precisely what I do mean, sir."

"Where is she?"

"Not a stone's throw from here."

"And you have her in charge?"

"Not yet, sir, not yet. I have but just obtained a warrant for her apprehension from the sitting magistrate, and I am on my way now to announce the agreeable tidings to her."

"Had you trouble in tracking her?"

"An awful deal, sir. She was all but gone; her passage taken to America, and the vessel is to sail to-night. The news of my finding the will must have reached led her in Lincolnshire, for I've followed her across the country here; and then I lost sight of her, and only found her trail this morning. But she's safe now; the house is watched on all sides. Strange enough, sir," said the inspector, lowering his voice, "there's been another after her too."

"Another man?"

"Yes, sir. I've caught sight of him from time to time, dodging and watching and following her as cute and as silently as any of us; and if his name isn't Bradley, well, mine isn't Keene, and I'm not one of her majesty's detective officers."

"Shall I go with you, Keene?"

"Do, sir; it may be like a satisfaction to you to see the end of it."

We turned into a by-street, narrow, ill-paved, and dark, where the houses were high and overhanging, and fashioned like those in little obscure foreign towns, that nearly meet overhead. Before the door of one a policeman stood, apparently engaged only in his ordinary duty of looking up and down the street; but from a glance of intelligence that passed between them I knew he was on special service—the special service being to watch that identical house. The door opened by a simple latch, and the inspector's hand was on it, when the policeman stepped back, and whispered to him. Keene paused for a moment, and then turned to me. "He is in there;" and I knew he meant the man who was likewise following Mrs. Haag—the man Bradley.

"Follow us," said the detective to the officer on duty; and opening the door, we passed down a narrow dark passage and proceeded up the stairs, quietly, stealthily. We had gained the first landing, and Inspector Keene's foot was on the stair to ascend the second flight, when a loud, piercing cry broke upon the stillness—the cry of agony. In a moment we had cleared the stairs and stood before a door on the left. Keene turned the handle. It was fastened from inside.

He shook it with a strength I had not thought he possessed, and demanded admission. There was no answer. Again it rattled on its hinges, and I thought it would be too weak to resist my strength. "Give way, Keene!" I cried; "I can break it in;" and retreating to the further end of the landing, I ran and brought my whole weight to bear against it. Useless! Another weight was strengthening it on the inside. And then a shriek yet more piercing, more agonized than before rang through the house, and footsteps were heard from below and above of people hurrying to the spot. We once more strained at the door. O God! would it never give way? I turned to the policeman. "You ought to be powerful; let us both run together." I felt a giant's strength within me; and as our feet crashed against the wood it bunt open, {230} and we were precipitated into the room, almost falling over the body of Mrs. Haag, prostrate on the ground, weltering in a great pool of blood. A large clasp-knife lay beside her, red up to the very hilt; and by the window, with his arms folded, stood a man of large, heavy build, with dark gipsy features and lowering brow—a man who in the prime of youth might have been of comely form and handsome countenance, but who now, with the wear of more than fifty years' familiarity with crime and evil, bore more indelibly printed in his face the felon and the convict than ever the mark branded, but hidden, upon his shoulder could betray. With one glance at the miserable woman lying on the floor, the inspector sprang toward the man, who stood motionless, and staring at the body of his victim, and laying his hand on his arm he said, "Robert Bradley, I arrest you for this attempt to murder your wife, and for unlawful escape from penal servitude." No expression crossed the man's face—only the same dull, stony gaze.

"Do you hear?" said Keene, giving him a little shake; "and say nothing to criminate yourself now." There was no answer. "Policemen, do your duty:" and two advanced from the crowd now gathered in the room and on the stairs. They slipped the handcuffs on his unresisting hands, and then proceeded to lead him away. Meanwhile I had knelt down beside the unfortunate woman, and was feeling her heart and pulse. She still lived. "Send for a surgeon instantly," I cried; and a dozen of the lookers-on instantly scampered off to do my bidding. Then, with one cry of anguish, the prisoner burst from his captors and flung himself down beside the woman he had murdered. He raised his manacled hands, and tried to draw her head toward him and pillow it on his breast.

"O Molly, Molly, I've killed thee; I've killed thee!" There was a faint moan. "She's my wife, gentlemen; before God, she's my wife. I wanted her to come away with me and let us hide together, for we've both done bad enough; but she wouldn't—she bade me begone: she spoke so harshly, she looked so cruelly with her cold eyes—and I was mad, mad—and I struck her. Molly, Molly!"

With difficulty he was torn away, dragged out of the room and borne off by the police; then we lifted the almost lifeless body of his wife and laid her on the bed. How far she had been injured I knew not as yet; but something within seemed to tell me she had received her death-wound. I said as much to Inspector Keene when the room was cleared a little from the crowd, and he, I, and one or to women, who said they lived in the house, only remained. In less then a quarter of an hour two surgeons were on the spot, and we left them with the woman to make the necessary examination.

"This is indeed being 'in at the death,'" I said to the inspector as we stood outside.

"Yes, sir; yes. And I have been a consummate fool not to have foreseen what would happen." I saw he was looking unusually pale and agitated.

"How could you help it?" I asked.

"I ought to have given orders not to have allowed him to go into the house. I made over-sure of all being right."

"Depend upon it, Keene," I replied, "neither you nor any one else could have warded off what was to be. Another and a mightier hand than any human one has been in this. We may not question God's providence."

The inspector was silent. He could not get over it.

"If the worst comes to the worst," I said, "we must be ready to have her confession taken down. Surely she will speak at the last."

"Not if I judge her rightly, sir; she will make no sign now."

"Nay, I trust she will. If what we guess at is true, it is too terrible to think she will die with that upon her soul."

{231}

"She is a Catholic, sir, I believe; she'll tell her priest, but what use is that to us?"

"If she does that, there will be no fear."

Keene shook his head despairingly. "I never made such a mull in my life before."

Just then one of the surgeons came out. We both eagerly turned to him with the same question: "Will she die?"

"Who can tell? While there is life there is hope. The wounds are very dangerous ones. There is little chance for her; still there is a chance. I am going now for instruments and dressings to my house close by. She ought to be in the hospital, but we dare not remove her. The sole hope is in staunching the bleeding; it has stopped for the moment, but the least motion will cause it to break out afresh. Who knows anything of her? who is responsible in the matter? We have heard no particulars as yet."

Keene explained in a few words all that was necessary.

"Can you tell me where to find the nearest Catholic priest?" I asked him as he went away.

"In the next street to this there is a small chapel. I know the priest attached, and excellent man, though he is a papist. Pardon me; perhaps you are the Catholic?"

For the hot blood had rushed to my brow involuntarily, not for the man's words, but at the grave thoughts which passed through my mind—the hope, the fear of what those ministrations I was going to seek would do for the wretched woman lying in that room.

"I am a Catholic," I said briefly; "but say anything you like, I don't mind. I'll come out with you, and you'll show me the way to find this priest."

I found and brought him—Father Maurice. He was a man who had grown old and grey in the care of souls, who had stood by many a death-bed, had been called to witness the penitence of many a dying sinner; never had his services been more needed than now. On our road I briefly related to him the circumstances, and all I knew of the poor creature to whose side he was hastening.

When we arrived, they told us she had been conscious for a few moments, but was now again insensible; that during that lucid interval she had murmured a name which sounded like Wilmot. "Send for Mr. Wilmot," the doctor had understood her to say. Keene and I looked at each other.

"Telegraph for him," I said.

"Would he come, sir, do you think?"

"Telegraph in Mrs. Haag's name. Simply say, 'Danger; come immediately.' That may bring him. He will get it in time to catch the night-mail."

Keene departed.

The room opposite the one where the injured woman lay was vacant, and I took possession of it, knowing that the inspector would station himself on the spot. Presently the two surgeons came in, and conferred together for some minutes in low tones. Then they turned to me and to the priest, who waited there likewise.

"We have probed and dressed the wounds, but she lies perfectly unconscious at present; two nursing sisters from the hospital have been sent for to take charge of her, and it will be necessary for one of us to remain here during the night. There is just a hope and no more. What we have most to fear is internal haemorrhage. She may probably linger out the night, or even a day or two, in the event of no favorable change taking place. But her state is most critical."

"I shall go home and make arrangements for remaining here during the evening and night, if it is necessary," said Father Maurice in his quiet, determined way.

I expressed my thanks.

"There is no need," he said; "if all is well in the end, I shall have my reward."

{232}

When Inspector Keene returned he told me he had dated the telegram from my hotel, and that it would be best for me to return there by and by, and await the arrival of the night train. It was then between six and seven o'clock.

How that long evening passed I know not. There we sat, we three men—Inspector Keene, Father Maurice, and I—saying very little to one another, and the prevailing silence only broken by the low whispering sounds of the priest as he said his office, and the hushed footsteps of the surgeon, who remained coming in and out from time to time.

Oh! would she ever wake from that terrible unconsciousness? would no power of mind, no strength of body, no grace of soul ever be given her to unlock all the dark secrets of her heart, to clear the innocent and proclaim the guilty? Must she go down to her grave without one act of sorrow, unshrived, uncleansed, without a moment in which to make reparation for the terrible past, for all that world of shame and suffering that had fallen so crushingly upon guiltless heads?

It was just upon ten o'clock, and I was preparing to leave for my hotel, when Mr. Lovell, the surgeon, came in and beckoned to Father Maurice. They left the room together, and soon the surgeon and the two nurses came in. The former stooped down and whispered to me, "She asked to have a priest sent for, and I told her one was here. It seemed a relief to her. She has not been conscious more than five minutes."

The inspector looked across at me with an inquiring glance. I think he had grown suspicious of me, and feared I was conniving at some concealment about her confession.

"As soon as my prisoner" (laying a stress on the word ) "comes to her senses, sir, I ought to be told. There's something to be got out of her before she gives us the slip, and I'll have no interference in the matter." The inspector spoke roughly. I took him aside.

"Keene, if you ever want to get at the bottom of what lies on that wretched woman's soul, believe me we have taken the best means to attain that object in allowing her to see Father Maurice."

"But he won't tell what she's said, bless you; I've seen them imprisoned for it. Not a word, Mr. Kavanagh, not a syllable, sir, shall we here?"

"Very likely not from him. But he will make her tell."

The inspector stared at me with a cynical smile on his lips.

I continued: "Do you think I have no interest in wishing to probe that woman's soul, in longing—ay, with a longing you cannot understand—to know who committed that black crime which has robbed me of my dearest friend? Man, what is there at stake with you in comparison with him who has been driven from his fatherland and his home? What is your little professional vanity to compare with what he has lost—name, fame, position—everything most dear to him save one?"

"God bless you, sir, and you're right!" said the little man, wringing my hand; "and you'll please to excuse me. For hang me but I think I'm jealous of those priests. They seem to ferret out in one talk what it costs us detectives days and nights to hunt for, and puts us on our wits' ends. And one ain't a bit the wiser for it after all; they do keep it snug, to be sure. I'd give much to know their dodge."

"Ah, inspector, it's a 'dodge' neither you nor I possess. But leave this in God's hands. If there is anything that ought to be made known publicly, it will be known."

In a quarter of an hour Mr. Lovell went into the sick-room, and soon after Father Maurice came back to us. It was curious to see the suspicious glance which Keene cast upon him.

"I have warned her of her state," said the priest. "She seems to wish to make a statement to some proper person; Mr. Lovell advises that she should be allowed some rest now. Of course you will judge of what is best to be done, having the poor woman under your charge;" and he looked across at the inspector.

{233}

Keene colored up and shuffled his feet. "Of course it's as you and the other gentlemen think proper, sir," he said; then plucking up his courage, "There's a deal she's got to tell which ought to be known in proper quarters, though I know that gents in your profession ain't fond of letting on what they hear. But I'm responsible in this instance to government, sir; and I hope you'll remember it."

"Just so," said the priest coolly, but with an amused smile; "and it is in the presence of lawful authority, or proper witnesses, that she must make her statement, or, as you would call it, confession."

Inspector Keene was shut up. "Never heard tell of such a thing in all my life," I heard him mutter to himself; "this one can't be a Roman."

I waited for another report from the surgeon before leaving; and when he came in he said she had rallied a good deal, and that he thought no further change for worse would take place during the night; so I left, desiring that I should be sent for if anything did occur. The mail was due at half-past three in the morning, and there was all the probability of Wilmot travelling by it if the telegram had reached him in time. I determined to sit up and meet the train at the station.

At a little after three I was on the platform, pacing up and down in the chilly air of the early morning; the stars shone through the glazed roofing, and the moonlight mingled cold and pale with the flaring gas. Save a drowsy official here and there, I was alone—alone waiting for mine enemy. And yet but little of enmity stirred my heart in that still hour—only pity, deep unutterable pity. I had never liked Lister Wilmot much, even in old times; and of late—well, what need to think of it, though his sins had been great? But somehow the remembrance of past days stole over me—days when he and Hugh and I had been young; of pleasant hours passed together in social intercourse, of merry-meetings, and all the joyousness of young men's lives. Yes, even with the thought of Hugh Atherton before me, I felt softened toward the wretched man for whom I waited then. Shame, disgrace, and ignominy were awaiting him, and I was to lead him to it. After all he was a fellow-man, though he had disgraced his manhood. At last, with a whistle and a shriek, the train rushed into the station. I ran my eye along the line of first-class carriages, and presently saw a slight figure with fair hair alight on the platform. In a moment I stood before Lister Wilmot, and I never can forget the unearthly color which overspread his face as his eye fell on me. Had he been armed, my life had not been worth much in that moment.

"You here!" he hissed between his teeth.

"Yes, Mr. Wilmot; I am here to meet you."

"Then you sent that telegram, curse you!"

"No, not I, but Inspector Keene. Some one is dying, and has need of you." Perhaps my solemn face revealed something to him of the truth, for a change passed over his countenance.

"Who is it?" he asked with white, quivering lips.

"Mrs. Haag."

He threw up his arms wildly above his head. "Dying! O my God!" Then, turning to me, "How was it?" he asked.

I hesitated for a moment in pity. "She met with an accident," I said at last, not daring to tell him more at once.

"Where is she?"

It never seemed to occur to him that it was strange I should be there; the one piece of news I had imparted had stunned him with its shock.

{234}

"I will take you to her," I answered, and putting my arm in his, led him off to a cab in waiting. He never spoke all the while we drove to the house in Cross street, where the housekeeper lay, and when we got down suffered me to lead him up-stairs like a child. Inspector Keene met us at the door.

"I'm thankful you've come, sir; Mr. Lovell sent off a message to the hotel half an hour ago. The priest is with her."

"How is she?" uttered Wilmot in hollow tones.

Keene answered: "There's been a change; I don't know more. She has asked again for you," turning to Wilmot.

Mr. Lovell came in.

"Is this the gentleman, Mr. Wilmot?" he asked.

"Yes," I replied.

"Then whatever she wants to say had better be said now."

Inspector Keene touched me on the arm.

"You must take it down in writing, sir; here's pen, ink, and paper. You, Mr. Lovell, and I must sign it."

"Yes, yes. I will"

And we entered the room.

The housekeeper's face was turned from us when we came in. One hand lay outside on the coverlet—that white, well-formed hand, that looked more like a lady's than a servant's.

At the foot of the bed stood Father Maurice, and a nurse was bending over the prostrate form and wiping the moisture from the brow. She must have heard us enter, for she looked round, pale, ghastly, in the wretched light of the fire and candles. The surgeon went first, then Inspector Keene, then I and Wilmot. She marked each one as we approached the bed, eagerly, wistfully. At first Wilmot shrank behind me, and my tall frame hid him from view. Her lips moved.

"Where is he?" I heard her murmur. "Where is Lister Wilmot?"

The surgeon approached her with a glass.

"You must drink this; it will give you strength to speak."

He lifted her head, and she swallowed it; then turned her face once more toward us.

"Lister, are you there?"

He stood forward, but did not go near her.

"I am here."

She gave a low moaning cry.

Father Maurice went to her.

"Say what you have to say now, my poor sister, and make your peace with God."

"Raise me up a little," she said to the surgeon; and they lifted her a little on the pillow. Then in low broken tones, with many a pause for strength and breath, with the dews of death standing upon her pallid brow, with the vision of life and judgment to come nearing her moment by moment in the presence of us all, Maria Haag made the confession of her life.


CHAPTER XIII

THE HOUSEKEEPER'S CONFESSION.


"They tell me I am a dying woman; and though I feel as I never felt before, I can hardly realize it. I never thought to bring myself to save the words I am going to say, to tell the story I am going to tell. All my life long I have been a wicked woman. I don't ask your pity—I do not want it; and if you now feel pitiful, seeing me lie here, when you have heard all, you will turn from me with loathing and spurn the miserable creature before you. No, I never thought it would come to this—that I should wish to tell out the sins of my life. But I have listened to words this night that I have not heard since the days of my childhood, from the lips of that good man, and they have done what nothing else could do. I could fancy myself a child once more, kneeling at my mother's knee and saying the 'Our Father;' lisping the prayers I have never dared to teach my child. My child! O God, {235} will he not curse his mother, knowing what she is, and what she has made him? My child, who will rise up in judgment against me at the last day, because in loving him I have worked his ruin! Better he had died, my fair-haired boy, nestling his baby head against my breast, cooing his baby cry in my ear, than live to be what I have made him. Better far we both had perished—mother and son—and been buried in one grave; the angels would not have veiled their faces then as they veil them now. Life and strength are ebbing fast, fast from me; and if I want to say all that I have to say—all the crushing load of guilty knowledge that lies upon my soul—I must hasten on. Lift me up a little more—it is hard to get breath—and turn my face from the light, sister. I can bear it better when it is dark. I go back to the beginning. One is standing there who has a right to know all I have to tell."

"I am a Belgian by birth, a native of Antwerp. My father was clerk in the custom-house there, and I was his only child. He and my mother lavished their love and their all upon me, and I received a very good education. At seventeen I met Robert Bradley; he was mate on board an English merchant-vessel. My parents looked down on him, but he loved me, and soon my heart was bent on him. We ran away together and were married at Plymouth. I never saw father nor mother nor my native place again. They died soon after; I broke their hearts. A year after our marriage my baby was born: it was the first joy unmixed with pain I had known since I left Antwerp when the boy was placed in my arms; it was the last I was ever to have. Six months after his birth Robert got into trouble; trouble that brought him in danger of the law. His employers dismissed him, and we were fated to quit Plymouth, where I had lived since our marriage whilst he was at sea. The little savings Robert had put by were soon gone, like his character, and we had to tramp, tramp, till we came to London. There he got temporary employment on the river; but he was changed. He was no longer like the Robert of old days, the man I had loved and for whom I had forsaken everything. Poverty pinched us very sorely; but if he had been what he was when I first knew him I would have minded nothing. But he degraded me, and I felt he would degrade my child. It was all I cared for now—my little boy; let him remember that. Oh! let him remember it, that he was all I loved and cared for! For more than a year we struggled on through misery untold. Robert drank terribly, and this vice brought out the coarseness of his nature, the low habits he had contracted amongst his seafaring associates. At last, when it came to seeing my boy wanting bread, I could bear it no longer; and one day I left the wretched hole where we lived, and with the child in my arms walked away from London. Miles away I wandered beyond the Surrey hills, with a little money in my pocket and my best and only gown on my back, lying down to rest in the sweet hay-fields or by the woodside, for it was summer-time, till at last one early morning I reached a little village, and sought rest and shelter at a small farmhouse. I found both, and I likewise found friends—or rather my child did. He was fair and winning with his baby beauty, and the mistress of the house took to him, having just lost hers. I stopped some months, helping her in all her household duties, for I was very thrifty and handy, and I earned my own bread and the boy's. But his future troubled me. I wanted money to educate him, to set him forward in life; and I determined to go into regular service. When my friends heard of this they offered to take charge of my little one, whom they loved as if he had been their own. So it happened that when I came across an advertisement for a married woman to take charge of a city merchant's house in London and act as housekeeper to him, I answered it. I referred to the people I lived {236} with and to the clergyman of the parish, and finally was engaged by Mr. Gilbert Thorneley. Perhaps the low wages I asked induced him to take me; perhaps having seen me, his keen shrewdness detected there was a story that was mine, and so could trade upon it and grind me down. Anyhow I entered his service in the spring of 1832. Of my husband up to that time I had heard nothing. I assumed my maiden name, and carefully concealed every clue to finding either myself or my child. The kind people who had taken charge of the boy were named Wilmot. He was christened Robert; but they gave him the name their dead child had borne, and he went by the name of 'Lister Wilmot.' I made no objection; it helped to conceal him from his father."

There was the movement of a violent shiver in the form that stood next to me, and a low muttered sound; I did not catch the words, but the dying woman must have heard something, for she paused and half turned her head, as if listening. Then after a moment she continued her narration:

"I have no need to describe to you Gilbert Thorneley's character. What right have I now, with death so close to me, to malign the dead! And yet I must tell, because it is part of the burden I am laying down, all the hatred, the contempt I felt for him as I got to know his meanness, his low cunning, his niggardly ways. The clerks he kept on miserable salaries, the workmen he employed and ground down to the uttermost farthing, all knew and told me of the heaps of wealth that were flowing into his coffers; how sum upon sum accumulated in his hands; and how his name was a byword and a proverb for a rich and prosperous man. And one hundredth part of that wealth had bought me the only joy I ever craved now—union with my child, and security for his future! I brooded over this in long lonely hours, brooded until I grew mad, until Satan entered into me, and I turned my face from God. Just at this time my master was away from home for many weeks. I did not know where he went, or on what business; but on his return he made two announcements to me: first, that he had bought a house and estate in Lincolnshire; and secondly, that he was going to be married. I replied I supposed he would now no longer want my services. To my surprise and dismay, he answered me by saying he should require me to go down to his new house and act there as housekeeper. He added he had discovered all about me, where my child was, and the whole story of my husband; that I was now in his power; if I would serve him faithfully I should never want for money, and that my boy should be forwarded in life. If I refused, he would make everything known, and put Robert on my track. I consented to remain in his service, and to do all that he required.

"I went down shortly into Lincolnshire to the Grange; and there he brought home his young bride. By this time I had got to know many of his secrets. I had sold myself to him and he paid me; handsomely enough for him, considering the miser that he was. His wife was not happy—how could she be? She was kept shut up in that dismal Grange from month to month, without a soul to speak to save him or me. He did not want her, he wanted her fortune. That has been told before. To spy upon her, to watch her, was my office down in those dreary fens; to walk with her, to attend her in her drives, never to lose sight of her except when with him. If she had liked me, if she had shown any kindness to me, I would have been her friend, and shielded her from the tyrant whom she called husband. But she treated me with haughtiness—undisguised contempt; me, who had her in my power. I have hot blood and passions in me, cold and phlegmatic as I seem; and she roused the passion of hatred within me. During my residence in Lincolnshire, my husband traced me out through an accidental circumstance. We had one interview. {237} He entreated me to return to him; but I would not. He threatened to keep and eye on me, to watch me. I dared him to it. Afterward I found that I had been foolish to brave him. A year after her marriage Mrs. Thorneley bore her first child; but before that an event occurred which influenced and sealed her fate. I detected her in two stolen interviews with a cousin of hers, an officer in the army. My master believed that when her aunt died she had no living relative left. I bear witness now that nothing passed at those interviews that all the world might not have heard; but I used my knowledge of them with Mr. Thorneley. I have said before he wanted her money and not her, and this cousin turning up frightened him. He accused her of all that was most shameful, egged on by me. I was the richer for it. I had now a goodly sum put by for my boy. Then the heir was born; a weakly, puling child. You know what he grew up to be—an idiot. Mrs. Thorneley was very ill; I knew her husband did not wish for her recovery. I did not suspect he absolutely wished her death. At last she died—suddenly. Only he and I were in the room, I was that 'other person' spoken of by him to Mr. Kavanagh. She died by prussic acid administered to her by him; and I discovered it. Henceforth he was in my power, not I in his. I kept silence, and the matter was hushed up with money.

"The baby was left to be nursed at the Grange; and my master and I returned to town. Once more I settled down to my old duties in the city house, bearing in my breast the knowledge of my master's fearful secret. All sense of right and wrong, all conscience, was deadened within me; the secret was mine—mine to turn into gold and riches for my child. I went down to visit him at the farm in Surrey; and as I pressed him in my arms I whispered to him of what he should be—a grand, rich gentleman.

"Two years after this time my masters widowed sister, Mrs. Atherton, died; and he adopted her only child, Hugh. I saw that this would prove either an aid or an obstacle to my plans. Very little, I found, was known about Mr. Thorneley's family; he had come to London as a lad, from a distant part of England. One evening I sought him, and opened my scheme to him. I had him in my power, terribly, irremediably; and he consented to it. I was to bring my boy away from Surrey, and he would adopt and bring him up as the child of another sister, with his nephew, Hugh Atherton. He was to retain the name of Lister Wilmot.

"Excepting during occasional hasty visits to the Grange, Mr. Thorneley never saw his son and heir. The child had been born an idiot; that he would ever be otherwise was hopeless.

"I went down to the little farm and brought away my boy—my little Robert. For two years he had never seen me, and had forgotten his mother. I brought him away from his friends, from all the pure, simple influence that surrounded him there, from the innocent joys of country life, from the wholesome atmosphere of honest toil and labor—brought him up to dwell in the abode of one whose hands were dyed with crime, brought him within the baleful influence of his mother's teaching. Too late now—too late; but as I see it all at this moment, it had been better to beg, better to die, than have brought him within the shadow of that man's gold.

"Once more my husband burst upon me. He was jealous, he said, jealous of my master, and he insisted upon knowing where his child was. With false promises I got rid of him. It was late in the evening when he came and went. He had a companion with him—an ill-looking Irishman, named Sullivan. That night the house was broken into. Being roused, I surprised one of the burglars retreating; he was the image of my husband, and yet it was not he, I felt convinced. But it gave me an idea. If I could swear to him and he were taken, he would be transported, and I should be free from {238} him, at least for a time. I helped Inspector Keene to detect him by means of anonymous letters, and then swore to his identity. He was condemned and sentenced to twenty years' penal servitude. I have not much more to tell, up to last October.

"The two boys grew up together into young men—one the real, the other the pretended nephew of Mr. Thorneley—and as his joint heirs. Of his own son nothing was seen, nothing heard; he might have been dead, but that I knew he was not. If Lister Wilmot had only succeeded to one-half of Gilbert Thorneley's fortune his future would have been amply, brilliantly provided for. I coveted more for my son; he coveted more for himself. In those days he never knew I was his mother; but I had tended him when a child, and he used to confide in me. It was the only sweetness I ever tasted amidst the cup of bitterness I had prepared myself. He was proud and ambitious; I dared not tell him who he was. So he grew up in ignorance of our relative positions—he, the reputed nephew and joint heir of the richest man in England; I, his mother, that man's housekeeper and servant. He confided in me; and shortly after Mr. Hugh Atherton's engagement to Miss Leslie, I wormed from him that he too loved her. This and some money difficulties he got into at that time were harassing him sorely. I could not see my boy suffer and not try to help him—I could not see him thwarted in his love; and one day I went to his chambers and told him I possessed a secret of his uncle's, and would use it in his favor. He then said how jealous he was of his cousin, how fearful he felt lest Atherton, being Thorneley's favorite nephew, should at last be left sole heir. That evening I once more sought my master; and using all the power I had over him, extorted from him an oath that, with the exception of a nominal sum left to Mr. Atherton, a will in favor of my son as his sole heir should be made on the morrow. This was done. That will was read on the day of the funeral. After making it my master never seemed well or at ease; and day by day, hour by hour, I watched him in fear and dread lest he should revoke it. We were both hurried on mysteriously to our fate.

"On the 23d of October last Mr. Thorneley received a visit from Mr. John Kavanagh in Wimpole street. I misdoubted the object of the interview; watched, listened, and overheard in great part what took place. The sending for the two men servants, and their saying on returning to the kitchen that they had been signing their names to something which looked like a will, confirmed my suspicious. Then the devil once more entered into my soul. What! after all my toil, my watching, my sufferings; after having bartered my salvation for this mess of pottage, should my boy be cast adrift upon the world when the old man died, and not inherit a penny of the money he had been taught to consider rightfully as his own? Never. Perish rather and die. Die! The word haunted my brain and rang in my years—die! Who should die but he, the old miser? Then a terrible resolve got possession of me, and I dressed myself and went out. The history of that evening is known to you all. I was the woman who met Mr. Kavanagh Vere street; I was the women who entered the chemist's shop and the poison; I was the woman who sent the money to James Ball and bade him not identify me. I saw the meeting between Mr. Atherton, whom I hated, and Mr. Kavanagh, whom I hated also, because he was his friend. I heard the whole of their conversation and then the future opened out to me, lighted by the flames of hell. I went home; and scarcely had I arrived when first Lister came, and then Hugh Atherton. I heard them talking together; I heard my son say he trouble about money, and that he was going to ask for some. That was well. I had poisoned the old man's mind, and told him days before that Atherton was leading Lister into extravagance; that {239} only my son had gained Miss Leslie's affections, he should never have come upon Mr. Thorneley's for a son. He was irritated against his nephew; this evening was the crisis. What I have related explains his words to Mr. Atherton.

"At nine o'clock I took up his usual refreshment. Ale was poured out in a glass, and into the ale poured out I emptied the paper of strychnine bought at the chemist's. Strangely enough, I did it unobserved by Barker. He little thought there was need to watch me. Strangely, too, Mr. Atherton never noticed that I spoke to Lister as I left the study. I said to him in a low voice: 'Don't give your uncle his ale to-night; let him get it himself'.' The results were what I foresaw. Lister never stirred, and Mr. Atherton handed the glass to his uncle. I put the paper in the pocket of Mr. Atherton's overcoat as I passed through the hall on my way down.

"In the night I went into the dead man's room, took his keys, sought and found the will in the escritoire in his study. Mine were the footsteps heard on the stairs by the cook. I took the will and concealed it up in my bedroom, effectually as I thought; but it seems not. This is the history of that night of the 23d of October last; this is the mystery of Gilbert Thorneley's death. He was murdered by me."

The feeble voice ceased, and the weary head sank lower upon the hello. We thought the end had come, and both priest and surgeon hastened to the dying woman's side. But it was not so; her task was not yet done. After an interval of many minutes she rallied again. Whilst she had spoken Wilmot gave no sign, save that one shuddering movement. I had rapidly taken down her confession in shorthand, standing just as we had entered, grouped at a little distance from the bed; and when she was silent I looked round at her son beside me. There he stood with his arms folded, motionless and rigid, his eyes fixed on the ground, his lips drawn tightly together, set and firm, and a dark heavy frown upon his brow. His face was deadly pale. "God move his heart," I inwardly prayed as I looked at him; for it was like gazing on a block of granite. Presently I heard Father Maurice say to her, "Are you able to speak without pain? You have said all that is necessary."

"No, no!" she replied, "not all;" and turned her face, on which the shadow of death was gathering fast, toward us once more. How long she had been unburdening her soul we had taken no count, and the grey dawn was stealing in at the window as she spoke again. It was opposite the bed.

"Will you undraw that curtain, sister?" she said; "I should like to look once more upon the sky before I die. It is very long since I dared to lift my face to it without dread; there seemed to be an eye looking down upon me with such terrible anger. It is gone now, the great fear. Can this be peace that is stealing over me? Peace for such as I?"

Father Maurice stooped down and spoke to her in a low tone, and I saw her hands fold together and her lips move. In a few moments she spoke once more. Her mind was wandering. "Robert! where is my boy?" and she started forward. "It is growing dark; why doesn't he come? Lister!"

Oh! the anguished longing of that cry, as if the mother's heart went out and broke with yearning! Would he, could he resist that appeal? "Mother!" I saw a wild movement beside me, and a figure rushed forward and flung himself on his knees by the bed. I saw him encircle the dying woman in his arms and press his lips passionately to hers. She laid her hands round his neck and smoothed his face, just as if he had been a child. "Robert, my little Robert!" The intervening years had passed away to her mind; the memory of crime and sin {240} was taken from her, and only the consciousness of her child's presence was with her. "Forgiveness!" we heard her murmur; and she drew her son's head yet closer to her breast. Then there was a dead stillness. Once more the surgeon approached and touched Lister Wilmot on the shoulder. He raised his head a little, and the arms that clung round his neck fell powerless on the coverlet.

"She has fainted," said Mr. Lovell. Lister knelt on whilst restoratives were being applied, with his face buried in his hands. After a while consciousness came back; her eyes opened, and lighted up with a gleam of ineffable joy as they fell upon her son's bent head. She passed her hand caressingly over his hair, and then let it rest upon his shoulder.

"This is more than I deserved," she said; and her voice was fainter than when last she had spoken. "I ought not to have such happiness as this. Are you there, Mr. Kavanagh?"

"Yes, I am here;" and I went up to the bedside.

"I have done grievous wrong to your friend Mr. Atherton. Can you, can he forgive me?"

I told her yes, freely from my heart, and I knew I might say so from him. She moved her hand restlessly over Wilmot's hair, and a momentary look of trouble crossed her face.

I asked her if she had anything else to say to me; not to fear. That I prayed the Almighty Father to forgive her, even as I forgave any trouble she had caused me.

"My son, my poor boy! What will be done to him? He is innocent of the crimes I have revealed—innocent of the murder, innocent about the will."

Then a broken, hollow voice answered, "No, mother—not entirely. I suspected there was something wrong, but the temptation to profit by it was too strong."

She looked more troubled; and I thought she glanced at me piteously, imploringly.

"Do not let that disturb you. You may trust Atherton. Nothing will be done against your son. Die in peace."

"Robert, don't kill me! I have not got him here. He is safe. Little Robert, little baby! kiss me, kiss poor mother. It is very dark. I cannot see him;" and the poor hands wandered over the coverlet. We drew near, and the low solemn tones of the priest were heard saying the prayers for the dying. The red streaks of early morning shed their faint glow on the dying woman's face; her lips moved, and Wilmot passing his arm beneath her head, raised her a little on his shoulder; she stole her arm up round his neck, and we heard the words, "Forgive! Mercy!" There was a long struggling sigh, a gasp for breath; the blue-grey eyes opened once more and looked toward the eastern sky, then closed in death.


CHAPTER XIV.

EXEUNT OMNES.


This story which I have then telling, acted now long years ago, was wearing to an end. The unfortunate housekeeper's confession cleared up almost entirely what had mystified and baffled our inquiries for so many months; and, standing beside his mothers bier—the mother who had loved him all too well for her peace—Lister Wilmot, in the depth of his humiliation and the grief which the tide of natural affection, so recently aroused within him, had wakened, added what little was wanting to throw complete light upon the dark mystery of the past.

On the day before the remains of his unhappy parent were consigned to the grave, as he took his last farewell of the corpse, he told me his own story, his temptation and his fall. Alas! for him the sins of his parents had returned with double vengeance upon his head; the evil in them had reproduced itself in him. Deluded with the belief that {241} he was the heir to immense wealth, he had given full swing to his besetting vice—gambling. The billiard-table, the gaming-house, and that curse to young man, secret betting clubs and societies, had been his familiar though unknown resort. There, too, he had met with and fallen into the meshes of a creature but too familiar to the frequenters of such places—a man (if such can claim pretence to manhood) mature in years, even to gray hair; one of those who gain the substance which supports their infamous lives by sponging upon the young, by in tangling in their web young men destined to be the pride and hope of high-born families with stainless lineage; or the scions of noble houses; or the youth of houses not less noble, though perhaps more in the sense of present deeds than departed worth; or sadder and more shameful still, the young man who is the only son of his mother, and she a widow, her sole stay and support. Into such hands did Wilmot fall when he met the man Sullivan or De Vos. Through him he became mixed up in some disgraceful gaming affair; and De Vos used it to get him more thoroughly into his power, and upon the strength of it to extort money from him. Then came his real but misplaced attachment to Ada Leslie, and consequent jealousy of Hugh Atherton. An affection requited might have been his salvation; unreturned and hopeless, it became his moral ruin. Deeper and deeper he plunged into vice, faster and faster he gambled. None save those who haunted the same scenes as himself knew how far he was involved, how far lost; none even suspected a tithe of it, save one. But the mother's eye, the mother's heart could not be deceived. She whom he had been taught to look upon only as his uncle's housekeeper, who had nursed and tended and petted him as a child—she saw the care and trouble of his mind; she sought and won his confidence to a great extent. He told her he was overwhelmed with debt and difficulty, and she urged him to apply to Mr. Thorneley for a sufficient sum to free him at least from danger. That application was to be made on the very evening of the murder. She hinted to him darkly that she had the means of forcing Thorneley to give what he required, and that she would risk everything and hesitate at nothing for his (Wilmot's) sake. The first suspicion which entered his mind that she had indeed not scrupled even at the worst, was on the morning after Old Thorneley was found dead. This had strengthened more and more; but the temptation of his opening prospects, of the princely fortune which he found he alone was inheriting, dazzled, blinded him, and stupefied his conscience. A yet greater inducement to evil lay in the alluring thought that if the murder of Old Thorneley were saddled upon Hugh Atherton, and his disgrace, his banishment, if not his death secured, there might be a chance of winning in time Ada Leslie's affections for himself. To this end he had labored, ostensibly endeavoring to establish belief in Hugh's innocence, and acting as his best friend, but in reality undermining Mrs. Leslie's faith in him by the most subtle diplomacy, and shaking, by the most specious representations, Hugh's trust in and friendship for me. With Ada alone he had met entire defeat. Steadfast and unwavering had been her solemn, unqualified declaration that her affianced husband was guiltless; steady and unwavering likewise—God bless her for it!—had been her childlike trust in her old guardian. And this maddened him.

Then came Hugh's acquittal, accompanied by public censure and public disgrace. Here was a loophole through which a ray of hope gleamed upon Wilmot's dark soul. Atherton writhed beneath the shame that had fallen upon him with all the anguish of a keenly sensitive nature; and Wilmot played his game with this. He lost no opportunity of making Hugh feel his position; constantly, though skillfully, {242} he brought before him the shadow that was over him, and would artfully represent to him the magnanimity of Miss Leslie's conduct in wishing to share his blighted name and fortune. Hugh's first proposition of emigrating he had opposed outwardly, working in the dark to bring about its realization; and when Hugh was actually gone, he felt at last that the field was clear for him. Wilmot described his rage at finding that I had outwitted him as ungovernable, his desire for revenge burning and deadly. Then came the discovery of the will. Of its existence he had in truth been ignorant; and though suspecting some complicity in the matter on the part of Mrs Haag, once possessed of Old Thorneley's money, he had buried his suspicions in his own breast. Three days after the will was found by Inspector Keene, he received a letter from the housekeeper. In it she told him of their relationship in brief words, with no further explanation; she said that the discovery of the missing document involved her in serious trouble, and that she was hastening to Liverpool to catch the first vessel for America. Then he felt for the first time that his heyday was over, that the worst might shortly come; and he too began hasty preparations for leaving England secretly. In the midst of these came the telegram from Liverpool, and the subsequent tragic events.

This was the epitome of what Lister Wilmot (I keep his assumed name) told me the day before his mother's funeral. I said to him, "You have not explained one thing. Why, when I went down to the Grange, did you send De Vos to follow me and drug the coffee?"

"I did not," he said. "I knew absolutely nothing of it." And at such a moment I felt he was speaking the truth. He continued: "I have not seen De Vos for months; and I believe he has left the country."

I found afterward that another person was to clear up this remaining item of the mystery.

Of Wilmot I have little more to tell. In the abyss of his humiliation and degradation the message of divine mercy reached his soul; in the depths of his heart, chastened and and purified, he listened and responded to its whisper. So far as Hugh Atherton was concerned he went scatheless; and through the generosity of the man whom he had so deeply injured, he was enabled eventually to emigrate to the same land whither his unfortunate mother was flying for refuge when she met her death. But before that he had a duty to perform, a stern, hard duty of pain; and he set his face to the work resolutely, unshrinkingly.

In the Liverpool prison late Robert Bradley the elder, biding his trial for the murder of his wife; and from his lips we were to learn yet more to complete the history of the past. Once, and once only, the father and son met. In the bitterness of his trouble and his newly wakened penitence, Lister had turned and clung to the one who had ministered to his dying mother, and in Father Maurice, after God, he found his best friend. At his request the old priest went with him to that single interview with his father.

"I never meant to kill your mother, Robert," the convict said to his son. "Heaven is my witness, I never had a thought of harm to her when I went after her in Cross street. I loved her, ay, I loved her, little as you may think it now. I loved her though she left me, though she hid my boy away, though she brought him up not know his father; though she branded me with a crime I never committed, and got me sent to prison and chains, and a life in comparison with which death will be sweet; though she spurned me and defied me, I loved her with all the might of my heart, all the passionateness with which I loved her when she came to me a fair young bride. Away in that penal settlement, amongst that hideous gang, beneath that burning sky, I had longed and thirsted more for one look at her face, for one touch of her hand, then {243} ever longed for a drop of water to slake my parching thirst or cool the fever of my lips. They tell me she has revealed the story of our lives—all is misery and shame. I have heard a few particulars. In one thing I believe I have wronged her; I thought her guilty of Mrs. Thornely's death; I thought she wished to usurp her place. I used the threat of what I suspected to induce her to make out with me; but she spurned me from her; she told me she would die on the gallows rather than live with me again; and then the madness seized me; I struck her—once—twice—and killed her."

Of all that passed in that single meeting between the two Robert Bradleys little was heard; it was not meet that much should be known. They met solemnly, in bitterness, in shame, with agony in either heart, with a world of anguish, of feelings surging over their souls to which they dared not give utterance. They parted solemnly, but in peace: the son who had never you known his father until now—and then in what a terrible manner! the father who had never looked on his child since the time when he had taken him on his knee and listened to his infant prattle. Parted, never more to meet on this side the grave.

I saw the convict once or twice before his trial came on, and I found from him that he had known Sullivan of De Vos all his life. That he was on his wife's track when she went down to the Grange, and De Vos was with him. That the latter, seeing I was bound thither likewise, and having reason to fear me both for his own and Bradley's sake, had given me the stupefying dose in my coffee at Peterborough Station, trusting to the results which did really happen. That it was his appearance which must have alarmed his wife and caused her to relinquish her visit to the Grange. Further than that he could give me no information. Strangely enough, the bad companion of the father had proved the bad companion of the son, though in totally different ways. There is nothing more to tell of Robert Bradley. He was tried, condemned, and sentenced to death; but the sentence was commuted to transportation for life by the exertions of his son. Father Maurice had the satisfaction of receiving from his lips the assurance before he left the Liverpool Docks bound for his final journey, that he accepted his sentence as the only expiation he could make for his long career of sin.

And what of those who were once so near and dear to me—dear still, though far away, Hugh Atherton and Ada, now for many years his wife— what of them! We never met again; humanly speaking, we never more shall meet upon this earth. There is a writer—to my mind the essayist par excellence of this age, with power to touch the finest chords and sound the most hidden depths in the heart of man—who says that he knows no word of equal pathos to the little word "gone." And it is the word which expresses the long blank, the great vacuum of all these latter years since they went away—since they have been among the "gone." And how is it, you will ask, my readers, that still they should be far away when all the storms and clouds which had shadowed their horizon passed away, and the sunshine and fair blue sky once again greeted them? Well, it was in this wise:

Tidings of all that took place in Liverpool were instantly forwarded to Hugh Atherton at Melbourne, and we thought we should welcome them all back to England ere long; but he did not come—he never will come now. He wrote that the thought of returning to England was insupportable to both himself and Ada; that they would remain where they were, and where he had received the greatest happiness of his life—his true and tender wife. They settled in Australia, some miles from Melbourne, doing much for the new colony in the way of usefulness; and Hugh devoted {244} himself to the interests of his adopted country. His name is well known there, and it is coupled with everything that is good and great. I hear sometimes from them, most often from Ada. Her mother died a few years ago, and she has lost two children. They have three living, two boys and a girl; the youngest boy is called John after me. She would have it so. No, the old friendship between me and Hugh has never been rekindled into the same warmth; we are friends, but not the friends of yore. I do not blame him; he was blind, blind; and so we drifted away from one another, or rather he from me. It was just one of those clouds which come between human hearts because they are human; and then we see through a glass darkly whilst earth clings so closely about us. By and by all will be clear. He thought I should have confided his uncle's secret to him or Merrivale under the circumstances. Perhaps I ought. If I was mistaken, if I kept my solemn promise to the dead too rigidly, God pardon me; I did it for the best. But we may make mistakes in our shortsightedness, in our finite views, in our imperfect comprehension of events over which we have no control, and in which we have very little hand. If he outlives me, he will perhaps know this; and the knowledge of it, the memory of our ancient friendship will bring back the tenderness of his heart for me; he will feel, I pray not too sadly, that he also was mistaken when he withdrew the trust and confidence that never before heaven had for one moment been betrayed.

Some years ago I buried Gilbert Thorneley's idiot son; he lived with me up to the time of his death, harmless, but irrational to the last. It was a satisfaction to his guardian that with me he would receive every kindness and attention; and the poor fellow died in my arms, repeating in his indistinct and childish manner the words I had taught him to address to his Father in heaven—he who had never known a father's love on earth.

I am alone in my old study, and I turn to write the last page of my story.

The stillness of evening is creeping on afast, and the fire burns low; before it lies old Dandie—he is blind now and stiff with age. Neither he nor I can ramble out far into the country lanes, or across Hempstead Heath, as once we used. Years have come and gone, and the little golden circlet on my finger has grown thin and worn, but it will last my days. Shadows of the past are around me, and voices of the past are busily whispering in my ear. What is this that has fallen upon my hand? O Ada! is this "worse than foolishness," the tears should rush to your old guardian's eyes when he thinks of you, and writes your name for the last time? Nay, that has passed—past with the bygone years that have rolled on into eternity. A little longer, and the dark strait that divides us from our beloved shall "narrowed to the thread-like mere;" a little longer spent in hope and patience, and then the hand will come. Not now, Hugh—not now, Ada: I shall see you by and by.




{245}

Original.


DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONALITIES.


Each age through which civilized humanity has passed, has its special characteristic. If, as most people admit, the nineteenth century has inaugurated a new era in the history of mankind, the characteristic of that era will be found in the rapid strides which the various races are making toward the attainment of a national existence. This development of nationalities is not, however, peculiar to our time; on the contrary, through its entire course modern history presents the same scene—a scene varied indeed and often interrupted, but preserving its unity to such an extent as to justify us in discerning therein a law of Providence. The constant yearning of each individual after happiness is used by philosophers as a proof that he is destined to one day attain it, and we are not quite sure that the noble aspirations of the great popular heart do not indicate on the part of the great Ruler a design to one day furnish it with a realization of its hopes. The individual attains his end in the future world—the people in the present. Those who respect but Little the popular feeling call it mercurial. They are right. Dash some mercury on the ground, and observe how the particles you have separated float wildly on the surface as though seeking to be reunited. Do you see how naturally they coalesce when brought in contact? There is an affinity most perfect between these particles, and so there is between peoples of the same race. Both were originally separated by violence, and the process of reunion is in both quite natural. Modern history presents no picture more vivid than that of the disintegrated peoples of the earth slowly but uniformly tending toward a reunion of their separated portions. Just now the figures seem more distinct—they stand out in such bold relief that prejudice herself perceives them. A gigantic war, commenced and finished almost with the same cannon's roar, has knocked out the keystone of a governmental fabric once admired for symmetry, and rulers see that in their structures they must imitate those architects who seek for stones that fit well one with another. People say that Beelzebub once gave a commission to a painter, for the portrait of his good dame Jezebel, and that when the poor artist despaired of picturing a countenance fit for the queen of hell, the fiend turned to a collection of handsome women, and taking a nose from one, an eye from another, mouth from another and complexion from another, he manufactured so foul a visage, so dire an expression, as to cause the votary of art to die outright. Various fishes make a very good chowder, and various meats, well condimented, produce an excellent olla podrida; but history shows that the various races into which it has pleased God to divide mankind, cannot be indiscriminately conglomerated without entailing upon the entire body chronic revolution, with all its attendant evils. If you can so merge the individual into the country as the United States have done with their cosmopolitan population, no difficulty will be experienced; but if you take various peoples and fit them together as you would a mosaic, the contact will prove prejudicial to their several interests, and powers {246} which would have otherwise developed for the good of the body corporate, will either lie dormant or exercise a detrimental effect upon the neighboring victims of short-sighted policy. Something more than interest is felt in noticing the way in which the peoples now enjoying national existence have attained so desirable an end; we are enabled to thereby judge, with something like accuracy, of the map those who will come after us must give of the world. So long as man is man, just so long will it be in one sense true, that history repeats herself; but we do not believe in that system of Vico which would make of her a mere whirligig—introducing now and then something new to certain portions of mankind in rotation, but nothing new to the world in general. Such a system might satisfy that conservative of whom some one has said that had he been present at the creation, he would have begged the Almighty not to destroy chaos; but our prejudices are against it, and though in avowing some prejudice we are pleading guilty to the possession of a bad thing, we think that in this case history will turn our fault into a virtue. We do not contend that modern times present a picture of national development according to the system of races so uniform as to contain no deviation whatever, but history does show us that such deviations have been more than counterbalanced by subsequent changes. The general rotundity of the earth cannot be denied, because of the inequalities of its surface. The American Republic furnisher us with no conflict of races on account of the fact already alluded to. The various peoples of Asia and Africa scarcely afford us a theatre for observation if we take our stand upon modern history, since for all practical purposes they are yet living in the days of Antiochus. Europe shows us a field worthy of research, for there were thrown together the mongrel hordes of Asia and the North, and with their advent and to the music of their clashing weapons a new scene unfolded itself to the gaze of man. With the fall of the Western empire commence all reflections upon modern history, for then dawned our era by the release from the unnatural thraldom of the Roman Caesars of the innumerable peoples of the earth. To notice the manner in which these tribes grouped themselves into national and integral existence is our present purpose. In the early summer of 1866, had we been asked to classify the peoples of Europe, we would have spoken as follows: The nations of Europe worthy of consideration, and which are now regarded as united or "unified," are France, England, Spain, Sweden and Norway, and Russia proper. The nations as yet disintegral are Germany and Italy. The disnationalized peoples are those of Ireland, Poland, Hungary and her dependencies, Venice, Roumania, and Servia. Europe may hence be regarded as composed of, 1st, nations which are in se one and undivided and leading therefore a national existence; 2d, peoples not under are you foreign to themselves, but still not one with others of the same stock; 3d, peoples governed by foreign nations. Of this latter class the most prominent evil is furnished by the heterogeneous Austrian empire, to compose which a draft is made on Hungary and the Hungarico-Sclavic dependencies, on Germany, on Poland, and on Italy. The late war has changed the situation somewhat, but the classification may remain unchanged.

The first class of nations became integral by the grouping to gather of peoples of common origin; and the steadiness with which they pursued their destiny and the easy manner in which they consummated it, cause us to believe that the others will yet attain a like end. Up to the time of Alfred, England was composed of seven kingdoms. The old Briton stock had been hidden in the mountains of Wales, and the Anglo-Saxon race, which held undisputed sway over the land, became one. France, now {247} the most unified of all nations, was for centuries the meet distracted. In A.D. 613, she was composed of four kingdoms: Neustria, Austria, Bourgogne, and Aquitaine. After the conquest of Neustria, Austrasia conquers Aquitaine in 760. The Romans found a new power in the north, but the people bear ill the yoke. The French kings give them the aid of their arms, and after various losses and successes Charles VII., in 1450, unites the regions definitively. The powerful duchy of Burgundy, which, for five hundred years, impeded the unity of France, was at length united to the crown in 1470. Spain, once composed of Leon, Castile, Aragon, and Navarre, was not unified until 1516. Scandinavia (Sweden and Norway) was, before the tenth century, composed of twelve states. It was then reduced to two, Sweden and Gothia, while in the thirteenth century these two were united. In 1397, the "union of Calmar" added Norway, and to-day the probabilities are not very small for the annexation of the remaining Scandinavian power, Denmark. Especial attention is merited by Russia proper, by which term we mean the nation so called exclusive of her foreign conquests, Finland, Lapland, Poland and her dependencies, Caucasus, and Georgia. The groundwork or foundation of this people in blood, language, and customs, is Sclavic. The proper name of the nation is Muscovy. When, in the middle of the fifteenth century, Ivan lV. shook off the Tartaro-Mongol yoke, the Muscovites commenced that headlong career of annexation and amalgamation which in four centuries has united more than twenty once independent Sclavic peoples, and has formed what is now denominated the Russian nation. Although not directly coinciding with him, we must here allude to the prediction of the first Napoleon that in a century Europe would be either Republican or Cossack. We half suspect that he leaned toward the first horn of his dilemma, and we do not think he imagined that his second should include a physical sway of Russia over Western Europe. If, however, the lance of the Cossack seemed to him to weigh heavily in the balance of power, history sufficiently justified him to prevent our regarding his remark as absurd. When he saw that either by force or persuasion the Sclavic peoples were being slowly but surely united, he might naturally regard as probable the incorporation of the remaining Sclaves of Poland, Bessarabia, Roumania, and Servia. Thirty years after he so talked, Bessarabia went the way of her sisters, and Roumania and Servia are year by year nearing St. Petersburg. We do not think, however, that history will warrant the application of Napoleon's theory to Poland and her dependencies, although they are Sclavic. When history shows us the innumerable tribes of Europe, left free by the fall of the Western empire, little by little grouping themselves by races and situation, so that in a few centuries are formed the nations now integral, she informs us that if such groupings were sometimes violent, they were still conquests sui generis. They were not national but political. The great Baron de Jomini, in his Precis de l'Art de la Guerre, insists most strongly upon the importance of a general understanding whether the war he is about to undertake be a national or a political war. We think the principle is just as important for the historian. A national war is one of a people against another; a political war, of a dynasty against another, either to revenge an insult or to extend its own domain. The effects of a national war are terrible, and the prejudices engendered are not easily eradicated; those of a political war are light, while there are entailed but few prejudices since the people have had no voice in the matter. In a political war the people are not conquered—they merely change masters, and often instead of receiving any injury {248} experience a great benefit. Thus, when Ivan of Moscow conquers Novgorod, the Sclaves of Novgorod are not conquered—a dynasty falls and not a people. Such a conquest leaves behind it no heart-burnings in the masses, while, on the contrary, if the people united were hitherto not only disintegrated but also disnationalized, it is a consummation by all devoutly wished. Poland, however, belongs to another category, owing to the religious antipathy existing between her and Russia. So great has this hatred of late years become, that the war for the incorporation of the unfortunate kingdom is at last national, not political—a war of peoples and not of kings. Such a war cannot be terminated by annexation—nothing can end it but an annihilation of the popular spirit. Let us bear in mind, then, that if modern history shows us a gradual development of nationalities and of unity in national government, there are certain principles according to which changes are wrought. But how is it with the two nations of Europe as yet disintegral? Have they hitherto tended toward unity? An impartial and conscientious study of their history convinces us that they have been uniformly nearing the goal which more fortunate nations have already reached.

In the eighth century Italy was, the Roman States alone excepted, entirely in the hands of the barbarian. From A.D. 1050, however, the two Sicilies commenced to enjoy a half-autonomous existence, there being but a personal union by means of a common sovereign between them and the countries whose rulers successively wore the Sicilian crown. In 1734 the kingdom became independent, and thus in this part of the peninsula was made the first step to unity, namely, independence of foreign rule. Parma became independent of the foreigner while under the sovereignty of the Farnesi in 1545. Tuscany became independent in 828, and with the exception of eighty years, during which the German emperors usurped the investiture of the duchy, remained so. The small republics need no allusion. Venice was independent from 697 to 1797. The Milanais was always more or less subject to the empire. Savoy and Piedmont were ever independent. Italy was slow in becoming free from foreign domination, but not so slow in the concentration of her strength. The innumerable states and principalities of which she was once composed gradually amalgamated, until in 1859 there were but seven; two hundred years ago there were twelve really independent of each other, and many more virtually so. We do not intend to touch upon the question of Italian unity in its bearings upon the independence of the Holy See. God will work out the problem long before any disputation of the point could come to a conclusion. This, however we feel, that if Providence has guided the peoples of Europe in the way of national development, it is for the good of man and in aid of true progress; and if in the case of Italy no compromise can be effected without injury to Holy Church, the future of Italy will prove that she has not attained the end of other countries; but history will show that until now she has tended to it. When studying the facts of history, one should not allow his feelings to blind his perception of the scenes that pass before him, for his insincerity would prevent his being a successful defender of any cause however good.

A few reflections upon German history as bearing upon the theory of national developments cannot but interest us, both on account of the late war, and on account of the apparent objection accruing to our position from the fact of Germany's seeming to be an example of a great nationality slowly disintegrating herself.

The history of Germany may be divided into three periods: 1st, under the "Holy Roman Empire" until the rise of Prussia; 2d, under the same from the rise of Prussia until 1806; {249} 3d, under the Confederation until the present day. In the first period there were an immense number of principalities, rivals not only of each other, but but also of him who held the imperial sceptre. The emperor depended so much upon his foreign vassals for his influence that he could scarcely be regarded as a German sovereign governing German states. Suddenly Prussia arose from nothing, and with majestic strides overran nearly all the north; then for the first time the Germans beheld a power of respectable strength, essentially German. When a nation is divided into many parts, its first step toward unity is the acquisition of a centre toward which all may tend. We pass by the origin of Prussia since we are dealing with facts and not principles at present. We know it is the fashion with a certain school to excite sympathy for Austria by alluding to Albert of Brandenburg; but as we are of those who believe that a man's own sins are scarcely less discreditable to him than those of his ancestors, and have our memory fresh with recollections of the long unbroken chain of outrages which the House of Austria, when powerful, heaped upon the Church of God, we ask to be excused if we allow no false sentimentality to intrude upon us. The rise of Prussia and the interest manifested in her by the unitarian party, forced the emperor and the secondary princes to be more German, less foreign, in their policy. This second period, therefore, had elements of unity which were wanting in the first. The third period, however, gave something more. In 1806 Napoleon I. bade Francis II. abdicate his title of Emperor of the Romans, and assume that of Emperor of Austria, and then disappeared even the name of that which for two hundred years had been a shadow. Then came the federal union of all the German, and only the German provinces—a confederation in which the interests of Germany might be consulted without prejudice from foreign connections—a union full of faults, we confess, and in many respects a sham, but yet an advance toward national unity.

We know of no records by means of which we can ascertain the exact number of independent states with which Germany was accursed under the feudal system, but we know that after Prussia had swallowed up many there were before 1815 nearly a hundred. Before the late war there were thirty-seven. How many there are now the telegraph has not informed us, but we imagine the number has become small by degrees and beautifully less.

Since 1815 the march toward German unity has been more steady and more uniform than at any other period. The pressure exercised upon Austria by Prussia, upon the secondary princes by their people, has forced them to seek German rather than foreign alliances, to study German more than dynastic or local interests. The Zollverein, the Reform associations, the hue and cry openly made about unity, the very entrance of Austria into the Holstein war, and latterly the alliance between the liberals and a statesman whose principles they have uniformly opposed, all indicate the popular effervescence, and excite a suspicion that ere long Germany will be united. All the machinery of which governments can avail themselves is used by Austria and the secondary princes to ward off the danger which menaces them.

The friends of the system of which Austria is the last important standard bearer, give us a bit of news which, if true, would be interesting, since it would be the first time we could conscientiously receive it, that the cause of the Kaiser is the cause of the church; that to his banner are nailed her colors. The jackal follows the lion to pick up his leavings, but his eating them does not make him a lion. The fact of the matter is, that the history of the church gives so painful a picture of her struggles with kings and princes, that it is to us a matter of complete indifference whether the {250} victory be won by the impersonation of military autocracy, or by the sickly anomaly now catching at straws for an extension of life—unless, however, the victory of the former were to vindicate the principle that the peoples of the earth have rights to claim, and were to result in the end in the collapse of its winner, and the leaving thereby of a powerful nation in the hands of popular government. If this latter consummation is reached, we shall be ready to do what we can to attach the children of the church to a particular government, for we believe that then the church will have in Europe more than ever a fair show, so to speak, at humanity. The church is for the people, and for them alone—when she approaches a king, she approaches him as a man—and she need fear but little from those for whose interest she lives. The popular heart quickly conceives an affection, and is seldom mistaken in its impulses.

We have alluded to an opinion held by some that Germany is an example of a great nationality disintegrated after centuries of integral existence. If history deals with words and not with facts, if empty titles and enthusiastic notions are criterions of national condition, then that opinion is correct; but if the calling the Emperor of China the Child of the Sun gives him no solar affinity, we must hold the contrary one. The ancient so-called unity of Germany was not only an empty word, but the very title Emperor of Germany had no foundation in law. When the imperial crown was transferred from the French Carlovingians to the House of Saxony, its mode or conditions of tenure were not changed by the Holy See. Just as Charlemagne, though Emperor of the Romans, was not Emperor of France, but as before King of the Franks, so Conrad of Franconia, Otho of Saxony, and their successors were emperors of the Romans, and mere feudal superiors of the other German princes. If, in the lapse of time, the holder of the sceptre of the "Holy Roman Empire" (which alone was the legal title from which imperial rights derived) came to be called Emperor of Germany, the title did not originate in law, but in the common parlance of the Italians, French, and English, who recognized in the emperor a foreign Prince, and who—at least the two latter—being naturally repugnant to the universal monarchy system, constantly insisted upon the emperor's primacy being as to them purely honorary. So much for the title. As for the Holy Roman empire itself, nothing to prove the ancient unity of Germany can be deduced from it. The public law of the middle ages was based upon the principle, then the foundation of all economy, of sacerdotal supremacy and princely subjection—a blessed thing for humanity at that time by-the-by, which thus found some protection from the tyrants who then ruled the earth. European government became hierarchical; at the head stood the pope, then came the emperor, then kings, etc. Now, according to the titles of courtesy in use at the time, it might be supposed that France and England were subordinate to the emperor, yet their constant history proves them to have been independent of his sceptre. If, then, this so-called resurrection of the western empire was purely nominal, was it merely honorific? Was there no authority attached to it? If there were none, especially as to Germany itself, of a part of which the emperor was a hereditary prince, we would conclude at once that as Europe could not then be called one, so could not Germany. Our proposition, however, is not so self-evident.

There was an authority resident in the imperial sceptre over the princes of Germany, but for all matters all practical importance it was, with the exception of a few privileges, the same as that enjoyed over Italy, Hungary, Bohemia, etc, viz., that of right of investiture. If, however, from this fact of imperial suzerainty any argument can be gathered for the ancient unity of Germany, we must say that at the present time Egypt, Roumania, and Servia are {251} one with Turkey, Liberia one with the United States. If before the late war Germany was not integral, it was not so under the ancient system. Then it had an emperor, in our days it had a federal diet—the emperors' decisions were generally laughed at, while the decisions of the diet were respected when allowed to decide. Nor, while speaking so disparagingly of the imperial power, do we allude to the time when the imperial dignity had become a mere puppet show—to the period between the rise of Prussia and the annihilation of the title. We need not confine ourselves to the time when the great Frederick could laugh at his "good brother, the sacristy-sweep," trying to rival his power; the same want of efficacious influence was ever felt from the day when Conrad accepted the diadem—one only period excepted, that of Charles V., and even he was wanting in force, and was obliged to succumb to his powerful "vassals." The history of no country, either in Europe or in Asia, can afford an example of such persevering strife for ascendancy as that which the princes of Germany presented, either among themselves—the emperor a spectator—or united in factions against him and his factions. The imperial dignity was in some things great, and over some periods of its existence there is a halo of glory, but only in its external relations. The Hohenstaufen emperors were by inheritance both internally and externally powerful princes; their principality of Suabia and their immense possessions of the Palatinate furnished them such a number of personal vassals that they did much toward making the imperial sceptre respected, while there kingdom of Sicily and lordship of Milan caused them to be feared without. But then it was not the emperor who was feared, but the Prince of Suabia, the Count Palatine, the King of Sicily, and lord suzerain of Milan and Tuscany; just as under the Habsburgs and the Lorraines it was not the emperor but the Archduke of Austria, King of Hungary, of Lombardy, of Naples, of Illyrium, who, by means of his personal and hereditary states in foreign lands, commanded that respect from his German rivals which a purely German emperor never extorted. The unity of Germany under the Holy Roman Empire was therefore not of fact. It was an idea—quite poetical certainly, but still an idea.

When we consider the obstacles which had to be surmounted by those peoples who have already attained a national existence, we must fain believe that those who are yet panting for it will not be long disappointed. Roumania and Servia have been for centuries dreaming of independence, but we must remember that only at a recent period did civilization commence to act upon their peasantry. Even now many of the boyards seem to be removed scarcely a generation from their Dacian ancestry. All the Sclavic peoples of Eastern Europe have much to acquire before they can be called fully civilized. The tyranny, however, to which they owe most of their backwardness has of late years very much diminished, and already they commence to ask themselves the question which has so long preoccupied other minds, Are the people created for the ruler, or is a ruler established for the people? When men commence to think seriously on such subjects, action is not far off. Bucharest and Jassy have been the scene of tumults which have made many a European conservative cry out that nothing but an iron rule will benefit the Roumanian—that Roumanian nationality will prove a seminary of trouble for Europe. We believe in lending a helping hand to a degraded people that they may in time raise themselves to the level of their fellows—we would deem ourselves worse than their tyrants if we regarded the passions which tyranny has engendered as an excuse for that tyranny's perpetuation.

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A bright day seems to have dawned for Hungary—at least so think the Austrian wing of the Hungarian patriots. For these gentlemen the ungermanization of Austria means that Pesth is to be the capital of a new heterogenous empire. They should remember those long years during which they mourned the short-sighted policy which drowned Hungarian nationality for the benefit of Germany, and reap from them a knowledge of other sins they will commit if they repress those nationalities which are as sacred as their own. Heaven cannot bless those who claim liberty for themselves and deny it to others.

And in the midst of this conflict of the peoples of the earth for real or imaginary rights, how fares the church of God? Excellently well, for no change man will here below experience can ever unman him. So long as there are people on the earth, so long will there be souls to save, and the church will be ever on hand to do the work. But there is more to be said. Of those people who are now so strenuously laboring in the cause of liberty, a large proportion are outside of the church. Many of them are working from a pure love of justice, as God has given them the light to see it, and if they are true to their natural convictions the supernatural will yet be engrafted upon them. It cannot be denied, however, that there are many who throw their weight into the scale of liberty as for they think Catholicity is in the other scale, and that they will hence contribute to weakening the hold the church has upon man. Would they could live to see the day when liberty shall have triumphed—were it only to realize the true mission of that church they now so bitterly hate! From the day the church entered upon her glorious career she has been constantly contending with the potentates of the earth. Her first struggle was with brute force, and she triumphed. Her second contest was more terrible, for the means brought against her were more insidious. Under the pretext of honoring her, the gods of the earth encircled her limbs with golden chains. How pretty they seemed, and how complacently some of her members regarded them! How anxiously some yearn after them yet! But they were torn away, and—great providence of God!—by those who thought to thus ruin her. Her enemies say she yearns for that society now disappeared. Has she forgotten how much those struggles cost her? Gentlemen of the liberal world, you are mistaken if you think the church fears the success of your designs. You are another illustration of the truth of the saying, that God uses even the passions of men to further his ends. When you will have succeeded in obliterating all artificial distinctions of caste and privilege, and will have actuated your vaunted ideas of liberty and equality, the church will confront you, and thrusting you aside, will render real what with you would always be an idea—fraternity. Those who now applaud you will lift from the church their eyes of suspicion and jealousy, and will realize how greatly you were mistaken when you called her retrograde and tyrannical.




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PHYSICAL SCIENCE AND CHRISTIAN REVELATION


BY REV. JAMES A. STOTHERT.


If the philosophers of the nineteenth century are proud of its scientific character, it is not without reason; if they congratulate themselves on having penetrated further into the secrets of nature than their predecessors, the impartial judgment of future times will confirm the opinion. It is no ordinary age that has, in the first half of its course, produced men of the first eminence in every branch of science, and contributed discoveries, remarkable alike for their intrinsic value, and their influence on the welfare of mankind. The progress of the physical sciences, since the year 1800, has been rapid and unprecedented; some of them have assumed a character and position entirely new, in consequence of the number and brilliancy of the discoveries, and the importance of the principles unfolded in relation to them. Another era in the history of chemistry opened with Dalton's atomic theory, aided by the amazing industry of Berzelius, in its practical application; the labors of Davy, in reducing the number of simple elements by means of voltaic electricity, and Faraday's patient and even-advancing discoveries in the wide field of electro-magnetism, have developed chemical science to an extent, and in a direction, which a former generation would have deemed fabulous. During the same period, geology has been rescued from neglect, and from serious charges of unsound tendencies, and been placed in deserved rank among the sciences by the eminent labors Smith and Buckland, of Sedgwick and Delabeche, of Lyell and Murchison, and Miller. Thee stamp of the age has been put on the science of optics by the discovery of the polarization of light by Malus; by the subsequent extension and perfection of that discovery by Brewster and Arago; and, more remarkably still, by the profound investigations and independent research of Young and Fresnel, on the subject of the wave theory of light. Zoology, especially in its bearing on geology and the history of the earth, has been carried to astonishing perfection, by the intuitive genius and sagacity of Cuvier and Agassiz and Owen and Forbes. In the history of astronomy, the queen of the sciences, the nineteenth century must be ever memorable as that in which was first established the appreciable parallax of some among the stars commonly called fixed; at once spanning the hitherto illimitable abyss which separates the solar system from those distant luminaries, and opening up to human intelligence clear and better defined views of the vastness of the universe. The names of Bessel, Struve, and Argelander, of Airy and Lord Rosse, and the two Herschels, are associated with observations and discoveries, for which future ages will look back to our time with admiration and gratitude. The more recent observations of Herschel on Multiple Stars may be assumed to have established, the existence of the great law of gravitation in regions of space, so remote from our sight, that the diameter of the earth's orbit, if searched for at that distance, through telescopes equal to our most powerful, would be invisible. The circumstances attending the discovery of the most distant planet, Neptune, are perhaps the most extraordinary proof of the high intellectual {254} culture of our time. Another planet, Uranus, its next neighbor, had been long observed to be subject to perturbations, for which no known cause could altogether account. By an elaborate and wholly independent calculation of these disturbances, and a comparison of them with what would have resulted from all the known causes of irregularity, two mathematicians, Leverrier in France, and Adams in England, were enabled, nearly at the same time, and quite unknown to each other, to say where the disturbing cause must be, and what must be the conditions of its action. They communicated with practical astronomers, and told them where they ought to find a new planet; telescopes were directed to the spot, accurate star-maps were consulted, and there it was, the newly discovered planet Neptune, wandering through space, in an orbit of nearly three thousand millions of miles' semi-diameter. Other discoveries had been the result of good fortune, or the reward of patient accuracy and untiring perseverance; here discovery was anticipated, and directed by the conclusions of purely mathematical reasoning.

The nineteenth century, little more than half elapsed, can also point with satisfaction to numerous observatories in both hemispheres, where, in nightly vigils and daily calculations, the accumulating observations and details are amassed and arranged, which for years to come are to guide the mariner through the pathless seas, and to furnish materials for future generalization in regard to the laws of the physical universe; where untiring account is kept of those occult and variable magnetic influences which permeate the surface of our globe and the atmosphere around it, to which the distinguished Humboldt first urged attention, and in the investigation of which the names of Kater and Sabine are conspicuous. In chemical laboratories at home, and on the continent, the progress of investigation into the internal constitution of matter is so extensive and so fruitful in results, that as we were lately informed by an eminent chemist, it is hardly possible even for a professional man to keep up to the mark of weekly discovery. The triumphs of steam-power in connexion with machinery; the perfection attained my modern engineering, and the multiplication of its resources; the wonderful results produced by the combination and division of labor, illustrated by the completion of vast works, and the supply of materials for our world-wide commerce; and, not least of all, the application of the electric current to the transmission of messages, originally suggested by a Scotsman, in the year 1753, [Footnote 40] and perfected by Wheatstone and others, the influence of which, in flashing intelligence from one side of the world to the other, is not improbably destined to act more powerfully than that of steam and railway communication, on the future history of mankind; all these valuable in enduring evidences of the scientific preeminence of our age, are no inconsiderable or unreasonable cause of elation and self-congratulation among contemporary philosophers. There never was a time when juster views on the subject of physical science were more generally diffused among the community at large; when a readier ear could be gained for any new and well-supported claims of science; when the public mind thirsted more eagerly for fresh draughts from the fountain of knowledge; or when more competent persons were engaged in providing means for satisfying this universal thirst. Scientific societies are numerous and active; mechanics' institutes, philosophical associations, athenaeums and other reunions alternating kindred nature, are organized and flourishing in every large town in the country, for the purpose of conveying a little rill of this coveted knowledge to the tradesmen and artisans in the short intervals of their daily toil. The very credulity with which some {255} unscientific and preposterous theories of motion have been lately accepted and believed by multitudes of educated persons, and which Faraday has the merit of first boldly denouncing, is another proof of the desire of something new in physics, which animates large masses of thinking men, and which is often much more developed than their power of distinguishing what is true from what is false, or empirical, in the philosophy of nature.

[Footnote 40: See Scots Magazine, February, 1753.]

The contemplation of this picture of the nineteenth century suggests a question of some moment: What is the relation of this scientific development to revelation? What influence is it likely to have on the conclusions of faith? A simple mind, or a simple age, receives these implicitly: will the influence of science on either dispose, or indispose it, to similar confidence? Are modern discoveries likely to throw a reasonable doubt on the province of revelation; or are they more likely to reflect light upon it, and establish its landmarks?

This is a question of the last moment. The age is bent on acquiring knowledge; it is justly elated by its progress in search of this precious gift; and, all the while, its dependence on the great truths of revelation is not less than that of a simple age. Faith, if ever necessary, is not less so now, than when all the brilliant discoveries of our era lay in the folds of the future time. They will not, with all their brilliancy, direct and save one human soul, or illuminate the obscure region which lies beyond the grave. If science must dissolve the charm of belief, alas! for the elation of our age at its own high attainments; better had it been for it that the ancient ignorance of physical laws had never then dissipated, than that its dispersion should have been so dearly purchased.

Of course, by revelation, the author must be understood to mean the whole will of God, revealed to the world, and taught by the Catholic Church; as well that part of it which Protestants reject, as the mutilated part of it which the greater number of them are agreed in accepting; all the doctrines peculiarly and distinctively belonging to Catholicity, together with others which it holds and teaches in common with all calling themselves Christian. What relation, then, we ask, has the modern advance of science to this undivided sum of revealed truth? Is it one of hostility or of harmony, of illustration and confirmation, or of antagonism? Is physical science the handmaid, or the enemy of faith?

(1.) Now, a very great number of persons, understanding revelation in the sense in which we have defined it, would answer this question by saying that science is the enemy of revealed truth, as maintained by the Catholic Church; that the more generally scientific and accurate ideas of the laws and constitution of the physical universe are diffused, the more difficult must grow the belief of sensible men, claimed by the Catholic Church for apparently impossible exceptions to those laws. We can even imagine some good Catholics, little versed in scientific pursuits, of the same opinion, and therefore jealous of this general craving of the people for secular knowledge. Among the Protestants of this country it is currently believed that the Catholic Church is as keenly and doggedly opposed to science as science is to her; that her unchanging policy has always been to keep her children in ignorance, so as the more easily to subdue their intelligence to her bidding.

(2.) An answer of a different kind we should expect to receive from a numerous class of friends, and from a few opponents; namely, that the relation of science to revelation is one of indifference, as they belong to spheres of knowledge totally distinct and independent. A few remarks on each of these answers will best introduce the author's own attempt at a solution of the question.

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As to the first: well informed and candid inquirers into the truth of things are beginning slowly to perceive that the Catholic Church has been misrepresented, as invariably the enemy of science; especially in the critical and much agitated controversy of the geocentric and heliocentric theories of the planetary motions, which has been chosen as the weakest point of attack. Two writers of the highest eminence in science, with no religious bias whatever toward Catholicity, have given remarkable testimony on this subject. Sir David Brewster in his Life of Galileo has adopted a tone of fairness to the Catholic Church, unhappily rare in Protestant treatment of such topics in general. We do not think he has done full justice to Galileo's Roman judges; but, at least, he has given the Roman pontiffs some credit for their patronage of men of science. We recommend the whole life to the notice of our readers, and shall cite the following passage from it. After mentioning the pension granted to Galileo by Pope Urban VIlI., in 1624, Sir David adds: "The pension thus given by Urban was not the remuneration which sovereigns sometimes award to the services of their subjects. Galileo was a foreigner at Rome. The sovereign of the papal state owed him no obligation; and hence we must regard the pension of Galileo as a donation from the Roman pontiff to science itself, and as a declaration to the Christian world that religion was not jealous of philosophy, and that the church of Rome was willing to respect and foster even the genius of its enemies." [Footnote 41]

[Footnote 41: Martyrs of Science, ed. 1846, p. 68.]

The other writer whom we shall cite is a no less celebrated authority in science than the present astronomer royal, who, while condemning the treatment which Galileo received at the hands of the Roman Inquisition, is free to admit that Rome did not always oppose science; and even this qualified admission, from so eminent a person, is worth a good deal to our purpose. His remark is this: "This great step in the explanation of the planetary motions was made by Copernicus, an ecclesiastic in the Romish Church, a canon of Thorn, a city of Prussia. The work in which he published it is dedicated to the pope. At that time it would appear that there was no disinclination in the Romish Church to receive new astronomical theories. But in no long time after, when Galileo, a philosopher of Florence, taught the same theory, he was brought to trial by the Romish Church, then in full power, and was compelled to renounce the theory. How these two different courses of the Romish Church are to be reconciled, I do not know. But the fact is so." [Footnote 42]

[Footnote 42: Airy's Lectures on Astronomy, p. 85.]

We are not concerned at present with Galileo's unhappy story, farther than to remark, that there is as usual much to be said on the side of his Roman judges, which is perhaps nowhere so well said as in the pages of the Dublin Review, No. IX., July 1838. The views there advanced have never been called in question; we may therefore assume that they are substantially unassailable. As to the general question of the assistance which the Catholic Church has lent, directly or indirectly, to science, we should like to know what other church, or body of ecclesiastics, has done anything in this field compared with the labors and the successes of the Society of Jesus alone. The names of Clavius and Kircher, of Boscovich, De Vico, and Pianciani, may stand for a memorial of the prosperous union of science and Catholic revelation. [Footnote 43]

[Footnote 43: F. Christopher Clavius, S. J., an eminent German mathematician and astronomer, was employed by Gregory XIII. in the reformation of the calendar. His Gregorian Calendar, published in 1581, tardily adopted in Protestant countries, and now regulates our system of leap-years. His collected mathematical and scientific works amount to five volumes folio. He was killed in 1612, page 75.

F. Athanasius Kircher, S. J., also a native of Germany, was a diligent cultivator of science. His works, in twenty-two folio and eleven quarto volumes, embrace learned and original treatises on many recondite branches of physical science; on Magnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Geography, etc., etc. He filled the chair of Mathematics in the Jesuit Roman college, and laid the foundation of its extensive and valuable museum. He died in Rome, in 1680, at the age of 79.

F. Roger Joseph Boscovich, S.J., a native of Ragusa, filled the chair of Astronomy in the Jesuit Roman College for thirty years, and was highly distinguished for the depth, originality, and variety of his aquirements in Natural Philosophy. He published several valuable treatises on the philosophy of Newton, on optics, etc. He is best known out of Italy for his ingenious theory of the molecular constitution of matter: a theory which the increasing knowledge of more modern philosophy has only confirmed. After the suppression of his order in 1778, he was welcomed to Paris, and taught philosophy there for a time; he returned to Italy, he died at Milan, in 1787, page 73.

F. De Vico, S.J., was also an eminent astronomer in the Jesuit Roman College. His discovery of several comets introduced him to the circle of men of science. When the Jesuits were driven from Rome in 1848, he was received with open arms in the United States; but, unhappily for science, he died in London a very few years ago, while procuring instruments for his observatory in the far West. He was highly esteemed and beloved by his pupils, of whom there are many in this country.

F. Pianciani, S.J., for many years taught chemistry in the Jesuit Roman College. He is admired for the simplicity of his manners no less than for the valuable contributions he has made to the nature of chemical science. Besides all larger and smaller treatise on it, he has published a work on the cosmogony of Moses; and we believe, is still preparing other treatises for the press.]


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As to the second solution of our question—that science and revelation are indifferent, because entirely dissimilar to each other in nature and objects; it appears to us that analogy points quite the other way. For, (1.) they both have a common origin in the will of God; and it is not unreasonable to expect that they shall exhibit some traces of common principles. And this, especially, if we direct our attention to the difficulties which lie in the way of our acceptance of the conclusions proposed to us by either; if they are actually found to resemble each other in many of these, their relation can no longer be considered one of indifference. Nay, on the principles on which Dr. Joseph Butler constructed his immortal work, if revealed truth proceeds from the author of nature, we may expect to find the same difficulties in it as we find in nature. And, conversely, it is no objection to the divine origin of revealed truth, that its reception implies difficulties as great as the acceptance of the facts and laws of nature presupposes us to have overcome. And, (2.) we may argue from the mutual analogy of other sciences to one another; how dissimilar soever they appear to a superficial observer to be, there is a community of principles, and of general laws, which binds them together, and connects them with their common origin in the divine mind. This idea is, as many of our readers are aware, beautifully developed by Mrs. Somerville in her charming work on the Connexion of the Physical Sciences.

From these preliminary remarks, the author's own solution of the question of hostility, or indifference, between science and revelation may be gathered; namely, that though in their nature, objects, and details widely separated, yet they are linked together by a thousand delicate ties, unperceived by a careless observer, but well repaying elaborate study. Science is the true handmaid of Revelation, doing service to the superior nature, but exhibiting tokens of a commission to do so, imparted to her by the divine creator of both. The author has devoted some attention to this interesting subject; and at some future time, if granted health and leisure, he hopes to state and illustrate his views more at large, and in a more permanent form; meanwhile he proposes briefly to sketch some of the conclusions and trains of thought suggested to him by these studies; confining his remarks entirely to those portions of revealed truth which are the exclusive property of the Catholic Church, and which are generally known in the Protestant world as popish doctrines, such as the Blessed Eucharist; the question of Miracles in general; and all that is supernatural and imperceptible to the senses in Catholic belief.

I. A preliminary difficulty lying in the way of belief in the supernatural character of revealed religion, is the flat contradiction which it apparently gives to the evidence of the senses, the manifest discrepancy between what is alleged and proposed to our belief, and what is seen with our eyes, and appreciated by other sensuous organs. {258} Modern science, however, is as inexorable in her demands on human credence, in defiance of the senses, as was ever revelation on the assent of faith. The senses have their empire much restricted by the canons of our philosophers. For, (1.) it is fully established that each organ of sense is susceptible of one class of impressions only, which it passes on to the sensorium, or seat of thought. Thus the organ of vision admits and communicates impressions of light alone; that of hearing, impressions of sound, or of the wave of air set in motion by the cause producing sound, and no others. The organs of taste and smell, in like manner, have their own classes of susceptibilities, which, again, are not the same as those belonging to the nerves of touch. For every other class of impressions than its own, each organ of sense is absolutely inert and useless. The eye can take no cognisance of sound, nor the ear of light: if the eye can feel a touch, it is because certain parts of its structure are furnished with branches of the nerves of touch; and so of the rest. Electricity alone seems to have the remarkable power of exciting in all the organs of sense, sensations proper to the nature of each; in the eye, for example, a flash of light; distinct sounds; a phosphoric odor, a peculiar taste, and a pricking feeling, in the same person at the same time. [Footnote 44]

[Footnote 44: Sommerville's Connexion, etc., § xxix. p. 339. Carpenter's Manual of Physiology, § 932.]

Again, (2.) sensations arising from those impressions are so exceedingly complex, that we attribute many more of them to each separate sense than really belong to it. By habit we have become so much accustomed to associate several of those impressions together, as to be unable, without difficulty, to analyze them, and to separate the simple results of the sensuous impression from the more complicated judgments which experience and reason add to it, and by which they interpret it. The eye, for example, receives and conveys impressions purely and solely of light, and its absence, including those of color, which belong to light. Form, extension, sense of distance, etc., are no part of the simple impression made upon the eye, and through it upon the mind, further than they influence the condition of the light, as by bounding it, shading it, etc. These belong exclusively to the sense of touch, combined with experience, so as to be suggested, without actual contact, by certain conditions of light. An inexperienced eye, looking for the first time at a plain surface, as a disc, or at a cube, or a ball, would see only the color, and the edges where that changed. It could not enable the mind to judge how far the object was distant; nor why the light and shade were differently disposed in each; why the light reflected from the disc was uniform, and bounded by a circle, while that from the ball was softly shaded, though bounded by a circular line similar to the disc; nor why the light coming from the cube was divided and bounded by straight lines and sharp angles. To judge of these peculiarities, and their meaning, touch must come to the aid of sight; and afterward memory will recall the conclusions of former experience; and comparison will enable the reasoning mind to form a judgment regarding the shape, size, and distance of the object. In a similar manner, the organs of hearing convey impressions of sound alone; distance, direction, exciting cause, are quite out of the province of its information. Sight and touch, and experience and judgment, all enter into the complex information, now communicated to a practiced observer. This fact is strikingly exemplified in musical sounds. A skillful musician will tell you the notes and chords composing a series of such sounds, in which an uninformed and unpractised ear will be able to detect nothing but concord or this court. Thus Mozart, at two hearings, was able to note down the score of Allegri's Miserere. Thus, too, there are many substances which we of {259} by taste, as it is supposed, but which are in reality operative on the sense of smell. For instance, if the nose is held while eating cinnamon, we shall perceive no difference between its flavor and that of a pine shaving. [Footnote 45] The same fact is observed with regards to many aromatic substances: if held in the mouth, or rubbed between the tongue and the palate, the nostrils being all the while dosed, their taste is hardly, if at all, recognized; but it is immediately perceived on reopening the nasal passages. Thus, too, the wine-taster closes his mouth, and sends the aroma of the wine through his nostrils. Other substances, again, there are, neither aromatic nor volatile, taste very strongly irritates the mucous membrane both of nose and tongue, as mustard does, for example, just as it would the skin, if applied long enough externally. Such a sensation, therefore, as the taste of mustard, evidently belongs to the organs of touch, differing in degree of sensitivity only. Hence we are taught that the substances properly the objects of the sense of taste, are those only which produce sensations purely and exclusively gustative, perceived neither through the nose nor through the nerves of touch, but acting on the tongue and palate only. Salt, sugar, quinine, tannin, and citric acid, types of the saline, saccharine, bitter, astringent, and sour, are said to possess sapid properties. [Footnote 46] From these simple considerations it appears undoubted that the province of each separate organ of sensation, and its resultant impressions on the mind, are much limited, when compared with the wider empire attributed to them by popular language and opinion. Reason is ever correcting and enlarging the simple impression, adding the conclusions of experience and judgment and comparison to the primary suggestions of the sensation; making allowances for what is faulty or imperfect; measuring circumstances, and comparing all the conditions of the impression with each other, before even an approximately true result can be arrived at.

[Footnote 45: Herschel's Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy, § 72.]

[Footnote 46: Carpenter's Manual of Physiology, § 945.]

Further (3.) there is much in nature of which the senses totally fail in giving us any information whatever. "None of the senses," says Sir J. Herschel, "gives us direct information for the exact comparison of quantity. Number, indeed, that is to say, integer number, is an object of sense, because we can count; but we can neither weigh, nor measure, nor form any precise estimate of fractional parts by the unassisted senses. Scarcely any man could tell the difference between twenty pounds, and the same weight increased or diminished by a few ounces; still less could he judge of the proportion between an ounce of gold and a hundred grains of cotton by balancing them in his hands." [Footnote 47] Nay, even in their own proper and peculiar province, the senses are singularly deficient in certain kinds of information, especially when comparison is involved. "The eye," says the same high authority, "is no judge of the proportion of different degrees of illumination, even when seen side by side; and if an interval elapses, and circumstances change, nothing can be more vague than its judgment. When we gaze with admiration at the gorgeous spectacle of the golden clouds at sunset, which seem drenched in light, and glowing like flames of real fire, it is hardly by an effort we can persuade ourselves to regard them as the very same objects which at noonday pass unnoticed as mere white clouds basking in the sun, only participating, from their great horizontal distance, in the ruddy tint which luminaries acquire by shining through a great extent of the vapor of the atmosphere, and thereby even losing something of their light. So it is with our estimates of time, velocity, and all other matters of quantity; they are absolutely vague and inadequate to form a foundation for any exact conclusion." [Footnote 48]

[Footnote 47: Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy,§ 117.]

[Footnote 48: Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy,§ 117.]


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Again (4.) there is a large class of phenomena whose causes, and even whose existence, are far too remote or too minute to be revealed to us by our senses. What are telescopes and microscopes, but the means which science ingeniously devises to supply this innate and irreparable deficiency of our organs of sense? Satirists of the middle age, and its scholatic philosophers, have said that they would dispute as to the number of spirits that could dance on the point of a needle. Modern science shows us, in the infusoria, animals of perfect formation, endowed with functions suited to their condition, many thousands of which could pass at once through the eye of the finest needle; a million of which would not amount in bulk to a grain of sand. No less wonderful is the world of minute existence, revealed by the microscope, in a drop of stagnant water. It is a world within itself, an epitome of the earth, and its successive geological races. A variety of microscopic creatures make their appearance, and die; in a few days, a new set succeeds; these disappear in their turn, and their place is occupied by a third race, of a different kind from either of the former—the remains of all of them lying at the bottom of the glass. [Footnote 49] "If for a moment," says Humboldt, "we could yield to the power of fancy, and imagine the acuteness of our visual organ to be made equal to the extreme bounds of telescopic vision, and bring together that which is now divided by long periods of time, the apparent rest which reigns in space would suddenly disappear. We should see the countless hosts of fixed stars moving in thronged groups, in different directions; nebulas wandering through space, and becoming condensed and dissolved like clouds, the veil of the milky way separated and broken up in many parts, and motion ruling supreme in every portion of the vault of heaven, even as on the earth's surface, where we see it unfolded in the germ, the leaf, and the blossom, the organisms of the vegetable world. The celebrated Spanish botanist, Cavanilles, was the first who entertained the idea of 'seeing the grass.' He directed the horizontal micrometer threads of a powerful magnifying glass at one time to the apex of the shoot of a bambusa, and at another, on the rapidly growing stem of an American aloe, precisely as the astronomer places his cross of network against a culminating star." [Footnote 50] Without speculating so deeply in what is distant and hidden, the very atmosphere in which we live and breathe is imperceptible to every one of our senses, except, indeed, when viewed through its whole depth, to that of sight in the blue color of the sky, or indirectly to that of touch, by the resistance which it offers to the hand, or the face, in passing rapidly through it, or when it is set in motion by the wind. We perceive its effects, indeed, in the modifications which the phenomena of light and sound undergo, in consequence of its action upon them; in the barometric column, and in a thousand other physical and chemical agencies which attest the presence of the atmosphere, and the important functions which it performs in our terrestrial economy. But as far as sight or hearing, taste or smell, are affected by it, directly, it has absolutely no existence.

[Footnote 49: Somerville's Physical Geography; II., xxxii. 348, note.]

[Footnote 50: Cosmos, I. 189, 40.]

Modern science, indeed, coming to the aid of the senses, can enable them to attain the results of an almost inconceivable acuteness. Thus while quantity and comparison are inappreciable, or nearly so, by the unaided organs of sense, balances have been constructed with a sensibility so exquisite, as to turn with the thousandth part of a grain, and yet pretend to no extraordinary degree of merit. [Footnote 51]

[Footnote 51: Herschel's Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy, § 338.]

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By the aid of an instrument called a spherometer, which substitutes the sense of touch for that of sight, an inch may be divided into twenty thousand parts; and the lever of contact, an instrument in use among the German opticians, enables them to appreciate quantities of space even yet smaller. [Footnote 52] Instruments have been devised capable of measuring intervals of time equal to the 1/1000 part of a second. By the revolution of a toothed wheel, striking against a piece of card, human ear is enabled to appreciate a sound which lasts only 1/24000 of a second, and thus to measure that extremely minute interval of time. [Footnote 53] Wheatstone, in the course of his experiments on the velocity of the electric fluid, constructed an apparatus which enables the eye to perceive an interval equal to less than 1/1000000 of a second of time. The exact value of this almost infinitesimal interval was ascertained and measured by the known effect of a sound of high high pitch upon the ear. [Footnote 54] It is unnecessary to multiply such examples; but so many we have adduced, for the purpose of demonstrating the extent of the world of physical observation which lies forever concealed from the natural organs of sense. We owe this knowledge of their incapacity for more than a very limited range of observation to the inventions of science, applied to remedy and supplement this very incapacity. Thus science tells tales against the human senses, of which a less inventive and informed age could never have even dreamed.

[Footnote 52: Herschel's Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy, § 338.]

[Footnote 53 Somerville's Connexion, etc., § xvi. p. 147.]

[Footnote 54: Ib., § xxviii. p. 325.]

Once more, (5.) the senses are not only restricted in their sphere of action, and incapable of penetrating beyond a certain limit into the mysteries of physical nature, but even within their own proper province of observation their indications are constantly false and erroneous; so that if we were implicitly to receive and adopt these indications, without due correction, our notions of the constitution of nature would be singularly wide of the truth. As they appear to the naked eye, the sun and moon seem nearly of the same size; flat discs, about as large as the crown of a hat. Uncorrected sense teaches us no more; it furnishes no means of measuring either their absolute or their relative distance. But from other sources, we learn that one is about four hundred times further off than the other; that the mass of the one would fill a space bounded by double the orbit of the other; and that the centre of the sun is nearly half a million of miles nearer our eye than his limb, or the bounding line of his disc, a space equal to more than twice the distance of the moon from the earth. The limits prescribed to himself, forbid the author to enlarge on this interesting portion of his subject, which, however, he regrets the less, that any one anxious to follow it out, will find an excellent paper on "Popular Fallacies," in Lardner's Museum of Science and Art, January 1854; a new scientific and popular serial, which has started under the best auspices, and deserves to be widely circulated.

Did space permit, we might illustrate the fallacious teaching of the senses regarding the phenomena of nature, by the corrections made necessary in every scientific observation, as to the position of distant objects, in consequence of the refraction or bending of the rays of light in their passage through the air, which has the effect of making distant objects in space seem higher than they really are; of the correction necessary for the aberration of light, depending on the time taken to transmit it from a distant object in space; together with others which enter into the daily experience of the observers of nature. Other circumstances also materially influence the impressions conveyed through the organs of sense. Thus a person going into an ordinarily lighted apartment from the dark night, will be painfully affected by the brightness of the light {262} for a few moments; while another, entering the same room from a brightly illuminated chamber, will hardly be able for a moment or two to see anything. [Footnote 55] If we plunge our hands one into ice-cold water, and the other into water as hot as it can be borne, and after letting them stay a while, suddenly transfer them both to a vessel full of water at blood heat, the one will feel it hot, and the other cold. If we cross the two first fingers of our hand, and place a pea in the fork between them, moving and rolling it about on a table, we shall be fully persuaded, especially if we close our eyes, that we have two peas. [Footnote 56] The other senses are similarly affected by circumstances, so as to convey erroneous impressions. Mrs. Somerville sums up the evidence on this head in one word, when she remarks that, "a consciousness of the fallacy of our senses is one of the most important consequences of the study of nature. This study teaches us that no object is seen by us in its true place." [Footnote 57] And elsewhere she adds, "A high degree of scientific knowledge has been necessary to dispel the errors of the senses ." [Footnote 58] Herschel has the following remark in his Outlines of Astronomy: [Footnote 59] "No geometrical figure, or curve, is seen by the eye as it is conceived by the mind to exist in reality. The laws of perspective interfere and alter the apparent directions, and foreshorten the dimensions of its several parts. If the spectator be unfavorably situated, as, for instance, nearly in the plane of the figure, they may do so to such an extent as to make a considerable effort of imagination necessary to pass from the sensible to the real form."

[Footnote 55: Carpenter's Manual of Physiology, § 93.]

[Footnote 56: Herschel's Discourse, § 72.]

[Footnote 57: Collection of Physical Sciences, § xxv. p. 264.]

[Footnote 58: Ib., § iv. p. 37.]

[Footnote 59: Chap. i. §78.]

There is one form of illusion to which the senses are liable, so remarkable and irremediable as to deserve a moment's notice; we mean their erroneous testimony regarding motion. We have the authority of Sir. J. Herschel for saying, that "there is no peculiar sensation which advertises us that we are in motion. The rough inequalities in the road are felt as we are carried over them, by the successive elevation and falling of the carriage; but we have no sense of progress if we are prevented from seeing surrounding objects. The smoother the road, and the faster the speed, the less able are we to feel our motion forward. Every one must have felt this in night travelling by the railway, or in a tunnel. In a balloon, with a steady breeze, which merely propels, without gyration or oscillation, the motion is described as a sensation of perfect rest. The same is observed on shipboard, in still water or a calm. Everything goes on as if on land." [Footnote 60] To complete the illusion, nothing is more common than apparently to transfer our own motion to the stationary objects around us. This is peculiarly observable at railway stations, when a train first gently moves off. If another training is standing near, and parallel to our own, it is impossible to tell which is moving, our own, or the other in an opposite direction, without calling in the age of a third object, to correct the doubtful or erroneous impression, by the direction in which it seems relatively to change its place; or by examining the wheels of the other training. In the same way, many persons, while witnessing a panorama, are painfully affected by the shifting of the scenes, which conveys to them an impression as if the room were going round, and the picture remaining stationary. It was this illusion of the senses, as to motion, that perpetuated to a very late date the capital error regarding the supposed circulation of the sun and planets round the on moving; the dispelling of which, by Galileo and subsequent observers, was the greatest triumph ever achieved my philosophy over the empire of the senses.

[Footnote 60: Outline of Astronomy, § 15, 16.]

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The simple matter of fact is this, that our senses were given us for a certain definite and practical end, not for the acquisition of universal knowledge. We use them thankfully within their own domain, but we should err by inferring that their indications are the measure of the true, or of the whole constitution of things: their teaching falls far short of what exists in the universe of material nature; into the world of spiritual existence and operation they have no mission to enter. Catholic doctrine, therefore, is in no worse position, as regards the contradictions of the senses to the results, than is the great mass of scientific knowledge; to deny the one is as unphilosophical as to deny the other, merely because the organs of sense fail to appreciate it, or afford indications directly contrary to it.




ORIGINAL.


HOME AT LAST.


  They gathered 'round the dying stranger's bed,
  They heard his words, yet knew not what he said—
          "Oh! take me home!"

  With earnest looks they pressed his feverish hand,
  And sorely grieved they could not understand—
          "Oh! take me home!"

  The busy host forgot his clamoring guests.
  Wistful to answer this of all requests—
          "Oh! take me home!"

  The good-wife scanned the stranger's pallid face,
  And wept. But to his meaning found no trace;
          "Oh! take me home!"

  The hostess' fair-haired daughter stood apart,
  "What can he mean?" she asked her beating heart;
          "Oh! take me home!"

  "Whence had he come? His name?" None knew. And yet
  He speaks in tones I never can forget—
          "Oh! take me home!"

  With timid step she softly neared the bed,
  And took his hand. The stranger raised his head,
            And deeply sighed.

  Weeping, she sang a simple, childish rhyme.
  He smiled and said: "Jetzt bin ich endlich heim!"   [Footnote 61]
            And then he died.

[Footnote 61: I am home at last.]




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Translated from the
Etudes Religieuses, Historiques et Littéraires.

THE OLD OWL.


When I was living in my native village, about twenty years ago, I made the acquaintance of an old owl who lived in one of my forests. One of my forests I say, and with good reason; for I was the only being who could appreciate them, although a few landed proprietors in the town were wont to make clearings therein, on the plea of having bought them and paid down certain moneys in the presence of our notary public. Therefore in my forest dwelt my owl, who was a personage of mature years, and had first attracted me by the singular similarity of his tastes and opinions with mine. Our first meeting took place under rather peculiar circumstances. One evening, after belaboring my brains over some enigmatical Persian verses for hours, I left the house, still conning over an enigmatical hemistich; and strolling on until I gained the edge of the forest, plunged in without noticing whither I went. I might have wandered about all night, lost in the mazes of this mysterious satire, had not the sweet odors of a cherry tree in full blossom attracted my attention, penetrating through the olfactory nerves to the inmost recesses of my brain; even to the bump of pedantry itself. This brought me to myself; and astounded to see how far I had wandered at that late hour, I turned to go home at once; but the tangled path and deepening shadows threw me into confusion, and at the end of a quarter of an hour I found myself completely lost. "Never mind," said I, yielding gracefully to circumstances, "this is just what I meant to do;" so on I plunged, through brake and thicket, until I reached the confines of the forest, where an ancient ruined castle frowned down upon the valley, with my little village sleeping at its feet. I sat down by one of the towers to rest, but had hardly drawn one long breath, when there came a flapping of wings about my head, and raising my eyes I beheld—monstrum horrendum—an owl. He flew to the left of me, fanning my cheek with his heavy grey wings. Superstitious as an ancient, I turned instinctively that he might be on my right and, so dreadful seemed the omen; but hardly had I yielded to this involuntary impulse, when good breeding warned me that the self-love of the work hermit might be wounded;—for an owl has feelings as well as other people. But I was mistaken, he replied to the insult only with a disdainful laugh; and perching himself on the top of the tower, glared at me out of his red eyes with an expression of profound pity.

The laugh irritated me; so I said, wishing to recover his respect if possible, (and here in parentheses be it said that this narrative is addressed, not to those who maintain that animals cannot speak, but to sympathetic beings who enjoy the singing of birds in the woods, and understand their mysterious language; who know what various emotions their songs express; who listen, in short, with reverence to the accents of nature and respond to them;—to such of these we tell this authentic tale, begging the vulgar herd to withdraw from the audience.)

Then I said to the owl, "Pray pardon my silly rudeness; I merely obeyed an instinctive feeling, without the least intention of annoying you; on the contrary, it would really grieve me if you doubted the high esteem in which I hold you."

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"Where's the good of excuses?" said he, shaking his head; "if you really wish to serve me, take yourself off and leave me in peace."

"I cannot go," said I, "until you pardon my offense."

"And if I did pardon you", rejoined he, "what use would it be? But I'll do no such thing. I cannot forgive you for being a man, or for being here. Begone! you are a miscreant like the rest of your kind."

"You are a miscreant yourself!" retorted I, "and very unjust and distrustful to boot. I never injured the smallest creature—I have been the unfailing defender of birds' nests against children and fowlers. I have incurred the contempt of mankind by my knight-errantry. At least I ought to be treated with common civility by those whom I have loved and protected."

"Oh, well! well! well!" said he, "don't say any more about it. You are young, and seem to be well-meaning enough. I will trust you and rue the indiscretion at my leisure."

"You must have been unfortunate," I remarked respectively, "to have grown so distrustful."

"What's that to you?" he answered shortly; "my wretched story will do you no good if you are destined to remain innocent; and if you are to become like other men, it will not touch you."

"Nay," said I, thinking to tickle his vanity by a neatly turned complement, "it would teach me wisdom and prudence. What less could I learn from the favorite of Minerva and the protector of Athens?" But my Timon's wisdom was proof against assault, and he replied:

"You think probably to flatter me, but I never knew the goddess you mention. She was, I am told, is exceedingly turbulent person, continually whirling and setting up her heroes by the years. And what were the Athenians but a set of frivolous, shattering magpies, incapable of forming a sound idea, or of putting it in execution if they had."

"You seem to have a great contempt for mankind," said I, rather abashed at the failure of my little complement. "What has shaken your faith in us, if I might venture to ask?"

"That is a long story," answered he; "but I will tell it to you one of these days if you and death can wait so long."

"Why not now? Everything is at rest; even the squirrels are sound asleep, coiled up in the beech boughs, unmindful of you and me."

"No, no," said he snappishly, "I'm too tired to think now. Besides, I don't know you, nor what you would be at with your teasing questions. Go away and let me alone."

Fearing to vex him further and rouse his suspicions, I bade him goodbye and retreated, promising to return the following night. The next evening, just after sunset, I turned my steps toward the forest, and heard as I drew near the tower my poor hermit shooting out into the darkness his dismal cry houloulou! houloulou! which was answered by a dreary echo.

"Poor old soul!" said I to myself, "it is frightful even to hear him, his cries are so full of hatred, menace, and irony. Either he is wicked or—" but I was standing at the foot of the tower and the voice of the solitary called out: "Oh! is that you? It never occurred to me that you would be so punctual. I must confess that your exactness charms me."

And from that hour the anchorite and I were bound together by the strongest friendship. He told me that from the first he had felt drawn to me by a singular sympathy, but had vigorously resisted the attraction for fear of fresh disappointment. His words shocked me by their harshness, but our disputes were always friendly and his rebukes were administered with a fatherly tenderness which touched me extremely.

{266}

"But," said I one evening, "what would become of society if we adopted your maxims? The noblest friendship, the most heroic devotion, would be but deceitful snares. We should see in our companions only knavery, hypocrisy, and treachery beneath a fair outside. And at this moment you are not in harmony with your theories, for you are confiding in me without dreaming that while I speak to you I may be planning your ruin and destruction."

He smiled, and I believed him convinced; but a moment after the doleful theme was resumed, and he was preaching his lamentable doctrines as if I had not interrupted him.

"You are sincere and perhaps even virtuous now," he said. "But that is no more than your duty, so you deserve no credit. I am so old in experience that sometimes my wisdom seems to have been bought with every drop of blood in my veins, and with every hope of happiness. Now, this is the fruit of my experience, which I will give you, and you can digest it at your leisure. Have no friends—live by yourself—never marry—live in a village rather than in a city, and in a forest rather than in either. You laugh, but let me tell you that it is no laughing matter, as you will find when you know the world as well as I do; and you will know it one of these days, when experience has come too soon and death too late for your prayers."

So spake the misanthrope, and I replied: "We must take men as they are and life as we find it; remembering that other people's faults are sooner seen than our own, and that they have as much reason to shun us as we have to despise them. God made us to live with our fellow-creatures, and if each person followed out your dismal precepts the world would become a vast solitude—a living tomb to engulf humanity."

"Alas! young man!" was his mournful reply, and it was only by dint of entreaty that I at last discovered the grounds of his grief and disappointment. One beautiful evening lie told me his story. The forest was radiant with a sunset glow; and the little birds were hopping about and building their nests in the branches of the trees, twittering and singing in the fulness of their joy.

"I was born," said he, "in the very place where I live to-day, for the one illusion, the supreme consolation that I have left, is a love of my native land. I was hatched in that crumbling old tower yonder covered with moss and ivy. My two brothers came into the world with me, and it was a dream of ours that we would go through life together, always sacrificing private interest to mutual happiness: promises suited to infancy and destined to be forgotten before youth had fled.

"We were the pride of our parents' hearts, and as we grew from day to day our mother gloried in our size and beauty—our father in the fancied promise we gave of strength and virtue. One day, when we had grown old enough to take a little care of ourselves, our parents addressed these words to us: 'In another month, little ones, you will need our help no longer, and will enter boldly upon life. Now listen to our directions: if we should die before you are old enough to take care of yourselves, go to our neighbor, the old owl, who lives in the oak that was struck by lightning last year, and who comes to see you sometimes. He will be father and mother in one to you, if a parent's place can be supplied. And another piece of advice: never let a silly curiosity prompt you to leave this wood and go in search of new places. Beyond this forest you would find treachery, misfortune, and death. Now mind and remember our words when we are taken from you, and never forget the father and mother who have love you so dearly.'

{267}

"All this made us cry so bitterly that we could hardly speak. The words had a dreadful sound, though we did not know what they meant. 'What was it all about?' thought we; and yet with a sense of dread and ill omen, we promised with tears to follow their device. We pledged ourselves to everything, and thought our fidelity unimpeachable—for childhood has such unbounded faith in itself. Our parents rejoiced in our docility, and for several days our happy life continued unclouded.

"One evening they went out as usual to get food for us after saying goodbye very tenderly. For a long time we awaited their return in vain, and fell asleep at last worn out with watching and listening. When we awoke they had not come back, and we asked each other in terror if this could be the eternal separation they had spoken of. The ruins rang with our cries, and the mocking echo sounded to our excited fancy like the laugh of some mysterious enemy. Then hunger c