The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Catholic World, Vol. 06, October, 1867
to March, 1868., by Various

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Title: The Catholic World, Vol. 06, October, 1867 to March, 1868.

Author: Various

Release Date: October 28, 2017 [EBook #55841]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Don Kostuch

[Transcriber's note: This text is derived from Page numbers are shown in curly braces, such as {123}. They have been moved to the nearest sentence break.]


The Catholic World.

A Monthly Magazine


General Literature And Science


October, 1867, To March, 1868.

New York:
The Catholic Publication House,
126 Nassau Street.


John A. Gray & Green,


16 And 18 Jacob Street, New York.



A Royal Nun, 106.
Aimée's Sacrifice, 156.
A Winged Word, 257.

Basher's Sacrifice, and what came of it, 124.
Baby, 227.
Bellini's Romance, 408.
Bethlehem: A Pilgrimage, 462.
Bunyan, John, and Plagiarism, 535.
Bartoleme Las Casas, 829.

Christian Schools and Scholars, 44.
Carlyle's Shooting Niagara, 86.
Cartesian Doubt, The, 234.
Composer's Difficulty, The, 251.
Christianity in France, Present Condition of, 275, 360.
Catholic Congress at Malines, The Third, 289.
Conscript, the Story of, 310, 441, 607, 732.
Cornelius, Peter, the Master of German Painting, 391.
Comedy of Convocation, The, 554.
Catholic Congress of Malines, Bishop Dupanloup's Speech at, 587.
Couture's Book, 653.
Canada Thistles, 721.
Composers, The Rival, 758.
Church and her Attributes, The, 788.

Double Marriage, The, 776.

Faith and the Sciences, 330.
Forget Me Not, 639.

Indians, What shall we do with the, 403.
Irish in America, The, 765.
Italy, Affairs in, 814.

Jesuits in North America, The, 192.
Justification, The Catholic Doctrine of, 433.
Joseph Görres, 497.

Kings of England, The Title of, 257.

Learned Women and Studious Women, 24, 209.
Labor Question, The, 472.
Libraries—Family, Parish, and Sunday-School, 546.
Lacordaire, Inner Life of, 689.

Manager's Dilemma, The, 20.
Martyrs of Gorcum, The, 71.
Meadowbrook Adventure, My, 346.
Magas; or, Long Ago, 666, 804.
Miscellany, 709.
Nature and Grace, 509.

Our Boy Organist, 64.
Old Guide to Good Manners, An, 98.
Old Religion, The, 622.
Old Roman World, The, 751.

Protestants, A Few Thoughts about, 132.
Paris Impious—and Religious Paris, 577.
Philosophy not always Vain, 680.
Paris, The Pre-Historical Congress of, 703.

Rome and the World, 1.
Ritualism and its True Meaning, 375.
Reign of Law, The, 595.

Sayings of the Fathers of the Desert, 92, 171, 421, 700, 851.
Subjective in Religion, Function of the, 175.
Stage-Coach, The Inside of, 412.
Sandal of His Holiness, The Ceremonial, 471.
Sacrifice and the Ransom, The, 485.

Temporal Power of the Popes, The, 528.
The Pre-Historical Congress of Paris, 703.

Women, Learned and Studious, 24, 209.
Washington, Unpublished Letters of, 145.
What Doctor Marks died of, 824.


All Souls' Day, 172.
Abscondita, 731.

Beati Mites, Quoniam Ipse Possidebunt Terram, 606.

Divine Loadstone, The, 757.

In Memoriam, 43.
Imogen, 190.

Joy and Grief, 358.

Love of the Pardoned, The, 823.

Mater Filii, 484.
Matin, 527.

Our Lady, 62.

Per Liquidum AEthera Vates, 327.
Providence, 701.

Ran Away to Sea, 103.

Seventy-Three, 266.
Seven Sleepers, The Legend of the, 544.
Sub Umbra, 638.

With Christ, 19.


New Publications.

Aner's Return, 430.
Alexis, the Runaway, 575.

Battle-Fields of Ireland, The, 288.
Blessed Margaret Mary, History of, 287.
Bohemians of the Fifteenth Century, 144.
Breaking Away, 575.
Blessed Eucharist, The, 859.

Clergy and the Pulpit, 139.
Catholic Crusoe, 430.
Climbing the Rope, 575.
Childhood, Happy Hours of, 576.
Coral Island, The, 717.
Catholic Poets, Selections from, 718.
Claudia, 719.
Comedy of Convocation, The, 719.
Catholic Almanac, 720.
Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland, The, 859.

Day's Synthesis and Art of Discourse, 425.
Dotty Dimple, 576.
Daughter of an Empress, The, 713

Essays on Religion and Literature, 141.
Extracts from the Fathers, 144.

Froude's Short Studies on Great Subjects, 428.
Folks and Fairies, 860.

Galin Method of Musical Instruction, The, 430.
Golden Truths, 716.

Heiress of Killorgan, The, 432.
Haldeman's Affixes, their Origin and Application, 432.
Holy Kings, The Three, 573.
Hildebert, The Hymn of, 574.
Holly and Mistletoe, 576.
Home Fairy Tales, 860.

Irish Reformation, Dr. Brady on the, 571.
Ireland, an Illustrated History of, 855.
Ireland, Legends of the Wars in, 858.

Katrina, Holland's, 285.

Lacorclaire's Letters to Young Men, 144.
Life of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, The, 288.
Little Pet Books, 288.
Life of Curran and Grattan, The, 576.
Layman's Breviary, The, 717.
Lovers' Dictionary, 860.

Modern History, Fredet's and Kearney's, 144,
Meditations of St. Thomas, 431.
My Prisons, 575.
Marie Antoinette and her Son, 713.
Morgan Rattler, 717.
Manual of Physical Exercises, 860.

Napoleon and Queen of Prussia, 713.
Newman's Verses on Various Occasions, 858.

Preston's Lectures on Reason and Revelation, 710.
Poems, 711.

Queens of American Society, The, 719.

Recamier, Madame, Life of, 430.
Rome and the Popes, 718.

Swetchine, Madame, Life of, 429.
Saint Ignatius and the Society of Jesus, 431.
Saint Gwendoline, Ye Legend of, 573.
Shamrock and Thistle, 574.
Saint Vincent de Paul, The Spirit of, 718.
Saint Francis of Assisi, Life of, 718.
Seek and Find, 720.
Strickland's Queens of England, 860.

Two Thousand Miles on Horseback, 715.
Tommy Hickup, 720.

Uberto, 286.
Ungava, 717.

Votary, The, 286.

Whitney on Language and the Study of Language, 423.
Women, The Friendships of, 852.

Young Fur Traders, The, 717.


The Catholic World

Vol. VI., No. 31.—October, 1867.

Rome And The World.

Under the head Rome or Reason we showed in THE CATHOLIC WORLD for last month that Catholicity is based on reality, and is the synthesis, so to speak, of Creator and creature, of God and man, of heaven and earth, nature and grace, faith and reason, authority and liberty, revelation and science, and that there is in the real order no antagonism between the two terms or categories. The supposed antagonism results from not understanding the real nexus that unites them in one dialectic whole, and forms the ground of their mutual conciliation and peace, expressed in the old sense of the word "atonement."

Christianity is supernatural, indeed, but it is not an after-thought, or an anomaly in the original plan of creation. Our Lord was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; the Incarnation is included in creation as its completion or fulfilment; and hence many theologians hold that, even if man had not sinned, God would have become incarnate, not, indeed, to redeem man from sin and death which comes by sin, but to ennoble his nature, and to enable him to attain to that supernatural union with God in which alone he finds or can find his supreme good or perfect beatitude. Christianity, whether this be so or not, must always be regarded as teleological, the religion of the end—not accidentally so, but made so in the original plan of the Creator. It enters dialectically, not arbitrarily, into that plan, and really completes it. In this view of the case the Creator's works from first to last are dialectical, and there is and can be no contradiction in them; no discrepancy between the natural and supernatural, between faith and reason, nature and grace, the beginning, medium, and end, but all form integral parts of one indissoluble whole.

But, if there is and can be no antagonism between Rome and Reason, there certainly is an antagonism between Rome and the World, which must not be overlooked or counted for nothing, and which will, in some form, most likely, subsist as long as the world stands. Rome symbolizes for us the catholic religion, or the divine order, which is the law of life. {2} The Catholic Church in its present state dates only from the Incarnation, out of which it grows, and of which it is in some sort the visible continuation; but the Catholic religion, as the faith, as the law of life, dates from the beginning. The just before the coming of Christ were just on the same principles, by the same faith, and by obedience to the same divine law, or conformity to the same divine order, that they are now, and will be to the end; and hence the deist Tindal expressed a truth which he was far from comprehending when he asserted that "Christianity is as old as the world." Tindal's great error was in understanding by Christianity only the natural law promulgated through natural reason, and in denying the supernatural. Christianity is that and more too. It includes, and from the first has included, in their synthesis, both the natural and the supernatural. The human race has never had but one true or real religion, but one revelation, which, as St. Thomas teaches, was made in substance to our first parents in the garden. Times change, says St. Augustine, but faith changes not. As believed the fathers—the patriarchs—so believe we, only they believed in a Christ to come, and we in a Christ that has come. Prior to the actual coming of Christ the Church existed, but in a state of promise, and needed his actual coming to be perfected, or fulfilled, as St. Paul teaches us in his epistle to the Hebrews; and hence none who died before the Incarnation actually entered heaven till after the passion of our Lord.

Now, to this divine order, this divine law, this catholic faith and worship symbolized to us by Rome, the visible centre of its unity and authority, stands opposed another order, not of life, but of death, called the world, originating with our first parents, and in their disobedience to the divine law, or violation of the divine order established by the Creator, conformity to which was essential to the moral life and perfection of the creature, or fulfilment of the promise given man in creation. The order violated was founded in the eternal wisdom and goodness of the Creator, and the relations which necessarily subsist between God as creator and man as his creature, the work of his hands. There is and can be for man no other law of life; even God himself can establish no other. By obedience to the law given or conformity to the order established man is normally developed, lives a true normal life, and attains to his appointed end, which is the completion of his being in God, his beatitude or supreme good. But Satan tempted our first parents to depart from this order and to transgress the divine law, and in their transgression of the law they fell into sin, and founded what we call the world—not on the law of life, but on what is necessarily the law of death.

The principle of the world may be collected from the words of the Tempter to Eve: "Ye shall not surely die, but shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." These words deny the law of God, declare it false, and promise to men independence of their Creator, and the ability to be their own masters, their own teachers and guides. "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil;" that is, determining for yourselves, independently of any superior, what is right or wrong, good or evil, or what is or is not fitting for you to do. You shall suffice for yourselves, and be your own law. Hence, as the basis of Rome is the assertion of the divine law, conformity to the divine order, or submission to the divine reason and will, that is, humility, the basis of the world is the denial of the divine order, the rejection of the law of life and the assertion of the sufficiency of man for himself, that is, simply, pride. {3} Rome is based on humility, the world on pride; the spirit of Rome is loyalty and obedience, the spirit of the world is disloyalty and disobedience, always and everywhere the spirit of revolt or rebellion. Between these two spirits there is necessarily an indestructible antagonism, and no possible reconciliation.

The radical difference between Rome and the world is the radical difference between the humility of the Christian and the pride of the Stoic. All Christian piety and virtue are based on humility; the piety and virtue of the stoic are based on pride. The Christian is always deeply impressed with the greatness and goodness of God; the stoic with the greatness and strength of himself. The Christian submits to crosses and disappointments, to the sufferings and afflictions of life, because he loves God, and is willing to suffer anything for his sake; the stoic endures them without a murmur, because he disdains to complain, and holds that he is, and should be, superior to all the vicissitudes and calamities of life. The Christian weeps as his Master wept at the grave of Lazarus, and finds relief in his tears; the stoic is too proud to weep; he wraps himself in his own dignity and self-importance, and, when his calamities are greater than he can bear, he seeks relief, like Cato, in suicide, thus proving his weakness by the very means he takes to conceal it. The Christian throws his burden on the Lord, and rises above it; the stoic insists on bearing it himself, and at last sinks under it. The world despises humility, and tramples on the humble. To it the Christian is tame, passive, mean-spirited, contemptible. It has no sympathy with the beatitudes, such as, Blessed are the poor in spirit; blessed are the pure in heart; blessed are the meek; blessed are the peacemakers. It understands nothing of true Christian heroism, or of the greatness of repose. It sees strength only in effort, which is always a proof of weakness, and the harder one strains and tugs to raise a weight, the stronger it holds him. We may see it in the popular literature of the day, and in nearly all recent art. The ancients had a much truer thought when they sculptured their gods asleep, and spread over their countenance an air of ineffable repose. The Scriptures speak of the mighty works of God, but represent them as the hiding of his power. All the great operations of nature are performed in silence, and the world notes them not. The Christian's greatness is concealed by the veil of humility, and his strength is hidden with God. He works in silence, but with effect, because he works with the power of Him to whom is given all power in heaven and in earth.

Mr. Gladstone thinks he finds in Homer the whole body of the patriarchal religion, or the primitive tradition of the race, and he probably is not much mistaken; but no one can study Homer's heroes without being struck with the contrast they offer to the heroes of the Old Testament. The Old Testament heroes are as brave, as daring, and as effective as those of Homer; but they conceal their own personality, they go forth to battle in submission to the divine command, not seeking to display their own skill or prowess, and the glory of their achievements they ascribe to God, who goes with them, assists them, fights for them, and gives the victory. What is manifest is the presence and greatness of God, not the greatness and strength of the hero, who is nothing in himself. In Homer the case is reversed, and what strikes the reader is the littleness of God and the greatness of men. {4} The gods and goddesses take part in the fray, it is true, but they are hardly the equals of the human warriors themselves. A human spear wounds Venus, and sends Mars howling from the field. It is human greatness and strength, human prowess and heroism, without any reference to God, to whom belongs the glory, that the poet sings, the creature regarded as independent of the Creator. In reading the Old Testament, you lose sight of the glory of men in the glory of God; in reading Homer, you lose sight of the glory of God in the glory of men. Abraham, Joshua, Gideon, Jephtha, David, the Maccabees fight as the servants of the Most High; Agamemnon, Ajax, Diomed, Achilles, even Hector, to display their own power, and to prove the stuff that is in them.

Perhaps no author, ancient or modern, has so completely embodied in his writings, the spirit of the world, the Welt-Geist, as the Germans say, as Thomas Carlyle. This writer may have done some service to society in exposing many cants, in demolishing numerous shams, and in calling attention to the eternal verities, of which few men are more ignorant; but he has deified force, and consecrated the worship of might in the place of right. Indeed, for him, right is cant, and there is no right but might. He spurns humility, submission, obedience, and recognizes God only in human ability. His hero-worship is the worship of the strong and the successful. Ability, however directed or wherever displayed, is his divinity. His heroes are Woden and Thor, Cromwell, Frederick the Great, Mirabeau, Danton, Napoleon Bonaparte. The men who go straight to their object, whether good or bad, and use the means necessary to gain it, whether right or wrong, are for him the divine men, and the only thing he censures is weakness, whether caused by indecision or scruples of conscience. His hero is an elemental force, who acts as the lightning that rives the oak, or the winds that fill the sails and drive the ship to its port. Old-fashioned morality, which requires a man to seek just ends by just means, is with him a cant, a sham, an unreality, and the true hero makes away with it, and is his own end, his own law, his own means. He is not governed, he governs, and is the real being, the real God; all else belong to the unveracities, are mere simulacra, whose end is to vanish in thin air, to disappear in the inane. The man who recognizes a power above him, a right independent of him, and in submission to the divine law, and from love of truth and justice, weds himself to what is commanded, espouses the right and adheres to it through good report and evil report, takes up the cause of the oppressed, the wronged and outraged, the poor, the friendless, and the down-trodden, and works for it, gives his soul to it, and sacrifices his time, his labor, and his very life to advance it, when he has no man with him, and all the world unheeds, jeers, or thwarts him, is unheroic, and has no moral grandeur in him, has no virtue—unless he succeeds. He is a hero only when he carries the world with him, bends the multitude to his purpose, and comes out triumphant. The unsuccessful are always wrong; lost causes are always bad causes; and the unfortunate are unveracious, and deserve their fate. The good man struggling with fate, and holding fast to his integrity in the midst of the sorest trials and temptations, and overborne in all things save his unconquerable devotion to duty, is no hero, and deserves no honor, though even the ancients thought such a man worthy of the admiration of gods and men. {5} Carlyle forgets that there is an hereafter, and that what to our dim vision may seem to be failure here may there be seen to have been the most eminent success. The Christians conquered the world, not by slaying, but by being slain, and the race has been redeemed by the Cross. Indeed, pride is always a proof of meanness and weakness, is an unveracity; for it is born of a lie, and rests on a lie: all real magnanimity and strength for men spring from humility, which is not a falsehood, but a veracity; for it is conformity to the truth of things.

The principle of opposition to the church is always and everywhere the same, invariable in time and place as the church herself, and has a certain consistency, a certain logic of its own; but it varies its form from age to age and from nation to nation, and is enraged at the church because she does not vary with it. It is always at bottom, whatever its form, the assumption that the creature does or may suffice for itself: "Ye shall not surely die, but shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." This primitive falsehood, this satanic lie, underlies all the hostility of the world to the church, or of the world to Rome. Analyze what is called the world, and you will find that it is only a perpetual effort or series of efforts to realize the promise made by the serpent to Eve in the garden, when coiled round the tree of knowledge. The world labors to exalt the dignity and glory of man, not as a creature dependent for his existence, for all he is or can be, on the Creator, which would be just and proper, but as an independent, self-acting, and self-determining being, accountable, individually or socially, only to himself for his thoughts, words, and deeds—subject to no law but his own will, appetites, passions, natural propensities, and tendencies. He is himself his own law, his own master, and should be free from all restraint and all control not in himself.

It is easy, therefore, to understand why, with the world and with men filled with the spirit of the world, Rome is held to be the symbol of despotism, and the church to be inherently and necessarily hostile to the freedom of thought and to all civil and religious liberty. The world understands by liberty independence of action, and therefore exemption from all obligation of obedience, or subjection to any law, not self-imposed. It holds the free man to be one who is under no control, subject to no restraint, and responsible to no will but his own. This is its view of liberty, and consequently whatever restricts liberty in this sense, and places man under a law which he is bound to recognize and obey, is in its vocabulary despotism, opposed to the rights of man, the rights of the mind, the rights of society, or the freedom and independence of the secular order. Liberty in this broad and universal sense obviously cannot be the right or prerogative of any creature, for the creature necessarily depends for all he is or has on the creator. Hence M. Proudhon, who maintained that property is robbery, with a rigid logic that has hardly been appreciated, asserts that the existence of God is incompatible with the assertion of the liberty of man. Admit, he says, the existence of God, and you must concede all the authority claimed by the Catholic Church. The foundation of all despotism is in the belief in the existence of God, and you must deny, obliterate that belief, before you can assert and maintain liberty. He was right, if we take liberty as the world takes it. Liberty, as the world understands it, is the liberty of a god, not of a creature. {6} Rome asserts and maintains full liberty of man as a creature; but she does and must oppose liberty in the broad, universal sense of the world; for her very mission is to assert and maintain the supremacy of the divine order, the authority of God over all the works of his hands, and alike over men as individuals and as nations. She asserts indeed, liberty in its true sense; but she, does and must oppose the liberty the world demands, the liberty promised by Satan to our first parents, and which, in truth, should be called license, not liberty, and also those who strive for it as disloyal to God, as rebels to their rightful sovereign, children of disobedience, warring against, as Carlyle would say, the veracities, the eternal verities, the truth of things, or divine reality. There is no help for it. The church must do so, or be false to her trust, false to her God, false to the divine order; for, let the world say what it will, man is not God, but God's creature, and God is sovereign Lord and proprietor of the universe, since he has made it, and the maker has the sovereign right to the thing made. Here is no room for compromise, and the struggle must continue till the world abandons its false notion of liberty, and submits to the divine government. Till then the church is and must be the church militant, and carry on the war against the world, whatever shape it may assume.

With the ancient Gentiles the world rather perverted and corrupted the truth than absolutely rejected it, and fell into idolatry and superstition rather than into absolute atheism. The Epicureans were, indeed, virtually atheists, but they never constituted the great body of any Gentile nation. The heathen generally retained a dim and shadowy belief in the divinity, even in the unity of God; but they lost the conception of him as creator, and consequently of man and the universe as his creature. By substituting in their philosophy generation, emanation, or formation for creation, they obscured the sense of man's dependence on God as creator, and consequently destroyed the necessary relation between religion and morality. No moral ideas entered into their worship, and they worshipped the gods to whom they erected temples and made offerings, not from a sense of duty or from the moral obligation of the creature to adore his Creator and give himself to him, but from motives of interest, to avert their displeasure, appease their wrath, or to render them propitious to their undertakings, whether private enterprises or public war and conquest. They asserted for man and society independence of the divine order as a moral order. Severed from all moral conceptions, their religion became a degraded and degrading superstition, an intolerable burden to the soul, and their worship the embodiment of impurity and corruption. Such was the effect of the great Gentile apostasy, or Gentile attempt to realize the freedom and independence promised by Satan. The promise proved a lie.

When the church in her present state was established, the world opposed her in the name of the liberty or independence of the temporal order, which implies as its basis the independence of the creature of the creator, and therefore resting on the same satanic promise, "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." When our Lord was brought before Pontius Pilate, and Pilate was about to dismiss the charges against him and to let him go, the Jews changed his purpose by telling him, "If you let this man go, you are no friend to Caesar." {7} The heathen persecutions of the Christians were principally on the ground that they were disloyal to the empire, inasmuch as they rejected its worship, and asserted the immediate divine authority of their religion and its independence of the state or civil society, holding firmly always and everywhere the maxim, "We must obey God rather than men." All down through the barbarous ages that followed the downfall of the Roman empire of the West, through the feudal ages, and down even to our own times, the state has claimed supreme authority over the church in regard to her temporal goods and her government, and has constantly sought to subject her to the civil authority, which in principle is the same with subjecting God to man. The world represented by Caesar has constantly struggled to subvert the independence of religion, and to exalt the human above the divine. This is the meaning of the mediaeval contests between the pope and the emperor, as we have heretofore shown. There is not at this day, unless Belgium be an exception, a single state in Europe where the temporal power leaves religion free and independent, or where the church has not to struggle against the government to maintain the independence of the divine order she represents. Fidelity to God is held to be treason to the state, and hence Elizabeth of England executes Catholics at Tyburn as traitors.

The age boasts of progress, and calls through all its thousands of organs upon us to admire the marvellous progress it has made, and is every hour making. It is right, if what it means by progress really be progress. It has certainly gone further than any preceding age in emancipating itself from the supremacy of the law of God, in trampling on the divine order, and asserting the supremacy of man. It has drawn the last logical consequences contained in the lying promise of Satan, "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." There is no use in denying or seeking to disguise it. The world as opposed to Rome, ceases entirely to regard man as a creature, and boldly and unblushingly puts him in all respects in the place of God. God, when not openly denied to exist, is denied as creator: he is at most natura naturans, and identical with what are called the laws of nature. Hundreds of savans are busy with the effort to explain the universe without recognizing a creator, and to prove that effects may be obtained without causes. Science stops at second causes, or, rather, with the investigation and classification of phenomena, laughs at final causes, and, if it does not absolutely deny a first cause, relegates it to the region of the unknowable, and treats it as if it were not. The advanced philosophers of the age see no difference between moral laws and physical laws, between gratitude and gravitation. The heart secretes virtue as the liver secretes bile, and virtue itself consists not in a voluntary act of obedience, or in deliberately acting for a prescribed end, but in force of nature, in following one's instincts, and acting out one's self, heedless of consequences, and without any consideration of moral obligation. Truth is a variable quantity, and is one thing with me and another with my neighbor. There is no providence, or providence is fate, and God is the theological name given to the forces of nature, especially human nature; there is no divinity but man; all worship except that of humanity is idolatry or superstition; the race is immortal, but individuals, are mortal, and there is no resurrection of the dead. {8} Some, like Fourier and Auguste Comte, even deny that the race is immortal, and suppose that in time it will disappear in the inane.

But, without going any further into detail, we may say generally the age asserts the complete emancipation of man and his institutions from all intellectual, moral, and spiritual control or restraint, and under the name of liberty asserts the complete and absolute independence of man both individually and collectively, and under pretence of democratic freedom wars against all authority and all government, whether political or ecclesiastical. It does not like to concede even the axioms of the mathematician or the definitions of the geometrician, and sees in them a certain limitation of intellectual freedom. To ask it to conform to fixed and invariable principles, or to insist that there are principles independent of the human mind, or to maintain that truth is independent of opinion, and that opinions are true or false as they do or do not conform to it, is to seek to trammel free and independent thought, and to outrage what is most sacred and divine in man. The mind must be free, and to be free it must be free from all obligation to seek, to recognize, or to conform to truth. Indeed, there is no truth but what the mind conceives to be such, and the mind is free to abide by its own conceptions, for they are the truth for it. Rome, in asserting that truth is independent of the human will, human passions and conceptions, one and universal, and always and everywhere the same, and in condemning as error whatever denies it or does not conform to it, is a spiritual despotism, which every just and noble principle of human nature, the irrepressible instincts of humanity itself, wars against, and resists by every means in its power.

We have shown that the world, as opposed to Rome, rests on the satanic falsehood, and this conception of liberty, which Rome rejects and wars against, has no other basis than the satanic promise, "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil," or be your own masters as God is his own master, and suffice for yourselves as he suffices for himself. The world is not wrong in asserting liberty, but wrong in its definition of liberty, or in demanding for man not the proper liberty of the creature, but the liberty which can exist only for the Creator. By claiming for man a liberty not possible for a dependent creature, the world loses the liberty to which it has, under God, the right, and falls under the worst of all tyrannies. Liberty is a right, but, if there is no right, how can you defend liberty as a right? If liberty is not a right, no wrong is done in violating it, and tyranny is as lawful as freedom. Here is a difficulty in the very outset that the world cannot get over. It must assert right, therefore the order of justice, before it can assert its liberty against Rome; and, if it does assert such order, it concedes what Rome maintains, that liberty is founded in the order of justice, and cannot transcend what is true and just. The world does not see that, in denying the spiritual order represented by Rome, it denies the very basis of liberty, and all difference between liberty and despotism, because it is only on the supposition of such order that liberty can be defended as a right, or despotism condemned as a wrong.

It is alleged against Rome that she opposes modern civilization. This is so or not so, according to what we understand by modern civilization. {9} If we understand by modern civilization the rejection of the divine order, the supremacy of spiritual truth, and the assertion of the divinity and independence of man, Rome undoubtedly opposes it, and must oppose it; but, if we understand by modern civilization the melioration of the laws, the development of humane sentiments, the power acquired by the people in the management of their temporal affairs, and the material progress effected by the application of the truths of science to the industrial arts, the invention of the steam-engine, the steamboat, the railway and locomotive, and the lightning telegraph, the extension of commerce and increased facilities of international communication, though probably a greater value is attached to these things than truth warrants, she by no means opposes or discourages modern civilization. Undoubtedly she places heaven above earth, and is more intent on training men for eternal beatitude than on promoting temporal prosperity of this life. The earth is not our end, and riches are not the supreme good. She asserts a higher than worldly wisdom, and holds that the beggar has at least as good a chance of heaven as the rich man clothed in fine linen and faring sumptuously every day. She would rather see men intent on saving their souls than engrossed with money-making. The experience of modern society proves that in this she is right. We live in an industrial age, and never in any age of the world did people labor longer or harder than they do now to obtain the means of subsistence, and never was the honest poor man less esteemed, wealth more highly honored, or mammon more devoutly worshipped; yet the church never opposes earthly well-being, and regards it with favor when made subsidiary to the ultimate end of man.

Yet certain words have become sacramental for the world, and are adopted by men who would shrink from the sense given them by the more advanced liberals of the day; and these men regard Rome, when condemning them in that extreme sense, as condemning modern civilization itself. We take the Encyclical of the Holy Father, issued December 8, 1864. The whole non-Catholic world, and even some Catholics, poorly informed as to their own religion or as to the meaning of the errors condemned, regarded that Encyclical as a fulmination against liberty and all modern civilization. Nobody can forget the outcry raised everywhere by the secular press against the Holy Father, and what are called the retrograde tendencies of the Catholic Church. The pope, it was said, has condemned all free thought and both civil and religious liberty, the development of modern society, and all modern progress. Yet it is very likely that four fifths of those who joined in the outcry, had they been able to discriminate between what they themselves really mean to defend under the names of liberty, progress, and civilization, and what the more advanced liberals hold and seek to propagate, would have seen that the pope in reality condemned only the errors which they themselves condemn, and asserted only what they themselves really hold. He condemned nothing which is not a simple logical deduction from the words of the arch-tempter, the liar from the beginning and the father of lies, addressed to our first parents. All the errors condemned in the Syllabus are errors which tend to deny or obscure the divine existence, the fact of creation, the authority of the Creator, the supremacy of the divine or spiritual order, to undermine all religion and morality, all civil government, and even society itself; and to render all science, all liberty, all progress, and all civilization impossible, as we have shown over and over again in the pages of this Magazine.


The numbers who embrace in their fullest extent the extreme views we have set forth, though greater than it is pleasant to believe, are yet not great enough to give of themselves any serious alarm, and hence many able and well-meaning men who have not the least sympathy with them attach no great importance to them, and treat them with superb contempt; but they are in reality only the advance-guard of a much larger and more formidable body, who march under the same drapeau and adopt the same counter-sign. The Archbishop of Westminster, than whom we can hardly name an abler or more enlightened prelate in the church, has said truly in a late Pastoral,

"That the age of heresies is past. No one now dreams of revising the teaching of the church, or of making a new form of Christianity. For this the age is too resolute and consistent. Faith or unbelief is an intelligible alternative; but between variations and fragments of Christianity men have no care to choose. All or none is clear and consistent; but more or less is halting and undecided. Revelation is a perfect whole, pervaded throughout by the veracity and authority of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. To reject any of it is to reject the whole law of divine faith; to criticise it and to remodel it is to erect the human reason as judge and measure of the divine. And such is heresy; an intellectual aberration which in these last ages has been carried to its final analysis, and exposed not only by the theology of the church but by the common sense of rationalism. We may look for prolific and antichristian errors in abundance, but heresies in Christianity are out of date."

The great body of those outside of the Catholic communion, as well as some nominally in it, but not of it, who are still attached to the Christian name, adopt the watchwords of the extreme party, and are tending in the same direction. Mazzini and Garibaldi are heroes with the mass of Englishmen and Americans, who wish them success in their anti-religious and anti-social movements. The universal secular press, the great power in modern society, with the whole sectarian press, has applauded the nefarious measures of intriguing Italian statesmen, demagogues, and apostates by which the Holy Father has been stripped of the greater part of his temporal possessions, the church despoiled of her goods, religious houses suppressed, and the freedom and independence of religion abolished throughout the Italian peninsula. The only non-Catholic voice we have heard raised in sympathy with the pope is that of Guizot, the ex-premier of Louis Philippe. Guizot, though a Protestant, sees that the papacy is essential to the Catholic Church, and that the Catholic Church is essential to the preservation of Christian civilization, the maintenance of society and social order. Our own secular press, so loud in its praise of religious liberty, applauds the Mexican Juarez for his confiscation of the goods of the church in the poor, distracted republic of Mexico. The sympathy of the world, of the age, is with every movement that tends to weaken the power of the church, the authority of religion, and even the authority of the state. The tendency with great masses who believe themselves Christians, a blind tendency it may be, is to no-religion or infidelity, and to no-governmentism. It is this fact that constitutes the danger to be combated.

The difficulty of combating it is very great. The mass of the people are caught by words without taking note of the meaning attached to them. {11} Where they find the consecrated terms of faith and piety, they naturally conclude that faith and piety are there. But to a great extent the enemies of Christianity oppose Christianity under Christian names. It is characteristic of this age that infidelity disguises itself in a Christian garb, and utters its blasphemy in Christian phraseology, its falsehoods in the language of truth. Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, comes as a philanthropist, talks of humanity, professes to be the champion of science, intelligence, education, liberty, progress, social amelioration, and the moral, intellectual, and physical elevation of the poorer and more numerous classes—all good things, when rightly understood, and in their time and place. We cannot oppose him without seeming to many to oppose what is a Christian duty. If we oppose false intelligence, we are immediately accused of being opposed to intelligence; if we oppose a corrupt and baneful education, we are accused of being in favor of popular ignorance, and lovers of darkness; if we oppose false liberty, or license presented under the name of liberty, we are charged with being the enemies of true freedom; if we assert authority, however legitimate or necessary, then we are despots and the advocates of despotism. The press opens its cry against us, and the age votes us mediaeval dreamers, behind the times, relics of the past, with our eyes on the backside of our heads, and the truth is drowned in the floods of indignation or ridicule poured out against us. Our success would be hopeless, if we could not rely on the support of Him whose cause we seek to the best of our ability to defend, and who after all reigneth in the heavens, and is able to make the wrath of man praise him, and can overrule evil for good.

It is alleged that the church opposes democracy, and is leagued with the despots against the people. The church herself leagues neither with democracy nor with monarchy. She leaves the people free to adopt the form of government they prefer. She opposes movements pretendedly in favor of democracy only when they are in violation of social order and opposed to legitimate authority, and she supports monarchy only where monarchy is the law, and it is necessary to uphold it as the condition of maintaining social order, and saving civilization from the barbarism that threatens to invade it. In the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth century the contrary charge was preferred, and the Church was condemned by the world on the ground of being hostile to kingly government; for public opinion then favored absolute monarchy, as it does now absolute democracy. We believe our own form of government the best for us, but we dare not say that other forms of government are not the best for other nations. Despotism is never legitimate; but we know no law of God or nature that makes democracy obligatory upon every people, and no reason for supposing that real liberty keeps pace with the progress of democracy. Democracy did not save France from the Reign of Terror and the most odious tyranny, and it certainly has not secured liberty and good order in Mexico. With us it is yet an experiment and we can pronounce nothing with certainty till we have seen the result of the crisis we are now passing through. We owe to it a fearful civil war and the suppression of a formidable rebellion, but the end is not yet. Still, there is nothing in our form of government in discord with the Catholic Church, and we firmly believe that, if maintained in its purity and integrity, she would find under it a freer field for her exertions than has ever yet been afforded her in the Old World. {12} At any rate, there is no room for doubt that the country needs the church to sustain our political institutions, and to secure their free and beneficial workings.

But the world does not gain what it seeks. It does not gain inward freedom, freedom of soul and of thought. It is difficult to conceive a worse bondage than he endures who feels that for truth and goodness he has no dependence but himself. One wants something on which to rest, something firm and immovable, and no bondage is more painful than the feeling that we stand on an insecure foundation, ready to give way under us if we seek to rest our whole weight on it, and that our constructions, however ingenious, can stand only as we uphold them with might and main. The man with only himself for support, is Atlas bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders in a treadmill. He is a man, as we know by experience, crossing a deep and broad river on floating cakes of ice, each too small to bear his weight, and sinking as soon as he strikes it. He must constantly keep springing from one to another to save his life, and yet, however rapidly he springs, gains nothing more solid or less movable. The world in its wisdom is just agoing to get on to something on which it can stand and rest, but it never does. Its castles are built in the air, and it spends all its labor for naught. All its efforts defeat themselves. Its philanthropy aggravates the evils it would redress, or creates others that are greater and less easily cured. In seeking mental freedom, it takes from the mind the light without which it cannot operate; in seeking freedom from the king, it falls under the tyranny of the mob; and, to get rid of the tyranny of the mob falls under that of the military despot; disdaining heaven, it loses the earth; refusing to obey God, it loses man.

All history, all experience proves it. Having rejected the sacredness and inviolability of authority in both religion and politics, and asserted "the sacred right of insurrection," the world finds itself without religion, without faith, without social order, in the midst of perpetual revolutions, checked or suppressed only by large standing armies, while each nation is overwhelmed with a public debt that is frightful to contemplate. This need not surprise us. It is the truth that liberates or makes free, and when truth is denied, or resolved into each one's own opinion or mental conception, there is nothing to liberate the mind from its illusions and to sustain its freedom. The mind pines away and dies without truth, as the body without food. It was said by one who spake as never man spake, that he who would save his life shall lose it, and experience proves that they who seek this world never gain it. "Ye shall not eat thereof, nor touch it, lest ye die." This command, which Satan contradicts, is true and good, and obedience to it is the only condition of life, or real success in life. In seeking to be God, man becomes less than man, because he denies the truth and reality of things. It is very pleasant, says Heinrich Heine, to think one's self a god, but it costs too much to keep up the dignity and majesty of one's godship. Our resources are not equal to it, and purse and health give way under the effort. Falsehood yields nothing, because it is itself nothing, and is infinitely more expensive than truth. Falsehood has no support, and can give none; whoever leans on it must fall through. And if ever there was a falsehood, it is that man is God, or independent of God.


The whole question between Rome and the world, turn it as we will, comes back always to this: Is man God, or the creature of God? He certainly is not God: then he is a creature, and God has created him and owns him, is his Lord and Master. He, then, is not independent of God, for the creative act of God is as necessary to continue him in existence and to enable him to act, to fulfil his destiny, or to attain his end or supreme good, as it was to call him from nothing into existence. God is the principle, medium, and end of our existence. Separation from God, or independence of him, is death; for we live, and move, and have our being in him, not in ourselves. The universe, when once created, does not go ahead on its own hook or of itself without further creative intervention; for the creative act is not completed in relation to the creature, till the creature has fulfilled its destiny or reached its end. God creates me and at each moment of my existence as much and as truly as he did Adam, and the suspension of his creative act for a single instant would be my annihilation. So of the universe. He creates me, indeed, a second cause and a free moral agent; but even in my own acts or causation I depend on him as my first cause, as the cause of me as a second cause, and in my own sphere I can cause or act only by virtue of his active presence and concurrence. When I attempt to act without him, as if I were independent of him, as our first parents did in following the suggestions of Satan, I do not cease to exist physically, but I die morally and spiritually, lose my moral life, fall into abnormal relations with my Creator, and am spiritually dead; for my moral and spiritual life depends on my voluntary obedience to the law of all created life: "Ye shall not eat thereof, or touch it, lest ye die."

Here is the basis of the divine dominion. God is sovereign lord and proprietor because he is creator, and man and nature are the work of his hands. Hence the Mosaic books insist not only on the unity of God, but even with more emphasis, if possible, on God as creator. The first verse of Genesis asserts creation in opposition to emanation, generation, or formation: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." All through the Old Testament, especially in the hagiographical books and the prophets, there is a perpetual recurrence to God as creator, to the fact that he has made the world and all things therein, and hence the call upon all creatures to sing his praise, so often repeated in the Psalms. Indeed, it was not so much by belief in the unity of God as in the fact that God is sole and universal creator, that the Jews were distinguished from the Gentiles. It may be doubted if the Gentiles ever wholly lost the belief in the existence of one God. We think we find in all heathen mythologies traces of a recognition of one God hovering, so to speak, over their manifold gods and goddesses, who were held to be tutelar divinities, never the divinity itself. But the Gentiles, as we have already said, had lost, and did in no sense admit, the fact of creation. We find no recognition of God as creator in any Gentile philosophy, Indian, Persian, Chaldean, Egyptian, Chinese, Greek, or Roman. The Gentiles were not generally atheists, we suspect not atheists at all; but they were invariably pantheists. Pantheism is the denial of the proper creative act of God, or, strictly speaking, that God creates substances or existences capable of acting from their own centre and producing effects as second causes. {14} The Jews were the only people, after the great Gentile apostasy, that preserved the tradition of creation. God as creator is the basis of all science, all faith, all religion; hence the first article of the Creed: "I believe in one God, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible." In this fact is founded the inviolable right of the Almighty to govern all his works, man among the rest, as seems to him good. We cannot deny this if we once admit the fact of creation; and if we deny the fact of creation, we deny our own existence and that of the entire universe.

But the right to govern implies the correlative duty of obedience. If God has the right to govern us, then we are bound to obey him and do his bidding, whatever it may be. There is nothing arbitrary in this, it is founded in the relation of creator and creature, and God himself could not make it otherwise without annihilating all creatures and ceasing to be creator. God could not create existences without giving them a law, because their very relation to him as his creatures imposes on them an inflexible and invariable law, which, if created free agents, they may, indeed, refuse to obey, but not and live. Here is the whole philosophy of authority and obedience. We must not confound the symbols employed in Genesis with the meaning they symbolize. The command given to our first parents was simply the law under which they were placed by the fact that they were creatures, that God had made them, and they belonged to him, owed him obedience, and could not disobey him without violating the very law of their existence. They cannot but die, because they depart from the truth of things, deny their real relation to God, and go against the divine order, conformity to which is in the nature of the case their only condition of life. So Rome teaches in accordance with our highest and best reason. The world, listening to the flattering words of Satan and the allurements of the flesh, denies it, and says, "Ye shall not surely die;" you may sin and live, may become free and independent, be as gods yourselves, your own master, teacher, and guide. Hence the inevitable war between Rome and the world, she striving to secure the obedience of men and nations to the law of God, and it striving to maintain their independence of the law, and to make them believe that they can live a life of their own, which in the nature of the case is not life, but death.

Other considerations, no doubt enter into the worship of God beside the simple fact that he is our Creator, but that fact is the basis of our moral obligation to obey him. This obligation is obscured when we seek for it another basis, as in the intrinsic worth, goodness, or excellence of God. No doubt, God deserves to be adored for his own sake, to be loved and obeyed for what he is in and of himself, but it is not easy to prove to men of the world that they are morally bound to love and obey goodness. These higher views of God which convert obedience into love, and would enable us to love God even if he did not command it, and to desire him for his own sake without reference to what he is to us, may in some sense be attained to, and are so by the saints, but there are few of us perfect enough for that. The law certainly is an expression of the goodness and love of the Creator, as is creation itself, but this is not precisely the reason why it is obligatory. {15} It is a good reason why we should love the law and delight in it, but not the reason why we are bound to obey it. We are bound to obey it because it is the law of our Creator, who has the sovereign right to command us, and hence religion cannot be severed from morality. No act of religion is of any real worth that is not an act of obedience, of submission of our will to the divine will, or which is not a frank acknowledgment of the divine sovereignty and the supremacy of the moral law. There must be in it an act of self-denial, of self-immolation, or it is not a true act of obedience, and obedience is better than any external offerings we can bring to the altar.

Here is where the world again errs. It is ready to offer sacrifices to God, to load his altars with its offerings of the firstlings of flocks and herds, and the fruits of the earth, but it revolts at any act of obedience, and will not remember that the sacrifices pleasing to God are an humble and contrite heart. It would serve God from love, not duty, forgetting that there is no love where there is no obedience. The obedience is the chief element of the love: "If ye love me, keep my commandments." We show our love to the Father by doing the will of the Father. There is no way of escaping the act of submission, and walking into heaven with our heads erect, in our own pride and strength, and claiming our beatitude as our right, without ever having humbled ourselves before God. We may show that the law is good, the source of light and life; we may show its reasonableness and justness, and that there is nothing degrading or humiliating in obeying it; but, whatever we do in this respect, nothing will avail if the act of obedience be withheld. Till the world does this, submits to the law, no matter what fine speeches it may make, what noble sentiments it may indulge, what just convictions it may entertain, or what rich offerings it may bring to the altar, it is at enmity with God, and peace between it and Rome is impossible.

God is in Christ reconciling the world to himself, but there can be no reconciliation without submission. God cannot change, and the world must. No humiliating conditions are imposed on it, but it must acknowledge that it has been wrong, and that the law it has resisted is just and right, and, above all, obligatory. This is the hardship the world complains of. But what reason has it to complain? What is demanded of it not for its good, or that is not demanded by the very law of life itself? The world demands liberty, but what avails a false and impracticable liberty? True liberty is founded in justice, is a right, and supported by law. We have shown, time and again, that the church suppresses no real liberty, and asserts and maintains for all men all the liberty that can fall to the lot of any created being. It demands the free exercise of human reason. In what respect does the church restrain freedom of thought? Can reason operate freely without principles, without data, without light, without any support, or anything on which to rest? What is the mind without truth, or intelligence in which nothing real is grasped? We know only so far as we know truth, and our opinions and convictions are worth nothing in so far as they are false, or not in accordance with the truth that we neither make nor can unmake, which is independent of us, independent of all men, and of all created intellects. What harm, then, does the church do us when she presents us infallibly that truth which the mind needs for its support? {16} Society needs law, and how does the church harm it by teaching the law of God, without which it cannot subsist? Men need government. What harm does the church do in declaring the supreme law of God, from which all human laws derive their force as laws, and which defines and guarantees both authority and liberty, protects the prince from the turbulence of the mob, and the people from the tyranny of the prince?

As sure as that man is God's creature and bound to obey God, there is for him no good independent of obedience to the law of God; and equally sure is it that obedience to that law secures to him all the good compatible with his condition as a created existence. The mystery of the Incarnation, in which God assumes human nature to be his own nature, gives him the promise of even participating in the happiness of God himself. This happiness or beatitude with God in eternity is the end for which man was created, and is included in the creative act of which it is the completion or fulfilment. In estimating the good which is sure to us by conformity to the divine order and obedience to the divine law, we must take into the account our whole existence from its inception to its completion in Christ in glory, and include in that good not only the joys and consolations of this life, but that eternal beatitude which God through his superabundant goodness has provided for us, and remember that all this we forfeit by obeying the law of death rather than the law of life. We can fulfil our destiny, attain to the stature of full-grown men, or complete our existence only by conforming to the divine order, by adhering to the truth, and obeying the law of life. Instead, then, of regarding the church as our enemy, as opposed to our real good, we should regard her as our true friend, and see in her a most striking proof of the loving-kindness of our God. In her he gives us precisely what we need to teach us his will, to make known to us the truth as it is in him, and to declare to us in all the vicissitudes and complexities of life the requirements of the law, and to be the medium of the gracious assistance we need to fulfil them.

No good thing will God withhold from them that love him. And he gives us all good in giving us, as he does, himself. Nor does he give us only the goods of the soul. He that will lose his life in God shall find it. "Seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things"—the things which the Gentiles seek after—"shall be added to you." They who lay up the most abundant treasures in heaven have the most abundant treasures on earth. The true principle of political economy, which the old French Economists and Adam Smith never knew, is self-denial, is in living for God and not for the world, as a Louvain professor has amply proved with a depth of thought, a profound philosophy, and a knowledge of the laws of production, distribution, and consumption seldom equalled. "I have been young, and now I am old, but never have I seen the righteous forsaken, or his seed begging bread." No people are more industrious or more bent on accumulating wealth, than our own, but so little is their self-denial and so great is their extravagance that the mass of them are, notwithstanding appearances, really poor. The realized capital of the country is not sufficient to pay its debts. We have expended the surplus earnings of the country for half a century or more, and the wealth of the nation is rapidly passing into the hands of a few money-lenders and soulless mammoth corporations, already too strong to be controlled by the government, whether State or General. {17} If it had not been for the vast quantities of cheap unoccupied lands easy of access, we should have seen a poverty and distress in this country to be found in no other. The mercantile and industrial system inaugurated by the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, and which is regarded as the crowning glory of the modern world, has added nothing to the real wealth of nations. But this is a theme foreign to our present purpose, and has already carried us too far. We will only add that the true Christian has the promise of this life and of that which is to come.

Now, no one can estimate the advantage to men and nations that must have been derived and continue to be derived from the church placed in the world to assert at every point the divine sovereignty, and to proclaim constantly in a clear and ringing voice that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth, and his law is the law of life, of progress, and of happiness both here and hereafter, the great truth which the world is ever prone to forget or to deny. We ought, therefore, to regard her existence with the most profound gratitude. She has done this work from the first, and continues to do it with unabated strength, in spite of so many sad defections and the opposition of kings and peoples. Never has she had more numerous, more violent, more subtle, or more powerful enemies than during the pontificate of our present Holy Father, Pius the Ninth. Never have her enemies seemed nearer obtaining a final triumph over her, and they have felt that at last she is prostrate, helpless, in her agony. Yet do they reckon without their host. The magnificent spectacle at Rome on the 29th of last June of more than five hundred bishops, and thousands of priests from all parts of the world, from every tongue and nation on the earth, gathered round their chief, and joining with him in celebrating the eighteen hundredth anniversary of the glorious martyrdom of Peter, the prince of the apostles, whose succession in the government of the church has never failed, proves that their exultation is premature, that her veins are still full of life, and that she is as fresh and vigorous as when she first went forth from Jerusalem on her divine mission to win the world to her Lord. The indication by the Holy Father of his resolve at a near day to convoke a universal council, a grand assembly of the princes of the church, proves also that she is still a fact, a living power on the earth, though not of it, with whom the princes of this world must count. Before her united voice, assisted by the Holy Ghost, her enemies will be struck dumb, and to it the nations must listen with awe and conviction, and most of the errors we have spoken of will shrink back from the face of day into darkness and silence. Faith will be reinvigorated, the hearts of the faithful made glad, and civilization resume its march, so long and so painfully interrupted by heresy, infidelity, and the almost constant revolutions of states and empires. We venture to predict for the church new and brilliant victories over the world.

Heresy has well-nigh run its course. It is inherently sophistical, and is too much for infidelity and too little for religion. In no country has it ever been able to stand alone, and it acquires no strength by age. The thinking men of all civilized nations have come, or are rapidly coining, to the conclusion that the alternative is either Rome or no religion, or, as they express it, "Rome or Reason," which we showed last month is by no means the true formula. The real formula of the age is, Rome or no religion, God or Satan. {18} The attempt to support anything worthy of the name of religion on human authority, whether of the individual or of the state, of private judgment or of the Scriptures interpreted by the private judgment of the learned, has notoriously, we might say confessedly, failed. Old-established heresies will no doubt linger yet longer, and offer their opposition to Rome; but their days are numbered, and, save as they may be placed in the forefront of the battle with the church, the active non-Catholic thought of the age makes no account of them, and respects them far less than it does Rome herself. They live only a galvanic life. We are far from regarding the battle that must be fought with the scientific no-religion or dry and cold unbelief of the age as a light affair. In many respects the world is a more formidable enemy than heresy, and the Gentilism of the nineteenth century is less manageable than that of the first, for it retains fewer elements of truth, and far less respect for authority and law. It has carried the spirit of revolt further, and holds nothing as sacred and inviolable. But it is always some gain when the issue is fairly presented, and the real question is fairly and distinctly stated in its appropriate terms; when there is no longer any disguise or subterfuge possible; and when the respective forces are fairly arrayed against each other, each under its own flag, and shouting its own war-cry. The battle will be long and arduous, for every article in the creed, from "Patrem omnipotentem" to "vitam aeternam," has been successively denied; but we cannot doubt to which side victory will finally incline.

Tertullian say, "the human heart is naturally Christian," and men can not be contented to remain long in mere vegetable existence without some sort of religion. They will, when they have nothing else to worship, evoke the spirits of the dead, and institute an illusory demon-worship, as we see in modern spiritism. The Christian religion as presented by Rome, though it flatters not human pride, and is offensive to depraved appetite or passion, is yet adapted to the needs of human nature, and satisfies the purer and noble aspirations of the soul. There is, as we have more than once shown, a natural want in man which it only can meet, and, we may almost say, a natural aptitude to receive it. Hence, we conclude that, when men see before them no alternative but Rome or no religion, downright naturalism able to satisfy nobody, they will, after some hesitation, submit to Rome and rejoice in Catholicity. Nature is very well; we have not a word to say against it when normally developed; but this world is too bleak and wintry for men to walk about in the nakedness of nature; they must have clothing of some sort, and, when they are fully convinced that they can find proper garments only in the wardrobe of the church, they cannot, it seems to us, long hold out against Rome or refuse submission to the law of life.

We here close our very inadequate discussion of the great subject we have opened. Our remarks are only supplementary to the article on Rome or Reason in THE CATHOLIC WORLD for September last, and are intended to guard against any false inferences that some might be disposed to draw from the doctrine we there set forth. We hold, as a Catholic, the dogma of original sin, and that our nature has been disordered by the fall and averted from God. We have not wished this fact to be overlooked, or ourselves to be understood as if we recognized no antagonism between this fallen or averted nature and Rome. {19} Our nature is not totally depraved. Understanding and will, if the former has been darkened and the latter attenuated by the fall, yet remain, and retain their essential character; but disorder has been introduced into our nature, and the flesh inclines to sin; its face is turned away from God, and it stands in need of being converted or turned to him. The church brings to this disordered and averted nature whatever is needed to convert it, heal its wounds, and elevate it to the plane of its destiny. But after conversion, after regeneration, the flesh, "the carnal mind," remains, as the Council of Trent teaches, and, as long as it remains, there must be a combat, a warfare. This combat, or warfare, is not, indeed, between reason and faith, revelation and science, nor between nature and grace, but between the law of God accepted and served by the judgment and will, by the inner man, and the law of sin in our members, the struggle between holiness and sin, an internal struggle, of which every one is conscious who attempts to lead a holy life. We have not only wished to recognize the fact of this struggle as an interior struggle in the individual, but also as passing from the individual to society, and manifesting itself in the perpetual struggle between Rome and the world, which ceases, and can cease, only in proportion as men and society become converted to God, and voluntarily submissive to his law.

With Christ.

    "Having a desire to be dissolved and be with Christ—
    a thing by far the better."

  To die and be with Christ! far better 'tis
    Than all this world of sin and strife can give,
    Whose highest boon to those who easiest live
  Compares not with one moment of heaven's bliss!
  And to earth's suffering ones, whose hearts are torn
    With anguish, while their bodies writhe in pain,
    What joyous sounds are these: "To die is gain!"
  To leave a world where weary souls forlorn
  In sinful murmuring wish they ne'er were born.
  To be with Christ! O words of solemn power
    To hush the heart-cry! let me hold them fast.
    If haply I may reach thee, Lord, at last,
    And, this strange world with all its sorrows past,
  May learn the meaning deep of each sad, suffering hour!


The Managers Dilemma.

"I Tell you, child, you can do it; and I say you shall!"

The speaker was the fat hostess of a hotel in one of the principal streets of Naples; the time was the summer of 1812. The lady waddled back and forward with an air of importance, her hands on her hips. The person she addressed was a lad apparently sixteen years of age, and very tall and stout for his years. His beardless chin and boyish features, combined with a shuffling bashfulness in his deportment, did not tend to inspire confidence in any great achievement to be expected from him.

"But, buona mia donna—" he began deprecatingly.

"I am a judge!" persisted the hostess. "Master Benevolo shall find you a treasure, and the jewel of his company! Such a company! The princess is magnificent! Did not the Duke of Anhalt—swear she was ravishing in beauty as in acting, with eyes like diamonds, and a figure majestic as Juno's?"

"Superb!" exclaimed the lad.

"And such an admirable comic actor; a figure that is one laugh, and a wit like Sancho Panza's; a genius, too, for the pathetic; he weeps to enchantment, and will bring tears to your eyes after a convulsion of mirth. An unrivalled troupe! a coronet of gems—wanting only an actor of tragedy!"

The boy sighed, and cast his eyes on the ground.

"And you must travel," pleaded the landlady. "You are not safe here in Naples. You may be taken, and carried back to the conservatorio."

This last argument had effect. The lad sprang to his feet.

"Back to school, to be punished for a runaway—when you might do such wonders! Come, you are ready, I see. There is no time to be lost."

She took the boy by the hand and led him into the grand salon of the hotel. Here sat the manager of an Italian theatrical company, in absolute despair. He and his troupe were to leave Naples in an hour. For three days he had staid beyond his time, seeking what the city did not afford—an actor of tragedy; and he was now bitterly lamenting to his landlord the ill luck that would compel him to depart for Salerno destitute of so important an adjunct.

"What shall I do?" cried the impresario, wringing his hands, "without a Geronimo or a Falerio?"

"You may yet find an actor," suggested the good-natured host.

"He must drop, then, from the clouds, and at once! My friends at Salerno have twice put off the performance, waiting for me. Saint An

tonio! to think of losing so much money!" The corpulent hostess had entered the room, the bashful youth a few paces behind her.

"I have found you a tragedian, Master Benevolo," she cried; "a capital fellow. You have fatigued yourself running over Naples in search of one—and he has been waiting for you here since last evening."

"What do you mean!" exclaimed both manager and landlord.


"You shall have your tragedian. All the rest is my secret. Oh! he is a great genius! If you had heard him last night! All the maids were in tears. Had he a robe and poniard, he would have been terrific. He sang droll songs, too, and made us laugh till my sides ached. I should have told you of him before, but you went out so early."

"At what theatres has he appeared?" asked the manager, much interested.

"He has never been on the stage; but he will make his way. Such genius—such passion! He has left home to embrace the profession."

The impresario mused. "Let me see him," he said.

The landlady took the lad by the hand and pulled him forward. He stood with eyes cast down, in the most awkward attitude.

"A mere boy!" exclaimed the disappointed director. "He—fit for an actor!" And with a look of contempt he surveyed the youth who aspired to represent the emperors of Rome and the tyrants of Italian republics.

"Everything has a beginning!" persisted the dame. "Louis, come forward, and show the maestro what you can do."

The overgrown lad hung his head bashfully; but, on further urging, advanced a pace or two, flung over his arms the frayed skirt of his coat to serve as a drapery, and recited some tragic verses of Dante.

"Not bad!" cried the manager. "What is your name?"

"Louis," replied the lad, bowing.


"Louis only for the present," interposed the hostess, with an air of mystery. "You are not to know his family name. You see—he left home—"

"I understand: the runaway might be caught. Let me hear him in Otello."

Louis, encouraged, recited a brilliant tragic scene. The manager followed his gestures with hands and head, and, when he had ended, applauded loudly, with flashing eyes.

"Bravo! bravo!" he cried, rubbing his hands. "That is what I want! You will make a capital Moor, set in shape a little! I engage you at once, at fifteen ducats a month: and here is the first month's pay in advance for your outfit—a suit of clothes to make you look like a gentleman. Go, buy them, pack up to go with us; and I will have a mule ready for you."

While the impresario made his preparations for departure, the delighted hostess assisted Louis in his. He had spent two or three days roaming about Naples before he came to the hotel, and had some debts to pay. These liquidated, his bill paid at the hotel, and a new suit purchased, nothing remained of his fifteen ducats. In less than two hours the troupe was on its way out of Naples.

At Salerno the manager had advertisements struck off, announcing the début of a new tragic actor—a wonderful genius—presented to the public as a phenomenon—in a popular part. Curiosity was soon excited to see him. In the evening the theatre was crowded. The director walked about, rubbing his hands in ecstasy, and counting the piles of gold as they accumulated. Louis, arrayed in an emperor's costume of the middle ages, was practising behind the scenes how to sustain the part of a sovereign. A pretty young girl—one of the chorus—who may be called Rosina, stood watching him, and commenting freely on his performance.


"Oh! that will not do at all, your majesty!" she cried, as he made an awkward movement. "What an emperor! This is your style!" And she began mimicking his gestures so provokiagly that Louis declared he would have his revenge in a kiss. He was presently chasing her around the scenes, to the disorder of his imperial robes.

The sound of voices and an unusual bustle startled him; he fancied the curtain was going to rise, and called lustily for his sword. But the noise was outside the private door of the theatre. It was flung open, and the lad's consternation may be imagined when he saw advancing toward him the vice-rector of his school, followed by six sbirri. The manager was there, too, wringing his hands with gestures of grief and despair. Louis stood petrified, till the officer, laying a hand on his shoulder, arrested him by an order from the King of Naples. The whole company had rushed together, and were astonished to hear that their tragedian was forthwith to be taken back to the "Conservatorio clella Pieta dei Turchini," to be remanded to his musical studies under the great master Marcello Perrino.

The emperor in petto forgot his dignity, and burst into tears; Rosina cried for sympathy, and there was a general murmur of dissatisfaction.

The manager strove to remonstrate. "Such a genius—tragedy is his vocation!" he pleaded.

"His vocation just now is to go back to school," said the vice-rector gruffly.

"But, signer, you are robbing the public."

"Has not the graceless boy been robbing his majesty, who was pleased to place him in the conservatorio after his father's death?"

"He is in my service; I have paid him a month in advance."

"You were wrong to engage a raw lad whom you knew to be a runaway from his guardians. Come, Louis!"

The sbirri roughly removed the imperial robes from the blubbering lad. The impresario was in an agony, for the assembled audience began to give signs of impatience.

"Let him only perform in this piece," he urged.

"Away with him!" answered the vice-rector. Louis wiped away his tears. "Dear Master Benevolo," he said, "I will yet be revenged. I will be a tragedian in spite of them!"

"And my losses—my fifteen ducats cried the director.

"I will make them up, I promise you." The vice-rector laughed scornfully, and the men forced the lad away. Rosina ran after him, "Stay, Louis!" she cried, putting her handkerchief into his hands, "You forgot this." Louis thanked her with a tender glance, and put the keepsake in his bosom.

When the party had disappeared, the manager went to pacify his impatient audience. He was consoled by the reflection that the vagabond had left his trunk behind. It was very large and heavy, and, before causing the lock to be broken next morning, Signor Benevolo called some of his friends to make an inventory of its contents. It was found filled with sand! The young débutant had resorted to this trick, that the servants at the inns where they stopped might believe the trunk contained gold and treat him with respect accordingly.

The impresario was in a towering passion. He railed at Louis, showering on him abusive epithets as a cheat and an impostor. He could only retaliate for the loss of his fifteen ducats by writing him a letter full of furious invectives, assuring him that so base a thief need never aspire to the honors of tragedy! The letter was read quietly by Louis, who made no answer, but applied himself diligently to his musical studies. {23} His progress was so rapid that his masters declared he bade fair to rival Bohrer on the violoncello and Tulon on the flute. As a reward for his efforts, a hall in the conservatorio was arranged for the private representations of the pupils.

In the autumn of 1830, Ex-Manager Benevolo chanced to be in Paris. The beautiful Rosina was then noted as an admired singer. She had many conversations with the Italian, who was disgusted with the French actors, and declared that the best days of tragic art were past.

One day there was no small excitement at the announcement of the tragic opera of Otello. It was given out that a new artist of great reputation would appear at the Théâtre Italien. His progress through the Italian cities had been a continued triumph. On his first appearance in Paris the connoisseurs had been determined to show him no favor. As he came on the stage, his grand, imposing figure and good-humored countenance were pre-possessing; but, when his magnificent voice rose swelling above the orchestra, there was a burst of rapturous applause. Powerful and thrilling, penetrating to the depths of pathos, that voice carried all before it; and he was voted by acclamation the first basse-taille of the age.

"You must hear him!" said Rosina, as the ex-manager protested that he did not care for it. He would be sure to condemn what pleased those fantastical Parisians.

"You must hear him in Otello!" persisted the fair singer. "Here is an invitation for you, written by himself."

"Why should he have sent this to me?" asked the gratified Italian.

"As a friend of mine," replied the singer, "he wished to show you attention. You will go with me."

In the evening they went to the theatre. There was a thunderburst of applause as the colossal form of the actor moved across the stage. "A noble figure for tragedy!" exclaimed Benevolo. "Ha! I should like him for the tyrant in Anna Bolena!" When the superb tones of his voice, full of power, yet exquisite in melody, filled the house with the rich volume of sound, the Italian gave up his prejudices. In the deeper passion of the part he was carried away by enthusiasm like the audience. "Stupendo! Tragico!" he exclaimed, wiping his eyes, while the curtain descended.

"You must speak with him!" insisted Rosina. And she drew Benevolo through the door leading behind the scenes. The great artist came to meet them. Benevolo gazed upon him in awe and astonishment; then, recovering himself, faltered forth the expression of his surprise and delight. It was "the king of tragedy" whom he had the honor of greeting!

"I am rejoiced to see you at last, my good master Benevolo!" cried the artist. "Tell me if you have really been pleased. Shall I ever make a tragic actor?"

"You are wonderful—the first in the world!" cried the enraptured ex-manager. "And Rosina says you are an Italian! I am proud of my countryman!"

"Ah! mio fratello! but you had once not so good an opinion of me! Do you not recognize your old acquaintance—the runaway Louis?"

Benevolo stared in astonishment.

"I have grown somewhat since the affair at Salerno," said the artist, laughing, and clapping his stout sides. "Ah! I forgot; you had good reason for being displeased with me. {24} The fifteen ducats—and that heavy trunk of mine—that gave you trouble for nothing! It ought to have been ransomed long ago; but I waited to do it with my pay as a tragedian. I wanted to prove your prediction untrue! He drew out a paper from his pocket-book, and presented it.

"Here is an order for twelve hundred francs."

Signor Benevolo stammered a refusal. He could not accept so large a gift.

"Take it, friend. It is your just due! Principal and interest you know. My fortune has grown apace with my embonpoint."

"You are a noble fellow!" cried the ex-manager, grasping his hand. "Now, do me another favor, and tell me your real name. The one you act under is assumed, of course!"

"No, it is the same—Lablache."

"Lablache! Are you a Frenchman, then?"

"My father was a Frenchman: he fled from Marseilles at the time of the revolution. I was born in Naples. Are you satisfied?"

"I thought from the beginning," said Benevolo, "you were a nobleman in disguise. I know you, now, for a monarch in art."

Lablache thanked him cordially. "Now you must come home and sup with me, in the Rue Richelieu," he said. "I have invited a few friends to meet you, and they will be waiting for us."

Translated from Le Correspondant.

Learned Women And Studious Women.

By Monseigneur Dupanloup.

[The following treatise by Monseigneur Dupanloup is given entire, notwithstanding that some portions of it bear a more direct application to French civilization than to our own. The attentive reader will see that the fundamental principle on which the argument rests applies to incomplete mental development in every country; and those who take an interest in foreign habits and manners will enjoy the lifelike pictures of French society, so graphic, shrewd, and free from exaggeration.—Trans.]

Dear Friend: Several months ago, in a volume [Footnote 1] of letters addressed to men of the world concerning studies adapted to their leisure hours, I published a few pages offering suggestions also to Christian women living in the world upon intellectual labor suitable for them. This advice I tried to adapt and proportion especially to the exigencies of their mode of life.

[Footnote 1: Letters to Men of the World concerning Studies suitable for them and Advice to Christian Women, Paris: Douniol.]

I endeavored to show how necessary it is for a woman to acquire habits of serious thought; all the more so because modern education seldom inculcates them; and I maintained that such habits could easily find a place in the life of women of the world.


I next indicated grave and noble studies, solid and interesting courses of reading, historical, artistic, even philosophical, but, above all, religious, to which they could devote themselves.

Then followed a few practical details concerning the method and conditions of good study, useful reading, and serious composition.

Various observations were addressed to me à propos of this publication; eager contradictions coming side by side with the most favorable expressions of approbation. This did not surprise me. In an age like ours, such counsel could hardly be given with impunity. In the land of Molière an appeal to women to study, to educate themselves, to cultivate letters and the fine arts, could not be allowed to pass unreproved.

Allow me, then, to have recourse to the Correspondant, that my various opponents may be answered at one stroke. The most considerate and the most serious among them supported themselves, not upon Molière, but, strange to say, upon M. de Maistre. It is M. de Maistre, then, with the quotations made from his works and the objections raised in his name, who demands my first consideration.


M. De Maistre's Opinion.

Some of M. de Maistre's letters to his daughters form a veritable treatise upon the humble destiny of woman here below, and the sumptuary laws that should regulate her acquirements and education.

"A woman's great defect," he writes, "is being like a man, and to wish for learning is to wish to be a man. Enough if a woman be aware that Pekin is not in Europe, and that Alexander the Great did not demand a niece of Louis XIV. in marriage."

Also M. de Maistre allows her in scientific matters to follow and "understand the doings of men." This is her most perfect accomplishment, her chef-d'oeuvre.

He permits women, moreover, to love and admire the beautiful; but what he does not permit is, that they should themselves seek to give it expression. When his eldest daughter, Mademoiselle Adele de Maistre, avowed a taste for painting, and when the youngest, Mademoiselle Constance, confided to her father her ardent love for literary pursuits, M. de Maistre, in, alarm, taking shelter behind the triple authority of Solomon, Fénélon and Molière, declared that women should not devote themselves to pursuits opposed to their duties; that a woman's merit lies in rendering her husband happy, in educating children, and in making men; that, from the moment she emulates man, she becomes an ape; that women have never achieved a chef-d'oeuvre of any kind; that a young girl is insane to undertake oil-painting, and should content herself with pencil-sketches: that, moreover, science is of all things the most dangerous for women; that no woman must occupy herself with science under pain of being ridiculous and unhappy; and, finally, that a coquette is far easier to marry than a scholar. In virtue of this last argument, which embraces the preceding ones, M. de Maistre recommends them all to return to their work-baskets, conceding, however, the consecration of a few hours to study by way of distraction.


But let them beware of wishing to enlarge their intelligence and undertake great things. They would be nicknamed Dame barbue.

Moreover, "it is not in the mediocrity of education that their weakness lies:" it is their weakness that makes "mediocrity of education" inevitable. In one word, they are radically incapable of anything great or serious in the way of culture.

Perhaps it would be presumption to contest assertions so firm and uncompromising. I shall not attempt it. I shall beg leave to inquire—for this is the most important point now—whether or not these principles lead us logically and imperiously to the conclusion of M. de Maistre; if a woman, "who would make her husband happy, educate her children well, and not transform herself into an ape in order to emulate man," must therefore renounce not only the exercise of all creative faculty in art and literature, but also of serious self-culture, and turn to her work-basket with no better consolation than the assurance that "Pekin is not in Europe, and that Alexander did not ask in marriage the hand of a niece of Louis XIV."


The Question Fairly Stated.

Before grappling with a subject, one should clearly define its significance.

Let us set aside the name of learned women, so strangely misused since the days of Molière. We Frenchmen are too apt to settle great questions with a jest; sending silly prejudices down to posterity to be nourished and perpetuated for centuries with idle railleries. In the first place, is there not a just distinction to be made, lest we commit the error of confounding in the same anathema studious women with learned women, cultivated women with absurd women, women of sense, reflection, and serious habits of application with pedants?

Is it not evident that Molière, in his Femmes Savantes, attacked neither study nor education, but pedantry, as in his Tartuffe he attacked hypocrisy, not genuine devotion?

Did not Molière himself write this beautiful line?

"Et je veux qu'une femme ait des clartés de tout"

With these preliminary words, I enter on the question. The whole theory of M. de Maistre is reduced to this assertion: that women should confine themselves to their own domain and not invade that of men. Agreed! but let us see what is man's peculiar domain. Is man by divine right the sole proprietor of the domain of intelligence? God has reserved to him physical force, and I agree with M. de Maistre that, notwithstanding Judith and Joan of Arc, women should not presume to bear arms or to lead armies. But is intelligence measured out to them in the same exact proportions and with the same limitations as physical strength? I have never thought so. The pen seems to me as well placed in the hand of St. Theresa as in that of M. de Maistre; and I select her name with the intention of citing many more in the following pages, because the name of St. Theresa alone suffices to refute the argument that women should not write for the reason that they have never shown superior ability in writing. St. Theresa is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, prose-writer of Spain, and she even cultivated poetry occasionally.

Beyond discussion, a woman's great merit, her incomparable honor, lies in rearing her children wisely and in making men; as her dearest privilege and her first duty lies in making her husband happy. But precisely in order to make men, and to ensure the virtue and happiness of her husband and children, a woman must be strong in intelligence, strong in judgment and character, assiduous, industrious, and attentive. {27} In the words of Scripture, that look, that beauty, that goodness, which adorn and embellish a whole household, must be illumined from on high; (sicut sol oriens mundo, sic mulier?? [Transcriber's note: Illegible] bona species in ornamentum domus ejus.) The hand that holds the distaff and manages household matters should be guided by a head capable of conceiving and of governing. The portrait sketched by Solomon is not that of a woman engrossed solely with material life; it is that of an able woman; and, if her children rise up and call her glorious and blessed, it is because she has an elevated sense of the affairs of life, a provident care for the future, and a solicitude for souls; because she stands on a level with the noblest duties and the most serious thoughts; in one word, because she is an intelligent companion worthy of a spouse who sits at the gates of the city upon the most exalted bench of justice.

I could quote other passages from Holy Scripture proving that natural science, art, sacred literature, poetry, and eloquence were not foreign to the education of Israelitish maidens or to the career of Jewish women. Was it not the mother of Samuel who proclaimed God the Lord of knowledge and the Giver of understanding? Was it not Miriam, the sister of Moses, who taught music and sacred canticles to the young Israelites?

But it is especially since the enunciation of the gospel that the intellectual and moral dignity of woman has been elevated, and that Christian women have taken so noble a place in human society. What I demand is, that absurd prejudices, coarse names, and worn-out jests should not drag them down from the exalted rank assigned to them by the gospel into frivolity and materialism.

Let me be clearly understood. I desire, above all, not femmes savantes, but, for the sake of husbands, children, and households, intelligent, attentive, and judicious women, well-instructed in all things necessary and useful for them to know as mothers, heads of households, and women of the world; never disdainful of practical duties, but knowing how to occupy not only their fingers, but their minds, understanding the cultivation of the whole soul. And I add that we ought to dread as disastrous evils those frivolous, giddy, self-indulgent women who, in idleness, ignorance, and dissipation, seek for pleasure and amusement; who are hostile to exertion and to almost every duty, incapable of study or of continuous mental effort, and therefore unfitted to exercise any important influence over the education of their children, or over the affairs of their household or of their husbands.


On these conditions I willingly resign the name of learned woman, claiming it for no one. And yet before laying it aside, I would remark that ages more Christian than our own were far from disdaining it. The disciple and biographer of the illustrious St. Boniface plainly tells us that St. Boniface loved St. Lioba for her solid erudition, eruditionis sapientia. This admirable virgin, in whom the light of the Holy Ghost enhanced an enlightenment laboriously acquired from study, united to purity and humility (those virtues which preserve all things in a heart) a knowledge of theology and canon law that became one of the glories of the new-born German church. And, moreover, St. Boniface, far from despising his spiritual daughter's efforts to rise to intellectual pursuits, sometimes robbed the apostolate of hours which he deemed well spent in correcting the literary compositions and Latin verses of Lioba, and in answering her in a similar style; poetic messages carried across seas by confessors and martyrs.


And if, going back to earlier ages, we closely examine the records of history, we find that, after the establishment of Christianity, feminine names are constantly met with on the literary monuments most revered by posterity; as, for instance, the celebrated Hypatia, who had Clement of Alexandria for a disciple; the illustrious St. Catharine, teacher of Christian philosophy; and, again, St. Perpetua, who wrote the acts of her own martyrdom and recorded the glory of her companions.

When peace was restored to the church, and the age of doctors commenced, succeeding the age of martyrs, who were more celebrated for the gravity of their minds and the extent of their knowledge than the Paulas, the Marcellas, Melanias, and Eustochiums, with many other saints and noble Christian women? Remember St. Marcella, in whom St. Jerome found so powerful an auxiliary against heresy; and St. Paula, who inspired St. Jerome to undertake his noblest and most important works, the Latin translation of the Bible from the Hebrew text, and a complete series of commentaries upon the prophets.

Nothing is finer than St. Paula's letter to St. Marcella. There we see all that Marcella had done to elevate the souls and the intelligence of women and maidens who called her their mother; there we comprehend the intelligence and the eloquence of St. Paula. [Footnote 2]

[Footnote 2: We read with great interest in The History of St. Paula, just published by M. l'Abbé F. Lagrange, those chapters devoted to the studies in Holy Scripture of Roman ladies in St. Jerome's school, and to those of St. Paula made at Bethlehem, under the direction of the same saint.]

Who does not know what Theresa was in the following century to St. Paulinus, whose reputation is as much the glory of Aquitaine as the name of Ausonius? Who does not know that Elpicia (the wife of Boëthius) composed hymns adopted by the Roman liturgy?

In the midst of barbarism education was one of the first conditions imposed on Christian virgins. Those who evinced an aptitude for literary pursuits were dispensed from manual labor, according to the precept of St. Cesarius, that they might devote themselves exclusively to intellectual work. In most monasteries we hear of them engrossed in study, writing, translating, copying, or deciphering without interruption.

St. Radegonde, not content with attracting to Poitiers one of the last Roman poets, induced him to give so complete a training to her nuns as to form among them writers who soon eclipsed their master. Classic elegance and purity are revived in the writings of Bandonovia. All the charm of Christian inspiration is revealed in the hymn improvised by a nun of Poitiers at the moment of Radegonde's death, and one of the earliest flowers of the new poetic era blooms over the grave of this holy queen who so loved letters.

The monasteries of England, Ireland, and France were nurseries for erudite and devout women.

"It is proved beyond dispute by numerous and well-authenticated witnesses," says M. de Montalembert, "that literary studies were cultivated in female monasteries in England during the seventh and eighth centuries, with no less assiduity and perseverance than in communities of men; perhaps with even more enthusiasm. Anglo-Saxon nuns did not neglect the occupations proper for their sex. But manual labor was far from satisfying them. {29} They willingly left distaff and needle, not only to transcribe manuscripts and adorn miniatures according to the taste of the day, but still oftener to read and study holy books, the fathers of the church, or even classic authors." [Footnote 3]

[Footnote 3: Monks of the West, vol. v. This fifth volume, and the two preceding ones, written during a cruel and persistent malady, astonish us by the powerful impulse, the tenderness and loftiness of sentiment which they breathe; showing how steadily a valiant, Christian soul can hold itself erect amid the most grievous physical and moral trials. These are books that I would gladly see in the hands of everyone; today especially, when we are overwhelmed with a malaria-tainted literature.]

St. Gertrude, under Dagobert's guidance, learned the Holy Scriptures entirely by heart and translated them from the Greek. She sent beyond seas to Ireland for masters to teach music, poetry, and Greek to the cloistered virgins of Nivelle. From all these glowing centres issued shining lights; as, for instance, Lioba, foundress of the abbey of Richofsheim; Roswitha, and St. Bridget. It was by St. Edwiga that the study of Greek was introduced into the monastery of St. Gall. And the enlightenment of the learned Hilda was so highly esteemed in the Anglo-Saxon church that more than once the holy abbess, screened behind a veil, was present at the deliberations of bishops assembled in synod or council, who craved the advice of one whom they regarded as especially illumined by the Holy Ghost.

It would make a list too long to record the examples of all the women in whom sanctity was accompanied by a gift of luminous science.

We may name here a daughter of William the Conqueror, Cecilia, abbess of a monastery at Caen; the illustrious Emma, abbess of St. Amand; and, above all, Herrade, who astonished her contemporaries by learned cosmological works, comprising all the science of her day.

In the twelfth century, St. Hildegarde received revelations concerning the physical constitution of our globe, and wrote treatises upon the laws of nature, anticipating modern science. Nothing surpasses the elevation and nobility of intellect revealed in the various works of this illustrious woman.

It was St. Elizabeth, of Thenawge, who wrote the admirable page quoted in the logic of Père Gratry. St. Hildegarde and St. Elizabeth both lived in monasteries on the banks of the Rhine, where women wrote, painted, and worked; where they did wonderful things, says Père Gratry.

"What can we say of St. Catharine of Siena, who shares the glory of the great writers?" asks Ozanam.

M. de Maistre maintains that a young girl is insane to think of painting. And yet saints have had this mania. St. Catharine of Bologna was a celebrated miniaturist. She wrote learned treatises and painted chef-d'oeuvres; she composed sacred music and perfected musical instruments; even on her death-bed she played on instruments whose conception and execution belong to her. It is for this reason that she is represented over altars holding the lyre or viola invented by herself.

Following all these names claimed by the arts as well as by literature comes that of St. Theresa, already cited above. Here M. de Maistre is vanquished. Yes, genius has descended upon a feminine intellect, endowing it with a gift as brilliant as any that can be cited. One might dread the guilt of profanation in using the words chef-d'oeuvre and human genius in speaking of those sublime pages penetrated with a divine light, those marvellous echoes of heaven that stir our souls even on earth. But where can we find the beautiful realized with more vividness, more simplicity, more nature and grandeur?


If all these names have been the names of saints whose aim and supreme inspiration was religion, why wonder? I have already said that women had been elevated by Christianity, heart, soul, and understanding. They owed to Christianity the homage of all the gifts it had bestowed upon them, and that homage they rendered.

To complete this hasty outline of the history, not so much of learned as of intelligent women, women of mind and heart, of faith and Christian virtue, I will mention that, in times more nearly approaching our own, Christina Pisani wrote admirable memoirs of Charles V., in which we find great moral elevation as well as a charming style.

Let me name, also, Elizabeth of Valois and Mary Stuart, who carried on a Latin correspondence for several years concerning the advantages of literary studies. Elizabeth Sarani, one of the most religious painters of the Bolognese school in the seventeenth century; Helena Cornaro, in the sixteenth century, was made doctor at Milan, and died in the odor of sanctity. And then what a charming writer was the Mère de Chaugy in the beginning of the seventeenth century!

In conclusion, I will mention Mademoiselle de Légardière, who wrote a work esteemed by M. Guizot as "the most instructive now extant upon ancient French law." It was a woman, then, who consecrated a life, in which severe labor and charitable actions alone found place, to the execution of the first work that opened the way to new discoveries of modern science, a work of prodigious erudition, The Political Theory of French Laws. This savante, for so we must call her, lived in an isolated chateau, where her piety was an example to all who knew her, and left a memory venerated by her countrywomen.

Many other examples could be cited to reestablish the epithet learned woman; but I promised to resign it, and resign it I do quite willingly.

M. de Maistre concludes his dissertation by saying: "Women have never created masterpieces!" Does he mean to assert that their intellectual efforts have been, and that they always will be, sterile? We have seen, and history proves, to what point the exertions and the acquirements of women have contributed to the preservation of ancient literature. It is a hard measure to expel them from the ship they have helped to rescue from the storms of barbarism. Moreover, one need not create masterpieces to prove the possession of talent. God sends dew to little flowers as well as to great trees. Humble works may receive the fecundity of a good action. The success of our adversaries must be our encouragement. If women of talent have done so much mischief, then Christian women must struggle on the same ground. There are a great many books, and one book more is but a drop in the ocean—true! All are not destined to distinction and immortality. Some must console a few souls only, and, like daily bread, meet the day's requirements, without enduring until the morrow.

"If you work for God and for yourself," says St. Augustine, "the better to heed the utterance of the Word within you, there will always be a few beings who will understand you."

These words are an encouragement for all humble works, for all faithful efforts, that, while developing the faculties received from God, know not to what purpose they are destined. Let each one cultivate her natural faculties. Intelligence is one of the noblest of gifts, and in the field of the father of the family no laborer must stand unoccupied, useless, without toil and without recompense.


But, it may be argued, most of the examples brought forward prove only that women are especially fitted for Christian learning. I recognize the fact. Inspiration, descending into their souls, rises again more directly toward God. Their talents must be intimately allied with virtue, and shine forth like those pure rays that are filled with the light and warmth of the centre whence they emanate.

But, alas! one must recognize also the fact that women born with talents and for works of the first order have too often never found this supreme source. M. de Maistre, after discharging his unjust spleen against Madame de Staël, calling her discourteously "Science in petticoats, and an impertinent femmelette" whose works he qualifies as "gorgeous rags," confesses, finally, in one of those impetuous contradictions so familiar to him, that Madame de Staël needed only the torch of truth to raise her "immense abilities" to the highest grade. "If she had been a Catholic," he says later, "she would have been adorable instead of being famous." What would he have said of the female writers of our own day?

What intellectual ruins! What grief it is that talents like those of Madame de —— and Madame —— should be lost to the good cause!—souls that in their fall bear still the impress of the divine ray; crumbling temples that seem to be struggling to rise from their ruins, uttering from the depths of their desolation plaints like these:

"O my greatness! O my strength! you have passed like a storm-cloud; you have fallen upon the earth to ravage it like a thunderbolt. You have smitten with barrenness and death all the fruits and all the blossoms of my field. You have made of it a desolate arena, where I sit solitary in the midst of my ruins. O my greatness! O my strength! were you good or evil angels?

"O my pride! O my knowledge! you rose up like burning whirlwinds scattered by the simoom through the desert; like gravel, like dust you have buried the palm-trees, you have troubled and exhausted the water-springs. And I sought the stream to quench my thirst, and I found it not; for the insensate who would cut his way over the proud peaks of Horeb forgets the lowly path that leads to the shadowy fountain. O my pride! O my knowledge! were you the envoys of the Lord? were you spirits of darkness?

"O my religion! O my hope! you have swept me like a fragile and wavering bark over shoreless seas, through bewildering fogs, vague illusions, dimmest images of an unknown country; and when, weary with struggling against the winds, and, groaning, bowed down beneath the tempest, I asked you whither you led me, you lighted beacons upon the rocks to show me what to avoid, not where to find safety. O my religion! O my hope! were you a dream of madness, or the voice of the living God?"

No; these impulses toward heaven, this need of God, this strength, this pride, this greatness, were not bad angels; they were great and noble faculties, sublime gifts. But they should not have been deluded! They should not have been misled into vanity and falsehood! They should have been employed for good ends, and not turned into spirits of darkness.




The rights of women to intellectual culture are not merely rights, they are also duties. This is what makes them inalienable. If they were only rights, women could sacrifice them; but they are duties. The sacrifice is either impossible or ruinous.

This is the point of departure for all I have to say. I declare unhesitatingly that it is a woman's duty to study and educate herself, and that intellectual labor should have a place reserved among her special occupations and among her most important obligations.

The primordial reasons of this obligation are grave, of divine origin, and absolutely unanswerable; namely:

In the first place, God has conferred no useless gifts; for all the things he has made there is a reason and an aim. If the companion of man is a reasonable creature; if, like man, she is made in the image and likeness of God; if she, too, has received from her Creator the sublimest of gifts, understanding, she ought to make use of it.

These gifts, received from God for an especial purpose, must be cultivated. Scripture tells us that souls left to waste, like fallow ground, bring forth only wild fruits, spines et tribulos. And God did not make the souls of women, any more than the souls of men, to be shifting, barren, or unhealthy soil.

Moreover, every reasonable creature is to render to God an account of his gifts. Each one in the judgment day will be dealt with according to the gifts he has received and the use he has made of them.

God has given us all hands, (which, according to the interpreters, signify prompt and intelligent action,) but on condition that we do not bring them to him empty. Again, he has categorically explained his intentions in the parable of the talents, where he declares that a strict account must be rendered to him, talent by talent. I do not know a father of the church or any moralist who has ever asserted that this parable did not concern women as well as men. There is no serious distinction to be made. Each must give an account of what he has received; and good human sense, like good divine sense, plainly indicates that one sex has no more right than the other to bury or to waste the possessions granted by Heaven to be employed and increased.

In short, I say with St. Augustine, no creature to whom God has confided the lamp of intelligence has a right to behave like a foolish virgin, letting the oil become exhausted because she has neglected to renew it; letting that light die out that was to have enlightened her path and that of others too, if only, as in the case of some wives and mothers, that of her husband and children.

The generality of books relating to the merits, the destinies, and the virtues of woman, far from considering her as a being created in the image of God, intelligent, free, and responsible to her Creator for her actions, treat of her as a possession of man, made solely for him, and whose end he is. In all these books, a woman is only a blooming creature meant to be adored, but not respected—a being essentially inferior whose existence has no other aim than to secure the happiness of man, or bend to his most frivolous purposes; dependent, above all, upon man, who alone is her master, her legislator, and her judge—absolutely, as if she had no soul, no conscience, no moral liberty; as if God were nothing to her; as if he had not endowed her soul with cravings, faculties, aspirations, in one word, with rights that are at the same time duties.


The world declaims, and with reason, against the futility of women, against their love of approbation, and what is called their coquetry. But is not this futility produced and propagated by the fear of making them learned, of too fully developing their intelligence?—as if such a thing were possible, as if that true development through which one better understands duty, and learns to calculate consequences, could be injurious. Are not women who have serious tastes obliged to hide them or make excuses for them by every means in their power, as if they were concealing a fault?

Or if, indeed, a woman is allowed to educate herself, it is only within very restricted limits, and merely, according to the wishes of M. de Maistre, that she may understand the conversation of men, or that she may be more amusing, and set off her trilling talk in a more piquant fashion by mingling it with odds and ends of wisdom. With such a dread does the learned woman inspire idle and frivolous men who will neither work themselves nor let any one else work.

In plainer terms still: does not the present system of education create and foster coquetry and a love of admiration, by making man the only end of woman's destiny? It is vain to tell her that she is destined for one alone, and that all others should be to her as if they existed not. This is perfectly true from a Christian point of view, which embraces at once all rights and all duties; but apart from Christian virtue, when that one proves tedious, vicious, and absolutely unworthy of affection, and when temptation presents itself under the traits of another, a superior being, (or one who seems to be superior,) for whom alone she believes herself created, how, I ask, can you persuade her to fly from the latter and live only for the former? Imprudent and fatal guide that you are, you have taught her that she is an incomplete being, who cannot suffice to herself, who must lean upon the superiority of another; and then you complain because, when she meets this support, this other and truer half of herself, she clings to it, and cannot fly from the fatal attraction! Undeniably she violates the holiest of obligations; but have you not yourselves been blind and guilty? Are you not so still?

I have no hesitation in asserting that only Christian morality can teach a woman with absolute and decisive authority her true rights and her true duties in their necessary correlation.

Until you have persuaded a woman that she is first created for God, for herself, for her own soul, and in the second place for her husband and children, to value them next to God, with God, and for God, you will have done nothing either for the happiness or the honor of families.

Of course, husband and wife are two in one, and their children are one in them. But, if God is not the foundation of this providential union, Providence will be avenged, and the union dissolved. This is the misfortune, almost always irreparable, that so often meets our eyes. [Footnote 4]

[Footnote 4: Does the reader believe these warnings uncalled for in American society? We once explained to a Frenchman the system in vogue in many of our States, of divorce followed by a second marriage. "Ah!" said he, "in France we call that a liaison" Trans.]

This excessive absorption of the personality of a wife into her husband's existence was useful, perhaps, for the preservation of the antique matron. Such moral and intellectual restrictions were reasonable, perhaps, at a period when duty had no sanction sufficiently strong. The seclusion of the gynaeceum may have served to preserve the domestic circle from frightful disorder. {34} But a Christian woman is conscious of a different destiny. For her gynaeceum and harem are useless. She loves the being to whom God has united her with a tenderness and devotion rarely met with in pagan times, if one may judge by the eulogiums lavished on those who approached most nearly the standard we see realized every day. The Christian woman regards herself as her husband's companion, as his assistant in earthly as in heavenly things, socia, adjutorinm; as bound to console him and make his happiness; but she thinks, too, that they should help each other to become better, and that, after having educated together new elect, they should share felicity together through all eternity. For such destinies, a woman's education cannot be too unremitting, too earnest, or too strong.

The contrary system rests upon a pagan appreciation of her destiny, or, as has been said with reason, upon the idleness of men who wish to preserve their own superiority at small expense. The pagan conception consists in believing women to be merely charming creatures, passive, inferior, and made only for man's pleasure and amusement. But, as I have already said, Christianity thinks differently. In Christianity a woman's virtue, like a man's, must be intelligent, voluntary, and active. She must understand the full extent of her duties, and know how to draw conclusions from divine teaching for herself, her husband, and her children.

This prejudice against the intellectual development of women is one of the most culpable inventions of the eighteenth century, that age of profligacy and impiety. The Regent and Louis XV. have fostered it more than Molière, as they have created more prejudices against religion than Tartuffe. It was useful to all unprincipled husbands to have wives as worthless as themselves, who should be incapable of controlling their disorderly lives.

A superior woman obliges her husband to depend upon her. He is forced to submit to the control of an intelligent spirit, and does not feel free to follow his own caprices. This is why vicious husbands need ignorant wives.

Molière struck a blow as severe at frivolity, in the Précieuses Ridicules, [Footnote 5] as at pedantry in the Femmes Savantes. The eighteenth century retained merely a prejudice convenient to itself, which the regency established as a law, and finally licentious men surrendered the honor of their familie rather than find in a wife an inconvenient judge, a living conscience, an ever-present reproach. They preferred to have wives as vain and frivolous as themselves, and to make of marriage a contract in which fortunes and titles only were considered, and where affection on either side went for nothing. The world saw with affright the corruption that speedily engulfed French society.

[Footnote 5: It is also to be observed that Molière's learned women had only the affectation and not the reality of science, just as the précieuses merely affected the fine language and manners of the court. The former were ignorant women playing the part of savantes the latter provincial women aping Paris fashions.]

Why did not M. de Maistre, who saw the remains of this corruption and the chastisements it had merited, understand that the degraded position assigned to women was one of its causes, and that prejudice against the intellectual elevation of women was the work of vice?


The Dangers of Repression.

The very nature of things speaks plainly enough. Human nature in all its faculties demands instruction, enlargement, enlightenment, elevation. {35} From my own observation I must assert that nothing is more dangerous than smothered faculties, unanswered cravings, unsatisfied hunger and thirst. Thence comes the perversion of passions, created for noble ends, but turned against truth and virtue. Thence issue those distorted, crooked, and perverse ways into which we are drawn by an ignorance incapable of choice, judgment, or self-restraint: conversi dirumpent vos, says the sacred writer. There lies the secret of many falls, many scandals, or, at least, of much wretched levity among women! If these rich and ardent powers had been cultivated, we need not now deplore their ruin; we should not have to sigh over the pitifully incorrect intellectual standard, the mental weakness of so many women of distinguished nature, called to be ornaments to the world and to do honor to their families, but of whom education, checked in its development, has made elegant women perhaps, at thirty years of age, but frivolous, commonplace and useless. Surely no one can seriously contradict me in these assertions.

Again, and this is a very important consideration:

M. de Maistre would make a woman humble and virtuous in the aridity of her occupations, without anything to raise and console her beyond the knowledge "that Pekin is not in Europe," and so on.

This is impossible. She will not remain in this humble sphere. If we do not give her intellectual interests to recreate her from the material duties, often overwhelming, that weigh her down, she will reject these very duties, which humiliate her when they come alone, and seek relief from ennui in frivolity. Do not we see this every day? Let us not deceive ourselves.

The duties of the mistress of a household, ever recurring with a thousand matter-of-fact details—the responsibilities of domestic life are often wearisome and excessively wearisome. Where shall a woman find consolation? who will give a legitimate impulse to her sometimes over-excited imagination? Who will offer to her intelligence the rightful satisfaction it demands, and prevent her from feeling that she is a mere domestic drudge?

I have no hesitation in saying—and how many experiences have contributed to fortify my conviction!—that there are times when piety itself does not suffice! Work, and sometimes very serious intellectual work, is required. Drawing and painting are not enough, unless the painting be of a very elevated character. What the hour calls for is a strong and firm application of the understanding to some serious work, literary, philosophical, or religious. Then will calmness, peace, serenity be restored. Let us acknowledge the truth. Rigid principles and empty occupations, devotion combined with a purely material or worldly life, make women destitute of resources in themselves, and sometimes insupportable to their husbands and children.

But allow a woman two hours of hard study every day, during which the faculties of her soul can recover their balance, perplexities assume their true proportions, good sense and judgment resume their sway, excitement subside, and peace reenter the soul: then she will lift up her head once more; she will see that the intellectual life to which she aspires, in accordance with a craving implanted in her being by God himself, is not denied to her. Then she will be able to fall on her knees and accept life with its duties, and bless the divine will.


This is the fruit of genuine work performed in the presence of God. It renders her soul submissive, sometimes more so than prayer itself. It restores her to order and good sense, satisfying within her a just and noble desire.

I have sometimes heard mothers say that they dreaded for their children faculties overstepping ordinary proportions, and that they should endeavor to repress them. "What use are they?" it is said: "How can a place be found for these great abilities in that real life, with its narrow, cramped limits, which begins for women at the close of their earliest youth?" These remarks have secretly shocked me. What! would you check the expansion of that fairest of divine works, a soul where God has implanted a germ of ideal life? You respect this gift in men, provided that it be employed in practical life, and that it serve to make money or create a social position. But, since the utility of great gifts is less lucrative among women, they had better be repressed! Then lop off the branches of the plant that craves too much air and room and sunlight; check the redundant sap. But the plant was intended to be a great tree, and you will make of it a stunted shrub. Take care lest the mutilation do not kill it utterly while torturing it. To extinguish a soul designed by God to shine is to bury therein the seed of an interior anguish that you will never cure, and which may exhaust the soul with vague, exaggerated aspirations. There is no torture comparable to the sense of the beautiful when it cannot find utterance, to the interior agony of a soul which, perhaps unconsciously, has missed its vocation. That word, expressive of a call from on high, of a solemn and irresistible claim, applies to women as well as to men, to the ideal life as much as to the external life. The soul is a thought of God, it has been said. There is a divine plan with regard to it, and our exertions or our languor advance or retard the execution of that plan, which exists none the less in God's wisdom and goodness, and must appear one day as our accuser if we fail to execute it.

And to secure its accomplishment, the development of the whole soul, mind, and heart is necessary.

It is difficult to discover in advance to what God destines his gifts; but none the less true is it that he destines them to an especial end, and that this providential vocation, faithfully answered, turns aside the dangers we dread to meet in its fulfilment.

Individual natures should be consulted, that we may develop them according to their capacities. I would not create factitious talents by a culture which nature does not demand, but neither would I leave uncultivated those she has bestowed. Nothing is more dangerous for a woman than incomplete development, half-knowledge, a half-talent that shows her glimpses of broader horizons without giving force to reach them, makes her think she knows what she does not know, and fills her soul with trouble and bewilderment, combined with a pride that often betrays itself in sad misconduct. When equilibrium is not established between aspiration and the power to realize it, the soul, after making fruitless struggles to attain its ideal, becomes discontented with common life, and, craving some excitement of mind and imagination, seeks it in emotions and pleasures always dangerous and often culpable.

If you do not direct the flame upward, it will feed upon the coarsest earthly aliment. A superior person once said to me: "In art, mediocrity is to be above all things feared. A great talent escapes many dangers. The impetus once given, one must reach the goal; otherwise, who can say how low one may fall?"


Terrible examples of this I have seen, showing me what becomes of smothered faculties and of a rich nature rendered abortive. [Footnote 6]

[Footnote 6: I know a woman endowed with a creative faculty which her education has tended to crush. One feels in her incomplete and suffering nature a sort of interior discord. Ill at ease with herself, she seeks excitement in dress and in frivolous distractions. People attribute these defects to her artistic nature. On the contrary, she would not suffer if she possessed the plenitude of her faculties. She has not been allowed to cultivate fully the talent bestowed by God; she has never arrived at the genuine power of production or reached the repose of legitimate interior satisfaction.]


Fatal Results of Ignorance and Levity in Women.

We complain of the vanity of women, of their luxury and coquetry; but for what else do we prepare them, what else do we inculcate in their education? We leave them no other resource on earth. Far from elevating, developing, strengthening, and ennobling them, we dissipate, enervate, and debase them; nor am I speaking of the most fatal kind of debasement. Far from forming in them a taste for serious things or even for subjects worthy of interest, we teach them to ridicule those who have such tastes. We reduce them to coquetry, gossip, every kind of mediocrity and ennui. The world is positively irritated against those who sometimes remind women what they are in the estimation of God, what they are capable of doing, what they owe to God, to society, to France, to their husbands and sons, and to themselves; against those who dare to assert that it is for them, daughters of that Eve to whom humanity owes the chastisement of toil, to accept and make others accept this fruit, which, though perhaps a little bitter, is expiatory, honorable, and salutary; that it is for them to follow its holy practices from infancy, and, later, to inspire in others a taste for it, or, at least, courage to endure it; that it is for them to speak that noble language of reason and of faith which calls labor the primordial law of humanity, at once a dominion and a reward.

The world is angry with those who teach women that they should use the gift of influence with which they are endowed, not to become queens of the ball-room, and shine beneath the candelabra of a drawing-room or behind foot-lights, but to become in their own homes skilful and patient advocates of everything noble, just, intellectual, and generous; not to futilize, if I may so express myself, the spirits of men, already too inclined to futility, but to remind them constantly that life is composed of duties, that duty is serious, and that happiness is only found in the performance of duty.

Instead of this, what are they? Stars of a day, meteors too often fatal to the repose, the fortune, and the honor of families. We may say that these women who have the brilliancy and the passing influence of comets exercise also their sinister power. Instead of enervating them with nonsense, tell them that they will not always remain twenty years old, and that they will soon need other resources than their own beauty and caprices. Tell them that, even supposing they can always rule their husbands so easily, this sophistical authority will never gain a hold upon their children; and yet it is a woman's true aim, her first duty, often, alas! her sole happiness, to possess influence over her children and especially over her sons. But to obtain that, she needs not only goodness, tenderness, and patience, but reason, reflection, good sense, and enlightenment. To obtain these, real instruction, attentive study, serious education are necessary.


But there are few women who are capable of rendering solid service to their husbands and children.

"As a usual thing," wrote to me a woman of the world, of very general interests, but exceedingly intelligent—"as a usual thing we know nothing, absolutely nothing. We can talk only about dress, fashions, or steeple-chases—nonsense all of them! A woman knows who are the famous actors and horses of the day; she knows by heart the personnel of the opera and the Variétés; the stud-book is more familiar to her than the Imitation; last year she voted for La Tonque, this year for Vermouth, and gravely assures us that Bois-Roussel is full of promise; the grand Derby drives her wild, and the triumph of Fille de l'Air seems to her a national victory. She can tell who are the best dressmakers, what saddler is most in vogue, what shop is most frequented. She can weigh the respective merits of the equipages of Comte de la Grange, Duc de Morny, and M. Delamarre. But, alas! turn the conversation to a matter of history or geography; speak of the middle ages, the crusades, the institutions of Charlemagne or St. Louis; compare Bossuet with Corneille, Racine with Fênélon; utter the names of Camoëns or Dante, of Royer-Collard, Frédéric Ozanam, Comte de Montalembert, or Père Gratry; the poor thing is struck dumb. She can only amuse young women and frivolous young men; incapable of talking of business, art, politics, agriculture, or science, she cannot converse with her father-in-law, with the curé, or any other sensible man. And yet it is a woman's first talent to be able to converse with every one. If her mother-in-law visits schools and poor people, and wishes to enroll her in charitable associations, she understands neither their aim nor their importance, for compassion and kindness of heart do not suffice in a certain class for the execution of good works. To acquire influence and give to a benefit its true worth, its whole moral significance, one needs an intelligence only to be acquired by study and attentive reflection."

And, now, I must go further, and indicate the fatal results of the present condition of things to domestic life, to society, and to religion; and I will tell the entire truth.

I know, I have seen, and thanked God in seeing, the sway exercised in her family by a Christian wife and mother; the pursuits introduced under her guidance; the ideas, at first indignantly rejected, adopted to please her; thoughts of religion, of charity, of devotion, resignation, and forgiveness; but more rarely, I must confess, principles of industry.

It is a painful fact that education, not excepting religious education, rarely gives a serious taste for study to young girls or young women. Envoys from God to the domestic hearth, guardians of the holy traditions of faith, honor, and loyalty, women, even devout Christian women, seem to be the adversaries of work whether for their husbands or their children, but especially for their sons. I have seen women who found it difficult not to regard the time given to study as stolen from them. Is this for want of intelligence or aptitude? I think not. I attribute this prejudice, first, to the education we give them, light, frivolous, and superficial, if not absolutely false; and, secondly, to the part assigned to them in the world, and the place reserved for them in families, and even in some Christian families.


We do not wish women to study; they do not wish those about them to study. We do not like to see them employed; they do not like to see others employed, and they succeed only too well in preventing their husbands and children from working. This is an immense misfortune, a most fatal influence. It is useless to say to men, "Work, accept offices, occupy your time." While women seek to destroy the effect of our advice, it will never produce results. So long as mothers advise their daughters not to marry men in office; so long as the young wife uses her whole art to disgust her husband with employment, and the young mother fails to inculcate in her children the necessity of self-culture, of training the mind and talents as one cultivates a precious plant, so long will the law of labor remain, with rare exceptions, unobserved.

In the present stage of customs and manners, home life being what it is, women only can effectively protect a spirit of industry; make it habitual; inculcate, foster, facilitate, and even enforce it upon those around them; early preparing the way for it, rendering it possible and easy, according to it esteem, encouragement, and admiration.

Now, on the contrary, children are placed as soon as possible en pension; that is the word; or for the boys a tutor is appointed, for the girls a governess. The mother, out of love of amusement, deprives herself as early as possible of the supreme happiness of bestowing upon her children the first gleam of intellectual and spiritual life—she who gave them corporeal existence. The children then go to college or to a convent, and what becomes the mother's chief care? That they should not work too hard! If there is a tutor or governess, the case is far worse. The mother often appears to be the born adversary of both, bent upon finding fault, upon alienating her children from them, and extorting privileges, walks, exemptions, and incessant interruptions. The only dream of this weak and blind mother, her only idea of occupation for her son, is to plan hunting parties for him, gatherings of young people, hippodromes, plays, watering-places, and balls, where she follows him with her eyes, enchanted with his triumphs in society, which should perhaps rather make her sigh. No longer daring to be vain for herself, she is vain for him. What defects does she blame? An ungraceful gesture, an unrefined expression, or the omission of some courtesy. She never says to him: "Aim at higher things; cultivate your mind; learn to think, to know men, things, yourself; become a distinguished man; serve your country; make for yourself a name, unless you have one already, and in that case be worthy to bear it."

Few mothers give such counsel to their children—still less, young wives to their husbands. They seem to marry in order to run about in search of amusement or of the principle of perpetual motion. Country places, city life, baths, watering-places, the turf, balls, concerts, and morning calls leave not a moment's rest for them day or night. Willingly or unwillingly, the husband must share this restlessness. He yawns frequently, scolds sometimes, but no matter for that; he must yield, longing for the blessed moment when he can shake off the yoke and take refuge at his club. The young wife employs every gift of art and nature, everything that God bestowed upon her for better purposes, grace, beauty, sweetness, address, fascination, to make him yield. Oh! that she would employ half these providential resources to prove to her husband that she would be proud to be the wife of a distinguished man; that she longs to see him cultivated, clever, worthy of his name, worthy one day to be held up as an example to his son; to persuade him either to take some office, or to live upon his estates and exercise a righteous influence, protecting elective places, gaining the confidence and esteem of his fellow-citizens, setting a noble example, and thus serving God and society!


But far from behaving thus, if the poor husband ventures to take up a book and seek repose from the whirlwind he is condemned to live in, madam makes a little face, (considered bewitching at twenty, but one day to be pronounced insufferable;) she flutters about the literary man, the rhetorician, the scholar, retires to put on her hat, comes back, seats herself, springs up again, flits back and forth before the mirror, takes her gloves, and finally bursts out into execrations against books and reading, which are good for nothing except to making a man stupid and preoccupied. For the sake of peace the husband throws down his book, loses the habit of reading, suffers gradual annihilation by a conjugal process, and, having failed to raise his companion to his own level, sinks to hers.

Here we have a deplorable vicious circle. So long as women know nothing, they will prefer unoccupied men; and so long as men remain idle, they will prefer ignorant and frivolous women. Men in office are no less persecuted than others. Many women torment a magistrate, a lawyer, a notary, making them fail in exactitude and in application to business, instead of encouraging a strict and complete fulfilment of duty. They consider punctuality a bore and assiduity insufferable. When they succeed in accomplishing the neglect of an appointment or of some important occupation, one would think they had achieved a victory. The case is worse still for certain careers generally adopted by rich men or by those whose families were formerly wealthy, such as the army and navy. An officer must remain unmarried, or marry a girl without fortune. Otherwise, in discussing the marriage, the first thing demanded is a resignation. Every young lady of independent fortune wishes her husband to do nothing. In view of this ignorant prejudice, this conjugal ostracism, even sensible mothers hesitate about recommending their sons to adopt careers which will make marriage possible to them only at the expense of a noble fortune; or else they say in words too often heard: "My son will serve for a few years, and then resign. A married man cannot pursue a career."

And young men are asked to work with this perspective before them! How can one love a position which is to be abandoned on such or such a day in accordance with a caprice? What zeal, what emulation, what ambition can a man have who is to leave the service at twenty-five or twenty-eight years of age, when he is perhaps captain of artillery or lieutenant of a ship, that is to say, when he has worked his way through the difficulties that beset every career at its outset?

I have known mothers fairly reduced to despair at seeing a son, just on the point of attaining an elevated position, forced to renounce the thought merely in accordance with the exigence of a young girl and the blindness of her mother, who ought to foresee and dread the inevitable regrets and inconveniences of idleness succeeding to the charm of an occupied life, of the monotony of a tête-à-tête coming after the excitements of Solferino, or the perpetual qui vive of our Algerian garrisons, or the adventurous and almost constantly heroic life of the navy.


It is the duty of an intelligent Christian wife or mother to point out the dangers of idleness and stultification; the social and intellectual suicide resulting from standing aloof from every office and all occupation; the political and religious necessity of occupying responsible places, distinguishing one's self in them, and holding them permanently in order to exercise one's influence in favor of morals and religion. This is a vital matter which will never be understood until mothers teach it with the catechism to their little children. This is the commentary which every mother and every catechist must give, in explaining the important chapter on sloth, one of the seven deadly sins. And the same ideas must be inculcated in instructing their daughters until they are twenty years old; teaching them to be reasonable and capable, showing them the evil consequences of idleness in a young husband, the difficulty of amusing him all day long, of pleasing without wearying him, of averting ennui, ill-humor, and monotony. And let the teacher never fail to add the truth so often proved that it is impossible to induce a son to work after having dissuaded his father from working. Of course, there are moments of pain in an occupied life. It is hard to see a husband embark for two or three years, going perhaps to Sebastopol or to Kabylia. But it is sadder still to see a husband bored to death, and thinking his wife tedious, his home unbearable, his affairs drudgery; and this is not uncommon. I have heard wives who had consented to necessary separations say that the trial had its compensations; that the consciousness of duty fulfilled was a source of inestimable satisfaction; that the agony was followed by a joy that obliterated the memory of suffering; that as the time of return drew near, as the regiment or the ship appeared in sight, they experienced a happiness unknown to other women. It must be so; God leaves nothing unrewarded; every sacrifice has its compensation, every wound its balm. I am told that the most admirable households are to be found in our seaport towns, our great manufacturing centres, and even in our large garrison towns in spite of the bustle, agitation, and dissipation reigning there. I can easily believe this—every one is busy in such places. A husband who has spent the day in barrack or factory (still more, one who has been at sea a long time) thirsts for home, longs to be again by his own hearth, enjoying domestic life. The wife on her side, separated for several hours from her husband, reserves for him her most cheerful mood and her pleasantest smile. She saves him from the thousand annoyances of the day, the household perplexities, the little embarrassments of life, the children's romping. The little ones run to meet their father, and recreate him after his work with caresses and prattle. This is the way in which men enjoy children; as a necessity of every day and all day, they dread them.

But without rising so high, I ask simply what can be more agreeable, even for a husband who spends his life in hunting or anywhere else out of his own house, than to find on coming home his wife cheerful and good-tempered, because after getting him a good dinner she has amused herself with painting a pretty picture, or studying with genuine interest a little natural history, or trying some experiment in domestic chemistry, or even solving a problem in géométrie agricole, instead of finding her languid and melancholy, a femme incomprise, with some novel or another in her hand.


If I persist in preaching industry to men and women, it is for very urgent reasons, not only domestic and political, but social. Who does not see that we verge on socialism at present? The masses will not work, they detest labor. Salaries have been raised again and again; for many trades they go beyond necessity, and so the workman, instead of giving six days in the week to his trade, gives but four, three, or even two days. It is for the higher classes who are supposed to understand their duties and to feel the import of their responsibilities, it is for them to reinstate labor in popular estimation. In this as in all other things, example must come from above; for here, as in religion and morals, the higher classes owe to society and to their country some expiation. The eighteenth century, with its corruptions, its scandals, and its irreligion, hangs upon us with the weight of a satanic heritage. Like original sin, these errors have been washed in blood; it is the history of all great errors. It remains for us to expiate the idleness, the inaction, inutility, annihilation to which we have hitherto surrendered ourselves, setting a fatal example to those around us.

Our generation must be steeped in labor. There and only there is to be found our safety, and mothers must be convinced of this truth. The mother is the centre of home, everything radiates from her—on one condition, that she is a mother worthy of the name and mission—and such mothers are rare.

We know what is in general the education of women. Add to it the indulgence and weakness of parents, the species of idolatry they have for their daughters, the premature pleasures lavished upon young girls, the pains taken to praise them, to adorn them from their earliest infancy, and afterward to show them off and make them shine in a sort of matrimonial exhibition. How can we hope to find earnest mothers of families among those whose youth has been spent in balls, fetes, and morning visits? Alas! it is not possible. Reasonable ideas rarely come to them until age or misfortune has withdrawn their surest means of influence.

And the greatest sufferers from this calamity are society and religion; it cannot be otherwise. A little drawing, a little more music, enough grammar and orthography to pass muster, sufficient history and geography to know Gibraltar from the Himalaya and to recognize Cyrus as King of Persia, but not enough to avenge noble memories outraged or to rectify erroneous estimates; of foreign languages a slight smattering, enough to enable one to read English and German novels, but not to appreciate the glorious pages of Shakespeare, Milton, or Klopstock; no literature, nothing of our great authors, unless a few fables of La Fontaine and perhaps a chorus out of Esther learned in childhood; of religious knowledge a sufficiency to allow of being admitted to first communion, not enough to answer the most vulgar objections, the most notorious calumnies, not enough to understand one's position and duties, to impose silence on the detractors of religion, or the adversaries of reason and Christian evidence, to refute the grossest sophistry, to lead back to faith and holy practices a young husband or perhaps an aged father; with such an education what influence can a young woman exercise?

If the poor young creature so insufficiently prepared by education never reads, or reads only romances, where will she find arms to defend her against error and blasphemy? In spite of sincere piety, she must, useless and timid soldier that she is, desert the holy cause of God and truth for fear of compromising it by an ignorant defence. {43} And yet it is a noble cause, and one that belongs especially to her, for it is the cause of the weak and defenceless, and only asks in its service a sincere conviction, a devout heart, and a little knowledge. But the knowledge is wanting. Because she has acquired neither a habit of reflection nor of seeking in good books necessary information, she must be silent, and, while God and his faith are outraged in her presence with impunity, drop her eyes upon her worsted work and sigh.

Yes, sigh—that is right; and sigh not only for the poor men who read such wretched books and intoxicate themselves with vile poisons, but also for the fact that there is no one to open their eyes, to lead these misled hearts back into the right path, or, at least, to excite a doubt in their perverted minds and warped consciences; no mother, sister, daughter, wife, no intelligent, enlightened, educated woman to fulfil woman's essential mission. No one else can do the work. If women are not the first apostles of the home circle, no one else can penetrate it. But they must render themselves thoroughly capable of fulfilling their apostleship. Nowadays, when all the world reasons or rather cavils, when everything is discussed and proved, when even light and life must be demonstrated, it is necessary that women should participate in the general movement. To speak without reserve—in the face of a masculine generation who graft on to the hauteurs which especially belong to them feminine indifference, affectation, idleness, frivolity, and weakness—women must show themselves serious, thoughtful, firm, and courageous. When men copy their defects, it behooves them to borrow a few manly virtues. "It is time," nobly says M. Caro, "that minds possessed of any intellectual claims awoke to full vitality. Let every being endowed with reason learn to protect himself against literary evil-doers and to repulse their attacks upon God, soul, virtue, purity, and faith."

To Be Continued.

                In Memoriam.

  When souls like thine rise up and leave
    This Earth's dark prison-place,
      'Tis foolishness to grieve:
  Or think thou dost thy life regret,
  And would return if God would let
    Thy feet their steps retrace.

  'Tis he who ends thy banishment,
  And by an angel's hand has sent
      A merciful reprieve.


The Early Christian Schools and Scholars. [Footnote 7]

[Footnote 7: Christian Schools and Scholars; or, Sketches of Education from the Christian Era to the Council of Trent. By the author of The Three Chancellors, etc. Two vol. London: Longmans, Green & Co.]

The history of the schools and scholars of the early ages of the church is not only interesting as forming an important chapter in the history of the church itself, but is full of most remarkable facts and valuable suggestions bearing on the as yet apparently unsolved problem of education. It is replete with matter well worthy the profound attention of all who consider the proper training of youth one of the gravest and most important of public questions; and one which, in this age of advanced enlightenment, still remains the subject of many crude and conflicting opinions. Not only do we recommend its perusal to the Catholic teacher, who is manfully overcoming the peculiar obstacles presented in our unsettled community, as a source of consolation and encouragement; but we call it to the notice of those gentlemen who spend so much of their time during summer vacations debating on the quantity and quality of discipline necessary to enforce the time-honored authority of the teacher, and in endeavoring to define the exact minimum of moral training required to be administered to the secular student to fit him for the proper discharge of the duties of life. We do this in all sincerity; for with this latter class of persons we are not inclined to find too much fault. Many of them are men of intelligence and good intentions; but, groping as they are in utter darkness, and bringing to their deliberations a lamentable ignorance of the essential principles of Christian education, it is not wonderful that their counsels should be divided, and their labors as unprofitable as that of Sisyphus. Disguise it as we may, it cannot be doubted that the state colleges and schools of our country, after a very fair trial, have not answered the expectations of even those who profess themselves their warmest admirers. There is a feeling in the public mind, as yet partially expressed, that there is something lacking in our method of dealing with the ever-constant flood of young hearts and minds which is daily looking to us for direction and guidance. It is becoming more and more painfully apparent that the mere intellect of the children who attend our public institutions is stimulated into unnatural and unhealthy activity, while their moral nature is left wholly uncultivated and undeveloped. Conducted, as such institutions must necessarily be, by persons unqualified or unauthorized to administer moral instruction, it cannot, of course, be expected that the souls for a time entrusted to their care can be fortified by wise counsels and that moral discipline which was considered in past ages and in all nations as the fundamental basis of all Christian education.

Even in a worldly sense, it ought to be a source of our greatest solicitude that the generation which is to hold the honor and integrity of the nation in its keeping should be schooled in the principles of justice and rectitude upon which all true individual and national greatness must depend. If, then, we have exhausted the wisdom of the present, with all its examples before our eyes, to no good purpose, let us turn reverently to the experience of the past, and see if we cannot find something fit for meditation in the varied pages of the history of the Christian church, in her struggles against ignorance and false philosophy.


From the very beginning the church had to contend against three distinct elements, positively or negatively, opposed to her teachings. In the East, as then known, what was called the Greek civilization, superimposed on the Roman, denied all particular gods while worshipping many, and culminated either in refined atheism or the deification of man himself: proud of its disputants, its arts and literature, it affected to feel, and perhaps actually felt, a contempt for the simple doctrines of Christianity, accompanied, as they were, by self-denial, poverty, and lowliness. Over continental Europe and many of its islands the wave of Roman conquest had swept irresistibly and receded reluctantly, leaving behind it the sediment of an intelligence which served only to nourish the latent weeds of ignorance and paganism; while in the far West existed a people with a peculiar and, in its way, a high order of civilization, untouched, it is true, by Roman or Greek pantheism, but completely shut out from the light of the gospel.

To overcome the scattered and diversified opposition thus presented, to overturn false gods and uproot false opinions, to bend the stubborn neck of the barbarian beneath the yoke of Christian meekness, and to mould whatever was brilliant and intellectual in mankind to the service of the true God, was the task assumed by the church through the means of education.

During the first three centuries of our era schools were established at Alexandria, Jerusalem, Edessa, Antioch, and other centres of Eastern wealth and learning; of these, that at Alexandria, founded by St. Mark, A.D. 60, was the most celebrated, and had for its teachers and scholars some of the most learned men of the period. They were catechetical in their nature, and at first were confined to oral instructions on the chief articles of the faith and the nature of the sacraments; but in process of time their sphere of usefulness was greatly enlarged, and the character of the studies pursued in them assumed a wider and higher tone, till not only dogmatic theology and Christian ethics, but human sciences and profane literature, were freely taught. Thus we read that, toward the close of the second century, St. Pantaeus, a converted Stoic of great erudition, and Clement of Alexandria, who is said to have "visited all lands and studied in all schools in search of truth," taught in the school of St. Mark, with an eloquence so convincing, and a knowledge of Grecian philosophy so thorough, that multitudes of Gentiles flocked to hear them, astonished to find the doctrines of the new faith expounded in the polished language of Cicero, and the very logic of Aristotle turned against the pantheistic philosophy of Greece. Their successor, the celebrated Origen, whose reputation has outlived all the attacks of time, in a letter to his friend St. Gregory, gives us some idea of the course of instruction pursued in his time, in this school, in regard to the study of the human sciences. "They are to be used," he writes, "so that they may contribute to the understanding of the Scriptures; for just as philosophers are accustomed to say that geometry, music, grammar, rhetoric, and astronomy, all dispose us to the study of philosophy, so we may say that philosophy, rightly studied, disposes us to the study of Christianity. {46} We are permitted, when we go out of Egypt, to carry with us the riches of the Egyptians wherewith to adorn the tabernacle; only let us beware how we reverse the process, and leave Israel to go down into Egypt and seek for treasure; that is what Jeroboam did in olden time, and what heretics do in our own." Here we find expressed, at so early a day, the beautiful idea of the church respecting education; that enduring pyramid which she would build up, whose base is human science, and whose apex is the knowledge of God.

The episcopal seminaries, intended exclusively for the training of ecclesiastics, were coeval with, if not anterior to, the catechetical schools, for we find the germ of the system in the very earliest apostolic times. They originally formed but part of the bishops' households; and the students were taught by him personally, or by his deputy. When the community life became more general and the number of ecclesiastical pupils increased, the seminaries assumed more extensive proportions, the school being held in the church attached to the bishop's house, but the scholars still living under his roof. Great care was always manifested by the early fathers of the church in the moral and intellectual training of ecclesiastical students. Thus, Pope St. Siricius, in his decretal, A.D. 385, to the Bishop of Tarragona, lays down the following rules to be observed in preparing candidates for the priesthood. He orders that they shall be selected principally from those who have been devoted to the service of the church from childhood. At thirty years of age they are to be advanced through inferior orders to subdiaconate and diaconate, and after five years thus spent they may be ordained priests. In several provincial councils held in the early centuries we find the greatest stress laid on the importance of the careful culture of seminarians, and the second council of Toledo, A.D. 531, fixes the ordination of subdeacons at twenty, and of deacons at twenty-five years of age. As to the course of studies pursued, besides the reading of the Scriptures, the Psalter, and a knowledge of the duties of the holy offices, Latin, Greek, and generally Hebrew were taught, together with the liberal sciences, and sometimes even law and medicine.

Thus did the church gradually but firmly lay the foundation of her system. First, by giving to the adult neophyte such instruction as befitted his age and condition, to enable him to become a worthy member of her fold; and next, by providing, under the direct inspection of each bishop, a school where children, disciplined in his household, taught from his mouth and by his example lessons of piety, humility and self-control, and armed with all the resources of sacred and profane learning, were at mature years sent forth to convert a gentile world, and in turn become teachers of men.

While the catechetical schools were flourishing in the East and the episcopal seminaries assuming form in Spain and Gaul, the bloody persecutions which prevailed intermittingly at Rome retarded for a long time education in that city. Many of her first citizens, it is true, regardless alike of family considerations and imperial edicts, were to be daily found by the side of her humblest bondmen, listening, through the gloom of the catacombs, to the teachings of the gospel; and to this day their places can be pointed out beside the rough hewn seat of their teachers. The Roman pontiffs also labored in their own dwellings to educate their young priests, many of whom, like St. Felicitanus, passed only from their care to testify their devotion to the faith by a glorious martyrdom. {47} When the Emperor Constantine was converted, the palace of the Laterni became the residence of the popes, and here was established the Patriarchium, or seminary, which for several centuries gave so many distinguished occupants to the chair of Peter. The schools of the empire were also thrown open to the Christians, who largely availed themselves of their superior advantages to become acquainted with the old authors. But the professors of the imperial academies were but semi-christianized, and, though conforming outwardly to the new order of things, they retained not a little of their old ideas and customs. Hence, we find a variety of opinions entertained by contemporary authorities as to the propriety of Christians studying in them. In most cases, however, where the danger of contamination was not imminent, or where, as in the case of Victorinus, the academicians were bona-fidè Christians, the practice was permitted, so eager were the fathers to encourage learning.

Tertullian was of opinion that, while Christians could not lawfully teach in the schools with pagans, they might be listeners, without, however, taking part in idolatrous ceremonies. St. Basil, who studied for a time in them, and who was a devoted lover of classical learning, entertained much the same views, comparing the student to a bee who sucks honey out of the poisoned flower. St. Chrysostom, who cannot be accused of any antipathy to education in all its most elegant branches, but who had in his own person experienced the dangers which beset the young Christian in the academies, after great deliberation, and with evident reluctance, decided against the public schools as then conducted. His words have a significant sound, even in these days. He writes:

"If you have masters among you who can answer for the virtue of your children, I should be very far from advocating your sending them to a monastery. On the contrary, I should strongly insist on them remaining where they are. But, if no one can give such a guarantee, we ought not to send our children to schools where they will learn vice before they learn science, and where, in acquiring learning of relatively small value, they will lose what is far more precious, their integrity of soul. … 'Are we, then, to give up literature?' you will exclaim. I do not say that; but I do say that we must not kill souls. … When the foundations of a building are sapped, we should seek rather for architects to reconstruct the whole edifice, than for artists to adorn the walls. In fact, the choice lies between two alternatives a liberal education, which you may get by sending your children to the public schools, or the salvation of their souls, which you secure by sending them to the monks. Which is to gain the day, science or the soul? If you can unite both advantages, do so, by all means; but, if not, choose the most precious."

The character of the academies must have soon changed for the better; for, when Julian some time after closed them to the Christians, ostensibly with a view to the purity of morals, but actually to deprive Christian students of the benefit of any education, St. Gregory, who quickly saw through the Apostate's designs, protested in the strongest terms against the injustice. "For my part," he says, "I trust that every one who cares for learning will take part in my indignation. I leave to others fortune, birth, and every other fancied good which can flatter the imagination of man. {48} I value only science and letters, and regret no labor that I have spent in their acquisition. I have preferred, and ever shall prefer, learning to all earthly riches, and hold nothing dearer on earth next to the joys of heaven and the hopes of eternity." The decree was afterward revoked by the Emperor Valentinian at the request of St. Ambrose, and the academies gradually fell into decay; and, growing dim in the light of the new Christian foundations of other countries, finally ceased to be objects of discussion.

Perhaps the greatest good that resulted from the evils complained of by St. Chrysostom was the establishment of the Benedictine order; an organization destined to exercise for centuries a controlling influence over the educational system of Christendom. In the year A.D. 522, a poor solitary named Benedict, while engaged at his devotions in the grotto of Subiaco, was visited by two Roman senators, who desired him to take charge of the education of their sons, Maurus and Placidus. He consented, and other children of the same rank, whose parents feared the contagion of the imperial schools, were soon after placed in his care. For their government he established a rule, and from this apparently slight foundation sprang the numberless monasteries which were the custodians and dispensaries of learning in the middle ages. In 543, St. Maurus carried the Benedictine rule into Gaul, where under his charge and that of his successors monasteries multiplied with great rapidity. We have seen that at first this illustrious order was designed only for the education of the children of the rich, who were to be instructed "non solum in Scripturis divinas, sed etiam in secularibus litteris;" but so great did its reputation become that, in a short time, we find the doors of its schools thrown open to all classes.

It was not, however, in the polished circles of the cities of Greece and her colonies, nor even in the future centre of Christendom, that the church was destined to achieve her most substantial triumphs. The civilization of the East, long in a state of decay, waned with the decline of the Empire, and its opulent cities and elaborate literature became part of the débris of the colossal ruins of that once stupendous power. The soil in which the seeds of education had been planted by St. Mark and St. Basil, Origen and Cassian, was already exhausted, and incapable of producing those hardy plants and gigantic trees which defy time and corruption. We must, therefore, look to Western Europe as the proper field wherein were to be sown the germs of a more enduring growth.

The monastic system, more or less defined, was introduced into Gaul long before the advent of St. Maurus, and the education, not only of monks, was attended to with care, but of the laity also. From the earliest times we find traces of the exterior schools attached to the monasteries for the training of children not intended for a clerical life. The rules of Saints Pachominus and Basil, then generally followed, were careful to provide that children should be taught to read and write, and instructed in psalmody and such portions of the Holy Scriptures as were suited to their comprehension. They were to live in the monastery and be allowed to sit at table with the monks, who were strictly cautioned not to do or say anything that could disedify their young minds. With a tenderness truly paternal, the young scholars were allowed a separate part of the building for themselves, and plenty of time for amusement. {49} On the subject of punishment, we recommend the following advice of St. Basil to modern teachers, believing that juvenile human nature is much the same now as it was sixteen or seventeen centuries ago. "Let every fault have its own remedy," says this experienced teacher, "so that, while the offence is punished, the soul may be exercised to conquer its passions. For example: Has a child been angry with his companion? Oblige him to beg pardon of the other and to do him some humble service; for it is by accustoming him to humility that you will eradicate anger, which is always the offspring of pride. Has he eaten out of meals? Let him remain fasting for a good part of the day. Has he eaten to excess and in an unbecoming manner? At the hour of repast, let him, without eating himself, watch others taking their food in a modest manner, and so he will be learning how to behave at the same time that he is being punished by his abstinence. And if he has offended by idle words, by rudeness, or by telling lies, let him be corrected by diet and silence."

The early Gallican bishops showed as great a desire to encourage learning among their clergy as did those of Spain, and were never tired of enforcing the necessity of the attentive study of the Scriptures and the cultivation of letters, even in religious houses occupied by women. The result of this zealous spirit is to be found in the establishment of the schools of Tours and Lyons, Grinni and Vienne, the abbey of Marmontier and the more famous one of Lerins, which produced thousands of missionaries, and such scholars as Apollinaris of Lyons, Maumertius, the author of The Nature of the Soul, and the poets, Saints Prosper and Avitus. The "Academy of Toulouse," of disputatious memory, is claimed to have had a very ancient origin, but was probably not in existence until the sixth century.

But the first period of literary culture on the continent of Europe was fast drawing to a close. At the end of the fifth century heresy and schism; the converted Ostrogoths of Northern Italy were subdued by the semi-paganized Lombards; the Roman empire existed but in name; and civil war broke out in Gaul, desolating her fields and laying in ruins her churches and schools. Darkness succeeded light, and anarchy and barbarism prevailed on both sides of the Alps. But the cause of Christian learning was not lost. Driven from the mainland, the Christian scholars had already taken refuge in the adjacent islands, where they rekindled their torches, and kept them burning with an effulgence unknown in the palaces of kings or the schools of the empire. The providence of God, which permitted the ravages of war and heresy to prevail for a time in Gaul, Spain, and Italy, ordained that a newer and more secure asylum should be provided for the handmaid of the faith, whence were to issue, when the storm passed over, of hosts of zealous and learned men to reconquer for the church her desolated and darkened dominions.

Ireland and England were destined to be this asylum, and, even humanly speaking, no choice could have been more propitious. The qualities which distinguished the people of these islands, and which characterize them even at this day, admirably adapted them for missionary life. The Anglo-Saxon genius, mollified by contact with the more imaginative mind of the Briton, developed a strong, unconquerable will, great tenacity of purpose, vast powers of cooperation, and a capacity for solid attainments; while the Celts of the sister island, who had never known a conqueror, exhibited the indomitable zeal of a free-born people united to an insatiable love of learning and fine arts, and a subtility of mind which easily grasped the most beautiful and abstruse dogmas of Christian philosophy.


The earliest monastic schools of England were destroyed by the Saxon invaders about the middle of the fifth century, and what remained of their teachers were driven with the remnant of the Britons into the mountains of Wales. Yet even before the invasion many of her youth found their way to the continent, and there obtaining an education, returned to their native country to teach their compatriots. Thus St. Ninian, who had studied at Rome under Pope St. Siricius and had visited Tours, established his episcopal seminary and a school for the neighboring children at Witherne, in Galloway, about the beginning of that century. He was, says his biographer, St. Aelred, "assiduous in reading." St. Germanus of Auxerre and St. Lupus of Troyes followed in 429, and established at Caerleon, the capital of the Britons, seminaries and schools, in which they lectured on the Scriptures and the liberal arts. Stimulated by their example, monastic schools sprang rapidly into existence, the most successful of which were those at Hentland; Laudwit, among whose first scholars was the historian Gildas; Bangor on the Dee, in which, according to Bede, there were over two thousand students; Whitland, where St. David studied; and Llancarvan, founded by St. Cadoc. This latter saint was educated by an Irish recluse named Fathai, who was induced to leave his hermitage in the mountains to take charge of the school of Gwent, in Monmouthshire.

We must not be surprised to find an Irish teacher at that early period in Wales; for already the wonderful exodus of Irish missionaries and teachers had commenced. The twenty years' missionary labors of St. Patrick and his disciples had literally converted the entire people of Ireland, and, following the lessons taught him at Tours, Rome, and Lerins, that saint studded the island with seminaries and monastic schools. His own, at Armagh, founded A.D. 455, doubtless formed the model upon which the others were built. "Within a century after the death of St. Patrick," says Bishop Nicholson, "the Irish seminaries had so increased that most parts of Europe sent their children to be educated there, and drew thence their bishops and teachers." So numerous, indeed, were the schools of Ireland founded by the successors of St. Patrick that it is impossible even to enumerate their names in the limits of an article. The most celebrated were those of Armagh, which at one time furnished education to seven thousand pupils; Lismore; Cashel; Aran, "the Holy;" Clonard, the alma mater of Columba the Great; Conmacnois; Benchor, of which St. Bernard speaks in such terms of admiration; and Clonfert, founded by St. Brendan the navigator. When we remember the disturbed condition of the continent during the sixth and seventh centuries, and the almost profound peace which prevailed in Ireland during that time, we cease to be astonished at the influx of foreigners which thronged her schools. St. AEngus mentions the names of Gauls, Romans, Germans, and even Egyptians who visited her shore; and St. Aldhelm of Westminster, in the seventh century, rather petulantly complains of his countrymen neglecting their own schools for those of Ireland. "Nowadays," he remarks, "the renown of the Irish is so great that one sees them daily going or returning; and crowds flock over to their island to gather up, not merely the liberal arts and physical sciences, but also the four senses of Holy Scripture and the allegorical and tropological interpretation of its sacred oracles."


As to the course of study pursued in the Irish monastic schools, there is reason to believe that not only were theology, grammar, that is, languages, and the physical sciences taught, but poetry and music also received special attention. The bardic order were the first to embrace Christianity, and their love for those two beautiful arts was proverbial. Latin and Hebrew were studied, but the sonorous language of Homer and Cicero seems to have been most in favor, probably on account of its remarkable resemblance, in euphony at least, to the vernacular Gaelic. Mathematics and astronomy ranked first on the list of the sciences, and geography, as far as then known, must have been familiar to St. Brendan and his adventurous companions.

But, as we have said, the missionary labors of the Irish had already commenced. Obedient to a law beyond human control, the pent-up zeal of the people had burst its boundaries and overflowed Europe. Of the devoted men destined to roll back the tide of paganism, the first in point of greatness, if not in time, was St. Columba, the founder of the schools of Iona, A.D. 563. Amid all the Irish missionaries, this saint stands out in the boldest relief. Of proud lineage and dauntless spirit, passionately fond of books, yet sharing willingly with his monks the toils of the field, we fancy we can almost see his tall, austere figure stalking amid the unknown and unheeded perils of the barbarous Hebrides and the mountains of North Britain, with his staff and book, overawing hostile chiefs and princes by his very presence, and winning the hearts of the humble shepherds by his sweet voice and gentle demeanor. "He suffered no space of time," says Adamnan, "no, not an hour to pass, in which he was not employed either in prayer, or in reading or writing, or manual work."

Leaving Ireland forging the weapons of spiritual and intellectual combat, and the Albanian Scots to the care of Columba and his monks, we turn again to England, which, with the exception of Wales, was up to the end of the sixth century sunk in the grossest paganism. In the year 596, when, to use the words of Pope Gregory, "all Europe was in the hands of the barbarians," that pontiff conceived the idea of converting the Saxons of England. He accordingly despatched St. Augustine and some monks from Monte Cassino, lately reduced to ruins. St. Augustine brought with him a Bible, a psalter, the gospels, an apocryphal lives of the apostles, a martyrology, and the exposition of certain epistles and gospels, besides sacred vessels, vestments, church ornaments, and holy relics. He forthwith established a seminary and school at Canterbury, which afterward attained great celebrity. But the schools of Lindisfarne, founded by St. Aiden, A.D. 635, eclipsed all lesser luminaries. Aiden was a worthy descendant of Columba, and brought to his task all the learning and discipline of Iona. "All who bore company with Aiden," says the Venerable Bede, "whether monks or laymen, were employed either in studying the Scriptures or in singing psalms. This was his own daily employment wherever he went." In the south of England, Maidulf, also an Irish missionary, founded the schools of Malmsbury; Wilfred, a student of Lindisfarne, the abbey and school of Ripon, introducing the Benedictine rule into England; while Archbishop Theodore, a native of Tarsis, and Adrian, described as a "fountain of letters and a river of arts,"' gave a wonderful impetus to the study of letters in Canterbury. {52} These latter added to St. Augustine's library the works of St. Chrysostom, the history of Josephus, and a copy of Homer. The studies pursued at Canterbury consisted of theology, Latin and Greek, geometry, arithmetic, music, mechanics, astronomy, and astrology. The most illustrious pupil of the early schools of Canterbury were St. Aldhelm, who was thoroughly familiar with the classical authors, himself a writer of no mean order, and who afterward became teacher at Malmsbury; St. Bennet Biscop, who founded schools at Monk Wearmouth, Yarrow, and various other places, endowing them with valuable books which he had collected on the continent. He first introduced the use of glass in England.

In the school at Yarrow, Bede commenced his studies. This extraordinary man, besides attending to his duties as a missionary and teacher, found time to compose forty-five books on the most diverse subjects, including commentaries on the Holy Scriptures, works on grammar, astronomy, the logic of Aristotle, music, geography, arithmetic, orthography, versification, the computum or method of calculating Easter, and natural philosophy, besides his Ecclesiastical History and Lives of the Saints. He was well versed in the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages, and, for his success in reducing the barbarous Anglo-Saxon tongue to something like grammatical rules, he has been justly styled the father of the English language. For the immense knowledge which he displayed in his various writings, he was indebted, doubtless, to the valuable libraries collected by St. Bennet, who, like a true son of Iona, seized upon a book whenever or wherever an opportunity was afforded. At the beginning of the eighth century, the schools of York attained general notoriety under the management of Egbert, who taught the seven liberal sciences, chronology, natural history, mathematics, and jurisprudence. Here Alcuin, the adviser and friend of Charlemagne, received his first lessons.

Nor are we to suppose that the great schools above mentioned occupied the entire attention of the hierarchy of England. On the contrary, every bishop had his own seminary; and every monastery, of which there were hundreds in the seventh and eighth centuries, had its interior or claustral, and its exterior school for the education of the children of its neighborhood. In England, as elsewhere, wherever a monastery was built, no matter how remote the situation or how barren the soil, people flocked round it not only to hear the gospel preached, but to learn the mechanical arts and the laws of agriculture. Besides this, parish priests, or, as they were called in the Anglo-Saxon, "mass priests," were obliged to open and sustain parochial free schools for the children of the peasantry and serfs.

It is acknowledged by all writers, no matter how sceptical they may be on other points, that the church was the first to raise woman to her true place in society. In pagan times woman was treated much the same as she now is in Mohammedan countries, and only the very vilest of the sex enjoyed any freedom of speech or action; but Christianity not only threw its aegis around her, but provided for her education with a care only second, if indeed not fully equal, to that bestowed on ecclesiastics. {53} We find by the correspondence between St. Boniface and his relative Lioba, that the nuns of England at that time understood and could write the Latin language, and were well versed in the Scriptures and the writings of the fathers. Nunneries were, in fact, in the middle ages almost as numerous as monasteries, and in their sphere as powerful agents in the advancement of religion and education.

By the close of the eighth century England had reached the zenith of her first period of literary glory. Not only were her people thoroughly instructed according to their degree and rank, but the island abounded in saints and scholars, many of whom, like those of Ireland, went forth, from time to time, to repay to benighted Europe a portion of the debt contracted two centuries earlier.

It were an interesting study, if space permitted, to trace the divergent paths pursued by Irish and English scholars on the continent, in what may be called their initial campaigns against ignorance. We find the Irish invading France, Switzerland, Italy, and even Spain, while the Anglo-Saxons, with a like affinity for race and habits, preferred the northern part of Europe, the cradle of their ancestors. St. Columbanus, whose rule, next to that of St. Benedict, was the most generally adopted in the continental monasteries, founded the schools of Luxeuil in Burgundy and of Bobbio in Italy; St. Gall, one of his companions, laid the foundation of the famous schools of that name in Switzerland; St. Cathal of Lismore became the patron saint of Tarentum, and Donatus and Frigidan were bishops of Fiesole in Tuscany and Lucca.

St. Winifred, or, as he was afterward called, Boniface, the first great English missionary to the continent, achieved great successes in the north about 723, and, being desirous of training up a native priesthood to perpetuate his works, invited several of his countrymen to Germany to take charge of the seminaries of the different bishoprics he had founded. Among those who accepted the invitation were his two nephews, one of whom, Willibald, established a college at Ordorp. The seminary of Utrecht owes its origin to one of his earliest pupils, Luidger, a direct descendant of Dagobert II., who also built several seminaries and monastic schools in Saxony. Another of St. Boniface's students, Strum, laid the foundation of the celebrated abbey and school of Fulda in 744; and, to complete the work of regeneration, thirty nuns were brought over from England, who established religious houses innumerable, and introduced among the rude Germans the learning and refinement which marked the nunneries of their native land. St. Boniface, having been appointed papal legate and vicar with jurisdiction over the bishops of Gaul and Germany, applied several years of his life to the reformation of abuses and the establishment of strict rules of life among the clergy of both countries. To this end we are told that in every place where he planted a monastery he added a school, not only for the benefit of young monks, "but in order that the rude population by whom they were surrounded might be trained in holy discipline, and that their uncivilized manners might be softened by the influence of humane learning." His grand work having been accomplished, he resigned his delegated powers, resumed his missionary life, and, with nothing but his "books and shroud," proceeded to Friesland, the scene of his first labors, where he suffered martyrdom in 755. This saint was a devoted friend to education, and that portion of the decrees of the council of Cloveshoe, held in 747, in which the subject of learning is treated, is ascribed to his pen. {54} The council ordered that "bishops, abbots, and abbesses do by all means diligently provide that all their people incessantly apply their minds to reading; that boys be brought up in the ecclesiastical schools, so as to be useful to the church of God; and that their masters do not employ them in bodily labor on Sundays."

While Germany was being reclaimed from its primitive barbarism, Gaul, which had given so many missionaries to the Western Islands, was not neglected. For more than two hundred years this country, once so fertile in pious men and learned institutions, was the theatre of the most frightful disorders, consequent on domestic wars and foreign invasions. There were but few monasteries surviving, but even these were true to the design of their founders, and in them learning, to use the eloquent remark of the Protestant historian, Guizot, "proscribed and beaten down by the tempest that raged around, took refuge under the shelter of the altar, till happier times should suffer it to appear in the world." But a memorable epoch had arrived in the history of France. In 771 Charlemagne became monarch of all the Franks, and by his extraordinary military successes and political wisdom soon made himself master of the entire continent north of the Pyrenees. But great as were his conquests in the field, his victories in the cause of letters in France were more splendid and far more durable. Under his long and brilliant sway the evils of previous centuries were swept away; churches were restored, monasteries rebuilt, seminaries and schools everywhere opened. Like all great practical men, the Frankish monarch knew admirably well how to choose his assistants when grand ends were to be reached, and in this instance he selected Alcuin of York as his agent in restoring to his dominions religious harmony and Christian education. The result showed the wisdom of his choice, for to no man of that day could so herculean a task be assigned with better hope of its execution. Trained in the schools of York, then among the best in England, he united to a solid judgment profound learning and an energy of mind as untiring as that even of his royal patron. The Palatine school, though in existence previous to the reign of Charlemagne, was placed under the charge of Alcuin, and the emperor and various members of his family became his first and most attentive pupils. It consisted of two distinct parts: one, composed of the royal family and the courtiers, followed the emperor's person; the other necessarily stationary, in which were educated young laymen as well as those intended for the cloister; Charlemagne, himself setting the example of diligent study, managed to acquire, amid the turmoil of war and the labors of the cabinet, a considerable knowledge of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, the liberal sciences and astronomy, of the latter of which he seems to have been particularly fond.

The first step taken by Alcuin was the correction of the copies of the Holy Scriptures, which had become almost unintelligible from the accumulated errors of former transcribers. This he succeeded in doing about the year 800. He next turned his attention to the multiplication and replenishing of libraries. "A staff of skilful copyists was gradually formed, and so soon as any work had been revised by Alcuin and his fellow-laborers, it was delivered over to the hands of the monastic scribes."


The capitulars of Charlemagne in relation to civil affairs and municipal laws mark him as one of the ablest statesmen of any age, and are peculiarly his own; but those on education are so comprehensive, and of so elaborate a nature, that we cannot help thinking them the fruits of Alcuin's suggestions, embodying, as they do, in an official form the precise views so often expressed by him in letters and lectures. By these decrees monastic schools were divided into minor and major schools, and public schools, which answered to the free parochial schools of England. In the minor schools, which were to be attached to all monasteries, were to be taught the "Catholic faith and prayers, grammar, church music, the psalter, and computum;" in the major schools, the sciences and liberal arts were added; while in the public schools, the children of all, free and servile, were to receive gratis such instruction as was suitable to their condition and comprehension. Those monks who, either from neglect or want of opportunity, had not acquired sufficient education to enable them to teach in their own monasteries, were allowed to study in others in order to become duly qualified for the duty imposed on them. A more complete system of general education could not well be devised nor more rigidly carried out.

Alcuin ended his well-spent life in 804, and Charlemagne ten years later; but their reforms lived after them, and were perpetuated in succeeding reigns with equal vigor, if not with equal munificence. Theodulph, Bishop of Orleans, not only established schools in every part of his large diocese, but compiled class-books for the use of their pupils; the diocese of Verdun was similarly supplied by the Abbot Smaragdus; Benedict of Anian, reformed the Benedictine order, and like Leidrade, was a zealous teacher and a great collector of books; and Adalhard, the emperor's cousin, became, as it were, the second founder of Old Corby.

During the ninth and tenth centuries, so fruitful of scholars in every part of Europe, the monastic schools may be said to have reached their highest development. Of those north of the Alps we may mention Fulda, Old and New Corby, Richneau, and St. Gall, though there were a great many others of nearly equal extent and reputation.

Fulda, as we have seen, was founded by Strum, a pupil of St. Boniface, who adopted the Benedictine rule. After its founder, its greatest teacher was Rabanus, a pupil of Alcuin, who assumed the charge of the school about 813. His success in teaching was so great that it is said that all the German nobles sent their sons to be educated by him, and that the abbots of the surrounding monasteries were eager to have his students for professors. He taught grammar so thoroughly that he is mentioned by Trithemius as being the first who indoctrinated the Germans in the proper articulation of Latin and Greek. His course embraced all sacred and profane literature, science, and art; yet he still found time to compose, and afterward, when Archbishop of Mentz, to publish his treatise De Institutione Clericorum. Among his pupils were Strabo, author of the Commentaries on the Text of Scripture; Otfried, called the father of the Tudesque, or German literature; Lupus, author of Roman History; Heinie, author of the Life of St. Germanus; Regimus, of Auxerre; and Ado, compiler of the Martyrology. While those great scholars were teaching and writing, it is worth our while to inquire what the lesser lights of the monastery were doing. Here is the picture:


"Every variety of useful occupation was embraced by the monks; while some were at work hewing down the old forest which a few years before had given shelter to the mysteries of pagan worship, or tilling the soil on those numerous farms which to this day perpetuate the memory of the great abbey in the names of the towns and villages which have sprung up on their site, other kinds of industry were kept up within doors, where the visitor might have beheld a huge range of workshops, in which cunning hands were kept constantly busy on every description of useful and ornamental work, in wood, stone, and metal. It was a scene not of artistic dilettanteism, but of earnest, honest labor, and the treasurer of the abbey was charged to take care that the sculptors, engravers, and carvers in wood were always furnished with plenty to do. Passing on to the interior of the building, the stranger would have been introduced to the scriptorium, over the door of which was an inscription warning copyists to abstain from idle words, to be diligent in copying books, and to take care not to alter the text by careless mistakes. Twelve monks always sat here, employed in the labor of transcribing, as was the custom at Hirsauge, a colony sent out from Fulda in 830, and the huge library which was thus gradually formed, survived till the beginning of the seventeenth century, when it was destroyed in the troubles of the Thirty Years' War. Not far from the scriptorium was the interior school, where studies were carried on with an ardor and a largeness of views which might have been little expected from an academy of the ninth century. Our visitor, were he from the more civilized south, might well have stood in mute surprise in the midst of these fancied barbarians, whom he would have found engaged in pursuits not unworthy of the schools of Rome. The monk Probus is perhaps lecturing on Virgil and Cicero, and that with such hearty enthusiasm that his brother professors accuse him, in good-natured jesting, of ranking them with the saints. Elsewhere disputations are being carried on over the Categories of Aristotle, and an attentive ear will discover that the controversy which made such a noise in the twelfth century, and divided the philosophers of Europe into the rival sects of the nominalists and realists, is perfectly well understood at Fulda, though it does not seem to have disturbed the peace of the school. To your delight, if you be not altogether wedded to the dead languages, you may find some engaged on the uncouth language of their fatherland, and, looking over their shoulders, you may smile to see the barbarous words which they are cataloguing in their glossaries; words, nevertheless, destined to reappear centuries hence in the most philosophical literature of Europe." [Footnote 8]

[Footnote 8: Christian Schools and Scholars, pp. 205-206.]

The school of Old Corby owed its reputation not only to its royal abbot, but also to its master, Pachasius Radpert, who, like Strabo, was of humble origin, and was indebted to the nuns of Soissons for an education. He was one of the most remarkable scholars of the age, and the author of several books in prose and verse. His most famous pupil was Anscharius, the first teacher at New Corby, in Saxony, founded by monks of the parent house in 822, and afterward a missionary to Denmark and Archbishop of Hamburg. The two Corbys, founded on the same plan, long vied with each other in the erudition of their masters, the multitude of their students, and the rarity and number of their books.

But the monastery and schools of St. Gall surpassed in extent and variety of studies all their contemporaries. For the benefit of those who affect to believe that the monasteries of the middle ages were nests of slothfulness and ignorance, as well as for the beauty of the sketch itself, we transcribe the following description from the author before us, premising that it is a faithful condensation of Ekkehard's account of this celebrated house, of which he was one of the inmates:

"The first foundation of St. Gall's belongs, indeed, to a date far earlier than that of which we are now treating: it owed its origin to St. Gall, the Irish disciple of St. Columbanus, who, in the seventh century, penetrated into the recesses of the Helvetian mountains and there fixed his abode in the midst of a pagan population. Under the famous abbot, St. Othmar, who flourished in the time of Pepin, the monks received the Benedictine rule, and from that time the monastery rapidly grew in fame and prosperity, so that, in the ninth century, it was regarded as the first religious house north of the Alps. {57} It is with a sigh of irrepressible regret, called forth by the remembrance of a form of beauty that is dead and gone forever, that the monastic historian hangs over the early chronicles of St. Gall. It lay in the midst of the savage Helvetian wilderness, an oasis of piety and civilization. Looking down from the craggy mountains, the passes of which open to the southern extremity of the lake of Constance, the traveller would have stood amazed at the sudden apparition of that vast range of stately buildings which almost filled up the valley at his feet. Churches and cloisters, the offices of a great abbey, buildings set apart for students and guests, workshops of every description, the forge, the bakehouse, and the mill, or, rather, mills, for there were ten of them, all in such active operation that they every year required ten new millstones; and then the houses occupied by the vast numbers of artisans and workmen attached to the monastery; gardens, too, and vineyards creeping up the mountain slopes, and beyond them fields of waving corn, and sheep specking the green meadows, and, far away, boats busily plying on the lake and carrying goods and passengers—what a world it was of life and activity; yet how unlike the activity of a town! It was, in fact, not a town, but a house—a family presided over by a father, whose members were all knit together in the bonds of common fraternity. I know not whether the spiritual or social side of such a religious colony were most fitted to rivet the attention. Descend into the valley, and visit all the nurseries of useful foil, see the crowds of rude peasants transformed into intelligent artisans, and you will carry away the impression that the monks of St. Gall had found out the secret of creating a world of happy Christian factories. Enter their church and listen to the exquisite modulations of those chants and sequences, peculiar to the abbey, which boasted of possessing the most scientific school of music in all Europe; visit their scriptorium, their library, and their school, or the workshop where the monk Tutilo is putting the finishing touch to his wonderful copper images and his fine altar-frontals of gold and jewels, and you will think yourself in some intellectual and artistic academy. But look into the choir, and behold the hundred monks who form the community at their midnight office, and you will forget everything save the saintly aspect of those servants of God, who shed abroad over the desert around them the good odor of Christ, and are the apostles of the provinces which own their gentle sway. You may quit the circuit of the abbey, and plunge once more into the mountain region which rises beyond the reach of its softening, humanizing influence. Here are distant cells and hermitages with their chapels, where the shepherds come for early mass; or it may be that there meets you, winding over the mountain paths of which they sing so sweetly, going up and down among the hills, into the thick forests and the rocky hollows, a procession of the monks, carrying their relics, and followed by a peasant crowd. In the schools you may have been listening to lectures in the learned and even in the Eastern tongues; but in the churches, and here among the mountains, you will hear those fine classical scholars preaching plain truths in barbarous idioms to a rude race, who, before the monks came among them, sacrificed to the evil one, and worshipped stocks and stones.

"Yet, hidden away as it was among its crags and deserts, the abbey of St. Gall's was almost as much a place of resort as Rome or Athens, at least to the learned world of the ninth century. Her schools were a kind of university, frequented by men of all nations, who came hither to fit themselves for all professions. You would have found here not monks alone, and future scholastics, but courtiers, soldiers, and the sons of kings. The education given was very far from being exclusively intended for those aspiring to the ecclesiastical state; it had a large admixture of the secular element, at any rate, in the exterior school. Not only were the sacred sciences taught with the utmost care, but the classic authors were likewise explained: Cicero, Horace, Virgil, Lucan, and Terence were read by the scholars, and none but very little boys presumed to speak in anything but Latin. The subjects for their original compositions were mostly taken from Scripture and church history, and, having written their exercises, they were expected to recite them, the proper tones being indicated by musical notes. Many of the monks excelled as poets, others cultivated painting and sculpture, and other exquisite and cloistral arts; all diligently applied to the grammatical formation of the Tudesque dialect and rendered it capable of producing a literature of its own. Their library in the eighth century was only in its infancy, but gradually became one of the richest in the world. They were in correspondence with all the learned monastic houses of France and Italy, from whom they received the precious codex now of a Virgil or a Livy, now of the sacred books, and sometimes of some rare treatise on medicine or astronomy. {58} They were Greek students, moreover, and those most addicted to the cultivation of the Cecropian muse were denominated the 'Fratres Ellencini.' The beauty of their native manuscripts is praised by all authors, and the names of their best transcribers find honorable mention in their annals. They manufactured their own parchment out of the hides of the wild beasts that roamed through the mountains and forests around them, and prepared it with such skill that it acquired a peculiar delicacy. Many hands were employed on a single manuscript. Some made the parchment, others drew the fair red lines, others wrote on the pages thus prepared; more skilful hands put in the gold and the initial letters, and more learned heads compared the copy with the original text—this duty being generally discharged during the interval between matins and lauds, the daylight hours being reserved for actual transcription. Erasure, when necessary, was rarely made with the knife, but an erroneous word was delicately drawn through by the pen, so as not to spoil the beauty of the codex. Lastly came the binders, who enclosed the whole in boards of wood, cramped with ivory or iron, the sacred volumes being covered with plates of gold and adorned with jewels."

The English missionary scholars of the eighth century were followed in the ninth by their Irish brethren in even greater numbers. St. Bernard, in his Life of St. Malachi, notices this learned invasion, and Henry of Auxerre declares that it appeared as if the whole of Ireland were about to pass into Gaul. Virgil, Bishop of Saltzburg, was not only a learned man, but an ardent promoter of education. Clement, who succeeded Alcuin as scholasticus of the Palatine school, was an excellent Greek linguist. Dungal, his companion, opened an academy at Pavia, and finally died at Bobbio, to which he bequeathed his valuable classical library. Marx and his nephew Moengall settled at St. Gall in 840, where the latter became master of the interior school, and introduced the study of Greek; and finally Scotus Erigena appeared in the literary firmament, like a comet in brilliancy, and as portentous of dire strifes and contests. Erigena, who first came into notoriety by his translation of Dionysius the Areopagite, was unquestionably the most erudite man of his time, powerful in argument and exceedingly subtle in discussion, with a perfect knowledge of the learned languages, science, and the profane literature of both ancients and moderns. His great gifts, however, were sadly marred by extravagant vanity and a pugnacity which brought him into collision with nearly every contemporary of note. He wrote many books, in which he advanced opinions more remarkable for their boldness and originality than for soundness; and finally, his writings having been condemned by several provincial councils, he was obliged to retire from the Palatine school, of which he had enjoyed the direction for many years under Charles the Bald.

Let us now return to the country of St. Boniface and of Alcuin, which we left at the beginning of the ninth century, in the plenitude of its intellectual greatness. What a change has taken place in seventy-five years! Churches, monasteries, and schools in utter ruin; the weeds growing rank over broken altars; the reptile crawling undisturbed where worked the busy hands of a thousand monks; and the solitude of the once noisy school disturbed only by the flutter of the bat or the screech of the night owl. The fierce Northmen, the barbaric executors of the Huns and Vandals, had been over the land, and desolation everywhere marked their foot-prints. "The Anglo-Saxon Church," says Lingard, "presented a melancholy spectacle; the laity had resumed the ferocious manners of their pagan forefathers; the clergy had grown indolent, dissolute, and illiterate; the monastic order was apparently annihilated." {59} When Alfred had crushed the Danish power at the battle of Ethandun in 873, and, like a wise prince, proposed to revive learning in his kingdom, he could not find one ecclesiastic south of the Thames who understood the divine service, or who knew how to translate Latin into English. Nevertheless, this king, justly surnamed the Great, resolutely set himself to work, and, with the help of the West British scholar, Asser, Grimbald of Rheims, John of Old Saxony, and other foreign monks, effected many useful reforms, and to a limited extent provided the means of education for his benighted subjects, setting the example himself by diligent and persevering study. He commenced to learn Latin at thirty-six, and left after him several works, principally translations from that language.

The grand designs of Alfred were not carried out in his lifetime. Their execution was reserved for St. Dunstan, a pupil of some poor Irish monks who had settled in the ruins of the old abbey of his native town, Glastonbury, and supported themselves by teaching the children of the neighboring peasantry. How strange a coincidence that the countrymen of Columba and Aidan were again to be the instruments, under Providence, of bringing back to England the light of the gospel, and all that adorns and beautifies life. St. Dunstan's reforms were of the most sweeping nature; he introduced the Benedictine rule in all its strictness, not only at Glastonbury, but in every monastery he restored or established; and, despairing of effecting any good through the medium of the secular clergy, he unhesitatingly turned them adrift, and proceeded to create a new and more intelligent body out of the young men who surrounded him: an exercise of authority the right to which he derived from his position as primate and apostolic legate. Of the assistants of St. Dunstan in his work of reorganization, the most active were St. Ethelwold, a close student not only of classics, but of Anglo-Saxon, in which language he composed several poems; AElfric, author of several school-books in Latin and Anglo-Saxon, and translator of Latin, German, and French; Abbo of Fleury came to England and taught for him in the school of Ramsey; and the monks of Corby, mindful, no doubt, of their ancient origin, sent him some of their best students, well versed in monastic discipline. From this time forth England, despite the occasional inroads of the Danes and the Norman conquest, advanced steadily in educational progress until the blight of the "Reformation" long after threw her back into ignorance and unbelief.

Britain was not the only country which suffered from the greedy and ubiquitous sea-kings. Ireland, France, Italy, even to the suburbs of Rome, were ravished by those barbarians during the tenth century. In some countries, as in Italy and Ireland, they were eventually expelled or subdued; in others, like France, they made a permanent lodgment, and were strong enough to dictate terms to kings. Wherever they appeared, they seem to have been actuated by the same diabolical lust of plunder and murder, the monasteries and schools being special objects of hatred, and favorite places where their ferocity could be gratified at little risk of opposition. Even the Saracens, taking courage from the distractions of the times, took possession of accessible points on the French coast, and added to the general disorder. {60} It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that the tenth century is generally considered the darkest intellectual epoch in our era. Germany perhaps was the only country comparatively free from those disturbing causes, and, under the protection of a line of sagacious kings, the cause of learning, if it did not advance with rapid strides, certainly did not retrograde. That country continued to produce great teachers like Adelberon, Bennon, Notker, and Gerbert, afterward Pope Sylvester II., and to sustain such schools as St. Gall's, Richneau, and Gorze.

With the opening of the eleventh century we begin to perceive the gradual decay of the monastic schools, the rise of scholasticism and the university system, and the consequent evils resulting from the teachings of irresponsible and sceptical professors. Heretofore Christian education went hand in hand with religion; the priest who celebrated the divine mysteries in the morning taught his assembled pupils during the day; religion became more beautiful, clothed, as she was, in the garments of science and art; and education was ennobled by losing its selfishness and pride in its contact with the faith; humility, order, and obedience marked the scholar, and disinterestedness and a deep sense of the greatness of his calling distinguished the master. Teaching with the monks was a sacred duty, a means by which they might gain salvation and "shine like stars for all eternity;" with the scholastics of the eleventh and succeeding centuries it became a profession like that of law or medicine, in the exercise of which money and notoriety could be gained, opponents silenced, and, as was too often the case, vanity gratified and senseless applause won from the unthinking multitude. The school ceased to be a holy retreat, and the professor's chair was converted into a rostrum from which the most absurd and illogical dogmas were fulminated, alike dangerous to religion, morals, and good government. In the statement of abuses presented to the Council of Trent in 1537-63 by the commission appointed by Paul III., it is declared that "it is a great and pernicious abuse that, in the public schools, especially in Italy, many philosophers teach impiety;" and it is a well-recognized fact in history that, from the time the universities adopted the study of the Roman civil law, to the exclusion almost of ecclesiastical and common law, they became the strongest bulwarks of despotic power, and the pliant tools of absolute princes.

It is true that the change was gradual and almost imperceptible to its friends and enemies; but, when we come to compare the wild vagaries of Berengarius, the eloquent but empty harangues of Abelard, the scepticism of Erasmus, and the revelries which disgraced such universities as Oxford and Paris, with the moral spirit and peaceful calm that brooded over the monasteries of St. Gall, Fulda, and Glastenbury, we can at once perceive to what monstrous excesses the mind of man is prone when unrestrained by religion. Many of the old-established monastic schools continued to flourish, and new ones, like that of Bec and the college of St. Victor's at Paris, became celebrated. Men distinguished for piety and learning were numerous during the middle ages, notwithstanding the growing tendency toward irreligion and heresy; among whom may be mentioned such theologians as St. Thomas and Anselm, scholars like Lanfranc and Thomas à Kempis, great doctors like St. Bernard and John Duns Scotus, devotees of science such as Albertus Magnus and Roger Bacon, authors of the calibre of William of Malmsbury, and the almost inspired writer of the Following of Christ, St. Bonaventure, and Peter the Venerable.


But the schools of Europe, notwithstanding the examples and exhortations of those illustrious divines, continued in their downward tendency toward materialism. The introduction of Eastern books of philosophy, due to the returned crusaders, the Arabic symbolism and pretended magic of some of the Spanish schools, and, finally, the fall of Constantinople and the dispersion of Greek scholars over Europe: all had their peculiar and decided influence on the manners and views of the generations which immediately preceded the Council of Trent. Seminaries had entirely disappeared, so that ecclesiastical education could only be obtained in the dissolute and noisy universities, and it became the fashion with the dilettanti of the great cities to ridicule and underrate the quiet teachings of the country monasteries.

The Council of Trent, mindful of the welfare of the children of the church, took the first great step toward the correction of those abuses. By its eighteenth chapter, twenty-seventh sessions, it reestablished the seminaries in every diocese in Christendom, giving to each bishop authority over the professors, and making the expense of educating ecclesiastics a charge on the faithful. In accordance with this decree, an unwonted degree of activity was observable in Europe. Provincial councils took steps to enforce it in their special localities; saints, like Charles of Borromeo, became champions of genuine Christian education, and the Dominicans, the Franciscans, and the illustrious order of the Jesuits vied with each other in their devotion to its interests, and became the inheritors of the glories of the monks of Saints Benedict and Columbanus.

In looking back for fifteen centuries, and perusing the long and brilliant catalogue of those holy teachers who, through danger, degradation, and defeat, never allowed their minds to swerve from the even tenor of their way; who cared as tenderly for the soul and intellect of the poor young barbarian as for the nursling of a palace; who despised death, and braved alike the fury of the savage and the wrath of princes, that they might win souls to God and develop the God-given gift of human genius; we are lost in astonishment at the ignorance or mendacity, or both, of some modern writers who unblushingly repeat and exaggerate the slander of the post-"Reformation" writers against the monks of the middle ages. With a history like that of the Christian Schools and Scholars before us, so fruitful in incidents and so suggestive of moral lessons, we are equally at a loss to account for the tenacity with which people, otherwise sensible, cling to the idea of education divorced from moral instruction. Whatever is great in the past, personally or nationally considered—whatever was pure, unselfish, and heroic, is due, and only due, to the monk-teachers of the Christian church. They were not only the custodians of the books which we now prize so much, but they were the conservators of arts, science, and literature, and the originators and discoverers of most of the useful inventions which now adorn life and make men more civilized, and bring them nearer to their Creator. They were not only all this, but they were, as soldiers of the church, the guardians of civilization itself, and without them the darkness that enshrouded the world would have been as perpetual as the causes which produced it were active, and, against any other power, irresistible.


Our Lady.

              "Ancilla Domini."

  The Crown of creatures, first in place,
    Was most a creature; is such still:
  Naught, naught by nature—all by grace—
    The Elect one of the Eternal Will.

  She was a Nothing that in Him
    A creature's sole perfection found;
  She was the great Rock's shadow dim;
    She was the Silence, not the Sound.

  She was the Hand of Earth forthheld
    In adoration's self-less suit;
  A hushed Dependence, tranced and spelled,
    Still yearning toward the Absolute.

  Before the Power Eternal bowed
    She hung, a soft Subjection mute,
  As when a rainbow breasts the cloud
    That mists some mountain cataract's foot.

  She was a sea-shell from the deep
    Of God—her function this alone—
  Of Him to whisper, as in sleep,
    In everlasting undertone.

  This hour her eyes on Him are set:
    And they who tread the earth she trod
  With nearest heart to hers, forget
    Themselves in her, and her in God.


             MATER FILII.

  He was no Conqueror, borne abroad
    On all the fiery winds of fame,
  That overstrides a world o'erawed
    To write in desert sands his name.

  No act triumphant, no conquering blow
    Redeemed mankind from Satan's thrall:
  By suffering He prevailed, that so
    His Father might be all in all.


  His Godhead, veiled from mortal eye,
    Showed forth that Father's Godhead still,
  As calm seas mirror starry skies
    Because themselves invisible.

  Thus Mary in "the Son" was hid:
    Her motherhood her only boast,
  She nothing said, she nothing did:
    Her light in His was merged and lost.


    Nazareth; or, The Hidden Greatness

  Ever before his eyes unsealed
    The Beatific Vision stood:
  If God from her that splendor veiled
    Awhile, in Him she looked on God.

  The Eternal Spirit o'er them hung
    Like air: like leaves on Eden trees
  Around them thrilled the viewless throng
    Of archangelic Hierarchies.

  Yet neither He Who said of yore,
    "Let there be light!" and all was Day,
  Nor she that, still a creature, wore
    Creation's Crown, and wears for aye,

  To mortal insight wondrous seemed:
    The wanderer smote their lowly door,
  Partook their broken bread, and deemed
    The donors kindly—nothing more.

  In Eden thus that primal Pair
    (Undimmed as yet their first estate)
  Sat, side by side, in silent prayer—
    Their first of sunsets fronting, sat.

  And now the lion, now the pard,
    Piercing the Cassia bowers, drew nigh,
  Fixed on the Pair a mute regard,
    Half-pleased, half-vacant; then passed by.

    Aubrey De Vere.
    Feast Of The Assumption, 1867.


Our Boy-Organist.

What He Saw, And What Came Of It.

"How was it, doctor, that you first thought about it?"

Well, I suppose I had better tell you the whole story. It may interest you. Just twenty years ago, on a bright Sunday morning, I was hurrying along the road home to Tinton, hoping to be in time to hear the sermon at church. My watch told me that I should be too late for the morning prayer. Happening to look across the fields, I was surprised to see little Ally Dutton, our boy-organist, running very fast over the meadows, leaping the fences at a bound, and finally disappear in the woods. "What could possibly take our organist away during church time? Surely," thought I, "the minister must be sick. And, being the village doctor, I hurried still faster.

"But what could take our boy-organist in that out-of-the-way direction at such an hour, and in such haste? Is it mischief?" I asked myself. But I banished that thought immediately, for Ally had no such reputation. "There must be something wrong, however; for he ran so fast, and Ally is such a quiet, old-fashioned lad. The minister is ill, at any rate," said I to myself, "or Ally would not be absent." Contrary to my expectations, I found the minister preaching as usual. I do not recollect any thing of the sermon now except the text. Rev. Mr. Billups, our minister, had a fashion of repeating his texts very often, sometimes very appropriately, and sometimes not. It was Pilate's question to our Lord: "What is truth?" You will see, after what happened subsequently, that I had another reason for remembering it besides its frequent repetition. The sermon ended, the hymn was sung, but the organ was silent. The silence seemed ominous. I cannot explain why; perhaps it was one of those strange presentiments of disaster, but I fancied our boy-organist dead. I loved Ally very much, and my heart sank within me as I looked up through the drawn choir-curtains, and missed his slight little form, perched up as he was wont to be, on a pile of books so as to bring his hands on a level with the key-board, trolling forth his gay little voluntary as the congregation dispersed after service. I missed his voice in the hymn, too; those clear, ringing tones which were far sweeter to me than any notes that musical instrument ever breathed. I was so filled with this presentiment of coming evil that I did not dare to ask any one the cause of his absence. "Pooh!" said I to myself, "there is nothing in it. I saw him but just now alive, and well enough, if I may judge from the way he cleared those fences and the swiftness of his footsteps as he ran across the meadows." I thought no more of it until a messenger came two or three days afterward to my office and said:

"Will you please, doctor, come down to the widow Button's? Ally is sick."

"I will come immediately," said I to the messenger. "We shall lose our boy-organist," said I to myself. And so we did; but not as you suppose. Ally became—but I must not anticipate.


I found our much loved boy-organist in a high fever. "He has been constantly raving all night," said his mother, in answer to my inquiries, "about what he has seen. There has been something preying on his mind lately," she continued. "He has been very sad and nervous, and I fear it has helped to make him ill."

In a tone of command, which I find will often elicit a direct answer from patients whose minds are wandering, I said to him: "Ally, answer me directly, sir; what did you see?"

With his eyes still staring at the ceiling he answered in a wondering manner, "God!"

I was sorely perplexed what further question to ask, but, thinking to lead him on gradually to some more reasonable answer, as I thought, I asked, "Where?"

"The kneeling people and the priest," he replied dreamily. "And Jesus said, Neither do I condemn thee." And here he burst into tears. Then the remembrance of the last Sunday morning came back to my mind, and I knew what had taken Ally across the fields, and what he had seen. He was so faint and weak, his pulse fluttered so unsteadily, that I feared the worst, and the anxious, searching look of the mother read my tell-tale countenance. She began to weep violently.

"Mother!" cried Ally.

"Yes, my child," she responded quickly, and bent over and kissed him.

"Don't cry, mother. God will not let me die till I know what is true, first."

"That is a strange remark," thought I, "for a boy like him to make. What can he mean?"

"My darling Ally," said the widow, "you do know what is true. You always say what is true."

"Why should they say it isn't true, then?" asked Ally.

"What isn't true, my dear?" "God!" answered the boy, turning his eyes upward to the ceiling again, and looking, as it were, at some object miles away, "and the kneeling people, and the priest. It's true, and no lie. This is my body, this is my blood." And he joined his hot and feverish little hands together as if in prayer.

"Don't trouble about this," said I to the weeping mother. "I know what it is. He has been down to Mike Maloney's, in the Brook woods, and seen the Catholic Mass. Don't refer to it again just now. I will give him some composing medicine. But I wish," I added, "that this had not happened. It only tends to weaken him."

Presently I noticed him playing with his fingers on the coverlet as if he were playing the organ. I thought to take advantage of this, and said:

"Ally, my boy, get well soon, now, and let us have a grand voluntary on the organ—one of your very best."

"For God, for Mass, for the kneeling people and the priest," he murmured.

"Oh! never mind the Mass," said I, "that's nothing to you."

Turning his eyes suddenly upon? me, he cried:

"O doctor! it seems everything to me. I never can forget it. How could anybody ever forget they had seen Mass. Could you?"

"That I can't say, Ally," I replied; "for I never saw it."

"Never saw it! Why, I've seen, it."

"Often?" I asked.

"Well—I saw it—one Sunday, anyway," answered Ally, with the air of one who had never been anywhere else all his life.

"What was it like, Ally dear?" asked the mother.

"Like heaven, mother, if the angels had only been there."


"Angels!" said I contemptuously. "Pretty place to find angels, in Mike Maloney's shanty! Why, it's like a stable."

Again Ally's eyes went up to the ceiling, and, while his fingers nervously played an invisible organ on the coverlet, he began to sing, so plaintively and sadly that it quite unmanned me:

  "He came down to earth from heaven,
    Who is God and Lord of all,
  And his shelter was a stable,
    And his cradle was a stall.
  With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
    Lived on earth our Saviour holy."

The widow and I stood watching and listening long after he had ceased singing. In a few moments a lucid interval occurred, and, noticing me, he said:

"Doctor, why can't we have Mass in our church? Oh! wouldn't I like to play the organ for it always till I died!"

"We couldn't have Mass, Ally," I replied, "because it is only Catholic priests who can say Mass."

"Is it? I know I'd like to play the organ forever and ever for the Mass; but I'd rather be a priest. Oh! a thousand, thousand times rather!" And his pale, sad face lighted up with an unearthly glow.

Seeing I could not divert his mind from the subject, and fearing to continue a conversation which excited him so much, I quietly gave directions to his mother, and left. I had little hopes of Ally's recovery, but his words made a deep impression on my mind: "God will not let me die till I know what is true, first." "What truth can he mean?" thought I. "Can he have imagined he does not know the true religion? What can have made him think that our Episcopal Church is not true? What strange fancies will get into some children's heads! I should be sorry to lose Ally, but I'd rather see him die, I think, than grow up to be a Roman Catholic. Ugh! and a priest too, perhaps, who knows? God forbid!" Revolving these disagreeable thoughts in my head as I went down the street, I met Mr. Billups, our minister. We shook hands, or rather I shook Mr. Billups's hand while he shook his head, a manner of his that gave him a general doubting air, somewhat puzzling to strangers.

"Mr. Billups," said I, "do you know that Ally Button is ill?"

"No, I did not hear it," he replied, emphasizing the word did, as much as to say, "But I hear it now." Although the negative accompaniment with his head would seem to imply that he did not quite believe it.

"Yes, and very ill too," I added. "If his mind becomes calmer than it is, I think it might do good just to drop in and see him. I fear he has been under some bad influences lately."

"You astonish me, not to say grieve me," rejoined Mr. Billups. "Ally was always a good, pious boy, and one of our head boys, as you are aware, in the Sunday-school."

"I mean," said I, "that he has been reading or hearing something about Catholics and their Mass, and other things; and it really has made a deep impression on his mind, which ought to be effaced; that is," I added, "in case he recovers, which I fear is doubtful."

"Of course, of course, which ought to be effaced," repeated he. "Not a doubt of it. I remember, now, Mrs. White, his Sunday-school teacher, telling me that he had asked her in class what the sixth chapter of St. John meant. I hope he has not been reading that chapter of the Bible too attentively, for it is calculated, I am sorry to say, to make a deep, very deep, not to say, in regard to the popish Mass doctrine, a most alarming impression upon the mind, especially of a boy like Ally."


"Well, if you see him," said I, not much relishing this opinion about the Bible being in favor of Catholic doctrines, "you can manage to bring the subject up, and easily explain its true meaning to him."

"Yes, oh! yes! easily explain its true meaning to him," again repeated Mr. Billups after me, yet looking rather puzzled, as I thought, and doubtful of success; but perhaps it was only his manner that gave me that impression. "Would to-morrow, think you, do, doctor?" he continued, after a pause, "I am quite busy, just now."

"Better," I replied, "much better; Ally is very low at this moment." I do not know what made me say it, but Ally's words came suddenly to my mind again, and I added confidently: "He will not die just yet. He will surely be better to-morrow."

I bade Mr. Billups good-morning, not at all satisfied. "The sixth chapter of St. John! the sixth chapter of St. John!" I went on repeating to myself. Strange! I have never read that chapter with any thought of the doctrine of Catholics. And yet, to judge from what the minister said, it might trouble the mind, even of a child. As I waited in the parlor of a sick lady whom I went to visit before returning home, I could not refrain from turning over the leaves of a large family Bible on the centre-table, and finding the chapter in question. I had not time, however, to read many verses before I was summoned to the sick-chamber. Attention to my professional duties drove the subject from my mind during the rest of the day, and I retired to rest considerably exhausted and fatigued.

"Now for a good sleep," said I to myself, "and a quick one, for I shouldn't wonder if I were called up to Ally again before morning." But I could not sleep. Tossing to and fro in the bed, I began to question myself about the cause of my sleeplessness; I soon found it. The thought of Ally had revived the memory of that sixth chapter of St. John. "Well," said I, "I will remove the cause by just getting up and reading it, and there will be an end of it. Then I shall sleep." So I rose and lit my lamp, got out my Bible, and there, half-dressed, read the troublesome chapter. As I reflected upon what I was doing, I felt more like a thief, a midnight robber, or some designing villain laying plans for murder or housebreaking, than as an honest Christian reading his Bible; for was I not allowing myself to do what was calculated to make a deep, not to say an alarming impression on my mind, that the Catholic religion was true, and the Protestant religion false?

Now, without vanity I say it, few people know their Bibles better than I did, and, although I must have read that identical chapter many times, it seemed to me that I had never read it before. I thank God for that midnight perusal of my Bible.

One thing I then and there determined, for private reasons of my own, which was, to be on hand at Mrs. Button's when the minister called; and there I was. Ally was a good deal better and brighter. After some commonplace remarks, Mr. Billups said to Ally:

"You are fond of reading your Bible, are you not, my dear child; and would you not like me to read a little of the Word to you?"

"Oh! yes, sir," answered the boy eagerly.

"I will read for you, then," continued Mr. Billups, producing a Bible from his pocket, "a most beautiful and instructive passage from St. John's gospel, commencing at the sixth chapter." {68} He said this in such a church-reading tone that Mrs. Dutton instinctively responded as far as "Glory be"—but, discovering her mistake, covered it up with a very loud cough. Mr. Billups read the chapter, but quite differently from the manner in which I had read it; slowly and distinctly where I had read rather quickly, that is, from the beginning to the fiftieth verse; and quickly where I had read slowly, from that verse to the end.

"That's very beautiful, and very strange," said Ally pensively, as the minister paused at the end of the chapter. "But, Mr. Billups, is it all true?"

"The Bible, my dear Ally ought to know, is all true," replied Mr. Billups.

"And did Jesus give his flesh and blood, as he said he would?" asked Ally.

"Yes, my child," answered Mr. Billups, "he certainly made all his promises good."

"I wish I knew where," said Ally inquiringly. "I asked Mrs. White, and she said she didn't know, and that I asked too many questions."

"When he died on the cross, and shed his blood for our salvation," said the minister solemnly, closing the Bible, and looking at me as if he would say: "There's an end of the whole matter: you see how easily I have explained it to him." Ally did not, however, seem so easily satisfied.

"But where can we get it to eat and drink?" asked he. "Jesus said we must eat and drink it."

Mr. Billups again glanced at me with a look which I interpreted to mean, "I fear he has been reading this too attentively," and then said:

"You partake of it by faith, my child, but you do not really eat it."

"I must believe I eat it, and don't eat it after all," said Ally explanatorily.

"Yes—no—not precisely," replied Mr. Billups, with some confusion of manner, and coughing two or three short little coughs in his hand. "We eat the communion bread, and drink the communion wine, and then we believe we partake, by faith, of the body and blood of the Saviour."

"But, then," asked Ally, pushing the difficulty, "don't we eat and drink what we believe we eat and drink?"

"H'm, h'm," coughed the minister, shifting uneasily in his seat. "We believe—we think—in short, as I was about to remark, we have faith in Jesus Christ as our blessed Saviour."

"But don't eat his flesh nor drink his blood?" added Ally.

"Not at all, not at all," replied Mr. Billups decidedly.

"Then I can't see what the Bible means," said Ally, scratching his head in a disappointed manner: "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye cannot have life in you."

"My dear, de-ar child," cried Mr. Billups, quite distractedly, "what can you have been reading to put this in your head?"

"Only the Bible, sir," replied Ally simply, "what you have read just now, sir, and the story of the Last Supper; and I heard Pompey Simpson say it was all true."

"Pompey Simpson," returned Mr. Billups, "is a negro, and I am sorry," he continued, turning to me, "I should say both grieved and shocked, to add, doctor, one of those misguided beings groping in the darkness of Roman idolatry, whose numbers are increasing to an alarming extent in our country. Have nothing to do with Pompey Simpson, my dear," again addressing Ally, "or who knows you might be led away to become a Romanist?" {69} An event which Mr. Billups's head intimated at that moment to be too deplorable to be expressed. "Yes, one of those emissaries of giant Pope, described so truthfully in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, as you remember. Do not go near them, Ally, for my sake, for your mother's sake, for the sake of the church of your baptism, or they will make you like unto them, an idolatrous worshipper of the host; which, as you have never seen it, I will tell you, is only a piece of bread. You see what ignorant, deluded people these Catholics must be. Just to think of it—to worship a piece of bread!"

"But the Catholic is the old church and the first one, Pompey said," rejoined Ally, "and the old church ought to know. Besides, I—I—saw it myself."

"Saw it yourself!" exclaimed Mr. Billups, his hair fairly standing upright with horror. "My organist dare to enter a popish Mass-house!" And he frowned very severely at the widow.

"It was only Mike Maloney's," said Ally deprecatingly. "And the priest in his beautiful robes, and the people all kneeling around, didn't look mistaken, sir; and I felt so sure that God was there," continued Ally, trembling, "that I'm all the time thinking about it. Somehow I can't drive it out of my mind."

"Your son, madam," said the minister, turning to Ally's mother, "must drive this out of his mind. It would be a fearful calamity, madam, to have a child whom you have reared, and, I may add in behalf of the vestry of our church, an organist, whose salary we have paid, fall into the toils of the man of sin. It would be well to curb the inquiring mind of your son, madam, and restrain his wandering footsteps; because, if he is permitted to worship at a foreign altar, he can no longer exercise the position of—in short—perform on the organ of our church. Good-morning." And he rose abruptly, and left the house.

All this nettled me. I had hoped he could easily explain the doubts in the boy's mind, not to mention my own, and it exasperated me to see him have recourse to such base means to silence these doubts, instead of using kindly Christian counsel and teaching. To deprive Ally of his situation, and the widow of the support which his salary gave, would be, I knew, to inflict a heavy loss upon them. Unwilling to depart and leave the widow and son without some comfort, and yet not knowing what to say, I went to the window and looked out, flattening my nose against the glass in a most uncomfortable state of mind, and presenting a spectacle to the passers-by which must have impressed them with the conviction of my being subject to temporary fits of derangement. As I stood there, I heard Ally say to his mother:

"Don't cry, mother. I won't be a Catholic if it isn't true. But it's better to know what's true than to play the organ or get any salary, if it's ever so big. Isn't it, mother?"

I assented to this sentiment so strongly with my head that I nearly put my nose through the window-pane, an action that elicited a strong stare for my supposed impudence from the two Misses Stocksup, daughters of the Honorable Washington Stocksup, who happened to be passing the house at that moment.

"So it is, my dear," answered the widow. "But I'm afraid, my darling, you are only fancying something to be true that is not true."

"Doctor!" cried Ally, appealing to me, "isn't it true? Oh! it must be true!"


"I can't say I believe it is," I replied, "but I'm very much afraid it is."

"Afraid!" exclaimed Ally, "what makes you afraid?"

Poor Ally! He could little comprehend how much it would cost him or me to say we believed it to be true. Excusing myself with all sorts of bungling remarks, I left the house, my mind torn by many conflicting doubts and emotions. Ally slowly, very slowly recovered. In the mean time a new organist, a poor man with a dreadful asthma, as I recollect, had taken his place. Deprived of the aid which his salary afforded them, the widow and Ally found it hard to live.

The minister, it seems, related to his wife what had taken place at Ally's sick-bed, and it soon got bruited about that both Ally and his mother were going to turn Catholics. They soon left the village, and I did not hear of them until several years after. As for myself, it was not long before I took Ally's way across the fields to Mike Maloney's shanty, and now you know how I first came to think about it.

"What became of Ally?"

Well, I'll tell you. One day I happened to be in the city of Newark. It was the festival of Corpus Christi, and crowds were flocking to St. Patrick's cathedral to assist at the grand ceremonies that were to take place. At the gospel the preacher ascended the pulpit, and what was my surprise to recognize in the person of the youthful priest my dear boy-organist, Ally Dutton. He took for his text these words, "This is my body, this is my blood," and preached a powerful and eloquent sermon. After the services were concluded I went to the presbytery to call upon him, but he did not recognize me; so I said:

"Allow me, reverend sir, to thank you for your beautiful sermon. This doctrine of the real presence which you Catholics hold is a wonderful and a very consoling doctrine; and what is more, I am rather afraid it is true."

"Afraid!" answered Ally, smiling. "That reminds me of a dear old friend of mine who once said the same thing, but he was not long overcoming his fears."

"And the dear old friend is sorry now," added I, looking at him closely, "that it was even so long as it was."



As I knelt to crave the blessing of our quondam boy-organist, now a priest of the holy Catholic church, he caught me in his arms and folded me in a warm embrace.


Translated from les Etudes Religieuses, etc., etc.

The Martyrs of Gorcum.


We hear it sometimes asked, "Why does the Catholic Church have so many canonizations, jubilees, and religious displays?" We pity those who speak in this way, for they do not seem to understand the destiny of the church. If the church, connected as she is with the advance of the human race, has her interests to look after in the revolutions which agitate the world; if, in order to defend her rights which are attacked or are not recognized, she is obliged occasionally to interfere in the struggles which arise between men, this is but one aspect of her history, though it seems to be the only one which impresses superficial and unthinking minds. At the same time that she shows this exterior action of catholicity, there is wrought in her heart a mysterious work, which reveals the divine illuminations of the faith. It is an admirable exchange, a divine intercourse between heaven and earth—the world offering to heaven its supplications, its atonements, the heroic virtues of its saints, and the merits of its martyrs; heaven bestowing upon the world its aid for the combat, its abundant graces, the seeds of sanctity. At certain eventful periods, when greater perils call forth more generous sacrifices and more earnest appeals to heaven, the mystery of this inward life of the church shines forth in marvellous events, which overturn all preconceived human opinion, and confound the wisdom of the world. We see, then, a throne, which remains firm without any apparent support, and on this throne an old, helpless man, who holds all the powers of revolution in check; we see a society, against which are unchained all anarchical passions, face the storm which threatens to overwhelm it, proclaim its proscribed doctrines without fear, lead nations which had wandered into the paths of naturalism back to the fold of the church, and maintain its independence against the coalition of tyrannies.

Has a pontificate ever shown this divine spectacle of the struggle of spiritual forces with the powers of materialism better than that of Pius IX.? To the increasing oppression of vice the pope does not cease to oppose the miracles of virtue and the fruits of grace which distinguish the elect of God. To the insolent cries of error he replies by the calm affirmation of eternal truth. The assaults of impiety he resists only by the prayers of pure souls, by the intercession of those saints to whom he has granted the honors of veneration, and by the aid of the Blessed Virgin, whose conception he has proclaimed immaculate. So, when a voice, disturbing the harmony of our love and gratitude, was lately heard to ask the ill-timed question, "Why so many saints?" what was the reply of the pontiff, in whom his faithful children venerate the wise man of the gospel, drawing from his treasure in opportune time the old good and the new? "They reproach me," said he, with his accustomed sweetness, "for making too many saints, but I cannot promise to correct this fault. Have we not more need than ever of intercessors in heaven, and models of religious virtue in the world?"


In 1852, a distinguished prelate, who has since entered into the repose of the Lord, Mgr. de Salinis, pointed out to the faithful of the diocese of Amiens, in announcing a jubilee, the supernatural character which distinguishes the acts of Pius IX. "You do not ask," he wrote, "the reason of the munificence which lavishes upon you favors which at other times go forth but rarely from the treasure of the church. It suffices for us to know that the Vicar of Jesus Christ receives light from above which is given only to him. He who holds the keys of the kingdom of heaven can alone tell the time when it is good to spread over the earth the waves of divine mercy. He who directs the bark of the church through the storms of this world can question the winds, and discover in the horizon the signs which warn him to urge on the journey of the ship. He who is the common father of all Christians alone knows the needs of his immense family. His glance, which watches over every place that the sun shines upon—his solicitude, which embraces all evil and all virtue—his heart, which feels all the sorrows of the Spouse of Christ—his prayers, in which are summed up all the prayers of the church, the particular inspiration which God reserves for him who holds his place on earth—all these reveal to him, so far as is necessary, the proportion which should exist between grace and misery." [Footnote 9]

[Footnote 9: Charges, Pastoral Instructions, and Various Discourses of Mgr. de Salinis. Paris, Vaton. 1856.]

This is the reply that should be made to these petite génies who presume to criticise the holy see, and put the counsels of their mean diplomacy in the place of the inspirations of God. Do these men, whose minds are so enlightened, not see that they are in the presence of an administration of supernatural power? Do they not suspect the strength of the church militant ranged about its chief, and praying with him for the assistance of the church triumphant? Do they not witness the pious eagerness of the people to venerate, to invoke, and to imitate the new patrons which are given them?

The eyes of all the obedient children of the church are now turned toward Rome. The Catholic world, in a rapture of faith and piety, is united to the pilgrims of the holy city, to the bishops, and to the bishop of bishops, celebrating the triumph of Peter, always living and reigning in his successor, applauding the glory of the legion of the blessed, that the churches of Poland, of Spain, of the Netherlands, of Italy, of France, and of Japan have given to the church of Rome, their common mother, and to the church of heaven, the lasting city of the elect.

We should have liked, if our space and time allowed, to say something of the many beautiful subjects that this happy time suggests; the coming, the episcopate, and the martyrdom of St. Peter at Rome, the lives and virtues of the saints proposed for our veneration. We should have taken pleasure in retracing the sweet picture of that humble child of the people who represents France in this illustrious group of the Blessed; of that little shepherdess of Pibrac, whose name will henceforth be popular in the fatherland of Genevieve and Joan of Arc. [Footnote 10] But who among us has not heard of Germaine Cousin, her poor and suffering life, her angelic virtues, the marvellous favors due to her intercession? And who can add to the glory of this young saint, who, in addition to the honor of being placed upon our altars, has had such a historian as M. Louis Veuillot and such a panegyrist as the Bishop of Poitiers?

[Footnote 10: Vie, Vertus et Miracles de la B. Germaine Cousin, bergère. Par M. Louis Veuillot. Paris, Palmé. OEuvres de M. l'Eveque de Poitiers, t. ii. p. 109.]


We propose, then, to follow those saints who are at present less known among us, but which in the future must not be strangers. It is a page in the history of the church which should be made prominent, and in devoting our time to it we are sure of obtaining the approbation of him whom God has given us to be at once our Father and our Master.


We are aware that even the name of the martyrs of Gorcum was until recently quite unknown to the greater part of the learned. Modern historians are not accustomed to eulogize the merits of the victims of schism and heresy. But the church never forgets her children who have perished in the cause of God; and God himself takes care of his servants by multiplying miracles over their tombs. These nineteen martyrs of Gorcum, who suffered for the faith on the 9th of July, 1572, were placed in the ranks of the blessed by Clement X. in 1675, and since that time they have always been held in the greatest veneration in Belgium and Holland. It is now almost three years since our Holy Father, yielding to one of those inspirations of which his life is full, felt the desire that the supreme honors of the church should be paid to these noble champions of Jesus Christ; and January 6th, 1865, the day of the Epiphany, his holiness caused a decree to be read in his presence, ordering the proceedings to be instituted for their solemn canonization. The preamble of the decree deserves notice, it says: "Born of the blood of Jesus Christ and nourished with the blood of martyrs, the Catholic Church will be exposed to bloody persecutions until the end of the world. And it is not without a marvellous design of divine Providence that the cause of these illustrious victims of the Calvinistic heresy of the sixteenth century is taken up and completed in these unhappy days, when heretics and false brothers are recommencing a war, an implacable war, against Jesus Christ, against his holy church, and against this holy apostolic see." The Holy Father expressed the same thought in a discourse which followed the promulgation of the decree. "The Most High," said he, "has reserved for this time the glorification of these Holland martyrs, to prove to our century, full of scorn or indifference for the revealed faith and plunged in the grossest materialism, that the memory of the martyr is never forgotten in the church of Jesus Christ, that there are always men ready to shed their blood for that faith, and a supreme authority which is always ready to recognize their merits."

The object of the sovereign pontiff is not uncertain; it is to call the attention of the world to the fact of the continual recurrence of martyrs in the church; to cite these heroes, who have sealed the faith with their blood, as an example and a witness; such has been the special aim in canonizing the martyrs of Gorcum. Far be it from the holy church to stifle the voice of blood which has flowed from the veins of her children for nineteen centuries! This blood, shed in every land from the most barbarous to the most cultivated, bears witness everywhere that the mother of martyrs is also the faithful spouse of Jesus Christ. {74} The Catholic Church is peculiarly a witness, while the sects about us are founded on negation and doubt. Our blessed Lord was the first witness, and the truth of his testimony he has sealed on the cross and in his cruel passion; the apostles were witnesses to him who had sent them and the doctrine they were bidden to teach; they have gone to give their testimony to the Good Master; and now their faith and prayers sustain their children even to the extremities of the earth, making them gladly choose to die sooner than deny that faith which cost the Son of God his life. This illustrious testimony of blood has never ceased from the day of Calvary up to the present nineteenth century; the succession of martyrs is like the church herself, for it knows no limits of time or space; they are dying today in Cochin-China and Corea, as they have died in Japan in former years, as they have died in Europe, when Protestantism swept over that fair portion of the flock of Christ, and as millions died in the Roman Empire under the pagan Caesars. Look at what Rome offers to-day to the world: a noble army of martyrs gathered about Saints Peter and Paul, the victims of Nero, the valiant soldiers of such fearless chiefs; the B. Josophat, Archbishop of Polotsk, slain by followers of the Moscovite schism; B. Peter of Arbues, murdered by Jews in the church of Saragossa; our nineteen martyrs of Gorcum, the victims of the assassins of Calvinism; and two hundred and five who sweetly yielded up their lives for the faith in Japan.

Schism and heresy are always ready to conceal the blood which stains so many pages of their annals, and to hide the crimes which dishonor their ancestors. But, if the living are silent, the dead are now speaking to us from their tombs; the victims of Protestantism have risen from their graves to bear witness to the truth. We cannot thank Pius IX. too much for proposing for the veneration of the church these champions of the faith, who have fallen so gloriously in the struggles of modern society, and on the same battle-field, as it were, where we continue to engage the foes of our holy mother, the church. Nor can we praise the historians enough who have consecrated their talent to the sacred work of writing the account of these persecutions, and showing forth to Catholic and Protestant the glorious record of these martyrs of the sixteenth century. The time has now come to count our slain, that the remembrance of their fortitude may awake Christian faith and zeal in our souls.

The three centuries that have passed since the impious Luther first dared to raise the standard of revolt against the holy church bear a resemblance to the first centuries of the Christian era. To-day Protestantism is ready to fall to pieces; it is the "sick man" among the religions of the world, as Turkey is among the nations; it is the time to present the well-meaning souls that its myriad sects embrace with a clear view of its origin, and of what it now teaches in its closing years. The reestablishment of the hierarchy in England and Holland, the restoration of the episcopal see of Geneva, the beatification of F. Canisius, the third centennial anniversary of the council of Trent, and several other acts of the holy see show us the unity of the Catholic Church compared with the disorganization of the Protestant sects, which are now, we can truly say, without faith or law. We should take care that those who have been misguided should know the violent means the so-called reformers used to establish their opinions. {75} Their origin was stained with the blood of the faithful, and they have completed their course by adopting atheism. Such has been the sad story of Protestantism; a destiny that must ever be the fate of those who oppose the teaching of the church that our Lord has bidden to convert the nations.

Vainly do Protestants attempt to evade the shameful acts of the first "reformers" by showing its own scars and framing a list of martyrs. No wounds are glorious while the cause they sustain is an iniquity; and heresy can never be justified in its rebellion against the church of Christ. If its apologists tell us that revolution is necessary in order to get liberty, we deny this theory of the end sanctifying the means, of a bad end sanctified by unjust means. Let heretics not speak of their martyrs. A martyr is one who witnesses, not one who protests; a man who dies, not to sustain a passionate and obstinate denial, nor in defence of speculative opinions and personal ideas, but as a witness to seal the traditional teaching, to confirm the faith which is sustained by unexceptionable evidence. A martyr is not a conspirator, an instigator, and upholder of civil war; he lives without reproach, defends the truth without fanaticism, suffers without vain exaltation, and dies without anger; his memory is irreproachable before God and man. Would that heresy could point to such heroes! We are only too proud and happy in presenting to our friends and foes the picture of such men, in whose holy hands the church has put the palm of martyrdom.


In the Low Countries more than elsewhere, Protestantism has concealed from its posterity its sanguinary and tyrannical instincts. It has perfidiously taken advantage of the national sentiment and appears clothed in the cloak of liberty. How many consider Philip II. a monster, the Duke d'Alba an executioner, and that they are solely responsible for all the blood shed in the Low Countries? But the time has come when we should no longer allow ourselves to be duped by hypocritical declamations against Catholic reprisals. They who have first taken arms and begun the war are held responsible for the blood that is shed.

One of the most learned students of modern history, Baron deGerlache, said, in opening the congress of Malines, on August 24th, 1864: "The history of the sixteenth century, written by Protestants and copied by Catholics, needs to be rewritten from beginning to end, from the real statement of the facts, which are contained in the archives of the church. Then Protestants will appear as they really are, such as they are now in Ireland and elsewhere, aggressive, violent, intolerant, inaugurating persecution when they are powerful enough, and demanding liberty when they are weak." These words sum up the history of the pretended reform, acting its double part, the farce of liberty and the tragedy of blood, according to the number of its partisans.

The seventeen provinces had unfortunately prepared their country for the introduction of Protestantism; their nobility was immoral and their people poorly instructed in their religion, strongly attached to worldly goods, impatient of the control of the church, while continual wars kept the people in a state of excitement, and even the very geographical position of the country and its commercial relations contributed to open the way to the new and, as yet, unknown religion. {76} The church could not oppose the rapid growth of heresy; there were but four episcopal sees in the whole territory; and, although the colleges and abbeys were rich and numerous, they were subservient to the civil power. The church could neither guard them from the error, nor act with energy when it had obtained a foothold in the land. Charles V., who was aware of the seditious and anarchical character of the "reform," put forth in vain all the severities of the law against its preachers; he could not check the torrent. Error can scarcely be repressed by force when it meets no opposition in the conscience, and when it has already gained a part of a people.

The severity of Charles V., while it did not prevent the increase of the heresy, at least kept the dissenters from forming a sect powerful enough to menace the church or the state. Philip II. added nothing to the edicts of his father. And this despot, this tyrant, even made concessions to them that are to be regretted. Three thousand Spanish troops were in the Netherlands at that time, and they were sufficient to hold the rebels in check; but, when they protested against the presence of these soldiers, Philip recalled them to Spain. Cardinal Granvelle aided the regent, Margaret of Parma, with his counsel: they protested against this able and worthy minister, and Philip gave him his dismissal. Everything served as a pretext for the disturbers; the hypocritical and ambitious Prince of Orange, William of Nassau, the chief of the leaders who had taken the name of Gueux, [Footnote 11] spread discontent and insurrection on every side.

[Footnote 11: Gueux, beggars. The origin of the word is as follows: Three hundred Calvinistic deputies were sent to Margaret of Parma to protest against the measures of the government. She became much alarmed at this demonstration, when Count Barleymont said, "Ce ne sont que gueux," (they are only beggars,) alluding to the meanness of their appearance. This imprudent remark was overheard and at once adopted by the insurgents as their title. See Bouillet's Dictionnaire Universel d'Histoire et de Geographie, article Gueux.]

He found fault with all the measures that the government took and all that he accused it of wishing to take. The creation of fourteen new bishoprics by the king with the consent of the pope was looked upon as an outrageous act of tyranny. At last the government was unarmed, the victims had been sufficiently worked upon by their leaders, and the Catholics were completely intimidated: the rage of the sects was now let loose to pervert and destroy the fair fabric that God had raised in the land. We shall not attempt to describe the hideous saturnalias of the "reform;" we leave that to Protestant authors, to Schiller, to Schoel, to Prescott. We cite from the latter a few lines to give our readers an idea of what learned Protestants say of their ancestors: "The work of pillage and devastation was carried on throughout the country. Cathedrals and chapels, convents and monasteries, whatever was a religious house, even the hospitals, were given up to the merciless reformers. Neither monk nor religious dared to appear in their habit. From time to time, priests were seen fleeing with some relic or sacred object that they desired to preserve from pillage. To the violence they did, they added every outrage that could express their scorn for the faith. In Flanders, four hundred churches were sacked. The ruin of the cathedral of Anvers could not be repaired for less than four hundred thousand ducats. … One becomes sad in seeing that the first efforts of the reformers were always directed against these monuments of genius, erected and made perfect under the generous protection of Catholicism; but, if the first steps of the reform have been made on the ruins of art, the good it has produced in compensation cannot be denied, in breaking the chains that bound the human mind and opening to it the domains of science, to which until then all access had been refused." The readers know how much this compensation is worth.


And now may we ask, if it be true that Philip took too severe a vengeance for these outrages, if the Duke of Alva followed the rebels with an unreasonable severity, if all that is said of them be multiplied a hundred times, is there a single argument in favor of that liberty of conscience which makes its way at the sword's point? Catholicism has never hesitated to disavow and condemn all violence, and every coup d'état done in her name; she has always separated from politicians who pretend to defend her in any other way than she demands; no "compensation" can disarm her justice against criminal abuses which are excused for "state reasons." The "reform" which does not feel itself innocent ventures to proclaim an anathema which falls upon its own doctrines and disciples. It is more easy for their historians to turn the anger of posterity upon "the sallow tyrant before whom the people were filled with terror," or upon the executor of his vengeance, "the ogre thirsting for human flesh." Such authors as M. Quinet find material here for their eloquence, (?) and subjects for such articles as suit the Revue des Deux Mondes. But history will pay but little attention to these melodramatic effusions. What esteem can scholars demand when they deliberately calumniate governments and nations in order to conceal the heinous crimes perpetrated in the name of free thought; or pamphlet-writers who industriously circulate the silly stories of the inquisition, and have not a word, a single word of blame for the sectarians who have covered Europe with blood and ruins?

To those who desire to know, without seeking far, the judgment of history upon these facts and persons, we counsel the reading of Feller, whose opinions always bear the stamp of truth. "The severity of the Duke of Alva—or, if you wish, his hardness, or even his inhumanity—was legal, and conformed most scrupulously to judicial proceeding, and forms a striking contrast with the chiefs of the rebellion and their tools, whose cruelties had no other rule than fanaticism and caprice. William of Marck, for example, the des Adrets of the Low Countries, murdered in a single year (1572) more peaceable citizens and Catholic priests than the Duke of Alva executed rebels in the whole course of his administration." [Footnote 12] To support his statements, Feller quotes three or four works which recount the atrocities of the Protestants. We shall content ourselves with a statement of the death of our nineteen martyrs, which happened in this same sad year, 1572, and by the orders of this same William of Marck, one of the most abominable of the wretches who figured in the revolution of the sixteenth century. In this single example we shall see the barbarous fanaticism of the "reform," and the sublime virtues which distinguished these martyrs of the Catholic faith: error will show its power as a persecutor; truth, the divine fortitude with which it vests its faithful champions.

[Footnote 12: Dictionnaire Historique, article Tolède, Ferdinand Alvarez du, duc d'Albe.]



The Duke of Alva had quelled the revolt: he had not rooted it out of the land, for its numerous and powerful ramifications were only waiting to begin a new life. The Prince of Orange, who had taken care to avoid the punishment due to his treason by a voluntary exile, was raising troops, conspiring and intriguing with the great Iconoclastic sect of Calvin and with the court of France, then under the influence of the Huguenots. The Admiral de Coligny advised him to build a fleet and attack the northern provinces, where the "reformers" were in greater numbers. There had been Beggars on land, and now there were to be Beggars at sea; they rivalled each other in massacre and sacrilege, to the great honor of the "reform" and the "reformers," who by these means had obtained a partial triumph. We are aware that political prejudices are complicated with this religious war; but facts prove beyond doubt that these people were urged on by a deep hatred of the Catholic faith.

A fleet of about forty sail had been fitted out in the ports of England, and from thence, under the direction of the ferocious William of Marck, the Beggars made their course across the North Sea and along the coast of Flanders. The Duke of Alva complained to Elizabeth, Queen of England, and as she did not wish at this time to break with Spain, she gave the corsairs orders to leave the kingdom. This was in the spring of 1572. An adverse wind drove them on the isle of Voom, at the mouth of the Meuse; the neighboring port of Briel was without defenders, and was captured by these Calvinists on April 1st, 1572. "They pillaged the convents and churches about the city, broke images, and destroyed all that bore marks of the Roman Church." [Footnote 13]

[Footnote 13: The Delights of the Netherlands. A General History of the Seventeen Provinces. New Edition 1743, t iv. p. 121.]

This town was fortified by the pirates, for whom it was a place of refuge, and afterward the nucleus for insurrection. Three months after its occupation, Brandt, a captain, ascended the Meuse as far as Gorcum. As soon as the people saw his vessels, they sought shelter in the citadel; religious and priests hurriedly transported the sacred vessels and objects of veneration to this place of safety. However, the town council and the body of magistrates began a parley with Brandt, who assured them that he only desired religious liberty, and that no outrage would be committed by his followers. They opened the gates. The band was increased by several of the inhabitants of the town, who were partisans of this Calvinistic rebellion, and they then required all the citizens to take an oath of allegiance to William of Nassau, Prince of Orange, governor royal of the Holland provinces. During this time that the revolutionary troops had possession of the city, the commander of the palace still held out, but was eventually compelled to capitulate because of the failure of hoped for supplies. Brandt solemnly promised to spare their lives and give them their liberty; but, scarcely had they taken possession of the place, when, forgetting their oaths, they confined their victims as prisoners. The laymen were finally released in consideration of large sums of money, except a few who were put to death as firm Catholics and royalists; the priests and religious, nineteen in number, remained: they could hope for no deliverance but that of martyrdom.


Then the scenes that are ever recurring in the church, the scenes of the passion of our Lord, were reenacted. As our divine Saviour had to undergo the outrages of a brutal soldiery, so did these heroes of Gorcum; they, like him, were forced through crowds of infuriated people, who greeted them with scornful questions, with blows, and scourges, and mockery, and imprecations, and, last of all, with the gibbet. In the midst of this display of rage and hate, our heroes were entirely tranquil, blessing God, praying for their executioners, encouraging each other to bear their sufferings with patience, gladly offering their lives as a testimony to their sincerity in professing the dogmas denied by the heretics; in one word, they bore themselves as true witnesses of our Lord should.

The facts of their martyrdom have been told by well-informed historians. God, who leaves nothing hidden in the lives of those whom he has determined to honor, raised witnesses to testify to the merits of those who were such faithful witnesses of his Son. History celebrated their triumph while waiting for the church to crown them. One of the most intrepid of the martyrs, Nicholas Pieck, superior of the Franciscans, had a nephew living at Gorcum, who was a witness to these events, and who is now known as the celebrated William Estius, chancellor of the university of Douai. He collected all the facts that were known, and then wrote a complete history of their martyrdom, which reflects so much credit upon his country and family. A young Franciscan novice, who begged for mercy when he was to be executed, lived to tell of the firmness of these confessors of the faith; a canon, Pontus Heuterus, who was also unfaithful to the grace of martyrdom, wrote the story in Holland verse. It is useless, however, to detail a list of our authorities; for there are no pages in the annals of the church more luminous than the acts of these nineteen martyrs. Surely God has wished to erect from their heroic virtue a monument to the sanctity of the church and to the satanic character of this heresy. [Footnote 14]

[Footnote 14: The work of Estius, Historic Martyrum Gorcomiensium Libri Quatuor, was first printed in Douai in 1603. It was afterward republished, with notes and a supplement, by M. Reussen, professor in the university of Louvain. A French translation of Estius appeared at Douai in 1606, under the title, Histoire Véritable des Martyrs de Gorcum en Hollande, etc. Acta Sanctorum, t. xxvii. ad 9 Julii, fol. 736-847. Esquisses Historiques des Troubles des Pays-Bas an XVII. Siècle. Par E. H. de Cavrines. Deuxième édit. Bruxelles, Vromant. 1865.]

As we have already said, there was but one way to please these Calvinistic executioners, and that was to renounce the faith; but their victims chose rather to endure all the suffering that their malignant ingenuity could suggest. The martyrs affirmed successively the right of the church to impose laws in the name of God, the divine maternity of the Blessed Virgin, and the veneration which is due to the real presence of Jesus Christ in the sacrament of the altar and the primacy of the pope.

The first day of their captivity (June 27th) was a Friday. They had no food offered them but meat, from which they cheerfully abstained, rather than put in doubt their fidelity to the precepts of the church. There was but one who thought it necessary for him to take some nourishment, and he was one of those who did not persevere to the end.

In the following night, a band of Protestants rushed into their cell and pretended that they had come to execute them immediately. "Behold me," said Léonard Vechel, the aged pastor of Gorcum, "I am ready." His assistant, Nicholas Van Poppel, was dared to repeat what he had so often preached in the pulpit. "Willingly," he answered, "and at the price of every drop of my blood, I confess the Catholic faith; above all, the dogma of the real presence of Jesus Christ in the holy eucharist." {80} They then threw a rope about his neck and began to strangle him; the superior of the Franciscans was treated in the same way; they were both choked until they fainted, when the ruffians held their torches to the faces of their victims, recalling their lives in this gentle way! "After all," said one of the monsters, "they are only monks. Of what account are they? Who will trouble themselves about them?"

On July 2d, the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin, Father Leonard was released for a short time, as his friends had purchased permission for him to say Mass. The courageous pastor, in an address to his flock, extolled the virtues of our blessed Lady, and when concluding urged them to remain firm in the faith of their fathers. This purchased for him increased tortures on his return to the prison.

John Van Omal, the apostate canon of Liège, was the hero of another of these pretended executions. He was more than a Judas, for he was not only a traitor, but it was through his efforts that the execution finally took place. Enraged at having been foiled in his attack on Bommel, (July 3d,) he determined to revenge himself on the priests and religious of Gorcum. At that time the liberation of the captives was spoken of, as some members of the town council had been sent to the Prince of Orange to beg him to release them. The apostate, after reflecting upon the possibility of their release, concluded that he had better take them to the Count of Marck, who was at his headquarters in Briel. In the middle of the night of the 5th, they were hurried, scarcely clothed and without food, on board of a vessel, which rapidly descended the Meuse. They reached Dordrecht at nine o'clock, and Van Omal had an opportunity to satisfy his malice by exposing the venerable band to the idle curiosity and unfeeling taunts of a Calvinistic mob. They arrived at Briel in the evening, but were detained on board the vessel all night, so that the news of their coining might be well known and their foes properly prepared to torture them. On the morning of the 7th, the count, who esteemed himself particularly fortunate in having these poor monks and religious to torment, ordered them to march in procession through the town; he chose for himself a most unenviable position, that of riding behind his unfortunate prisoners, with a huge whip, and unfeelingly beating them as they made their way through the throngs of infuriated people. That nothing should be wanting to this humiliating scene, he commanded the martyrs to sing: a Te Deum was first intoned, and then a Salve Regina. He sought to turn them into ridicule; but their heroism made them sublime.

The afternoon of the 7th and the following morning were taken up by discussions with the ministers in the presence of the count. The generous soldiers of Christ sustained their belief firmly and with dignity; they bore witness particularly to the dogma of the eucharist, and to the supremacy of the Roman pontiff. "Renounce the pope," said they to Father Leonard, "or you will hang." "How," answered he, "how can you contradict yourselves in this way? You are always proclaiming that you wish for religious liberty, and that no one has the right to prevent the exercise of your worship. And now you desire to force me to deny my faith! It is better for me to die than to be untrue to my conscience."


However, a letter came from Gorcum, in which William of Nassau ordered the clauses of the convention of June 26th to be strictly observed in regard to the prisoners. This, of course, only exasperated the Count of Marck, who saw that his prey might escape him. As he was going to bed, after one of the orgies which were habitual with him, he cast his eyes again over the note of the Prince of Orange. He then for the first time perceived that Brandt had sent him only a copy of the order, and had preserved the original. This served as a pretext for a display of his amiable temper, and he declared that he was master of the place, and that it was high time for it to be known; an order was issued at once to take the prisoners and conduct them to Ten Rugge, [Footnote 15] a convent which he had sacked when he first captured Briel. The torture began at about two o'clock in the morning of Wednesday, the 9th of July; it was accompanied by shameful outrages which we prefer to pass over in silence. Their captivity had lasted twelve days, of which nine were passed at Gorcum.

[Footnote 15: The Catholics of Holland have recently repurchased this stolen convent for 16,000 florins. It will soon be a place of pilgrimage for the pious people of Holland and Belgium.]

Of the nineteen prisoners who were taken from that city, only sixteen suffered death. Three priests and religious filled the gaps in their noble band. "A mysterious judgment of Providence, of which there is more than one example in the history of the martyrs. There were nineteen called to martyrdom, and the defection of some did not prevent the number being preserved to the end." (R. F. Cahier, SJ.) We have mentioned two of these unhappy deserters, whom God deigned to lead back to himself; the third entered the service of the Count of Marck, and was hung three months after for stealing. But apostasy did not always preserve life, for we read that the curé of Maasdam was put to death eight days after the martyrs, although he had renounced the papacy.

William of Marck at last received his reward from a just Providence; he was bitten by one of his dogs, and died in the most horrible agony, amid shrieks of rage and despair. It is a general law; the Neros are plunged in the depths of shame and despair, while martyrs ascend to their eternal glory. Eighteen centuries after his crucifixion, Peter receives the honors of a triumph such as kings have never had; three centuries after their torment, the nineteen martyrs of Gorcum are venerated in every corner of the earth where Christianity is known.

We present to our readers the names of these martyrs: Fathers Nicholas Pieck, superior of the Franciscans; Jerome Werdt; Thierry Van Emden; N. Janssen; Willehad Danus, a venerable old man of ninety years who did not cease repeating Deo Gratias during the twelve days of his confinement; Antony Werdt; Godfrey Mervel; Antony Hoornaer; Francis de Roye, who was scarcely twenty-four years of age, being the youngest of the martyrs; Cornelius Wyk, and Peter Assche. The foregoing were all Friars Minor. The Dominicans had a representative in the person of Father John, of the province of Cologne, who was captured while going to baptize an infant. Father Adrian Beek and his curate, F. James Lacops, were seized on the night of the seventh or morning of the eighth of July and sent to Briel, where they joined those who had come from Gorcum; they were both Premonstrants. There was a canon of St. Augustine, John Oosterwyk, who was directing a convent of the order at Gorcum. {82} When he heard that his own convent (that of Ten Rugge, the place of martyrdom) was sacked and the religious put to death, he exclaimed, "Oh may our Lord deign to grant that I may die as they have!" How exactly was his prayer granted! The following were seculars: Leonard Vechel; Nicholas Van Peppel; Godfrey Van Duynen, a doctor of theology and formerly rector of the university of Paris; he had merited by his pure life the crown of martyrdom that he received when more than seventy years of age; and, lastly, Andrew Wouters, who was taken near Dordrecht, and who was the third substitute for those who shrank from the trying ordeal.


We are not astonished that God by miracles, and the holy church by her veneration, has made this episode of the religious persecution of the Netherlands so prominent. If we will but reflect, it offers to us the most precious teaching; it presents one of those striking proofs which are sure to convince the good sense of the people. A cause which succeeds by such crimes as this is already judged; we are not called upon to condemn it. And if this is the cause of a "reformed religion," what need has any honest man of any further arguments to convince him of its error? Was Christianity established in the Roman empire by overturning the government and giving up its inoffensive citizens to pillage, to outrage, and to murder? Does the "liberty of conscience" preached by the "reform" resemble the liberty that the church asked of the Caesars, and which she is asking of Protestant governments today? The champions of this modern "liberty" imposed their doctrines upon unwilling people at the point of the sword, while its opponents gave their blood in defence of their religious rights. In countries where Protestantism did not maintain itself by an unrelenting despotism, the people eagerly returned to the faith of their fathers, the very violence of the sects causing a healthful reaction. [Footnote 16] And this was also the case with the greater part of the provinces of the Netherlands, which gladly threw off the yoke of William of Orange and returned to their former allegiance—an example of a wavering faith being revived by the lawlessness of its opponents. The sectaries retained only seven of the seventeen provinces, now known as Holland, and which were inundated with the blood of faithful Catholic priests. The martyrs of Gorcum were only a little band of this vast army of Jesus Christ. In the year 1572, there were more martyrs in the Low Countries than in all the preceding centuries together: the cradle of the republic of Holland floated in a sea of Catholic blood.

[Footnote 16: "France," says a Protestant historian, "after having been almost reformed, found herself, in the result, Roman Catholic. The sword of her princes, cast into the scale, caused it to incline in favor of Rome. Alas I another sword, that of the reformers themselves, insured the failure of the Reformation." (D'Aubigné, History of the Reformation, vol. i. p. 86.)]

We wonder what learned and sincere Protestants, such as M. Guizot, think in their hearts of these bloody pages of their ancestors? Do they believe in the "compensation" that Mr. Prescott talks about, and that such dreadful crimes were necessary to purchase freedom of conscience, which, after all, is only permission to believe nothing? "Notwithstanding the disorders it caused," says M. Guizot, "and the faults it committed, the reform of the sixteenth century has rendered to modern times two great services." M. Guizot tells the truth; it has. {83} It has given to the Catholic Church a noble army of martyrs, and confirmed the promise of our Lord to Peter, when he declared "the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church." "It (the reform) reanimated, even among its adversaries, the Christian faith." [Footnote 17] "It has imprinted upon European society a decisive movement toward liberty." [Footnote 18] Liberty for whom and liberty for what? For Calvinistic Holland, it was the liberty of civil war, the liberty to rob unprotected convents, the liberty to circulate immoral books, the liberty to follow licentious desires, to desecrate the churches, and, above all, the liberty to persecute the adherents of Catholicism.

[Footnote 17: We are at a loss to discover M. Guizot's authority for this assertion. Erasmus, one of the most learned men of the sixteenth century, says: "Those whom I had known to be pure, full of candor and simplicity, these same persons have I seen afterward, when they had gone over to the gospellers, become the most vindictive, impatient, and frivolous; changed, in fact, from men to vipers. . . . Luxury, avarice, and lewdness prevail more among them than among those whom they detest. … I have seen none who have not been made worse by their gospel." (Epist. Tractibus Germaniae Inferioris.) "Our evangelists," says Luther, "are now sevenfold more wicked than they were before the Reformation. In proportion as we hear the gospel, we steal, lie, cheat, gorge, swill, and commit every crime. … The people have learned to despise the word of God." (Luther, Werke, ed. alt. tom. iii. p. 519.)]

[Footnote 18: L'Eglise et la Société Chrétiennes en 1861. Deuxieme édit. p. 8.]

Error must necessarily persecute, for this is the only way in which it can predominate; it never feels sufficiently protected against the truth over which it has obtained a temporary triumph. It is first the tyranny of the sword, and then the tyranny of the law. Public opinion has long been imposed upon by followers of the "reform," for they have cried so lustily for religious freedom and liberty of conscience that few have taken the trouble to ascertain the fact that their acts have invariably belied their words. But history, which has been made an accomplice to this delusion, is now effectually unmasking it. If we attribute the introduction of religious toleration to Protestantism, it is not because it has practised it, but because it has made it necessary. Truth has tolerated error, while error has continually sought to exterminate the truth. The principle of religious toleration was introduced by Catholic governments, where heresy triumphed; as in England, Sweden, and Holland, the most severe laws were enacted against the former faith, laws so cruel that we can say they were written in blood, and that the church has been for the past three centuries in a state of martyrdom in those countries. We shall notice briefly some of the enactments of Holland; but, before we do so, we will briefly refute a sophism by which the Protestants attempt to palliate their atrocities. The history of Protestantism is so constituted that, before any question can be discussed, it is necessary to remove a number of objections due either to ignorance or prejudice.

Religious intolerance, say they, was a characteristic feature of the people of the middle ages. The church held its authority to be a fundamental principle, and, seeing this put in danger, it forgot the rights of liberty and used force and the arm of civil power to enforce it dogmas. On the other hand, after liberty conquered its rights, it unfortunately went beyond its doctrines, and even embraced the opposite principle. Thus Christians persecuted each other, until the progress of society led them to mutual respect. But the illogical position of Protestantism is apparent: it begins a war in the name of religious liberty, and finishes by putting the church in a state of siege! The church was, at least, consistent, for she never said that men were free to deny their Maker and adopt a religion of their own brain or that they possessed an imprescriptible right to preach and disseminate false doctrine. {84} An illustrious bishop who lives now among the children of the reformation, lately showed them on the forehead of their mother this sign of contradiction, and defended the honorable consistency which exists between the doctrines and the acts of the church. "The church distinctly holds that society, as well as the family, has its duties to Jesus Christ, and that God is equally the Master and Lord of man, regarded as an isolated individual, as of man in social relations with his fellows. She looks back with joy upon the times when, seeing her liberty protected, she became the inspirer of the Christian republic. … But, if she has thankfully received the protection of the sword which vindicated her justice, and shielded her weakness when she was forced upon the defensive, she has never wished it to be used to impose doctrine; faith is not a forced belief, but a free adhesion of both mind and heart to revealed truth. Liberty of conscience, in its proper sense, far from being scouted and condemned by the church, is the essential condition of her spiritual sovereignty."

It was not enough to attempt to overturn the secular throne of the spouse of Christ, the queen of European civilization; it must be put in chains and confined in dungeons. Let us cite some of the proscriptions of the Protestants in Holland:

"1596.—The Jesuits are forbidden to enter the country. Whoever attends their seminaries or universities shall be banished from the country."

"1602.—1st. The police are ordered to arrest any Jesuit, monk, or priest of the papist religion.

"2d. The people are forbidden to take any oath or make any promise to maintain the power of the Pope of Rome. Public or private meetings, sermons, or collections in favor of the papal superstition are prohibited."

Another placard decrees "that every person in holy orders shall leave the country in less than six days, under pain of arrest and being punished as an enemy to the country." It was also forbidden Catholic teachers to instruct their pupils, if either of the parents had been of the reformed religion; and to will any money to any priest, religious, or for any hospital or religious edifice.

This will be sufficient to give our Protestant readers an idea of the liberty of conscience which flourished in Holland. Many endeavor in these times to hide the accusing witness of these acts, and to conceal entirely the manner in which the religion of our forefathers has been overcome; but the day is breaking, the shadows of heresy are fast fading away, and they will not be able to bring them back again. Pius IX., in an allocution in consistory on March 7th, 1853, alluded to the lamentable calamities the church had suffered in the Netherlands. The court of Holland, as it did not desire to acknowledge the odious acts of its former government, sent a letter to the Roman court protesting against these historical allusions. The able minister of the holy see replied to this effrontery in the following language: "The pontifical document only pointed out, in passing, something that is fully told not only by Catholic, but also by Protestant historians, who are interested in giving impartially the true history of the facts." [Footnote 19]

[Footnote 19: Note of his eminence, Cardinal Antonelli. "Ami de la Religion" t. clxi. No. 5552, July 11, 1853.]


There is but one resource for Protestant powers who blush at the intolerance of those who have preceded them, and this is to strike from their laws the unjust proscriptions they have levelled against Catholicism. We owe it to justice to say that, while several Protestant countries, Sweden, for example, retain these unjust enactments, Holland is steadily giving up its former fanaticism, and has fairly entered into the way of religious liberty.


The persecution of the sword and the law have demonstrated the cruel and hypocritical character of this heresy, at the same time it has proved the vigor and stability of the church.

More than once in these nineteen centuries, it has been attempted to extirpate Catholicism from the heart of a nation, as Russia is trying to do now: We do not know that they have ever succeeded. Even under Mohammedan rule, the church has maintained its existence for more than twelve centuries in Turkey and in Northern Africa; and though it has suffered one continual persecution, and lost innumerable multitudes through martyrdom, it counts to-day in these very countries more than three millions of faithful children. [Footnote 20] In Japan, where missionaries had scarcely time to sow the seeds of Catholic truth before a savage war was waged upon it, its roots are still living, and show after two centuries an unwavering fidelity to the faith. [Footnote 21]

[Footnote 20: See Marcy's Christianity and its Conflicts, p. 405, and Marshall's Christian Missions, vol. ii. p. 24, for a more complete statement of the church in those countries.—ED. C. W. The Bibliothèque de l'Ecole des Chartes for May to June, 1866, contains an interesting analysis of some curious documents on the relations of Popes Gregory VII., Gregory IX., Innocent IV., and Nicholas IV., with the Christians of Africa.]

[Footnote 21: "When some Japanese martyrs were added to the catalogue of saints a few years ago, there were found to be in Japan some thousands of Christians who had preserved their faith without any human ministry solely by the aid of their good guardian angels."—Discourse pronounced by the Holy Father on the Promulgation of the Decree relative to the Beatification, of the 205 Martyrs of Japan, April 30, 1867.]

Heresy, inspired with the same fury as paganism and Islamism, has exhausted every resource to destroy the ancient faith: the young and flourishing churches of England and Holland proclaim its failure. The Catholics have vanquished by faith those who overcame them by force; the blood of martyrs is always the seed of its liberty and life. Three centuries have passed, and God, through his vicar, pronounces the word of resurrection: Puella, tibi dico, surge. And she has risen, weak, but glorious and full of hope; her fair countenance again shines over the land of St. Boniface and St. Willibrord, making even heretics tremble at her marvellous life. Poor fanatics! You said formerly, "Renounce the pope, or you will be hung;" but how has God and the children of those martyrs revenged your cruelty! The pope yet rules at Rome; he appoints bishops in your cities to govern your sees; he places your victims on the altar; your fellow-citizens venerate these victims. The hour of the complete return of Holland to Christianity cannot be much longer delayed. The canonization of the martyrs of Gorcum is an additional element of strength for Catholics, while it must cause the most bigoted of its opponents to reflect upon the failure of Protestantism to overthrow "the abominations of popery." "When Rome," says the great bishop of Poitiers—"when Rome glorifies the saints of heaven, she never fails to multiply the saints of earth."


Carlyle's Shooting Niagara.

Of the many expressive words with which the English language has been endowed few are more forcible than the little term "bosh." For a long time we have in vain tried to discover a synonym with which to relieve it from too frequent use, and we think that Carlyle's last "essay" has gratified our patience. Thomas Carlyle is what the world sometimes calls a philosopher. No one can deny that he is a man of excellent abilities. Having been an extraordinarily close observer of men and things from his earliest childhood—and he is now seventy-two years old—and having, from his first appearance in Brewster's Encyclopaedia, gone through a literary career of forty-four years with extraordinary success, the world is naturally interested in any criticism he may see fit to pronounce upon it. He will be judged, however, as severely as he judges, by those who have placed him upon the little pedestal from which he looks down. People are anxious to know whether in his old age he ought to be dethroned. Naturally of a serious and taciturn mind, having been buried from his youth amid the works of the most sombre and gloomy of Germany's theorizers, and given ever to solitude and meditation, it was not surprising that his writings ever displayed excessive bitterness, and a distrust of human nature more than Calvinistic; but, when we heard that, in the good old age to which Providence had brought him, he had written his ideas upon the present state of society, we expected to find a little more of kindness and of love of truth than had been displayed by Diogenes Teufelsdröckh, the "Great Censor of the Age." We must regard Shooting Niagara as the résumé of the thoughts of Carlyle's life. Coming out of his solitude, as he tells us, to grapple with the problem of whither democracy is drifting, and realizing, as he does, "that it is not always the part of the infinitesimally small minority of wise men and good citizens to be, silent," we expected, in spite of his modesty, to meet something interesting and profitable. Interested we have been, and so would we be at seeing the convulsions of a shark brought to grief upon the strand. The only profit we have received is the knowledge of how miserably small prejudice can make a great mind. In the present paper Carlyle has used to perfection (?) that curious style for which he has enjoyed celebrity among many—a celebrity obtained pretty much like that of certain metaphysicians, whose obscurity makes some give them credit for profundity. As of two opinions Carlyle always chooses the more uncharitable, so, of two ways of expressing an idea, he invariably adopts the more obscure, intricate, and verbose. In our endeavor to illustrate his position, we have been obliged to select his more plain and simple passages, with a sacrifice very often to the strength of our own opinions, which would have been materially increased had we wished to try the patience of our readers.


Paragraph No. 1 is devoted to a kind of clouding over of the subject matter, in anticipation of the Carlylian thunder to follow. We can see, however, that there are "three altogether new and very considerable achievements lying ahead of us;" and the first is, that Democracy is to complete itself, and run on till each man is "free to follow his own nose, by way of guide-post, in this intricate world." If the length of a man's nose indicates correct perception, and an ordinary power of separating wheat from chaff, then, though Mr. Carlyle's nose may be a post, it must be a very small one. The second "achievement" is the deliquescence and final evaporation of all religions. Such an "achievement" would be wonderful, but how it can be terrible to Mr. Carlyle we do not know; for he can have no concern about future damnation, having been born, it would seem, without a soul. The third "achievement" is, that "everybody shall start free, and everywhere under enlightened popular suffrage. The race shall be to the swift, and the high office shall fall to him who is ablest, if not to do it, at least to get elected for doing it."

This is the "achievement." Of all the cuts which the prescient genius of Carlyle has dealt his gushing heart, this is the "unkindest cut of all." Hinc those tears, hinc those thunders, hinc all that follows. With the exception of a few hundred unimportant digressions, the slashing of these "achievements" is the object of Carlyle's endeavor.

The commencement of paragraph two is characteristic of Mr. Carlyle, who never omits a chance of showing a knowledge of classic lore. He flings at once into your face the terrible Antoninus with the cry, "Who shall change the opinion of these people?" The quoted prophecy was certainly Greek to Mr. Carlyle, as he thinks it proves that what, individually taken, is the human face divine becomes, when collectively regarded, a cheese; and that, when the human head is regarded in the masses, it has about as much intellect as a cocoanut. In some of his paragraphs he tries to prove a point or so, but in this one he plainly shows that he cannot change the opinion of the masses, erroneous though it be. He asserts that delusions seize whole communities without any basis for their notions; he will not admit the possibility of there being even a false one. He asserts that the world reverberates with ideas eagerly made his own by each individual, and affects to believe that the original propagator had no arguments to enforce their adoption; nay, he seems to ignore the existence of the first propounder, and to admit that thoughts are, like cholera or any other pest, inhaled with the air. To be sure, as though he felt the absurdity of his position, he invents a swarmery theory, in which he contends that ideas get into the masses by means of some "commonplace, stupid bee," who gets "inflated into bulk," and forms a swarm merely on account of his bulk. But he forgets that the "bulk" of his specimen-bees, Cleon the Tanner and John of Leyden, was, in the first case, the flattery poured upon the people, and, in the second, a religious fanaticism based upon well-defined though erroneous grounds. Two better specimen-bees for a swarmery theory could not have been selected than the Athenian general and the fierce anabaptist; but in neither case did the people swarm unless for what they regarded as honey. To say the people may err is to say they are not God; but to contend that they are insensible to argument is worse than foolish. Were the laboring classes of England whom Carlyle so severely berates but so many swarmeries, he would be drowned in a horse-pond; but as his theory is false, he will live a little longer—a specimen of prostituted intellect and self-crushed humanity such as many of his school have already presented for the firmer conviction of their opponents. {88} Mr. Carlyle thinks our late war was "the notablest result of swarmery." He calls "the nigger question one of the smallest essentially," and says that "the Almighty Maker has made him (the negro) a servant." With regard to the first of these two opinions, the mass of humanity disagree with the perceptive Thomas; as for the second, not having been present when the ordinance was promulgated, we cannot deny that possibly Mr. Carlyle knows more of the matter than we do. But, when we are told that, "under penalty of Heaven's curse, neither party to this preappointment shall neglect or misdo his duties therein—and it is certain that servantship on the nomadic principle, at the rate of so many shillings a day, cannot be other than misdone"—we thank Providence that all armed men are not Carlyles. Take away the right of the laborer to leave his master when he feels he can better himself, and the earth would become a pandemonium. Lest his position may be mistaken Mr. Carlyle tells us that the relation between master and servant must become like wedlock, which was once nomadic, but is now permanent. To refute such "philosophy" would be to notice the ravings of a madman. In commenting upon the Reform movement, Mr. Carlyle kindly devotes a long passage to prove for us that freedom does not mean liberty to sin, and then informs the English nation that each privilege it has wrung from the monarchy, each extension of the suffrage, was a strap untied from the body of the devil, so that the devil is now an "emancipated gentleman." Having thus shown that to really tie up his satanic majesty for the advent of the millennium we must go back to the good, innocent days of Assuerus and Nabuchodonosor, or, at least, to the pure times of Caligula, Mr. Carlyle opens his third paragraph.

We meet with something refreshing here. Although the extension of the franchise is so evidently nothing but "a calling in of new supplies of blockheadism, gullibility," etc., that Mr. Carlyle thinks his opponents to be men of "finished off and shut up intellect, with whom he would not argue," he feels a "malicious and justice-joy" in the fact of England's being about to take the Niagara-leap, and, after some ferocious experience of the horrors of democracy, having a chance to come up washed of her hypocrisy, "the devil's pickle in which she has been steeped for two hundred years," and thus to show herself regenerated and ready for heaven. The desperate philosopher must have been reminded at this point that most who "shoot" Niagara get smashed, and don't come up regenerated or unregenerated; for he runs out of his way to give a howl at her majesty's ministry for not having rewarded Governor Eyre, and then stops to dabble a little more in England's "hypocrisy," which he calls "the devil's choicest elixir." We fear you misname that curious brine, Mr. Carlyle. You have been drinking of it, and your language is unchoice and simply disgusting. Having taken a lesson in descriptive geography, Mr. Carlyle now opens his fourth paragraph, ready for the consequences of a trip over the falls.

"From plebs to princeps there is no class intrinsically so valuable and recommendable as aristocracy;" and it is to "this body of brave men and beautiful polite women" that Mr. Carlyle looks with imploring, half-despairing eyes for the creation of a new and better England after the inevitable "immortal smash" of the present. {89} He thinks that, in the smash-up of all things English, this class will be alone unsmashed, because no other class dislikes it: "they are looked up to with a vulgarly human admiration, and a spontaneous recognition of their good qualities and good fortune." We are glad to have found one idea upon which we can agree with Mr. Carlyle. We believe that, of all the peoples of Europe, the English will be the last to assert the principle of political equality. Great and influential men are contending for its actuation, and powerful journals are lending it their aid, but their influence is in reality felt more upon the Continent than in England herself. It may be owing to the degrading ignorance to which the masses have been reduced, and it may not; but, with regard to their love of aristocracy, the same may be said as Mr. Carlyle says, though unjustly, perhaps, of England's hypocrisy, "they are saturated with it to the bone." Mr. Carlyle accuses, in most virulent terms, the varnishing proclivities of his countrymen, who, in spite of the agitation of centuries, he thinks, never really rebuild or even repair. But his going to the root of the evil would be somewhat averse to our poor ideas of propriety, if we may judge by his "devil's strap" theory. Yet no one can deny that English politicians, whether tory or liberal, are almost universally varnishers. In the various struggles for ascendency for which reform has been the pretext, very often the conquering power has gone back of its former principles, and been utterly averse to any extension of the rights of the masses. In those cases where through intimidation, such as in the present reform bill, an extension of the franchise has been granted, it has been merely a diminution of the amount of property necessary as qualification. Tories and liberals alike recognize the principle of distinction; they berate each other merely as to its extent. It is not unlikely that, after a few more reform bills have passed, there will be one put through, making twopence the price of the "privilege" of voting; nor is it at all probable that the few friends of manhood suffrage will ever in their lifetime see their theory in practice on English soil. Though we agree, however, with Mr. Carlyle in this one fact, we cannot believe with him that to the aristocracy of England or that of any other land is exclusively confided by God and by reason a country-saving mission. If the selling of one's country to the foreigners, or the betrayal and robbery of one's vassals, constitute, such a mission, then the almost constant history of Italy, Ireland, and Poland will yet set up a new choir of celestial spirits crême de la crême. When Bulwer invented, in his Strange Story, a man composed of body and mind, without soul, people laughed—even those who admired Chateaubriand's idea of man's being constituted of body, soul, and bête. They were wrong, for Bulwer has talked with Carlyle. But, though Mr. Carlyle may have no soul, he has not entirely lost his reason, little though there seems to be of it exercised by him. As if he realized that his blind and unscrupulous devotion to titled aristocracy would be ridiculed by all outside of his ipse dixit crowd of philosophical pigmies, he beats a half-retreat with the dismal "and what if the titled Aristocracy fail us?" But charge again, Carlyle! About face we have him as quick as lightning. To be sure, the masses, "with whatever cry of 'liberty' in their mouths, are inexorably marked by destiny as slaves;" but to save England after her "immortal smash," when titles fail, she will yet rely upon "the unclassed aristocracy by nature, not inconsiderable in numbers, and supreme in faculty, in wisdom, human talent, nobleness, and courage, 'who derive their patent of nobility direct from Almighty God.'"


Forgive us, sweet Thomas! 'Tis true that this sounds, after your last few remarks, like the declaration of one who, on finding it impossible to cross the Atlantic upon a donkey cries out that he'll try a steamship; but yet forgive us for the past—there is about this latter speech a ring of genuine metal. 'Tis ability and courage, and not blood and rank, you depend upon? Alas! our hopes have vanished. The man of ability, of innate worth, is of some avail, but he is not fit to rule until the blood comes in. He must become absorbed into the good old stock; Orson must be Valentinized. Still the cry, "Blood is blood." Of the "industrial hero," Carlyle's aristocrat by nature, a transmogrification must take place ere he can wear the crown or wield the baton, and the change is—new blood for his children, and for himself a new alliance. "If his chivalry is still somewhat in the Orson form, he is already, by intermarriage and otherwise, coming into contact with the aristocracy by title; and by degrees will acquire the fit Valentinism, and other more important advantages there. He cannot do better than unite with this naturally noble aristocracy by title; the industrial noble and this one are brothers born, called and impelled to cooperate and go together." The state cannot be saved unless by aristocracy of blood. Even when it condescends to avail itself of the energies of the plebeian, it must take that plebeian out from the throng of "brutish hobnails," and make of him a titled aristocrat. Only this and nothing more is Carlyle's idea. Even though the collection of titled rulers become emasculated for all good, and for existence are forced to recruit their ranks from the vulgar crowd, each conscript Orson must not only come under the polite influence of Valentine, but must acquire the "other more important advantages" found in his society. If Valentinism is necessary, and the titled gentry are already possessed of the "more important advantages," why not use a born Valentine? The truth is, that Mr. Carlyle regards aristocracy very much as we would a man, and the vulgus very much as we would meat or turnips. Man stands first in the order of mundane creation; but he requires nutriment, and so eats meat and turnips, absorbs them into his blood, becomes stronger, but remains still a man, lord of creation, meat and turnips included. As meat and turnips play their allotted part in relation to man, so has the plebs its task assigned precisely for the benefit of aristocracy. Heaven has placed the irrevocable seal of slavery upon the "nigger," and whoever interferes to remove that seal is as guilty of sacrilege as though he robbed the altar of its victim. As for the white "nigger," the system of "nomadic" servantship by means of which he is not a real "Nigger" is a "misdeed," and—oh! listen, history! "never was, and never will be possible, except for brief periods, among human creatures." To the establishment of these canons of his social system, Mr. Carlyle devotes the greater part of his essay—his fourth, fifth, and sixth paragraphs, and part of the seventh. When England shall have shot Niagara, therefore, her titled aristocracy is to recreate her, and the process is to be the rendering "permanent" the relation between master and servant; then will the devil be again tied up, and then will come the millennium. {91} Well does Mr. Carlyle observe, however, that it will be a long time "before the fool of a world opens its eyes to the tap-root" of its evils, and that, when it "has discovered it, what a puddling, and scolding, and jargoning there will be before the first real step toward remedy is taken!"

Mr. Carlyle's seventh paragraph is taken up with some pretty sound advice upon domestic economy, especially upon the "cheap and nasty" tendency of the times, which leads us to be too often contented with appearances instead of realities. His remarks upon the inferiority of the London brick of modern make are practical, but the moral he draws about the necessity of rebuilding England at once and properly is much more so. It is well, however, for humanity that those Englishmen who wish to rebuild her have a different system of philosophy from that Mr. Carlyle advocates at present. It is well, also, for humanity that, while it is not impossible that an experienced "drill-sergeant," such as he presents in his concluding paragraph as a remedy for our insubordination in all matters, would be a blessing, it is well that heaven has not given him the baton. Mr. Carlyle gave to the world in 1840 his entire political system in his Hero Worship, and it is the same substantially in his present essay. Then he told us that to heroes alone belonged the right to govern society, and that the duty of society was to discover these providential beings and to blindly obey them. Cromwell and Napoleon he presented as types of this heroism. By his many allusions to "Oliver" in his present essay and his two entire paragraphs upon his Industrial and his Practical Hero, we see that he has not yet realized that the very necessity of making and following heroes proves the still greater necessity of raising people to a higher appreciation of the dignity of their manhood. Could the "devil's strap" theory be actuated, there would be in the state a hero, but he would only be great because his people were contemptible. Although Mr. Carlyle promised to say something about the second "achievement" of democracy, namely, the gradual deliquescence and final evaporation of all religions under its baneful influence, he says nothing whatever about God or religion. His illiberality, bitterness, and love of tyranny make us suspect that in his heart there dwells but little love for that which cannot but be liberal, kind, and respectful to the rights of man. Indeed, one finds in this essay an undercurrent of the same nature as the spirit shown in Carlyle's works of middle-life, especially in his Latter-day Pamphlets, namely, individualism, raised to the dignity of a principle of morality and of a one only rule for the safety of mankind.

Most men have an ideal of their own of the beautiful in both the aesthetic and the ethical order. Many men of thought have formed to themselves an ideal of a happy and prosperous country, of a wise and beneficent government, and so has Mr. Carlyle. An ideal is always a key to the workings of the brain and to the aspirations of the heart. Mr. Carlyle's accords precisely with what we can gather of both in his present as well as most all his other writings. In giving it to the public, he puts his seal upon all his philosophical speculations, and shows his opponents that he is game to the end. It is his "La garde meurt, mais ne se rend pas." For the establishment of his Utopia, he sails to the West Indies in company with a "younger son of a duke, of an earl, or of the queen herself." He keeps shy of Jamaica, (and well he may,) and goes to Dominica, an island which is "a sight to kindle a heroic young heart." {92} He gets grandly pathetic, and describes Dominica as "inverted wash-bowl;" its rim for twenty miles up from the sea is fine alluvium, though unwholesome for all except "niggers kept steadily at work;" its upper portion "is salubrious for the Europeans," of whom he puts to dwell 100,000, who are "to keep steadily at their work a million niggers on the lower ranges." He pulls up the cannon which are now going to honeycomb and oxide of iron in the jungle, and plants them firmly on the upper land to guard his niggers and keep off the sacrilegious invader. With tears of mingled joy and regret he cries, "What a kingdom my poor Frederick William, followed by his Frederick, would have made of this inverted wash-bowl; clasped round and lovingly kissed and laved by the beautifulest seas in the world, and beshone by the grandest sun and sky!" This, then, is the end for which Carlyle has lived seventy-two years; this is what he has learned by fifty years' study of history and political economy! Three wise men of Gotham once went to sea in a tub and came to grief therein. Carlyle might imitate their example, and, bidding adieu to the "brutish hobnails" whom he is powerless to regenerate, go out as far as he would: he could never be so much at sea as he was when he penned this remarkable essay.

Sayings Of The Fathers Of The Desert.

Abbot Alois said: "Unless a man say in his heart, 'Only God and I are in this world,' he will not find rest."

Abbot Hyperchius said: "He is really wise who teaches others by his deeds, and not by his words."

Abbot Moses said: "When the hand of the Lord slew the first-born of Egypt, there was no house in that land in which there lay not one dead."

A brother asked him: "What does this mean?"

The father answered: "If we look at our own sins, we will not see the sins of others. It is foolishness for a man having a corpse in his own house to leave it and go to weep over that of his neighbor."

Abbot Marcus said to Abbot Arsenius: "Why do you avoid us?"

He answered: "God knows I love you, but I cannot be with God and with men."


An Old Guide to Good Manners.

In the first number of The Catholic World we gave our readers some account of the great Christian school of Alexandria in the time of St. Clement, the philosopher. The article, borrowed from The Dublin Review, sketched the corrupt, luxurious, and effeminate society of the Egyptian metropolis—that gay, bustling, frivolous city which was to the old Eastern world what Paris now is to the continent of Europe—and showed how St. Clement thought it well worth his while to spare an occasional hour from the discussions of philosophy and dogma, and the definition of a code of Christian ethics, to rebuke the scandalous luxury of dandies and gourmands, and the follies of fashionable ladies. It would have been but a meagre code of ethics, indeed, which had overlooked the busy trifles that made up so much of the life of Alexandrian gentlefolks. The teacher who would form a better school of morality could not confine himself to the church and the market-place. He must enter the bath and the banquet-hall, the shops of the silk merchant, the jeweller, and the perfumer. He must touch with sharp hand little things which are only foolishness to us, but, to the pagan society of Egypt, made up a large part of the sum of human existence. All this St. Clement did, and the substance, if not the words, of his directions to the flock has come down to us in the pages of his Instructor.

It is a curious picture which he gives us of Alexandrian manners; but we question, after all, if much of what he says will not apply pretty well to our own day. He begins with the diet. This, he remarks, ought to be "simple, truly plain, suiting precisely simple and artless children." He had no faith in the fattening of men as one fattens hogs and turkeys. If he had lived in the days of prize-fights and rowing-matches, he would have inveighed against the processes of "training," and looked with no favor upon a bruiser or a boatman getting himself into condition with raw beef-steaks and profuse sweating. Growth, and health, and right strength, says the venerable father, come of lightness of body and a good digestion; he will have none of the "strength that is wrong or dangerous, and wretched, as is that of athletes, produced by compulsory feeding." Cookery is an "unhappy art," and that of making pastry is a "useless" one. He points the finger of scorn at the gluttons who "are not ashamed to sing the praises of their delicacies," and in, their greed and solicitude seem absolutely to sweep the world with a drag-net to gratify their luxurious tastes. They give themselves "great trouble to get lampreys in the straits of Sicily, the eels of the Meander, and the kids found in Melos, and the mullets in Sciathus, and the muscles of Pelorus, the oysters of Abydos, not omitting the sprats found in Lipara, and the Mantinican turnip; and, furthermore, the beet-root that grows among the Ascraeans; they seek out the cockles of Methymna, the turbots of Attica, and the thrushes of Daphnis, and the reddish-brown dried figs, on account of which the ill-starred Persian marched into Greece with five hundred thousand men. {94} Besides these they purchase birds from Phasis, the Egyptian snipes, and the Median pea-fowl. Altering these by means of condiments, the gluttons gape for the sauces; and they wear away their whole life at the pestle and mortar, surrounded with the sound of hissing frying-pans." Do we not feel a little ashamed at reading this? Are we so much better than the gluttons of Egypt? They sent to Abydos for their oysters, and we export the shell-fish of Norfolk and Saddle Rock to all parts of the country. If they yearned for snipe, so do we. If they had a hankering after eel pot-pies, pray, is the taste unknown to ourselves? Was the Median pea-fowl, we wonder, a more costly luxury than woodcock, or the Sicilian lamprey worse than Spanish mackerel? Perhaps we do not quite "sweep the world with a drag-net;" but that is only because we should gain nothing by it. We may not ransack the four quarters of the globe for unknown viands; but we lay distant climes and far-off years, under contribution to furnish us with rare and luscious wines. The good saint, had he lived in the nineteenth century, would have delighted in Graham bread; for he blames his countrymen for "emasculating their bread by straining off the nourishing part of the grain." He inveighs against "sweetmeats, and honey-cakes, and sugar-plums," and a multitude of desserts, and suppers where there is naught but "pots and pouring of sauce, and drink, and delicacies, and smoke" The smoke to which he alludes is undoubtedly the fume of the "hissing frying-pans," but it almost seems as if he were describing a modern carouse with punch and tobacco. The properest articles of food are those which are fit for immediate use without fire. The apostle Matthew ate "seeds, and nuts, and vegetables, without flesh;" and St. John the Baptist, "who carried temperance to the extreme, ate locusts and wild honey." St. Clement does not give us his authority for the statement regarding St. Matthew's diet; nor, it may be objected, is there any evidence that the Baptist did not cook his locusts before he fed upon them. In some parts of the East, where locusts are still regarded as a delicacy, they are prepared for the table by pulling off the legs and wings, and frying the bodies in oil. But Clement's object was not so much to prescribe a bill of fare as to teach men of gluttonous proclivities how to emancipate themselves from the thraldom of that "most lickerish demon," whom he calls "the Belly-demon, and the worst and most abandoned of demons." First of all, we must guard against "those articles of food which persuade us to eat when we are not hungry, bewitching the appetite." (How he would have shuddered at a modern grand dinner, with sherry-and-bitters first to whet the palate; then three or four raw oysters, just to give a relish to the soup, the fish, and the entrées; and in the middle of the repast a sherbet, or a Roman punch, to wipe out the taste of all that had gone before, and give strength for a few more courses of meat!) Then, being naturally hungry, he says; let us eat the simplest kind of food; bulbs, (we hope he does not mean onions,) olives, certain herbs, milk, cheese, fruits, all kinds of cooked food without sauces, and, if we must have flesh, let it be roast rather than boiled.

Wine, of course, ought to be taken in moderation, if it is taken at all; and it is well to mix it always with water, and not to drink it during the heat of the day, when the blood is already warm enough, but to wait until the cool of the evening. {95} Even water, however, must be drunk sparingly, "so that the food may not be drowned, but ground down in order to digestion." What a disgusting picture the holy philosopher draws of those "miserable wretches whose life is nothing but revel, debauchery, bath, excess, idleness, drink!" "You may see some of them, half-drunk, staggering, with crowns round their necks like wine-jars, vomiting drink on one another in the name of good-fellowship; and others, full of the effects of their debauch, dirty, pale in the face, and still, above yesterday's bout, pouring another bout to last till next morning." Moreover, he entirely disapproves of importing wines. If one must drink, the product of one's native vines ought to suffice. "There are the fragrant Thasian wine, and the pleasant-breathing Lesbian, and a sweet Cretan wine, and sweet Syracusan wine, and Medusian and Egyptian wine, and the insular Naxian, the highly perfumed and flavored, another wine of the land of Italy. These are many names, but for the temperate drinker one wine suffices."

St. Clement concerns himself not only with what people ought to eat and drink, but with how they ought to eat and drink it. The chief thing necessary at table is temperance; the next is good manners. We remember to have had the pleasure and profit of reading once a modern hand-book of etiquette which abounded in the most amazing instructions for gentlemen and ladies at their meals. When you go to a dinner party, it said, do not pick your teeth much at table. Do not breathe hard over your beef. Don't snort while you are eating. Don't make a disgusting noise with your lips while taking in soup. And don't do twenty other horrible things which no gentleman or lady would any more have thought of doing than of standing up on their chairs or jumping upon the table. But St. Clement's directions for polite behavior show that worse things than these were in vogue in those beastly old days. He pours out words of indignation and contempt upon those 'gluttonous feasters who raise themselves from the couches on which the ancients used to recline at their banquets, stretch out their necks, and all but pitch their faces into the dishes "that they may catch the wandering steam by breathing in it." They grab every minute at the sauce; they besmear their hands with condiments; they cram themselves ravenously—in such a hurry that both jaws are stuffed out at once, the veins about the face are raised, and the perspiration runs all over as they pant and are tightened with their insatiable greed.

Suppose St. Clement had dined on board an American steamboat!

Then about drinking. In this, too, the old Alexandrians must have had some queer ways. "We are to drink without contortions of the face," says the saint, "not greedily grasping the cup, nor, before drinking, making the eyes roll with unseemly motion; nor from intemperance are we to drain the cup at a draught; nor besprinkle the chin, nor splash the garments while gulping down all the liquor at once—our face all but filling the bowl, and drowned in it. For the gurgling occasioned by the drink rushing with violence, and by its being drawn in with a great deal of breath, as if it were being poured into an earthenware vessel, while the throat makes a noise through the rapidity of ingurgitation, is a shameful and unseemly spectacle of intemperance. … Do not haste to mischief, my friend. Your drink is not being taken from you. Be not eager to burst by draining it down with gaping throat." {96} Sad to say, even the women were addicted to "revelling in luxurious riot," and "drawing hiccups like men." It used to be the fashion for ladies to drink out of alabaster vessels with narrow mouths—quite too narrow, Clement complains and, to get at the liquor, they had to throw their heads back so far as to bare their necks in a very unseemly manner to their male boon companions, and so pour the wine down their throats. This custom the saint strenuously condemns. It was adopted because the women were afraid of widening their mouths and so spoiling their beauty, if they rent their lips apart by stretching them on broad drinking-cups.

These drinking-cups themselves, and much other furniture of the table, were causes of offence in the good father's eyes, and he thunders against them with indignant eloquence, as marks of the shameless luxury and extravagance which pervaded the daily life of the richer classes. The use of cups made of silver and gold, and of others inlaid with precious stones, is out of place, he declares, being only a deception of the vision. For, if you pour any warm liquid into them, they become so hot that you cannot touch them, and, if you pour in anything cold, the material changes its quality, injuring the mixture. St. Clement was right. Of jewelled drinking-vessels we freely confess that we have no personal knowledge; but we have a very distinct and painful recollection of certain silver mugs and silver-gilt goblets which used always to be given to children by their god-parents, and from which the unfortunate youngsters were forced to drink until, say, they were old enough to leave boarding-school. How many a time have we not longed in our boyhood to exchange the uneasy gentility of a chased silver cup for the plain comfort of a good, honest tumbler of greenish pressed glass! How hot those dreadful cups used to be when filled with a vile, weak compound known in the nursery as tea! How they used to hide the refreshing sparkle of the clear, cold water in summer, and the beautiful color of the harmless decoctions, flavored with currant jelly or other delicacies, which were allowed us on rare occasions of festivity! St. Clement was right; they were out of place and a deception of the vision. But there was many a vessel on the Alexandrian tables, besides the drinking-cups of silver, and gold, and alabaster, which shocked this fearless censor of manners and morals. Away, he cries, with Theracleian cups and Antigonides, and Canthari, and goblets, and limpet-shaped cups, and the endless forms of drinking-vessels, and wine-coolers and wine-pourers also. Away with the elaborate vanity of chased glass vessels, more liable to break on account of the art, and teaching us to fear while we drink. Ah! had he seen a Christian dinner-party in the nineteenth century, with the delicately cut wine-glasses, slim of stem, fragile as an eggshell, scarcely safe to touch; the claret-jugs of Bohemian ware, elaborately ornamented and hardly less costly than gold; the curiously contrived pitchers for icing champagne; the decanters, the water-flagons, the decorated goblets, and all the other glass and china ware, what would good St. Clement have said? Many other things are there which he reprehends among the apparatus of the banquet, and of these some we have assuredly copied or retained, while of others we can only conjecture the nature and uses. {97} There were silver couches, and pans and vinegar saucers, and trenchers and bowls, and vessels of silver, and gold, and easily cleft cedar, and thyme-wood, and ebony, and tripods fashioned of ivory, and couches with silver feet and inlaid with ivory, and folding-doors of beds studded with gold and variegated with tortoise-shell, and bedclothes of purple and other colors difficult to produce. And let no one wonder that he should enumerate bedclothes among the objectionable furniture of a dining-room. It must be remembered that in those gluttonous old times people took their meals not sitting on chairs, but reclining on couches, so that it would hardly be out of the way to say that they breakfasted, and dined, and supped in bed. They used to eat and drink so much that this attitude was perhaps, on the whole, the most convenient for them. Among the other blamable luxuries which he enumerates are ivory-handled knives. The basins in which it was customary to wash the feet and hands before meals ought to be of no better material than common potter's ware. You can get off the dirt just as well in a cheap earthen washbowl, says the saint, as in one of price; the Lord did not bring down a silver foot-bath from heaven.

Music at feasts is an abomination to be carefully shunned, and a comic song is unworthy of a Christian gentleman, for "burlesque singing is the boon companion of drunkenness." If people occupy their time with "pipes and psalteries, and Egyptian clapping of hands," they become, by degrees, quite intractable, and even descend so low as to "beat on cymbals and drums, and make a noise on the instruments of delusion." We must be on our guard against whatever pleasure effeminates the soul by tickling the eye or the ear, and so must shun "the licentious and mischievous art of music," which disturbs the mind and corrupts the morals. Grave, temperate, and modest music may, indeed, be permitted, but "liquid" strains and "chromatic harmonies" are only for immodest revels. All which shows that in Clement's time there must have been a wickedness associated with music which that glorious art has now happily lost. The psalmist, it is true, exhorts us to praise the Lord in the sound of the trumpet, with the psaltery, the lyre, the timbrel and dance, the chords, and the organ, and the clashing cymbals; but the Alexandrian philosopher interprets all this passage symbolically. The trumpet to which King David refers is the blast which shall wake the dead on the last day. The lyre is the mouth struck by the spirit. The timbrel and dance are the church "meditating on the resurrection of the dead in the resounding skin." Our body is the organ; its nerves are the strings by which it has received harmonious tension; and the clashing cymbal is the tongue, resounding with the pulsations of the mouth. Reading St. Clement's instructions, with no light by which to interpret them, except the bare words of the text itself, it would seem to be but a solemn and joyless life which he inculcated a perpetual Puritan Sunday—than, which, probably, nothing more doleful was ever imagined of man. But we must remember that he lived in an age of ineffable vileness. Amusements, the most innocent in themselves, were the recognized cloaks or accompaniments of horrible deeds of licentiousness. The employment of certain kinds of music at banquets naturally suggested the criminal excesses with which such music was ordinarily associated. It was like meats offered to idols. Christians were bound to shun it, not because it was bad, but because it had been dedicated to bad uses. So was it also with burlesque singing. {98} The songs were not only comical, but wicked. And it is in pretty much the same sense that we must understand the saint's curious chapter on laughing, in which he rebukes ludicrous remarks, buffoonery, and "waggery," and declares that "imitators of ludicrous sensations" (mimics) ought to be driven out of good society. It is disgraceful to travesty speech, which is the most precious of human endowments, though pleasantry is allowable, provided laughter be kept within bounds. But we ought not to laugh in the presence of elderly persons or others to whom we owe respect, unless they indulge in pleasantries for our amusement; and women and children ought to be especially careful not to laugh too much, lest they slip into scandal. It is best to confine ourselves to a gentle smile, which our author describes as the seemly relaxation of the countenance in a harmonious manner, like the relaxation of a musical instrument. "But the discordant relaxation of the countenance in the case of women is called a giggle, and is meretricious laughter; in the case of men a guffaw, and is savage and insulting laughter." Of all such as this, it is needless to say, St. Clement disapproves.

Young men and young women ought never to be seen at banquets, and it is especially disgraceful for an unmarried woman to sit at a feast of men. When you go to a banquet, you ought to keep your eyes downcast, and recline upon your elbow without moving; or, if you sit, don't cross your legs or rest your chin upon your hand. It is vulgar not to bear one's self without support, and a sign of frivolousness to be perpetually shifting the position. Then, when the food is placed upon the table, don't grab at it. What if you are hungry? Curb your appetite: hold back your hand for a moment; take but little at a time; and leave off early, so as to appear, indifferent to what is set before you. If you are an old man, you may now and then, but very rarely, joke and play with the young; but let your jokes have some useful end in view. For instance, suppose you had a very bashful and silent son with you; it would be a most proper and notable good joke to say, "This son of mine is perpetually talking." That would not only be very funny, but it would be an indirect encomium upon the young man's modesty. Old men may talk at table, provided they talk sense. The young should speak briefly and with hesitation when they are called upon; but they ought to wait until they are called at least twice. Don't whistle at table. Don't chirrup. Don't call the waiter by blowing through your fingers. Don't spit often, or clear your throat, or blow your nose. If you have to sneeze or hiccup, don't startle your neighbors with a loud explosion, but do it gently. Don't scrape your teeth till the gums bleed, and don't scratch your ear!

They had a very silly and preposterous custom, those disgusting old pagans, of crowning themselves with flowers, and anointing their head and feet with perfumed ointments, especially on occasion of grand banquets and drinking bouts. St. Clement had no patience with this. Oils may be good, he says, for medicinal and certain other purposes. Flowers are not only pretty, but useful in their proper place. But what is the sense of sticking a chaplet of roses on the top of your head where you can neither see it nor smell it? It is pleasant in spring-time to while away the hours in the blooming meads, surrounded by the perfume of roses and violets and lilies; but no crowns of flowers for my head, if you please! {99} They are too cold; they are too moist. The brain is naturally cold: to add coolness to it is plainly against nature. Then he enumerates the various kinds of ointments made from plants and flowers and other substances. Leave these, he says, to the physicians. To smear the body with them out of pure wanton luxury is disgraceful.

After supper, first thank God: then go to bed. No magnificent bedclothes, no gold-embroidered carpets, no rich purple sleeping-robes, or cloaks of fleece, or thick mantles, or couches softer than sleep itself; no silver-footed couches, savoring of ostentation; none of those lazy contrivances for producing sleep. Neither, on the other hand, is it necessary to imitate Ulysses, who rectified the unevenness of his couch with a stone; or Diomede, who reposed stretched on a wild bull's hide; or Jacob, who slept on the ground with a stone for his pillow. St. Clement was not too severe in his instructions. He taught moderation to all men, leaving the difficulties of asceticism to the few who were called to encounter them. He never forbade comfort, but only rebuked luxury. Our beds, he says, ought to be simple and frugal, but they ought to keep us cool in summer and warm in winter. Those abominable inventions called feather-beds, which let the body "fall down as into a yawning hollow," he stigmatizes with deserved contempt. "For they are not convenient for sleepers turning in them, on account of the bed rising into a hill on either side of the body. Nor are they suitable for the digestion of the food, but rather for burning it up, and so destroying the nutriment." Who that has groaned through a restless night on one of those vile things—we were going to say, tossed through the night, but one can't toss in a feather-bed—has been half-suffocated by the stuffy smell of the feathers, and oppressed in his dreams by the surging hills of bedding which threaten to engulf him on either hand like the billows of some horrible sea, will not thank good, sensible St. Clement for setting his face against them, and wonder how they have survived to the present time? The Alexandrian philosopher knew how to make a good bed as well as the most fashionable of modern upholsterers. It ought to be moderately soft, yet not receive too readily the impress of the body. It ought to be smooth and level, so that one can turn over easily. But the reason he gives for this direction is rather comical: the bed is a sort of nocturnal gymnasium, on which the sleeper may digest his food by frequent rollings and tumblings in his dreams.

The couch ought not to be elaborately carved, and the feet of it ought to be smooth and plain. The reason for this is not only the avoidance of luxury; but "elaborate turnings form occasionally paths for creeping things, which twine themselves about the mouldings and do not slip off."

In speaking of dress, St. Clement gives free rein to his indignation at the folly and extravagance of both men and women, and points his remarks with many a shaft of keen wit and sallies of dry humor. Of course, he says, we must have clothes, but we require them as a protection for the body, not as mere ornaments to attract notice and inflame greedy eyes. Nor is there any good reason why the garments of women should differ from those of men. At the utmost, women may be permitted the use of softer textures, provided they wear them not too thin and curiously woven. {100} A silk dress is the mark of a weak mind. Dyed garments are silly and extravagant; and are they not, after all, offences against truth? Sardian, olive, rose-colored, green, scarlet, and ten thousand other dyes—pray, of what use are they? Does the color make any difference in the warmth of the robe? And, besides, the dye rots the stuff, and makes it wear out sooner. A good Christian who is pure within ought to be clad in spotless white. Flowered and embroidered clothing, cunningly wrought with gold, and figures of beasts, and elaborate tracery, "and that saffron-colored robe dipped in ointment, and these costly and many-colored garments of flaring membranes," are not for the children of the church. Let us weave for ourselves the fleece of the sheep which God created for us, but let us not be as silly as sheep. Beauty of character shows itself best when it is not enveloped in ostentatious fooleries. When St. Clement comes to particulars, especially in speaking of the dress of women, it almost seems as if he were pointing at the fashions of the nineteenth century. The modern fondness for mauve, and the various other shades of purple, is nothing new. The same colors seem to have been "the style" in the year 200. "Would it were possible," exclaims the saint, "to abolish purple in dress! The women will wear nothing else; and in truth, so crazy have they gone over these stupid and luxurious purples, that, in the language of the poet, purple death has seized them!" So we see that the good father was not above making a pun. He enumerates some of the articles of apparel—tunics, cloaks, and garments, with long and obscure names, about which the fine ladies of Alexandria were perpetually "in a flutter;" and it is rather startling to encounter in the list—what think you? Why, nothing less than the peplum, so dear to the hearts of women in 1867. Female extravagance in coverings for the feet also seems to have been as rife in ancient Egypt as it is in modern Paris or New-York. He condemns the use of sandals decorated with gold, and curiously studded on the soles with "winding rows" of nails, or ornamented with amorous carvings and jewelled devices. Attic and Sicyonian half-boots, and Persian and Tyrrhenian buskins, are also to be avoided. Men had better go barefoot unless necessity prevents, but it is not suitable for a woman to show her naked foot; "besides, woman is a tender thing, easily hurt." She ought to wear simple white shoes, except on a journey, and then her shoes should be greased.

Our saintly censor devotes an indignant chapter to "the stones which silly women wear fastened to chains and set in necklaces;" and he compares the eagerness with which they rush after glittering jewelry to the senseless attraction which draws children to a blazing fire. He quotes from Aristophanes a whole catalogue of female ornaments:

  "Snoods, fillets, natron, and steel;
   Pumice-stone, band, back-band,
   Back-veil, paint, necklaces,
   Paints for the eyes, soft garment, hair-net, [Footnote 22]
   Girdle, shawl, fine purple border,
   Long robe, tunic, Barathrum, round tunic,
   Ear-pendants, jewelry, ear-rings,
   Mallow-colored cluster-shaped anklets,
   Buckles, clasps, necklets,
   Fetters, seals, chains, rings, powders,
   Bosses, bands, Sardian stones,
   Fans, helicters."

[Footnote 22: Is it possible that waterfalls were worn in those days?]

And he cries out, wearied with the enumeration: "I wonder how those who bear such a burden are not worried to death. O foolish trouble! O silly craze for display!" And of what use is it all? It is nothing but art contending against nature, falsehood struggling against truth. If a woman is ugly, she only makes her ugliness more conspicuous by decking herself out with meretricious ornaments. {101} Besides, the custom of "applying things unsuitable to the body as if they were suitable, begets a practice of lying and a habit of falsehood." The sight of an over-dressed woman seems to have affected St. Clement very much as a worthless picture in an elegant frame. "The body of one of these ladies," he exclaims, "would never fetch more than one hundred and fifty dollars; but you may see her wearing a dress that cost two hundred and fifty thousand." We complain of the extravagance of modern belles; but, do they ever spend such enormous sums as that on a single dress? Alexandria, we imagine, must bear away the palm from Newport and Saratoga.

There were particular fashions in jewelry and ornament toward which the saint had a special dislike. Bracelets in the form of a serpent, he calls the manifest badges of the evil one. Golden chains and necklaces are nothing better than fetters. Earrings and ear-drops he forbids as contrary to nature, and he beseeches his female hearers not to have their ears pierced. If you pierce your ears, he says, why not have rings in your noses also? A signet-ring may be worn on the finger, because it is useful for sealing; but no good Christian ought to wear rings for mere ornament. Yet he makes one curious exception to this rule. If a woman have, unfortunately, a dissipated husband, she may adorn herself as much as she can, for the purpose of keeping him at home.

How bitter is the contempt which the philosopher pours out upon the fashionable ladies of the time, who spend their days in the mysterious rites of the toilet, curling their locks, anointing their cheeks, painting their eyes, "mangling, racking, and plastering themselves over with certain compositions, chilling the skin and furrowing the flesh with poisonous cosmetics;" and then in the evening "creeping out to candle-light as out of a hole." Love of display is not the characteristic of a true lady. The woman who gives herself up to finery is worse than one who is addicted to the pleasures of the table and the bottle! She is a lazy housekeeper, sitting like a painted thing to be looked at, not as if made for domestic economy, and she cares a great deal more about getting at her husband's purse-strings than about staying at home with him. And how preposterous is her behavior when she goes abroad. Is she short? she wears cork-soles. Is she tall? she carries her head down on her shoulder. Has she fine teeth? she is always laughing. Has she no flanks? she has something sewed on to her, so that the spectators may exclaim on her fine shape. A little while ago, a mania for yellow hair broke out in Paris, and fashionable ladies had their locks dyed of the popular hue. Well, it appears from St. Clement's discourses that this folly is over sixteen hundred years old. He upbraids the Alexandrian ladies for following the same absurd custom, and asks, in the words of Aristophanes, "What can women do wise or brilliant who sit with hair dyed yellow?" Nor is this the only modern fashion about the hair which was known and condemned in his time. Read this, young ladies: "Additions of other people's hair are entirely to be rejected, and it is a most sacrilegious thing for spurious hair to shade the head, covering the skull with dead locks. For on whom does the priest lay his hand? Whom does he bless? {102} Not the woman decked out, but another's hairs, and through them another head." Chignons, braids, tresses, and all the other wonderful paraphernalia of the hair-dresser's art are condemned as no better than lies, and a shameful defamation of the human head, which, says St. Clement, is truly beautiful. Neither is it allowable to dye gray hairs, or in any other way to conceal the approach of old age. "It is enough for women to protect their locks and bind up their hair simply along the neck with a plain hair-pin, nourishing chaste locks with simple care to true beauty." And then he draws a comical picture of a lady with her hair so elaborately "done up," that she is afraid to touch her head, and dares not go to sleep for fear of pulling down the whole structure.

A man ought to shave his crown, (unless he has curly hair,) but not his chin, because the beard gives "dignity and paternal terror" to the face. The mustache, however, "which is dirtied in eating, is to be cut round, not by the razor, for that were ungenteel, but by a pair of cropping scissors." The practice of shaving was a mark of effeminacy in those days, and it was thought disgraceful for a man to rob himself of the "hairiness" which distinguishes his sex, even as the lion is known by his shaggy mane. So St. Clement is unsparing in his denunciations of the unmanly creatures who "comb themselves and shave themselves with a razor for the sake of fine effect, and arrange their hair at the looking-glass." Manly sports, provided they be pursued for health's sake and not for vainglory, he warmly approves. A sparing use of the gymnasium and an occasional bout at wrestling will do no harm, but rather good; yet, when you wrestle, says the saint, be sure you stand squarely up to your adversary, and try to throw him by main strength, not by trickery and finesse. A game of ball he especially recommends, (who knows but there may have been base-ball clubs in Egypt?) and he mildly suggests that, if a man were to handle the hoe now and then, the labor would not be "ungentlemanly." Pittacus, King of Miletus, set a good example to mankind by grinding at the mill with his own hand; and, if St. Clement were alive now, he might add that Charles V. employed himself in constructing time-pieces, and that notorious savage, Theodoras, Emperor of Abyssinia, passes most of his days making umbrellas. Fishing is a commendable pastime, for it has the example of the apostles in its favor. Another capital exercise for a gentleman is chopping wood. This, we may remark, is said to be the favorite athletic pursuit of the Honorable Horace Greeley.

The daily occupations of women must not be too sedentary, yet neither, on the other hand, ought the gentler sex to be "encouraged in wrestling or running!" Instead of dawdling about the shops of the silk merchant, the goldsmith, and the perfumer, or riding aimlessly about town in litters, just to be admired, the true lady will employ herself in spinning and weaving, and, if necessary, will superintend the cooking. She must not be above turning the mill, or getting her husband a good dinner. She must shake up the beds, reach drink to her husband when he is thirsty, set the table as neatly as possible, and when anything is wanted from the store, let her go for it and fetch it home herself. We fear it is not the fashion, even yet, to follow St. Clement's advice. She ought to keep her face clean, and her glances cast down, and to beware of languishing looks, and "ogling, which is to wink with the eyes," and of a mincing gait.


A gentleman in the street should never walk furiously, nor swagger, nor try to stare people out of countenance; neither when going up-hill ought he to be shoved up by his domestics! He ought not to waste his time in barbers' shops and taverns, babbling nonsense; nor to watch the women who pass by; nor to gamble. He must not kiss his wife in the presence of his servants. If he is a merchant, he must not have two prices for his goods. He must be his own valet. He must wash his own feet, and put on his own shoes.

And so the holy man goes on with much more sage counsel and Christian direction, teaching his flock not only how to be faithful children of the church, but how to be true gentlemen and gentlewomen. The etiquette which he lays down is not based upon the arbitrary and changeable rules of fashion, but upon the fixed principles of morality and good fellowship. We have thought it not amiss to give our readers a specimen of them, partly, indeed, because they show us in such an interesting manner what kind of lives people used to lead in his day, but also because they are full of good lessons and wholesome rebukes for ourselves, and because many of the follies which St. Clement condemned are still flourishing, just as they flourished then, or are newly springing into life after they have been for so many centuries forgotten. Of course, there are many of his rules which are not applicable to us. Many things which he forbade because they were indications or accompaniments of certain sinful practices are no longer wrong, because they have been completely dissevered from their evil associations. But upon the whole, we doubt not that a new edition of St. Clement's Paedagogus, or as we might translate it, "Complete Guide to Politeness," would be vastly more beneficial to the public than any of the hand-books of etiquette which are multiplied by the modern press.

Ran away to Sea.

  A treacherous spirit came up from the sea,
  And passing inland found a boy where he
  Lay underneath the green roof of a tree,
      In the golden summer weather.

  And to the boy it whispered soft and low—
  Come! let us leave this weary land, and go
  Over the seas where the free breezes blow,
      In the golden summer weather.
  I know green isles in far-off sunny seas,
  Where grow great cocoa-palms and orange-trees,
  And spicy odors perfume every breeze,
      In the golden summer weather.

  There, underneath the ever-glowing skies,
  Gay parrokeets and birds of paradise,
  Make bright the woods with plumes of gorgeous dyes,
      In the golden summer weather.

  And in that land a happy people stay:
  No hateful books perplex them night nor day;
  No cares of business fret their lives away,
      In the golden summer weather.

  But all day long they wander where they please,
  Plucking delicious fruits, that on the trees
  Hang all the year and never know decrease,
      In the golden summer weather.

  Or over flower-enamelled vale and slope
  They chase the silv'ry-footed antelope;
  Or with the pard in manly conflict cope
      In the golden summer weather.

  And in those islands troops of maidens are,
  Whose lovely shapes no foolish fashions mar;
  Eyes black as Night, and brighter than her stars
      In the golden summer weather.

  Earth hath no maidens like them otherwhere;
  With teeth like pearls and wreaths of jetty hair,
  And lips more sweet than tinted syrups are,
      In the golden summer weather.

  Ah! what a life it were to live with them!
  'Twould pass by sweetly as a happy dream:
  The years like days, the days like minutes seem,
      In the golden summer weather.

  Come! let us go! the wind blows fair and free;
  The clouds sail seaward, and to-morrow we
  May see the billows dancing on the sea,
      In the golden summer weather.

  The heavens were bright, the earth was fair to see,
  A thousand birds sang round the boy, but he
  Heard nothing but that spirit from the sea,
      In the golden summer weather.
  All night, as sleepless on his bed he lay,
  He seemed to hear that treacherous spirit say,
  Come, let us seek those islands far away,
      In the golden summer weather.

  So ere the morning in the east grew red,
  He stole adown the stairs with barefoot tread,
  Unbarred the door with trembling hands, and fled
      In the golden summer weather.

  In the last hour of night the city slept;
  Upon his beat the drowsy watchman stept;
  When like a thief along the streets he crept,
      In the golden summer weather.

  And when the sun brought in the busy day,
  His father's home afar behind him lay,
  And he stood 'mongst the sailors on the quay,
      In the golden summer weather.

  Like sleeping swans, with white wings folded, ride
  The great ships at their moorings, side by side;
  Moving but with the pulses of the tide,
      In the golden summer weather.

  And one is slowly ruffling out her wings
  For flight, as seaward round her bowsprit swings;
  Whilst at the capstan-bars the sailor sings
      In the golden summer weather.

  He is aboard. The wind blows fresh abeam:
  The ship drifts slowly seaward with the stream;
  And soon the land fades from him like a dream,
      In the golden summer weather.

  And if he found those islands far away,
  Or those fair maidens, there is none can say:
  For ship or boy returned not since that day,
      In the golden summer weather.

                                E. YOUNG.


A Royal Nun.

Among the pleasant alleys of Versailles, or under the stately groves of St. Cloud, or in the grand corridors of the Tuileries, might often have been seen, about the year 1773, pacing up and down together in tender and confidential converse, two young maidens in the early bloom of youth, and often by their side would sport a careless, wilful, but engaging child some eight or nine years old. These three young girls were all of royal birth, and bound together by the ties of close relationship; they were the sisters and cousin of a great king; their lineage one of the proudest of the earth; they were all fair to look upon, and all endowed with mental gifts of no mean order. How bright looked their future! Monarchs often sought their hands in marriage, and men speculated on their fate, and wondered which should form the most brilliant alliance. Could the angels who guarded their footsteps have revealed their future, how the wise men of this world would have laughed the prophecy to scorn! Yet above those fair young heads hangs a strange destiny. For one the martyr's palm; the name of another was to echo within the walls of St. Peter, as of her whom the church delighteth to honor; the third was to wear the veil of the religious through dangers and under vicissitudes such as seldom fall to the lot of any woman. Those of whom we speak were these: Clotilde and Elizabeth of France, sisters of Louis XVI., and Louise de Bourbon Condé, their cousin. Louise and Clotilde, almost of the same age, were bound together in close intimacy. We may wonder, now, on what topics their conversation would run. Did they speak of the gayeties of the court; of the round of the giddy dissipation which had, perhaps, reached its culminating point about this period? or were they talking of the last sermon of Père Beauregard, when, with unsparing and apostolic severity, he condemned the fashionable vices of the age? or were they speaking of the cases of distress among the poor who day by day trooped to the house of Mademoiselle, as Louise de Condé was called, and were there succored by her own hands? On some such theme as these latter we may be almost sure that their converse ran. The heart of Clotilde was never given to the world; from her childhood she had yearned for a cloister, and would fain have found herself at the side of her aunt, Madame Louise, who was then prioress of the Carmelites of St. Denis. To the grille of this convent Clotilde, Louise, and Elizabeth would often go; and no doubt it was partly owing to the conversation and example of the holy Carmelite princess that the three girls, placed, as they all were, in most dangerous and difficult positions, not only threaded their way through the maze safely, but became examples of eminent piety and virtue.

The elder of the three friends was Louise, only daughter of Louis Joseph de Bourbon Condé, great-great-grandson of the Great Condé, and son of the Duke de Bourbon, for some time prime minister to Louis XV. He had early chosen the army as his career, and as early won laurels for himself in the Seven Years' War. On one occasion he was entreated by his attendants to withdraw from the heat of the battle. {107} "I never heard," said he, "of such precautions being taken by the Great Condé." His admiration for his glorious ancestor was, indeed, intense, and he devoted himself to the task of writing a history of this great man; for, though an ardent soldier, he was well educated. Men of science and genius gathered round him in his chateau of Chantilly, whither he would retire in the brief intervals of peace. At a very early age the Prince de Condé married Charlotte de Rohan Soubise, a maiden as noble in her character as her birth. She was merciful to the poor, gentle and charitable to all who surrounded her. The marriage was a happy one, but was not destined to last long. The princess died in 1760, leaving behind her a son, the Duke de Bourbon, and Louise Adelaide, of whom we have been speaking.

The little girl, thus left motherless at the age of five years, was consigned to the care of her great-aunt, the abbess of Beaumont les Tours, about sixty leagues from Paris. All the religious assembled to receive the little princess on the day of her arrival, and everything was done to please her. After showing her all the interior of the convent, she was asked where she would like to go. "Oh! take me," cried she, "where there is the most noise." Poor child! she was destined to find her after-life a little too noisy. She next chose to go into the choir while the nuns chanted compline; but before the end of the first psalm whispered to her attendant, "I have had enough." In these peaceful walls her childhood passed away. She grew fond of the convent, and gave every mark of external piety. She was wont to declare afterward that the grace of God had made little interior progress in her heart; nevertheless, a solid foundation of good instruction had been laid, which was hereafter to bear fruit. At twelve years of age she made her first communion, and then returned to Paris to finish her education in a convent there, "to prepare her for the world."

Years fled on, Louise attained womanhood, her brother married one of the Orleans princesses, and a marriage was projected for Louise with the Count d'Artois, afterward Charles X., but political differences caused the match to be broken off. Louise was not destined ever to become Queen of France. The tender friendship which subsisted between her and the Princess Clotilde was now to be broken, in one sense, by their total separation. Clotilde's heart's desire for the religious life was rudely crossed; the daughters of royal houses had less control over their fates then (and perhaps even now) than the meanest peasant in the land. A marriage was "arranged" for Madame Clotilde with the Prince of Piedmont, heir-apparent to the throne of Sardinia. She was but sixteen years of age when she had to leave France and all she loved and clung to, and set out to meet her unknown husband; for she was married by proxy only in Paris, and was received by the Prince of Piedmont at Turin. She was very beautiful, but unfortunately excessively stout, to such a degree that it injured not only her appearance, but her health. At Turin she was welcomed by a vast crowd, but cries of "Che grossa!" ("How fat she is!") struck unpleasantly on her ear. "Be consoled," said the Queen of Sardinia; "when I entered the city, the people cried, 'Che brutta!'" ("How plain she is!") "You find me very stout?" questioned Clotilde, anxiously looking into her husband's face. "I find you adorable," was the graceful and affectionate reply.


Years flew by. Mademoiselle, as Louise was now called, had her own establishment, and presided at royal fêtes given by her father at Chantilly. Thither came once to partake of his hospitality the heir of the throne of all the Russias, travelling, together with his wife, under the incognito of the Comte du Nord. A friendship sprang up between them and Louise de Condé, hereafter to be put to the proof in extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances. Little did they think as they parted within the splendid halls of Chantilly where their next meeting should be.

The license of manners that preceded the Revolution, as the gathering clouds foretell a storm, was principally to be observed in the grossness of the theatre and the corruption of literature. The theatre was a favorite amusement with Louise de Condé, and she took great delight in private theatricals, and frequently played a part. She heard Père Beauregard preach on the subject, and her resolution was instantly taken. A comedy was to be acted next day at Chantilly, but the princess renounced her part. It cost her not a little thus to throw out the arrangements for the fête; but she vanquished all human respect, and thus took the part of God against the world.

It was a turning-point in her life. It may seem to us that it was but a small sacrifice to make; but one grace corresponded to lead on to others, and from that resolution to give up theatrical entertainments Louise dated the commencement of the great spiritual graces and benefits of her after-life. That she was endowed with the courage of her race may be known from the fact that, having sustained by a fall a severe fracture of her leg, she sent for her Italian master to give her a lesson while waiting for the surgeon. This broken leg was destined in her case, as in that of St. Ignatius, to become one of her greatest blessings. She rose up from her bed determined to give herself more entirely to God's service. Naturally of a deeply affectionate disposition, Louise loved her family tenderly, but in an especial manner her only nephew, the Duc d'Enghien, then in his early youth. Day by day did Louise bring the name of this beloved boy before the Mother of Good Counsel, begging her, in her own simple words, to become his mother and protectress, and "never to suffer his faith to perish." We shall see a little later on how this prayer was answered. And now time had passed on, and the Revolution was at hand, and had even begun. After the taking of the Bastile, the Prince de Condé quitted France with all his family, and immediately set himself to organize an army for the defence of Louis XVI. Ordered by the Directory to return to France, he disobeyed, and was instantly stripped of all his vast property. The prince sold all his jewels, and bore his altered fortunes with patience and courage. Meanwhile, the Princess Louise accompanied her father and acted as his secretary. They moved about from place to place, and at Turin she was able to renew the friendship of her youth with Clotilde, who was now Queen of Sardinia, and displayed on her throne a pattern of womanly and saintly virtues. Near the Queen of Sardinia flattery could not subsist. It is recorded of her that she never pronounced a doubtful word, far less the smallest falsehood. Intercourse with this dear friend strengthened in the heart of Louise the earnest desire she had of belonging entirely to God. "I am obliged to take time for prayer from my sleep," she writes to her director. "I cannot do without it. {109} When at table, surrounded with officers, all talking, I pray inwardly." The crime of the 21st of January, 1793, fell like a thunderbolt on the army of Condé; but, rising from his grief, the brave general instantly proclaimed Louis XVII., although that little king, whose piteous story history surely can never outdo, was still being tortured by his savage subjects. The Archbishop of Turin was deputed to escort the terrible news to Queen Clotilde. "Madam," said he, "will your majesty pray for your illustrious brother, especially for his soul?" The terrible truth flashed at once upon her, and, falling on her knees, she exclaimed: "Let us do better still—let us pray for his murderers!" Surely, in the annals of the saints, few words more truly heroic can have been recorded than this impulsive utterance of Clotilde de Bourbon. The active operations of the army commanded by the Prince de Condé made it impossible for the princess to remain any longer at her father's side; she accordingly repaired to Fribourg, a favorite place of refuge for French emigrants. No less than three hundred French priests had found a temporary asylum within its walls, and the services of the church were performed with every possible care and frequency. Among these priests the princess met one, supposed to be one of the exiled French bishops, to whom she was able to give her entire confidence, and from whom she received wise and spiritual advice. The idea of a religious vocation now began to take firm hold of her mind but her director would not let her take any step for two years, wishing in every possible way to test the reality of this call from God. No ordinary obstacles stood in the way of the royal postulant. Times had changed since those when the entrance of Madame Louise, of France, into the Carmelites had been hailed as an especial mark of God's providence over a poor community. Every convent in Europe was now trembling for its safety, and few were willing to open their doors to one bearing the now unfortunate name of Bourbon. About this time, it would seem, the princess was in communication with the Père de Tournely, founder of that Society of the Sacred Heart which was afterward absorbed into the Society of Jesus, and who was earnestly seeking to found a new order for women, and especially at this moment to gather together a community of emigrant French ladies, some of whom had been driven from their convents. The idea naturally presented itself of placing the Princess Louise at the head of such a community, but she shrank from the task. "I should fear," she said, "from the force of custom, the deference that would be paid to what the world calls my rank. The place that I am ambitious of is the last of all. What are the thrones of the universe compared to that last place?" God had other designs for her, and for the projected order an humbler instrument was to be chosen for the foundation-stone of the order of the Sacred Heart; and at this moment the foundress, all unconscious of her fate, was as yet "playing with her dolls." Louise de Condé, determined to enter a poor, obscure convent of Capuchinesses, or religious, following the rule of St. Clare, in Turin, a city which it was then hoped was likely to remain in tranquillity. Before doing so she had obtained her father's consent, and also that of Louis XVIII, whom the emigrant French had proclaimed as their king when the prison-house of the little Louis XVII. had been mercifully opened by death. {110} The emigrants were careful to keep up with their exiled monarch all the forms and traditions which would have surrounded him had he been peaceably sitting on the throne of his fathers. It is worth while to give the princess's own words:

"Sire: It is not at the moment when I am about to have the happiness of consecrating myself to God that I could forget for the first time what I owe to my king. I have for long past felt myself called to the religious state, and I have come to Turin, where the kindness and friendship of the Queen of Sardinia has given me the means to execute my design—a design which has been well examined and reflected upon; but, before its final accomplishment, I supplicate your majesty to deign to give your consent to it. I ask it with the more confidence because I am certain it will not be refused, and that your piety, sire, will cause you to find consolation in seeing a princess of your blood invested with the livery of Jesus Christ. May God, whose infinite mercy I have so wonderfully experienced, hear the prayers I shall constantly make for the reestablishment of the altar and the throne in my unfortunate country. They will be as earnest as the efforts of my relatives for the same object. The desire for the personal happiness of your majesty is equally in my heart. I implore him to be persuaded of it. I am, etc.,

"Louise Adélaide De Bourbon Condé.
"Turin, November, 1795."

There could be no doubt of the devotion of Louise's family to the cause of Louis XVIII. Her father, brother, and nephew were all under arms for the restoration of his crown, and Delille celebrated the incident in verse:

"Trois générations vont ensemble à la gloire."

The king wrote back to the royal postulant:

"You have deeply reflected, my dear cousin, on the step which you have taken. Your father has given his consent. I give mine also, or rather, I give you up to Providence, who requires this sacrifice from me. I will not conceal from you that it is a great one, and it is with deep regret that I give up the hope of seeing you by your virtues become one day an example to my court, and an edification to all my subjects. I have but one consolation, and it is that of thinking that, while the courage and talents of your nearest relations are aiding me to recover the throne of St. Louis, your prayers will draw down the benedictions of the Most High on my cause, and afterward on all my reign. I recommend it to you, and I pray you, my dear cousin, to be well persuaded of my friendship for you.


On the 26th of November, 1798, the Queen of Sardinia took her cousin to the convent, and saw her enter on the mode of life she had so ardently desired for herself, but from which she had been severed. And here Louise began to lead at once a life of hardship and austerity. Earnest in all things by character, she threw herself into the practice of her rule, and became a model to all the novitiates. She counted the months as they passed which should bring her to her profession day; but it was not to be. God saw fit to purify her by many sufferings, by long anxieties, before she should find rest in his house. She was to be the instrument for a great work for his glory, and by many vicissitudes she was to be trained and fitted for it. {111} The French Directory had declared war against Piedmont, the princess's presence endangered the whole of her community, and she hastened to quit their roof and take refuge temporarily at the convent of the Annonciades, from whence, as she was only a boarder, she could fly at any moment; but before leaving her convent she cut off her hair. As a witness to herself, she wrote of the firm resolution she had taken of living for God only. No one but God, she said long afterward, could tell what her sufferings were at having to leave her convent; but she adds: "The graces that God poured upon me in that holy house gave the necessary strength to my soul to bear the long trials which I had to pass through for so many years!" Few recitals are more touching than the sufferings of this poor novice, thus roughly torn away from her beloved convent. Shortly after she took up her abode with the Annonciades, a profession of one of their novices took place, and the ceremony made the poor princess feel her disappointment more bitterly. According to the custom of the order, the novice wore a crown of flowers, and her cell and her bed were both decked with them, and the sight moved Louise de Condé to tears, and, when the novice pronounced her vows, her sobs almost stifled her. She said to herself that she was unworthy to become the spouse of Christ, and therefore these obstacles had arisen; and, humbling herself at the feet of her Lord, she bewailed the follies of her life in the world, of which she took a far harsher view than those did who knew how it had been passed, and she implored him to have mercy on her and others, to attain a perfect resignation to his will.

She had not left her convent too soon. The rapid approach of the French army on Turin obliged her to quit the city and direct her steps toward Switzerland. There she hoped to find a convent of Trappist nuns who would venture to receive her; but, when she had passed Mount St. Bernard, she found that the community had not yet been able to find a resting-place in Switzerland. She travelled on to Bavaria, and was told that no French emigrant could remain in the country. Verily, it seemed as if she were destined to have nowhere to lay her head. She did not know where to turn; for war was ruling in all directions, and her name was dreaded by all who desired to keep a neutral part in the conflict. She was driven to seek refuge at Vienna, and went to board with a convent of Visitation nuns; for this order she did not feel any attraction, and she cherished the hope that the Trappist nuns, of whom she had heard would be able to find a place of refuge and receive her among their number. While thus waiting, she took, by the advice of her confessor, the three vows privately, thus binding herself as closely as possible to her crucified Lord. Her description of this action of her life gives a great insight into the beauty of her soul. Deep humility, a fervent love of God, and a child-like simplicity were her eminent characteristics. She made these vows at communion, unknown to all save God, his angels, and her spiritual guide. Then she said the Te Deum and Magnificat, which would have been sung so joyfully by her sisters had she been suffered to remain among them. "I neglected not in spirit," she adds, "the ceremony of the funeral pall, begging from God the grace to die to all, so as to live only in God and for God."

This private act of consecration was an immense comfort to her; but it by no means prevented her longing and striving to reenter a convent, and all her hopes continued to be fixed on La Trappe.


At this period an affecting meeting took place between her and Madame Royale, the only survivor of the royal victims of the Temple, the young girl born to one of the highest destinies in this world, and whose youth had been overshadowed by a tragedy so prolonged and so frightful that history can scarce furnish a parallel case. It is only extraordinary that reason had survived such awful suffering, falling on one so young and so tenderly nurtured. Is it any wonder that a shade was cast over the rest of her life, and that she was never among the light-hearted or the gay? From Vienna she wrote to Queen Clotilde: "I have had a great pleasure here in finding that the virtues of my aunt Elizabeth were well known, and she is spoken of with veneration. I hope that one day the pope will place my relation in the list of saints." It was, no doubt, a great comfort to her to speak freely with Louise of the aunt and cousin both had so fondly loved. Louise could tell Madame Royale many anecdotes of the youth of one whose end had been so saintly. We must now say a few words about the convent which the princess wished to enter.

When the order of La Trappe was suppressed in France, in common with those of other religious in 1790, the Abbé L'Estrange, called in religion Dom Augustin, was master of novices, and he conceived the idea of removing the whole community from France instead of dispersing it.

After many difficulties this was accomplished, and the monastery was founded at Val-Sainte, near Fribourg. The abbé now conceived the idea of founding a convent of Trappist nuns, to be composed chiefly of those religious who had been driven from their own convents, and of fresh novices. The director of Madame Louise had many doubts as to the advisability of her entering this community; but her desire for it was so ardent, and continued so long, that he withdrew his opposition; and when the community had really taken root, near that of the Trappist monks, under the title of the Monastery of the Will of God, Louise de Condé set out from Vienna and entered it. None but the superiors knew who she was—such was the simplicity of her dress, so retiring her manners, so humble were all her ways; but instead of a princess many of the religious thought her to be of lowly extraction, and wondered that Dom Augustin gave her so much of his time. With great delight she received the holy habit and began to practise the rule. The life was a hard one; the house was a great deal too small for the number of religious who occupied it; there was a great want of fresh air; and the rule and austerities were most trying. In a very few months the torrent of European war was about to pour down on Switzerland, and the whole community were obliged to take a hasty departure. Dom Augustin could see no other place of refuge for his flock than the shores of Russia, and he bade Louise de Condé use her influence with the emperor to allow them to take up their abode in his kingdom. The Emperor Paul was the same who, as archduke and under the title of Comte du Nord, had sat by the princess's side at the brilliant banquets and festivities of Chantilly. Louise wrote to him with all the grace of a French woman: "I beg the amiable Comte du Nord to become my interpreter with the Emperor Paul." The advance of the republican army was so rapid that there was no time to wait for a reply. {113} The community were divided into different bands, and started at different times and by different routes, all agreeing to reunite their forces in Bavaria. The vicissitudes of this one journey would be enough for a good-sized volume could we go into its details. At one place she is received by the bishop of the diocese as a princess, only to be driven out by the civil authorities; at another she was lodged in a bake-house, full of dirt and smoke. She observed only it was quite good enough for her, and that she was very happy. At another time the cook neglects to cleanse the copper cooking-vessels, and the whole community are all but poisoned. When the answer came from the Emperor Paul, it was found that he consented to receive thirty of the religious only, to whom he promised support as well as protection. It was necessary, therefore, to find some place for the others, and Louise accompanied some of her sisters and the monks to Vienna, where her former friends, the good Visitation nuns, gave a refuge to another band of the Trappists. Notwithstanding all these changes, Louise as strictly as possible observed the rule of her order and the exercises of her novitiate. Being desired by her superiors to write down her thoughts on the religious life, she instantly complied, though she said afterward it was difficult to do so in the midst of fourteen persons, crowded together in a very small room, and all at different occupations. It was true they kept silent, but they had to ask necessary questions of the prioress, and among so many this necessity was very frequent.

She was now desired to set out for Russia, and thus undertake another long journey of discomfort and fatigue. People urged her to leave the order, saying that the weakness of her knee, which had never wholly recovered from the fall she had had many years before, would render it impossible for her to be useful. She replied that, if she were only allowed to keep the lamp burning before the blessed sacrament, she would be contented. So she set out for Orcha, the town named by the emperor for their reception. It proved a really terrible journey; sometimes the religious had to sleep under the open sky; they had the roughest food, and more than once were without any for twenty-four hours. But never once did the patience, sweetness, and perfect content of Louise de Condé fail; her face was always bright, for her whole soul was filled with the one thought—a desire of doing penance. The arrival in Russia did not put an end to the difficulties of either Madame Louise or her order. It was necessary to make some arrangement for the rest of the community left in Germany. The Emperor Paul finally agreed to receive fifty. Dom Augustin accordingly went to fetch them. During his absence no communication could be held with him, while various offers of help, which had to be accepted or refused, were brought to the princess, embarrassing her greatly.

After ten months of this suspense Dom Augustin returned, having made up his mind to go to America. This was a severe blow to Madame Louise; for, being still a novice, it became a grave question whether she would, in such circumstances, be right in accompanying them, and after much prayer and thought she, by the counsel of her director, decided to leave. Once more was she to be driven out into the cold world; once more her heart's desire crossed, her hopes delayed indefinitely. "I thought that God willed in his justice to break my heart, and thus arrest its impetuous ardor. {114} I had once more to strip myself of the livery of the Lord, which had been my glory and my happiness. I did it, and did not die, that is all I can say." Before her departure she implored the emperor, and all over whom she had any personal influence, to continue their kindness to the order. In reality, it was a good thing for the order that Madame Louise quitted it, as events afterward proved. One of the very first communities allowed by Bonaparte to reenter France was this very one, and he certainly would not have done so had a Bourbon been in its ranks. It is true his favor was but short-lived, and the Trappists had again to fly to America, but their return to France had been in many ways a benefit; and in 1815 they came back again, and established themselves at Belle Fontaine and at Meillerage. The latter house has long since become celebrated. Dom Augustin reached Rome, and received many marks of approval from the pope for his long and earnest struggle in the cause of his order. He died at Lyons in 1827.

And now where was the exile to go? Where should she rest her weary head? Where and how begin life again under a new aspect? Her father, brother, and nephew were either engaged in warfare, or themselves begging shelter from distant countries; her friends were scattered, her resources scanty. A Benedictine nun who had joined the Trappist community quitted it, accompanied her, and Louise endeavored to follow under her a kind of novitiate. They took refuge at last in a Benedictine convent in Lithuania, but where the rule was not kept in its strict observance. Here she remained for two years, making all possible inquiries for a convent in which she might be received; but the greater part were destroyed, and obstacles stood in the way of entering any of those she heard of. She wished, of course, to be more than ever careful in this her third choice. Moreover, her means of acquiring information were but small; there was little communication with other countries, and few of the inhabitants spoke French. While in Lithuania Louise adopted an orphan of four years old, a child of good family reduced to beggary; she was named Eléonore Dombrousha. At last she heard of a convent at Warsaw, which seemed as if it would fulfil all her desires; and now, indeed, she had reached the place God had destined her for. Here she was to lay the foundation of the great work for which, by many sorrows, by much disappointment, he had been preparing her.

A foundation of Benedictines of the Blessed Sacrament had come from Paris to Warsaw many years before, and were still existing: they kept the Benedictine rule strictly, adding to it the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Madame Louise asked and received permission of the King of Prussia to enter his dominions. He afterward wrote as follows:

"Frederick William, by the Grace Of God King Of Prussia: As we have permitted Madame la Princesse Louise Adelaide de Bourbon Condé and Madame de la Brosièree, who arrived at Warsaw the 18th of June, to remain in the convent of the Holy Sacrament, where they seem to wish to end their days, we have in consequence given all necessary orders to the officials.

"Warsaw, 28 August, 1801."


A striking circumstance occurred while on her road to Warsaw, one of those many incidents of the time which has made the history of the French Revolution read like a romance. Having to descend from her carriage at Thorn, her eyes fell on a woman poorly clad in the street, evidently seeking employment; the expression of her face was that of suffering, but of great sanctity. The princess was so struck by it that she went up to her, and said by impulse, "Madam, were you not a religious?" "Yes," she replied, impelled to confidence by the sweet face of her who addressed her. And then Louise learnt that the lady was an exiled member of the French Sisters of Calvary, driven into exile; that her slender means had come to an end; and that very day she had come out to seek work or to beg, neither dismayed nor yet afraid, but putting her full trust in Divine Providence.

Her wants were supplied, and she would have entered the same convent as Madame Louise, but that she hoped to rejoin her own community when they should reassemble. This shortly afterward took place, and the generosity of Madame Louise furnished the means for her journey home, and she lived many years in her convent, leading a holy life, and died there in peace.

At last Madame Louise commenced her third novitiate, and found in her new order all that could perfectly satisfy her heart. She took the habit in September, 1801, and all the royal family of Prussia were present at the ceremony; the Bishop of Warsaw preached the sermon, and bade her glorify her convent for ever, not by the éclat of her name and of her royal birth, but by her religious virtues. The habit which she had taken, added he, and which she had preferred to all the pomps of the world, was but the exterior mark of a consecration and a sacrifice that her heart had long since made. As a novice Madame Louise redoubled her fervor and exactness in religious life, with many anxious hopes and prayers that this time the day of her profession would really come. A sorrow came upon her in the news of the death of her early and loved friend, Clotilde of Sardinia, whose soul passed to God in March, 1802, while her whole people, anticipating only the voice of the church, called her a saint. On the 21st of September, 1802, Louise made her solemn profession. "I pronounced my vows publicly," she said, "but with such feelings that I can truly say my heart pronounced them with a thousand times greater strength than my mouth." She now retook her religious name, which she had chosen twice before, Soeur Marie Joseph de la Miséricorde. The life of an ordinary good religious would have seemed sufficiently difficult for a princess, but Louise would do nothing by halves. She practised the highest virtues of her state, bearing undeserved blame without a word of excuse; she never murmured under labors; she was obedient, gentle, and humble. So anxious was she to prevent her rank being an occasion for raising her to offices of authority that she wrote to the pope these words:

"Most Holy Father:
Louise Adélaide de Bourbon Condé, now Marie Joseph de la Miséricorde, professed religious of the convent of the Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament, order of Saint Benedict, at Warsaw, supplicates your holiness that you deign, for the repose and tranquillity of the soul of the suppliant, to declare her deprived of active and passive voice, and to dispense her from all the principal offices of the community."


The holy father saw fit to grant the request, and sent a brief on the subject to her.

"The efforts that you make to attain Christian perfection in these unhappy days," wrote Pius VII., "have filled us with joy, and make us hope that the Divine Spouse to whom you have made the laudable sacrifice of yourself will not fail to grant you his grace, in order that, by the exact and religious observation of the rules of the institute which you have chosen, you will attain the end that you proposed to yourself in embracing with so much joy this state of life. … We send you the letters of dispensation that you say are necessary for the perfect tranquillity of your mind, desiring nothing more than to remove the obstacles which could destroy your peace; and further, we give you with our whole heart the apostolical benediction, as a proof of our paternal friendship."

And now one of the sharpest sorrows of Louise de Condé's life was at hand. An event which was, even in that age of cruelties, to strike Europe with horror was to fall with bitterest force on the heart of the princess. Religious life does not extinguish the affections of the heart; it but regulates, ennobles, and purifies them; and the Duc d'Enghien was as tenderly loved by the aunt who had not seen him for many years, spent in devotion to God, as when, in the halls of Chantilly, she had watched his childish gambols. The prayer she had offered up in his childhood was continued more fervently, more constantly, as the dangers to his body and soul increased. She followed him in commiseration through the busy scenes in which his lot was cast, and she saw him brave, loyal, and honorable, a good son and a good husband. When Louis XVIII. consulted him, in 1803, in common with the other French princes, as to the answer he should return to the proposal of Bonaparte that he should renounce the throne of France, the duke wrote: "Your majesty knows too well the blood which runs in my veins to have had the least doubt as to the answer which you demand from me. I am a Frenchman, sire; and a Frenchman who is faithful to his God, to his king, and to his vows of honor." We have no space to dwell on the treachery and the cruelty of the capture and death of this young prince, one of the fairest hopes of the house of Bourbon. In vain did he even ask for a priest; but that ungranted request must have carried consolation to the heart of Madame Louise. As we read of his cutting off his hair to send to his "Charlotte," we are forcibly reminded of another prince, who was treacherously slain, sending a last adieu to another unhappy princess of the same name. To the doors of the convent at Warsaw, bearing the news, came the Abbé Edgeworth, whose mission it was to console and help the unfortunate house of Bourbon. He had attended the last moments of Louis XVI.; he had stood by him on the scaffold, undaunted by the crowd, and bade the "son of St. Louis ascend to heaven;" he had been the director of Madame Elizabeth; he had joined the hands of Madame Royale and the Duc d'Angoulême in marriage; and now he came to break the news of the last great sorrow to Madame Louise. The Mère Sainte Rose brought a crucifix to the princess, and her countenance told her the rest. Louise fell on her face on the earth, crying out, "Mercy, my God! have mercy on him!" Then she rose, and, going to the chapel, poured out her soul before Him who alone could comfort her. {117} "Pardon the faults of his youth, O Lord!" she cried, "and remember how cruelly his blood has been shed. Glory and misfortune have attended him through life; but what we call glory—has it any merit in thy eyes? Mercy, my God! mercy!" But her prayers did not end here. From that time forward there rose up before the throne of God a constant cry for mercy for the soul of Napoleon Bonaparte, from the lips of her whose dearest earthly hopes he had destroyed. She never made a retreat afterward without devoting much prayer and penance for the redemption of the enemy of her name and race. Forgiveness of injuries was an especial characteristic of the Bourbon family, and none excelled in it more than Madame Louise.

And now another change awaited the poor princess: thick, indeed, upon her head came trial after trial. Nothing could, indeed, take from her now the happiness of being a professed Benedictine; but that she should remain peaceably in one convent for a long time was hardly to be hoped for at this period. The Lutheran Prussian government began to interfere with the government of the convent, to have a voice in the election of superiors, and, of course, to interfere, at least indirectly, with the rule. Probably the presence of Madame Louise made them take more notice of that convent than they would otherwise have done. Before quitting it, however, as this was a serious step to be taken voluntarily by a religious who has made a vow of enclosure, she wrote for counsel to the three French bishops of Léon, Vannes, and Nantes, who were then all living in London. Their united opinion was, that "the reasons were well grounded and very solid, and that the repose of her conscience and her advancement in the perfection of her state, exact this change." Having received permission from the bishop of the diocese, and the full consent of her prioress, who bitterly mourned over the thraldom in which the community were held, Louise de Condé once more went out into exile, and this time directed her steps toward England. She landed at Gravesend, and was, we suppose, the first nun since the Reformation who was received with public honors by the British authorities. In London she met her father and brother, whom she had not seen since the year 1795, and who had since that time endured so much, and who were still suffering so acutely under their recent sorrow in the execution of the Duc d'Enghien. There must have been a strangely mingled feeling of pain and pleasure in this sad meeting. After remaining a few days in London, her father and brother escorted her to a Benedictine convent at Rodney Hall, Norfolk, where a refuge had been offered to her. This community followed the mitigated rule of St. Benedict, but Louise was allowed to observe the fasts and other points to which she had bound herself by her profession of the rule in its strict observance.

In this house there were fifty choir nuns, eight lay sisters, and a large school of young ladies. Wherever Madame Louise went, she was accompanied by the Mère Sainte Rose and the little Eléonore Dombrousha, the child of her adoption. In this community Louise was greatly beloved. There was about her a sweetness and a simplicity, a self-forgetfulness and charity for others which gave her an inexpressible charm. She was truly noble in character as well as in birth. She gave that example which God intends those highly born (as we call it) to give—that of more closely resembling Him whose birth was indeed a royal and noble one. {118} During her stay in Norfolk, the Princess Louise suffered greatly from bad health. The trials she had undergone, the anxiety of mind, her long journeys, and the severity of the observances to which she had bound herself had their effect upon her frame. More than once there was such cause for serious alarm that the Prince de Condé and Duc de Bourbon came to see her. It is probable, too, that the English climate, and especially the part of the country in which she was living, might not have agreed with her; the convent, besides, was not sufficiently large, and it was a favorable change in all respects when the community removed to Heath. Here Madame Louise met with one whose acquaintance she conceived to be one of the greatest blessings of her life.

The Society of Jesus was not as yet restored to the church; but many of its ancient members were living, and showed by their lives what had been the heavenly spirit in which they had been trained. Preeminently among these was the Père de la Fontaine, and it was to this holy man Louise became known while in England. He often said Mass at the convent, and frequently saw the princess. Under his direction, the soul of Louise made rapid progress toward perfection. He understood what God required from her, and taught her how to correspond with God. Among other valuable advice which he gave her, and which she committed to paper, the following is remarkable: "A spouse of Jesus Christ ought absolutely to avoid all communication with Protestant society. Their want of delicacy, in general, on those points which wound a heart consecrated to God in all purity, and their unbelief, often amounting to aversion, for the great sacrament of the love of Jesus Christ, are two powerful reasons for keeping at a distance from them. A truly religious soul has reason to fear presumption and all its attendant evils, if she allows herself, without real necessity, to be drawn into such dangerous intercourse."

And so the years again passed on and other changes were at hand. Prayers, penances, and sufferings such as Louise de Condé had endured, and sufferings which had been borne also in various other ways by so many holy souls among the French emigrants, had brought down mercy from God on their unhappy country and on Europe. The long war was at an end, the muskets had fallen from the soldiers' hands, and Napoleon was a captive. Louis XVIII. sat once more on the throne of his father. The fleur de lis again floated from the tower of the Louvre. Madame Royale, who had been sent out of France as a prisoner, ransomed by treaty, came back to hold the court over which her mother had once presided; the princes of the blood-royal hastened back to their places, and there was a general wish that Louise de Condé should be once more on her native soil. Ah! what a lifetime of sorrow had she passed through since she left Chantilly and her house in the Rue Monsieur, and even now she would not return to them.

No, never again could she come back to be the princess. If she returned to France, it must be as the religious to reestablish a convent of her order, and thus aid in bringing back religious life to France. It must be confessed that rarely was a person more fitted for the task. None should rule, says a proverb, but those who have learned to obey, and obedience had been a task which the princess had well studied. {119} She had passed through three novitiates, and she had in her lifetime seen the management of eight different convents, and she had known well how to profit by the knowledge she gained. Accordingly she quitted the convent at Heath the 16th of August, 1814, and arrived in Paris just as all were preparing to keep the fête of St. Louis for the first time for many years. She resided for a time in the house of her brother, the Duc de Bourbon; but she never quitted the apartments allotted to her, and lived in the utmost retirement, waiting there only till a suitable convent could be assigned to her.

The papers of the day, after mentioning her arrival in Paris, added: "It was the on dit that his majesty proposed to revive a royal foundation in her favor, and to establish her with her sisters in a magnificent monastery which would be restored to its primitive destination. Already it was sad to think that the church of this abbey had been used for profane purposes, and the friends of religion and of art would joyfully see this edifice restored. It would be purified by establishing there the perpetual adoration, and by placing there a shining example of piety in the person of a princess devoted in an especial manner to God's service."

This edifice was the grand church and monastery of Val du Grâce, one of the chief monuments of the piety of Anne of Austria. It was then a hospital; but, as the paper went on to remark, the superb church was not of any especial use to the sick, and would be a noble one for cultured religious. However, the idea of giving Val du Grâce to Madame Louise fell to the ground. It remained a military hospital, and so continues to this day; but the sick are attended day and night by the sisters of charity of St. Vincent de Paul. And as their forms flit through the corridors, intent on works of love, and as their earnest prayers rise up in the calm morning and close of evening to heaven, the founders and the former possessors of that splendid pile are, we think, contented Madame Louise had been so long absent that she knew not a single friend in Paris. She now entered into communication with the Abbé d'Astros, vicar-general of the diocese of Paris. At her very first interview with him she felt impelled to give him her full confidence, and this at once gave her a proof that it was really the will of God she should establish a convent in the diocese, since a full accord with ecclesiastical superiors is one of the most valuable helps a new foundation can have. Still, the place for the convent remained uncertain, and the privy council to whom it belonged to settle the affair did not deem it of much importance, and put it aside for other matters. A friend of Madame Louise, the Comtesse Marie de Courson, proposed to her that they should make a novena to Louis XVI. It is unusual to pray to those whom the church has not canonized, but it is not forbidden to do so privately; and it was hard to believe that the soul of the monarch upon whom had fallen the long and bitter punishment of the sins of his ancestors was not long since in the enjoyment of perfect happiness. The novena was commenced by a certain number of earnest and fervent souls.

On the seventh day, at the meeting of the council, although most pressing business was that day before its consideration, a member suddenly rose, and reminding his colleagues that the request of Madame Louise had not been granted, and as if moved by an irresistible impulse, proposed that the palace of the Temple should be given to her. {120} A sudden silence fell on the assembly, then came a movement of unanimous consent. What better spot for a convent of expiation than that consecrated by such memories—that in which such innocent victims had suffered? The heart of Louis XVIII. was deeply touched by the circumstance.

Truly, royal pomp and ceremony, gala and festivity, could never again enter those sorrowful halls. Most fitting would it be to consecrate them to God, and let an unceasing strain of prayer and praise ascend to heaven. Some doubted whether the task would not be too painful for the princess herself, and at the first announcement she did, in truth, shrink back. She had known them all so well, had loved Elizabeth so tenderly, had wept over their fates so bitterly, had prayed for them so earnestly, she missed them, now that she was once more at home; and how, then, could she bear to live for ever within those walls, which would be an eternal record of their fate.

But the first emotion passed away, and she began more fully to understand why she had been tried in the crucible of sufferings, why her vocation had been so often crossed, so hardly tried. It had been all to bring her to this, to let her found in Paris a convent of expiation. Without those trials, perhaps, she could never have borne the severity of the task, the sacrifice she must at once make on entering. She tenderly loved Madame Royale, or Madame la Dauphine, as she was now called, and it could not be expected or even wished that she should revisit a spot which must recall to her those terrible days whose memory already overshadowed her life too much; but this sacrifice Louise was ready to make, and the convent of the Temple was accepted.

Workmen were engaged to convert the old palace into a convent; the towers, in one of which the royal family had lived, were already demolished, but it was easy to perceive where they had stood. A Beautiful garden surrounded the buildings, partly in the French, partly in the English style. Water brought up from the Seine played in fountains surrounded by artificial rocks, among which a grotto was formed. This grotto was changed into an oratory to the Blessed Virgin, and another to St. Benedict and St. Scholastica. The Comte de Courson and the Abbé d'Astros directed the alterations, and all possible haste was being made, when, like wild-fire, the news ran through the world, Bonaparte had escaped from Elba, and was in France. The royal family fled, and once more the Princess Louise was to be an exile. She could not at once procure horses, so for a week, which happened to be holy week, she was hidden in the house of one of her former attendants. The Mère Sainte Rose was taken very ill, and then there was the serious difficulty of procuring passports. How little can those who live in London now, and who breakfast at home and sup in Paris, estimate the labor, the pain, the dread, which a timid person like Madame Louise would feel at having to take the weary journey to England, posting from Paris to Calais, and then a long, stormy passage, to say nothing of the dangers of being stopped on the route and taken to prison. She was obliged to set off on Easter-day. At the city gates they were stopped, and it was only by a heavy bribe that they were suffered to pass. On the way they found themselves in the midst of a popular tumult, and were obliged to leave their carriages and hide till it was over. {121} They had a very bad passage from Calais, but at Dover Madame Louise was received with every mark of respect and esteem.

She had not the comfort of returning to the convent at Heath, for it was thought better that she should await the course of events in London, and she went to a hotel. But a serious illness was the result of the sudden shock and journey, and after her recovery she went to the country-house of a friend. All through her after-life Madame Louise had a great affection for the English, who, to do them justice, were certainly generous toward the French emigrants. She was wont to say that their generosity would win for them the grace of reconciliation with the Catholic Church. Although Napoleon's second reign lasted but a hundred days, Madame Louise did not return to France for fourteen months, partly on account of health, partly because she wished to be fully convinced of the stability of the Bourbon dynasty before she commenced her arduous undertaking.

When she reached Paris, the Temple was not yet ready. She resided some time in the Rue St. Dominique with one of her early friends. There she made arrangements with various postulants, with whom she entered the new convent on the second of September, 1816. The Abbé d'Astros blessed the house and said the first Mass in the chapel. And now, at last, she had found a home; and though after her many vicissitudes, after the disappointments and the rapid changes she had seen, she could never have felt very secure, she never again quitted these walls. She entered most diligently on her duty as superioress and as mistress of novices; for, with the exception of the Mère Sainte Rose and one other Benedictine nun who joined her, (her own community having been lost in the Revolution,) she had none but young subjects to govern. Besides this she had to superintend a large school for young ladies, so that her duties were multiplied and heavy. The account of her religious life is most touching and beautiful. Knowing, as we do, how the distinctions of rank cling round our human nature; how constantly, ever since she had been a nun, she had been obliged to remind others not to make use of that very rank; knowing also the exaggerated prestige paid under the old régime to the Bourbon race, it is wonderful to see how utterly she forgot her birth or ignored it. She was sixty years of age; she was lame and in delicate health; yet she kept the rule rigidly; was gentle to others, severe to herself; would join in the recreations of her young novices, and could be seen making fun with them in cutting the wood for the fires. She would often take recreation with the lay sisters, and also carefully instruct them. In the infirmary she would perform the most menial offices for the sick, and, in short, she was a true mother at the head of her house. "Those who neglect little sacrifices," she would say, "are not likely to make great ones." At the appointed times she would not exempt herself from the penances which the rule permitted the religious to use. The first time that she prostrated herself at the refectory door, in order that all the religious should walk over her, many of them could not restrain their emotion. Afterward the princess reproved them severely, showing them that all distinctions of worldly rank were totally contrary to the religious spirit. If the sisters brought her better food than the others, they were reproved, and forbidden to do it again; or if they tried to make her straw mattress any softer, they met the same fate. In short, to the end of her days she was thorough, earnest, single-hearted in all things.


Sorrows did not fail to follow her into her peaceful retreat. The assassination of the Duc de Berri, her near relative, filled her with grief, recalling too vividly the horrors that had darkened her younger days. She was comforted, however, by a visit from the venerable Père de la Fontaine, who came to console her. "The Lord has covered him with the mantle of his mercy," said the old friend, and those simple words calmed her. Could there not, indeed, be hope for the soul of him whose first thought on receiving the death-blow was to say, "Pardon my murderer"? The Père de la Fontaine had returned to Paris after the peace; and when the Jesuits had been restored to their place in the church, and had communities in France, he often visited the Convent du Temple, and was by Madame Louise and many others esteemed a saint. The princess told her sisters that, being once in great spiritual perplexity and suffering, the father passed by her on his way to the altar, and as his shadow fell on her all her intense sufferings disappeared. In 1821, this holy man died, and at the request of Madame Louise the Jesuits sent her some account of his last hours. The writer described the strong emotion felt by all who were present when the old man, on his dying-bed, begged pardon for all his faults, for his breaches of the rule, and renewed his vows—vows which he had so faithfully kept in exile and solitude, when his beloved order had been suppressed. He had lived on in faith and in prayer, and God had allowed him to see the society restored to the church, so that, like Simeon, he could depart in peace.

Next came the illness of the princess's father, the Prince de Condé. She had always been tenderly attached to him, and the sorrows they had gone through together had naturally deepened the affection. He lay dying at Chantilly, and mutual friends begged Madame Louise to go to him. The ecclesiastical superiors would give her dispensation, they said; she was a princess, no ordinary nun. She firmly refused. "If our holy father the pope orders me to go, as a child of the church I will obey; but never will I ask for a dispensation which should give a precedent for breaking enclosure." Outwardly she was calm before her sisters, but her stall in the choir was bathed with tears, so deeply did she suffer for and with the father whom she loved. Her prayers went up unceasingly, and there is proof that they were heard.

The Prince de Condé died with dispositions of most humble penitence, and, when asked if he forgave his enemies, exclaimed: "I am sure of my salvation, if God will pardon me as freely as I pardon them." The last words on his lips were Credo in Deum. Perhaps the sacrifice made by his daughter in not assisting his dying hours had won for him the grace of a good death. The fortune which came to the princess on her father's death was devoted to the erection of a conventual church; the first stone was laid in May, 1821, in the name of Madame la Dauphine, by one of her ladies of honor. Mgr. de Guilen, then coadjutor of Paris was present, and Mgr. Trayssinous preached the sermon. "This place is holy ground," said he; "holy because of the extraordinary misfortunes and the heroic virtues which it witnessed in the time of our impious discords. Within these walls there wept and suffered barbarously those who should have been more worthy than all others of veneration and love. Within these walls most noble victims of the popular fury were delivered up to inexpressible anguish. {123} O days of blood and tears! O terrible and cruel scenes! O lamentable crime! which I dare not recall, which every heart in France would fain banish from his memory, and from the pages of our history. But no; we are all condemned eternally to bear the shame to posterity. Religion, at least, will have the glory of having done all that it could to expiate it, and to reconcile the people who were so unfortunately guilty with Heaven. Here day and night are crying at the foot of the altar consecrated virgins, innocent and voluntary victims of crimes which are not their own. Here prayers, fastings, vigils, and austerities, and the sighs of contrite and humble hearts, are perpetually ascending up to the throne of justice, but also of divine mercy, to draw down on the royal family, and on the whole of France, grace and mercy. Thus does religion avenge herself of her enemies, by expiating the past, sanctifying the present, and preparing the future. … And who will raise this building? She who, concealing the beautiful name of Condé under that of Soeur de la Miséricorde, has buried in this cloister all the éclat and grandeur of the world. In whose name has the first stone been laid? In the name of all that is most touching in suffering, in courage, in goodness, and dearest to France—in the name of the royal orphan of the Temple."

Another death awoke considerable emotion in the heart of Madame Louise. On the barren rock of St. Helena the proud heart of the great conqueror wore itself out. The hand and the brain that had worked such endless woe to her and hers were for ever still. Far from her all thought of triumph and rejoicing. Instantly she had Masses offered for him, and never omitted daily to supplicate in her private prayers that he who had given her no rest on earth might now have eternal rest given to him.

And now her long and troubled life was hastening to its close. She had been tossed about, indeed, on a troubled sea, seldom in port, yet happy and peaceful amid the conflict; and now eternal peace was at hand.

The bells of the new church were blessed in October, 1822, the King and Madame la Dauphine being godfather and godmother. The church was consecrated, in August, 1823, by the Archbishop of Paris. Louise, looking round, might have seen her work completed, the community established and flourishing, the church finished in which the adoration of the altar could be worthily carried out. The next day she made a false step, and fell down. Slight as was the accident, fainting fits constantly followed, and she was never well afterward. She suffered most from her head, but would not give up her ordinary duties, or lie by. Gradually her strength failed. On December 23d, she fainted on the stairs, was carried to bed, and was attacked by fever and sickness. Still she struggled on with her duties. On the last day of the year, she would hold the "chapter of peace"—a custom of her order to which she was much attached, when the religious ask mutual pardon of each other for any want of charity during the past year, and when the prioress has to address them on this beautiful subject; and she would not let her illness interfere with the feast of Holy Innocents, a gala-day in the convent, when the youngest novice becomes prioress for the day, and innocent mirth is in the ascendant; and she assisted at the clothing of two novices in January, 1824. {124} She showed by her manner on this last occasion that she believed it to be the last ceremony at which she should be present. She saw each of her sisters in private, and took leave of them with tender affection. She suddenly became worse, and lost the use of speech, but not consciousness. She received extreme unction from the Archbishop of Paris. The community, all in tears, surrounded her bed. The archbishop remarked, it was like the shower of rain which, at the prayer of St. Scholastica, came down to prevent St. Benedict from leaving her too soon. The dying nun understood the allusion, and smiled. He bade her bless her children, and her hand was raised for her, and placed on the head of one of her religious, for she could not move it herself.

A few days afterward she recovered her speech, and she received the viaticum, and answered the questions of the priest with a firm tone, "I believe with faith." Her death-agony was very long, and, when her brother came to see her, she could not speak. The desire of seeing her once more overcame the repugnance that Madame la Dauphine had to reenter the Temple, and she was about to set out thither when the king, fearing the consequences for her, forbade her to go. The last smile of Louise de Condé was given to a picture held before her of a dove bearing a cross and flying to heaven. Perhaps she said inwardly words which would have been very suitable: "I will flee away and take my rest." Shortly afterward she expired. She was in the sixty-seventh year of her age, and the twenty-second of her religious profession. And thus ended a life of which it may truly be said that it was "stranger than fiction."

Mr. Bashers Sacrifice, and why He made it.

Simply because Colonel Dolickem would feed himself with his knife at table. But what could the vulgar habit of the colonel have to do with such a sacrifice on the part of Mr. Basher? Nevertheless, it is true, and had it not been for that, Mr. Basher would never have made it. Colonel Dolickem cut his mouth and severed his hopes at one blow, as it were. Fact! And this is the way it came about.

Mr. Basher, as you are aware, was not what might be called a marrying man. Certainly not. I have heard him say, over and over again, in what might possibly be considered rather too strong language, that he would much prefer cutting his throat. Not that he had any aversion to such a state of life, or that he had made any vow of celibacy. By no means. Any young lady who might have liked to marry Mr. Basher could have done so any day, if Mr. Basher had been the lady, and the lady had been the man. As no young lady of his acquaintance would assume the masculine proprieties, such as popping the question, buying the ring, seeking the priest, putting up the banns and the like, to doing any or all of which Mr. Basher preferred cutting his throat, there were little expectations cherished by Mr. Basher's acquaintances of ever wishing joy to a Mrs. Basher. "I'd never come through it alive," he would say. But he did, as you shall hear.


There is one thing Mr. Basher could do, and do more perfectly than any man I ever knew, and that was to blush. Blushing Basher was the title we gave him the first evening he was introduced at our club. It may be said that blushing was his normal condition. "Do you know," said Healy, the great portrait-painter, to me one day, speaking of Basher as a subject, "that I never painted a man whose complexion was so difficult to determine as that of your friend Basher?" "He has a warm complexion," said I. "Warm!" rejoined the artist. "Warm does not express it, say, red-hot." Old ladies would offer him their fans in the street-cars, and mischievous young damsels with cherry-colored ribbons [attached] to their hats look first at him, and then toy with the dangling ends of their ribbons, as much as to say: "Just this shade." Newsboys, seeing him pass, hailed one another with the information that "your uncle had beets for dinner," and wily policemen dogged his steps under the impression that he was making off with something that lay heavy on his conscience.

But Mr. Basher's blushing face was nothing to his blushing heart, mind, or soul, or whatever it is that blushes inside of a man, and causes him to feel weak and faint, to get shaky at the knees, and bungling in speech. That he never finished a complete sentence is a fact too well known to need confirmation. Even on the day of his sacrifice, the charming Miss Criggles was obliged to come to his rescue; for, when he got as far as "Miss Criggles, will you have—" if that ready-witted young lady (thirty, if she was a day, you know) had not divined his purpose, and said what he just then lost the power of saying—"me, for your own," I do not think we would have seen a Mrs. Basher to this day.

He had no better success in his attempts to converse with children. I remember, as he sat one day in my parlor, twiddling his thumbs, breaking down in his remarks, and his color coming and going in rapid succession, my little daughter Dolly climbed upon his knee, and covered him with confusion by saying to him:

"Mi'ter Bashy, does 'oo ever say 'oor p'ayers?"

"I—I—I, sometimes; a—" blundered Mr. Basher in reply, his knees beginning to involuntarily dandle the child up and down.

"What does 'oo say?" persisted the little fairy, shaking her curls, and giving him an arch look. "I don't t'ink 'oo do."

"Why—why—do you a—" Mr. Basher got out.

"'Cause 'oo never 'members what 'oo's t'inkin' 'bout."

Poor Basher could do nothing after that but stare vacantly at the wall, and smile a smile that is often seen on board a ship as soon as she reaches rough water. Certainly, in another sense little Dolly had put Mr. Basher completely at sea.

But I'm forgetting about the sacrifice. You know what a sensation the cards produced. The receivers whose eyes first fell upon that of Miss Rosina Criggles expected, of course, to read "Col. Washington Dolickem" on the other. That was a conclusion everybody had arrived at for more than six months previous; and if the bold, heavy card of Col. Dolickem did not accompany the delicately scented, somewhat thinner and smaller one of Miss Criggles, it would be, doubtless, the still heavier, manlier, bolder card of General Yinweeski, of the Russian Embassy, or Major Thwackemout, of the Ninth Fussyliers, as Tom Wagstaff used to call them. {126} That same farceur never spoke of the dwelling-place of Miss Criggles but as "Camp Criggles."

"None but your generals and your colonels and your majors ever get their feet under the mahogany at Camp Criggles," said Tom; "and a pretty mess they make of it." This was in allusion to the everlasting on dits about the duel, or the cowhiding, or some such other agreeable encounter which was daily expected to come off between the rival combatants for the hand, and, I may add, the five-twenties, of the charming Rosina.

You should have heard Tom when he heard the news.

"Has he? What, Basher! Not Blushing Basher! Look again. Some other Basher—some general, colonel, major, or turkey-cock-in-boots Basher. No? Our Basher? Then draw a pen across that line in the spelling-book, 'Faint heart never won fair lady,' for Basher of ours has done the deed, and none so faint as Basher."

Mr. Basher, you know, was an admirer of Miss Criggles. No, not surprising. It was his nature to admire; only he found it so difficult to give expression to his sentiments that his nature in this respect may be said to have always remained in an inchoate state. He was an exclamation-point minus the dot. How so pure a civilian ever got an invitation to dine at the Criggles mess-table is shrouded in mystery; and how he ever dared when there to brave the martial presence of General Yinweeski, of Colonel Dolickem, or of Major Thwackemout is no less mysterious. Dining at the Criggles table as he did—and if ever the Criggles family made a point of anything in this world it was the service of their table—he may be said to have gradually eaten his way into the affections of the charming Rosina. As he spoke less, he had more time, you see, than his martial rivals; and what was more to the purpose, he had a better manner than they. Men of war who are not mere "carpet valiants," but have smelt the straw above the mould in a gusty tent, may be pardoned for not having studied my book On the Bad Habits of Good Society. I pardon Colonel Dolickem for not having read it. The tactics of the knife and fork are good tactics to study, and practise too; but as long as your vis-à-vis at table will keep his knife out of the butter-plate, I would advise you to say nothing about his putting it into his mouth occasionally—especially if he wears a sword and you do not; for he might retort by putting that into you, and then you would find yourself quite as much at fault for want of the knowledge of a soldier's tactics, as Colonel Dolickem was in his ignorance of the tactics of a gentlemanly diner-out. Tom Wagstaff, the Beau Brummel of our club, and who, by the way, bought up an entire edition of my book for private circulation, heartily despised the colonel for his slovenly habit. "He had the misfortune to be brought up on a jack-knife, sir," said Tom, "as some babies are brought up on a bottle."

I said I would advise you not to say anything to a friend who mouths his knife, but I don't object to your looking at him when he does it. When he cuts the corners of his mouth, as he surely will, sooner or later, unless he has a practised hand, (and I have witnessed feats of dexterity of this kind which would surprise you quite as much as any ever performed by the Japanese jugglers,) you might call his attention to it, and playfully add: "So much, my dear fellow, for allowing yourself to be so distracted;" and then you can tell a good story to the company about another friend of yours—clever dog he was, too—to whom the accident which has just happened to your friend opposite happened so often, and from the same unfortunate habit of having distractions at table, that he was frequently seen to rise after dinner with both corners of his mouth gashed. {127} He was cured, however, not of his distractions, but of putting his knife in his mouth at such times, by telling a joke in his presence about another individual to whom a similar accident happened under similar circumstances, and who cut himself so severely that he was obliged to be fed out of a bottle for a week. I have myself tried this friendly ruse several times, and have never known it to fail.

There is another class of persons besides these who may chance to carry a longer sword than you do, about whom I would advise you, as a bit of a philosopher, not to be too meticulous; I mean those who carry a longer head than you. The pen is mightier than the sword, (quotation of school-boy memory, but good,) and cuts deeper. The writer who cut up my book so severely in the pages of The Square Table was not so far wrong. But he forgot that I wrote as a professor, not as a casuist. Literary men, as well as soldiers, may do certain things with impunity which some others may not. So that Bullhead, of the New York Sweeper, may gnaw on his finger-nails, by way of an appetizer, between the courses, and nobody minds it—in Bullhead. He might put both of his elbows on the table, smell of the fish to find out if it be fresh, feed himself with his knife, eat as if he were doing it for a wager, wipe the perspiration from his face with his napkin, and indulge in other little eccentricities, and nobody would mind him at all, bless you! Where Bullhead is concerned, I agree with my critic of The Square Table. I pretend to lay down only general laws: Bullhead is a law to himself.

As to Basher, he is the soul of politeness and good breeding. He has read my book, and admired it. His commendations were rather bungling in the manner of delivery, but unfeigned. I understood perfectly what he meant to say, that is enough. Tom Wagstaff, to whom I dedicated it, and who, as I told you, bought up an entire edition for private circulation, also admired it. "Chupper, my boy," said Tom, drawing on his yellow kids, "it's grand!" By the way, I quoted a few remarks of his, which were delivered by him one afternoon to a half-dozen of us as a mock lecture. I think I can recollect some of them. Speaking of soup, Tom remarked: "If you think the soup particularly good, be sure and say so, and ask for a second or a third plate. You will find that the host will be much affected by such little marks of your esteem—for the soup; and the company will understand that you do not often get it." Of being helped at table, Tom gave this rule: "Always point at whatever you wish, either with finger, knife, fork, or spoon. They are all equally good for the purpose." For the proper eating of fruit Tom gave us some laughable advice:

"If you are eating fruit, never, by any means, convey the stones or pits upon your plate in a quiet way, but spit them out boldly, and with considerable noise. This not only shows the height of good breeding, but of science also, for it is not every one who can perform it so perfectly as not to spit more than the fruit-stones into the plate. {128} A much more elegant way, although it requires considerable dexterity—and I would not advise you to try it without a little private practice—is to insert the blade of your knife into your mouth, and with great care get the stones balanced upon it; then convey them just outside of the edge of your plate upon the table-cloth, where you may amuse yourself by building up a very artistic little heap of any form your fancy may suggest or your good judgment devise. Cherry-stones, it is to be remarked, are always to be swallowed, and take care you let the company know it, as it is a highly suggestive piece of information. Cracking the stones of prunes with your teeth is the proper way of disposing of them, especially if you are seated opposite a nervous old gentleman. Use your tooth-pick, of course, at table, and open your mouth wide while operating. The best kind of tooth-pick is a large, stiff goose-quill, which makes a snapping noise and calls attention. The place to keep it is in your pantaloons' pocket. Many prefer, and I am among the number, to pick their teeth with their fork. It is quite a refined practice. You will find that your doing so will cause a marked sensation at the table."

Tom said a good many other things equally clever. The best of them are in my book. Read that. Tom had different individuals in his eye at the time. The goose-quill toothpick was a favorite one of Colonel Dolickem, and went by the name of "Dolickem's bayonet." Speaking of Dolickem reminds me of Basher and his heroic sacrifice, about which I was speaking, was I not?

It was the birthday of Miss Rosina Criggles. A large party was invited, and among the guests could be seen the tall, gaunt, savage-featured Colonel Dolickem; General Yinweeski's burly form, clothed in garments which fitted him so tightly that it is a wonder how he moved without splitting them on all sides; Major Thwackemout, moving his stiff little body about from right to left, and from left to right, with that mechanical precision which characterizes the wooden soldier so prized by patriotic youth; and the blushing face of Mr. Basher. You may think it odd, but birthday parties are very ingenious inventions to retard the advancing years of young ladies. When rumor speaks of your daughter as thirty or thereabouts, give her a birthday party, and she will start afresh from twenty-three to twenty-five, as you may please to have it hinted. Everybody believing she is thirty at least, no one will presume to say a word about it. Pleased with your entertainment, and flattered by your attention, people are disposed to be generous; and then, who among your guests will ever acknowledge that he or she has bowed, courtesied, danced, and dined at an old maid's birthday feast! I need not mention the names of all who crushed themselves together in the brilliantly lighted parlors of the Criggles mansion. Of course, the Doldrums and the Polittles were there, and the Boochers and the Coochers, the Tractors and the Factors, the De Pommes and the De Filets, the Van Bumbergs and the Van Humburgs, and all that set.

Most people believed that it was to be a preparatory rout to give éclat to the expected announcement of an engagement between Colonel Dolickem and the heiress of the house of Criggles. The colonel believed it also. He had waited for a suitable opportunity to ask the hand and five-twenties of Miss Rosina, and now that opportunity had come. {129} Few would have had the courage to cross the path of a rival of so belligerent a disposition as the colonel. So thought the colonel himself. He was sure of Miss Criggles. Never be too sure of anything. Now it happened that in the course of the evening, somewhere about 12.30 A.M., Mr. Basher, after vainly endeavoring to get off one of the many sentences he had prepared beforehand, and practised with assiduity in front of his own reflection in his mirror, and in face of his grandfather's portrait as lay figures, and finding it no go, quietly abandoned himself to a sweeping current which just then formed in the crowd, and was borne along toward the half-open doors of the conservatory. Feeling, as everybody else did, pretty warm, and his face standing at the red-hot point of color, as indeed it had been since he rang the bell two hours and a half previous, he concluded to saunter a few minutes in the cool conservatory, and refresh his heated brow and his memory at the same time. Glancing first on one side and then on another at the flowers, his eye fell upon a rose-bush on which bloomed one full-blown rose. The sight of it reminded him of a toast he had prepared for this occasion, and which he devoutly hoped to be able to give amid the enthusiastic applause of the company and the grateful acknowledgments of the Being, and the parents of that Being, at whose feet he wished to blushingly throw himself, and be blushingly accepted in return. For Mr. John Basher loved Miss Rosina Criggles. The toast was this:

"Miss Rosina, the Rose of the Garden of Criggles, and the Flower of the Conservatory of Fashion and Beauty. Happy the Hand that shall pluck it from the Parent Stem!"

Once he repeated it in a low voice, a second time somewhat louder, to be sure of giving the right accent at the right words. Perfectly satisfied at his second rehearsal, he added in an audible voice:

"If I dared, I would pluck that rose, (meaning the one on the bush before him,) in order to give—" Mr. Basher never did finish a sentence yet, but he might have accomplished this one had he not turned his head at a rustling sound, and seen approaching the Rose of the Garden of Criggles herself. Blushing his deepest, Mr. Basher stumbled out:

"Cool here—ah—just admiring this—ah—"

"Rose," added Miss Rosina, helping him out. "Beautiful, is it not, Mr. Basher?—and precious too. It is the only one left in the conservatory."

"The conservatory of fashion, and—" Mr. Basher stopped short. It would never do to spoil the originality of his toast in that way.

"What is that you are saying, you flatterer?" asked the charming Rosina, shaking her fan at him in a pleasingly threatening manner.

"I—I—I was saying, no, thinking—ah—of—now, positively, do you know—ah—of plucking—"

"What! thinking of plucking the only rose in the house! Would you be so cruel? O you naughty, naughty man!" And Miss Criggles gave a look at Mr. Basher that made his knees knock together, and his toes tingle in his patent-leather pumps.

"I mean—ah—if I—ah—dared to—"

"Oh! you men are so very daring. We poor ladies are so timid and so trusting, Mr. Basher. When people ask me for anything, do you know, I do not even dare to refuse them? Pa is always saying: Rosina, you should be more daring, more repelling. But I cannot, Mr. Basher. It's not in my nature."


"Then I ask you," exclaimed Mr. Basher, making a bold venture, and getting ready to drop on his knees at the end of his request, "to give me the—the—Rose of the Garden—" Mr. Basher stopped to take breath and muster courage.

"The only rose!" broke in Miss Criggles. "Think of it!" she continued, in a voice of tender complaint, addressed to the lilies and geraniums around, and which made Mr. Basher feel very uncomfortable, "he has the heart to ask me for my one precious rose. He knows, cruel man, that I have not the heart, that it is not in my timid, trusting nature to refuse him." And with that she broke the flower from its stem and handed it to Mr. Basher, who was a second time preparing to throw himself into an attitude and finish the sentence Miss Criggles had so hastily interrupted. It is possible that Mr. Basher would never have been called upon to make the sacrifice he did, had not the attention of both been arrested by a loud "Ahem!" Turning suddenly at the sound, they beheld the tall, gaunt figure of Colonel Dolickem standing bolt upright, sentry-wise, in the doorway of the conservatory. He had witnessed the plucking of the rose, and his soul was all aflame with anger. His astonishment at what he saw was so great that it made him speechless. Had he not come himself to the conservatory, as soon as he could disengage himself from that fat, voluble Mrs. Boggles, to meet Miss Criggles, whom he had seen entering there, and do what this birthday party was given on purpose for him to do? Of course. Had not Miss Criggles herself entered the conservatory for the same purpose, speaking to him, Colonel Dolickem, in passing, that his attention might be called to that fact? Of course, again. Was he brought there on purpose to be a witness to this rose-giving, this toying, and coying, and moying with a—with a—individual such as he now saw before him in the person of a—of a—Basher! Of course, once more. But, choking with rage, the colonel could not utter a word of these reflections, and, turning upon his heel, reentered the crowded parlor. Just then certain sounds came to the ears of Miss Criggles, which that lady rightly interpreted to mean supper. This interpretation being conveyed to the bewildered faculties of Mr. Basher, he hurriedly fixed the rose in his button-hole, with the words, "For ever," presented his arm, and was soon the object of commiseration on the part of the Misses Boocher, and the Misses Coocher, and all the rest, who whispered to one another: "How can Rosina Criggles go on so!"

One thing seemed a little strange to Mr. Basher when he arrived in the grand dining-hall. Miss Criggles had released her hold upon his arm, but when or where he could not say. He imagined he still felt the pressure of her light, tapering fingers, even when he stood behind his chair at table, where he found himself, he could hardly tell how. His surprise was not a little augmented to hear the loud voice of Papa Criggles crying out, "Colonel! colonel! this way, colonel, if you please!" and seeing a chair pointed out to his wrathful rival, directly opposite his, and Rosina—his Rosina, as he presumed to say to himself—standing beside him. The colonel cast a look at Mr. Basher, as he moved to the place appointed him, which was at once triumphant and defiant. {131} In fact, the colonel's hopes began to revive, in spite of the blushing rose in the button-hole of the deeper blushing Basher.

Now, I am not going to describe the dinner, or call it supper if you will. You have been to such terribly trying affairs as a party dinner, and it is quite enough to be obliged to go through with the ordeal without going over it again in retrospect.

The head of the Criggles house was in a glorious humor; General Yinweeski was jocose and told several of his best stories of the battle-field; Colonel Dolickem devoted himself with ardor to entertain the charming Rosina, and was freezingly polite and patronizing to Mr. Basher; Major Thwackemout, having been put off upon simpering Miss Boggles, lost his tongue, and became morose. In one of those alarming lulls which you have no doubt observed will take place in the tempest of talk common to a large assembly, and like sudden lulls in the wind often presage a heavy blow, the eye of Miss Boggles accidentally fell upon the rose yet blushing in the button-hole of Mr. Basher's waistcoat.

"Oh! what a beautiful rose, Mr. Basher," cried that enthusiastic young lady.

"Yes, miss," responded Basher, "it is both beautiful and—ah—" a look at Rosina—"and—ah—"

"Very red, you would say, Mr. Basher, would you not? True, it is," said the colonel, showing all his teeth, yet not smiling or laughing a whit.

"No!" thundered Basher. "Precious

"Oh! I beg a thousand pardons. Precious! You would not part with it now, Mr. Basher, would you, even for a lady's smile?" The colonel was evidently determined to spur Miss Boggles up to ask for it.

"Not for my heart's blood," fervently ejaculated Mr. Basher. Rosina's glance at him brought out that sentence unbroken, and for a moment left the colonel quite disconcerted. Returning, however, like a veteran to the charge, he rejoined with snapping eyes, (snapping is just the word, so don't interrupt me:)

"Your heart's blood! Nor for mine, perhaps?"

"Yours, colonel?—ha—'pon my word—ha—Yes, if you'll engage to shed it—ha—"

"Out with it, man," cried the general.


"Capital! By the gods of war, that is a new way of fighting!"

Colonel Dolickem was confused and baffled. There's not a doubt of it. How could he say that he was not ready to shed the last drop of his blood to obtain possession of that rose, coming, as it did, from the hand of Rosina? Vainly beating his brains for an evasive reply, he could do nothing meanwhile but carry two or three mouthfuls from his plate to his mouth, after that ugly fashion of his, as you know, upon his knife, and snarl. Now, as a general rule, it is not the thing, as I have already said, to feed one's self with one's knife. As a particular and special rule, never attempt it when you are nervous or disturbed in mind. Don't, you'll cut yourself. That is why the colonel, his hand trembling with suppressed rage, cut himself. In vain he attempted to hide it; the blood trickled down upon his chin, and was quickly seen by that irrepressible Miss Boggles, who cried out in alarm:

"O Colonel Dolickem! you have cut yourself!"

"Done, done!" cried the general. "Chivalry, my dear colonel, had no knight like you! Blood is shed at the first blast of the trumpet, and, according to the most extraordinary terms of this fray, by your own hand. Basher, you're conquered. Sacrifice the rose!"


Poor Basher did as he was bidden, and slowly, with great reluctance, drew the flower from its place, and held it across the table for the colonel's acceptance, saying: "It is the greatest sacrifice—ha I—ha—ever—"

"Mr. Basher," said Rosina, with an approving smile, "you are the soul of honor."

But the colonel heeded not the outstretched arm of Mr. Basher, and the rose for which he bled, I am sorry to say, dropped from Mr. Basher's hand into a dish of tomatoes. What could the colonel do? Nothing, I think, but what he did—rise with a lofty and majestic air, look a black thunder-cloud of wrath at Mr. John Basher, say to Papa Criggles, with his handkerchief to his mouth, "Under the circumstances," and then get out of the house, and into a towering passion as he drove home. Next day he took the first train for Washington.

It was in the conservatory again, at about 2.20 A.M., that Mr. John Basher tried if the timid and trusting Rosina Criggles could refuse him. She couldn't, as I have already told you. He got as far as "Will you have—" and she added, "Me for your own," and there was an end of it.

"So the sacrifice of Mr. Basher did not consist in popping the question?"

"By no means. Who ever said it did?"

A Few Thoughts About Protestants.

Faith, though a gift of God, depends for its actuality upon the acceptance of it by men, and its continuance upon their careful and constant adherence to it. We are at liberty to receive the Christian faith or to reject it in the first instance when it is proposed to us; and we are equally at liberty to misuse it, to change it, to garble it, and to make it so far of no effect as to retain nothing of true Christian religion but the name.

Heresy is possible, all must allow, since it is possible to deny a part of the whole truth; and, knowing to what extremes men will permit their pride and passions to carry them, the fact of heresies frequently occurring does not surprise us. The most lamentable fact about heresy is, that it does not ordinarily die with the first preachers of it; but succeeding generations rise up to an inheritance of falsehood, deprived of the entire truth, fancying themselves joined, to the body of Christ's church, nourishing a dead branch long separated from the tree of life, and prevented, as they too often are, by the pride of intellect and the natural stubbornness of the will, from recognizing their errors and amending the sins of their forefathers by a hearty return to the truth that has been abandoned.

Such is the condition—unhappy condition, as it appears to us—of American Protestant Christians. Deprived of one or another part of the truth by the heresy of the several founders of their various religions, they are called no longer the faithful people, no longer the well-beloved children of holy church, and they share not in those unspeakable mercies of predilection which make religion for a Catholic an unfailing treasure of comfort, and his church a paradise of joy.


To abandon the source of truth, or to live separated from it, is to cut one's self off from any reasonable hold upon the truth, and render the allegiance which one gives to a part of truth a matter rather of sentiment than of deep principle. A branch cut from the living tree may be indeed a branch, but its life is gone, though it seems to live by the suppleness of its twigs, the greenness of its leaves, and the fruit which yet hangs upon it. Death is in it, and it will wither. It will bear no more fruit of itself, for the source of the fruit cannot reach it in its separated state.

So the truths of religious faith, separated from the source of faith, lose their vitality; and to a reflecting man who asks himself why he believes them, they will soon appear no longer true, because he has no longer any faith in the original authority which is the witness of God for them before the world. For it should be self-evident to every one of the least intelligence, that religious truth concerning man's future destiny in an eternity which no man living has ever seen cannot possibly depend upon one's experience or study in this world, and that the mysterious doctrines of Christianity can only appear true to a man on sufficient authority, and that, too, a living, present authority, which is a witness to him as well as to his forefathers. Hence the necessity of an ever-present, living source of faith, and the equal necessity of an actual union with it, in order to have faith in the doctrines of Christianity at all.

But the present position of our American Protestant brethren seems to be at variance with this; for we see them having a good, sincere faith in many of the revealed doctrines of Christianity, and yet are cut off from the living source of faith, which we know to be the infallible and divine voice of the church. And not only cut off, but they reject that source altogether, deny its authority, and look upon it rather as the source of falsehood than of truth. But, when we examine the matter closely, we shall see that they do not deny that they have a real source of their faith, or that such source is the church of Christ—which they suppose their own to be—only that they are ignorant of the fact that the Catholic Church is the church of Christ, and that she is the true source of their faith, and, if that church was destroyed and its authority nullified, they could have no faith at all.

When they have lost all faith and obedience to a church which they regard as the church of Christ, and have not returned to Catholicity, they have lost at the same time all faith in the peculiar doctrines of Christianity.

It would be hardly worth while to consider the answer made by some that they believe in Christ on no church authority, but on the authority of the Bible alone, because it is plain that one must first know the Bible itself to be true on some authority and surely the authority of the type-setter, the printer, and the paper-maker would not be sufficient, and the only authority they have or can have of its truth is that of the Christian church, which sets its seal upon it, and declares it to be the Word of God.


There is no doubt that they are cut off from all real church authority, that their religion is a separated branch from the living tree: and the state of things is such as we would expect to happen; the branch will wither, they will lose faith in Christ and his doctrines, and they are deprived of all those inestimable blessings and privileges which can only be had in union with the true and living church.

We who know the history of their religious schism, and the course it has taken, know that it is more their misfortune than their fault. We know that they remain satisfied with their state of poverty, because they are ignorant of the riches of faith; but we bless God the day is approaching, and is even now at hand, when that ignorance is fast disappearing, the prejudices and false notions they have had of the Catholic Church are being rapidly dispelled. The pope and the priest are no longer bug-bears to frighten children with; the names of monk and nun are no longer synonymous with villainy and crime. Catholics are not generally regarded as ignorant idolaters, and even a Jesuit may pass in society as an honest man, a sincere Christian, and a gentleman.

Three things, then, may give us great hopes that this great and good American people, our brethren, our friends, and our fellow-citizens, are not far from the kingdom of heaven, the church of God—the spread of knowledge concerning her character and doctrines, the rapid increase of the church herself in every part of the country, and the fact that the separated branch is fast withering, and the people look to it no longer for the fruit which will nourish their souls unto eternal life.

There is no doubt but that until within a very few years the Catholic religion was a hidden faith to the mass of the American people. In the cities, the churches were few and small, and a Protestant could hardly get within sight or hearing of a Catholic preacher. In the country towns the scattered flock would get together once in a month to hear Mass in a miserable apology for a church in some dirty back-lane, or in a shanty in the woods. That is all changed. Our city churches and cathedrals are getting to be the largest and grandest buildings in the land, and in many places the same congregations which once huddled together in the shanty are now assembled in churches which rival all others in the same places for size and beauty. And all this has happened in so short a space of time that it looks like magic. Those who will not see the true reason imagine that the wealth of old Catholic countries has been lavishly poured out to bring it about. They cannot comprehend that this is the work, for the most part, of the faith of the Catholic mechanic and the Catholic servant-girl.

The time was—and we have seen it—when the priest took the dinner-table for an altar, upon which were placed the crucifix that ordinarily hung at the bedside in the corner of the same room, and two kitchen candlesticks for the ornaments. Those same congregations have now their own churches, furnished with everything needful for divine service. From what we know of the rapid multiplication of church buildings, we can conclude that, as far as regards the external appearance of her worship, and the crowds of worshippers who are seen thronging to her sanctuaries, the church is now fairly before the American people. They can no longer plead ignorance of her existence, or fancy her to be a petty sect diminishing in numbers and decaying in force. The existence and power of the church in other lands is also forcing itself upon their notice. {135} They cannot read a newspaper or a book without meeting many proofs that the Catholic Church is, as she always has been, the mightiest, most reverend Christian church in the world, which claims the homage and admiration of mankind, and holds the destiny of Christianity itself in her hands. Those who from interest are her enemies see this, and on every hand we hear from their pulpits and read in their religious newspapers the loudest laments over the "fearful growth of popery," as they are pleased to style it.

But the interior workings of the church, her doctrines, her moral teaching, are also being presented to them more clearly. In the common walks of life, in the parlor, in the street, in the halls of business, our Protestant brethren meet many who are able to give a reason for the faith that is in them, and whose lives they know. Sincere seekers for truth and souls in earnest about their salvation, hearing of the claims of Catholicity and seeing many whose religious character they have every reason to admire, will ask questions, and Americans (we say it not to their reproach) will ask questions, if it be only for curiosity's sake. Catholic books, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, speeches, sermons, and other modes of diffusing a knowledge of Catholic faith and practice find many readers and hearers among Protestants who cannot fail to be impressed by them, who will be divested of their old prejudices, and learn our religion not as it has been taught to them by her enemies, but as she is. It would be of no use to tell an intelligent American Protestant now that Catholics are poor, ignorant idolaters who worship images, and who never heard of the Bible, because they know better; and if you told him, as you might have done twenty years ago and be believed, that the pope and the priests had secret designs against the liberties of this country, he would laugh in your face. Books with pictures representing the pope with his tiara on, holding up his hands in horror and turning away his face from an open Bible which a Protestant minister presents to his gaze, while the lightnings from heaven are depicted in the background descending in wrath upon St. Peter's, may possibly be found upon the table of some ignorant backwoodsman, but an intelligent Protestant would blush to know that such a book was under his roof.

People are great travellers nowadays, too, and they see enough in Catholic countries to make them at least think well of their religion.

They go to Rome, perhaps have an interview with the venerable head of the church, and invariably return penetrated with sentiments of profound respect, and often of the most attached affection for him.

They go to heathen countries, they see there the work of Catholic apostles. They find the only Christians there are Catholics, living such perfect lives as might put Christians of more enlightened nations to shame. In every corner of the world they find the Catholic Church doing her appointed work for the regeneration, civilization, and salvation of men, and numbers of them are not slow to draw the conclusion, "Truly this is the living church of the living God the pillar and ground of truth."

Let us look at the second reason we suggested, namely, the rapid increase of the church, and the character of it.

In the year 1800 we had only 1 bishop, 100 priests, and about 50,000 Catholics. Now we have 43 bishops, 2235 priests, and at least 5,000,000 Catholics. That this number is made up principally by immigration is true; but we do not forget that they bring the true faith in Jesus Christ with them, that the truth is spreading by their example and influence, and the American people cannot fail to feel the effects of it. {136} If all these immigrants were infidels, Mohammedans, or Mormons, they would naturally affect the religious character of the people amongst whom they are living. How much more may we look for mighty results from the true religion and the grace of God!

Catholicity is leavening the whole mass. Go where you will, you will find a Catholic in almost every family of note in the country. "Oh! I respect the Catholic religion very much," some one will say to you. "I have a father or mother, a sister or brother, an aunt or a cousin, who is a very good and very strict Catholic." From the very families of American Protestant bishops and ministers the church draws to herself one or another of the members, from whom new American Catholic families spring up, to give the church standing and influence in society, and compel a respectful hearing and a respectful treatment.

These considerations, encouraging as they are, might still lead us to suppose that it will be yet a long while before America shall be called, as she undoubtedly will be, one of the brightest jewels in the crown of the holy church, were it not for the third thought we have presented, which is, that their faith and trust in the sapless, separated branch of a church is failing. They have planted it anew, have watered it, have nursed it with every care, at boundless expense, with sincere heart's devotion, but all to no purpose. It will not grow, but withers in their hands. Now and then some have thought that the branch was too much like the old tree, and they cut off a twig, a blossom, or plucked a fruit from it, and planted that, and, with many earnest prayers and unceasing labors, they hoped their little plant would spring into life, but its untimely decay has disappointed them and disgusted them. Anon they endeavored to graft their withering branch on an older and apparently more healthy stock, such as the former and late attempts of the Episcopalians to form a union with the schismatical Greek Church; but the graft will not take, though they are willing to tie it on with every appliance and prune it after every fashion. Again, a few who style themselves Anglo-Catholics and high churchmen try to reason themselves into a belief that their particular little twig of the branch must be the true tree, because it is so much like in size and shape to the young sapling which the apostles first planted in the earth.

Slowly, however, they are beginning to ask themselves the question which they should have asked in the beginning, "How shall it grow without a root?" Those who take the trouble to examine the matter at bottom find out that the branch they cherish has no root, and now they lose all respect for it. These divide into two parties. Those who are sincere-minded souls, looking for true Christianity, and resting their eternal hopes upon it, seek for the living Christian tree, and find sweet repose beneath its grateful shade, and true nourishment of their souls from its never-failing fruit. Others, who are less sincere, cast aside the dead branch and all their faith in Christ with it, become discouraged and disgusted, and fall away into indifferentism and infidelity.

This loss of the old traditional reverence for Christianity, which a few years back was so strong that men felt it was something to be ashamed of, and to need apology, when forced to say, "I am no Christian," is now so marked that it is deplored on all sides. {137} References are not unfrequently made in the columns of our daily journals indicative of the popular temper, which hold up celebrated preachers, and with them often the whole clerical profession, to ridicule and contempt. Still the mass of the people of our country are both sincere and religious-minded, and the character of the conversions that are daily taking place is such as to make us not only hopeful, but sure of the final result. Surely, it is not to be said that the Catholic Church shall prove herself less powerful in a country of nominal Christians than she has shown herself to be in any or all the pagan nations whom she has not only converted, but also civilized and enlightened. Very few Protestants nowadays are compelled to unlearn their supposed Christianity to become Catholics. The false element which Calvinism introduced at the Reformation is being gradually eliminated from their systems, and all that they really adhere to is a part of Catholic truth. Many converts express themselves surprised to find that to enter the church they are called upon to renounce nothing whatever of what they already hold. They find, to their delight, that the faith as taught by the church is the completion, the realization, and also the explanation of their religious opinions.

The conversion of our beloved land is a work that should engage our most ardent aspirations, and kindle all the zeal of which we are capable. Both our hearts and our heads should be in it. We feel like preaching a little on this subject. That we may help it and hasten it by many things there is no doubt; by constant and earnest prayer, by good example, by instruction, by the distribution of good books and tracts, and such means; but it seems to us that when any one is deeply impressed with a conviction that a desired end will be accomplished, that it ought to be, and, as far as in one lies, it shall be, then the end is not far off. Aside from other things, there is in this matter a wide field for the exercise of our theological virtues.

Our faith: an unwavering faith in the power of truth, which must prevail. It is God's work; it is what the church is called upon to do; the people are fast progressing toward it; the good expect it, the wicked fear it; God's grace is never wanting to aid all men in their search after, and their acceptance of, the truth, and what, then, can hinder it? The question put to us a few years since, with a smile of mixed incredulity and pity, "Do you believe that this country will ever become Catholic?" is now, "How soon do you think it will come to pass?" "Soon, very soon," we reply, if your own statistics be true; for we see by one of your late writers that the rate of growth of the Catholic religion has been seventy-five per cent greater than the ratio of increase of population, while the rate of the decrease of Protestantism is eleven per cent less.

Our hope: We must have large hope in this, as in all things else, to bring about speedily what we desire: such an enthusiastic hope as makes us see the end already. It will, moreover, encourage them to do what we wish. Tell a sinner that you give him up and have no hopes of him, and you give him a fatal encouragement to go on in his wickedness. Your want of hope takes hope out of him; but, on the contrary, tell him cheerfully that you look for his conversion and amendment as a matter of course, and he will conclude at once that he ought to convert himself, and will begin to wish himself converted. {138} Then show him a picture of the happiness and peace of a good life, the joy of the forgiven sinner; his mind is made up, and the grace of God will do the rest. So it will be with our Protestant brethren. Let them feel that we are sure of their conversion to Catholicity, that we look for it as a certain event, and they will begin to think it very possible, and ask what it is to be a Catholic. Present them a picture of that unspeakable peace which one obtains in a sure and certain faith; tell them of the blessings in store for them, show them the treasures of God's house, and give them to understand that they are meant expressly for them, and that we are certain they will enjoy them; then it will be strange, indeed, if, with the truth before them, and the grace of God aiding and encouraging them, they should turn away and reject their own happiness. For the greater part of sincere Protestants there is absolutely nothing to keep them out of the church but the old worn-out prejudices they have against her. We know that it is thought that they have an insuperable fear and distrust of some of our practices—the confessional, for instance; but our experience convinces us that they find no difficulty in overcoming their fears as soon as they firmly believe in its necessity, and perceive its consoling and sanctifying influence upon the individual soul and upon society at large. Besides, this opinion is, in fact, groundless. As a good old French Jesuit father said to us one day: "I have noticed that when Americans have made up their mind to do anything, they never ask if it be difficult."

Our charity: Souls are won by love. We do not, and cannot, love the Protestant religion. It has little that is lovable in it; and besides, our own holy faith, all beautiful and good as it is, absorbs all the love our hearts can possibly hold. But could our Protestant brethren know how we Catholics love them—how we yearn over them as a mother yearns over her wayward child—how we long to welcome them home again; could they see how the "charity of Jesus Christ presseth us" to labor and pray for them; could they overhear us conversing with one another about them and learn our wishes and plans, our hopes and our wonderings at their continued absence, then we would win their souls. They could not stand all that. The power of divine charity would draw them sweetly on. Then they would ask themselves, What motive can these Catholics have to wish us so fervently to become as they are? Would that they might all be brought to ask that question!

When we, who stand upon the firm rock, see them stumbling over the bogs and marshes of a groundless and unstable faith, there is a strong temptation to laugh at their bewilderment, and mock at them as they go leaping about from one little hillock of opinion to another, and at last fall, sprawling, into the mire of religious doubt. Better pity them. Human nature, you know, has such a tendency to follow will-o'-the-wisps, even if it be only for the purpose of scientific investigation!

Whatever truth they have, after all, is Catholic truth. Their piety, their love of religion, their hatred of sin, their fear of hell and hopes of heaven, are all the results of the teachings of Jesus Christ, in whom they believe as far as they know, and through whom, in some vague sense, they hope for salvation. {139} They have been led away from the true fold, and are wandering sheep, who are getting further and further each day out of hearing of the voice of the true Shepherd. But the time is not far distant when they will return. God's hand is stretched out over this people. His Holy Spirit is moving their hearts, and the signs of the day of peace and unity of faith are already appearing.

Preachers usually begin with a text; we take the liberty of ending with one, very à propos, we think, to the subject of our thoughts: "I will call them my people, that were not my people: and her beloved, that was not beloved: and her, that had not obtained mercy, one that hath obtained mercy. And it shall be, in the place where it was said to them: you are not my people: there they shall be called the children of the living God."

New Publications.

The Clergy And The Pulpit In Their Relations To The People.
By M. l'Abbé Mullois, chaplain to the Emperor Napoleon III. and Missionary Apostolic.
Translated by George Percy Badger.
First American edition.
12mo, pp. 308. New York: The Catholic Publication Society, 126 Nassau Street. 1867.

This work of the learned and pious Abbé Mullois has attained an immense popularity in France, where it was issued a few years ago under the title of Cours d'Eloquence Sacrée Populaire; ou, Essai sur la Manière de parler au Peuple. It is the first of a series of essays which appeared subsequently, designed as hints to the clergy in their pastoral ministrations, especially in the pulpit.

It is one of the most noticeable books that have been issued by the Catholic press, and cannot fail of receiving as cordial a welcome with us as it has already received in France. Its remarkable characteristic is the apostolic simplicity of its style, and its bold, manly tone. The author's principal object is to direct the attention of the clergy to the necessity of cultivating a popular style of eloquence in their discourses and instructions to the masses. But, in order that the sermon be popular, and reach the hearts of the people, the preacher must himself be popular. He must be a man loved by the people, engaging both their admiration and reverence by his manner and his language when addressing them, and above all, by loving them. Hence, the author wisely treats of the preacher before he treats of the sermon. The first chapter is devoted to the elucidation of his great maxim: "To address men well, they must be loved much." Have many rules of eloquence if you will, but do not forget the first and most essential one: Love the people whom you would instruct, convert, reprove, sanctify, and lead to God. "The end of preaching is to reclaim the hearts of men to God, and nothing but love can find out the mysterious avenues which lead to the heart. We are always eloquent when we wish to save one whom we love; we are always listened to when we are loved. … If, then, you do not feel a fervent love and profound pity for humanity—if, in beholding its miseries and errors, you do not experience the throbbings, the holy thrillings of charity, be assured that the gift of Christian eloquence has been denied you," which is the good abbé's polite way (so truly French) of saying, "Don't preach."


He is not above indulging in a little bit of humor now and then when he wishes to say something a little severe, so as to take off the edge: "Just look at the young priest on his entrance upon the sacred ministry. He is armed cap-a-pie with arguments; he speaks only by syllogisms. His discourse bristles with now, therefore, consequently. He is dogmatic, peremptory. One might fancy him a nephew of one of those old bearded doctors of the middle ages, such as Petit Jean or Courte-Cuisse. He is disposed to transfix by his words every opponent, and give quarter to none. He thrusts, cuts, overturns relentlessly. My friend, lay aside a part of your heavy artillery. Take your young man's, your young priest's heart, and place it in the van before your audience, and after that you may resort to your batteries, if they are needed. Make yourself beloved—be a father. Preach affectionately, and your speech, instead of gliding over hearts hardened by pride, will pierce even to the dividing of the joints and marrow; and then that may come to be remarked of you which was said of another priest by a man of genius who had recently been reclaimed to a Christian life: 'I almost regret my restoration, so much would it have gratified me to have been converted by so affectionate a preacher.' … Apostolical eloquence is no longer well understood. It is now made to consist of I hardly know what; the utterance of truths without any order, in a happy-go-lucky fashion, extravagant self-excitement, bawling, and thumping on the pulpit. There is a tendency in this respect to follow the injunctions of an old divine of the sixteenth century to a young bachelor of arts. 'Percute cathedram fortiter; respice Crucifixum torvis oculis; nil dic ad propositum, et bene praedicabis.'"

It is certainly a great mistake, although a common one, that what is called popular preaching is relished only by the poor and illiterate, and, indeed, is only fit for them. The author's sentiments on this subject are so just and well timed that we venture to give them in the following extracts from the preface of his second volume.

"True popular preaching is not that which is addressed exclusively to the lower orders; but that which is addressed to all, and is understood by all. Such is the import of the word popular. When a man is said to be popular, it implies that he meets with sympathy on all sides; from among the upper, the lower, and the middle classes of society. When we say, charity is popular, we mean that it finds an echo in the breasts of all. The Gospel is essentially popular; hence Christian eloquence also should be popular at all times and in all places; as well in large cities as in small towns and country districts: unless an exceptional audience is addressed, and there is only one such in France, namely, that of Notre-Dame at Paris.

"This is what a sermon ought to be: A learned academician listening to it on one side, and a poor illiterate woman on the other, both should derive therefrom something to enlighten their minds and improve their hearts.

"We, the clergy, are debtors to all. How can we denounce injustice from the pulpit if we exhibit an example of it in our own persons? This is a matter involving a sacred trust, which has not met with adequate consideration; for how can we preach charity when we deprive the poor of that which is their due—the bread of knowledge? We should deem it an atrocity to retain the alms given to us for the needy; and does not our faith tell us that it would be a still greater crime to withhold from them the saving truths of the Gospel? … It is one of the great glories, one of the great powers of the ordinance of preaching, that the word preached should embrace all without any exception; and we are sadly to blame for having renounced that vantage-ground. Hence it is that our sermons nowadays are dry, meagre, artificial, inefficacious, and no longer exhibit that fulness and life, that broad effusion of thought, those throbbings of the heart and thrilling accents of the soul, which bespeak a double origin; indicating that what we utter is at once the voice of God and the voice of the people.

"I am going to speak without any reserve. Painful as the subject may be, it is desirable that the clergy should be made thoroughly aware of it. Go where you will in France, you meet with numbers of excellent and eminently intelligent men who say: 'I really cannot account for it; but I can no longer bear listening to sermons, for they weary me dreadfully. The phraseology generally used is humdrum and threadbare, and the matter consists of an incoherent mixture of rhetoric and philosophy, art and mysticism, of which nobody understands any thing. {141} Then, again, their monotonous uniformity throughout is enough to send even those into a doze who have lost the habit of sleeping. I sincerely believe that I should do better by abstaining; but for the sake of example, I resign myself to enduring them.' And be it remembered, that these are the remarks, not of the ill-disposed, but of devoutly religious men; proving the necessity of some large reform, since it would be idle to suppose that such concurrent testimony from all parts of France is unfounded. The same men, be it remarked, after listening to a genial, diversified, popular, and sterling discourse, will readily exclaim: 'That's the thing that I want! That's what does me good! That's what I like!'

"We must revert, therefore, to the genuine style of evangelical preaching, which is that of a father addressing his numerous family, and who wishes to be understood by all his children from the eldest to the youngest.

"But we must not be deluded into thinking that such popular preaching is easy: on the contrary, it is very difficult of attainment; for it involves no less a task than that of speaking a language which shall be level to the comprehension of the masses, and at the same time adapted to educated minds. Would you master that task? Study much, study every thing: theology, literature, the Holy Scriptures, more especially the Gospel; acquire a deep insight into the human heart; and, withal, cultivate your own mind till it can digest all knowledge. Then write and speak like one who has really drawn what he utters out of the good treasures of the heart, and in such a way that all who hear you may be ready to say: 'Really, what he states is very simple; it is sound sense; it is right. It is just what I would have said myself under similar circumstances.' Let us recall what has already been remarked elsewhere—that a little study withdraws us from the natural, whereas much study leads us to it. Reveal your heart, your soul; for, after all, the soul of man, that masterpiece of God's hand, will always carry more weight than all the embellishments of philosophy or rhetoric."

Let this zealous author speak of what he will, he invariably comes back to his first principle: "Love the people, if you would have any influence with them for good." Each chapter reveals the fact that this thought is the one which is uppermost in the writer's mind, and, therefore, the one he desires to impress the more deeply upon the minds of his readers. He knows how to tell plain, homely truths without offence, and criticise severely the faults of his brethren without acerbity or presumption.

It is a book that will do good, a great deal of good, and we commend it most heartily to all our readers, who will assuredly derive much pleasure and no little profit from its perusal.

The translation has been made by a finished scholar, and leaves nothing to be desired for purity of style or fidelity to the original. The volume is published in a finished and elegant style.

Essays On Religion And Literature.
By Various Writers.
Edited by Archbishop Manning.
Second Series. London: Longmans, Green & Co.
New York: For sale by The Catholic Publication Society.

The titles of these essays and the names of their authors will give our readers a good idea of the character and value of this volume:

Inaugural Address, Session 1866-7, the Most Rev. Archbishop Manning, D.D.;

On Intellectual Power and Man's Perfection—Dangers of Uncontrolled Intellect, W. G. Ward, Ph.D.;

On the Mission and Prospects of the Catholic Church in England, F. Oakley, M.A.;

Christianity in Relation to Civil Society, Edward Lucas;

On the Philosophy of Christianity, Albany J. Christie, M.A., S J.;

On some Events Preparatory to the English Reformation, H. W. Wilberforce, M.A.;

On the Inspiration of Scripture, Most Rev. Archbishop Manning, D.D.;

Church and State, Edmund Sheridan Purcell;

Certain Sacrificial Words used by Saint Paul, Monsignor Patterson, M.A.

It is impossible for us to enter here into an extended review of all these very remarkable essays. They were read at different meetings of the English Catholic Academia, founded six years ago by the present Archbishop of Westminster, and which has for its object, as the same illustrious prelate and scholar informs us in his present inaugural address, "the maintenance and defence of the Catholic religion, both positively and in its relation to all other truth, and polemically as against all forms of erroneous doctrines, principles, and thought." {142} This first address is a short but comprehensive sketch of the state of religion in England, in which the present condition and prospects of the faith are contrasted chiefly with what they were thirty years ago.

The second and third papers are designed to uphold the following thesis: The perfection of man consists exclusively in the perfection of his moral and spiritual nature, intellectual excellence forming no part of it whatever. We cannot help but think the author has taken a great deal of trouble to prove a truism; for his definition of perfection is closely restricted to moral and spiritual perfection. We do not imagine that the antagonists he summons up from the ranks of "muscular Christianity," and from the present atheistical school in England, would contend that pure intellect, in the sense used by the author, would afford more than a subordinate service to man's spiritual welfare, such as he himself proves in a second proposition. The greater part, if not the whole, of these antagonists to Catholic asceticism know nothing of what they are discussing. They suppose, and falsely so, that the Catholic Church teaches that the soul advances in spiritual perfection precisely at the expense of intellectual excellence; that the saint becomes the more holy as he becomes the more stupid; that the cultivation of the reasoning power is not only useless but a positive hindrance to spiritual perfection. It is not surprising that our opponents make the most of intellectual acquirements, of physical health and strength, and exalt the animal above the spiritual, because they deny in toto the moral state of man as Catholic theology, both moral and ascetic, supposes it to be. They contend that there is nothing wanting in man's moral nature, any more than in his purely intellectual nature. Both are weak, it is true, and should be strengthened and perfected, but the results of moral weakness, which we call sin and imperfection, are to be regarded in the same light as one would the results of ignorance in science. Sin is simply a mistake, culpable to the same degree as a false deduction in physics or mathematics would be for want of better information and scientific knowledge. Hence, it is easy to see how these philosophers neither value nor in fact comprehend the exercises of the spiritual life, and look upon all self-abnegation and mortification of the senses as degrading. "Purification of the soul" would be nonsense, because the soul does not need purification. It needs only advancement, enlightenment, and nurture, both in its spiritual and intellectual part. That a man should apply himself to the perfection of his spiritual nature without equal care to advance in worldly science, and keep his muscles well developed, his stomach full, and his body fashionably and comfortably clothed, is something which the worldly wise cannot understand. How should they when they rate the spiritual no higher than, if not below, the intellectual? Human greatness with them consists in physical and intellectual power; and they think the world is far more benefited by a regiment of soldiers and a board of trade than by a community of monks and an association of prayer.

But too much care cannot be taken when we attempt to argue for the thesis proposed in this essay. There is danger of giving our adversaries an impression that we are contending for the very things of which they accuse us. The intellect is not something evil which is to be crushed, else we should not look for a saint in a Chrysostom, an Augustine, a Thomas of Aquinas, a Bonaventura, or among those thousands of men and women of great genius and surpassing intellectual power, whose works are the glory of the world as they are of religion.

But one of the exercises of asceticism, say our opponents, is to mortify the intellect. Yes, just as I mortify my sight by restraining it from resting upon vain or immoral objects, my appetite from too full an indulgence, my love for music from dangerous display or vain gratification, or, what is at least as good a reason, because I really have not the time to give my intellect, my appetite, my love of the beautiful in art, poetry, and music all that they demand. {143} I have a far higher object in life, and that is, to make my soul pure and agreeable to God. These other and inferior objects are worthy in themselves of attention, but as for me I am too busy to spend either much thought or time upon them.

Those good people whose God is their belly, or whose highest aspiration in life is to see their name on the title-page of a book, doubt either the sanity or the sincerity of one who says that he loves to think about God a great deal better than he does about what he is going to have for dinner, and chooses rather to make a meditation than to read the morning newspaper. Such an one is perhaps just as hungry as another for both animal and mental food, but he puts away that anxious thought about dinner, he declines the invitation to hear Parepa, and smashes his violin, or consigns his mathematics to oblivion, because it happens that some or all of these things are found to have a tendency to take away his thoughts from God; and as to voluntary suffering, my philosopher, I am sure that it cost one of these "degraded ascetics" more pain to smash his violin than all the disciplines he ever took in his life. What need was there to smash it? Because it stood in his way, and because sacrifice is the sweetest and most nourishing food the soul can feed upon. And the same for his vanity, too, you say. Possibly. But do you acknowledge that there is such a thing as vainglory, which may arise in the heart and degrade it, thus placing a hindrance to its perfection? I know you do, for you are constantly accusing the Catholic saints of it. Well, then you must allow that mortification of such a tendency is necessary for man's perfection; and having once granted the necessity of mortification for one thing, you have given up the question. Let us hear no more of "degrading asceticism," or of the "unmanliness and superstition of bodily austerities."

The fault of this essay consists in the fact that the writer says he uses the word "intellect" in its popular sense, while his argument supposes it to be taken in its abstract, philosophical sense. In relation to the question at issue, the popular sense is not the philosophical one. The question of human perfection, as put by the enemies of the church and the railers at her ascetic principles and practices, is: Does not the Catholic Church teach that man perfects himself alone in the spiritual order, and that all human science is but vanity and vexation of spirit, and, therefore, better left aside? And is not this as a consequence a "degrading" standard to set before humanity, and one which tends to superstition, ignorance, mean-spiritedness, as well as criminal neglect of health and personal cleanliness? Is not intellectual ability a talent, and was not the servant of the gospel condemned for returning his to his lord unimproved? This question the writer of the present essay does not meet, as we had hoped he would. For ourselves, we judge, as the writer acknowledges in his second essay, if we read him aright, that there is such a thing as intellectual perfection, artistical, mechanical, and even muscular perfection, each in their own order, but inferior in character, aim, and end to the perfection of the spiritual nature, which latter perfection it is not only lawful but obligatory to cultivate, even at the expense of either of the former.

To advance in spiritual perfection is the first and highest duty of man. "Seek first the kingdom of God and his justice." If one can advance in any other perfection at the same time without detriment to the first, all well and good. There is no danger that the devil's Advocate will object to his canonization on the score of his great intellectual superiority, his wonderful mechanical genius, or the firmness and beautiful development of his muscles. But let any of these things prove detrimental to his spiritual perfection, as they without doubt frequently do, then he must shut up his books or smash his violin, as the case may be.

The essay by Mr. Wilberforce, On some Events Preparatory to the English Reformation, will be found an exceedingly interesting paper. That On the Inspiration of Scripture, by Archbishop Manning, presents a concise view of the teaching of the church, and the different opinions of Protestant and Catholic theologians on that subject. All the essays are, in fact, literary productions of a high order, and merit the perusal of every scholar of English Catholic literature.


Lacordaire's Letters To Young Men.
Edited by the Count de Montalembert.
Translated by the Rev. James Trenor.
Baltimore: Kelly & Piet. 1867.

This volume is composed of letters written to his young friends whilst the author was engaged in the most arduous and responsible duties. They are not studied productions of the great Dominican's literary genius, but rather simple outpourings of paternal love and solicitude toward those young men for whose spiritual direction he was at once so wise a guide, so zealous a pastor, and so warm a friend. They reveal the wealth of affection which enriched his own heart, and the consecration of that affection to the highest and noblest purpose of life—the perfection and salvation of souls. These letters have been published that other young men may also listen to his wise counsels, and receive that direction and encouragement which the writer was so eminently qualified to bestow.

Those which refer to the painful steps that fidelity to the truth and loyalty to the church led him to take in reference to M. de la Mennais will be found exceedingly interesting. There is no book that we could wish to see more extensively circulated among and read by the young men of our day than this collection of letters. The perusal of them will do much toward strengthening that bond of holy friendship and mutual confidence which exists between youth and the priesthood, so truly beneficial to the one and full of consolation to the other.

Extracts From The Fathers And Church Historians.
W. B. Kelly,
8 Grafton Street, Dublin.
For sale by the Catholic Publication Society,
126 Nassau Street, New-York.

This volume contains choice selections from the fathers, faithfully translated into English.

Modern History; from the coming of Christ and change of the Roman Republic into an Empire, to the year of our Lord 1867, with questions for the use of schools.
By Peter Fredet, D.D.
22d edition, revised, etc.
1 vol. 12mo, pp. 566 and 38.
Baltimore: John Murphy & Co. 1867.

A Compendium Of Ancient And Modern History—with questions, adapted to the use of schools, with an appendix, etc.—from the Creation to the year 1867.
By M. J. Kerney, A.M.
1 vol. 12mo, pp. 431.
Baltimore: John Murphy & Co. 1867.

These works are excellent epitomes of history, and are very popular in the Catholic schools of the United States and the Canadas. The first of them, Fredet's History, is a useful volume, and gives the reader a clear and correct idea of modern history, especially if he has not time to read the more voluminous histories of the various countries of the world. The present edition of both these volumes is brought down to the year 1867, and the account of our late terrible war is written with candor and without bias, the bare facts and dates of battles being given. They are gotten up in good, serviceable style for schools.

The Bohemians Of The Fifteenth Century.
Translated from the French of Henri Guenot,
by Mrs. J. Sadlier. New-York: D. & J. Sadlier & Co.

This is a very correct translation of a beautiful little tale by M. Guenot, illustrating the peculiar habits and manner of living of that strange people, generally called Gipsies, who appeared in Europe about the time selected by the author for his illustration. The story is well told in the original, with an attention to time and place characteristic of the best French writers of fiction, and in the English version before us it loses nothing in accuracy or even in vivacity of style. It is an excellent book for young readers, and will doubtless find a large circulation among that class.


The Catholic World.
Vol. VI., No. 32.—November, 1867.

Unpublished Letters Of General Washington.

Two years ago, Count Henri de Chastellux gave to the world, through the pages of Le Correspondent of Paris, a translation of thirteen letters of Washington's never before printed. They were addressed to the Marquis de Chastellux, that gallant and accomplished French nobleman who fought with the patriot army during our revolutionary war, serving as major-general under Rochambeau, and of whose subsequent travels in America we gave some account in an early number of THE CATHOLIC WORLD. Washington seems to have entertained a sincere regard for this distinguished soldier and man of letters, who, besides being in complete harmony with the founder of the American republic in his views of philosophy and politics, was a gentleman of most amiable private character, agreeable manners, and extensive information. After his return to France he kept up a correspondence with Washington as long as he lived, the last letter in the present collection bearing date only six months before the marquis's death. Although it cannot be said that Washington's letters reveal any facts of importance not already known, they are not devoid of historical interest, apart from the value which all confidential communications from his pen must possess in the eyes of patriotic Americans. We are indebted to the efforts of the Abbé Cazali in procuring copies of the original from the Count Henri de Chastellux, who was kind enough to copy them himself. To both of these gentlemen we return our most sincere thanks. The first is dated at New-Windsor, January 28th, 1781. Count de Chastellux had just arrived at Newport, where the French army was then quartered.


My Dear Sir: I congratulate you on your safe arrival in good health at Newport, after travelling through so large an extent of the theatre of war in America. Receive my thanks for your courtesy in informing me of the same, and also for making me acquainted with the Comte de Charlus. His prepossessing appearance is a sufficient indication of the amiable qualities of his mind, and fails not to produce at first view a favorable impression upon all who see him.


After spending several days with us at headquarters, he has gone to Philadelphia, accompanied by Count Dillon.

I left them at Ringwood, whither I went to repress a partial revolt at Pompton among the New-Jersey troops, who, after the example of those of Pennsylvania, mutinied and refused to obey their officers. The affair happily ended without bloodshed. Two of the ringleaders were executed on the spot, and order had been completely restored before I left.

I am at a loss for words to express my appreciation of your approval and friendship, and the value I attach to them. It shall be the desire and happiness of my life to merit their continuance, and to assure you on every occasion of my admiration for your character and virtues. I am, dear sir, your most obedient servant,

G. Washington.


New Windsor, May 7, 1781.

Dear Sir: Permit me, on this occasion of writing to you, to begin my letter with congratulations on your recovered health, and I offer them sincerely.

Colonel Menoville put into my hands two days since your favor of the 29th ultimo. If my inclination was seconded by the means, I should not fail to meet this gentleman as the friend of my friend; and if it is not in my power to comply with his wishes on the score of provisions, I will deal with him candidly by communicating the causes.

I am impressed with too high a sense of the abilities and candor of the Chevalier Chastellux to conceive that he is capable of creating false hopes. His communication, therefore, of the West Indies intelligence comes with merited force, and I would to God it were in my power to take the proper advantage of it! But if you can recollect a private conversation which I had with you in the Count de Rochambeau's chamber, you will be persuaded it is not; especially when I add, that the want of which I then complained exists in much greater force than it did at that moment; but such preparations as can be made, I will make for the events you allude to. The candid world and well-informed officer will expect no more.

May you participate in those blessings you have invoked hereon for me, and may you live to see a happy termination of a struggle which was begun, and has been continued, for the purpose of rescuing America from impending slavery, and securing to its inhabitants their indubitable rights, in which you bear a conspicuous part, is the ardent wish of, dear sir, your most obedient and most affectionate servant,

G. Washington.


New Windsor, June 13, 1781.

My Dear Chevalier: I fear, from the purport of the letter you did me the honor to write from Newport on the 9th, that my sentiments respecting the council of war held on board the Duke de Bourgogne, (the 31st of May,) have been misconceived, and I shall be very unhappy if they receive an interpretation different from the true intent and meaning of them. If this is the case, it can only be attributed to my not understanding the business of the Duke de Lauzun perfectly. I will rely, therefore, on your goodness and candor to explain and rectify the mistake, if any has happened.


My wishes perfectly coincided with the determination of the board of war to continue the fleet at Rhode Island, provided it could remain there in safety with the force required, and did not impede the march of the army toward the North river; but, when Duke Lauzun informed me that my opinion of the propriety and safety of this measure was required by the board, and that he came hither at the particular request of the Counts Rochambeau and de Barras to obtain it, I was reduced to the painful necessity of delivering a sentiment different from that of a most respectable board, or of forfeiting all pretensions to candor by the concealment of it.

Upon this ground it was I wrote to the generals to the effect I did, and not because I was dissatisfied at the alteration of the plan agreed to at Wethersfield. My fears for the safety of the fleet, which I am now persuaded were carried too far, were productive of a belief that the generals, when separated, might feel uneasy at every mysterious preparation of the enemy, and occasion a fresh call for militia. This had some weight in my determination to give Boston (where I was sure no danger could be encountered but that of a blockade) a preference to Newport, where, under some circumstances, though not such as were likely to happen, something might be enterprised.

The fleet being at Rhode Island is attended certainly with many advantages in the operation proposed, and I entreat that you, and the gentlemen who were of opinion that it ought to be risked there for these purposes, will be assured that I have a high sense of the obligation you mean to confer on America by that resolve, and that your zeal to promote the common cause, and my anxiety for the safety of so valuable a fleet, were the only motives which gave birth to the apparent difference in our opinions.

I set that value upon your friendship and candor, and have that implicit belief in your attachment to America, that they are only to be equalled by the sincerity with which I have the honor to be, dear sir, your most obedient, and obliged, and faithful servant,

G. Washington.


Philadelphia, January 4, 1782.

My Dear Chevalier: I cannot suffer your old acquaintance, Mrs. Carter, to proceed to Williamsburg without taking with her a remembrance of my friendship for you.

I have been detained here by Congress to assist in making the necessary arrangements for next campaign, and am happy to find so favorable a disposition in that body to prepare vigorously for it. They have resolved to keep up the same number of regiments as constituted the army of last year, and have called upon the States in a pressing manner to complete them. Requisitions of money are also made; but how far the abilities and inclinations of the States individually will coincide with the demands is more than I am able, at this early period, to inform you. A further pecuniary aid from your generous nation, and a decisive naval force upon this coast in the latter end of May or beginning of June, unlimited in its stay and operations, would, unless the resources of Great Britain are inexhaustible, or she can form powerful alliances, bid fair to finish the war in the course of next campaign, (if she mean to prosecute it,) with the ruin of that people.

The first, that is, an aid of money, would enable our financier to support the expenses of the war with ease and credit, without anticipating a change in those funds which Congress are endeavoring to establish, and which will be productive in the operation.


The second, a naval superiority, would compel the enemy to draw their whole force to a point, which would not only be a disgrace to their arms by the relinquishment of posts, and the States which they affect to have conquered, but might eventually be fatal to their army, or, by attempting to hold these, be cut off in detail. So that in either case the most important good consequences would result from the measure.

As you will have received in a more direct channel than from me the news of the surprise and recapture of St. Eustatia by the arms of France, I shall only congratulate you on the event, and add that it marks, in a striking point of view, the genius of the Marquis de Bouillé for enterprise, and for intrepidity and resources in difficult circumstances. His conduct upon this occasion does him infinite honor.

Amid the numerous friends who would rejoice to see you at this place, none (while I stay here) could give you a more sincere and cordial welcome than I should. Shall I entreat you to present me to the circle of your friends in the army around you, with all that warmth and attachment I am sensible of, and to believe that with sentiments of the purest friendship and regard I have the honor to be, etc.,

G. Washington.


Headquarters, Newburg,
Aug. 10, 1782.

My Dear Chevalier: I love and thank you for the sentiments contained in your letter of the 5th. I look forward with pleasure to the epoch which will place us as conveniently in one camp as we are congenial in our sentiments. I shall embrace you when it happens with the warmth of perfect friendship.

My time, during my winter residence in Philadelphia, was unusually (for me) divided between parties of pleasure and parties of business. The first, nearly of a sameness at all times and places in this infant country, is easily conceived; at least, is too unimportant for description. The second was only diversified by perplexities, and could afford no entertainment. Convinced of these things myself, and knowing that your intelligence with respect to foreign affairs was better and more interesting than mine, I had no subject to address you upon; thus, then, do I account for my silence.

My time since I joined the army in this quarter has been occupied principally in providing for, disciplining, and preparing, under many embarrassments, the troops for the field. Cramped as we have been and still are for the want of money, everything moves slowly, but, as this is no new case, I am not discouraged by it.

The enemy talk loudly and very confidently of peace; but whether they are in earnest, or whether it is to amuse and while away the time till they can prepare for a more vigorous prosecution of the war, time will evince. Certain it is, the refugees at New York are violently convulsed by a letter which ere this you will have seen published, from Sir Guy Carleton and Admiral Digby to me, upon the subject of a general pacification and acknowledgment of the independency of this country.

Adieu, my dear Chevalier. A sincere esteem and regard bids me assure you that, with sentiments of pure affection, etc.,

G. Washington.



Newburg, Dec. 14, 1782.

My Dear Chevalier: I felt too much to express anything the day I parted with you. A sense of your public services to this country and gratitude for your private friendship quite overcame me at the moment of our separation. But I should be wanting to the feelings of my heart, and do violence to my inclination, were I to suffer you to leave this country without the warmest assurances of an affectionate regard for your person and character.

Our good friend, the Marquis de Lafayette, prepared me (long before I had the honor to see you) for those impressions of esteem which opportunities and your own benevolent mind have since improved into a deep and lasting friendship—a friendship which neither time, nor distance can ever eradicate.

I can truly say that never in my life did I part with a man to whom my soul clave more sincerely than it did to you. My warmest wishes will attend you in your voyage across the Atlantic, to the rewards of a generous prince—the arms of affectionate friends—and be assured that it will be one of my highest gratifications to keep a regular intercourse with you by letter.

I regret exceedingly that circumstances should withdraw you from this country before the final accomplishment of that independence and peace which the arms of our good ally has assisted in placing before us in such an agreeable point of view. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to accompany you after the war in a tour through the great continent of North America, in search of the natural curiosities with which it abounds, and to view at the same time the foundation of a rising empire. I have the honor, etc.,

G. Washington.

P.S.—Permit me to trouble you with the inclosed letter to the Marquis de Lafayette.


Headquarters, Newburg,
May 10, 1783.

My Dear Chevalier: The affectionate expressions in your farewell letter of the 8th of June from Annapolis gave a new spring to the pleasing remembrance of our past intimacy, and your letter of the 4th of March from Paris has convinced me that time nor distance can eradicate the seeds of friendship when they have taken root in a good soil and are nurtured by philanthropy and benevolence. That I value your esteem, and wish to retain a place in your affections, are truths of which I hope you are convinced, as I wish you to be of my sincerity when I assure you that it is among the first wishes of my heart to pay the tribute of respect to your nation, to which I am prompted by motives of public consideration and private friendships; but how far it may be in my power to yield a prompt obedience to my inclination is more than I can decide upon at present.

You have, my dear Chevalier, placed before my eyes the exposed situation of my seat on the Potomack, and warned me of the danger which is to be apprehended from a surprise; but as I have an entire confidence in it, and an affection for your countrymen, I shall bid defiance to the enterprise, under a full persuasion that, if success should attend it and I cannot make terms for my releasement, I shall be generously treated by my captors, and there is such a thing as a pleasing captivity.

At present both armies remain in the situation you left them, except that all acts of hostilities have ceased in this quarter and things have put on a more tranquil appearance than heretofore. {150} We look forward with anxious expectation for the definitive treaty to remove the doubts and difficulties which prevail at present, and our country of our newly acquired friends in New York, and other places within these States, of whose company we are heartily tired. Sir Guy, with whom I have had a meeting at Dobb's Ferry for the purpose of ascertaining the epoch of this event, could give me no definitive answer, but general assurances that he was taking every preparatory measure for it; one of which was, that, a few days previous to the interview, he had shipped off for Nova Scotia upward of 6000 refugees or loyalists, who, apprehending they would not be received as citizens of these United States, he thought it his duty to remove previous to the evacuation of the city by the king's troops.

The Indians have recommenced hostilities on the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia, killing and scalping whole families who had just returned to the habitations, from which they had fled, in expectation of enjoying them in peace. These people will be troublesome neighbors to us, unless they can be removed to a much greater distance, and this is only to be done by purchase or conquest. Which of the two will be adopted by Congress, I know not. The first, I believe, would be cheapest and perhaps most consistent with justice. The latter most effectual.

Mrs. Washington is very sensible of your kind remembrance of her, and presents her best respects to you, in which all the gentleman of my family who are with me cordially and sincerely join. Tilghman, I expect, has before this entered into the matrimonial state with a cousin of his whom you may have seen at Mr. Carroll's near Baltimore. My best wishes attend Baron Montesquieu, and such other gentlemen within your circle as I have the honor to be acquainted with. I can only repeat to you assurances of the most perfect friendship and attachment, etc.

G. Washington.


Princeton, October 12, 1783.

My Dear Chevalier: I have not had the honor of a letter from you since the 4th of March last, but I will ascribe my disappointment to any cause rather than to a decay of your friendship.

Having the appearances, and indeed the enjoyment of peace, without the final declaration of it, I, who am only waiting for the ceremonials, or till the British forces shall have taken their leave of New York, am held in an awkward and disagreeable situation; being anxiously desirous to quit the walks of public life, and, under my own vine and my own fig-tree, to seek those enjoyments and that relaxation which a mind that has been constantly upon the stretch for more than eight years stands so much in want of.

I have fixed this epoch to the arrival of the definitive treaty, or to the evacuation of my country by our newly acquired friends. In the mean while, at the request of Congress, I spend my time with them at this place; where they came in consequence of the riots at Philadelphia, of which, doubtless, you have been fully informed, for it is not a very recent transaction.

They have lately determined to fix the permanent residence of Congress near the falls of Delaware, but where they will hold their session till they can be properly established at that place is yet undecided.


I have lately made a tour through the Lakes George and Champlain as far as Crown Point; then, returning to Schenectady, I proceeded up the Mohawk river to Fort Schuyler, (formerly Fort Stanwix,) crossed over to the Wood creek, which empties into the Oneida Lake and affords the water communication with Ontario; I then traversed the country to the head of the eastern branch of the Susquehanna, and arrived at the Lake Otsego, and the portage between that lake and the Mohawk river at Canajoharie.

Prompted by these actual observations, I could not help taking a more contemplative and extensive view of the vast inland navigation of these United States from maps, and the information of others, and could not but be struck with the immense diffusion and importance of it, and with the goodness of that Providence which has dealt her favors to us with so profuse a hand. Would to God we may have wisdom enough to make a good use of them. I shall not rest contented till I have explored the western part of this country, and traversed these lines (or great part of them) which have given bounds to a new empire. But when it may, if it ever should, happen, I dare not say, as my first attention must be given to the deranged situation of my private concerns, which are not a little injured by almost nine years absence and total disregard of them.

With every wish for your health and happiness, and with the most sincere and affectionate regard, etc.,

G. Washington.


Mount Vernon, February 1, 1784.

My Dear Chevalier: I have had the honor to receive your favor of the 23d of August from L'Orient, and hope this letter will find you in the circle of your friends at Paris, well recovered from the fatigues of your long inspection on the frontiers of the kingdom.

I am, at length, become a private citizen on the banks of the Potomack, where, under my own vine and my own fig-tree, free from the bustle of a camp and the intrigues of a court, I shall view the busy world with calm indifference, and with that serenity of mind which the soldier in pursuit of glory and the statesman of a name have not leisure to enjoy. I am not only retired from all public employments, but am retiring within myself, and shall lead the private walks of life with heartfelt satisfaction. After seeing New York evacuated by the British forces on the 25th of November, and civil government established in the city, I repaired to Congress and surrendered all my powers, with my commission, into their hands on the 23d of December, and arrived at this cottage the day before Christmas, where I have been close locked in frost and snow ever since. Mrs. Washington thanks you for your kind remembrance of her, and prays you to accept her best wishes in return. With sentiments, etc.,

G. Washington.


Mount Vernon, June 2, 1784.

My Dear Sir: I had the honor to receive a short letter from you by Major l'Enfant. My official letters to the Counts d'Estaing and Rochambeau (which, I expect, will be submitted to the members of the Cincinnatis in France) will inform you of the proceedings of the General Meeting, held at Philadelphia, on the 3d ult., of the reasons which induced a departure from some of the original principles and rules of the society. {152} As these have been detailed, I will not repeat them, and as we have no occurrences out of the common course, except the establishment of ten new States in the western territory, and the appointment of Mr. Jefferson (whose talents and worth are well known to you) as one of the commissioners for forming commercial treaties in Europe, I will only repeat to you the assurances of my friendship, and express to you a wish that I could see you in the shade of those trees which my hands have planted, and which by their rapid growth at once indicate a knowledge of my declination and their willingness to spread their mantles over me before I go home to return no more. For this their gratitude I will nurture them while I stay.

Before I conclude, permit me to recommend Colonel Humphreys, who is appointed secretary to the commission, to your countenance and civilities whilst he remains in France. He possesses an excellent heart and a good understanding. With every, etc.,

G. Washington.


Mount Vernon, September 5, 1785.

My Dear Sir: I am your debtor for two letters, one of the 12th of December, the other of the 8th of April. Since the receipt of the first I have paid my respects to you in a line or two by a Major Swan, but, as it was introductory only of him, it requires an apology rather than entitles me to a credit in our epistolary correspondence.

If I had as good a knack, my dear Marquis, [Footnote 23] as you have at saying handsome things, I would endeavor to pay you in kind for the many flattering expressions of your letters, having an ample field to work in; but as I am a clumsy laborer in the manufactory of compliments, I must first profess my unworthiness of those which you have bestowed on me, and then, conscious of my inability of meeting you upon that ground, confess that it is better for me not to enter the list, than to retreat from it in disgrace.

[Footnote 23: By the death of his brother, Philippe Louis of Chastellux, on the 26th January, 1784, the Chevalier had taken this title. ED. C. W.]

It gives me great pleasure to find by my last letters from France that the dark clouds which overspread your hemisphere are yielding to the sunshine of peace. My first wish is to see the blessings of it diffused through all countries, and among all ranks in every country, and that we should consider ourselves as the children of a common Parent, and be disposed to acts of brotherly kindness toward one another. In that case restrictions of trade would vanish: we should take your wines, your fruits, and surplusage of such articles as our necessities or convenience might require and in return give you our fish, our oil, our tobacco, our naval stores, etc.; and in like manner should exchange produce with other countries, to the reciprocal advantage of each. And as the globe is large, why need we wrangle for a small spot of it? If one country cannot contain us, another should open its arms to us. But these halcyon days (if they ever did exist) are now no more. A wise Providence, I presume, has decreed it otherwise, and we shall be obliged to go on in the old way, disputing and now and then fighting, until the great globe itself dissolves.

I rarely go from home, but my friends in and out of Congress sometimes inform me of what is on the carpet. To hand it to you afterward would be circuitous and idle, as I am persuaded you have correspondents at New York, who give them to you at first hand, and can relate them with more clearness and precision. {153} I give the chief of my time to rural amusements; but I have lately been active in instituting a plan which, if success attends it, and of which I have no doubt, may be productive of great political as well as commercial advantages to the States on the Atlantic, especially the Middle ones. It is the improving and extending the land navigations of the rivers Potomack and James, and communicating them with the western waters by the shortest and easiest portages and good roads. Acts have passed the assemblies of Virginia and Maryland authorizing private adventurers to undertake the work. Companies, in consequence, are incorporated, and that on this river is begun. But when we come to the difficult parts of it, we shall require an engineer of skill and practical knowledge in this branch of business, and from that country where these kinds of improvements have been conducted with the greatest success. With very, etc.,

G. Washington.


Mount Vernon, August 18, 1786.

My Dear Marquis: I cannot omit to seize the earliest occasion to acknowledge the receipt of the very affectionate letter you did me the honor of writing to me on the 22d of May, as well as to thank you for the present of your Travels in America, and the translation of Colonel Humphreys's poem, all which came safely to hand by the same conveyance.

Knowing as I did the candor, liberality, and philanthropy of the Marquis de Chastellux, I was prepared to disbelieve any imputations that might militate against those amiable qualities, for characters and habits are not easily taken up or suddenly laid aside. Nor does that mild species of philosophy which aims at promoting human happiness ever belie itself by deviating from the generous and godlike pursuit. Having, notwithstanding, understood that some misrepresentations of the work in question had been circulated, I was happy to learn that you had taken the most effectual method to put a stop to their circulation by publishing a more ample and correct edition. Colonel Humphreys (who spent some weeks at Mount Vernon) confirmed me in the sentiment by giving a most flattering account of the whole performance. He has also put into my hands the translation of that part in which you say such and so many handsome things, that (although no sceptic on ordinary occasions) I may, perhaps, be allowed to doubt whether your friendship and partiality have not, in this one instance, acquired an ascendency over your cooler judgment.

Having been thus unwarily, and I may be permitted to add, almost unavoidably betrayed into a kind of necessity to speak of myself, and not wishing to resume that subject, I choose to close it for ever by observing, that as, on the one hand, I consider it an indubitable mark of meanspiritedness and pitiful vanity to court applause from the pen or tongue of man, so on the other, I believe it to be a proof of false modesty or an unworthy affectation of humility to appear altogether insensible to the commendations of the virtuous and enlightened part of our species. Perhaps nothing can excite more perfect harmony in the soul than to have this string vibrate in unison with the internal consciousness of rectitude in our intentions and an humble hope of approbation from the supreme Disposer of all things.


I have communicated to Colonel Humphreys that paragraph in your letter which announces the very favorable reception his poem has met with in France. Upon the principles indifferent to the applause of so enlightened a nation, nor to the suffrage of the king and queen, who have pleased to honor it with their royal approbation.

We have no news this side the Atlantic worth the pains of sending across it. The country is recovering rapidly from the ravages of war. The seeds of population are scattered far in the wilderness; agriculture is prosecuted with industry. The works of peace, such as opening rivers, building bridges, are carried on with spirit. Trade is not so successful as we could wish. Our State governments are well administered. Some objects in our federal system might probably be altered for better. I rely much on the good sense of my countrymen, and trust that a superintending Providence will disappoint the hopes of our enemies. With sentiments, etc.,

G. Washington.


Mount Vernon, April 25, 1788.

My Dear Marquis: In reading your very friendly and acceptable letter of the 21st of December, 1787, which came to hand by the last mail, I was, as you may well suppose, not less delighted than surprised to come across that plain American word, my wife! A wife! Well, my dear Marquis, I can hardly refrain from smiling to find you are caught at last. I saw, by the eulogium you often made on the happiness of domestic life in America, that you had swallowed the bait, and that you would as surely be taken (one day or another) as you were a philosopher and a soldier. So your day has at length come. I am glad of it with all my heart and soul. It is quite good enough for you. Now you are well served for coming to fight in favor of the American rebels, all the way across the Atlantic ocean, by catching that terrible contagion, domestic felicity, which, like the small-pox or the plague, a man can have only once in his life, because it commonly lasts him (at least with us in America—I don't know how you manage these matters in France) for his whole lifetime. And yet, after all the maledictions you so richly merit on the subject, the worst wish which I can find it in my heart to make against Madame de Chastellux and yourself is, that you may neither of you ever get the better of this same domestic felicity during the entire course of your mortal existence.

If so wonderful an event should have occasioned me, my dear Marquis, to have written in a strange style, you will understand me as clearly as if I had said, (the simple truth in plain English,) Do me the justice to believe that I take a heart-felt interest in whatsoever concerns your happiness. And in this view I sincerely congratulate you on your auspicious matrimonial connection. I am happy to find that Madame de Chastellux is so intimately connected with the Duchess of Orleans, as I have always understood this noble lady was an illustrious pattern of connubial love, as well as an excellent model of virtue in general.

While you have been making love under the banner of Hymen, the great personages of the North have been making war under the inspiration, or rather the infatuation, of Mars. {155} Now, for my part, I humbly conceive you have had much the best and wisest of the bargain. For certainly it is more consonant to all the principles of reason and religion (natural and revealed) to replenish the earth with inhabitants, rather than to depopulate it by killing those already in existence. Besides, it is time for the age of knight-errantry and mad heroism to be at an end. Your young military men, who want to reap the harvest of laurels, don't care (I suppose) how many seeds of war are sown. But for the sake of humanity it is devoutly to be wished that the manly employment of agriculture, and the humanizing benefits of commerce, would supersede the waste of war and the rage of conquest. That the swords might be turned into ploughshares, the spears into pruning-hooks, and, as the Scripture expresses it, the nations learn war no more.

I will now give you a little news from this side of the water, and then finish. As for us, we are plodding on in the dull road of peace and politics. We, who live at these ends of the earth, only hear of the rumors of war, like the roar of distant thunder. It is to be hoped our remote local situation will prevent us from being swept into its vortex.

The constitution which was proposed by the federal convention has been adopted by the States of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Georgia. No State has rejected it. The convention of Maryland is now sitting and will probably adopt it; as that of South Carolina is expected to do in May. The other conventions will assemble early in the summer. Hitherto there has been much greater unanimity in favor of the proposed government than could have been reasonably expected. Should it be adopted, (and I think it will be,) America will lift up her head again, and in a few years become respectable among the nations. It is a flattering and consoling reflection that our rising republic has the good wishes of all the philosophers, patriots, and virtuous men in all nations, and that they look upon it as a kind of asylum for mankind. God grant that we may not disappoint their honest expectations by our folly or perverseness! With sentiments, etc.,

G. Washington.

P.S.—If the Duke de Lauzun is still with you, I beg you will thank him, in my name, for his kind remembrance of me, and make my compliments to him.

May 1st.—Since writing the above, I have been favored with a duplicate of your letter in the handwriting of a lady, and cannot close this without acknowledging my obligations for the flattering postscript of the fair transcriber. In effect, my dear Marquis, the characters of this interpreter of your sentiments are so much fairer than those through which I have been accustomed to decipher them, that I already consider myself as no small gainer by your matrimonial connection. Especially as I hope your amiable amanuensis will not forget at the same time to add a few annotations of her own to your original text.

I have just received information that the convention of Maryland has ratified the proposed constitution by a majority of 63 to 11.


Aimée's Sacrifice.

A Tale.

Chapter I.

The sun was sinking in the horizon, and the sky was overspread with a glorious array of many-colored clouds—those hues which artists so vainly try to reproduce on canvas, and which it is still more impossible to describe in words. It was a soft, balmy summer evening, the 14th of August, and nature seemed as if ready to join with faithful hearts in keeping the coming feast and to give them a faint shadow of the glories of heaven. Very fair was the landscape which lay outspread before the spectator's eye from the churchyard of the little village of St. Victor, raised as it was on a slight eminence above the rest of the village. Beech-woods, softly undulating hills, fertile dales, cottages scattered here and there, and the sea shining like silver in the far distance, formed the delightful prospect; and the old curé, as he traversed the churchyard which alone separated the modest presbytery from the church, could never prevent himself from pausing to admire the wonderful beauty of the scene. On this evening particularly, he stood looking up into the gorgeous sky with the earnest, wistful gaze of one who would fain pierce through "each tissued fold" of that marvellous curtain of blue and gold.

The little church of St. Victor did not boast much architectural beauty, and the churchyard was filled with simple green mounds and wooden crosses, with here and there a few shrubs and wild flowers, showing that it was the resting-place for the poor and the lowly. The village itself was very small, but there were many outlying hamlets, so that on Sundays a goodly congregation filled the church. While the curé was still standing absorbed in thought, a side-door of the church gently opened, and a young girl, about eighteen, very simply-dressed, but with a grace in her appearance and movements which showed her to be above the peasant rank, came out. The face which she raised as she approached the curé was radiant with beauty and with innocence; the lines of care had not yet marked their furrows on the smooth brow or cheeks; but there was a shade, as if cast by coming sorrow, over the countenance, and on the long, dark eyelashes tears were still trembling.

"Well, my child," said the curé, "are your labors over?"

"Yes, father," she replied; "I have finished everything, and I do think Our Lady's altar looks beautiful. The ferns make such a good background and show all the flowers to advantage. Oh! I think it will look lovely at benediction to-morrow, and we will take such pains with the music! O father!" she continued, "if mamma could but come and see it and hear Mass! I did so hope she would be well enough. I have prayed so often for it." And her eyes filled with tears.

"Ah! Aimée," said the curé, "sometimes our prayers are very blind ones, and, like the apostles of old, we know not what we ask. I have just been to see your mother—"


"And how did you find her? what do you think of her, father?" said Aimée eagerly. "I do think she is a little better—just a trifle, you know!"

The priest made no answer for a moment, then he said: "Aimée, I do not think she is better, and she has asked me to speak to you. She would not have sorrow come on you too suddenly. My child, my poor child, your mother is going fast where she will no longer need an earthly altar, and where she may gather flowers in the gardens of eternal bliss. You have loved her well, my poor Aimée; will you not give her up to His keeping who hath loved her best of all?"

Aimée had clasped her hands tightly together, and the color had faded from her cheek. She raised her eyes to the sky above, still radiant with its glorious hues. Within those masses of golden clouds she fancied she could see the pathway which should lead to the paradise of God. She turned her eyes to earth again, and, bowing her head, she said, "Fiat voluntas tua. Father," she continued, "I have all but known this for weeks past. I have seen it in the doctor's face, in yours, but I strove to hide it from myself."

"I have hesitated to speak sooner," said the priest, "but this day a letter has come from your uncle in England for your mother, enclosed to me. I took it to her; and its contents are such that it made us feel the time has come when you must face the truth with her and listen to her counsels for the future."

Aimée closed her eyes in sudden anguish, while a sharp pain shot through her heart. "The future, father," she said—"the future without her?"

"Courage, dear child," answered he. "Life is not long. When we look back on the years, they seem but as a day. Even for the young, who knows what its length maybe?" And Aimée knew from the tone of his voice that he was thinking of the fair young sisters, of the merry brothers, one week laughing gayly in the old Chateau de Clareau and planning their future; the next, standing on the scaffold, already wet with the blood of their father and mother. This scene he had witnessed as a young man, escaping by miracle from a similar fate. And it is not to be wondered that from henceforth life had seemed to him but a troubled and rapidly passing dream.

"I must go to the church, now," said the curé, after a moment's pause. Aimée followed him, and, entering in, sank on her knees at the foot of Our Lady's altar, so recently decked by her own nimble fingers. The church was silent, and the last rays of the setting sun came through the west window, made lines of golden light upon the pavement, and cast a halo around the head of the young girl who knelt there absorbed in prayer. Never had Aimée prayed before as she prayed now. It is not till sorrow is fairly upon us, till we realize that our individual battle is begun, that the bitterness which only our own heart knows is really at our lips—that we pray with intensity. Aimée poured out her whole heart, and offered herself to do the will of God in all things. She asked that his will might be done in her and by her; she renounced the happiness of life, if it were necessary for its accomplishment.

In after years, Aimée looked back upon that prayer, and felt that her offering on the threshold of her life had indeed been accepted.

The sunset had faded; at last twilight had settled on the earth, when Aimée left the church and hastened home.


Chapter II.

Before we follow her footsteps, we must pause for a few instants to tell the past history of Aimée's mother. Marie Angelique de Brissac was, like the curé, the sole survivor of a numerous family, who all perished in the Revolution. She, then a mere child, escaped in the arms of her foster-mother, who conveyed her to England, and devoted her whole life to bringing up the little girl and procuring for her a good education. When Marie was about seventeen, she insisted on sharing her old nurse's burdens, and procured daily pupils. She taught the children of a surgeon in the small country town where the old French woman had taken up her abode. And it so happened that Captain George Morton, of her majesty's ——th cavalry, was thrown from his horse and broke his leg at the very door of Mr. Grant's house. His recovery was tedious, and he chafed exceedingly at the confinement, and became at last so irritable and peevish that poor Mrs. Grant, unable to please him, delegated the task to her young French governess. The result may be easily foreseen. George Morton loved Marie passionately, and was beloved in return. They were speedily married; and as George Morton knew it would be useless to ask his father's consent, he did without it, and then wrote to announce his marriage to the old man, and ask leave to bring his bride to the paternal mansion in Russell Square, London. The spoilt and favorite son of a rich merchant, indulged in every whim he could recollect, George was little prepared for the storm of anger that burst upon him for the step he had taken. Mr. Morton had lost his wife many years before, and devoted himself—heart and soul, body and mind—to the acquisition of wealth, in which pursuit he was warmly aided by his eldest son, Ralph. But the whole hearts of the two silent, cold, apparently sordid-minded men were set on George, the handsome, careless, liberal, merry younger son. George was to make a great match, to sit in parliament, and in time attain a peerage; and as, according to rumor, Lady Adelaide Oswald was only too willing to enable him to take the first step in the programme, the news of George's marriage to a penniless French governess was more than the concentrated pride of the two natures could bear. George was forbidden ever to communicate with his family again, and his handsome allowance was cut off. George laughed heartily, told his wife the cloud would soon pass, thanked Heaven he was not in debt, and declared it would be an agreeable novelty to have to live on his pay and the interest of the few thousands he had inherited from his mother. In less than two years after his marriage he was again thrown from his horse, and met this time with such mortal injuries that he never spoke again, and expired in a few hours. His fellow-officers did all they could for the young, broken-hearted widow and his infant daughter. The commanding officer wrote to Mr. Morton to implore help, but the appeal was in vain. It was then thought better to purchase a small annuity for Mrs. Morton with the little funds George had died possessed of; and as she had heard that one of the early friends of her family had been appointed curé to the little village of St. Victor, she determined upon going there, at least for a time. There her old nurse, who followed her everywhere, died, and there she continued to live and educate her child. Time had softened her great sorrows, and her existence had been for many years a happy and tranquil one. {159} Her child grew up in beauty and grace, and possessing every disposition of heart and mind a mother could desire. If she had a fear, it was that her nature was too gentle, too pliant, too ready to forget herself for others, to enable her to battle alone with a hard and cruel world. Aimée Morton was one of those beings whom nature seems to intend should be always safely sheltered from the struggles of life. They should lean on some nature stronger than their own, like the tendrils which wind themselves round a tree. But when Mrs. Morton spoke of this fear of hers to the curé, he only smiled, and bade her remember that it is the meek who inherit the earth. When, however, Mrs. Morton perceived that consumption was making rapid strides in her constitution, a pang of mortal agony shot through her when she thought of what was to be Aimée's fate, left alone in a pitiless world. The curé was an old man, and she could not, therefore, hope that he could long watch over and protect her darling child. Besides, Mrs. Morton's annuity ceased with her life, and there were no means at St. Victor for Aimée to earn her bread. She was well educated; her mother had taken great pains in teaching her, and the curé had made it his delight to increase her stock of knowledge. George Morton's father had long since been dead, and Ralph had succeeded to the full enjoyment of the old man's wealth. No sign of relenting had come from that death-bed to the unoffending widow and orphan of his once loved son. And now, emboldened by the approach of death, which so levels the distinction of earth in the eyes of those just hovering on eternity, Mrs. Morton wrote to Ralph, telling him she was on the brink of the grave, and imploring his help for the child she would leave behind her. She enclosed her letter in one from the curé and doctor confirming her statement.

And after many days' suspense the answer had come.

Aimée and her mother lived in a little cottage close by the presbytery. It had originally been but a peasant's cottage, and it did, in fact, contain but four small rooms; but Mrs. Morton had gradually transformed it into a most graceful little home. Creepers twined round the white walls, and roses peeped in at the window. A pretty garden surrounded the house; while inside, the furniture, though simple, was gracefully arranged; flowers, books, and pictures adorned the little sitting-room, and an air of refinement pervaded the dwelling. In that sitting-room, reclining in an easy-chair, propped up with pillows, lay Mrs. Morton. A stranger would have been astonished to find that Aimée could possibly have been in ignorance as to her mother's state; but the change had come so gradually that it was not to be wondered at that the poor child had fondly hoped on even to the last. But to other eyes the emaciated form, the sunken eyes, the hectic glow, the short, dry cough, told their own tale. Aimée hastened to her mother, and was clasped in her arms in a long, close embrace.

"You know all, my darling?" said she.

"Yes, sweet mother, the curé has spoken." And Aimée resolutely steadied her voice and drove back the rising tears. "Be at peace about me, mother dear. God has given you to me for a long time: I must not grudge you to him, if he wants you now."


"My own child!" said Mrs. Morton. And she fondly kissed the bright, soft brown hair of the head lying on her shoulder. "God guard thee ever, and he will guard thee. He is the Father of the orphan. Aimée, I will trust him about you."

"And may be it won't be very long, you know, mother," said Aimée. "You are going home before me: you will be waiting for me on the other side."

A long, silent kiss was Mrs. Morton's answer.

"And this letter, mother—may I see it?"

"Yes, dearest, here it is." And a letter in a thick, blue envelope, with a large, red, official-looking seal, was put into her hands. Its contents were brief, and might have been supposed rather to refer to an assignment of goods than the future fate of an orphan niece.

Mr. Ralph Morton stated that, in the event of Mrs. George Morton's death, he was willing to adopt her daughter Aimée, to provide for her during his life, and to leave her a sufficiency at his death, provided her conduct was such as he should approve of; that before her arrival in England he should require copies of his brother's marriage certificate and the child's baptismal register; that he should be willing to pay all expenses of her journey to England so soon as he should receive intimation of her readiness for departure; but that he wished it to be distinctly understood that he would have nothing to do with his niece during Mrs. Morton's lifetime, nor would he pay any debts contracted by that lady, or hold any further communication with her. The blood rushed to Aimée's cheek and brow as she read the last sentences. "Even on the threshold of the grave, could not that last insult have been spared?" thought she. She gave a glance at her mother's peaceful face, and realized that it is precisely on that threshold that insult loses its sting. Mr. Morton's taunt had no power to move the heart so soon to be done with earth.

From this day the mother and daughter often spoke together of the time when they should be separated, and Aimée received many a wise counsel from her mother's lips, to be treasured up for days to come. Mrs. Morton told her all she knew of the character of the uncle who would soon be her only relative. Very early in life he had been disappointed in his affections and treated with great treachery. From that hour he grew hard, morose, and unfeeling, and threw himself with all the strength of his iron nature into the acquisition of wealth. Still, however, his strong affection for his brother George had survived the wreck of his better nature, and George had always firmly believed that Ralph's anger would in the event of his death be ended, and that he would extend protection to his wife and child.

"And therefore, my child," said Mrs. Morton, "I felt compelled to write once more to your uncle, believing that in doing so I was fulfilling what would have been my husband's will; and it will comfort you to feel, when you are with him, that you are doing what your father would have wished." Mr. Morton was, Mrs. Morton believed, a man totally without religion. She counselled Aimée to bear the trials of her lot patiently, to do all she could to conciliate her uncle, and to draw him to a better life; but, if she found her life in his house was more than her strength could bear, or if any principle were in danger, she was to try and seek employment as a governess. The curé was going to furnish her with a letter of introduction to a French priest in London, who would in that case advise her how to act.


And so the days went on. September, which happened to be that year a warm, radiant summer month, flew by without any perceptible change in the invalid; but early in October came cold north winds, rain, and mists. Mrs. Morton was taken suddenly worse, and the last sacraments were administered. After receiving them, she rallied and was able to be lifted from her bed to a sofa placed near the window. Aimée hardly left her for an instant; she grudged that any one else but herself should render any service to the being so soon to leave her. One night Mrs. Morton awoke from an uneasy sleep; the day was beginning to break, and, as the feeling of suffocation which she often experienced in bed came on, Aimée assisted her to the sofa, and then kneeling by her side, they both watched the sun arise in his glory, just purpling the day above, then making the heavens glorious with his presence. Mrs. Morton opened her eyes and took one long gaze on the earth which looked so fair, and on the beautiful sky. Then she turned to her daughter, and she laid her head on that loving breast.

"I am going from you, my Aimée," she said; "but remember always, I am not gone to a Stranger."

Aimée pressed her lips softly, and Mrs. Morton seemed to sleep. In that attitude the old servant Marthe found them when she entered the room an hour later. And then only did Aimée wake to the consciousness that her mother had slept into death, and that she had heard her last words. Those words rang in Aimée's ears as she performed the last sacred offices to the dead. Solemnly she fulfilled her task; there were no tears in the large, soft eyes or on the pale cheek; she compassed those dear limbs in their shroud; she crossed the wasted hands upon the breast, and laid the crucifix, so loved in life, between the fingers; then, when the curé entered the room, she turned to him and said: "Father, she is not gone to a Stranger." [Footnote 24]

[Footnote 24: These words were used by an Irish girl on her mother's death.]

"No," he answered; "to her Friend and Brother, and who is also yours and mine, my child. Leave, then, this poor, earthly tabernacle, Aimée, for a while, and come and meet her at his feet." And Aimée went with him to Mass.

Chapter III.

It was all over: the wasted form of Marie Angelique de Brissac Morton was laid in the quiet grave, where the rays of the rising sun would play upon the grass; where the shadow of the sanctuary wall would shelter it; where wild roses and sweet-brier would scent the air; where the curé would come daily to say a De Profundis; and which the faithful villagers, who had loved the sleeper well, would always reverently tend. There Aimée left her there she shed her last tears in the early morning before she began her journey; there she knelt at the curé's feet for his last blessing, and the old man's voice faltered as he pronounced the words. Mrs. Morton's death and Aimée's departure had robbed his life of the little sunshine that it had possessed; but he murmured not, and rather rejoiced that tie after tie was cut which should bind him to the love of earth. With far more calmness than could have been expected, Aimée bade farewell to the only home and friends she had ever known, and set out to meet her new and untried future. {162} She had never been further than to the country town nearest her village, and the journey astonished and bewildered her. More than one compassionate and admiring glance was cast on the slight, lovely girl, attired in such deep mourning, and whose eyes were so dim with unshed tears. A trusty farmer of St. Victor, saw her to the sea-coast, and put her into the charge of the captain of the vessel in which she was to reach England. He in his turn consigned her to the guard of the train. At length, Aimée found herself standing in the great wilderness of a London railway station, with people jostling, pushing, vociferating, swearing around her, each intent on his own business, and all unmindful of others. A footman at last came up to ask her name, and, finding she was Miss Morton, told her he was sent for her. He showed her to a fly, which was waiting, and having found her luggage, she was soon rolling through the streets. At those long, dreary, interminable streets Aimée looked with a kind of awe and oppression. She was thankful when the carriage stopped at the door of one of the large, gloomy-looking mansions to be found in Russell Square. Another footman opened the door, and she entered. No voice welcomed her, no hand was stretched out to meet hers, no smile greeted her. A housemaid appeared to lead her up-stairs. She found herself in possession of a large room, furnished in the heavy style in fashion forty years ago. A luxurious four-post mahogany bedstead half-filled the apartment, hung with dark-brown damask; the window-curtains were of the same hue. There was a massive wardrobe, chairs which could hardly be moved, and an empty fireplace. Aimée shuddered, but not with cold; and, when the door closed behind the servant, she threw herself into a chair and wept bitterly. Presently she rose, weeping still, but it was to cast herself on her knees and press her crucifix to her lips. She soon grew calm; the sense of loneliness passed away. She had a Friend who never left her, in whose company the dreariest room was bright; and Aimée rose comforted and at peace. She went to the window and looked out. Below her was a small paved court, and beyond the house a vista of other houses and lanes; not a speck of green or a flower met her eye; but she looked higher still, and she saw the sky, very cloudy at that moment certainly; "but then," thought she, "it will be often blue, and I can always look at it." And so she tried to enliven the prospect. A knock at the door interrupted her musings, and there entered a cheerful, elderly woman, who courtesied respectfully, and announced she was Mrs. Connell, the housekeeper. As her eyes travelled over Aimée's sad, wan face and deep black, an expression of compassion and interest came into her countenance. "Do you want anything, miss?" she asked. "Sure, it was only this morning that Mr. Morton told me you were coming, and so things are hardly straight for you. Will you take some tea, ma'am? Dinner won't be served for an hour."

"Is my uncle at home?"

"No, miss, and will not be for half an hour; then he goes to dress, and then dinner is served. Why, Miss Morton," said the good woman, brightening as she saw Aimée's crucifix on the table, "you're a Catholic! To be sure, I never thought of that, though I knew Mr. George had married a French lady."

"Are you one, Mrs. Connell?" said Aimée, with a smile.


"To be sure, miss. I am an Irish woman, as perhaps you may know." But as Aimée had never heard English save from her mother and the curé, Mrs. Connell's accent was quite lost upon her. She felt, however, she had found a friend; and she gladly accepted Mrs. Connell's help in unpacking and getting ready for the formidable interview with her uncle. They met in the drawing-room a few moments before dinner. Mr. Morton put out two of his fingers with an icy, "How are you?" after which he relapsed into silence. When dinner was announced, he gave her his arm, and they went into the dining-room. Two footmen and a butler waited. The plate was magnificent, the dinner very fine; but not one word was addressed to the poor, lonely girl, too terrified to eat. Once or twice she made a desperate effort to break the ice of her own accord, but she found evidently that this was disliked, and she gave it up. And so day succeeded day, and there was no alteration in her uncle's behavior. He might have been deaf and dumb as far as intercourse with him was concerned. His orders about her—few, brief, and decisive—were given to Mrs. Council. She was to furnish herself with clothes from certain shops which he named, and whose bills were to be sent to him. As soon as possible, she was to leave off her heavy mourning. She was never to go out alone; and as for exercise, the Square Gardens would suffice. And having delivered himself of these sentiments, Mr. Morton apparently considered his duty to his orphan niece was done. He provided her with neither employment nor amusement; he gave her no pocket money; and she had nothing but a small sum which remained to her when all the expenses at St. Victor were paid. The young girl, brought up, as she had been, in the open country, accustomed to sea and mountain air, to work in her garden, and take long, rambling walks to the hamlets round the village, felt like a caged bird pacing up and down the gravel paths of Russell Square, and watching the London blacks settle on the leafless trees. She enjoyed one comfort, that of the daily walk to Mass with Mrs. Connell; and be the weather what it might, the two figures of the old woman and young girl might be seen flitting through the dusk to the nearest Catholic church. Still it was almost impossible to avoid losing both health and spirits in such an atmosphere. She was very courageous, and she struggled resolutely against depression and ennui, a word of which she for the first time began to understand the meaning. She wrote long letters to the curé, and his answers, containing every scrap of village news, were eagerly devoured, as well as some beautiful thoughts on higher themes which he never failed to give her. She pulled down the long disused books in her uncle's library, and, guided by a list the curé had given her—for in the days of exile he had attained a good knowledge of English literature—she read a good deal. She practised on the old, long-disused piano in the drawing-room, much to Mrs. Connell's delight. She tried to teach herself Italian; and, as visiting the poor was strictly forbidden by her uncle, she spent some of her own money in buying materials, and made clothes for them. Then, in the Square Gardens, she made friends with the children who with their nurse-maids overspread the place. She soon became their friend, favorite, and slave, was alternately a horse for Master Walter and a lady in waiting for Miss Beatrice, or a perpetual fountain of story-telling to the whole tribe. Society she saw literally none; one guest only ever sat at Mr. Morton's table, and his appearance Aimée soon learnt to dread rather than desire. {164} Mr. Hulme was Mr. Morton's partner, a little wiry man with sharp ferret eyes, and his harsh cynical conversation was far worse to Aimée than her uncle's silence. He took little notice of her; but it was deeply painful to the poor girl to have all that she held most sacred treated as a fit subject for scorn and ridicule, to hear honor and faith and nobility and truth scoffed at as impossibilities. Many natures might have been warped by hearing such sentiments; but Aimée's childlike faith and innocence were a secure shield, and not one of Mr. Hulme's coarse remarks ever clung to her memory.

Chapter IV.

Every now and again Aimée understood that she, though not directly named, formed the subject of conversation between the two partners. She was in some way connected with the return of "Robert," though who Robert was, or where he was coming from, she had not the slightest conception, and she felt too weary at heart to indulge much curiosity. Christmas came, and poor Aimée's heart was sore indeed. At such a period the happiest family has some sad memories—there are some vacant places at the board, some voices whose tone we listen for in vain; but with Aimée what a change since last year! She could not but think of the midnight Mass, the gathering of the villagers, the sky radiant with stars, her mother's kiss, the curé's blessing; how, later in the day, she had waited on the poor and gladdened many a heart, and how she had trimmed the church's arches with holly, and how she had dressed the crèche. Now there were no such delights for her; still she drove back her tears. She thought of her mother's Christmas in heaven, really singing the angelic song. And in the dingy London chapel a few holly-berries were glistening, and upon the altar was the same Lord, the same Friend and Comforter; and Aimée, as she walked home through the streets, when a fog was beginning to turn to rain, and when every object looked a dirty brown color, felt in her heart that she possessed the greatest blessing the festival could bring—peace of heart.

She dreaded the dinner because she feared Mr. Hulme would be present; but on entering the drawing-room she found, to her surprise, a gentleman whom she had never seen before. He was lying back in one of the easy-chairs, a newspaper in his hand, as if quite at home. On her entrance he sprang to his feet, and Aimée saw he was a young man about five-and-twenty, with a fair, open countenance beaming with good humor and cheerfulness.

"Miss Morton, I presume. Allow me to introduce myself, as there is no one at hand to perform the ceremony. I am Robert Claydon, at your service, nephew to the redoubtable Mr. Hulme. I am not vain enough to suppose he has talked of me in my absence."

"I have heard him speak of some one called Robert," said Aimée, smiling.

"I have been in Holland these three months," he replied, "on business of the firm, and only returned last night."

The entrance of Mr. Morton and Mr. Hulme put a stop to the conversation; but Aimée soon found that dinner was a very different matter in presence of the new guest.


Mr. Hulme was in the highest good humor, Mr. Morton less icy than usual, while Robert's flow of spirits seemed inexhaustible. All the little incidents of an ordinary journey from Hamburg to London were told in such a manner as to make them amusing; and when Aimée went to bed that night, she felt as if a ray of sunshine had suddenly lightened her life. Sunshine, indeed, was the word that could best express the effect produced by Robert Claydon's presence. There was sunshine in his laughing blue eyes, in his merry smile, in his joyous voice. Having learned the secret of personal happiness, his one desire was to make others happy, and morose indeed were the natures he did not gladden; and Aimée soon found that he was not only bright and genial, but noble in character and heart.

Mr. Hulme had long intended to make Robert his heir, and since the arrival of Aimée, the partners had formed the scheme of marrying her to Robert, and thus keeping the property of the firm intact. Her wishes in the matter the old men little thought of, nor were Robert's much considered, except that they each knew too well Robert would not be dictated to in so important a matter as the choice of a wife.

It was, however, not long after his return to England that the "firm" intimated the purport of their august will to Robert.

"The course of true love never did run smooth," was his smiling answer. "This little Aimée is, I believe, the very ideal I have imagined to myself for a wife, and by all laws of romance, you, our respected uncles, ought to forbid the match, or cut us off with a shilling, instead of actually urging us on; but now, remember," added he, "a fair field, or I am off the bargain. No using of commands to the poor little maiden. I will win her on my own merits and after my own fashion, or not at all." And so the weeks passed on, and Robert began seriously to doubt whether he had really made progress. Aimée was always pleased to see him; she had lost all shyness and embarrassment in his presence. There is no self-possession so perfect as that given by simplicity, and Aimée, who rarely thought about herself, was always at her ease. She trusted Robert implicitly, and had learned to tell him about her home, her former pursuits, and even of her darling mother. She never tried to analyze her feelings; she only knew that her whole life was changed since that Christmas-day by the constant intercourse with this new friend; and Robert, whose whole heart was given to her, feared that she only regarded him with sisterly affection, and he feared to speak the words which might, instead of crowning his hopes, banish him from her side.

One evening in the early spring, Aimée was sitting at the piano trying some new music Robert had given her. Robert was not far off, and Mr. Hulme and Mr. Morton were lingering, according to their custom, in the dining-room. A servant entered with letters.

"Are there any for me?" said Aimée, turning round eagerly. "The French letters often come by this post, and it is so long since I heard from St. Victor."

"Yes," said Robert, bringing the letter to her, "here it is, post-mark, foreign stamp, and all."

"But not his handwriting?" said Aimée in a surprised tone, and she tore the letter open. A sudden paleness overspread her face, and the letter fell from her hands, and she looked up into Robert's face with an expression of mute agony.


"My poor child!" said Robert, in a tone so gentle, so full of sympathy, that Aimée broke down.

"He is gone!" she sobbed out; "my last, my only friend."

"Nay, not so," cried Robert; "I would give my life for you, my Aimée—my love—my love! O darling! can you care for me; can you give me your heart for mine?"

She gave one look only from her innocent eyes, still full of tears, but that one glance sufficed; it removed all doubt from Robert's mind. He felt that he was indeed beloved with a woman's first and ardent attachment; and gathering her into his arms, he bade her weep out her sorrows on his breast, henceforth to be her refuge. Henceforth their joys and their sorrows were to be in common. After a time they read the letter together. It was from the doctor of St. Victor, and told how the old curé had died suddenly while kneeling before the altar in silent prayer—a frequent custom of his throughout the day. He had fallen sideways, his head resting on the altar-step, a smile of childlike sweetness on his lips, his rosary twined about his hands, his breviary by his side—a soldier with his armor on, he had been called by his Master to join the church triumphant. For such a loss there could be no bitterness, and Aimée's sorrow was calm and gentle. And round her life now there hung a halo such as had never brightened it before. She had been happy with her mother, and in her village, with the springtide joy of childhood and early youth; but now the rich, full summer of her life was come. True it was, no voice, save poor Mrs. Connell's, wished her joy. She had no mother or sister or even friend to tell out the many new thoughts that her position brought to her mind; but, to make up for this, she found she had won a heart such as rarely falls to the lot of mortal.

To the lonely girl Robert was literally all—mother, and brother, and lover in one. Her happiness, not his own gratification, was the pervading thought of his life. She was not only loved, but watched over tenderly and cared for with exceeding thoughtfulness. There was, of course, nothing to wait for; and as soon as the settlements were drawn up, Easter would have come, and then the marriage would take place. Knowing Aimée's love for the country, Robert took a cottage in one of the pretty villages that surround London, and there, as he planned, they could garden together in the summer evenings and sometimes take a row upon the Thames.

Meanwhile, Robert took Aimée away as much as possible from the gloomy atmosphere of Russell Square. They went together to the Parks and to Kensington Gardens, where the trees were fast beginning to put on their first, fresh green; and they went together to the different Catholic churches, for the beautiful services which abound in such variety during Lent; and during their walks to and fro Aimée learned more and more of the nobility of the mind that was hereafter to guide and govern her own. They were no ordinary lovers, these two; their affection was too pure, too deep, too real to need much outward demonstration, or many expressions of its warmth. They knew each possessed the other's heart, and that was enough. Their conversation often ran on grave subjects; and often, leaving the things of earth, they mounted to the thoughts of a higher and better life—and Aimée found, to her astonishment, that the young merchant, active in business, the laughing, merry Robert in society, was in reality leading in secret a life of strict Christian holiness, and that the secret of the perpetual sunshine of his nature proceeded from his having found out where alone the heart of man can find it. {167} Deep as was his love for her, Aimée knew it was second only to his love for his Creator; and at the call of duty he would not hesitate to sacrifice the dearest hopes of his life. Here, she felt, she could not follow him; her love for him very nearly approached idolatry. The thought was painful, and she banished it from her mind, and gave herself up to the full enjoyment of her first perfect dream of bliss.

It was a late Easter, and the feast came in a glorious burst of spring, Only a brief ten days now intervened between Aimée's marriage-day. Already the simple bridal attire was ready; "for," as Mrs. Connell observed, "there was nothing like being in time;" and the orange-flowers and the veil were already in the good housekeeper's charge, and she looked forward with no little pleasure to the novel sight of a wedding from her master's gloomy abode. Robert wished Aimée to see the house he had taken for their future home; and early in Easter week Mrs. Connell accompanied them thither, to give her sage advice as to the finishing touches of furniture and house-linen. It really was a little gem of a house, surrounded with fairy-like gardens, with tall trees shading it on one side, and the silver Thames shining in the foreground; and as Aimée stood, silent with delight, before the open French window of her drawing-room, Robert showed her a little steeple peeping through the trees, and told her the pretty new Catholic church was not five minutes' walk from their abode. "And this tiny room, dearest," said he, opening a miniature window adjoining the drawing-room, "I thought we would make into a little oratory, and hang up those pictures and crucifix which belonged to your dead mother."

Aimée's head fell on his shoulder. "Robert, I feel as if it were much too bright for earth. The curé always seemed to be trying to prepare me for a life of suffering, for a sad future, for a heavy cross. Long before mamma's death, he used to speak so much in the confessional of the love of suffering, of enduring life—and I always believed he had some strange insight into the future. But where is the suffering in my lot now, Robert, I ask myself sometimes, where is the cross?"

"It will come, my dear one," answered he with his bright smile; "never fear, God gives us sunshine sometimes, and we must be ready for the clouds when they come, but we need not be looking out for them. We may have some great trials together—who knows? But now come and look at the way I am going to lay out my garden." Aimée followed him without answering, but in her heart there swelled the thought that, with him, no trial could be really great.

On returning to town, Robert took leave of Aimée at the station and put her and Mrs. Connell into a car, and promised to return to Russell Square for dinner. As the car rolled through the streets, now bright and cheerful in the sunlight, Aimée thought of her first journey through them six months before, and how her life, then so sad, had so strangely brightened; and it was with a radiant face that she entered the gloomy portal of her uncle's house.

The footman stopped Mrs. Connell as she followed her young mistress. "My master has come home," he said, "and asked for you, and precious cross he was because you wasn't in; he seems ill like, for he sent for a cup of tea."


"Master at home! a cup of tea!" ejaculated Mrs. Connell in dismay, and she hastened to the study to find Mr. Morton shivering over the fire, and so testy and irritable it was difficult to know what to do for him. He was evidently ill, but would not hear of sending for a doctor. "Nonsense, he was never ill; he should dine as usual," he exclaimed sharply; but when dinner-time came, he was unable to partake of it, and his illness was so evidently gaining on him that he yielded to Robert's persuasion, and Dr. Bruce was summoned. The doctor ordered his patient to bed, looked serious, and promised to come again in the morning. By that time Mr. Morton was delirious, and it was with no surprise that the household learnt the illness was a low typhus fever. A nurse was sent for to assist Mrs. Connell. Aimée was forbidden to approach the bedroom, and the wedding was postponed.

Chapter V.

Robert's first wish had been to send Aimée away, but she shrank from the idea, and as Dr. Bruce considered the risk of infection had already been run, he did not press the point. He was careful to take her out as much as possible into the open air, and to prevent the silence and gloom of the house from depressing her. Mr. Morton's life was in the utmost danger, and therefore, do what they would, they could not be so cheerful as before. Hitherto the lovers had, by a tacit consent, avoided the mention of Aimée's uncle; for the six months that had elapsed since she had entered his doors had made no difference apparently in Mr. Morton's feelings toward her. He was as icy as ever; and when her engagement was announced, he never wished her joy or seemed glad of it for her sake. Cold and hard he naturally was, but Aimée could not but feel that he had an actual dislike to her; for he would smile now and then at Mr. Hulme's jokes, and his manner to Robert often verged on cordiality. With her only he was invariably silent, stern, and freezing; and poor Aimée's heart, so full of affection, so ready to be grateful for the little he did for her, felt deeply pained. But now Robert and she spoke anxiously of that soul which was hanging in the balance between life and death. He had lived without God, in open defiance of his laws, in avowed disbelief of the very existence of his Maker, and now was he, without an hour's consciousness, without any space for repentance, to be hurried into the presence of his Judge? They shrank in horror from the thought; and many were their prayers, many were the Masses offered up that God in his mercy would not cut off this man in his sins. Their prayers were granted; he did not die, and after three weeks of intense anxiety, the crisis passed, and he began to mend. Mental improvement was not to be perceived with returning health. No expression of gratitude for having escaped death crossed his lips—apparently the shadow of death had not terrified him—he rose up from his sick-bed as hard, as cynical, as icy as before. And Aimée's fond hope that at last he would thaw to her was disappointed. As soon as Mr. Morton could leave his room, Dr. Bruce prescribed change of air; and it was arranged that Robert and Aimée should accompany him. Mrs. Connell was so thoroughly used up with nursing that she was to be sent to take a holiday among her friends in Ireland.


It was hard work to persuade Mr. Morton to go at all, still harder to find a place to suit him; he moved from spot to spot, till at last, to his companions' surprise, he seemed to take a fancy for a wild spot on the North Devon coast, and there settled down for some weeks. It was a most out-of-the-way spot, and the only place in which they could reside was a homely village inn. It pleased him, however, and day by day he rapidly regained his strength. Robert and Aimée were well contented; the beauty and quiet of the place were delightful, and not a mile from it was a Catholic church, which happened to be served by a priest who had known Robert in his boyhood. Great was Aimée's pleasure in listening to their laughing reminiscences of bygone years, and greater still was her happiness when she chanced to be left alone with Father Dunne, and he spoke of Robert, of his innocent childhood, his holy life, the bright example he set in his position, and assured her that few women had won such a prize as she had for life. Then Aimée's heart swelled with joy and pride. On one lovely day in June, Aimée was specially happy; for her uncle's improvement was so marked, Robert had been asking her to fix an early day in July for their wedding. Mr. Hulme and Mrs. Connell could join them, and they could be married at this little church, which had become dear to them, and Father Dunne could pronounce the nuptial benediction. Aimée greatly preferred this to being married in London, and her heart was very light. That morning she had knelt by Robert's side at communion. She could not help observing the rapt, almost celestial expression of his face afterward. It was the Feast of the Sacred Heart, and Father Dunne had Benediction early in the afternoon.

As they walked to church together, their conversation turned on religious subjects, and Robert spoke in a more unreserved way than he had ever done before. He spoke of Heaven, the rest it would be after earth's toils, of the sweetness of sacrifice, of the joy of God's service. Aimée was silent. He looked down into her face.

"Well," he said, smiling, "is it not true?"

"O Robert!" she cried, "your love is heaven to me now! Is not, oh! is not mine so to you?"

"No, my Aimée," he answered, gravely yet sweetly; "my heart's darling, God first, then you."

"I cannot!" she answered, in a stifled voice.

"You will soon, darling, never fear. I prayed this morning that our love might be sanctified, might draw us closer to God—and I feel it will be so. Pray with me for it at Benediction."

So they went and knelt before the altar, and their Lord blessed them as they bent before him. Passing out of church, Father Dunne joined them, and remarked on the beauty of the evening.

"We shall go with my uncle on the cliff," said Aimée, "and watch the coast."

"And perhaps I shall meet you there," answered the priest, "for I have a sick call from which I can return in that direction." So saying, he turned into another road.

Mr. Morton was ready when they returned to the inn, and the three passed up on the cliff and wandered on far beyond their usual distance. They came to a part where the cliff was one sheer sheet of rock descending to the beach, save one large crag which jutted out, and on one side obscured the view. {170} Aimée had a great horror of looking down any steep place, and shrank back from the cliff, while Mr. Morton, who despised her weakness, always chose to walk at the very edge.

"See here, little one," said Robert, "here is a safe place for you." An iron stanchion had been thrust into the ground, and a thick rope was carelessly coiled round it. "It must be used for throwing signals to the boats below," said Robert, "but you can lean against it, Aimée."

"I think I shall step on that crag, Robert," said Mr. Morton, "if you will lend me an arm. I want to catch the whole view at once."

"O uncle!" said Aimée, in a tone of terror.

"Do you think it is very prudent, sir?" remarked Robert. "It is none too wide to stand on."

"Oh! very well," said Mr. Morton testily, "if you are afraid, I shall go by myself." Robert's merry laugh was the only answer, and, giving his arm to Mr. Morton, they both descended.

Aimée hid her face, sick with terror. She heard their voices for a minute, then, O horror! what was that? A crash, a rush, a sudden shout of pain! She rushed to the edge to see the crag detach itself from the rock, and the two figures falling. She saw both clutching for some support—she saw both catch hold of different bits of rock jutting out—she knew, for her senses were sharpened by fear, that they could not long sustain their weight. She thought of the rope, rushed for it, uncoiled it, and ran back. All was the work of one moment. An unnatural activity seemed to possess her. She was like one in a dream. She saw the rope would not reach both; she must choose between them; and Another could see her! But on the still evening air, with her ears quickened unnaturally, she heard oaths from one; from the other, "Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

Aimée threw the rope to Mr. Morton, and saw him catch it. The next instant she heard another crash—a dull thud, as of something falling—and nature could bear no more. Aimée fell on the ground insensible just as Father Dunne, and some laborers alarmed by the shout in the distance, came running to the spot.

When Aimée woke to consciousness, she was in her own bed at the inn. Her first thought was, that she had been dreaming; but she started back, the landlady was walking by her, and now came forward, trying to put on an appearance of composure.

"My uncle?" said Aimée.

"Lies in bed, miss, and going on well," answered the good woman hurriedly.

Aimée gave one searching look into Mrs. Barton's face, and sank back on her pillow. In another moment the door opened, Mrs. Barton disappeared, and Father Dunne stood by her side. The silent look at him was all she gave.

"Yes, my child," he said, "your sacrifice has been accepted, and Robert is with those who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth." And then, sitting down beside her, the priest drew out the truth which, by a sudden instinct, he had all but guessed. No one but he ever knew it; it was generally believed that Robert had failed to catch the rope when thrown to him—he had fallen on the beach, and was dashed to pieces. Aimée could not look upon his form or kiss for the last time the pale, cold face. He had passed in one brief instant from her sight for aye. In the heat of noonday her sun had gone down.


From this fresh shock to his constitution Mr. Morton could not rally; he was fearfully shaken and bruised, but he lingered many weeks, and Aimée waited on him with a daughter's care. And at last the stern heart was softened, and Mr. Morton implored mercy from the God he had so long offended. He died a sincere penitent; and the grief for Robert's death caused a salutary change in Mr. Hulme also. Aimée had now become a great heiress, but money cannot heal a broken heart. She would fain have remained in the little village where the tragedy of her life had been worked out, and devote herself to the poor; but Father Dunne would not allow it, and to him she now looked for guidance and help. He made her go to Italy and Rome in company with some quiet friends of his own for two years; and time and the sight of the woes of others gradually softened Aimée's grief. And by degrees a great peace stole over her spirit; a love deeper than hers for Robert took possession of her heart; and the hour came when she acknowledged that in sacrifice lay much sweetness. She did not live many years; she distributed her large fortune among various good works. A fair church replaces the humble building in which Robert and she for the last time prayed together, and a convent stands near the spot where he breathed out his last sigh to God. And when her work was done, death came to Aimée; and, with a smile on her lips, and joy in her eyes, she went to meet again those fondly loved, so strangely lost on earth.

Sayings Of The Fathers Of The Desert.

Abbot Pambo once asked Abbot Antony what he should do. The venerable man replied: Do not rely too much upon your own sanctity; never have useless regrets for what has passed, and always be watchful over your tongue and your appetite.

Saint Gregory used to say: God requires these three things of every man who has been baptized; strong and living faith, moderation in speech, and chastity of body.

Abbot Joseph the Theban said: There are three classes of men who are pleasing in the sight of the Lord. The first are those who, though weak, accept temptations with a thankful heart. The second are those who perform all their actions before God with purity of heart and without human motives. The third are those who subject themselves to the commands of their spiritual Father and entirely renounce their own will.


Abbot Cassian narrates of Abbot John that, when he was on his deathbed and preparing to depart with joyful soul, his brethren stood around him and earnestly besought that he would leave them as an heritage a compendium, as it were, of sanctity, by means of which they might rise to that perfection which is in Christ. Then he with sighs replied: I have never done my own will, nor have I ever taught any one anything which I have not previously done myself.

Abbot Pastor said: To be watchful, to examine one's self, to be discreet, are the three great duties of the soul.

They tell of Abbot Pambo that, when about to die, he said to those holy men who stood near: From the time when I first came to this place and built my cell and dwelt therein, I do not remember to have eaten bread that I did not gain by the labor of my hands, nor have I ever repented of any thing that I have said up to this very hour. And thus I go to the Lord, I who have not even begun to serve God.

Abbot Sisois said: Be abject and cast pleasures away; be free and secure from the cares of the world, and you shall have rest.

A brother once asked a father how one may acquire a fear of the Lord. And he replied: If a man practise humility and poverty, and judge not another, he shall surely fear the Lord.

A certain father used to say: If thou hate one who speaks ill of thee, speak ill of no one; if thou hate him who calumniates thee, do not calumniate anyone; if thou hate him who injures thee or takes away what is thine, or does any thing of a like nature, do none of these things to any one. He who can observe this rule shall be saved.

All Souls' Day.


  On every cross or slab, a wreath—on some,
    Two, three, or more—of radiant autumn leaves,
  Mingled with gold and white chrysanthemum;
    Even the nameless, unmarked grave receives
      Some pledge from mortal love
  Unto peace-parted souls, we trust, with God above.

  The choral chaunt is hushed, the Mass is said:
    Noon, but already the last pilgrim gone:
  Brief visits pay the living to the dead,
    But once a year we meet o'er those we mourn.
      I wait unwatched, alone,
  To muse o'er some once loved, o'er many more unknown.
  That cross of marble, with its sculptured base,
    Guards the blest ashes of a friend whose form
  Was half my boyhood; his arch, laughing face—
    The last you'd take to front a coming storm,
      Or dare what none else durst:
  Read how he fell, of all the best and bravest, first!

  Another pastor near him lies asleep,
    Fresh wreaths, love-woven, mark the newer sod;
  Each lettered white cross bids me pause to weep
    Some lost companion or some man of God.
      Beneath this sacred ground,
  More friends I number than in all the world around.

  There, side by side, far from the forfeit home
    For which they vainly bled, three soldiers rest,
  In sight of the round peak, whose bannered dome
    Crowns the defiles wherein the fiery crest
      Of a dead nation paled
  Before the heights, where erst the great Virginian failed.

  Westward, a little higher up the steep,
    Rests a young mother—on her cross, a bar
  Of golden music: since she fell asleep
    The world she left has somehow seemed ajar;
      Those patient, peaceful eyes,
  With which she watched the world, diffused sweet harmonies.

  For she was pure—pure as the snows of Yule
    That hailed her birth: pure as the autumnal snow
  That flecked her coffin: she was beautiful,
    Heroic, gentle: none could ever know
      That face and then forget:
  Though vanished years ago, her smile seems living yet.

  And near her, happy in that nearness, lies
    The world-worn consul by his best-loved child—
  The first rest of a life of sacrifice:
    The native stars, that on his labors smiled
      So rarely, o'er the wave
  Beckoned him to the peace of home—and of the grave.

  Here, too, a relic of primeval ways
    And statelier manners, mingled with the grace
  Of Israel: in the evening of her days,
    Baptized at fourscore—strongest of her race,
      Yet twice a child—that rain
  Supernal leaving all those years without a stain.
  And thou, young soldier, teach me how to turn
    From earth to heaven, as in the solemn hour
  Thy soul was turned. Ah! well for thee to learn
    So soon that festal board and bridal flower
      May foil the out-stretched hand:
  That life's best conquest is the holy afterland.

  Holding the very summit of the slope,
    A pointed chapel, girt with evergreen
  And frailer summer foliage—still as hope—
    Watches the east for morning's earliest sheen:
      Beneath it slumbers one
  For whom the tears of unextinguished grief still run.

  A twelve-month mourned, yet deeper now the loss
    Than when first fell the slowly sudden doom,
  And on her pale breast lay the unmoving cross:
    Lone tenant of that solitary tomb,
      Love's daily widowed prayer
  Still craves reunion in thy chambered sepulchre.

  The sunset shadow of this chapel falls
    Upon a classmate's grave: a rare delight
  Laughed in his youth: but, one by one, the halls
    Of life were darkened, till, amid the night,
      A single star remained—
  Bright herald of the paradise by tears regained.

  High in the bending trees the north wind sings,
    The shining chestnut to my feet is rolled
  The shivering mountains, bare as bankrupt kings,
    Sit beggared of their purple and their gold:
      The naked plain below
  Sighs to the clouds, impatient of its robe of snow.

  Death is in all things: yet how small it seems,
    God's chosen acre on this mountain-side:
  A speck, a mote: while yonder cornland gleams
    With hoarded plenty, stretching far and wide.
      A hundred acres there
  Content not one: one acre serves a thousand here.

  Ah! we forget them in our changing lot—
    Forget the past in present weal or woe;
  But yet, perchance, more angels guard this spot
    Than wander in the living fields below:
      And, as I pass the gate,
  The world without seems strangely void and desolate.


The Function of the Subjective in Religion. [Footnote 25]

[Footnote 25: This Paper was read before the Academia of the Catholic Religion, in London, June 11, 1867, by Very Rev. W. H. Anderdon, D.D., M.A. Oxon.]

Any one not a Catholic, but fairly acquainted with the church's past and present, if he had to define by a term her prevailing character, would use some such word as unchangeable. He might use it with admiration, as historians have done; or with vexation and anger, as controversialists do. He might regard it as a quality that raised the church above, or kept it behind the age; made it venerable and noble, or deprived it of all progressive and free spirit. But, with evil report or good report, and in whatever contrast with the communions around it, which rise and fall, are modified and melt away, he would confess the church to be unchangeable.

The Catholic accepts this statement, and completes it by adding the cause of the church's preternatural sameness. He calls it "the pillar and ground of the truth;" the perpetual home and impregnable fortress of the divine revelation. The characteristics of the one faith, he says, follow those of the one Lord, as the shadow attends the substance which projects it. The mystical spouse is immutable in faith and morality, because with her divine Lord there is "no change nor shadow of vicissitude." The passage of centuries, phases of human society, rise, progress, and dissolution of theories and religious opinions leave her where they found her; because "Jesus Christ is yesterday and to-day, and the same forever." "Tempus non occurrit Ecclesiae;" because He is "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end," "who inhabiteth eternity."

This is but to say that religion is essentially objective. Religion, if true, is divine; if divine, above the recipient; if above him, authoritative; if authoritative, over him, uninfluenced by him. It is the mould and matrix in which he is to be cast and receive shape; not the material on which his mind is to work by process of individual judgment. This objective character enters so completely into the idea of revelation, that the wonder is, how the term "private judgment" should have found place in the language of professing Christians. When did it arise? Who was its author? Was it pre-Lutheran? May we not rather say, it was pre-Adamite? He who led our parents astray in Paradise, by a suggestion of private judgment, had already inaugurated what he has since taught men to call the "right" of exercising it, when he revolted against the foresight given to him of his Maker's future incarnation. And the apostle, more closely to our point, condemns all subjective religious opinions when he says, "If thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge." To judge implies superiority of intelligence, better means of knowing, and the capacity of a teacher: to learn is the acknowledgment of inferiority, and the submission of desiring to receive. But if revelation could be modified by the mind of the receiver, that is, if faith could be subjective, the disciple would be exalted into a critic, and private judgment would occupy the position of faith. The "doer of the law" and the "judge" would change places. This breaks up the whole tribunal, and implies a revolt against the primary authority of revelation.


Hence, nothing is more common with us than to say, that the revelation which comes from God, and is proposed by the church, admits of no criticism short of absolute rejection. To one, indeed, who has never yet received this full revelation, to criticise is a necessary act, and lies on the way toward accepting. The case of the Bereans is here in point, and of those Athenians who believed when St. Paul preached on Mars' Hill. Dionysius the Areopagite and Damaris criticised equally with the Epicureans and Stoics, to show the apostle was a "babbler;" though with a different result. But to one who has inherited the faith, or has been brought by private judgment, guided by the notes of the church, which are preambula fidei, up to the threshold, and then by an act of supernatural belief has passed within, every after-criticism means rejection. True religion must ever refuse to be treated by its disciples as opinion. If faith, it is not opinion; if it were opinion, it would cease to be faith. The choice as to revelation is a simple alternative: accept the whole and believe; reject the whole and disbelieve. Ou Catholique, ou Déiste, as Fénélon said long ago.

No one, then, can retain his Catholic sense, and speak of accommodating faith, or subjective religion. We have lately heard one voice from out of doors uttering incoherent words about a "maximum" and a "minimum," which are supposed to have some undefined point of junction and cohesion. [Footnote 26] But such invitations and embassies of peace sound to us like the uncouth attempts of the Thracian ambassador, in the ancient comedy, to explain in something like Greek a message into which his native tongue largely enters. It is hard to make such a foreign dialect intelligible to those who are accustomed to the pure Attic of the church's voice.

[Footnote 26: Dr. Pusey lately, in a letter to one of the public newspapers, reported a conversation which he had held with a foreign layman, who expressed his opinion that the Anglican maximum and the Catholic minimum might be found to coincide sufficiently to form the basis of some kind of union. In his Eirenicon, also, pp. 17, 18, he quotes some words from Du Pin, Dr. Doyle, an another, in proof of what he calls "the large-hearted statements of Roman Catholics of other days."]

So far we have advanced by negation. There can be nothing subjective in a revelation propounded by omniscience, and through an infallible organ. To suppose criticism or modification of dogma in the mind of the recipient, is like supposing motion during a process of photography, or of crystallization. It implies free agency indeed; but it destroys the truth and accuracy of the whole process. "Be still, and see that I am God." In this stillness, which is passiveness in one sense, and this intuitive gaze upon truths revealed, consists the high prerogative of faith. This forms its noble attribute, and lifts it to a sovereignty over all other acts of the human intelligence.

On the other hand, what place is to be found in true religion for the subjective principle? In what department does or can the Catholic system adapt itself to the manifold diversities between men, enter into their idiosyncrasies, and speak to them individually? Can it become to each of us the personal and intimate thing, which may converse with us as a friend while we submit to it as an authoritative guide? Does it take account of me, with my turn of character and peculiar needs, while it promulgates canons and definitions for my acceptance, in common with the two hundred millions who own its sway? Granted that Catholicity is objective in its essence, is it subjective in any of its qualities or manifestations?


To see the breadth of this question, it should be viewed in connection with the acknowledged needs of human nature. The first requisite to a soul is truth; and it may be said, its first act is an act of desire after truth, even abstract. But as primary, too, is man's need of some one above himself to inspire a reverential and a personal love. In order to love, indeed, he must first know; for neither will nor affections can go forth toward the utterly unknown. Still, in religious truth, love is the perfection of knowledge. "The end of the commandment is charity, from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and an unfeigned faith." We are created, not like the heavenly bodies, to move by unerring laws; nor like plants, to receive form and tincture undistinguishably, specimen from specimen; nor like the inferior orders of animal life, that build, migrate, seek their prey, by an instinct inherited and invariable. Man is a creature of idiosyncrasies. His thoughts, tastes, and bent, his mode of apprehending truths recognized and believed, assimilating them into himself, and developing them in action, constitute each individual a being diverse, in all that can be subjective, from his brother and nearest friend. In all that can be subjective: for the very turn of these remarks will show that I would carefully guard myself within the limits of that expression. Now, the true religion appeals to man as man; and is herein distinguished from every other, which addresses a side or a section only of the human character and needs. The spirit of true religion is neither the pseudo-enthusiasm of the non-conformist, nor the surface-uniformity of the establishment, nor the false mysticism of the Society of Friends. Her appeal, like herself, is Catholic: to the four quarters of the globe, to the race that peoples earth and occupies ages, and for whom Christ died.

While, therefore, religion exacts the unquestioning assent of all, whatever their antecedent systems, modes of thought, or training, we might expect even beforehand that she would come with some adaptive power that would appeal to each. Objective to the intelligence and faith, we are permitted to desire that she should also manifest herself as subjective to the spiritual affections. For her mission is neither to reduce the individual to a machine nor to fuse her multitudes into one uniform, undistinguishable mass. She claims their unreserved and interior assent to dogma; for she is the embassadress of the Most High, sent into all the world, to preach the gospel to every creature. "There are no speeches nor languages" where that voice is not heard: nor any where it falters or gives an uncertain sound. But she wins the objects of her mission, meanwhile, one by one, to devotion, by adapting herself to the characters and specialties of her millions and races. The church knows how to modulate her authoritative tone, till it sinks into the whisper of a mother teaching her child to lisp its first prayer.

We seem now to have arrived at the distinction of which we are in search. It is surely no play of words nor mere subtlety to say that true religion must possess both the characteristics we have named: it must be objective and subjective together. Man, let us repeat, finds in himself a twofold desire to know and to love. His great desire after truth was the first and prevailing temptation under which he fell: "You shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." {178} Having in his fall grasped at the shadow and let go the substance, he lost his perception of the true light and his hold upon the true love. Ignorance and concupiscence came in together. But he retained his yearning after the two-fold inheritance he had thus forfeited: an attraction to truth and a need of love. Hence the various and contradictory systems of mythology which overran the heathen world, under their double aspect (if we may so use the terms) of doctrine and devotion. Out of the depths of their debasement, and amid all their extravagance, they witnessed to the agonized desire after truth in which, says the apostle, the whole creation groaned and travailed in pain together.

Now, what was lost in the first Adam has been abundantly restored in the second. The "grace and truth" which "came by Jesus Christ" is the divine remedy for this twofold loss by the original fall: it restores light to man, the light of revelation; and love, the supernatural love of Divine Goodness. It is "faith that worketh by charity." And let us observe, between light and love there is an obvious difference: light may be described as objective, love as subjective; light is universal, love is personal; light is received upon the eye, whereas love springs up in the heart; and while light is diffused indiscriminately, love varies with the individual. In the future perfection of the glorified soul, light and love will be commensurate. "When he shall appear," says the apostle, "we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." Here, in pilgrimage and imperfection, the members of the church militant possess three gifts in unequal degrees. Light is perpetually outstripping love, and we know more than we practise. Still, the efforts of the church are ever exerted to preserve to her children each of these great gifts, light and love; to perpetuate and extend the one, to heighten and intensify the other. She is "the light of the world." By her creeds, canons, definitions of doctrine, by her schools of theology, her doctorate and censorship, by the vigilance of the sacred office, by the perpetual exercise of that instinct of truth which is her attribute and inheritance, she preserves, whole and undefiled, "the faith once delivered to the saints." Her multiplied prayers, each enriched with its special indulgence, various, yet blending in one harmony and one whole like the chords of a lute or the flowers in a parterre, provide abundantly not for the mere and absolute needs of her children's souls, but, moreover, for what may be called their religious tastes and special turn of devotion. For example, the faithful laity are invited, if they have an attraction for it, to unite with her clergy and religious in reciting the canonical hours, which form her chief prayer. This is their "common prayer-book," if you will; but common only to those who prefer to communicate in it. To others of a different attraction, there is still supply for the demand.

We need only transport ourselves into the heart of some great Catholic city, to see with what unrestrained variety our brethren of the one communion unite in prayer. Let us go to Rome, "the mother of us all," the heart and centre of Christendom. In that great seat and organ of life, of vital functions and warmth, whose pulsations thrill to the extremities of the mystical body, what is practically going on? what meets the eye and ear? You pass under the walls of some monastic choir, from which the deep voices of a score of monks or the slenderer tones of cloistered nuns arrest you. {179} They have been trained, not by art, but simply by long practice of united prayer, to recite the divine office, as if theirs were not several voices blending, nor several intelligences and souls woven, in a devotion, but, like the early church, "one heart and one soul." You enter; it is not in the retrochoir alone, nor behind the grate, that the work of prayer and praise is going on. The church is more or less filled for vespers; it is a feastday; and a certain proportion, with their vesper-books in the ancient language or in their own familiar tongue, follow the words. A secular priest has turned in at the open door, on his way to some avocation, and is whispering another portion of his breviary. Near him kneels a child saying the penance for its last confession, or an old woman with her beads. Others examine their consciences and make their acts of contrition, for the confessionals will be occupied when vespers are over. Throughout the nave move three or four, quietly following the stations of the cross. On this side is an altar to the sacred heart; a member of the confraternity kneels before it: he is saying some of the prayers indulgenced for that devotion. A childless mother with slow steps passes on to pray for her dead child at the altar for the souls in purgatory. She does not distract others there, who are praying for their parents, or for the poor souls in general, or the most abandoned, the most rich in merits, or the nearest to its release. Her next neighbor offers up her own sick child to an image of the Mother of Compassion. You make way for a small tradesman leaving the church for his evening meal; he will then hasten to take his hours of night-watching and prayer in some closed sanctuary, before the Most Holy, exposed day and night for the Quarant' ore. By his side, sharing his night-watch, will kneel a nobleman of ancestral name, whose family has furnished popes to the Christian world. These two men are members together of the association for perpetually adoring the Blessed Sacrament; and they meet there before the Supreme, in the true "liberty, equality, fraternity" which the world aims at and the church alone produces. What is that sound of hymns coming down the street? A procession headed by a cardinal bearing a large and rude cross: he is followed by the brothers of another distinct confraternity, "the lovers of Jesus and Mary," and a miscellany of devout people. They are on their way to the Colosseum, where they, too, will make the stations of the cross, and chant their hearty and almost passionate strophes of contrition in the old consecrated amphitheatre. All is movement, all is affectionate liberty, warmth, and ease. You turn into any church that occurs, and transport your chair from part to part of the building; for you are free of the whole by the birthright of your baptism into the one body. Go from this altar to that; range, as it were, up and down the creed, now in meditation, now in vocal prayer, now alone with God, now cheered on and animated by the presence of those who pray with you. Now it is latria, now hyperdulia; now again dulia, then back again to latria; then contemplation, then any of the former resumed. Your guardian angel is at your side; you recognize it and address him. Your patron saint, the patrons of your friends for whom you are anxious, St. Peter, St. Joseph, our Lady; and the Divine Guest in the tabernacle; all are there, each (if I may say it) awaiting you in turn. {180} Whatever the feeling of the moment, or your bent of character, or special needs, there is your yearning met, and your soul's food and remedy supplied. "Thou didst feed thy people with the food of angels, and gavest them bread from heaven, prepared without labor; having in it all that is delicious, and the sweetness of every taste. For thy sustenance showed thy sweetness to thy children, and, serving every man's will, it was turned to what every man liked." [Footnote 27] And this unity in variety, this elasticity and freedom, change, and appropriation, and trustful individuality, is it or is it not the [Greek text] which the apostle recommends?

[Footnote 27: Wisd. xvi. 20, 21.]

Rising, again, from the manifold devotions pursued by the faithful for themselves to that in which the priest stands for them all in the most holy place, the central devotion round which all others revolve, the adorable sacrifice of Mass, we see the same unity in the same variety. There is still a subjective action of the individual heart, grounded on an objective dogma embraced by all. Faith and love are coincident; we adore in our own way what is independent of our adoration, though presented to it. The words I am about to quote are put in the lips of one who is defending the faith, newly found by him, against the objection of some of his former friends that the Mass is a formal, unreasonable service.

"To me," he answers, "nothing is so consoling, so piercing, so thrilling, so overcoming, as the Mass, said as it is among us. I could attend Masses for ever and not be tired. It is not a mere form of words—it is a great action, the greatest action that can be on earth. It is not the invocation merely, but, if I dare use the word, the evocation of the Eternal. He becomes present on the altar in flesh and blood, before whom angels bow and devils tremble. This is that awful event which is the scope and the interpretation of every part of the solemnity. Words are necessary, but as means, not as ends. They are not mere addresses to the throne of grace; they are instruments of what is far higher, of consecration, of sacrifice. They hurry on, as if impatient to fulfil their mission. Quickly they go: the whole is quick; for they are parts of one integral action. Quickly they go; for they are awful words of sacrifice: they are a work too great to delay upon. Quickly they pass; because, as the lightning which shineth from one part of the heaven to the other, so is the coming of the Son of Man. … As Moses on the mountain, so we too 'make haste and bow our heads to the earth, and adore.' So we, all around, each in his place, look out for the great advent, 'waiting for the moving of the water.' Each in his place, with his own heart, with his own wants, with his own thoughts, with his own intention, with his own prayers, separate but concordant, watching what is going on, watching its progress, uniting in its consummation; not painfully and hopelessly following a hard form of prayer from beginning to end, but, like a concert of musical instruments, each different, but concurring in a sweet harmony, we take our part with God's priest, supporting him, and yet guided by him. There are little children there, and old men, and simple laborers, and students in seminaries, priests preparing for Mass, priests making their thanksgiving; there are innocent maidens, and there are penitent sinners; but out of these many minds rises one eucharistic hymn, and the great action is the measure and the scope of it." [Footnote 28]

[Footnote 28: Newman's Loss and Gain, pp. 265-7.]


This union of a changeless creed with an adaptive devotional system, of dogmatic authority with elasticity and play, and of unquestioning submission with the freest choice, has one obvious consequence. It renders the church unintelligible to the world, and to all professors of the world's many religions. A casual observer, looking on the Catholic system from without its pale, is at a loss to reconcile attributes which to him appear inconsistent. Why, he asks, should the church be so unswerving under one aspect, yet so pliant under another? If she will not yield one jot or tittle of doctrine, why allow so large an oscillation in forms of devotion? or, if she aims at accommodating and condescending in the latter, why remain inflexible in the former? He would perhaps add: The Catholic system has advantages over others in virtue of this her spirit of adaptation, so far as it reaches. But it is partial! The same economy and consultation for individual minds should extend into the sphere of its dogma; then the character of the church would be consistent, its response to the demands of the age would be satisfactory, and its triumph might be complete.

We are here only concerned with one side of this supposed theorist's difficulty. The answer is surely as follows:

1. On one hand, the church is objective, or what he would call unaccommodating in her teaching, because she is the guardian and depository of supernatural truth. All truth is objective, because it is the reflection of the mind of God, and the subject-matter of his revelation. Hence, in spite of the infidel's sarcasm that between Homoousion and Homoiousion there is but an iota, and an iota (he adds) that divides the Christian world, the church will neither add to nor take from the "form of sound words" committed to her by that one small letter. That jot, that tittle stands against the return and salvation of countless souls till they shall themselves erase it; for the question involved is nothing less than the fulness of the truth and revelation of God. Human statements in religion aim at a compromise; the church, like Job under trial, "still continues in her simplicity." They would avoid extremes; she is zealous for the full and explicit enunciation of the whole deposit of faith. Whatever portions of dogmatic teaching can still be retained, apart from the faith, are in constant process of disintegration and fusion: diminutae sunt veritates a filiis hominum. But, on the other hand, if there can be degrees and measures where all is essential truth, the church may be said to become more dogmatic, and so, if possible, more objective, as her life proceeds. This, it is plain, is a simple result from her office of perpetual teacher; it is the fulfilment of the primary commission, [Greek text] She must expand her teachings to the needs of the day, and meet emergent heresies by fresh definitions. Hence, to take some salient points history presents to us, the objectivity of Homoousion against Arius, of Theotokos against Nestorius, of Filioque against the heresies of the East, of Transubstantiation against Luther and others, of the Immaculate Conception in our own day.


2. All this being so, and being one great ground of objection against the church, why is her system so subjective, all the while, in other departments? She seems to men to err as much on the other side by overcondescension and adaptation. We need not linger over such charges as that of Macaulay, who, following perhaps in the steps of the Provincial Letters, accuses certain theologians of accommodating even the moral law to retain men within the Catholic unity; as thinking, unless I misquote him, "that, if a man must needs be a libertine, that was no reason for his being a heretic besides." An impression less hurtful certainly, and less gratuitous, though equally false, pervades much that we find in other non-Catholic writers. The church seems to them to lay herself out in her devotional functions, to captivate the senses and the imagination. We might adduce a catena of passages to prove this impression of theirs, from controversialists assuming the fact and reasoning upon it, down to tourists recording their personal experiences of the Continent. A leading article in a prominent journal on some recent celebrations at Boulogne, and, with a deeper personal impression, the descriptions of newspaper correspondents on the late centenary and canonizations in Rome, contribute their quota to swell this great tradition or popular belief. The church, according to such theorists, is wide enough to compensate for the inflexibility of her dogma by pliancy, adaptation, and attractiveness in all besides. Like the old Roman tyrants, they would say, whose home and whose spirit she has inherited, she is prodigal to her subjects of the Panem et Circenses, that take off their attention from the thraldom in which they are held. There is a story of Bolingbroke being present at high Mass in the Chapel Royal, in Paris. Struck with the majesty of the function, he turns to a friend and whispers, "If I were king of France, I would allow no one to perform this but myself." The anecdote is no unfair sample of the popular impression made by Catholic ceremonies on those who misunderstand them, because they disbelieve the truths which they clothe. They are taken to be the result of a design and deliberation to arrest the imaginative faculty, and thus to maintain supremacy over the will. That the will owns the church's supremacy is a patent fact; the supposed captivity of the imagination through eye and ear is, to such thinkers, one chief rationale of it. She leads captive, they say, the intellect of her votaries, but she has the art to gild their chains by the richness and beauty of her ceremonial.

To consider this assertion for a moment. May we not advance the direct contrary? May it not be said that, if, apart from experience, we were to speculate on the probable ceremonies with which the church would surround the adorable sacrifice, and the solemn administration of her sacraments, our anticipations would outrun what she actually has decreed? Let us instance the ceremonies of the Mass. What is here that does more than carry, so to say, the great mystery round which they cluster? Give it as a problem to a political theorist, to a Bolingbroke, or to a minister of public worship, to invent and combine certain ceremonies, in order to express the highest act of a nation's worship. The function is to be one that shall symbolize such a belief as the Catholic belief in the adorable sacrifice. I think it may safely be said, the result produced would be something of more outward show, more complicated, and more arresting to the eye and the imagination, than is seen in the ceremonies of solemn high Mass.


To meet more broadly the assertion that the devotional system of the church is unduly subjective, that is, overpliant to the varieties of her children. She condescends, she adapts herself, she seems to mere spectators to be one great economy. We accept the charge, not in their sense. Why should the church not be so? The changelessness of the faith being first secured, her problem then is, the greatest devotion of the greatest number. "I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." This is her mission: to attract souls, to win them, and to save them. She would not attract them, were she not beautiful; nor gather them in, were she not all-sided; nor save the mass of them, were she not elastic. There is no stiffness about the church, or she would not work with breadth and freedom. It is St. Peter's net, and is drawn, as the prophet says, "with cords of Adam." She is not antiquarian, or she would only affect the mind of each age as a venerable record or curious relic of the past. The church is not primitive, mediaeval, or modern; not Celtic, Teutonic, southern, classical, barbarian, Scythian, bond, or free, in any exclusive sense. She is simply Catholic; that one title interprets all. And being the church of the "great multitude which no man can number, of all nations, and languages, and peoples, and tongues," she authorizes their popular devotions by sanction and permission.

When we grant or assert that the church in her devotional aspect is adaptive, elastic, or (to return to our term) subjective, what is this but to say that she has life? Life as distinct from machinery, stereotype, or routine. It is saying that she has a living intelligence, spiritual instinct, a faculty to discriminate between essentials and non-essentials in her worship, and a versatility and a resource to apply, to modify, to expand the non-sacramental and therefore accidental channels of grace to her children. Because she is thus alive with the indwelling life of the Paraclete who abides with her for ever, and thus animated with a supernatural wisdom and maternal charity, she is prompt to seize occasions, and to extemporize combinations to the greater glory of God. Hers is an ever quick and energizing power, exerted over man as man, and over all men indifferently. In the inspired words of the wise man: "Being but one, she can do all things; and remaining in herself the same, she reneweth all things, and through nations conveyeth herself into holy souls." Wisd. vii. 27. What the philosopher claimed as being man, she claims as being the church of men: Nihil humanum a me alienum puto. She raises no question on the form of government or previous training, any more than on the clime or color of the "Trojans or Tyrians" within her realm. She translates her prayers, and imparts her indulgences in as many tongues as were found in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. In the political sphere she will bless the banners and chant a Te Deum on the triumphs of every righteous cause, whether the tricolor and stripes of a republic or the blazonings of an ancient monarchy. And so in her devotional element, finding more stability of character in some provinces of her kingdom, more versatility and impulse in others, some of her children more given to contemplation, some to a larger amount of vocal prayer, she accepts these differing conditions without disturbance or hesitation. Wise householder and faithful stewardess, as the gospel declares her to be, the church brings out from her treasury things new and old. {184} She adopts and sanctions every new devotion that has been inspired into her saints: the rosary of St. Dominic, the scapular of St. Simon Stock, the discipline of St. Peter Damian, the meditations of St. Benedict, the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius and his systematized methods of prayer. Nothing is a dangerous novelty, while she has inerrancy of judgment. No dubious expression or practice can spread, or even live, while in her hand is the sword of the Spirit, [Greek text] No fervor can lead to ill-regulated enthusiasm while she exercises the twofold office, to animate and to control.

In direct contrast with this divine adjustment and harmony stand the arrangements of that communion in the midst of us which has so long claimed the title of a church. England, as represented by her rulers, three hundred years ago, breaking from the centre of unity, and disowning every link with St. Peter's chair, isolated thenceforward and self-contained, had before her a three-fold task. She was to extemporize at once doctrine, discipline, and devotion. The process was in many ways remarkable. But its chief feature for our present purpose is one especial travesty and reversal of the due order of things which was then exhibited. While doctrine, by the necessity of the case, became subjective, the formularies or "common prayer" were stereotyped or frozen into a form that was well named uniformity, and might in a kind of perverse sense be called objective. The Anglican communion is the reed where the Catholic Church is the oak; but en revanche, she is stiff and wooden where the church is pliant and tender. She has bent to every breath of doctrine: then, as if in tribute to the principle of stability, has bound down her children to pray, at least, by rule. She does not pipe to them that they may dance, and mourn to them that they may lament. There is no modulation in her pastoral reed; no change of expression in her fixed uniformity of demeanor. An exception must here be made for the ritualist exhibitions of these later years; but it is an exception which proves the rule. Ritualism is a protest against the cold negations of the Establishment. It is in turn protested against with more energy by the indignant good sense of the country, and, so far as they venture, by the country's bishops. The clergy appear in colored stoles, and are met by a mandate to "take off those ribbons." Decorations must be removed from the communion-table before consecration of the church can take place. Each opening flower is nipped by the breath of episcopal authority,

                "'Et mox
    Bruma recurrit iners."

Not to speak, then, of ritualism, but of the genuine spirit of the establishment. This holds the even tenor of its way, undisturbed by signs and seasons, and days and years. The established church does not quench her tapers on Good Friday because she does not light them on Easter morning; has no rubric for stripping her altars, and gives no encouragement for their decoration. She sprinkles no ashes on Ash-Wednesday, sings no alleluias for the Resurrection, lights no candles, says no Mass on Candelmas. Like something learned by rote and spoken by a machine, her ministers address their flocks in the self-same language, whether the morning usher in the annual solemn fast or the queen of festivals. Their form most truly styles itself, "The Order for Morning and Evening Prayer, daily to be said and used throughout the year." {185} This is the objectivity of the established church, as "authorized by act of Parliament, holden in the fifth and sixth years of our said late sovereign lord, King Edward the Sixth, … with the alterations and additions therein added and appointed by this statute," "Primo Elizabethae."

Nor was this stereotyped, unelastic method optional with them. It was a necessity of the position of the establishment from its beginning. Having torn down the altar and set up the reading-desk, abolished the daily sacrifice, and made the lion and unicorn stand in the holy place, converted the priest into a minister, and succeeded, under the hydraulic pressure of royal mandates, in forcing two sets of doctrines to coexist within the space of one communion, the framers of the new order of things had, as a chief part of it, to invent a form of prayer. This form must be comprehensive as to doctrine, uniform as to expression; subjective in the first, quasi-objective in the latter. It was to provide for Catholics in heart who had not fortitude for martyrdom, and for honest sacramentarians kneeling with them at the same communion-rail. After several alterations, therefore, in which the presence of the Most High was affirmed or denied, and, as far as man could affect it, was restored or taken away, as now a higher, now a lower school prevailed, the new religion welded together two forms of administration—the Catholic and the Zwinglian—and simply left the choice of doctrine to the receiver. It was a process that brings to mind the ancient punishment of chaining the living prisoner to the corpse of his dead comrade; and the language ever since of those in the Anglican communion who have aspired after something nearer to God than a memorial rite has been: "Unhappy man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"

Want of space prevents our drawing out a contrast which here naturally presents itself. It would be, on one side, the solemn and heart-stirring functions of the church during her round of fast and festival: the day that ushers in her Lent, the Gloria hushed, organ and alleluias silent, the wailing Tenebrae, the strange, disjointed Mass of the pre-sanctified on Good Friday, which is Calvary, with the rocks rent and the sun hidden; then the burst of Easter morning, when all is light and triumph; or again, the three Masses of Christmas, symbols of our Lord's triple nativity. These, and much that might be added, would form an epitome of Durandus, and writers who have followed him, on the symbolism of the church's functions. What would appear on the other side? Silence is perhaps its best description, lest a thing in its own nature so fearful to contemplate as man's attempts to create in opposition to his Creator should present too forcibly its ludicrous aspect. It does not appear to have been very attractive, even in its cradle, to judge from the act, which sets forth that "all and every person and persons … shall diligently and faithfully … endeavor themselves to resort to their parish church, … where common prayer and such service shall be used, … and then and there to abide orderly and soberly during the time of common prayer, preachings, or other service of God there to be used and ministered, upon pain of punishment by the censures of the church, and also upon pain that every person so offending shall forfeit for every such offence twelve pence, to be levied by the church-wardens of the parish where such offence shall be done, … of the goods, lands, and tenements of such offender, by way of distress."


No wonder they who love the established church should fix their special admiration on the feature of her simplicity. The act of uniformity enforced by Procrustes was as simple a process, and with as simple a result. In both cases, it was a cutting down, paring away, shortening, disjointing, dislocating. Only, as they who decreed the form and measurements of the new religion, unlike Procrustes, had to reconstruct as well as simply to wrench and amputate, they added that other process to their labor; and under difficulties which have excited the compassion of their disciples in all later time for a system of theology and theological devotion is as complex and delicate, to say the least, as the human frame: you cannot give back the sinews and organs you have removed, nor restore action to the joints you have sundered. We have lived to see the result of such simplifying as went on in the sixteenth century. After a career which has given time for irreconcilable schools to exhibit their full divergence, the communion so arranged seems likely to fall to pieces on the very question of ritualism. "We never, sir," says a popular clerical writer to the Times newspaper, "we never shall have peace again in the church until some plain order of conducting the service is made more or less imperative, confused rubrics relaid down in clear language, and some court established, easy of access, cheap, and speedy in process, by which it may be adjudged, as well in the case of clergy as of bishops, whether the parties accused of false teaching or false practice are guilty according to a rational, legal interpretation of our formularies in the spirit in which for three centuries they have been conducted." [Footnote 29]

[Footnote 29: "S.G.O." in the London Times, June 10, 1867.]

The simplicity of the church of England has steered too precise a mean between the symbolism and suggestive ceremonies of the church that believes, and the absence of all form on the part of those who do not. Her preamble, "of ceremonies, why some be abolished and some retained," like other compromises, aims at pleasing everybody and ends in pleasing no one. With one party, as Milton says in an expressive line,

"New Presbyter is but old priest writ large."

With the other, the minister must be a priest, the communion, Mass, and the Catholic service restored. This comes of inventing a religion in a hurry, patching up a provisional government by rebels who have disowned a time-honored throne. This comes of arraying one's self in the shreds of what one's self has rent from the seamless garment. So much for aiming at what a prelate of that communion has recently called "a satisfying amount of ritual," which is to clothe no idea, stand for nothing beyond itself, and soothe the senses without appealing to the faith. So much for the arrogance of deciding that the "godly and decent order of the ancient fathers had been altered, broken, and neglected, by planting in uncertain stories and legends, with a multitude of responds, verses, vain repetitions, commemorations, and synodals;" not to speak of the "hardness of the rules called the Pie, and the manifold changings of the service."

We shall wait to see the result of that "satisfying amount of ritual" in which it is proposed to invest a service purely Protestant; whereabout on the scale the satisfaction is to be placed, and so, whom it is intended to satisfy. One ritual system alone has a gift from heaven to answer and fulfil the yearnings of the soul. {187} One act of uniformity alone is worthy of a thought to the worshipper. The creed rehearses it: "I profess that there are truly and properly seven sacraments of the new law instituted by our Lord, and necessary for the salvation of mankind." Then, "I also receive and admit the received and approved ceremonies of the Catholic Church in the solemn administration of the aforesaid sacraments." It is to express the invisible, and to fence round what is all sacred, and to respond by the tribute of man to the gift of God, that the church has ordained these details of beauty and solemnity. It is essentially as an homage and a reverence to her Lord. This does not contradict what has been said above either of the variety or of the adaptive character of Catholic devotions. For we are here speaking not of devotions as voices of human expression toward God, but of sacraments, the channels of his communications with man.

Let me now only mention two other chief instances of the subjectivity of the church's dealings with her children. The whole theory, then, of intentions in prayer is a proof of the adaptive character of Catholic devotion. The Pater, Ave, Gloria, Credo, the Veni Creator, Miserere, Memorare, these are, as it were, so many notes in the church's scale. Let me here adopt, though I should also modify, the words of a great writer on a kindred subject. They apply, partly at least, to that on which our thoughts are turned:

"There are seven notes in the scale; make them thirteen, yet what a slender outfit for so vast an enterprise! What science brings so much out of so little? Out of what poor elements does some great master in it create his new world! Shall we say that all this exuberant inventiveness is a mere ingenuity or trick of art, like some game or fashion of the day, without reality, without meaning? We may do so; and then, perhaps, we shall also account the science of theology to be a matter of words; yet, as there is a divinity in the theology of the church which those who feel cannot communicate, so is there also in the wonderful creation of sublimity and beauty of which I am speaking. … Is it possible that that inexhaustible evolution and disposition of notes, so rich yet so simple, so intricate yet so regulated, so various yet so majestic, should be a mere sound, which is gone and perishes? Can it be that those mysterious stirrings of heart, and keen emotions, and strange yearnings after we know not what, and awful impressions from we know not whence, should be wrought in us by what is unsubstantial, and comes and goes, and begins and ends in itself? … No; they have escaped from some higher sphere; … they are echoes from our home; they are the voice of angels, or the Magnificat of saints, or the living laws of divine governance, or the divine attributes; something are they besides themselves, which we cannot compass, which we cannot utter." [Footnote 30]

[Footnote 30: Newman's Sermons before the University of Oxford. 2d edition, pp. 349, 350.]

The beauty of this extract, from perhaps one of the greatest passages of its eminent author, may be my apology for its length. What Dr. Newman here says of the evolution of musical harmony from simple elements may be applied to the vast fabric of intentions, reaching to no less than three worlds, the church militant, triumphant, and purifying, which we are taught to build out of such few brief prayers as a child might utter.


Once more: the variety of the religious orders, congregations, institutes, existing in the church, and marked by her approval, afford a further proof of her adaptation to the various needs and characters of men. The system which recognizes the sanctity of marriage by elevating it to the rank of a sacrament proclaims also the superiority of the "best part" chosen by Mary, "which shall not be taken from her;" and, within this first great principle of classification among the church's children, separating between the secular and the religious life, and strictly subjective in the sense in which the word has here been used, we find an almost endless diversity of what are technically called "religions." The cloistered and the uncloistered; and among the former, the eremitic and the conventual, with their subdivisions; among the latter, a devotion special and concentrated upon every malady to which man is heir. Brothers of the hospitals, brothers of Christian doctrine, communities devoted to the leper, the lunatic, the ordinary sick, the hopelessly diseased, the poor as such, the young, the orphan, the ignorant, the upper classes, the middle rank, the homeless pauper, the pilgrim, the penitent, the convict, the galley-slave, the felon condemned to die.

This very glory of the King's daughter, her beauty in the variety with which she is surrounded, the subjective provisions she makes for each of her children called to religion, has been made by writers of more than common shallowness an argument against her unity. It is difficult to treat with gravity a distortion of the truth so perverse. "Look," says a platform orator—"look at the divisions of the Church of Rome. She taunts us with our dissensions. It is true, we have our high church, and our low, and our broad; there are those amongst us who hold the sacramental principle, and those who deny it. But Rome, too, has her divisions, as deep and as fundamental. Has she not her Franciscans and her Dominicans, her Benedictines and her Seculars, her Jesuits, and I know not who besides? Have not her religious orders and her secular canons, in times past, carved grotesque caricatures of each other in the gargoyles and misereres of their respective churches? And yet, with her characteristic effrontery, she dares to tell us that she is one!"

It was well answered. You might with equal reason argue that an army was not one, not one in its operations and campaign, nor moving at the nod of one commander, because it had its several branches and "arms" of the service; its light horse, troops of the line, skirmishers, cavalry for the charge, heavy artillery. Rather, the essential unity of the whole is all the more demonstrated by the distinct lines and modes of operation belonging to each department. Herodotus is at much pains to detail the different nationalities and customs of warfare in the army of Xerxes before he proceeds to narrate their combined descent upon Greece. And to return to our thesis: the objective unity of the religious orders throughout the church's long life, in all that ever concerned her faith and essential teaching, has been enhanced, made conspicuous, and shown to be supernatural, by their acknowledged subjective diversity in much beside.

But we are not here in need of a Catholic apologist. A vivid and popular writer, if not of history, yet of widely accepted historical romance, had the intelligence to perceive this very characteristic of the church. {189} He has thrown no little power into developing the truth, that the Catholic system is thus universally subjective, has a place for every one, rejects none of earth's children, and can retain them, find them employment, and communicate to them happiness, within the ample breadth of her unity.

He describes the merely local characters of the Church of England, and her consequent inability to make way in foreign missions. He has a fling at what he calls the polity of the Church of Rome as the very masterpiece of human wisdom. It is, he says, a system of tactics to be regarded with reluctant admiration. Then more particularly: "She thoroughly understands, what no other church has ever understood, how to deal with enthusiasts. In some sects, particularly in infant sects, enthusiasm is suffered to be rampant. In other sects, particularly in sects long established and richly endowed, it is regarded with aversion. The Catholic Church neither submits to enthusiasm nor proscribes it, but uses it. She considers it as a great moving force, which in itself, like the muscular powers of a fine horse, is neither good nor evil, but which may be so directed as to produce great good or great evil, and she assumes the direction to herself. … She knows that, where religious feelings have obtained the complete empire of the mind, they impart a strange energy, that they raise man above the dominion of pain and pleasure, that obloquy becomes glory. She knows that a person in this state of enthusiasm is no object of contempt. He may be vulgar, ignorant, visionary, extravagant; but he will do and suffer things which it is for her interest that somebody should do and suffer. She accordingly enlists him in her service, assigns to him some forlorn hope, and sends him forth with her benedictions and her applause."

Then, after showing how the Anglican system expels from itself the enthusiasm it can neither wield nor control, he proceeds to draw his contrast:

"Far different is the policy of Rome. The ignorant enthusiast whom the Anglican Church makes an enemy, and, whatever the polite and learned may think, a most dangerous enemy, the Catholic Church makes a champion. She bids him nurse his beard, covers him with a gown and hood of coarse, dark stuff, ties a rope round his waist, and sends him forth to teach in her name. He costs her nothing. He takes not a ducat away from the resources of her beneficed clergy. He lives by the alms of those who respect his spiritual character and are grateful for his instructions. He preaches not exactly in the style of Massillon, but in a way which moves the passions of uneducated hearers; and all his influence is employed to strengthen the church of which he is a minister. To that church he becomes as strongly attached as any of the cardinals whose scarlet carriages and liveries crowd the entrance of the palace on the Quirinal. In this way the Church of Rome unites in herself all the strength of establishment, and all the strength of dissent. With the utmost pomp of a dominant hierarchy above, she has all the energy of the voluntary system below. It would be easy to mention very recent instances in which the hearts of hundreds of thousands, estranged from her by the selfishness, sloth, and cowardice of the beneficed clergy, have been brought back by the zeal of the begging friars. At Rome the Countess of Huntingdon would have a place in the calendar as St. Sabina, and Mrs. Fry would be foundress and first superior of the blessed order of Sisters of the Gaols. {190} Place Ignatius Loyola at Oxford: he is certain to become the head of a formidable secession. Place John Wesley at Rome: he is certain to be the first general of a new society devoted to the interests and honor of the church. Place Johanna Southcote at Rome: she founds an order of barefooted Carmelites, every one of whom is ready to suffer martyrdom for the church; a solemn service is consecrated to her memory; and her statue, placed over the holy water, strikes the eye of every stranger who enters St. Peter's."

Such thoughts as I have endeavored to suggest will not be vain, if they lead us to recognize the attributes and credentials of the church in her mission to the world, not less in the comparison of part with part among her manifestations, than in the harmony of the whole. She is as divine, as Catholic, as faithful to her trust, and as unerring in her functions, in the subjective character of her devotions, as in the objectivity of her teaching. Nothing surely can be more attractive to the imagination, more winning to the heart, or more persuasive to the will than the condescension and personal care of that which is all the while lofty in its attributes and authoritative in its claims and power. The church is a mother while she is a queen, and we her children no less than her subjects and disciples. She teaches us to pray while she commands us to believe; and gives a personal experience of her science in the one, while affording abundant proof of her embassy and her inerrancy in the other. Thus, while I am enlightened by her truth, I am fostered by her charity. The need of which I am conscious in myself, das Ich, for something on which to feed the faculty within me for supernatural love and personal devotion, is as completely met and fulfilled as any craving for a truth above myself, das nicht Ich, which comes down to me from heaven that it may raise me thither. "Descendit" says St. Augustine, "misericordia, ut ascendat miseria."


  She was all compact of beauty,
      Like the sunlight and the flowers;
  One of those radiant beings
      That prove this world of ours
  Not utterly forsaken
      By the angel host of God,
  Since now and then its valleys
      By their holy feet are trod.
  If her hair was black and glossy
      Or golden-hued and bright,
  Or if her eyes were azure,
      Or dark and deep as night,
  I know not—this truth only
      Do I know or care to know;
  Never a lovelier maiden
      Blest this weary world below.
  In the castle ruled her father,
      And his lands stretched miles away
  Mine toiled down in the hamlet
      For his daily bread each day;
  Too far apart were we.
      Too high wert thou for me,
          O Lady Imogen!
  When the meadow was all golden
      With the cowslips' May-day bells,
  And the sweet breath of the primrose
      Came up from fragrant dells;
  When the blackbird and the throstle
      Whistled cheerly in the morn,
  And the skylark, quivering upward,
      Rose singing from the corn;
  Then when the blessed spring-time
      Filled with beauty all the earth,
  From her father's lordly castle
      Would this maiden wander forth,
  Where the violets were blooming
      In unfrequented dells;
  O'er the mead where zephyrs pilfered
      Fragrance from the cowslips' bells.
  Wheresoever beauty lingered,
      There this radiant maiden strayed,
  And beauty by her presence
      More beautiful was made;
  The sunshine looked more golden
      As it gleamed around her head;
  And the grass more green and living
      Rose up beneath her tread;
  And the flowers more bright and fragrant
      To greet her coming grew;
  And mad with love and music
      The birds about her flew.
  Oh! she was the loveliest maiden
      That ever eye did see;
  She was sunshine, she was music,
      She was all the world to me.
  But she never knew the passion
      That set my soul aflame;
  That hid me by the hedge-row
      To watch whene'er she came,
  To see her glorious beauty,
      Like a star from heaven, go by.
  Oh! to see her but one moment
      God knows that I would die,
          O peerless Imogen!
  They bore her to the abbey
      With the pomp of princely woe,
  With steeds and hearse and snowy pall,
      And white plumes drooping low:
  And high, proud heads were bending
      In her funereal train,
  And princely eyes were weeping
      Heavy tears like summer rain.
  I far off followed slowly,
      No tears were in mine eye;
  'Twas not for one so lowly
      To weep for one so high;
  But, oh! since she hath vanished,
      With her have seemed to go
  All the beauty, all the music,
      Of this weary world below!
          Dead, dead, and buried, Imogen!

                                    E. Young.

The Jesuits In North America. [Footnote 31]

[Footnote 31: The Jesuits in North America, in the Seventeenth Century.
By Francis Parkman. Boston:
Little, Brown & Co. 1867.

History and General Description of New France,
By the Rev. P. F. X. de Charlevoix, S.J.
Translated with notes, by John Gilmary Shea.
In six vols. Vols. i. and ii.
New York: John Gilmary Shea. 1866

History of the Catholic Missions among the Indian Tribes of the United States
By John Gilmary Shea.
New York: Edward Dunigan & Brother. 1855.]

The illustrious Society of Jesus, which has sanctified by its martyrs every corner of the earth, has reaped more glory probably in North America than any other missionary order, though it was not the first to enter the field. The Franciscans, the Dominicans, and other devoted soldiers of the cross who followed in the footsteps of the Spanish adventurers in the south, established flourishing missions, some of which have lasted to this day. They labored with a zeal and singleness of purpose which could not be surpassed, and a large proportion of them gave up their lives for the faith; but unfortunately the crimes of their countrymen have been permitted, by the prejudice of modern writers, to tarnish the renown of these heroic preachers, and the cruelties of a Cortez are better remembered than the virtues of the Spanish Dominicans. The Jesuits in the northern parts of the continent have received more justice in history. About their character and achievements there is only one voice. Oppression and outrage have fortunately kept away from their path. {193} It was, moreover, their practice to live almost wholly aloof from their own countrymen, and to compose their Christian settlements entirely of Indian converts. They may not have surpassed their brethren of other orders in devotedness or in perseverance; but they have a renown in modern Protestant literature which has no equal except in the glorious record of the early Christian persecutions.

When the Jesuits first came to Canada, the Franciscans had been before them, but there was little trace left of the Christianity which they had planted. The capture of Quebec by the English, in 1629, almost wholly obliterated the mission, and it was not until the colony was restored to France, in 1632, that the history of missionary enterprise in that part of America really begins. One of the first steps of the French government then was to secure a body of priests, to labor in their recovered possessions. The work was offered to the Capuchins, but they declined it. It was then given to the Jesuits, and on the 18th of April, 1632, two priests, Le Jeune and De Nouë, with a lay-brother named Gilbert, set sail from Havre for Quebec. It was but a cheerless home in which, after a three months' tempestuous voyage, they set about installing themselves. Their predecessors had left on the outskirts of the settlement two wretched wooden buildings, thatched with long grass and plastered with mud. One of them had been half-burned by the English, and was still in ruins. Here the three missionaries fixed their home, and prepared for the reception of the brethren who were soon to follow them. One of the buildings was converted into a store-house, stable, work-shop, and bakery. The other contained four principal rooms. One was fitted up as a rude chapel, one as a refectory, one as a kitchen, and the fourth as a sleeping-room for workmen. Four small rooms, the largest eight feet square, opened off the refectory, and here, when the rest of the little band arrived, six priests were lodged, while two lay-brothers found shelter in the garret. The whole establishment was surrounded by a palisade. About the end of May, Champlain arrived, to resume the command of Quebec, and with him came four more Jesuits—Brébeuf, Masse, Daniel, and Davost. The superior of the little community was Father Le Jeune. Of the others, Masse, whom by reason of his useful qualities they nicknamed "Le Père Utile," had been in America before. His special duty was to take care of the pigs and cows, upon which the missionaries relied for a great part of their sustenance. De Nouë had charge of the eight or ten laborers employed about the "residence." All the fathers, in the intervals of leisure left from their duties of preaching, saying mass and vespers, hearing confessions at the fort of Quebec, catechising a few Indians, and striving to master the enormous difficulties of the Algonquin and Huron languages, worked with the men, spade in hand.

To learn the language was at first the greatest of all their troubles. There were French interpreters in the colony, fur traders who had spent years among the tribes, and were almost as savage as the Indians themselves. But these men were no friends to the Jesuits, and one and all refused their assistance. Father Le Jeune gives an amusing description of his perplexity, as he sat with an Indian child on one side, and a little negro boy left by the English on the other, neither of the three able to understand the language of the others. {194} Convinced that there was little to be taught and little to be learned in that way, he set off one morning to visit a band of Indians who were fishing on the St. Lawrence. He found their bark lodges set up by the brink of the river, and a boy led him into the hut of an old squaw, his grandmother, who hastened to give him four smoked eels on a piece of birch bark. There were several other women in the lodge, and while they showed him how to roast his eels on a forked stick, or squatted around the fire, eating their rude meal, and using their dogs as napkins, the good father made strenuous attempts to talk a little broken Algonquin, eking out his defect of words with such pantomime as he could invent. All, however, was in vain. If he trusted to what he could pick up from straggling fishing parties, it might be years before he could fairly begin to preach the gospel to these poor tribes of the wilderness. In his difficulty he had recourse to the saints. It was not long before what he deemed the direct interposition of Providence came to his aid. Several years before an Indian who had been converted by the Recollects, and baptized by the name of Pierre, had been taken to France and partially educated. He had lately returned to Canada, and not only relapsed into his old savage way of life, but apostatized from the faith. Nothing was left of his French education save a few French vices and a knowledge of the French language. He often came to the fort begging drink and tobacco, but he shunned the Jesuits, of whose rigid virtue he stood in horror. But one day, about this time, Pierre incurred the displeasure of the French commandant, and the fort was closed against him. Repulsed by a young squaw whom he wanted to make his wife, and unfitted by his French education for the hard and precarious life of a hunter, he went to the priests for food and shelter. Le Jeune hailed him as a gift from heaven in answer to his prayers. He installed the poor wretch in the mission-house, begged for him at the fort a suit of cast-off clothes, and set zealously to work to learn from him the mysteries of the Algonquin language. "How thankful I am," wrote Le Jeune, "to those who gave me tobacco last year! At every difficulty I give my master a piece of it to make him more attentive."

The terribly severe winter was passed in studies such as these, in practising with snow-shoes, and teaching Indian children. Bands of savages often encamped near the mission-house in the course of their hunting journeys, and Le Jeune, whenever they appeared, would take his stand at the door and ring a bell. The children would gather round him, and leading them into the refectory, which also served as a school-room, he would teach them the Pater, Ave, and Credo, with an Indian prayer which he had composed with the assistance of Pierre, show them how to make the sign of the cross, and explain portions of the catechism. The exercises closed with the singing of the Lord's prayer in Algonquin rhymes, and after that each pupil was rewarded with a porringer of peas. As spring approached, Pierre began to bethink himself of the fasting and prayers of Lent, and ran off one day to a party of Englishmen, at Tadoussac, where he drowned in liquor the small remnant of his Christianity. Then he joined his two brothers, one a famous hunter named Mestigoit, the other the most noted sorcerer or "medicine-man" of the tribe.


The next autumn Father Le Jeune was invited by the Indians to join a hunting party, in which these three brothers were included; not that they valued the good missionary's company, but they were shrewd enough to suspect that, if he went with them, he would be well supplied with provisions. Father de Nouë had gone on a similar expedition in the winter, and returned nearly dead; but Le Jeune resolved to risk it, and in the latter part of October, with twenty Indians, embarked in canoes on the St. Lawrence. Landing after a while, and being joined by two other bands, they spent five months trudging through the trackless and snow-covered wilderness; sleeping by night in the stifling huts which they made by digging holes in the snow and building over them a covering of poles and birch bark; hunting by day the beaver, the moose, and the caribou; often half-starved when game failed, and holding the most disgusting orgies of gluttony when it was plenty. Somebody had unfortunately put among the priest's stores a small keg of wine. Pierre stole it and got drunk, and when Mestigoit had sobered him by a liberal application of scalding water, which took all the skin off his face and breast, the apostate (as Le Jeune always calls him) vowed to revenge himself by killing the missionary whose strong drink had brought him into trouble. The poor father fled to the woods until Pierre's frenzy had passed away, and there, he says, "though my bed had not been made up since the creation of the world, it was not hard enough to prevent me from sleeping." We have no space to follow the narrative of this hard winter. The days were spent in hunger and exhausting toil, the nights in frightful discomfort. The huts, in a space some thirteen feet square, were made to accommodate nineteen savages, men, women, and children, not to speak of a number of wild and hungry dogs. A fire of pine-knots in the centre filled the place with a blinding, acrid smoke, and at times they could breathe only by lying flat on their faces with their mouths to the cold ground. In this horrible den, the dogs fought for his food, and the savages, instigated by the sorcerer, loaded him with insults and shocked his ears with their filthy conversation. The sorcerer, whose pretensions he ridiculed, and whose influence he lost no opportunity of undermining, hated him with an especially malignant animosity. Under pretence of teaching him Algonquin, he palmed off upon the priest the foulest words in the Indian language, so that poor Father Le Jeune's attempts to explain the mysteries of the faith were often interrupted by shouts of laughter. On Christmas day there had been a great scarcity of game, and the party were in danger of famishing. The incantations of the medicine man had failed. In despair the savages came to Le Jeune, and begged him to try his God. The sorcerer showed some gleam of faith. Even Pierre gave signs of repentance. The missionary was filled with hope. He wrote out two prayers in Algonquin. He hung against the side of the hut a crucifix and a reliquary, and bade the Indians kneel before them and repeat the prayers, promising to renounce their superstitions and obey Christ if he would save them from perishing of hunger. Then he dismissed the hunters with his blessing. At night they came back successful. A feast was ordered. In the midst of the repast, Le Jeune arose to remind them of their promise; but Pierre, who had killed nothing, was sulky and incredulous. He said, with a laugh, that it was not the crucifix and prayers which had brought them luck. {196} The sorcerer cried out to the missionary, "Hold your tongue! you have no sense!" And the multitude, whose good disposition had vanished with their hunger, took their cue from him, as usual.

All this was discouraging enough, nor was it the worst; and when Father Le Jeune, at three o'clock one April morning, knocked at the door of his humble mission-house, and was received in the arms of his brother apostles, it was with the melancholy reflection that his painful and perilous journey had been, except as a tour of observation, little more than a failure. An absolute failure, however, it certainly was not. Careful reconnoissances must always precede great campaigns. It was only by pushing out into the heart of the pagan realm which they had come to conquer, that the soldiers of Christ could determine where they might best make their main assault and in what quarter a victory ensured the most glorious results. The missionaries were but a handful; the field before them was immense; they could only cultivate such portions of it as promised the richest harvest. They had now learned that the Algonquins were comparatively few in number, and of little influence or importance among the North American tribes. Wandering to and fro as they did from year's end to year's end, it was impossible to establish among them the sort of Christian settlements or missions which the Jesuits proposed founding as centres from which the light of truth might radiate through the wilderness. But further westward, on the shores of the great lakes, dwelt numerous stationary tribes, among whom strongholds of the faith might be erected. The conversion of any considerable part of these people would affect many kindred tribes, and so it might be possible to found in the heart of the forest a great Christian empire. As the first basis for their operations, they chose the Hurons, on the lake which bears their name. These people, they learned, had populous villages, knew how to till the ground, and carried on some trade with neighboring nations. Their ferocity exceeded that of the Algonquins. A prisoner who bore the torture bravely was cooked and eaten, that his captors might increase their own courage; and the missionaries spoke of the Huron country as the chief fortress and donjon-keep of the demon, "une des principales forteresses et comme un donjon des démons." The distance to be traversed, by the only route it was possible to follow, was about nine hundred miles. The way was dangerous and painful. The goal to be reached was possibly martyrdom—certainly continuous suffering of body and mind. Three missionaries, Brébeuf, Daniel, and Davost, offered themselves for the enterprise. Le Jeune's duties as superior obliged him to confine his labors to the neighboring Algonquins. It was not easy, however, for the little band of apostles to carry their heroic purpose into execution. Every year a company of several hundred Hurons used to visit Quebec, to barter their furs and tobacco for kettles, hatchets, knives, cloth, beads, and other commodities. It was resolved that the priests should return with them when they made their next annual journey. The Hurons came in July, 1633, six or seven hundred of them, with a hundred and forty canoes. They staid four days, trading, gambling, feasting, and holding a council with the French officers at the fort. Champlain introduced the three missionaries, and commended them to the care and friendship of the Indians. {197} They were received at first with acclamations of delight, and the chiefs of different villages disputed for the honor of entertaining them. But before the hour of departure came, they changed their minds. The Indians went away and the priests returned to the mission-house. Here they spent a year studying the Huron language. At the end of a twelvemonth, the Indians came again. A second time they were besought to take the Jesuits back with them. They consented, wavered, refused, hesitated, the missionaries begging to be received, as if the hardships they would have to suffer were the greatest of privileges. At last Father Brébeuf made a vow to St. Joseph. At once, he says, the Indians became tractable, and the whole party embarked in the frail canoes for the shores of Lake Huron. Their route was up the Ottawa river, through Lake Nipissing, down French river, and along the shores of the great Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. The voyage occupied thirty days. The three missionaries were in separate canoes, barefoot, lest their shoes should injure the vessel, toiling laboriously at the paddle, wading often through the rapids and pushing or pulling up their barks, and doing their share of the burden of transportation at the long and frequent portages. They had no food but a little corn crushed between two stones and moistened with water. The Indians treated them with great harshness, stole or threw away a part of their baggage, including most of their books and writing materials, and finally deserted Father Daniel and Father Davost on the way. When Brébeuf reached the end of the voyage, on the shores of Georgian Bay, his Indian companions threw his baggage on the ground, left him to his own resources, and trudged off to their villages, some twenty miles distant. Brébeuf, however, was not disheartened. He threw himself upon his knees and thanked God who had preserved him so far. Then he proceeded to examine the country. He knew the spot well, for before the suspension of the Canada missions which followed the capture of Quebec, he had passed three years among the Hurons of this region, at an Indian town which had since been burned. Hiding his baggage and the sacred vessels in the woods, he set off in search of the new town, which he knew had been built a few miles from the site of the old one. It was evening when he reached it. A crowd who recognized his tall, soldier-like figure and black robes ran out to meet him, shouting for joy at his return. They took him to the lodge of one Awandoay, the richest and most hospitable of the Hurons. After many days his two lost brethren rejoined him. Daniel had been picked up by another party of Indians. Davost had been left among the Algonquins on Allumette Island, and now appeared half-dead with famine and fatigue. With them came four French laymen from Quebec. Awandoay received them all, and as soon as they had determined to make this village, which the natives called Ihonatiria, the headquarters of their mission, all the inhabitants of the place, as well as the people of the neighboring town of Wenrio, fell to and built them a house. It was a structure of sapling poles and sheets of bark, thirty-six feet long, and about twenty feet wide, built after the Huron fashion; but the priests, with the aid of their tools, made several improvements of the interior, which were to the savages a never-failing source of wonder and admiration. They divided their dwelling into three rooms. The first was a store-house; the second, a sleeping chamber, kitchen, workshop, refectory, and school-room, all in one; the third was the chapel.


Thus the Huron mission, which had been founded several years previously, and broken up before it was thoroughly established, was opened anew. Other priests soon came out from France to join it. Garnier, Chaumonot, Chabanel, and the illustrious martyr Isaac Jogues were among the Jesuits who gathered around this lodge in the wilderness in the course of the next few years. In the summer-time, when most of the Indians were away on their hunting or trading excursions, and the villages were quiet, the missionaries renewed their strength for labor and suffering by the exercise of the annual retreat according to the instructions of St. Ignatius. It was in winter that their hardships were the greatest. By day they trudged long, weary miles through the snow and wet to visit neighboring villages; by night their short rest was disturbed and their ears shocked by the horrible orgies, incantations, and superstitious rites in which the Hurons used to pass their winter leisure. There were the hideous ceremonies by which their sorcerers pretended to cure the sick; the licentious practices by which they sought to propitiate the demons of pestilence and famine; sometimes the awful tortures of captives taken in war, and their agonizing deaths, in which the good fathers, though every nerve shuddered with horror at the dreadful sight, sometimes found consolation in making a convert of the dying wretch, and washing out his sins at the last moment in the saving waters of baptism. At every opportunity they collected the children of the village at their house; and Brébeuf, vested in surplice and cap, led them in chanting the Pater Noster, translated into Indian rhymes, taught them the Hail Mary, the Creed, and the Commandments, taught them to make the sign of the cross, and gave a few simple instructions. A present of two or three beads, or raisins, or prunes sent them away happy and ensured their coming again. Once in a while the adults were induced to listen to instruction, and invited to discuss the principal points of religious doctrine. They grunted "Good" or "That is true" at every proposition, but for a long, long time very few were willing to embrace the faith to which they gave so ready an assent. Like the fishes who listened to St. Anthony's sermon,

    "Much delighted were they,
     But preferred the old way."

Still, they were ready enough to visit the hut of the missionaries, and examine their marvels of ingenuity and skill, the fame of which had gone abroad throughout the whole Huron nation. They would sit on the ground by the hour, watching the clock and waiting for it to strike. They thought it was alive, and dignified it with the title of "Captain." "What does the Captain say?" they would often ask.

"When he strikes twelve times," the Jesuits answered, "he says, 'Hang on the kettle;' and when he strikes four times he says, 'Get up and go home.'"

So at noon visitors were never wanting to share the Captain's hospitality; but at the stroke of four they all departed, and the missionaries gathered round the fire and discussed the intricacies of the Huron language. Among the other wonders of the lodge there was a hand-mill which the savages were never tired of turning. A magnet proved a great puzzle to them; and there was a magnifying-glass which transformed a flea into a frightful monster, and, we may suppose, filled them with alarm. {199} They conceived an overpowering respect for the wisdom and supernatural powers of the black-gowns, and had for them also, upon the whole, a genuine good will; but there were moments when their influence, and even their safety, were endangered by the violence of the Indian superstitions. Once in a season of drought a "rain-maker" persuaded the Hurons that the red color of the cross which stood before the Jesuits' dwelling frightened away the bird of thunder. It was about to be cut down. The priests begged them to paint it white, and see if the thunder would come. It was done, but rain still kept aloof.

"Your spirits cannot help you," said the fathers; "ask the aid of him who made the world, and perhaps he will hear your prayers."

The Indians were induced to promise obedience to the true God. Nine masses were offered in honor of St. Joseph, and every day there were solemn processions and prayers. In a few days there were heavy falls of rain, and the Hurons conceived an exalted idea of the power of French "medicine." But alas for their promises! They were soon forgotten.

In the autumn and winter of 1636, the Huron towns were swept by a contagious fever, accompanied by the small-pox. Three of the Jesuits—Jogues, Garnier, and Chatelain—were seized with the fever, but the protection of Providence raised them up for the relief of their poor red-skinned brethren. In the depth of winter the missionaries went from village to village, visiting every hut, tending the sick, bringing them such few delicacies as their scanty stores afforded, and pressing their religious instructions at every available occasion. But it was hard to make an impression on the stolid hearts of the savages. They comprehended the pains and fires of hell, but they could not understand the happiness of heaven. They had no wish to go after death to a place where there would be neither war nor hunting, and where, they feared, the French would give them nothing to eat. Nor, when the Huron had at last been persuaded that heaven was good for Indians as well as Frenchmen, was it easy to produce in him the proper dispositions for baptism. He felt no contrition, for he believed that he had never committed sin. "Why did you baptize that Iroquois?" asked a dying neophyte; "he will get to heaven before us, and when he sees us coming he will drive us out." This was disheartening; but once for a few days there was a gleam of consolation. The whole village of Ossossané resolved to embrace the faith of the black-robes, to give up their superstitions, and to reform their manners. One of their principal sorcerers proclaimed in a loud voice, through the streets of the town, that the God of the French was henceforth their Master. Nine days afterward a noted sorcerer came to Ossossané, and the Indians held a grand medicine feast, hoping to secure the aid of God and the devil at once. The superstitious rites were all renewed; the nights grew hideous with yells of incantation, and magic figures to drive away the demon of pestilence were put up on every house. The danger to the missionaries now became imminent. When they left their hut in the morning, it was with a well-grounded doubt whether they should ever return. The sacrament of baptism, which it was a part of their daily labor to administer to dying children, came to be looked upon as a pestiferous charm. {200} They could only give it by stealth, sometimes letting fall a drop from a spoonful of sugared water, with which they pretended to cool the patient's parched lips, or else touching the skin with a moist finger or the corner of a wet handkerchief. The mysterious black-robed magicians were now regarded as the cause of the pestilence; and had it not been for the awe in which they were held by the savages, their lives would quickly have been at an end. As it was, they were everywhere repulsed and insulted. Children pelted them from behind huts, friends looked at them askance, and the more violent of their enemies clamored for their death. The picture of the last judgment which hung in their chapel was taken to be a charm of direful power. The litanies which they chanted together were incantations pregnant with plague and famine. The clock was a malignant demon, and the poor "Captain" had to be stopped. In August, 1637, a great council of the Hurons, including deputations from four nations, was held to deliberate upon the affairs of the confederation. The chief, whose office it was to preside over the feast of the dead, arose, and in a set speech accused the Jesuits of being the cause of the calamities that afflicted them. One accuser followed another, Brébeuf replying to their charges with ingenuity and boldness. The debate continued through the night. Many of the Indians fell asleep, and others went away. One old chief as he passed out said to Brébeuf, "If some young man should split your head open, we should have nothing to say." "What sort of men are these?" cried out another impatiently, as the Jesuit went on with his harangue; "they are always saying the same thing, and repeating the same words a hundred times." Another council was called to pronounce the sentence of death. The priests appeared before it with such unflinching courage that their judges, struck with admiration, deferred the decree. Still it seemed as if their fate could not be long deferred. They wrote a farewell letter to their superior, Father Le Jeune, and committed to the care of an Indian convert the most precious properties of the mission, the sacred furniture of the altar, and the vocabulary which they had compiled of the Huron language. Then they gave a parting feast, after the Indian custom of those who were about to die. The intrepidity manifested by this proceeding was not without its effect. The animosity of the savages became less intense, and though the persecution continued, and the lives of individual members of the little band were more than once attempted, the project of a massacre was for the present abandoned.

By the end of the year 1638, the mission had seven priests who spoke Huron, and three more who were learning it. There were about sixty converts, and at Ossossané a commodious chapel of wood had been built by the labor of artisans sent for the purpose from Quebec. The original intention of the Jesuits was to form permanent missions in each of the principal Huron towns. This, however, proved impracticable, and a spot was chosen on the little river Wye, near Matchedash Bay of Lake Huron, for a great central station, to which they gave the name of Sainte Marie. The Huron towns were now apportioned into districts, and a certain number of priests assigned to each. Father Garnier and Father Jogues made an ineffectual attempt to establish a mission among the Tobacco nation, two days' journey to the south-west. {201} But their evil reputation had preceded them. The children cried out, when they saw them approach, that famine and pest were coming. Every door was closed against them; and when in despair they left the town, a band of young braves followed them, hatchet in hand, to put them to death. Under cover of the darkness they made their escape, and Father Jogues, with Father Raymbault, afterward passed around the northern shore of Lake Huron, and preached the faith among the Ojibwas, as far as Sault Sainte Marie, at the outlet of Lake Superior. In the mean time Brébeuf and Chaumonot went on a mission to the powerful and ferocious Neutral nation which inhabited the country between lakes Erie and Ontario, on both sides of the Niagara river. They visited eighteen of the Neutral towns. In all they were received with a storm of insults, blows, and maledictions. The Hurons had been afraid to kill them, dreading the vengeance of the French at Quebec; but they had sent secret emissaries to incite the Neutrals against them, and had promised nine French hatchets to the tribe which should be their executioners. Brébeuf was the object of their special hatred. This glorious man, whom Parkman calls the truest hero and the greatest martyr of the Huron mission, was feared with an intensity which none of his companions inspired. But in the midst of his persecutions God consoled him with heavenly favors. Celestial visions comforted him in his toilsome journeys through the forest. He saw the image of a vast and gorgeous palace, and a voice assured him that such was to be the reward of those who dwell in hovels for the cause of God. Angels appeared to him, and more than once the Blessed Virgin and his dear patron, St. Joseph, were revealed to his sight. Now, when the Neutral nation shut him out of their lodges, half famished and nearly frozen, the apparition of a great cross—"large enough," he said to his brethren, "to crucify us all"—came slowly up from the country of the Iroquois. It seems like a warning of the glorious fate which awaited him, and to those heroic souls who longed for martyrdom as the bright crown of their labor, we cannot doubt that it was also a sweet consolation.

The day of persecution, however, was only dawning. The sufferings of the past few years were as nothing in comparison with the torments that were to follow. In the summer of 1642, the mission had been reduced to great destitution, and Father Jogues was sent to Quebec to obtain clothing, writing materials, wine for the altar, and other necessary stores. He returned with the annual fleet of Huron canoes, having with him two young French laymen, René Goupil and Guillaume Couture, who had attached themselves without pay to the mission, and a few Indian converts. They were passing the Lake of St. Peter, in the St. Lawrence river, when they were suddenly attacked by a war-party of Mohawks. The greater part of the Hurons leaped ashore and took to the woods. The French and their converts made fight for a while, but were soon overpowered. Father Jogues sprang into a clump of bulrushes and might have escaped, but, seeing Goupil in the hands of the savages, he came forward, resolved to share his fate. Couture, too, got away, but came back to join his companions. In his excitement he shot dead one of a band of Mohawks who sprang upon him. The others rushed upon him, tore away his finger-nails with their teeth, gnawed at his fingers like wild beasts, and thrust a sword through one of his hands. {202} The Jesuit threw his arms about his friend's neck, but the Indians dragged him away, beat him till he was senseless, and when he revived lacerated his fingers as they had done those of Couture. Goupil was then treated in the same manner. They set off with their prisoners for the Mohawk towns, rowing across Lake Champlain and Lake George. Thirteen days of horrible suffering were passed on the journey. At last they reached a palisaded village, built upon a hill on the banks of the Mohawk river. At the entrance the prisoners were forced to run the gauntlet. Then they were placed on a high platform, disfigured, livid, and streaming with blood, and the crowd proceeded to "caress" them. A Christian Algonquin woman, a prisoner among them, was compelled to cut off the priest's left thumb with a clam-shell. Goupil was mutilated in the same manner. The torture lasted all day. At night the captives were stretched on their backs with limbs extended, and their wrists and ankles fastened to stakes. The children now amused themselves by placing live coals on their naked bodies. For three days more they were exposed on the scaffold; then they were led to two other Mohawk towns in turn, and at each the tortures were repeated. Once some Huron prisoners were placed on the same platform with them, and Father Jogues found an opportunity to convert them in the midst of the torture, and to baptize them with a few rain-drops from an ear of corn that had been thrown to him for food. Couture, having won the respect of the savages by his intrepid bearing, was adopted into one of their families, and gained in time great influence over them. Goupil was one day detected making the sign of the cross on the forehead of a child, and for this was killed by a blow from a hatchet, falling at the feet of Father Jogues, who gave him absolution before he expired. The priest himself, warned every hour that his death was near, and hated by his captors, who thought he brought bad luck to their hunting parties, was dragged around from place to place, now following the hunters through the forest, now laboring in the villages to convert the old men and squaws, or baptize dying children. He brought firewood for his masters, did their bidding without a murmur, was silent under their abuse; but, when they reviled his faith, he rose with a majestic air, and rebuked them as one having authority.

He had been nearly a year in slavery when the Indians took him with them on a trading visit to the Dutch at Fort Orange, (Albany.) We can imagine how his heart must have beat at the sight of a white face after his long banishment but he had no thought of turning back after his hand had once been put to the plough, and no plans of escape entered his mind. While here, however, he learned that the Indians of the village had at last resolved to kill him as soon as he returned. He had found means to warn the French at Three Rivers of intended treachery on the part of some Mohawk visitors, and the savages had determined to be revenged. To trust himself longer in their hands would not be heroism, but foolhardiness. A Dutch settler named Van Curler offered him a passage, in a little vessel then lying in the Hudson, either to Bordeaux or Rochelle. The Jesuit spent a night in prayer, and then resolved to accept the proposal. With the assistance of his Dutch friends, and after several narrow escapes from detection, he got away from his savage masters by night, rowed to the vessel in a boat which the settlers left for his use on the shore, and was kindly received by the sailors and stowed away in the hold. {203} There he remained half-stifled for two days and a half, while the enraged Mohawks ransacked the settlement and searched the vessel. For better security until the day of sailing, he was then concealed in the garret of a house on shore, where his host stole the provisions that the kind-hearted Dutchmen sent for his use. The Dutch dominie, Megapolensis, visited him here, and did all he could for his comfort. At last, an order came from Manhattan that he should be sent down to the Director-General Kieft, who exchanged his squalid Indian dress for a suit of Dutch cloth, and gave him passage in a small vessel to Falmouth. After various adventures, having fallen into the hands of robbers in the English port, and made his way to France in a coal-vessel, he presented himself, on the morning of the 5th of January, 1644, clad in tatters, at the door of the Jesuit college in Rennes. He asked for the father rector, but was told that he was busy and could not be seen. "Tell him, if you please," said Father Jogues, "that a man from Canada would speak a few words with him." The Canada mission was an object of deep interest at this time all through the society, and the father rector, though he was about vesting for mass, ordered the man to be admitted. He asked many questions about the affairs of Canada, and at last inquired if the stranger knew Father Jogues.

"I know him very well," was the reply.

"The Iroquois have taken him," continued the reverend Superior. "Is he dead?"

"No," answered the missionary, "he is alive and at liberty. I am he." Then he fell on his knees and asked the rector's blessing.

His arrival was celebrated, as we might well suppose, with great rejoicing. He was summoned to Paris, where the queen kissed his mutilated hands and the whole court strove to honor him. The blandishments of the great, however, gave no pleasure to this scarred veteran of Christ's army. He longed to be again in the field, and in two or three months he sailed once more for Canada.

In the mean time the missions had fared ill. Violent warfare raged between the Iroquois confederation (of which the Mohawks formed a part) and the Hurons and Algonquins. In one respect and for a short time this was of some benefit to the faith, for the Algonquins, threatened with destruction by their more powerful enemies, became docile, and listened more readily to the exhortations of the French priests. Yet they were rapidly approaching extermination. Whole villages were destroyed in the periodical incursions of the Iroquois. The neophytes were massacred. The missionaries were intercepted on their journeys. Father Joseph Bressani was captured on his way to the Huron country in the spring of 1644. One of his Indian companions was roasted and eaten before his eyes. The father himself was beaten with sticks until he was covered with blood. His hands were fearfully mutilated. His fingers were slit; one day a nail would be burned off; the next, a joint. He was made to walk on hot cinders. He was given up to the children to be tortured. He was hanged by the feet with chains. He was tied to the ground, and food was placed upon his naked body that the dogs might lacerate him as they ate. Ten weeks afterward he wrote to the father-general at Rome: "I do not know if your paternity will recognize the handwriting of one whom you once knew very well. {204} The letter is soiled and ill-written; because the writer has only one finger of his right hand left entire, and cannot prevent the blood from his wounds, which are still open, from staining the paper. His ink is gunpowder mixed with water, and his table is the earth." He survived and was carried to Fort Orange, where the Dutch ransomed him and sent him back to France. The next spring he too returned and succeeded in reaching the Hurons. Father de Nouë, whom we have mentioned as one of the first companions of Le Jeune, perished in the snow in February, 1646, on the way from Quebec to a French port at the mouth of the river Richelieu, where he was to hear confessions. A peace had indeed been concluded with the Mohawks just before Jogues' return, but a peace with them could be no better than a precarious truce. Couture, who had been with Father Jogues in his captivity, and become a person of consideration with the tribe, had rendered good service in the negotiation, and would continue to serve his countrymen to the utmost of his power; yet it was felt that to keep the Indians to their engagements an agent of still higher personal character was required, and Father Jogues was assigned to the duty. "I shall go," he wrote to a friend, "but I shall not return."

His mission was partly political, but mainly, of course, religious. By the advice of an Algonquin convert, he exchanged his cassock for a civilian's doublet, not wishing to irritate the savages by a premature declaration of his heavenly message. He held a council with the head men of the Mohawks, presented the gifts of the Canadian government, and then set about founding a new mission, to be called the Mission of the Martyrs. There were three principal clans among the Mohawks—those of the Bear, the Tortoise, and the Wolf. The first were bitter foes of the French, and eager for war; the others stood out resolutely for peace. Many were the fierce debates around their council-fires whether the missionary should be killed or not. At last, one day, a band of warriors of the Bear clan met the priest and a young lay companion of his, named Lalande, in the woods, stripped them, and led them in triumph to the town. There they were beaten with sticks, and strips of flesh were cut from Father Jogues' back and arms. In the evening, the priest was sitting in one of the lodges, when an Indian entered and invited him to a feast. To refuse would have been an insult. He arose and followed the messenger to the cabin of the chief of the Bears. As he bent his head to enter, a savage, concealed within, clove his skull with a hatchet, the weapon cutting through the arm of an Indian who tried to avert the blow. The martyr sank at the feet of his murderer. His head was instantly cut off, and stuck upon the palisade which enclosed the town, and his body was thrown into the river. The next day Lalande was killed, and his remains received the same treatment.

The murder of Father Jogues was the signal for a reopening of the war with the colonists and their allies, and among the first victims were the Algonquin converts. We have no space to relate the story of the surprise of their villages, the shocking torture of the captives, or the massacre of the children, the old, and the infirm. But some of the prisoners escaped, and the adventures of one of them were so interesting that we cannot resist the temptation to copy them from the animated narrative of Parkman. {205} This was an Algonquin woman named Marie, whose husband had been burned with other captives. One night, while the savages were dancing and shrieking round the flames in which one of her countrymen was being consumed, she stole away into the forest. The ground was covered with snow, so, lest her footsteps should betray her, she retraced the beaten path in which the Indians had already travelled until she came near a village of the Onondagas. There she hid herself in a thicket, and at night crept forth to grope in the snow for a few grains of corn left from the last year's harvest. She saw many Indians from her lurking-place, and once a tall savage with an axe came directly toward her, but she murmured a prayer and he turned away. Certain of death if discovered, and disheartened at the prospect of the long and terrible journey through the frozen wilderness to Canada, she tried to commit suicide by hanging herself with her girdle, but it broke twice, and she plucked up heart. With no clothing but a thin tunic, she travelled on, directing her course by the sun, and living upon roots and the inner bark of trees, and now and then catching tortoises in the brooks. At night she kindled a fire by the friction of two sticks in some deep nook of the forest, warmed herself, cooked her food, if she had any, and said her rosary. Once she discovered a party of Iroquois warriors, but she lay concealed and they passed without observing her. Following their trail, she found their bark canoe by the bank of a river. It was too large for her to manage alone, but with a hatchet which she had picked up in a deserted camp she reduced it to a convenient size, and floated down the stream to the St. Lawrence. Her journey was now much easier. There were eggs of wild fowl to be found along the shore, and fish in the river, which she speared with a sharp pole. She even killed deer by driving them into the water, chasing them in her canoe, and striking them on the head with her hatchet. At the end of two months she reached Montreal, after hardships which no woman but an Indian could have supported.

The central mission of Sainte Marie was meanwhile in the flush of prosperity. The buildings included a church, a kitchen, a refectory, large rooms for spiritual instruction and the exercises of retreat, and lodgings for at least sixty persons. Around these principal houses ran a fortified line of palisades and masonry, outside which was a hospital and a large bark hut for the reception of wandering Indians. Here every alternate week the converts from all the Huron villages gathered in immense crowds to attend divine service, celebrated with all the pomp which the resources of the mission allowed, and to partake for three days of the bounteous hospitality of the good fathers. In times of pestilence and famine they flocked hither for relief, and at one time, in a year of scarcity, as many as three thousand received food and shelter at Sainte Marie. Hither, also, two or three times every year, the Jesuits—now twenty-two in number, including four lay-brothers—came together from their outlying missions, to refresh their souls by mutual counsel, and gather strength in prayer and meditation for the work of the next twelve months. To assist in the manual labor of the establishment there were seven hired men and four boys, and as a defence against the dreaded Iroquois the commandant of Quebec had sent them a guard of eight soldiers. {206} They received also much valuable help from the donnés, or "given men"—French laymen, who from pure zeal devoted themselves to the service of the mission, travelling with the fathers on their dangerous journeys, and sometimes sharing—like Goupil, called "the good Réné"—in the glories of their martyrdom. These pious men—"seculars in garb," Father Gamier called them, "but religious in heart"—received no pay except a bare maintenance. There were eleven smaller missions dependent upon Sainte Marie, eight among the Hurons and three among the Algonquins. At several of them there was a church where every morning a bell summoned the dusky converts to Mass, and every evening they met again for prayer. Despite the enormous difficulties of transportation through that tangled wilderness, the fathers had found means to carry with them from place to place large colored pictures, gay draperies, and many a showy ornament for the altar or the walls, which they well knew would invest their rude chapels with an almost irresistible attraction for the savage mind. In many villages the Christians, by the year 1649, outnumbered the pagans. Sundays and feast-days were almost wholly devoted to religious exercises; and if the Indians had not wholly abandoned their barbarous and cruel practices, it is certain that the ferocity even of those who refused to become Christians was sensibly tamed.

But the season of good fortune which followed the martyrdom of Goupil and Jogues was destined to be but short. The increasing hostility of the Iroquois was to be the destruction at once of the Huron nation and of the high hopes which had been built upon that people. Yet it may be questioned whether the Jesuits would have long been left at peace even had these terrible foes kept within the range of their own villages. Even among the Hurons the murmurs of suspicion and dislike had begun to be heard again. The French ceremony of "prayer," said the savages, had blighted the crops, and the mystic rites of the priests had brought famine and desolation upon the nation. There was even a story, widely believed in the Huron lodges, that an Indian girl, baptized before her death, had been to the French heaven, and, after suffering horrible torments there from the pale faces, had made her escape back to earth to deter her countrymen from rushing to the same fate. A young Frenchman in the service of the mission had been treacherously murdered; and though the missionaries by a wise show of resolution had compelled the nation to make satisfaction for the outrage by the ceremonious offering of numerous strings of wampum, and had thus restored their waning influence, it was clear that their position at the best was extremely precarious, and that persecution, if it came not from abroad, would pretty surely be commenced at home. The catastrophe, therefore, when it came, found the priests not unprepared. For years they had carried their lives in their hands, ready to cast them down at any moment. For years they had walked through the valley of the shadow of death, and in the midst of the dark river and in the bitter waters they knew that the almighty Arm was stretched forth to hold them up.

The final act opened at the village of Teanaustayé, or St. Joseph, on the south-eastern frontier of the Huron country. {207} On the 4th of July, 1648, Father Daniel, fresh from his annual retreat at Sainte Marie, had just finished Mass, and his congregation were still kneeling in the church, when the Iroquois burst upon the town and attacked the palisade which surrounded it. The priest, after rallying the warriors to defend their homes, ran from house to house urging unbelievers to repent. A panic-stricken crowd fell at his knees and declared themselves Christians, and he baptized them with water sprinkled from a wet handkerchief, for there was no time to do more. When the palisade was broken down, he showed his flock how to escape at the other end of the town. "I will stay here," said he. "We shall meet again in heaven." He would not fly while there was a soul to be saved in the village. In his priestly vestments he went out to the church-door to meet the Iroquois. For a moment they paused in amazement. Then, pierced with scores of arrows and a musket-ball through the heart, he fell, gasping the name of Jesus. The savages hacked his lifeless body, bathed their faces in his blood to make them brave, and consumed in one great conflagration the village, the church, and the sacred remains.

The following March the missions of St. Louis and St. Ignace were burned by the same terrible enemy. At the latter were two of the Jesuits; Brébeuf, sturdy offspring of a warrior race, with all the soldierly characteristics of his Norman ancestors; and Lalemant, delicate in body and in spirit, yet in the glorious cause no whit less courageous and resolute than his stronger companion. They were seized by their captors, and Brébeuf was bound to a stake, and, as he ceased not to exhort and encourage the convert prisoners, the Iroquois scorched him from head to foot to silence him. That failing, they cut away his lower lip, and thrust a red-hot iron down his throat, yet still he held himself erect without uttering a groan. Lalemant, led out to be burned, with strips of bark smeared with pitch tied about his naked body, broke loose from his guards and cast himself at the hero's feet, crying out in a broken voice: "We are made a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men." He was immediately seized and made fast to a post, and as the flames enveloped him he threw up his arms to heaven with a shriek of agony. Brébeuf, with a collar of red-hot hatchets round his neck and with his hands and nose cut off, had to witness the tortures of his friend and could not even utter a word of comfort. An apostate Indian in the crowd cried out, "Baptize them! baptize them!" Instantly kettles were placed upon the fire, the priests' scalps were torn away, and scalding water was poured slowly over their bleeding heads. Brébeuf's feet were next cut off, strips of flesh were sliced from his limbs and eaten before his eyes, and at last, when life was nearly extinct, the savages laid open his breast, tore out his heart and devoured it, and thronged around the mangled corpse to drink the blood of so magnificent and indomitable a hero. His torments had lasted four hours. Father Lalemant, though a man of extreme feebleness of constitution, survived the torture seventeen hours, writhing through the night in the most excruciating sufferings, until an Iroquois, surfeited with the long entertainment, killed him with a hatchet.

This massacre was the death-knell of the Huron mission—of the mission, that is to say, in the form and extent in which the society had originally designed it. {208} Other villages were burned; two other missionaries, Gamier and Chabanel, were martyred; the entire establishment was withdrawn from Sainte Marie; and the miserable remnant of the Hurons was scattered far and wide. A portion of them, after a winter of starvation, embarked with the surviving missionaries for Quebec, and near that city founded a settlement, in which the Christian faith was preserved and is cherished to this day. Others voluntarily abandoned their nationality and were adopted into the Seneca tribe of the Iroquois, where eighteen years afterward many of them were found to be still good Catholics.

The story which we have briefly traced in its most striking outlines is but one chapter in the long history of the labors, the sufferings, and the glorious achievements of the Jesuits in North America. We would gladly have followed them further in their journeys through the wilderness, traced them with a Huron remnant in the far west, and lingered for a while about their headquarters at Quebec watching the growth of the central establishment which sent forth its apostles to the great lakes on the one hand, and through the forests of Maine to the sea-coast on the other. But we must bring our story to a close. The record of their work has been well preserved in the three books whose titles we have placed at the head of this article. The history by Mr. John G. Shea, to whom Catholics in general and American Catholics especially are under the deepest obligations for his careful and successful researches, is the fullest and, we doubt not, the most correct. The narrative of Mr. Parkman, which we have followed closely, giving in some parts of our article merely an abstract of what he has told in picturesque detail, is written in a charming style, and is valuable as testimony to the exalted character of the missionaries from one who has no sympathy with their faith and is unable to appreciate their piety.

The Iroquois, in destroying the Huron nation, and with it the Algonquins, to whom the Hurons had hitherto served as a bulwark, had destroyed the Jesuit scheme of a Christian Indian empire; but the labor of the missionaries had not been in vain. The seed which they had planted was not allowed to die. The exiles carried the sacred deposit of faith with them in their wanderings, as the Israelites in the wilderness bore the ark of the covenant. Years afterward, when Father Grelon, one of those who escaped from the Iroquois massacre, was travelling in the heart of Tartary, he met a Huron woman who had learned the truth from him in the little chapel at Sainte Marie, and after the final catastrophe had been sold from tribe to tribe until she reached the interior of Asia. She knelt at his feet, and in her native tongue, which she had not spoken nor the priest heard for years, she made her confession. Nor was it only in the fidelity of individuals that the missionaries reaped their harvest. When, after the ruin of their enterprise on the shores of the Georgian Bay, they sent their undaunted preachers among that terrible people who had wrought such havoc, how can we doubt that the blood of Brébeuf and his brethren was permitted to fructify their labors, and that the saintly men who gave their sufferings for the poor savage during so many years pleaded and prevailed in the same great cause after they had entered into their reward?


Translated from Le Correspondant.

Learned Women and Studious Women.

By Monseigneur Dupanloup.


Advantages of Intellectual Labor.

I do not recommend self-culture merely for the personal satisfaction of women, or in order that they may have mental gratification. Study is evidently useful and important for the accomplishment of important duties. Is it not a convenience, in se a teacher or governess, for one's daughters to understand what is called le fond du métier better than they do, so that one may superintend and direct them, and even if necessary, supply their place? Should a mother give her children life and then leave the duties of maternity in the hands of mercenaries, no matter how conscientious and devoted they may be?

But it is in relation to sons that maternal ignorance has the most fatal results. Not only is a wife not consulted about her boys, but, if she makes any objection to an irreligious school, the husband answers: "I wish my son to have a career. I shall place him where he will be prepared for it. You do not know even the names of the sciences he must acquire—leave the direction of his education to me." And when the little individual leaves school, puffed up with conceit rather than with knowledge, and the mother's Christian heart shows her the sophistry with which her son's mind has been filled, she must keep silence for want of one single fact, one precise datum in her memory to oppose to perilous errors.

Often a father, engaged in some especial career, loses sight of the literary or artistic movement which interests his son in early manhood. Then is the time when an intelligent, well-informed mother could initiate him in pursuits which she has loved and cultivated all her life. She could point out to him good authors and books worth reading, read with him, teach him to reject dangerous writers and bad books, and stimulate his taste for study, by directing it to noble objects.

Surely a mother is bound to cherish the body and the soul of her child. Indeed, her place may be more easily filled with respect to the details of physical education, than to those of intellectual and moral training. Many persons can assist her in the former; with regard to the latter, she often stands alone, and sometimes surrounded by obstacles.

To follow a young man's mental development and course of study, to watch over him and guide him with the authority belonging to a rectitude of judgment which carries conviction along with it, and to an enlightened understanding which unites with goodness in inspiring admiration and confidence—all this presupposes a rare combination of mental qualities. {210} How many mothers there are who lose their hold upon a son's soul because they have not borne, nursed, reared, and nourished his understanding as well as his physical being. To be a mother, a mother in all the elevation, extent, and depth of that great name! This aim alone justifies a woman's noblest efforts to acquire the highest intellectual culture.

But if you agree to favor the men development of women, for the sake even of domestic usefulness, accept this development in its completeness; do not impose upon it arbitrary limits. There are minds that cannot unfold in mutilation or inaction, which need expansion, as St. Augustine says, to become strong.

A woman who, from a sentiment for art or literature, has developed talent, does not lose, by becoming skilful, the advantages that mediocre faculties would have given her. We may feel sure that gifts of this nature answer to duties, and find themselves in harmony with the providential destiny of their possessors.

I do not believe, with M. de Maistre, that science in petticoats, as he calls it, or talent of any description whatsoever, makes a woman less excellent as a wife or mother.

Study renders a wife worthy of her husband if he is intelligent. Union can hardly be preserved in a household unless community of intellect completes that of affection. As a woman loses her youthful charms, the worth of her mind must increase in her husband's eyes, and esteem perpetuate affection. By that time the husband, if he has ability, is entering upon the period of his greatest activity, while too often the wife, brought up in the severest principles and in habits of empty occupations, bores him with her mechanical piety, her music, and her worsted work. A crowd of engrossing duties gain ever stronger possession of the husband, forming a circle which the unoccupied wife cannot penetrate, and thus is brought about between them what one may call a mental separation.

On the other hand, a studious woman shares her husband's preoccupation, and sustains him in his labors and struggles. She follows her husband and precedes her son, occupying in the home circle a lofty position that makes her an aid and adviser to its master. She feels that he is proud of her, and needs her, but this does not make her presumptuous. She leans securely on her happiness, feeling confident that nothing can shake a union formed upon a principle of perfect community of two souls and two intelligences, feeling sure that her love will last as long as the souls it unites. To a woman who is superior to her husband, study gives an intellectual aliment without which she would feel rebellious, and in such a household there may be great happiness and tranquillity. Even in the case of a husband who is unworthy of his wife, he is forced to respect her for the superiority of her intellect. The standing which she earns for herself in the world by her talent and virtue, wins his regard, and she at least holds the honor of her family in her own hands.

Woman, in becoming Christian, has become man's companion, socia, and moreover an aid, assistant, support, and adviser, adjutorium. Religion, while elevating her soul and heart, has also rendered her mind capable of comprehending, sometimes of equalling, but most especially of assisting the intelligence of man. While leaving her physically weak, God has implanted in her the germs of every greatness and every moral power. {211} There has never been a noble work in which women have not assisted; as the teachers of men, as their inspirers, and often as the companions of their labor, the world has seen women devote intellect and life to those whom they loved, dwelling on a level with thoughts which, being confided first to them, had drawn a swift and strong development from the double influence. Woman owes to education the union of her intellectual life to that of man. She has worked for him, she has worked like him for God, and man has drawn a subtile growth from the frail creature entrusted to his protection.

I know nothing more generous than an intimacy that does not stop at a conjugal union of interests or even of affections, but passes on to the domain of thought. I have seen such unions. I know too more than one father, who, notwithstanding his rare intelligence, must have left the work of a lifetime unfinished but for the aid of a mind placed at the service of his age and infirmity by filial devotion.

I believe that a woman's acquirements help her to fulfil great duties toward her husband, and I know many men (no offence to M. de Maistre) who could get along better with a savante than with a coquette.

So far I have spoken of domestic life. Let us now examine the question with regard to society, taking the following theses to argue.

I maintain that, if the world were more indulgent and refrained from launching stupid anathemas at studious women, those who have such tastes would indulge them without fancying themselves to be extraordinary persons; and that they would infuse a certain life into society, even if their number were limited. Perhaps the standard of conversation, occupations, and ideas would rise, and elevated subjects inspire more interest. Who would complain of such a change?

Instead of ending their education on a certain fixed day, and throwing themselves heart and soul into society, young women would preserve the habits of intellectual training; they would carry on and complete for themselves, their husband and their children the education already commenced; some cultivating art, others writing or studying, others reading. Thus they would become acquainted with the interests of religion and society; with opinions and books and ideas in general circulation. Would they not exercise a new and salutary influence at home and in the world?

But it is especially in the provinces that such aspirations are severely criticised. Those women have small liberty to learn, and still less to make use of their acquirements. The most tolerant say, "Study on condition that you conceal what you learn. Your whole inner life claims expansion and sympathy? Never mind that!"

But if you forbid women to write or speak of the things that interest them, how can you suppose they will have the courage to work for the acquirement of knowledge that is to be buried for ever in their own minds?

And I repeat, if the standard of conversation could be raised a little, drawn out of the monotonous circle in which it moves, where would be the harm? Instead of seeking in society a sterile distraction, and often finding ennui, if some intercourse of mind at least, if not of heart and soul, could be established, replacing town-gossip and dissertations on the fashions by interesting and instructive conversations from which one could derive the advantage that always results from effort made in common to arrive at an appreciation of the beautiful, and of noble ideas and interests, would not the change betoken genuine progress?


This is to be found in some salons. There are homes where young girls are not excluded from general conversation. They are not, as elsewhere, banished to a corner of the drawing-room to enjoy the privilege and habit of discussing together every sort of nonsense, but are allowed to listen to anything that interests them, and even to talk agreeably without being thought conspicuous. This was the habit at M.——'s, where his two daughters joined the most serious réunions, mingling in very interesting conversations, or at least listening, and all quite naturally, without pretension or pedantry. Those two young girls have become very superior women. How many, on the other hand, suffer from ennui or become deteriorated, because their active minds receive no nourishment!

Is it then so difficult to prove that the intellectual development of women through literature and the fine arts, far from introducing a foreign element into their lives, or creating necessities and interfering with duty, is, on the contrary, a source of daily advantage to domestic life and to society?

In the domestic circle, whose moral atmosphere they create as it were, elevating or debasing by their influence, sentiments, occupations, and ideas; and in society, where a well-directed employment of their talents and cultivation would substitute solidity for the hollow frivolity of the reunions of the present day. "For three years I have seen society in the provinces," writes to me a young woman. "It differs little from that of other (provincial) places, I suppose. Ah me! sometimes at the end of the day I sum up six or seven hours spent, with or against my will, in gossip about my neighbors that, while compromising charity, has exhausted the mind and narrowed the already narrow horizon."

Is there no middle course for women between the folly of dangerous and frivolous amusements, such as balls and theatres, and the insupportable bore of parties where long evening hours are spent in the smallest of small talk? Efforts in a different direction meet with success. Last winter, an intelligent and religious woman, who likes society but does not dance, tried the experiment in a provincial town. She conceived the idea of having really good music in her drawing-room. Quartettes of Mozart and Beethoven were played. The admiration aroused by these chef-d'oeuvres naturally lifted the mind above the level of those common preoccupations that find their echo in society. Conversation felt the influence; every one was delighted, and brought away something from these soirées, where the sense of beauty, while reasserting itself, awoke good thoughts and strengthened noble sentiments.

I think that, if women took thus the initiative, giving an upward direction to that craving for recreation which we seek to satisfy in society; if men found other ways of pleasing women, more acceptable than insipidity and frivolity; perhaps worthless young men would feel themselves less masters of the world, and clubs would be less generally the refuge of gentlemen who find themselves bored in drawing-rooms.

If we could conquer the terrible prejudice that forbids a woman to be well educated, to talk of or even appear interested in serious things, there would be a goodly number who would take a nobler aim and find pleasure in something better than dress. Then, an intelligent woman would be no greater exception than one who plays on the piano, and would not have those temptations to pride, which are said to assail her in her position of phenomenon.


We cannot destroy the world, but we can ameliorate it, by giving it other attractions than those of idle or intoxicating pleasure. Would not intellectual progress pave the way for moral progress? I know salons where, thanks to the dignity and intelligence of the thoughtful, amiable hostess, great events, noble ideas, and good works ever find an echo; where solid conversation stimulates ardor for study, by opening broader intellectual horizons, and where pure artistic emotions develop a love of the beautiful. If a little more artistic and intellectual life were introduced into Christian society, one would not feel obliged to go to the theatre to catch a few reflets, as I have heard said, even in families where religion was in other respects quite faithfully practised.

No doubt—and here I sum up the whole matter under discussion—no doubt, intellectual culture may present three perils, but perils easily guarded against.

1st. A neglect of practical duties. This danger must be met by fortifying practical education, by giving young girls habits of order and of regularity, which double time and assign a place in life to every duty; and above all, habits of practical and solid piety, which means nothing else than a courageous fulfilment of duty.

2d. An exaltation of imagination, leading one to crave intellectual enjoyments that cannot always be granted.

Here again piety alone can preserve equilibrium. The important point is, to make education respond to the gifts of God without overloading or smothering them, for they usually bring with them counterbalancing perils. Excessive culture is dangerous, insufficient culture perhaps more so.

3d. Pride. This must be prevented by good sense cultivated in a Christian manner. It is to be remarked that, if mental culture, like personal charms, can excite pride, study has at least a counterpoise. It gives an enlightened seriousness to the mind, while successes due to beauty and dress cannot but be frivolous and mischievous.

Pride, I acknowledge, affords a specious plea for the maintenance of systems restricting feminine education. We would preserve to them that modesty which is said to be their brightest ornament. I agree that modesty is not only a virtue, but a great charm; but I am by no means sure that ignorance is its best guardian. Nay, taken in a certain sense, it is a pagan virtue, that is to say, a false or very imperfect quality. Give to a woman, as you would to a man, all the knowledge, capacity, development of which she is susceptible; give her at the same time Christian humility, and she will be adorned with a modest simplicity, truer and more charming than that of the poor Hindoo woman who believes herself to be an animal, rather superior to the creatures in her poultry-yard, but very inferior in nature to her husband. This enlightened humility is a genuine virtue, the mother of many other virtues, the inspirer of a high degree of perfection. For humility does not prevent our recognizing the progress we have made. By opening our eyes to the merits of others, it shows us our own defects; and if we were to attain the summit of human ability, it would hold up an ideal superiority that should stimulate effort without arousing either pride or discouragement.


We may be sure that a cultivated mind is of all others the best fitted to a comprehension of duty. It is intelligent humilty, that is to say, true modesty, which preserves us from pedantry.

Vanity! That is the great danger, it is said. But the reputation that a woman acquires by literary or artistic talent is not the rock most to be dreaded. I say again that self-conscious beauty and worldly triumphs fill the heart with a vanity that has no corrective in the cause that produced it.

Study and art, by elevating the soul, serve as a counterpoise to the sentiments of vanity they may excite. I see no such safeguard in successes won by advantages of another sort.

All is summed up in saying that great gifts bring with them a danger against which the mind must be fortified in advance by education. Education must adapt itself to different natures: it must, while developing the germs planted by God, direct this development with firmness, averting perils and avoiding mistakes. It must make the moral development keep pace with the mental; preserving equilibrium between the ideal and the practical life, which interfere with each other less than is supposed, and accordance of which alone constitutes the dignity of existence.

I confess that education is a more difficult and critical affair when applied to a richly endowed nature; but it is also more beautiful and consoling.


The Third Stage.

I crave pardon of the ladies of the so-called grand monde for a truth, a painful truth intended solely for them.

It is in the fashionable world that studious women are rarely found, and that they are obliged to hide their worth. Strange tyranny of fortune! It gives women leisure, and deprives them of the right to use it for the development of intellect. It is to you, fashionable women, that industry must be preached. Women less wealthy do not generally need the exhortation. In modest careers, where toil is the necessary condition of domestic well-being, cultivated women are numerous. It is in the homes of artists, scholars, physicians, lawyers, judges, professors, that we most frequently find clever and studious women, conversant with matters of art, possessed of real talent, highly educated, but nicknamed by no one femmes savantes, because they are the pride and treasure of home, and ensure by their intelligence, domestic ease and comfort, nay, even a certain delicate luxury that has nothing to do with riches, and can be purchased only by feminine taste. The furniture is pretty in form, and gracefully arranged; engravings recall favorite works of art, and reveal the tastes and preferences of the household. Flowers, pictures, books, music, and pretty work, all show the home to be one much lived in, seldom left, where happiness is to be found. These are not empty and magnificent establishments whose masters are always absent, pursuing pleasure with a feverish activity, and flying from the ennui of their home except when the excitement of refurnishing it attracts them, only to be driven away again when the gilded ottomans are all in place. In these modest lodgings on the third story the mother is surrounded by her children. She brings them up herself. Thank God! she must do so, and great is her reward. She reigns over her children, and they understand her merits and sacrifices, and love their mother tenderly. They soon know the blessing of being born in a rank of life where mothers cannot afford to pay servants, governesses, and tutors to usurp their place. {215} What a difference there is between the two systems of education! The sons rank first at college and at school; the daughters receive superior educations that I would gladly propose as a model to fashionable young ladies. They wish to equal the mother who studies with them, directing and following their work with sympathizing interest. The law of labor weighs more stringently upon a mother than upon any other creature; the soul of her children is the field that she must till by the sweat of her brow; no other persons have received graces to enable them to take her place, and if the most complete educations are to be found in modest households such as I have described, it is owing to maternal industry. How many young people acquire a coarse taste for horses and dogs from the mercenaries who educate them! A mother, in teaching her children, inculcates other tastes and ambitions. Sometimes anxiety takes possession of her soul as she asks herself whether she can arm their consciences with faith and honor sufficient to give them courage to bear in their turn a retired life and never consent to win fortune by a base action. Then she redoubles her care of their education, knowing it is to be their only dower, and becomes ever more attentive, virtuous, courageous, in order to transmit to them her own admirable dignity of soul, and merit for them this heavenly favor.

And children who see their mother work, are secretly anxious to comfort and reward her. A desire to do good is more vivid in these abodes of modest happiness than elsewhere, and the joy of duty fulfilled makes each one contented with his lot and at peace with God. The whole day is one of activity; the father is at work, the mother attends to her household duties or takes the children to school or to catechism; and when evening comes, every one is tired with the day's work and glad to stay at home. Then comes the time for repose, children's games, talking, reading, music, intimacy, and gayety; and the day closes peaceably without that worldly bustle and excitement which put to a severe test the virtue of even the most Christian women.

A mother, thus occupied, never thinks of devoting herself to matters connected with her personal interests. She has not the time. Her girlhood, her early womanhood were spent in study. Now she is given up to the service of others. But this disinterested devotion, at once toil and sacrifice, is more elevating to both soul and understanding than any other employment could be. No danger of vanity or pedantry for her! and yet the instruction of her children is a great work. One marvels at the physical power that maternal love can give to a mother bent on carrying out her duties completely. Never wonder to find her capable, elevated, active, intelligent, indifferent to idle trifling and worldly coquetry.

In these modest households again, I find model servants. It is a saying, nowadays, that there are no good domestics to be had. People talk of the servants in old times. Read Molière and the police regulations of the days of Louis XIV., and you will find that the grands seigneurs had worse attendants than we have now. Old-fashioned servants have no more disappeared than old-fashioned virtues. The virtues reign in simple, industrious homes, and there too we must look for devoted domestics. Do not expect hard work in the abodes of magnificent idleness. The servants of the unoccupied soon become unoccupied themselves; instinctively they imitate from a distance their master's example, catch the tone of the establishment, and assume irreproachable manners and lazy habits. {216} A servant knows very well when he is assisting in an ostentatious parade. He is quick to abuse opportunities, and needs often, in order to avenge himself for the inferiority of his position, merely imitate his master, even with no intention of ridiculing him. But a devoted and courageous woman who is the first to take hold of work, transforms the souls of her domestics and raises their service to the dignity of devotion. Of course, the etiquette and perfect discipline that one admires in some establishments are not to be found here. No! Good servants who are not held in immeasurable distance from their masters, assume another sort of livery, the livery of the virtues they see and study closely. They breathe a healthy, strengthening air, and in this atmosphere of industry, honesty, and confidence both masters and servants are happy. Ah! I could mention splendid mansions that are inhabited by ennui, (not to speak of discord,) and I could tell of the happiness and dignity I have often witnessed in the third story.

But in justice it must be added that I have not always met these virtues in the third story, nor ennui and idleness in grand establishments. There, too, when industry reigns, I have seen great virtues. It must be said that all depends upon education and habits.


Bad Habits and Prejudices.

But does education as it is bestowed to-day often accomplish great things? I answer regretfully, No; too often the education of the present day offers no such advantages. It cannot resist worldly dissipation or the idle mockery lavished by empty ignorance on studious women. Connected study and attentive reflection are most of all wanting in the training of girls and the mode of life adopted by young women.

As Ozanam has said, a treatise upon instruction for girls and young women is still to be written. The subject is in no respect rightly understood; no durable fruit has yet appeared.

I know young girls whose education in music and drawing had cost twenty or thirty francs a lesson, cease cultivating these expensive talents on the first day of freedom.

I take a single instance. Most young ladies for seven or eight years of their lives spend two and sometimes three and four hours a day at the piano. But this study to which so much time is given, and which opens glorious horizons to mind and soul, generally ends in one of those soulless talents spoken of by Topffer, which borrow life from vanity only, talents useless for any practical purpose, taking no root in the mind, and seldom destined to survive the wedding-day.

This charming author, rising up in indignation against the use made in educating young people in the fine arts and of what are popularly termed talents d'agrément, exclaims: "How much I have seen of these charming talents and how little of their charm! Young girls are interested in nothing, understand little, feel not at all. I believe, however, that they might seek in artistic pursuits, instead of mere amusing recreation, exercise for the mind, expansion for the heart, development for the imagination, and find in these faculties which are usually destroyed or left idle by feminine occupations, a perfection that would, as it were, clothe and adorn the soul."


But, as matters stand, music is a study, more or less mechanical, that never reaches the soul, and seldom arrives at the commonest comprehension of art. How many girls who pass their days at the piano have neither sense nor appreciation of what they are doing! "We had music," says P. Gratry, "a brilliant tinkling that did not even rest one's nerves." Teachers are eager to impart a facile execution, but there are few who seek to form a good style, to make their pupils understand and appreciate composers, or grasp the chain of musical ideas.

People play on the piano without any comprehension of what they are expressing; as one might recite poems by heart in a language that one did not understand. In Germany, where music claims a large share in the education of girls, it is treated more seriously. Through the study of harmony they rise from mechanism to art.

Drawing is often equally misused. I have seen persons who drew with exactitude and even with facility, and yet could not distinguish good pictures from bad, or remember whether Raphael was the master or the pupil of Perugino. Even talent had not developed in them a sense of beauty.

The world leaves the domain of music free to young girls on condition that they shall derive no spiritual elevation from it and merely waste a great deal of time. As to the plastic arts, even a taste for painting arouses criticism, and M. de Maistre shudders to see his daughter painting in oil. In one word, the arts must be restricted to accomplishments, and sumptuary laws even more severe enforced with regard to literary pursuits.

Excepting in music and drawing a girl's education must be finished at a certain age. "Ever since my eighteenth year," writes a young friend, to whom I had recommended study, "if I expressed a wish to study, I have been asked if my education was not finished." Finish one's education! that means throwing aside books, writing, embroidery, and accomplishments if one has any.

But, we are told, young ladies learn a great variety of things during the time of education. Quite true, and the very subject of my complaint. They are not destined to pass examination for a bachelor's degree, and their whole training tends to give them general notions as shallow as they are widely diffused. Nothing serious, nothing grave, nothing profound—a little of every thing. In the words of an intelligent minister, "Who does not know that what we gain in surface we lose in depth!"

Beyond dispute the plan is comprehensive. I see many young girls who, in addition to common studies, geography, history, rhetoric, begin to learn one or two languages, play on the piano, take singing lessons, draw and paint, and learn to do all sorts of fancy work, as they succeed each other in the caprice of fashion polychromania, leather flowers, etc., etc. Of course, a life of efforts so scattered and diffused, can lead to no good result; and I have heard wise instructors sigh over the obligation imposed upon them of fulfilling such programmes. A little of everything is studied and nothing properly learned; not one talent or faculty developed, not one earnest taste acquired for anything whatsoever. Such half talents and superficial tastes achieve nothing.


If there be a danger in the study of art and literature, it is to be found in stopping precisely at the point indicated by M. de Maistre; at general notions, not solid acquirements; accomplishments, not earnest talents; a lack of something to elevate the soul and nourish the mind. Such smattering helps one to make a momentary show, but not to accomplish anything or to be any one. It indicates that nothing more will be acquired from the moment of leaving the convent.

Precisely the contrary is needed if one would train earnest and assiduous women who may one day prove useful to their husbands and children.

It is difficult to explain why indulgence is shown or exception taken by men of the world. They approve, and very properly, of a girl's speaking two or three living languages. But if, in accordance with Fénélon's advice, you learn a little Latin, hide it as a sin, or be accounted a blue-stocking. You will hardly obtain pardon for a taste for solid reading or historical studies. I have heard of a young woman who drew upon herself that sort of admiration that implies blame, from intelligent people, because she was said to read Le Correspondent. The same persons, on learning that she reserved the morning hours for study, testified immense astonishment and treated her as a savante.

What may be called study—making abstracts or taking notes of what one has read—is not considered proper for women, especially in country towns. Reading is hardly permissible and only within restricted limits. A lady of my acquaintance incurred general censure because, during the first year of her married life, she did not receive or make visits before four o'clock, that she might reserve a few hours for study, in accordance, moreover, with her husband's wishes.

Young girls should regard the close of their first studies as the commencement of a life-long work. Young women should, in the very beginning of married life, establish study as one of the duties of existence. Later, they are engrossed with the education of their children, and can no longer work to please themselves. But even then, the precious habit will cling to them as an inestimable consolation to be enjoyed in every leisure hour. Above all, it remains to fill the void that becomes so irksome when children escape from the mother's guidance, and she once more has freedom and leisure without youth, its joys or its energy.

Labor is a faithful friend that adapts itself to the age and disposition of every being who takes it as a companion for life.

That women may learn to value habits of industry, it is incumbent on us to convince young girls that their education does not end at eighteen, and that their first ball-dress has not, like a bachelor's degree, the virtue of giving to learning its perfect consummation. At that age they have barely information enough to enable them to study alone. Leading-strings are no longer needed in their education, and that is all. They are simply capable of continuing their studies, and of enjoying the pleasure of individual exertion. If a girl could be made to believe this, a serious and earnest future would be secured to her. But the present custom demands that she should study French and history until she is fifteen, and from fifteen to eighteen, piano-playing and drawing. Then comes a pink dress, the crowning glory of her education, the great day so often dreamed of. She goes into society and marries, determined to leave work behind her in accordance with universal practice. {219} This is one of the joys of marriage—to do nothing—and so she wastes a period most precious in a woman's life, a period when she has leisure, and that flame that youth and happiness alone can kindle; expansion of soul, the illumined eyes of the heart, illuminates oculos cordis, as St. Paul says, giving to toil facility, impetus, horizon, power. But so it is; all must be lost, squandered, sunk in those early years, even happiness! Study would have a secret power to draw this young creature from the whirl of life, and give her the calmness and recollection she so much needs, if merely to enjoy her blessings; but no, everything must be frittered away and destroyed.

Then follow years when the excitement of youth dies out, a void is left, beauty vanishes, ennui comes to take possession, and there is nothing to dispute its sway. The children are in the midst of their education, and need no looking after. A mother who knows not the value of industry, is ever ready to excuse idleness in her children, and notwithstanding this indulgence, her sons think very little of their mother when they grow up, and soon regard her as beneath them.



But to come to practical results, what are the faculties to be cultivated in women? The same as in men? Must they study the exact sciences, politics, the secret of government, military art? Are they to emulate Judith, Joan of Arc, Jeanne Hachette, Hormengarde, foundress and regent of the second kingdom of Burgundy, Marguerite d'Albon, Isabella of Castile, Maria Theresa?

Certainly not. Women are to be enumerated who could be and have been all this. Providence creates these extraordinary beings. But though we recognize occasional vocations of genius, courage, and virtue, it would be folly to educate women for careers so exceptional.

Women are physically weak, but their intelligence must not be undervalued. They often have a great deal of mind and always a fund of good sense, demanding nothing but use. Why wonder at all I have implied? They acquire with remarkable ease. Who can fail to recognize the keenness and delicacy of sensibility bestowed on them by heaven, or the natural bent with which their souls turn to the vivifying rays of beauty?

I do not agree with a lady who wrote to me: "We skim over things and seem to know them; we open a book, run through a few pages, and are prepared to discuss it, to give praise or blame, recommendation or warning." I do not grant this. But beyond dispute, they have great facility for everything. It costs them little to assimilate to themselves required information, to make something out of nothing, and a great deal out of scant material. God, not destining them to long and abstract studies, has endowed them with marvellous perspicacity and intuition. They rarely speak of business because it fatigues and bores them; yet if circumstances demand their participation, how useful and sensible they almost invariably prove themselves! Generally, the restoration of family property is due to them; when left widows, they rebuild the fortunes of their children.

It is to be understood that in this vindication, as it were, of woman's right to intellectual culture, I give to study only its due share in the occupations of life. Clearly, household cares and home duties have a superior claim; husband, children, domestics, must be the first interest of a woman who understands the hierarchy of her duties. {220} My advice, if it must be precisely defined, would be, that she reserve at least two hours—if possible, three hours—of each day, for life, for intellectual culture.

So long as women content themselves with reading, looking, and listening, no great opposition is made, and men willingly grant them a place among their auditors. But if the profound emotions of the interior life seek a fuller development; if they seek in the absorption of pursuits answering to their spiritual aspirations an echo that the soul misses in the external world, then society rises up in judgment.

Some women are born artists, that is to say, they are possessed by a craving to give form to thought, to a feeling for beauty which penetrates them, and that too under conditions suitable for the development of this side of their nature. But it is precisely this exercise of the creative faculty which is denied them, and which I wonder to see withheld, since the gift comes from God himself.

Vainly does M. de Maistre maintain that "women have never produced a masterpiece, and that in wishing to emulate men, they become apes." Vainly does he add with unbecoming impertinence, "I have always thought them incomparably handsomer, more attractive, and more useful than apes. I only say and repeat, that women who would make men of themselves are nothing but apes." Or again, "A woman's chef d'oeuvre in science is to understand the works of men."

But soon M. de Maistre contradicts and refutes himself: "We must exaggerate nothing," he says, "belles lettres, moralists, great orators, etc., suffice to give women all the culture they need."

A little later, he congratulates himself on having a daughter, who reads and appreciates St. Augustine, and who "passionately loves beauty of every kind; recites equally well Racine and Tasso; draws, plays, sings very prettily; and, as in her voice there are low chords that pass beyond the feminine range of tone, so are there in her character certain grave fundamental qualities, that belong especially to our sex, and which dominate the rest of her nature."

This is enough; my discussion with M. de Maistre is ended. We entertain, in fact, the same views, and I now address myself merely to worldly prejudice.

We have then, even in M. de Maistre's estimation, as studies possible for women:

1st. Belles lettres, literature both light and serious, a wide field and one as attractive as it is extensive. The range of history alone is immense. There is a philosophy, too, which the feminine mind is fully capable of grasping, and whose essential ideas are necessary to fix its natural mobility and insure to it correctness of thought. Teach a woman to reason justly, and consequently to give precedence to duty in all things, and you have secured the essential part of education as it is needed in every class and condition of life.

2d. The arts—so admirably suited to their imagination, to the delicate grace of their nature. And here I must remark that we unhesitatingly leave open to female competition the most perilous of the fine arts, the one least compatible with their duties and vocation, while shutting them out from the pure and lofty regions of the intellect. Many detractors of women, who cultivate or criticise art, would on no account suppress public singers or actresses.


But, you will tell me, that it is precisely because female artistes are more or less degraded that virtuous women should not become artistes. I think as you do, and more strongly than you, yet I cannot help seeing that you recognize the fact of women's capacity to rise in art, since a few among them have received the gift of inspiration. If they have received this gift, it must be used; honestly and nobly of course, but used. The fact you advance brings its own application.

3d. If a woman can express the beautiful, she can do so through all the languages of the beautiful. Art is identical in principle, whatever be the mode of its expression. Painting, music, poetry, eloquence, the expression of beauty through an exquisite style, or through the accent of an inspired voice, is always beauty bound within the limits of a sensible form to render it perceptible to the soul through the medium of the senses. Each one must clothe it in a form not self-chosen. If you open to woman the most dangerous and frivolous of all the arts, why close to her the others? Because she sinks with the art that ministers to your pleasure, is it impossible for her to rise with noble, true, serious art? If a woman can be a cantatrice, she can be a musician in the elevated sense of the word, a writer or a painter.

Many men affirm authoritatively that women cannot and should not write. It is surprising that a question so easily settled for some persons should be so often discussed. Equal pains have not been taken to prove that women cannot be generals or ministers, yet I am not aware that the example of female warriors has been often claimed by their peers.

The present day is an ill chosen time to contest women's right to authorship, when the three works most generally read are Le Récit d'une Soeur, the writings of Eugénie de Guérin, and Madame Swetchine's Letters.

In becoming writers women do not infringe on the rights of men. "They do not seek to emulate man;" and when all is said, what is it, that M. de Maistre calls "emulating man"? Is it desiring to do all that he does? Of course not. Certain pursuits exclusively belong to him, and are not to be cultivated by women. But if there are points of separation, there is also a common domain where all souls may work together. The most natural is that of art and literature. Even here it may be that woman's field is more restricted than that of man; but she will find her place, and perhaps a place that men could not so well fill.

There are differences between the masculine and the feminine intellect; and it is on this fact that M. de Maistre founds his assertion that because one sex can write the other cannot. We may found upon it a different conclusion, that, bringing another kind of genius into intellectual regions, women will cultivate them after a fashion of their own, adapting their talents in preference to more delicate subjects. In a concert all dissimilar voices must be moulded together: why should not women bear their part in the great harmony of human thought expressed through art? There are notes they only can reach. Silvio Pellico says something similar when, after vainly trying to give women a pendent to the Treatise on the Duties of Men, he exclaims! "Only a woman could write such a book." In a woman's writing there is always a certain touch that reveals her sex. A female author must ever remain a woman. Thus may we reassure the susceptibilities of M. de Maistre and quiet our own fears as to the result of wishing to emulate man.


"Woman is a weak creature, ignorant, timid, and indolent," says Mme. de ——; "possessed of violent passions and petty ideas, a being full of inconsistency and caprice. … Capable of displaying charming defects every day of her life; a treasure of cruelty and of hope." Then mourning over the almost complete disappearance of this type, she seeks an explanation of the fact: "Women have lost in attractions what they have gained in virtues. … Woman was not made to share men's toils, but to afford them recreation." And, finally, summing up in one word the errors that have ruined her sex, she exclaims indignantly, "Woman has aspired to be the companion of man."

Thus, to be a companion instead of a plaything, a Christian rather than a pagan, a being to be respected, trusted, relied upon, rather than one who holds you by a passing attraction, amusing you by her frivolity, and distracting you from graver thoughts—this is a culpable mistake of judgment, and moreover, it is a woman who dares to bring forward such a doctrine.

4th. In my first letters I gave it as my opinion that, in a measure, a woman could occupy herself with sciences, and even with agriculture. The latter assertion provoked some surprise. Let me answer them by a few fragments of a letter written to me upon the subject, by a very sensible and distinguished woman:

"How wisely, monseigneur, you have advised women to interest themselves in business matters and other serious subjects, even studying agriculture. My own observation confirms your opinion. At present, while my son is in the service, and I am separated from all my family, living in the country, and almost always in tête-à-tête, what would become of me if my mother had not given me the habit, from childhood, of interesting myself in every thing about me? Agriculture, with its obstacles and its progress, affords an inexhaustible source of conversation with one's husband, with cures, village notaries, farmers, country neighbors, and petits bourgeois. It is a less inflammatory subject than politics, and one that adapts itself to every understanding. My husband does not disdain to discuss crops and manuring with me—I have my own theories upon drainage, beets, [Footnote 32] and cabbages, [Footnote 33] and he finds me very progressive in my ideas, perhaps too much so; he, however, never builds a stable without consulting me, and before a lease is signed, I must hear it read several times. I believe it to be very important to themselves and to their children that women should understand business, the investment of funds, the management of property. They should not decide, but listen and advise. Husbands, generally, ask nothing better than to talk openly of these things, because such subjects interest them more than any others; but usually no one listens. When a man meets with yawning inattention, all is over; he has recourse to silence, adopts the habit of managing everything for himself, of following his own bent. In the beginning, a young husband is full of confiding openness; later, he becomes more suspicious of control which wounds him in proportion as it is needed. Capacity and earnestness are indispensable to a woman."

[Footnote 32: La bette rave, the kind of beet from which sugar is made, and therefore an important subject to theorize upon. Berthollet is said to have lost his place by failing to answer satisfactorily a question suddenly put to him by Napoleon, concerning la bette rave.]

[Footnote 33: Colza, a cabbage used for making oil, and a topic almost as engrossing as beets.]


I ask that women should be allowed to cultivate any art or science they may choose, and even aim at some eminence in its acquirement, without being annoyed in their honorable pursuit by the terrible anathema which the world launches against (for once we will use the coarse expression) blue-stockings. [Footnote 34] If there are women who, while attending thoroughly and seriously to their household affairs, rise above material life by a love and appreciation of the beautiful, seeking therein a delicate pleasure and pure emotions, enjoying the cultivation of the soul, and listening attentively to the claims of truth and goodness, it is a shame to cast reproach upon them.

[Footnote 34: In the language of unreflecting persons who instinctively love to attack every thing elevated, perhaps in order to drag others down to their own level, the word "blue-stocking" signifies a woman who reads, and greatest of all offences converses.]

5th. Above all things should rank the earnest study of religion. I dwelt long upon this subject in my "Letters to Men and Women of the World;" I will therefore simply say that it is above all in the higher classes, where fortune authorizes a free use of the luxury of education, that religious instruction should be pushed as far as the individual capacity of man and women allows; doctrine, proofs of religion, explanation of ceremonies, church history, selected works of the fathers, great pulpit orators, lives of the saints, etc., etc. all this I have explained and taught in detail. In a course of education there should be an appropriate progressive study of all that concerns religion. Religious facts are so intimately connected with those of modern history, that one can sometimes have a true idea of the latter only by becoming acquainted with the former.

The objection of want of time, the grand objection so often brought forward, remains to be examined. Have women the time to devote to intellectual pursuits? Let us be honest and confess that there are two obstacles to the leisure required: talking and dress.

Yes, the great misfortune of women is, that they indulge in long hours of conversation among themselves, and about what, if not dress, gossip, and housekeeping?

Now, nothing lowers the mind and soul like talking about trifles for hours, and there is but one method of remedying the evil; increase the time devoted to study, thus shortening in an equal degree the hours frittered away in conversation, and supplying mental food far superior to the vulgar subjects that now exhaust so many minds and souls.

As for dress, too much cannot be said against it, not only as a cause of ruin to women of the world, but as a dissolvent of all earnestness even among virtuous Christian women.

Dress! That is what wastes the time and exhausts the spirit of women; that is what takes them from their domestic duties, and not these poor calumniated books. Every attentive observer will recognize, as I do, that it is a taste for the world and for dress that detaches them from home interests far more than a taste for study.

For my own part, I can assert that the truly superior women I have known, those whose superiority was genuine and not a pretence or an affectation, were models of practical wisdom.

There are, on the other hand, certain households admirable in every respect but one—that on an average they discuss dress four or five hours a day. The mother of the family is a woman of great merit and virtue; she dresses with great simplicity; and yet there are no preoccupations so serious, no anxieties or sufferings so pressing, that they cannot be dissipated at least for the moment by the interest of ordering a new gown or bonnet.


These affairs are of vast importance; life slips away while the mind is wasting itself in their service.

Mothers of great merit teach their daughters to consider dress as one of their interests and principal duties, discussing and letting them discuss toilette for hours every day, and judging every earthly thing from the standpoint of toilette. The business of dressing, shopping, choosing materials, talking with shopkeepers and dressmakers, and the time passed by young girls, and even young women, with lady's maids in more confidential intercourse than is becoming; these are in truth the great obstacles to habits of industry.

But leaving the subject of frivolous persons and unoccupied lives, how, you will ask, can a mother who owes all her time to her family find leisure to study?

It is hardly necessary to remark that I am speaking of women in easy circumstances, for the reason that they especially have the means of putting in practice these suggestions. Poor women who earn their bread by the sweat of their brow, are not less precious in the eyes of God or in our own than the favorites of fortune; but daily toil can hardly leave them opportunity to cultivate their minds. And yet even among them there are many not called upon to support their families who, without being rich, keep one domestic, or do the housework themselves with ease and quickness, and thus have nearly as much leisure as women of wealth. How many women there are in business, shop-girls, for instance, or bookkeepers, who surely have time for reading, since they do read—and read—what?

It is well known that a taste for reading is now penetrating even into country villages, affording a means of spending pleasantly the long winter evenings. There are useful directions, an elevated impulse to be given to the class of women of whom we have just spoken; but however worthy of interest such a subject may be, it is not our present theme. Perhaps we may enter on it at some future day.

We address ourselves then to women in easy circumstances. Can the head of a grand establishment, a wife, a mother, find time to study.

Beyond a doubt, yes! To begin with, she can devote to study the time that other women give to worldly entertainments that consume their nights, and to personal adornments that devour their fortunes. They can lay aside all the pursuits that, while absorbing them without offering any advantage, prepare them ill for the duties toward their children that belong to them as mothers of immortal souls.

Does not the secret of living lie in the reconciliation of apparent difficulties? Do not duties, tastes, affections often appear to contradict each other? I have often seen that habits of orderly activity combined with a simplicity that suppresses useless exactions multiply an industrious woman's hours and make it possible to meet every demand. It is a woman's science to understand how to give herself and yet reserve herself: a science composed of gentleness and activity, of devotion and firmness, whose first result is the retrenching of idle indulgences, and the keeping within due bounds the tribute to be paid to the claims of society.


In preceding writings I have shown in detail that there are more empty hours, even in a busy woman's life, than is supposed. When once her children are grown up, she has often too much liberty on her hands. I once knew a lady who had six children. Her two elder sons were at a boarding-school; her three daughters passed the whole day with their governess; even the youngest had his lesson hours. This lonely mother said to me mournfully on one occasion, "I pass the whole day alone with my sewing, and poor company it is;" and she was reduced, poor lady, to seeking outside distractions, innocent but futile. If she had had a taste for study and habits of industry, she would not have been driven from home. Study makes women love their homes, the attraction of work commenced always drawing them thither. How little need of visits and society such persons feel! It is a joy to steal off to one's room and continue one's reading or drawing. It is with a light step that one turns toward home when heart and life are filled with a love of study instead of with an immoderate, ruinous taste for dress and luxury.

Much firmness, sweetness, and perseverance are necessary to secure one's liberty in a household, to make one's working hours respected, without failing in any other duty; in one word, to give and reserve one's self discreetly. It is a question of degree, like most other questions of conduct. But, in order to acquire courage for the struggle, women must be very sure that the right is on their side. They are too apt to mistake for a mere personal taste the duty of cultivating their mental faculties.

I have given strong and unanswerable arguments for the necessity of a rule of life. But in this, as in every human affair, temperament must be consulted. Though it may easily be made an illusion and a convenient pretext to cover self-indulgence, yet one can easily believe that some women, with the best will in the world, must plead the impossibility of having a rule of life, or must submit to see it violated so often as to become a dead letter.

The mistress of a household rises in the morning, she feels unwell, or her husband comes in to discuss plans, business, no matter what; work-people, children little and big, invade her room: the mother of a family has not an hour when she can shut herself up and forbid intrusion. There are women and even girls whose lives slip away under the oppression of these absolutely tyrannical customs, from which it is the more difficult to escape because they assert themselves in the name of devotion and domestic virtue.

If we tell these young people, "crushed and flattened out," as M. de Maistre expresses it, "under the enormous weight of nothing," to create an individual life for themselves, and seek occasional retirement, they answer: "But I cannot; I have not one moment absolutely my own. If I leave the parlor, my room is invaded; somebody wants to speak to me, and so somebody stands about for a quarter of an hour and then sits down. Then some one else comes, and so the time is devoured. With all the efforts in the world to keep my patience, I cannot conceal the annoyance this is to me skilfully enough to avoid being voted a strong-minded woman," [Footnote 35] the correlative term of blue-stocking.

[Footnote 35: Caractère roide, femmes affairée.]

Very well, I say, for want of regular hours let a woman devote odd minutes to study. There are always some in the busiest lives; moments that occur between the various occupations of the day; and she must learn to work by fits and starts, in a desultory fashion. There is a wide difference between the woman who reads sometimes and the woman who never reads.


If the desire to reserve a short time for study led to nothing more than the acquisition of the science of odd minutes, the result would be very important. The science of odd minutes! It multiplies and fertilizes time, but books cannot impart it. It gives habits of order, attention, and precision that react from the external upon the moral life. The most cheerful women, the most equable, serviceable, and, I may add, the healthiest women, are those who are intelligent and industrious, and who, through the medium of a well-ordered activity, have discovered the secret of reconciling the duties they owe to God, to their families, and to themselves.

Between the spiritual and the material life, which answer to two orders of duty, the intellectual life must have its place; a place at present usurped by frivolity.

The intellectual life should be the porch of the spiritual life, material existence the support and instrument of the other two. But alas! it is far otherwise. Material existence usurps, suffocates, extinguishes the light of mind and soul. Art and literature elevate the heart, excite a distaste for gross enjoyments, and spiritualize life. They afford nourishment to mental activity, which is now the prey of levity, especially among women, seducing them to vain and dangerous pleasures. All grand and beautiful things, so worthy of the human intellect, betray the emptiness of material enjoyments, ennoble the soul and lead it to heights that approach heaven.

The culture of art and letters would occupy the feminine imagination profitably. It would create, or rather reveal to women admirable resources conducive to happiness, virtue, in short to a complete existence; whether in society, where woman's influence can elevate or debase ideas, occupations, interests, and sentiments; or at home, where talents and information, while conferring a great charm, would render her more skilful in the direction of children and in the exercise of salutary influence as a wife.

Thus the intellectual and the spiritual life would be united under the blessing of God; thus we should find in the various classes of society, intelligent Christian women, elevated above frivolity, capable of sustaining and inspiring every noble idea, every useful effort, every productive life; women who at home and in the world would be more enlightened, energetic, influential, estimable, forceful than the women of the present day.



I've got a baby, you know. There! if you laugh, I'll not tell you a single word about it. You won't laugh any more? Very well; then don't. My dear old toad—husband, I mean—Dan, who is the born image of baby—oh! yes, a very pretty ruse, indeed, pretending to blow your nose. Can't I see you laughing behind your handkerchief? I've got sharp eyes! Of course I have. All mothers have. Now, be good, and sit up like a man, and—there—don't be putting your hand up that way over your face, because I can see clean through it. What do you say? Good gracious! That remark is not appropriate. However, I forgive you, for it might be if you knew what I'm going to tell you. My dear old toa—husband—is so fond of baby that I don't think I am fonder of him myself; and that is saying all I can say, and all I could wish to say, because baby's me, and I'm baby, as I love to imagine sometimes when I ask myself how much I want Dan to love his foolish little wife and Our Baby. Really, please don't hold your breath in that style; I'm always dreadfully frightened when baby does it.

Now, husband loving baby and me as he does, there's not the least doubt in the world that I am the happiest little woman, and the most contented little wife, that the world ever saw. Perhaps I may exaggerate, but ask dear Dan. If his opinion differs from mine, I'll modify it; for I think he has the best judgment of any man I ever saw. "Tot," he often says, (the dear old toad always calls me Tot, because I'm small,) "my opinion coincides precisely with yours, and, if I have any amendment to make, I feel sure that you yourself would have made it under the circumstances." Of course, I ask if any amendment occurs to his mind. Then he tells me, and, in fact, I see that it is just such an amendment as I would make under the circumstances. Oh! he has the most perfect judgment, has my husband. He not only knows what is best, but he knows just what I would think best. For instance, about what name baby should be christened. If it was to be a boy, I settled at once in my mind that he should be called Daniel, after his papa, to be sure. To think of any other name would be sheer nonsense. But now see the judgment of my old toad. "I was thinking just the same as you, Tot," said he, "and your choice of my own name for the little stranger is the very one I had hoped you would choose; but, knowing how much you and I loved poor brother Alf—who was drowned at sea—I determined to renounce my name in his favor, and so dear brother Alf with his sunny face would live again in our child. If little Tot thinks of that, she will be sure to agree with me." Did I agree with him? Of course I did. What foolish questions you men will ask. I'd no more think of calling him Daniel after that, than of calling him, well—Nebuchodonosor—or some other such heathen name. So the priest christened him Alfred.

Oh! we had such fun at the party. Old Mr. Pillikins—the old gentleman, you recollect, you met here last winter, with the gold spectacles and shiny bald head—was so droll. {228} He wanted to drink baby's health, but somehow he had not heard his name, so looking over to me he says:

"And his name is—"

"Begins with an A," said I.

"Begins with an A," he says after me. "Good, very good. First letter of the alphabet, where all good children ought to begin,

'A was an apple that hung on a tree:'

and the second letter is—"

"Is L, to be sure," said I.

"L! what else could it be?" Mr. Pillikins accented the word else, and then, after he had explained it to us, we had such a good laugh. Wasn't it an excellent pun? Then he thought he had it. So, taking up his glass in his right hand and putting the thumb of his left hand in the armhole of his waistcoat, he says;


"No, no," says I, "not Alexander."

"Not Alexander! True," says he, putting his glass down again. "I was about to add that Alexander had an A and an L, but did not have an—"

"F after it," cried Mrs. Gowsky, from the bottom of the table.

"Madam, you are quite right," replied Mr. Pillikins, bowing. "It has not an F after it, as the baby's name undoubtedly has, and the effect is certainly, more inefable on account of it. Ha, ha! you understand?" Never was there such a punster as the old gentleman. "And then follows a—"

"All the rest," said I, "is just what you did with your Herald this morning, Mr. Pillikins. What was that?"

"Madam, I tore it up."

"No, no. What was the first thing you did with it?"

"Madam, I dried it before the grate. The newspapers nowadays come so damp to one that it is enough to give one the gout in the fingers to hold them."

"Think again," I continued. "What did you do with it after having dried it?"

"Madam, I glanced over its contents, and—"

"O you tease!" said I, "you didn't do anything of the kind. You read it. There!"

"Yes, madam. I read it."

"Well, there's the baby's name, then," I exclaimed, almost losing my patience. "Don't you see?"

"Positively, madam, I did not. It is not the fashion to record births nowadays. Only the marriages and deaths."

"Well," said I, after the laugh this raised had somewhat subsided, "It might have been recorded there, for all I care. It would have been a happy piece of information, and giving a good example—" Now what are you laughing at?—"A happy piece of information," says I, "and that's more than can be said of many other items to be found in its columns."

Having got at the name, at last, Mr. Pillikins made a very pretty speech, at which everybody clapped their hands and smiled, and everything went off pleasantly, except Mr. Gowsky's son, Peter, who broke his wine-glass by hammering it on the table, and then fell backward, sprawling on the floor, from a bad habit he has of tilting his chair up. He scared baby so, that, to tell the truth, I had no pity for him in his confusion, and rather enjoyed his blushes, which never left him all the rest of the evening.

I am malicious? Not I; but a poor, dear baby that cannot protect itself must not be abused with impunity. I was near fainting with fright, too, when I heard the sound; for I thought it must be the baby that had fallen out of its nurse's arms. {229} First thought always about baby? To be sure, bless his little heart, and the last too! You can sit there twiddling your thumbs as if you did not agree with me; but I don't mind you; for what do you know about babies? Dan says, and very truly, that a mother whose first and last thought is not about her baby is not likely to give much thought at all, either first or last, to her husband. I can't understand it; but Dan tells me that nowadays Protestant wives have a horror of babies. I never thought of it before; but there is Mrs. Johnson, she has only one child; and there is Mrs. Thompson, who has but two; and Mrs. Simpson, who is married now six years, and has no children at all. It is so all through the Protestant community, Dan says; and that there are actually more Protestants die than are born. It must be their religion, I suppose, but I cannot imagine how a woman, if she had no religion at all—and the Protestants have got some kind of one or other—could hate babies.

As for me, I can hardly tell you how much I love baby, and how proud I am of him; and well I may be. Dinah Jenkins, his nurse, says that she has nursed a good many babies, but such a baby as Our Baby she never yet saw.

"Hi, missus," said she one day, "dis colored woman t'ought she knowed all kinds o' babies as ever war or ever could be. G'way, Dinah, says I, soon as I luff my eyes on to dis child," (that's Our Baby,) "dis baby ain't no mo' like de babies you's nussed, an' I'se nussed a heap on 'em in my time, dan—dan—stick yer head in de fire!" And as I often say to dear Dan, she is the most truthful woman I ever met.

Have I a black woman for a wet-nurse? No, I have'nt a black woman for a wet-nurse, nor a white woman either. Oh! you are such a stupid!

I am the child's mother, am I not? That's enough. I hope I shall never be reduced to such an extremity as that. I pity poor mothers who are. If you were a mother, you would say the same. People have wet-nurses? Yes, just as they have the cholera or the typhoid fever, I suppose, because they cannot help it. As to any woman, any mother, choosing to have one, I should say that is the sheerest nonsense ever dreamed of. Great people have them, queens and empresses, and I needn't be above them? Thank Heaven, I am neither a queen nor an empress, but the devoted wife of my dear old toad of a husband, Dan Gaylark, and the mother of Our Baby!

What is that you are saying to relieve your mind? Good gracious! You have made that remark once before, and equally to the point, as it seems to me. I was going to tell you all about the baby, but you are such a tease, Ned, and interrupt one so often with your exceedingly strange remarks, that I feel very much as one might suppose the "skirmishun" train feels in being "generally switched off into a sidin'." But, when I'm not switched off, I am good as the "skirmishun" at any rate. I "doos all as lays in my power" to get on. I suppose you call yourself the express train that is too proud even to whistle a salute in passing a poor, heavy-laden freight train, and utterly despises a modest country station as it goes thundering by, as if that was no place fit for its majesty to "stop at and blow at," as Professor Haman says in his Cavalry Tactics. I study military tactics? Yes, infantry tactics, you rogue, under Mrs. Professor Dinah Jenkins; but I read that in a book of Dan's one day. Dan has a great fancy for horses and dogs. Which of course, I'm jealous of? Not the least. It only makes me love horses and dogs more than I otherwise would. {230} Simply because Dan loves them? Simply because Dan loves them; and if that is not good enough reason, I don't know what is. Ah! smile away as you please. What do you know about it, you wretched old bachelor!

Here! Dixie! Dixie! Dixie! Come here, you good-for-nothing old black —— There, then, that's enough now. Say "How d'ye" to Mr. Ned. Oh! you needn't be afraid of him. He barks loud, I know, but he won't bite. And he is so knowing. I sometimes wish he did not know quite so much. And so affectionate. He takes a great fancy for everything he sees that Dan and I are fond of. I do think he would die for baby any day. Yes, you would, wouldn't you, you dear old fellow? There, you see, he says yes; he always grins and wags his tail that way when he wants to say yes.

It was about Dixie and baby I was going to tell you. He was so fond of baby that he wanted to take him out to walk and play with him on the Palisades. Ah! I shudder when I think of it.

You recollect that hot Thursday in July? The very air seemed to be holding its own breath. I felt so oppressed with the heat and the closeness of the atmosphere that I could bear the inside of the house no longer, and after taking a look—and a kiss?—yes, and a kiss of baby, who was sleeping soundly in his cradle, I went out to saunter down the shady lane that leads to the Palisades. I noticed that Dinah was asleep in a chair, too, beside the window, and thought that, if she could sleep in such weather, it was a mercy, and so I left her undisturbed. As I went out of the room, I left the door open, so that, if any little breeze might spring up, it would refresh baby in his sleep. I'm sorry enough now that I did.

You know what curious notions presentiments, or whatever you choose to call them, will come into people's heads without their being able to give any reason for them? So it was with me then. I had no sooner got out of the house than I thought about my leaving the door open, and half-determined to go back and close it. The same thought came to me again as I was turning the lane; and when I was once upon the green sward under the pine-trees, looking down the dizzy height from the top of the Palisades upon the river, I would most assuredly have returned and closed the door, had it not been for the intense heat, and I may say the cool and refreshing appearance the water had at that time. You don't believe in presentiments? Well, I acknowledge that it savors a little of the fanciful and the romantic—reason enough, I suppose, for you to reject any such notion, you matter-of-fact old stick. But we women cannot take life as you men do, or, at least, as some men do. What! you are very glad we cannot? Pray, what do you mean by that? Oh! I see, you incorrigible old bachelor, our different habits, idiosyncrasies, and tastes lead us to avoid (not your company, you know better) but your own pet schemes and fancies. I, for one, don't ask either to meddle with them or to share them. But you are very fond of getting our approbation of them, nevertheless. Dan says that there is not an orator in the country who would not prefer the waving of a lady's handkerchief to all that abominable rat-a-tat-tat you men make with your heels and canes. The more silent the sign of one's appreciation is, the better. Sincerity, Ned, is seldom noisy. True love is dumb as well as blind. But this is hardly à propos of Dixie and the baby. Where was I? Oh! the Palisades, yes. {231} If you were anything of a listener, I might take the trouble to give you a nice little bit of description of the sunny afternoon and the beautiful scene which the river presented to my gaze; but I won't, because I see you are gaping.

I had been seated on the grass about half an hour, watching the boats lolling about in the water as if they were too lazy to move in such hot weather, when not a breath of air was stirring, and I had been thinking how happy my life had been, and what a still happier future might yet be in store for me; and, as I looked up at the bright, cloudless sky, I said to myself, "Thus has God blessed my life, for not a cloud can I see in the firmament of my soul," when my reverie was interrupted by the noise of footsteps behind me. Thinking it was some children, I turned my head, smiling at the same time, that they might see they were welcome. Imagine my surprise. It was Dixie and baby. He had caught baby up in his mouth by the waist, and was bringing him along just as he is accustomed to carry cook's basket to market, wagging his tail and curveting about in the highest state of delight. My first thought was that, the baby was dead—an awful thought that went through my mind, and felt like an electric shock—either that Dixie had bitten him to death, or had struck his poor, dear little head against the trees, or the fences, or the stones, or something else; but a second glance assured me that he was yet unhurt, for he was doubling up his fat little fists, and—will you believe it?—actually pummelling Dixie on his black nose.

Instead of coming up to me as I hoped he would, Dixie no sooner caught sight of me than he dashed off, running round and round on the green grassy bank, stopping suddenly, and looking at me as if he would entice me to chase him.

You know that pretty spot at the end of the lane, how smooth the sward is, and how gently the ground slopes down to the sudden brink of the Palisades? The circles Dixie described in his gambols began to grow larger and larger, and to my horror I saw him run nearer and nearer to the edge of the dreadful precipice each time he came around. You know the edge there is just as sharp as if it had been cut away with a knife, and that, with the exception of a narrow line of jagged rocky ledges, the whole front of the Palisades is a smooth, perpendicular height of a hundred and fifty feet at least. What if the dog should lose his footing and slip off in one of those rapid courses he made! Now, I'm sure you cannot tell me what I did. I sprang up and ran after him? I knew you would think so. You are mistaken. I never moved a muscle. I sat as still as a statue, and as silent too. Dan said that was mother's wisdom, and wished that he had never missed baby out of his cradle when he came home; for, when Dixie had had his play out, I would have obtained quiet possession of baby, and all the fearful consequences of his appearance on the bank would have been spared. As it was, he no sooner saw the empty cradle and the little white coverlet lying on the floor all marked with Dixie's dirty paws, than he suspected the truth instantly. Cook told him, besides, that she had seen me going off to walk down the lane, and that she was sure I had not carried baby with me. Dinah had fallen so fast asleep that she had heard nothing.

I heard his footsteps as he came running down the lane, and knew it was he, but did not turn my head to look. By this time Dixie seemed to take delight in running straight down the bank, as if he were about to jump over the Palisades with baby in his mouth, but would wheel about sharply as he came to the edge. {232} It was horrible. My eyes followed his every movement, and they ached with pain. I did not dare to close them long enough even to wink. You think my heart was beating fast? No. It beat slowly, very slowly. I could feel its dull, heavy strokes like a sexton slapping the earth as he heaps it over a newly filled grave. Dan said I was not only as still and as silent as a statue, but as white too. I do not think I shall suffer more when I come to die.

No sooner had Dixie espied my husband running toward him than he bounded off to the extremity of the sward, just where that narrow line of ragged rocks runs down the front of the Palisades. He saw that his master had anger in his face, and began to slink off to escape punishment. It is a wonder he did not drop the baby on the ground; but, do you know, I fancy that he thought the baby was going to get whipped too, and wanted to get him to a place of safety. Nothing else will explain why, finding himself nearly overtaken, he looked first on one side and then on another for a way to escape, and not seeing any, he went straight to the dizzy edge, and, gathering up his feet, sprang over the precipice. I saw them both disappear, and heard that most heart-rending of sounds, a man's cry of anguish; the very ground seemed whirling around me and the sky coming down upon me, and crushing me; but I did not faint. "You are a brave little woman, Tot," Dan has said to me many a time since, "and worth a whole regiment of soldiers." I rose from the ground, and staggered toward Dan, who ran to me and threw his arms about me and pressed my head to his breast. O moment of agony untold, and of the supremest comfort! He uttered only one word, speaking the two syllables separately, as though he loved to dwell upon every letter, and in a tone of mingled horror, grief, tenderest love, and sublime resignation—


I thought I had loved dear Dan before that with all the love my poor little woman's heart could hold. No. The deepest love is only born of the deepest suffering. There are chords of love whose music joy can never waken. Since then Dan is to me more than he ever was, more than he ever could have been, had not our souls passed together that moment of agony.

I do not know how long we stood thus, neither daring to go to the brink of the precipice and look over. Baby and Dixie must be both lying dead on the rocks below. At last Dan mustered up courage enough to say to me,

"It is all over, darling. God is good."

"God is good," I repeated; "but, O Dan, dear! it is a cruel blow."

"For us to bear, Tot, for us to bear; but not for him to give—no, not for him to give."

He seemed to wring the words from his noble Christian heart, as if he tore away his very life and offered it to God.

"Stay here, Tot," said he, "I am strong enough now." But his whole body trembled from head to foot, and his voice was hoarse and broken. "I will go and look."

I feared to let him go. Yet why should I detain him? But I could not watch him. Throwing myself upon the ground, I buried my face in my hands, and gave way to floods of bitter, bitter tears.

I had not lain thus a moment, when I heard a sharp, piercing cry. Raising my head in alarm, to my unutterable surprise and horror, I saw Dan spring over the edge of the Palisades and disappear. Again I heard him cry as before, "Ba—by!" but there was now a tone of joy mingled with that of fear, which told me that the child was not dead. {233} It was a brief instant that I was on my knees, it is true, it was nothing more than a look of gratitude I gave to God; but he knows that not all the language ever expressed by man could fully tell all that thought of thanksgiving which my soul sent up to him, as I raised my clasped hands to the cloudless sky.

In a moment I was at the edge of the Palisades, just where that ragged, rocky line runs down its front, jutting out here and there in rough ledges. There was a story of a man who, being pursued by the officers of justice, had clambered down there and escaped. Few people who saw the place believed it. The very first rock that jutted out was ten feet from the top, and that did not present more than two or three feet of surface. A little to the right of this, and about three feet lower, was another, on which a man might easily stand, but not for any length of time, as its surface shelved outward, and the rock overhanging it above would not allow him to stand perfectly upright. Any one who had gotten thus far must perforce take his chances of clambering down the rest or be precipitated head foremost below, to certain death.

On this second ledge, I saw Dan holding the baby by his mouth, just as Dixie had held him before. Dixie himself was crouched up beside him. Poor Dan could not hold his place long there. As it was, he was forced to grasp little, sharp edges of rock with both hands to prevent himself falling off. He saw at once that there was no time to send for help from above, and that he must try the perilous descent. As he told me afterward, he had not calculated upon this when he leapt from above. The first glance he caught of the dog told him that, if he released his hold upon the child's dress and opened his mouth, were it but for an instant, baby would roll over the edge and be dashed to pieces. Dan says now that he shall never regret taking one hasty step in his life. He makes that an exception, you see, for he is always saying to me, "Now, darling Tot, let us see the pros and the cons; for it is my principle never to leap before I think, but to let my mind jump before my feet."

Holding on, as I told you, to baby by his teeth, Dan went clambering down the line of rocks. He had managed to wave his hand backward to me as he left the ledge where Dixie was. I knew what that meant—"Don't look." There was little or no hope of his ever reaching the bottom safely, and he wished to spare me the awful sight of his headlong fall, which might take place at any step of the way. But I could not stir; my feet were riveted to the ground. Besides, could I not help him? It seemed to me that, as he went down, almost falling from one sharp rock to another, I held him up with my eyes. When I told Dan my fancy afterward, he laughed and said:

"Not the least doubt of it, Tot. I have felt the power of those eyes before."

It did not last long, but it appeared to my mind, wrought up to such a state of excitement, as if it had been going on and was going on forever. It is stamped on my mind to-day as a memory of years. As for dear Dan, it cost him, he said, the strength of many days. He was no sooner at the bottom than he turned and lifted up the baby in one hand, and, looking up to me, waved the other as a sign of safety. Ah! his hands, his poor hands, you should have seen them, all cut and gashed by the rocks. Those hands seem to have something sacred about them ever since that day. {234} I saw him on his knees, and then off I scampered to the house to get the carriage. It is two miles around by the road to the bottom of the Palisades, and it took us a long while to get to him. When we did, he was still so weak that Mike, the coachman, and I had to lift him up into the carriage. Dinah went down to the place I had left, to make signs to him that he should remain. Poor dear, there was no need of it. So we came home in more joy than I can tell you—Dan, baby, and I. Mike rescued Dixie afterward, by getting himself let down from above with a rope, to where the patient old dog still was, wondering, who knows? how he ever came to be there.

What is that you say? Good gracious? Well, I don't mind your saying it now, after what I have told you. But don't you think, now, Mr. Ned, that I ought to be very proud of Our Baby after that? What? Ought to be very careful of him? The idea! An old bachelor telling a mother to be careful of her baby!

The Cartesian Doubt. [Footnote 36]

[Footnote 36: The Churchman, Hartford, Ct., August 31, 1867.]

The Churchman, an Episcopalian weekly periodical, contains an article of no little philosophic pretension, entitled Science and God, which we propose to make the occasion of a brief discussion of what is known in the philosophic world as the Cartesian Doubt, or Method of Philosophizing. The Churchman begins by saying:

"A distinction is frequently and very justly taken between philosophic and religious scepticism. When Descartes, in order to find firm ground for his philosophical system, declared that he doubted the truth of every thing, even of the existence of the sensible world and the being of God, he did it in the interest of science. He wished to stand upon a principle which could not be denied, to find a first truth which no one could question. And this philosophic scepticism is an essential element in all investigations of truth. It says to every accredited opinion, Have you any right to exist? are you a reality or a sham? By thus exploring the foundation of current beliefs, we come to distinguish those which have real vitality in them, and stand on the rock and not on the sand; and by gathering up the living (true) and casting away the dead, (false,) science goes step by step toward its goal."

Whether Descartes recommended a real or only a feigned doubt, as the first step in the scientific process he defended, has been and still is a disputed point. If it is only a feigned or pretended doubt, it is no real doubt at all, and he who affects it is a real believer all the time. It is a sham doubt, and we have never seen any good in science or in anything else come from shams or shamming. If the doubt is real, and is extended to all things, even to the being of God and our own existence, as Descartes recommends, we are at a loss to understand any process by which it can be scientifically removed. To him who really doubts of everything, even for a moment, nothing can be proved, for he doubts the proofs as well as the propositions to be proved. All proofs must be drawn either from facts or from principles, and none can avail anything with one who holds all facts and principles doubtful. The man who really doubts everything is out of the condition of ever knowing or believing anything. There is no way of refuting a sceptic but by directing his attention to something which he does not and cannot doubt; and if there is nothing of the sort, his refutation is impossible.


Descartes, according to The Churchman, when he declared he doubted the truth of everything, even of the existence of the sensible world and the being of God, did it in the interest of science, in order to find firm ground for his philosophical system. Doubt is ignorance, for no man doubts where he knows. So Descartes sought a firm ground for his philosophical system in universal ignorance! "He wished to stand upon (on) a principle which could not be denied, a first truth which no one could question." If he held there is such a principle, such a first truth, or anything which cannot be denied, he certainly did not and could not doubt of everything. If he doubted the being of God, how could he expect to find such a principle or such a first truth? The Churchman seems to approve of the Cartesian doubt, and says, "This philosophical scepticism is an essential element in all investigations of truth." If this real or feigned scepticism were possible, no investigations could end in anything but doubt, for it would always be possible, whatever the conclusions arrived at, to doubt them. But why can I not investigate the truth I do not doubt or deny?

Moreover, is it lawful, even provisionally, in the interest of science, to doubt, that is, to deny, the being of God? No man has the right to make himself an atheist even for a moment. The obligation to believe in God, to love, serve, and obey him, is a universal moral obligation, and binds every one from the first dawn of reason. To doubt the being of God is to doubt the whole moral order, all the mysteries of faith, the entire Christian religion. And does The Churchman pretend that any man in the interest of science or any other interest has the right voluntarily to do that?

Undoubtedly, every man has the right to interrogate "every accredited opinion" and to demand of it, "Have you any right to exist? are you a reality or a sham?" But the right to question "accredited opinions" is one thing, and the right to question the first principles either of science or of faith is another. A man has no more right voluntarily to deny the truth than he has to lie or steal. The Churchman will not deny this. Then either it holds that all science as all faith is simply opinion, or it deceives itself in supposing that it accepts the Cartesian doubt or adopts his philosophical scepticism. Doubt in the region of simple opinion is very proper. It would be perfectly right for The Churchman to doubt the opinion accredited among Protestants that Rome is a despotism, the papacy a usurpation, the Catholic religion a superstition, or that the church has lost, falsified, corrupted, or overlaid the pure Christian faith, and demand of that opinion, "Have you any right to exist? are you a reality or a sham?" And we have little doubt, if it would do so, that it would find itself exchanging its present opinion for the faith "once delivered to the saints." It is clear enough from the extract we have made that The Churchman means to justify scepticism only in matters of opinion, and that it is far enough from doubting of everything, or supposing that there is nothing real which no man can doubt.

But, if we examine a little more closely this Cartesian method which bids us doubt of everything till we have proved it, we shall find more than one reason for rejecting it. The doubt must be either real or feigned. If the doubt is only feigned for the purpose of investigation, it amounts to nothing, serves no purpose whatever; for every man carries himself with him wherever he goes, and enters into his thought as he is, with all the faith or science he really has. {236} No man ever does or can divest himself of himself. Hence the difficulty we find even in imagining ourselves dead, for even in imagination we think, and in all thinking we think ourselves living, are conscious that we are not dead. In every thought, whatever else we affirm, we affirm our own existence, and this affirmation of our own existence is an essential and inseparable element of every thought. When I attempt to think myself dead, I necessarily think myself as surviving my own death, and as hovering over my own grave. No one ever thinks his own death as the total extinction of his existence, and hence we always think of the grave as dark, lonely, cold, as if something of life or feeling remained in the body buried in it. Men ask for proofs that the soul survives the dissolution of the body, but what they really need is proof that the soul dies. Life we know; but death, in the sense of total extinction of life, we know not; it is no fact of our experience. Life we can conceive, death we cannot. I am always living in my conceptions, and that I die with my body I am utterly unable to think, because I can think myself only as living.

The thinker, then, enters as an indestructible element into every one of his thoughts. Then he must enter as he is and for what he is. His real faith or science enters with him, and no doubt can enter that is not a real doubt. A feigned or factitious doubt, being unreal, does not and cannot enter with him. He is always conscious that he does not entertain it, and therefore can never think as he would if he did. The Christian, firm in his Christian faith, whose soul is clothed with Christian habits, cannot think as an infidel, or even in thought put himself in the infidel's position. Hence one reason why so many defences of Christianity, perfectly conclusive to the believer, fail of their purpose with the unbeliever. Even the unbeliever trained in a Christian community or bred and born under Christian civilization cannot think as one bred and born under paganism. What we assert is, that every man thinks as he is, and cannot think otherwise; simply what all the world means when it says of a writer, "Whatever else he writes, he always writes himself." Men may mimic one another, but always each in his own way. The same words from different writers produce not the same impression upon the reader. Something of himself enters into whatever a man thinks or does, and no translator has ever yet been able to translate an author from one language to another without giving something of himself in his translation. The Cartesian doubt, then, if feigned, factitious, or merely methodical, is impracticable, is unreal, and counts for nothing; for all along the investigator thinks with whatever faith and knowledge he really has; or simply, we cannot feign a doubt we do not feel.

It will be no better if we assume that the doubt recommended is real. No man really doubts what he does not doubt, and no man does or can doubt of everything; for even in doubt the existence of the doubter is affirmed. But suppose a man really does doubt of everything, the Cartesian method will never help him to resolve his doubts. From doubt you can get only doubt. To propose doubt as a method of philosophizing is simply absurd, as absurd as it would be to call scepticism philosophy, faith, or science. The mind that doubts of everything, if such a mind can be supposed, is a perfect blank, and, when the mind is a perfect blank, is totally ignorant of everything, how is it to understand, discover, or know that anything is or exists? {237} There have indeed been men, sometimes men called philosophers, who tell us that the mind is at first a tabula rasa, or blank sheet, and exists without a single character written on it. If so, if it can exist in a state of blank ignorance, how can it, we should like to know, ever become an intelligent mind, or ever know anything more than the sheet of paper on which we are now writing? Intelligence can speak only to intelligence, and no mind absolutely unintelligent can ever be taught or ever come to know anything? But if we assume that the mind is in any degree intelligent, we deny that it can doubt of everything; for there is no intelligence where nothing is known, and what the mind knows it does not and cannot doubt. Either, then, this blank ignorance is impossible, or no intelligence is possible.

But, as we have already said, no man does or can doubt of everything, and hence the Cartesian method is an impossible method. Descartes most likely meant that we should doubt of everything, the external world, and even the being of God, and accept nothing till we have found a principle that cannot be denied, or a first truth that cannot be doubted, from which all that is true or real may be deduced after the manner of the geometricians. He did not mean to deny that there is such first truth or principle, but to maintain that the philosopher should doubt till he has found or obtained it. His error is in taking up the question of method before that of principles or first truths—an error common to nearly all philosophers who have succeeded him, but which we never encounter in the great Gentile philosophers, far less in the great fathers and mediaeval doctors of the church. These always begin with principles, and their principles determine their method. Descartes begins with method, and, as Cousin has justly said, all his philosophy is in his method. But, unhappily, his method, based on doubt, recognizes and conducts to no principles, therefore to no philosophy, to no science, and necessarily leaves the mind in the doubt in which it is held to begin. The discussion of method before discussing principles assumes that the mind is at the outset without principles, or, at least, totally ignorant of principles; and that, being without principles or totally ignorant of them, it is obliged to go forth and seek them, and, if possible, find or obtain them by its own active efforts. But here comes the difficulty, too often overlooked by our modern philosophers. The mind can neither exist nor operate without principles, or what some philosophers call first truths. The mind is constituted mind by the principles, and without them it is nothing and can do nothing. The supposed tabula rasa is simply no mind at all. Principles must be given, not found or obtained. We cannot even doubt without them, for doubt itself is a mental act, and therefore the principles themselves, without which no doubt or denial is possible, are not and cannot be denied or doubted; for even in denying or doubting the mind affirms them. Principles, again, cannot be given the mind without its possessing them, and for the mind to possess a thing is to know it. As the principles create or constitute the mind, the mind always knows them, and what it knows it does not and cannot doubt. The philosopher, as distinguished from the sophist, does not start from doubt, and doubt of everything till he has found something which he cannot doubt; but he starts from the principles themselves, which, being given, are nota per se, or self-evident, and therefore need no proof—in fact, are provable only from the absurd consequences which would follow their denial.


Having begun with a false method, Descartes fails in regard to principles, and takes as the first truth which cannot be doubted what, either in the order of being or knowing, is no first truth or ultimate principle at all. He takes as a principle what is simply a fact—the fact of his own personal existence, or of an internal personal sentiment: Cogito, ergo sum, I think, therefore I exist. Regarded as an argument to prove his existence, as Descartes evidently at first regarded it, this enthymem is a sheer paralogism, and proves nothing; for the consequence only repeats the antecedent; sum is already in cogito. I affirm that I exist in affirming that I think. But pass over this, and give Descartes the benefit of an explanation, which he gives in one of his letters when hard pressed by his acute Jesuit opponent, that he does not pretend to offer it as an argument to prove that he exists, but presents it simply as the fact in which he finds or becomes conscious of his existence. There is no doubt that in the act of thinking I become conscious that I exist; for, as we have already shown, the subject enters into every thought as one of its integral and indestructible elements; but this does not relieve him. He "wished," as says The Churchman, "to stand upon (on) a principle which could not be denied, to find a first truth which no one could question." This principle or first truth he pretends is his own personal existence, expressed in the sophism, I think, therefore I exist, Cogito, ergo sum. We agree, indeed have already proved, that no one can deny or doubt his own personal existence, although it is possible for a man to set forth propositions which, in their logical development, would deny it. But the method Descartes defends permits him to assert nothing which cannot be deduced, after the manner of the geometricians, from the principle or first truth on which he takes his stand; and unless he can so deduce God and the universe, he must deny them.

But from the fact that I exist, that is, from my own personal existence, nothing but myself and what is in me and dependent on me can be deduced. Geometrical or mathematical deduction is nothing but analysis, and analysis can give nothing but the subject analyzed. Now, it so happens that I do not contain God and the external universe in myself. Following the Cartesian method, I can attain, then, to no existence but myself, my own personal phenomena. I can deduce no existence but my own, and am forced, if logical, to doubt or deny all other existence, that is, all existence but my personal existence, and my own interior sentiments and affections. I am the only existence; I am all that is or exists, and hence either I am God or God is not. What is this but the absolute egoism of Fichte?

Descartes himself seems to have felt the difficulty, and to have seen that God cannot, after all, be deduced from the fact of personal existence; he therefore asserts God as an innate idea, and concludes his real and independent being from the idea innate in his own mind. Analysis of his own mind discloses the idea, and from the idea he concludes, after the manner of St. Anselm, that God is. But when I am given as the principle or first truth, how conclude from my idea, which is simply a fact of my interior life, that there is anything independent of me to correspond to it? {239} Here Descartes was forced to depart from his own method, and make what on his system is a most unwarrantable assumption, namely, that the idea, being innate, is deposited by God in the mind, and, as God cannot lie, the idea must be true, and therefore God is. That is, he takes the idea to prove the being of God, and the veracity of God to prove the trustworthiness of the idea! But he was to doubt the being of God till he had geometrically demonstrated it; he therefore must prove that God is before he can appeal to his veracity. His method involved him in a maze of sophistries from which he was never able to escape. God concluded from my idea, innate or otherwise, is only my idea, without any reality independent of me. The argument of St. Anselm is valid only when idea is taken objectively, not subjectively, as Descartes takes it.

What Descartes really meant by innate ideas we do not know, and we are not certain that he knew himself; but he says, somewhere in his correspondence, that, when he calls the idea of God innate, he only means that we have the innate faculty of thinking God. His argument is, "I think God, and therefore God is." Still the difficulty according to his own method remains unsolved.

Given my own personal existence alone as the principle or first truth, it follows that, at least in science, I am sufficient for myself. Then nothing distinguishable from myself is necessary to my thought, and there is no need of my going out of myself to think. How, then, conclude that what in thought seems to be object is really anything distinguishable from myself? I think God, but how conclude from this that God is distinct from and independent of me, or that he is anything but a mode or affection of my own personal existence? The fact is, when we take our own personal existence alone as the principle from which all objects of faith or science are to be deduced, we can never attain to any reality not contained in our existence as the part in the whole, the effect in the cause, or the property in the essence. Exclusive psychology, as has been shown over and over again, can give us only the subjectivism of Kant, or the egoism of Fichte, resulting necessarily in the nihilism, or identity of being and not-being, of Hegel.

The psychologists generally do not, we are aware, concede this; but they are not in fact, whatever they are in theory, exclusive psychologists, and their inductions of God and an external universe are made from ontological as well as from psychological data. They begin their process, indeed, by analyzing the mind, what they call the facts of consciousness, but they always include in their premises non-psychological elements. Their inductions all suppose man and the universe are contingent existences, and as the contingent is inconceivable as contingent without the necessary, they conclude, since the contingent exists, very logically, that there really is also the necessary, or necessary being, which is God. But the necessary, without which their conclusion would and could have no validity, is not a psychological fact or element; otherwise the soul itself would be necessary being, would be itself God. The mistake arises from regarding what philosophers call necessary ideas, such as the idea of the necessary, the universal, the immutable, the eternal, etc., because held by the mind, as psychological, instead of being, as they really are, ontological. Being ontological, real being, the inductions of the psychologists, as they call themselves, do really carry us out of the psychological order, out of the subjective into the objective. {240} But, if their inductions were, as they pretend, from exclusively psychological data, they would have no value beyond the soul itself, and the God concluded would be only a psychological abstraction. Indeed, most psychologists assert more truth than their method allows, are better than their systems. Especially is this the case with Descartes. On his own system, logically developed, he could assert no reality but his own individual soul or personal existence; yet, in point of fact, he asserts nearly all that the Catholic theologian asserts, but he does it inconsistently, illogically, unscientifically, and thus leads his followers to deny everything not assertable by his method.

But, as we have said, Descartes does not attain by his method to a first principle. Not only cannot the being of God and the existence of the external universe be deduced from our own personal existence, but, by his method, our personal existence itself cannot be logically asserted. It is not ultimate, a first principle, or a first truth. Our personal existence cannot stand by itself alone. It is true Descartes says, Cogito, ergo SUM; but I cannot even think by myself alone, and even he does not venture to take sum in the absolute sense of am, as in the incommunicable name by which God reveals himself to Moses, I AM WHO AM, or I AM THAT AM. Even he takes it in the sense of exist, Cogito, ergo sum, I think, therefore I exist. He never dared assert his own personal existence as absolute, underived, eternal, and necessary being; it remained for a Fichte, adopting the Cartesian method, to do that. Between being and existence, essentia and existentia, there is a difference which our philosophers are not always careful to note. Existence is from exstare, and strictly taken, means standing from another, or a derivative and dependent, therefore a contingent existence, or creature, whose being is in another, not in itself. We speak, indeed, of human beings, but men are beings only in a derivative sense, not in the primary or absolute sense. Hence the apostle to the Gentiles says, "In him (God) we live, and move, and are," or have our being. In ourselves we have no being, and are something only as created and upheld by Him who is being itself, or, to speak à la Plato, being in himself. Evidently, then, our personal existence is not ultimate, therefore not the first principle, nor the first truth. The ultimate, at least in the order of being, is not the soul, a contingent existence, but, real being, that is, God himself.

But as we have and can have no personal existence except from God, it is evident that we cannot assert our personal existence by itself alone; and to be able to assert it at all, we must be able to assert the being of God. Now, Descartes tells us that we must doubt the being of God till we can prove it after the manner of the geometricians. But how are we to do this? We cannot, as we have seen, deduce his being from our own personal existence; and what is still more to the purpose, while we deny or doubt his being, we cannot assert or even conceive of our own, because our existence, being derivative, dependent, having not its being in itself, is not intelligible or conceivable in or by itself alone. The contingent is not conceivable without the necessary. They are correlatives, and correlatives connote each other. Now, if we deny or doubt the being of God, we necessarily deny or doubt our own personal existence, impossible and inconceivable without God. {241} With God disappears the existence of the external universe and our own. If, then, it were possible to doubt of the being of God, we should doubt of all things, and should have nothing left with which to prove that God is. God is the first principle in being and in knowing, and if he is denied, all is denied. Atheism is nihilism.

Descartes evidently assumes that it is both possible and lawful to doubt the being of God, nay, that we ought to do so, till we have geometrically demonstrated that he is, and The Churchman tells us that this "scepticism is an essential element in the investigation of truth." We cannot bring ourselves to believe it. God, the theologians tell us, is real and necessary being, the contrary of which cannot be thought, and it is the fool, the Scriptures tell us, that says "in his heart, God is not." The evidence of this is in the fact that we do in every thought think our own existence, and cannot deny it if we would; and in the farther fact that we always do think our own existence as contingent, not as necessary being; and that we cannot think the contingent without at the same time thinking the necessary, as was sufficiently shown in the papers on The Problems of the Age, published sometime since in this Magazine. As there can without God be nothing to be known, we must dissent from The Churchman, as from Descartes himself, that a philosophical scepticism which extends even to the being of God "is an essential element in the investigation of truth." It seems to us the worst way possible to truth, that of beginning by denying all truth, and even the possibility of truth. The man who does so, humanly speaking, puts himself out of the condition of discovering or receiving truth of any sort. He who seeks for the truth should do so with an open mind and heart, and with the conviction that it is. We must open our eyes to the light, if we would behold it, and our hearts to the entrance of truth, if we would have it warm and vivify us. Those men who shut their eyes, compress their lips, and close the aperture of their minds are the last men in the world to discover or to receive the truth, and they must expect to walk in darkness and doubt all their lives. Scepticism is a worse preparation for investigating truth than even credulity, though scepticism and credulity are blood relations, and usually walk hand in hand.

If it were possible to doubt the being of God, or to think a single thought without thinking him, we should prove ourselves independent of him, and therefore deprive ourselves of all possible means of proving that he is. If, for instance, we could think our own existence, as is assumed in the Cartesian enthymem, Cogito, ergo sum, without in the same indissoluble thought thinking God, there would be no necessity of asserting God, and no possible argument by which we could prove his being, or data from which he could be concluded. Man can no more exist and act in the intellectual order, without God, than in the physical order. If you suppose men capable of thinking and reasoning without the intellectual apprehension of the Divine Being, as must be the man who really doubts the being of God, there is no possible reason for asserting God, and it is a matter of no practical moment in the conduct of life whether we believe in God or not. The fact is, no man can doubt the being of God any more than he can his own personal existence. The Cartesian method, if followed strictly, would lead logically to universal nihilism; for he who doubts the being of God must, if logical, doubt of everything, and he who doubts of everything can be convinced of nothing.


We say not only that atheism is absurd, but that it is impossible; and they who with the fool say there is no God, if sincere, deceive themselves, or are deceived by the false methods and theories of philosophers, or sophists rather. No man can think a single thought without thinking both God and himself. The man may not advert, as St. Augustine says, to the fact that he thinks God, but he certainly thinks, as we showed in our article last May, on An Old Quarrel, that which is God. No man ever thinks the imperfect without thinking the perfect, the particular without the universal, the mutable without the immutable, the temporal without the eternal, the contingent without the necessary. The perfect, the universal, the immutable, the eternal, the necessary are not abstract ideas, for there are no abstractions in nature. Abstractions are nullities, and cannot be thought. The ideas must be real, and therefore being; and what is perfect, universal, immutable, eternal, real and necessary being but God? That which is God enters into every one of our thoughts, and can no more be denied or doubted than our own existence. Those poor people who regard themselves as atheists so regard themselves because they do not understand that the so-called abstract or necessary ideas are not simply ideas in the mind or psychological phenomena, but are objective, real being, the eternal, immutable, self-existent God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being. No doubt we need instruction and reflection to understand this, but this instruction is within the reach of all men, and every mind of ordinary capacity is adequate to the necessary reflection. In point of fact, it is the philosophers that make atheists, and the atheism is always theoretical, never real.

There is no doubt that a little ingenuity may deduce something like this doctrine from Descartes's assertion of innate ideas, but not in the sense Descartes himself understood the word idea. With Descartes the word idea never means the objective reality, but its image in the mind; never being itself, but its mental representation, leaving it necessary, after having ascertained that we have the idea, to prove that it represents an objective reality—a thing which no man has ever done or ever can do. His subsequent explanation that he meant, by asserting that the idea of God is innate, simply the innate faculty of thinking God, was a nearer approach to the truth perhaps, but did not reach it, because it assumed that the intuition of that which really is God follows the exercise of the faculty of thinking, instead of preceding and constituting it, and is not an à priori but an empirical intuition. If we could suppose the faculty constituted, existing, and operative, without the intuition of real and necessary being, and that the idea is obtained by our thinking, there would still remain the question as to the objective validity of the thought. If Descartes had identified the idea with being regarded as intelligible to us, and represented it as creating or constituting the faculty of thinking, he would have reached the truth; but this he could not do by his method, which required him to recognize as his principle only his own personal existence, and to deduce from it, after the manner of the geometricians, whatever he recognized as true. God, or what is God, could be obtained or presented only by the exercise of our faculty of thinking, and not by the creative act of God affirming himself as the first principle alike of thought and the faculty of thinking.


If Descartes had properly analyzed thought and ascertained its essential and indestructible elements, he would have avoided the error of resolving the thinker into thought, la pensée, which denied the substantive character of the soul and made it purely phenomenal, and have ascertained that, beside the subject or our personal existence, but simultaneously with it, there is affirmed what in the order of reality precedes it,—God himself, under the form, if I may so speak, of real, necessary, universal, eternal, and independent idea or being. There is given in every thought, as its primary and essential element, a real ontological element, without which no thought is possible. This, not our personal existence, is the first truth or principle which every philosopher must recognize, if he would build on a solid foundation and not in the air, and this principle can no more be denied or doubted than our personal existence itself, for without it we could not think our personal existence, nay, could not exist at all, as capable of thought.

But even if, by a just analysis, Descartes had found that this ontological element is a necessary and indestructible element of thought, he would have still greatly, fatally erred if he had taken it as his first principle and refused to admit any existence not logically deducible from it, that is, deducible from it "after the manner of the geometricians," as required by his method. Father Rothenflue, Father Fournier, and the Louvain professors reject the Cartesian psychology, and assume Ens, or being, which they very properly identify with God, as the first principle in science. This is proper. But how do they pass from being to existences, from the necessary to the contingent, from God to creation? We cannot deduce logically existences from being, because logic can deduce from being only what is necessarily contained in being, that is, only being. If we say, given being existences logically follow, we assume with Cousin that God cannot but create, that creation is a necessity of his own nature, and therefore necessary, as necessary as God himself, which denies the contingency of creatures, and identifies them with necessary being. This is precisely what Descartes himself does after he has once got possession, as he supposes, of the idea of God, or proved that God is. Creation on his system is the necessary, not the free act of the Creator.

There are, as has often been remarked, two systems in Descartes, the one psychological and the other ontological; as there are in his great admirer and follower, Victor Cousin. The two systems are found in juxtaposition indeed, but without any logical or genetic relation. Descartes proceeds from his personal existence as his principle, which gives him nothing but his personal existence; then finding that he has the idea of God, for we presume he had been taught his catechism, he takes the idea as his principle, and erects on it a system of ontology. In this last he was followed by Malebranche, a far greater man than himself. Malebranche perceived, what we have shown, that we have direct and immediate intelligence of God, that he, as idea, is the immediate object of the understanding, and that we see all things in him. Hence his well-known Visio in Deo, or Vision in God, which would be true enough if we had the vision of the blest, and could see God as he is in himself; for God sees or knows all things in himself, and has no need to go out of himself to know anything he has made. {244} But this is not the case with us. We do not see things themselves in God, but only their idea or possibility. From the idea of God we may deduce his ability to create, and that the type of all creatable things must be in him; but as creation is on his part a free, not a necessary act, we can, as Malebranche was told at the time, see a possible, but not an actual universe in God; hence, by his vision in God, he attained only to a pure idealism, in which nothing actually distinguishable from God was apprehended or asserted.

Spinoza, greater still than Malebranche, followed also Descartes in his ontological system, and took being, which he calls substance, as his principle. Substance, he said, is one and ultimate, and nothing is to be admitted not obtainable from it by way of logical deduction. Spinoza was too good a logician to suppose that the idea of creation is deducible from the idea of God, for a necessary creation is no creation at all, but the simple evolution of necessary being or substance. Hence nothing is or exists except the one only substance and its modes and attributes. His attributes are infinite, since he is infinite substance; but we know only two, thought and extension. The so-called German ontologists in the main follow Spinoza, and like him admit only being or substance, or its attributes or modes. This system makes what are called creatures, men and things, modes of the Divine Being, in which he manifests his attributes, thought and extension; hence it is justly called pantheism, which, under some of its forms, no one can escape who admits nothing not logically deducible from the idea of substance, being, or God; for deduction, we have said, is simply analysis, and analysis can give only the subject analyzed. As the analysis of my personal existence or the soul can give only me and my attributes, modes, and affections, and therefore the egoism of Fichte, which underlies every purely psychological system, so the analysis of the idea of being can give only being and its modes or attributes, or the pantheism of Spinoza, which underlies the ontology of Descartes, and every system of exclusive ontology.

No philosopher is ever able to develop his whole system, and present it in all its parts, or foresee all its logical consequences. It is only time that can do this, and the vices of a method or a system can be collected fully only from its historical developments. The disciples of Descartes, who in France started with his psychological principle, ended in the pure sensism, or sensation transformed, of Condillac, and those who in Germany started with the same principle, ended in the absolute egoism of Fichte, who completed the subjectivism of Kant, and reached the point where egoism and pantheism become identical. Those, again, who in any country have started with the ontological principle of Descartes and followed his method, have, however they may have attempted to disguise their conclusions, ended in denying creation and asserting some form of pantheism. The materialism which prevailed in the last century, and obtains to a great extent even in the present, is not a historical development of Cartesianism, so much as of the English school founded by Bacon, and developed by Hobbes and Locke, and completed by the French idealogists of Autueil, who were noted for their Anglomania. {245} Cartesianism led rather to what is improperly termed idealism, to the denial of the material universe, or its resolution into pure sensation.

Yet it is instructive to observe that the historical development of the psychological principle represented by Fichte and that of the ontological principle represented by Spinoza terminate in identity. Fichte saw he could not make the soul the first principle without taking it as ultimate and denying its contingency, or that he could not make the soul that from which all that exists proceeds without assuming that the soul, the ego, is God. Hence his twofold ego, the one absolute and the other phenomenal or modal. He thus identifies the soul with God, and concludes that nothing except me and my phenomen, or attributes and modes, is or exists: I am all. Spinoza, starting from the opposite pole, the ontological, finds that he can logically deduce from being only being; and calling being substance, and substance God, he concludes with an invincible logic nothing is or exists, except God and his modes or attributes. The form may differ, but the conclusion is identical with the last conclusion of egoism, and it is noteworthy that even Fichte, in the last transformation of his doctrine, substituted God for the soul, and made God the absolute, and the soul relative and phenomenal, or a mode of the Divine Being.

Whether, then, we start with the soul as first principle or with God, we can never by logical deduction arrive at creation, or be able to assert any existence as distinguishable from the Divine Being. Neither can be taken exclusively as the primum philosophicum, and exclusive ontology is as faulty and as fatal in its consequences as exclusive psychology. The fact is, we can neither doubt the being of God nor our own personal existence; for both are equally essential and indestructible elements of thought, given in the primitive intuition, though being is logically prior to existence, and our primum philosophicum must include both.

But the soul is given in the intuition as contingent, and being is given as necessary. The contingent cannot exist any more than it can be thought without the necessary. It then depends on the necessary, and can exist only as created and upheld by it. The real principle, or primum philosophicum, is then, as has been amply shown in the essays on The Problems of the Age, the ideal formula, Ens creat existentias, or Being creates existences. This presents the ontological principle and the psychological not in juxtaposition merely, but in their real and true relation. This formula enables us to avoid alike pantheism, atheism, idealism, and materialism, and to conform in principle our philosophy to the real order of things and the Catholic faith. But it is only in principle, for Gioberti himself calls the formula ideal. It does not, after all, give us any science of actual existences, or itself furnish its own scientific explication and application. Apply to it the method of Descartes, and lay it down that everything is to be doubted till proved, and we are not much in advance of Cartesianism. We know God is, we know things exist, and God has created or creates them; but we do not know by knowing the formula what God is, what things do or do not exist. It gives us the principles of science, but not the sciences; the law which governs the explication of facts, not the facts themselves. We cannot deduce, after the manner of the geometricians, any actual existence or fact from the formula, nor any of the sciences. {246} There is an empirical element in all the sciences, and none of them can be constructed by logical deduction even from a true ideal formula, and to deny everything not logically deducible from it would leave us in the purely ideal, and practically very little better off than Descartes himself left us. The Cartesian method based on doubt, then, whether we start with an incomplete or a complete ideal formula, can never answer the purpose of the philosopher, or enable us to construct a concrete philosophy that includes the whole body of truth and all the scientific facts of the universe.

We do not pretend that philosophy must embrace all the knowable, omne scibile, in detail; it suffices that it does so in principle. No doubt the ideal formula does this, as in fact always has done the philosophy that has obtained in the Catholic schools. But though the ideas expressed in the ideal formula are intuitive, the constitution of the mind, and basis of all intelligence, and are really asserted in every thought, we very much doubt if they could ever have been reduced to the formula given by Gioberti if men had never received a divine revelation from God, or if they had been left without any positive instruction from their Creator. We are as far as any one can be from building science on faith; but we so far agree with the traditionalists as to hold that revelation is necessary to the full development of reason and its perfect mastery of itself. One great objection to the Cartesian doubt or method is, that it detaches philosophy from theology, and assumes that it can be erected into an independent science sufficient for itself without any aid from supernatural revelation, and free from all allegiance to it. This had never been done nor attempted by any Christian school or even non-Christian school prior to Descartes, unless the pretension of Pomponatius and some others, that things may be theologically true yet philosophically false, and who were promptly condemned by Leo X., be understood as an attempt in that direction. The great fathers of the church and the mediaeval doctors always recognized the synthesis of reason and revelation; and, while they gave to each its part, they seem never to have dreamed of separating them, and of cultivating either as independent of the other; yet they have given us a philosophy which, if not free from all defects, is superior, under the point of view of reason alone, to anything that has elsewhere ever been given under that name. He who would construct a philosophy that can stand the test even of reason must borrow largely from St. Athanasius, St. Augustine, St. Gregory the Great, St. Thomas, St. Buonaventura, and the later scholastics.

It is also an objection to the Cartesian doubt that it is not only a complete rupture with revealed theology, but also with tradition, and is an attempt to break the continuity of the life of the race, and to sever the future of humanity from its past. We are among those who regard the catholic beliefs and traditions of mankind as integral elements in the life of the race itself, and indispensable to its continuous progress. The future always has its germ in the past, and a beginning de novo for the individual as for society is alike impossible and undesirable. The Cartesian doubt overlooks this, and requires the individual to disgarnish his mind of every relic and memorial of the past, of everything furnished by his parents and teachers, or the wisdom of ages, and after having become absolutely naked and empty, and made himself as ignorant and impotent as the new-born babe, to receive nothing till he, without experience, without instruction, has by his own unaided powers tested its truth. {247} As reasonable would it be for the new-born infant to refuse the milk from its mother's breast, till it had by the exercise of its faculties settled the question of its wholesomeness.

We object, finally, that it tends to destroy all respect for authority, all reverence for tradition, all regard for the learning and science of other ages and other men, and to puff up the individual with an overweening self-conceit, and sense of his own sufficiency for himself. It renders all education and instruction useless and an impertinence. It tends to crush the social element of our nature, and to create a pure individualism, no less repugnant to government and society than to religion and the divine order, according to which all men are made mutually dependent, one on another. Doubtless, Descartes only developed and gave expression to tendencies which were in his time beginning to be active and strong; but the experience of the civilized world only historically verifies their destructive, anti-philosophical, anti-religious, and anti-social character. Yet his method is still, in substance if not in form, very extensively accepted and followed, as the example of The Churchman itself proves.

We do not by any means believe that Descartes had any suspicion of the real character of his philosophic enterprise. We are far from agreeing with Gioberti that he was a disguised Protestant designedly laboring to complete the work undertaken by Luther. We doubt not that he really accepted the church, as he always professed to do, though most likely he was far enough from being a fervent Catholic; but he was bred a soldier, not a philosopher or a theologian; and though he may have been, and we believe he was for his time, a great mathematician and a respectable physicist, he was always a poor theologian, and a still poorer metaphysician. His natural ability was no doubt worthy of admiration, but he had no genius for metaphysics, and his ignorance of the profounder philosophy of antiquity and of the mediaeval doctors was almost marvellous. He owed in his own day his popularity to the fact that he discoursed on philosophy in the language of the world, free from the stiff formulas, the barbarous locutions, and the dry technicalities of the schools. He owed much to the merits of his style, but still more to the fact that he wrote in the vernacular instead of the Latin tongue, then unusual with writers of philosophical treatises, and non-professional men and court-bred ladies could read him and fancy they understood philosophy. His works were "philosophy-made-easy," and he soon became the vogue in France, and France gives the fashion to the world. But it would be difficult to name a writer who has exerted in almost every direction an equally disastrous influence on modern thought and civilization; not that his intentions were bad, but that his ignorance and presumption were great.

The Cartesian method has no doubt favored that lawless and independent spirit which we see throughout modern society, and which is manifested in those Jacobin revolutions which have struck alike at ecclesiastical and political authority, and at times threatened the civilized world with a new barbarian invasion; but the evil resulting from that method which is now the most to be deplored is the arrogant and independent tone assumed by modern science, and its insolence toward the sacred dogmas of faith. Descartes detached philosophy, and with it all the sciences, from faith, and declared them independent of revelation. {248} It is especially for this that Cousin praises him. But modern so-called science is not contented even with independence; it aspires to dominate and subject faith to itself, or to set up its own conclusions as the infallible test of truth. It makes certain inductions from a very partial survey of facts, concocts certain geological, physiological, ethnological, and philological theories at war with the dogmas of faith, and says with sublime insolence that therefore faith must give way, for science has demonstrated its falsity! If the church condemns its unsupported conclusions, there is forthwith a deafening clamor raised that the church is hostile to science, and denies the freedom of thought and the inalienable rights of the mind! The Churchman sees this, and has written the very article from which we have made our extract to show its injustice; but with what success can it hope to do it, after beginning by approving the Cartesian method and conceding modern science, in principle, all it asks?

We have said and shown over and over again that the church does not condemn science. Facts, no matter of what order, if facts, never do and never can come in collision with her teaching, nor can their real scientific explanations ever conflict with revelation or her dogmas. The church interferes not with the speculations or the theories of the so-called savans, however crude, extravagant, or absurd they may be, unless they put forth conclusions under the name of science which militate against the Christian faith. If they do that, she condemns their conclusions so far as repugnant to that faith. This supervision of the labors of savans she claims and exercises for the protection of her children, and it is as much in the interest of science as of faith that she should do so. If we were to believe what men counted eminent in science tell us, there is not a single Christian dogma which science has not exploded; yet, though modern investigations and discoveries may have exploded several scientific theories once taught in the schools and accepted by Catholics, we speak advisedly when we say science has not exploded a single dogma of the church, or a single proposition of faith she has ever taught. No doubt, many pretendedly scientific conclusions have been drawn and are drawn daily that impugn the faith; but science has not yet confirmed one of them, and we want no better proof that it never will confirm them than the bare fact that they contradict the faith the church believes and teaches. They can all be scientifically refuted, and probably one day will be, but not by the people at large, the simple and unlettered; and therefore it is necessary that the church from time to time should exert her authority to condemn them, and put the faithful on their guard against them. This is no assumption to the injury of science, for in condemning them she seeks only to save the revealed truth which they impugn. It is necessary, also, that men should understand that in science as well as in faith they are not independent of God, and are bound by his word wherever or whatever it speaks. Descartes taught the world to deny this and even God himself till scientifically proved, and hence the pains we have taken to refute his method, to show its unscientific character, and to indicate some of the fatal consequences of adopting it.

We know very well that Bossuet and Fdénélon are frequently classed with the disciples of Descartes, but these men were learned men and great theologians, and they followed Descartes only where he coincided with the general current of Catholic philosophy. {249} Either was a far profounder philosopher than Descartes ever could have been, and neither adopted his method. The same may be said of other eminent men, sometimes called Cartesians. The French place a certain national pride in upholding Descartes, and pardon much to the sophist in consideration of the Frenchman; but this consideration cannot weigh with us any more than it did with the Italian Jesuit, the eminent Father Tapparelli, we believe, who a few years since, in some remarkable papers in La Civiltá Cattolica, gave a most masterly refutation of Descartes's psychological method. Truth is of no nation, and a national philosophy is no more commendable than a national theology, or a national church. It is no doubt to the credit of a nation to have produced a really great philosopher, but it adds nothing to its glory to attempt to make pass for a great philosopher a man who was in reality only a shallow sophist. It was one of the objectionable features in the late M. Cousin that he sought to avail himself of the national prejudices of his countrymen, and to make his system pass for French or the product of French genius. The English are in this respect not less national than the French, and Bacon owes his principal credit with them to the fact that he was a true Englishman. All real philosophy, like all truth, is catholic, not national.

In regard to the scepticism The Churchman deems so essential in the investigation of truth, we have already remarked that a sceptical disposition is the worst possible preparation for that investigation. He who would find truth must open his heart to it, as the sunflower opens her bosom to the sun, and turns her face toward it in whatever quarter of the heavens it may be. Those who, like The Churchman, know not the truth in its unity and catholicity, and substitute opinion for faith, will do well so far to doubt their opinions as to be able thoroughly to investigate them, and ascertain if they have any solid foundation. There are reasons enough why they should distrust their own opinions, and see if the truth is not really where the great majority of the civilized world for ages has told them it is to be found. They ought to doubt, for they have reason to doubt, not of every thing, not of God, not of truth, but of their own opinions, which they know are not science nor faith, and therefore may be false. Scientific men should doubt not science, nor the possibility of science, but their theories, hypotheses, and conjectures till they have proved them; and this all the same whether their theories, hypotheses, and conjectures are taken from the schools or are of their own concoction. But this is something very different from presenting to the world or to one's self the being of God, the creation, the immortality of the soul, and the mysteries of faith as opinions or as theories to be doubted till proven after the manner of geometricians. These are great truths which cannot be reasonably doubted; and, if we find people doubting them, we must, in the best way we can, convince them that their doubts are unreasonable. The believer need not doubt or deny them in order to investigate the grounds of his faith, and to be able to give a reason for the hope that is in him. We advance in the knowledge of truth by means of the truth we have; and the believer is much better fitted for the investigation of truth than the unbeliever, for he knows much better the points that need to be proved, and has his mind and heart in a more normal condition, more in harmony with the real order of things, and is more able to see and recognize truth. {250} But this investigation is not necessary to justify faith in the believer. It is necessary only that the believer may the better comprehend faith in its relations with the general system of things, of which he forms a part, and the more readily meet the objections, doubts, and difficulties of unbelievers. But all cannot enter into this investigation, and master the whole field of theology, philosophy, and the sciences, and those who have not the leisure, the opportunity, and ability to do it, ought not to attempt it. The worst possible service we can render mankind is to teach them that their faith is unreasonable, or that they should hold themselves in suspense till they have done it, each for himself. They who can make the investigation for themselves are comparatively few; and shall no man venture to believe in God and immortality till he has made it? What, then, would become of the great body of the people, the poorer and more numerous classes, who must be almost wholly occupied with procuring the means of subsistence? If the tender mercies of God were no greater than those of the Cartesian philosophers and our Episcopalian Churchman, the poor, the unlettered, the simple, the feeble of intellect would be obliged to live without any rule of duty, without God in the world, or hope in the world to come. For them the guidance and consolations of religion would alike be wanting.

We may see here why the church visits with her censures whatever tends to unsettle or disturb the faith of the people, for which an unbelieving and unreasoning world charges her with denying reason, and being hostile to freedom of thought and scientific investigation. We do not hope to convince the world that it is unjust. The church is willing that every man who can and will think for himself should do so; but the difficulty is, that only here and there one, even at best, does or can so think. It is not that she is unwilling that men should reason, if they will really reason, on the grounds of faith, but that most persons who attempt to do so only reason a little way, just far enough to raise doubts in their minds, doubts which a little more knowledge would solve, and then stop, and refuse or are unable to reason any farther. It is the half-reason, the half-learning, the half-science that does the mischief; as Pope sings:

  "A little learning is a dangerous thing:
   Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring;
   There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
   But drinking largely sobers us again."

Many may take "shallow draughts," but very few can "drink deep," and those shallow draughts, which are all that except the very few can take, are more hurtful to both intellectual and moral health than none at all. The church certainly does not encourage those to reason on sacred subjects who can or will reason only far enough to doubt, and to puff themselves up with pride and conceit She, however, teaches all the faith, and gives to every one who will listen to her voice as solid reasons for it as the wisest and most learned and scientific have or can have. In this, however the world may blame or vituperate her, she only pursues the course which experience and common sense approve and pronounce wise and just.

The attempt to educate the mass of the people up to the point of making each individual able to understand and solve all the difficulties in the way of faith has never succeeded, and can never succeed. {251} The mass of the people need and always will have teachers of some sort whom they do and must trust. We see it in politics. In the most democratic state the mass of the people follow like sheep a few leaders, wise and prudent men sometimes, perhaps oftener ignorant but cunning and unscrupulous demagogues. All may be made to understand that in matters of faith the teachers are commissioned by the church, and that the church is commissioned by God himself, who teaches in and through her, and no one has or can have any better reason for believing anything, for none better is conceivable. It is the assumption that the people are to judge for themselves without instructors or instruction that causes so much unbelief in the modern world; but as they have been very extensively told that it is their right to do so, and made to believe it, the church, of course, must meet their factitious wants the best way she can, and educate them up to the highest point possible, and give them all the instruction, not only in the faith, but on its grounds and reasons, they are or can be made capable of receiving. She must do this, not because the people believe or are already enlightened, but because they have learned only just enough to doubt and rebel.

Abridged from the German.

The Composer's Difficulty.

The good old custom in London, in 1741, was for the members of the —— Club to assemble in the parlor of a noted tavern in Fleet street, kept by Master Farren, who had a sharp-tongued wife and a young and lovely daughter. This young girl had been setting the large room in order, and putting fresh flowers in the vase, in preparation for the expected guests, when the door opened softly, and a young man came in. Ellen did not look up till he was close to her, then she started and blushed crimson, while he took her hand and kissed it with the air of a cavalier.

"I did not know it was you, Joseph," faltered the maiden.

"I can stay but a moment," said the young student of music, "for they will all be here presently. I came to tell you to come to the garden without fail this evening; I want to give you a first lesson, in a new part."

Ellen's face brightened. Just then a shrill voice called her name, and she knew her mother would be angry if she saw her with the German, Joseph Wach.

"I will come!" she answered quickly. "Now I must leave you." And she ran out at a repetition of the shrewish call. Joseph did not attempt to detain her; though the two loved each other well he knew that Dame Farren regarded him with good will no longer, now that Master Handel, his teacher and patron, no longer stood high in the king's favor, and went no more to Carlton House. The father, old John Farren, was still the friend of the young man.


An hour later, and the round table, on which stood mugs of porter and glasses, was surrounded by men, members of the musical club, conversing on a subject deeply interesting to them all. One of them—a very tall man, with large, flashing eyes and a noble and expressive countenance—was addressed as "Master Handel;" another, simple in his dress and plain in his exterior, with a world of shrewdness and waggery in his laughing eyes, was William Hogarth, the painter.

They were talking about the composer's great work, The Messiah, which Handel had not as yet been able to get properly represented. Hogarth was urging an application to the Duke of Bedford. Handel, disgusted at his want of success hitherto, was reluctant to sue for the favor of any patron to have his best work brought before the public.

"If his grace only comprehended a note of it!" he exclaimed petulantly; "but he knows no more of music than that lout of a linen-weaver in Yorkshire."

"Whom you corrected with your fist, when he blundered with your Saul!" cried the painter. "You should have learned better policy, my good master, from your eight-and-twenty years in England! A stupid, great nobleman can do no harm to a work of art! If I dealt only with those who understood my work, my wife and children might starve."

Handel was leaning on the table, his face buried in his hands. His thoughts were wandering toward Germany. When he spoke, it was to express his bitter regret that he had left his fatherland just as new life in art began to be stirring. While the Germans achieved greatness in music, he had been tormenting himself in vain with dolts of singers and musicians in England, whose hard heads could not take in a notion of music! "I will return to Germany!" he concluded. "Better a cowherd there than here director of the Haymarket Theatre, or chapelmaster to his majesty, who, with his court rabble, takes such delight in the warblings of that foppish Italian—Farinelli."

Some other members came in to join them, among them the young German, Joseph Wach. Handel nodded kindly to him, and asked how he was getting on with his part.

"I am very industrious, Master Handel, and will do my best," replied Joseph. "You shall hear me soon."

The conversation about the new work was resumed. The Abbé Dubos described how the chorus, "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed," had sounded all night in his ears. "Your glory, Master Handel, will be revealed through your Messiah when once you can get it brought out. I understand the lord archbishop is against it!"

The flush of anger rushed to Handel's brow. "The lord archbishop!" he repeated scornfully. "He offered to compose me a text for the Messiah, and when I asked if he thought I knew nothing of the Bible, or if he expected to improve the Holy Scriptures, he turned his back on me, and represented me to the court as a rude, thankless boor."

Master Tyers, the lessee of Vauxhall, remarked that it was not politic to speak one's mind too openly, especially with the great. Dr. Hualdy tried to soothe the irritated composer by speaking of the admiration he had already won, after a long struggle with ignorance and intrigue.


"What care I," interrupted Handel, "for the admiration of fools and knaves!"

There were many to give the "soft answer" which "turneth away wrath," and to deprecate too severe a judgment of the English people because they had accomplished little in the glorious art and failed at once to recognize the best. "Admitting," added the abbé, "that the court and nobles have done you injustice; that we have no such musicians and singers as in Germany; that we cannot grasp all the grand spirit of your works, are you not, nevertheless, idolized by the people of Britain? Lives not the name of Handel in the mouth of honest John Bull, cherished as the names of his proudest statesmen! Give him, then, a little indulgence! Let us have a chance to hear your Messiah; condescend to ask the aid you need in bringing it out; your honor will not suffer, and the good you will do will be your reward!"

"That is just what I have told him!" exclaimed Hogarth. And the others chimed in their eager assent. Even the burly host coaxed him, and, by way of argument, said: "You know, Master Handel, how often I have to bend to my good woman; yet it is no detriment to my authority as master of the house."

Handel sat silent for a time, looking gloomily around the circle. Then suddenly he burst into a laugh. "By my halidome, old fellow," he cried, "you are right! To-morrow I will go to the Duke of Bedford. You shall hear the Messiah, were all the rascals in the three kingdoms against it!"

There was a burst of delighted applause from all the company. The fat landlord gave a leap of joy, and Joseph clasped his hands; for he knew Handel's success would be the making of his own and Ellen's fortune.

Handel waited on the Duke of Bedford, who happened to be giving a grand breakfast. The duke prized the reputation of a patron of the arts, and knew well that Handel's absence from court and the circles of the nobility was owing more to his disregard of the forms and ceremonies held indispensable than to any want of esteem for the composer. His oratorio of Saul had won him proud distinction. When informed that Handel had called on him, the duke himself came out to welcome him and lead him into the drawing-rooms. But the composer drew back, saying he had come to solicit a favor. The duke then took him into his cabinet, and listened graciously to his petition that he "would be pleased to set right the heads of the Lord Mayor and the Archbishop of London, so that they should cease laying hindrances in the way of the representation of the Messiah."

The duke not only listened, but promised to use all his means and influence to remove the obstacles. Handel knew he could depend on the promise. He accepted the invitation to join the company with joy, when he heard that his celebrated countryman, Kellermann, was there and engaged in the duke's service.

His grace led in and introduced his distinguished guest. The sight of the great composer produced a sensation. Handel cared nothing for the noble company, but greeted his old friend Kellermann with all the warmth of his nature. They had a cordial talk together, while the idol of the London fashionables, Signor Farinelli, hemmed and cleared his throat over the piano, in token that he was about to sing, and wanted Kellermann to accompany him. {254} The musician at length noticed his uneasiness, pressed his friend's hand, returned to his place, and took up his flute, while Farinelli began a melting air in his sweet, clear voice.

Handel, a powerful man, austere and vigorous in nature, abhorred the singing of such effeminate creatures, and despised the luxurious ornamentation of the Italian's style. Farinelli's soft trilling was accompanied by Kellermann on the flute with dexterous imitation. Handel laughed inwardly to see the effect on the company. The ladies were in raptures; and, when Farinelli ceased, the most eager applause rewarded him.

The duke introduced the Italian to Handel. Farinelli complimented him in broken English, said he had heard that "Signor AEndel had composed una opera—il Messia," and begged to know, with a complacent smile, if there would be a part in the opera for "il famous musico Farinelli?"

Handel surveyed the ornamented little figure from head to foot, and answered in his deepest bass tone, "No, signora."

There was suppressed laughter, and the ladies covered their faces. Not long afterward Handel took his leave, with his friend Hogarth, who was a guest.

The Messiah was announced for representation. But an unexpected difficulty presented itself. The lady who had been engaged to sing the first soprano part sent word that she was ill and could not sing; and the oratorio had to be postponed.

Handel knew it was mere caprice on the part of the spoiled prima-donna, and was excessively indignant. When he heard from the leader of the orchestra that a second postponement might be necessary, he roundly declared it should not be. "It shall take place!" he exclaimed, and set off to call upon the signora himself.

Signora Lucia, the Italian vocalist, that morning held a levée of her admirers. Their conversation, as she reclined on a couch in a graceful déshabillé, was of "il barbaro Tedesco," his unreasonable expectations, and the pleasure the beautiful singer took in disappointing him. "He dared to order me about at rehearsal!" she cried. "For that, he shall not have his troublesome oratorio performed at all!" The gentlemen applauded her spirit. Then it was related how the fair singer Cuzzoni had refused to sing some music in Handel's opera, and he had gone to her room, seized her, and, rushing to the open window, had held her out at arms' length, threatening to drop her unless she promised to sustain her part.

"He shall find me harder to deal with," said the beauty languidly. Just then the name of the great composer was announced, and Handel's heavy step was heard in the hall. The gentlemen visitors huddled themselves off in such confusion, they could only retreat behind the couch, drawing the damask curtain over the recess so as to conceal them.

Lucia was uneasy, but maintained her composure. Handel, however, had not come, as she expected, to entreat her to sing. He stood near the door, and, vouchsafing no salutation, haughtily demanded her part.

The singer made no answer, and Handel strode forward. Lucia sprang up, seized the bell, and rang it violently, but not one of her admirers answered the call. Handel advanced, and coolly lifted the curtain behind the sofa, revealing the group of terrified Italians. He laughed scornfully, and again demanded her part of the signora.


In unutterable passion, she snatched up a roll of music from the table and flung it at the composer. He picked it up, bowed ironically, and walked out of the room. The anger of Lucia with her cowardly friends who had not interfered to avenge this insult, and their confusion, may be imagined.

Handel had punished the capricious singer, but he could find no one to take her place. His friends sympathized in his distress, but could offer no aid nor consolation. Hogarth thought he underrated the Italians, and was too conceited. "You remember," he said, "when Correggio's Leda was sold in London at auction for ten thousand guineas, I said, 'I will paint something as good for such a sum.' Lord Grosvenor took me at my word, I painted my picture, and he called his friends together to look at it. They all laughed at me, and I had to take back my picture."

Handel replied that the old Italian painters were worthy of all respect, and so were the old Italian church composers. The modern ones he thought, in their way, more or less like Signor Farinelli.

The day before the oratorio was to be produced Handel sat in his study reviewing the work. Now he would smile over a passage, now pause over something that did not satisfy him, pondering, striking out, and altering to suit his judgment. At length his eyes rested on the last "Amen," long, long, till a tear fell on the leaf.

"This work," he said solemnly, and looking upwards, "is my best! Receive my best thanks, O benevolent Father! Thou, Lord! hast given it me; and what comes forth from thee, that endureth, though all things earthly perish. Amen."

He laid aside the notes, and walked a few times up and down the room, then seated himself in his easy-chair. His pupil, Joseph, opened the door softly and came in. Handel started from his reverie, and asked what he wanted. The young man, with an air of mystery, begged the master to come with him.

In a few moments they were in a room in the upper story of Master Farren's tavern, a room where Joseph practised his music. There, to Handel's no small astonishment, he saw the host's pretty daughter, Ellen.

"What may all this mean?" he asked, while his brow darkened. "What do you here, Miss Ellen, in this young man's study?"

"He may tell you that himself, Master Handel," answered the damsel, turning away her blushing face.

Joseph hastened to say, "I am ready to answer, dear master, for what we do."

"Open your mouth, and speak, then," said Handel sternly.

"You have done much for me, dear master," said Joseph with emotion. "When I came a stranger and penniless, you put me in the way of earning a support. You gave me instruction in music and singing, spending hours you might have given to doing something great."

"And does the fool think making a good singer was not doing something great—eh?"

"And I have tried to make a singer for you!" said the young man. "Will you hear her?" And he pointed to Ellen.

Handel, in his surprise, opened his eyes wide as he looked at the damsel.

"Yes—Ellen!" she repeated, coming close to him, and lifting her clear, hazel eyes to his face. "Now you know, Master Handel, what Joseph and I have been about, and for what I am here in his study."


"We wanted to be of service in your dilemma," said Joseph. "Shall Ellen sing before you, Master Handel?"

Handel seated himself: "I am curious to see how your teaching has succeeded," he said. "Come, let her begin."

Joseph went to the piano, and Ellen stood beside him.

The part she took was that of the first soprano, the one taken from Signora Lucia. Handel started as the young girl's voice rose, clear, silvery, floating—a voice of the purest quality! How he listened when he heard the most splendid portion of his forthcoming work—the glorious air, "I know that my Redeemer liveth"—and how Ellen sang it may be conjectured when, after she had ceased, the composer sat motionless, a happy smile on his lips, his eyes full of tears. At length he drew a deep breath, arose, kissed the maiden's forehead, kissed her eyes, in which also bright drops were glancing, and said with profound feeling: "Ellen, my good—good child—you will sing this part to-morrow at the representation?"

"Master Handel! Father Handel cried the maiden, and threw herself, sobbing, on his neck. Joseph rattled off a jovial air to cover his emotion.

"Amen!" resounded through the arches of the church, and died away in whispered melody in its remotest aisles. "Amen!" responded Handel, while he slowly let fall the staff with which he had kept time. His immortal masterpiece had produced an immense impression: his fame was established for all time.

When the great composer descended the church steps, he was informed that his majesty had sent for him, and that a carriage was waiting, by the royal command, to convey him to Carlton House.

George the Second received the artist with a gracious welcome, and he read his triumph in the faces of the court nobles.

"You have made us a noble present in your Messiah, Master Handel," said the monarch. "It is a brave piece of work!"

"Is it?" asked the composer, looking in the king's face, and well pleased.

"It is, indeed," replied George. "And now, tell me what I can do for you."

"If your majesty," answered Handel, "will give a place to the young man who sang the tenor solo part, I shall be grateful. Joseph Wach is my pupil, and he has a pupil too, Master Farren's daughter; but they cannot marry till Joseph finds a place. The old dame will not consent, and your majesty knows the women bear rule."

The king's smile was a forced one, for a sore point in his experience was touched. "I know nothing of the sort," he said. "But your pupil shall have a place as first tenor in our chapel."

Handel thanked his majesty with sincere pleasure. The king seemed to expect him to ask more.

"Have you nothing," at length he said, "to ask for yourself? We would thank you, in your own person, for the fair entertainment provided in your Messiah."

Handel crimsoned as he heard this, and he answered in a tone of disappointment: "Sire, I have endeavored not to entertain you, but to make you better."

All the courtly company looked their astonishment. Even King George was surprised. Then, bursting into a hearty fit of laughter, he walked up to the composer and slapped him good-naturedly on the shoulder. "You are, and ever will be, a rough old fellow, Handel," said he; "but a good fellow withal! Do as you will, we shall always be the best friends in the world!"


Handel retired from the audience, and was glad to escape to his favorite haunt, Master Farren's tavern. Joseph and Ellen were there, awaiting his return. His news brought them great joy.

In the last years of Handel's life, when his sight failed him, it was Ellen who nursed him faithfully as if she had been his own child, while her husband wrote down his last compositions.

Translated from Les Études Religieuses, etc.

The Title Of The Kings Of England

Defensor Fidei:
Its Signification And Its Origin.

If an Englishman will take a pound sterling of the present year, he will find around the effigy of Queen Victoria the words, Defensor Fidei, a title which the sovereigns of Great Britain have been proud to bear for more than three centuries.

From whom did they receive it? Why was it given to them? What did it originally mean, and what does it mean now?

Henry VIII. received this title from the pope as a personal privilege, and one that he had ardently desired and solicited for a long time. It was conferred by a bull of Leo X., confirmed by Clement VII. No one is ignorant on what occasion. Luther had left the church. He was sowing his heresy in Germany, declaring that the pope was Antichrist, and declaiming with furious rage against Rome in his impious work, The Captivity of Babylon. Henry VIII., indignant at the effort to mislead the people, replied in a book called Assertio septem sacramentorum adversus Martinum Lutherum. We regret that the space to which we are limited prevents us making copious citations from it; for our readers would then see that it would be impossible for any one to proclaim a more devoted attachment to the holy see than did Henry VIII. at that time. These pages are more than three centuries old; but to-day, when war against the papacy is more bitter than ever, we know of none among the contemporary works which defend the church more filially and more warmly.


If at the time when Henry VIII., full of joy, received the bull of Leo X., amid the hearty congratulations of his people, a man had stood before him and said: Sire, in less than fourteen years you will belie all your protestations of filial devotedness and submission to the Vicar of Jesus Christ; you will rebel against the Roman Church in just as striking a way as Martin Luther has done; you will proclaim yourself the head of the Church of England; you will be the author of a schism which will make blood flow in torrents and will desolate England, Scotland, and Ireland for more than three centuries; you, the victorious Henry VIII., who would be the delight of your people if you were the master of your passions instead of being their slave; you will become the Nero of England: had such words been spoken, their author would have been looked upon as insane. The proud and passionate Tudor would have exhausted his ingenuity in inventing means to torture a traitor like this. But, at the end of 1534, he who would venture to print this book, which had purchased for Henry VIII. the title which the sovereigns of England are so proud to use even to-day, would have been declared guilty of high treason.

Thus, God has wished that the very coins of his country shall become for the Englishman who reflects and studies a precious and lasting historical monument of the ancient faith of the country, the Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman faith, the faith of France, of Spain, of Italy, of Austria, and of all Christianity. The title Defensor Fidei signified at that time defender of the Roman Faith. What does it mean now? After 1534, Henry VIII. pretended to defend the Catholic faith, by refusing obedience to the pope and submitting to his own spiritual supremacy, a new star in the firmament of the church.

Under the reign of Edward VI., or rather under that of the two successive protectors, the Dukes of Somerset and Northumberland, the faith was defended in the shape of the Forty-two Articles. It was no longer the Catholic faith in its purity.

Under the reign of Elizabeth, the governess of the Church of England, the creed of Edward VI. was modified, and the faith was now declared to consist in the Thirty-nine Articles.

Since Elizabeth these Thirty-Nine Articles have continued to be the official creed of the established church. In a country where custom holds such sway, all the members of the Anglican clergy are obliged to profess their faith in these articles under oath; but do we see that the queen and her privy council exact the performance of this oath? It would be answered that such a thing has become impracticable, and that no one is held to the performance of the impossible. We cheerfully agree to this, for we are not in the habit of contesting what is plainly evident.

The striking and multiplied facts of contemporaneous history will at last compel every serious-minded man to ask himself this question: Is not the title Defensor Fidei very much like that of King of France which the sovereign of England renounced in the beginning of this century, without really losing anything? To tell the truth, they are "defenders of the faith" in much the same manner as Victor Emmanuel is King of Cyprus and Jerusalem.

If we were English, we would delight in publishing a truly apostolic book, which would contain little of our own intellectual labor, except, perhaps, the choice of materials and the manner of arranging them; nor would it be a controversial work, for controversy only embitters an opponent; and, if our readers will permit a playful but striking comparison, we would make our adversaries appear like two inimical squirrels, who will continually run about in a circle, with fiery looks and lively motions, yet never getting one step nearer to each other. {259} We should make the calm and impartial voice of history speak, and our publication would be called Historical Documents on the Title of the Kings of England, Defensor Fidei.

Large books find few readers nowadays, and so we would make ours very brief; its contents these: The affirmation of the seven sacraments against Martin Luther by Henry VIII., with the defence of his book by John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester; the bull of Leo X., which gave Henry VIII. the title of Defensor Fidei; the act of parliament which declared Henry VIII. supreme head of the Church of England; the Forty-two Articles of Anglican faith under the reign of Elizabeth and her successors; the profession of faith in the Thirty-nine Articles exacted officially of the Anglican clergy; and, finally, the profession of faith of Pius IV., which contains the whole doctrine of the Holy Council of Trent. We would give the Latin text of all those documents and a good English translation, so that the exactness of the translation could be verified. We would crown our work with a little complementary appendix, which would give our readers an insight of the privy council of the queen in ecclesiastical matters—Optima legum interpres consuetudo. Showing on one side an abstract of the condemnations inflicted upon the Puseyites for having professed Catholic doctrines denied by the Anglican Church; and, on the other, the recapitulation of the principal acts, which have favored so-called evangelical and even rationalistic tendencies in the very heart of the establishment, and which are recalled by the names, now become so famous, of Gorham, Hampden, and Colenso. Nor should we omit the nomination of a bishop of Jerusalem, made with such touching concord by England and her Protestant sister, Prussia. This characteristic fact impresses the seal of worldly policy on the forehead of the Anglican Church.

What can make a book more attractive than fine engravings? And so our manual would contain the portraits of all the kings and queens of England who have born the title of Defensor Fidei; and, in this gallery of sovereigns, would figure in his place the sombre protector Cromwell, who was a defender of the faith in a manner peculiarly his own. Facing the rulers of England, we would place the popes of Rome. We should strictly deny ourselves the pleasure of making any commentaries. We should content ourselves with a single exposition of authentic facts, and look for the fruit of our book from the grace of God, who enlightens the mind and touches the heart in his own good time, and from the good sense, the integrity, and well-known straightforward spirit of the English nation.

Our reader has no need for us to tell him what the subject of this work would be. He sees clearly that this book of Henry VIII. against Luther, and its defence by John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester—a book now extremely rare, buried, as it were, in the dust of a few libraries as an archaeological curiosity, or at most only quoted to show the monstrous self-contradictions that Henry VIII. exhibited—that this book, we say, is the most authentic and precious monument of the ancient and Catholic faith in England, and, at the same time, a refutation in advance of the Anglican schism, of all the Anglican heresies, and of the Lutheran diatribes of Anglicanism against the pope as Antichrist, and Rome as a new Babylon.


Is there not a sign in this very work of wondrous divine predilection for England, and a distant preparation for a future, such as we see with so much joy, springing from the seed sown then, centuries ago?

In religious and wise England many souls are eagerly seeking the unity and antiquity of the Christian faith; like others, who have preceded them in finding the fold of Christ, they are ready to make the most heroic sacrifices as soon as they have discovered the pearl without price. These brothers are already Catholic by the aspirations of their hearts. Perhaps many belong already, without their own knowledge and without ours, to the soul of the only true church, because they have validly received holy baptism, which has made them members of Jesus Christ and children of the church; because they are only material heretics; and because they walk in humility in the way that he who is the only Mediator attracts them by his grace. They always take a step in the true faith at each new light that they receive from heaven. These Christians whom we respect and love, and who love us, honor their country more than we can readily express. We cannot think of them without the deepest interest and sympathetic veneration.

With the exception of the trials of Pius IX., the father of the Christian universe, the most venerable and the most magnanimous of all the oppressed, except this holy, old man, this pontiff king, surrounded by his legion of Machabees, crowned with his gray locks, his virtues, and his misfortunes, we know of nothing so beautiful as the devotion of our Catholic brothers of England, Scotland, and Ireland to God and his church, and the divine assistance which continually rallies new neophytes about them when God calls them. It is a flood destined to overspread the land. "Wonderful are the surges of the sea." [Footnote 37]

[Footnote 37: Psalm xc. 4.]

A religious of one of the missionary orders recently wrote from India concerning a Protestant lady whom he had met, and said, "Her conversation made me think that she was only a Protestant by mistake." How many Englishmen to-day are only Anglicans by mistake!

While the Episcopal Church is falling to pieces under the disintegrating influence of Protestantism, which is its essence, and of rationalism, which has invaded it, as the lamented Robert Wilberforce has clearly shown, [Footnote 38] many Christians born within its communion, but animated by a different spirit which urges them to the divine centre of Catholicity, are no longer willing to build their faith on the shifting sand of human opinions, and cement a religious society by the dissolving principle of private judgment. For them the authority and the common faith of the universal church are necessary: they demand the integrity of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the sacred guardian of apostolic traditions. For such as these, the book of Henry VIII. and John Fisher is a most striking monument of the unity and antiquity of the faith, a sort of beacon to show all in the great impending shipwreck of religion in England what direction they must take in order to find safety.

[Footnote 38: The principle of authority in the church.]

You who seek the unity of the faith, then, "one heart and one soul," [Footnote 39] see in what splendor she shines here.

[Footnote 39: Acts iv. 32.]


It is the King of England, and with him the most pious and learned English bishop of the sixteenth century, who makes his profession of faith, who glories in his submission to the authority of the pope, who defends the seven sacraments. Does a single bishop protest? Are Oxford and Cambridge silent? Do the secular and regular clergy, the parliament, the laymen of every condition of life, all acquiesce? Does not a single Englishman present this respectful remonstrance: "Sire, you are sacrificing the rights and prerogatives of your crown! A King of England submit to the pope! Is not one king the supreme head of the church? You defend seven sacraments: how so when there are only two?"

It was, then, evidently the faith of England that Henry VIII. and John Fisher defended; and this monument, reared before the schism and different creeds that it has created, shows us that those who would dare to deny the doctrines there put forth would be considered innovators, which, in the church of Jesus Christ, has always been considered synonymous with heretics.

But if this book is the monument of the faith of England in the sixteenth century, before 1534, it is at the same time a monument of the Roman faith, that is to say, of the faith of the Catholic Church. At that time, when the pontiffs were more than usually vigilant on account of the heresies which were springing up in the various countries of Europe, two popes, Leo X. and Clement VII., were not content with sanctioning the work of Henry VIII., but gave and confirmed to him the title of the "Defender of the Faith." England declared her belief; Rome, and through her the Catholic Church, answered: "Your faith is ours; we congratulate you on your able defence of it." Here was indeed unity and unanimity.

Is this all the light that we can gather from this source? This monument was erected in the midst of the religious life of England, between its Roman Catholic past, of more than a thousand years from the birth of the Anglo-Saxon Church, and its schismatic future, which would count more than three hundred years. Nowhere can one better stand to see the different policies and course travelled by England than here: once as the cherished daughter of the Roman Church, the sister of Catholic nations; and then how she has changed since she rebelled against Rome, and has gone on in her isolation, sufficient for herself, Christian in her own way, even while an oecumenical council was assembled.

The Roman Catholic past of England is known by the certain evidence of history; and from the monument of Henry VIII., which can well be considered its terminus, we propose to cast a hasty glance at its most distant events; and of these by far the most interesting are the glorious acts of the pontificate of Pope St. Gregory the Great, who sent missionaries to convert his dear English, although yet idolaters, and who chose their first bishop from the Benedictine monks of his convent at Rome. What unity, what unanimity between Rome and England in the time of the monk St. Augustine! It was the union of a daughter and mother: it was precisely the same union, the same faith, in the sixth as in the sixteenth century, until 1534.

The sixth century makes us go far back in the history of the church; but, in admiring the apostolic works of St. Augustine and his companion, we find about them precious and striking witnesses of a past yet more distant. {262} St. Augustine convokes the bishops of the Britons to beg them to aid him in converting the Saxons to Christianity. He acknowledged, then, that the Britons were in the same communion, and professed the same Roman Catholic faith. Indeed, if the Britons were wrong in refusing their help, it was only because of their hatred against their oppressors, for the ancient British Church was never separated from the communion of the Roman Church, never lost the purity of the Catholic faith. [Footnote 40]

[Footnote 40: See The Monks of the West,
by M. le Comte de Montalembert.]

Pelagius, it is true, was a Briton, and his heresy, which he first sowed at Rome, was not long in reaching Great Britain, yet it never took deep root there. The British Catholics sent a deputation to the bishops of Gaul, urging them to send a number of missionaries to them. Pope Celestine, warned of the danger to the faith, sent St. Germain of Auxerre; the bishops of Gaul, assembled for this purpose, added St. Loup of Troyes. These two great bishops left their peaceful flocks in all haste to come to the rescue of the invaded folds; and while they were working so faithfully for the glory of God and of his holy church, all Catholic Gaul was praying most fervently for its sister, Great Britain. Pelagianism was vanquished and found no home in the land of Pelagius; it was in another land that it made its most deplorable ravages.

Thus it was in Great Britain that the bishops, who are established by the Holy Spirit to govern the church, [Footnote 41] triumphed over this sad and insidious heresy, when they were free to exercise their divine mission in that country, and when they were closely united to the centre of unity.

[Footnote 41: Acts xx. 28.]

There was something like it in the fourteenth century, when the heresy of Wickliff arose. He was condemned by the council of London, (1382,) although an Englishman, and one who had studied at Oxford, and who had been the principal of the College of Canterbury, at once the flatterer and the favorite of his sovereigns. His doctrine, which contained the germ of all the Anglicanism of the time of Elizabeth, caused considerable trouble in England; but, thanks to the firmness of the episcopate, these troubles are not to be compared with those from which Bohemia suffered, where John Huss taught the same heresy.

Before the Anglican "reform," which has created a system before unheard of, and which unites calumny with historical delusions, every Englishman was proud to claim for his country the honor of having preserved the faith always in its purity from the time that the gospel had first been preached there. [Footnote 42]

[Footnote 42: According to the Venerable Bede, Catholic missionaries were sent there in the second century of our era, by Pope Eleutherius.]

Was England, then, in error? If so, she has deceived herself and all Christendom; and this universal error has lasted from the pontificate of Pope St. Eleutherius, to that of Pope Clement VII., a period of more than thirteen hundred and fifty years! We must say that anyone who looks upon this fact as of slight importance would greatly astonish us. Where do they think that the true church of Jesus Christ was during these long centuries, that church against which the gates of hell shall not prevail? [Footnote 43] Did it disappear, this city of God, which was to be placed on the mountain and seen by all people? [Footnote 44] Surely the spirit of delusion and darkness must be very potent when it can make a pious Englishman declare that the glory of the English Church was reduced to nothing before the sixteenth century, and that then Henry VIII. and Cranmer, an infamous libertine and his servile courtier, were raised up to open a new career to her.

[Footnote 43: St. Mark xvi. 18.]

[Footnote 44: St. Matthew v. 14.]


Yet England, notwithstanding its modern religious state, is not revolutionary. She loves order as warmly as she does liberty. Even in religion, she desires by subordination the only means of preserving it.

How much light for Anglicans of good faith (and they are numerous) shines in the violent and even indecent attacks made by their preachers and historians upon the greatest names of Catholic England—names that England revered in former times with the whole Christian world—names still dear to the Catholic Church, albeit they are now almost unknown in England. To efface so much glory, it was needful that a new kind of glory should appear and dazzle by its very contrast.

At the end of 1534, and still more definitively in 1559, at the commencement of the reign of Elizabeth, the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Church were violently separated; they no more profess the same creed, they have no longer the same worship, their hierarchies are strangers, they mutually reproach each with not being the true church of Jesus Christ. It is from the monument of Henry VIII. and John Fisher that we can see the different paths they followed and the daily increasing difference which has separated them.

For the Roman Church this epoch was one of those glorious epiphanies which our Lord Jesus Christ prepares for it in different times, and of which the joys are sown in tears. After a sterile and desolate winter a spring appeared for the divine tree, full of sap, and perfumed with celestial blossoms, followed by a summer and autumn, rich in precious fruits of sanctity, of knowledge, and charity. The Council of Trent was convoked in 1542 by Paul III. for the spread and exaltation of the Christian faith, for the extirpation of heresies, the peace and union of the church, for the reformation of the clergy and the Christian people, for the repression and extinction of the enemies of the Christian name. The evils that existed were fearful. The holy council, with the divine assistance, acquitted itself of its task in a manner which would bring a speedy and certain remedy to all the prevalent abuses. God, the supreme King of kings, recompensed so many generous efforts on the part of his faithful people by according to them, before the end of the sixteenth century, under the glorious pontificate of St. Pius V., that memorable victory of Lepanto, which crowned the work of the crusades and shattered for ever the power of the Mussulman.

But what avail the laws the most salutary in the bosom of nations profoundly ignorant and deeply corrupt, if there do not rise in their midst men powerful in word and work to instruct them, and, above all, to regenerate them by the irresistible attraction of the most heroic virtue? It was then God raised up in Italy, in France, in Spain, in Germany, true reformers, who, after the example of their divine Master, began to act before they began to teach. Their names are too well known to need mention here. They compelled men to acknowledge the divine tree by its fruits. They professed the faith proclaimed by the Council of Trent, which was nothing else than the faith of Nice in its legitimate development. The faith of Nice was the faith of the apostles. This faith of the apostles, of Nice, of all the oecumenical councils, is the faith to-day of the Roman Church in the solemn profession of faith of Pius. IV., which is a résumé of all the doctrine of the holy Council of Trent.


As for England, in separating from the Roman Church she commenced the history of her variations: she entered upon that downward path of religious decline which naturally ends in a sudden descent into the gulf of scepticism. With a creed subject to the changing will of man, she was Anglican after one fashion under Henry VIII., after another fashion under Edward VI., after a third under Elizabeth, and now, to the inexpressible confusion and grief of those pious Christians born and nurtured in the bosom of the established church, she has arrived, step by step, at a point where she offers the spectacle of a chaos of incoherent doctrines, some true, some false, some orthodox, others heretical, some pious, others monstrously wicked, but all tolerated out of respect for the genius of the individuals who took the pains to invent them; all publicly and peaceably taught beneath the standard of the Thirty-nine Articles. Le pavilion couvre la marchandise.

While so many great servants of God and his poor, venerated and blessed throughout the rest of Christendom, adorned the Roman Church, unfortunate England, shut up in its island and still closer imprisoned by an atrocious religious persecution, saw generations of her children grow up in hate, contempt, and horror of popery and papists. Every source of education, all the pulpits of the Anglican Church, all books allowed to be published, helped to keep up this spirit of ignorant and bigoted hate against the church of God.

While St. Vincent de Paul, that great reformer of the clergy and saintly founder of world-wide works of charity, prepared, together with so many other apostolic men, the glory and prosperity of our present great age; in sanctifying the family, divinely instituted as the practical school of social virtues; in arousing a spirit of generous devotion and sacrifice which led men to comfort all forms of misery and reconcile rich and poor—those brethren so easily made enemies—England was deprived of all her religious orders, consecrated in former times to the service of the poor and the sick, to the education of youth, to the stubborn labors of science, to the contemplation of divine things, to the crucified life, the life of prayer, the life of the soul, against which the world blasphemes because it cannot comprehend it. She lost the blessings of a celibate clergy: she was despoiled of the sacred patrimony of the poor by her king and lords, who distributed it among themselves, together with the greater part of the wealth of the church, as the enemy's spoils are divided and shared after a victory. (We intend to be polite.) England beheld the wound of pauperism open wider each day, and found herself forced to have recourse to the poor-tax, unheard of in old Catholic times. Within her boundaries will be found to-day an excessive wealth in face of poverty unknown elsewhere. By the constant progress of science and industry, machine labor tends to replace the labor of the individual, and self-aggrandizement diminishes wages in proportion as it augments the daily task of the workman. What a harvest would be offered to the works of Catholic charity if her divine activity were only there to replace the horrible workhouses where souls are withering and dying! We yet have in France and elsewhere the money of St. Vincent de Paul in an innumerable number of works of charity truly Christian, and that enables us to live without taxing the poor.


Such are the different paths which the Roman and Anglican Church have followed since the deplorable schism of Henry VIII., renewed and aggravated under Elizabeth. If before his death Henry VIII. had repented of his wicked attack upon the church, what would he have been obliged to do to reconcile himself with Rome? He would have needed only to return to that profession of faith which he made in his book against Luther. Since the beginning of the Anglican schism, and at any point of its successive variations, any Englishman, to return to the bosom of the Catholic Church, would have nothing to do but to return to that same profession, conformable in every point to the profession of faith of Pius IV. This is what has been done in our own day by Father Spencer, Archbishop Manning, Fathers Newman and Faber, Palmer and Wilberforce, and a host of others, eminent for their virtues, their knowledge, their public and private character, whom no Englishman capable of appreciating the merit of sacrifices made for God and in fidelity to conscience can name without respect and pride.

But possibly some of our readers may be astonished that we insist so strongly upon the book written by Henry VIII., for it might seem that the shameful life of the author reflects discredit upon the work. Let us not be mistaken. In the first place, when Henry VIII. wrote against Luther, he was very far from being the monster of iniquity which he became afterward, and whose history I leave to the severe judgment of a Christian Tacitus. Again, it is important to understand that Henry VIII. was not the sole author of this monument of his former faith reared by his hand fourteen years before his apostasy. The universal judgment of critics has always attributed the more solid part of the work, at least, to John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, who assumed ostensibly all the responsibility of it in the public defence he made of it.

Thus we see, on the one hand, Henry VIII., who, after putting forth his work with so much ostentation, belied it without shame and strove to mutilate it; and, on the other, John Fisher, who plants it upon the immovable rock where he had taken his place, and with glorious magnanimity sacrifices his life to defend it This is the choice offered. He who returns to the ancient faith of Henry VIII. separates himself from the tyrant and the murderer, and joins himself to the company of his victim. He ranks himself beside the glorious martyr who, during the second half of King Henry's reign, was, of all the episcopate of England, the only guardian left of English honor, and the last champion of the liberty of conscience.

An unwelcome truth, but a hard fact. In 1521, at the time of the publication of the king's book against Luther, the whole English episcopate most undoubtedly believed in the primacy of the pope with Fisher, with Henry VIII., with all the Catholic Church, and in no sense believed in the spiritual supremacy of the king. Then there was unity and unanimity, and the present and past of England were in harmony. But in 1534 the king changes his doctrine, and with him the whole episcopate and parliament. One English bishop only was found to display the firmness of a Basil, a Hilary, an Athanasius, an Ambrose, a Chrysostom, a Lanfranc, an Anselm, an Edward, a Thomas of Canterbury. The number of the cowards does but make the immortal beauty of the contrast shine out with the greater splendor. How many rough stones are not thrown together pell-mell in their shapelessness and obscurity, to form the foundation of the pedestal of one chosen stone, carved with the sublime inspiration of genius by the chisel of a Michael Angelo, to become the statue of a great man!


If John Fisher, like the heroic Thomas More, had not the support of his own nation, he had that of all Christendom. Yes, the monument of John Fisher is worthy to become the rallying point of every generous-hearted Christian Englishman, who ardently looks for the realization of the promise and dearest wish of our common Redeemer and Saviour, Jesus Christ—There shall be one flock and one Shepherd.

With what indescribable emotion the heart of an Englishman must beat when, after a long interior combat with so many prejudices in which he has been nurtured, he at last breaks the chains of his slavery, and when, feeling himself free with that liberty which only a Catholic can feel, he cries out: "I'll do it: I abjure the schism of Henry VIII., the creed of Cranmer and Parker; I will go back to the faith of John Fisher!"

Such, doubtless, were the sentiments of the pious and learned Robert Wilberforce when he returned to the bosom of the holy Catholic Church. His words, so serious, so marked by the ardent love of truth, so touching in their tone of respect and fraternal charity for his adversaries, fall upon our ears in accents of majestic solemnity as they echo back to us from the depths of the tomb. This is what his hand has written whose memory is enshrined in the noblest hearts:

"When national distinctions cease to exist, and mankind, small and great, are assembled before God, it will be seen whether it was wiser, like Henry VIII. and his minion Cromwell, to break up the Church Catholic for the sake of ruling it, or, like More and Fisher, to die for its unity."


  Be merry as May,
    If you want to be
  As merry and gay,
    At seventy-three.

  To be merry and gay
    Though, at seventy-three,
  Argues Life's primal May
    Spent virtuously.

      T. K.


A Winged Word.

    "O power of life and death
     In the tongue! as the preacher saith."

Mr. Basil Andrew paused in writing and held his pen suspended, his breath also slightly in suspense, as he contemplated his subject anew. He had been reviewing a theological work just published; but his thoughts had developed as he dwelt on them, and were no longer a plan, but the torso of a plan.

He sat like one in a trance while the new idea grew; grew slowly, almost painfully, seeming to find scant room in his brain, albeit his brows were wide. Touches from the utmost limits of his nature and his experience shaped and modified it: the swell of feeling with the ray of intellect that ruled its tide; vague emotions and vaguer speculations, in whose mists sparks of truth were dissipated, from whose sudden meeting had sometimes sprung the electric flash of intelligence; aspirations that had climbed their Jacob's ladder, reason fixing the rounds till the climbers took wings, and dazzled her with their transfigured faces; fragments of knowledge hard and sharp-edged; stray conclusions finding their premises, and stray premises their conclusions—mallet and handle for blows—all working the shape till there it stood in his brain, the perfect form of a truth.

One instant he contemplated it with rapture, while it glowed alive under his gaze; the next, he looked outward and perceived its relations with the world. As he did so, a wave of color swept over his face; and, heart failing, that form was no longer to him a living truth, but the statue of a truth.

"I might have known," he muttered, flinging his pen aside, "for me, at least, 'all roads lead to Rome.' I believe I am bewitched."

With that flush still upon his face, he rolled up the unfinished manuscript, and deliberately laid it on the coals that burned redly in the grate, where it quivered like a sentient thing. One might fancy that the thoughts just warm from his brain still retained some clinging sensation, telling where their rest had been, as, stepping ashore, for a while we continue to feel the motion of the sea on which we have been tossing. Then the edges of the leaves blackened, slender fingers of flame stole over them, opened them out, drew rustling leaf from leaf, scorching them, till one sentence started out vivid as lightning on a cloud, that sentence on which he had paused, finding it not a conclusion, but an indication. Then a strong draught caught the yet quivering cinders and carried them up the chimney.

"There they go in a swirl, like Dante's ghosts," he thought; and turned away to look out into the north-eastern storm that, having brushed the bloom from a crimson sunrising, was now, at afternoon, rushing in power over the city. The air was thick with snow, through which, far aloft, dark objects occasionally sailed with the wind-witches, probably. Passers struggled in wind and drift, and the houses seemed not sure of their footing, and had a forlorn and smothered aspect. But Mr. Andrew perceived with satisfaction that the mansion in which he dwelt maintained its dignified dowager port, and that, if ever a feathery drift presumed to alight on the doorsteps, an obsequious little flirt of wind darted round a corner of the house and whisked it off.


While the gentleman stood there, the door of the room opened for the first time in three hours, and Miss Madeleine, Mrs. Hayward's niece, came in with a book in her hand. He watched her as she crossed the room without noticing him, and, when she had seated herself at another window, he breathed out, "How sweet is solitude!" speaking in one of those cloudy, golden voices, such a voice as might have swept over the chords of David's harp when David sang.

The lady looked up, brightening for an instant as though shone upon. Then she opened her book, and Mr. Andrew returned to his table and read also. And there was silence for another hour.

Mr. Basil Andrew was in person rather superb, tall till he bent slightly with a languid grace, which also hung about his motions and his speech. But when he was excited, these mists were scorched up. Then he grew erect as a palm-tree, the not large but beautifully shaped eyes flashed out their crystalline blue, and delicate lines trembled or hardened in mouth and nostril. Then, too, it appeared that those tones of his could ring as well as melt. If it be true that "soul is the form, and doth the body make," the philosophical reader may be able to guess the shape of his nose and chin. Lavater would have pronounced favorably concerning his intellect from seeing only that significant inch across the brows. In color he was white and flaxen-haired, but had some indefinable glow about him, like a pale object seen in a warm light.

Mr. Andrew at thirty-five years of age found himself in that pause of life which, in natures too well poised for violent reaction, comes between the disgust of unsatisfying pursuit and the adoption of higher aims, or the disdainful and half-despairing resumption of the former life. He awaited the inspiring circumstance which should waft him hither or thither, or perhaps for his soul to gather itself and make its own will the wind's will, whichever might be more potential. Pending this afflatus, interior or exterior, he rested upon life

  "As idle as a painted ship
   Upon a painted ocean."

Miss Madeleine was a well enough young woman, baptized into the church, but from an early age subjected to Protestant influences; oscillating between the two, never very conspicuously Catholic except when the faith was assailed, then plus Arabe que l'Arabie; at other times following out Protestantism to its ultimate pantheism. She had a dimly remembered father and mother somewhere in church suffering or triumphant, and occasionally, when life seemed to her unstable, she sent out a little prayer for or to them, a prayer too weak to find olive-leaves. This young woman was not without power, but it escaped in reverie and dreaming; what she meant to do so vividly imagined that she rested there as on accomplished work. Too impetuous and flimsily ambitious to think with profit, her mind was encumbered with fragments of thought, often with a sparkle in them, like the broken snow-crystals she now dropped her book to watch. In fine, her outer life was a purposeless stupor, her inner life one of Carlyle's "enchanted nightmares" in miniature.


As the clock struck four, Mr. Andrew closed his book and approached his companion.

"I have been reading Thoreau's description of autumn woods," she said, "and I feel all colored. I am steeped in crimson, and purple, and amber, and rich tawny browns. My eyes are violet, and my hair is golden."

"Your hair is brown, and your eyes are gray," was the matter-of-fact reply, it being Mr. Andrew's opinion that the girl's mind needed ballast.

"What book have you there?" she asked, settling into place.

"Oh!" just aware he still held it, "it is Father de Ravignan's Society and Institute of the Jesuits—very good if one desires information on the subject. Moreover, one is charmed to learn that Père de Ravignan, though himself a Jesuit, has been a magistrate and a man of his time; also that he is still a man, and, par excellence, a Frenchman. The good father becomes a little Hugoish and staccato when he refers to himself."

Since she still waited, watching him with eager, imperative eyes, he went on. "You know the story of the Florentine and Genoese who wished to compliment each other: 'If I were not a Genoese, I should wish to be a Florentine,' said one. 'And I,' said the other, 'if I were not a Florentine, should wish to be—' 'A Genoese!' suggested the other. 'No, a Florentine!' So I, if I were not a free-thinker, would wish to be—"

"A Catholic!" the girl broke in. "Don't deny. You already tire of your Theodore Parker, whose intellect was to him what astronomers call a crown of aberration. You have but to look at the church, and faith is easy! How beautiful are thy steps, O prince's daughter!"

"Very pretty, but not very conclusive," was the cool comment. "You once said to me, 'Epithets are not arguments.' Allow me to retort that apostrophes are not arguments. By the way, how impossible it is to calculate on where you may be found, except that it is sure to be 'in issimo.' The arc of your motion takes in both poles."

Miss Madeleine relapsed again immediately, and with a somewhat weary expression.

At the same moment the door opened wide, and Mrs. Hayward entered, producing the effect of being preceded by a band of music. This lady of fifty was ample, rustling, and complacent, and, being lymphatic, was called dignified. If, on being left a widow in straitened circumstances, and finding herself obliged to take a few boarders, Mrs. Hayward had felt any sense of diminished social lustre, no one had perceived it. "They pay my housekeeping expenses," she said serenely; and immediately that seemed the end of their being.

There is something imposing in the suave conceit of such persons. Possessing themselves so completely, they also possess those who approach them, abashing larger and more slowly ripening natures. Names respectfully pronounced by them become at once names of consequence, and trivial incidents by them related swell into significant events. If they are something, then I am nothing, is the thought with which we approach them; and the fact that they are something seems so clear that the mortifying conclusion is inevitable.

After this lady followed Mrs. Blake, obviously the wife of Mr. Blake, also the mother of an uproarious boy of six years who accompanied her, and who was at this moment quieted by the possession of an enormous cake which he was devouring.


"O the cherub!" cried Miss Madeleine wickedly. "That child has genius. See, he eats his cake in the epical manner, beginning in the middle. Little pocket edition of his papa! Only," in an aside to her aunt, "I hope they haven't stereotyped him. And here comes his papa now."

A bang of the street-door, and enter Mr. Blake, rubbing his hands, and quoting,

  'It is not that my lot is low,
  That bids the silent tear to flow;'

it is the cold. No, my son; no kiss now. Sydney Smith says that there is no affection beyond seventy or below twenty degrees Fahrenheit. Wait till I rise to the paternal temperature."

Mr. Blake was assistant editor of a second-class magazine, considered himself literary, and had a way of saying "we scribblers" to Mr. Andrew, which made that gentleman stiffen slightly. While the one entertained the ladies with an account of the immense amount of literary labor performed by him since breakfast, the other looked from the window and absently watched the wild wind curl itself to edge off the crest of a drift, curling it over like the petal of a tuberose, but more thinly, hanging, wavering, flake to flake, daintily and airily touching the frail crystals.

"Oh! there's to be a great Christmas at your cathedral to-morrow," Mr. Blake said to Madeleine, as they went out to dinner. "Bassoon's going to sing, and Kohn's orchestra to play. It will be worth seeing and hearing, especially at five o'clock. I mean to go if I can wake. And you?"

"Yes," Madeleine said, glancing at Mr. Andrews, who flushed a little as he nodded acquiescence.

"'Similia similibus curantur,'" he thought. "I'll go and get cured."

"They really do things of that sort well at the cathedral," said Mrs. Hayward patronizingly, seeming to pat a personified cathedral on the head as she softly touched the table with her plump white hand.

Madeleine groaned inwardly.

"Mr. Andrew," she said, "what should put me in mind of the frog that tried to swell to the size of an ox?"

Mr. Andrew found himself unable to guess.

"But wouldn't it have been odd," she pursued, with the air of a philosophical child, "if the frog had succeeded, and had swelled to the size of an ox?"

Mr. Andrew admitted that it would have been a phenomenon.

"But," she concluded, with an air of infantile naiveté, "it wouldn't have been anything but a great frog, would it?"

"My dear, what are you talking about?" said her aunt. "Pray eat your dinner."

"Christmas-eve is a fast-day of obligation," says Madeleine.

A little raising of three pairs of eyebrows fanned the flame. This young woman had a tongue of her own, and while the others dined she entertained them with a theological discourse, which, if not always logical, had some telling points, and which certainly did not assist the digestion of her hearers. They sat with very red faces, choking a little, but trying to appear indifferent.

"Do people take bitters with their dinner?" asked Mr. Andrew, at length. "I should think it would spoil the taste."

"I must say, Madeleine," Mrs. Hayward interposed, "that, considering you address Protestants, and that we are all friends of yours, you show very little regard for our feelings."


The best thing that could have been said. Madeleine melted at once.

"O auntie!" she cried penitently, "'it is not that I love Caesar less, but Rome more.' I own that it is you who have shown the Christian spirit, and reminded me that centuries ago to-night the angels sang 'Peace on earth.' I'm going to banish myself in disgrace to the parlor. Rest you merry."

Going, into the parlor, she saw all out-doors suffused with a soft rose-color, a blush so tender and evanescent that it seemed everywhere but where the eye rested. "The sky side of this storm is all a sea of fire," she thought, throwing up the window, and drawing in a delicious breath of mingled sunshine, west wind, and frost. "How the clouds melt! And the winds and sunbeams, with their convex gleams, build up the blue dome of the air."

Coming in later, the others found her sitting at the piano in the amethystine twilight, and singing a faint and far-away sounding Gloria.

"Hush!" said Mr. Blake, pausing on the threshold, "the evening stars have begun, that the morning stars may know. See them all of a tremor on that sky!"

Listening to those strains of threaded silver, Mr. Andrew sat looking into the twilight through which the grander constellations burned with outlines unblurred by the lesser stars. There was Orion, erect, with his girdle of worlds; Taurus, with starred horns lowered; the Dogs, witnessed to by the liquid brilliance of Sirius, matchless in shifting hues; the Lion, just coming out of the East, his great paw resting on the ecliptic; all those hieroglyphs of fire in which God has written his autograph upon the heavens.

"What a pretty myth it was," he thought, "that of the morning-stars singing together. And that other of the star of Bethlehem!" He half-wished he could believe those things, they saved so much weary thought, so much maddening speculation. Sometimes, while straining to grasp at extraordinary knowledge, he had felt as though falling from a giddy height into an outer darkness, and had drawn back shuddering, eager to catch at some homely fact for support. He smiled now mockingly to himself. "Perhaps the stars did sing. Like a child, I'm going to make believe they did, and that one 'handmaid lamp' did attend the birth of Jesus." It was easier to believe anything while he listened to that Gloria. For, disregarded as Miss Madeleine might be at other times, when she sang she was regnant. Her voice was magnetic enough to draw the links from any man's logic.

Ceasing, she called Mr. and Mrs. Blake to the piano, and the three voices sang Milton's Hymn on the Nativity.

It is astonishing how magnificently some small-souled persons do contrive to sing, expressing sentiments which they must be totally incapable of experiencing. Mrs. Blake sang a superb contralto, and the three perfect voices struck fire from one listener's heart as they beat the emphatic rhythm of that majestical measure.

All but Miss Madeleine went to bed early. She kept vigil, and was to call them. They seemed scarcely to have slept when they heard her voice ring up the stairs in the muezzin which she christianized for the occasion, being in no mood to call Mohammed a prophet:

  "Great is the Lord! Great is the Lord!
   I bear witness that there is no God but the Lord!
   I bear witness that Jesus is the Son of God!
   Come unto prayer—come unto happiness—
   Great is the Lord! Great is the Lord!
   There is no God but the Lord!
   Prayer is better than sleep—prayer is better than sleep!"

As the last word died upon the air, every foot touched the floor, and in half an hour the party had gathered as wild as witches.

Mr. Andrew came down late and grumbling. "Cannot we hear music and see candles without getting out of bed for the purpose at such unearthly hours? I had just gone to sleep, and was in Elysium. Miss Madeleine, why should you say that prayer is better than sleep? We are not going to pray; we are going to hear demi-semi-quavers, and Mr. Bassoon's C in the deeps. I'll go to bed again."

"Possibly we may pray, Mr. Andrew," she said in a low tone. "I have been thinking to-night, and it seems to me that God had a Son, and that he will come down this morning and stand in the midst of the candles."

A Catholic, unless a convert, can scarcely understand the emotions of a stranger who enters a church for the first time on one of our great festivals. That "cool, silver shock" must be taken from another element. Our party stepped from the dim and frosty starlight into an illumination more dazzling than daylight, into a warmth that was fragrant with flowers, into a crowd where every face had a smile dissolved in it. And over all waved a sparkling tissue of violin music from the orchestra.

"By George!" was Mr. Blake's only audible comment.

"It is like the Arabian Nights!" exclaimed his wife.

"Turns up the mastodon strata in them," whispered Mr. Andrew to the lady on his arm.

They were shown to seats, and sat watching the steadily increasing crowd, and the altar that was a pyramid of fire. The worshippers were, of course, various: ragged Irish women, whose faith invested them with better than cloth of gold; rich ladies, sweeping in velvets and sables, but with thoughts of better things in their faces; ambitious working-girls, finer than their mistresses. A pretty young woman came into the slip in front of our party, her face beautifully arranged to represent modesty and sweetness. She cast a glance behind at her audience, then sank upon her knees and beat her breast with one hand, while she arranged her bonnet-strings with the other. This performance at an end, she faced about and closely scanned the gallery, turning again and again till those behind her began to feel annoyed.

"I do wish he'd come!" said Madeleine impatiently.

"He has come," whispered Mr. Andrew, as the young woman suddenly returned toward the altar, and began a series of languishing attitudes and prostrations, all her repertoire of theatrical devotion.

A grand-looking man next attracted their attention, walking past with the unmistakable sailor roll. His head was erect, and his massive shoulders looked fit for Atlas burdens; but the clear, blue eyes were gentle, and his face was full of a beautiful solemnity and reverence. As he walked, the long, tawny beard flowing down his breast waved slightly.

Madeleine gave Mr. Andrew's arm a delighted squeeze, and whispered,

'With many a tempest had his beard been shaken.'

Fancy him on the ship's deck, in mid-ocean, in darkness and storm, beaten by the wind, drenched with spray, the lightnings blazing and the thunders crashing about him, shouting to the men to cut the mast away!"


Here the organ and choir broke forth in glad acclaim, and the procession came winding in from the sacristy. Cloth of gold and cloth of silver, lace and fine linen, and crimson and purple, all combined, gave the effect of a many-jewelled band coiled about the sanctuary.

Attending alternately to the altar and the choir, Mr. Andrew tried to believe it all a vain pageant; but thoughts will enter, though the doors be shut. What a stupendous thing, he thought, if the Real Presence were true; if, as this girl said, God had a Son, and he should come down this morning and stand in the midst of the candles!

For one instant he was dazzled and confounded by the possibility; the next, he recoiled from it.

"Gloria in excelsis" sang the choir with organ and orchestra in many an involved and thrilling strain, a pure melody springing up here and there from the midst, voice and instrument meeting and parting, catching the tone from each other, swelling till the vaulted roof of the cathedral rang, fading again, dropping away one after another, till there was left but a many-toned sigh of instruments, and one voice hanging far aloft, with a silvery flutter, upon a trill, like a humming-bird sucking the sweetness from that flower of sound. A pause of palpitating silence, then an amen that set swinging the myrtle vines hanging over the St. Cecilia in front of the organ, and made the pennons of blue and scarlet that hung about the altar wave on their standards.

Contrary to custom, there was to be a sermon at that Mass, and, as the preacher ascended the pulpit, Mr. Andrew said to himself: "If Christ was the Son of God, he is on that altar; and if there, I wish he would speak to me by this man."

He hoped to hear an argument to prove the divinity of Christ, not aware that his reason had already been pampered with such until it had grown insolent. The speaker, however, handled his subject quite otherwise. Assuming that divinity, he took for his theme, "what thoughts should fill the mind, what sentiments dilate the heart," on the feast of the Nativity. Calling up before them then, in a few words, a picture of that scene at once so humble and so marvellous, and pointing to the mysterious babe, he boldly announced on the threshold of his discourse the difficulties connected with the dogma for which he demanded their homage:

"This babe is a creature as you and I: this babe is the Creator of all contingent being. This babe is just born; this babe is from all eternity. This babe is contained in the manger; this babe pervades all space. It suffers: hear its cries! It enjoys bliss beyond power of augmentation. It is poor: see the swaddling-clothes! To it belong the treasures of the universe. Here present are husband and wife; yet I am required to believe that her the Holy Spirit overshadowed, a virgin conceived, a virgin bore a Son."

Not Ulysses' arrow flew through the rings with surer, swifter aim than these words through the winding doubts that had bound that listener's heart. It was too sublime not to be true! Almost the triumphant paradox—I believe, because it is impossible—broke from his lips. The human mind was incapable of inventing a falsity so glorious.

In that tumult of feeling he lost what came next; but, listening again, heard: "If I must bow down and worship, I elect him as the object of my adoration whose dwelling is in light inaccessible, who is inscrutable in his nature, and incomprehensible in his works."

"Amen!" said Basil Andrew.


"A virgin conceived, a virgin bore a Son," repeated itself again and again in his thought. All the singing of voices and the playing of instruments were because of that; all the splendor of the festival, the gathering of the crowd in the midst of the winter night, were for that. "O sweetest and most glorious mother in all the universe!" he thought, bowing where it is, perhaps, most difficult for a convert to render homage.

Clouds are unsubstantial things for anything but rainbows to stand on, and even they find but vanishing foothold. Had that delight in Basil Andrews's heart warmed only his imagination, it would have faded with the moment; but thought and study had done their part, and that uprising of the heart was Pygmalion's kiss to his statue. The feeling with which he turned to leave the cathedral was one of thankful content with perfected work.

Pausing in the vestibule for the crowd to pass, he looked back with a tender fear toward the altar.

Poor Madeleine's religion was iris and the cloud. She had known well what was going on in her companion's mind, and, as she stood waiting with him, a text went sighing through her memory like a sighing wind. "I say unto you that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof." While she, a child of the church, had given it a fitful obedience more insulting than a consistent disregard, this man had toiled every step of the way from a far-off heresy, and, passing by her as she loitered outside, had walked into the very penetralia.

She stood looking gloomily out into the morning that was one cloudless glow of pale gold.

"The air has crystallized since we came in," she said, "and we are shut inside a great gem, like flies in amber. We will have to stay here for ever."

He bent a smiling face toward her as they went out into the morning, and said softly: "How beautiful are thy steps, O Prince's daughter! You were right, Madeleine!"

A fortnight from that day Madeleine Hayward stood on the steps of her aunt's house, saying good-by to its inmates. A Southern girl, the cold skies of the North froze her. She wanted to get into a warmer sunshine, and, being prompt and determined, obstacles vanished before her.

"Mr. Andrew," she said, as he gave her his arm to the carriage, "I am sorry I can't stay to be your god-mother."

"I wouldn't have you," he said. "I'm going to have my old nurse."

Madeleine took her seat in the carriage, gave a smiling nod toward the group in the door, then held a cold hand out to her companion.

"When you are a priest, and when you hear that I am dead, say a Mass for me," she said faintly, then turned her face resolutely away.

The violent color that had risen to the gentleman's face at her words faded into a paleness as he went up the steps. By what power did that girl sometimes divine the thoughts which he had not yet owned to himself?

But she was a prophetess.


Translated from the French of L. Vitet.

The Present Condition of Christianity in France

Some time ago M. Guizot published the second series of his Meditations on the Christian Religion. He is now prosecuting right valiantly, and will ere long have completed, the noble task that won for him two years since so novel a triumph among his many victories, and crowned his illustrious life with what may be considered its brightest glory. That calmest and most serene of creeds, a lucid definition and summary of the fundamental dogmas of Christianity, viewed from the highest stand-point, in all their native simplicity and grandeur, was greeted, it will be remembered, with gratitude by some who looked upon it as furnishing most timely aid, and with respect and partial embarrassment by others; and so marked was its effect that the most exciting religious polemics were for the time being quieted. The first series referred to the very essence of the Christian religion; what is the subject of the second?

The author, in his preface, had thus drawn the general plan of the work: First, the essence of Christianity, next its history, then its present condition, and, finally, its future. Thus a complete history of Christianity was really promised us. The plan determined upon had, perhaps, some advantages. The history of Christianity is nowadays the point that anti-christian critics would show to be vulnerable, and the portion of the armor they seek to penetrate. The public, however, after a moment's surprise, has of itself meted out partial justice to this manner of attack; or at all events, new attempts, as skilfully devised as the first, have been received with a coolness of good augury that weakens vastly the importance of previously achieved successes. Was it not most opportune, then, to enlighten still more and at once a public whose furore had but just died away? was it not most important not to adjourn, even by a brief delay, a decisive refutation? As for ourselves, we yearned to behold, striving with the new-comers of criticism and history—who claim to be their masters and almost their inventors—him who, nearly half a century since, founded in our land modern historical criticism. By setting face to face with their rash assertions the true and severe laws of historic certainty; by taking down, piece by piece, their most cleverly contrived scaffolding; by reducing to naught their credit, was not the writer rendering to Christianity a most great and needed service?

M. Guizot has thought that there was something still more urgent to be accomplished; without abandoning his original idea, involving the four series, he has inverted their order of sequence; he now dwells upon the present state of Christian beliefs. At a later day he proposes to resume the discussion of historical questions, dilate upon the authority of holy books, continue his commentary on the concord of the Scriptures, and his arguments concerning technicalities and minor details; subsequently he will try to look into the future. {276} At present, he has but one care, one thought: he wishes to know what is occurring, or rather what men are believing, around him. To place in the strongest light the present state of Christianity; to enumerate its armies and those of its opponents, and establish a comparison between the strength of both; thus to summon all Christians to awaken to a sense of the events concerning the common safety; to teach them not to be deceived either as to their might or as to the magnitude of the perils besetting them, and to guard against a feeling of treacherous security as against cowardly discouragement; this it is that engrosses his attention, and, forming the subject of all his thoughts, indicates to him that which he is to consider his first duty. As he says himself, he supplies the most pressing emergency, and, hurrying to the spot where the struggle is commencing, rushes into the thick of the fight.

We can readily understand his impatience. All other questions become unimportant when compared with such a problem. No eagerness can be more legitimate than that of M. Guizot, and the investigation which it is necessary to make is surely the most serious and interesting that could be prosecuted. Let us add that few inquiries are as intricate and as difficult.

It is not, in fact, the mere exterior and apparent state of Christianity that it is necessary to depict; but its life, its action, its power, which simple statistics can by no means describe. Figures may set forth how many churches there are in France; how many priests, congregations, and convents; how many children are baptized, and couples married; how many dying mortals receive spiritual succor; but after these computations are completed, are they of any genuine value? Though the civil code is not compulsory as to the choice of a religion, and though each one be free to elect his own belief, does it follow that the conclusion arrived at is always the result of proper reflection? Are all those who, either from early childhood, through the medium of their parents, or in after life and by their own free will, on certain solemn days, publicly proclaim their adherence to Christianity, real and true Christians? How many can you designate who knew what they were doing, who did not simply conform with a custom, and for whom the sacred contract did not become at once a dead letter? To arrive at a correct estimate as to the actual strength of Christianity, we must not consult registers, but make researches in the bosoms of families, and descend into the depths of consciences. Thus should we make our soundings to ascertain the state of Christian belief. We admit that such a mode of investigation would be impracticable; we must be content, therefore, with less precise data, and pass judgment upon apparent events. Draw a parallel, then, between Christianity as it was in the early part of the century and Christianity as it is, criticise the two periods in accordance with the same rules, make allowances for deceptive appearances on both sides, and exclude from your calculation the apocryphal believers who are only Christians in name; however numerous the false men and things at present, you will, nevertheless, be compelled to concede that in our country, during the past sixty years, Christianity has at least taken root again in the soil, that it has recovered its life, and that its progress has been undeniable.


M. Guizot describes the phases of the resurrection or rather the awakening of Christianity; the comprehensiveness of his views and the choiceness of his expressions render this largely developed portion of his work of absorbing interest. We have, however, no intention to attempt its analysis. In these later meditations, as in those that precede them, one would in vain seek to follow the author step by step. His work alone can speak for its contents; a person must peruse it, or abandon the idea of becoming acquainted with it. Let us only point out the plan the writer has drawn, and notice the succession of his thoughts. From its commencement, by a natural division, the volume to which we allude forms two parts: one relates to Christianity, the other to its adversaries. What do we see in the first? The narrative of the Christian awakening, or rather an exposé of the religious beliefs in France since the year 1800. This is a composition in which the incidents follow each other in natural sequence, an historical painting as well as a picture-gallery, comprising none but portraits from nature, such as M. Guizot, with that firmness and concision that characterize in few words ideas as well as men, can produce; portraits full of expression and life, though always of a sober coloring and subdued effect. M. Guizot had abundant opportunities for word-painting, for sitters were not scarce. Evidently Providence was resolved, from the beginning of the century, to repair by almost perceptible progress the effects of the great disaster of Christianity, and the damage caused by the cataclysm into which it seemed to have sunken. How numerous the men who suddenly came into existence, each worthy of the mission to be entrusted to him! How marked the contrast with the days gone by, when there was none to shiver a lance for that ancient religion still replete with honors, wealth, and apparent life, but without credit, without influence upon souls, without new adepts, and gradually forsaken, like unto those tottering edifices whose abandonment ere their fall is decreed by a prophetic instinct! The scaffold was needed to restore it to life. The first symptom of regeneration was observed when humble priests and monks, who, a day previous, were heedless of their duty, arose as intrepid and as ready for martyrdom as if theirs had been austere lives, passed in the desert or in the darkness of the catacombs. Then a brighter signal and one more easily understood was to be given by two men, who, each in his sphere and within the limits of his power, were really the earliest promoters of the Christian awakening. We refer to a great politician and to a great writer—to the First Consul and to M. de Chateaubriand, to the Concordat and to the Genius of Christianity. There is nothing artificial nor strained in this connection; for these two men and these two works, at the commencement of this century, played the most important part in the work of resurrecting the traditions of Christianity. M. Guizot speaks of Bonaparte and Chateaubriand in a rare spirit of justice and impartiality. Though possessed of little sympathy for them, and aware that their works have become antiquated and, so to say, somewhat out of fashion, he asserts quite warmly that the Genius of Christianity, despite its imperfections, is a great and powerful work, such as only appears at long intervals—one of those productions that, having deeply moved men's souls, leave behind them traces never to be effaced. And as for the Concordat, albeit the sincerest friends of Christian beliefs point out nowadays with sadness, if not with bitterness, its defects and dangers, M. Guizot concedes that, in 1802, its promulgation was, on the part of the First Consul, an act of superior intelligence rather than of despotism, and, for the sake of religion, the most opportune and necessary of events, the sine qua non condition of the existence of Christianity. {278} He thinks that, after ten years of revolutionary orgies, a solemn recognition of religion by the state was needed to endow it with that influence, dignity, and stability which it had totally lost.

In this respect, we share M. Guizot's opinion, certain reservations, however, being made. The Concordat was a welcome gift; neither its timely advent nor the necessity for it can be disputed. Why? Because two years previous the national movement of 1789 was suddenly transformed into an abdication, by which one man benefited. If, instead of submitting to this saviour, half out of lassitude and half out of enthusiasm, France had had the energy, by making a supreme effort, and, perhaps, at the cost of new calamities, to see to her own safety and remain mistress of her fate, the Concordat would have been an unneeded blessing. Christianity would have had more labor and expended more time in regaining the lost ground; it would not have obtained possession at once, by the scratch of a pen, and between sunrise and sunset, of all its presbyteries and churches; it would have recovered them little by little, after having conquered men's souls. Had it had no other staff of support but its flock, it would have neglected nothing to strengthen it and increase its numbers; it would have won the confidence of the people and obtained their acceptance of it as a counsellor, a father, a friend, and would not have been looked upon as an emigrant, amnestied and recalled by tolerance, favor, and an act of authority, and thus placed under obligations to one man, and made the vassal of his power. It is not sufficient that one should be cured of a fatal disease; the remedy, in destroying the evil, must not leave the patient with an altered constitution or impaired vitality. The Concordat undoubtedly delivered us from a great affliction for a nation, and saved us from a complete divorce from God; it restored Christianity to France, but restored it less robust and less prepared for the strife, less life-like and less popular, and in a less fit condition to face the danger than if the old beliefs had been compelled, when born anew, to clear their own pathways. In religion, as in politics, France still feels, and will probably ever experience, the effects of having been saved by the events of the 18th of Brumaire.

That which we must admit with M. Guizot is that, when, in these later days, we criticise the work of our fathers, written upward of sixty years ago, we can speak of them with wondrous facility. Their doubts are at hand to enlighten us. But we must carry ourselves back to 1802, and behold flocks without shepherds, tombs without prayers, and cradles without baptismal fonts! Where is the proud and far-seeing Christian who would then have refused, as a destructive present, in the name of his belief and for the sake of his faith, a régime that did the work of Christian restoration, and by the touch of a magic wand repaired all the evils that bore it down? No one then would have even dreamed of such a paradox. Let us, therefore, blame with indulgence, and to a certain degree only, the men who invented the compromise, although the consequential events subsist, and when we examine the present state of Christian belief, we cannot avoid meeting at every step the still evident traces of defective origin, and its resurrection by process of law. {279} Even as the government of the Restoration, despite its sincerest efforts and never-failing good-will, was never absolved by France from the reproach that attached to its self-commitment by friendship with the Emperor Alexander and Lord Wellington, even so Christianity in this land, during the past sixty years, is partly indebted for its weakness, and for the prejudices that maintain it in a state of excitement, to the honor of having had for a godfather the Emperor Napoleon. Sheltered and warmed under the purple, and having become an imperial pensioner, Christianity acquired, against its will, a certain need of protection and certain habits of submission and almost of complaisance, which having rendered it under some régimes a party to the acts of the government, has caused it to be called upon to share the responsibility of many errors, and exposed it to the perils of unpopularity.

Within the sixty years gone by, have we not seen by a transient example how much religion would have gained by remaining on less compromising terms with the heads of the nation and boldly dispensing with their favors? There was once a government whose members were imbued with profound respect for the religious interests of the country, and who were always ready to render unto its ministers the most kindly offices; this same government, however, from its earliest days, was viewed with coldness and hostility by a certain number of Catholics and a great portion of the clergy; is it not known how favorable that attitude proved to Catholicism itself? For eighteen years it was looked upon as possessed of no credit, and, for that very reason, each day acquired more and more power, not, indeed, in public places and in ante-chambers, but in men's consciences. It may be boldly asserted that the greatest and most definite progress which the Christian religion can justly claim for itself since the commencement of the present century was made during that period. We do not deduce from this fact that systematic hostility to the ruling powers is necessary for the propagation of religious ideas, for intestine strifes are evils and not to be fomented; but that the sacred ministry, to have influence upon rulers, must possess a degree of independence carried even to the extent of pride, and bringing into prominence its abandonment of all things earthly, and its absolute indifference to worldly interests.

From 1830 to 1851, whatever may have been the true motives of its estrangement and indifference, the Catholic clergy was benefited by the situation. It had prospered and increased in numbers, it had won for itself, to the great advantage of Christian belief, the esteem, the respect, and even the minds of persons who, until then, had been rebellious and inclined to disparage it. Was it aware of the cause of this unusual kindliness of feeling? Did it comprehend how much this was to be preferred, for the cause of religion and for its own sake, to former courtly favors? Has it since guarded against the temptations which have surrounded it? Has it persevered in burning incense before God only, in adoring none but him? Have not more earthly and apparently less disinterested bursts of enthusiasm caused it to lose a goodly portion of the conquered ground? These are questions which it may be well not to look into too deeply; but enough is known concerning them to enable us to understand how it came that, during the fifteen years that have just elapsed, the radical vice of the Concordat, the spirit in which it was framed, the danger of establishing between Christianity and the absolute power a so-called natural alliance, a kind of necessary complicity, have awakened in the hearts of some Christians objections, fears, and antipathies now more active and potent than ever.


We next behold one of the great incidents of the Christian awakening whose history M. Guizot recounts. The First Consul, by raising the altar from the dust, partly obeying the great views of his genius, and partly yielding to his despotic instincts; M. de Chateaubriand, by moving and delighting French society by the revelation of the treasures of Christian poetry, of the existence of which it was unaware; M. de Bonald, by honoring the governmental traditions of the old régime by translating them into metaphysical theories; M. de Maistre, by outpouring, in floods of fiery eloquence, overwhelming invective against the revolutionary spirit; all these but paid homage to noble ruins, and, hurling indignation at the destroyers, made a generous attempt to rehabilitate the past, to glorify it, and to give it renewed life. The important questions, the questions of the future, are not yet propounded. It is not sufficient that Christianity should be restored; it must be given health, and taught to live in peace and friendship with a power henceforward beyond all estimate, with an irresistible force—that of modern civilization. How could the Christian, and more especially the Catholic Church, be led to acknowledge the liberty of civil society as constituted by the French revolution? How could that society be brought to respect the just rights of the church? Such was the problem that could not fail to speedily appear.

Until the year 1830, the question was only foreshadowed; its solution was by no means urgent. As Catholicism had recovered under the government of the Restoration its former privilege as a state religion, reconciliation, or a reciprocal tolerance between itself and society, was no longer in discussion. It was understood that its portion was to be secured by an actual struggle, and the secular power was at its disposal—without violence, with due moderation, but not without injury to its authority and detriment to its influence upon men's souls. The Catholic religion had to assume the responsibility as well as accept the profits of its privileged situation. Subsequent to 1830, circumstances changed. Inasmuch as the words "state religion" had been erased from the constitutional compact, no one religion could lay claim to special immunities or occupy an exceptionally exalted position. All enjoyed equal rights. Whatever the number of their adherents, as soon as they were recognized by and receiving a subsidy from the state, the law held them to be equally sacred and deserving of respect. The neutral attitude of the government excited the anger of some Catholics. In their opinion, privilege was the very essence, the normal and vital condition of their belief. The powers of the day, by reducing them to the slender diet of equality and common rights, was guilty not only of indifference and culpable abandonment, but of spoliation and persecution. Their complaints were loudest because their adversaries feigned to have won a most brilliant triumph. Extremes meet: on both sides a firm belief prevailed that, without special support, without the favors of the magistracy and the soldiery, Catholicism had no chance of life, and that, both armies being provided with equally effective weapons, it could never withstand the onslaughts of the foe. {281} The conduct of the persons interested, however, differed; for some wished to be regarded as martyrs, and cursed the atheism of the government, charging it with bringing about the inevitable ruin of the faith; whilst others reproached the same government for its supposed weakness toward the once privileged religion, and accused it of prolonging its existence by secretly favoring it.

During the progress of this conflict there was gradually formed a group of Catholics who contemplated events in an entirely new light. They were all young in years and men of the age; their hearts throbbed with the noble thoughts of liberty and independence that were maddening France for the second time, and, seemingly, carrying the nation back to the dawn of 1789. What did these fervent and sincere Christians, animated by a firm resolve, propose to do? Were they to sacrifice to their religious faith that political faith just born within them? To what end? What was to prevent them from being both Catholic and liberals? In what respect were the principles of the evangels and those of a free government incompatible with each other? Was not the government of the church, in the early ages, the result of the free choice of the faithful? Were not respect for human liberty, love of justice, and opposition to tyranny and barbarity, the glory and actual essence of Christian belief? Had not they who for three centuries had linked religion to the fortunes and precepts of the old monarchy, and identified it with them, really deformed Catholicism?

When these men had become thoroughly convinced not only that their views and their faith were, by no means irreconcilable, but also that it was their duty as Christians to render the church the greatest of all services by checking its retrogressive tendency and reconciling it with the world and with modern ideas, they inaugurated the campaign, unfurled their flag, organized a committee, and commenced the publication of a journal, neglecting none of the means by which to disseminate their ideas and gain accessions to their ranks. Had they been so fortunate as to choose, not a more eloquent, but a less rash and more unimpassioned chief than the Abbé de Lamennais; had the noble minds, the brave hearts, the wondrous talent centred in those grouped around him belonged to men of riper years; had his adherents been less fiery and impatient, and less prejudiced against a new power which was still insecure on its foundation, but was imbued with the spirit of true liberty to such a degree that it imperilled its own existence every day to avoid attacking the rights of its adversaries, and thus overstep the limits of the law; had they understood what service their cause could have expected of that government on the sole condition of not demanding impossibilities, of not harassing and chiding it on all occasions, and of not aiding and abetting its destroyers; in a word, had the same talent, ardor, sincerity, and devotedness been coupled with greater experience, prudence, and practicability, perhaps, after thirty years had gone by, the great work of effecting a reconciliation between the church and the spirit of the age would be more thoroughly comprehended and approved than it is at present. The boldness of the opinions professed from the commencement by liberal Catholics increased the difficulty and rendered the problem more complicated. {282} Their enterprise would certainly not have been one of easy achievement had it even been reduced to the simplest form. Was it not enough to ensure the acceptance, by a majority of the clergy and of the faithful, of the definite results of the revolution, the for ever acquired rights of civil society the blessings of liberty as understood by the July government and by all truly free governments; of liberty based upon the sovereignty of the law, a respect for the rights of all, for the rights of the power as for those of the poorest citizen? By preaching to Catholics extreme liberalism, without either limits or guarantee, Utopian, absolute, aggressive, and revolutionary liberalism, such as was advocated by l'Avenir, the organ of the Abbé de Lamennais and his young friends, they compromised everything, put an end to all attempts at encouragement, terrified those whom they sought to convert, and furnished a pretext to the faithful, in the event of an opportunity being offered them, to throw themselves, out of prudential considerations, into the arms of the absolute power.

The same ardor that carried them, in politics, even to the practice of liberty unrestrained, led them, in religion, to the recognition of the principles of excessive obedience. They never dared dispense with the explicit approval of Rome; her silent consent was deemed insufficient. They ever sought to elicit a reply, notwithstanding the expectant reserve usually and most prudently maintained by the Holy See previous to passing judgment upon any new enterprise. They required a notice or a formal decision. With this object in view, they never hesitated to risk their all; they ceased not their endeavors until the Holy Father had sanctioned or disapproved their action. Then, after the sentence had gone forth, after such words of censure, as might have been anticipated, had been uttered, they were compelled, under pain of rendering themselves amenable to a charge of revolt, to submit, to bow their heads and abandon the field, to the great detriment of the cause in which they labored. Not only had they lost their authority over the minds of a certain portion of the faithful, as was seen when, a few years later, weary of inaction, they reentered the arena, but they had brought about another and greater misfortune: they had made the court of Rome enter, before the time had come, and without the slightest necessity for such a proceeding, upon the course that she now follows, kept to it by her own words. Is it not possible that, had she been questioned at a later day, in other terms and under other circumstances, her reply might have been different?

But it happens that we cannot but admit that, though since the beginning of this century Christianity has achieved in France great and true progress; though valiant adherents and illustrious champions have arisen; though it has recovered little by little a portion of its domains; though it has in certain respects extended the field of its conquests, one success is wanting, one victory has not been achieved, the work commenced in 1830 is still unfinished, the question is no nearer its solution, the entente cordiale is not yet established, and the treaty of peace between Christianity and the spirit of the times has not yet been concluded.

Some persons find consolation for this state of affairs: the attempt to remedy it has borne in their eyes a chimerical appearance, and they look upon the discord which most men would quell as most natural. {283} Has not this manner of war, they say, ever raged between the lay spirit and the religious spirit? Has not Christianity, since its infancy, been destined to blame and combat, century after century, the prevailing ideas and tastes; has not this been its part, its mission, and, it may be said, its glory? Why seek to change that which has always been? Christian faith is now, as ever, quite intolerant toward the age in which it thrives: do not interfere with events; it must be so. To these arguments we would answer by stating that, not to discriminate between two objects as distinct from each other as the spirit of the age which, to speak in general terms, is the worldly spirit, that train of never-changing passions and vices reappearing at all periods under slightly different forms—and the spirit of each age taken separately—that is to say, the uniformity of ideas, manners, and institutions which give to the society of each century its peculiar traits—is to quibble as to the significance of words and deal in mere equivocation. That Christianity is the natural, permanent, and necessary adversary of the worldly spirit and of the vices and passions of men; that it is such at all times, in all places, in the present as in the past; to assert that to give its followers a word of advice as to the adoption of innovations under any of these heads would be to mistake and forget its real reason to exist, is incontestable: but to affirm that its very character renders it incapable of adaptation to the spirit of such and such an epoch, and that it can only blame and oppose the ideas, tendencies, and laws of the days in which it lives, is to give to the testimony of history, to the most self-evident and authentic facts, a singular denial. Compare the latter centuries of the empire of the West and the first of the feudal ages: was the state of society, were the manners, customs, and institutions of those days the same? Could aught have been more dissimilar and contradictory? Yet, did not Christianity first uphold the empire until it crumbled into the dust, and subsequently aid most cheerfully and efficaciously in the establishment of the feudal power? Again, when the monarchical system gradually regained the ascendency and triumphed over feudal anarchy, did Christianity prove an obstacle to the movement? Did it offer any opposition to the change? Did it not submit to it with a good will? Did it not share the ideas, principles, and even the good fortune and greatness of royalty? What we now demand of it is, to do once more that which it has always done, to recognize without regret and without hostility a necessary and irrevocable change—a change in conformity with the nature of circumstances, and therefore legitimate; in a word, we call upon it to treat the modern spirit of the day as it has treated all other modern spirits that have successively appeared.

Why should a reconciliation be at present peculiarly difficult and embarrassing? Are thoughts of liberty foreign and unknown to Christianity? Has Christianity never acted in accordance with them? Have not those thoughts watched, rather, over the cradle of religion? Has not that system of elections, discussion, and censure which honors our modern spirit come forth from the very womb of the church? To make peace with liberty, to become suited to its rule, to understand and bless its gifts, does not imply the necessity of absolving it from its errors, approving its crimes, or making the slightest concession to disorder and anarchy. {284} Never mind, it will be said, do not mingle religion and party questions, do not inspire it with any interest in wrangles of such a kind. The more persistently Christianity stands aloof from the affairs of this world, the more solid will be the foundation of its power. With these views we cordially agree, and but recently dwelt upon their importance; but of however little moment politics or worldly affairs be to them, however deeply engrossed by prayer and good works, can the most religious mind and the clergy itself live on this earth in utter ignorance of events? To attack the vices, meannesses, and misdeeds of the time, must they not know them, and by their own knowledge? We ask of those pious souls who are most terrified by the coupling of the words liberalism and religion, do they complain because eloquent speakers denounce and stigmatize from the pulpit the wanderings of the spirit of modern times and the revolutionary delirium, those impious doctrines, the curse of families and society? If religion is to wage war upon civil liberty, ought it not to be authorized to allude to beneficial freedom? Ought it not to be encouraged to speak of it in kindly terms, to place it in the brightest light, to make us understand and cherish it? If not, what is Christianity, and what fate have you in store for it? Would you make of it but a puny doctrine, a privilege to be enjoyed by a few chosen ones only, the tardy and solitary consolation of those whom old age and grief separate from the world? If you seek nothing else of it, if it be sufficient for you to have it live just enough to prevent the recording of its death, like a ruin guarded by archaeology, and preserved and respected in its tottering condition, then keep it apart from the rising generation, from the flood of democracy; let it be isolated and grow old; let it seek a place of concealment, and there, contenting itself with the praises of the past, dwell in disdain of the present, lacking indulgence for all persons and things—chagrin, morose, and unpopular. But if, with a better understanding of its true destiny, you desire it to exercise a salutary influence not only upon yourselves and your friends, but upon all humanity; if you wish it to enter into the hearts of all your brothers, young and old, small and great—to inspire men with the spirit of justice and truth—to transform, purify, and regenerate them, let it speak to them in their own language; let it become interested in their ideas; let it suit itself to their peculiarities—not like a weak flatterer, but as a loving father, who takes unto himself his children and becomes a child for their sake, by sharing their tastes while correcting their errors, guarding them from the perils of life, and pointing out to them the narrow and straight paths of wisdom and truth.

To Be Concluded In Next Number.


New Publications.

Kathrina, Her Life And Mine, In A Poem.
By J. G. Holland. New York:
Charles Scribner & Co. 1867.

There can be little doubt that this is more than a commonplace poem. The narrative has a charming simplicity about it, and is happily told; the rhythm is smooth and graceful; and the language, with the exception of a rather too free use of words tortured into English from the Latin and German, both choice and appropriate. In a first perusal of it, which will not be our last, (for it is a book which will bear more than one reading,) two points in the narrative impressed us disagreeably—the revelation of his future career to the hero when but a child rambling over the mountains, and the suicide of his mother. These incidents were a part of the author's plan, and had to be told; but they are both forced and unnatural, the more apparently so because all other threads of romance which run through the story are closely woven in harmony with real life. Very many passages are marked by the truest pathos, with here and there touches of quiet humor worthy of a Dickens. There is a deeper moral lesson inculcated in this poem than we think will be appreciated or even perceived by the mass of Dr. Holland's readers; and we venture to predict that it will be either entirely overlooked, or made the subject of ridicule by the majority of the Protestant or rationalistic journals and reviews which may notice the volume. We say this boldly, because we know that it elucidates a doctrine entirely foreign to their experience, and is based upon principles of life asserted only by the Catholic religion. What the author has endeavored to bring out is nothing new in Catholic ascetic theology. It is the old cry of St. Augustine: "Inquietum est cor nostrum, Deus, donec requiescat in te." God is the supreme illumination of the soul, and the object of its highest aspirations. Life without God is a life of disquietude, of disgust, and disappointment. The hero is made to learn this truth through years of self-worship, of creature-worship, and of world-worship. His mind passes from ignorance to indifference, from that to scepticism, infidelity, despair. A true and sad picture of many noble souls who, in our age and country, grow up under the sterile influence of the spirit of naturalism, the revolt of reason without the guidance of faith against Protestantism. There is more than one who will read the story of his own life depicted in Dr. Holland's poem. Such will read it with more than an ordinary interest, and find, we trust, some glimpses of that hidden truth whose clear statement can only be found in the teachings of that religion which shows man his true destiny and has the mission to guide him to it.

We do not think the author is himself wholly aware of the ultimate logical consequences of the principles of life he has here developed. A study of Catholic ascetic theology, the perusal of a few books like the Imitation of Christ, Henry Suso's Eternal Wisdom, or Father Baker's Sancta Sophia would be, if we mistake not, a revelation to him. In conclusion, we cannot refrain from quoting one of those passages which confirm the truth of the impressions we have received and the reflections we have made. The hero, chagrined with the disappointments of his career, finding the idols he has worshipped turned to clay, deprived of all human consolation, disgusted with the hollowness and unreality of his sceptical life, at last turns to Him whom he had shunned, and yields his soul to that higher will whose inspirations he had all his life long so vainly rebelled against.

        "Then the impulse came,
  And I poured out like water all my heart.
  'O God!' I said, 'be merciful to me
  A reprobate! I have blasphemed thy name,
  Abused thy patient love, and held from thee
  My heart and life; and now, in my extreme
  Of need and of despair, I come to thee.
  Oh! cast me not away, for here, at last,
  After a life of selfishness and sin,
  I yield my will to thine, and pledge my soul—
  All that I am, all I can ever be—
  Supremely to thy service. I renounce
  All worldly aims, all selfish enterprise,
  And dedicate the remnant of my power
  To thee and those thou lovest. Comfort me!
  Oh! come and comfort me, for I despair!
  Give me thy peace, for I am rent and tossed!
  Feed me with love, else I shall die of want!
  Behold! I empty out my worthlessness,
  And beg thee to come in, and fill my soul
  With thy rich presence. I adore thy love;
  I seek for thy approval; I bow down
  And worship thee, the Excellence Supreme.
  I've tasted of the sweetest that the world
  Can give to me; and human love and praise,
  And all of excellence within the scope
  Of my conception, and my power to reach
  And realize in highest forms of art,
  Have left me hungry, thirsty for thyself.
  Oh! feed and fire me! Fill and furnish me!
  And, if thou hast for me some humble task—
  Some service for thyself, or for thy own—
  Reveal it to thy sad, repentant child,
  Or use him as thy willing instrument.
  I ask it for the sake of Jesus Christ,
  Henceforth my Master!'"

This beautiful prayer is the true climax of the poem. There is not a word in it we could wish to see suppressed or a sentiment altered. There are deep truths written in those few lines, well put and timely uttered in a worldly-minded age like ours.

We observe the work placarded about the city as "Timothy Titcomb's last poem." We are glad to see that this paltry nom de plume does not deface the title-page of the publication.

The Votary. A Narrative Poem.
By James D. Hewett.
New York: G. W. Carleton & Co. 1867.

"Great wits jump." This poem of Mr. Hewett is like Dr. Holland's Kathrina—the story of a false and disappointed ambition. The hero, Rudiger, loves Sybilla, goes forth to seek a famous name, sacrifices his honor to the greed of ambition by forgetting his first vows, and espousing Adelaide, the daughter of an influential and rich politician. His wife, discovering his infidelity to Sybilla and his subsequent remorse, becomes jealous, charges him with having buried his heart in the grave, (for Sybilla died of grief,) but offers to receive him back to her affections if he can say his love is now wholly hers. This, unfortunately, he cannot honestly do, and flies from his home for ever, betaking himself to some religious brotherhood, there to do penance, and labor, preach, and pray for a purpose which, to judge from the sensual character of the entire poem, is too vaguely described to allow us to be quite sure what is meant:

"He fathomed now the mighty truth that Love— Love, the sole axis on which earth is swung— Is the prime essence of the Deity, And Intellect subservient to Love: And that true glory is to serve, and bleed, If need be, in Love's blessed cause."

And so he becomes a missionary to foreign parts:

  "To teach all men the everlasting truth,
   The blest, eternal truth of perfect Love,
   I will go forth. I'll preach it far and wide.
   To earth's last threshold will I pierce my way,
   And speak to all the dwellers there of Love."

And again:

  "Henceforth to Love my life I dedicate—
   God's love, including every human phase."

This would do if we were not so painfully impressed by the perusal of the whole poem, that the author's highest idea of love is a sort of deification of the sensual. Being false to his troth to Sybilla he calls "losing love's divine repast," in the very line preceding our last quotation above. We do not like the book. Its moral tone is not healthy. The poem is, however, full of rich imagery, and evidences no little dramatic power; but the rhythm is not always faultless, such words as "of" and "the" frequently forming the last syllable of the verse, and couplets like the following are not uncommon:

  "With fitful step, across a verdurous lawn
   Close venueing a dwelling, paced a youth."

Happily, we think, for the strength of our language, we are becoming every day less and less tolerant of these attempts to foist foreign words upon it.


Uberto; or, The Errors of the Heart.
A Drama in Five Acts.
By Frank Middleton. New York. 1867.

The writing of a drama is reckoned a bold project, for there is scarce any sort of literary production apt to meet with severer treatment at the hands of critics. The present one, however, possesses merit enough to command their respect, if it does not win their praise. The plot is well conceived, and the characters sustained and combined with more than ordinary ability. The speeches are, however, rather too lengthy, and become in many places prosy. The little comedy introduced, of the loves of Bellamori and Bonita, detracts considerably from the merit of the tragedy, and is forced upon our notice, most unseasonably, in the preparation for the final tableau.

History Of Blessed Margaret Mary, a Religious of the Visitation of St. Mary; and of the Origin of Devotion to the Heart of Jesus.

By Father Ch. Daniel, SJ.
Translated by the authoress of the Life of Catharine McAuley.
New York: P. O'Shea.

The subject of this memoir is celebrated in church history and in Catholic theology. In church history she was the instrument chosen by God to introduce a new feast, to render public and obligatory in worship what had been merely a matter of private and voluntary devotion, and against which for years all the learning and determination of Jansenism unsuccessfully battled. In Catholic theology she was the means developing another branch of divine truth and asceticism. She popularized the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, made devotion to it the characteristic of one religious order of women; and its name become the title of another. Margaret Mary Alacoque is the apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

She was a young girl, who, led by the power of grace, entered the Visitation Order, sanctified her soul, fulfilled the mission appointed for her by God, died a saint, and after death was beatified by the church.

The history before us tells admirably the story of her life. It is an agreeable narrative, full of edification, of pleasant anecdotes, and interesting details.

The best biographies in the world are those of the saints. They not only give us information, but they make us better It is impossible to read the life of one devoted to God's service, full of the spirit of Christian love and sacrifice, without being stirred up to imitate, in some degree, the example set before us. The world has its heroes, it is true, and makes the most of them; but religion has hers also, and it is not surprising if she does the same; the less so, as those whom she exalts and honors are in every respect so much the more worthy of our admiration and reverence.

He does a positive good to humanity, therefore, who calls attention to the life and deeds of the Christian hero. That was a good answer of the holy father. "I am complained of," said he, "for canonizing so many saints; but it is a fault I cannot promise to amend. Have we not more need than ever of intercessors in heaven, and models of religious virtue in the world?"

The style of the translation of the present memoir does not please us. It bears signs of haste and literary carelessness. Whatever may be the character of the original French of Father Daniel, the English of this is verbose, weak, and tiresome. It makes the book larger, it is true, to use twice as many words as are needful, and to select the longest words of the dictionary to say what one wants to say; and we may add, it makes it heavier, too. It is a common fault of religious biographies. Neither is the style of the publication praiseworthy. Its typography is close and heavy, and presents anything but an inviting page. If this book were read to us, we should go to sleep; and if we were to read it through ourselves without giving our eyes frequent repose, we should seriously damage our eye-sight.

Nevertheless, it is a good book; it is written on a good subject, and will do good; and as such our thanks are due to both translator and publisher, whose efforts toward the formation of a Catholic literature and the fostering of Catholic piety in the reproduction of works like the present will not fail of earning a higher reward than any amount of commendation on our part is worth.


The Battle-fields of Ireland, From 1688 to 1691, including Limerick and Athlone, Aughrim, and the Boyne. Being an outline of the History of the Jacobite Wars in Ireland and the Causes which led to it. 1 vol. 12mo, pp. 323. New York: Robert Coddington. 1867.

Those who wish to read that portion of the sad record of Ireland's checkered history which led to its subjugation to the Prince of Orange will find this volume sadly interesting. Like all of Ireland's history since the advent of Strongbow and his robbers, it presents the usual amount of blunders, mistakes, jealousies, and treachery on the part of those who should have been faithful to their country. This epoch in Ireland's history has been familiar to us since boyhood, and we think the author has done his part of the work faithfully and honestly. His description of the battles of the Boyne and of Aughrim are concise and in the main correct; but we think he overestimates William's army in the first-mentioned battle. His assertion, in a note on page 304, that the doggerel, known as the "Battle of Aughrim," was written by Garrick, is an error. It was the production of Richard Ashton, an Englishman.

The book is handsomely printed, and makes a very respectable-looking volume.

The Life Of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, of the Company of Jesus. Philadelphia: Peter F. Cunningham. 1867.

The republication of the English edition of this life will meet, we are sure, with universal and hearty commendation. Such a book as this is one for all Catholic parents to present to their children, that they may learn how one may become a saint even in youth. Reading the lives of such holy young men as a St. Aloysius or a St. Stanislaus Kostka, our memory goes back to the friends of our own youth, when they with ourself thought it necessary to wait until we grew to be men before we could "get religion." We advise our readers to do what we would wish to do ourself—give a copy of this book to every Protestant young man of their acquaintance. The perusal of it will show them how a Catholic boy gets religion when he is baptized a Christian, and may possess religion in its perfection and be a saint at an age when a Protestant boy is not expected to have any religion at all.

Little Pet Books.
By Aunt Fanny.
Containing Books 1, 2, and 3.
New York: James O'Kane, 484 Broadway.

These little books are the best ones with which we are acquainted for children. They contain pleasing stories, written in plain, small words, not more than five letters to each word—a difficult task, but one which the gifted authoress has accomplished in a most satisfactory manner. The illustrations are good, and the books are printed on good paper, bound in good style, and put up in a neat box, making the set one of the best presents that one could give, of this kind of books, to a child.

From P. O'Shea,

Life of Lafayette, written for children,
by E. Cecil, 218 pages, 12mo.

The Bears of Angustenburg, an Episode in Saxon History,
by Gustave Nieritz;
translated by Trauermantel;
251 pages, 12mo.

Hurrah for the Holidays,
or The Pleasures and Pains of Freedom;
translated from the German;
220 pages, 12mo.

Nannie's Jewel Case, or True Stories and False;
Tales translated from the German by Trauermantel;
223 pages, 12mo.

Well Begun is Half Done,
or The Young Painter and Fiddlehanns;
Tales translated from the German of
Richard Baron and Dr. C. Deutsch;
246 pages, 12mo. Price, $1.25 each.

From D. & J. Sadlier & Co., New York,

The Book of Oratory, compiled for the use of Colleges, Academies, and the High Classes of Select Schools.
By a member of the Order of the Holy Cross,
1 vol. 12mo, pp. 648.

From Fowler & Wells, New York,

An Essay on Man, by Alexander Pope, and The Gospel among the Animals,
by Samuel Osgood, D.D. Paper.


The Catholic World.

Vol. VI., No. 33.—December, 1867.

The Third Catholic Congress Of Malines.

The ancient city of Malines, which has once more been the seat of one of those remarkable Catholic congresses already described in our pages, is well worthy of the distinguished honor conferred upon it by these illustrious assemblages. A few words of description will not, therefore, be amiss, as introductory to our sketch of the proceedings of the congress of last September.

The province of South Brabant, in which the city of Malines, or, as it is called in Flemish, Mechelen, is situated, has had a most varied and eventful history. Having originally formed a part of the province of Belgic Gaul, under the Roman empire, it was successively included in the domains of the Frankish and Austrasian kingdoms, and of the duchy of Lorraine. In the year 1005, Brabant, including North Brabant which is now a province of Holland as well as the Belgian province of South Brabant, was erected into a duchy. Godfrey of Bouillon was one of its dukes. Its independence ceased in 1429, when it was annexed to Burgundy. In 1484 it passed under the dominion of the emperor of Germany, at the death of Charles V. was transferred to Spain, again reverted to Germany at the beginning of the eighteenth century, was annexed by conquest to France in 1794, taken from France and annexed to Holland by the Congress of Vienna, and finally, by the revolution of 1830, became a portion of the new kingdom of Belgium, to which we wish perpetuity and prosperity with our whole heart.

South Brabant covers an area of 1269 square miles, containing a population of about 750,000. It is a flat, well-wooded country, crowded with beautiful towns and villages, intersected by several rivers and canals, cultivated throughout like a garden, and alive with thrift and industry. The city of Malines is at the point of intersection of the principal Belgian railways, about fifteen miles from Brussels, and at the same distance from Antwerp and Louvain. The river Dyle partly encircles and partly intersects the city, affording pleasant walks, well shaded, on the outskirts, and creating some most picturesque scenes within the town, by winding among some of the streets, whose residences and warehouses front upon the river. {290} The railway depots have been kept, by the city authorities, on a remote outskirt of the town, so that its quiet and antique streets are not disturbed by the noise and bustle of the trains. Nor are they disturbed by any other kind of noise or bustle. Whatever business is done there seems to be out of sight and hearing. It is the most quiet, tranquil, and clean city that can possibly be imagined. In the centre is a great public square, upon which are situated the cathedral, the headquarters of administration, the military barracks, located in a very antique and picturesque building, the museum, and two hotels, as well as numerous shops and houses. In the centre of the square stands a statue of Margaret of Austria. The city contains a population of 33,000. The streets are wide and regular, but winding. Nearly all the buildings are white, being either constructed of white stone, or covered with a very fine and durable white stucco. Among them are numerous residences of great comfort and elegance, some of them really palatial, although their exterior surface is perfectly plain and simple, without porches, balconies, or grand entrances, to relieve their monotonous smoothness, or break up the continuity of white wall which gives Malines the appearance of a city of mural monuments. The great metropolitan cathedral of St. Rumbold, in the Grand Place, presents, however, a striking contrast to this general effect of uniform and brilliant whiteness, by its vast mass of dark stone and its immense unfinished tower, 340 feet high, which domineers in dark, sombre grandeur over the city. Returning on the Saturday night before the congress to Malines, from Ostend, in company with a friend who has travelled throughout all Europe and seen all its finest churches, we were particularly impressed by the great beauty of the picture presented by the Grand Place and the cathedral in a very clear moonlight and our friend remarked that he never saw anything more grand than the view of the vast, dark cathedral, overshadowing the white walls of the adjacent buildings, and towering above them in strong relief against their moon-bright surfaces. Notwithstanding the sneers of M. Baedeker, the cathedral of Malines is a truly grand and imposing church. It was commenced in the twelfth and completed in the fifteenth century; the tower, which is slowly growing upward toward its proposed height of 480 feet, was commenced in 1452, with the aid of contributions from the pilgrims who resorted there to gain the indulgences of the crusade, granted by Nicholas V. The patron saint of the cathedral, called in French St. Rombaut, in Flemish St. Rumbold, and in English St. Rumold, was the first apostle of Brabant. He is supposed by many writers to have been an Irishman, although others think that he was an Englishman. Not being able to form any opinion of our own on this point, we will take leave to quote what Alban Butler says on the subject:

"The place of St. Rumold's birth is contested. According to certain Belgic and other martyrologies, he was of the blood royal of Scotland (as Ireland was then called) and Bishop of Dublin. This opinion is ably supported by F. Hugh Ward, an Irish Franciscan, a man well skilled in the antiquities of his country, in a work entitled Dissertatio Historica de vitâ et patriâ, S. Rumoldi, Archiepiscopi Dubliniensis, published at Louvain, in 1662, in 4to. The learned Pope Benedict XIV. seems to adjudge St. Rumold to Ireland, in his letters to the prelates of that kingdom, dated the 1st of August, 1741, wherein are the following words: 'If we were disposed to recount those most holy men, Columbanus, Kilianus, Virgilius, Rumoldus, Gallus, and many others who brought the Catholic faith out of Ireland into other provinces, or illustrated by shedding the blood of martyrdom.' (Hib. Dom. Suppl. p. 831.) On the other hand, Janning, the Bollandist, undertakes to prove that St. Rumold was an English Saxon." [Footnote 45]

[Footnote 45: Butler's Lives of the Saints, July 1. Note.]


Whether St. Rumold was Irish or English, at all events his reputation as an Irish saint obtained for us the pleasure of having two very agreeable priests from Ireland to dine with us one Sunday afternoon, who had stopped en route for Aix-la-Chapelle in order to visit the cathedral.

St. Rumold, after spending the earlier part of his life in a monastery, went to Rome in order to receive the apostolic blessing of the pope and authority to preach the faith in the then heathen country of Lower Germany. He was consecrated bishop at some period of his missionary life, when we are not informed, and converted a great number of the people of Brabant. He was assassinated by some wicked men whose crimes he had reproved, on the 24th of June, 775, and is therefore honored as a martyr. A church was built to honor his memory and receive his relics at Malines, and these are still preserved and venerated in the present cathedral, the successor of the original church of St. Rumbold. The church of Malines was made a metropolitan see by Paul IV., and is now the primatial see of Belgium, including Brussels within its diocesan limits. In more recent times, the archbishops have usually been raised to the dignity of cardinals. The Cardinal de Frankenberg, who governed the see in the reign of Joseph II., distinguished himself by his firm opposition to the anti-catholic policy of that emperor. Cardinal de Mean, who died in 1831, and has a beautiful monument in the cathedral, has left behind him the reputation of an intrepid and valiant defender of the rights of the church in most difficult and dangerous times. Cardinal de Sterckx is the present Archbishop of Malines, a prelate advanced in years, but still retaining the full vigor of mind and body, and universally beloved for his patriarchal benignity and mildness of character, as was evident by the genuine and heartfelt warmth of the expressions of attachment which greeted his presence at the congress.

The chapter consists of twenty-two resident canons, who chant the entire office with great solemnity every day. The interior of the cathedral is imposing, and contains some fine pictures, especially a Crucifixion by Vandyke, a Last Supper by Wouters, and other paintings by Flemish masters. The chimes of the cathedral tower, which are unusually melodious and joyous in their tone, ring at the striking of the hours and half-hours, and on many other occasions, especially on festivals and their eves, when they are rung almost without cessation during the greater part of the day, with a very festive and enlivening effect.

There are eight or ten other churches, some of them very large and of imposing architecture, the most remarkable of which is the church of Notre Dame d'Hanswyck, on the outskirts of the city, containing a picture by Rubens of the miraculous draught of fishes. St. John's church has a picture of the Adoration of the Magi, and several smaller pictures, all by Rubens, forming an altar-piece with wings on the high altar. {292} St. Peter's was formerly the Jesuits' church, and some adjacent buildings were once used as a novitiate. Here the B. John Berchmans, whose picture is in the church, lived for a time; and here are still memorials of the noble order so unjustly expelled from their peaceful home, in a beautiful marble statue of St. Francis Xavier placed in a recumbent position under the high altar, and in a series of large paintings on the side walls representing scenes in the life of the saint. The carved work of the pulpit and the confessionals in this church is remarkably fine, and in general this is the case throughout Belgium.

There is a large and commodious grand seminary at Malines, a little seminary, which is on a corresponding scale of completeness and extent, and a college. There are several religious communities of men and women, and, under the care of one of the latter, a very extensive and well-built hospital of recent construction.

The motto of the city, In fide constans, was conferred upon it two centuries and a half ago by one of the emperors of Germany, and is still appropriate, notwithstanding the strenuous and in part successful efforts of the anti-catholic party to seduce the population from their fidelity to the church. Malines is still one of the most thoroughly and openly Catholic cities of Europe. It would be impossible to find more intelligent, courageous, warm-hearted, or devout Catholics than are found in great numbers among the nobility and higher classes. A large proportion of the people are also, as indeed throughout Belgium, especially in the country places, sincerely attached to their religion and in the habit of complying with its duties. Nevertheless, even in Malines that infidel clique calling itself the liberal party, which has the control of the administration, is able to influence a sufficiently large number of the voters to carry all the elections. We were informed by intelligent gentlemen of Malines that this is due in great measure to the official patronage in connection with the railway system, which is a state affair, and places a great number of appointments in the hands of the government. A large class are also excluded from voting in Belgium by the peculiar law of property qualification. The keepers of estaminets, as the drinking-shops are called, are also there as here a very numerous class, and possessed of great influence in politics, all of which is on the side of the pseudo-liberals.

The liberal party is undoubtedly thoroughly anti-catholic and infidel in its principles and aims. Nevertheless, as the devil knows better than to send up his carte-de-visite with his name and likeness on it, the leaders of that party are adroit and plausible enough to carry with them not only the portion of the people which is corrupt, but also a number of good and well-meaning Catholics, as well as a large number of those who are apathetic and indifferent. All the bad Catholics are liberals, we were told, but not all the liberals are bad Catholics. It is a great disgrace, however, to such an ancient and Catholic city as Malines, that the anti-catholic party should rule it, and we hope the stain on its escutcheon may ere long be wiped off.

On the Sunday morning before the opening of the congress, it was difficult to imagine that anything of the sort was at hand. Everything looked as quiet as usual, and there were no visible signs of any great influx of strangers. All at once, however, the congress came, like the sun bursting suddenly in its full splendor out of a cloud. {293} The preparations had been made quietly but efficiently, and during the latter part of Sunday afternoon one became aware all at once of something going on. The city appeared to become full at once, as if by magic, of a thousand or more of clergymen and lay gentlemen from various parts of Belgium, France, and other countries of the world, and even a few adventurous ladies made their appearance at the tables d' hôte of the hotels. The central bureau of the congress held its preliminary session on Sunday afternoon, and during the ceremony of tea, at our hotel on the Grand Place, M. Ducpetiaux, the founder, the prime mover, and the secretary-general of the congress, made his appearance, with various red and blue tickets and printed programmes in his pockets, which indicated that the ball was about to open.

Under the guidance of this experienced pilot, we put out into the hitherto unknown sea of congressional life, by crossing the Grand Place toward the cathedral, to take part in a reunion given by an association of young men, called "The Circle of Loyalty." As we approached the place of meeting, the first object which greeted our eyes was a brilliant, semicircular jet of gas over the arched entrance to a garden enclosed by a high wall, forming the words, "Cercle Catholique." A crowd of juvenile Flamanders with their broad backs and good-humored countenances, watched, and chatted, and peeped about the outside, as is always the case with the boys of all countries whenever there are great doings going on from which they are excluded. Inside the gate, which was vigilantly guarded by well-dressed young men clothed with the usual badges of office, we found ourselves in the midst of a garden filled with a gay and talkative crowd of priests in various sorts of ecclesiastical costumes, and of gentlemen of all ages and many countries, all making themselves as social and happy as possible. Passing through the garden, we were ushered into the large and commodious building which forms the hall of the association, and which was also filled with the members of the circle and of the congress from top to bottom. In the first room we entered, we found the president of the circle, M. Cannart d'Hamalle, one of the principal gentlemen of Malines, and a member of the Belgian senate, in full evening dress, receiving the members as they arrived, with that courtly and at the same time cordial politeness in which the Belgians excel all others. From the lower apartments of the hall we were soon summoned to the audience-room above, where speeches were made and applauded con amore, and a musical entertainment given by a choir and orchestra, consisting of Belgian national hymns, the hymn of Pius IX., and concluding with an exquisite morceau on the violoncello by a young artist of merit, which was vehemently applauded. These social reunions were continued without the formalities every evening during the week.

The congress was opened on the next morning. The place of meeting was the little seminary, situated on the outskirts of the city, near the boulevard which skirts the banks of the river Dyle. The grounds and buildings of the seminary are extremely convenient for the purpose. The buildings are extensive, and, together with the high wall connecting them, enclose a large, quadrangular space. Within this space the members of the congress assembled at an early hour on Monday. {294} The entrances were guarded by young men of the Circle of Loyalty, who formed a body of volunteer police and commissariat during the sessions of the congress, performing their duties in such a manner as to receive well-merited eulogiums approved by the entire assembly, the most eloquent and delicate of which came from the lips of the Count de Falloux. The illustrious statesman and orator, with that felicity and charming grace of manner and expression which are his peculiar characteristics, uttered the sentiment, during one of his speeches, that the array of Catholic youth in attendance upon the congress was its most beautiful and attractive feature, and seemed, as it were, like a little legion of Stanislas Kostkas.

In the enclosure of the seminary, everything was arranged which could facilitate the business of the congress or promote the comfort and convenience of its members. A post-office, booths for the sale of newspapers and for writing letters, a restaurant where refreshments could be obtained at all hours, and where a dinner was provided every day, with other similar conveniences, were established on the premises. The assembly-room was a large exhibition hall, tastefully decorated with the busts of the pope and king, the flags of various nations, and appropriate mottoes. All the members of the congress were furnished with a ticket of membership; no other persons being admitted within the enclosure, except a few ladies, for whom seats were reserved. Special tickets for reserved places and the platform were given to the foreign members and others specially privileged. The number of members in attendance during the week was about three thousand, a large proportion of whom were assembled at the place of rendezvous on Monday morning, the majority being clergymen dressed in the various ecclesiastical costumes of Belgium, France, and Germany, with a sprinkling of the picturesque habits of the old religious orders. At the appointed hour, all moved in a procession, not remarkably well ordered, but very dignified and respectable in appearance, to the cathedral, through a double hedge of citizens lining the streets, by a pretty long route, along which many of the houses and shops were decorated with banners, armorial bearings, and other ornaments of a festal and welcoming nature. After the arrival of the procession, pontifical Mass was celebrated by the cardinal, a number of Belgian and foreign bishops and prelates assisting, and the procession returned once more to the seminary, where the opening session was held.

The cardinal, who is always the honorary president of the congress, on his arrival at the hall of assemblage, assumed the chair amid loud cheers and vivas, and, after pronouncing a short prayer, delivered a brief and paternal allocution. At the close of his allocution, he descended from the platform to a chair in front of it, near which were placed chairs for the prelates. Among the foreign bishops assisting at the congress were the Patriarch of Antioch, the Archbishop of Bosra, Vicar-Apostolic of Bengal, the Vicar-Apostolic of Alexandria, the Archbishop of Rio Grande in Brazil, the Bishop of Vancouver, the Bishops of Natchez and Charleston, U. S., and Chatham, N. S.; Mgr. de Merode was also present during the early part of the session. Mgr. Dupanloup, Père Hyacinthe, and the Count de Falloux came by special invitation as the great orators of the congress. A few clergymen and gentlemen from Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Holland, and America, a moderately large number from France, and some scattering individuals from almost everywhere, representing, it was said, eighteen different nations, made up the foreign element of the congress. {295} Among the more distinguished foreign members of the congress, were Mgr. Kubinski, rector of the seminary of Pesth, in Hungary; Mgr. Woodlock, rector of the Catholic university of Dublin; F. Formby, of England; Mgr. Sacré, rector of the Belgian College in Rome; Baron de Bach, formerly Austrian ambassador at Rome; Chevalier Alberi of Florence; Viscount de la Fuente, professor of canon law in the University of Madrid; Don Manè y Flaquer, an eminent Spanish publicist; Count Cieszkowski, of Poland; the Abbé Brouwers, editor of the Tyd, of Amsterdam, etc. The strangers were treated with marked distinction and the most cordial kindness by their Belgian confrères. Nevertheless, apart from the brilliant orators from abroad, whose eloquence was chiefly directed to an object identical with the special and local purposes of the active members of the congress, the international character of the assembly was much less marked than in former years. England had but one representative, F. Formby, and other European countries were not strongly represented, with the single exception of France. Germany had its own congress a week after the one at Malines; and it appears probable that the Catholic congresses will become hereafter more and more exclusively national, occupied with local affairs of practical necessity, and having less of the character of international réunions. The Baron della Faille, in an article published in La Revue Generale, seems, however, to regret this tendency, and to desire that the congress should become more of an international reunion. The late congress was especially marked by this practical and business-like character, and, if it fell behind the former ones somewhat in numbers and éclat, was probably increased in practical utility by this very circumstance. This is precisely the view taken in the Compte-Rendu of the congress published in Le Catholique of Brussels:

"Its labors went more directly to their object, had something about them stronger and better developed, and a more practical character. The accessory aspects occupied a smaller space. Eloquence, even—we spea