The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Catholic World, Vol. 16, October 1872-March 1873 by Various

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Title: The Catholic World, Vol. 16, October 1872-March 1873

Author: Various

Release Date: September 12, 2015 [Ebook #49948]

Language: English

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***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE CATHOLIC WORLD, VOL. 16, OCTOBER 1872-MARCH 1873***

The Catholic World

A Monthly Magazine of General Literature and Science

Vol. XVI.

October 1872 to March 1873

The Catholic Publication House.

New York

1873


Contents

Cover Page
[pg i]

Contents.

Acoma, 703
Atlantic Drift—Gathered in the Steerage, 648, 837
American Catholics and Partisan Newspapers, 756
Beating the Air, 783
Benefits of Italian Unity, The, 792
Bismarck and the Jesuits, 1
Bismarck and the Three Emperors, 474
Bolanden's The Progressionists, 40, 192, 358, 541, 674
Brussels, 766
Centres of Thought in the Past: The Monasteries, 79;
The Same: The Universities, 145
Christian Art of the Catacombs, 372
Christmas Memory, A, 502
Christmas Recognition, A, 448
Church the Champion of Marriage, The, 585
Climacus, S. John, Sayings of, 318, 775
Cologne, 615
Craven's Fleurange, 18, 158, 303, 459, 600, 737
Cross through Love, and Love through the Cross, 412, 523
Crusaders, A Son of the, 433
Cyprian, S., Martyrs and Confessors in Christ, 844
Dark Chapter in English History, A, 176
Daughter of S. Dominic, A, 658, 813
Deschamp's Bismarck and the Emperors, 474
Distaff, The, 133
Doña Ramona, 122
English History, A Dark Chapter in, 176
Episode of the Commune, An, 61, 227
Europe's Angels, 533
Father Isaac Jogues, S.J., 105
Father James Marquette, S.J., 688
Fleurange, 18, 158, 303, 459, 600, 737
Gavazzi versus the See of S. Peter, 55
God's Acre, 264
Hermann, Père, 808
Homeless Poor of New York City, The, 206
House that Jack Built, The, 212, 336, 507
International Congress of Prehistoric Anthropology and Archæology, 639, 829
Italian Unity, The Benefits of, 792
Jogues, Father Isaac, S.J., 105
John, 622
Juarez, Personal Recollections of, 280
Legends of Saint Ottilia, 557
Marquette, Father James, S.J., 688
Marriage in the XIXth Century, 776
Marriage, the Church the Champion of, 585
Martyr's Journey, A, 137
Martyrs and Confessors in Christ, 844
Monasteries, The, 79
Mission of the Barbarians, The, 845
Nativity of Christe, The, 540
New York City, The Homeless Poor of, 206
Novel, Use and Abuse of the, 240
Number Thirteen, 61, 227
Odd Stories, 138, 420
Ottilia, Saint, A Legend of, 557
Partisan Newspapers, American Catholics and, 756
Pearl Ashore, 788
Père Hermann, 808
Personal Recollections of Pres. Juarez, 280
Peter the Powerful, 138
Prince von Bismarck and the Three Emperors, 474
Progressionists, The, 40, 192, 358, 541, 674
Protestantism, The Spirit of, 289
Relation of the Rights of Conscience to the Authority of the State under the Laws of our Republic, 721
Retrospect, A, 395, 516
Review of Vaughan's Life of S. Thomas, 31, 254
Roman Empire and the Mission of the Barbarians, 845
Russian Clergy, The, 403
S. Peter's Roman Pontificate, 345
Sanskrit and the Vedas, 322
Sayings, 357, 473
Sayings of S. John Climacus, 318, 775
See of S. Peter, Gavazzi versus the, 55
Signs of the Times, 422
Son of the Crusaders, A, 433
Spirit of Protestantism, The, 289
Universities, The, 145
Use and Abuse of the Novel, The, 240
Vaughan's Life of S. Thomas, Review of, 31, 254
Versailles, 92
Where are You Going? 221
White Shah, The, 420
Who Made our Laws? 578
Year of Our Lord 1872, The, 558

Poetry.

Anselm's The Poor Ploughman, 175
At the Shrine, 447
Chaucer's Prayer of Custance, 702
Choice in no Choice, 17
Dante's Purgatorio, 319, 581
On a Picture of S. Mary bearing Doves to Sacrifice, 77
Poor Ploughman, The, 175
Purgatorio, Dante's, 319, 581
Prayer of Custance, 702
S. Mary Bearing Doves to Sacrifice, 77
See of Peter, The, 647
Sonnet from Zappi, 807
To S. Mary Magdalen, 265
Ὕπνος, 556
Virgin, The, 205
Widow of Nain, The, 735
Zappi, Sonnet from, 807
[pg ii]

New Publications.

Adams' Young America Abroad, 859
Agnew's Geraldine, 573
All Hallow Eve, etc., 428
Ambition's Contest, 144
Arundell's Tradition, 430
Athenæum, The, 859
Beloved Disciple, The, 143
Bibliographia Catholica Americana, 713
Bolanden's New God, 573
Book of the Holy Rosary, The, 140
Brownson's Life of Gallitzin, 712
Burke's Ireland's Case Stated, 857
Caswall's Hymns and Poems, 858
Catholic Class Book, 288
Catholic Family Almanac, 429
Catholic Worship, 571
College Journal, 576
Commentary of the Fathers on S. Peter, 286
Conversion of the Teutonic Race, 567
The Same, Sequel, 567
Coppée's Elements of Logic, 285
Craven's Fleurange, 570
Cusack's Life of F. Mathew, 572
Daily Steps to Heaven, 572
De Mille's Treasury of the Seas, 859
De Vere's Legends of S. Patrick, 570
Ellis' Two Ysondes, 719
England and Rome, 286
English in Ireland, The, 716
Finotti's Bibliographia Catholica Americana, 713
Fleurange, 570
Formby's The Book of the Holy Rosary, 140
Froude's English in Ireland, 716
Gardening by Myself, 144
God and Man, 430
Gratry's Henry Perreyve, 141
Great Problem, The, 575
Guillemin's Wonders of the Moon, 574
Hart's Manual of American Literature, 431, 860
Heart of Myrrha Lake, The, 569
Henry Perreyve, 141
History of the Sacred Passion, 427
History of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The, 573
Holland's Marble Prophecy, 431
Holley's Niagara, 432
Holmes' The Poet at the Breakfast-Table, 858
Hope's Teutonic Race, 567
The Same, Sequel, 567
Hübner's Life of Sixtus V., 567
Hymnary, with Tunes, 431
Hymns and Poems, 858
Illustrated Catholic Family Almanac, 429
Index Circular, 860
Ireland's Case Stated, 857
Issues of American Politics, The, 431
Jenna's Elevations Poetiques et Religieuses, 717
Keel and Saddle, 857
Kroeger's The Minnesinger of Germany, 575
Lacordaire's God and Man, 430
Lasar's Hymnary, 431
Lectures on the Connection of Science and Religion, 573
Legends of S. Patrick, 570
Leifchild's The Great Problem, 575
Liberalisme, Le, 714
Life and Times of Sixtus V., 567
Life of Demetrius Augustin Gallitzin, 712
Life of S. Augustine, 714
Liza, 573
Macdonald's Hidden Life, 432
Macdonald's The Vicar's Daughter, 143
Manual of American Literature, 431, 860
Memoirs of Mme. Desbordes-Valmore, 715
Minnesinger of Germany, The, 575
Moriarty's Life of S. Augustine, 714
Morris' Troubles of Our Catholic Forefathers, 287
My Clerical Friends, 567
New God, The, 573
Oakeley's Catholic Worship, 571
Orsini's History of the B. Virgin Mary, 573
Paquet's Le Liberalisme, 714
Palma's History of the Passion, 427
Parsons' Biographical Dictionary, 572
Parsons' Shadow of the Obelisk, 572
Peters' Catholic Class Book, 288
Polytechnic, The, 859
Photographic Views, 714
Poet at the Breakfast-Table, The, 858
Pocket Prayer Book, 286
Potter's The Spoken Word, 142
Rawes' The Beloved Disciple, 143
Revere's Keel and Saddle, 857
Roundabout Rambles, 432
Sainte-Beuve's Memoirs of Mme. Desbordes-Valmore, 715
Shadow of the Obelisk, The, 572
Skinner's Issues of American Politics, 431
Spoken Word, The, 142
Stockton's Roundabout Rambles, 432
Tradition, 430
Treasure of the Seas, The, 859
Troubles of Our Catholic Forefathers, 287
Truth, The, 571
Turgeneiff's Liza, 573
Two Ysondes, and other Verses, 719
Unawares, 143
Vicar's Daughter, The, 143
Warner's Gardening by Myself, 144
Waterworth's Commentary of the Fathers on S. Peter, 286
Waterworth's England and Rome, 286
Weninger's Photographic Views, 714
Wiseman's Lectures on Science and Religion, 573
Wiseman's Works, 714
Young America Abroad, 859
[pg 001]

The Catholic World. Vol. XVI., No. 91.—October, 1872.

Bismarck And The Jesuits.

1. The Order of the Company of Jesus, orders akin to it, and congregations of a similar character, are excluded from the German territory. The establishment of residences for these orders is prohibited. The establishments actually in existence must be suppressed within a period to be determined by the Federal Council, but which shall not exceed six months.

2. The members of the Company of Jesus, of orders akin to it, and of congregations of a similar character, may be expelled from the Federal territory if they are foreigners. If natives, residence within fixed limits may be forbidden them, or imposed upon them.

The measures necessary for the execution of this law, and for the certainty of this execution, shall be adopted by the Federal Council.

Such is the amendment on the original motion for the recent legislation with regard to the Jesuits which was proposed to the Reichstag by Dr. Friedberg. The original motion was identical in aim and almost in substance. The amendment is more exact and well-defined, leaving not the slightest loophole for possible evasion or escape. It was framed and pressed on by the kindly spirit and generous hand of Prince Clovis of Hohenlohe, the brother of the cardinal whose rejection by the Pope as ambassador from Germany to his court gave such high umbrage to the exquisitely sensitive Prince Bismarck.

Such is the law: plain, clear, and well-defined. There is no mistaking it: it is “goodly writ.” Paraphrased, it runs thus:

There is a body of men—and women even; for though we attach ourselves to the chief point at issue, the phrase, “Those congregations of a similar character,” may cover a very extensive ground, and seems ingeniously framed for abuse—in Germany, possessed of certain property, colleges, [pg 002] churches, seminaries, schools; possessed of certain rights as free citizens of a free land: liberty of action and of thought. Most of them are natives of the soil; many of them members of the highest families in the empire. They have been doing their work all these years without let or hindrance, or rumor of such. The state found no fault with them, or at least never expressed it. Consequently, they went on without changing one iota of their principles or mode of action, teaching in the universities, colleges, and schools: preaching in the churches; gathering together communities; giving themselves free voice in a free press, that all might hear and tell openly what they were doing, and what they purposed doing. Without a moment's warning, without a trial or even a mockery of a trial, the state swoops down on them, seizes their property, breaks up their communities, turns them out of their homes adrift upon the world, proclaims them outlaws, banishes them the empire, save such as were born in it—one of whom happens to be a cousin to the emperor himself; and these latter they proscribe to fixed limits under the surveillance of the police.

And such is law! The law of the new German Empire: the first great step in its reconstruction!

Short of death, the state could not do more utterly to destroy a body of men. Condensed into a word, these measures are—demolition. As death alone can make their penalty supreme, the crimes of these outlaws ought to be proportionately great. What, then, are these crimes that in a moment produced such a sentence?

Here we must confess to as great an inability to answer the question as Prince Bismarck or his followers found themselves; for the very simple fact that there are no crimes to answer for. This may account in part for the extra severity of the sentence. Only make the penalty big enough, and the popular mind needs to hear nothing of the crime. Prince Bismarck knows the value of the old adage, “Give a dog a bad name, and hang him.”

When the Communists seized upon Paris, we all knew what to expect: scant justice and speedy sentence; none of your careful balancing of right and wrong. They took what they could and gave no reason. This model German government, this new power which we all tremble at, though it promises to regenerate us, follows la Commune pretty closely in this its first essay of power.

In the even balance of the law, it is useless to talk of conspiracies, parties, plots, and this, that, and the other. Show us those conspiracies; point them out in black and white; let the law lay its inexorable finger upon them, and say, such and such actions have been committed by such and such persons; here are the proofs of guilt—and we are satisfied. Though the condemned may have been our dearest friends, we have only to acknowledge the justice of the sentence, to deplore that we have been deceived in them, and to range ourselves as honest men and true citizens on the side of the law. But in the present case, we have not had one single fact produced nor attempted to be produced; not a crime in the varied category of crimes has been laid at the door of the accused. We have had instead from such men as Bismarck and his tools vague generalities of “conspiracy,” “enemies at home as well as abroad,” intermingled with fears for the safety of the new empire—“the new creation”—padded in with bluster and empty bombast, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

[pg 003]

And in the face of this advanced nineteenth century, this era of facts, figures, and freedom, on the strength of evidence that would not suffice to condemn the veriest scoundrel that ever stood face to face with justice in the dock, a body of intellectual gentlemen, beloved in the country from which they are banished, are proclaimed outlaws, enemies of their own nation, faithless to their country and their emperor, unfit to live in the land that is proud of them, and driven without scrip or staff into the world.

Let us bear it in mind, before quitting this point, that the feeling of their countrymen as well as of the whole Catholic world is with them. We all know how a government, and particularly a strong government, can influence the public voice and manipulate votes. Well, petitions rolled in for the suppression of the Jesuits; but, strange to say, roll in as they might, a still vaster number came to retain them; and on the strength of the former, the measure was put before parliament and passed. This fact of the popular voice proclaiming itself boldly in favor of the Order is very significant when we take into account the forces arrayed against each other, though, in truth, the battle was all on the side of the government. On the one hand we have the Prince-Chancellor working the engine of the state—his own creation—with every nerve that is in him, joining himself in the debates with speeches of the bitterest and most inflammatory character; on the other, we have a body of 708 men! Such was their number in Germany according to the statistics of last year; the total number throughout the world being 8,809.

To this, then, the contest reduces itself apparently. These are the ostensible foes. The new and powerful German government, in the first flush of an unprecedented success, headed by the “terrible Chancellor,” pitted might and main against 708 individuals, staking its very life on the contest. What evenly matched foes! For the Jesuits are the sole object of this attack, mind. Listen to Minister Delbrück in his speech on the third reading of the bill: “It is my duty, in the name of the confederate government, to repudiate anew that view of the question which identifies the Society of Jesus with the Catholic Church.... In such an allegation they can discover nothing more than an arbitrary perversion of notorious facts: a falsification which is the more to be deplored, as it might serve to deprive the measure in circles outside of this assembly of its true character, and impress on it another which it does not possess.”

This minister was the mouthpiece of Bismarck—“the hands indeed are Esau's, but the voice is that of Jacob.” Was there ever such a picture of injured innocence and righteous indignation?

Seven hundred and eight men who spend their lives, as all the world may see, in teaching, preaching, studying, visiting the sick, performing their daily household duties, are such terrible plotters, dangerous political leaders, that they cause the great Chancellor actually to tremble in his shoes. It is a strange fact that he did not find this conspiracy out sooner. Bismarck and the Jesuits are old neighbors, not to say friends. They have lived very happily together up to yesterday. They accompanied him to his wars, and took the place that is always theirs in the battle front, among the wounded and the dying, when no succor was nigh, in the endeavor to give rest and peace to the last moments of those whom Bismarck summoned from their quiet homesteads [pg 004] to die for him under the empty name of glory and patriotism. Some of them were rewarded by the Emperor with the Iron Cross—the proudest decoration which he can bestow on a man; as some others of them on the other side brought their science to bear on the dismal walls of the beleaguered city, spreading out light far and near to discover the crouching foe, and they were rewarded with death. Why, then, after living in harmony so long together, does the Chancellor turn round in a moment and make such a sweeping attack upon them, only them? The body, numerically, is absolutely too insignificant for all this uproar. Why, we could pack them all into some of our hotels, and they would scarcely make an appreciable difference in the number of visitors. Had there existed a conspiracy on their part against the empire, as is alleged, is it possible that with Bismarck's unlimited power and resources, aided by those wonderful spies of his, who so infested France that his generals knew the country better than the French themselves did—is it possible that he who esteems so highly the value of the opinion of “circles outside the empire,” could not produce one sorry fact to bring forward against them? Their most determined opponents must confess that he has utterly failed to do so; and failing to do so, he has exercised, and the majority of the German Parliament has sanctioned, a barefaced abuse of power, such as we thought had died out with the good old days of Henry VIII. and Queen Bess, or lived only with the Sultan of Turkey or the barbarous monarchs of the East. May it not recoil on their own heads!

The quarrel is scarcely confined to these limits, then, terrible as the power of the Jesuits may be. We do not intend to insult the intelligence of our readers by going into a needless defence, for the millionth time, of the Jesuit Order. Their defence is written on the world with the blood of their martyred children. Their defence rests on the fact of their very existence under such persistent and terrible persecutions as their mother, the church, only has surpassed. It rests in the record of every land upon which the sun has shone. And as for the time-worn themes, ever welcome and ever new, of secresy, unscrupulous agents, blood, poison, daggers, and all the mysterious paraphernalia which the Jesuit of the popular imagination still bears about with him under that famous black gown, which the intellect of the age, in the persons of the London Times' correspondents and those of the Saturday Review, are never weary of harping on, we leave them to the enlightened vision of these gentlemen, and their rivals in this respect—the concocters of the villains of fifth-rate novels. But they object: Well, we are ready to admire your Jesuits. They live among us and we know them, and really, on the whole, they are not half such bad fellows; in fact, we may go so far as to say they are very peaceable, intelligent, respectable gentlemen. When we wish to hear a good sermon we always go to listen to them. They are very fine writers, and very clever men. They have done much, or tried to do much, for America, Africa, Japan, and every out-of-the-way place; they have done something in Europe, even. But after all you must acknowledge that they are very dangerous fellows. Why, your own Pope, Sixtus V., could scarcely be prevailed upon to permit the foundation of the Order at the beginning; and another of your Popes, Clement XIV., actually condemned them. Come, now; what do you say to that?

[pg 005]

Must we soberly sit down to answer this absurdity once more? Our readers will pardon us for merely glancing at it, and passing on to the more immediate subject of our article.

First of all, granting, which we by no means intend to do, that all that they allege is true, that it was with the greatest difficulty they even crept into existence, and that a Pope found it necessary to suppress them; there stands out in the face of such opposition the telling fact of their existence in the broad light of these open days, when no sham can pass muster, when the keen, eminently honest eye of these folk pick out the false in a twinkling, expose it, hoot it down, away with it, and there is an end. Such a fact opposed to such never-failing opposition is a very stubborn thing, and bears with it something very like reality and truth. As for the difficulty of their beginning, that is the history of all orders in the church, so careful is she of new-fangled notions. In fact, if our recollection serves us, that, we believe, is the history of the church herself. So much for the alleged opposition of Sixtus V. And now for the quelcher: the suppression by Clement XIV.

Here we give in: our opponents are right. Clement XIV. actually did issue a brief suppressing the Jesuits. Of course it is perfectly unnecessary to inform these theological and mediæval scholars that a brief is a very different thing from a bull; that a brief is in no wise binding on the successor of the Pontiff who issues it; that a brief has no more to do with infallibility than these gentlemen themselves have. And now we would beg them to listen a moment to the very few Jesuitical words in which we explain this whole thing away.

Clement XIV. issued this brief in exactly the same way that King John signed the Magna Charta; Charles I. the death-warrant of Strafford; or George IV. the act for Catholic emancipation. We believe none of our readers would blame King Charles for the death of Strafford, or thank King John for Magna Charta, or George IV. for Catholic emancipation; as little do we, can we, or any one who has read the history of the time, blame Clement XIV. for the brief which suppressed the Jesuits. The timid old monk—he was consecrated Pope at what the Bourbons considered the very safe age of sixty-four—was strong enough to resist this wicked demand of their suppression to the utmost. We must bear in mind that the demand was made by no body in the church; but only by the ambassadors of France, Spain, and Naples. “I know what you want,” he said, “you want to create a heresy and destroy the church.” Another time he writes, “I can neither censure nor abolish an institute which has been commended by nineteen of my predecessors.” In the meantime, we have a disinterested witness, happily enough from Prussia, a man whom we have no doubt even Prince Bismarck has some respect for. It is no less a person than Frederick the Great, who writes to Voltaire:

That good Franciscan of the Vatican leaves me my dear Jesuits, who are persecuted everywhere else. I will preserve the precious seed, so as to be able one day to apply it to such as may desire again to cultivate this rare plant.

At last, notwithstanding his entreaties and prayers, they wrung the brief from the heart of the tottering old man. They gained their point while he lost his peace of mind, and was ever after murmuring, Compulsus feci, compulsus feci. We should be [pg 006] more correct in saying that they only half-gained it; for they were wild with rage at its being only a brief. What they wanted was a bull: destruction, not suspension. And such is the history of the famous suppression of the Jesuits.

To make the story complete, we may as well add that, as soon as the brief became known, Switzerland, knowing that it was the production of the Bourbon faction and not of the Pope, refused to submit to it and deprive the Jesuits of their colleges. Catherine of Russia interceded in their favor, and gave the poor Pope a crumb of comfort in the few days that were left him. Well did he say, “This suppression will be the death of me.” While Frederick the Great—but he shall speak for himself, and we commend his utterance to Prince Bismarck. He writes to his agent at Rome:

Abbé Columbini, you will inform all who desire to know the fact, but without ostentation and affectation, and you will moreover seek an opportunity of signifying soon to the Pope and his chief minister, that, with regard to the Jesuits, I am determined to retain them in my states. In the treaty of Breslau, I guaranteed the status quo of the Catholic religion, and I have never found better priests in every respect. You will further add that, as I belong to the class of heretics, the Pope cannot relieve me from the obligation of keeping my word, nor from the duty of a king and an honest man.

These words would be weakened by comment. We pass with relief from this worn-out subject, and wish our adversaries joy of their mare's nest. Men who have won the praise of their bitterest foes need small defence from their friends. We leave them in the hands of such men as Voltaire, Lord Macaulay, Sir James Stephens, Bancroft, Prescott, Parkman, and a host of other eminent men of all nations and all creeds save our own. When those who carp at the Jesuits have studied and refuted these writers to their own satisfaction, they may be in a fair way to meet us.

Now we are met with the further objection: if the Jesuits are such an excellent body as we make them; as Protestant historians and infidel writers make them; as Catherine of Russia, as Frederick the Great, the founder of the Prussian empire, and in this respect the proto-Bismarck, make them—why should Prince Bismarck pick such a deadly quarrel with them?

Have we possibly been mistaken in him all this time? Have we had another Luther lurking beneath the person of the burly Chancellor? Has his aim been all along not merely to create a German empire, but a German religion and a German popedom? Has his zeal been inspired by religion? In his speech the other day he protested against the pretensions of the Pope “as a Protestant and an evangelical Christian.” We congratulate the evangelical Christians, whoever they may be, on their new apostle. For ourselves, we could not help laughing, and thinking that the height of solemn farce had at length been reached. The words reminded us of one Oliver Cromwell, who, in common with a well-known kinsman of his, had a knack of “citing Scripture for his purpose.”

No; we confess it, notwithstanding this solemn affirmation from his own mouth, and before the German parliament too—(we think the printer must have omitted the “laughter” at the end)—we cannot bring ourselves to look upon the Chancellor as a “vessel of election,” though he may be a “vessel of wrath.” We consider that his worst enemy could scarcely say a harder thing of him [pg 007] than that he was a religious man. His is “Ercles' vein: a tyrant's vein.” The Emperor “is more condoling.” Now he presents the picture of a religious man par excellence. Why, his nostrils discerned a sanctified odor rising up from those reeking fields of France; and he could pray—how well!—after he had won the victory. But his Chancellor is a man of another complexion. He found a rich humor in it all. We have not forgotten that grim joke of his yet about the starving and doomed city. Is he not the prince of jesters? No, however bad may be our opinion of him, we will not accuse him of religiousness.

Where, then, lies the difficulty between them? The answer to this necessitates a review of the whole present question of Bismarck with the Papacy; and we must beg our readers' indulgence in carrying them over such beaten ground in order to get at the root of it all, fix it in our minds, and keep it there, so that no specious reasoning may blind us to the reality of it, to the true point at issue.

We recollect the position of the Papacy prior to the Franco-German war. The Pope was supported in his dominions by the arm of France—we say France advisedly; not by Napoleon. The war came and smote this right arm. Victor Emanuel stepped in; took possession: coolly told the Pope he would allow him to live in the Vatican. The world shrieked with delight at seeing a powerless old man reft of the little that was left him. The world was astonished at the generosity of Victor Emanuel in allowing the Pope a fraction of what happened to be his own property. The world looked for the regeneration of Italy, and it has had it. The New York Herald furnished us with the increase of crime since Victor Emanuel's possession: if we recollect rightly, it is about fourfold. So the Pope rested, as he still rests, a virtual, in plain truth an actual, prisoner in the Vatican, without a helping hand stretched forth to him. Came his jubilee, and with it kindly and solemn gratulations from a quarter least expected—the new emperor. Our eyes began to turn wistfully to the new power, and people whispered, Who knows? perhaps our Holy Father has at last found a defender. Here was Bismarck's opportunity of winning the hearts of the Catholic world, of binding us to him with the strongest chain that can link man to man. Time wore on, and the gloss wore off. Home questions arose, the Chancellor began to feel his way, to insinuate little measures such as the secularization of schools, which the Catholics, strange to say, found reason to object to. Prince Bismarck grew a little impatient; he was anxious to conciliate the Catholics as far as he possibly could; but really “his patience was nearly exhausted.” Our golden hopes began to grow dim. We have heard this sort of thing before; we hear it every day, from some whose opinions we respect; and we know what it means. It is the old cry, “We have piped to you and you will not dance; we have played to you, and you do not sing.” You are irreconcilable; there is no meeting you on debatable ground. And that is just the point. Our religion has no debatable ground, for it is founded on faith, and not on what goes by the name of free investigation. So that whether it be Bismarck or nearer friends of ours who would force or woo us in turn from our position, we must meet them in matters that touch our faith with the inevitable “Non possumus.”

Prince Bismarck began to grow weary of us; and he soon showed [pg 008] signs of his peculiar form of weariness. He scarcely agrees with “what can't be cured must be endured”; his motto is rather, “What can't be cured must be killed.” The secularization of schools was carried in the face of the protest of the Prussian Catholic bishops, assembled at Fulda. The solemnization of the sacrament of marriage is handed over to the civil jurisdiction, the same as any other contract. Still not a whisper against the Jesuits, though, as we have already quoted, his quarrel is purely and entirely with them. We pass on to the crowning act in his list of grievances: the embassy to the Court of the Vatican.

What a noble thing it looked in the all powerful Chancellor to despatch an ambassador from the high and mighty German empire, the mightiest in the world, to the old man pent up in the Vatican! What a condescension to acknowledge that such a person existed!

Of course the Pope would receive such marks of favor with tears of gratitude and open arms. What! is it possible? He actually rejects the ambassador, and sends him back on Bismarck's hands. Well, well! wonders will never cease.

Now there never was such a tempest in a tea-pot as the explosion this carefully laid train created. The very fact of sending an ambassador at all to a monarch acknowledges the perfect right of that monarch to receive or reject him as he pleases; and to common sense there is an end of the question. The Pope did not choose to receive this ambassador; he had every right to exercise his freedom of action; he exercised his right, but Prince Bismarck's sensibilities were hurt. It was not so much the fact of rejection as the Pope's want of politeness that afflicted him. In his speech before the Reichstag he declared that such a thing was without a parallel in the history of diplomacy. What martinets these Germans are for punctilio! We remember Mr. Disraeli actually refusing to accept as sufficient reason for the late war the “breach of etiquette at a German watering-place.” Now, with all due respect, Prince Bismarck knew, as those he addressed knew, as all the world knows, that this statement was anything but correct. Ambassadors have been rejected before now, and probably will be again. In fact, had certain individuals of this class to and from ourselves been rejected at the outset, it would have saved national difficulties, or at least wounded feelings and displays of school-boy recriminations scarcely creditable to such high and mighty folk as gentlemen of the diplomatic body. But there is more in the question than this. The Cardinal-Prince Hohenlohe is a prince of the church. He is in addition attached to the Pope's household. He gave himself freely and voluntarily to the service of the church. He is not a mere ordinary member of the Catholic body. He stands in relation to the Pope as Von Moltke, the Dane, stands in relation to the Emperor William; as those who were once fellow-citizens of ours stand in relation to the Khedive, whose service they have entered; as Carl Schurz and millions of our fellow-citizens stand in relation to the government of the United States. When the Italians entered Rome, Cardinal Hohenlohe left it; and the next the Pope heard of him was that his own servant had been appointed ambassador to his court from Berlin! Just as though tomorrow we received intimation that a new ambassador had been appointed to us from England, and that [pg 009] ambassador was no less a person than—Minister Schenck. We can imagine the New York Herald's comments on such a proceeding. And yet Prince Bismarck is sore aggrieved at a breach of political etiquette.

We think we need trouble our readers with no further reasons for Cardinal Hohenlohe's rejection. What share the cardinal had in the whole proceeding we do not know. Probably Prince Bismarck would eventually have found himself sadly disappointed in his ambassador had he been accepted. S. Thomas of Canterbury made an excellent chancellor till the king, against his wishes, compelled him to enter new service. But it is very clear that if Bismarck, as we do not believe, ever contemplated the possibility of the cardinal's acceptance at Rome, what he wanted was a tool, one who, to use his own very remarkable words, “would have had rare opportunities of conveying our own version of events and things to his [the Pope's] ear. This was our sole object in the nomination rejected, I am sorry to say, by Pio Nono.”

We have no doubt of it: it was his sole object; and the acceptance or rejection of his ambassador was one to him; for Prince Bismarck is generally provided with two strings to his bow. Had the cardinal been accepted, he believed he had a churchman devoted to his interests, another Richelieu; his rejection suited him still better; for he could now declare open war, and throw the onus of it on his adversaries. Through the whole proceeding we detect the fine hand of the man who forced on the Danish, Austrian, and French wars. Prince Bismarck must not be surprised if, in the face of such speaking examples, we come at last to have a faint conception of his strategy. His policy always is, and always has been, to egg his adversary on; to goad him into striking first, taking care all the while that he himself is well prepared. They strike, and he crushes them—all in self-defence. He is exonerated in the eyes of the world. He can tell the others they provoked him to the contest; he can say to them, “Your blood be on your own heads.”

And so this carefully prepared train exploded. It looked such a noble, generous, friendly action to send an ambassador to the Pontiff's court in the present position of the Pontiff, that, when the ambassador was calmly rejected, the world could not believe its ears; and Prince Bismarck entertains a very high respect for those ears notwithstanding their length. What could we say but that it was too much? There was no conciliating these Romanists and Ultramontanes, do what you would. It was clear that the Pope was altogether out of place in these days; and his obstinacy only served to keep very respectable bodies of men from agreeing and living neighborly together, and so on ad nauseam. Thus Bismarck could afford to froth and fume about insult, unprecedented actions, etiquette, and so on; urge upon the German nation that they had been insulted in the person of their august emperor, who seems as touchy on points of etiquette as a French dancing-master; and ring the changes up and down till he closed with the loud-sounding twang, “Neither the emperor nor myself are going to Canossa!”

Could anything be more theatrically effective? Could anything be more transparently shallow?

Well, in the face of this awful outrage and unprecedented provocation, what does the wrathful Chancellor do? March on Rome; declare war against the Catholics; utterly exterminate [pg 010] them; smite them hip and thigh? Nothing of the kind. He not only lets the Pope alone from whom he received the outrage, but he actually looks about for another ambassador, in the event of unlooked-for eventualities. He entertains the greatest possible respect for Catholics. Indeed, he seems to be aware that the small fraction of 14,000,000 of them go to swell his empire; the most Catholic of whom, by the way, bore the brunt of the battle in France. He accepts his rebuff more in sorrow than in wrath. He lets the whole question slip; he has no quarrel with the 14,000,000; but there are 708 of them whom he pounces upon as the policeman on the small boy; and nobody can quarrel with him for letting the steam of his wrath off on this small body, which is at the bottom of every mischief that turns up.

Is not this excellent fooling? He says to the Catholics: I will not touch you; you and I are very excellent friends; I will not touch your mother—the church; I will content myself with murdering her eldest son, who is the cause of all the trouble between us.

Now, we may fairly ask the question: Is the quarrel confined to these limits? Why does Bismarck turn aside from the church, from the Pope who so angered him, from the bishops who protested against his laws and refused to submit to them, from the Centre in the Reichstag who so boldly, calmly, and logically oppose him?—why does he turn from all these legitimate foes, and fall on the small body of 708 men who compose the Jesuit Order in Prussia?

The answer is not difficult. The Jesuits as a body represent the intellect of the church. They represent indeed more, much more, than this; for intellect, great as it is, is not the highest thing in the eye of God or of his church; but our present point deals with their intellectual power. The Pall Mall Gazette said the other day, writing on this question:

One of the most remarkable traits of the Society of Jesus has always been its literary productiveness. Wherever its members went, no sooner had they founded a home, a college, a mission, than they began to write books. [We beg to call the attention of those who would fain make the church the mother of ignorance, to testimony of this kind from such a source.] The result has been a vast literature, not theological alone, though chiefly that, but embracing almost every branch of knowledge.

The Jesuits in Germany, as in all countries where they have freedom, possessed the best schools and colleges. They made themselves heard and felt in the press. “In Italy, Germany, Holland, and Belgium,” says the journal above quoted, “the most trustworthy critics are of opinion that there are no better written newspapers than those under Jesuit control.” It says further, and nobody will accuse the Pall Mall Gazette of being a Jesuit organ:

Why indeed is their Order so dangerous, if it be not on account of the ardent, disinterested conviction of its members, their indomitable courage and energy, their spirit of self sacrifice, to say nothing of their intelligence and their learning? The effect of all this can but be heightened by persecution. On the other side [Austria, if we recollect rightly], the danger which the existence of the Order in the country really offers is much less than it is supposed to be. In Germany, it does not really exist.

These extracts from various numbers of one of the leading rationalistic organs in England, which it were easy to supplement by many others of the same import, notably from the Saturday Review and the Spectator, we merely present here to such of [pg 011] our non-Catholic readers as might receive our own testimony of whatever value with a certain suspicion. They embody very sound reasons for Bismarck's unprovoked and unlawful attack. We purpose going a little deeper into the question.

The Jesuits now, as always, small as their number is, were the leading Catholic teachers in Germany among high and low. Their access to the chairs of the universities made them to a great extent the moulders of thought, the teachers of the teachers, the great intellectual bulwark against the spread of rationalism and every form of false doctrine which strives to creep in to the hearth of the commonwealth and endanger its existence. As they were the strenuous upholders of Bismarck in all that was right; as their influence against the maxims of the International, though not so immediate and showy as his, was infinitely deeper and more lasting, so when he would intrench upon rights that are inalienable to every man of whatever complexion and creed, they turned and boldly faced the Chancellor himself. Were the character which their opponents would fix upon them true, they had their opportunity of showing it—of going with him at least at the outset. He would not have disdained the assistance of such able lieutenants. But instead, the wily Jesuits, the men of the world, the plotters, the schemers, the Order that is untrue to everything and everybody save itself, throws itself with undiminished ardor, with a devotion worthy of the fatalist, with all their heart and soul, into a losing cause; into a cause which they have ever supported; which has been losing these eighteen hundred and seventy-two years, but which has never lost.

These considerations bring us to the root of the question.

This marvellous German empire, this more than a nine days' wonder, has been convulsed into life; and sudden convulsions are liable to as sudden relapses. Bismarck's heart is in it; he is the corner-stone; it is built upon him; and he of all men knows on what a rocking foundation it is built. Listen to his mouthpiece once more, Minister Delbrück, in his speech on the third reading of the bill against the Jesuits:

We live under a very new system of government, called into existence by mighty political convulsions: and I hold that we should commit a great error in abandoning ourselves to the delusion that everything is accomplished and perfected because the Imperial German constitution has been published in the official organ of the empire. For a long time to come we shall have to keep carefully in mind that the constitution—the new creation—has enemies not only abroad but at home; and if the representatives of the empire arrive at the conviction that among these internal enemies an organ is to be reckoned which, while furnished with great intellectual and material means, and endowed with a rare organization, steadily pursues a fixed inimical aim, it has a perfect right to meet and frustrate the anticipated attack.

We have shown how nobly they met and frustrated the anticipated attack—a rather summary mode, we submit, of dealing with those who may be enemies, for it has grown into only an “anticipated attack” now. Worse and worse for the wielders of law. It may be as well to note also that the Chancellor lets nothing slip. He allows the “great intellectual means” to go; but the “great material means” is a far more important thing. He sticks to that. There must be something of the Israelite nature in him. He out-Shylocks Shylock. As in France, so here; he is not content with the “pound of flesh,” he will have in addition the “monies.” After all, what [pg 012] is there to surprise us in this? The great Chancellor, who coldly wrung such griping terms from bleeding France, could scarcely be expected to leave to the church the great material possessions, that is to say, the schools, seminaries, and churches, which belonged to her children.

But to resume: The first sentence of this quotation strikes the key-note of the whole movement. And, we avow it, Prince Bismarck is right. This empire has enemies at home as well as abroad, and the Jesuits are in the van. All Catholics are its enemies; and we make bold to say that all free men, and particularly all Americans, are its enemies. For it is not a German but a Bismarck empire; a Bismarck creation, that started into life men scarce knew how; a momentary thing for mutual defence, but never to be made, as he has made it, as powerful an instrument of tyranny as ever was forged to bind and grind a free-born people in fetters of iron for ever down. Never, in the vexed history of nations, has power, and such awful power, fallen into the hands of any one man at such an opportune moment for good; and never, at the very outset, has it been so basely and so openly abused. The state of Europe, at this moment, is deplorable; revolution in Spain, revolution in Italy, revolution in France. The government, the supreme control of the whole continent, shifting from hand to hand; yesterday it was Napoleon, to-day 'tis Bismarck: Europe cannot stand these successive shocks, from empire to anarchy, from anarchy to empire, without warning and without ceasing. Under all smoulders the burning lava, breaking out from time to time in fitful eruptions—here the Carbonari, there la Commune, in other places as trades-unions—which threatens to overwhelm and engulf the whole in one red ruin. It is simply the evil effect of evil spirits working upon dissatisfied and ill-governed bodies of men. While over all, in the dim treacherous background, looms the vast giant power of Russia, that seems to slumber, but is only biding the event, and shows itself in dangerous signs from time to time. Europe yearns for something fixed, permanent, and strong. Napoleon held it—failed; and the reins fell into the hands of Bismarck. He commences his reign by declaring war against the only element that can humanize these conflicting masses, and cause this wild chaos of passion to adhere, coalesce, and become one again as its Creator made it: religion. Religion alone can make them bow to law; for religion alone can teach them that there is a law that is above, and gives a reason for that law which they themselves make for themselves. And what has Bismarck done with this power that was given him?

To begin with, he has banished religion from the schools, where it has flourished to the mutual satisfaction of Catholics and Protestants ever since its establishment. He has profaned the sacrament of marriage and handed it over to the civil courts. We will omit the expulsion of the Jesuits now. His empire is the most autocratic and aristocratic in Europe. Almost as a consequence, it is the most military. To make assurance doubly sure, he is making it more military still; not a nation of peaceful men, but a nation of warriors. Instead of allowing the weary nation a rest after a strife where centuries were condensed into a few months, and fabulous armies shattered in days, the military laws are made more stringent than ever. The Prussian system of service is to prevail throughout the empire, notwithstanding Bavaria's remonstrance. Von Moltke's declarations in his late [pg 013] speech are very clear and concise. Summed up, they mean discipline, discipline, discipline; and this is Bismarck's word also. To produce this perfection of discipline, the power of the state must be supreme in every point. Nothing must escape it; nothing must evade it. The state must be religion, the state must be God, and Herr von Bismarck is the state. This sounds like exaggerated language; but Bismarck shall speak for himself:

I may tell the preceding speaker [Herr Windhorst] that, as far as Prussia is concerned, the Prussian cabinet are determined to take measures which shall henceforth render it impossible for Prussians who are priests of the Roman Catholic Church to assert with impunity that they will be guided by canon law rather than Prussian law.

This referred immediately to the case of the Bishop of Ermeland and others, for excommunicating disobedient priests.

The Bishop of Ermeland was ordered to withdraw his excommunication, because it might affect those who came under it in their civil capacity, under pain of suspension by the government. The answer of the Bishop, Monsignor Krementz, was admirable in every way, and we regret that our limited space compels us to exclude it. It is enough to say that the bishop shows, beyond the possibility of doubt, that he is actually within the law, by a special provision of the Prussian Constitution, which declares in Article XII. “that the enjoyment of civil and political rights is independent of religious professions,” while he declares at the same time that in such matters he is not bound by the civil law. Those opposed to him in faith must support him in this. Recent decisions in the English courts on behalf of the Established Church support him. And we need hardly waste the time of our readers by entering into such a question. If a government acknowledges a church at all, it must allow that church to work in its own way so long as it does not intrench upon the civic rights of the subject. The men in question, who were condemned, received their orders and powers of teaching, preaching, and saying Mass from the church, to which they made the most solemn oaths of entire obedience in matters of doctrine. If afterwards they grew discontented, they possessed the civil right to leave it. But as honest men, how could they remain in it, receiving emolument from it, using its property, and all the while persisting in preaching doctrines contrary to it, and endeavoring to destroy it? Those who defend the decision of the German government must allow that when, as not unfrequently happens, a Protestant clergyman becomes a convert to our faith, he may still abide in the Protestant church, preaching the Catholic faith to his congregation.

Our battle, then, and in this we are all Jesuits, is with the Bismarck empire, with the supreme power of the state. These ideas of Prince Bismarck are not new; they are as old as old Rome. The Roman was taught from his infancy that he belonged body and soul to the state; and no doubt Rome owed much of her vast power and boundless acquisitions to the steady inculcation of this materialistic doctrine from childhood upwards. “The divinity of the emperor” is not far removed from the divinity of the Chancellor. It is a very simple doctrine, and no doubt very convenient for those whom it benefits. But unfortunately for it and its defenders, One came into this world to tell us that we were “to render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's, and to God the things that are God's.” This is the Catholic golden rule of politics, as we believe [pg 014] it to be of all orthodox Protestants. Prince Bismarck will excuse our obeying Jesus Christ in preference to him.

And here is the reason for the expulsion of the Jesuits: They are the ablest exponents of these doctrines, not necessarily the most earnest—all Catholics are alike in that; but their education has made them as a body the ablest, and therefore they are driven out from the schools, colleges, universities, and churches; from the land utterly. And by whom are they replaced?

By the tools of Bismarck, by men who are ready to preach his doctrines “for a consideration.” We had a sample of them the other day at the opening of one of the universities in Alsace. The correspondent of the London Daily News, among others, described them to us: how they fought like wild beasts to get something to eat, and attacked it with their fingers; how, at the end of the day, they, the German professors, reclined in the gutters, or reeled drunk through the public streets.

And now, to complete our glance at this very large subject, a word on the ambassador to Rome that is to be. While Bismarck is still determined to send one there, he leaves us no room to doubt of his intentions in the significant words—“unlooked-for eventualities.” That is to say, he looks to the speedy prospect of the present Pontiff's death, and intends to affect the election of his successor. While refraining from remarking on the outspoken indelicacy of this, we do not at all doubt his intention, as little as we doubt concerning the prospect of its success. It is perfectly true that when the church had some influence over the state—and how that influence was exercised, let the spread of education, the abolition of serfdom, the persistent defense of liberty, and prevention of so many wars speak—the three great Catholic powers, France, Spain, and Germany, had a veto on the election of the Sovereign Pontiff, which they duly exercised in the persons of their respective representatives. These representatives were heard and felt in the councils of the church, and the measures they brought forward taken into due consideration. But we were under the impression that the relations between church and state had been altered to some purpose in our days. Lot has parted from Abram. The state said to the church: Our compact is at an end; you have nothing more to do with us; you may fulminate your thunderbolts as you please, and let them flash abroad through the world. We laugh. Their day is passed. Papistical pyrotechnics may frighten women and children, but we are too old for that. We know the secret of it all; that at bottom the thunderbolt is only a squib, and must fall flat. The church accepted the situation. The state had proclaimed the separation final and eternal. It could scarcely be surprised at the church taking it at its word. It could scarcely be surprised to find the doors of the Vatican Council closed against it. It can scarcely be surprised to know that the veto no longer has force—no longer exists in fact; least of all could it be expected to have force in the hands of a Protestant and heretical power, even when held in the safe keeping of the pious Emperor William and the “Christian and Evangelical” Prince Bismarck.

One effect, and we think a very important one, has grown out of all this which we surmise Prince Bismarck scarcely counted upon. We believe the mass of thinking men, whatever their sympathies might have been prior to and during the late war in France, once they beheld the great German empire an accomplished [pg 015] fact, wished it a hearty Godspeed; for it held in its hands the intellectual, the moral, and that very important thing in these days, the physical force sufficient to regenerate Europe. We looked to it with anxiety to see whither it would tend; we looked to it with hope. Our anxieties have been realized, our hopes dashed to the ground.

Prince Bismarck has alienated all Catholics and all lovers of freedom. And our eyes turn once more, all the chivalry in our natures turns, to the rising form of his late prostrate foe. We are amazed at the intense vitality of the French nation. Bismarck but “scotched the snake, not killed it; 'twill close and be itself.” All our hearts run out to it in the noble, the marvellous efforts it is making for self-regeneration. And if France, as we now believe, will, and at no very distant date, regain the throne from which she has been hurled, the hand that hurled her thence will, by a strange fatality, have the greatest share in reinstating her. “The moral columns of the new German empire have begun to tremble as though shaken by an earthquake,” says the Lutheran Ecclesiastical Gazette, after deploring, as we have done, all the recent measures that have passed.

As for the manner in which the Catholic Church will come out of this trial, we will let the Protestant press itself speak. We have already heard it in a half-hearted way in England and among ourselves. The Kreuz-zeitung, the organ of the orthodox Protestants, speaks more plainly:

An eminent Catholic, a member of parliament, said lately that the outlook of the Roman Church in Germany was never more favorable than it is to-day. It seems that this judgment is not without foundation. The defections produced by the old Catholics are without signification: we have to state a fact of altogether another importance. Formerly, the greater part of the German bishops, the greater part of the lower clergy, and almost all the laics, were adversaries of the new dogma [we give those words of the Kreuz-zeitung, with our own reservations as to faith in them], but now that the council has spoken, we only find thirty-two apostate priests; that is an immeasurable victory won by the Roman Church.... Though the Roman Church thus appears day by day more and more in the ascendant, the Evangelical Church sees itself with deliberate purpose pushed down the inclined plane, or, what is still worse, the government does not seem to be aware of its existence. We have been able to remark this recently in the discussion on the paragraph relating to the clergy in the Reichstag; and lately again on the occasion of the law on the inspection of schools. In the debates, at least those which concern the manifestations of the government, the question has been altogether with reference to the Roman Church. There has been no mention made, or scarcely any, of the Evangelical Church. The impression produced on every impartial observer must be this: the Roman Church is a power, a factor which must be taken into account; the Evangelical Church is not. This disdain is, for the latter, the most telling blow which can be inflicted upon it, and which must aid in strengthening the cause of Rome in a manner that must become of the deepest significance for the future. After all that, it is not strange to see the adherents of the Roman cause conceive the loftiest hopes.

The Volksblatt von Halle states that “the Catholic Church has become neither more timid nor weaker, but more prudent, bolder, of greater consideration, and in every respect more powerful than ever.” We might go on multiplying such extracts, but our space forbids us.

The result then to us, to Catholics, is not doubtful, as the result of persecution never is. It is strange that such a keen-sighted, eminently practical man as Prince Bismarck should become so suddenly blind to all the teachings of history. The meanest religion that exists among men [pg 016] thrives on persecution even when it has nothing better to support it. As for us, as for the Jesuits particularly, “suff'rance is the badge of all our tribe.” Their great Founder left it to them as his last legacy. And indeed, the measure he meted out to them has been filled to overflowing. While we are thus strong in faith, while we know that Prince Bismarck is only beating the air in his vain and impious efforts to extinguish that fire which God kindled and bade to burn, while we are calmly confident that he will shatter his mightiest forces against the Rock of Ages, and come back from the conflict battered and bruised—finding out too late that he made the one grand mistake of his life, which greater than he have made before him—still we cannot shut our eyes to the fact of the great injuries he is inflicting upon us, and the many fresh trials imposed upon the church and our Holy Father in his declining years.

What, then, are we to do?

We have power, and we must use it. We have voices, and we must make them heard. We have the silent, if not the outspoken sympathy of powerful bodies opposed to us in creed. We have the heart, when we show ourselves, of every free man and hater of oppression in any form. We have the genius of our own constitution on our side. We must speak out plainly and boldly as Catholic Americans. We must do what has already been done in London at the meeting in S. James' Hall, presided over by the Duke of Norfolk; where peer and ploughman, gentle and simple, priest and layman, were one in protesting against this slavish policy of Prince Bismarck. Let us do the like. Let our eminent men, and they are not few, call us together here in New York, in every city throughout the nation—in behalf not only of our suffering brethren, but of those rights which are inalienable to every man that is born into this world—in protestation against a principle and a policy which, if they found favor here, would sap the life of our nation, and throw us back into the old slavery that we drowned in our best blood. Our standpoint is this: as there are rights which the state does not and cannot give us, those rights are inviolable, and the state cannot touch them. To God alone we owe them; to God alone we give them back, and are answerable for them. The state is not supreme in all things, and never shall be. These are the principles we defend, and are happy in being their persecuted champions.

It is not merely a question of creed; Bismarck does not attack a creed. It is a broad question of right and wrong, of justice and injustice, of absolutism and freedom. Power was never given into the hands of the German Chancellor to be abused at the very outset, to oppress his subjects, Catholic and Protestant. It is not and it must not be supreme; and we very much mistake the genius of the great German people if they long allow it to continue so. It is not for him to deprive 14,000,000 of his people of their natural rights; the right to educate their children as they think proper, and as the law allowed them; the right to consider marriage a sacrament sanctified by God, and not a civil contract, to be loosed or unloosed at will by a magistrate; the right of listening to their most eminent teachers; the right of holding the seminaries and churches, built by their own money, for the use of their own priests; the right, above all, of believing that there is a God beyond all governments, from whom all government, which people make for themselves, springs; that God has set a law in the conscience which they must [pg 017] obey, even though princes and kings rage against it, and that it is not in the nature of things for this first and final law of conscience to clash with any other unless that other be wrong. When Prince Bismarck succeeds in eradicating these inborn notions from the minds of the German people, he will then have attained his supremacy; but that then is—never.

Choice In No Choice.

I know not which to love the more:
The morning, with its liquid light;
Or evening, with its tender lore
Of silver lake and purple height.
To morn I say, “The fairer thou:
For when thy beauties melt away,
'Tis but to breathe on heart and brow
The gladness of the perfect day.”
And o'er the water falls a hue
That cannot sate a poet's eye:
As though Our Lady's mantle threw
Its shadow there—and not the sky.
But when has glared the torrid-noon,
And afternoon is gasping low,
The sunset brings a sweeter boon
Than ever graced the orient's glow.
And I: “As old wine unto new,
Art thou to morn, belovèd eve!
And what if dies thy every hue
In blankest night? We may not grieve.
“Thy fading lulls us as we dote.
Nor always blank the genial night:
For when the moon is well afloat,
Thou mellowest into amber light.”
Is each, then, fairer in its turn?
'Tis hence the music. Not for me
To wish a dayless morn, or yearn
For nightless eve—if these could be.
But give me both—the new, the old:
And let my spirit sip the wine
From silver now, and now from gold:
'Tis wine alike—alike divine!

Lake George, July, 1872.

[pg 018]

Fleurange.

By Mrs. Craven, Author of “A Sister's Story.”

Translated From The French, With Permission.

Part Third. The Banks Of The Neckar.

“Brama assai—poco spera—nulla chiede.”—Tasso.

XXXIV.

“Return, Gabrielle! if possible, return at once; at all events, come soon.” These simple words from Clement to his cousin give no idea of the agitation with which they were written. Fleurange herself would never have suspected it, and less than ever at the arrival of a letter at once so affecting and so opportune. She even paid very little attention to her cousin's assurances as to the inutility of any further sacrifices for the sake of his family. Clement, however, had written her the exact truth. The situation of Professor Dornthal's family was of course very different from what it once was, but the change was far from being as great as they had all anticipated and prepared for a year before, when ruin overwhelmed and scattered them.

To leave the house in which they had lived twenty-five years; to see all the objects that adorned it offered for sale; to give up the place where the happiest moments of their lives had been spent; all this at first excluded the possibility of anticipating anything but privation and sadness without alleviation. Madame Dornthal herself did not look forward to the future in any other light, and the courage with which she left her native city was the same she would have shown had her husband been condemned to suffer exile; she would have shared it with him, endeavoring to soften it as much as possible, but without anticipating the least possibility of joy in their changed lives.

Joy, however, returned. It not unfrequently happens that reverses endured without murmuring receive unexpected compensations.

In the first place, their new home, though simple, and even rustic compared with their old one, was neither gloomy nor inconvenient. Two spacious rooms on the ground floor allowed the whole family to assemble not only for their meals, but the evening reunions—their greatest pleasure when all the absent ones returned. A small garden surrounded the house, and a grass-plot extended down to the river with a covered alley on each side. This place, called Rosenheim, merited its name by the abundance of flowers, and especially of roses, which on every side cheered the eye and embalmed the [pg 019] air. Their very first impressions, therefore, were quite different from what they had apprehended. Besides, Clement had reserved two or three of his father's favorite paintings, several engravings, as well as a number of other familiar and precious objects, which preceded them, and were there, like old friends, to welcome them.

In the next place, the professor's rare collections, and the works of art he had selected with so correct a taste and such profound knowledge, proved far more valuable than they had anticipated, so that, if no longer rich, an independence more than sufficient was assured them. Moreover, Clement's prospects were exceedingly promising. His extraordinary ability was soon recognized to a degree that justified Wilhelm Müller's foresight. To tell the truth, fortune is not so blind and capricious as she is often represented, and if she sometimes bestows her favors on those who are unworthy of them, there are some she reserves exclusively for persevering industry, perfect integrity, shrewd calculation, strict economy, and undeviating exactness. These virtues—and not chance—lay the foundations of durable and honorably acquired fortunes, and where they are lacking the greatest skill does not prevent them from being frequently lost in a day.

It was one of these legitimate fortunes Clement was worthy of and capable of acquiring. His success was already sufficient to dispense his father from the share of labor he had taken upon himself, but he could not turn him from his purpose, and soon perceived he ought not to attempt it. He derived the poetry of his nature from his father, and was indebted to his mother for his force and energy. Of these the professor, with all the rare and exquisite gifts of his mind and heart, was entirely destitute. A profound dejection mingled with his apparent resignation to misfortune, which sprang from the humiliating conviction—felt too late—of having brought it on himself by a want of foresight, and thus being responsible for the ruin of his family.

He needed something to divert him from this rooted idea, and therefore the necessity of exerting himself to fulfil the duties of the position he had accepted, and of pursuing his favorite studies, was too beneficial to make it desirable he should renounce it. His new life, no longer burdened by any material anxiety, gradually became both active and serene, and when the family assembled together, everything would have had nearly the same aspect as before, had it not been for the vacancies around the hearth. But after the arrival of Hilda and her husband, and subsequently of Dr. Leblanc, the evenings at Rosenheim became once more cheerful and almost lively. Ludwig and Hansfelt resumed their favorite topics of conversation; Hilda's beauty and happiness delighted her father; the merry voices of the children resounded anew; and Clement often favored them as of yore with a lively air on his violin, but more frequently, at his father's request, with some graver melody, which he would play with such skill and so pathetic an expression as to surprise Hilda, who asked him one day how he had found time in his busy life to develop his talent to such a degree. Clement did not at first hear, he was so absorbed in some strain of Beethoven's, which gave forth a heart-rending accent under his bow. She repeated her question.

“I often play in the evening at Frankfort,” he then replied. “Müller [pg 020] and his wife accompany me. Music refreshes me after the tedious labors of the day, and this prevents me from losing what you are so kind as to call my talent.”

Such was the state of things Fleurange would have found at her new home had she arrived a month sooner. In that case, her involuntary sadness might have excited more attention. But the serenity of the household, so recently regained, had been violently disturbed again. It was not surprising therefore that tears should mingle with her joy at seeing once more those she loved, especially as among them she found Dr. Leblanc's sister in mourning for him, and she had to be informed of another misfortune, scarcely hinted at in Clement's letter.

Professor Dornthal's life was indeed no longer in danger, but his memory was greatly impaired, and his noble mind, if not extinct, only gave out a feeble and vacillating light. This was hoped to be merely a transient state, which time and absolute cessation from labor would soon remedy. But it was a severe affliction to them all, and Clement for the first time saw his mother's courage waver. It was with truly a sad smile Madame Dornthal saw her husband recognize and embrace Fleurange without manifesting the slightest surprise at her presence, or realizing the time and distance that had separated them. It was the same with Clara; but when she placed her infant in his arms, there was a momentary reawakening of the invalid's torpid memory. Tears came into his eyes; he embraced the child, murmured “God bless him!” and then gave him back to his mother, looking at him with an expression that filled them for a moment with hope. Then the gleam vanished, and he fell back into his former state.

In consequence of all these circumstances, when the family assembled in the evening in the large salon on the ground floor, every brow was clouded, all the young smiling faces were grave and anxious, and the same cause for sadness weighed on every heart. Perhaps this was best for Fleurange, who, ever ready to forget herself, seemed to feel, and indeed only felt the sorrows of the rest.

Ah! how her sadness, which seemed only sympathy, touched one person that night as he gazed at her in silent admiration. She was sitting between his sisters, the lamp suspended from the ceiling threw a halo around her charming face, and the voice, so dear and so long unheard, resounded for the first time in this place where everything seemed transformed by her presence!

The evening, so sad for all the rest, was not so for Clement. Even his anxiety for his father was suspended: he felt a renewed hope for him as well as for everything else—yes, every thing. He no longer took a dark view of things: he was, as it were, intoxicated with hope. With what a sweet confiding look she had pressed his hand! In what a tone she cried: “Dear Clement, how happy I am to see you again”! Could the future, then, be as doubtful as he had so recently feared? As to the smiles of fortune, he no longer doubted: he was sure of winning them henceforth. He once thought himself inefficient, but he was mistaken. Might he not also be mistaken in thinking himself incapable of ever pleasing?—To this question he heard no other reply but the quickened pulsations of his heart, and the rippling of the water flowing past the seat to which he had betaken himself on the banks of the river.

Meanwhile, Fleurange and her cousins went up-stairs. Clement soon saw them all talking together in [pg 021] low tones on the large wooden gallery that extended around the house, and on which all the windows opened. Then they retired; but the light that shone for the first time that night was a long time visible, and Clement did not quit his post till he saw it was extinguished.

XXXV.

Fleurange gradually resumed the habits of domestic life—once the realization of all her dreams—and then, only then, she realized the extent and depth of the change she had undergone while separated from her friends.

She was no longer the same. No effort of her will could conceal this fact. Her heart, her thoughts, her regrets, her desires, and her hopes, were all elsewhere. Italy in all its brilliancy did not differ more from the peaceful landscape before her, charming as it was, with the little garden of roses and the river winding around it, the ruins beyond, and the dark forest in the background, than the vanished scenes—still so vividly remembered—of which that land was the enchanting theatre, differed from those now occurring beneath the more misty sky of Germany. At Florence, her struggles and efforts, and the necessity of action, stimulated her courage. The peace she found at Santa Maria revived her strength. But there, as we have said, the past and the future seemed suspended, as it were. Now the struggle was over as well as the pause that succeeded it, and she must again set forth on the way—act, live in the present, and courageously take up life again as she found it, with its actual duties and new combats. Fleurange had never felt more difficulty and repugnance in overcoming herself.

After the long restraint she had been obliged to make, it would have been some relief to be dispensed from all effort, especially at concealment, and freely give herself up to a profound melancholy, to pass away the hours in dreamy inaction, to weep when her heart was swelling with tears, and, if not to speak to every one of her sadness, at least take no trouble to conceal it.

This would have been her natural inclination, and it was only by an effort she refrained from yielding to it. But this would have shown the strength gained in her retreat to have been only factitious, and her intercourse with Madre Maddalena to have left, this time, no permanent influence. We have, however, no such act of cowardice to record respecting our heroine.

On the contrary, whoever saw her up at the first gleam of light in the east to relieve her aunt from all the cares of the ménage; whoever followed her first to the store-rooms to dispense the provisions for the day, accompanied by little Frida, whom she initiated into the mysteries of housekeeping, and then to the kitchen to give directions and sometimes even lend assistance to the old and not over-skilful cook; whoever saw her even going sometimes to market with a firm step, basket in hand, and returning with her cloak covered with dew, would not have imagined from the freshness she brought back from these matutinal walks, and the brilliancy which youth and health imparted to her complexion, that, more than once, the night had passed without sleep, and while hearing her early Mass, never neglected, she had shed so many scalding tears.

[pg 022]

Other cares, more congenial and better calculated to absorb her mind, occupied the remainder of the day. Her special talent for waiting on the sick, and the beneficent influence she exercised over them, were again brought into requisition around her uncle, and Madame Dornthal blessed the day of her return as she witnessed the evident progress of so prolonged and painful a convalescence—a progress that gave them reason to hope in the complete restoration of the professor's faculties, if not in the possibility of his ever resuming constant or arduous labor. The young girl found these cares delightful, and her new duties towards her dear old friend Mademoiselle Josephine no less so.

Josephine Leblanc's affections had all been centred in her brother. She lived exclusively for him, and had never once thought of the possibility of surviving him. A person left alone in a house standing in a district devastated by war or fire, would not have felt more suddenly and strangely left alone than our poor old mademoiselle after the fatal blow that deprived her of her brother, so dear, so admired, and so venerated—the brother younger than herself, and in whose arms she had felt so sure of dying!

She remained calm, however, and self-possessed. But the mute despair imprinted on her face as she went to and fro in the house, troubling no one with her grief, affected every beholder. She only begged to remain there that she might not have to return alone to the place where she had lived with him. From the first, Madame Dornthal had invited her to take up her residence near them, and Fleurange's return brought her old friend to a final decision, which proved so consoling that she firmly believed it to have been in the designs of Providence. The doctor left considerable property, which now belonged entirely to his sister. All their relatives were wealthier than they, and lived in the provinces. There was nothing therefore to induce Mademoiselle Josephine to return to Paris, and she resolved to settle near her new friends, that she might be near her whom long before she had adopted in her heart. It was a formidable undertaking for a person who for forty years had led a uniform life, always in the same place, and who was no less ignorant of the world at sixty than she was at twenty years of age. But it seemed no longer difficult as soon as she again had some one to live for. As to Fleurange, she found it pleasant and beneficial to devote herself to her old friend in return, and, in acquitting herself of this new debt of gratitude, her heart gained strength for the interior struggle which had become the constant effort of her life.

Notwithstanding the marriage of her two cousins, everything now resumed the aspect of the past. Clara and Julian, established in the neighborhood where the pursuits of the latter would retain him a year, did not suffer a day to pass without visiting Rosenheim. Hansfelt no longer thought of leaving his old friend, and Hilda's calm and radiant happiness seemed to lack nothing between her husband and her father, whose case now appeared so hopeful.

Clement alone was not, as formerly, a part of the regular family circle. He only came once a week—on Saturday evening—and returned to Frankfort on Monday morning as soon as it was light.

Business for which one feels a special aptitude is not generally repugnant. But Clement had such a variety of talents, and among all the things he was capable of, the duties [pg 023] of the office where he passed his days were certainly not what he had the greatest taste or inclination for. Nothing would have retained him there but the conviction of thereby serving the best interests of those dear to him. He must accept the most remunerative employment, and, this once resolved upon, nothing could exhaust the courageous endurance so peculiar to him. His courage was not in the least increased by the desire of surprising others or exciting their admiration, and nothing under any circumstances could daunt or turn him from his purpose. And he knew how to brave ennui as well as disaster. But this ennui, which he generally overcame by severe application, became from time to time overwhelming, and he would have had violent fits of discouragement had it not been for the cheering evenings he passed in the modest household of which he was a member.

Wilhelm Müller perceived that Clement's varied acquirements were useful to him, and his devotedness to him was mingled with an admiration bordering on enthusiasm. On his side, he procured Clement the opportunity and pleasure of talking of something besides their commercial affairs, and with the aid of music their evenings passed agreeably away.

But the kind and simple Bertha, with the instinct that often enables a woman to put her finger on the wound the most penetrating of men would never have discovered, had found a sure means of diverting him. The children had never forgotten the great event of their lives—the journey and the beautiful young lady they met on the way. Clement never seemed weary of listening to this account, to which Bertha would add many a comment; and this had been the commencement of a kind of confidential intimacy, which she discreetly took advantage of, and which was of more comfort to him than he realized. In short, this was the bright spot in his weary life. He would need it more than ever when, after a leave of absence on account of his father's terrible accident, which had been prolonged from day to day, he would have to return to his bondage, and this time with an effort that added another degree of heroism to the task he had imposed on himself.

It was now the eve of his departure. Fleurange and Hilda were sitting at twilight on a little bench by the river-side conversing together, and Clement, leaning against a tree opposite, was looking at the current of the water, listening silently, but attentively, to the conversation that was going on before him. They were discussing all that had occurred during their separation, and Hilda began to question Fleurange about her journey—about Italy, and the life she led at Florence away from them all. Fleurange replied, but briefly and with the kind of apprehension we feel when a conversation is leading to a point we would like to avoid. She foresaw the impossibility of succeeding in this, and was endeavoring, but without success, to overcome her embarrassment, when Count George's name at last was introduced. After some questions, to which Fleurange only replied by monosyllables, Hilda continued:

“Count George!—A friend of Karl's, who met him, was pretending the other day in my hearing that no one could see him without loving him. As you know him, Fleurange, what is your opinion?”

The question was a decided one, and Fleurange, as we are aware, had no turn for evasion. She blushed and remained silent—so long silent that Clement abruptly turned around and looked at her. Did she turn pale at [pg 024] this? or was it the light of the moon through the foliage that blanched her face, and its silver rays that gave her an expression he had never seen till now? He remained looking at her with attention mingled with anguish, when at length, in a troubled tone and with a fruitless effort at a smile, she replied:

“I think, Hilda, Karl's friend was right.”

These words were very simple after all, but the darkest hour of Clement's life never effaced from his memory the spot or the moment in which they were uttered, the silence that preceded, or the tone and look that accompanied them.

XXXVI.

The blindness of love is proverbial. His clairvoyance would be equally so, were it not for the illusion that unceasingly aids the heart in avoiding the discoveries it dreads. The very instinct that gives keenness to the eye is as prompt to close it, and when the truth threatens one's happiness or pride, there are but few who are bold enough to face it regardless of consequences.

To this number, however, Clement belonged. There was in his nature no liability to illusions which had the power of obscuring his penetration. Therefore the truth was suddenly revealed to him without mercy, and his newly budding hopes were at once blasted for ever.—That moment of silence was as tragical as if all his heart's blood had been shed on the spot, and left him lifeless at the feet of her who had unwittingly given him so deadly a blow!

Within a year—since the day he thought himself separated from her for ever, not only by his own inferiority, but by the sad necessity of his new position—two unexpected changes had occurred: First, in his exterior life—then he was apparently ruined: now, he felt capable of repairing his fortunes. Secondly, in the opinion he had of himself.

Not that a sudden fatuity had seized the modest and unpretending Clement. By no means; but the great reverses of his family had certainly effaced in a day every trace of his youthful timidity, and a kind of barrier had all at once melted away before him. Hitherto his worth had not been recognized beyond the narrow circle of his family, and even there he was loved without being fully appreciated. Necessity threw him in contact with the world; all his faculties were brought into action and developed by exercise. His features, his attitude, his manners, and his general appearance all participated in this transformation. The silent awkwardness that once left him unnoticed was overcome by the necessity of asserting himself, and also by that increased confidence in himself produced by a widening influence over others. This influence, at which he himself was astonished, was not solely the consequence of the superior ability he manifested in the dull and prosaic life he had embraced. But in this career, as everywhere else, he brought his highest faculties into exercise; and while observing and seizing all these details of his material life, he understood how to impart a soul to them by his dignity, trustworthiness, unselfishness, and generous ardor—which are the sweet flowers of labor and the noble result of a well-regulated nature.

He also reserved a prominent part of his evenings for the favorite studies in which he had not ceased to interest himself, as well as a thousand [pg 025] subjects foreign to his daily occupation, but exceedingly useful in the development of his mind. Thence sprang a simple and persuasive eloquence, which gave him an ascendency over every one, and caused him to be especially sought after on a thousand occasions that had no immediate connection with his actual position. Once or twice he had even been invited to speak at some public assembly which had for its object either a question of public interest, or one relating to literature and the arts, and he acquitted himself so well as to attract the notice not only of those to whom the name of Dornthal was already familiar, but of a great number of strangers. Numerous advances to acquaintance were made him on all sides, and Clement might easily have passed his evenings elsewhere than in the unpretending home of the Müllers. But he had no such inclination. Their company satisfied his present tastes. Music, which he would not willingly have been deprived of, was the delight of his hosts; and as is frequently the case in Germany, they were able to join him in duets or trios which many a professional singer would not have disdained to listen to.

Over his whole life, with its varied and absorbing interests, reigned one dear and ever-present form. It seemed at first like some celestial vision, far-off and inaccessible, but for some time, under the influence of all we have referred to, it appeared to have drawn nearer to him.

On this account, he began to appreciate the increased consideration with which he was regarded, but which he valued so little on his own. He ventured at last to ask himself if the good-will that seemed to beam on him on all sides did not authorize him to hope sooner or later for something more, and if his favorite poet was wholly wrong in promising that he who loved should win something in return.

Such thoughts and dreams, if allowed entrance in the heart, are apt to end by taking entire possession of it; and, as we have said, Clement was intoxicated with hope when Fleurange reappeared in their midst. But his dreams, fancies, and hopes were now all crushed by one word from her—one word, the fatal meaning of which was clearly revealed by the expression of her eyes, which Clement caught a glimpse of by the pale light of the moon!

The grief that pierced his soul enabled him to realize the full extent of his illusions, and he was astonished he had ever before considered himself unhappy. For some time after his return to Frankfort, he was overpowered by a dejection such as he had never experienced. He felt as incapable of any further effort as he was indifferent to all success. His daily task became insupportable, and study in the evening impossible. Instead of returning to the Müller's at the usual hour, he would leave the city afoot or on horseback, and roam around the country for hours, as if to wear out his grief by exhausting his strength.

Now he clearly saw he had only lived, planned, and exerted himself for her the two years past; he had given her not only his heart, but his entire life, and that life had had but one aim—the hope of some day winning in return the heart which would never belong to him now—because it was given to another! And while repeating Count George's name with rage, he sharpened his anguish by recalling him, as he had once seen him, clothed with irresistible attractions. His noble features, his look of intelligence, his taste for the arts, the charm of his manners, his voice, and his [pg 026] language, all came back unpityingly to the memory of his humble rival. He remembered him in the gallery of the Old Mansion, through which he accompanied him at a time when he was a mere student, and absolutely wanting in everything that was, not only attractive, but capable of exciting the least attention. His imagination mercilessly dwelt on the contrast between them. Was it surprising (and he blushed at so ridiculous a comparison) such a man should be more successful than he? And should he, inferior as he was, be astonished that this man, living so near Fleurange, under the same roof—At this thought a bitter anguish, a furious jealousy, took possession of him, and excited a tempest in his heart which neither duty, nor his sense of honor, nor the energy of his will, could succeed in calming. There are times when passion rises superior to every other impulse, and they who have not learned to seek their strength from a divine source are always vanquished. But Clement had been accustomed to the powerful restraints of religion; his strength consisted in never throwing them off. Therefore, he was not to fail in this severe struggle: he would soon turn his eyes heavenward for the aid he needed in again becoming master of himself.

XXXVII.

Disinterestedness, energy, and the power of self-control were, as may have been perceived, qualities common both to Clement and Fleurange. There was, in fact, a great resemblance in their natures, which, on his part, was the secret of the attraction so suddenly ripened into a more lively sentiment; and, on hers, of an unchanging confidence, in spite of the transformation of another kind she likewise experienced. And now they were both engaged in a like struggle: they were united by similarity of suffering, which separated them, nevertheless, as by an abyss.

Ah! if Clement could have hoped, as he once did, that a more tender sentiment would spring out of this sympathy and confidence, with what joy, what sweet pride, he would have regarded this conformity so constantly manifest between them! But the aspect of everything was now changed: there was no longer any possibility of happiness for him, he could now only suffer; and by the light of what was passing in his own heart he was enabled to read hers—at once open to him and yet closed against him for ever!

With all Clement's self-control, he would have been utterly unable to conceal the state of his mind from his cousin had he remained at Frankfort. But, after the days of overpowering anguish we have already referred to, after yielding without restraint to a despair bordering on madness, Clement at length succeeded in regaining his clearness of judgment.

One morning he rose before day, and left the city on foot. His walk was prolonged to such an extent that it might be called a pilgrimage, and the more correctly as its goal was a church, but so unpretending a church that it only differed from the neighboring houses by a stone cross to be seen when passing the door which it surmounted. The door was opened by the very person Clement came to see—a pious and simple young priest who was formerly his schoolmate. He was inferior to Clement intellectually, but his guide and master in those regions the soul alone attains. What Clement now [pg 027] sought was—not merely to pour out his heart by way of confidence—not even the consolation of discreet and Christian sympathy—but to recover his firmness by a courageous avowal of all his weakness, and afterwards make an unchangeable resolution in the presence of God and his representative at the holy tribunal. He had made a similar one while yet a youth, but now in his manhood he wished to renew it in a more solemn manner. It would of course require greater effort after the gleam of hope he had just lost, and the devotedness he pledged himself to would be more difficult after the revelation that she whom he loved, and must ever love, had given her affections to another. His voice faltered as he declared that no word, look, or act of his should ever trouble her, or reveal the sentiments she had inspired in the heart of one who would live near her, without her, and yet for her!

It was, in fact, his old devise: “Garder l'amour et briser l'espoir!” which he now solemnly assumed with the grave and pious feeling that accompanies all self-sacrifice.

Such piety may be regarded by some as rather exaltée. They are right, but it is the kind of exaltation which accords with the real signification of the word, which elevates the soul it inflames, and which, though powerless in itself, can effect much when the divine assistance is invoked to co-operate in aiding, increasing, in a word, exalting human strength!

That evening Clement quietly resumed his old seat at the Müllers' fireside. In reply to Wilhelm's questions, he said that during his long visit at Rosenheim he had neglected affairs that required his attention. “And then I confess,” continued he, “that I have been in a bad humor, and thought it wiser to relieve you from my society.” But to Bertha, who also questioned him, in a less vague way, however, he acknowledged more frankly, but no less briefly, that he had met with a great affliction, but requested her never to mention the subject to him. Then he took his violin and began to play a strain from Bach.

Bertha seated herself at the piano, and played an accompaniment to this and several other pieces. Her husband, who was beating time beside her, remarked that their young friend's bad humor had a singularly favorable effect on his talent.

“I assure you, Dornthal, you never played so well as you have this evening.”

“Perhaps so,” replied Clement with a thoughtful air. “Yes, I think you are right.”

It was really the truth. Music was the veiled, but eloquent, language of his soul. The very feelings he so successfully repressed, the words that no temptation or impulse could induce his lips to betray, made the chords vibrate beneath his bow, and gave their tones an inexpressible accent it was impossible to hear without emotion and surprise.

When, at the end of a fortnight, Clement reappeared at Rosenheim, all exterior traces of the excessive agitation he had given himself up to had disappeared. He resumed his usual manner towards Fleurange. No one would have dreamed—and she less than any one else—that between the past and present he found the difference of life and death. She little imagined that the new and strange sympathy that existed between them revealed to him the secret of all her thoughts and struggles. She also, apparently, had become the same as before. Her time was actively employed, the care she had of little Frida and that she lavished on [pg 028] her uncle, the ménage, sewing, exercise, and study filled up the days so completely that it was very seldom she could have been found inactive or pensive.

Hilda, her favorite cousin, though likewise struck for a moment by the hesitation with which she replied to her questions about Count George, almost ceased attaching any importance to this slight incident when she observed the apparent calmness with which Fleurange fulfilled the duties of her active life. Only one clearly read her heart and understood the passing expression of weariness and sorrow that now and then overshadowed her brow for an instant, and saddened her eye. Only one noticed her absence when the family assembled in the evening, and followed her in thought to the little bench on the bank of the river, where he imagined she had gone to weep awhile, alone and unrestrained. All she suffered he had to endure himself, and he lived thus united to her, and yet every day still more widely separated from her.

The weeks flew rapidly away, however, and the tranquility and happiness of the family were continually increasing. The professor's mental and physical strength gradually returned. Work alone was forbidden him, but reading and conversation were allowable and salutary diversions. His conversations with Hansfelt were sometimes as interesting as of old, and he might have been supposed to have regained the complete use of his faculties had not a partial decay of memory sometimes warned his friends he had not entirely recovered from his illness. For example, he often imagined himself in the Old Mansion, and this illusion became stronger after all his children, including Gabrielle, gathered around him. But in other respects his memory was good. Hansfelt found him as correct and clear as ever on all points of history or literary and religious subjects. It seemed as if the higher faculties of his nature recovered their tone first, and were invigorated by contact with the noble mind of his friend. Thus the evenings passed away without ennui, even for the youngest, while listening to their conversation.

These evenings frequently ended with music, which the professor craved and indeed required as a part of his treatment. Clement would take his violin, and not at all unwillingly, for he saw his cousin always listened to it attentively. In this way he dared address her in a mysterious language, which he alone understood, but which sometimes gave her a thrill as if she were listening to the echo of her own cry of pain.

One evening, when he had excelled, she said: “You call that a song without words, Clement, but the music was certainly composed for a song, which perhaps you know, do you not?”

“No,” replied he, “but like you I imagine I can hear the words, and feel they must exist somewhere.”

Hansfelt had also been listening attentively to the music.

“Yes,” said he smiling, “they exist in the hearts of all who love—especially in the hearts of all who love without hope. Here I will express in common language, but not in rhyme, the meaning of what Clement has just played.”

He took a pencil and hastily wrote four lines nearly synonymous with those of a French poet:

Du mal qu'une amour ignorée
Nous fait souffrir
Je porte l'âme déchirée
Jusqu'à mourir!1
[pg 029]
The pang of unrequited love
I feel;
'Tis death the bleeding heart I bear
Must heal!

Clement made no reply, but abruptly changed the subject. The children rose and clapped their hands as he struck up their favorite tarantella, and became noisy as well as gay.

Fleurange left the room, unperceived as she supposed, but Hilda, who had been carefully observing her all the evening, followed her, determined to obtain a complete avowal of all that was passing in her heart. She softly entered her cousin's chamber. Fleurange was not expecting her. She had thrown herself on a chair, with her face buried in her hands, in an attitude expressive at once of dejection and grief.

Hilda approached and threw her arms around her. Fleurange sprang up, her eyes full of tears.

“Do you remember,” said Hilda in a soft, caressing tone—“do you remember, Gabrielle, the day when I also wept in the library at our dear Old Mansion? You asked me the reason of my tears, and I answered by opening my heart to you. You have not forgotten it, have you? Will you not answer me in a like way now?”

Fleurange shook her head without uttering a word.

“It has always seemed to me,” continued Hilda, “that the happiness which has crowned my life dates from my confidence in you that day. Why will you not trust me in a like manner, and hope as I did?”

“Happiness was within your reach,” replied Fleurange; “an imaginary obstacle alone prevented you from grasping it.”

“But how many obstacles that seem insurmountable vanish with time or even beneath a firm will!” She continued slowly and in a lower tone: “Why should not the Count George, then—”

“Stop, Hilda, I conjure you,” cried Fleurange in an agitated manner.

Her cousin stopped confounded.

“Listen to me,” resumed Fleurange, at length, in a calmer tone. “As it is your wish, let us speak of him. I consent. Let us speak of him this time, but never again. Tell me,” she continued with a sad smile, “can you make me his equal in wealth and rank? Or deprive him of his nobility and make him as poor as I? In either case, especially in the latter,” she cried, with a tenderness in her tone, and a look she could not repress—“ah! nothing, certainly nothing but his will, could separate me from him! But it is reasonable to suppose the sun will rise upon us to-morrow and find us the same as to-day: we no longer live in the time of fairies, when extraordinary metamorphoses took place to smooth away difficulties and second the wishes of poor mortals. Help me then, Hilda, I beseech you, to forget him, to live, and even recover from the wound, by never speaking to me either of him, or myself!—”

Hilda silently pressed her in her arms for a long time, and then said: “I will obey you, Gabrielle, and never mention his name till you speak of him first.”

XXXVIII.

The summer and autumn both passed away without anything new, except some variations in the professor's slow recovery, and an occasional gleam of happiness for Clement—the revival of a spark of his [pg 030] buried hopes—but such moments were rare, and succeeded by a sad reaction; nevertheless, they were sweet and lived long in his memory.

One day in particular was thus graven on his heart—a fine day in October, when he had the pleasure of rowing Hilda and his cousin to a shady point further up on the river, which gracefully winds nearly around it. There they spent several hours, conversing together with the delightful familiarity of intimacy, and now and then reading some favorite passage in the books they brought with them. As he sat listening to the silvery tones of Fleurange's voice, and met her expressive, sympathetic glance when he took the book in his turn and read nearly as well as herself; as he sat thus near her in that lovely, solitary spot, with no other witness but her whose affection for both seemed only an additional tie, hope once more entered his heart, as one breaks into a dwelling fastened against him, but, alas! to be promptly thrust out, leaving him as desolate as before.

While he was rowing them back in the evening, with his eyes fastened on Fleurange, he saw her delightful but evanescent emotions of the day fading away with the light, and another remembrance arise, sadder and more tender than ever, which gave to her eyes, sometimes fastened on the dark and rapid current, sometimes fixed on the shore, the expression he had learned to read so well—an expression that made his heart ache with pity and sympathy, but at the same time quiver and shrink with anguish, as if a lancet or caustic had been applied to his wound and caused it to bleed!

Two months later the festival of Christmas again brought him one of these fleeting moments of happiness. On the eve—the never-forgotten anniversary of Fleurange's arrival in their midst—the whole family were reunited, and felt as if they were living over again the delightful past. The Christmas tree was as brilliant as of yore; Mademoiselle Josephine, as ready to participate in the joy of her friends as she was to avoid saddening them with her sorrows, aided in adorning it, and every one found on its branches some offering from her generous hand. Then, as in bygone days, they wove garlands of holly, which Fleurange, as well as her cousins, wore at dinner, and this time without any entreaty. At a later hour they had music and dancing, which, ever ready as she was to catch the joy of others, gave her a feeling of unusual gaiety, to which she unresistingly abandoned herself—the gaiety of youth, which at times triumphs over everything, and sometimes breaks out with an excess in proportion to its previous restraint. Fleurange's laughter rang like music, and her joyous voice mingled with the children's, to the great joy of him who was looking on with ecstasy and surprise. Her radiant eyes, her glowing complexion, the brilliancy happiness adds to beauty, and had so long been wanting to hers, gave him, who could not behold it revive without transport, a feeling of intoxication which once more made him forget all and hope everything! But he was speedily and sadly recalled to himself.

Madame Dornthal was seated beside her husband's arm-chair, which she seldom left. A pleasant smile reappeared on her lips as she looked at her children moving around her. From time to time she leaned towards the professor, and was glad to see him entering into all that was going on with his usual pleasure and with perfect comprehension of mind. All at once she thought he turned [pg 031] pale. She looked at Clement, and made a gesture which he understood. The noise disturbed his father. In an instant profound silence was restored, and they all gathered around the professor's chair. He appeared suddenly fatigued: his eyes closed, and he leaned his head on his wife's shoulder. They all anxiously awaited his first words after this sudden fit of somnolency. Presently he opened his eyes and gave a vague, uneasy glance around. Then, turning to Madame Dornthal, he said in a sad tone, passing his hand over his forehead:

“Tell me why Felix is not here: I knew, but cannot remember.”

This new failure of his memory, the name associated with so many painful recollections and uttered in so distressing a manner, put an end to all the gaiety of the evening. The effect of so much agitation and fatigue on the professor was not regarded as very serious, but it left a painful impression, especially on Fleurange, who had fresh reasons for feeling his words.

Clement, who had been informed by Steinberg of what had occurred at Florence, silently entered into her feelings, and once more the flash of joy that lit up his heart vanished in a night darker than ever.

But he could not foresee that a public event of serious import was at that very hour transpiring far away, in a different sphere from his, which would have an important and painful influence on his humble destiny.

To be continued.

Review of Vaughan's Life Of S. Thomas.2

It is but too seldom that the reviewer has to welcome a work like that which we have already had the pleasure of introducing to our readers, and to which we now desire to render more fitting honors. An original life of a saint, and of an epoch-making saint like Thomas of Aquin, treated on a scale adequate to its importance, in the English tongue, by an English Benedictine monk, is a refreshing novelty to those who, like ourselves, have so much to say to what is slight, or frivolous, or common, or hostile. The contemplative reviewer, looking at the two thick volumes of the English edition, feels inclined, like a man who guesses before he opens a letter, to conjure up fancies as to what he will find in this new life of S. Thomas of Aquin. Two volumes, each consisting of more than 800 pages, are a great deal, in these days, for one saint. They are a great deal to write, and what is perhaps of more importance, they are a great deal to read. But no one can suppose that they are too much for such a saint as Thomas of Aquin. Considering that his own works, as printed in the splendid Parma edition lately completed, would make up some forty volumes of the size of these two goodly ones, it is not much. Considering that Thomas of Aquin has been more written about by commentators for four or five centuries than any other [pg 032] man, except perhaps Aristotle, who ever lived—considering that every student of theology is always coming across his authority, and that he has been the great builder-up of the vast building of Catholic philosophical and theological terminology, it is not much that he should have two volumes. Indeed, when we look into the book, we expect to find Prior Vaughan not seldom complaining of being obliged, through want of space, to leave out a great deal that he would have wished to say. And this leads us to notice the author's name. Father Bede Vaughan, though fairly known by reputation in England, is perhaps a stranger to the greater number of American Catholics. It is sufficient to say at present that he is a brother of the Very Rev. Dr. Herbert Vaughan, whose presence in this country lately, in connection with the mission to the negroes, will have made his name familiar to many even of those who had not the pleasure of personally meeting him. Father Bede Vaughan is Prior of the Benedictine Cathedral Chapter of Newport and Menevia. A cathedral-prior is a novelty, not only in literature, but absolutely. There were a great many cathedral-priors in England once upon a time—men of power and substance—wearing their mitres (some of them) and sitting in the House of Lords. Whatever be the lands and the revenues of the only cathedral-priory in English-speaking hierarchies of the present day, it is pleasant to meet with the old name, and to meet it on the cover of a book. That a Benedictine should have written a sterling book will not surprise the world of letters. It is perhaps a little new to find the great Dominican, the Angel of the Schools, taken up by a member of an order which S. Thomas is popularly supposed to have in set purpose turned his back upon. But this is a point on which the work itself will enlighten us. Meanwhile, on opening the first volume we catch sight of a portrait of the Saint. It is a reproduction, by photography, of a painting by the Roman artist Szoldatics, which was painted expressly for the present work. It represents the well-known scene in which the crucified Master, for whom the great doctor has written and taught his life long, asks him what reward he would desire. Portraits of S. Thomas of Aquin are not uncommon. We are all familiar with the large and portly figure and the full and mild countenance, the sun upon his breast, the black and the white, and the shaven crown of the Order of St. Dominic, the open book and the immortal pen. Some of the representations of the saint exaggerate his traditional portliness into a corpulence that almost obliterates the light of genius in his face. On the other hand, there exist many which give at once the large open features and the look of inspiration and of refinement. Those who have turned to the title-pages of the best Roman or Flemish editions of his life or works will remember these. The new portrait, photographed in the first volume, is very successful. Thomas of Aquin had Norman blood in his veins, and the fairness of his skin and the contour of his head are not those of the typical Italian. The artist has managed to convey very well that massive head, in which every lobe of the brain seems to have been perfectly developed and roomily lodged, thus furnishing the intelligence with an imaginative instrument whose power was only equalled by its delicacy. In the corresponding place in the second volume there is a photograph of a meritorious engraving, from a picture or engraving unknown to us, [pg 033] in which, however, the head of the Saint is not so noble or refined.

Passing, however, to consider the substance of the work itself, it is not too much to say that, as a life of S. Thomas of Aquin, it is perfectly original. We do not mean, of course, that the writer has found out new facts, or made any considerable alteration in the aspect of old ones. But his plan of working is new. He has had the idea of giving, not merely S. Thomas, but his surroundings. Some saints, even of those who have spent themselves in external labors for their fellow-men, require but little in the way of background to make their portraits significant. Ven. Bede's biography would not gain much light from discussions upon Mohammedanism, or upon the state of England or of Europe during his life. To understand and love S. Francis of Sales, it is not necessary to study the growth of Calvinism, to follow the steps of the De Auxiliis controversy, or to become minutely acquainted with the character of Henri IV. But it is very different with S. Thomas of Aquin. Opening his mouth, like a true doctor of the church, “in medio ecclesiæ,” he had words to speak which all Christendom listened to, and acted upon, too, in one way or another. He was a power at Paris, at Cologne, at Naples. Every great influence of the thirteenth century felt the impulse of his thought: S. Louis the Crusader, Urban IV., Gregory X., the Greek schismatics, the Arabian philosophers, the opponents of monasticism, the mighty power of the universities. Prior Vaughan thus speaks in the preface to the first volume:

The author has found it difficult to comprehend how the life of S. Thomas of Aquin could be written so as to content the mind of an educated man—of one who seeks to measure the reach of principle and the influence of saintly genius—without embracing a considerably wider field of thought than has been deemed necessary by those who have aimed more at composing a book of edifying reading, than at displaying the genesis and development of truth and the impress of a master-mind upon the age in which he lived. It has always appeared to him that one of the most telling influences exerted by the doctor-saints of God, has been that of rare intellectual power in confronting and controlling the passions and mental aberrations of epochs, as well as of blinded and swerving men....

The object which the author of these pages has proposed to himself is this: to unfold before the reader's mind the far-reaching and many-sided influence of heroic sanctity, when manifested by a man of massive mind, of sovereign genius, and of sagacious judgment, and then to remind him that, as the fruit hangs from the branches, so genius of command and steadiness of view and unswervingness of purpose, are naturally conditioned by a certain moral habit of heart and head; that purity, reverence, adoration, love, are the four solid corner-stones on which that Pharos reposes which, when all about it, and far beyond it, is darkness and confusion, stands up in the midst as the representative of order, and as the minister of light, and as the token of salvation.

Now, the Angel of the Schools was emphatically a great and shining light. To write his life is not so much to deal with the subject of his personal history, as to display the stretch of his power and the character of his influence. Indeed, few of the great cardinal thinkers of the world have left much private history to record. Self was hidden in the splendor of the light which bursts out from it—just as the more brilliant the flame, so much the more unseen is the lamp in which it burns. It stands to reason that the more widespread the influence which such men as these exert, so much the wider must be the range taken by the writer over the field of history and theology and philosophy if he wishes adequately to delineate the action of their lives. The private history of S. Thomas of Aquin could be conveniently written in fifty pages, whilst his full biography would certainly occupy many thousand pages.(Pp. iii., iv.)

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The view which is thus sketched out is a large one. We have said that the author presents not merely his hero, but his hero's surroundings. But, in studying his mind and his work, he does not content himself with making a vivid background of the thirteenth century. One century is the child of another, and mind is educated by mind. The past is the seed of the future, and no time can be understood without understanding the times that gave it birth. This is especially true of the times when history accumulates most rapidly, and of minds to whom it is given to fashion history as it is made. Prior Vaughan finds the story of S. Thomas' intellectual work commencing far back in the work of those men whom he calls the “columnal fathers” of the church. He therefore takes his reader back to primitive ages—to the desert, the laura, the early conflicts of God's servants with paganism, with heresy, and with worldliness. He sets before him S. Anthony, in the majesty of his single-hearted union with Christ; S. Athanasius, worthy disciple of such a master, unsurpassed in the great opportunities of his life and the strength with which he rose to meet them; S. Basil, the monk that fought the world, and overcame it; S. Gregory Theologus, the vates sacer of the fourth century, who sang in verse and in rhythmical prose the song of the consubstantial Son of God. He introduces us to S. Augustine, to S. Ambrose, to S. Gregory the Great, and points out how essential a feature, in the greatness of S. Thomas, is the way in which he has reproduced all that was eternal and “catholic” in the thoughts of the men whom God has set up to be the pillars of the doctrine of his church. With other saints, it would, perhaps, be superfluous to trace their connection with the fathers; with the author of the Summa, it is indispensable.

The Columnal Fathers and the Angelical were in completest harmony; they were knit together by the monastic principle. The intellectual hinges of the Universal Church (speaking humanly) have been monastic-men—that is to say, men who, through an intense cross-worship and a keen perception of the beautiful, threw up all for Christ; and through

The ingrained instinct of old reverence,
The holy habit of obedience,

loved, labored, suffered for him, and died into his arms.

For the one thread which pierces through all, and maintains a real communication between the Angelical and the heroes of the classic age—which creates a brotherhood between S. Thomas of the thirteenth century and the great athletes in the second and the third—which makes the Sun of the Church illuminate the Pillar of the World, and so reciprocally—that is to say, which renders S. Thomas and S. Anthony one in spirit and in principle—was this, that their beings were transformed into a supernatural activity, through an intense and personal love of their Redeemer.

This was the one special lesson which the Angelical drew from the wilderness and the fathers, which came to him through S. Benedict, indeed, but rather as a principle of quies than of exertion. In the desert athletes, and those who followed them, he found that principle operative, and almost military in its chivalrous readiness to combat and spill blood in defence of truth. It lent to him what it exhibits in them also—breadth of view, largeness, moral freedom, stubborn courage, generosity of heart, expansion of mind, and an electric light of intellect, which bear about them a touch of the Eastern world. How could the Angelical read Anthony's life, or follow Athanasius in his exiles, or see Basil so heroically rigid in his defence of right, or hear, in imagination, Gregory Theologus pouring out a stream of polished eloquence, without being impressed by truth's grace and music; how could he watch S. Chrysostom, all on fire with his love of God and with his discriminating sympathy for men, or [pg 035]think of the ascetic Jerome, battling single-handed in the wilderness, or perusing his Scripture in the cave; how could he dwell in spirit with S. Ambrose or S. Gregory the Great, or follow the career of the passionate, emotional, splendid S. Augustine, without expanding in heart and mind towards all that is best and greatest—all that is most noble and most fair in the majestic character of God's tenderly-cherished saints?

Had he not known them so intimately, great as he was, his mind would have been comparatively cramped, his character most probably would have been less imperial in its mould, and there would have been less of that oriental mightiness about his intellectual creations, which now reminds one of those vast monuments of other days, which still are the marvel of travellers in the East, and the despair of modern engineers.(II., pp. 523-5.)

A great portion of the second volume is taken up with the exposition in detail of these thoughts and ideas. We do not think that any one who has thoroughly seized the author's point of view will be sorry that so much space is given to the lives and characters of men who are not the immediate subject of the book. The truth is, that the full significance of S. Thomas of Aquin has been very much overlooked in modern times. The non-Catholic theory has always been that he was a voluminous “scholastic,” more acute than most of his sort, perhaps, but mediæval, hair-splitting, and unprofitable. The Catholic theory has done him greater justice; but even the Catholic schools have too much forgotten S. Thomas. There is an interesting passage in one of Lacordaire's letters, in which he tells the Abbé Drioux, who has done so much for S. Thomas in France, how he read the Angelical every day, and yet how long it had been before he had come to know him! And then he speaks with some depreciation of that “Positive” theology which has pretended to take the place of the scholastic form and discipline. The great preacher was familiar with the spiritual wants of the world in their widest aspect, and he no sooner came to know S. Thomas of Aquin than he saw that he was face to face with the mind that has said more truth about God and man, and said it better, than any one man who has ever lived; and he has said it so well, because he has not said it out of his own consciousness, but first saturated himself with the living truth of the immortal fathers, and then reproduced in his own way what God had thus himself imparted to the world.

The influence which S. Thomas owed to the study and meditation of the great fathers was surpassed—or rather, we ought to say, most powerfully shown—by the impressions made upon his heart, even more than his mind, by his early bringing up. Every one knows that the Angel of the Schools, who was of the noblest blood of Italy, spent his early years in the great arch-monastery of Monte Casino. Prior Vaughan has no hesitation in making the assertion that Thomas of Aquin never lost what he acquired from the monks of S. Benedict during those seven childish years that he spent with them in the cloisters of the great abbey. He was never a professed Benedictine, although he would, in the natural course, have become one without making any explicit profession, had not the troubles of the times forced the monks to flee from the abbey. But the Benedictine or monastic spirit, the principle of quies, as our author calls it, with the vivid appreciation of the kingship of Christ, Thomas took away with him when he went forth and carried with him to the work he had to do. The new mendicant orders that had recently been founded were schools of activity, [pg 036] aggressive, moving hither and thither, pitching their tents in great towns, and lifting their voices in universities. Their saints were to be fitted for the regeneration of a new phase of the world. But in the saints themselves it was only an outward change. The essential spirit remained the same. That spirit had been the heirloom of the old monastic orders, and it could never be out of date. In the men who were to do the greatest things in the new life of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the old spirit of the cloister must be found strong and deep. In the man who above all was to stand forth as the sum and crown of the middle age, that contemplative, immovable, far-seeing realization of “the person of Christ” must exist as heroically as in Anthony of the Desert or Benedict of the Mountain. And it was S. Thomas' Benedictine training that contributed much to make him such a man.

The monks thought much, but talked little; thus the monastic system encouraged meditation, rather than intellectual tournaments; reserve rather than display, deep humility rather than dialectical skill. The Benedictines did not aim so much at unrestrained companionship of free discussion as at self control; not so much at secular-minded fantasy as at much prayer and sharp penance, till self was conquered, and the grace of God reigned, and giants walked the earth. Self-mastery, springing from the basis of a supernatural life, moulded the heart to sanctity, and imparted to the intellect an accuracy of vision which is an act of nature directed and purified by grace. Theodore, Aldhelm, Bede, Boniface, Alcuin, Dunstan, Wilfrid, Stephen, Bernard, Anselm, these names are suggestive of this influence of the monastic system.(I., p. 26.)

It is one of the aims of the book to bring out the view that the prince of scholastics and the king of dialecticians was a man of the purest and deepest “monasticism.” But he was not destined to be as an Anselm, a Bernard, or a Hugh of S. Victor.

The Saint was sent to Naples for the prosecution of his studies, and whilst there he asked for and received the habit of S. Dominic. The author gives a brilliant sketch of Naples as it was under the sway of Frederick II. He then devotes a whole chapter to a “study” of the new orders of S. Francis and S. Dominic, for the purpose of bringing out vividly before the reader the new world that was springing up and the new race of men that the church was calling forth to deal with it. We have no space to quote from this chapter, but, even taken apart from its connection with S. Thomas, it is full of interest and life.

Thus was Thomas of Aquin prepared and equipped; prepared by the great fathers and by S. Benedict, equipped in the armor of the Order of intellectual chivalry. And what was the work before him? Who were his enemies, his friends, his neighbors, his assistants? In answer to these questions we have the chapters on “Abelard, or Rationalism and Irreverence”; on “S. Bernard, or Authority and Reverence”; on the “Schools of S. Victor”; on the “Arabian and the Jewish Influence in Europe”; on “William of S. Amour”; on “Paris and its University”; and on “Albert the Great.” Some of these chapters relate, as will be seen, to men who were not contemporaries of S. Thomas. But if Abelard, and S. Bernard, and William of Champeaux had passed away in the flesh, their influence or their views still lived on when Thomas wrote. And we see the full significance of these chapters on the great schools of thought, orthodox and heterodox, when we arrive at the second [pg 037] volume, and find the author showing in detail how the Angel of the Schools, in some part or other of his voluminous writings, met and refuted every form of prevalent error, and, whilst majestically laying down principles for all ages, never forgot to clear up the difficulties of his own time. The rationalism of Abelard, the emanation doctrines that Arabian subtlety had elaborated out of the reminiscences of the old Gnosticism, the errors of the Greek schismatics, the perversity of the Jews, are all encountered by his never-resting pen, either in some one of his numerous Opuscula, varying in length from an essay to an octavo volume, or else in one or other of his two great Sums, or perhaps in more places than one, the refutation being the more complete as the writing becomes more mature. As for the two greatest and most prominent of his enterprises—the Christianizing of Aristotle and the formation of a complete Sum of theology—it was to be expected that Prior Vaughan should fully enlarge upon them. The chapters on “S. Thomas and Aristotle,” and “S. Thomas and Reason,” in the second volume, form a good introduction to the study of the Angelic Doctor, and at the same time give the enquiring mind some notion of how S. Thomas has performed one of the greatest feats that genius ever accomplished—the successful and consistent “conversion” of the greatest, the most original, and the most precise of heathen philosophers into a hewer of wood and carrier of water for the faith.

We would gladly dwell on the three chapters at the end of Vol. I., in which the writer, in reviewing the writings of the Saint in defence and exaltation of monasticism, gives a useful and spirited history of the whole of that exciting contest which took its beginning in William of S. Amour's book called Perils of the Last Times. It seems really impossible to say how much the religious state, humanly speaking, owes to the man who wrote the book Against Those who attack the Service of God and Religion, and that On the Perfection of the Spiritual Life.

Passing now from the more remote surroundings of the hero of the story to the immediate scene of the greatest portion of his labors, we venture to believe that one of the most popular parts of this work of Prior Vaughan's will be his animated description of the university system of the thirteenth century, and of the University of Paris in particular. He has spared no pains in getting at correct details and putting them artistically together. M. Franklin's splendid and comparatively unknown labors on mediæval Paris have supplied him with matter that will be found nowhere else. Paris is the natural type of the great mediæval university. More central and accessible than Oxford, safer than Bologna, freer than Naples, and founded on a wide and grand basis, the University of Paris soon grew into a formidable assemblage of men who, whilst ostensibly votaries of science, were not unprovided with excitable spirits and rough hands. Students gathered, rich and poor, great doctors taught, munificent founders, like Robert of Sorbon, bestowed their money or their influence, the monks of all orders gathered round silently, and to some extent distrustfully, from Citeaux, from Cluny, even from the Grande Chartreuse, with the Benedictines of S. Germain, the Premonstratensians—their church was where now stands the Café de la Rotonde—and the Augustinians. As for the Dominicans and Franciscans, they, as may be supposed, were [pg 038] early on the spot, to teach quite as much as to learn. The following is a sketch of the men who flocked to the great university—at least of one considerable class:

There were starving, friendless lads, with their unkempt heads and their tattered suits, who walked the streets, hungering for bread, and famishing for knowledge, and hankering after a sight of some of those great doctors, of whom they had heard so much when far away in the woods of Germany or the fields of France. Some were so poor that they could not afford to follow a course of theology. We read of one poor fellow on his death-bed, having nothing else, giving his shoes and stockings to a companion to procure a Mass for his soul. Some were only too glad to carry holy water to private houses, selon la coutume Gallicane, with the hope of receiving some small remuneration. Some were destitute of necessary clothing. One tunic sometimes served for three, who took it in turns—two went to bed, whilst the third dressed himself and hurried off to school. Some spent all their scanty means in buying parchments, and wasted their strength, through half the night, poring over crabbed manuscript, or in puzzling out that jargon which contained the wisdom of the wisest of the Greeks. Whole nights some would remain awake on their hard pallets, in those unhealthy cells, trying to work out some problem proposed by the professor in the schools. But there were rich as well as poor at Paris. There was Langton, like others, famous for his opulence, who taught, and then became Canon of Notre Dame; and Thomas à Becket, who, as a youth, came here to seek the charm of gay society. (I., p. 354.)

Amid all the noise, turmoil, and disputes of the huge colony of students, numbering more thousands than Oxford or Cambridge at this day can show hundreds, the great Dominican convent of S. James was a grand and famous centre of light and work. S. Dominic was not long before he settled in Paris. At first the friars lived in a mean hired lodging, apparently on the Island of Notre Dame. But soon their reputation for poverty and learning attracted the notice of influential benefactors, and they had a house of their own. It was dedicated to S. James the Apostle, and quickly became not only a great monastery but a famous school. The Dominican Order, divinely founded for a want of the time, soon began to show in front of the progress of the age, and to lead instead of following. It was here, in S. James, that Alanus de Insulis and Vincent of Beauvois wrote histories and commentaries; it was here that Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas lectured and wrote; and the crowd of lesser names that are mentioned on its rolls about this time, less distinguished but still distinguished, would take long to enumerate. It was for S. James that S. Dominic himself had framed a body of rules. These rules are most striking, as given in the pages of Prior Vaughan. They show how a saint and monastic legislator feels the “form and pressure” of the times, and how he provides for a new feature in monasticism. To read these rules, one feels tempted to say that the Dominicans sacrificed everything to give their men a first-rate course of studies. But we must remember the midnight vigil and the perpetual absence and the long silence. Still, the cloisters of S. James were different enough from those of Monte Casino. There was a great hall at S. James', where professors taught and whither students thronged to hear—how different from the remote cloister of Jarrow, where Venerable Bede taught his younger brethren for so many years on the quiet flats between the Wear and the Tyne! The cells knew the light of the midnight lamp, the cloisters resounded with disputation, the young students of the Order [pg 039] were men of few books—a Bible, a copy of the Historia of Petrus Comestor and of the Sentences of Peter Lombard, was all their private library. But half the day was spent face to face with a professor and with each other, and the want of books was not much felt. And what an education it must have been to listen to and take down the Summa contra Gentiles of the Angel of the Schools! As we have said, the whole of these two chapters is instinct with the liveliest description, and we cannot do better than recommend readers to go to it and judge for themselves.

We must reserve what we have not yet touched upon, viz., the personal life of the Saint himself, for another notice. It must not be supposed that Prior Vaughan passes over the person of S. Thomas in his anxiety to show us what sort of a world he lived in. It will soon be seen, on making some slight acquaintance with the book, that the strictly biographical portion is in reality most successful; the story is well told, and, like all stories of sanctity and supernatural heroism, goes straight to the heart.

Without saying that Prior Vaughan's two volumes partake of the nature of the perfect, we frankly say we do not intend to find faults in it. We welcome it, and it deserves to be welcomed by every Catholic that can read it. There are, of course, defects and a few errors here and there; but the book lays down no false principles, takes no dangerous views, and patronizes no pernicious mistakes. On the other hand, it deals with a wide theme in a large way. In language which, if at times too copious, is nevertheless frequently eloquent and always easy and fluent, the writer raises the life of a saint into a picture of a world-epoch. He has labored very hard at his authorities and sources, and when the book gets into use many students, we are sure, will thank him for his copious references and notes. His imagination is of a high order, and his picture-loving power is seen in the way in which he sketches with an epithet, puts together the elements that he finds up and down the old authors, and shakes the dust and the mildew from valuable bits of ancient chronicle, so that they look bright again. The Hon. John L. Motley is in the front rank of modern historians, and to compare any writer with him is to give praise that one must think much before giving; but if we wished to indicate the genre of Prior Vaughan's style—its pictorial power, its realism, and its tone of earnest conviction—we should mention the name of the historian of the Netherlands. The two writers are very unlike in their convictions; and Mr. Motley has, no doubt, a perfection and finish of art which few writers can approach. But still Prior Vaughan is quite fit to be named in the same sentence. And a book which has cost so many hours of thought and labor, which aims so high, which is so really the work of a man with views and with a power to express himself, and which deals with a subject that can never lose its interest, but one which, if we do not mistake, is as yet only at the beginning of a grand revival, is a book to be welcomed, to be read, and to be thankful for.

[pg 040]

The Progressionists.

From The German Of Conrad Von Bolanden.

Chapter V.

Gerlach whispered something to the banker. Holt pressed his pocket-handkerchief to the wound.

“Please yourself!” said the banker loudly in a business tone. Seraphin again approached the beaten man.

“Will you please, my good man, to accompany us?”

“What for, sir?”

“Because I would like to do something towards healing up your wound; I mean the wound in there.”

Holt stood motionless before the stranger and looked at him.

“I thank you, sir; there is no remedy for me; I am doomed!”

“Still, I will assist you. Follow me.”

“Who are you, sir, if I may ask the question?”

“I am a man whom Providence seems to have chosen to rescue the prey from the jaws of a usurer. Come along with us, and fear nothing.”

“Very well, I will go in the name of God! I do not precisely know your object, and you are a stranger to me. But your countenance looks innocent and kind, therefore I will go with you.”

They passed through alleys and streets.

“Do you often visit that tavern?” inquired Seraphin.

“Not six times in a year,” answered Holt. “Sometimes of a Sunday I drink half a glass of wine, that's all. I am poor, and have to be saving. I would not have gone to the tavern to-day but that I wanted to get rid of my feelings of misery.”

“I overheard your story,” rejoined Seraphin. “Shund's treatment of you was inhuman. He behaved towards you like a trickish devil.”

“That he did! And I am ruined together with my family,” replied the poor man dejectedly.

“Take my advice, and never abuse Shund. You know how respectable he has suddenly got to be, how many influential friends he has. You can easily perceive that one cannot say anything unfavorable of such a man without great risk, no matter were it true ten times over.”

“I am not given to disputing,” replied Holt. “But it stirred the bile within me to hear him extolled, and it broke out. Oh! I have learned to suffer in silence. I haven't time to think of other matters. After God, my business and my family were my only care. I attended to my occupation faithfully and quietly as long as I had any to attend to, but now I haven't any to take care of. O God! it is hard. It will bring me to the grave.”

“You are a land cultivator?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Shund intends to have you sold out?”

“Yes; immediately after the election he intends to complete my ruin.”

“How much money would you need in order with industry to get along?”

“A great deal of money, a great deal—at least a thousand florins. I have given him a mortgage for a thousand florins on my house and [pg 041] what was left to me. A thousand florins would suffice to help me out of trouble. I might save my little cottage, my two cows, and a field. I might then plough and sow for other people. I could get along and subsist honestly. But as I told you, nothing less than a thousand florins would do; and where am I to get so much money? You see there is no hope for me, no help for me. I am doomed!”

“The mortgaged property is considerable,” said Gerlach. “A house, even though a small one, moreover, a field, a barn, a garden, all these together are surely worth a much higher price. Could you not borrow a thousand florins on it and pay off the usurer?”

“No, sir. Nobody would be willing to lend me that amount of money upon property mortgaged to a man like Shund. Besides, my little property is out of town, and who wants to go there? I, for my part, of course, like no spot as much, for it is the house my father built, and I was born and brought up there.”

The man lapsed into silence, and walked at Seraphin's side like one weighed down by a heavy load. The delicate sympathy of the young man enabled him to guess what was passing in the breast of the man under the load. He knew that Holt was recalling his childhood passed under the paternal roof; that little spot of home was hallowed for him by events connected with his mother, his father, his brothers and sisters, or with other objects more trifling, which, however, remained fresh and bright in memory, like balmy days of spring.

From this consecrated spot he was to be exiled, driven out with wife and children, through the inhumanity and despicable cunning of an usurer. The man heaved a deep sigh, and Gerlach, watching him sidewise, noticed his lips were compressed, and that large tears rolled down his weather-browned cheeks. The tender heart of the young man was deeply affected at this sight, and the millionaire for once rejoiced in the consciousness of possessing the might of money.

They halted before the Palais Greifmann. Holt noticed with surprise how the man in blouse drew from his waistcoat pocket a small instrument resembling a toothpick, and with it opened a door near the carriage gate. Had not every shadow of suspicion been driven from Holt's mind by Seraphin's appearance, he would surely have believed that he had fallen into the company of burglars, who entrapped him to aid in breaking into this palace.

Reluctantly, after repeated encouragement from Gerlach, he crossed the threshold of the stately mansion. He had not quite passed the door when he took off his cap, stared at the costly furniture of the hall through which they were passing, and was reminded of St. Peter's thought as the angel was rescuing him from the clutches of Herod. Holt imagined he saw a vision. The man who had unlocked the door disappeared. Seraphin entered an apartment followed by Shund's victim.

“Do you know where you are?” inquired the millionaire.

“Yes, sir, in the house of Mr. Greifmann the banker.”

“And you are somewhat surprised, are you not?”

“I am so much astonished, sir, that I have several times pinched my arms and legs, for it all seems to me like a dream.”

Seraphin smiled and laid aside his cap. Holt scanned the noble features of the young man more minutely, his handsome face, his stately [pg 042] bearing, and concluded the man in the blouse must be some distinguished gentleman.

“Take courage,” said the noble-looking young man in a kindly tone. “You shall be assisted. I am convinced that you are an honest, industrious man, brought to the verge of ruin through no fault of your own. Nor do I blame you for inadvertently falling into the nets of the usurer, for I believe your honest nature never suspected that there could exist so fiendish a monster as the one that lives in the soul of an usurer.”

“You may rely upon it, sir. If I had had the slightest suspicion of such a thing, Shund never would have got me into his clutches.”

“I am convinced of it. You are partially the victim of your own good nature, and partially the prey of the wild beast Shund. Now listen to me: Suppose somebody were to give you a thousand florins, and to say: ‘Holt, take this money, 'tis yours. Be industrious, get along, be a prudent housekeeper, serve God to the end of your days, and in future beware of usurers’—suppose somebody were to address you in this way, what would you do?”

“Supposing the case, sir, although it is not possible, but supposing the case, what would I do? I would do precisely what that person would have told me, and a great deal more. I would work day and night. Every day, at evening prayer, I would get on my knees with my wife and children, and invoke God's protection on that person. I would do that, sir; but, as I said, the case is impossible.”

“Nevertheless, suppose it did happen,” explained Seraphin in a preliminary way. “Give me your hand that you will fulfil the promise you have just given.”

For a moment Seraphin's hand lay in a callous, iron palm, which pressed his soft fingers in an uncomfortable but well-meant grasp.

“Well, now follow me,” said Gerlach.

He led the way; Holt followed with an unsteady step like a drunken man. They presented themselves before the banker's counter. The latter was standing behind the trellis of his desk, and on a table lay ten rolls of money.

“You have just now by word and hand confirmed a promise,” said Gerlach, turning to the countryman, “which cannot be appreciated in money, for that promise comprises almost all the duties of the father of a family. But to make the fulfilment of the promise possible, a thousand florins are needed. Here lies the money. Accept it from me as a gift, and be happy.”

Holt did not stir. He looked from the money at Gerlach, was motionless and rigid, until, at last, the paralyzing surprise began to resolve itself into a spasmodic quivering of the lips, and then into a mighty flood of tears. Seizing Seraphin's hands, he kissed them with an emotion that convulsed his whole being.

“That will do now,” said the millionaire, “take the money, and go home.”

“My God! I cannot find utterance,” said Holt, stammering forth the words with difficulty. “Good heaven! is it possible? Is it true? I am still thinking 'tis only a dream.”

“Downright reality, my man!” said the banker. “Stop crying; save your tears for a more fitting occasion. Put the rolls in your pocket, and go home.”

Greifmann's coldness was effective in sobering down the man intoxicated with joy.

“May I ask, sir, what your name [pg 043] is, that I may at least know to whom I owe my rescue?”

“Seraphin is my name.”

“Your name sounds like an angel's, and you are an angel to me. I am not acquainted with you, but God knows you, and he will requite you according to your deeds.”

Gerlach nodded gravely. The banker was impatient and murmured discontentedly. Holt carefully pocketed the rolls of money, made an inclination of gratitude to Gerlach, and went out. He passed slowly through the hall. The porter opened the door. Holt stood still before him.

“I ask your pardon, but do you know Mr. Seraphin?” asked he.

“Why shouldn't I know a gentleman that has been our guest for the last two weeks?”

“You must pardon my presumption, Mr. Porter. Will Mr. Seraphin remain here much longer?”

“He will remain another week for certain.”

“I am very much obliged to you,” said Holt, passing into the street and hurrying away.

“Your intended has a queer way of applying his money,” said the banker to his sister the next morning. And he reported to her the story of Seraphin's munificence. “I do not exactly like this sort of kindness, for it oversteps all bounds, and undoubtedly results from religious enthusiasm.”

“That, too, can be cured,” replied Louise confidently. “I will make him understand that eternity restores nothing, that consequently it is safer and more prudent to exact interest from the present.”

“'Tis true, the situation of that fellow Holt was a pitiable one, and Hans Shund's treatment of him was a masterpiece of speculation. He had stripped the fellow completely. The stupid Holt had for years been laboring for the cunning Shund, who continued drawing his meshes more and more tightly about him. Like a huge spider, he leisurely sucked out the life of the fly he had entrapped.”

“Your hostler says there was light in Seraphin's room long after midnight. I wonder what hindered him from sleeping?”

“That is not hard to divine. In all probability he was composing a sentimental ditty to his much adored,” answered Carl teasingly. “Midnight is said to be a propitious time for occupations of that sort.”

“Do be quiet, you tease! But I too was thinking that he must have been engaged in writing. May be he was making a memorandum of yesterday's experience in his journal.”

“May be he was. At all events, the impressions made on him were very strong.”

“But I do not like your venture; it may turn out disastrous.”

“How can it, my most learned sister?”

“You know Seraphin's position,” explained she. “He has been reared in the rigor of sectarian credulity. The spirit of modern civilization being thus abruptly placed before his one-sided judgment without previous preparation may alarm, nay, may even disgust him. And when once he will have perceived that the brother is a partisan of the horrible monster, is it probable that he will feel favorably disposed towards the sister whose views harmonize with those of her brother?”

“I have done nothing to justify him in setting me down for a partisan. I maintain strict neutrality. My purpose is to accustom the weakling to the atmosphere of enlightenment which is fatal to all religious phantasms. Have no fear of [pg 044] his growing cold towards you,” proceeded he in his customary tone of irony. “Your ever victorious power holds him spell-bound in the magic circle of your enchantment. Besides, Louise,” continued he, frowning, “I do not think I could tolerate a brother-in-law steeped over head and ears in prejudices. You yourself might find it highly uncomfortable to live with a husband of this kind.”

“Uncomfortable! No, I would not. I would find it exciting, for it would become my task to train and cultivate an abnormal specimen of the male gender.”

“Very praiseworthy, sister! And if I now endeavor by means of living illustrations to familiarize your intended with the nature of modern intellectual enlightenment, I am merely preparing the way for your future labors.”

Chapter VI. Masters and Slaves.

Under the much despised discipline of religious requirements, the child Seraphin had grown up to boyhood spotless in morals, and then had developed himself into a young man of great firmness of character, whose faith was as unshaken as the correctness of his behavior was constant.

The bloom of his cheeks, the innocent brightness of his eye, the suavity of his disposition, were the natural results of the training which his heart had received. No foul passion had ever disturbed the serenity of his soul. When under the smiling sky of a spring morning he took his ride over the extensive possessions of his father, his interior accorded perfectly with the peace and loveliness of the sights and sounds of blooming nature around him. On earth, however, no spring, be it ever so beautiful, is entirely safe from storms. Evil spirits lie in waiting in the air, dark powers threaten destruction to all blossoms and all incipient life. And the more inevitable is the dread might of those lurking spirits, that in every blossom of living plant lies concealed a germ of ruin, sleeps a treacherous passion—even in the heart of the innocent Seraphin.

The strategic arts of the beautiful young lady received no small degree of additional power from the genuine effort made by her to please the stately double millionaire. In a short time she was to such an extent successful that one day Carl rallied her in the following humorous strain: “Your intended is sitting in the arbor singing a most dismal song! You will have to allow him a little more line, Louise, else you run the risk of unsettling his brain. Moreover, I cannot be expected to instruct a man in the mysteries of progress, if he sees, feels, and thinks nothing but Louise.”

The banker had not uttered an exaggeration. It sometimes happens that a first love bursts forth with an impetuosity so uncontrollable, that, for a time, every other domain of the intellectual and moral nature of a young man is, as it were, submerged under a mighty flood. This temporary inundation of passion cannot, of course, maintain its high tide in presence of calm experience, and the sunshine of more ripened knowledge soon dries up its waters. But Seraphin possessed only the scanty experience of a young man, and his knowledge of the world was also [pg 045] very limited. Hence, in his case, the stream rose alarmingly high, but it did not reach an overflow, for the hand of a pious mother had thrown up in the heart of the child a living dike strong enough to resist the greatest violence of the swell. The height and solidity of the dike increased with the growth of the child; it was a bulwark of defence for the man, who stood secure against humiliating defeats behind the adamantine wall of religious principles—yet only so long as he sought protection behind this bulwark. Faith uttered a serious warning against an unconditional surrender of himself to the object of his attachment. For he could not put to rest some misgivings raised in his mind by the strange and, to him, inexplicable attitude which Louise assumed upon the highest questions of human existence. The uninitiated youth had no suspicion of the existence of that most disgusting product of modern enlightenment, the emancipated female. Had he discovered in Louise the emancipated woman in all the ugliness of her real nature, he would have conceived unutterable loathing for such a monstrosity. And yet he could not but feel that between himself and Louise there yawned an abyss, there existed an essential repulsion, which, at times, gave rise within him to considerable uneasiness.

To obtain a solution of the enigma of this antipathy, the young gentleman concluded to trust entirely to the results of his observations, which, however, were far from being definitive; for his reason was imposed upon by his feelings, and, from day to day, the charms of the beautiful woman were steadily progressing in throwing a seductive spell over his judgment.

The banker's daughter possessed a high degree of culture; she was a perfect mistress of the tactics employed on the field of coquetry; her tact was exquisite; and she understood thoroughly how to take advantage of a kindly disposition and of the tenderness inspired by passion. How was the eye of Seraphin, strengthened neither by knowledge nor by experience, to detect the true worth of what lay hidden beneath this fascinating delusion?

Here again his religious training came to the rescue of the inexperienced youth, by furnishing him with standards safe and unfalsified, by which to weigh and come to a conclusion.

Louise's indifference to practices of piety annoyed him. She never attended divine service, not even on Sundays. He never saw her with a prayer-book, nor was a single picture illustrative of a moral subject to be found hung up in her apartment. Her conversation, at all times, ran upon commonplaces of everyday concern, such as the toilet, theatre, society. He noticed that whenever he ventured to launch matter of a more serious import upon the current of conversation, it immediately became constrained and soon ceased to flow. Louise appeared to his heart at the same time so fascinating and yet so peculiar, so seductive and yet so repulsive, that the contradictions of her being caused him to feel quite unhappy.

He was again sitting in his room thinking about her. In the interview he had just had with her, the young lady had exerted such admirable powers of womanly charms that the poor young man had had a great deal of trouble to maintain his self-possession. Her ringing, mischievous laugh was still sounding in his ears, and the brightness of her sparkling eyes was still lighting up his memory. [pg 046] And the unsuspecting youth had no Solomon at his side to repeat to him: “My son, can a man hide fire in his bosom, and his garments not burn? Or can he walk upon hot coals, and his feet not be burnt?... She entangleth him with many words, and she draweth him away with the flattery of her lips. Immediately he followeth her as an ox led to be a victim, and as a lamb playing the wanton, and not knowing that he is drawn like a fool to bonds, till the arrow pierce his liver. As if a bird should make haste to the snare, and knoweth not that his life is in danger. Now, therefore, my son, hear me, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thy mind be drawn away in her ways: neither be thou deceived with her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded, and the strongest have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, reaching even to the inner chambers of death.”3

For Seraphin, however, no Solomon was at hand who might give him counsel. Sustained by his virtue and by his faith alone, he struggled against the temptress, not precisely of the kind referred to by Solomon, but still a dangerous one from the ranks of progress.

Greifmann had notified him that the general assembly election was to be held that day, that Mayor Hans Shund would certainly be returned as a delegate, and that he intended to call for Gerlach, and go out to watch the progress of the election.

Seraphin felt rather indifferent respecting the election; but he would have considered himself under weighty obligation to the brother for an explanation of the peculiar behavior of the sister at which he was so greatly perplexed.

Carl himself he had for a while regarded as an enigma. Now, however, he believed that he had reached a correct conclusion concerning the brother. It appeared to him that the principal characteristic of Carl's disposition was to treat every subject, except what strictly pertained to business, in a spirit of levity. To the faults of others Carl was always ready to accord a praiseworthy degree of indulgence, he never uttered harsh words in a tone of bitterness, and when he pronounced censure, his reproof was invariably clothed in some form of pleasantry. In general, he behaved like a man not having time to occupy himself seriously with any subject that did not lie within the particular sphere of his occupation. Even their wager he managed like a matter of business, although the landowner could not but take umbrage at the banker's ready and natural way of dealing with men whose want of principle he himself abominated. Greifmann seemed good-natured, minute, and cautious in business, and in all other things exceedingly liberal and full of levity. Such was the judgment arrived at by Seraphin, inexperienced and little inclined to fault-finding as he was, respecting a gentleman who stood at the summit of modern culture, who had skill in elegantly cloaking great faults and foibles, and whose sole religion consisted in the accumulation of papers and coins of arbitrary value.

Gerlach's servant entered, and disturbed his meditation.

“There is a man here with a family who begs hard to be allowed to speak with you.”

“A man with a family!” repeated the millionaire, astonished. “I know nobody round here, and have no desire to form acquaintances.”

“The man will not be denied. He [pg 047] says his name is Holt, and that he has something to say to you.”

“Ah, yes!” exclaimed Seraphin, with a smile that revealed a pleasant surprise. “Send the man and those who are with him in to me.”

Closing a diary, in which he was recording circumstantially the experiences of his present visit, he awaited the visitors. A loud knock from a weighty fist reminded him of a pair of callous hands, then Holt, followed by his wife and children, presented himself before his benefactor. They all made a small courtesy, even the flaxen-headed little children, and the bright, healthy babe in the arms of the mother met his gaze with the smile of an angel. The dark spirits that were hovering around him, torturing and tempting, instantly vanished, and he became serene and unconstrained whilst conversing with these simple people.

“You must excuse us, Mr. Seraphin,” began Holt. “This is my wife, and these are seven of my children. There is one more; her name is Mechtild. She had to stay at home and mind the house. She will pay you an extra visit, and present her thanks. We have called that you might become acquainted with the family whom you have rescued, and that we might thank you with all our hearts.”

After this speech, the father gave a signal, whereupon the little ones gathered around the amiable young man, made their courtesies, and kissed his hands.

“May God bless you, Mr. Seraphin!” first spoke a half-grown girl.

“We greet you, dear Seraphin!” said another, five years old.

“We pray for you every day, Mr. Seraphin,” said the next in succession.

“We are thankful to you from our hearts, Mr. Seraphin,” spoke a small lad, in a tone of deep earnestness.

And thus did every child deliver its little address. It was touching to witness the noble dignity of the children, which may, at times, be found beautifully investing their innocence. Gerlach was moved. He looked down upon the little ones around him with an expression of affectionate thankfulness. Holt's lips also quivered, and bright tears of happiness streamed from the eyes of the mother.

“I am obliged to you, my little friends, for your greetings and for your prayers,” spoke the millionaire. “You are well brought up. Continue always to be good children, such as you now are; have the fear of God, and honor your parents.”

“Mr. Seraphin,” said Holt, drawing a paper from his pocket, “here is the note that I have redeemed with the money you gave me. I wanted to show it to you, so that you might know for certain that the money had been applied to the proper purpose.”

Gerlach affected to take an interest in the paper, and read over the receipt.

“But there is one thing, Mr. Seraphin,” continued Holt, “that grieves me. And that is, that there is not anything better than mere words with which I can testify my gratitude to you. I would like ever so much to do something for you—to do something for you worth speaking of. Do you know, Mr. Seraphin, I would be willing to shed the last drop of my blood for you?”

“Never mind that, Holt! It is ample recompense for me to know that I have helped a worthy man out of trouble. You can now, Mrs. Holt, set to work with renewed courage. But,” added he archly, “you will have to watch your husband that he may not again fall into the clutches of beasts of prey like Shund.”

[pg 048]

“He has had to pay dearly for his experience, Mr. Seraphin. I used often to say to him: ‘Michael, don't trust Shund. Shund talks too much, he is too sweet altogether, he has some wicked design upon us—don't trust him.’ But, you see, Mr. Seraphin, my husband thinks that all people are as upright as he is himself, and he believed that Shund really meant to deal fairly as he pretended. But Michael's wits are sharpened now, and he will not in future be so ready to believe every man upon his word. Nor will he, hereafter, borrow one single penny, and he will never again undertake to buy anything unless he has the money in hand to pay for it.”

“In what street do you live?” inquired Gerlach.

“Near the turnpike road, Mr. Seraphin. Do you see that knoll?” He pointed through the window in a direction unobstructed by the trees of the garden. “Do you see that dense shade-tree, and yon white-washed wall behind the tree? That is our walnut-tree—my grandfather planted it. And the white wall is the wall of our house.”

“I have passed there twice—the road leads to the beech grove,” said the millionaire. “I remarked the little cottage, and was much pleased with its air of neatness. It struck me, too, that the barn is larger than the dwelling, which is a creditable sign for a farmer. Near the front entrance there is a carefully cultivated flower garden, in which I particularly admired the roses, and further off from the road lies an apple orchard.”

“All that belongs to us. That is what you have rescued and made a present of to us,” replied the land cultivator joyfully. “Everybody stops to view the roses; they belong to our daughter Mechtild.”

“The soil is good and deep, and must bring splendid crops of wheat. I, too, am a farmer, and understand something about such matters. But it appeared to me as though the soil were of a cold nature. You should use lime upon it pretty freely.”

In this manner he spent some time conversing with these good and simple people. Before dismissing them, he made a present to every one of the children of a shining dollar, having previously overcome Holt's protest against this new instance of generosity.

Old and young then courtesied once more, and Gerlach was left to himself in a mood differing greatly from that in which the visitors had found him.

He had been conversing with good and happy people, and his soul revelled in the consciousness of having been the originator of their happiness.

Suddenly Greifmann's appearance in the room put to flight the bright spirits that hovered about him, and the sunshine that had been lighting up the apartment was obscured by dark shadows as of a heavy mass of clouds.

“What sort of a horde was that?” asked he.

“They were Holt and his family. The gratitude of these simple people was touching. The innocent little ones gave me an ovation of which a prince might be envious, for the courts of princes are never graced by a naturalness at once so sincere and so beautiful. It is an intense happiness for me to have assured the livelihood of ten human beings with so paltry a gift.”

“A mere matter of taste, my most sympathetic friend!” rejoined the banker with indifference. “You are not made of the proper stuff to be a business man. Your feelings would easily tempt you into very unbusinesslike [pg 049] transactions. But you must come with me! The hubbub of the election is astir through all the streets and thoroughfares. I am going out to discharge my duties as a citizen, and I want you to accompany me.”

“I have no inclination to see any more of this disgusting turmoil,” replied Gerlach.

“Inclination or disinclination is out of the question when interest demands it,” insisted the banker. “You must profit by the opportunity which you now have of enriching your knowledge of men and things, or rather of correcting it; for heretofore your manner of viewing things has been mere ideal enthusiasm. Come with me, my good fellow!”

Seraphin followed with interior reluctance. Greifmann went on to impart to him the following information:

“During the past night, there have sprung up, as if out of the earth, a most formidable host, ready to do battle against the uniformly victorious army of progress—men thoroughly armed and accoutred, real crusaders. A bloody struggle is imminent. Try and make of your heart a sort of monitor covered with plates of iron, so that you may not be overpowered by the horrifying spectacle of the election affray. I am not joking at all! True as gospel, what I tell you! If you do not want to be stifled by indignation at sight of the fiercest kind of terrorism, of the most revolting tyranny, you will have to lay aside, at least for to-day, every feeling of humanity.”

Gerlach perceived a degree of seriousness in the bubbling current of Greifmann's levity.

“Who is the enemy that presumes to stand in the way of progress?” enquired he.

“The ultramontanes! Listen to what I have to tell you. This morning Schwefel came in to get a check cashed. With surprise I observed that the manufacturer's soul was not in business. ‘How are things going?’ asked I when we had got through.

“ ‘I feel like a man,’ exclaimed he, ‘that has just seen a horrible monster! Would you believe it, those accursed ultramontanes have been secretly meddling in the election. They have mustered a number of votes, and have even gone so far as to have a yellow ticket printed. Their yellow placards were to be seen this morning stuck up at every street corner—of course they were immediately torn down.’

“ ‘And are you provoked at that, Mr. Schwefel! You certainly are not going to deny the poor ultramontanes the liberty of existing, or, at least, the liberty of voting for whom they please?’

“ ‘Yes, I am, I am! That must not be tolerated,’ cried he wildly. ‘The black brood are hatching dark schemes, they are conspiring against civilization, and would fain wrest from us the trophies won by progress. It is high time to apply the axe to the root of the upas-tree. Our duty is to disinfect thoroughly, to banish the absurdities of religious dogma from our schools. The black spawn will have to be rendered harmless: we must kill them politically.’

“ ‘Very well,’ said I. ‘Just make negroes of them. Now that in America the slaves are emancipated, Europe would perhaps do well to take her turn at the slave-trade.’ But the fellow would not take my joke. He made threatening gesticulations, his eyes gleamed like hot coals, and he muttered words of a belligerent import.

“ ‘The ultramontane rabble are to hold a meeting at the “Key of Heaven,” ’ reported he. ‘There the stupid victims of credulity are to be [pg 050] harangued by several of their best talkers. The black tide is afterwards to diffuse itself through the various wards where the voting is to take place. But let the priest-ridden slaves come, they will have other memoranda to carry home with them beside their yellow rags of tickets.’

“You perceive, friend Seraphin, that the progress men mean mischief. We may expect to witness scenes of violence.”

“That is unjustifiable brutality on the part of the progressionists,” declared Gerlach indignantly. “Are not the ultramontanes entitled to vote and to receive votes? Are they not free citizens? Do they not enjoy the same privileges as others? It is a disgrace and an outrage thus to tyrannize over men who are their brothers, sons of Germania, their common mother.”

“Granted! Violence is disgraceful. The intention of progress, however, is not quite as bad as you think it. Being convinced of its own infallibility, it cannot help feeling indignant at the unbelief of ultramontanism, which continues deaf to the saving truths of the progressionist gospel. Hence a holy zeal for making converts urges progress so irresistibly that it would fain force wanderers into the path of salvation by violence. This is simply human, and should not be regarded as unpardonable. In the self-same spirit did my namesake Charles the Great butcher the Saxons because the besotted heathens presumed to entertain convictions differing from his own. And those who were not butchered had to see their sacred groves cut down, their altars demolished, their time-honored laws changed, and had to resign themselves to following the ways which he thought fit to have opened through the land of the Saxons. You cannot fail to perceive that Charles the Great was a member of the school of progress.”

“But your comparison is defective,” opposed the millionaire. “Charles subdued a wild and blood-thirsty horde who made it a practice to set upon and butcher peaceful neighbors. Charles was the protector of the realm, and the Saxons were forced to bend under the weight of his powerful arm. If Charles, however, did violence to the consciences of his vanquished enemies, and converted them to Christianity with the sword and mace, then Charles himself is not to be excused, for moral freedom is expressly proclaimed by the spirit of Christianity.”

“There is no doubt but that the Saxons were blundering fools for rousing the lion by making inroads into Charles' domain. The ultramontanes, are, however, in a similar situation. They have attacked the giant Progress, and have themselves to blame for the consequences.”

“The ultramontanes have attacked nobody,” maintained Gerlach. “They are merely asserting their own rights, and are not putting restrictions on the rights of other people. But progress will concede neither rights nor freedom to others. It is a disgusting egotist, an unscrupulous tyrant, that tries to build up his own brutal authority on the ruins of the rights of others.”

“Still, it would have been far more prudent on the part of the ultramontanes to keep quiet, seeing that their inferiority of numbers cannot alter the situation. The indisputable rights of the ascendency are in our days with the sceptre and crown of progress.”

“A brave man never counts the foe,” cried Gerlach. “He stands to his convictions, and behaves manfully in the struggle.”

“Well said!” applauded the [pg 051] banker. “And since progress also is forced by the opposition of principles to man itself for the contest, it will naturally beat up all its forces in defence of its conviction. Here we are at the ‘Key of Heaven,’ where the ultramontanes are holding their meeting. Let us go in, for the proverb says, Audiatur et altera pars—the other side should also get a hearing.”

They drew near to a lengthy old building. Over the doorway was a pair of crossed keys hewn out of stone, and gilt, informing the stranger that it was the hostelry of the “Key of Heaven,” where, since the days of hoar antiquity, hospitality was dispensed to pilgrims and travellers. The principal hall of the house contained a gathering of about three hundred men. They were attentively listening to the words of a speaker who was warmly advocating the principles of his party. The speaker stood behind a desk which was placed upon a platform at the far end of the hall.

Seraphin cast a glance over the assembly. He received the painful impression of a hopeless minority. Barely forty votes would the ultramontanes be able to send to each of the wards. To compensate for numbers, intelligence and faith were represented in the meeting. Elegant gentlemen with intellectual countenances sat or stood in the company of respectable tradesmen, and the long black coats of the clergy were not few in number. On a table lay two packages of yellow tickets to be distributed among the members of the assembly. At the same table sat the chairman, a commissary of police named Parteiling, whose business it was to watch the proceedings, and several other gentlemen.

“Compared with the colossal preponderance of progress, our influence is insignificant, and, compared with the masses of our opponents our numerical strength is still less encouraging,” said the speaker. “If in connection with this disheartening fact you take into consideration the pressure which progress has it in its power to exert on the various relations of life through numerous auxiliary means, if you remember that our opponents can dismiss from employment all such as dare uphold views differing from their own, it becomes clear that no ordinary amount of courage is required to entertain and proclaim convictions hostile to progress.”

Seraphin thought of Spitzkopf's mode of electioneering, and of the terrible threats made to the “wild men,” and concluded the incredible statement was lamentably correct.

“Viewing things in this light,” proceeded the orator, “I congratulate the present assembly upon its unusual degree of pluck, for courage is required to go into battle with a clear knowledge of the overwhelming strength of the enemy. We have rallied round the banner of our convictions notwithstanding that the numbers of the enemy make victory hopeless. We are determined to cast our votes in support of religion and morality in defiance of the scorn, blasphemy, and violence which the well-known terrorism of progress will not fail to employ in order to frighten us from the exercise of our privilege as citizens. We must be prepared, gentlemen, to hear a multitude of sarcastic remarks and coarse witticisms, both in the streets and at the polls. I adjure you to maintain the deportment alone worthy of our cause. A gentleman never replies to the aggressions of rudeness, and should you wish to take the conduct of our opponents in gay good-humor, just try, gentlemen, to fancy that [pg 052] you are being treated to some elegant exhibition of the refinement and liberal culture of the times.”

Loud bursts of hilarity now and then relieved the seriousness of the meeting. Even Greifmann would clap applause and cry, “Bravo!”

“Let us stand united to a man, prepared against all the wiles of intimidation and corruption, undismayed by the onset of the enemy. The struggle is grave beyond expression. For you are acquainted with the aims and purposes of the liberals. Progress would like to sweep away all the religious heritages that our fathers held sacred. Education is to be violently wrested from under the influence of the church; the church herself is to be enslaved and strangled in the thrall of the liberal state. I am aware that our opponents pretend to respect religion—but the religion of would-be progress is infidelity. Divine revelation, of which the church is the faithful guardian, is rejected with scorn by liberalism. Look at the tone of the press and the style of the literature of the day. You have only to notice the derision and fierceness with which the press daily assails the mysteries and dogmas of religion, the Sovereign Pontiff, the clergy, religious orders, the ultramontanes, and you cannot long remain in the dark concerning the aim and object of progress. Christ or Antichrist is the watchword of the day, gentlemen! Hence the imperative duty for us to be active at the elections; for the legislature has the presumption to wish to dictate in matters belonging exclusively to the jurisdiction of the church. We are threatened with school laws the purpose of which is to unchristianize our children, to estrange them from the spirit of religion. No man having the sentiment of religion can remain indifferent in presence of this danger, for it means nothing less than the defection from Christianity of the masses of the coming generation.

“Gentlemen, there is a reproach being uttered just now by the progressionist press, which, far from repelling, I would feel proud to deserve. A priest should have said, so goes the report, that it is a mortal sin to elect a progressionist to the chamber of deputies. Some of the writers of our press have met this reproach by simply denying that a priest ever expressed himself in those terms. But, gentlemen, let us take for granted that a priest did actually say that it is a mortal sin to elect a progressionist to the chamber of deputies, is there anything opposed to morality in such a declaration?

“By no means, if you remember that it is to be presumed the progressionist will use his vote in the assembly to oppose religion. Mortal sin, gentlemen, is any wilful transgression of God's law in grave matters. Now I put it to you: Does he gravely transgress the law of God who controverts what God has revealed, who would exclude God and all holy subjects from the schools, who would rob the church of her independence, and make of her a mere state machine unfit for the fulfilment of her high mission? There is not one of you but is ready to declare: ‘Yes, such an one transgresses grievously the law of God.’ This answer at the same time solves the other question, whether it is a mortal sin to put arms in the hands of an enemy of religion that he may use them against faith and morality. Would that all men of Christian sentiment seriously adverted to this connection of things and acted accordingly, the baneful sway of the pernicious spirit that governs the age would soon be at an end; for I have confidence in the sound sense and moral rectitude of the [pg 053] German people. Heathenism is repugnant to the deeply religious nature of our nation; the German people do not wish to dethrone God, nor are they ready to bow the knee before the empty idol of a soulless enlightenment.”

Here the speaker was interrupted by a tumult. A band of factorymen, yelling and laughing, rushed into the hall to disturb the meeting. All eyes were immediately turned upon the rioters. In every countenance indignation could be seen kindling at this outrage of the liberals. The commissary of police alone sat motionless as a statue. The progressionist rioters elbowed their way into the crowd, and, when the excitement caused by this strategic movement had subsided, the speaker resumed his discourse.

“For a number of years back our conduct has been misrepresented and calumniated. They call us men of no nationality, and pretend that we get our orders from Rome. This reproach does honor neither to the intelligence nor to the judgment of our opponents. Whence dates the division of Germany into discordant factions? When began the present faint and languishing condition of our fatherland? From the moment when it separated from Rome. So long as Germany continued united in the bond of the same holy faith, and the voice of the head of the church was hearkened to by every member of her population, her sovereigns held the golden apple, the symbol of universal empire. Our nation was then the mightiest, the proudest, the most glorious upon earth. The church who speaks through the Sovereign Pontiff had civilized the fierce sons of Germany, had conjured the hatred and feuds of hostile tribes, had united the interests and energies of our people in one holy faith, and had ennobled and enriched German genius through the spirit of religion. The church had formed out of the chaos of barbarism the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation—that gigantic and wonderful organization the like of which the world will never see again. But the church has long since been deprived of the leadership in German affairs, and what in consequence is now the condition of our fatherland? It is divided into discordant factions, it is an ailing trunk, with many members, but without a head.

“It is rather amusing that the ultramontanes should be charged with receiving orders from Rome, for the voice of the Father of Christianity has not been heard for many years back in the council of state.”

“Hurrah for the Syllabus!” cried Spitzkopf, who was at the head of the rioters. “Hurrah for the Syllabus!” echoed his gang, yelling and stamping wildly.

The ultramontanes were aroused, eyes glared fiercely, and fists were clenched ready to make a summary clearing of the hall. But no scuffle ensued; the ultramontanes maintained a dignified bearing. The speaker calmly remained in his place, and when the tumult had ceased he again went on with his discourse.

“Such only,” said he, “take offence at the Syllabus as know nothing about it. There is not a word in the Syllabus opposed to political liberty or the most untrammelled self-government of the German people. But it is opposed to the fiendish terrorism of infidelity. The Syllabus condemns the diabolical principles by which the foundations of the Christian state are sapped and a most disastrous tyranny over conscience is proclaimed.”

“Hallo! listen to that,” cried one of the liberals, and the yelling was [pg 054] renewed, louder, longer, and more furious than before.

The chairman rang his bell. The revellers relapsed into silence.

“Ours is not a public meeting, but a mere private gathering,” explained the chairman. “None but men of Christian principles have been invited. If others have intruded violently, I request them to leave the room, or, at least, to refrain from conduct unbecoming men of good-breeding.”

Spitzkopf laughed aloud, his comrades yelled and stamped.

“Let us go!” said Greifmann to Gerlach in an angry tone.

“Let us stay!” rejoined the latter with excitement. “The affair is becoming interesting. I want to see how this will end.”

The banker noticed Gerlach's suppressed indignation; he observed it in the fire of his eyes and the expression of unutterable contempt that had spread over his features, and he began to consider the situation as alarming. He had not expected this exhibition of brutal impertinence. In his estimation an infringement of propriety like the one he had just witnessed was a far more heinous transgression than the grossest violations in the sphere of morals. He judged of Gerlach's impressions by this standard of appreciation, and feared the behavior of the progressionist mob would produce an effect in the young man's mind far from favorable to the cause which they represented. He execrated the disturbance of the liberals, and took Seraphin's arm to lead him away.

“Come away, I beg of you! I cannot imagine what interest the rudeness of that uncultivated horde can have for you.”

“Do not scorn them, for they are honestly earning their pay,” rejoined Gerlach.

“What do you mean?”

“Those fellows are whistling, bawling, stamping, and yelling in the employ of progress. You are trying to give me an insight into the nature of modern civilization: could there be a better opportunity than this?”

“There you make a mistake, my dear fellow! Enlightened progress is never rude.”

To Be Continued.

[pg 055]

Gavazzi Versus The See Of S. Peter.

By a Protestant Doctor of Philosophy.

Introductory Note.

The topic of this article has already been fully and satisfactorily treated in The Catholic World. It is well, however, to adopt, in handling the truth, Voltaire's maxim in regard to falsehood, and to keep continually repeating those truths which are frequently denied. Not only the mountebank Gavazzi, but others more respectable than he is, keep on reasserting the denial of S. Peter's Roman Episcopate, notwithstanding the evidence which has been over and over again presented in proof of it by Protestant as well as Catholic writers. We, therefore, willingly give admission to the present article, which, we may as well state, has been printed from the author's MS. copy, without any alteration.—Ed. C. W.


At our examination in the diocese of the Protestant Episcopal Church in which we took holy orders, the question of S. Peter's being at Rome was debated with some warmth by the clerical examiners and the bishop. We had at that time just passed our majority, and, while our reading had been pretty full, we had not touched the subject of this article, for it was indeed comparatively new to us. We remember well the remark of our bishop, whose opinion on theological questions we held in veneration. He was prominent on the bench of bishops as one of the most learned of our prelates, and he had wielded his pen in defence of Anglican Church principles with great reputation to himself among Episcopalians, particularly the High Church school of religious thought. At the period to which we refer, he gave it as his opinion that it was extremely doubtful that S. Peter ever visited Rome, and that he was the first bishop of its See was beyond the province of historical proof. Previous to this date in our studies, we would as lief have questioned the fact of the existence of Rome itself as that of S. Peter's residence there, and his occupancy of that metropolitan see. We had reached this conclusion by no investigation: it was, rather, one of those traditional questions which fix themselves in the mind without much thought in either direction. The fact, as we supposed, had never been doubted. To hear for the first time a denial of its truth, and that, too, from our ecclesiastical superior, made an impression upon our mind which led us to investigate the subject as soon as time and opportunity were afforded us. From that day to this, we have heard the same theory advanced by Protestant clergymen of every shade of denominational opinion, and in the minds of many it has lodged itself as one of those mooted questions which baffle historical proof.

About twenty years ago, an Italian known as “Father Gavazzi” visited the United States. His crusade against the Church of Rome during that visit is familiar to all. Of its [pg 056] merits or the motives which prompted it we do not propose to speak, as it is foreign to the subject to which the interest of the reader is invited. Again the same Alessandro Gavazzi, as “Commissioner” of what he denominates the “Free Christian Church of Italy,” is lecturing to audiences in our principal cities, for the purpose of securing subscriptions for “evangelization” and for the “Biblical College in Rome.” What these terms may mean we do not know, and of them we have no disposition to speak. In the month of June last, “Father Gavazzi” was advertised to lecture under the auspices of the Young Men's Christian Association in the city in which we reside. Among others, who had no interest perhaps in the especial work in which he is engaged, we attended his lecture. From a report of the lecture in the issue of a daily paper of the following morning we make the quotation which forms the text, upon which we propose to place before the reader some historical proofs for the belief that S. Peter was at Rome.

“Father Gavazzi” said: “A discussion was proposed in Rome as to whether S. Peter was ever there or not. The Pope favored, insisted upon it, and in two days his chosen champions retired defeated from the contest. That is something. The Bible is entirely silent on this subject. But the priests say that is merely negative proof. The silence of S. Luke is, however, positive proof that S. Peter was never there. The discussion of this subject, once prohibited in Rome, is now talked of freely in all public places. It was his delight to fight the Pope. Pius IX. was no more the successor of S. Peter than he was the successor of the emperor of China. S. Peter was never in Rome to be succeeded by anybody.

Modern investigation at best has done little to clear up the difficulties connected with the geographical history of the Apostle Peter. That he was at Rome, and suffered martyrdom in that city, is the general belief of the fathers. And it was not until the dawn of the Reformation that the apostle's journey to that city, and his martyrdom there, became even a subject of doubt. So great was the anxiety of some to disprove the Primacy of the Roman See that scholarly men lent themselves to the repetition of myths and traditions which had no foundation in fact, and later writers, biased by early education and ecclesiastical connection, have even introduced into historical literature mythical stories, the germs of which run through the popular mythology of ancient and modern times. If, they argue, it can be proved that S. Peter was never at Rome, then we at once overturn the pretensions of the Papacy; or, again, if we can demonstrate that there is a break in the chain of succession of its bishops from S. Peter, the belief in the doctrine of an apostolic succession is clearly disproved, and the idea of a line of bishops reaching back through the long period of the Mores Catholici, or Ages of Faith, only a senseless forgery which originated with some monk the abbot of whose monastery was perhaps the first to give it form after he had ascended the chair of Peter. Mosheim, a respectable writer in the Protestant world, blinded by a singular prejudice which led him at times to forget the critical duties of the historian, is one among the few German scholars who has tarnished the pages of his Ecclesiastical History by giving credence to the fabulous story of Pope Joan. “Between Leo IV., who died 855, and Benedict III.,” says he, “a woman who concealed [pg 057] her sex and assumed the name of John, it is said, opened her way to the pontifical throne by her learning and genius, and governed the church for a time. She is commonly called the Papess Joan. During five subsequent centuries the witnesses to this extraordinary event are without number; nor did any one prior to the Reformation by Luther regard the thing as either incredible or disgraceful to the church.” The earliest writer from whom any information relating to the fable of Pope Joan is derived is Marianus Scotus, a monk of S. Martin of Cologne, who died a.d. 1086. He left a chronicle which has received many additions by later writers, and among those interpolations the students of mythical lore regard the passage which refers to this story. Platina, who wrote the Lives of the Popes anterior to the time of Martin Luther, relates the legend, and, with more of the critical acumen than Mosheim, adds: “These things which I relate are popular reports, but derived from uncertain and obscure authors, which I have therefore inserted briefly and baldly, lest I should seem to omit obstinately and pertinaciously what most people assert.” The legend of Pope Joan has been so thoroughly exposed that no controversialist of discrimination thinks of reviving it as an argument against the succession of the Bishops of Rome. Now and then it may be related to an ignorant crowd by an anti-popery mountebank of our cities during times of religious excitement, but it is never heard from the lips of an educated Protestant. We are inclined to think, however, that the class of minds that seeks to throw doubt upon S. Peter's residence at Rome in order to subvert the Primacy of the Apostolic See would not hesitate, in view of the evidence from early ecclesiastical writers, to introduce again this Papess Joan to their unlearned readers.

Turning, then, to the proofs of the subject of our paper, we take as the motto for our investigation of this and all kindred ecclesiastical questions the golden words of Tertullian: “Id esse verum, quodcunque primum; id esse adulterum quodcunque posterius.”4 Or that petition of a great Anglican divine: “Grant, O Lord! that, in reading thy Holy Word, I may never prefer my private sentiments before those of the church in the purely ancient times of Christianity.”5

The earliest testimony is borne by S. Ignatius. He was closely connected with the apostles, both as a hearer of their teachings and sharer of the extraordinary mysteries of their faith.6 S. John was his Christian Gamaliel, at whose feet he was taught the doctrines of Christianity, which prepared him not only to wear the mitre of Antioch, the most cultivated metropolis of the East, but also to receive the brighter crown of a martyr's agonizing death. Full of years, the follower of the beloved disciple was hurried to Rome, to seal with his blood the truth of the religion of Christ. On his journey to the pagan capital, he was permitted to tarry for a season at Smyrna, to visit, for the last time, S. Polycarp, the aged bishop of that city. Here, in view of the dreadful death that awaited him in the Roman amphitheatre, and in communion with the revered fellow-laborer of his life, he wrote his four epistles. From the one to the Romans we quote the following evidence: “I do not command you as S. Peter and S. Paul did; they were apostles of Jesus Christ, and I am a mere nothing” [pg 058] (the least).7 “What can be more clear,” says the Anglican expositor of the Creed, Bishop Pearson, “from these words than that this most holy martyr was of opinion that Peter, no less than Paul, preached and suffered at Rome?”

Eusebius relates, upon the authority of Papias and S. Clement of Alexandria, that “S. Mark wrote his gospel at the request of S. Peter's hearers in Rome,” and he further adds that “S. Peter mentions S. Mark in his first epistle, written from Rome, which he figuratively calls Babylon.”8

S. Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, in his epistle addressed to the Romans, affirms that S. Peter and S. Paul preached the Gospel in Corinth and in Rome, and suffered martyrdom about the same time in the latter city.9

S. Irenæus, Bishop of Lyons, who was born at Smyrna, though of Greek extraction, had been the disciple of S. Polycarp, Pothinus, and Papias, from whose lips he had heard many anecdotes of the apostles and their immediate followers. He was alike eminent both as a scholar in the learning of the times and as a controversialist of no mean repute. The part he bore against the Gnostic and other heresies rendered his name illustrious, not only within the limits of his episcopal jurisdiction, but wherever the claims of Christianity had been presented. The wonderful aptness with which he interwove Scripture and scriptural phraseology into his style, not altogether unpolished, is perhaps unequalled in patristic theology. Residing in a city whose language and intellectual characteristics differed from those of his native country, his writings are essentially foreign, and, with few exceptions, were lost at an early period. In the fragments which remain we find an unequivocal testimony in behalf of the subject under discussion. His language is: “S. Peter and S. Paul preached the Gospel in Rome, and laid the foundation of the church.”10

Caius, a learned Roman presbyter, and, as some suppose, bishop, arguing against Proclus, the chief champion of Montanism at Rome, says that he can “show the trophies of the apostles.” “For if you will go,” he continues, “to the Vatican, or to the Ostian Road, you will find the trophies of those who have laid the foundation of this church.”11

Origen, a man of encyclopædic learning, who had been carefully nurtured by Christian parents, and who was imbued with the hardy, stern culture of the Greek literature, at the early age of eighteen became the leader of the Alexandrine school of Christian philosophy. He proved no unworthy successor of the logical Clement. Certainly no name stands higher in the catechetical school than that of the iron-souled Origen (ἀδαμάντινος). The eloquent teachings of this youthful master nerved many a Christian soul to endure with fortitude the fiery trials of martyrdom, and even comforted the bleeding heart of Leonides, his [pg 059] father, who became a victim of the unrelenting persecutions of Severus. From Origen we learn “that S. Peter, after having preached through Pontus, Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Asia, to the Jews that were scattered abroad, went at last to Rome, where he was crucified.” “These things,” says Eusebius, “are related by Origen in the third book of his Τῶν εἰς τὴν Γένεσιν ἐξηγητικῶν.”12

Tertullian by birth was a heathen and Carthaginian. He was the son of a centurion, and had been educated in all the varied learning of Greece and Rome. Skilled as a rhetorician and advocate in Rome, he brought, on his conversion to Christianity, the accomplishments of a highly cultivated intellect, but a sombre and irritable temper. The natural lawlessness of a mind guided by a passionate and stubborn disposition led him gradually to renounce the truths which the light of a higher intelligence had revealed, until at last he was anathematized for his Montanistic teachings. His writings are an invaluable addition to the Punic-Latin theology, and a repository from which we receive great information concerning the polemic questions which at that period harassed the Christian church. Upon the subject of our article he writes as follows: “Let them, then, give us the origin of their churches; let them unfold the series of their bishops, coming down in succession from the beginning, so that the first bishop was appointed and preceded by any of the apostles, or apostolic men, who, nevertheless, preserved in communion with the apostles, had an ordainer and predecessor. For in this way the apostolic churches exhibit their origin; thus the Church of Smyrna relates that Polycarp was placed there by John, as the Church of Rome also relates that Clement was ordained by Peter.”13

Again: “If thou be adjacent to Italy, there thou hast Rome, whose authority is near at hand to us. How happy is this church, to which the apostles poured forth their whole doctrine with their blood! where Peter is assimilated to our Lord; where Paul is crowned with a death like that of John.”14

And again: “Let us see with what milk the Corinthians were fed by Paul; according to what rule the Galatians were reformed; what laws were to the Philippians, Thessalonians, Ephesians; what also the Romans sound in our ears, to whom Peter and Paul left the Gospel sealed with their blood.”15

To this list of witnesses we might add the testimony of the fathers and ecclesiastical writers who have flourished in different ages of the church, but we now propose to briefly survey the opinions of some of the most noted Protestant commentators.

The First Epistle of S. Peter is said by the apostle to have been written from Babylon, but whether it be Babylon in Chaldea, Babylon in [pg 060] Egypt, Jerusalem, or Rome, has given rise to much speculation.16 Our Lord foretold the manner of St. Peter's death,17 and an event of such importance would naturally have awakened more than ordinary interest. Seven cities claimed the honor of Homer's birth,18 but no other place than Rome ever assumed to itself the glory of the apostle's martyrdom. Controversies arose concerning the time of celebrating Easter, the baptism of heretics, and questions of a like nature, yet none disputed the place in which S. Peter was martyred. It is highly improbable that S. Peter ever visited either Babylon in Egypt or Babylon in Chaldea. Certainly no fact of history nor even possibility of conjecture furnishes the least warrantable presumption of either opinion. The great burden of proof points toward Rome. Like Babylon, pagan Rome was idolatrous. Like Babylon, it persecuted the church of God. Like Babylon, the glory of its pagan temple and fane had departed. In many manuscripts this epistle is dated from Rome.

Calvin, who little regarded the authority of the fathers, when, in the presumption of his self-opinionated orthodoxy, he said: “All the ancients were driven into error,”19 yet from evidence the most patent he believed that S. Peter suffered martyrdom at Rome. His language is: “Propter scriptorum consensum non pugno quin illic mortuus fuerit.”20

“On the meaning of the word Babylon,” says Grotius, one of the most celebrated of the Calvinistic school, “ancient and modern interpreters disagree. The ancients understand it of Rome, and that Peter was there no true Christian ever doubted; the moderns understand it of Babylon in Chaldea. I adhere to the ancients.”21

Rosenmüller, of whom an able American critic has said, “He is almost everywhere a local investigator,”22 has left his testimony in the same language as Grotius: “Veteres Romam interpretantur.”

Dr. Campbell very reluctantly yielded, by the force of evidence, to the same opinion when he wrote: “I am inclined to think that S. Peter's martyrdom must have been at Rome, both because it is agreeable to the unanimous voice of antiquity, and because the sufferings of so great an apostle could not fail to be of such notoriety in the church as to preclude the possibility of an imposition in regard to the place.”23

“From a careful examination of the evidence adduced,” says the learned Horne, “for the literal meaning of the word Babylon, and of the evidence for its figurative or mystical application to Rome, we think that the latter was intended.”24

We commend to “Father Gavazzi,” and to the Rev. Doctors Sunderland and Newman of Washington, who are ever ready to throw down [pg 061] the gauntlet when an argument is made to prove that S. Peter was at Rome, the language of the logical and laborious Macknight, who clearly expresses our own view, and whose diligence, learning, and moderation were so fully appreciated by Bishop Tomline: “It is not for our honor nor for our interest, either as Christians or Protestants, to deny the truth of events ascertained by early and well-attested tradition. If any make an ill use of such facts, we are not accountable for it. We are not, from a dread of such abuses, to overthrow the credit of all history, the consequences of which would be fatal.”25

Number Thirteen. An Episode Of The Commune.

Mlle. de Lemaque and her sister Mme. de Chanoir lived at No. 13 Rue Royale. They were the daughters of a military man whose fortune when he married consisted in his sword, nothing else; and of a noble Demoiselle de Cambatte, whose wedding portion, according to the good old French fashion, was precisely the same as her husband's, minus the sword. But over and above this joint capital the young people had a good stock of hope and courage, and an inexhaustible fund of love; they had therefore as good a chance of getting on as other young folk who start in life under the same pecuniary disadvantages. M. de Lemaque, moreover, had friends in high place who looked kindly on him, and promised him countenance and protection, and there was no reason, as far as he and his wife could see, why he should not in due time clutch that legendary baton which Napoleon declared every French soldier carries in his knapsack. Nor, indeed, looking at things from a retrospective point of view, was there any reason, that we can see, why he should not have died a marshal of France, except that he died too soon. The young soldier was in a fair way of climbing to the topmost rung of the military ladder; but just as he had got his foot on the third rung, Death stepped down and met him, and he climbed no further. His wife followed him into the grave three years later. They left two daughters, Félicité and Aline, the only fruits of their short and happy union. The orphans were educated at the Legion of Honor, and then sent adrift on the wide, wide world, to battle with its winds and waves, to sink or swim as best they could. They swam. Perhaps I ought rather say they floated. The eldest, Félicité, was married from S. Denis to an old general, who, after a reasonably short time, had the delicacy to betake himself to a better world, leaving his gay wife a widow at the head of an income of £40 a year. Aline might have married under similar circumstances, but, after turning it over in her mind, she came to [pg 062] the conclusion that, all things considered, since it was a choice of evils, and that she must earn her bread in some way, she preferred earning it and eating it independently as a single woman. This gave rise to the only quarrel the sisters had had in their lives. Félicité resented the disgrace that Aline was going to put on the family name by degenerating into a giver of private lessons, when she might have secured forty pounds a year for ever by a few years' dutiful attendance on a brave man who had fought his country's battles.

“Well, if you can find me a warrior of ninety,” said the younger sister, a month before she left S. Denis, “I'm not sure that he might not persuade me; but I never will capitulate under ninety; I couldn't trust a man under that; they live for ever when they marry between sixty and eighty, and there are no tyrants like them; now, I would do my duty as a kind wife for a year or so, but I've no notion of taking a situation as nurse for fifteen or twenty years, and that's what one gets by marrying a young man of seventy or thereabouts.”

Félicité urged her own case as a proof to the contrary. Général de Chanoir was only sixty-eight when she married him, and he retired at seventy. Aline maintained, however, that this was the one exception necessary to prove the rule to the present generation, and as no eligible parti of fourscore and ten presented itself before she left school, she held to her resolve, and started at once as a teacher.

The sisters took an apartment together, if two rooms, a cabinet de toilette, and a cooking-range in a dark passage, dignified by the name of kitchen, can be called an apartment, and for six years they lived very happily.

Mme. de Chanoir was small and fair, and very distinguished-looking. She had never known a day's illness in her life, but she was a hypochondriac. She believed herself afflicted with a spine disease, which necessitated reclining all day long on the sofa in a Louis Quinze dressing-gown and a Dubarry cap.

Aline was tall and dark, not exactly pretty, but indescribably piquant. Without being delicate, her health was far less robust than her sister's; but she was blessed with indomitable spirits and a fund of energy that carried her through a variety of aches and pains, and often bore her successfully through her round of daily work when another would have given in.

The domestic establishment of the sisters consisted in a charwoman, who rejoiced in the name of Mme. Cléry. She was a type of a class almost extinct in Paris now; a dainty little cook, clean as a sixpence, honest as the sun, orderly as a clock, a capital servant in every way. She came twice a day to No. 13, two hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon, and the sisters paid her twenty francs a month. She might have struck for more wages, and rather than let her go they would have managed to raise them; but Mme. Cléry was born before strikes came into fashion, it was quite impossible to say how long before; her age was incalculable; her youth belonged to that class of facts spoken of as beyond the memory of the oldest man in the district. Aline used to look at her sometimes, and wonder if she really could have been born, and if she meant to die like other people; the crisp, wiry old woman looked the sort of person never to have either a beginning or an end; they had had her now for eight years—at least Mme. de Chanoir had—and there [pg 063] was not the shadow of a change in her. Her gowns were like herself, they never wore out, neither did her caps—high Normandy caps, with flaps extended like a wind-mill in repose, stiff, white, and uncompromising. Everything about her was antiquated. She had a religious regard for antiquity in every shape, and a proportionate contempt for modernism; but, of all earthly things, what her soul loved most was an old name, and what it most despised a new one. She used to say that if she chose to cook the rotis of a parvenu she might make double the money, and it was true; but she could not bend her spirit to it; she liked her dry bread and herbs better from a good family than a stalled ox from upstarts. She was as faithful as a dog to her two mistresses, and consequently lorded over them like a step-mother, perpetually bullying and scolding, and bewailing her own infatuation in staying with them while she might be turning a fatter pullet on her own spit at home than the miserable coquille at No. 13 ever held a fire to. Why had she not the sense to take the situation that M. X——, the agent de change, across the street, had offered her again and again? The femme de ménage was, in fact, as odious and exasperating as the most devoted old servant who ever nursed a family from the cradle to the grave. But let any one else dare so much as cast a disrespectful glance at either of her victims! She shook her fist at the concierge's wife one day for venturing to call Mme. de Chanoir Mme. de Chanoir tout court, instead of Mme. la Générale de Chanoir, to a flunky who came with a note, and she boxed the concierge's ears for speaking of Aline as “l'Institutrice.” As Mme. la Générale's sofa was drawn across the window that looked into the court, she happened to be an eye-witness to the two incidents, and heard every word that was said. This accidental disclosure of Mme. Cléry's regard for the family dignity before outsiders covered a multitude of sins in the eyes of both the sisters. Indeed, Mme. de Chanoir came at last, by force of habit, almost to enjoy being bullied by the old soul. Cela nous pose, ma chère,” she would remark complacently, when the wind from the kitchen blew due north, and Aline threatened to mutiny.

Aline never could have endured it if she had been as constantly tried as her easy-going sister was; but, lucky for all parties, she went out immediately after breakfast, and seldom came in till late in the afternoon, when the old beldame was busy getting ready the dinner.

It was a momentous life they led, the two young women, but, on the whole, it was a happy one. Mme. de Chanoir, seeing how bravely her sister carried the burden she had taken up, grew reconciled to it in time. They had a pleasant little society, too; friends who had known them from their childhood, some rich and in good positions, others struggling like themselves in a narrow cage and under difficult circumstances; but one and all liked the sisters, and brought a little contingent of sunshine to their lives. As to Aline, she had sunshine enough in herself to light up the whole Rue Royale. Every lesson she gave, every incident of the day, no matter how trivial, fell across her path like a sunbeam; she had a knack of looking at things from a sunny focus that shot out rays on every object that came within its radius, and of extracting amusement or interest from the most commonplace things and people; even her own vexations she had turned into ridicule. Her [pg 064] position of governess was a fountain of fun to her. When another would have drawn gall from a snub, and smarted and been miserable under a slight, Aline de Lemaque saw a comic side to the circumstance, and would dress it up in a fashion that diverted herself and her friends for a week. Moreover, the young lady was something of a philosopher.

“You never find out human nature till you come to earn your own bread—I mean, women don't,” she used to say to Mme. de Chanoir. “If I were the mother of a family of daughters, and wanted to teach them life, I'd make every one of them, no matter how big their dots were, begin by running after the cachet. Nobody who hasn't tried it would believe what a castle of truth it is to one—a mirror that shows up character to the life, a sort of moral photography. It is often as good as a play to me to watch the change that comes over people when, after talking to them, and making myself pass for a very agreeable person, I suddenly announce the fact that I give lessons. Their whole countenance changes, not that they look on me straightway with contempt. Oh! dear no. Many good Christians, people of the 'help yourself and God will help you' sect, conceive, on the contrary, a great respect for me; but I become metamorphosed on the spot. I am not what they took me for, they took me for a lady, and all the time I was a governess! They did not think the less of me, but they can't help feeling that they have been taken in; that, in fact, I'm an altogether different variety from themselves, and it is very odd they did not recognize it at first sight. But these are the least exciting experiences. The great fun is when I get hold of an out-and-out worldly individual, man or woman, but a woman is best, and let them go on till they have thoroughly committed themselves, made themselves gushingly agreeable to me, perhaps gone the length of asking, in a significant manner, if I live in their neighborhood; then comes the crisis. I smile my gladdest, and say, ‘Monsieur, or Madame, I give lessons!’ Changement de décoration à vue d'œil, ma chère. It's just as if I lancéd an obus into the middle of the company, only it rebounds on me and hits nobody else; the eyebrows of the company go up, the corners of its mouth go down, and it bows to me as I sit on the ruins of my respectability, shattered to pieces by my own obus.”

“I can't understand how you can laugh at it. If I were in your place, I should have died of vexation and wounded pride long ago,” said Mme. de Chanoir, one day, as Aline related in high glee an obus episode that she had had that morning; “but I really believe you have no feeling.”

“Well, whatever I have, I keep out of the reach of vulgar impertinence. I should be very sorry to make my feelings a target for insolence and bad breeding,” replied Aline pertly. This was the simple truth. Her feelings were out of the reach of such petty shafts; they were cased in cheerfulness and common sense, and a nobler sort of pride than that in which Mme. de Chanoir considered her sister wanting. If, however, the obus was frequently fatal to Mlle. de Lemaque's social standing, on the other hand it occasionally did her good service; but of this later. Its present character was that of an explosive bomb which she carried in her pocket, and lancéd with infinite gusto on every available opportunity.

On Saturday evening the sisters were “at home.” These little soirées were the great event of their quiet lives. All the episodes and anecdotes of the week were treasured up for [pg 065] that evening, when the intimes came to see them and converse and sip a glass of cold eau sucrée in summer, and a cup of hot ditto in winter (but then it was called tea) by the light of a small lamp with a green shade. There was no attempt at entertainment or finery of any kind, except that Mme. Cléry, instead of going home as soon as the dinner things were washed up, stayed to open the door. It was a remnant of the sort of society that used to exist in French families some thirty years ago, when conversation was cultivated as the primary accomplishment of men and women, and when they met regularly to exercise themselves in the difficult and delightful art. It was not reserved to the well-born exclusively to talk well and brilliantly in those days, when the most coveted encomium that could be passed on any one was, “He talks well.” All classes vied for it; every circle had its centre of conversation. The fauteuil de l'aïeule and the salon of the femme d'esprit, each had its audience, attended as assiduously, and perhaps enjoyed quite as much, as the vaudevilles and ambigus that have since drawn away the bourgeois from the one and the man of fashion from the other. Besides its usual habitués for conversation, every circle had one habitué who was looked upon as the friend of the family, and tacitly took precedence of all the others. The friend of the family at No. 13 was a certain professor of the Sorbonne named M. Dalibouze. He was somewhere on the sunny side of fifty, a bald, pompous little man who wore spectacles, took snuff, and laid down the law; very prosy and very estimable, a model professor. He had never married, but it was the dream of his life to marry. He had meditated on marriage for the last thirty years, and of course knew more about it than any man who had been married double that time. He was never so eloquent or so emphatic as when dilating on the joys and duties of domestic life; no matter how tired he was with study and scientific researches, how disappointed in the result of some cherished literary scheme, he brightened up the moment marriage came on the tapis. This hobby of the professor's was a great amusement to Mme. de Chanoir, who delighted to see him jump into the saddle and ride off at a canter while she lay languidly working at her tapestry, patting him on the back every now and then, by a word of encouragement, or signifying her assent merely by a smile or a nod. Sometimes she would take him to task seriously about putting his theories into practice and getting himself a wife, assuring him that it was quite wicked of him not to marry when he was so richly endowed with all the qualities necessary to make a model husband.

“Ah! madame, if I thought I were capable of making a young woman happy!” M. Dalibouze would exclaim with a sigh; “but at my age! No, I have let my chance go by.”

“How, sir, at your age!” the générale would protest. “Why, it is the very flower of manhood, the moment of all others for a man to marry. You have outlived the delusions of youth and none of its vigor; you have crossed the Rubicon that separates folly from wisdom, and you have left nothing on the other side of the bridge but the silly chimera of boyhood. Believe me, the woman whom you would select would never wish to see you a day younger.”

And M. Dalibouze would caress his chin, and observe thoughtfully: “Do you think so, madame?” Upon [pg 066] which Mme. de Chanoir would pour another vial of oil and honey on the learned head of the professor, till the wonder was that it did not turn on his shoulders.

Aline had no sympathy with his rhapsodies or his jeremiads; they bored her to extinction, and sometimes it was all she could do not to tell him so; but she disapproved of his being made a joke of, and testified against it very decidedly when Félicité, in a spirit of mischief, led him up to a more than usually ridiculous culmination. It was not fair, she said, to make a greater fool of the good little man than he made of himself, and instead of encouraging him to talk such nonsense one ought to laugh him out of it, and try and cure him of his silly conceit.

“I don't see it at all in that light,” Mme. de Chanoir would answer. “In the first place, if I laughed at him, or rather if I let him see that I did, he would never forgive me, and, as I have a great regard for him, I should be sorry to lose his friendship; and in the next place, it's a great amusement to me to see him swallow my little doses of flattery so complacently, and I have no scruple in dosing him, because nothing that I or any one else could say could possibly add one grain to his self-conceit, so one may as well turn it to account for a little entertainment.”

It was partly this system of flattery, which Aline resented on principle, that induced her occasionally to snub the professor, and partly the fact that she had reason to suspect his dreams of married bliss centred upon herself. In fact, she knew it. He had never told her so outright, for the simple reason that, whenever he drew near that crisis, Aline cut him short in such a peremptory manner that it cowed him for weeks, but nevertheless she knew in her heart of hearts that she reigned supreme over M. Dalibouze's. She would not have married him, no, not if he could have crowned her queen of the Sorbonne and the Collége de France, but the fact of his being her slave and aspiring to be her master constituted a claim on her regard which a true-hearted woman seldom disowns.

Félicité would have favored his suit if there had been the ghost of a chance for him, but she knew there was not.

Mme. Cléry looked coldly on it. Needless to say, neither M. Dalibouze nor his cruel-hearted lady-love had ever made a confidante of the femme de ménage; but she often remarked to her mistresses when they ventured an opinion on anything connected with her special department, “Je ne suis pas née d'hier,” an assertion which, strange to say, even the rebellious Aline had never attempted to gainsay. Mme. Cléry was not, indeed, born yesterday, moreover she was a Frenchwoman, and a particularly wide-awake one, and from the first evening that she saw Aline sugaring M. Dalibouze's tea, dropping in lump after lump in that reckless way, while the little man held his cup and beamed at her through his spectacles as if he meant to stand there for ever simpering, “Merci encore!”—it occurred to Mme. Cléry when she saw this that there was more in it than tea-making. Of course it was natural and proper that a young woman, especially an orphan, should think of getting married, but it was right and proper that her friends should think of it too, and see that she married the proper person. Now, on the face of it, M. Dalibouze could not be the proper person. Nevertheless, Mme. Cléry waited till the suspicion that M. Dalibouze had settled it in his own mind that he was that man took the shape of a conviction before [pg 067] she considered it her duty to interfere.

By interfering Mme. Cléry meant going aux renseignements. Nobody ever got true renseignements, especially when there was a marriage in question, except people like her; ladies and gentlemen never get behind the scenes with each other, or, if they do, they never tell what they see there. They are very sweet and smiling when they meet in the salon, and nobody guesses that madame has rated her femme de chambre for not putting the flowers in her hair exactly to her fancy, or that monsieur has flung a boot at his valet for giving him his shaving-water too hot or too cold. If you want the truth, you must get it by the back-stairs. This was Mme. Cléry's belief, and, acting upon it, she went to M. Dalibouze's concierge in the Rue Jean Beauvais to consult him confidentially about his locataire.

The first thing to be ascertained before entering on such secondary details as character, conduct, etc., was whether or not the professor was of a good enough family to be entertained at all as a husband for Mlle. de Lemaque. On this sine qua non question the concierge could unfortunately throw no light. The professor had a multitude of friends, all respectable people, many of them décorés, who drove to the door in spruce coupés, but of his family Pipelet knew nothing; of his personal respectability there was no doubt whatever; he was the kindest of men, a very pearl of tenants, always in before midnight, and gave forty francs to Pipelet on New Year's day, not to count sundry other little bonuses on minor fêtes during the year. But so long as her mind was in darkness on the main point, all this was no better than sounding brass in the ears of Mme. Cléry.

“Has he, or has he not, the particule?” she demanded, cutting Pipelet short in the middle of his panegyric.

“The particule?” repeated Pipelet. “What's that?”

“The particule nobiliaire,” explained Mme. Cléry, with a touch of contempt. “There is some question of a marriage between him and one of my ladies; but, if M. Dalibouze hasn't got the particule, it's no use thinking of it.”

“Madame,” said Pipelet, assuming a meditative air—he was completely at sea as to what this essential piece of property might be, but did not like to own his ignorance—“I'm not a man to set up for knowing more of my tenant's business than I do, and M. Dalibouze has never opened himself to me about how or where his money was placed; but I could give you the name of his agent, if I thought it would not compromise me.”

“I'm not a woman to compromise any one that showed me confidence,” said Mme. Cléry, tightening her lips, and bobbing her flaps at Pipelet; “but you need not give me the name of his agent. What sort of a figure should I make at his agent's! Give me his own name. How does he spell it?”

“Spell it!” echoed Pipelet.

“A big D or a little d?” said Mme. Cléry.

“Why, a big D, of course! Who ever spelt their name with a little one?” retorted Pipelet.

“Ah!...” Mme. Cléry smiled a smile of serene pity on the benighted ignoramus, and then observed coolly: “I suspected it! I'm not easy to deceive in that sort of things. I was not born yesterday. Good-morning, M. le Concierge.” She moved towards the door.

“Stop!” cried Pipelet, seizing his berette as if a ray of light had shot [pg 068] through his skull—“stop! Now that I think of it, it's a little d. I have not a doubt but it's a little d. I noticed it only yesterday on a letter that came for monsieur, and I said to myself: ‘Let us see!’ I said. ‘What a queer fancy for a man of distinction like M. le Professeur to spell his name with a little d!’ Là! if I didn't say those words to myself no later than yesterday!”

Mme. Cléry was dubious. Unluckily there was no letter in M. Dalibouze's box at that moment, which would have settled the point at issue, so she had nothing for it but to go home, and turn it in her mind what was to be done next. After all, it was a great responsibility on her. The old soul considered herself in the light of a protector to the two young women, one a cripple on the broad of her back, and the other a light-hearted creature who believed everything and everybody. It was her place to look after them as far as she could. That afternoon, when Mme. Cléry went to No. 13, after her fruitless expedition to the Rue Jean Beauvais, she took a letter in to Mme. de Chanoir. She had never seen, or, at any rate, never noticed, the writing before, but as she handed the envelope to her mistress it flashed upon her that it was from M. Dalibouze, and that it bore on the subject of her morning's peregrination.

She seized a feather-broom that hung by the fireplace, and began vigorously threatening the clock and the candlesticks, as an excuse for staying in the room, and watching Mme. de Chanoir in the looking-glass while she read the letter. The old woman was an irascible enemy to dust; they were used to see her at the most inopportune times pounce on the feather-broom and begin whipping about her to the right and left, so Mme. de Chanoir took no notice of this sudden castigation of the chimney-piece at four o'clock in the afternoon. She read her note, and then, tossing it into the basket beside her, resumed her tapestry as if nothing had occurred to divert her thoughts from roses and Berlin wool.

“Mme. la Générale, pardon and excuse,” said Mme. Cléry, deliberately hanging the feather-broom on its nail, and going up to the foot of the générale's sofa. “I have it on my mind to ask something of madame.”

“Ask it, my good Mme. Cléry.”

“Does Mme. la Générale think of marrying Mlle. Aline?”

Mme. de Chanoir opened her eyes, and stared for a moment in mild surprise at her charwoman, then a smile broke over her face, and she said:

“You are thinking that you would not like to come to me if I were alone?”

“I was not thinking of that, madame,” replied Mme. Cléry, in a tone of ceremony that was not habitual, and which would have boded no good (Mme. Cléry was never so respectful as when she was going to be particularly disagreeable), except that she looked very meek, and, Félicité thought, rather affectionately at her as their eyes met.

“Well,” said Mme. de Chanoir, “I suppose we must marry her some day; I ought, perhaps, to occupy myself about it more actively than I do; but there's time enough to think about it yet; mademoiselle is in no hurry.”

“Dame!” said Mme. Cléry testily, “when a demoiselle has become an old maid, there is not so much time to lose! Pardon and excuse, Mme. la Générale, but I thought, I don't know why, that that letter had something to do with it?”

“This letter! What could have put that into your head?”

[pg 069]

Mme. de Chanoir took up the note to see if the envelope had anything about it which warranted this romantic suspicion, but it was an ordinary envelope, with no trace of anything more peculiar than the post-mark.

“As I have told Mme. la Générale before,” said Mme. Cléry, shaking her head significantly, “I was not born yesterday”—she emphasized the not as if Mme. de Chanoir had denied that fact and challenged her to swear to it on the Bible—“and I don't carry my eyes in my pocket; and when a demoiselle heaps lumps of sugar into a gentleman's cup till it's as thick as honey for a spoon to stand in, and a shame to see the substance of the family wasted in such a way, and she never grudging it a bit, but looking as if it would be fun to her to turn the sugar-bowl upside down over it—I say, when I see that sort of thing, I'm not femme Cléry if there isn't something in it.”

Félicité felt inclined to laugh, but she restrained herself, and observed interrogatively:

“Well, Mme. Cléry, suppose there is?”

This extravagance of sugar on M. Dalibouze was an old grievance of Mme. Cléry's. In fact, it had been her only one against the professor, till she grew to look upon him as the possible husband of Mlle. Aline, and then the question of his having or not having the particule assumed such alarming importance in her mind that it magnified all minor defects, and she believed him capable of every misdemeanor under the sun.

“Mme. la Générale,” she replied, “one does not marry every day; one ought to think seriously about it; Mlle. Aline has not experience; she is vive and light-hearted; she is a person to be taken in by outward appearances; such things as learning, good principles, and esprit would blind her to serious shortcomings; it is the duty of Mme. la Générale to prevent such a mistake in time.”

“What sort of shortcomings are you afraid of in M. Dalibouze, Mme. Cléry?” inquired Mme. de Chanoir, dropping her tapestry, and looking with awakened curiosity at the old woman.

“Let us begin with a first principle, Mme. la Générale,” observed Mme. Cléry, demurely slapping the palm of her left hand. “Mlle. Aline is née; the father and mother of mamzelle were both of an excellent family; it is consequently of the first necessity that her husband should be so, too; the first thing, therefore, to be considered in a suitor is his name. Now, has M. Dalibouze the particule, or has he not?”

It was a very great effort for Mme. de Chanoir to keep her countenance under this charge and deliver with which the old woman solemnly closed her speech, and then stood awaiting the effect on her listener; still, such is the weakness of human nature, the générale in her inmost heart was flattered by it; it was pleasant to be looked up to as belonging to a race above the common herd, to be recognized in spite of her poverty, even by a femme de ménage, as superior to the wealthy parvenus whose fathers and mothers were not of a good family.

“My good Mme. Cléry,” she said after a moment's reflection, “you, like ourselves, were brought up with very different ideas from those that people hold nowadays. Nobody cares a straw to-day who a man's father was, or whether he had the particule or not; all that they care about is that he should be well educated, and well conducted, and well off; and, my dear, one must go with [pg 070] the times, one must give in to the force of public opinion around one. Customs change with the times. I would, of course, much rather have a brother-in-law of our own rank than one cleverer and richer who was not; but what would you have? One cannot have everything. It is not pleasant for me to see Mlle. de Lemaque earning her own bread, running about the streets like a milliner's apprentice at all hours of the day. I would overlook something to see her married to a kind, honorable man who would keep her in comfort and independence.”

Bonté divine! exclaimed Mme. Cléry, with a look of deep distress and consternation, “madame would then actually marry mamzelle to a bourgeois sans particule? For madame admits that M. Dalibouze has not the particule, that he spells his name with a big D?”

“Alas! he does,” confessed the générale; “but he comes, nevertheless, of a good old Normandy stock, Mme. Cléry; his great-grandfather was procureur du roi under—”

“Tut! tut!” interrupted Mme. Cléry; “his great-grandfather may have been what he liked; if he wasn't a gentleman, he has no business marrying his great grandson to a de Lemaque. No, madame; I am a poor woman, but I know better than that. Mamzelle's father would turn in his grave if he saw her married to a man who spelt his name with a big D.”

The conversation was interrupted by a ring at the door. It was Aline. She came back earlier than usual, because one of her pupils was ill and had not been able to take her lesson. The young girl was flushed and excited, and flung herself into an arm-chair the moment she entered, and burst into tears. Mme. de Chanoir sat up in alarm, fearing she was ill, and suggested a cup of tisane.

“Oh! 'tis nothing. I'm an idiot to mind it or let such impertinence vex me,” she said, when the first outburst had passed off and relieved her.

Mon Dieu! but what vexes mamzelle?” inquired Mme. Cléry anxiously.

“A horrid man that followed me the length of the street, and made some impudent speech, and asked me where I lived,” sobbed Aline.

“Is it possible!” exclaimed the old woman, aghast, and clasping her hands. “Well, mamzelle does astonish me! I thought young men knew better nowadays than to go on with that sort of tricks; fifty years ago they used to. I remember how I was followed and spoken to every time I went to church or to market; it was a persecution; but now I come and go and nobody minds me. To think of their daring to speak to mamzelle!”

“That's what one must expect when one walks about alone at your age, ma pauvre Aline,” said the générale, rather sharply, with a significant look at Mme. Cléry which that good lady understood, and resented by compressing her lips and bobbing her flaps, as much as to say, “One has a principle or one has not”—principle being in this instance synonymous with particule.

Things remained in statu quo after this for some years. Mme. de Chanoir did not enlighten her sister on the subject of the conference with Mme. Cléry, but she worked as far as she could in favor of the luckless suitor who spelt his name with a capital D. It was of no use, however. Aline continued to snub him so pertinaciously and persistently that Mme. de Chanoir at last gave up his cause as hopeless, and the professor himself, when he saw this, his solitary stronghold, surrender, thought it best to [pg 071] raise the siege with a good grace, and make a friendly truce with the victor. He frankly withdrew from the field of suitors, and took up his position as a friend of the family. This once done, he accepted its responsibilities and prerogatives, and held himself on the qui vive to render any service in his power to Mme. de Chanoir; he kept her concierge in order, and brought bonbons and flowers to No. 13 on every possible occasion. He knew Aline was passionately fond of the latter, and he was careful to keep the flower stand that stood in the pier of the little salon freshly supplied with her favorite plants, and the vases filled with her favorite flowers. He never dared to offer her a present, but under cover of offering them to the générale he kept her informed about every new book which was likely to interest her. Finally, Frenchman-like, having abandoned the hope of marrying her himself, he set to work to find some more fortunate suitor. This was par excellence the duty of a friend of the family, and M. Dalibouze was fully alive to its importance. The disinterested zeal he displayed in the discharge of it would have been comical if the spirit of genuine self-sacrifice which animated him had not touched it with pathos. One by one every eligible parti in the range of his acquaintance was led up for inspection to No. 13. Mme. de Chanoir entered complacently into the presentations; they amused her, and she tried to persuade herself that, sooner or later, something would come of them; but she knew Aline too well ever to let her into the secret of the professor's matrimonial manœuvres. The result would have been to furnish Mlle. de Lemaque with an obus opportunity and nothing more.

But do what she would, the générale could never cheat Mme. Cléry. The old woman detected a prétendant as a cat does a mouse. It was an instinct with her. There was no putting her off the scent. She never said a word to Mme. de Chanoir, but she had a most aggravating way of making her understand tacitly that she knew all about it—that, in fact, she was not born yesterday. This was her system, whenever M. Dalibouze brought a parti to tea in the evening. Mme. Cléry was seized next day with a furious dusting fit, and when the générale testified against the feathers that kept flying out of the broom, Mme. Cléry would observe, in a significant way:

“Mme. la Générale, that makes an impression when one sees a salon well dusted; that proves that the servant is capable—that she attends to her work. Madame does not think of those things, but strangers do.”

It became at length a sort of cabalistic ceremony with the old woman; intelligible only to Mme. de Chanoir. If Aline came in when the fit was on her, and ventured to expostulate, and ask what she was doing with the duster at that time of day, Mme. Cléry would remark stiffly: “Mamzelle Aline, I am dusting.” Aline came at last to believe that it was a modified phase of S. Vitus' dance, and that for want of anything better the old beldame vented her nerves on imaginary dust which she pursued in holes and corners with her feathery weapon.

This went on till Mlle. de Lemaque was six-and-twenty. She was still a bright, brave creature, working hard, accepting the privations and toil of her life in a spirit of sunshiny courage. But the sun was no longer always shining. There were days now when he drew behind a cloud—when toil pressed like a burden, and she beat her wings against it, and hated the cage that cooped her in; and she longed not so much for rest [pg 072] or happiness as for freedom—for a larger scope and higher aims, and wider, fuller sympathies. When these cloudy days came around, Aline felt the void of her life with an intensity that amounted at times to anguish; she felt it all the more keenly because she could not speak of it. Mme. de Chanoir would not have understood it. The sisters were sincerely attached to each other, but there was little sympathy of character between them, and on many points they were as little acquainted with each other as the neighbors on the next street. They knew this, and agreed sensibly to keep clear of certain subjects on which they could never meet except to disagree. The younger sister, therefore, when the sky was overcast, and when her spirits flagged, never tried to lean upon the older, but worked against the enemy in silence, denying herself the luxury of complaint. If her looks betrayed her, as was sometimes the case, and prompted Mme. de Chanoir to inquire if there was anything the matter beyond the never-ending annoyance of life in general, Aline's assurance that there was not was invariably followed by the remark: Ma sœur, I wish you were married.” To which Aline as invariably replied: “I am happier as I am, Félicité.” It was true, or at any rate Mlle. de Lemaque thought it was. Under all her surface indifference she carried a true woman's heart. She had dreamt her dreams of happiness, of tender fireside joys, and the dream was so fair and beautiful that for years it filled her life like a reality, and when she discovered, or fancied she did, that it was all too beautiful to be anything but a dream, that the hero of her young imagination would never cross her path in the form of a mortal husband, Aline accepted the discovery with a sigh, but without repining, and laid aside all thought of marriage as a guest that was not for her. As to the marriages that she saw every day around her, she would no more have bound herself in one of them than she would have sold herself to an Eastern pasha. Marriage was a very different thing in her eyes from what it was in Mme. de Chanoir's. There was no point on which the sisters were more asunder than on this, and Aline understood it so well that she avoided touching on it except in jest. Whenever the subject was introduced, she drew a mask of frivolity over her real feelings to avoid bringing down the générale's ridicule on what she would stigmatize as preposterous sentimentality.

M. Dalibouze alone guessed something of this under-current of deep feeling in the young girl's character. With the subtle instinct of affection he penetrated the disguise in which she wrapped herself, but, with a delicacy that she scarcely gave him credit for, he never let her see that he did. Sometimes, indeed, when one of those fits of tristesse was upon her, and she was striving to dissemble it by increased cheerfulness towards everybody, and sauciness towards him, the professor would adapt the conversation to the tone of her thoughts with a skill and apropos that surprised her. Once in particular Aline was startled by the way in which he betrayed either a singularly close observation of her character, or a still more singular sympathy with its moods and sufferings. It was on a Saturday evening, the little circle was gathered round the fire, and the conversation fell upon poetry and the mission of poets amongst common men. Aline declared that it was the grandest of all missions; that, after the prophet and priest, the poet did more for the moral well-being, the spiritual redemption of his fellows than any other missionary, whether [pg 073] philosopher, artist, or patriot; he combined them all, in fact, if he wished it. If he was a patriot, he could serve his country better than a soldier, by singing her wrongs and her glories, and firing the souls of her sons, and making all mankind vibrate to the touch of pain, or joy, or passionate revenge, while he sat quietly by his own hearth; she quoted Moore and Krazinski, and other patriot bards who living had ruled their people, and sent down their name a legacy of glory to unborn generations, till warmed by her subject she grew almost eloquent, and broke off in an impulsive cry of admiration and envy: “Oh! what a glorious privilege to be a poet, to be even a man with the power of doing something, of living a noble life, instead of being a weak, good-for-nothing woman!”

The little ring of listeners heard her with pleasure, and thought she must have a very keen appreciation of the beauties of the poets to speak of them so well and so fervently. But M. Dalibouze saw more in it than this. He saw an under-tone of impatience, of disappointment, of longing to go and do likewise, to spread her wings and fly, to wield a wand that had power to make others spread their wings; there was a spirit's war-cry in it, a rebel's impotent cry against the narrow, inexorable bondage of her life.

“Yes,” said the professor, “it is a grand mission, I grant you, but it is not such a rare one as you make it out, Mlle. Aline. There are more poets in the world than those who write poetry; few of us have the gift of being poets in language, but we may all be poets in action if we will; we may live out our lives in poems.”

“If we had the fashioning of our lives, no doubt we might,” asserted Aline ironically; “but they are most of them so shabby that I defy Homer himself to manufacture an epic or an idyl out of them.”

“You are mistaken. There is no life too shabby to be a poem,” said M. Dalibouze; “it is true, we can't fashion our lives as you say, but we can color them, we can harmonize them; but we must begin by believing this, and by getting our elements under command; we must sort them and arrange them, just as Mme. la Générale is doing with the shreds and silks for the tapestry, and then go on patiently working out the pattern leaf by leaf; by-and-by when the web gets tangled as it is sure to do with the best workers, instead of pulling angrily at it, or cutting it with the sharp scissors of revolt, we must call up a soft breeze from the land of souls where the spirit of the true poet dwells, and bid it blow over it, and then let us listen, and we shall hear the spirit-wind draw tones of music out of our tangled web, like the breeze sweeping the strings of an Æolian harp. It is our own fault, or perhaps oftener our own misfortune, if our lives look shabby to us; we consider them piecemeal instead of looking at them as a whole.”

“But how can we look at them as a whole?” said Aline. “We don't even know that they ever will develop into a whole. How many of us remain on the easel a sort of washed-in sketch to the end? It seems to me we are pretty much like apples in an orchard; some drop off in the flower, some when they are grown to little green balls, hard and sour and good for nothing; it is only a little of the tree that comes to maturity.”

“And is there not abundance of poetry in every phase of the apple's life, no matter when it falls?” said M. Dalibouze. “How many poems has the blight of the starry blossom given birth to? And the little green [pg 074] ball, who will count the odes that the school-boy has sung to it, not in good hexameters perhaps, but in sound, heart poetry, full of zest and the gusto of youth, when all bitters are sweet? O mon Dieu! when I think of the days when a bright-green apple was like honey in my mouth, I could be a poet myself! No paté de foie gras ever tasted half so sweet as that forbidden fruit of my school-days!”

“Good for the forbidden fruit!” said Aline, amused at the professor's sentiment over the reminiscence; “but that is only one view of the question: if the apples could speak, they would give us another.”

“Would they?” said M. Dalibouze. “I'm not sure of that. If the apples discuss the point at all, believe me, they are agreed that whatever befalls them is the very best thing that could. We have no evidence of any created thing, vegetable, mineral, or animal, grumbling at its lot; that is reserved to man, discontent is man's prerogative, he quarrels with himself, with his destiny, his neighbors, everything by turns. If we could but do like the apples, blossom, and grow, and fall, early or late, just as the wind and the gardener wished, we should be happy. Fancy an apple quarrelling with the sun in spring for not warming him as he does in August! It would be no more preposterous than it is for men to quarrel with their circumstances. The fruit of our lives have their seasons like the fruit of our gardens; the winter and snows and the sharp winds are just as necessary to both as the fire of the summer heat; all growth is gradual, and we must accept the process through which we are brought to maturity, just as the apples do. It is not the same for all of us; some are ripened under the warm vibrating sun, others resist it, and, like certain winter fruit, require the cold twilight days to mellow them. But it matters little what the process is, it is sure to be the right one if we wait for it and accept it.”

“I wonder what stage of it I am in at the present moment,” said Aline. “I can't say the sun has had much to do with it; the winds and the rain have been the busiest agents in my garden so far.”

“Patience, mademoiselle!” said M. Dalibouze. “The sun will come in his own good time.”

“You answer for that?”

“I do.”

Aline looked him straight in the face as she put the question like a challenge, and M. Dalibouze met the saucy bright eyes with a grave glance that had more of tenderness in it than she had ever seen there before. It flashed upon her for a moment that the sun might come to her through a less worthy medium than this kind, faithful, honorable man, and that she had been mayhap a fool to her own happiness in shutting the gate on him so contemptuously.

Perhaps the professor read the thought on her face, for he said in a penetrated tone, and fixing his eyes upon her:

“The true sun of life is marriage.”

It was an unfortunate remark. Aline tossed back her head, and burst out laughing. The spell that had held her for an instant was broken.

“A day will come when some one will tell you so, and you will not laugh, Mlle. Aline,” said M. Dalibouze humbly, and hiding his discomfiture under a smile.

This was the only time within the last two years that he had betrayed himself into any expression of latent hope with regard to Mlle. de Lemaque, and it had no sooner escaped him than he regretted it. The following [pg 075] Saturday, by way of atonement, he brought up a most desirable parti for inspection, and next day Mme. Cléry was seized with the inevitable dusting fit. Nothing, however, came of it.

Things went on without any noticeable change at No. 13 till September, 1870, when Paris was declared in a state of siege. The sisters were not among those lucky ones who wavered for a time between going and staying, between the desire to put themselves in safe-keeping, and the temptation of living through the blocus and boasting of it for the rest of their days. There was no choice for them but to stay. Aline, as usual, made the best of it; she must stay, so she settled it in her mind that she liked to stay; that it would be a wonderful experience to live through the most exciting episode that could have broken up the stagnant monotony of their lives, and that, in fact, it was rather an enjoyable prospect than the reverse.

Mme. Cléry was commissioned to lay in as ample a store of provisions as their purse would allow. The good woman did the best she could with her means, and the little group encouraged each other to face the coming events like patriotic citizens, cheerfully and bravely. Of the magnitude of those events, or their own probable share in their national calamities, they had a very vague notion.

“The situation,” M. Dalibouze assured them, “was critical, but by no means desperate. On the contrary, France, instead of being at the mercy of her enemies, was now on the eve of crushing them, of obtaining one of those astonishing victories which make ordinary history pale. It was the incommensurable superiority of the French arms that had brought her to this pass; that had driven Prussia mad with rage and envy, and roused her to defiance. Infatuated Prussia! she would mourn over her folly once and for ever. She would find that Paris was not alone the Greece of civilization and the arts and sciences, but that she was the most impregnable fortress that ever defied the batteries of a foe. Europe had deserted Paris, after betraying France to her enemies; now the day of reckoning was at hand; Europe would reap the fruits of her base jealousy, and witness the triumph of the capital of the world!”

This was M. Dalibouze's firm opinion, and he gave it in public and private to any one who cared to hear it. When Mme. de Chanoir asked if he meant to remain in Paris through the siege, the professor was so shocked by the implied affront to his patriotism that he had to control himself before he could trust himself to answer her.

Comment, Mme. la Générale! You think so meanly of me as to suppose I would abandon my country at such a crisis! Is it a time to fly when the enemy is at our gates, and when the nation expects every man to stand forth and defend her, and scatter those miserable eaters of sauerkraut to the winds!”

And straightway acting up to this noble patriotic credo, M. Dalibouze had himself measured for a National Guard uniform. No sooner had he endorsed it than he rushed off to Nadar's and had himself photographed. He counted the hours till the proofs came home, and then, bursting with satisfaction, he set out to No. 13.

“It is unbecoming,” he said, shrugging his shoulders as he presented his carte de visite to the générale, mais que voulez-vous? A man must sacrifice everything to his country; what is personal appearance that it could weigh in the balance [pg 076] against duty! Bah! I could get myself up as a punchinello, and perch all day on the top of Mont Valérien, if it could scare away one of those despicable brigands from the walls of the capital!”

“You are wrong in saying it is unbecoming, M. Dalibouze,” protested the générale, attentively scanning the portrait, where the military costume was set off by a semi-heroic military pose, “I think the dress suits you admirably.”

“You are too indulgent, madame,” said the professor. “You see your friends through the eyes of friendship; but, in truth, it was purely from an historical point of view that I made the little sacrifice of personal feeling; the portrait will be interesting as a souvenir some day when we, the actors in this great drama, have passed away.”

But time went on, and the prophetic triumphs of M. Dalibouze were not realized; the eaters of sauerkraut held their ground, and provisions began to grow scarce at No. 13. The purse of the sisters, never a large one, was now seriously diminished, Aline's contribution to the common fund having ceased altogether with the beginning of the siege. Her old pupils had left, and there was no chance of finding any new ones at such a time as this. No one had money to spend on lessons, or leisure to learn; the study that absorbed everybody was how to realize food or fuel out of impossible elements. Every one was suffering, in a more or less degree, from the miseries imposed by the state of blocus; but one would have fancied the presence of death in so many shapes, by fire without, by cold and famine within, would have detached them generally from life, and made them forgetful of the wants of the body and absorbed them in sublimer cares. But it was not so. After the first shock of hearing the cannon at the gates close to them, they got used to it. Later, when the bombardment came, there was another momentary panic, but it calmed down, and they got used to that too. Shells could apparently fall all round without killing them. So they turned all their thoughts to the cherishing and comfort of their poor afflicted bodies. It must have been sad, and sometimes grimly comical, to watch the singular phases of human nature developed by the blocus. One of the oddest and most frequent was the change it wrought in people with regard to their food. People who had been ascetically indifferent to it before, and never thought of their meals till they sat down to table, grew monomaniac on the point, and could think and speak of nothing else. Meals were talked of, in fact, from what we can gather, more than politics, the Prussians, or the probable issue of the siege, or any of the gigantic problems that were being worked out both inside and outside the besieged city. Intelligent men and women discussed by the hour, with gravity and gusto, the best way of preparing cats and dogs, rats and mice, and all the abominations that necessity had substituted for food. Poor human nature was fermenting under the process like wine in the vat, and all its dregs came uppermost: selfishness, callousness to the sufferings of others, ingratitude, all the pitiable meanness of a man, boiled up to the surface and showed him a sorry figure to behold. But other nobler things came to the surface too. There were innumerable silent dramas, soul-poems going on in unlikely places, making no noise beyond their quiet sphere, but travelling high and sounding loud behind the curtain of gray sky that shrouded the winter sun of [pg 077] Paris. The cannon shook her ramparts, and the shells flashed like lurid furies through the midnight darkness; but far above the din and the darkness and the death-cries rose the low sweet music of many a brave heart's sacrifice; the stronger giving up his share to the weaker, the son hoarding his scanty rations against the day of still scantier supplies, when there would be scarcely food enough to support the weakened frame of an aged father or mother, talking big about the impossibility of surrender, and lightly about the price of resistance. There were mothers in Paris, too, and wherever mothers are there is sure to be found self-sacrifice in its loveliest, divinest form. How many of them toiled and sweated, aye, and begged, subduing all pride to love for the little ones, who ate their fill and knew nothing of the cruel tooth that was gnawing the bread-winner's vitals!

We who heard the thunder of the artillery and the blasting shout of the mitrailleuse, we did not hear these things, but other ears did, and not a note of the sweet music was lost, angels were hearkening for them, and as they rose above the dark discord, like crystal bells tolling in the storm wind, the white-winged messengers caught them on golden lyres and wafted them on to paradise.

To Be Continued.

On A Picture Of S. Mary Bearing Doves To Sacrifice.

My eyes climb slowly up, as by a stair,
To seek a picture on my chamber wall—
A picture of the Mother of our Lord,
Hung where the latest twilight shadows fall.
My lifted eyes behold a childlike face,
Under a veil of woman's holiest thought,
O'ershadowed by the mystery of grace,
And mystery of mercy—God hath wrought.
Down through the dim old temple, moving slow,
Her drooping lids scarce lifted from the ground,
As if she faintly heard the distant flow
Of far-off seas of grief she could not sound.
[pg 078]
I think archangels would not count it sin
If, underneath the veil that hides her eyes,
They, seeing all things, saw the soul within
Held more of mother-love than sacrifice.
She walks erect, the virgin undefiled,
Back from her throat the loose robe falls apart,
And e'en as she would clasp her royal Child,
She holds the dovelets to her tender heart.
No white wing trembles 'neath her pitying palm,
No feather flutters in this last warm nest,
And thus she bears them on—while solemn psalm
Wakes dim, prophetic stirrings in her breast.
Sweet Hebrew mother! many a woman shares,
Thy crucifixion of her hopes and loves,
And in her arms to death unshrinking bears
Her precious things—even her turtle-doves.
But often, ere the temple's marble floor
Has ceased the echo of her parting feet,
Her gifts prove worthless—thine is ever more
The gift of gifts—transcendent and complete.
We mothers, too, have treasures all our own,
And, one by one, oft see them sacrificed:
Thou, Blessed among women—thou alone
Hast held within thine arms the dear Child-Christ.
Therefore, mine eyes mount up, as by a stair,
To seek the picture on my chamber wall;
Therefore my soul climbs oft the steeps of prayer,
To rest where shadows of thy Son's cross fall.
[pg 079]

Centres Of Thought In The Past. First Article. The Monasteries.

It seems very ambitious to try and present to the reader a sketch of anything so vast as the field of research pointed out by the above title, and, indeed, far from aiming at this, we will set forth by saying, once for all, that our attempts will be nothing more than passing views, isolated specimens of that immense whole which, under the names of education, progress, development, scholasticism, and renaissance, forms the intellectual “stock in trade” of every modern system of knowledge.

The “past” is divided into two distinct eras—the monastic and the scholastic. In the earlier era, the centres of thought were the Benedictine and the Columbanian monasteries; in the second era, intellectual life gathered its strength in the universities, under the guidance of the church, typified by the Mendicant Orders. The first era may be said to have lasted from the fifth century to the eleventh, and to have reached its apogee in the seventh and eighth. The second reached from the eleventh century to the sixteenth, and attained its highest glory in the prolific and gifted thirteenth century. Each had its representative centre par excellence, its representative men, philosophy, and religious development. Prior Vaughan, in his recent masterpiece, the Life of S. Thomas of Aquin, expresses this idea in many ways. “From the sixth to the thirteenth century,” he says, “the education of Europe was Benedictine. Monks in their cells ... were planting the mustard-seed of future European intellectual growth.” Further on he says: “Plato represents rest; Aristotle, inquisitiveness. The former is synthetical; the latter, analytical. Quies is monastic, inquisitiveness is dialectical.” Thus, Plato is the representative master of the earlier era; S. Benedict and his incomparable rule, its representative religious outgrowth; the study of the Scriptures, the Fathers, and the liberal arts, its representative system of education. We do not hear of many “commentaries” in those days, nor of curious schedules of questions, such as, “Did the little hands of the Boy Jesus create the stars?”26 On the other hand, elegant Latinity was taught, and the Scriptures were multiplied by thousands of costly and laborious transcriptions. The first era was eminently conservative. Its very schools were physically representative; “the solitary abbey, hidden away amongst the hills, with its psalmody, and manual work, and unexciting study.”27 In the scholastic era, things were reversed. “Latinity grew barbarous, and many far graver disorders arose out of the daring and undue exercise of reason. Yet intellectual progress was being made in spite of the decay of letters.... In the extraordinary intellectual revolution which marked the [pg 080] opening of the thirteenth century, the study of thoughts was substituted for the study of words.”28 Here the representative exponent was Aristotle; the religious developments, the Crusades and the Mendicant Orders; and the personal outgrowth of the clashes of the two systems—that of the old immovable dogmatic church, and that of irreverence and rationalism—S. Bernard, S. Dominic, S. Thomas of Aquin, on the one hand, and Peter Abelard and William de Saint Amour, on the other. Here, again, we find the locale analogous to the spirit of the age. Cities were now the centres of knowledge; noisy streets, with ominous names, such as the “Rue Coupegueule,”29 in Paris, so named from the frequent murders committed there during university brawls, take the place of the silent cloister and long stone corridors of the abbey; physical disorder typifies the moral confusion of the day; and Paris the chaotic stands in the room of Monte Casino, S. Gall, or English Jarrow. Then followed the “Renaissance,” that “revival of practical paganism.”30 “The saints and fathers of the church gradually disappeared from the schools, and society, instead of being permeated, as in former times, with an atmosphere of faith, was now redolent of heathenism.”31 Petrarch and Boccaccio were the representatives of this refined (if we must use the word in its ordinary sensual meaning) infidelity; Plato was the god of the new Olympus, but unrecognizable from the Plato embodied in the Fathers and Benedictine littérateurs, for, practically speaking, polite life had now become Epicurean; while as for the religious development of the times, since it could no longer be representative, it became apostolic. Savonarola and S. Francis Xavier are names that stand out in the moral darkness of that era, and the latter suggests the only new creation in the church from that day to our own. Christian education had been Benedictine, then Dominican; it now became Jesuit. The world knew its old enemy in the new dress, and ever since has warred against it with diabolical foresight and unwearied venom. Of this last phase of the past, which is so like the present that we have classed it apart, we do not purpose to speak, but will confine ourselves to those older and grander, though hardly less troublous times known as the middle ages.

The first two centres of Christianity and patristic learning outside Rome were Alexandria and Constantinople. The latter soon fell away into schism, and thence into that barbarism which the vigorous Western races were at that very same time casting off through the influence of the church that Byzantium had rejected. From Alexandria we may date the beginnings of our own systems of learning. The end of the second century already found the Christian schools of that city famous, and the converted Stoic Pantænus spoken of as one of “transcendent powers.” Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Hippolytus, Bishop of Porto, were teachers in those schools, and the Acts of the Martyrs tell us that Catharine, the learned virgin-martyr, was an Alexandrian. Hippolytus was a famous astronomer and arithmetician. Clement used poetry, philosophy, science, eloquence, and even satire, in the interests of religion. Origen became the master of S. Gregory Thaumaturgus and his brother [pg 081] Athenodorus. “It was now recognized that Christians were men who could think and reason with other men, ... and of whom a university city need not be ashamed. Christians were expected to teach and study the liberal arts, profane literature, philosophy, and the Biblical languages, ... and all the time the business of the school went on, persecution raged with small intermission.”32 Prior Vaughan says that “Faith took her seat with her Greek profile and simple majesty in Alexandria, and withstood, as one gifted with a divine power, two subtle and dangerous enemies—heathen philosophy and heretical theology—and, by means of Clement and of Origen, proved to passion and misbelief that a new and strange intellectual influence had been brought into the world.”33 Antioch and Constantinople claimed the world's attention later on, and the Thebaid teemed with equal treasures of learning and of holiness. S. John Chrysostom exhorts Christian parents, in 376, “to entrust the education of their sons to the solitaries, to those men of the mountain whose lessons he himself had received.”34

When the glories of the patristic age were waning, and the East seemed to fail the church, through whose influence alone she had become famous, there arose in the West, among the half-barbarous races of Goths, Franks, Celts, and Teutons, other champions of monasticism and pioneers of learning. The raw material of Christian Europe was being moulded into the heroic form it bore during mediæval times by poet, philosopher, and legislator-monks.

Of these monastic centres, Lerins is perhaps the oldest. Founded in 410, on an island of the Mediterranean near the coast of France, it became “another Thebaid, a celebrated school of theology and Christian philosophy, a citadel inaccessible to the works of barbarism, and an asylum for literature and science which had fled from Italy on the invasion of the Goths.”35 All France sought its bishops from this holy and learned isle. Among its great scholars was Vincent of Lerins, the first controversialist of his time, and the originator of the celebrated formula: Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus creditum est. We may be pardoned for extending our notice of him, since the words he uses on the progress of the church are so singularly appropriate to our own times and problems. Having established the unchangeableness of Catholic doctrine, he goes on to say: “Shall there, then, be no progress in the church of Christ? There shall be progress, and even great progress, ... but it will be progress and not change. With the growth of ages there must necessarily be a growth of intelligence, of wisdom, and of knowledge, for each man as for all the church. But the religion of souls must imitate the progress of the human form, which, in developing and growing in years, never ceases to be the same in the maturity of age as in the flower of youth.”36 Had the monk of Lerins foreknown the aberrations of the doctor of Munich, he could not have better refuted the latest heresy of our own day. S. Lupus of Troyes, who arrested Attila at the gates of his episcopal city, and successfully combated the Pelagian heresy in England; S. Cesarius of Arles, who was successively persecuted and finally reinstated by two barbarian kings, and who gave his sister Cesaria a rule for her nuns which was [pg 082] adopted by Queen Radegundes for her immense monastery of Poictiers; Salvian, whose eloquence was likened to that of S. Augustine, were all monks of Lerins. S. Cesarius has well epitomized the training of this great and holy school when he says: “It is she who nourishes those illustrious monks who are sent into all provinces of Gaul as bishops. When they arrive, they are children; when they go out, they are fathers. She receives them as recruits, she sends them forth kings.”37 As late as 1537, we find on the list of the commission appointed by Pope Paul III. to draw up the preliminaries of the Council of Trent, and especially to point out and correct the abuses of secular training and paganized art, the name of Gregory Cortese, Abbot of Lerins.38 But we must hasten on to other foundations of a reputation and influence as world-wide as that of the Mediterranean Abbey.

In 580, there was a famous school at Seville, where all the arts and sciences were taught by learned masters, presided over by S. Leander, the bishop of the diocese. Then S. Ildefonso, of Toledo, a scholar of Seville, founded a great school at Toledo itself (where the famous councils took place later on), which, together with Seville, made “Spain the intellectual light of the Christian world in the seventh century.”39

From the South let us turn to the fruitful land where monks supplied the place of martyrs, and where the faith, planted by Patrick, grew so marvellously into absolute power within the short space of a century. Armagh, Bangor, Clonard, are names that at once recall the palmy days of sacred learning. “Within a century after the death of S. 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.”40 “By the ninth century, Armagh could boast of 7,000 students.”41 “Clonard,” says Usher, “issued forth a stream of saints and doctors like the Greek warriors from the wooden horse.”42 The Irish communities, Montalembert tells us in his brilliant language, “entered into rivalry with the great monastic schools of Gaul. They explained Ovid there; they copied Virgil; they devoted themselves especially to Greek literature; they drew back from no inquiry, from no discussion; they gloried in placing boldness on a level with faith.” The young Luan answered the Abbot of Bangor, who warned him against the dangers of too engrossing a study of the liberal arts: “If I have the knowledge of God, I shall never offend God, for they who disobey him are they who know him not.”

The Irish were as adventurous as they were learned, and Montalembert bears witness to the national propensity in the following graceful language: “This monastic nation became the missionary nation par excellence. The Irish missionaries covered the land and seas of the West. Unwearied navigators, they landed on the most desert islands; they overflowed the continent with their successive immigrations. They saw in incessant visions a world known and unknown to be conquered for Christ.” And the author of Christian Schools and Scholars reminds us of the beautiful legend of S. Brendan, the founder of the great school of Clonfert in Connaught, the school-fellow of Columba, and the pupil of Finian at Clonard, who is declared [pg 083] to have set sail in search of the Land of Promise, and during his seven years' journey to have “discovered a vast tract of land, lying far to the west of Ireland, where he beheld wonderful birds and trees of unknown foliage, which gave forth perfumes of extraordinary sweetness.” Whatever fiction is mingled with this marvellous narrative, it is difficult not to admit that it must have had some foundation of truth, and the poetic legend which was perfectly familiar to Columbus is said to have furnished him with one motive for believing in the existence of a western continent. Later on we shall find Albertus Magnus foreshadowing the same belief in his writings. Two of the Irish missionaries deserve especial notice—Columba, the Apostle of Caledonia, and Columbanus, the founder of Luxeuil in Burgundy. The former, with his stronghold of Iona, which “came to be looked upon as the chief seat of learning, not only in Britain, but in the whole Western world,”43 is familiar to all readers of Montalembert's great monastic poem, and to that other public who have had access to the Duke of Argyll's recent work on the rock-bound metropolis of Christian Britain. We are told that the most scrupulous exactitude was required in the Scriptorium of Iona, and that Columba himself, a skilful penman, wrote out the famous Book of Kells with his own hand. It is now preserved in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. The monks of Iona studied and taught the classics, the mechanical arts, law, history, and physic. They transferred to their new home all the learning of Armagh and Clonard. Painful journeys in search of books or of the oral teaching of some renowned master were nothing in their eyes; they listened to lectures on the Greek and Latin fathers, hung entranced over Homer and Virgil, and were skilled in calculating eclipses and other natural phenomena. They astonished the world with their arithmetical knowledge and linguistic erudition, and their keen logic and love of syllogism are spoken of by S. Benedict of Anian in the ninth century.44 Art was equally cultivated, but this, strictly speaking, is outside our present subject. As an example of Columba's liberal spirit and devotion to the best interests of literature, we may remark his defence of the bards at the Assembly of Drumceitt. Poets, historians, law-givers, and genealogists, the bards represented all the learning of a past age and system; and if their arrogance now and then overstepped the bounds of courtesy, and even sometimes the restraints of law, in the main their institute was heroic and praiseworthy. Columba argued against their opponent, a prince of the Nialls of the South, Aedh, that “care must be taken not to pull up the good corn with the tares, and that the general exile of the poets would be the death of a venerable antiquity, and that of a poetry which was dear to the country and useful to those who knew how to employ it.” His eloquence saved the bardic institute, and the poets in their gratitude composed a famous song in his praise, which became celebrated in Irish literature under the name of Ambhra, or Praise of S. Columbkill.45

Columbanus, a monk of Bangor, was destined to found an Irish colony of even greater fame and longer duration than Iona. Luxeuil, founded in 590, at the foot of the Vosges in Burgundy, soon counted among its sons many hundred votaries of learning. [pg 084] Montalembert says of it that “no monastery of the West had yet shone with so much lustre or attracted so many disciples”. It became another Lerins, a nursery of bishops for the Frankish and Burgundian cities, a notable seat of secular knowledge, and, above all, a school of saints. Indeed, among the meagre, skeleton-like details that come down to us of these giant abodes of a supernatural race of men, we find ourselves perforce repeating over and over the same formula of commendation. What more could one say but that each of these monastic centres was a school of saints? And yet how much variety in that sameness! How much that even we can see, and distinguish, and mentally dissect! We see some soaring spirit, whose burning love is never content with renunciation, but ever seeks, with holy restlessness, some deeper solitude in which to pray and meditate, like the Bavarian monk Sturm, the pupil and companion of S. Boniface, and the founder of the world-renowned Abbey of Fulda; or, again, some great thinker like Alcuin of York, whose touching love for his own land and city makes us feel with pardonable pride how near akin is our own weak human nature to that of even the giant men of old; or spirits like the gentle Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, the traditions of whose unwearied moderation and “inestimable gift of kindness and light-heartedness,” as well as his “intense and active sympathy for those human sorrows which in all ages are the same,” are all the more precious to us that they are also mingled with tales of his wondrous horsemanship, athletic frame, and simple enjoyment of legitimate sports. The same author we have just quoted, Montalembert, says that the description of his childhood reads like that of a little Anglo-Saxon of our own day, a scholar of Eton or Harrow. So that, when one after another we read of Gaulish, Celtic, and Teutonic abbeys that were intellectual capitals and centres of far-reaching and all-embracing knowledge, we must always remember that these words, grown trite at last from frequent use, have as varied a meaning as the collective name of Milky Way, which stands for countless worlds of unknown stars.

As Christianity spread in the early part of the middle ages, these monastic centres were multiplied like the posterity of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Lindisfarne, the Iona of the eastern coast of England, soon rivalled her Scottish predecessor, and retained much the same impress of Celtic learning, while Melrose served as a supplementary school and novitiate. The Teutonic element now began to make itself felt. Caedmon, the Saxon cowherd, transformed into a poet and a monk by a direct call from God, sang the creation in strains “which,” says Montalembert, “may still be admired even beside the immortal poem of the author of Paradise Lost.” Wilfrid, the S. Thomas à Becket of the seventh century, vigorously planted Roman traditions and customs in the Saxon monastery of Ripon, and perpetuated the name of S. Peter in his other magnificent foundation of Peterborough, the poetic “Home among the Meadows,” or Medehamstede.46 Theodore, the Greek metropolitan of England, in 673 introduced into the Anglo-Saxon schools “an intellectual and literary development as worthy of the admiration as of the gratitude of posterity; the study of the two classic tongues (Greek and Latin) chiefly flourished under his [pg 085] care.... Monasteries, thus transformed into homes of scientific study, could not but spread a taste and respect for intellectual life, not only among the clergy, but also among their lay-protectors, the friends and neighbors of each community.”47

Benedict Biscop, the contemporary of the chivalrous Wilfrid of York, is eminently a representative of Anglo-Saxon cultivation. Montalembert puts his name in the “monastic constellation of the seventh century” for intelligence, art, and science. He it was who undertook a journey to Rome (which place he had visited many times before on other errands) solely to procure books; and it must be borne in mind that this journey was then twice as long and a hundred times more dangerous than a journey from London to Australia is now. After having founded the Abbey of Wearmouth, at the mouth of the Wear, Benedict set forth again, bringing masons and glass-makers from Gaul to teach the Anglo-Saxons some notions of solid and ornamental architecture. He was a passionate book-collector, and wished each of his monasteries to have a great library, which he considered indispensable to the discipline, instruction, and good organization of the community. Originally a monk at Lerins, whither he had gone after giving up a knightly and seignorial career in his own country, he naturally drank in that thirst for learning which, in the earlier middle ages, seems to have been almost inseparable from holiness. Jarrow, the sister monastery to Wearmouth, situated near it by the mouth of the Tyne, was even yet more famous as a school of hallowed knowledge, and has become endeared to the hearts of all Englishmen as the home of the Venerable Bede. His is a figure which, even in the foreign annals of the church, stands pre-eminent among ecclesiastical writers, and one in whom the Anglo-Saxon character is thoroughly and beautifully revealed. Calm and steadfast self-possession, that beautiful attribute of the followers of the “Prince of Peace,” is the key-note to the writings of the historian-monk of Jarrow. The first glimpse we have of him is as the solitary companion of the new-made abbot, Ceolfrid, chanting the divine office at the age of seven; his voice choked with sobs as he thought of the elder brethren, all of whom a grievous pestilence had carried off. But though the choir had gone to join in the hymns of the New Jerusalem, the canonical hours were nevertheless kept up by the sorrowing abbot and the child-chorister until new brethren came to take the place of the old ones. Bede was never idle; he says himself that “he was always his own secretary, and dictated, composed, and copied all himself.” His great history was the means of bringing him into contact with the best men of his day. “The details he gives on this subject show that a constant communication was kept up between the principal centres of religious life, and that an amount of intellectual activity as surprising as it is admirable—when the difficulty of communication and the internal wars which ravaged England are taken into account—existed among their inhabitants.”48 Bede's political foresight seems to have been of no mean order, and the grave advice he administers to bishops on ecclesiastical abuses shows at once his practical common sense and fearlessness of character. He also condemns the too sweeping grants of [pg 086] land, exemptions from taxes, and privileges offered to monastic houses, and gives the wisest reasons for his strictures. “The nations of Catholic Europe envied England the possession of so great a doctor, the first among the offspring of barbarous races who had won a place among the doctors of the church, ... and his illustrious successor Alcuin, speaking to the community of Jarrow which Bede had made famous, bears witness to his celebrity in these words: ‘Stir up, then, the minds of your sleepers by his example; study his works, and you will be able to draw from them the secret of eternal beauty.’ ”49

Malmesbury was another Anglo-Saxon centre of thought, and the memory of S. Aldhelm long gave it that “powerful and popular existence which lasted far into the middle ages.”50 The cathedral school of York, “which rose into celebrity just as Bede was withdrawn from the scene of his useful labors,”51 produced one of the greatest of English scholars, and one instrumental in carrying knowledge acquired among monks to the warrior court of a foreign prince. Charlemagne and his Palatine schools of Aix-la-Chapelle would have been shorn of half their glory had it not been for the Englishman Alcuin. But it was not without a pang that the home-loving master left the school he had almost formed, and which he cherished as the product of his first efforts, and undertook to foster the same institutions in a strange land. These schools, in which enthusiastic French writers love to trace the germ of the mighty University of Paris, seem to have possessed a system of equality very creditable both to their master and their imperial patron. Later on, when the wearied magister at last wrested from Charlemagne the permission to retire into some monastery, since he had failed in obtaining leave to return and die at York, it was only to found another school that he occupied his leisure. S. Martin's at Tours now became as famous as the Palatine at Aix-la-Chapelle. “He applied himself to his new duties with unabated energy, and by his own teaching raised the school of Tours to a renown which was shared by none of its contemporaries. In the hall of studies, a distinct place was set apart for the copyists, who were exhorted by certain verses of their master, set up in a conspicuous place, to mind their stops and not to leave out letters.”52 Here, then, is another of those pleasant little details which creates a fellow-feeling between the human nature of to-day and that of past ages. The description of his life from which we have drawn this sketch closes thus: “In short, his active mind, thoroughly Anglo-Saxon in its temper, worked on to the end; laboring at a sublime end by homely practical details. One sees he is of the same race with Bede, who wrote and dictated to the last hour of his life, and, when his work was finished, calmly closed his book and died.”53

We have already named Fulda, the glorious monastic centre where the monk Sturm established the Benedictine rule in 744, and where, before his death, 400 monks sang daily the praises of God, and good scholars were trained to intellectual warfare in the name of faith. In 802, “mindful of its great origin, it was one of the first to enter heartily into the revival of letters instituted by Charlemagne,” and sent the monks Hatto and Rabanus to study under [pg 087] Alcuin. We find a most graphic description of the daily routine of this great school in Christian Schools and Scholars. It so well illustrates the common life of the middle ages that we do not hesitate to give it at some length: “The German nobles gladly entrusted their sons to Rabanus' care, and he taught them with wonderful gentleness and patience. At his lectures every one was trained to write equally well in prose or verse on any subject placed before him, and was afterwards taken through a course of rhetoric, logic, and natural philosophy.... The school of Fulda had inherited the fullest share of the Anglo-Saxon spirit, and exhibited the same spectacle of intellectual activity which we have already seen working in the foundations of S. Benedict Biscop. Every variety of useful occupation was embraced by the monks.... Within doors 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.... 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 the copyists to abstain from idle words, to be diligent in copying good books, and to take care not to alter the text by careless mistakes. Not far from the scriptorium was the interior school ... where 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 or 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 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 study of 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 philosophic literature of Europe.... It may be added that the school of Fulda would have been found ordered with admirable discipline. Twelve of the best professors were chosen, and formed a council of elders or doctors, presided over by one who bore the title of principal, and who assigned to each one the lectures he was to deliver to the pupils. In the midst of this world of intellectual life and labor, Rabanus continued for some years to train the first minds of Germany, and reckoned among his pupils the most celebrated men of the age.... For the rest, he was an enemy to anything like narrowness of intellectual training. His own works in prose and verse embraced a large variety of subjects, ... and he is commonly reputed the author of the Veni Creator.”54

One of his pupils, the monk Otfried of Weissembourg, entered with singular ardor into the study of the Tudesque or native dialect. Inspired [pg 088] by Rabanus, who himself devoted much attention to this subject, and encouraged by a “certain noble lady named Judith,” Otfried undertook to translate into his native tongue the most remarkable Gospel passages relating to Our Lord's life. His verses speedily became familiar to the people, and by degrees took the place of those pagan songs of their forefathers, by which much of the leaven of heathenism yet remained in the minds of the peasantry, associated as it was with all the touching prestige of nationalism and the honest pride they felt in their ancestors' prowess.

Rabanus, while master of the Fulda school, had much to suffer from the eccentricities of his abbot, Ratgar, who, afflicted with the building mania, actually forced his monks to interrupt their studies, and even shorten their prayers, to take up the trowel and the hod and hasten on his new erections. Here we have the other side of the daily life of the middle ages, and a more ludicrous scene can hardly be imagined than the enforced labor of the scholar-monks, their rueful countenances showing their despair at the unpleasant task, yet their unflinching principle of obedience towering above their disgust, and compelling them to work in silence till relieved by the Emperor Louis himself. The new abbot, installed in Ratgar's place by a commission empowered to look into the latter's unheard-of abuse of his authority, was a saint as well as a scholar, and “healed the wounds which a long course of ill-treatment had opened in the community.” Rabanus himself succeeded him, and resigned the mastership of the school to his favorite assistant, Candidus.

Passing over many abbeys whose merits it were too long a story to enumerate, we come to S. Gall, the great Helvetian centre of thought. Originally it was founded by Gall, the disciple of Columbanus, and in the reign of King Pepin changed the Columbanian for the Benedictine rule. Already, in its early beginnings, it was a home of art, and Tutilo's works in gold, copper, and brass were famous throughout the Germanic world. The mills, the forge, the workshops of all sorts, the cloisters for the monks, the buildings for the students, the immense tracts of arable land, the reclaimed forests, the fleet of busy little boats on the great Lake of Constance, all told of a stirring centre of human life. And while art, science, philosophy, agriculture, and mechanical industry were all at work in the townlike abbey, “you will hear these fine classical scholars preaching plain truths, in barbarous idioms, to the rude race of the mountains, who, before the monks came among them, sacrificed to the evil one, and worshipped stocks and stones.”55 “S. Gall 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. S. Gall was larger and freer, and made more of the arts and sciences; indeed, so far as regards its studies, it had a better claim to the title of university than any single institution which can be named as existing before the time of Philip Augustus.56 You would have found here not monks alone, but courtiers, soldiers, and the sons of kings. All diligently applied themselves to the cultivation of the Tudesque dialect, and to its grammatical formation, so as to render it capable of producing a literature of its own.”57 The monks were in correspondence [pg 089] with all the learned monastic houses of France and Italy, and the transfer of a codex, a Livy, or a Virgil from one to the other occasioned as much diplomacy, interest, and excitement as a commercial treaty or the discovery of new gold fields would in our day. S. Gall had its Greek scholars, too, and seems to have fostered among its copyists a love for “fine editions,” such as would do honor to an English or Russian bibliomaniac of to-day. They made their own parchment from the hides of the wild animals of their mountains, and employed many hands on each precious manuscript. The costly binding was likewise all home-made, and many a jewelled missal must have come from the hand of the artist-monk Tutilo. Music was a specialty of S. Gall, if one may say so in an age when music was so much a part of education that alone of all the arts it was included in the quadrivium, or higher instruction of the mediæval schools. Romanus of S. Gall it was who first named the musical notes by the letters of the alphabet, a system which is universal in Germany, and very commonly followed in England to this day.

We should multiply names ad infinitum were we to allow ourselves to roam further over that field of history so falsely called the dark ages. Einsiedeln, Paderborn, Magdeburg, Utrecht, are but a few of the many equally deserving of notice, the latter being, we are told, “a fashionable place of education for the sons of German princes” in the tenth century. Before we go on to the second stage of the learning of the past—the era of the universities—we cannot help looking back to the little Saxon island where, in 882, Alfred devoted one-fourth of his revenue to the restoration of the Oxford schools and obtained from Pope Martin II. a brief constituting them what may be fairly called a university. This was at a time when learning was at a low ebb, and the invasions of the Danes were endangering the cause of letters—a cause so intimately wrapped up in that of the great monasteries. Glastonbury, the ruined home of so much wisdom, science, and philosophy, was destined under S. Dunstan to retake her place among the schools. A great revival was initiated by him, a reform among the clergy vigorously enforced, episcopal seminaries reopened, and monastic schools once more brought to their ancient place in the vanguard of civilization. Ethelwold, Dunstan's disciple, was zealous for the study of sacred learning, and “loved teaching for its own sake. A new race of scholars sprang up in the restored cloisters, some of whom were not unworthy to be ranked with the disciples of Bede and Alcuin.”58 At Glastonbury, like as at Fulda, the native tongue was cultivated, harmonized, and rendered capable of being ranked no longer as a dialect, but as the characteristic language of an eminently masterful people. Croyland, also, a ruined centre of intellectual life, rose again from its ashes; new monks and scholars reared its walls and filled its schools, and the Danish horrors were soon forgotten in the thoughtful kindness of the new abbot, Turketul, the nephew of Alfred, who, as we read, from a warrior and a courtier, a minister of state, and a royal prince, became a gentle monk and the rewarder of his little pupils. “Turketul took the greatest interest in the success of the school, visiting it daily, inspecting the tasks of each child, and taking with him a servant who carried [pg 090] raisins, figs, and nuts, or more often apples and pears, and such like little gifts, that the boys might be encouraged to be diligent, not with words only or blows, but rather by the hope of reward.” Such is the sweet, homely picture given us by the historian Ingulph of one of the greatest of schools in its early monastic beginnings. We have left ourselves so little space that even the metropolis of the Benedictines, the glorious and world-renowned Monte Casino, can find but a scant notice in these pages. If Subiaco was the spiritual birthplace of the order par excellence, Monte Casino was its intellectual cradle. There the rule was written which, by some mysterious fate, was destined to absorb and supersede that of the widespread Columbanians; there were the missionary principles first established which led to the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon race; there the school of quies and reverence first planted which made this wonderful monastery “the most powerful and celebrated in the Catholic universe.”59 It was likened to Sinai by Pope Victor III., the successor of Hildebrand, in bold and simple verses, full of divine exultation and Christian pride: it has been defended and protected by an English and Protestant scholar,60 the minister of a nation whose civilization once flowed from its bosom, and whose learning was fostered in its early “scriptoria.” It has outlasted many of its own offspring, and still stands undecayed in its moral sublimity, fruitful yet in saints and scholars, the mother-house of an order whose origin stretches beyond Benedict far into the desert of Paul and Anthony, Jerome and Hilarion.

And now that we are forced, reluctantly enough, to let fall the veil over that teeming life of the mediæval cloister, the fruitful nursery of every later intellectual development, shall we tell the reader what has most struck us throughout the short sketch we have been able to give of these centres of thought? Does not their history sound like some “monkish chronicle”? How is it that all the most “celebrated men of their time” (the phrase so often repeated in these annals) are monks, and so many not only monks, but saints? How is it that we come upon so many instances of these great scholars taking their turn at the mill, the forge, and the bake-house, and that these details sound neither sordid nor vulgar, as they might of modern and secular littérateurs? It was the monastic principle, the Christ-principle, as Prior Vaughan calls it in his Life of S. Thomas of Aquin—the principle of faith, obedience, purity, adoration, and reverence. “The monks had a world of their own.... Whilst the barbarians were laying all things in ruins, they, heedless alike of fame or profit, were patiently laying the foundations of European civilization. They were forming the languages of Schiller, of Bacon, and of Bossuet; they were creating arts which modern skill in vain endeavors to imitate; they were preserving the codices of ancient learning, and embalming the world ‘lying in wickedness’ with the sweet odor of their manifold virtues.”61 Not only were they men who “wrote and spoke much, and, by their masculine genius and young and fresh inspiration, prevented the new Christian world from falling back from its first advances, either by literature or politics, under the yoke of exhausted paganism”;62 [pg 091] not only were they men of progress even while essentially conservative, men of the future even while their studies were all of the past, but, “in opposing poverty, chastity, and obedience, the three great bases of monastic life, to the orgies of wealth, debauchery, and pride, they created at once a contrast and a remedy.”63 Prior Vaughan, in his brilliant lifelike picture of mediævalism, S. Thomas of Aquin, perpetually refers to the ruling principle of monasticism: “To omit mention of the Benedictine principle would be to manifest great ignorance of the action of the highest form of truth upon mankind. The mastership of authority and reverence, springing out of the school of quies, did not cease to exert a considerable influence even after the dominant power of the monastic body had nearly disappeared.”64 Elsewhere we read: “There was nothing of the sophist or logician in those sweet and venerable countenances, the unruffled beauty of which is so often dwelt upon by their biographers.... One of the marks of the age is the absence of the disputatious spirit, which, if it diminishes their rank (that of the monastic thinkers) in the world of letters, forms the charm of their characters as men. The real spirit of the age was one of reverence for tradition.”65

The foresight of the monk-teachers of the earlier middle ages is no less remarkable than their holiness. Everywhere they fostered the native idiom, and labored to reduce it to an intelligible grammar. The national and patriotic feeling thus awakened in the centres of learning must needs have endeared them to, and more closely linked them with, the intellectual progress of the people they instructed. A modern author observes that “Bede's words are evidence that the establishment of the Teutonic nations on the ruins of the Roman Empire did not barbarize knowledge. He collected and taught more natural truths than any Roman writer had yet accomplished, and his works display an advance, not a retrogression, in science.” Indeed, natural science seems to have been from the first a peculiarly monastic pursuit. The great names of Bede, Gerbert, Albertus Magnus, and Roger Bacon are as a mighty chain from century to century, leading up to the discoveries of Galileo, Newton, Arago, and Humboldt; while in S. Brendan we have a bold precursor of Columbus.

The monasteries were so entirely the sole centres of civilization that numberless towns owe their origin to them. Scholars came for instruction, and remained for edification; grateful patients settled near the heaven-taught physicians who had cured them; peasants clustered round the abbeys for protection, and thus grew towns and villages without number in Germany, Switzerland, France, England, and Italy. Even America bears to-day, in the name of one of her oldest English settlements, and a hereditary representative of intellect—Boston—a memento of the old intellectual supremacy of monasticism. S. Botolph, an Anglo-Saxon hermit, left his monastery, and settled in a hut on one of the plains of Lincolnshire. Scholars gathered around him, and, despite his remonstrances, set up other huts around his, and the Benedictine monastery of Icanhoe was founded. As time went on, a village sprang up and became a town, and was called Botolphstown. The name was afterwards corrupted and cut down into Boston, and from Boston it was that the founders of [pg 092] New England set sail on their journey to Holland, their first stage on their way to the New World.

In old times, then, monasteries created towns; now, alas, it is towns that necessitate monasteries. We have now to plant the monastic school in the midst of the teeming emporiums of trade and vice, where thousands toil harder for a bare crust and a hard board than the monks of old toiled for the kingdom of heaven. It is not to listen to a learned or holy man that settlements are made nowadays, but to dig oil-wells or work coal and iron mines. Modern towns are made by traders, eager to be beforehand with their competitors, and the journalist and the liquor-seller are the first citizens of the new town. Quies is relegated to the region of romance; it is unpractical, it “does not pay”; learning itself, if it succeeds in getting a footing in the centres of commerce, partakes of the commercial spirit, and is rather to be called “cramming” than knowledge, and, as to the moral result of the contrast between the Benedictine principle of the early ages and the principle of hurry, of contention, of money-worship current in our days, let the annals of modern crime be called upon to witness.

Versailles.

What an apotheosis of royalty the name evokes! Versailles and Louis Quatorze. As if by the stroke of the enchanter's wand, there starts up before us a long procession of heroes and poets and statesmen and wits and fair women, a galaxy of glory and beauty revolving around one central figure as satellites round their sun. We lose sight of all the dark spots upon the disc in contemplating the blaze of brightness that emanates from it. We forget the iniquitous follies of the Grand Monarque, and remember nothing but the splendors of his reign, its unparalleled monarchical triumph; we see him through a mist of proud achievements in war and peace, excellence in every branch of science and industry, fine arts and letters, all that dazzled his contemporaries still dazzles us, and even at this distance his faults and follies are, if not quite eclipsed, softened and modified in the daze of a fictitious light. The group of illustrious men who surround his throne magnify rather than diminish the individuality of the man, lending a false halo to him, as if their genius were a thing of his creation, an effect rather than a cause of his ascendency. How far, in truth, Louis may have tended to create by his personal influence, his kindly patronage and keen discrimination, that wonderful assemblage of talent in every grade which will remain for ever associated with his name, it would be difficult to determine, but, judging from the extraordinary influx of genius which signalized his reign, and the corresponding dearth of it in the succeeding ones, we are tempted to believe that he at least possessed in an almost supernatural degree the gift, so precious to a king, of divining genius wherever it did exist, and of calling it forth from its [pg 093] hiding-places, however dismal or remote, to the light of success and fame. But for the discriminating admiration of Louis, which fanned the poetic fire of the timid and sensitive Racine and stimulated the wit of the obscure and humble Molière, we should assuredly have missed some of the noblest efforts of both those poets. Louis was prodigal of his smiles to rising talent, for he knew that to it the sunshine of encouragement is as beneficent as the sun's warmth to the earth in spring-time.

But we are beginning at the end. Versailles is identified to us chiefly if not solely with Louis Quatorze and his age; but it was not so from the beginning. Once upon a time it was a marshy swamp, unhealthy and uncultivated; and, if we deny Louis the faculty of creating men of genius, we cannot refuse him that of having evolved an Eden from a wilderness. There is little indeed in the history of this early period to compensate the reader for keeping him waiting while we review it, still it is better to cast our glance back a little, not very far, a century or so, to see what were the antecedents of the site of one of the grandest historic monuments of France.

In the year 1561, Martial de Loménie was seigneur of Versailles, and was frequently honored by the visits of Henri de Navarre, who went out to hunt the stag in his subject's swampy wilderness. De Loménie sold it to Albert de Gondy, Maréchal de Retz, who in his turn was honored by the presence of his sovereign, Louis XIII., there. Louis was in the habit of indulging his favorite pastime at Versailles, but, beyond placing his land and his game at the disposal of the king, the maréchal seems to have shown scant hospitality to the royal hunter. Saint-Simon tells us that during these excursions Louis usually slept in a windmill or in a dingy inn, whose only customers were the wagoners who journeyed across that out-of-the-way place. Of the two lodgings he inclines to think the windmill was the most comfortable. Louis probably found neither quarters very luxurious, for in 1627 he purchased a piece of ground which had been in the Soisy family since the fourteenth century, and built himself a hunting-lodge on the ruins of an old manor-house there, to the great discomfiture of a large colony of owls who had made themselves at home in the moss-grown ruin. Bassompierre deplores the vandalism which swept away the venerable shelter of the owls, and declares that after all the lodge was but a sorry improvement on the windmill, being “too shabby a dwelling for even a plain gentilhomme to take conceit in.” Such as it was, it satisfied the king, and remained untouched till it was swallowed up in the great palace which was to embody all the glories of the ensuing reign. When Louis Quatorze conceived the design of building Versailles, he confided the execution of his vast idea to Mansard, laying down, however, as a primary condition that the shabby little hunting-lodge of the late king should be preserved, and comprised in the new structure. Mansard declared that this was impossible, to which Louis, with true kingly logic, replied coolly: Raison de plus.66 No argument of artistic beauty or common sense could move him from his resolution, or induce him to sanction the demolition of the quaint little building that his father had raised. Rather than be guilty of such an unfilial act, he said he would give up the notion of his new palace altogether. Mansard had nothing for it but to give way, and pledge himself [pg 094] that the ugly red-brick lodge should stand somehow and somewhere in the magnificent pile that was already reared in his imagination. The only concession he obtained was that it should be concealed, if this were possible. Mansard swore he would make it possible, and he kept his word. The lodge of Louis XIII. was swallowed up in the elaborate stone-work of that part of the palace facing the Avenue de Paris, and remains to this day an enduring if not a very sensible proof of the filial respect of Louis XIV. This was the one solitary impediment that Louis threw in the architect's way; in everything else he gave him carte blanche, power unlimited, and all but unlimited wealth to work out his fantastic and superb conception. Simultaneously with this mighty fabric another work of almost equal magnitude had to be undertaken; this was the planting of the park and the gardens. The country for miles around the site of the palace was a swamp abounding with reptiles, and reeking with vapors of so deadly a character that the men employed in draining it died like flies of a malaria that raged like a pestilence for months together. They refused after a time to continue the work, though enormous wages were offered, and it was found necessary at last, under pain of abandoning it, to press men into the service as for the army in time of war. No accurate statistics are extant as to the number of victims who perished in the execution of this royal freak; but the most authentic opinions of the time put it at the astounding figure of twenty thousand. So much for the good old times of the ancien régime, that we are apt to invest with a sort of pathetic prestige. What were the lives of so many vilains67 and the tears and hunger of innumerable vilaines, widows and orphans of the dead men, in comparison to the supreme pleasure of the king and the accomplishment of his omnipotent will? The death-sweat of these human cattle rained upon the swamp, and in due time it was' made wholesome, purified as so many foul spots upon the earth are by the sweat of toil and sorrow, and fitted to grow flowers and green trees that would diffuse their fragrance and spread pleasant shade where corruption and barrenness had dwelt.

Le Notre, that prince of gardeners, may be truly said to have created the pleasure-grounds of Versailles; nature had thrown many obstacles in his way, she thwarted him at every step, but her obstinate resistance only stimulated his genius to loftier flights and his indomitable energy to stronger efforts. He conquered in the end. Never was conquest more fully appreciated than Le Notre's by his royal master. Louis not only rewarded him with more than princely liberality, but admitted him to his personal intimacy, treating the plebeian artist with an affectionate familiarity that he never extended to the high and mighty courtiers who looked on in envy and admiration. Le Notre was too little of a courtier himself to value adequately the honor of the king's condescension, but he loved the man, and took no pains to conceal it; there was an expansive bonhomie, a native simplicity in his character, that, contrasting as it did with the artificial atmosphere of the court, charmed Louis, and he would listen with delight to the honest fellow's garrulity while he related, with naïve satisfaction, the tale of his early struggles and the difficult and hardy triumphs of his talent and perseverance. Versailles was, of course, to be the crowning achievement of his life, and nothing [pg 095] could exceed the diligence and ardor that he brought to bear on it. He besought the king not to inspect the works while they were in the progressive stage, but to wait, once he had seen the disposition of the ground, till they were advanced to a certain point. Louis humored him by consenting, though greatly against his inclination. He kept his word faithfully in spite of all temptations of curiosity and impatience; contenting himself with questioning Le Notre, at stated times, as to how things were getting on, but never once, in his frequent and regular visits of inspection to the palace, did he set foot within the forbidden precincts. The day came at last when his forbearance was to be rewarded. Le Notre invited him to enter the closed doors. Louis came, and found that the reality far outstripped his most sanguine expectations; he was in raptures with all he beheld, and declared himself abundantly rewarded for his patience. Le Notre, no less enchanted than the king, walked on beside his chair, doing the honors of the gardens and the park, and listening with a swelling heart to the exclamations of delight that greeted every fresh view that opened in the landscape. It seemed, indeed, as if a whole army of fairies had been at work to bring such a paradise out of chaos; long rows of stately full-grown trees, brought from a distance and transplanted into the arid soil, had taken root and were flourishing as in their native earth; winding paths intersected majestic avenues, and led the visitor, unexpectedly, to richly planted groves, where marble fauns hid coyly, as if frightened to be caught by the sunlight in their unveiled beauty; all the elves in fairyland, all the gods in Olympia, were here congregated, now astray in the green tangle of the wood, now standing in majestic groups, or peeping singly through an opening in the foliage as if they were playing hide-and-seek; water-nymphs, dashing the soft spray round their naked limbs, started unexpectedly from nooks and corners, cooling the air that was heavy with the scent of flowers; the rush of the cascade answered the laughing ripple of the fountain; from bower to bower there came a concert of water-music, such as no mortal ear had ever heard before; it was, indeed, a sight to set before a king, and the gardener might well rejoice who had worked these wonders in the desert.

Le Notre had been all this time trotting briskly by the king's rolling-chair. When they had gone over the enchanted region, Louis said: “You are tired, my friend; get up here beside me, and let us go over it all once more.”

And Le Notre, without more ado, jumped up beside the king, and they began it all over again, as the children say of their favorite stories. He explained to Louis how he nearly despaired of ever getting that birch-grove right, owing to a bed of rock that would not be dislodged to make room for it; now and then he would catch the king by the sleeve, and bid him shut his eyes and not open them till they came to a certain point, when he would cry Voilà!—demeaning himself altogether like a true child of nature, and enjoying thoroughly the sympathy of the companion who, for the time being, a common delight made kindred with him. Suddenly, however, it seems to have dawned upon him that he was riding side by side with the king of France. He rubbed his hands, and exclaimed with childlike glee: “What a proud day this is in my life!” And then, as the tears came unchecked into his honest eyes, he added: “And if my good old father [pg 096] could but see me, what a happy one it would be!”

Louis, entering into the son's emotion, made him talk on about his old father, and listened with profound interest to the story of their humble life in common. He wanted to give Le Notre letters-patent of nobility, and so raise all his family to the rank of gentilshommes, but the offer was gratefully declined; it would have been a temptation to most men, but it was not to Le Notre; he had no ambitions of a worldly cast; his sole aspirations were those of a man of genius, and he preferred retaining the name of his father and ennobling it by a higher title than it was in the power of kings to bestow.

As soon as the palace and the grounds were finished, Louis came and took up his abode at Versailles. Then began that series of fêtes and pageants that makes the annals of that time read like the description of a long carnival. One of the most gorgeous of these fêtes was a sort of carrousel, given in 1664, when no less than five hundred guests were conveyed to Versailles in the king's suite and at his expense—no small matter in the days when railways were unknown, and carriages drawn by six or eight horses were the only mode of travelling for persons of rank. The king played the part of “Roger” in the carrousel, and came riding on a white charger, magnificently caparisoned, all the court diamonds being given up to the adornment of rider and steed; he advanced at the head of a cavalcade of two hundred knights, after which came a golden chariot, called the “Chariot of the Sun,” and filled with shepherds and many mythological personages; the three queens, namely, the queen-dowager Anne d'Autriche, the reigning queen, and the Queen of England, widow of Charles I., surrounded by three hundred ladies of the rank and beauty of France, assisted at the entrance of the tournament, while a vast concourse of enthusiastic spectators added by their presence to the enlivenment of the scene. At night “four thousand huge torches” illuminated the gardens; the supper was spread by nymphs and fauns, while Pan and Diana, “advancing on a moving mountain,” came down to preside over the festive board. Not the least noteworthy episode of the entertainment, which lasted seven days, was the representation of Molière's Princesse d'Elide and the first three acts of Tartuffe, played now for the first time. The earlier fêtes at Versailles were marked by the presence of the greatest and fairest names that illustrated the reign of Louis Quatorze, so fertile throughout in celebrities.

Foremost in the gay and brilliant throng stands the figure of the one woman whom Louis ever really loved, the pale and pensive Louise de la Vallière, she who was in reality the goddess of this gorgeous temple, but who, in the words of Mme. de Sévigné, “hid herself in the grass like a violet,” and whose modesty and humility in the midst of her erring triumphs drew from all hearts the pardon she never wrung from her own uncompromising conscience.

All the glories of France flocked to Versailles as to a shrine where they did homage and were glorified in turn. At every step we meet the majestic figure of the Grand Monarque. See him at the top of the great stair, calling out to the Grand Condé, who toils painfully up the marble steps, bending under the weight of years and the fatigues of war: “Take your time, cousin; you are too heavily laden with laurels to walk fast; we can wait for you.” Not a room, or [pg 097] a terrace, or a gallery but has a witness to bring forth of the king's courtesy or the king's magnificence. There is the cabinet du roi, where he used to work at the affairs of state with his ministers, not one of whom worked as hard as the king himself. His ministers were not his tools nevertheless; despotic as he was, Louis let them hold their own against him, and when they had justice on their side he could yield gracefully to the opposition and respect the courage that prompted it. Witness the scene between him and his Chancellor Voisin, which took place in this same cabinet du roi. One of the most disreputable men of that not very reputable court, by dint of intrigue, obtained from Louis a promise of lettres de grâce. Next day, when the chancellor came in to his usual work, the king desired him to affix the great seals to the document, which was ready prepared. Voisin looked over it first conscientiously as was his custom, and then flatly refused to obey the king's command, denouncing the grant of the lettres de grâce to such a man as an abuse of the royal privilege. Louis replied that his word was pledged, and it was too late now to discuss the unworthiness of the subject; he put forward his hand, and, seeing that Voisin did not move, he took the seals himself and affixed them to the deed. The chancellor looked on in silence, but, when Louis handed him back the badge of office, he drew away his hand, and said haughtily: “They are polluted; I will never take them back.”

“What a man!” exclaimed Louis, with a glance of frank admiration at his sturdy minister, and he flung the deed into the fire.

Voisin quietly took up the seals, and went on with his work as if nothing had occurred to interrupt it.

It was in the cabinet du roi that Louis took leave of the Duc d'Anjou, on the eve of his departure for Spain, with those memorable words: “Partez, mon fils, il n'y a plus de Pyrénées!”68

But it is in the Salle du Trône that the Grand Monarque appears to us in his most congenial attitude; here we see him in his true element, playing the king as the world never saw it played before, and assuredly never will again; here all the potentates of the earth came and greeted him spontaneously as le roi, as if he were the only real king, and they his vassals, or, at least, his humble imitators. One day we see the ambassador of the Dey of Algiers presenting in his name “a little present of twelve Arab steeds, and humbly praying that the mighty majesty of France would deign to accept them, seeing that King Solomon himself had accepted the leg of the grasshopper tendered to him by the ant.”

On another occasion, we see the stately Doge of Genoa advancing to pay his court; Louis questions him concerning the behavior of the courtiers to him, and the doge replies: “Truly, if the King of France steals away the liberty of our hearts, his courtiers take care to restore it.” The king suspects the reply to be provoked by some discourtesy on the part of his entourage, and, having investigated the matter and found that Louvois and De Croissy had demeaned themselves with unseemly hauteur to the sensitive stranger, he severely rebuked them in the presence of the whole court.

It was here, no doubt, seated on his golden throne, that Louis received the chief of Châteaubriand's tale, and astonished him by the splendor of his state, and sent the noble savage [pg 098] back to his home in the far West to relate to the awe-stricken children of the forest the wonders of the great French chief “whose superb wigwam he had beheld.”

The Salle du Sacre is less exclusive in its associations, the presence of the grand roi being thrown into the shade by the subsequent military glory of the grande armée. David has covered the walls with the chief events of Napoleon's career, beginning with the first consulship, and continuing through the triumphal march of the Empire. When the first series of these immense pictures was shown to Napoleon, he, startled by their magnitude, of which he was probably a better judge than of their talent, turned to the painter, and exclaimed: “Now I must build a palace to lodge them!”

The Salle des Amiraux, which, as its name indicates, is consecrated to the memory of the naval heroes of France, was formerly the room of the Dauphin, son of Louis XIV. So little is known of this prince beyond the fact that he was the direct antithesis of his father in habits and character, that the following anecdote may be found interesting as connected with him:

The dauphin, like most princes of his time, was passionately fond of the chase. On one occasion he set out on a hunting expedition accompanied by a large party, and towards nightfall he and one of his equerries got separated from the rest, and found themselves astray in a dense wood, where they wandered for some hours without meeting any signs of human habitation. They came at last upon a small cottage, which, from its isolated position and shabby appearance, he set down as most likely a rendezvous of robbers, that part of the country being much frequented by these worthies. They were well armed, however, and determined to risk the barbarous hospitality of the thieves rather than pass the night amidst the snakes and other uncomfortable inmates of the woods. They knocked at the door, first meekly, then more peremptorily, and at last furiously; getting no answer, they resolved to break open the house, and began hammering away vigorously with the but-end of their guns at the shaky old door. At this crisis a window opened somewhere, and a voice, that quavered with fright, besought the burglars to go away, as they would find nothing in so poor a lodging to repay their trouble. Summoned to say whom it belonged to, the voice replied that it was that of the curé of the neighboring hamlet, whereupon the huntsmen begged him to come down and spare them further trouble by opening the door himself. After much expostulation the host obeyed, and then his guests desired him to serve the best he had for their supper; there was no use protesting with visitors who had such formidable arguments on their shoulders and glistening in their belts, so the curé obeyed with the best grace he could. There was nothing substantial in the larder, he declared, but a leg of mutton, which the gentlemen were welcome to if they would undertake to cook it and let him go back to his bed. This they agreed to, with great good-humor and many courteous thanks, and the old priest, after showing them where to find food and shelter for their horses, wished them a good appetite and betook himself to his couch, marvelling much at the sudden gentleness and courtesy of these singular burglars who had made their entry in so boisterous and uncivil a manner. The burglars, meantime, did full justice to his hospitality and their own cooking, and, having supped [pg 099] heartily, flung themselves at full length on the floor, and were soon sound asleep—sounder, no doubt, than their host, whose slumbers, if he slept at all, were most likely disturbed by visions of highwaymen arresting and murdering the king's subjects or throttling honest folk in their beds, and such like unrefreshing dreams. The good man was up betimes, and while the hunters were still fast asleep he slipt out to seek some breakfast for them. Meantime the hunt, which had been in pursuit of the prince all night, perceived the little wreath of smoke that curled up from the curé's chimney on the clear morning air, and at once made for the point whence it proceeded, sounding the horn as it approached. The prince and his companions started to their feet at the first note of the welcome signal, rushed to their horses, and were in the saddle and far out of sight before their host returned from his foraging expedition. Great was his surprise to find the birds had flown, but he was glad to be rid of them, and on such easy terms, for they had carried off nothing—the house was just as he had left it. It was not a thing to boast of, having harbored a couple of highwaymen for a night, though they had behaved so considerately to him—the curé, therefore, kept the adventure to himself. But he had not heard the last of it. The next day a messenger came in hot haste from Versailles with a summons for him to appear without further delay before the king. Terrified out of his five wits, and knowing full well what had brought this judgment upon him, the worthy old priest took up his stick and asked no questions, but forthwith made his way to the palace. He was conducted at once to the Salle du Trône, where Louis, surrounded by the rank and blood of France, was seated as for some solemn ceremonial on his chair of state. He bent a stern gaze on the curé, and in accents that made the culprit's soul shake within him, demanded how it came to pass that a man of his holy calling made his house a rendezvous for midnight robbers who prowled about the country, disturbing honest subjects and breaking the king's laws. The curé fell upon his knees, and humbly confessing cowardly concealment of a fact that he was in conscience bound to have denounced at once to the nearest magistrate, pleaded, nevertheless, that the bearing of those malefactors was so noble and their manners so courteous that he had doubts as to whether they were indeed such and not rather two knights of his majesty's court; whereupon Louis bade the malefactors come forward, and, introducing them by name to the bewildered curé, enjoined him to be less cautious another time in opening his doors to benighted gentlemen.

“And in payment of the leg of mutton which my son was so unmannerly as to confiscate on you,” continued the king, “I name you Grand Prieur, with the revenues and privileges attached to the office.” This was assuredly the highest price that ever a leg of mutton fetched.

The chambre â coucher de la reine69 plays a distinct part of its own in the annals of Versailles. We forget its first occupant, the gentle, long-suffering Marie Thérèse, of whom, on hearing of her death, Louis Quatorze exclaimed: “This is the first sorrow she ever caused me!” we forget the longer-suffering wife of Louis Quinze, the charitable Marie Leczinska, surnamed by the people “the good queen”; we lose sight of all the august figures who pass before us in the retrospect of this royal chamber, and see only [pg 100] Marie Antoinette, the haughty sovereign, the heroic mother and devoted wife, who has made it all her own. We see her, woke out of her sleep, and the cries of the mob menacing the palace in the dead of the night, and flying hardly dressed from the chambre de la reine to take refuge in the dauphin's apartment, while the faithful guards dispute with their lives the entrance of her own to the mad multitude that have now broken in like a destroying torrent and are close upon the threshold. The walls seem still to echo the cry of those two brave guards as they fell: “Save the queen! Save the queen!” The great tragedy that was to change the whole destinies of France may be said to have begun on this terrible night of the 6th of October.

The chambre à coucher du roi70 is, on the other hand, filled with Louis Quatorze to the exclusion of all other memories. Here was performed that solemn comedy in which the warriors and statesmen of the day took their part so gravely: the lever and coucher de roi. When we read the minute details given in the chronicles of the time of the ceremonial gone through by his courtiers every time the king got in and out of bed, it is a severe tax on our credulity to believe that the dramatis personæ who played the farce so seriously were not fools or grinning idiots, but sane and sober men whose lineage was second only in blue-blooded antiquity to that of Cæsar himself, men of talent, men of genius, heroes who fought their country's battles and deemed it no derogation to come from the field of glory and fight for the honor of handing the king his stockings or his pantaloons. This proud noblesse whom Richelieu could not conquer by the sword or subdue by tortures and imprisonment, lay down at the feet of Louis, and, it is hardly a figure of speech to say, licked them. They appear to have looked upon him, not as a mortal like themselves, however elevated above them in rank and power, but as a god, a being altogether apart from them in species. One is tempted to believe that both they and he must occasionally have been possessed with some vague notion that it was so; there is no other way of accounting for the servile worship which they tendered as a duty, and which he accepted as a due. Truly that famous L'état c'est moi!71 sounds more of a god than a man; and that other utterance of Louis, Messieurs, j'ai failli attendre!72 addressed to the proudest nobility in Europe, who were barely in their places when the flourish of trumpets announced the king's entrance, is scarcely less grotesque in its superhuman pride.

This great and little coucher which was surrounded by so much prestige in the court of France was somewhat ridiculed by contemporary sovereigns, for the honor of humanity be it said; their admiration for Louis did not go the length of viewing the august ceremonial otherwise than in the light of a bore or a joke. When Frederick the Great heard from his ambassador an account of the first grand lever at which he assisted at Versailles, he burst into an uncontrollable fit of laughter, and exclaimed: “Well, if I were king of France, I would certainly hire some small king to go through all that for me!”

Considering how eagerly his courtiers contended for the honor of dressing the king's person, one [pg 101] would have fancied the privilege of making his bed would have been proportionately coveted, and held second only to the honor of holding his majesty's boots; but, such is the inconsistency of human beings, this was not the case. The courtiers probably felt that a line should be drawn somewhere, so they drew it here; they would not perform this menial office for the Grand Monarque, and the distinction of turning his mattresses and spreading his quilt devolved on valets of a lower grade. Among this inferior herd was one named Molière, a youth whom his comrades laughed at and treated as a sort of crazy creature who was always in the moon. One day when it happened to be his turn to spread the royal sheets, the poet Belloc overheard them chaffing him and refusing to help him in his work. He went up to Molière, and said: “Monsieur de Molière, will you do me the honor of allowing me to help you to make the king's bed?” and Molière granted the request. The incident came to the king's ear and led to his noticing the eccentric valet. A little later, and we see him standing behind the valet's chair in this same room, where his majesty's dinner was sometimes served, and waiting upon him, while the courtiers who had refused to sit at table with Molière stood round, looking on in “mute consternation at the strange spectacle,” Saint-Simon tells us, who owns naïvely to sharing their consternation.

“Since none of my courtiers will admit Monsieur de Molière to their table,” said Louis, “I must needs set him down at mine, and show them that I count it an honor for the King of France to wait upon so great a man.”

Here, in this bed that Belloc and Molière had made together, Louis Quatorze died. From under the crimson and gold canopy which had witnessed the eternal levers and couchers, Louis rebuked the violent grief of two young pages who stood within the balustrade, that sanctum sanctorum which none under a prince of the blood or a high chancellor dare pass at any other time; they were weeping bitterly. “What!” exclaimed the king, “did ye, then, think I was immortal?” There was a time when he himself seemed to have thought so; but viewed by that vivid light that breaks through the mists of death, things wore a different aspect in his eyes; and the adulation which would fain have treated him as immortal, and which was during life as the breath of his nostrils to Louis, showed now as the empty bubble that it was.

No one ever again slept in the bed which had been honored by the last sigh of the Grand Monarque; the room remained henceforth unoccupied, and, with the exception of the pictures which have been removed, is still just as he left it. Louis carried his favorite pictures about with him wherever he went. “David,” by Domenichino, his best beloved of them all, is now to be seen at the Louvre; otherwise little has been altered in the chambre du roi; the bed and the ruelle are in their old place, also the table, on which a cold collation was laid every night in case of the king's awaking and feeling hungry; this precautionary little meal was called the en cas; and the name with the habit, which had given rise to it, is still perpetuated in many old-fashioned French families. Louis Quinze, from some superstitious feeling, could never bring himself to sleep in the death-chamber of his illustrious great-grandfather; he took possession of what was then the salle de billiard, a noble room opening [pg 102] into the œil-de-bœuf (bull's eye), so called from its having an œil-de-bœuf over the large window at the north end. In an alcove in this billiard hall, Louis XV. died. The adjoining œil-de-bœuf was filled with the courtiers, who dare not venture within the polluted atmosphere of the royal chamber, but stood outside it, consulting together in “guilty whispers” as to what they ought to do; dreading on one hand the reward of their cowardice if the king should recover, and fearing on the other to fly too soon with their servile congratulations to his successor. In the great court below another crowd was assembled, watching in breathless silence for the signal which was to proclaim the king's death. What a spectacle it was!—what a lesson for a king! The flatterers who yesterday had been his slaves, pandering to his vices, and helping to make him the abject creature that he was, abandoned him now that he was struggling with grim Death, and, all absorbed in selfish cares for their own interest, in speculations of the favor of the new king, they had no pity in their hearts for the master who could pay them no more. It came at last, the signal; the small flame of a candle was seen flickering through the darkness, and then held up at the window of the œil-de-bœuf. “Suddenly there was a noise,” says the historian of that ghastly scene, “like a roll of thunder, it was the courtiers rushing from the antechamber of the dead king to greet his successor.” Only his daughters had been brave enough to stand by the bedside of the dying man, and, now that he was gone, there was not one in all that multitude who could be induced to perform the last office of mercy towards his poor remains. It was imperative, nevertheless, that the body should be embalmed, and this appalling task devolved upon Andouillé, the late king's surgeon. The Duc de Villequier went up to him and reminded him of it; he knew that the operation must insure certain death to the operator, but that was not his concern.

“It is your duty, monsieur,” said the duke; and he was coolly turning away when Andouillé stopped him. “Yes,” he replied, “it is my duty, and it is yours to hold the head.” De Villequier had forgotten this; he made no answer, but left the room, and nothing more was said about the embalmment. The body was hustled into a coffin, and smuggled rather than conveyed in the dead of the night to S. Denis, a few menials accompanying the King of France to his last resting-place. The spirit of French loyalty may be said to have been buried with Louis Quinze; “the divinity that doth hedge a king” was that night laid low in France, wrapped in the shroud that covered the unutterable mass of corruption consigned like a dog to the ready-made grave in S. Denis. Le roi could never again be to the nation what he had been heretofore. Le roi est mort, vive le roi!73 ceased to be the watchword of its fealty; le roi, that being invested not merely with supreme authority, but with a sort of vague personal sacredness that has no parallel in modern loyalty, died with Louis Quinze, never to be resuscitated. The miserable death of the libertine prince, fit ending to an ignoble life, came upon his people in the light of a divine judgment, swift and awful, and dealt the last blow at that prestige which had for generations been the bulwark of king-worship and shaded with its mysterious reverence the iniquities of the throne. No man suffers alone for his sins, but [pg 103] how much more truly may this be said of kings! Who could measure the depth of the gulf that Louis XV. had dug through his long reign for those who were to come after him, and realize the consequences of his evil deeds to future generations of Frenchmen? There is no greater fallacy than to attribute to an age the responsibility of its own destinies; none probably ever saw the beginning and end of its own history, for good or evil, but less than any other can the period of the Revolution be said to have witnessed this unity. We must look much further back to trace the rising of the red flood that inundated France in '93. It was the insane extravagance of Louis XIV.'s reign and the official depravity of the succeeding one that sowed the harvest that was to be reaped in fire by the innocent victims of a corruption which for a whole century had been seething as in the caldron of the Prophet's vision, till it boiled over in the mad frenzy of the Revolution, and swallowed up not only the monarch, but the soul and reason of France, in a deluge of exasperated hate and suicidal revenge. Louis Seize, the martyred king who was to expiate the follies and crimes of his predecessors, next passes before us along the galleries of Versailles. There is an interval of peace, a short halcyon time of pastorals and idyls, we see Marie Antoinette playing at shepherdess in Arcadia, we hear Trianon ringing with the music of her light-hearted laughter, we see her choosing a friend,74 and braving the jealous anger that makes a crime of her friendship though it be wise, and rebukes her mirth though it be innocent; but the queen turns a deaf ear to all warning sounds and shuts her eyes to the gathering clouds. Imprudent Marie Antoinette! Ill-adapted wife of timid, hesitating, magnanimous Louis Seize, the Bourbon of whom it was written with truth:

Louis ne sut qu'aimer et pardonner,
S'il avait su punir, il aurait su regner.75

He loved and forgave to the end, but he never learned to punish. Warnings were not wanting, but he would not heed them. See him standing in the embrasure of the window of that cabinet du roi whence Louis Quatorze ruled the kings and peoples of Europe; a new power has arisen; it is the people's turn to rule the king, his brow is clouded, his lip trembles, not with fear—that base emotion never stirred the soul of Louis Seize—but with anguish, perplexity, doubts in himself that amounted to despair. He listens to the murmurs of the crowd down below; and to De Brézé, who repeats, in tremulous accents, Mirabeau's message of tremendous import: “Go tell the king that the will of the people has brought us here, and nothing but the force of bayonets shall drive us hence!” That force he knew full well would never be appealed to; it was not the people who should be driven hence, it was they who would drive the king. Presently we see the ponderous state coach jolting slowly down the Avenue de Paris, the first stage of the royal martyrs towards the guillotine; the mob, in a frenzy of drunken triumph, jostled it from side to side, pressing rudely through the windows to stare at their victims, and insulting them by thrusting the red cap into their faces, and shouting as they go: “The baker and the bakeress! now we have caught them, and the people shall have bread!” This journey dates a new era in the annals of Versailles, it is the death-knell of the pleasant days of royalty; [pg 104] there are to be no more fêtes pastorales at Trianon, no more merry children of France careering over the flowery terraces, making the sombre alleys bright and the gay flowers brighter with the sweet melody of child laughter; all this is gone, and passed like a dream. “The old order of things has vanished, making place for the new.” Soon we shall see the palace of Louis Quatorze stripped of its costly furniture, invaded by the rabble, and pillaged from garret to cellar. The Convention will deem it right to utilize the “foregoing abode of the tyrants” by turning it into a hospital; they will transport the invalids to Versailles, but the rheumatic old heroes will find the apartments of the Grand Monarque too grand to be comfortable, they will complain of their pains and aches being aggravated by the draughts, and beg to be taken back to their homely quarters, and the Convention, in its benevolence, will accede to the request.

Louis XVIII. was anxious to fix his residence at Versailles, and went the length of spending six millions of francs on repairing the façade, which had been sadly battered by the Revolution, but he found that the expense of refurnishing the palace would have been too much for the exhausted finances of France; so he gave up the idea.

Louis Philippe restored it to its ancient splendor, but not for his own use; he made it over to the nation as a museum, where they might go and enjoy themselves, and see all the glories of their country commemorated. Many of the victories of the grande armée were painted to his order to complete the series already decorating the walls. Versailles has retained ever since this national character. Under the Second Empire it was used occasionally for fêtes given to foreign princes; the most magnificent of these was the one prepared for the Queen of England when she visited Napoleon III. after his marriage.

France has undergone many strange vicissitudes, and her palaces have harbored many unlikely guests; but among the strangest on record none can assuredly compete with the recent experiences of Versailles. If the spirit of Louis XIV. be permitted sometimes to haunt the scene of his earthly pride, what must his feelings have been during the last two years! What did he feel on beholding the halls which had echoed to his conquering step held by the victorious soldiers of Germany, and vacated by them to make way for the President of the French Republic? But this crowning enormity stopped short at the threat. The chambre du roi was indeed placed at the disposal of the President, but whether it was that he shrank from the profanation, or feared the vast proportions of the great king's palace, as likely to prove too large a frame for the representative of a republic, he declined taking up his abode there. Versailles continues still to be the resort of the people and of travellers from all parts of the world.

[pg 105]

Father Isaac Jogues, S.J.

Father Isaac Jogues, the first of the missionaries to bear the cross into the interior of our country, and the first to shed his blood on its soil for the faith of Christ, was a native of Orleans, France. He was born on the 10th of January, 1607, of a family distinguished alike for their virtues and their worth. In the bosom of this pious family the young Isaac was reared up, surrounded by all the profound and pleasing practices of Catholic devotion. Lessons of religion and letters were imparted together, and the scholar from his earliest youth proved himself remarkably apt at both. As soon as he was old enough, he was sent, to his own great joy, to the college at Orleans, then recently established by the Jesuit Fathers, under whose instruction he made rapid progress in his studies. The virtues of his character so ingratiated him with his companions at college, that no thought of jealousy ever entered their hearts at the eminence he enjoyed as a student.

As the close of his collegiate course drew near, he began, more seriously than ever, to meditate on the greatest act of one's life—the selection of a vocation. It was his extraordinary devotion to the Passion of Our Lord that settled this question for him. The cathedral church of his native city was dedicated to the Holy Cross, and there from his tenderest years he gazed daily upon that sacred symbol of the Passion and Redemption glittering from the spires of the temple, and it became the object of his warmest affection.

O lovely tree whose branches wore
The royal purple of his gore!
Oh! may aloft thy branches shoot,
And fill all nations with thy fruit!

Impelled by this devotion, he retired into himself in order to discover his vocation, and heard within his soul the voice of Heaven calling him to the Society of Jesus. Having applied for admission into the Society, and being received with alacrity by the superior, he entered upon his novitiate in October, 1624. To complete his studies he next went to the celebrated college of La Flèche, where he passed his examination in philosophy at the end of three years with great distinction. Then, in obedience to the discipline of his order, the young Jesuit went to teach in the college at Rouen, and for four years instructed the youth of that city in the elements of the Latin language, in the principles of religion and the practice of piety. So fruitful were his labors in this regard that his scholars were ever distinguished for the solidity and constancy of their virtues, and many of them became companions of their saintly preceptor in the Society of Jesus.

We now find him winning laurels in the flowery path of literature. It was, at the period of which we speak, the custom at the Jesuit colleges to test the qualifications of the teachers, by requiring them, at the opening of the year, to deliver an oration or poem, or read a lecture of their own production, in public. Simply in obedience to this rule, and without any desire of his own to gain distinction, the gifted Jogues participated [pg 106] in these exercises, and on one occasion produced a poem of rare excellence. But his heart was too thoroughly pre-engaged to covet the laurels of literary fame. He was intent on winning another crown—the glorious crown of martyrdom. Yet so obedient was the young scholastic to the will of his superior and to the spirit of his institute, that he, who only desired for himself the wigwam and council fires of the roving tribes of the Western wilds, went out with as much labor and zeal to acquire all the accomplishments of learning as though a professor's chair in Europe was to be the field of his ambition. He was next sent to Paris, where he began his course of divinity at the college of Clermont.

He applied himself to these studies with the greatest zeal, since they constituted the last probation and delay preceding his elevation to the sacred ministry, and the realization of his fondest hope—a foreign mission. He seems not to have discovered his future plans to his family, to whom he was, however, most tenderly attached. Writing to them in April, 1635, on receiving their complaint at his not having joined them in one of their family festivals, he says: “The prayers which I offer up, as well afar off as near you, are the most affectionate marks I can give of my interest in you all.”

When the time for the reception of holy orders drew near, he prepared himself by a spiritual retreat, and was ordained in February, 1636. His family, who were extremely devoted to him, were not present at his ordination; but his fond mother obtained from his superior a promise that he might say his first Mass in his native city. He accordingly went to Orleans, and offered up the holy sacrifice for the first time in the church of the Holy Cross. Then, tearing himself away from his mother and sisters, never to see them again, he went to Rouen, and entered upon what is called the second novitiate in the Society of Jesus. But a fleet was soon ready to sail from Dieppe for Canada, and the young missionary must hasten to his chosen field of labor and love.

He was accompanied on the voyage by the Jesuit Fathers Garnier and Chatelain, and by M. de Chanflour, afterwards governor at Three Rivers. The vessel in which they sailed being leaky, the pumps were kept in constant motion, and the labor thus imposed upon the crew gave rise to a mutiny, which Father Jogues alone was able to quell. M. de Chanflour ever afterwards, in speaking of the voyage, attributed his safety to the influence of Father Jogues' prayers with God, and of his persuasion with the men.

After words of pious affection and encouragement which this exemplary son knew well how to address to that excellent mother, he proceeds in one of his letters addressed to her:

“I write this more than three thousand miles away from you, and I may perhaps this year be sent to a nation called the Huron, distant nearly a thousand miles more from here. It shows great dispositions for embracing the faith. It matters not where we are, provided we are ever in the arms of Providence and in his holy grace. This I beg for you and all our family daily at the altar.”

By his short stay at Miscou he missed the Indian flotilla, and Fathers Garnier and Chatelain embarked without him; but, some canoes having come in later, the Indians, when about to return, asked, as if reproachfully, why there was no black-gown to be carried by them. Father Jogues, being then at Three Rivers, [pg 107] was summoned to embark, and at once joyfully entered the canoes.

We would gladly reproduce, did our space allow, a letter addressed to his mother, under date June 5, 1637, giving an account of this voyage. Suffice it to say that in nineteen days he accomplished what usually took twenty-five or thirty; joining Fathers Garnier and Chatelain, who had preceded him but a month, and three other missionaries who had been five or six years in the country.

Supported by his zeal, he accomplished his arduous and laborious passage, but no sooner arrived at Ihonitiria than his exhausted nature sank under a dreadful malady, which for more than a month threatened to terminate his existence. With four others he lay during all this time in a cabin, without medicines or food, except such food as was an aggravation to the disease. By the middle of October Father Jogues was so far recovered as to be able to take the ordinary food of the country, the sagamity.

In November he set out from Ihonitiria to join Father Brebeuf at the great town of Ossossané, where for a time they were companions on earth who were destined to be companions in heaven, in the enjoyment of the glorious crown of martyrdom. Sickness was raging over the land, and the missionaries hastened from town to town, and from cabin to cabin, baptizing the dying infants, and such of the adults as were willing to receive the words of eternal life. They even extended their visits to the neighboring Nipissings, who had been terribly afflicted with the prevailing maladies. The poor Indians, in most cases, would not listen to the voice of the fathers, because they could not promise, as their own sorcerers pretended, to cure their bodily afflictions. The horrid orgies of the medicine-men were consequently in great requisition, and one of them, a little deformed creature, offered his services to one of the fathers in his sickness.

There was another medicine-man, Tehoronhaegnon, who filled the land with dances and orgies of the most wicked and revolting character. The missionaries labored to banish these abominations from the country, and to introduce in their place the pure and holy rites of the Christian religion. Unacquainted with their language, Father Jogues labored under the greatest disadvantages, but by zealous and persevering application he was soon able to make himself well understood; and in a few years he was master of the Huron, the key-tongue to so many others. Remaining at Ossossané as his place of residence, he was incessant in his visits and ministrations in the cabins of the people, preaching the faith to all, and at the same time rapidly acquiring their language. Late in 1637 he returned to labor in the same way at Ihonitiria. On the ruin of this town and its mission, he went again to join his superior, Father Brebeuf, at Teananstayae.

In 1639, Father Jogues accompanied Father Garnier in his expedition to plant the cross among the mountains of the Petuns, or Tobacco Indians. They twice visited the Petun village of Ehwae, which they dedicated to SS. Peter and Paul. But their noble efforts were in vain; every door was closed against them, and menaces assailed them on every side; even the women reproached their husbands for not killing them, and the children pursued them through the streets. The sachems gave a feast to the young warriors in order to induce them to destroy the missionaries; but the providence of God saved his servants from the impending blow.

[pg 108]

In the next year, Father Jogues was stationed with Father Francis Duperon at the new residence at S. Mary's. Four towns partook of their care, and these they piously dedicated to S. Ann, S. John, S. Denis, and S. Louis. Obliged to select the worst season of the year for their labor, because then only were the neophytes drawn together, their time was incessantly occupied in conveying to the untaught natives the faith and its consolations. Next year Father Jogues was stationed permanently at St. Mary's. Here the fathers established a hospice, where the wayfarer was ever sure to find refreshment and relief for the body as well as the soul. To this sacred spot in the wilderness came Indians from distant villages to receive instruction in the faith, some to be baptized, some to prepare for the reception of Holy Communion, some to be trained in the duties of catechists, and others, like Joseph Chihatenhwa, to make a spiritual retreat.

But now a new enterprise for the Gospel drew Father Jogues away from St. Mary's. This was to plant the cross in the region now comprising the state of Michigan. The missionaries knew that beyond the Huron Lake another vast expanse of water lay which never yet had been visited by them. The strait which connected the two lakes had formerly been known by the name of Gaston, and was supposed to have been once visited by Nicholet, but no intercourse ever subsisted between the French and the tribes of those regions. In the summer of 1641, numerous delegations from all the nations and tribes, scattered over a great expanse of country, were attracted to the “Feast of the Dead,” now to be given by the Algonquins.

Thus, on the present occasion, the numerous branches of the vast Algonquin family were brought in contact with the Jesuit missionaries and the Christian Hurons, and the latter spread far and near in this vast assembly the fame of the black-gown chiefs. In the general interchange of presents, the missionaries presented to the strangers “the wampum of the faith.” The Panoitigoueieuhak, or Sauteux, as the French called them, a tribe inhabiting the small strip near the Falls of St. Mary, were particularly friendly and earnest, and invited the black-gowns to come and bring the faith to their cabins as they had done for the Hurons. Father Raymbault and Father Jogues were named by the superior to visit this new and distant vineyard. Launching their canoes in the latter part of September at St. Mary's, they glided over the little river Wye, and were soon on the broad, clear bosom of the great “Fresh-Water Sea.” For seventeen days their frail canoes glided through the multitude of little islands that stud the water from the Huron promontory. They reached without accident the strait where Superior empties its waters into the lower lakes, and then they encountered Indians assembled to the number of two thousand. From these they learned of innumerable wild and warlike tribes stretching far to the west and south. Here, too, their eager ears were feasted with tidings of a mighty river rolling towards the south till it met the sea, whose shores were lined with numberless tribes and nations. Planting the cross at Sault St. Mary's, the two fathers turned it hopefully and prophetically towards this great mysterious river, whose vast and teeming valley they thus took possession of in the name of the Prince of Peace. Having opened the way to this immense mission-field by their visit, the two missionaries encouraged [pg 109] the Sauteux with the prospect of a future permanent mission, and, amidst the regrets of their new friends, again launched their canoes and returned to their mission-house at St. Mary's. “Thus,” says Bancroft, “did the religious zeal of the French bear the cross to the banks of the St. Mary and the confines of Lake Superior, and look wistfully towards the homes of the Sioux in the Valley of the Mississippi, five years before the New England Eliot had addressed the tribes of Indians that dwelt within six miles of Boston Harbor.”

At St. Mary's, Father Jogues remained constantly employed at the hospice with Father Duperon in instructing and preparing the Indians for the reception of the faith. One hundred and twenty were baptized during the winter, and among these was the famous warrior, Ahasistari, a chief of the town of St. Joseph's.

This brave and chivalrous chief had been for some time receiving instruction in the faith, and he now came forward to ask for baptism. The fathers at first put him off, in order that he might become still better instructed; but his entreaties were so earnest, and his appreciation of the Christian truths so intelligent, that it was deemed no longer necessary or proper to postpone the boon. He accordingly received the sacrament on Holy Saturday, 1642.

It has been seen how, at Orleans, the ardent novice of the Society of Jesus was passionately devoted to the cross, the memento of our Saviour's Passion. Like S. Peter, his heart was still for ever enamored with the sacred humanity of his divine Master. Thus his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament was intense, and the Real Presence, the greatest of blessings, made the wilderness of America a paradise to Father Jogues. Father Buteux says of him that he was “a soul glued to the Blessed Sacrament.” His prayers, meditations, office, examens of conscience—in fine, all his devotions—were performed in the little chapel before the Holy Eucharist. Neither heat, nor cold, nor the swarms of mosquitoes, with which the chapel was infested, could induce him to forego the society of his Saviour. No wonder he was attracted thither; for it was in the little chapel that he was not unfrequently favored with heavenly visitations. It was there, too, that he breathed that heroic prayer, whose only petition was that he might be allowed to bear a portion of his Saviour's cross. His prayer was heard—a warning voice fortified his soul for the approaching conflict.

The necessities of the Huron missionaries had now arrived at the point of extreme distress. They were reduced to procure the wine for the altar from the wild grape; at last, flour to make the sacred host was wanting for the holy sacrifice, and the missionaries themselves were in want of clothes and other necessaries of life. The perilous passage through various intervening hostile tribes to procure relief from Quebec for the pressing demands of the mission must now be undertaken by some one, and Father Jerome Lalemant, the superior, selected Father Jogues for the task, which, however, at the same time, he permitted him to accept or decline. His immediate preparation to depart showed that he did not hesitate about accepting. To his great joy, the faithful and noble chief, Eustace Ahasistari, came forward, and offered to become his escort and guide. A flotilla of four canoes, bearing the missionary, the Christian chief, four Frenchmen, and eighteen Hurons, started from St. Mary's on the 13th of June. The voyagers [pg 110] had to endure the usual portages at the rapids, and other hardships of such trips; but, by the exercise of great care and vigilance, they reached Quebec without harm from the savages. The faithful messenger, besides procuring books, vestments, and sacred vessels, had all things in readiness by the last day in July, the feast of S. Ignatius. He stopped to celebrate the feast of the great founder of his order, in which his companions united by approaching the sacraments in solemn preparation for their perilous return. The flotilla, now increased to twelve canoes, started from Three Rivers on the 1st day of August, and at first made slow progress against the impetuous current of the St. Lawrence. They spent the night on a small island in Lake St. Peter, twelve leagues from Three Rivers, and on the second morning they had not proceeded far when they discovered suspicious footprints on the adjacent shore. Nerved by the dauntless courage of Ahasistari, they pushed on, and had not advanced a league when suddenly a volley from a Mohawk ambush riddled their bark canoes. Panic-struck, the Hurons, whose canoes were near the shore, fled in all directions. Only fourteen rallied round the gallant Ahasistari, who had now to oppose a force of twice his numbers. The Mohawks, armed with fire-arms, and reinforced from the other shore, overpowered the Hurons, who broke and fled. Father Jogues, ever mindful of his sacred calling, in the heat of the attack calmly stopped to take up water for the baptism of his pilot, who was the only unbaptized Indian in his canoe. Seeing himself almost alone, he made to the shore; but he did not attempt to escape, which he might easily have done. “Could I,” he says, “a minister of Christ, forsake the dying, the wounded, the captive?” Advancing to the guard of the prisoners, he asked to be made a captive with them, and their companion in danger and in death. Well might the Mohawk guard, at the sight of such heroism, have been scarcely able to believe his senses! Well might the historian exclaim, “When did a Jesuit missionary seek to save his own life, at what he believed to be the risk of a soul?”76 Father Jogues at once began his offices of mercy among his fellow-captives. He encouraged and confessed his faithful companion, the good René Goupil; he instructed and baptized the Hurons, and as, one after another, they were brought in prisoners, the priest of God rushed to meet and embrace them, and to unite them to the fold of Christ.

In the meantime, Ahasistari, having got beyond the reach of his pursuers, looked round for Ondessonk. Finding that the black-gown was not there, the noble chief relinquished his freedom that he might share in the captivity of the father, whom he had promised never to abandon. While Father Jogues was engaged in ministering to the prisoners, the voice of Ahasistari struck upon his astonished ears. “I made a vow to thee that I would share thy fortunes, whether death or life. Brother, here I am to keep my vow.” Also a young Frenchman, one of those donnés who accompanied and aided the missionaries, returned to join the prisoners with the same exalted motive; and, as Father Jogues tenderly embraced him, all bleeding and mangled as he was, the savages could not restrain their fury. Rushing upon the father, they beat him with their fists and clubs till he fell senseless to the ground. Then, seizing his hands, they tore out most of [pg 111] his nails with their teeth, and inflicted upon him the exquisite torture of crunching his fingers, especially the two forefingers. But these tortures were only the first outbursts of savage rage and cruelty, the forerunners of more cruel ones in reserve.

The time consumed in collecting the prisoners, dividing the booty, and preparing for retreat enabled Father Jogues to complete the instruction and baptism of the remaining prisoners.

On Lake Champlain, another Mohawk war-fleet met the flotilla, and, drawing up on an island, the newcomers prepared to receive their countrymen and the prisoners. They erected a scaffold on the highest point of land for the prisoners; then offering thanks to the sun as the genius of war, they lined the shore, and welcomed the conquering fleet with a salute of firearms. The number of savages on the new flotilla was about two hundred, and, as their native superstition taught them that their success in war would be proportioned to their cruelty to the prisoners, sad indeed was the fate of the latter. Father Jogues closed the line of prisoners as they marched up to the scaffold, and so terrific was the shower of blows that assailed him that he fell exhausted to the ground: “God alone,” he exclaims—“God alone, for whose love and glory it is sweet to suffer, can tell what cruelties they wreaked upon me then.” Unable to proceed, he was dragged to the scaffold, when, on reviving, he suffered the ordeal of fire and steel. His closing wounds were reopened, his remaining nails were torn from their sockets, and the bones forced through the crushed fingers. Twice one of his tormentors rushed to cut off his nose—a certain prelude of death to follow—and was twice restrained by some invisible, some providential power. Falling repeatedly to the ground, the blazing brands and burning calumets forced him to rise. Thus tortured and fainting, the paternal eyes of Jogues still possessed tears of tenderest sympathy to shed for the sufferings of his fellow-captive, Ahasistari, who, amidst his own sufferings, cried aloud in praise of the father's courage and love of his children. The night was spent without food, and in the morning the voyage was resumed. While passing over the lake, again they met a Mohawk fleet, and again the victorious Mohawks must honor their countrymen by fresh tortures of the prisoners. On the next day, the ninth of the captivity, the flotilla reached the extremity of the lake, where the entire party landed. The prisoners, weakened and suffering with wounds and hunger, were now loaded with all the luggage, and, in this plight, forced to commence a four days' journey by land. Some berries, gathered on the wayside, constituted their only food, and the exhausted father narrowly escaped being drowned in crossing the first river. On the eve of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, they reached the river near the Mohawk village. Here again the captives became the objects of cruel tortures for the amusement of the crowds swarming from the settlement to see them. “And as he ran the gauntlet, Jogues comforted himself with a vision of the glory of the Queen of Heaven,”77 for it was the eve of her glorious Assumption into Heaven. Some Hurons, who met them at the river, exclaimed in compassion, “Frenchmen, you are dead!” Before going up to the village, Father Jogues was again cruelly beaten with clubs and sticks, especially on [pg 112] the head, which by its baldness excited the derision of the savages. Two remaining finger-nails, which had escaped their impatient cruelty before, were now torn out with the roots. “Conscious that, if we withdrew ourselves from the number of the scourged, we withdrew from that of the children of God, we cheerfully presented ourselves,” were the words of the martyr himself, relating how he advanced to receive new tortures.

The line of march was formed for the village, Father Jogues closing as before the procession. Again the scaffold was erected, again the heroic band ran the gauntlet in marching to the scaffold hill, and the signal for the tortures to begin was given by a chief, who struck each captive three times on the back with a club. An old man approached Father Jogues, and compelled an aged captive woman to sever his left thumb from his hand with a dull knife. Long and various were the tortures which Father Jogues and his companions now endured, and though exhausted from the loss of blood, he consoled them in their sufferings. As night approached, the prisoners were tied to stakes driven in the ground, and thus exposed to the maltreatment of the children, who threw burning coals upon them, “which hissed and burned in the writhing flesh, till they were extinguished there.”78

On the following day the prisoners were led forth half naked through the broiling sun, to be exhibited and tortured in all the Mohawk towns. At the second village the same tortures were endured as at the first. On entering the last town the heart of Father Jogues was melted at the sight of a fresh band of Huron prisoners just brought in. Forgetting his own captivity and sufferings, he approached the captives with every expression of sympathy and kindness: he could not release their bodies from bondage; but he offered to their immortal souls the freedom of the Gospel. There was no water at hand with which to baptize these devoted captives; when, lo! the dews of heaven were supplied. An Indian at that anxious moment passed by with Indian corn, and threw a stalk at the father's feet. As the freshly cut plant passed through the sunlight, dew-drops upon the blades were revealed to the eager eyes of the missionary, who, gathering the precious drops into his hands, baptized two Hurons on the spot. A little brook they afterwards crossed supplied the saving water for the others.

In this town, also, the tortures were repeated with many horrid additions. Father Jogues, ever tender and sympathetic for the sufferings of his converts, was compelled to look on, and see the fingers of one of his Hurons nearly sawed off with a rough shell, and then violently torn off with the sinews uncut. Father Jogues and his companion René Goupil were led to a cabin and ordered to sing. Availing themselves of the command, they devoutly chanted the Psalms of David. They were burned in several parts of their bodies. Then two poles were erected in the air, in the form of a cross, and Father Jogues was tied to it by cords of twisted bark, thus throwing the whole weight of his body upon his wounded and lacerated arms. He asked to be released in mercy, in order that he might prepare for death, which he thought would result from his tortures, but this was refused him. Begging pardon of God for having made such a request, he had already resigned himself to [pg 113] the mercies of heaven, when suddenly an Indian in the crowd, touched with compassion, rushed forward and cut the cords that bound him to the cross. During the night he was again tied to a stake driven in the ground, and his sufferings were prolonged without relief till morning. On the following day the prisoners were carried back to the second town they had entered. Here the council decided to spare the lives of the French for the present, and to put the Hurons to death.

Father Jogues and René Goupil lingered in suffering, and almost at the point of death, for three weeks, at Gandawagué, now Caughnawaga, in New York. The Mohawks had concluded to send them back when convenient to Three Rivers. In the meantime, the Dutch settlers in New Netherland, who were allies of the Mohawks, heard that their Iroquois neighbors and friends had taken some European prisoners. These generous Dutch, headed by their minister, the worthy Dominie Megapolensis, took the matter in hand, and raised six hundred guilders for the ransom of the French prisoners. Accordingly Arendt Curler set out with this sum, accompanied by two burghers from Rensselaerswyck, now Albany, for the Mohawk castles. The treaty between the Dutch and the Mohawks was renewed, but neither money nor diplomacy could move the chiefs to deliver up the prisoners, whose importance they began now to perceive from the effort made for their release. All that the Dutch could obtain was a promise to send them back to Three Rivers.

Afterwards, divisions arose among the savages as to what disposition should be made of Father Jogues and René. In the meantime their lives were suspended upon the capricious humors and passions of the cruel Mohawks. The master of the cabin on seeing this ordered a young brave to put René to death; that order was afterwards obeyed.

After the death of René, Father Jogues remained among the Mohawks, the sole object of their barbarous cruelty and superstitious hatred. Amidst the countless sufferings he endured, his consolation consisted in prayer and visits of religion to the Huron prisoners. In his poverty he was rich in the possession of a volume containing one of the Epistles of S. Paul, and an indulgenced picture of S. Bruno. These, his only possessions, he carried always about his person.

In the fall, he was obliged to accompany the tribe as a slave on a grand hunt, and then for two months inconceivable hardships and labors were his constant lot. When the chase was unproductive, he was accused as the demon of their ill success. When sacrifice was offered to the god Aireskoi, he refused to eat any of the food of the idolatrous sacrifice, and was thereupon repulsed and avoided as polluted and polluting; and every door was closed against him, food was denied him, and a shelter refused. After performing the menial and oppressive labors which they imposed upon him, he retired at night to his little oratory, with its roof of bark and floor of snow, to commune with his Heavenly Father, his only friend; even to that sacred spot, the arrows, clubs, and once the tomahawk, of his persecutors followed him. He was finally sent back to the village, loaded with venison, over a frozen country, thirty leagues in extent, and almost perished of cold on the way. But even such a journey possessed its consolations; for on the way, by an act of heroism, he saved an Indian woman and her infant from drowning, and, [pg 114] as the infant was on the point of expiring from its exposure and injuries, he poured the waters of regeneration on its head, and saved another soul for heaven.

On arriving at the village, he was ordered to return over the same road to the hunting-ground, but his repeated falls on the ice compelled him to abandon the journey and return to the village, to endure equal torments there. Obliged to become the nurse of one of the most inveterate of his enemies, who was lying devoured by a loathsome disease, the good Samaritan entered upon his task as a work of love, and for an entire month bestowed the most tender care and sympathetic attention upon his patient. In the spring of 1643, he was compelled to accompany a fishing party to a lake four days' journey off, when he suffered over again the cruelties of the recent hunt. On the lake shore, as on the hunting-grounds, his cross and little oratory of fir branches were his only consolations. His mode of life in these wildernesses is thus described by Bancroft: “On a hill apart he carved a long cross on a tree, and there, in the solitude, meditated the imitation of Christ, and soothed his grief by reflecting that he alone, in that vast region, adored the true God of earth and heaven. Roaming through the stately forests of the Mohawk Valley, he wrote the name of Jesus on the bark of trees, graved the cross, and entered into possession of these countries in the name of God—often lifting up his voice in a solitary chant.”

Repeatedly during this period was the murderous tomahawk suspended over his head; and twice was he selected to be sacrificed to the manes of some Indian warrior who had gone on the hunt and had not returned. But his life was in the hands of an invisible Protector. A generous Indian matron adopted him as her son, in the place of her own son she had just lost; and now, when he mingled with the Mohawks as their brother, he spoke to them of God, heaven, eternity, and hell. Though he convinced them that his words were true, they were too much wedded to their idols to yield to the grace of conversion. On one occasion he was led out to be sacrificed to the manes of the braves who had gone on a war party, and, not having returned, were supposed to be lost; but before the ceremony proceeded too far, the warriors returned just in time to save his life. They brought with them some Abnaki prisoners whom they destined for the stake. Father Jogues secured the services of an interpreter, instructed them in the faith, and succeeded in converting several of them, whom he baptized at Easter.

It was shortly after this that Father Jogues was compelled to witness the horrid spectacle of human sacrifice offered to the demon Aireskoi. How wonderful are the ways of divine Providence! for it was in the midst of this act, the lowest point in the scale of human degradation and of insult to God, that a human soul is regenerated by one of the Christian sacraments, and that soul is the victim itself of the superstitious rite. A woman was chosen for the victim, and was tied to the stake. The savages formed a line, and as they approached the stake each one did his share in burning, cutting, or otherwise torturing the unhappy victim. Father Jogues had previously instructed the woman. He took no part, of course, in this awful and wicked sacrifice, but he availed himself of an opportunity to press forward in the crowd, and as the victim bowed to receive [pg 115] the sacrament from his hands, the missionary poured the baptismal waters on her head, in the midst of the raging flames of the heathen sacrifice.

An effort was now made by his friends in Canada to secure the release of Father Jogues. Some braves of the Sokoki tribe, living on the Connecticut, had been captured by the Algonquins, and were now led forth for torture. The French governor procured their liberation, committed them to the care of the hospital nuns, and, after their wounds were healed, sent them back to their own country, with a request that they would induce their tribe to send an embassy to their allies the Mohawks to intercede for the relief of Father Jogues. The embassy was accordingly sent, the Mohawks lit their council fires, the Sokoki presents were accepted, but the main question was parried, and finally the old promise to send him back to Three Rivers was the only result. Perceiving now more than ever the dignity and importance of their prisoner, the Mohawks led him forth in triumph to show their allies that even the powerful French nation was tributary to the Iroquois. This cruel journey, two hundred and fifty miles long, was over a rugged and barren country, and many were the sufferings our missionary had to endure. Yet this journey was not without its peculiar consolations to Father Jogues. On one occasion he baptized five dying infants; and as he passed through the cabins in search of souls, he heard the voice of a former benefactor, the Indian who had so generously cut loose the cords that bound him to the cross of logs hoisted in the air in the village of Tinniontiogen, crying to him from his bed of misery and death. Father Jogues embraced his benefactor with a burst of gratitude and sympathy. Unable to reward him with worldly goods or temporal relief, the father instructed him in the truths of eternal life, bestowed upon the willing convert the treasure of the faith, and shortly before his death sealed all with the sacrament of baptism.

After his return to the village he was rushed upon one day by an infuriated savage, whose club laid him almost lifeless on the ground. Every day he was thus exposed to some imminent peril. His life was suspended upon the merest chance or savage caprice or passion. The good old woman who had adopted him, and whom he called his aunt, was his only friend in that vast region. She advised him to make his escape, but he believed it to be the will of God that he should remain there.

In August, 1643, he had to accompany a portion of the tribe on a hunting and fishing party, during which he visited for the second time the Dutch at Rensselaerswyck, the present city of Albany. The inhabitants again made a generous effort to secure the liberation of Father Jogues, but their appeal to the savage Mohawk was in vain. It was here, too, amid the dangers and distractions that encompassed him at Rensselaerswyck, that he produced that beautiful monument of taste and learning, as well as of apostolic zeal and love, the relation of his captivity and sufferings to his superior, which has been so greatly admired for its pure and classic Latin. In this letter, he says: “I have baptized seventy since my captivity, children, and youth, and old men of five different tongues and nations, that men of every tribe, and tongue, and nation, might stand in the presence of the Lamb.”

[pg 116]

While engaged in helping the Iroquois to stretch their nets for fish, he heard of more Huron prisoners brought to the village, two of whom had already expired at the stake unbaptized. Obtaining the permission of his good aunt who had adopted him, he at once dropped the fish-nets, and returned to the village in order that he might set his net for human souls. On his way to the village he passed through Rensselaerswyck. Van Curler insisted on his making his escape by flight, since certain death awaited him at the village, and offered a shelter and a passage on board of a ship destined first for Virginia and then for Bordeaux or Rochelle. It has already been related that Father Jogues had resolved to regard the Mohawk as his mission, he therefore hesitated to accept the generous offer of the Dutch, though inevitable death would soon remove him from that chosen field. But Van Curler and the minister of the settlement, John Megapolensis, pressed their appeal with such powerful arguments that the missionary promised to consider it, and asked one night for prayer and consultation with his soul and with God. After fervent supplication for the aid of heaven in deciding the matter with impartiality, and after much reflection, Father Jogues, knowing that if he returned to the village death would soon remove him from it, and convinced that his return to France or Canada would prove the only means of founding a regular mission in the Mohawk, resolved to attempt his escape, and went in the morning to announce his resolution to Van Curler and Megapolensis. They then arranged together the plan of escape. Returning to the custody of his guards, he accompanied them to their quarters. When they all retired at night to their barn to rest, the Iroquois slept around the father, in order to secure him closely within, while without the premises were guarded by ferocious watch-dogs. In his first attempt early in the night, the dogs rushed upon him and tore his leg dreadfully with their teeth, and he was obliged to return into the barn. Towards daybreak a second attempt was more successful; the dogs were silenced; the prisoner quietly escaped over the fence, and ran limping and suffering with his lacerated limb fully a mile to the river where the ship lay. But here he found the bark sent by Van Curler for his escape lying high and dry and immovable on the beach, and the vessel was not within hailing distance. In these straitened circumstances, he had recourse to prayer. In making another effort to move the bark he seemed to be gifted with renewed strength, and soon the boat was afloat, and thus he succeeded alone in reaching the vessel. He was immediately concealed in the bottom of the hold, and a heavy box was placed over the hatch. In the filth of this narrow and unventilated place he remained two days and nights, suffering extremely from his wound, from hunger and the noisome air.

Father Jogues was then carried into the settlement to remain until all was quiet and it was time to embark. He was confided to the care of a man who permitted him to be thrust into a miserable loft, where he remained six weeks crouched behind a hogshead as his only shelter, with scarcely food sufficient to keep him alive, enduring every discomfort, and exposed to detection and recapture by the Iroquois or Mohawks, who incessantly haunted the house.

After six weeks thus spent, Father Jogues, accompanied by the minister, [pg 117] Dominie Megapolensis, took the first boat for New Amsterdam, as the city of New York was then called. The voyage lasted six weeks, during which Father Jogues became a great favorite with all on board. As they passed a little island in their route, the crew named it in honor of Father Jogues amid the discharge of cannon, and the Calvinist minister honored the Jesuit by contributing a bottle of wine to the festivities of the occasion. After an agreeable voyage, they arrived at New Amsterdam. The germ of the present monster city consisted then of a little fort garrisoned with sixty men, a governor's house, a church, and the houses of four or five hundred men scattered over and around the entire Island of Manhattan. There were many different sects and nations represented there. The director-general told Father Jogues that there were eighteen different languages spoken on the island. The Jesuit was enthusiastically received at New Amsterdam, for the people turned out in crowds to greet him. One of them, a Polish Lutheran, when he saw the mangled hands of Father Jogues, ran and threw himself at his feet to kiss his wounded hands, exclaiming, “O martyr of Christ! O martyr!” So practical, however, were the notions of the old Dutch inhabitants of the city about such matters, that they asked the missionary how much the company of New France would pay him for all he had suffered! Father Jogues made a vigilant search in New Amsterdam for Catholics. He found two: one, a Portuguese woman, with whom he could not converse, showed that she still clung to her faith by the pious pictures which were hanging round her room; the other, an Irishman, trading from Virginia, who availed himself of the father's presence to go to his confession. It was from the latter that he learned that the English Jesuits had been driven from Maryland by the Puritan rulers of that colony, and had taken refuge in Virginia.

He remained there three months altogether in the old Dutch colony. Receiving commendatory letters from William Kieft, the governor of New Netherland, he sailed from the majestic harbor of New Amsterdam on the 5th of November, 1643. The little vessel possessed no comforts or accommodations. The father's only bed was a coil of rope on deck, where he received severe drenchings from the waves breaking over him. A furious storm drove the vessel in on the English coast, near Falmouth, which was then in possession of the king's party: two parliamentary cruisers pursued the Dutch vessel, but she escaped and anchored at the wharf. The storm-beaten crew went ashore to enjoy themselves, leaving only Father Jogues and another person on board, when the vessel was boarded by robbers, who pointed a pistol at the missionary's throat and robbed him of his hat and coat. He appealed to a Frenchman, the master of a collier at the wharf, for relief, who took him on board his boat, gave him a sailor's hat and coat, all his own poverty could spare, and a passage to France. In this plight, this celebrated missionary, whose fame filled all France, landed on his native shore on Christmas morning, at a point between Brest and St. Pol de Leon.

He borrowed a more decent hat and cloak from a peasant near the shore, and hastened to the nearest chapel, to make his thanksgiving and unite in the glorious solemnity of Christmas. As it was early he had the consolation of approaching [pg 118] the tribunal of penance, and of receiving the Holy Eucharist, for the first time in sixteen months. The touching story of his captivity and sufferings among the savages subdued their hearts and drew floods of sympathizing tears from the peasants whose hospitality he shared. They offered him all they had to forward him on his journey. A good merchant of Rennes, then passing on his way, heard the thrilling incidents he related, and saw his mangled hands: touched with compassion, he took the missionary under his care, and paid his expenses to Rennes, where he arrived on the eve of the Epiphany. He went to the college of his order in that city, and as soon as it was known that he was from Canada, all the members of the community gathered round him to ask him if he knew Father Jogues, and whether he was yet alive and in captivity. He then disclosed his name, and showed the marks of his sufferings; all then pressed forward to embrace their saintly brother, and kiss his glorious wounds.

He reposed for a few days at the college at Rennes, and then pushed on towards Paris, to place himself again at the disposal of his superior, humbly and modestly intimating a desire, however, to be sent back to his mission in America. His fame had long preceded him, and, when he arrived at the capital, the faithful pressed forward in crowds to venerate him and kiss his wounds. The pious queen-mother coveted the same happiness, and he, whom we saw so recently the captive and slave of brutal savages, is now honored at the court of the first capital of Christendom. But the humility of Father Jogues took alarm at the honors paid to him. Throwing himself at his superior's feet, he entreated that he might be sent back to the wilderness from which he had just escaped. The superior consented; but an obstacle here presented itself. So great were the injuries inflicted upon his hands by the Mohawks that he was canonically disqualified from offering up the holy sacrifice of the Mass. Application for the proper dispensation was made to the Sovereign Pontiff, upon a statement of the facts. Innocent XI. was moved by the recital, and, with an inspired energy, exclaimed, Indignum esse Christi martyrem, Christi non bibere sanguinem“It were unjust that a martyr of Christ should not drink the blood of Christ!” Pronounced by the Vicar of Christ on earth to be a martyr, though living, he now goes to seek a double martyrdom in death. In the spring he started for Rochelle, and F. Ducreux, the historian of Canada, sought the honor of accompanying him thither.

He embarked from Rochelle for Canada, where he arrived on the 16th May, 1644. He found the Iroquois war still raging with unabated fury, and the colony of New France reduced to the verge of ruin. When his brethren in Canada heard and saw how cruelly Father Jogues had been treated in the Mohawk, and that his timely flight alone had saved his life, they felt the saddest apprehensions about the fate of Father Bressani, who had also fallen into the hands of the Iroquois. Finding it impossible to return to Lake Huron, Father Jogues joined Father Buteux in the duties of the holy ministry at the new town of Montreal, to which its founders gave the name of the City of Mary, in consecrating it to the Mother of God. It was during their sojourn together that the superior endeavored to draw from Father Jogues, by entreaty, and even by command, the circumstances of his sufferings in captivity; but his [pg 119] humility and modesty were so great that it was with the greatest difficulty that anything concerning himself could be drawn from him. In this spirit he avoided all the honors that were pressed upon him. After his return to Canada, he was so desirous of being unknown and unhonored that he ceased signing his name, and even his letters which he addressed to his superior after his return to Canada are without signatures.

Some Mohawk prisoners, kindly treated by the Governor of Canada and released, returned to their country, and disposed the Mohawks to make peace. A solemn deputation of their chiefs came to Three Rivers, and were received on the 12th of July, 1645, with great ceremony and pomp. Father Jogues was present, though unseen by the deputies; so was Father Bressani, who, having passed the ordeal of a most cruel captivity among the Mohawks, had been ransomed by the Dutch of New York, sent to France, and had now, like Father Jogues, returned to New France to suffer again. When all was silent, the orator of the deputies arose, and opened the session with the usual march and chants. He explained, as he proceeded to deliver the presents, the meaning of each. Belt after belt of wampum was thrown at the governor's feet, until at last he held forth one in his hand, beautifully decorated with the shell-work of the Mohawk Valley. “This,” he exclaimed, “is for the two black-gowns. We wished to bring them both back; but we have not been able to accomplish our design. One escaped from our hands in spite of us, and the other absolutely desired to be given up to the Dutch. We yielded to his desire. We regret not their being free, but our ignorance of their fate. Perhaps even now that I name them they are victims of cruel enemies or swallowed up in the waves. The Mohawk never intended to put them to death.”

The French had little faith in the sincerity of the Mohawk, yet they wanted peace. The past was forgiven, the missionaries buried the remembrance of their wrongs with the hatchet of the Mohawk, and peace was concluded. The deputies returned to their castles to get the sachems to ratify the peace, and Father Jogues to Montreal to prepare himself for the terrible ordeal which he foresaw a Mohawk mission would open to him. His preparation consisted in prayer, meditations, and other spiritual exercises. The peace was ratified; the Indians asked for missionaries; the French resolved to open a mission among them, and Father Jogues was selected for the perilous enterprise. When he received the letter of his superior informing him of his selection, Father Jogues joyfully accepted the appointment, and prepared at once to depart. His letter in reply to the superior contains these heroic words: “Yes, father, I will all that God wills, and I will it at the peril of a thousand lives. Oh! how I should regret the loss of so glorious an occasion, when it depends but upon me that some souls may be saved. I hope that his goodness, which did not forsake me in the hour of need, will aid me yet. He and I are able yet to overcome all the difficulties which can oppose our project.”

On arriving at Three Rivers, he ascertained that he and the Sieur Bourdon were to go to the Mohawk castle, in the first instance, merely as ambassadors, to make sure of the peace. They departed on this dangerous embassy on the 16th of May, 1646, and during their absence public prayers, offered for their return, testified the fears felt for their safety. [pg 120] As they were about to start, an Algonquin thus addressed Father Jogues: “There is nothing more repulsive at first than this doctrine, that seems to annihilate all that man holds dearest, and as your long gown preaches it as much as your lips, you would do better to go at first in a short one.” Thereupon the prudent ambassador parted for the time with the habit of his order, and substituted a more diplomatic costume.

They were accompanied by four Mohawks and two Algonquins. After ascending the Sorel, and gliding through the beautiful islands of Lake Champlain, they arrived at the portage leading to the Lake Andiatarocté on the 29th of May, which was the eve of Corpus Christi. Here Father Jogues paused, and named the lake Saint Sacrament; but by a less Christian taste that beautiful name, given in honor of the King of kings, has since yielded to one given in honor of one of the kings of earth.79 They suffered greatly for food on the way, but obtained a supply of provisions at Ossarane, a fishing station on the Hudson, supposed to be Saratoga. Then, gliding down the Hudson, they came to Fort Orange, where Father Jogues again, in the most earnest and sincere terms, expressed his deep gratitude to his liberators, the Dutch, whose outlay in his behalf he had already reimbursed to them from Europe. Not satisfied with expressing his thanks, Father Jogues endeavored to bestow upon his friend, Dominie Megapolensis, the greatest of possible returns—the true faith. He wrote from this place a letter to the minister, in which he used every argument that his well-stored mind or the unbounded charity of his heart could suggest to reclaim him to the bosom of that ancient church which his fathers had so unfortunately left.

After a short repose at Albany, they proceeded to the Mohawk, and arrived at the nearest town on the 7th of June. A general assembly of the chiefs was called to ratify the peace, and crowds came from all sides; some through curiosity to see, and others with a desire to honor, the untiring and self-sacrificing Ondessonk. Father Jogues made a speech appropriate to the occasion and the purposes of his visits, which the assembled chiefs heard with great enthusiasm; presents were exchanged, and peace was finally and absolutely ratified. The Wolf family in particular, being that in which Father Jogues had been adopted, exclaimed, “The French shall always find among us friendly hearts and an open cabin, and thou, Ondessonk, shalt always have a mat to lie on and fire to keep thee warm.” Father Jogues endeavored to impress favorably the representatives of other tribes who were there by presents and friendly words. Then remembering his sacred character as a minister of God, he visited and consoled the Huron captives, especially the sick and dying; he heard the confessions of some, and baptized several expiring infants. Before departing Father Jogues desired to leave behind his box containing articles most necessary for the mission, which he was soon to return and commence among them; the Mohawks, however, dreading some evil from the box, objected at first, but the father opened it, and showed them all it contained, and finally, as he supposed, overcame their superstitious fears, and the box was left behind among them.

The ambassadors and their suite set out on their return, on the 16th of June, bearing their baggage on their backs. They also constructed [pg 121] their own canoes at Lake Superior, and, having crossed the lake in safety, arrived at Three Rivers, after a passage of thirteen days, on the feast of SS. Peter and Paul, to the infinite joy and relief of all their friends.

On the 28th day of September, Father Jogues was on his way to the Mohawk, accompanied by Lalande, a young Frenchman from Dieppe, an Iroquois of Huron birth, and some other Hurons. As they advanced, tidings of war on the part of the Mohawks became more frequent, and the Indian escorts began to desert. They passed Lake Champlain in safety, and had advanced within two days' journey of the Mohawk when a war-party, marching on Fort Richelieu, came upon them. The savages rushed upon them, stripped Father Jogues and Lalande of their effects, bound them as prisoners, and turning back led them to the village of Gandawagué,80 the scene of Father Jogues' first captivity and sufferings. Here they were received with a shower of blows, amid loud cries for their heads, that they might be set up on the palisades.

Towards evening, on the 18th of October, some of the savages of the Bear family came and invited Father Jogues to sup in their cabin. Scarcely had the shadow of the black-gown darkened the entrance of their lodge, when a concealed arm struck a well-aimed blow with the murderous tomahawk, and the Christian martyr fell lifeless to the ground. The generous Kiotsaeton, who had just arrived as a deputy of a council called to decide on his case, rushed to save him, but the blade had done its work, and now spent its remaining force by inflicting a deep wound in the arm of that noble chief. The head of Father Jogues was severed from his body, and raised upon the palisade. The next day the faithful Lalande, and a no less faithful Huron, shared the same fate.

Father Jogues was in his fortieth year when he received the fatal stroke. When the tidings of his death arrived, every tongue in Canada and in France was zealous in the recital of his many virtues, and in praise of his glorious death. His zeal for the faith, his courage in danger, his humility, his love of prayer and suffering, his devotion to the cross, were conspicuous among the many exalted virtues that adorned his life and death. While his brethren lamented the loss the missions had sustained, they envied him the crown he had won. “We could not,” says Father Ragueneau, “bring ourselves to offer for Father Jogues the prayers for the dead. We offered up the adorable sacrifice, indeed, but it was in thanksgiving for the favors which he had received from God. The laity and the religious houses here partook our sentiments as to this happy death, and more are found to invoke his memory than there are to pray for his repose.”

[pg 122]

Doña Ramona.

From The Spanish.

In an empire whose name history has failed to record, there lived in a miserable stable a poor laborer and his wife. Juan and Ramona were their names, though Juan was better known by the nickname “Under present circumstances,” which they gave him because in season or out of season that phrase was continually dropping from his lips. Juan and Ramona were so wretchedly poor that they would have had no roof to cover them unless a laborer of the province of Micomican had taken pity upon them, and given them a hut to live in, which in other days had served as a stable, and was now his property.

“We are badly enough off in a stable,” said Juan: “but we ought to conform ourselves with our lot, since under present circumstances God, though he was God, lived in a stable when he made himself man.”

“You are right,” replied Ramona.

So both worked away, if not happy, at least resigned—Juan in going out day after day to gain his daily reward of a couple of small pieces of money, and Ramona in taking care of the house, if house be a proper term to apply to a stable.

The emperor was very fond of living in the country, and had many palaces of different kinds in the province of Micomican. One day Juan was working in a kitchen garden near the road, when far away he saw the carriage of the emperor coming at a rate almost equal to that of a soul that the devil was trying to carry off.

“I'll bet you,” said Juan, “that the horses have escaped from his majesty, and some misfortune is going to happen! It would be a great pity, for under present circumstances an emperor is worth an empire.”

Juan was not mistaken. The emperor's horses had escaped, and the emperor was yelling:

“God take pity on me! I'm going to break my neck over one of those precipices! Isn't there a son of a gun to save me? To whoever throws himself at the head of these confounded horses, I'll give whatever he asks, though it be the very shirt on my back.”

But no one dared throw himself at the horses' heads; for they tore along at such a furious rate that to rush at them was to rush into eternity.

Juan, enraged at the cowardice of the other workmen, and moved by his love for the emperor as well as his natural propensity to do good without looking at the person to whom he did it, threw himself at the horses' heads, and succeeded in stopping the coach, to the admiration of the emperor himself, who at that moment would not have given a brass farthing for his life.

“Ask whatever you like,” said the emperor to him, “for everything appears to me small as a recompense to the man who has rendered me so signal a service.”

“Sire!” said Juan to him, “I, under present circumstances, am a poor day laborer, and the day that I don't gain a couple of pesetas my wife [pg 123] and I have to fast. So, if your majesty will only assure me my day's labor whether it rains or whether it is fine weather, my wife and I will sing our lives away in happiness, for we are people content with very little.”

“That's pretty clear. Well, go along, it's granted. The day that you have nothing to do anywhere else, go to one of my palaces, whichever you like, and occupy yourself there in whatever way you please.”

“Thank you, sire!”

“What! No; no reason for thanks, man. That is a mere nothing.”

The emperor went on his road happy enough, and Juan went on his, thinking of the great joy he was about to give his wife when he returned home at night, and told her that he had his day's work secured for the rest of his life whether it rained or was fine weather.

In fact, his wife was greatly rejoiced when he carried her the good news. They supped, and went to bed in peace and in the grace of God, and Juan slept like one of the blessed; but Ramona passed the whole night turning about in the bed like one who has some trouble or desire that will not let him sleep.

“Do you know what I have been thinking the whole night long, Juan?” said Ramona, the following morning.

“What?”

“That yesterday you were a fool to ask so little from the emperor.”

“Indeed! What more had I to ask?”

“That he would give us a little house to live in, something more suitable and decent than this wretched stable.”

“You are right, woman; but now there is no help for it.”

“Perhaps there may be.”

“How?”

“Look here; go and see the emperor, and ask him.”

“Yes; now is the time to go on such an errand!”

“Go you shall, and quickly, too!”

“But, woman, don't get angry. My goodness! what a temper you have! Well, well; I will go, and God grant his majesty does not send me off with a flea in my ear, although, under present circumstances, he is a very open-hearted, outspoken gentleman.”

Well, Juan set out for the palace of the emperor; and the emperor granted him an audience immediately on his arrival.

“Hallo, Juan!” said his majesty. “What brings you this way, man?”

“Sire!” replied Juan, twirling and twirling the hat which he held in his hand, “my wife, under present circumstances, is as good as gold; but, you see, the stable that we live in is gone to rack and ruin, and we wish to get it out of our sight. So she said to me this morning: ‘If your majesty, who is so kind, would only give us a little house, something better than the one we have, who dare sneeze at us then?’ ”

“Does your wife want nothing more than that? Well, it's granted. This very moment I will give orders that they place the little white house at her disposal. Go into the dining-room, and take a mouthful and a drop of something; and, instead of going afterwards to the stable, go to the little white house, and there you will find your wife already installed.”

Juan returned thanks to the emperor for his latest kindness, and, passing on to the dining-room, filled himself with ham and wine.

Our friend commenced his journey home, and, when he arrived at the white house, his wife rushed out to receive him with tears of joy.

And indeed it was very natural [pg 124] for poor Ramona to find herself so merry, for the little white house was a perfect jewel. It occupied the summit of a gentle acclivity, whence the whole beauty of the plain was spread out before it. A large Muscatel vine covered the whole of the porch, and beneath it there were seats and little plots of pinks and roses. The apartments of the house were a little drawing-room, very white, and clean, and pretty, with its chairs, its cupboard, and its looking-glass; an alcove with its bed, so soft and clean and beautiful that the emperor himself might have slept in it; a little kitchen with all its requirements, among which were included the utensils, which shone like gold; and a little bewitching dining-room, with four chairs, a table, and a sideboard. To the dining-room there was a fairy entrance, adorned without by an arc of flowers, and through this entrance you passed into a garden, where there were fruits, and flowers, and vegetables, and a small army of chickens clucked; and every egg they laid was as big as Juan's fist.

When night came on, Juan and Ramona took their supper like a couple of princes in their little dining-room, and soon after laid them down in their beautiful bed. They both slept well, particularly Juan, who stirred neither hand nor foot the whole night through.

Ramona began to find fault the very next day, and Juan noticed that every night her sleep was more disturbed.

“Woman, what the devil is the matter with you, that all night long you are twisting like a reel?” asked Juan, one morning. “Why, there are no fleas here as there were in the stable.”

“Fleas hinder my sleep very little.”

“Well, then, what hinders it, woman?”

“What hinders it? Your stupidity in asking the emperor so little hinders it.”

“In the name of the Father, and of the Son!... And you still think it little that I have asked, and he granted us?”

“Yes, indeed I do. This little house is so small that one can scarcely turn in it; and if to-morrow or some other day we have children, what shall we do with them in a hut like this?”

“Say what you like about it, there is no help for it now.”

“Perhaps there may be.”

“And how, I should like to know?”

“Going back and seeing his majesty, and telling him to give us a larger house, of course.”

“Go to Jericho, woman. You don't catch me going on an errand of that kind!”

“Well, go you shall, then; or we'll see who is master here.”

“But, wife, don't you see that my very face would drop from me with shame?”

“Now, that's enough of talk on the matter. All you have to do is, run along to the palace as fast as you can, if you care to have a quiet time of it.”

“Well, well; since you wish it, I'll go.”

Juan, who did not possess an ounce of will of his own—a thing which is the greatest misfortune that can befall a husband who is not blessed with such a wife as God ordained for him—set out once more on his road towards the palace of the emperor.

“Indeed,” said he to himself, with more fear than shame, “it is very possible he will send me down-stairs head foremost, because it is only natural that this abuse of his good-nature will prove too much, even for him. [pg 125] And it will serve me right for my unfortunate weakness of character.”

Juan's fears were not realized. So soon as he sought an audience with his majesty it was granted, and the emperor asked him, with a smiling face:

“How goes it at the little white house?”

“Not badly, sire!”

“And your wife, how does she find herself there?”

“Not badly, sire, but your majesty knows what the women are. Give 'em an inch, they'll take an ell. My wife, under present circumstances, hasn't a flaw in her; but she says that, if to-morrow or the day after we have youngsters, we shall all be crowded there like bees in a bottle.”

“You are right. So she wants, of course, a house a little larger?”

“You've just hit it, sire!”

“Well, turn into the dining-room till they give you a snack of something; and, instead of returning to the white house, go to the Azure Palace, where you will find your wife installed with the attendance befitting those who live in a palace.”

Juan returned the emperor thanks for his great goodness, and, after stuffing himself till he looked like a ball in the dining-room, off he set, as happy as could be, to the Azure Palace, which was one of those that the emperor had in that district.

The Azure Palace was neither very large nor furnished with great wealth; but it was very beautiful and adorned with becoming elegance. A servant in livery received Juan at the door and conducted him to the apartment of the lady. The lady was Ramona, whom her maid had just finished dressing in one of the beautiful robes which she found in her new dwelling. Juan could do nothing but open his mouth and stare in amazement at seeing his wife in such majestic attire.

Juan and Ramona feared they would go mad when they found themselves lords of a palace, well fitted, elegant, and waited on by four servants: namely, a coachman, a footman, a maid, and a cook.

“Take off that clown's dress,” said Ramona to Juan. “Aren't you ashamed to show yourself in such a trim before our own servants?”

“This is a new start,” said Juan, astonished at the sally of his wife. “So I, who, under present circumstances, have passed all my life in digging the earth, and things even worse than that, must feel ashamed of the clothes I have worn all my life long!”

“But, you stupid head,” replied Ramona, “if you have costume corresponding to your rank, why didn't you put it on?”

“My rank!... Come, this woman's head is turned.”

“Juan, go to your apartment and change your things, and don't try my patience so much, for you know already that my temper will not stand too great a trial.”

“Well, there's no need to put yourself out, woman. Here I'm going now,” said Juan, turning to the room from which he saw Ramona come out.

“Blockhead!” said she, catching hold of him and showing him another room, “this apartment is mine, and that is yours.”

“Hallo! this is another surprise. So my wife's room is not mine also?”

“No; that is only among common folk; but in people of our rank no.”

Juan gave up the dispute, and, entering the room which she had pointed out as his, found therein a wardrobe with a quantity of fine [pg 126] changes befitting a gentleman, and came out again transformed into a milord.

There passed fifteen days since Juan and Ramona came to live in the Azure Palace, and Ramona grew day by day more captious, and slept less and less every night.

“What the deuce ails you? One would think the ants were at you,” said Juan to her, one morning.

“What ails me is that I have the biggest fool for a husband that ever ate bread.”

“Hey for the sweet tempers! So you are not yet content with the sweet little fig that your husband gathered for you?”

“No, sir, I am not. One must be a dolt like you to content herself with what we have, when we might have much more only for the asking.”

“But, woman alive, have you lost your senses? Can the emperor grant us more than he has granted us, or do we need more to make us happy?”

“Yes, he can give us more, and we need it.”

“Explain yourself, and the devil take the explanation, for you're going to drive me mad with your ambition.”

“Explain myself! I'll explain myself, and very clearly, too; for, thank God, there are no hairs on my tongue to prevent me speaking to anybody, even to the emperor himself. To make you happy, all that is wanting is what common folk want—a good table where you may stuff yourself with turkey all the day long; but for us who have higher aims, we want something more than chunks of meat and wine that would make an ox dance a hornpipe. You can swell yourself out and look big when you walk out here, and hear them calling you Don Juan; but as for me, I could eat myself with rage when they call me Doña Ramona.”

“Well, and isn't it better for them to call us that than Juan and Ramona, as they used to call us before? What more do you want, woman?”

“I want them to call me lady marchioness.”

“Have you lost your ears, Ramona? Now I tell you, and tell you again, that that wicked ambition of yours has deprived you of your senses.”

“Look here, Juan, you and I are not going into disputes and obstinacy. You know me well enough already, or if you don't you ought to, to be certain that it doesn't take long for my nose to itch. I want to be no less than the Marchioness of Radishe and the Countess of Cabbidge, who at every turn fill their mouths with their grand titles, and, when they meet one, don't seem to have time to say with their drawling affectation, ‘Adios, Doña Ramona.’ Now, since the emperor has told you, when you saved his life, that you might ask him even for the shirt that he had on his back, go and see him, and ask him to make us Marquises.”

“Go and ask him if he has a head on his shoulders, why don't you say? But there's enough about it. Even in fun I don't like to hear such nonsense.”

“Juan, don't provoke me; take care that I don't send you with a flea in your ear.”

“But, woman alive, however much of your husband's breeches you may wear, could you even imagine that I was going to agree to this new start of yours?”

“I bet you, you will agree.”

“I tell you I am not going again to see the emperor.”

“Go you shall, though you have to go on your head.”

“But, wife, don't be a fool—”

[pg 127]

“Come, come; less talk, and run along.”

“Well, I'm going, then, since you are so anxious about it. The saints protect me, if I don't deserve to be shot for this chicken-hearted weakness of character!”

Juan took the road to the court, and solicited a new audience with the emperor. Though he took it for certain that his majesty would send him to Old Nick if he did not throw him to him over the balcony, he found that his majesty was very ready to grant him an audience.

“Sire, your majesty will pardon so many impertinences—” he stammered out, full of shame, when he drew near the emperor.

“Why, man, don't be ashamed and a fool,” interrupted his majesty kindly. “Well, how goes it in the Azure Palace?”

“Beautifully, sire.”

“And how is that little rib of yours, eh?”

“Who—she? Oh! very well, under present circumstances.”

“And content with her lot? Is it not so?”

“Well, as for that, sire! Well, your majesty knows what the women are. Their mouths are like a certain place I wouldn't mention before your majesty, always open, and there's no getting at the bottom of it.”

“Well, and what does the good Doña Ramona ask now?”

“What, sire? But there—one is ashamed to say it.”

“Go on, man; out with it, and don't be bashful. To the man that saved my life I'd give anything, even the crown I wear.”

“Well, then, sire! She wants to be a marchioness.”

“A marchioness! Is that all? Then from this instant she is the Marchioness of Marville.”

“Thank you, sire.”

“Keep the thanks for your wife; and look into the dining-room to see if there is anything to lay hands on. And when you go back you will find your wife already installed in the palace belonging to her title, for the Azure Palace is not good enough for marquises.”

Juan passed into the dining-room, and, after running the danger of bursting, he made his way for the palace of Marville. The palace of Marville was not such a very great wonder as its name might lead one to believe; but, for all that, one might very well pass his life in it!

A crowd of footmen and porters received Juan at the gates of the palace, addressing him as my lord marquis; and Juan, for all his modesty, could not but feel a little inflated with such a reception and such a title.

But there was nothing to hold the pride of his wife (though one might be as big as the bell of Toledo, under which one day there sat down seven tailors and a shoemaker) at hearing herself called by her maids lady marchioness here, and lady marchioness there.

“Well, so you are at last content, wife?” said Juan to her.

“Yes, of course, I am. And indeed it was very provoking to hear one's self called Doña Ramona, short like, as though one were only the wife of the apothecary or the surgeon. You see the truth of what I have said; if one has only to open her mouth in order to be a marchioness, why shouldn't she? Now you see that his majesty did not eat you for asking such a reasonable thing.”

“Well, do you know, now, that it cost me something to ask it of him?”

“Ah! get out of that; men are good for nothing.”

“But it gave me more courage [pg 128] when his majesty said to me: ‘Don't be bashful, man; for to the man that saved my life I'd give even the crown I wear.’ ”

“Whew! so he said that to you?”

“As sure as I'm here.”

“Then why didn't you ask him more?”

“There we are again! What more had I to ask?”

“You are right; for, as somebody said, ‘there are more days than long sausages,’ and

A horse and a friend
No work can spend. ”

On the following day the Marquis and Marchioness of Marville took a turn in their grandest coach, and it was a sight to see how they rolled along, at every hour in the day, all around those parts, the very wheels seeming to say envy! envy! to the Marchioness of Radishe and the Countess of Cabbidge. Some little trouble took place on account of the actions and complaints of the country folk, who prevented them from passing in their coach over this and that road, or by this and that property. But the marchioness quite forgot all these annoyances when, for example, at meeting the wife of the apothecary or surgeon, she said to them from her coach wherein she reclined in all her glory, “Adios, Doña Fulana,” and the other answered her, trotting along on foot, “Good-by, my lady marchioness.”

After some time the marquis thought he noticed that his wife was not perfectly happy, because he found her every day more capricious, and she never slept quietly.

One morning, when the day was already advanced, the marquis slept away like a dormouse, and the marchioness, who had passed a more restless and sleepless night than ever, lay awake at his side impatiently waiting for him to awake.

“S. Swithin! what a sleeper!” exclaimed the marchioness; and, no longer able to restrain her impatience, she gave her husband a tremendous pinch, and said, “Wake up, brute.”

“Oh! ten thousand d——!” yelled the marquis.

“Are you not ashamed to sleep so much?”

“Ashamed! of something so natural? More ashamed should the one be who does not sleep, for sleeplessness bespeaks an unquiet conscience. What the devil is the matter with you that you have not ceased the whole night from turning and twisting about?”

“Yes, indeed, if one only had a soul as broad-shouldered as you.”

“I don't understand you, woman.”

“Well, then, you shall understand me, blockhead though you are. Now, tell me, Juan, an emperor is greater than a king?”

“Why shouldn't he be?”

“That is to say, that emperors can make kings?”

“I think so. For instance, suppose his majesty the emperor wished to say to us, ‘Ha, my good friends the Marquis and Marchioness of Marville, I convert the province of Micomican, which belongs to me, into a kingdom, and I make you the monarchs of my new kingdom,’ I believe nobody could hinder it.”

“Very well, then; I wish his majesty to say and do this at your petition.”

The very house seemed to fall atop of Juan at hearing this from his wife; but this latest caprice of Ramona was so absurd that he had courage to hope in its all being a joke.

“Don't you think his majesty would give the person a nice slap in the face who was so impudent and barefaced as to go to him with such a petition as this?” he said.

[pg 129]

“If you go, he will not; since he has said that he cannot deny even his crown to the man who saved his life. So go along, ducky, hurry and see his majesty.”

“But you mean this?”

“Why shouldn't I mean it? I have a nice temper for jokes! I want to be queen, in order to let those little folks know their proper places, who pass their lives in digging the earth and eating potatoes, and have the impudence to dare face gentlefolk who condescend to pass wherever they please.”

“Well, well, now it's clear that you have lost your wits altogether!”

“What you are going to lose, since you have no wits, is your teeth, with a slap in the face, if you don't make haste and hurry off to the court.”

“I'd lose my head before I'd commit such an absurdity. There. I've given way enough already.”

“Indeed! Then from this day forward know that you have no longer a wife. This is my room, and you shall never set foot in it again, nor I in yours.”

“But, woman!”

“No, no; remember we are strangers to each other.”

“Come, don't be obstinate, my own Ramonita.”

“Don't I tell you, sir, that all is over between us?”

“Now, look here, pigeon.”

“Stop your prate!”

“The dev—! Well, come, you shall be satisfied; I will go and see his majesty, and tell him that you want to be queen, though I know he will shoot me on the spot.”

Ramona bestowed a caress on her husband in reward for his consent, and our good Juan made his way to the court cursing his own foolish weakness of character.

Contrary to his expectations, the emperor hastened to grant him an audience, and received him with the accustomed smile.

“Well, marquis, what is it?” he asked.

“What ought it to be, sire? A fresh impertinence.”

“Come, out with it man, and don't be bashful. Something concerning the marchioness, eh?”

“You've hit it again, sire. These foolish women are never content.”

“Well, what does yours want?”

“Nothing, sire. She says, would it please your majesty to make her queen?”

“Queen! nothing more than that? Well, she is queen already, then. Now, go into the dining-room, and see if there is anything there you can destroy; and, instead of returning to the palace of Marville, go to the palace of the Crown, where you will find your wife installed as becomes the Queen of Micomican.”

Juan outdid himself in thanks and courtesies, and, after treating himself in the dining-rooms right royally, made his way home. On his arrival at the palace of the Crown, a salvo of artillery announced his coming. The troops were drawn up around the palace, where he entered to the sound of the Royal March, and amid the vivas of the people, who became mad in the presence of the husband of their new sovereign.

Her Majesty, the Queen Doña Ramona the First, was holding a levée at the moment when her august spouse arrived at the palace, and he, seating himself by her side, gave also his royal hand to kiss; but it was so dirty that as many as kissed it hurried out of the chamber spitting. To be king, it is necessary to keep the hands very clean.

The King and Queen of Micomican amused themselves mightily during the first weeks of their reign: so that [pg 130] all was feasting and rejoicing in celebration of their happy coming to the throne. But so soon as the festival passed, the Queen Doña Ramona began to grow sad and weary.

The king summoned the chief physician of the court, and held a deep consultation with him.

“Man alive,” said he to him, “I have summoned you in order to see what the devil you have to say to me touching the sorrow and evil state in which I have noticed my august spouse to be for some time past. She is always turning and twisting about in her bed, so that she neither sleeps herself nor lets me sleep, and the worst part of it is, that every day she is sadder, and everything irritates and exasperates her.”

“Well, sire, in the first place, we must please her in everything and by everything.”

“I agree with you there, man; but there are things beyond human power. If it rains, she is put out because it rains; if it blows, she is put out because it blows; if we are in the winter, she is put out because the spring has not come, and her mind is so turned that she cries out: ‘I command it not to rain,’ ‘I command it not to blow,’ ‘I command the spring to come at once.’ Now, you see that it is only by being God one can secure obedience of orders like these. Well, then, to what the deuce do you attribute these whims of my august spouse?”

“Sire, it is very possible that they may presage a happy event.”

“Ah, ah! I take you. Well, to be sure, and I never thought of such a thing. And wouldn't it be a joy to me and to my august spouse to find ourselves with a direct successor? For, if not, there is no use in deluding ourselves: the day that we close our eyes, in comes civil war, and the kingdom is gone to Old Nick.”

So the Queen Doña Ramona remained watching to see what would happen. But months and months passed, and the queen grew every day sadder and more capricious.

One day the king decided on interrogating very seriously the queen herself, to see if he might draw from her the secret of her sadness and capriciousness.

“Well, let us know, now, what the deuce is the matter with you,” he said, “that you neither sleep nor let me sleep, and remain for ever like the thorn of S. Lucy.”

“I am very unhappy,” answered the queen, beginning to weep like a Magdalen.

“You unhappy?—you who lived in a stable as empty and bare as that which Our Lord lived in when he became man, and under present circumstances you find yourself the somebody of somebodies, a queen clean and complete? What the deuce do you want?”

“It is true, I am a queen. But I die of sadness when from the throne I look back and see nothing of what other queens see.”

“Well, and what do other queens see?”

“For instance, the Queen of Spain sees a series of great and glorious kings, named Recaredo, Pelayo, San Fernando, Alonso the Wise, Isabel the Catholic, Ferdinand the Catholic, Charles V., Philip II., Charles III.—and those kings had blood of hers, and seated themselves on the throne, and loved and made great the people that she loves and makes great.”

“You are right, wife. But you wish to do what is impossible, and that God alone can do.”

“Well, then, those impossibilities are the very things that tease and exasperate me. What is the use of being a queen, if even in the most [pg 131] just desires one sees herself constrained, and unable to realize them? It is a fine afternoon, for instance, and I begin to get ready to go out for a walk in the palace gardens, but a wretched little cloud appears in the sky, as though to say to one, ‘Don't get ready!’ And when one wishes to go out, that insolent cloud begins to pour down water, and one is obliged to remain at home, disgusted and fretting. What I want is to have power enough to prevent a miserable little cloud from laughing at me.”

“But, woman, don't I tell you that this power God alone can have?”

“Then I want to be God.”

Juan made the sign of the cross on himself, filled with shame and horror at hearing his wife give utterance to such a thing, whose head was undoubtedly turned by the demon of ambition. But he did not wish to exasperate the poor crazed being with lessons which, had she been in her right senses, she would have deserved.

“But don't you know, child,” he said to her with sweetness, “that the fulfilment of that desire is as impossible as it is foolish? The emperor has granted us whatever we have asked, but what you want now he cannot grant.”

“Still, I want you to go and see him, and say so to him; for perhaps between him and the Pope they will be able to manage it.”

“But if there is and never can be more than one God, how can you be made God?”

“I have always heard say that God can do everything. If the emperor consults with the Pope, and the Pope has recourse to God, then you'll see if God, who can do everything, will disappoint them both.”

“But if God cannot?”

“Hold your tongue, Jew, and don't say such awful things. God can do everything.”

Juan thought it would be more prudent to abstain from contradicting his wife any further. So he retired and summoned the chief physician of the court, in order to lay before him the new and extraordinary phase which the moral malady of the queen displayed. The physician said that in his long professional career he had met with cases of mental aberration even more extraordinary than that of the queen; and insisted that, far from contradicting the august invalid, they should comply with her every wish as far as it was humanly possible.

The king returned soon after to the chamber of his august spouse, who the moment she saw him became a perfect wasp.

“How, sire?” she exclaimed. “So you are the first to disobey my orders?”

“How disobey?”

“Yes, sire! Did I not tell you that I want you to go and see the emperor, and implore him to place himself in communication with the Pope in order to see whether between them they could so manage that I might be God?”

“Yes, you told me so, but—”

“There are no buts for me. How is it that you are not already on the road to comply with my orders? Now, none of your nice little jokes with me, if you please—you, who are no more than the husband of the queen—and, if you ruffle my feathers, I'll send you off to be hanged as soon as look at you.”

“Come, child, don't be angry, you shall be obeyed instantly.”

“Remember, none of your pranks, now! And listen: go and tell that health-killer whom you seem to have made one of your council, that if you don't go to see the emperor, and [pg 132] perform in every point the commission which I charge you with, he shall serve you as partner in your dance in the air.”

The king withdrew; and when he reported to the chief physician what his wife had just said to him, the physician insisted more than ever on the necessity of pleasing the august invalid in everything.

So the king set out on his journey to the imperial court. The extravagant and impious nature of his mission disturbed him greatly; but the consideration gave him comfort that he was no longer a Juan nobody, as on other occasions when he had made the same journey, but a monarch about to consult with another monarch. The only thing that weighed at all on his mind was the question of etiquette.

“I don't know,” said he, “for the life of me what shoes to tread in when I address the emperor. I have heard it said that all we sovereigns call each other cousins, though not a bit of cousinship exists between us: but how do I know, if I call the emperor cousin, that he may not give me a blow that would send all the teeth down my throat?” Occupied with such thoughts, he arrived at the imperial court, and the emperor hastened to receive him when he had scarcely set foot in the palace.

“How is her majesty, Queen Doña Ramona?” asked the emperor kindly.

“Bad enough, under present circumstances.”

“Man, that is the worst news yet! And what ails her?”

“What the devil do I know? The evil one alone understands these women. If your majesty could only guess the commission she has given me—”

“Hallo, hallo! Well, let us hear it.”

“She says—but pshaw! One is ashamed to say it. She says to see if your majesty could consult with the Pope, and between you manage to make her God.”

“Eh! That is a greater request. Make her God, eh!”

“Your majesty sees already that it is a piece of madness; for a woman can't complain of the small advance in her career who to-day is a queen, and not a year ago lived in a stable. A stable is a disgrace to nobody, sure enough; for, after all, Our Lord, though he was God, lived in one when he made himself man.”

“So the good Doña Ramona wishes to be God, eh!”

“You've hit it, your majesty.”

“Well, we will please her as far as we are able. Let your majesty step into the dining-room and drive the wolf from the door, and on returning you will find your wife, if not changed into God, changed into something which is like to him.”

The royal consort turned into the dining-room, but, do what he would, he could scarcely swallow a mouthful. Everything seemed to disagree with him, and the cause of it lay in his feeling within him a restlessness which seemed to forebode some misfortune. He made his way homewards, and on arriving at the palace of the crown he saw, with as great sorrow as dismay, that the palace was closed and deserted.

“What has happened here?” he inquired of a passer-by.

“The emperor has put an end to the kingdom of Micomican, re-establishing the ancient province, and re-incorporating it with the empire.”

Juan had neither courage nor strength to ask more. He wandered about for hours and hours like one demented without knowing whither, when suddenly he found himself at the door of the stable where he had [pg 133] lived with his wife, and on pushing open the door, which revolved on its hinges, he found his wife installed there once more. The only thing Godlike which the woman who had entertained the criminal ambition of becoming like to him, consisted in the similarity of her dwelling to the stable which God occupied when he became man.

The Distaff.

“In der guten alten Zeit wo die Königen Bertha spann.”

“In the good old times when Queen Bertha span” is a thrifty proverb still current in France and some parts of Germany where the distaff is yet seen beneath the arm of the shepherdess, looking, as she tends her flock, precisely like S. Genevieve just stept out from her canvas, or that more modern saint of the hidden life, Germaine of Pibrac, who is always represented with her spindle and distaff. In the very same fields where S. Germaine watched her flocks and twirled her spindle in the old scriptural way, keeping her innocent heart all the while united to God, have we seen the young shepherdess clad in the picturesque scarlet or white capuchon of the country, which covers their heads and half veils their forms—guarding their sheep and spinning at the same time.

And the same womanly implement is sometimes found in the hands of those of gentle birth in those old lands where so many still cling to the traditions of the past. We read of the now world-famous Eugénie de Guérin that the same hand that wrote such charmingly naïve letters and journals did not disdain the spindle and the distaff. She writes thus in her journal: “I have begun my day by fitting myself up a distaff, very round, very firm, and very smart with its bow of ribbon. There, I am going to spin with a small spindle. One must vary work and amusements: tired of a stocking, I take up my needle and then my distaff. So time passes, and carries us away on its wings.” And again a day or two after: “I took my distaff by way of diversion, but all the while I was spinning, my mind spun and wound and turned its spindle at a fine rate. I was not at my distaff. The soul just sets that kind of mechanical work going and then leaves it.”

This reminds us of Uhland's verse:

Long, long didactic poems
I spin with busy wheel,
The lengthened yarns of epic
Keep running off my reel:
My wheel itself has a lyrical whirr,
My cat has a tragic mew,
While my spindle plays the comic parts
And does the dancing too.

Eugénie's charming Arcadian life, passed in the primitive occupations of spinning, sewing, superintending the kitchen—even going, like Homer's Nausicaa, to the margin of the stream to wash the linen in the running waters, and afterwards taking pleasure in spreading it all white on the green grass, or seeing it wave on the lines: all this, we say, without detracting from the poetry and [pg 134] grace of her nature, is enough to make us recall with a sigh the good old days when Queen Bertha span.

And this queen was Berthe au grand pied, the mother of Charlemagne, who had one foot larger than the other, and hence her name:

You are the beautiful Bertha, the spinner, queen of Helvetia,
She whose story I read at a stall in the streets of Southampton,
Who, as she rode on her palfrey o'er valley and meadow and mountain,
Ever was spinning her thread from a distaff fixed to her saddle.
She was so thrifty and good, that her name passed into a proverb.

Whether this Queen of Helvetia is our Bertha with the great foot we know not. The name is found in many curious old legends like the German one of Frau Bertha, a kind of tutelar genius of spinners, with an immense foot and a long iron nose, which doubtless served as a spindle. And an old manuscript, long hidden in some obscure corner of a German monastery, tells how King Pepin, wishing to wed the fair Bertha of Brittany, sent his chief officers to bring her to his court. The steward, who had charge of the escort, was not without ambitious views respecting his own daughter. He ordered his servants to put Bertha to death on the way. But they, instead of killing her, left her in a forest. Not long after—O happy chance!—King Pepin, overtaken by night while hunting, awaited the dawn in a house where he was served by the most beautiful maid his eyes had ever beheld. Of course it was Bertha with her great foot, which, we may be sure, she gracefully concealed beneath her flowing garments. And so they were married. Old poems sing of her industry, and tell us she knew how to spin like the princesses of scriptural and Homeric days. She is represented, too, on old coins seated on a throne with a distaff in her hands. All writers speak of her as Berthe au grand pied, but as otherwise beautiful and skilful in wielding the earliest implement of feminine industry. We may safely imagine her as tapping the mighty Charlemagne, leader of peerless knights, while yet a boy, with her convenient distaff; for her ascendency over him was such that he always regarded her with great reverence, even after his elevation to power!

And Bertha was not the only princess that laid her hand hold of the spindle. When the tomb of Jeanne de Bourbon, wife of Charles V. of France, was opened at St. Denis, among other things was found a distaff of gilded wood, but greatly decayed. And there is another in the Hôtel de Cluny, once used by some queen of France, we forget whom, on which is carven all the notable women of the Old Testament.

So too the daughters of Edward the Elder of England, though carefully educated, were so celebrated for their achievements in spinning and weaving that the term spinster is said to be derived from them.

And S. Walburga, the daughter of S. Richard, King of the Saxons, used to spin and weave among the royal and saintly maidens of Wimburn Minster. It was a common custom in those days. The distaff and the spindle were considered “the arms of every virtuous woman.”

The ancients held the use of them as such an accomplishment that Minerva is said to have come down to earth to teach the Greek women how to spin. Venus herself did not disdain to take upon herself the semblance of a spinner of fair wool when she appeared to Helen.

And spinning was as universal an acquirement among the Jewish as the Grecian women. They used to spin by moonlight on the housetops [pg 135] and, true to the instinct of their sex, kept so faithful an eye on their neighbors in the meanwhile that the ancient spinsters' tongues were potent in the world of gossip. There is a tradition that S. Ann spun the virginal robes of her immaculate child in the pure beams of the chaste Dian.

Of the valiant woman in the Book of Proverbs it is said: “Her fingers have taken hold of the spindle.” And in Exodus we read that “the skilful women gave such things as they spun, violet, purple, and scarlet, and fine linen and goats' hair, all of their own accord,” for the tabernacle.

We are told that the Jewish maidens who devoted themselves to the service of the temple were employed, among other things, in spinning the fine linen on their spindles of cedar, or ithel, a species of the oriental acacia, black as ebony and probably the same as the setim, or shittim wood, of the Holy Scriptures. According to tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who passed her early days in the temple, participated and excelled in all the pursuits then carried on. The Protevangelion of S. James the Less relates that, when a new veil was to be made for the temple of our Lord, the priests confided the work to seven virgins of the tribe of David. They cast lots to see “who should spin the gold thread, who the blue, who the scarlet, and who the true scarlet.” It fell to Mary's lot to spin the purple. Leaving her work, one day, to draw water in her jar, the angel drew near with his Ave Maria.

A distaff lies at Mary's feet in Raphael's “Annunciation,” and in many other celebrated paintings she is represented with one. In a “Riposa” by Albert Dürer she is depicted spinning from her distaff beside the Divine Babe who is sleeping in its cradle:

Inter fila cantans orat
Blanda, veni somnuli.

S. Bonaventura tells us that several of the early sacred writers speak of our Blessed Lady's industry in spinning and sewing for the support of her Son and S. Joseph in the land of Egypt. So reduced to poverty were they that, according to him, she went from house to house to obtain work, probably flax to spin as she sat watching the Holy Infant in the grove of sycamores of traditional renown. Her unrivalled skill in spinning the fine flax of Pelusium became a matter of tradition, and the name of Virgin's Thread has been given to that network of dazzling whiteness and almost vaporous texture that floats over the deep valleys in the damp mornings of autumn, says the Abbé Orsini.

It is said the Church at Jerusalem preserved some of Mary's spindles among its treasures, which were afterwards sent to the Empress Pulcheria, who placed them in one of the churches of Constantinople.

Other nations, too, had their famous spinsters. Dante's ancestor in Paradise, looking back to earth, tells him of a Florentine dame of an opulent family who,

With her maidens drawing off
The tresses from the distaff, lectured them
Old tales of Troy, and Fiesole, and Rome.

And a Spanish writer of past times says, speaking of the model woman: “Behold this wife who purchases flax that she may spin with her maids. See her thus seated in the midst of her women.” Thus did Andromache spin among her attendants.

So have we seen old nuns spinning in the cloisters of the remote provinces of France: the white wool on their distaffs diminishing slowly and calmly as their own even lives. [pg 136] They looked as if spinning out their own serene destinies. Such a happy destiny is not reserved for all whose thread is drawn out by Lachesis.

Twist ye, twine ye! even so
Mingle shades of joy and woe,
Hope and fear, and peace and strife,
In the thread of human life.

At Rome there are two white lambs blessed on S. Agnes' day (“S. Agnes and her lambs unshorn,” says Keats) in her church on the Nomentan road, and then they are placed in a convent till they are shorn, when their wool is spun by the sacred hands of the nuns. Of this the pallium is made—the distinctive mark of a metropolitan.

I have called the distaff the earliest implement of feminine industry. Such is the old tradition. There is a pathetic miniature of the twelfth century depicting an angel giving Adam a spade and Eve a distaff previous to their expulsion from Paradise: and on the sarcophagus of Junius Bassus of the fourth century, Adam is represented with a sheaf of grain, for he was to till the earth, and Eve with a lamb whose fleece she was to spin. And we have our old English rhyme:

When Adam delved and Eve span,
Where was then the gentleman?

And so faithfully was the tradition handed down that the distaff has always been regarded as a symbol of womanhood, which woman scorned to see even in the hands of a Hercules.

In these days, when even our rustic belles are overloaded with accomplishments, the piano takes the place of “Hygeia's harp” on which the fair maidens of the olden time loved to discourse fair music, like the gentle Evangeline of Acadie, seated at her father's side,

Spinning flax for the loom that stood in the corner behind her,

who, I fear, would be regarded in these days of improvement, at least in our country, with nearly as much horror as those other indefatigable spinners are by the good housewife:

Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence!

What charming pictures some of us retain in our memories of our gray-haired grandmothers of New England country life—delicately nurtured, too—sitting down in the afternoon by the huge fire-place to spin flax on a little carved wheel! How many of us carefully preserve such a wheel in memory of those by-gone days, when we loved to linger and watch the mysterious process, and look at the face that always was so kindly, and listen to the whirr whose music is now hushed for ever!

But though spinning by hand will soon become one of the lost arts, there is one who will spin on till time shall be no more—one from whose distaff is drawn out the web of our lives—the star-crowned Clotho:

Spin, spin, Clotho, spin!
Lachesis, twist! and, Atropos, sever!
Life is short and beset by sin,
'Tis only God endures for ever!
[pg 137]

A Martyr's Journey.

From The French.

In the Beaujolais, the country par excellence of beautiful women and beautiful vines, a little village lies hidden among luxuriant arbors. Each house is clothed in green leaves, and the wine, though rare, is not so wonderful as the immense tuns that hold it. Yet Coigny, with its nectar, its beautiful sky, its coquettish habitations its robust sons and attractive daughters, had not a habitable church. Still it dreamed of one, and four worthy priests worked hard and hopefully for the realization of the dream. One of them climbed well his ladder of orders, and has since become Bishop of Coutances; and if, as it is said, the zeal, piety, and legitimate influence of four ecclesiastics will finish the Cathedral of Cologne, notwithstanding the devil's theft of the plan, what might not be hoped for Coigny?

So nothing more need be told than that, from amidst the lovely, smiling verdure of the little town, there sprang an exquisite white marble church, a temptation to pray in as well as to see, and the admiration of the entire province.

Madame la Marquise de —— gave all her inimitable guipures to ornament the high altar, and Monsieur le Comte de ——, a great amateur in pictures, placed a true Mignard—a Madonna with a lovely smile—upon the walls, even before they dried.

So each and all offered homage in the new house of God.

Still the beautiful little church lacked a patron, a saint under whose invocation it might be placed, and the blessed one must be represented by his own venerable ashes, a relic of the past, a protection for the future.

The village of Coigny, therefore, spared neither pains nor expense to be satisfied in this regard, and the Holy Father was applied to to select the patron. The dear old man replied favorably to the little town he could scarcely find on the map, and which was more noted for bearing the cross than ringing the bell; and a curious and grave ceremony took place.

They opened the Roman Catacombs, and they descended into the vaults of the cemetery of S. Cyriac, and there they chose the mortal remains of a Christian martyr buried for many centuries.

The stone that closed the cell bore a palm branch and the inscription,

Hilary At Rest,

and indicated he had died for the faith in the early ages of Christianity. His bones and the size of his head denoted only the adolescent, scarcely more than a child; while the whole expressed the courage of the man united to the grace of the angel.

The account from which this is taken adds, this young soldier of Christ was found sleeping peacefully at his post, extended on his granite bier, with his forehead cleft asunder, his neck cut open, of which the little bottle by his side held the precious blood. The figure of the young martyr had been covered with virgin wax, carefully enclosing the sacred bones, and, attired in silk and embroidery, he is holding the palm branch in his hand. The wounded head inclines [pg 138] as if bending to his murderers, his throat lies open in its deep sword-wound, his hands and feet have bled, and the purple tide gushes from his wounds and trickles over his limbs; but his lips are shut with love, and his eyes are fixed, regarding with S. Stephen the heavens opening to receive him.

So this child of eighteen hundred years ago, this soldier of the faith, taken from the Roman Catacombs, was sent by the Pope to Coigny.

Can we not imagine his reception? Did not the village ring out its festal bells, and scatter flowers on his path, and with thousands of candles in the nave, and incense mounting far above the high altar, did not the little church welcome this contemporary of Nero, who had travelled surrounded by glorious palms in his own carriage over the line from Italy?

He has come, and twenty priests bear him on their shoulders, and his final resting-place is under the high altar.

Coigny, the coquette, crowned by its green vine branches, bacchante-like, the pious Coigny, has its martyr in the vaults of its own dear church, no more nor less than if it were a basilica.

True, he was an almost forgotten saint, and anonymously canonized, but the Scriptures told us long ago, “God knows how to recompense his own.”

Odd Stories: III. Peter The Powerful.

Long and loud was the flourish of trumpets that greeted the day on which Philip the Mighty was born to his father's dukedom; so rare was the promise of a babe. Need it be said that, nurtured under the eye of his stern sire, he grew in the strength of justice? To such a degree had he inherited the zeal of his ancestors, that while yet in his cradle he strangled a wretched nurse for stealing his spoon; whereat there was another flourish of trumpets. Subsequent reflections upon the loss of so useful a servant taught him to restrain the exercise of his just powers; and hence, when his tutors failed to instruct him within a given time in the arts, sciences, languages, and literatures, he merely broke their heads. We live to learn; and so it proved even to a prince as well endowed as Philip the Mighty. In these early acts we can see the foundations of that character which was afterwards so great a monument among men.

During the famous period in which our prince served his sire in the administration of justice, the dungeons were never empty of thieves and wranglers, nor the axe long idle for want of miscreant heads. To a peasant who once stole an apple, he said, “How now, varlet, dost confess?” Answered the trembling churl: “Nay, most puissant lord, I stole not the fruit.” Then spoke Philip: [pg 139] “By my halidom, I'll mend thine honesty”; whereupon the fellow was put on the rack till he broke a blood-vessel, still not confessing, for it was death to steal an apple out of the duke's garden. At night the peasant died in his bed of a hemorrhage, piously acknowledging in his last moments that he had committed the theft; whereat was another flourish of trumpets. Life is a great lesson, however, and it must not be supposed that our powerful hero could content himself with a few exploits at court when he felt that he had a mission to reform the world.

Therefore it was that Philip the Mighty set out upon a knight's errand to slay all the witches, devils, malefactors, giants, goblins, and monsters that came in his path. But one squire rode with him, bearing a golden trumpet, which, when Peter had done to death a sour-faced hag who shrieked at him on the mountain-side, he blew right merrily. Now, the old witch had asked the valiant knight for justice against her lord at court. Life is a science not to be mastered without blows; and Philip learned to slay and fear not in such stout earnest that soon he won the renown of being, as in fact he was called, the Champion Wrong-killer of the age.

When a foul, black-hearted necromancer was tracked to his hiding-place, what else should our good knight do but put him to the sword? When a five-eyed dwarf was accused of deviltry, who else should carve him for the crows but our duke's son? When a grim ogre, breathing death and fury, beset him whose arm was so mighty, when malefactors pestered the land, when monsters of all kind raged on every hand, who dealt them such lightning doom as the champion wrong-killer? On every occasion did his trusty squire blow the trumpet of gold right lustily, to the wonder of lords and people. Now, it was whispered that the slain sorcerers had helped husbandmen and artisans with their strange inventions; that the malefactors were slaughtered outright for the crimes of their fellows; that the giants were amiable men, sometimes, but provoked beyond endurance; that dwarfs and witches were poor old people, seldom as bad as they seemed to be. Nevertheless, the real monsters of the land increased day by day, in spite of the champion killer's sword and his squire's golden trumpet.

Weary with much slaughter of false knights and caitiff wretches and monsters, the paladin Philip resolved to undertake the deliverance of the poor from the oppressions of the rich. Filled with this noble idea, he slew a yeoman who was chastising his servant without mercy. Seeing a number of slaves at work, he set them all free by killing their master. He divided the estates of the rich among the poor. He distributed largesses among multitudes of the needy. He rescued honest damsels who were being carried away by villain lords. Alas! for an ingrate world. 'Twas rumored that the yeoman had left a widow and seven children to mourn him. The slaves became marauders; the poor quarrelled among themselves; the beggars got drunk; and some of the honest damsels lamented their fallen lords. Howbeit, the faithful squire blew his trumpet louder than ever.

Meanwhile had our good knight grown religious, and burned men at the stake; but the more the fuel, the greater the flame. The more lances he shattered for honor's sake, the more swords he blunted for justice's sake; the more money he spent to give feasts to beggars, and the more [pg 140] land he parcelled among the poor, all the more honor, justice, bounty, estate, remained to be won and adjusted. His sharp judgments had, after all, won him nothing but the sound of his trumpet. He had killed the innocent and robbed the poor, when he intended to do otherwise, and, if he executed Heaven's judgments, it was by a kind of mistake. One thing he had not slain—himself.

All the while, he who had killed so many monsters was growing in bulk and stature out of all proportion. As his legs and arms increased their strength of muscle, his ears grew longer, and his eyes grew blinder. He scorned, nay, devoured the weak he once defended, and, at last, a monster himself, was killed by a conspiracy of those whose champion he once was. For Philip, though a champion wrong-killer, was blind to his own wrong-doing; and, though a reformer, never allowed people to reform themselves; so he destroyed the wheat with the chaff and killed the good with the bad.

New Publications.

The Book of the Holy Rosary. A Popular Doctrinal Exposition of its Fifteen Mysteries, mainly Conveyed in Select Extracts from the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. By the Rev. Henry Formby, of the Third Order of St. Dominic. Embellished with thirty-six full-page illustrations. New York: The Catholic Publication Society. 1872.

The devotion of the Holy Rosary is one of the most beautiful which the Catholic Church proposes to her children, and is also probably the one which has been received by them everywhere, without distinction of nationality or class, with the most sincere delight. Catholics, it is true, are for the most part familiar with the general history and significance of this devotional practice, which in itself forms a compendium of popular theology. Most of the books, however, on this subject, with which we are acquainted, are intended to excite Christians to the frequent and devout use of this form of prayer, rather than to give them a full and clear understanding of its natural connection with the great and fundamental truths which form the basis of Christianity. The book of F. Formby is both doctrinal and devotional; all the more devotional because the piety which it inculcates is enlightened by true Christian science.

The work is divided into three parts corresponding with the three groups of mysteries of which the Rosary is composed. The author prefaces each of these groups with an introduction, in which he carefully compares its mysteries with their corresponding types in the Old Testament. This comparison is again instituted in a more particular manner as each mystery in turn presents itself for elucidation.

In treating of the different mysteries, he first quotes from Scripture those passages upon which they are formed, and then adduces the corresponding types from the Old Testament, still further illustrating the subject by apposite quotations and allusions taken from the classics of pagan literature. These are followed by extracts from the writings of the great Fathers and Doctors of the church, many of which will be new to the English reader. Thus each chapter of the book forms [pg 141] a comprehensive treatise, both doctrinal and devotional, of the particular mystery in the life of our divine Saviour or that of his Blessed Mother to which it is devoted.

Without going out of his way, F. Formby by the simple exposition of the doctrine and practice of the church shows in the most conclusive manner how utterly groundless are the objections of Protestants to Catholic devotion to the Mother of Christ. We have not for a long time read a book with which we are so perfectly pleased as with this of F. Formby. The clergy especially will find in it a rich mine from which to draw instruction for the people. It may be read with profit, however, by all classes of persons, as the plain and simple style in which it is written does not raise it above the comprehension of even uneducated minds. The book is ornamented with thirty-six full-page woodcuts, unusually excellent both in design and execution; which, added to the attractions of clear typography and tasteful binding, make it a work of art as well as of religion.

Henry Perreyve. By A. Gratry, Prêtre de l'Oratoire, etc. Translated by special permission. London: Rivingtons. 1872. (New York: Sold by The Catholic Publication Society.)

After a life of singular purity and great activity in the cause of truth, F. Gratry entered upon his rest on the 6th of February, 1872. His impulsive and ardent nature hurried him for a moment, towards the close of his life, into a controversy which, for a time, caused the greatest anxiety to his friends, and threatened to throw a cloud over an existence otherwise so brilliant and precious. His heart, however, always remained loyal to the church and to truth, and, when he was made aware of his error, he himself was the first to acknowledge it, and to do all in his power to atone for it. The writings of F. Gratry have always possessed for us a singular charm. He has in a high degree the gift of making his thoughts contagious. He throws the warmth and life of his whole heart into his writings; his words breathe and palpitate and affect one like the presence of a noble and high-wrought nature. In Henry Perreyve he found a subject peculiarly fitted to call forth these qualities of his style. The history of the outer life of Henry Perreyve was uneventful and short. Designed by his parents for the bar, disposed by his own vigorous and impetuous nature to the military life, he was called of God to the priesthood. When he had once recognized the voice of God, he devoted to this high vocation all the energies of a most gifted and courageous nature. At an early age he developed remarkable talents both for writing and speaking. He possessed the divine gift of eloquence, and Lacordaire, who loved him more than any other man in the world, looked forward to the day when his own voice, having grown feeble by age, would be born again with redoubled strength and warmth on the lips of Henry Perreyve. Alas, that such hope should be delusive! He to whom Lacordaire wrote, “You live in my heart eternally as my son and my friend,” was destined soon to follow his great preceptor to the grave. He died in 1865, when but thirty-four years old. The story of his life, as told by F. Gratry, is a poem full of the most exalted sentiment, and impressed with the highest form of beauty. “All who knew him,” says his biographer, “agree on this point, that the one characteristic which stamps his outward life and his inward soul is only to be expressed by that word Beauty. All the inward beauty wherewith courage, intelligence, devotion, and goodness can invest a soul, and all the outward expression of beauty with which such a soul can stamp the living man, were combined in him. Nature and grace had alike done their very best for him; he overflowed with their choicest gifts.” Whoever will read F. Gratry's sketch [pg 142] will be persuaded that these words are not too strong. The life of Henry Perreyve is another confirmation of the truth that the ideal type of perfect manhood can be developed only in the Catholic Church. We especially recommend this book to the young men of our country. Even though it should not inspire them with the exalted ambition of consecrating their lives to God, it will at least teach them the transcendent beauty of Christian courage, of self-devotion, of nobility of purpose.

Henry Perreyve was most ardent in urging his friends to aspire to the priesthood. In this connection F. Gratry remarks: “Truly, I know no wiser enthusiasm than that which stimulates men to become laborers for God. We have too few priests; we have far too many soldiers. No man becomes a priest whether he will or no; but on all sides the strong hand of the powers that be constrains men to be soldiers whether they will or no. Why is the priest's lot to be counted worse than the soldier's? He who chooses the sacred toil of God's harvest-field for his life's labor, chooses the better part. Surely his ambition is beyond all comparison the greatest, best and noblest: his work the most fruitful, the most necessary. That is but a sorry delusion by which the world would set the priesthood before men as in the shadow of death, and other careers as in a glow of light and glory.”

The Spoken Word; or, The Art of Extemporary Preaching: Its Utility, its Danger, and its True Idea. With an easy and practical Method for its Attainment. By Rev. Thomas J. Potter, Professor of Sacred Eloquence in the Missionary College of All Hallows, Author of Sacred Eloquence, etc., etc. Boston: P. Donahoe. 1872.

One of the most favorable omens attending the great Catholic revival in the English-speaking world is the appearance of works bearing upon the various duties of the sacred ministry. In the earlier days of struggle in England and America, the missionary priest entered upon a life of toil which gave but scant opportunity for adding to the fund of learning that served as its outfit. Hence, while the greatness of the Catholic champions, who entered the arena armed cap-a-pie by a long and thorough training, was brought into striking relief, the depression of minds less trained and of less capacity among the clergy was marked by the absence of a native literature suited to their class.

When a priest rarely had a day free from harassing labors, and was barely able to run into debt for the brick, beams, and shingles of a nondescript building wherein to assemble his flock, he certainly did well if, after reading his breviary and peeping into his moral theology, he kept himself informed of current events. Such circumstances of poverty were not favorable to literature or eloquence. Ecclesiastical art, with its intricate ceremonial and its peculiar music, was in a fair way to be lost; and the refinements of clerical education were rather sources of discouragement in the present than of bright anticipation for the future.

But this phase, having in some measure passed away in England, has lost much of its gloom for us in America. Pastors have more time to prepare instructions for their people. Congregations by their magnitude and intelligence call forth the highest efforts of eloquence. The instincts of Catholic devotion require that God's house should be made a house of prayer, and demand, for their satisfaction and increase, the sacristy and choir, which shall be “for a glory and a beauty.” Meanwhile, increasing wealth furnishes means for fulfilling the requirements of the Roman Ritual.

The work which we notice is one of many signs of the times, and also one of a series of similar efforts by its earnest and experienced author. It is written in a clear and flowing style, slightly marred, however, by the frequent repetition of the adjective [pg 143] “expedite,” as qualifying the noun “knowledge,” and the perpetual recurrence of “a man who,” or “the man who.” The general effect is nevertheless pleasing, and the book itself ought to be read. The title contains a fair analysis of the work. It remains for us to say that the author is thorough in the treatment of his subject. His hints and warnings are useful to those accustomed to preach extempore; while his suggestions for the composition of sermons are entirely applicable to those who perfect their oratorical preparations before ascending the pulpit.

The appearance of the book is also quite in its favor, and we might adduce it as a sign of the times in a department to which we have not yet alluded.

The Beloved Disciple. By the Rev. Father Rawes, O.S.C. London: Burns, Oates & Co. 1872. New York: Sold by The Catholic Publication Society.

This is a beautiful sketch of the life of “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” Father Rawes, in common with S. Jerome, S. Augustine, and S. Bernard, has a great and special devotion to the Evangelist S. John. This little book is well written and is eminently devotional and instructive.

Unawares. By the Author of The Rose Garden. Boston: Roberts Bros. 1872.

One experiences a sense of rest and refreshment in reading this unpretending volume. It is a narrative of French life, not at all after the sensational order, but beautifully wrought out, with enough of romance to sustain the interest and chain the attention of the reader, but not a line or word that one could wish unwritten. With a slight plot and few incidents, this pleasing story charms us with a delightfully artistic description of a quaint old town in France, where the grand cathedral stands, the central object of attraction—solemn, steadfast, ever varying—severe or tender, as the case may be—but always inconceivably peaceful.

The characters, drawn with a skilful hand and admirably sustained, the chaste beauty of the language and style, with the gems of thought worthy of life-long remembrance scattered throughout the volume, lead us to desire an acquaintance with other books this attractive author may have written.

The Vicar's Daughter. By George MacDonald. Boston: Roberts Bros. 1872.

If not to be sensational is a merit, this book certainly has that merit. The Introduction, which in most books is apt to be dull, and often is skipped by the reader who wishes to plunge in medias res, is here the spiciest part, the sugar-coating of the pill—if it be not ill-natured to call this work a pill. A very mild one it is, and the patient, if none the better, will certainly be none the worse for taking it. Its object seems to be to promulgate some Presbyterian ideas concerning the means to be used for elevating the spiritual condition of the poor. The London poor is the class considered, but the general rules laid down may be supposed good for all poor. Some very queer ideas are broached; among others, that it is better to give a workman a gold watch than a leg of mutton, because by so doing you will pay him a compliment for which he will be grateful, but that he should have nothing given him “which he ought to provide for himself—such as food, or clothing, or shelter.” There is a Miss Clare who is possessed by such a missionary spirit and love for the poor, that we cannot help wishing she might find her proper sphere by becoming a Catholic “Little Sister of the Poor,” or some other equally useful sister of charity. The church utilizes such women much more wisely than they manage to find the best way alone. There is a chapter of Miss Clare's reading and discussing of the Gospel with some workmen, which, if not positively irreverent [pg 144] itself, will be very likely to make the reader, who has any sense of humor, feel so in spite of his better instincts.

The Vicar's daughter, Mrs. Percivale, is a very sprightly and well-drawn character, whom we cannot help liking very much. She is the teller of the story, and in this Dr. MacDonald has shown much skill. It is in some parts so like a woman's way of thinking and writing, that we can hardly believe it to be the work of a man, especially in Mrs. Percivale's thoughts after the birth of her child. And in this the author approaches very nearly the Catholic ideal:

I had read somewhere—and it clung to me although I did not understand it—that it was in laying hold of the heart of his Mother that Jesus laid his first hold of the world to redeem it; and now at length I began to understand it. What a divine way of saving us it was—to let her bear him, carry him in her bosom, wash him and dress him and nurse him and sing him to sleep! ... Such a love might well save a world in which were mothers enough.

But alas! he makes the vicar himself save his faith from shipwreck by marrying the woman he wants—a queer and new argument for the marriage of the clergy, to be able to believe through such means. Not that this is intended by the author for any such argument; he being a Presbyterian, makes no question of the propriety and wisdom of the clergy marrying, but that a clergyman should be taught belief by getting the woman of his choice is “passing strange.” He also prefers giving his daughter to a sceptic rather than to a “thoroughly religious man,” for fear the latter might confirm her in doubt.” To a Catholic, this seems a wonderful conclusion.

The chapter called “Child Nonsense” is nonsense indeed, and much below “Mother Goose” in literary merit. We wonder it found a place in the volume, which contains much genuine wit and good writing.

The illustrations to the book are clever, and the type and binding attractive.

Ambition's Contest; or, Faith and Intellect. By Christine. Boston: P. Donahoe. 1872.

We cannot, perhaps, give a better idea of the style and scope of this modest volume than by a quotation from the Preface: “It would be presumptuous to say that I have attempted this little work in order to aid in preventing these numerous wrecks of the soul; for where other and gifted pens, essaying so much and so well in this direction, still find it difficult to do all they would, it would be folly to suppose that my crude effort could accomplish anything. Still it is an effort made for the purpose of accomplishing some good, and written under the auspices of her who has never yet failed to assist the weak, the ever-glorious and Blessed Virgin-Mother of God, it may perhaps add a mite to that which is now being done for the proper training of our Catholic youth.”

Gardening by Myself. By Anna Warner. New York: A. D. F. Randolph. 1872.

We cannot imagine a pleasanter way of studying horticulture than by adopting Miss Warner's volume as a text-book. We can overlook the little attempts at moralizing, after the evangelical fashion, as she goes along, in view of the dismal theological efforts made by her sister (if we mistake not) a few years since. We advise our lady readers who have space for cultivating flowers to consult this little manual, assured that the occupation of which it discourses, and its results, will bring them a large store of unalloyed enjoyment.

The Catholic Publication Society has in press, and will publish early in November, The Life and Times of Sixtus the Fifth, by Baron Hubner. Translated from the original French by James F. Meline.

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The Catholic World. Vol. XVI., No. 92.—November, 1872.

Centres Of Thought In The Past. Second Article. The Universities.

The change from the monastic to the scholastic era was one of which we can hardly form an idea. As radical as that brought about in politics by the tempest of 1793, it was less sudden, and, though to the full as dangerous as the unhappy “Reformation,” it was fortunately shorn of its heretical perils by the vigorous and successful hand laid upon it by the church. Instead of producing an organized system of antagonism to revealed truth, which it seemed at one time on the very verge of doing, it became so thoroughly absorbed into the church's system that to many minds “scholasticism” is synonymous with “bigotry.” Yet how opposite was the reality to the idea which it conveys to the modern mind! The real temper of the church, the temper which will be hers eternally in heaven, is the temper of Mary; the contemplative, monastic ideal of perfect peace. In the XIIIth century (we say the XIIIth typically, for the change was gradually working some time before, and only grew to its maturity in that age), a giant intellectual convulsion took place, and the church was rudely wakened out of her placid ecstasy, to find herself assailed by brilliant and popular fallacies, urged by men of dazzling talent and fearless powers of questioning. It was as if some holy monk, who from childhood to ripe old age had spent his life on his knees before the silent tabernacle of a huge and perfect abbey-church, were suddenly to be startled into action by the rude attack of a sacrilegious band on the very altar at whose steps he had worshipped so long. See him spring to his feet, and with unexpected [pg 146] strength throw himself before the priceless treasure, quell by his eagle glance the bewildered assailers of his peace, and convert by his heaven-dictated eloquence those very men into saints, those enemies into friends, those proud opponents into fellow-watchers at the same hallowed shrine. So sprang the church to the defence of those doctrines which hitherto it had been mainly her duty to guard, and the struggle, distasteful as it must have been at first, nevertheless ended by producing a new harvest of saints, and increasing the human prestige as well as the spiritual armory of the church. The reader will no doubt be pleased to see what the writers already quoted have to say of this mighty intellectual revolution, and we gladly yield to them the field of description. “It will suffice to reconcile us to the temporary necessity of the change,” says the author of Christian Schools and Scholars, “that it was accepted by the church, and that she set her seal to the due and legitimate use of those studies which were to develop the human intellect to its full-grown strength. Nay, more, she absorbed into herself an intellectual movement which, had she opposed it, would have been directed against her authority, and so to a great extent she neutralized its powers of mischief. The scholastic philosophy which, without her direction, would have expanded into an infidel rationalism, was woven into her theology itself, and made to do duty in her defence, and that wondrous spectacle was exhibited, so common in the history of the church, when the dark and threatening thunder-cloud, which seemed about to send out its lightning-bolts, only distils in fertilizing rain.” Speaking of S. Dominic, Prior Vaughan, in his Life of S. Thomas of Aquin, says: “He felt that a single man was but a drop in the ocean in the midst of such a vast and organized corruption. Man may be met by man, but a system only can oppose a system. A religious institution, combining the poverty of the first disciples of Christ with eloquence and learning, would alone stand a chance of success in working a regeneration.” He tells us further on that Albertus Magnus, the master of S. Thomas, saw that “Aristotle must be christianized, and that faith itself must be thrown into the form of a vast scientific organism, through the application of christianized philosophy to the dogmata of revealed religion.” The state of men's minds is thus pithily described by the same author: “For, especially at this period, theory speedily resolved itself into practice; what to-day was a speculation of the schools, to-morrow became a fact; men lived quickly, thought quickly, and acted quickly in the days of William of Champeaux and Abelard.” Still, in summing up the character of those strange, contradictory times, so eminently “ages of faith” when contrasted with our day, yet ages of jarring contention when compared with the previous centuries, Prior Vaughan gives us the brighter side of the picture also: “Men were not startled in those days by the unusual deeds and privileges of chosen men. They took God's word for granted. They believed what they saw; they did not pry and test and examine their souls. They got nearer the truth than we do. Their minds were not corroded by false science.” And in a footnote he adds, speaking of the great difference between heresy in the middle ages and heresy now: “In this (the reverence for authority) is seated the great distinction between the darkness of those days and the darkness of the present. Then, men fell away in detail, they [pg 147] denied this or that truth, or fanatically set up as teachers of novel doctrines, or were cruel, or superstitious, or fond of dress, or of excitement, or self-display. But they held to the master-principle of order and of salvation, they did not reject the authority of the teaching church, or presume to call in question the directive power and controlling office of the sovereign pontiff.”

Now, let us at the outset anticipate one question our readers may very naturally ask themselves: Have we undertaken a sketch of the history of the church, or that of human thought and progress? The latter, undoubtedly. Then, how is it that “the church” runs through the whole, like the ground melody of the system? How is it that, even in the emancipating times on which we have now come, the doctors and masters of the schools are all monks and clerics, the theses chosen from Scripture texts, the disputes all turning on points of doctrine, and those, too, uncompromisingly of Catholic doctrine? We can only answer that such are the facts; secular learning hardly existed, and what there was of it was so tinged with religion that it was hardly distinguishable from that of theologians. Take Dante, for instance, an accomplished scholar, a patriot, a politician, and a keen philosopher. Who would not think him a priest and a theologian, from the way he has cast his grand and unrivalled poem? It is a summary of Catholic doctrine and tradition, a poetical version of S. Thomas' Summa, without some knowledge of which it is absolutely impossible to read the third part, the Paradiso, and understand it. We cannot help it if we seem to be sketching ecclesiastical, while we are engaged on intellectual, history. Never before the “Reformation” were they divorced, and no better proof than this could be adduced of the essentially teaching mission of the church.

The proximate cause of the greatness of the University of Paris may be traced through four or five generations of scholars up to our Saxon master Alcuin. His pupil Rabanus, the great Abbot of Fulda, formed Lupus of Ferrières in his own mould; he in turn instructed Henry of Auxerre, the scholasticus or master of the Auxerre school, where he found Remigius, destined to become the re-establisher of sacred studies at Rheims, the Canterbury of France. From Rheims this Remigius removed to Paris (in the Xth century), and from his time the schools of that city continued to increase in reputation and importance till they developed into the great university. He it was “who opened the first public school which we know with any certainty to have been established in Paris.”81 The first rudiments of the laws governing the greatest corporate institution of scholastic times seem to have sprung from the very disorders occasioned by the immense numbers and pugnacious national characteristics of the rival students of all nations who flocked to Paris. In 1195, we find a certain John, Abbot of S. Alban's, associated with the body of elect masters,82 and the year previous Pope Celestine III. ruled that the students should be subject to ecclesiastical tribunals only, and should be exempt from all civic interference in their affairs on the part of the town authorities.83 In 1200, the university is acknowledged by Philip Augustus as a corporate body, governed by a head who shall not be responsible for his acts to any civil tribunal whatsoever. And now begins in good earnest a system the like of which was never seen, and for brilliancy as for license will never [pg 148] be surpassed. It is like plunging into the seething cauldron of a “witches' Sabbath” to read of the marvellous and feverish state of things in the Paris of the XIIIth century, and even of that of earlier days. For a vivid description of the turbulent city we can refer our readers to the recent work of the Benedictine, Prior Vaughan, and to the no less graphic pen of Victor Hugo in his Notre Dame de Paris. A grotesqueness wholly French pervades the latter work, but gives perhaps a truer picture of the reality than any less fastidious language could convey. In the Paris of old, as in our own day, things seem to have been inextricably mingled: the sage and the buffoon are elbowing each other in the streets; students who have come for fashion's sake flaunt their vulgar splendor and their disgusting shamelessness in vice in the face of the poor scholar who sits attentive and eager on the straw-covered floor of the lecture-room; midnight orgies that seldom end in less than murder take place within a few feet of the oases of monastic life, where the canonical hours are still faithfully repeated and the rule still silently kept up. Vanity and frivolity are there, and the arrogance of wealthy dunces. Witness the young man whose father sent him to Paris with an annual allowance of a hundred livres. “What does he do?” asks a chronicler of that time, Odofied. “Why, he has his books bound and ornamented with gold initials and strange monsters, and has a new pair of boots every Saturday.” This was at the time that pointed shoes were the “rage,” and the university even passed a decree against them as follies unbecoming a scholar.84 “We read of starving, friendless lads with their unkempt heads and tattered suits, who walked the streets, hungering for bread and famishing for knowledge, and hankering after a sight of some of those famous doctors of whom they had heard so much when far away in the woods of Germany or the fields of France.”85 Many had to share their miserable garments with their companions, and take it by turns to wear their one tunic so as to make a decent appearance in the lecture-hall, while the rest stayed at home. Others spent all they had on parchment, and were in need of oil for their lamps to study at nights. Long before the collegiate system became general, the lay-students were huddled together in unhealthy tenements, over the shops of the burghers, with whom they had many an affray on the score of extortion and injustice. While the rich students employed their many servants and the tradesmen they patronized as instruments in their shameful intrigues, the poor scholars struggled on, some selling books at ruinously low prices, others absolutely begging their food in the streets or at the doors of the rich shopkeepers, while others again, more miserable because less determined, took refuge in the taverns, and drank away the little remains of vitality left in them, or as often were despatched in the unseemly brawls which tavern-life was sure to foster. Then, as the brighter side of the picture, there were the monasteries, especially that of the Dominicans of S. James, where eager scholars studied in peace and order; the cloisters of Notre Dame, where venerable orthodoxy was long entrenched; the Sorbonne, destined to be for ages the most celebrated school of theology in Europe, and to hold its own long after the mediæval university had decayed. Disputed cases were sent to the Sorbonne for decision, popes took the advice of its doctors on important ecclesiastical matters, and its [pg 149] students possessed even greater personal immunities than their fellows of other colleges. Then, if we are to take the personal representatives of this wonderful university into account, what a forest of illustrious names starts up before our bewildered vision! In the XIth century, quite at the latter end, we are introduced to the gifted Abelard, who during the first half of the XIIth century gathered together all the stormy elements of the age, and centred upon himself the attention of the intellectual world. “He appears to have possessed,” says Prior Vaughan, “the special gift of rendering articulate the cravings of the age in which he lived.... One day he took into his hands Ezechiel the Prophet, and boasted that next morning he would deliver a lecture on the Prophecy. With bitter irony some of his companions implored him to take a little longer time to prepare; he replied with disdain, ‘My road is not the road of custom, but the road of genius.’ He was true to his word, and mockery was speedily turned to amazement when his companions, overcome with his eloquence, followed him verse after verse as he unfolded the hidden sense of the obscurest of prophecies, with a facility of diction and clearness of exposition and a readiness of resource which subdued the mind and captivated the imagination.” Success was his idol, pride his natural temper. He thought no question above his understanding, no truth beyond his apprehension; he threw down the glove in the face of a system more for the sake of routing its exponent than of impugning its truth, and when all eyes were upon him, and the populace of Paris rushed madly out on its door-steps and house-tops to cheer him as he passed, his end was won and his dearest wish fulfilled. One by one all his opponents were silenced; from school to school he rose, till at last the chair of Notre Dame was his; his name eclipsed that of all the masters of Paris, and drove from men's minds even the fame of the doctors of the church.... And then what was the climax? It is told in three words—Héloïse, Soissons, and Sens. True, there was a long interval between the two misfortunes represented by the first two names, and that galling one which at last proved his salvation at Sens, and during the interval his fame revived, and again at Paris, though at S. Geneviève and no longer at Notre Dame, his prestige broke down all prejudice and his victorious career began afresh. Then see the last drama of his stormy, eventful life. He meets S. Bernard at Sens before a court of bishops, monks, and princes, his own disciples crowding triumphantly around him, a huge concourse of people heaving before him, he “the spokesman of thousands, from whose midst he would, as it were, advance and proclaim the creed of human reason.”86 Opposed to him stands one whose cheeks are furrowed with tears, and who has made no preparation to meet the irrefragable dialectician, the prince of debate, but who, “though in appearance but an emaciated mystic from the solitude of his cell, would represent as many thousands more who saw beyond the range of human vision, and judged the highest natural gifts of God from the elevation of a life of faith.”87 History gives us the thrilling denouement in startlingly simple form. When summoned to defend, deny, or explain the heretical propositions drawn from his brilliant works, Abelard turns in sudden contempt from the august assembly, and answers thus: “I appeal to the Sovereign Pontiff.” But all felt that this was defeat, the blow had been struck, the heresy was dead. And the heretic? Let many who have [pg 150] tried to-day to walk in the dizzy path his footsteps have marked out, strive rather to imitate the end of his life; let them follow him to the solitary Benedictine Abbey where his gentle friend Peter the Venerable led him like a little child, and where his earnest, passionate nature, that could do nothing by halves, soon transformed him into a saint. And let the world which knows him chiefly through his sin and early shame fix its eyes upon him as one who, having abdicated honors greater than those of the greatest throne, having sorrowed with more than David's sorrow, and taught with more than Solomon's wisdom, at last found peace and justification in a narrow cell and in his daily avocations of instructing a small and obscure community on “divine humility and the nothingness of human things.”88 Among the other great names that stand out in the tumult of Paris as stars of learning and holiness are William of Champeaux, Abelard's chief adversary, and the founder of that saintly school of S. Victor which gathered in one the spirit of the old cloisters with that of the new scholastic teachers, and led the way through its famous doctor-saints, Hugh and Richard, to the final welding together of the new form of theology, the incomparable Summa of S. Thomas. Then, too, we have the preacher Fulk of Neuilly, who became a scholar at a ripe age, and soon surpassed the young students whose aim was display rather than knowledge—the man who preached the fifth crusade at the tournament of Count Thibault de Champagne,89 and was followed by such crowds that, to rid himself of them and their inconvenient homage (shown by cutting pieces out of his habit), he called out, “My habit is not blessed, but I will bless the cloak of yonder man, and you can take what you please.”90 John of St. Quentin, also, a famous doctor, who, preaching on holy poverty and the vanity of all learning, all riches, and all honors, suddenly stops, descends the pulpit-stairs, kneels at the feet of the astonished prior of the Dominicans, and will not rise before the latter has thrown around him his own black cloak and enrolled him in the army of that holy poverty he had just praised with so much zeal. Then Albert the Great, whose followers were so numerous that he had to leave the schools and speak in the open air, so that the square where he delivered his lectures was called Place du maître Albert, which name later on became corrupted into the form it still bears, Place Maubert. Albert brings before us the school of Cologne, inferior of course to the mighty university, but yet a centre, at least for Germany. There S. Thomas of Aquin first studied, and now and then astonished his undiscerning companions by the “bellowings of the great dumb Sicilian ox,” until he was finally sent to Paris, the scene of his matchless and altogether spiritual triumph. In him, the heir of the old Benedictine school of quies, sanctity worked that marvellous union of the old spirit and the new which ended by harmonizing the truths of the church with the clamoring aspirations of a new and venturesome age. But, inseparably connected though he be with the crisis of the XIIIth century, when passion was at its hottest, and the intoxication of world-wide success made Paris reel like a drunken man, we feel nothing but peace in the life of the Angel of the Schools, the greatest scholar of the European university. A divine calm seems to curtain off [pg 151] his soul from the contentions in which his mind and body are engaged; his lessons seem rather to be given from a holy of holies than from a professor's chair, and, while we see in him the greatest thinker of the age, we feel that above all he was its greatest saint. One might say of him, with all due reverence, that he was the only man of that turbulent and questioning day who had looked upon the face of God and lived. Beside him was his gentle friend, Bonaventure, of whom, though a professor also, we hear but little intellectually, but whom the highest authority on earth has sealed as a doctor of the church, a burning seraph of love.

And here we must leave that greatest of centres, Paris, whose prosperity at that time seemed so unalterable, and take a glance, necessarily a cursory one, at the other continental universities. Bologna undoubtedly claims the first place. It was called the “Mater Studiorum” of Italy, and vied more successfully with Paris than any other of the universities. The great Countess Mathilda of Tuscany, the liberal patroness of learning and protectress of the Holy See, was connected with its foundation, and by the end of the XIth century it was celebrated as the first law school in Europe.91 This characteristic it always retained, while in the XIIth century canon law began to be equally studied there. Connected with Bologna was the publication of the Decretals of Gratian, a summary of the decrees of the popes, of a hundred and fifty councils, of selections from various royal codes, and of extracts from the fathers and other ecclesiastical writers.92 The few errors in this gigantic work have often served as a peg whereon to hang many calumnies against the church; but the whole scope of the undertaking, so bold in its conception, so lucid in its exposition—has it ever been sufficiently examined outside the church? And will the world be astonished to know who was its compiler and who spent twenty-five years of his hidden life upon it? A simple Benedictine monk of Chiusi, of whom nothing is known but his immortal work.

M. de Maistre has cleverly said, Grattez le Russe et vous trouverez le Tartare,” and we might adapt the pithy saying thus: Raise but the thinnest crust of what we call civilization, and you will find beneath the solid structure, the immovable foundation of monasticism.

In 1138, Frederic Barbarossa consulted the Bolognese doctors as to the framing of a code of laws for his Germano-Italian Empire, and in return for their help gave them the Habita, or series of protective ordinances which raised the Italian university almost to the level of that of Paris. Alexander III., formerly a theologian in its schools, also favored Bologna, and a tide of scholars from all parts of Europe began to flow towards the Apennines. Among these we find S. Thomas of Canterbury, who, as we know, made such brave use of the legal science he acquired there. Bologna was the second centre of the Dominican Order, the teaching order of the church—the instrument raised up in the warm-hearted but intemperate middle ages to guide aright those lava-streams of misdirected enthusiasm which at one time threatened to rationalize or fanaticize the intellectual world. It is at Bologna that we read of the miracles of the gentle and bright S. Dominic, and of the angels that constantly followed him to do the bidding of him who through opposition and misunderstanding was always doing God's bidding. Here, too, S. Thomas of Aquin came once, and, [pg 152] being unknown to the procurator of the convent, was required to carry the basket while his companion collected the friars' daily pittance through the streets. A true monk, he gladly obeyed, and was pained and confused when some of the passers-by told the procurator of the mistake he had made.

Italy was fruitful in universities, for, to mention only prominent names, there were Padua, Pavia, Salerno, and Naples, besides Rome, where the tradition of learning, especially sacred learning, was never quite broken. Padua was an offshoot from Bologna, and became famous in the XIIIth century for its devotion to classic literature and the liberal arts. At the time of the “Renaissance” it had become, however, a notorious focus of atheism.93 Salerno was a school of medicine, and Pavia a brilliant and wicked resort of every intellectual aberration. We remember reading an excellent description of its vices, its dangers, and its attractions, in the life of a Venetian, a poet and child of genius, the friend and librettist of Mozart, whose name we cannot, however, recall. Even in those days of moral decadence the picture seemed appalling, and at Pavia as at Paris, as at Oxford in old times and our own day, there appears to have been no lack of brainless young profligates whose college career was a disgrace to their early education, and must have been a remorse prepared for their more sober conscience in later life.

The University of Naples, as we learn from Prior Vaughan, was the creation of Frederick II., the Sybarite emperor whose splendid barbaric physique knew how to make all Eastern luxury of body and Greek luxury of mind minister to his sovereign pleasure. The description of his harem, his kiosks, his palaces, his gardens at Naples, reads like a page from the Arabian Nights, and rival the impossible tales that are told of Bagdad's lavish magnificence under the caliphs. Utterly pagan the university seems to have avowedly been. It had no being of its own, but was a royal appurtenance, as the other institutions of Frederick II. Learning was a luxury, and it behooved the emperor to have all luxuries at his feet. Students from all parts of his kingdom of Naples were compelled by arbitrary enactments to study nowhere else but in the exotic university; the professors were all paid from the public treasury, and among them, with characteristic pride and contemptuous eclecticism, the imperial patron had canonists, theologians, and monks. Astrology and the wildest theories were broached, Michael Scott, the pretended seer and alchemist, was conspicuous for his brilliant talents and pagan tendencies, the existence of the soul was freely questioned, materialism openly professed, and many literati ostentatiously paraded their preference of the philosophy of Epicurus or Pythagoras over the religion of Jesus Christ. A secret society is also alluded to in a popular poem of the day, its express purpose being the expunging of Christianity and the introducing of the exploded obscenities of paganism in its place.94 This reminds us of Disraeli's Lothair, in which such prominence is given to a secret society called Madre Natura, framed for the identical purpose we have just mentioned. It is said to have existed ever since the time of Julian the Apostate, and always with the same intent. The materialistic theories of the artist Phœbus concerning the absolute necessity of “beauty worship” and the [pg 153] superiority of the Aryan over the Semitic races (or principles) are only modern echoes of this pestilential teaching of the deification of materialism. Whether Disraeli, descended from that high race whose history and laws are a standing protest, and have been for ages a bulwark, against the “concupiscence of the flesh,” believes in these theories, is more than we can tell; he has at any rate clothed them with suspiciously gratuitous beauty in his recent work, and has, moreover, tried to fix upon the Anglo-Saxon race the stigma of practically adopting them as her own. The monastic history of the countrymen of Bede and Wilfrid tells a very different tale, and nevertheless does not omit to mention the love of sport and athletic exercises peculiar to Englishmen. How far, however, is the character of the young race-riders95 and fox-hunters96 of monastic England from that of the voluptuous Oriental and sensuous Greek!

Germany, Poland, Bohemia, Spain, and Flanders likewise had their own centres, more local, however, than those of Italy, all of them under the new form of universities, and all more or less emancipated from the strictly monastic spirit of the older centres of learning. Vienna, Erfurt, Heidelberg, and Wittenberg were the foremost in Germany; Cracow was founded by a saint, the holy Hedwige of Poland; and Prague, which gave so much trouble and anxiety to the church in former times and hardly less in our own day, owes much of its glory to the holy women of the middle ages. Thus Dombrowka, a princess of Bohemia, married to a Polish chief, and Hedwige, the great queen and patron saint of Poland, established colleges there and endowed them liberally. Salamanca had a wider reputation, and fell heir to all the brilliant learning of the Arabian and Jewish schools, whose influence on Christian thought in the days of S. Thomas of Aquin had been so dangerous. All the scientific knowledge of the East thus became its natural property, while the intensely Catholic mind of the Spaniards held them aloof from what was poisonous in Eastern philosophy. And here let us stop to remark that Spain, ranked as it has always been among the Latin nations, nevertheless owes its first Christian traditions, and, no doubt, also its imperial notions of universal sway, to the vigorous Gothic races, mingled with the Frankish and Burgundian blood brought in by intermarriage with the Merovingian princes of France. There is something in Spanish history, in Spanish perseverance, we might almost say in Spanish toughness, that reveals the Visigoth, the man of the northern forests, with his indomitable energy and insatiable thirst for the sole rule of land and sea. Alcala, the creation of Cardinal Ximenes, and Coimbra, besides twenty-four colleges dignified by the name of universities, make up the quota contributed by Spain to the intellectual progress of Europe. We wish we had more space and time to devote to them.

Flanders, the home of art in the middle ages, and the model of dignified and successful civic government, was not fated to be behind-hand in the world of letters. As early as 1360, a gay scholar of the University of Paris, and a native of Deventer, returned to his birthplace with the halo of success and worldly fame about him. After a few years of vain display, Gerard of Deventer suddenly, through the agency of a holy companion, became an altered and converted man. Having fitted himself for a spiritual [pg 154] career by a three years' seclusion among the Carthusians, he returned to his native city and instituted a congregation of Canons Regular, whom he entrusted to a disciple of his, a former canon of Utrecht. He himself died soon after, but under his successor, Florentius, the school grew in importance and renown till, in 1393, a scholar entered its cloisters, by name Thomas Hammerlein, now known to the Christian world as Thomas à Kempis, the reputed author of The Following of Christ. His life is too entirely spiritual to be mentioned here, but of the institute in which he was reared the same rule will not apply. Although the aim of the Deventer school was to revive the old monastic ideal, and although its spirit seems forcibly to remind us of Bede and Rabanus of Fulda, still it gave forth scholars like the “Illustrious Nicholas of Cusa, the son of a poor fisherman, who won his doctor's cap at Padua, and became renowned for his Greek, Hebrew, and mathematical learning.”97 It is also told of the Deventer brethren that they “displayed extraordinary zeal in promoting the new art of printing, and that one of the earliest Flemish presses was set up in their college.”98 The famous Erasmus passed his first years of study at Deventer in the latter end of the XVth century, and drew from his masters the prediction that he would “one day be the light of his age.” The later Flemish University of Louvain, founded in 1425, by Duke John of Brabant, was eminently an orthodox institution, and became, in the XVIth century, “one of the soundest nurseries of the faith,” as well as the chief seat of learning in Flanders. Even Erasmus owned in his letters that the schools of Louvain were considered second only to those of Paris. Here, as usual, the Dominicans were foremost in the breach, and enjoyed great privileges, while their influence made itself powerfully felt throughout the university. S. Thomas of Aquin was, of course, the recognized authority followed by the whole university in matters of theology.

Ireland was not so fortunate during the scholastic as during the monastic era of intellectual development, but what benefits she had she owed them again to the same institution which had educated her sons in olden days. The first University of Dublin was founded in 1320, and had for its first master a Dominican friar. It soon decayed for want of funds and in consequence of the troubles of the times, but the Dominicans would not let learning perish, if they could help it. In 1428, a century later, they opened a free “high school” on Usher's Island, where they taught gratuitously all branches of knowledge, from grammar to theology, and admitted all students, lay and ecclesiastical. Between this college and their convent in the city they built a stone bridge, the only erection of such solid material known in Dublin for two centuries afterwards, and, says Mr. Wyse in a speech on Education delivered at Cork in 1844, “it is an interesting fact in the history of education in Ireland that the only stone bridge in the capital of the kingdom was built by one of the monastic orders as a communication between a convent and its college, a thoroughfare thrown across a dangerous river for teachers and scholars to frequent halls of learning where the whole range of the sciences of the day was taught gratuitously.”99 A few years later, the four Mendicant orders, headed by the Dominicans, obtained from Pope Sixtus IV. a brief constituting their Dublin schools one [pg 155] university, with the same ecclesiastical rights and privileges enjoyed by the great University of Oxford, and this body corporate is mentioned as in active exercise of its powers just before the “Reformation.” It showed the general destruction brought by the apostasy of England on all monastic bodies, but such as it was it was the church's creation, and a fitting successor to those centres of rare learning, the Columbanian monasteries of the VIIth and VIIIth centuries.

The Scotch universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen have been purposely left out, as we have no records of them at hand; of the latter, the remains of which we happened to visit some years ago, it will suffice to say that it possesses a library, the germs of which are due to Catholic collectors, and still has some very fine specimens of illuminated manuscripts. The wood carvings of the choir stalls and screen, of Flemish workmanship, are very beautiful, and the collegiate chapel, still existing, bears marks of the harmony and symmetry natural to the grand worship it once typified.

We have left Oxford to the last, since its history is perhaps almost unique. No university of its day can match it; its vitality has outlasted the “Reformation” itself, and its spirit and statutes remain to this moment as obstinately Catholic as in the days of Bacon and Duns Scotus. True, infidelity has not respected it, but no more did it respect the University of Paris in the XIIIth century, and far more vigorous than its great mediæval rival, Oxford still epitomizes the genius of a nation, while Paris has lost every vestige of its former academical sway. Its beginnings are lost in the ages of fable, for tradition asserts that long before Alfred there were schools and disputations there. The schools of Osney Abbey, and the Benedictine school in connection with Winchcomb Abbey, are among the earliest foundations, but as yet (in 1175) there were no buildings of any architectural pretensions. About that time a great fire destroyed the greater part of the city, and for a long while very little order prevailed among its motley inhabitants. Robert Pulleyn, an English scholar from Paris, who had set up a school in 1133 and in 1142, went to Rome, was made cardinal there, and obtained many ecclesiastical privileges for the Oxford scholars. Law already began to be studied in this century, but a historian of the time complains bitterly that “purity of speech had decayed, philosophy was neglected, and nothing but Parisian quirks prevailed. Had the monastic schools retained their ascendency,” he says, “polite letters would never have fallen into such neglect.”100 In the XIIIth century there were 30,000 students at Oxford, though many among them were “a set of varlets who pretended to be scholars,” and passed their time in thieving and villany. The brawls of these said “varlets” were to the full as violent as those of the Rue Coupegueule, and much of the same kind of license disgraced Oxford as it did Paris. Nationality seems to have been a common pretext for fights, and S. George's, S. Patrick's, and S. David's days were, instead of peaceful festivals, days of bloodshed and plunder. At last every demonstration on these days had to be forbidden under pain of excommunication. “Town and gown” fights too were frequent, and even internecine battles took place among the scholars themselves over a false quantity in pronunciation or a disputed axiom in philosophy. The fare in those days seems to have been [pg 156] scanty; here for instance is a collegiate menu: “At ten of the clock they go to dinner, whereat they be content with a penny piece of beef among four, having a few pottage made of the broth of the said beef, with salt and oatmeal and nothing else.” When they went to bed, “they were fain to run up and down half an hour to get a heat on their feet,” and what the beds were may be surmised from the fact of the students lodging where they could, generally in lofts over the burghers' shops, as at Paris.

In the earlier part of the XIIIth century Cambridge was founded, and Peter of Blois, the continuator of Ingulphus, tells us that from this “little fountain (the first lectures given successively in the same barn, on various subjects, by three or four monks of Croyland) of Cottenham, the abbot's manor near Cambridge, which has swelled to a great river, we now behold the whole city of God made glad, and teachers issuing from Cambridge, after the likeness of the Holy Paradise.” Cambridge seems to have cultivated the Anglo-Saxon tongue, as Tavistock also did, a monastic school where the language was regularly taught “to assist the monks in deciphering their own ancient charters.”

“Old Oxford” was not the imposing pile of ecclesiastical buildings its later representative is now. Osney and S. Frideswide stood like castles in its surrounding meadows, but the main body of the university consisted in straw-thatched houses and timber schools. There were pilgrimage wells where, on Rogation Days, various blessings were invoked on the fruits of the earth, and these were called by our forefathers “Gospel places.” It was a sort of religious “Maying,” the students carrying poles adorned with flowers and singing the Benedicite. The streets bore singular names—“School Street,” “Logic Lane,” “Street of the Seven Deadly Sins.” Here is the “Schedesyerde,” where abode the sellers of parchment, the schedes or sheets of which gave their name to the locality. The schools can be distinguished by pithy inscriptions over dingy-looking doors—Ama scientiam, Impostu ras fuge, Litteras disce—but you will look in vain for public schools or collegiate piles. In these humble schools many great scholars were reared: S. Edmund of Canterbury, who, for instance, unless he chanced to spend it in relieving the distress of some poor scholar or little orphan child, left the money his pupils paid him lying loose on the window-sill, where he would strew it with ashes, saying, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust”; or, again, S. Richard, Edmund's friend, and afterwards his chancellor at Canterbury, who while at Oxford was so poor that he could seldom allow himself the luxury of mutton, then reckoned as ordinary scholar's fare, and who lodged with two companions, of whom we hear the Parisian tale of the single gown worn alternately at lecture by each, while the others remained at home; Robert Grossetêle, the Franciscan, a universal genius and a most holy man, a zealous lover of natural science, and so well versed in the Scriptures that one of his modern biographers has candidly admitted that his “wonderful knowledge of them might probably be worth remark in our day, though in its own not more than was possessed by all theological students; Roger Bacon, the greatest natural philosopher who appeared in England before the time of Newton; and Alexander of Hales, “the Irrefragable Doctor,” who also taught in the Franciscan schools of Paris—were among prominent Oxford scholars of the middle ages. Then the marvellous Duns Scotus a scholar [pg 157] of Merton and afterwards a Franciscan monk, an Abelard in brilliancy, versatility, and keenness of argument, who, disputing one day before the doctors of the Sorbonne (to whom he was personally unknown), was interrupted by one of them with this exclamation, “This must be either an angel from heaven, a demon from hell, or Duns Scotus from Oxford!” A similar legend is told of Alanus de Insulis, a Paris doctor, who, having left the schools and become a lay-brother at Citeaux, accompanied the abbot to Rome to take charge of his horses. Being allowed to sit at the abbot's feet during the council against the Albigenses, and finding the scales inclining in favor of the heretics, he rose, and, begging the abbot's blessing, suddenly poured forth his irresistible arguments and defeated the sophistry of the Albigenses, who, baffled and furious, exclaimed, “This must be either the devil himself or Alanus.”

Thomas of Cantilupe, the son of the Earl of Pembroke, was another representative Oxford scholar. Of noble birth and great intellectual powers, he rose to the highest dignities of the realm, and, though Oxford was still a scene of violent disorders, he preserved his purity and calmness through all its dangers. The collegiate system soon came to put an end to this state of things, and Merton was the first college, properly so-called, where moral order and architectural proportions received some attention. The aspect of the university now rapidly changed. Lollardism seriously affected the great seat of learning, and at first its doctrines were much upheld by the jealous secular teachers, who saw in his calumnies a weapon to be used against the saintly and successful friars; the tone of the university declined, and literature was wofully neglected for a time. However, as Lollardism faded from men's minds, a revival of letters took place, and in the XVIth century Erasmus, who was very kindly entertained and welcomed at Oxford, pays the following tribute to its literary proficiency: “I have found here classic erudition, and that not trite and shallow, but profound and accurate, both Latin and Greek, so that I no longer sigh for Italy.”101 And again: “I think, from my very soul, there is no country where abound so many men skilled in every kind of learning as there are here”102 (in England). His own Greek learning was chiefly acquired at Oxford, for, previous to his coming hither, his knowledge of that language was very superficial.

We have lingered over the history of mediæval Oxford longer than our readers may be inclined to think reasonable, and we must confess that our interest in the only institution of the middle ages which stands yet unimpaired in glory, influence, and renown, has led us beyond the limits we had honestly proposed to ourselves.

Little now remains to be said. We have come upon the uninviting times when reason broke away from faith and carried desolation in its headlong course through the field of the human intellect. A literary and philosophical madness settled on men's minds, and Babel seemed to have come again, except where the calm round of old studies was pursued with the old spirit of quies within the sphere of the ancient faith. All beyond was confusion and hurry; every one set up as a teacher before having been a disciple; each man dictated and no one listened; each would be the originator of a system which his first follower was sure to alter, with the perspective of having his alterations remodelled again by [pg 158] his first pupil, and so on ad libitum, till systems came to be called by men's names, and to vary in meaning according to the particular temper of each one that undertook to explain them.

With all its turbulence and occasional excesses contrasted with the cynical refinement and polite indifferentism of to-day, was not the older system the better one?

Fleurange.

By Mrs. Craven, Author Of “A Sister's Story.”

Translated From The French, With Permission.

Part Third.

The Banks Of The Neckar.

XXXIX.

About a fortnight after Christmas, Clement was returning to his lodgings a little sooner than usual, when he met Wilhelm Müller at the door.

“Ah! you have come at the right moment,” said he. “Let me tell you why. A courier from St. Petersburg arrived this morning with important news, which will have a serious effect on our business.”

“Are you referring to the death of the Emperor Alexander? I knew that yesterday. What else is there?”

“Quite another affair, indeed. Constantine has been set aside, and the Grand Duke Nicholas is to succeed his brother.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. But that is not all; we knew that yesterday. The news the courier brought this morning is more serious. It seems a conspiracy has broken out—”

“A conspiracy! Where?”

“At St. Petersburg. The courier left the twenty-fourth of December. They were then fighting on the square before the palace, and the emperor was in the midst of the fight.”

“Constantine?”

“No, indeed; his brother.”

“The Grand Duke Nicholas? Is he at the head of the plot?”

“No; on the contrary, it seems to be Constantine, and yet it is not he either.—In fact, no one knows anything about it, the report is so very confused. But come and help me, if you will. We have despatches to send in every direction. We shall certainly have further news this evening. I dare say Waltheim (the chief member of the firm of which they were the principal clerks) is this very moment beside himself.”

The two friends set off together. They had hardly gone two steps before they came upon quite a group standing around the doorway of a fine house almost opposite Müller's. It was the residence of the Russian legation. They were told in reply [pg 159] to their questions that a courier had just arrived on horseback, covered with dust and half-dead with fatigue. He left St. Petersburg on the twenty-sixth, and had been ten days on the way.

“Does anybody know what news he has brought?” asked Müller of the man who gave him this information.

“Nothing definite, of course. And we shall learn nothing there,” pointing to the diplomatic residence, “except what they please to tell us.”

Müller and Clement stopped no longer.

“The twenty-sixth!” said Müller. “I should like to know the contents of the despatch.”

“The other legations must soon have news of as late a date, to say nothing of our own correspondent, who will give us the earliest information possible. But, now I think of it, one of the attachés of the French legation is somewhat of a friend of mine; what if I go and ask him for the details?”

Müller thought this a capital idea, and Clement left him at once to go to the residence of the French legation. Müller kept on to his office at Waltheim's, where he would wait for him.

The young attaché referred to was the Vicomte de Noisy. He had been present at one of the public assemblies in which Clement distinguished himself as a speaker, and conceived a fancy for him from that time. They frequently made excursions together on foot or horseback, and the vicomte sought every opportunity of meeting Clement with an eagerness the latter sometimes reproached himself for not responding to with more warmth. He relied, therefore, on a cordial reception, and, in fact, as soon as he was announced, he was taken into a small room next the chancellerie, where M. de Noisy passed the greater part of his time. He found him seated at a table covered with papers. Before Clement had time to utter a word, the young attaché exclaimed, without leaving his place:

“Have you come with news? or to get some?”

“What a question! You know well our commercial agents are never able to rival the speed of the bearers of political despatches.”

“And yet it happens sometimes.”

“But not this time, unfortunately. The Russian legation has just received a despatch from St. Petersburg dated the twenty-sixth.”

“So we have just heard. It came in an incredibly short time. I fear ours will not do as well. And yet the French embassy at St. Petersburg is not often caught napping.”

Some one rang furiously. A hussar opened the door and made a sign to the vicomte, who sprang forward.

“The courier!” he exclaimed. “Bravo! Vive l'ambassadeur! To be only one hour behind the Russian courier is wonderful! Here, mon cher, are some cigars. Take the arm-chair and wait till I return. I shall soon be back, and will bring you the news.”

Clement threw himself into the arm-chair, lit a cigar, took up a newspaper, and patiently awaited the young attaché's return beside a good fire, which, without prejudice to the large stove at one end of the room, did not give out too much heat at this rigorous season. At the end of an hour, however, he was beginning to feel he was losing his time, when the Vicomte de Noisy reappeared with his hands full of letters, which he threw on the table.

“There,” he said. “To decipher and read these is not all: they are to be answered, and I do not know [pg 160] when I shall be able to leave the chancellerie.”

“Would it be indiscreet for you to tell me the nature of your despatches?”

“By no means. We have good news. It is all over. The struggle was severe, but short. The new emperor conducted admirably. The regiments in revolt have returned to their duty, all the leaders of the insurrection have been taken. The only serious thing is that among the latter are several belonging to the noblesse, and a great many gentlemen of social standing are compromised. This interests me more than anything else, because I was connected with the embassy at St. Petersburg before I came here, and know them all.”

“Have they given any of the leader's names?”

“Oh! yes: Troubetzkoï, Rilieff, Mouravieff, Wolkonsky, and a host of others. But among all these names there is one I am amazed at finding. Who would ever have thought Walden would be drawn into such a row?”

Clement's heart gave a leap. “Walden, did you say? What, the Count George de Walden?”

“The very person. Do you happen to know him?”

“Yes, I know him.”

“Well, can you conceive of a man of his ability and distinction being mixed up in such a plot? It was an atrocious conspiracy to assassinate the emperor, and a foolish attempt to establish a republic. Constantine's name was only made use of as a pretext.”

“And is Count George seriously compromised?” asked Clement.

“He could not be more so. He is classed among those who have no other alternative but Siberia or death.—But excuse me, Dornthal, I am forced to leave you. I dare say we shall have to work all night. Here,” said he, searching in his pocket, “here is a letter I have received from St. Petersburg by the courier. You may find in it some additional details that will interest you.”

The attaché hurried off through the door of the chancellerie, and Clement left the house. It was not till he found himself in the street that he began to recover from the stupefaction caused by the news he had just heard. He turned mechanically towards the office, where Müller was waiting for him, and gave him an account of what he had just learned, with the exception of the one fact of this political event of infinitely more importance to him than all the rest. He remained some time at his post, making an almost superhuman effort to control his bewildered mind and keep it on the work he had to do. At last he took leave of Müller and went back to his lodgings. Without stopping, as he usually did, to see the family, he went directly up-stairs, and shut himself up in his room. He wished to be alone, that he might decide at leisure upon the course to pursue in consequence of so unforeseen and serious an event.

Gabrielle!—He thought of her—and her alone. How would she support such a blow? How was she to be informed of it?

He remained a long time buried in these reflections without thinking of the letter in his pocket. At length he bethought himself of it, and with the hope of getting some light began to read it attentively. After some preamble, which he ran over hastily, he came to what follows:

“This conspiracy, which broke out with the suddenness of a thunderbolt, and appeared to be only the spontaneous result of the prevailing doubt at the beginning of the present reign as [pg 161] to which of the two brothers was the real emperor, was really arranged a long time before, it seems. It is said to have had deep and extensive ramifications, and they who fomented and directed the plot only availed themselves of the circumstances that followed Alexander's death as a pretext. It is said their plans were to have been executed in the spring, if the deceased emperor's life had been prolonged till that time. But what seems equally certain is that a great number of those who are now seriously compromised had only a very imperfect idea of what was going on. Among these, I cannot doubt, is our poor friend George de Walden. You know he has always been dreaming of possible or impossible reforms. As evil would have it, he met in Italy during the past year a certain man named Lasko—very intelligent and capable, but an intriguer ready for anything, and mixed up with all the plots that have agitated Italy and Germany the past ten years. Imprisoned, then released, Heaven knows how, assuming a thousand names, in a word, one of those evil-minded persons who are docile instruments in the hands of the real leaders of the great plots of the day, George was accidentally brought in contact with him, and once, only once, was persuaded to attend one of their meetings through mere curiosity. There by a still more unfortunate accident he happened to meet one of the leaders just referred to. The latter at once saw the influence to be derived from George's name, position, enthusiasm, and even his ignorance of the extent of their schemes. He persuaded him to repair to St. Petersburg at a given time, and hold himself in readiness to second a combined movement, secretly arranged, but too extensive to be suppressed. This movement, he said, was to bring about the realization of some of George's theories. I had these details from the Marquis Adelardi, the genial Milanais who spent a winter here three years ago, and is, you know, George's intimate friend. The marquis, uneasy about the count's sudden departure from Florence, and still more so when three months passed away without his return, came here to join him. He arrived only three days before the fatal twenty-fourth. It appears George was certainly on the square that day and in the foremost ranks of the insurgents. Adelardi declares he went there sincerely convinced, by the representations of those who were desirous of leading him on, that Constantine's renunciation was a pretence, and his rights ought to be maintained in the interests of their projects, which that prince, they declared, was ready to second. However that may be, it is only too certain that close beside him on the square was this same Lasko, who was killed at the very moment of firing at the Grand Duke Michael. One witness—and but one, for it requires some courage to testify in favor of a man in his situation—has stated it was George who turned his deadly weapon aside (thus saving the grand duke's life) before the aide-de-camp of the latter shot the assassin. But there is so strong a feeling against him, both at court and in the city, that no one dares insist how much this circumstance is in his favor. He himself obstinately refuses to take advantage of it, and his haughty attitude since his arrest is by no means favorable to his interests. What makes his case more complicated, his secretary was an Italian most intimately connected with Lasko. This man, Fabiano Dini by name, was also on the square the day of the insurrection, and was severely wounded.”

Here Clement stopped. These last [pg 162] lines increased his agitation to the highest pitch. All their vague fears were thus confirmed—his cousin's fatal destiny pursued him to the end! Unfortunate himself and a source of misfortune to others! Yes, that was Felix: capable of realizing his disgrace, but not of repairing it; seeking the post of danger and the opportunity of displaying his courage, reluctant to leave the obscurity in which he had hidden his life, he became one of those secret agitators who were then, perhaps even more than now, silently undermining Europe. He soon became their agent, and his talents, contempt of danger and death, made him a useful one. In this way he speedily came to an end that was inevitable.

Clement paced up and down his chamber a long time unable to calm his confused mind, but, after much reflection, came to the conclusion George's trial would probably be prolonged, and might terminate less tragically than was to be feared from this letter. At all events, he ought to spare Fleurange all the anguish of this uncertainty as long as possible. This would not be difficult at Rosenheim, for the professor was not allowed to read the newspapers, and therefore none were left about the rooms occupied by the family. Hansfelt alone read them and communicated the news. Clement hastened to write his sister Hilda a few lines, confiding to her all he had just learned, and recommending her, as well as Hansfelt, to withhold from Gabrielle all information on the subject. “I shall be at Rosenheim in a week,” said he at the close, “and we will consult together, dear sister, about what will then be advisable. Meanwhile, I rely on your prudence and affection for her.”

Clement and his sister had never discussed the subject now referred to, but they had long read one another's thoughts. They were now of the same mind, and Fleurange would have remained a long time ignorant of what they wished to conceal from her, had not an unforeseen circumstance overthrown, a few days after, all the plans laid by their prudence and affection.

XL.

The poor you always have with you. This is our Saviour's declaration, and it accords with human experience. We find the poor everywhere, unless we wilfully turn away our eyes with culpable indifference. Mademoiselle Josephine, we are well aware, was not of the number of these blind or insensible persons. She therefore found quite as much work on her hands at Heidelberg as at Paris, with this difference, which was a keen mortification—she was unable to hold any communication with the objects of her bounty, except by gestures rarely expressive enough on either side to be understood. This forced her to dispense with what had always been the most pleasant feature of charity—kind words, and sometimes long chats with the poor on whom she bestowed alms.

“I only wish they understood a little French,” she said. “It seems as if it might be easy enough for them, whereas it is utterly impossible for me to learn German.” In a word, not to know French and to understand German seemed to Mademoiselle Josephine among the mysteries of nature. Nevertheless, as the poor people persisted in using only their own language, and resentment must not be carried so far as to refuse aiding them, mademoiselle was very glad to accept Fleurange as her interpreter [pg 163] and the agent of her charity. The young girl came every day at the same hour, either to accompany her or receive her orders and make the daily round in her stead.

She generally found mademoiselle in her laboratory, that is, in a room on the ground-floor, in which the principal piece of furniture was an immense armoire, containing all kinds of things to be distributed among her actual or anticipated protégés. She liked to have a good supply on hand, and it was seldom a poor person found her without the means of aiding them at once.

“Here, Gabrielle,” said she one morning, when Fleurange appeared as usual, basket in hand, to get the charitable supplies for the day. “See, everything is ready.” And she pointed towards the things on the table, which, with the large armoire and two chairs, comprised all the furniture in the room. Everything was indeed arranged in fine order: on one side were two pairs of stockings and a woollen skirt; on the other, a covered tureen of broth, a small quantity of sugar, a bottle of wine, some tobacco, and two or three newspapers. To all these things she added a small vial, the contents of which required some explanation.

“The stockings and skirt,” said mademoiselle, “are for the mother of the little girl to whom you carried clothes yesterday. The broth and sugar are for our poor old woman, as well as this little vial of eau de mélisse of my own preparation, and not the worse for that. And the wine and tobacco are for the invalid soldier, the old carpenter whom you visited last week. His daughter succeeded in making me understand yesterday that nothing would give this poor man more pleasure than to lend him a newspaper occasionally. You can give him these which I procured for him this morning. Ah!—apropos, your cousin Clement left two nice cigars for him which I forgot. While I am gone for them, you can put all these things in your basket.”

The kind woman left the room to get the cigars. They were up-stairs, but she never thought of counting her steps when it was a question of doing a kind act, however insignificant, for another. Only, she did not ascend the stairs quite as nimbly as she once did, and on this occasion it took her about fifteen minutes to go and return.

During this time Fleurange, standing at the table, proceeded to stow away all the things in her basket, and last of all was about to put in the newspapers when her eye fell on a paragraph in one of them that gave her a start. She seized the paper, opened it, and began to read with ardent curiosity. All at once she uttered a feeble cry, the journal dropped from her trembling hands, a mist came over her eyes, and, when her old friend returned, she found her lying on the floor, pale, cold, and senseless.

Fortunately, Mademoiselle Josephine did not lack presence of mind or experience. She flew to Fleurange, knelt beside her, raised her head, and supported her in her arms. Then she drew a smelling-bottle from her pocket to revive her, and while showing her these attentions she racked her brains to guess what could have caused one so robust and generally so calm to faint in this mysterious way. All at once she noticed the newspaper, which had fallen at the young girl's feet. “Ah!” she said, “she read something in that medley, perhaps some bad news; but, merciful heavens! what could it have been to produce such an effect?—Dear child,” she continued, looking tenderly at the pale and lovely face resting on her shoulders, [pg 164] “she said yesterday she never fainted but once in her life, and that was at our house in Paris two years ago when she was overcome by weakness and hunger.”

Poor Mademoiselle Josephine! compassion, and the remembrances thus awakened, doubly affected her, and her eyes were still filled with tears when Fleurange opened hers with an expression of surprise soon followed by an indistinct recollection. She rose slowly up, but, before mademoiselle could aid her, she threw her arms around her old friend's neck.

“O dear mademoiselle!” she murmured, “did you know it?—did you know it?”

Poor Josephine had never been so embarrassed. To say she was totally ignorant of the point was to invite a confidence quite unsuitable at such a moment, and a contrary reply would also have its inconveniences. She therefore took refuge in an innocent subterfuge.

“Well, well, my poor child, what use is there in speaking of it now? Be calm, and do not say anything at present. We will talk about it another time. Be easy,” she added at a venture, “everything will be arranged if you take what I am going to give you.”

Then aiding Fleurange to rise, and placing her in a chair, she ran for a glass of water, into which she poured a few drops of eau de mélisse—a genuine panacea in her estimation—which she held to the young girl's lips. Fleurange drank it all, and then gave a long sigh.

“What happened to me?” she said.

“Nothing. You were only faint. That is all.”

“That is strange, for I never faint.” And she passed her hand over her forehead.

“O my God! I remember it all now,” she suddenly exclaimed. “But is it true? May not this be false—a mere idle tale?”

“Who can tell?” replied mademoiselle vaguely. “That is quite possible. They say so many things.”

“But tell me all you know.”

“No, no, not now, Gabrielle, not now. You are not able to hear it. Do as I say, and we will talk about it at another time.”

Fleurange made no reply. A moment after, she rose. “I am well now,” she said; “I feel revived.”

She gathered up her long hair, which had fallen around her shoulders, took the journal and put it in her pocket, then put on the little velvet hat trimmed with fur which she generally wore in winter, and said: “Thanks, dear mademoiselle, and pardon me. I have quite recovered, but do not feel equal, however, to the visits you expected me to make to-day.”

“No, indeed, of course not.”

“I must go home at once.”

“Yes, certainly, I am going with you. You must go to bed. You are generally pale, but now your cheeks are as red as those curtains,” pointing to the bright cotton curtains at the window.

“No, no, I am not ill,” said Fleurange, her eyes aflame. “The air will do me good. Do not feel uneasy. You see my faintness has entirely passed off.”

As mademoiselle had not the least idea of the cause of this sudden indisposition, and the young girl really seemed quite recovered, she did not oppose her wish to go home alone and on foot. The distance was not far. Fleurange came every day without any escort, she allowed her therefore to go, merely accompanying her as far as the gate of her little yard, where they separated, bidding each other good-by till evening.

[pg 165]

XLI.

The thermometer was down to five or six degrees. The little hat Fleurange wore protected her forehead, but showed the tresses of her thick hair behind. She drew up her hood when she wished to guard more effectually against the severity of the weather. But now she did not take this precaution. She only drew the folds of her thick cloak around her form, and set off with rapid steps. The keen, frosty air was refreshing to her burning cheeks and revived her strength, and, with the exception of an unusual glow in her complexion and in her eyes, there was no trace of her recent faintness when she reached home. As soon as she entered, without stopping an instant, she went directly upstairs, and, giving a slight knock at the door, entered the chamber between her own and Hilda's, which Hansfelt had used as a study since his arrival at Rosenheim. When Fleurange entered, she found him and his young wife together. They started with surprise at seeing her, and stopped talking, with a certain embarrassment which did not escape Fleurange.

“I can guess the subject of your conversation,” she said with emotion, but without hesitation, “and it is what I wish to speak to you about.”

Her cousin looked at her, uncertain what reply she ought to make.

“Hilda,” said Fleurange, “you agreed never to mention Count George's name to me till I should speak of him first. Well, I have now come to speak of him, and beg you both to tell me all you know about him. Here,” continued she, throwing the newspaper she had brought on the table, “read that, and then tell me all I am still ignorant of.”

What could they say? She stood before them so calm, resolute, and decided, that any reticence seemed useless. Hansfelt ran over the journal. He saw the article Fleurange referred to did not contain any details, but only a list of the accused, followed by some very clear comments on the fate which awaited them. Count George's name figured among the first on the list.

“What is he accused of? What is the crime in question?” asked she in a decided tone.

Hansfelt still hesitated. But his wife knew better than he the character of her who was questioning them. “Karl,” said she, “you can tell her, and ought to do so. We must conceal nothing more from Gabrielle.”

“And why have you done so hitherto?” said Fleurange. “Ah! yes, I understand”—and a slight blush mounted to her forehead—“the secret I thought so well hidden has been discovered by you all!”

“No, no,” cried Hilda, “only by me—and you know I can conceal nothing from Karl—by me and Clement.”

“Clement also?” said Fleurange, with a start of surprise and a confusion which deepened her blush. “But, after all, what difference does it make?” she continued. “I shall conceal nothing more from any one, and I wish nothing to be kept from me either. Come, Karl, I assure you earnestly I do not lack fortitude, and hereafter you must not try to spare me. Surprise alone overpowered me for an instant. Now I am prepared for the worst, and ready to hear what you have to tell.”

But in spite of these words, when Hansfelt at last decided, after some further hesitation, to satisfy her, [pg 166] while he was giving her a circumstantial account of all Count George had done to forfeit his life, the color produced by the keen air, her walking so fast, and her agitation, vanished completely from the young girl's face, and she became as pale as death.

“Siberia or death!” she repeated two or three times in a low tone, as if it were as difficult to understand as to utter such terrible words.

“As to the worst of these two sentences, it is to be hoped he will escape,” said Hansfelt.

Fleurange shuddered. Was it really of him—him!—they were talking in this way? “But tell me, Karl, is there no other alternative? May he not be condemned to prison or expatriation? They are also great and fearful punishments. Why speak only of two sentences, one almost as horrible as the other?”

Hansfelt shook his head. “His name, his rank, the benefits the government had conferred on his family, the favors so many times offered him, will all aggravate his crime in the eyes of his judges. His life, I trust, will be spared, but—”

“But—the mines, fetters, and fearful rigors of Siberia—do you think he will be condemned to suffer all these penalties without any alleviation?”

Hansfelt was silent. Hilda pressed Fleurange's hands and tenderly kissed her colorless cheeks.

“I have said enough, and too much,” said Hansfelt. “Why will you ask me such questions, Gabrielle? And why do you tell me to answer her, Hilda?”

“Because I wish to know everything,” said Fleurange, raising her head, which she had rested a moment on her cousin's shoulder, and recovering her firmness of voice. After a moment's hesitation she continued: “Then nothing can save him?”

“You wished for the truth without any disguise, Gabrielle, and I have not concealed it from you. According to all human probability, nothing can save Count George from the fate that awaits him: that is beyond doubt. But it sometimes happens in Russia that sudden caprice on the part of the sovereign arrests the hand of justice. Nevertheless, it would be deceiving you if I did not add that there is nothing to lead us to hope he will be such an object of clemency. On the contrary, all the reports agree in stating that the irritation against him is extreme, and surpasses that against all the other conspirators.”

Fleurange remained a long time absorbed in thought. “Thank you, Karl,” said she at length. “You will hereafter tell me all you learn, will you not?”

After receiving the promise asked for, she turned to leave the chamber. “One more question,” said she. “My head must be very much confused, or I should have asked you before in what way his poor mother learned the news, and how she bears it.”

“Clement heard she was at Florence, as usual at this season, but on learning the news started at once for St. Petersburg.”

“St. Petersburg! at this time of year! The poor woman will die on the way.”

“I can tell you nothing more. Clement will be here this evening. He may have additional news.”

But when Clement arrived that night, Fleurange, prostrated by the anxiety and excitement of the day, was unable to leave her chamber. Her aunt, who remained with her, declared she should see no one else till the next day, and the interview [pg 167] she hoped to have with Clement was deferred. Meanwhile the latter was steeling himself for the new phase in the trial before him by listening to all the details of what had occurred. Mademoiselle Josephine informed them of what had happened to Fleurange at her house, and in return learned with interest mingled with profound astonishment the real cause of her fainting. Of all the sufferings in the world, those caused by love were the most unintelligible to her. If she had been suddenly informed that her dear Gabrielle had lost her mind, or was going into a consumption, she would not have been more surprised and disturbed. Perhaps less so, for the terror mystery lends to distress, and a complete ignorance of the suitable remedies for such a case, added powerlessness to anxiety. She, who had so many remedies of all kinds for every occasion, could absolutely think of nothing suitable for this. How this unknown person, whose name she had never heard until to-day, could all at once become so essential to the happiness of this dear child, who was surrounded by so much affection from others and had always seemed so happy, was in her eyes a still greater phenomenon than knowing German. As for that language, she now resolved to study it, thinking the day might again arrive when there would be something within her comprehension and power to do for her. “I will endeavor to acquire it, that I may not lose an opportunity of profiting by it,” said she. This vague hope consoled her for her present incompetency, and satisfied, for the time, the devotedness of her kind heart, now quite out of its latitude.

XLII.

The following morning Fleurange, quite recovered from the physical effects of her agitation, was up at her usual hour, that is, at daybreak. She put on her thick cloak, her little fur-trimmed hat, and started off to church for the first Mass, which she daily attended at this season. At her arrival she threw back her hood, and knelt as near the altar as possible. The church was so dark that each one brought a lantern, a bit of candle, or some other portable light to read by. These lamps and tapers, increasing with the number of worshippers, at last diffused sufficient light throughout the church to enable one to distinguish the people and objects in it. Fleurange did not bring a candle and needed none, for she had no prayer-book, but she was not the less profoundly recollected. Pale and motionless, her hands clasped, her head raised, her eyes fastened on the altar, the delicate and regular outline of her face distinctly visible by a neighboring taper, she resembled a statue of white marble wrapped in sombre drapery. She prayed with fervor, but without agitation, without tears, and even without moving her lips. Her whole soul seemed centred in her eyes. Her look at once expressed the faith that implores and hopes, submission to God's will, and courage to fulfil it. It was a prayer that must prevail, or leave the heart submissive and strengthened.

The Mass ended, all the lights were extinguished one after the other, but the faint glimmering in the east soon increased to such a degree that, when Fleurange rose after the church was nearly empty, she recognized Clement only a few steps off. He followed her to the door, she took the holy water from his hand, and they went out together.

[pg 168]

It was now broad daylight, but the sky was veiled with gray clouds, a violent wind swept before it the snow that covered the ground, and when they issued into the street they were met by a perfect whirlwind of driving snow which Fleurange was scarcely able to withstand. Clement supported her, then retained her arm, and they walked on for some time without speaking. He had dreaded this interview in spite of himself, and now rallied all his strength to listen calmly to what she was about to say. But, at last, as she remained silent, he spoke first:

“You were ill last evening, Gabrielle. I was far from expecting to find you at church so early in such severe weather.”

“Ill?” replied Fleurange. “No; I was not ill, but suffering from a great shock, as you know, do you not, Clement?”

“Yes, Gabrielle, I know it.”

These few words broke down the barrier. What had haunted Clement's thoughts now proved to be an actual reality; but energetic natures prefer the most terrible realities to vague apprehensions, and even to vague hopes, and he felt his courage rise in proportion as self-abnegation became more completely rooted in his soul. After a moment's silence, he said:

“Gabrielle, why have you not treated me of late with the same confidence you once showed me?”

She replied without any hesitation: “Because I made a resolution never to mention him—I made it,” she continued, without noticing the slight start Clement was unable to repress, “because I wished to forget him. It was therefore better for me to be reserved even with Hilda—even with you, Clement. But now,” continued she, with a kind of exaltation in which grief and joy were confounded, “now I think of that no longer. It seems as if a new life had commenced for him and for me. And yet we are separated, as it were, by death. But death breaks down barriers, and reunites, too. What shall I say, Clement? I seem nearer to him to-day than yesterday, and in spite of myself (for I am well aware it is an illusion) I feel I shall be able to serve him in some way or other. At all events, I no longer have any motive for concealing my feelings, and to throw off this restraint is in itself a comfort.”

Clement listened without interrupting her. Each word gave him a sharp pang, but he steeled himself, somewhat as one does to the clash of arms and the firing of cannon till there is not even a movement of the eyelids to betray the fear of death or the possibility of being wounded. As to the illusion she spoke of, it was the last dream of sorrow and love. He would not try to dispel it.

“Let us hope, my dear cousin,” said he in a calm tone. “So many unforeseen circumstances may occur during a trial like that about to commence! There is no reason to despair.—Whatever may happen,” added he, as they approached the house, “promise me, Gabrielle, from this time forth, to show the same confidence in me you once did—a confidence which will induce you to tell me everything, and rely on me under all circumstances. You once made me such a promise: have you forgotten it?”

“No, Clement, and I now renew it. You are my best friend, as I once told you. My opinion has not changed.”

Yes, she had said so. He had forgotten neither the day nor the spot, and his heart throbbed at the remembrance! Though he was but little more than twenty years of age, [pg 169] and the honeysuckle he still preserved in memory of that hour was scarcely withered, a long life seemed to have intervened since they exchanged nearly the same words.

But when they separated with a pressure of the hand at the end of the conversation, on that gloomy winter morning, Clement was left with a less painful impression than that which came over him on the banks of the Neckar, when, in the pale light of the moon, he had so sudden and fatal a revelation from the expression of her eyes and the tone of her voice. She had told him nothing to-day he did not know before. Instead of happiness, a vague perspective of devotedness opened before him. But even this was something to live for.

The following days passed without any new incident. The necessity of concealing their preoccupation from the professor obliged them all to make an effort which was beneficial especially to Fleurange, who remained faithful to her ordinary duties, passing as much time as usual beside her uncle's arm-chair, and with Mademoiselle Josephine and her poor protégées. But a feverish anxiety was sometimes apparent in her movements and in the troubled expression of her eyes when she went daily at the regular hour to ask Hansfelt what was in the newspapers. For more than a week, however, there was nothing new either to comfort her or to increase her sorrow. Clement had returned to Frankfort, and the days dragged along with deep and silent anguish. One morning, when least looked for, he suddenly appeared with unexpected news: the Princess Catherine was at Frankfort, and would be at Heidelberg the following day!

Fleurange trembled.—The Princess Catherine!—All the remembrances connected with that name revived with an intensity that for a moment overpowered her. She felt incapable of uttering a word.—“Coming here?” she said at length. “To Heidelberg? What for? What can bring her here? How do you know? Who told you? Oh! tell me everything, and at once, Clement!”

Clement implored her to be calm, and she became so by degrees while he related what he had learned the night before from the Princess Catherine herself. At her arrival at Frankfort, she was informed by M. Waldheim, her banker, that young Dornthal was in the city, and she begged him to call on her. Clement complied, but not without emotion, with the wish of Count George's mother, and found her fearfully prostrated with grief and illness. He had, however, a long conversation with her, the substance of which was that, leaving Florence as soon as she learned the fatal news, she travelled night and day till she reached Paris, where she fell ill. After four days, however, she resumed her journey, but when she arrived at Frankfort the physician declared her utterly incapable of continuing it, and especially of enduring the increasing severity of the weather in proportion as she approached St. Petersburg. Able to go no further, she resolved at least to keep on as far as Heidelberg, hoping the care of a young physician of that city, since and even then very celebrated, would speedily enable her to resume her sad journey.

“I shall make the effort,” said the princess, “for I wish to live. I wish to go to him, if possible. I long to behold him once more! I hope much from Dr. Ch——'s attendance, as well as your cousin Gabrielle's. I depend on her, tell her so. Tell her,” added she, weeping, “that I long to see her again, and beg her [pg 170] to come to me as soon as I arrive at Heidelberg.”

“And she will be here to-morrow?” said Fleurange, much affected.

“Yes, towards night. I am going to notify the physician, and have the best apartments in the city prepared for her. Though she did not say so, I am sure, Gabrielle, she expects to meet you at her arrival.”

Fleurange merely replied she would be there, but her heart beat with a joy she thought she could never feel again. To behold George's mother once more, and at such a time! Was it not like catching a glimpse of him? She would be sure of constantly hearing his name—of constant and direct news respecting him—in a word, this was the realization of a secret wish she had not dared utter.

The next day, a long time before the appointed hour, Fleurange was in the room prepared for the princess, arranging the furniture in the way she knew would suit her, trying to give everything a cheerful aspect, to lessen the sadness of the poor traveller, who, towards the close of this long day, at length arrived exhausted with fatigue, and fell sobbing into the young girl's arms.

The time when she feared no other danger for her son than Gabrielle's presence was forgotten. The impressions of the moment always overruled all others, and her present troubles were, besides, well calculated to absorb every thought. Therefore, in meeting her young protégée she only thought of the pleasure of seeing her again, of the comfort to be derived from her care and presence at a time when they were most needed, and everything except her first fancy for Fleurange seemed to be effaced from her memory.

XLIII.

A subdued light veiled every object. A bright fire sparkled in the small fireplace, only intended to be ornamental, as the room was otherwise heated by a stove. The princess was, as we have already seen her, reclining on a canapé sheltered by a large screen. Her elbow rested on a small table loaded with the various objects she always carried with her; her feet were covered with a large shawl, and near her sat Fleurange on a stool in the old familiar attitude.

There was a great change, however. They no longer resorted to reading as they once did, or followed the lead of the princess' thoughts, generally more or less frivolous. One subject alone absorbed every faculty—a subject which she who listened with such ardent interest was still less weary of than herself.

To this the afflicted mother continually came back, sometimes with agitation, sometimes with a dull despair, but always with profound grief, heart-rending to her whose sorrow equalled her own.

It was the first time the Princess Catherine had ever been subdued by misfortune. Subdued, but not changed, she not only instinctively retained all her elegant habits, but her passionate nature was unchanged, and burst forth into recriminations against all whom she thought implicated in her son's misfortunes. This enabled her to pity, without blaming, him. It was one of these occasions Fleurange heard her exclaim that “Fabiano Dini was his evil genius!” and she shuddered in recalling her presentiment, so soon and so fatally justified.

“Yes,” said the princess during [pg 171] one of their conversations, “it was he—it was that Fabiano Dini who brought him in contact with that reprobate of a Lasko!”

And then she told the young girl about that person whose tragical end did not seem to have sufficiently expiated all the evil he had done her son—about his arrival at Florence, the ascendency he acquired over George, and the skill and promptness with which he took advantage of all his weak points. She had been incredulous at first, notwithstanding Adelardi's warnings—alas! too long, too foolishly incredulous! But her fears once roused, how much had she not suffered! What efforts had she not made! Alas! but in vain!

“He was always so—that dear, unfortunate child! No prudence, no fear of danger, ever stopped him on the very brink where his inclinations led him. Oh! those wretches! they soon discovered his imprudence, his generosity, and his courage! And now,” she exclaimed, rising from her pillow, while her thick but somewhat gray hair fell over her shoulders in unusual disorder, “can he possibly be confounded with them? Oh! if I could only get well, only strong enough to start, to make the journey, to see the young empress even but once, I should obtain his pardon, I am sure!”

Then she fell back exhausted, murmuring as she wrung her hands: “And Vera!—Vera absent from St. Petersburg at such a time! She was expected there, but who knows if she may not arrive too late? And above all, who knows but she will be his worst enemy, and if he has not foolishly poisoned the very source whence he might now derive safety?”

These words, which perhaps might have caused fresh trouble, were not heard by her to whom they were addressed. Fleurange had softly left the princess' side as she laid her weary head on her pillow, and was at the other end of the room preparing a soothing draught which the poor invalid mechanically took from her hand from hour to hour without obtaining the relief of a moment's sleep. This overpowering excitement, which resisted every remedy, was somewhat soothed at the arrival of one of the Marquis Adelardi's frequent letters. He was still at St. Petersburg, and kept her accurately informed of all that happened, sometimes reviving her hopes, and again confirming her fears. But hitherto he had not succeeded in learning anything certain as to the fate reserved for his friend. Sometimes, therefore, after eagerly reading these letters, she threw them into the fire with despair.

So much agitation at length brought on a high fever, and the princess had been confined to her bed several days, when one morning another letter arrived from St. Petersburg. Fleurange softly approached the bedside, and perceived the invalid was fast asleep. It was important this brief moment of repose should not be disturbed, and, besides, the physician had requested, some days previous, that no letter should be given her till it had been read, for fear she might learn some distressing news before she was prepared—as it was easy to foresee might happen. Fleurange promised to read the letters first, and with the less scruple that for more than a week she had been obliged to read them to the princess, who was too worn out to do so herself.

She now left her to the care of the faithful Barbara, and went into the salon, where, carefully closing the door, she broke the seal of the letter in her hands, which was also from [pg 172] the Marquis Adelardi. “At last,” he wrote, “I think I can certainly reassure you as to the most terrible of the events that seemed possible. The extreme rigor of the law will only be enforced against the acknowledged leaders of the conspiracy—four or five in number. All the others, among whom is George, will incur, alas! a terrible penalty, but we must be thankful not to look forward to one more frightful—I say we, my dear unfortunate friend, for, as to him, I fear this sentence will produce a contrary effect. I am persuaded he will consider it a thousand times more dreadful than the other.

“Since I last wrote you, through the intervention of one of the ambassadors, I have been allowed the privilege of entering the fortress where George is confined, and having a private interview with him. Pardon has been offered him if he will reveal the names of some of his accomplices. You will not be surprised at his refusing. But the numerous proofs of their criminal projects, which have been set before him in order to wrest some acknowledgment from him, have convinced him of the nature of the enterprise in which he risked his honor and life. The effect of this discovery has been to plunge him in the deepest dejection, and his only fear now is that his life may be spared.

“ ‘I merit death for my folly, Adelardi,’ said he: ‘you were right in warning me there would be no consolation in such a reflection at the extremity I am now in. But I shall submit to my fate without weakness, as you do me the honor to believe, I hope. I do not wish, however, to appear more courageous than I am, and if, instead of death, I am sentenced to drag out the life of a criminal in Siberia, I do not know what my despair might lead me to do.’

“As much precaution therefore must be taken in informing him of the mitigation of his punishment, as in announcing to others the severity of theirs. Before that time, I hope to obtain entrance again.

“Meanwhile I have learned with as much admiration as surprise that several who are doomed to the same punishment as he are to have an unexpected and unparalleled consolation. Their wives—their admirable and heroic wives—have begged to be allowed to share their fate, and at this very moment several ladies whom you know, young, beautiful, and accomplished, are preparing to follow their husbands to Siberia by inuring themselves to the rigor of the season. These unfortunate men, degraded from the nobility, deprived of their wealth, and stripped of everything in the world, cannot be deprived of the affection of these self-sacrificing creatures whose noble devotedness nothing daunts. I confess this amazes and confuses me, for I never before realized, or even suspected, how much heroism and generosity there is in the heart of a woman!”

Fleurange's own heart throbbed so violently she was unable to continue the letter. With overflowing eyes she was still dwelling on the page she had just finished—reading it over and over—when she was told the princess was awake, and wished to know if there was a letter for her. For some days her mind had been so full of terrible anticipations about the final result as sometimes to produce fits of delirium. When, therefore, the contents of this letter were communicated to her, she felt an unexpected—an unhoped-for relief. His life—George's life!—would be spared! There was yet time for her to effect something. She began to hope everything from the future, and [pg 173] became calmer than she had been for a long time. She was even to get up in the evening. She conversed, she spoke eagerly of her plans, her hopes, all she would do to soften her son's exile, and the efforts she would make to abridge it; but what was extraordinary, Fleurange seemed absent-minded and made scarcely any reply.

About nine o'clock Julian or Clement always came to accompany her back to Rosenheim—a half-hour's walk from the princess' house, which was at the other end of the city. On this occasion, when she was sent for, she was so absorbed in her own thoughts that she did not notice which of the two was with her. It was starlight, but very cold, and her hair was blown about by the wind from beneath her little velvet hat.

“Draw your hood up, Gabrielle; it has not been so cold this winter.”

It was Clement's voice which suddenly roused her from her reverie.

“Is it you, Clement?—Excuse me, I did not know whether I was with you or Julian.”

He gently attempted to raise her hood.

“No, no!” she said earnestly. “Let me breathe the air. Though it is scarcely more than two years since I saw snow for the first time in my life, I am not afraid of the cold. I could if necessary endure far more severe weather than this.—There!” And she took off her hat and walked some steps with her head completely exposed to the frosty night air. “You know,” she continued, with an animation that singularly contrasted with her previous silence—“you know, during the Russian campaign, those who endured the cold best were the Neapolitan soldiers. Well, like them, I have brought a supply of sunshine from the South which much harder frosts than this could not exhaust!”

Nevertheless, at Clement's renewed entreaties, she laughingly put on her hat, and they walked quickly along, leaving scarcely a trace of their steps on the hard snow, deep as it was.

Her liveliness that evening was strange! Clement noticed it without comprehending the cause. Her cheerful tone and charming smile, instead of delighting him as usual, now made him inexpressibly uneasy, and sadder than ever!

XLIV.

As is often the case with people of violent and impressionable natures, the Princess Catherine seldom saw things long in the same light. Though her thoughts were sorrowfully fastened on one subject in consequence of the tragical events that so suddenly threw a dark, ominous veil over a life hitherto so smiling, she found means of giving a thousand different shades to her misfortune, and it was not always easy to follow her in the fitful turns of her grief. What consoled her one day was a source of irritation the next: what she affirmed in the morning, she vehemently denied in the evening. Sometimes she expressed her fears on purpose that they might be opposed; at other times, she burst into tears at the slightest contradiction, and, if they endeavored to reassure her, she accused them of cruelty and indifference to her troubles.

In consequence of one of these sudden fluctuations, the day following the arrival of the Marquis Adelardi's letter which had seemed so [pg 174] consoling, Fleurange, at the hour of her usual visit, found her abandoned to the deepest dejection. Everything had assumed a new aspect, or perhaps it would be more just to say that everything now wore the terrible aspect of truth. And was it really enough that her idolized son was delivered from death? Was not the prospect she now dwelt on almost as fearful to bear? He—George!—her son!—in her eyes the perfect model of manly beauty, elegance, and nobleness of character, clad in the frightful garb of a criminal!—and going alone amid that wretched crowd to that dreary region, where the hardest and most humiliating labor awaited him, without even the consoling voice of a friend to encourage him, to take him by the hand, to love him, and to tell him so!

“Oh!” she exclaimed, in that accent which is as different from every other, as the grief of a mother differs from every other grief—“oh! feeble, ill, and exhausted as I am, why cannot I accompany him? It really seems to me, Gabrielle, if I were allowed, I should find strength, I should have the courage to go. I would start, I would go and share his wretched existence, I would participate in all the severities of so frightful a life, and by dint of affection I would make it endurable for him!”

This energetic cry of disinterested affection—its evident sincerity—was so rare a thing with the princess that it was the more affecting. Pale, silent, and motionless before her, Fleurange listened with an emotion that prevented her uttering the words that hung on her trembling lips. The poor princess was sobbing aloud, with both hands to her face, apparently exhausted by her own vehemence, when Fleurange, suddenly kneeling beside her, said in a low tone:

“Do you remember, princess, the promise you exacted from your son, one evening?”

The princess raised her head with surprise and a shade of resentment: “What do you mean? Do you wish to reproach me at such a time? The moment is well chosen, but such a thing from you, Gabrielle, surprises me!”

“Reproach you!” cried Fleurange. “No, I did not think of such a thing. It was a request, a petition, or, rather, it was a question I wished to ask you.”

“A question!” The princess looked at Fleurange. She was struck by the expression of her countenance, and interest, mingled with surprise, roused her from her dejection. What request was she going to make in so extraordinary a manner? And why did she look so determined, and speak in so supplicating a tone?

“Go on, speak, ask whatever you wish, Gabrielle.”

“Well, first let me tell you this: The eve of my departure from Florence, while descending from San Miniato with him—with Count George, he asked if I would be his wife, adding he was sure of obtaining your consent.”

“Why recall all these remembrances, Gabrielle? I thought you generous, but you are without mercy!”

Fleurange went on as if she did not hear: “I replied that I would never listen to him, unless, by some unforeseen circumstance impossible to conceive, his mother—you, princess—would gladly consent to receive me as a daughter.” She stopped a moment, as if too agitated to continue.

“What are you aiming at?” said the princess.

[pg 175]

“I beg you to listen to me, princess. Here is my question: When this terrible sentence is pronounced, when Count George de Walden is degraded from his rank, deprived of his wealth, and even of his name (you shudder, alas! and I also at the thought)—but to return—when that day comes, if he asks the consent he promised you to wait for, will you grant it?”

The princess looked at her with astonishment, without appearing to comprehend her.

“Will you allow me to tell him you have consented? Will you on that day tell me you are willing I should become your daughter?”

The princess began to catch at her meaning, but she was too stupefied to reply.

“Ah! say the word, princess,” continued Fleurange, her face expressing both angelic tenderness and a more than feminine courage, “say it, and I will start. I will be at St. Petersburg before his sentence is pronounced, and when he comes out of his dungeon I will be there, and before he departs for the place of his exile a tie shall unite us that will permit me to accompany him and share all its severity!”—She continued in faltering tones: “And if ever the tenderness of a mother, the care of a sister, or the love of a wife, were able to alleviate misfortune, my heart shall have the combined power of these various affections.”

We are aware that, when certain chords were touched in the princess' heart, they vibrated strongly, and made her for a moment forget herself. But never, under any circumstances of her life, had she felt an emotion equal to that now caused by Fleurange's words and accents. She looked at her a moment in silence while great tears rolled down her cheeks, then, opening her arms and pressing the young girl passionately to her heart, she covered her forehead and eyes with kisses, repeating at intervals with a voice broken by sobs: “Yes, yes, Gabrielle, be my daughter: I consent with joy—with gratitude. I give you now my consent and a mother's blessing!”

To Be Continued.

The Poor Ploughman.

A true worker and a good was he,
Living in peace and perfect charity;
God loved he, best, and that with alle his herte,
At alle times, were it gain or smart;
And then his neighbour right as himselve.
He wolde thresh, and thereto dyke and delve
For Christe's sake, for every poor wight
Withouten hire, if it lay in his might.
His tithes paid he full fair and well,
Both of his proper work, and his cattel.—S. Anselm.
[pg 176]

A Dark Chapter In English History.103

One of the most gratifying features of the literature of the present, and one that in some measure compensates us for the evils produced by the many worthless books that are still allowed to issue from the press, is its tendency by close investigation and collation to vindicate the truth of modern history, and especially of that portion of it directly or indirectly relating to the XVIth century. Gradually, but most effectually, the inventions and gross calumnies of the post-Reformation writers are being dissipated, and the meretricious grandeur with which the characters and acts of the anti-Catholic sovereigns, statesmen, and generals of that eventful period were designedly clothed, has been stripped off, revealing to their descendants the deformity and impiety of the heroes of the Reformation. Whether we turn to England or Germany, Edinburgh or Geneva, we find the men and women who in our own school-boy days we were urged to regard as patterns of patriotism and morality, become under the scrutiny of living historiographers the veriest counterfeits—the prey of passion and the untiring enemies of every principle of government and religion which we are bound to respect. Yet this is what, logically, we might have anticipated. A bad cause needs to be sustained by vicious instruments; but so closely and consistently has the web of falsehood been woven around the true designs and actions of the reformers that it required the labor of many skilful and patient hands to undo the meshes and reduce the fabric, so dexterously spun, to its original elements. This is peculiarly difficult with the works of English historians and biographers of the past three centuries, whose unanimity in magnifying the virtues and screening the crimes of their public men is so remarkable as to utterly destroy the value of their works as authorities among people of other nations. The beastly vices of the eighth Henry were, of course, so glaring that they could neither be denied nor extenuated; but who would expect to find that his worthy daughter Elizabeth, the “virgin queen” and Gloriana, before whose benign altar even Shakespeare offered the incense of his flattery, should at this remote period be discovered to be: as a woman ugly, ill-tempered, and unchaste, and as a ruler fickle, cruel, cold-blooded, and thoroughly despotic. James I., the head of a long line of gallant princes, to whom his pliant prelates attributed “divine illumination,” and subsequent historians praised for his learning and wit, we at length know to have been a miser and a charlatan, as deformed in mind as he was uncouth in person. “His cowardice,” says his compatriot and co-religionist Macaulay, “his childishness, his pedantry, his ungainly person and manners, his provincial accent, made him an object of derision” to his English subjects. The unscrupulous Northampton and the subtle Cecil, the trusted ministers of [pg 177] both sovereigns, who had long been regarded as the unswerving champions of English independence and the bulwark of Protestant ascendency, are now proved to have been all along the paid tools of Catholic Spain, with whose ill-gotten gold their lofty palaces were built and their luxurious wants regularly supplied.104 The chivalrous and romantic Raleigh of other days, examined by the inexorable scrutiny of the XIXth century, turns out a spy in the pay of a foreign and by no means friendly power; the philosophic Bacon, a common peculator; and Coke, the father of English common law, a falsifier of sworn evidence and a concocter of legal conspiracies against the liberties of his countrymen. Yet these were the leading personages, who, with many others equally corrupt, in their day and generation swayed the destinies of England, desolated the church of God, originated or abetted plots and schemes, at home and abroad, for the spoliation and extermination of the professors of the ancient faith.

This tardy measure of historical justice is partly due to the appearance in different parts of Europe of important public and private documents and correspondence, which have shamed British Protestant authors into something like truthfulness, but principally to the revival of Catholicity in England, which has been the means of drawing out a mass of original and reliable information, that had long been allowed to slumber in the dark closets of a few noble families or in inaccessible libraries during the gloomy era of persecution and proscription. Our readers are already familiar with the articles which formerly appeared in these columns on the long-unsettled and vexed question of the character of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the justice or injustice of her treatment by Elizabeth—contributions to current literature which in their collective form have found their way among the literati of all nations, and, from their admirable cogency of argument and conscientious appeals to contemporary authorities, have at length cleared away from the character of that ill-starred lady the foul aspersions and unexampled obloquy heaped on it by the minions of the English sovereign.

Some more recent publications have thrown additional light on the tragic incidents of her reign and of that of her successor James, which, as far as they relate to the Catholics of Great Britain, are full of freshness and interest. Chief among them is the Life of Father John Gerard, for many years a Jesuit missionary in England under both rulers, with his account of the celebrated Gunpowder Plot, written soon after the failure of that conspiracy. Many of the participants in the plot were personally known to him, and he himself was accused of having taken an active part in its formation; but, though his name has been frequently mentioned in connection with it and his manuscript narrative more or less correctly quoted, it remained for a member of his Order, the Rev. John Morris, the able editor of the book before us, to present to the world for the first time the only complete and accurate history of an event which has been the fruitful subject of misrepresentation and comment by every writer on English history for the last two hundred years.

Few incidents of modern times can be said to have provoked more hostility [pg 178] to the church and the Jesuit Order than the Gunpowder Plot, few have been so dexterously used by the enemies of Catholicity to poison the public mind against the priesthood, and none the details of which are so little understood even at the present day by friends and foes. The 5th of November, the anniversary of its discovery, has long been a gala-day with the more ignorant of the British populace; Protestant writers, divines, and politicians of the lower sort are not yet tired of alluding to the time when, as they are wont to allege, the Catholics by one fell swoop attempted to destroy king, lords, and commons; and even Lingard and Tiernay, with the very best intentions and after considerable examination of authorities, give a partial assent to the old popular conviction that, in some way or another, the Jesuits were at the bottom of the diabolical scheme, which in reality was the creation of a handful of desperate laymen. In fact, the former, with a penetration totally at variance with his general character, alludes to the taking of the oath of secrecy by Catesby and his companions in terms that would lead any superficial reader to adopt this absurd hypothesis. “All five,” he says, “having previously sworn each other to secrecy, received in confirmation of their oath the sacrament at the hands of the Jesuit missionary Father Gerard.”105 It is true that in a subsequent edition of his History he endeavored to explain away, but in a very unsatisfactory manner, the implication of guilty knowledge on the part of Gerard; but, whether from an imperfect acquaintance with the writings of that priest, then unpublished, or from that spirit of timidity which too often characterized the conduct of the English Catholics of the last generation, his refutation is not of that full and hearty nature which might be expected from so clear and critical a scholar.

What Dr. Lingard was unwilling or unable to undertake may now, in view of more complete evidence, be accomplished by persons of lesser erudition, who, untrammelled by national partiality, are not alarmed at popular clamor or unwilling to disturb time-honored but unfounded historical fallacies. We design, therefore, in this article to prove:

1. That the Gunpowder Plot was formed and carried out to its disastrous end by not more than a dozen desperate men, the victims of unrelenting persecution for conscience' sake.

2. That the Catholic body in England, lay and clerical, till its discovery, neither were aware of its existence, approved of its aims, nor rendered any assistance to its projectors.

3. That no priest, Jesuit or other, was concerned in its formation, or afforded it any encouragement at any time; and that of all the seculars and regulars in the kingdom but two were ever aware of its existence, and that to them the knowledge came under the seal of confession and could not be revealed.

4. That those two used every possible effort to dissuade the conspirators from their design, and denounced on every occasion all violent attempts to redress the wrongs under which the Catholics suffered.

The state of England at the beginning of the XVIIth century, when James of Scotland was called upon to ascend the throne of his mother's murderer, was deplorable in the extreme. Less than half a century had sufficed to change entirely the whole face of the country socially [pg 179] and morally, and the once “merrie” people were divided into two hostile camps, one the army of plunder and persecution, the other the cowering, dissatisfied, and impoverished masses. Many were yet alive who recollected with sorrow the time when the cross gleamed on the spires of a thousand churches, when the solemn sacrifice was offered up on myriads of altars, when the poor and afflicted easily found food and shelter at the numerous convents and abbeys that dotted the land of S. Augustine, and the young and the aged, the weak woman and the strong man, together bowed their knees in reverence before the statues of the “blessed among women” and other saints. Now all was reformed away—changed not with the consent of the people nor by the argument or eloquence of the preacher, but by the brute force and cunning fraud of a corrupt sovereign, a dissolute and avaricious court, and, partially at least, by a venal and cowardly episcopate. The churches no longer resounded from morning till night with the solemn sacred chants, the monasteries were in ruins or the scenes of impious revelry, the festivals of the church were abolished, and the peasantry, formerly accustomed to look forward to them as days of rest from hard toil and occasions of innocent enjoyment, were sullen and discontented. Those who had shared in the ecclesiastical plunder spent their time in the metropolis in wild extravagance, while the gentry, most of whom still adhered secretly to the faith, remained at home, the prey of anxiety and the tax-gatherer. The masses were fast degenerating into that state of stolid ignorance and unbelief from which all subsequent legislation has failed to raise them. The laws of Elizabeth aimed at the suppression of all outward manifestation of Catholicity and the ultimate protestantizing of the nation; those of James, at the utter extirpation of the Catholics themselves.

As early as a.d. 1559, the first year of Elizabeth's reign, a law was passed compelling every person holding office, either temporal or spiritual, under the crown, to take an oath of allegiance declaring the queen the supreme head of the church. The penalty for refusing this oath was forfeiture of goods and imprisonment, and a persistence in such refusal, death. Whoever affirmed the spiritual supremacy of the pope was declared guilty of treason; penalty, confiscation and death. Attendance at Mass was to be punished by perpetual imprisonment, and non-attendance at Protestant service by a weekly fine. In the fifth year of her reign, any aider or abettor of such offenders was for the first offence to be fined and imprisoned for life, for the second to suffer death. Any clergyman celebrating Mass or refusing to observe the regulations of the Book of Common Prayer forfeited offices, goods, and liberty. In the thirteenth year, introducing into the kingdom a bull or other instrument of the pope was treason, penalty death; abetting the same, death; acting under such authority, death; introducing, wearing, or having in his or her possession an Agnus Dei, cross, etc., confiscation and perpetual imprisonment; and for leaving the kingdom without permission, forfeiture of lands and personal estate. In the twenty-third year, any person granting absolution from sin in the name of the “Roman Church,” or receiving the same, their aiders, etc., was declared guilty of treason, penalty death; and for not disclosing knowledge of such offenders, confiscation and imprisonment. In the twenty-ninth year, the tax for non-attendance at Protestant service [pg 180] was increased to £20 per lunar month, or forfeiture of two-thirds of all lands and goods; and for keeping a schoolmaster or tutor, other than a Protestant, a fine of £10 per month was imposed, together with imprisonment at pleasure. By the statutes of the 21st, 27th, and 28th Elizabeth, every priest, Jesuit, or other ecclesiastic ordained out of the realm was obliged forthwith to leave the kingdom, and in case of his return he was to suffer death; those who received or harbored him were subject to a like punishment. Those being educated abroad were required to return home, and after neglect to do so, upon their being found in the kingdom, were to be put to death. For contributing money for colleges abroad and for sending students there, fine and imprisonment for life were considered adequate punishments; but by the 25th chapter of Elizabeth, all who persisted in refusing attendance on Protestant worship were liable to be transported for life, and if they evaded the statute they were liable to suffer death.106

We see, therefore, by this comprehensive penal code that every office under the crown was reserved as a bribe to recreant Catholics; that private tutors were commanded to teach nothing but the new heresy in Catholic families, while those who objected to such method of instruction could neither send their children abroad nor contribute to the support of those already there. All priests were obliged to take the oath of supremacy and observe the Book of Common Prayer; such as did not were to be banished, and if they returned were to be executed forthwith. No priest could, of course, be ordained at home, and if ordained abroad he was to be hanged whenever caught, without delay. If one of the laity attended Mass or wore the image of his crucified Redeemer, he was to be imprisoned for life; if he did not attend Protestant service, he was to be fined enormously; if he had no money to pay the fine, he might be banished for ever from his home and country, and if he endeavored to conceal himself at home his career was to be ended by the hangman.

Nor must it to be supposed that these sanguinary statutes, affecting the rights and liberties of at least one-half of the population, were nothing but the splenetic fits of a jealous and tyrannical bigot or mere idle threats to frighten a half-civilized horde. On the contrary, we have abundant facts to prove that they were thoroughly and cruelly enforced, and that the sufferers were principally the better class of the community. In 1573, the Rev. Thomas Woodhouse was drawn, half-hanged, and then quartered alive in the usual way at Tyburn, for having denied the queen's supremacy. Two years later, Father Cuthbert Mayne was executed with similar barbarity in Cornwall for having in his possession a copy of a Jubilee and for saying Mass in the house of a Mr. Teagian; the latter, with fifteen others, for being present on the occasion, was imprisoned for life. In 1577, Mr. Jenks was tried and convicted at Oxford for exposing some Catholic books for sale, and about this time we are informed the prisons were so full of “recusants” that a pestilence broke out and large numbers of the inmates perished. Among the sufferers in 1578 we find the names of Father Nelson and a Mr. Sherwood, who were hanged and quartered solely for being recusants. In 1582, Fathers Campion (the celebrated Jesuit missionary), Sherwin, and Briant, after the mockery of a trial, were executed in London, [pg 181] and in May of the year following no less than seven other priests suffered death at Tyburn. Thus nearly every year supplied its quota to the martyrology of the church in England, not to speak of the nameless thousands who died in confinement by the quick but silent process of torture and pestilence, or abroad, broken-hearted and neglected. During the fourteen years succeeding the dispersion of the Spanish Armada, when fanaticism was rampant and bigotry held full sway in the councils of Elizabeth, sixty-one clergymen, forty-seven laymen, and two gentlewomen expiated their offence of being Catholics by a horrible and ignominious public death; while, according to the records still extant, the total number of the “good Queen Bess'” ecclesiastical victims amounted to the handsome number of one hundred and twenty-three, including one hundred and thirteen seculars, eight Jesuits, one friar, and one monk, besides innumerable laymen in whose veins flowed the best blood of the land.

The rack and the thumb-screw almost invariably preceded the half-hanging and disembowelling, so that many looked upon the gallows as a welcome relief from worse sufferings. Priests were tortured to compel them to disclose the names of their penitents, and laymen to force them into the betrayal of their pastors. Father Campion was four times racked, and then secretly brought before the queen to discuss theology with that model Supreme Head of the Church; while others like Nichols found it more convenient to swear to all their tormentors required, for, as that recreant shepherd naïvely says in his Apology, “it is not, I assure you, a pleasant thing to be stretched on the rack till the body becomes almost two feet longer than nature made it.” Father Gerard, who speaks from personal experience, has left us in his Memoirs the following account of this most effectual method of extorting confessions in the glorious reign of that queen to which so many of our modern writers refer with pride and congratulation:

Then they led me to a great upright beam, or pillar of wood, which was one of the supports of this vast crypt. At the summit of this column were fixed certain iron staples for supporting weights. Here they placed on my wrists manacles of iron, and ordered me to mount upon two or three wicker steps; then raising my arms they inserted an iron bar through the rings of the manacles, and then through the staples in the pillar, putting a pin through the bar so that it could not slip. My arms being thus fixed above my head, they withdrew those wicker steps I spoke of, one by one, from my feet, so that I hung by my hands and arms. The tips of my toes, however, still touched the ground; so they dug away the ground beneath, as they could not raise me higher, for they had suspended me from the topmost staples in the pillar. Thus hanging by my wrists I began to pray, while those gentlemen standing around me asked again if I was willing to confess. I replied, I neither can nor will.But so terrible a pain began to oppress me that I was scarcely able to speak the words. The worst pain was in my breast and belly, my arms and hands. It seemed to me that all the blood in my body rushed up my arms into my hands, and I was under the impression at the time that the blood actually burst forth from my fingers and the back of my hands. This was, however, a mistake, the sensation was caused by the swelling of the flesh over the iron that bound it.... I had hung this way till after one of the clock, as I think, when I fainted.107

It must not be supposed, however, that the zeal of the queen's ministers was satisfied with these harsh measures against the clergy and the more prominent delinquents. All Catholics were put beyond the pale of the law. The country swarmed [pg 182] with spies and informers. Lists were accurately made out and carefully preserved of the recusants who owned property of any sort, and every possible method of espionage was adopted to detect them in the slightest infraction of the bloody code. Domiciliary visits became the order of the day, or rather of the night, for that was the time usually chosen by the pursuivants. Doors were broken open, closets ransacked, bedrooms of women and invalids invaded without ceremony; and frequently, the previous movements having been properly concerted, whole families were simultaneously borne off to prison, there to be detained without the least warrant of law for months and years. The tax of £260 annually, equal to at least five thousand dollars at the present day, was not only vigorously enforced, but upon the faintest rumor of a foreign invasion or domestic broil, special imposts were laid on the remaining property of the Catholics, and the owners were carried to the nearest dungeon till the affair blew over, when they were as unceremoniously dismissed until the next occasion arose for plunder and personal revenge.

Thus was the work of reformation and evangelization urged briskly forward in free England, and she was fast becoming converted and enlightened. Torture, death, and confiscation dogged the steps of the unhappy recusant who dare to profess, even in the privacy of his house, the faith of his fathers for ten centuries—that religion which had raised his ancestors from barbarism, freed him from the thraldom of feudalism, and given him Magna Charta, trial by jury, and representative government. The crown lawyers, like Coke, Stanhope, and Bacon, laid the plans, pious bishops like those of London, Ely, and Winchester, leaving their flocks to the devouring Puritan wolves, constituted themselves a sort of episcopal sheriffalty, and vied with each other in their ardor for the spread of the Gospel and their love for the spoils of the Papists. Their leader in all this was a vulgar wretch named Topcliffe, whose audacity, profanity, and lewdness made him the terror of men and the abhorrence of women, but whose usefulness was so apparent that he was constantly the object of government favors and clerical eulogy.

But human hate and diabolical ingenuity, it was thought, could not last for ever. On the 24th of March, a.d. 1603, Elizabeth died, to the last the prey of vain desires and unsatisfied ambition. For weeks before her decease she was haunted by the phantoms of her innumerable crimes, and so terrified at the approach of death that she refused to lie in her bed or to receive any sustenance from her usual attendants. The courts of Europe, to which she had ever been an object of dislike and fear, could ill conceal their pleasure at the event, but millions of her subjects, the impoverished, the widowed, and the orphaned, made desolate by her despotic cruelty, in silence execrated her memory.

The Catholics generally found consolation in the thought of her successor, and, with that unqualified confidence in the house of Stuart, which now seems like fatality, they began to hope for better days under his sway. Was he not, they asked each other, the son of Elizabeth's royal victim, and could he be unmindful of the affection with which the Catholics of the three kingdoms ever regarded his mother? Had he not before he ever put foot in England authorized Father Watson to promise in his name justice and protection, [pg 183] and did not Percy, the agent and kinsman of the great Duke of Northumberland, assure his friends, on the strength of the royal word solemnly pledged, that the days of persecution were at an end? Poor deluded people, they little knew how much deceit lay in the heart of him whom the Protestant lord primate rather blasphemously averred “the like had not been since the time of Christ.” He had scarcely put on the crown when the Catholics discovered that they had neither mercy nor justice to expect from him. Once secure in the support of the Protestant party, he turned a deaf ear to their complaints, and even had the mendacity to deny his own word of honor, giving as a reason “that, since Protestants had so generally received and proclaimed him king, he had now no need of Papists.” Being by nature intolerant, he oppressed the Puritans, by whom he had been trained, to please the Episcopalians, and to gratify both he ground the Catholics into dust; arrests for recusancy multiplied, illegal visitations became more frequent, and if possible more annoying, the arrears of the monthly tax which he at first pretended to remit were demanded, and the amount, already enormous, was even increased so as to satisfy the ever-increasing rapacity of his pauper courtiers who had followed him into England. In place and out of it, he made the most violent attacks on the faith of his dead mother and of at least one-half of his English subjects, and his remarks were taken up and repeated from every Protestant pulpit and in every conventicle throughout the length and breadth of the land, till the hopes of the Catholics grew fainter and fainter, and finally expired. Unlike Elizabeth, he was not only expected to live a long life, but his progeny would succeed him, the heirs of his authority and cruelty; and being constitutionally a coward and an intriguer, he was bent on making peace with foreign powers, and thus cutting off all sympathy which the Catholic sovereigns might have felt it their interest to express for their suffering co-religionists in Great Britain.

Though the principles of reciprocal protection and allegiance were not as well defined at that period as, they have since been, the Catholics of England would have been more or less than human if they could have regarded James' government with any feeling other than detestation, and the wonder is not that a plot was laid to destroy it, but that so very few of the persecuted multitude could be found to embark in it, notwithstanding the manifold reasons afforded by the king and parliament for their destruction. It was an age of conspiracies and counterplots, when the highest and most trusted in every land endeavored by force or fraud to accomplish political and personal ends, success being the only criterion of merit. The history of Europe from the middle of the preceding century is full of dark schemes and secret contrivances, in which nobles and princes figure alternately as the bribers or the bribed, the patrons or the victims of the assassin, now devoted patriots and anon double-dyed traitors. The long civil wars, the vicious legacy of the Lutheran attempt to unsettle the faith of Christendom, had nearly ceased from sheer exhaustion, and unemployed soldiers of desperate fortunes but undoubted courage were to be easily had for any enterprise, no matter how dangerous.

Of this character was Guy or Guido Fawkes, whose name, though not himself the originator of the Gunpowder Plot, is most intimately [pg 184] associated with it in popular tradition. The real authors were Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, Thomas Winter, and John Wright; all of whom were country gentlemen of good family and education, but, except Catesby, very much reduced in circumstances owing to the unjust and repeated exactions of the penal laws, which had not only robbed them of their property and shut them out from all public employment, but had branded them with the stigma of traitors to their country and enemies to their sovereign; for, having in the early part of their lives conformed to Protestantism, they had subsequently returned to the church into which they had been baptized—an offence in the eyes of the rulers of that day of the deepest dye.

In the early part of 1604, the five conspirators met in London, and, having taken a solemn oath of secrecy, determined on their future schemes for the total destruction of the government. Wishing, however, it seems, to exhaust all milder remedies, they sent agents to Spain and other foreign powers friendly to the Catholic cause, to induce them to use their good offices in mitigating the sufferings of the English recusants. The answers were generally favorable, but non-committal, and the practical result nothing. They then determined to depend on themselves alone, and in the autumn rented a building adjoining the Palace of Westminster, the old House of Parliament, and commenced to undermine the dividing wall. This, some three yards thick of solid masonry, they found a work of difficulty, and from the paucity of their numbers and their inexperience in manual labor, advanced slowly. A circumstance soon occurred to modify their plans. A portion of the cellar immediately under the prince's chamber, which had been used by a coal dealer, was vacated by the tenant, and Percy rented it, ostensibly for storage purposes. The mine was abandoned, and thirty-two barrels of powder, which had been stored previously at Lambeth, were introduced in the night-time, and covered from observation by wood, furniture, etc. All that was now required to complete the conspiracy was a proper moment for the application of the match. This work had brought them into the spring of 1605, and, as parliament was not to assemble for some months, they resolved to separate, some going into the country to see their relatives, and others to the Continent to enlist the assistance of such adventurers as could be found willing to take service under the anticipated new régime. Meanwhile eight more persons were admitted into the plot, the principal of whom were Rokewood, Grant, Tresham, and Sir Everard Digby, all young men of family and fortune, whose proud spirits chafed continually under the social and political ostracism to which all recusants of the period were doomed.

The opening of parliament, expected in September, was, however, postponed till the 5th of November, but, to the secret satisfaction of Catesby and his fellows, the penal laws continued to be rigidly enforced, and additional measures of persecution were devised by the king's council for the adoption by the legislature when it should meet. As that time approached and everything augured success, the parts of the leading actors in the bloody drama were distributed. Fawkes was to fire the powder which was to blow the king, his oldest son Henry, and the lords and commons into eternity; Prince Charles, the next in succession, having been seized by Percy, was to be [pg 185] proclaimed king at Charing Cross by Catesby; while Tresham, Grant, and Digby were to gain possession of the person of the infant princess Elizabeth, at Lord Harrington's country-seat. After the explosion, Fawkes was to sail for Flanders to bring over reinforcements, and the others, a protector for the royal children having been appointed, were to rendezvous at Digby's residence and raise the country in favor of the new government. There was a method in the madness of these men, and the first part of their programme would undoubtedly have been carried out but for one important fact upon which it seems they did not reckon: